Archive for May, 2008

You know that there has been too many birthday parties for one weekend to accommodate when you child arrives at the last party on Sunday looking like this:

What would have you done? Dropped her off or driven back home to tuck her bed?

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Here is some solid evidence that Ava’s daddy was indeed a part of the fairy festivities. He took the afternoon off a work so he could watch his little lady blow our four candles on a flower cake and run around in pink tulle and glitter wings.

He didn’t make it into the little birthday story as the Fairy Good Father and or the Fairy Daddy didn’t have quite have the right ring to it. To be sure, he was quite adamant that he was not be called anything with fairy attached to it.

I can respect that.

As the absolutely-not-a-winged-creature-from-the-forest, he was responsible for all the amazing photographs (and video–he’s a camera man extraordinaire).

He was also responsible for making the fairies fly.

For weeks, I heard many variations of this question: “Mama, when I’m at my party with my big purple wings, will I fly?”

“Only if there is a very mighty wind,” I would reply.

Last Friday, that mighty wind was her daddy.

Hold on tight baby girl, if there was ever a daddy who could help a little girl soar it is this one.

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Once upon a time in the merry month of May a little Fairy Princess was born.

Each year the Fairy Princess grew rosier and happier, bringing delight to all who knew her. As the fourth month of May came near, she sent out invitations to all her favorite fairy folk.

On the day of the party, the sun shone brighter than it had all year. It seemed as though the grass was greener and the birds songs were sweeter too.

The Fairy Good Mother gathered armfuls of the pinkest flowers and spun them into cloth to spread out for the table. She painted blossoms on the tea cups and melted fuschias into tea plates. Then she sought out the most fragrant cherry blossoms and peonies to lay across the table. In the middle of all the blooms on a white pedestal sat the birthday cake.

“Is this my butterfly cake?” asked the Fairy Princess as she floated over to the table to wait for the guests.

Enchanted by the sweet, glittering blossom, the loveliest butterflies in all of fairyland had landed the Fairy Princess’ cake.

Soon the other fairies arrived, each carrying brightly wrapped surpises for the Fairy Princess.

The rosebud, periwinkle, lilac, sweet pea, and poppy fairies gathered to hear about the secret treasure that was hidden away for them. They each took turns leading the others up and down the mossy hill and looking for the secret treasure. Up by the castle, behind the great hedge they found a treasure chest full of birthday wreaths to wear for the celebration.

With flowers in their hair and ribbons streaming behind them, they played all sorts of fairy games.

They even found a butterfly pinata full of candy.

With hands full of sugary treats they floated over to the table to wait for the tea party to begin.

The fairy folk sipped lemon grass tea

and sampled fairy flora sandwiches.

They savored sweet baskets of berries.

The Fairy Good Mother put three candles on the Fairy Princess’ cake and asked, “Are you sure you need four?”

The Fairy Princess nodded and then took a deep breath. With the help of the wind, she blew out all four candles!

Now that she was truly four years old, the other fairies agreed that it was time for her to open their gifts. The Fairy Princess happily obliged.

Soon the ground the decorated with strips of pink and green paper, and the Fairy Princess was surrounded by all the things a fairy princess would want. Delighted with their kind gifts, the Fairy Princess gave each of her fairy friends a great big hug.

And then all the fairy friends fluttered one more time through the sand before they flew away to their homes.

The Fairy Princess’ party was the happiest birthday ever in all of fairyland!

The End.

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Oh what a beautiful day!

Ava has exchanged this fairytale for the one in her dreams, and I will soon join her. Before I drift off, I thought I would share one picture.

Ava was sure that she wasn’t truly four until she blew out all the candles. Here she is making her passageway out of three.

Whatever you are wishing for, my dear one, I hope it comes true. I love you!

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On Sunday evening, Ava was in her bed for the night and Nate was away at a softball game. The house was quiet and still. A nice, long soak seemed to be the perfect way to end a delightful Mother’s Day.

I let the water roar out of the faucet drowning out the sounds of the house and filling the tub with steamy water. I poured in the last of my Lollia bubble bath, a Mother’s Day gift from another year, and watched tub rise with rose-scented bubbles.

I was about to slip into my favorite escape when I heard the bathroom door squeak open behind me. My heart raced into my throat and I let out a scream as I turned to meet my foe.

Ava hopped in from the doorway, slammed it shut with her back, and and looked up with a trembling lip, “Was it a badger, Mama? Did you see a badger?”

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“Mama, when we were in Heaven we just liked each other so much that we just always wanted to be with each other. And so we thought that you should be the mama and I would be the little girl.

And then you had to go and then I had to wait for a long time, didn’t I? A really long time! And then God said it was time for me to go into your tummy.

And then I did, cause we wanted to be with each other and cause you are the mama that I always wanted.”

And you, Ava are the one I always wanted.

Thanks for making this a most happy Mother’s day.

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At some point after her third birthday and before her fourth birthday, Ava realized that birthday parties are something that happen every single year. And she has been looking forward to her fourth birthday ever since.

As the calendar pages have turned closer to May, her dreams about her fairy princess birthday party have grown increasingly vivid.

She has been telling and retelling me who she wants at her birthday for weeks. I finally sat down with her a couple a weeks ago to get the official list. It had thirty-two guests on it.

Thirty-two guests, not including siblings or mamas. Included in the list where “the girl with the blue shoes who was singing at Target” and “the girl at the park that had braids like me.”

Clearly, I’m not going to invite thirty-one children to my house, especially children that I would need a private eye to find.

Then last week, she announced that only girls can be fairies. So only girls could come to her party. Between trimming out nameless children and sweet boys who probably don’t want to wear fairy wings, we reduced the list to a manageable number.

Yesterday, Ava drew a picture of her birthday cake.

Anyone know a talented confectionist, who is also an expert in pyrotechnics?

Today, she created an invation to her birthday party.

In case you aren’t fluent in swirl, it reads:

“My mama loves me and is always so close to me and she is the most specialist and she has a party for me. Come to my most specialist, specialist birthday party. You are invited. And remember, the more you learn, the more you’ll have fun! So go to sleep, and wake up, and come to the special, special birthday party.”

You like how she weaved that unrelated nugget of wisdom into her invitation. It’s genetic. Also genetic: the propensity to love one’s birthday.

It would be a lie to deny that I haven’t been thinking about her party as much or more than her. I saw this magazine article about a pixie party in the forrest three years ago, and have been wanting to throw her a fairy party ever since. Last night, I showed Nate the near sacred picture and his words were: “You have got to be kidding me.” I don’t know if it was the two white horses or the flurry of tulle that exacted such a response.

Either way it is clear that this party will never live up the fantasy Ava and I have concocted in our minds.

This morning in hopes of bringing the vision into the realm of reality, I asked Ava what things she wanted at her party and she said, “All the pink balloons and a butterfuly cake and decorations for my birthday.”

“You want me to decorate the house for your party?”

“No, decorate my birthday.”

Like her mother, her nuggets of wisdom (or clarity) are reserved for the written swirl.

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Raise your hand if you know what a feedreader is? If you’re hand is in the air, then you are most likely not related to me, and you are so above this post.

For the rest of you (including all my lovely and loyal relatives), I’m about to save you from this tedious scenerio:

Monday morning: “let’s see if Rachel’s put something on her blog…oh, man. What’s it called? It’s got bandits or badgers or something unrelated species. Ah, I’ll just google ‘Rachel, Ava, badgers’…. Oh, badgersontheloose.com. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Okay, here we go. It’s loading. Well, look at that same thing as last Friday.”

Tuesday morning: “I’m sure she’s updated her blog by now. Let’s check. Nope.”

Wednesday morning: “Brilliant, still the non-winning picture at the beach.”

Thursday morning: “Hello! Hello! Rachel, update your blog already!!! I can’t just keep checking back here for nothing.”

Okay, see, that’s not fun for anyone. And really, I know your pain. I have a cousin down in St. Louis who I love dearly and she has four little girls that I love nearly as much. I want to see new pictures and read more stories about her girls. Four girls keep her busy, so updates her blog about once every other month. That’s a lot of times to type in her blog address to see the same smiley picture I’ve seen for the past forty consecutive days.

Also, it’s hard to remember everyone’s blog address. Especially if you memory is anything like the sieve that I call my brain. This is why my feedreader is one my new best friends.

What’s a Feedreader?

A feedreader is a handy little gadget that grabs content from all the blogs you want to read and puts in one place.

Well Then, What’s a Blog Subscription?

It’s like having your favorite magazine delivered to your door each month as opposed to buying it in the checkout line at the grocery store. A blog subscription sends the new content of that blog to the destination of your choice, either your e-mail inbox or a feedreader.

This way you don’t have to remember the address or spend time typing it into your browser and waiting to see if the blog is updated. All the new content from all the blogs that you subscribe to are on one page.

For the past several months, I’ve been using Google Reader and it’s great. It’s completely free, easy to use, and best of all, has saved me so much time.

Sound to good to be true? It isn’t. It really is that great.

Enough Jabbering, Hook Me Up Already…

Abraham at The Pipers has written a tremendously helpful post that gives step-by-step instructions on how to set up subscriptions with Google Reader. So go, check it out, and set up your own feedreader–oh, and don’t forget to to subscribe to Badgers on the Loose.

Find me in your feedreader

Find me in your email

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On Cinco de Mayo, we celebrated Shanel’s birthday with a New Mexican fiesta. Ava taped up balloons and wrote out name cards, while I rolled enchiladas and smashed up avocados.

As I was smothering the corn tortillas with red enchilada sauce, I thought about the first time I brought New Mexican fare back to the college dorms. I remember Shanel and our friend, Kristi examining the freshly made tortillas with great concern.

“What are these brown spots?” Kristi asked as she examined the packaged. Shanel took it from her and declared that my tortillas were moldy. I grabbed the package back, turning it back and forth in my hands in great confusion. The tortillas that had been hand-made at Roberto’s the morning before appeared as flawless and delicious as possible.

I looked back up at their concerned faces and realized that these two Midwestern girls had never seen authentic tortillas. They didn’t know that tortillas spit and sizzle on the frying pan until they are covered with a little brown spots. All the tortillas they had consumed where bleached to a crazy, white perfection.

I’m not sure what they thought of their first New Mexican meal, but I can tell you that Shanel throws back the hot stuff like a seasoned gringa. And her request for her birthday dinner was “your enchiladas!” To which every member of my family said, “Amen.”

Being the little hostess that she is, Ava decorated Shanel’s white-on-white cake with sprinkles, sprinkles, and more sprinkles. According to these too, there is never enough sprinkles.

Ava was on then on-hand to help her blow out her candles.

She also wrapped up a “surprise” present and stashed it at the bottom of Shanel’s gift bag.

Oh, what is it? What could it be?

Ah, a stick of sidewalk. Precisely what every condo-dwelling chica needs.

Oh, wait, Shanel, do you know what “chica” means?

Can anyone help the birthday girl out?

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(Photo posted as an entry for mother’s day contest).

This is motherhood to me. The exuberant child taking hopeful steps into the future while holding onto her mother’s hand.


Thanks for you kind comments. Alas, this sun-shiny pic was passed over and with it the dreams of returning to this very beach. You can view the finalists and cast your vote here. Happy voting.

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