"Kid Moments"

Poor puddy tat.

About a month ago, we got a four-month-old kitten named Angel to catch mice. She sucks at it just yet, but she did show pretty good interest in playing with the baby mouse that wandered across the kitchen floor one night.

I ended up capturing that mouse and giving it to the dogs.


Levi loves the cat.

 And I mean, he LOVES her.

For some reason, she doesn't normally feel the same way.

Thankfully, the baby gate gives her a "Levi-free" safe zone. :-)

The Classic Question

"If you had to choose, would you marry Ginger or Mary Ann?"

My jaw dropped in surprise, then laughter, as I realized my seven-year-old had asked the question.

This summer has seen a resurgence in the popularity of "Gilligan's Island" in our house, and the boys are about halfway through the third and final season of the show. I never watched this show as a kid, so most of the episodes are new to me, too... well, kind of. It didn't take me long to realize that the show used the same two or three plot lines on a heavy rotation and none of the characters ever changed. And it was less than a week before I was beyond done with the ever-loving theme song. And stereotyped, one-dimensional quaint and charming characters.

At any rate, the boys have been loving it, and as long as they stick to their max limit of two episodes a day, I can handle it.

But I never did expect any of them to come up with the hypothetical "Ginger or Mary Ann" question... at least, not yet.

As it turns out, all the men-folk of the house, except Noah, voted for Mary Ann. (Well, also except Levi, who abstained from the vote.) I am glad. Noah gave his reason as "she's pretty."

Yes, she is, but I was relieved to hear that the votes for Mary Ann had a few more supporting reasons. Among them:
  • She's pretty, too.
  • She's nice.
  • She can do more than bat her eyelashes.
  • She can cook, and sew, and clean, and do stuff outside.
I can just never figure out why Ginger didn't convert her glittery, slinky gowns (WHY was she wearing that dress on a "three-hour tour?" when it is meant for a night on the red carpet? Does the woman not own a good set of designer cigarette pants, or anything?) into something much more practical and ripped-off within the first week of being stuck there. And knock the heels off her shoes. In fact, almost everything about that woman irritates me.

I am a strong admirer of the practical, as well as the beautiful. And every time she tries to manipulate a man into doing things her way by tickling his cheeks with her false eyelashes, I want to smack her.

(Aside: Also, I want to know how Mary Ann and Gilligan (the designated laundry-doers most of the time) managed to keep everyone's clothes so immaculate for three years on an island with no power or detergent. Seriously, I want their secret. No one ever gets so much as a worn cuff! Ahem. End aside.)

So, I guess I cast my vote with the majority: Mary Ann. Except I don't want to marry her. I bet she and I could have been friends, though. :-)

More Jabinisms

Yesterday, while we were waiting in the van, Jabin says to me, "Mom, why did you decide to go to the doctor and stop laying babies?"

After chuckling, then explaining that I could still have babies, but Daddy couldn't, I asked why he was wondering. It turns out that he still wants a sister.

"Where would she sleep?" I asked. "All the beds are full."

"She can sleep in the addition, by the paper recycling."

Wow. I bet she would be thrilled.

"I don't think that's going to work, bud," I said.
As Jabin was making himself a little dessert after supper tonight, slathering butter and blueberry jam on his English muffin, he said, "Sometimes I wish that when I go to heaven, I could take some blueberry or strawberry jam or something special to give to God."

"That would be really nice," I chuckled. "I bet God appreciates that."

"Yeah, but I can't," he added.

"Yeah, 'cause you can't take anything with you," Noah interjected.

Wow. I don't know whether to be more thrilled that my kids get that "you can't take it with you" concept already, or that my seven-year-old wants to give God a present when he dies. :-)

Either way, I love it!

Crocs Rock

Levi has some of the widest feet I have ever seen on a baby. This makes it very difficult to find shoes for him.

Jude had a similar problem at this age--he had very chubby feet with a high instep. Different foot shape, same issue with shoe buying. That made summer great, because sandals--especially the kind with Velcro in two places over the top and one around the back of the heel--are so adjustable and forgiving. (That is, when you feel the need for shoes at all.)

Well... do you think I could find a pair of sandals like that when I took my little man shopping for some footwear about a month ago?

Not in this small town. But what I did find at Walmart were some of the knock-off cheap-o (YAY!) garden clog style shoes, only thing in his size, with--guess what?--very wide feet.

In the last few days, these have been Levi's favourite things to wear. He goes and finds them from the shoe stash in our entrance first thing int he morning, brings them to you (one at a time, sometimes), and stands there holding them out to you, making his little ascending-pitch "uh?" sound that is his general word whenever he has a question or wants something. Once you help him put them on, he is happy as a clam, proud as punch, and wears them for pretty much the rest of the day. (Mommy takes them off at nap times, so he has to go find them again afterwards.)

I totally understand the appeal of a great pair of rocking, comfortable shoes, so I guess I can't complain. And really, in the face of all that cuteness, who would?

BamBam's favourite clogs.

Everything's better with your favourite shoes on.

BamBam's clogs

BamBam sportin' his clogs.

Where's a Genie When You Need One?

This afternoon, I overheard my kids indulging in some wishful thinking. It was the, "If you could have three wishes, what would they be?" discussion.

Jude wanted ten billion dollars, to be faster than the speed of sound, and to know everything there was to know about everything. (Not omniscience, just to have all of humanity's accumulated knowledge in his head.)

Noah wanted to have the power of invisibility, to have all the video games in the world (except monster and zombie games), and that everyone would do whatever he said. (He initially expressed this as "That everyone would believe me." Questioning produced clarification.)

Jabin wanted a trillion dollars, super strength, and all the video games in the world (except zombie games, "because of Noah.")

Jude asked Levi what he would wish for. His response was "Aaaah, baah, bah, bah..." He sounded pretty happy just the way he was. :-)

I guess, as an adult, I have become kind of boring. I was thinking about what I, in my heart of hearts, wanted most at 3:00 this afternoon when this discussion was taking place. My top three things were:

1. a nap
2. that all my books and taxes would be finished and filed
3. that my husband and kids would be fulfilled, happy, and blessed.

Is this all I want? No. Don't I have bigger dreams than naps and completed paperwork? Of course I do.

But at 3 p.m., those sounded like the best things to me. Just like a good night's sleep sounds pretty good right now.

So, off I go... because I have a feeling that being well-rested may let my mind ponder those bigger dreams again for a while.

Bulking Up

This winter, Jason has been doing some training, as he is planning to enter the Spartan Race in Edmonton this July. There is a kid's version of the race, too, and the boys are stoked that Daddy let them enter it. Thus, they have been diligently doing karate, swimming lessons, walks or Nike Plus (Fitness XBox Kinect program) on non-class days, and with the nice weather lately, they have added "trampolining" to the regimen.

All that hard work has really been paying off.

Honest, we don't let our kids use steroids, or anything! Maybe there was a radioactive spider around the place, somewhere...


Extra Something-or-other

As Jabin was working on the good copy for his English writing assignment a few minutes ago, he remarked, "I need a new paper."

Jude, who was finished his morning work and was goofing off in the living room, exclaimed, "You need a new finger?!"

"NO! Paper!" Jabin corrected him. After a moment, he added, "If I had another finger, I'd be an alien!"

Hee hee.

Hitting the Mark

Sometimes I love the days when the kids and I are running around town doing errands. The prolonged periods in close proximity in the van with not much to do but talk and think often prompts the most interesting, and most memorable, conversations.

Yesterday was one such day. On our way into swimming lessons after lunch, Jabin pipes up, "When I grow up, I'm going to be a fighter. And my weapon is going to be a bow and arrow."

Snapping out of a reverie on my own (which was in a completely different sphere of thought--itinerary, or knitting patterns, or some such thing), I wondered where he might have gotten that from.

"Like Hawkeye?" I asked. My kids have seen the new "Avengers" movie at least five times. Hawkeye is one of their favourite characters from the show.

"Yeah, and Legolas," he replied. Now I was catching up. After our semi-annual holiday tradition of watching the entire, director's-cut Lord of the Rings trilogy (which Jabin and Noah got to participate in for the first time), Jabin had declared Legolas to be his favourite character. I guess he was still chewing on that.

I didn't want to point out the near-complete lack of reality in anyone using a bow-and-arrow for sniper or other soldierly work these days, but Jude did, instead. After some discussion amongst the boys about how archery was primarily for hunting game, and how Hawkeye's amazing arrows weren't really real, Jabin said, "Well, I can use it for hunting, and fighting. Then I can shoot a deer or a moose for my family."

"Good plan," I said, smiling. "You can make sure your family has food for the winter."

"Yep. And I think one of my kids will say he wants to be just like me!"

"I bet he will." There are definitely worse goals to have. :-)

That's What He Said...

Overheard on Thursday morning:

Jabin: I wish that you could rewind, because it was really fun in Grande Pairie [sic] yesterday.

Jude: We were in the van almost the whole day!!

Jabin: Yeah, but it was fun watching movies and playing on Dad's tablet.

Hee hee.
The boys and I have been on holidays from school for a week, now. That doesn't necessarily mean I have been on a complete holiday, though. I have been doing various and sundry business-related activities that I have been putting off until this very time of year, which I planned to devote to "catch-up." Still, the activities seem to be piling up a little, and despite the progress made this week, I felt a little overwhelmed by Thursday at the total amount of things still left on the "to-do" list.

Still, I'll just keep plugging away at them, one thing at a time, and get as much accomplished as I can before school starts again. Weekends are reserved for family and friends and play time, so I don't get totally bogged down in work... that whole "Too much work, not enough play, dull girl" thing sounds like something I want to avoid, if possible.

Hanukkah ended yesterday, and we gave each of the boys a little gift on the last day. Jason found this cool online service (U Star Novels) where you can substitute someone's name so they can "star" in a novel. He bought one for Jude using the Adventures of Tom Sawyer--Jude is Tom, and his friend's names are substituted for some of the other main characters.

Then he surprised me with a copy of Pride and Prejudice starring moi! "Mr. Darcy" has become "Mr. Winters", of course, and the Bennett family was transformed to the Hilmans. A quick flip through the book revealed that several other family members and and friends got supporting parts.

It's kind of cool, in a weird sort of way. I want to read through it again (never need much excuse to re-read P&P) just to see who gets to make appearances. But now I think I know how my junior-high classmates felt when it became known I had written a short sci-fi story starring all of them--fascinated and freaked out, all at the same time. (At least I know I like the story, which wasn't the case with all of my hapless classmates. Lesson learned on my part.)

And really, what woman reading Jane's most popular novel doesn't identify with Lizzy Bennett in some way?

Happy holidays, friends!

Fighting Zombies with Soap

Over a year ago, my brother, Logan, introduced us to the cutesy, simple-to-play "Plants vs. Zombies" game app. Normally, anything with the "Z"-word in it is forboten to me (I have an active imagination, and it does not need brain-eating images in it as fuel). However, after finding that the game was more about strategy, and being endeared by the cartoonish and fiercely protective plants and gentle music, with no images of zombies eating brains anywhere, I became temporarily addicted.

My video game addictions are always temporary: a weekend--a week, tops--before I lose all interest because the time spent on it is so unproductive. However, it was long enough for my kids to decide to want to play it. They all loved it. Well, "all", briefly, until the first time Noah lost, the zombie walked into the front door of the house, and (off-screen) he heard a man scream and the words pop up "The zombies ate your brains!"

Guess which child inherited my active imagination? Bet it didn't take you long. From that moment on, he was riddled with zombie fears, not wanting to go to sleep in the dark, not wanting to be in a room by himself, and not wanting anyone within a 100 m radius to be playing the game. Just imagining that you MIGHT be playing the game was enough to have him covering his ears (the music freaked him out because he imagined what was going with it) and running for the other end of the house. This went on for some time. While his reaction has been somewhat tempered over time, he still has a strong dislike for the game, and the idea of zombies in general. (I can't blame him for the latter. Eep.)

Logan, however, has no such issue. He LOVES zombies, finds them humourous, and keeps trying to convince me to watch "Shaun of the Dead" because it is "so funny." Not happening, bro. (See the part about "active imagination" in the first paragraph.)

Last Friday, I went to restock on my favourite Rocky Mountain Soap Company soap (stay with me, this is related, I promise), and saw this on the shelf:

Knowing how much Logan loves all things zombie, I decided to pick it up for him. However, later on when I was telling Jason about it, Noah overheard.

"Zombie repellent?!" he exclaimed excitedly. "To keep zombies away?"

"Should we put it by your bed?" I teased.

"Yup!" he said.

Later on, when he had come back to the living room from a trip down the hall to the bathroom, he exclaimed, "And I didn't even have to turn the hall light on!" (This is a big deal, because I am always berating him for turning on the light completely unnecessarily during the day, since there is a window and he can see everything perfectly.)

"Why is that?" I asked.

"Because I could smell the zombie soap, and I knew it was keeping me safe."

Eep. I think there may be a gap in the training, folks. But come to think of it, Noah probably needs zombie repellent more than my brother does. :-)


This morning, I had the boys working in the garden with me while I harvested potatoes. They were snipping ripe stalks of volunteer oats that had grown up among them, thanks to the chicken-litter-fertilizer I had used this spring.

Suddenly, with no precursor, Jabin pipes up, "If I were a superhero, my name would be 'Genius Jabin'."

Chuckling, I asked him why.

"Because I'm so genius," he replied.

Completely logical. And with phonetic alliteration, if there is such a thing. Why did I even ask?