The boy is now seven.

He’s been seven for a little while and he has made it clear he isn’t very impressed.

I was informed on multiple occasions over the days following his birthday that seven just doesn’t feel any different than six did. He was clearly a little miffed.

He appears to be recovering.

This year’s birthday was extra special because Grannie Pie and PawPaw were here.

Grannie Pie spent time in the morning drawing with G . . .

R had to give G his present birthday morning because according to her, “. . .we always, always, ALWAYS open one present early!”

R created a custom calendar for G using pictures she selected from the past seven years of his life. He was really excited. Watching the two of them go through the pictures was sweet.

Later in the day we hosted what was the easiest, most low-key party we have ever put together. That is saying something, too, because we are certainly not known for big blow-out birthday bashes. (awk!)

We started by meeting several of G’s friends and their parents at the local theater to be instructed (indoctrinated?) by a certain little yellow peanut on the evils of capitalism, specifically to the environment, courtesy of a company using the little yellow peanut’s face to market products from seventy different companies, including SUVs. After the movie we gathered at the house to eat cake . . .

I always make the cake . . . and they love me for my effort if not for my results. This is one of the few traditions we’ve managed to hang onto for more than two years in a row. This is a wingless, reverse stripe, floppy attened, really happy bumblebee. With beady eyes.

There were, of course, also presents to be opened . . .

Thanks to G’s friends and their very generous parents we are also the most well armed family in the neighborhood. Our armory boasts weapons from a broad range of time periods. Here is just a tiny sample . . .

That boy is so ferocious!

Thanks to Grammie, grandson and grandfather had an opportunity to bond over Snap Circuits® after the party. This is now . . .

That was then . . .

Sure enough, father and son also had a chance to bond over Snap Circuits® . . .

Thanks to G’s parents his is now the proud owner of a VCR . . .

A clock radio . . .

And a cassette player (Dual! Only the best for our boy.) . . .

All from the second-hand store.

G is also the proud owner of a tool bag . . .

Full of shiny new tools . . .

Which he put to good use dismantling all the electronic devices we gave him specifically for that purpose.

Because I’m weird like that.

C says we really need to get him something he can take apart that can be put back together, like a carburetor. I told C that is fine with me as long as he (C) knows how to put it back together so the back together part actually happens.

This is the coolest picture of the day, taken by Grannie Pie, who is always taking very cool pictures . . .

Happy Birthday dear, sweet boy. I love you to the moon and back.



The Boy & His Trap

Leprechaun trap that is . . .

Design by G, future engineer. Or architect. Or stylist. Mamma and Daddy don’t do the kids’ projects for them in this house, by golly.

The leprechaun climbs up the gold coins and follows them until he falls in the can – the lid, of course, remains off until the leprechaun falls into the trap.

(Like the eyes? The child can make his giant eyeballs appear entirely white if he is so inclined. Creepy.)

Before building the trap G and I had this little exchange:

G:  “Does the trap have to be really fancy to catch a leprechaun?”

M: “Depends on how smart the leprechaun is.”

G: “I hope I get a dumb one.”

And just to be obnoxious to all of my friends and family living where winter involves snow, this is what we do after school these days . . .


P.S. As I’m in the office writing this and G is volunteering to read books if it means he can play a game on Daddy’s new iPad and R is trying to figure out what she can do to earn game time it occurs to me that our children talk just as loud as I do. Poor C.

An Old Picture

I’m really into sharing random pictures this month it appears . . .

This one was taken at our house in Anchorage in 2006. I love it not only because G is hanging onto Daddy and contemplating the navigation of that “giant” step but because prior to taking the picture G had been standing there with his hand on C’s back for a while just watching the world go by . . . and asking Daddy to share his sandwich.

G is a toucher . . .  he touches people when he talks to them and when he is feeling especially loving toward someone. As soon as he was old enough to sit next to me on the couch instead of in my lap he started resting one of his sweet little hands on on my leg the entire time we were sitting together.

And it continues to this day . . . when we are watching a movie or reading a book he reaches over and sets his hand on my arm or my leg or pushes his feet under my legs. He never takes his eyes off the TV, he just reaches out and makes a connection. He isn’t a child who wants to be cuddled, he wants to do the cuddling. I pray that whomever he marries fully grasps how much a part of him this is . . . how much he needs it . . . how it feeds his heart and soul . . . and that she loves him enough to happily hold still for hugs every single day.


Two Pictures

I was going to post these about the time G-d decided a whole bunch of us in LA County needed an urban camping trip. They aren’t related to any event in particular, I just love them both and thought I would share . . . .

This one, because it makes my heart all mushy . . .

And this one because it makes me laugh hysterically . . .



G designed this several weeks ago when Grammie was here. He picked the fabrics. She did the cutting. He did the arranging. She helped him do the sewing.

He designed the entire quilt on the diagonal by himself. As he picked and placed and rearranged the squares he kept saying, “Look, Grammie. It’s symmetrical.”

The boy likes patterns and symmetry . . . he isn’t nearly as concerned about the actual fabric colors and prints . . .

Gotta love a boy who isn’t afraid to play with fabric.


A Lizard’s Tale

Those of you who know my son know that he isn’t exactly gentle when it comes to handling the various creepies and crawlies that he collects.

So when he started hollering from the back patio the other day and I walked out and saw this . . .

and this . . .

I had to cringe.

“G . . . did you pull off his tail?”

“No, Mom! He played his trick on me. He dropped his tail so I’d think he was dead.”

I had no idea that a tail dropped by a lizard continues to flip . . .

and flop . . .

and wiggle around for a full ten minutes.

Very disturbing.

G had to keep it . . . it being the tail. The rest of the lizard made a successful escape, much to G’s dismay.

“It’s still alive, Mom.”

“Uh, huh.”

He even poked holes in the Ziploc® so the tail could breathe. How thoughtful.

And I’m sure you all are just itching to accept a dinner invitation now that you’ve seen my silverware in action.



Tonight we had chicken ranch burritos for dinner.

G sat at the table, his burrito clutched in his left hand, happily eating away, left elbow on the table.

I told him to remove his elbow from the table.

He complained that he couldn’t eat with his elbow down.

I told him he could . . . elbows do not belong on the table.

G looked at me, put his right hand on the table, put his left elbow on top of it and continued eating.

If there is a loophole that child will find it.

I never knew raising a child would require contract law experience.

Maybe he will work for a giant corporation in their legal division one day. I hear they pay big money to people with a talent for exploiting loopholes.

Meanwhile I’m going to go practice giving explicit instructions.


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