Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Baby bird

 While trimming out some dead wood from out neighbor's bush I accidentally disturbed a bird's nest. Two eggs fell on the ground, so I picked ten up, put them back in the nest, and hoped for the best. Sure enough, the mother bird came back and took care of her eggs, and sure enough, one of those eggs hatched. I felt terrible that both didn't make it, but saying "my bad!" didn't seem to change anything, so I just felt happy that at least one survived. Every day the kids would go out and check on it's growth (it was in a bush, not a tree), and before we knew it the little thing was getting ready to fly! We came home from church to find it perched on our porch swing; we sloooowly crept up so we wouldn't frighten it.... then we sloooowly got closer and it still didn't budge.... so we got closer and took a picture....

...after a few minutes we realized that bird wasn't moving an inch! No sneaking necessary. The kids enjoyed watched it, they brought it a bowl of water and some bread crumbs, they eventually got bored and found other things to do, and THREE HOURS LATER THE BIRD STILL HADN'T LEFT!

.... and I realized it had positioned itself in front of the cracked-open window, which was blowing cold air.

Pretty smart baby bird.

Monday, August 11, 2014

This summer has been one for the books in terms of construction action around the neighborhood! Two houses laid sod, one of those houses had a skid steer and ditch-witch to dig a sprinkler system in,  and our next-door neighbor had a new sewer clean out installed in her front yard. Her project included the work of a backhoe loader. It was parked outside her house for a few days, then worked for one full day, and Ethan LOVED going to check it out. Every time he woke up, morning or naps, he would point to the window and say "diggy-dump!" because he wanted to go see the digger-dumper. It was really sad when the work was all done, for days afterwards he asked to see the diggy-dump.  While it lasted, though, it was great - the boys got their dump truck and loader toys from the dan box and vrvoomed them around the driveway for a while while they watched. The operator couldn't help but notice his fan club, so he dug a nice pile of dirt and dumped it in our driveway just for them! They were over the moon, they played with that pile of dirt FOR HOURS.  Sometimes I really love having my kids at home just to see this stuff - it's the mundane things that are really awesome. The moths, the sewer lines, the baby birds (just wait for that post...)  It's so fun to watch them, watching the world.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Journals: the beginning of your friendly neighborhood bonfire

 I've been busy... doing everything but blogging, it seems! Blogging got left in the dust largely due to the fact that a number of my other activities (ok, manias) involve preserving memories. I feel like a bit of an idiot spending THAT MANY hours in preserving the memory of my hum-drum life. We tell Patrick stories of AMAZING people (I had a long discussion about Marie Curie and radium just yesterday) and then I turn around and I'm like "yeah, but I microwaved cheesy roll-ups for lunch AND painted all the girls toenails! Better go preserve THAT memory in at least three formats!"  It's just silly.

One of my manias is to edit and condense my journals. All theeeeeese beasts:
33, if I counted correctly. They're mostly not worth reading, but I simply love the journals themselves so I'm unwilling to throw away the covers. I'm also unwilling to rip out the innards and have a bonfire. A happy medium seemed to be to read through and type out what was interesting or memorable or funny (often intentionally so), THEN rip out the innards and have a bonfire. I'm only through 1-1/2 journals so far, and it's come to less than 2 typewritten pages - and I was being generous with what I included.  In the end I should have a nice small notebook of my thoughts, and a nice heap of journal covers with zero humiliating and incriminating  tidbits.

I'll save those for my blog :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014


I think Caroline will be a pro at breaking up when she's older because one of her more common phrases is "this isn't working out." After swim lessons the beach towel would always drag on the ground and fall off her shoulder, so she'd get huffy, fall behind, and call to me, "This isn't working out!" Blankets not perfectly layered at bedtime? Sippy cup lid not screwing on correctly? Swimsuit impossible to pull up because it's wet? "This isn't working out"

Hopefully: boy who doesn't know how to treat her right? "This isn't working out."

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Da Bears

Who needs to write about giant moths on screen doors when you can write about bears breaking into campsites?!

Joe and Jonathan took Patrick, Eli, and Amelia camping last night - Amelia's FIRST EVER camping trip! (Patrick and Eli have both been as babies and/or toddlers). They went up to some property that Jonathan's family owns in San Isabel - it has cabins nearby so it's not exactly the wilderness, but it's not like they were camping in a suburban backyard. They fished, cooked hot dogs over the fire, and eventually got the kids to bed around 10 p.m. only to be woken up by an unusual noise around 2 a.m.  Both Joe and Jonathan woke up, grabbed flashlights, and were unhappily surprised to find the noise was a large black bear who broke out our car window to get a bag of chips! The window was cracked and it stuck its paws in, then pulled backwards and shattered the window onto the ground. The bear grabbed the chips and lumbered away and sat on one of the nearby cabin's back patio, enjoying his snack, while Joe and Jonathan waited to see what it would do. Well, after waiting and waiting it never left! If they came closer it got huffy and started "whoomph"ing at them and bounced on its paws off the ground... that sounds more like a bear that's used to humans and used to getting its way, not one that will amble away in peace! Since the car could no longer be secured (and by then Eli and Patrick had woken up, so Amelia was the only one of the entire crew sleeping) they decided to head home. It was 4 a.m. Once home, everyone clambered into bed reeking of campfire smoke and a bit delirious at the unusual hour, and then had a nice lie-in this morning to compensate.

The scene of the crime

 Besides muddy prints there's a bit of bear fur stuck the the door!

 All shattered on the inside

We now have a broken window (to be replaced tomorrow) and a story that will live on forever - the camping trip where a bear broke in!

I'd say Joe is racking up some serious life lessons this summer!
1) Don't put containers of liquid next to open laptops (or any technology, really)
2) Call before you dig (he hit the gas line during while digging out the drainage pipes, there were about 11 emergency vehicles at our house!)
3) Roll up all car windows when camping

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Our littlest big digger

I'll say it again: Ethan is the cutest dude ever.
After ripping up the front yard to install a drainage system (our basement flooded each spring during heavy rain storms), Joe did an excellent job of putting it back together even BETTER than it started, with a nicely mulched planting bed. Ethan helped.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mof mom

I was telling Joe about the giant moths and he guessed the bigger one was actually the female, since that's more common in the animal/insect kingdom. It seems he guessed right because the giant one climbed on our patio screen door and laid a clutch of eggs! I'm no expert, but the screen door that get slammed 100 times a day and sprayed with water bottles and bubbles may not be the best location for eggs... I'll see if I can move them to a safer location tomorrow.

Wait, don't I hate moths?! Yes, yes I do - the small ones. There are MILLIONS of them in the spring! And they ALL want to dive-bomb my head! These giant moths seem different, more ancient, more special  - certainly in part because this is only the 4th I've ever seen in my LIFE; just last night I killed 4 small moths. So we shall see about that egg removal in the morning.