Archives for January 21, 2013

for birds and bats

Larkspur has a birthday coming up in March.  I asked her what she would like and she replied “craft stuff and animal stuff.”  We discussed yet again why we won’t be visiting the pet store to purchase a caged rodent.  As much as I would love to have a couple of guinea pigs (I had my own as a kid) there just isn’t room in our house.  Larkspur will have to make do with Trudy (our dog,) our cats, and our chickens.  Considering that my first pet (a guinea pig) didn’t come until I was about ten years old, I’d say she’s doing quite well in the animal department.

My friend Annie kindly sent me a copy of volume ten of Alphabet Glue back in December, but we were busy with Advent and then Christmas so I just got it printed up a couple of weeks ago.  We discovered booklists and projects inside that perfectly compliment Larkspur’s current love of wild birds, and also inspired a new love:  bats.  We’ve made bird feeders and watched homegrown stalactites grow (slowly!) over the past couple of weeks while reading cave science inspired books.  Have you ever read Little Lost Bat?  The story follows a mother and baby bat who become separated.  A new mother adopts the baby bat, and life goes on.  I would have never guessed that a book about the life of bats would make me cry!  There are instructions in the back of this book for making a bat house.  I think we need some of those!

As far as our bird friends go, the peanut butter pinecone feeders we made on Christmas for the animals were empty, and the peanut butter and birdseed carrot feeders in volume ten of Alphabet Glue inspired us to refresh the pinecones along with making a bunch of carrot feeders.  The part that is most fun is to stand in the bottom branches of our corkscrew willow and listen to the flutter of dozens of wings above as the birds dart to and from the feeders.  I am wishing that I were better at identifying more birds beyond the handful of regulars we have here.  Does anyone know of a simple but effective resource for learning individual bird songs?

My weekend was full of cleaning and organizing.  It seems there is always something to organize.  I spent an evening cleaning and rearranging the bedroom that four of my children are currently sleeping in.  It had reached overwhelming levels of mess and awfulness and I will confess:  I cried a little.  But I faced it to the end and ended up receiving an unexpected gift.  When Jonny arrived home from baseball practice with Keats and Gabe, Keats raced upstairs to see what I had been doing.  He peeked under his bed and saw everything neat and tidy and said one word:  “Good.”  Then he stood up and said, “Thank you, Mommy.”  I don’t think any of my children has ever thanked me for cleaning before.  They aren’t quite so into having things nice and tidy like I am.  I typically clean for my own sanity, while also knowing that even if they might not realize it, my children need a bit of order in their lives as well.  I guess I am just a crying mess this week, because that “Thank you, Mommy” set me off yet again.

And finally, another really good winter book that you should see if your local library has is The Lemon Sisters.  It looks innocent enough, but ended up being much more than just another cute picture book (Yes, I cried with this one too.  My kids think I’m nuts.)  And if you are looking for a nice source of themed booklists and easy projects to compliment them, Annie has been running a 20% off special on all issues of Alphabet Glue, and said she’d keep the coupon code good through Monday, January 28th.  Use the code “twenty” at checkout.  Alphabet Glue is one of my absolute favorite resources, which is why I find myself sharing it so frequently here!

p.s.  I know what some of you are thinking.  All this crying does not mean that I’m pregnant! 🙂