Tag Archives: Clive the Staples

The Sunday We Conquered the World and Survived the Apocalypse

Here’s what we did a few Sundays ago:

Made cinnamon rolls:

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Attended Stake Conference :

(No picture. Just a lot of wonderful learning from a lot of wonderful people. It’s possible that I spent part of it in the mother’s room chatting it up with a Sister in Zion-cum-beauty pageant winner about the plight of young refugee mothers and how she can help them as part of her platform. Yes, it’s wonderful and exciting stuff).

Made a carnal mess in the kitchen with beets and boiled bones:

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Conquered the world:

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Built shelters in the backyard, proving the offspring are ready for the apocalypse:

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Yep. We do love our sabbath.

The End.

 

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Portrait of our Morning

Taken at approximately 9:25 am:

Jane the Austen:

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She practice for 30-45 minutes each morning, often in her bathrobe because it’s cold in the wilds of Connecticut.

Clive the Staples:

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While J the A practices violin, Clive the Staples and Mr. the Rogers cuddle me on the couch. We alternate who is getting in their reading with me, and who is practicing math and writing. At the moment, it’s Clive the Staple’s turn to read. He’s a major fan of Frog and Toad. Note Lucy the Maude’s hair in the corner.

Mr. the Rogers:

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Mr. the Rogers found new passion for writing today, due to the content.

Katherine the Great:

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K the G sleeps in. Being a toddler, we let her. So on this morning, as on many mornings besides, she breakfasts while the rest of the children are already at their lessons.

Lucy the Maude:

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L the M spends her mornings on my lap. But I didn’t photograph her this morning, so here we are on the Fancypants University Shuttle, doing what we always do: imitating kangaroo and joey.

In conclusion:

I love my children.  9:25 am is usually our most glorious time of day.

A Few of My Favorite Things:Family Home Evening Chart

On Sunday afternoons, I try to sit down with each of my children for at least 30 minutes each, doing something with only that one child, hopefully inducing meaningful conversation.

Because, you know, relationships and whatnot.

The child gets to pick the activity.

Jane the Austen likes to write or read, discuss her favorite books, and geek out over musicals and 19th century history together.

Clive the Staples likes back rubs and feet rubs, cuddles, and drawing.

Mister the Rogers likes to make treats with me, particularly cookies or caramels.

Katherine the Great likes dramatic nonsensical conversations, singing, and dancing.

Lucy the Maude generally likes to nurse, and doesn’t really get formal one on one time. She gets her loving in by default. Thank the stars for breastfeeding, snuggles, and infantile unwavering delightful sociability.

 

One Sunday afternoon, Clive the Staples decided we needed to make a family home evening chart together. So we toddled on down to the basement, found an old 2X4, and set to work with a skilsaw, sander, woodburning pen, and drill.

And my oh my, did we ever make a family home evening chart!

Towards the end, Husband the Man busted out the router, because he’s the only one who really knows how to work that baby, and gave it a fancy beveled edge.

The tags are flipped backwards, because, you know, privacy, but you get the idea.

Now, every week as we rotate everyone’s tag to a new job, I am reminded of my sweet secondborn, and how terribly fast he’s growing up.

 

The End.

Happy Sabbath

A few Sabbaths back*, Jane the Austen and Mr. the Rogers were sick, so I stayed home from Church with them and Lucy the Maude. Husband the Man took  Clive the Staples and Katherine the Great to Church, where they were (reportedly, miraculously) well behaved in the pew while he gave a talk.

Lucy the Maude, the invalids, and I curled up on my bed and watched Sound of Music, whilst I had a theological texting conversation with a friend. Because Sunday!

Later, Mr. the Rogers wanted to build an elevated block city with me while Jane the Austen took an epsom salt bath. Lucy the Maude and I joined him on the floor for urban development (a city for dinosaurs and the occasional horse) and Jane the Austen eventually also joined us, snuggled in a blanket,. Pajamas, and bathrobe, reading Harry Potter.

When the three churchgoers got home, I left to go visiting teaching. I should know better than to leave husband alone with the kitchen, because when I came back, I found he’d been playing with the food (and the children):

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Reason 443 of Why I am Married to Husband the Man

He took the adorable deviled eggs home teaching to feed those he serves.

Ladies and gentlemen, home teaching is hot.

So is husband the man.

I love the sabbath.

Happy, happy sabbath.

 

* I binge write this blog on weekends, so you never actually get our family’s adventures in real time.

Five quick portraits

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Mister the Rogers: Mom! Mom, Mom! I want to drive one of those when I grow up!

Me: Don’t we all, Mister the Rogers. Don’t we all.

There are some who get excited about Fancypants University for being super famous, super old, super this or that.

We get excited about the landscaping equipment.

Katherine the Great in her happy place:

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Lucy the Maude’s reaction when I sneeze while breastfeeding:

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Jane the Austen’s newfound pet, discovered whilst preparing the flowerbeds:

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Clive the Staples, who helped me make English Muffins while listening to Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot:

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Museum Training (or, potty training level 2)

What you need for a grand adventure in the wilds of Urban Connecticut:

  1. Library Card (Obviously. What true adventure doesn’t involve one?)
  2. Baby wrap (one without buckles and adjustable plastic things. Too complicated)
  3. Purse with diaper in it (I gave up on diaper bags ages ago. Viva la resistance!)
  4. Progeny (count twice to make sure you’ve got them all)
  5. Umbrella Stroller (for the short of stature do weary fast)

 

It is best to museum train the children. This is like advanced potty training–one must hold in all the joy and only let it out in non-antiquity destroying ways. It’s slightly harder than potty training, because children’s bladder and bowel capacities are finite; their capacity for joy in the beautiful is NOT.

Despite the worry associated with allowing a child within sneezing distance of a priceless piece of art, the payoff is worth it. Set low expectations and leave when they still want to stay. Ask a million speculative questions about the art, and the children end up feeling a sense of ownership. They each have “their” favorite painting at Fancypants University Art Gallery. Fred the Roger’s painting is a 50 million dollar Van Gogh. And he hasn’t sneezed on it….yet.

On one of our first visits to the Fancypants University Art Gallery, the Museum Guard demonstrated the “gallery pose.” You clasp your hands behind the back and lean towards the painting. He told the children they could get as close to the art as they wished, so long as they had their hands behind their backs and didn’t touch the painting with their faces.

On this particular field trip day, we went to the library first. So as to have something to read when Mom has to stop in the middle of cutting across Fancypants University to get to Fancypants Art Gallery in order to breastfeed Lucy the Maude. As one does.

We made it for an hour of museum time on this particular afternoon before Fred the Rogers was hungry, Katherine the Great was tired, and Lucy the Maude was done tolerating a nursing cover. She prefers to dine al fresco.

If I could do it inconspicuously enough, I’d have nursed her blanketless; but even when the children are perfect museum patrons ,they are still flashing lights and sirens, drawing disproportionate amounts of attention to our little group. Me, unceremoniously flashing the staring art professor with Undergrad art history class in tow when Lucy the Maude comes unlatched to grin and coo, is just one scene too many. Yes, I know the Fancypants galleries are rife with portrayals bared nipples and nursing infants; I’m just not prepared to join their ranks.

There are coin-operated lockers for stashing our things whilst in the museum. This is to safeguard against a 9th century Chinese vase “accidentally” ending up in the preschooler’s Spiderman backpack. I understand, Fancypants. I understand.

Upon retrieving our things at the end of our cultural excursion, we found ourselves in a hallway traffic jam with a small army of Fancypants University Caterers who were preparing a Fancypants feast. They went slack-jawed and doe-eyed at the children, and the little beggars scored to melon ball fruit skewers.

And I got a Fancypants Punch Recipe, which I am dying to make:

-Ginger Ale

-Pineapple Juice

-Orange Juice

-A bunch of “grown up drinks” than I will never be “grown up” enough to drink. Because I’m drunk on life, darnit!

I don’t remember the proportions, but it will be delicious in any ratio. I’m sure of it. And it will be virgin.

And that, dear friends,

is the long story of how my children scored free melon ball skewers on field trip day.

The end.

 

 

Chilblains and E. E. Cummings

It’s a beautiful night.

The children are in bed asleep, the finest of husbands is doing laundry, and I am soaking the first chilblains of my life in an old sitz bath in the bathroom. Because around here, that’s how we roll.

One purpose of this blog is to review the many lovely books we read.  This particular one inspired Clive the Staples to sit at the living room window, staring out reflectively in between bouts of jotting down freeform poetry for approximately 20 minutes. If you knew Clive the Staples, you’d understand that this is extraordinary indeed.

Enormous Smallness by Matthew Burgess is beautifully written, tenderly illustrated, and sprinkled E. E.’s language and vivacity.

In our book, it gets five stars for whetting poetic appetites.

In the spirit of things, here is my favorite E. E. Cummings poem, one I memorized in college whilst engaged to my Beloved:

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn’t he danced his did.

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone’s any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain

Poetry is good for the soul.

Amen.