The peanut gallery strikes again

It’s been a while since I shared some words from my littles…the first two quotes are from three years ago…but at last, here they are!

Mind Reader

One Saturday I was unsuccessfully trying to indulge in a few moments alone to read my book from the library (I actually got one for me–hurrah!). Of course, despite sitting quietly  on the far corner of my bed with the door closed, I was soon detected by the mommy radars and joined by several munchkins.

5 year old daughter: What are you doing, Mummy?

Me: Reading my book.

Her: But you’re being quiet. Do you hear it inside your head?

Me: Yes.

Her: Leaning her forehead against mine and staring at me seriously with her giant blue eyes, “If I come really close, can I hear it, too?”

Self-Knowledge

One late afternoon I was cuddling my 5 year old and being goofy (by that time of day my few remaining braincells have usually lost any remaining ability to function normally).

Me: Fancy meeting you here! Do I know you?

Her: Yes, I’m me.

Me: Hi, Me…oh, I thought I was me?

Her: No, you’re you!

And one more from just the other day…

 Aliens Among Us

My four year old: Mom, how big does people get? Six?

Me: Six feet tall, you mean?

Him: Maaahm, that would be an alien, with six feet!

Dry Bones Blooming

They look like a bowl of dried bones,

cold and lifeless–

a tragic ode to time lost

and utterly incapable of change–

but look more closely!

Within their crinkled-shut hearts,

clenched in the knuckles of their bony hands,

are tiny gems

bursting with possibility!

When the sun’s warm gaze melts

the unfeeling snow

into lovely spring water,

blooms will unfurl

from these dusty bones.

After winter’s grimness,

we’ll see the world in colour again,

and the flowers will laugh

that we thought them dead.

10 Reasons I love rereading the Anne of Green Gables Books!

If you’re like me and grew up reading LM Montgomery’s classic Anne of Green Gables series, you may also find that rereading them gives all the comforting feeling of coming home again after a long journey, to find that “God’s in his heaven, and all is right with the world.”

No matter what you’re going through, the wisdom, beauty and humour of Anne’s stories can’t help but bring a little more romance and hope to your life. I’ve read or reread them when home sick from school as a kid, on lazy summer afternoons and in the hospital after having a baby. I’ve been binge rereading them last week while my husband was away, but why am I enjoying them so much?

Here are 10 reasons, cause I’ve got to stop somewhere! 😉

  1. Anne is so dauntlessly hopeful. She refuses to give up on anyone, no matter how prickly on the outside. She truly believes that everyone has a story worth knowing.
  2. There are no boring characters. There are eccentric ones, stubborn ones, gossipy ones, vain ones, humble ones, brilliant ones and hilarious ones, but even one portrayed as boring or dull-witted is so cleverly described that they are amusing!
  3. Gilbert. Gilbert. Gilbert. Ok, if that seems silly to you because you haven’t met him yet, stop wasting your time and get reading! ‘Boy next store’ par excellence. Honest, kind, loyal, generous, funny, devoted and willing to sacrifice for Anne. And of course, super cute, and torturously in love with Anne for years before she clues in! I got the Kevin Sullivan Anne films for my daughter’s 13th birthday recently, and she loved them. “But mom,” she lamented after, “I don’t think they’re very realistic. No boy could ever be that nice!” Don’t give up yet honey!
  4. Every time I read one of the books I learn something new about life. These books, so full of crazy characters are also so full of life, and brimming with wisdom, but it’s shown by example, rather than preached at length. In living, loving, rejoicing and suffering with Anne, I learn along with her as well.
  5. Anne’s zest for life is so attractive. She finds beauty everywhere she goes, and joyfully shares it with everyone, helping them see the world shine through her eyes.
  6. Because in these pages I find my life…like Anne I moved a lot, have “auburn” hair and a matching tongue and temper, went to college, love writing, married my first love, had a big family, lost a little baby girl, am passionately attached to my friends, find God’s presence most strongly in his creation, and can’t quite give up in the romance of believing in fairies.
  7. Because Montgomery’s writing has all the interest of lively fiction combined with the delicious beauty of poetry.
  8. What better escape that lovey old Prince Edward Island…a little sand-swept gem, with red roads winding down blossom-laden lanes, covered in little apple orchards and rolling farms, and sweet houses bedecked with flowers.
  9. Because Anne shows that with passion and determination, humour and joy, anything is possible, even if you started out a skinny little orphan like her.
  10. Because they’re simply the best. And there are so many to keep you company. So there.

As an extra bonus, I discovered a Montgomery novel I didn’t own yet while treasure hunting at a used bookstore with the kids last week. I didn’t know any more existed! “Kilmeny of the Orchard” is a lovely, surprising tale of a beautiful mute musician who discovers love and the power to speak.

I also highly recommend Montgomery’s last book, which she delivered to the published the day she died, though it wasn’t published in its unabridged form till years laster. “The Blythes are Quoted” is full of poignant poetry by Anne and her (by then deceased) son Walter, and also short stories, some of them with a darker flair than usual. It’s a bittersweet testament to the later years of Anne and Gilbert’s marriage, written during World War II, and the sorrow of loss runs through it. Beautiful, mature and challenging…a must read!

Kindred Spirit

It’s been a year since I came to visit you.

It feels far too long,

but I can’t afford to fly to Saskatoon

every time I want to see you

(which is kinda always).

So thank God for the telephone

because speaking with you

gives my spirit wings.

Over my morning coffee,

and your morning tea,

(though several provinces apart)

we share, ponder and discuss

problems and triumphs,

and celebrate our awesome things.

God in all his wild and tender beauty,

feels closer to these little bits of his creation

–two busy moms laughing in their kitchens–

when we are together.

So bosom friend,

enriched by your wisdom and humour,

your sense of adventure and joyful openness to others,

I have treasure enough to fly around the world!

Christmas Sing-Along

For all the parents out there getting ready for Christmas despite being sick or having sick kids…know you’re not alone! 🙂

‘Tis the season to be slimy

Fa la la la la, la la la la

Pass the Kleenex and quit whining

Fa la la la la, la la la la

Don we now our striped pyjamas

Fa la la la la, la la la la

Blow your nose and snort like llamas

Fa la la la la, la la la la

See the baby drool before us

Fa la la la la, la la la la

Say it’s bedtime–they’ll ignore us

Fa la la la la, la la la la

Children will not sleep with pleasure

Fa la la la la, la la la la

But it’s quiet time I treasure

Fa la la la la, la la la la

Fast away, the evening passes

Fa la la la la, la la la la

Mom and dad, find the wine glasses

Fa la la la la, la la la la

Not too late for midnight shopping

Fa la la la la, la la la la

Amazon–there is no stopping

Fa la la la la, la la la la


Fa la la la la, la la la la

Fa la la la la, la la la la

Baby’s New Talents

One year olds are always bursting with curiosity and zest for life, and acquiring new talents daily. There are so many ways to make your family laugh, cry and generally go crazy when you’re one! 😉

Here are a few of my son’s new “skills:”

1. Climbing the stairs. Often. Like every time I turn around. And standing there triumphantly half way up and telling me all about it with a huge grin.

2. Standing up in his high chair. Also every time I turn around, and grinning again. This time covered in sticky sauces and waving a spoon.

3. Splashing his older siblings in the bath. Like a tiny happy water beast. And also cleaning the bathtub with the scrubbing brush.

4. Singing along with his siblings, especially to the Beatles’ song “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah!” Just the “yeah, yeah” part, but with gusto!

5. Climbing on the bathroom stool and stealing his siblings’ toothbrushes to eagerly brush his few teeth. Very concerned about dental hygiene…sort of…

6. Blowing kisses. Pretty charming, and nice addition to “Baaa-byeee!”

7. Patting my back when I rock him on my shoulder– sigh!

8. Turning on the cd player and dancing. Head bopping and butt wiggling to the beat!

9. Enjoying books and pointing at the pictures. He is delighted when his big sisters or visiting relatives read to him.

10. Taking a few steps. After months of delightful ape-like skootching, he has discovered the conventional crawl and also braved a few steps on his two little feet as well.

To anyone concerned about their general fitness and heath I recommend always having a one year old around…It’s like having built in personal trainer 24/7, who is charmingly adorable and constantly in danger…such constant rescuing keeps you on your toes! But when all’s said and done there’s nothing like a snuggle with such a critter to fill your heart to the brim!

 

17-ish steps to making great saint’s costumes

As we near all saint’s day, better known by many as the day after Halloween (all hallow’s eve), many busy moms can be found busy sewing saints costumes for their kids. And then there’s me…here’s what my day looked like, broken down in simple steps, in case you’re crazy and want to try it:

  1. Announce to your many munchkins that it is time to pick saints for dressing up.
  2. Listen to flurry of excitment and witness many dresses and scarves being pulled out and tried on.
  3. Pull out scrap material box and fasten on pretty headscarves with hair clips.
  4. Change a diaper and make lunch.
  5. Feed and bathe baby.
  6. Help older kids research saints online.
  7. Help make a harp out of cardboard, tin foil and pipe cleaners.
  8. Clean pee off floor and give toddler a bath.
  9. Try to coach eldest child through anxiety about her future costume’s potential defects due to my lack of sewing expertise. Fail.
  10. Call Grandma for moral support.
  11. Make a second lunch for child who missed it due to researching saints and is currently losing marbles.
  12. Suggest 20 other costume options. Have them rejected.
  13. Feed baby. Try to fashion sheet into nun’s habit. Fail.
  14. Clean baby poop off floor. Bathe baby again.
  15. Listen to eldest child come up with totally new costume idea (using her own, already made clothes) after you already cut a hole in a sheet. Rejoice as it means you don’t have to sew!
  16. Thank God and put in a frozen pizza. Safely stow away costumes in a big bag.
  17. Make silly jokes while you do the dishes and smile cause the madness is over…till next year!

New Quotes from the Peanut Gallery


Sizing up her grade:
My almost 5 year old girl: “This is a lot of yogurt, Mum! It’s full up to here.”

Me:
“Oh, yeah? If you eat it all up you’ll get really big. You’ll be a giant and you’ll have to be in grade six instead of kindergarten!”

Her, walking by indignantly: “No, that’s silly. If I was a giant I’d be in grade 100!”

Nursing the baby:

Almost 5 year old daughter: “How come you have the milk on both sides?”

Me: “Because I have two breasts and that’s where the milk is made.”

Her: “What if you had three? Here, and here and here.”

Me: “That would be funny. Pig mummies have them all down their bellies so they can feed lots of baby pigs.” 

Her: “And ladies have two in case they have two babies and they’re both hungry at the same time.”

Me: “That’s right.”