Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

It has been a very Merry Christmas here in the Drury house. My evening has been punctuated by Sam's pronouncements, "I love my newt!" We caught the whole pet-giving thing on tape and it's currently uploading. I'll post tomorrow. In the meantime, Merry Christmas from all of us!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Santa is Bringing Sam a Pet

Dear World,

Tomorrow, at approximately 4 pm, Samuel James Drury will receive his first pet. A fire-bellied newt (you might call it a glorified fish). This has been a long time coming. Sam has been asking for a pet for 2.5 years (he just turned 4). His first choice would be a cat which allergies make impossible (for which I can't say I'm sorry). Originally, he had proposed that we could get a cat if we got rid of Daddy. When he realized that wasn't going to happen, he then proposed that he keep the cat in his room and banish John from the upstairs. When he realized that meant Daddy could no longer kiss him good night he finally settled on a hairless cat. Yeah. That's not going to happen.
(I just called Sam over so he could see a picture of a real hair-less cat. His response, "Wow. It looks kind of like an opossum to me.")

Two weeks ago Sam let out a big sigh and asked, "Why don't I have a pet?" Last week Sam was spouting off people he would see in heaven: "I'll see Moses and Noah and Jesus and Stay Forever and Stay For Two Weeks and then they really will stay forever and they won't die." I think he might be ready for a pet.

So tomorrow afternoon we will surprise Sam with a trip to the pet store where we will pick out a newt.

I already staked out the place and paid my $3.99 for my reptile of choice. Originally the store owner tried to push me in the direction of a 3-inch-long newt who he claimed could easily live up to 15 or 20 years. I'm afraid I was rude when I interrupted him with a gaspy, "NO! I don't want it to live that long." I'm not looking for a long term commitment in a pet. I would be fine if it died after a few months. Cruel, I know. I just want it to make it past two weeks.

When I was in grade school I had a newt that lasted for a week or two. I left the top of the aquarium off and he climbed the walls and disappeared. My mom found him months later shriveled up under the fridge. His name was Purpey and I loved him.

I'm bracing myself for Sam's response. He could very well give a nonchalant, "Thanks," and proceed to play with Legos. He could melt down at the realization that we are absolutely in no way going to get a cat...not even a hairless one. I have no idea how he'll respond. Although the fact that this kid can get excited over a new pair of socks bodes well.

I will keep you posted on all of the reptilian cheer around here. And I will make sure Sam's aquarium has a lid.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Elementary, My Dear Watson

Sam: "Dinosaurs have hy-pop-osis."
Me: "A what?"
Me: "Do you mean a hypothesis?"
Sam: "Yes. A hy-pop-osis."
John: "Sam, do you even know what a hypothesis is?"
Sam: "Yes, a hy-pop-osis means you're smart."
John: "Okay, so what's your hypothesis?"
Sam: "That I'm smart."

5x7 Folded Card

Classic Black 5x7 folded card
Shutterfly cards for Mother's Day, Valentines Day, Birthdays & more.
View the entire collection of cards.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sam Turns Four

Best. Birthday. Ever. Although, that's not tough when you can't remember your first birthday, you have a 104.5 temperature for your 2nd birthday and the night of your 3rd birthday is the inaugural of severe sleep issues. This 4th birthday was very, very sweet and much appreciated.

For weeks leading up to his birthday Sam has been telling us he wants snow for his birthday. The weather forecasts nor the 55-degree days we had earlier this week made Sam's wish seem likely. And then, around 9:30 am, thirty minutes before his party was to begin the flakes began to fall. Right before the pony arrived.

That's right. We hired a pony.

One of the great things about living in the middle of Indiana is that there always seems to be someone with a pony willing to show up to give a few kids some rides for the cost of a trip to the movies. Thanks Dan the Pony Man. We kicked off Sam's birthday with a flurried "sleigh" ride through the neighborhood (and yes, we invited the neighbors).

 This was Sam's favorite gift of the day. A toy bird. His excitement only dampened slightly when he realized it wasn't real.
 Authentic pony manure.

 Thanks Martha Steward crafts for the balloon animals.
We scattered these animals throughout the house.

Happy Birthday, Sam-wise!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Give Sam a Gun and Watch Him "Hunt"

Sam loves animals. Anyone who has come within a five foot radius of Sam knows this to be the case. So imagine my surprise when he expressed an interest in hunting.

I should back up a bit. Sam saw the movie "Bambi" for the first time about a year and a half ago. I watched him watch with much trepidation, ready to turn it off if the death of his mother was too much for him. It wasn't. And I didn't have the heart to tell him that the movie's closing scene was not Bambi's mother coming back from the dead but was in fact Bambi's girlfriend.

Two days ago Sam announced, "Someday I want to go hunting with Uncle Tom."

"You do?" I asked.


"You do know what hunting is, right, Sam? People kill animals when they hunt."

"Yes, and I will be there to warn the animals."

That sounds more like the boy I know.

Last night I had the priviledge of eavesdropping on a story he was telling his two stuffed cats before he fell asleep:

"One day, a long, long time ago, there were two cats. Their names were American Road Runner Cat and Peregrine Falcon Tiger Cat  Flying Box--Flying Box was the last part of their names. One day a hunter came to shoot you guys [referring to the cats in bed with him]. When he saw the cats he was so scared he shooted himself. Then you came back to my room. The end."

Just let me know when you want to schedule a trip, Uncle Tom.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Teal Stencil Paint

We went with "Teal Stencil". Thanks for the input! We're happy with the results. And thanks, Marcy, for the photoshopping to help us visualize the change. We're still not done with the room (hence the picture merely resting on top of the couch), but I wanted to put up a post because I'm sure you were all DYING to know.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Jurassic Jesus

Two weeks ago Sam got strep throat. And then I got it. And then Clara got it. And then Sam got it again. To play it safe I kept the kids home from church yesterday with the plans of doing our own little advent service. During Clara's nap, I pulled out the construction paper, scissors and glue. I told the story of Jesus' birth while cutting out a large manger complete with swaddled child. Sam listed characteristics for me to write down upon our paper Christ-child. You can see the results of efforts below:
Before you get caught up in some kind of sweet mental image of mother and child engrossing themselves in the birth of Christ, I should un-zoom the camera lens a bit. Because unbeknownst to me, while I was focusing on my creative efforts, Sam was working on his own project. When I got to the part of the flight to Egypt, Sam jumped in: "And that's when the dinosaurs ate baby Jesus."
While I am immensely proud of Sam's creative outpouring (I only cut out the circle eyes and nostrils--he cut, glued, and arranged the rest), I can't help but think that it comes at the expense of my Lord and Savior.

(For the curious amongst you, the top dino is a T-Rex, the one beneath it is a brachiosaurus, and the one with three horns is a personal favorite.)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Happy Birthday, Clara Jane!

Happy Birthday, Clarabelle! I think it will suffice to publicly proclaim 6 things I love about this *almost* 13 month old.

1. She applauds after nursing. Seriously. After she gets her fill, she smiles at me and claps her hands. I feel so affirmed.
2. She sleeps. A lot. Enough said.
3. She fights smart. Sam and Clara occasionally get in playful games of tug-of-war. Often times Sam is pulling with all his might while Clara leisurely drapes her body across the coveted blanket and plays dead. They are pretty evenly matched.
4. She is obsessed with the drums. She will sit and play for 10 minutes at a time and is perfectly content to sit on John's lap while he's playing (with muted drum brushes, of course).

5. She brushes her own teeth
6. That face.

Sam's Sticker Book

Just in case you needed further proof that we are filthy rich...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Review of Children's Bibles: Finding the Right Bible for Your Child

Over the past few years we've acquired three children's Bibles--all of which Sam enjoys. I thought I'd take a moment to give a brief review of these three Bibles in case anyone is interested in adding one to his or her Christmas list. The three I am reviewing are:

1. The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
2. Children of God Storybook Bible by Archbishop Desmond Tutu
3. The Lion Read and Know Bible by Sophie Piper

All of these Bibles are marketed towards kids in the 4 or 5 year old range, though I definitely think they work for younger kids (Sam has loved them as a three-year-old). After giving a brief description of each of these books I will compare the prose for your own assessment.

1. The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones This book is by far the most popular of the three. Actually, it is currently the most popular children's religious book on Amazon (and ranked #255 of all Amazon books sold). Overall it's gotten great reviews--and for good reason. This is a fun Bible to read. The prose is whimsical and lyrical with many asides made by the author (almost, ALMOST akin to C.S. Lewis' style in the Narnia series). The art work is colorful and quasi-fantastical. Some of the text and artwork requires that you shift the book (for example, the story of Babel is drawn and written in such a way that you have to turn the book on its side in order to see how high up the tower goes). Sam loved this book and I enjoyed the cadence that came with reading this book aloud.

My favorite thing about this bible is the way in which the stories transition to one another. For example, the story of Jacob marrying Leah and Rachel begins with a reminder that Jacob is Issac's son. This Bible does not read like a series of stand-alone stories--there is a smooth transition from story to story.

But here's why I'm not turning cartwheels over this one: I cannot get excited about some of the theological leeway taken by the author--even if I agree with the author's theological commitments. Now every children's translation is bound to take a few liberties here and there, but The Jesus Storybook has taken some pretty big liberties. This is primarily seen in the Old Testament where every story ends with a reference to Jesus and how Jesus fulfills or overthrows the current story (I suppose that's why the publisher included the subtitle: "Every Story Whispers His Name"...though perhaps "Every Story Shouts" would have been more realistic). Again, even though I might agree with the author in some places, I like my children's Bibles to be as close to the original story as possible. Just stick with the story. No extra theologizing needed. (Though I should say I wouldn't mind passing along this Bible to a family who has little to no background with Christianity--it might tie things together in a helpful way).

Bottom line: This is a fun, whimsical read with colorful, cartoonish pictures. I would cite the title and say this is more of a storybook than a Bible.

2. Children of God Storybook Bible by Archbishop Desmond Tutu I was excited to pick up this book by Tutu. His children's Bible currently ranks #64 on Amazon for Children's religious books. Unlike the other two Bibles, this book designates a story to each page layout, meaning that every time you flip a page you get a new story. The prose is pretty basic. Nothing new or fancy, just a solid, short story.

What attracted me to this book was the art work. Twenty different illustrators from around the world were commissioned to contribute artwork. And. It. Is. Breathtaking. Every picture you get of Jesus is a little bit different than the one you saw before depending on the author's context. Some pictures are more realistic than others. Some have obviously had fun mixing media. Here's a few for your perusal:

I love the pictures, but I find that when the stories are limited to one page spread you miss out on a lot. I like the idea of a page-per-story for an 18-month old, but I'd like some more substantive prose for those a bit older.

3. The Lion Read and Know Bible by Sophie Piper And then we come to The Lion Read and Know Bible. You knew I would save my favorite for last, didn't you? I love this Bible. I love it. I may be among only a handful who do, however, as Amazon has this ranked at #161,228 as far as sales are concerned (and it doesn't even register on the "most popular children's religious book" list).

What this book has that the others lack is historical and geographical context. I know that sounds boring, but hear me out. Tucked within the detailed stories are kid-friendly maps and historical tidbits on various aspects of Biblical life. So when we read about the various miracles of Jesus we also come to a page entitled, "The Jewish faith in the time of Jesus" which shows a fairly accurate depiction of what the inside of a synagogue looks like. You get who sits where, what activities take place, and even a glimpse at the cupboard containing Scriptures. Elsewhere you come to "The farming year" page where you learn about the different seasons of harvest as well as what kinds of plants grow in the Middle East. I regularly learn stuff when I read this Bible (Sam likes it, too). These extra features are great, but it's the stories themselves that I really appreciate. Each story is roughly 3-6 pages long and is a simple prose of the basic story. That's it. It's clear and straightforward.

The art work is fine. Certainly nothing exciting. It's highly detailed cartoon drawings. The art-student-drop-out in me occasionally wishes for something more flashy. Sam doesn't seem to mind.

Bottom line: This is a bible for a story-loving, curious kid.

Comparing the Prose--Here's a glimpse at how the three Bibles treat the story of Jonah:

1. The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

"God had a job for Jonah. But Jonah didn't want it. 'God to Nineveh,' God said, 'and tell your worst enemies that I love them.'
'NO!' said Jonah. "They don't deserve it!'
'Exactly,' said God. 'They have run far away from me. But I can't stop loving them. I will give them a new start. I will forgive them.'

2. Children of God Storybook Bible by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"'Go to Nineveh,' God said to Jonah. 'Tell the people there that if they do not stop their cruelty, I will destroy the city.' Jonah hated the people of Nineveh because they were enemies of Israel. He did not want them to be saved, so he jumped aboard a boat sailing for a far away country."

3. The Lion Read and Know Bible by Sophie Piper

"Once upon a time there lived a man named Jonah. He was a prophet--so when he gave advice, people knew that the advice was from God. One day God spoke to Jonah. 'Go to the city of Nineveh. the people there are wicked. I want you to tell them to change their ways.' Jonah looked to the east. The road to Nineveh stretched on for miles. He had always been glad Nineveh was so far away: it was the home of the Assyrians--the worst enemies his people had ever known." 

And now a sampling of Revelation in case you want to see how a children's Bible handles that tricky subject:

1. The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

"John was one of Jesus' helpers. He was old now and living on an island, which might sound nice except it was a prison. (The Leaders put him there to stop him from talking about Jesus, but I'm sure you don't think a little thing like being in a cell, in prison, on an island, in the middle of an ocean could stop God's Plan, do you?)" 

2. Children of God Storybook Bible by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"When the disciple john was very old, God sent him dreams and visions. He saw that there would be wars and famines and floods and terrible disasters. But God told John, 'Soon I will make a new heaven and a new earth. Then every tear will be wiped away. I will be with my people, and they will be with me. Everyone will live in peace and joy."

3. The Lion Read and Know Bible by Sophie Piper

"John sighed. It was hard work in the prison camp. He had been arrested because he believed in Jesus. Now he spent his days quarrying stone. When he wasn't working, God gave him dream. 'One day,' he wrote, 'I saw a new heaven and a new earth. I saw a holy city--the new Jerusalem. It was built of gold and jewels, and was the loveliest place there could ever be."

So there you have it, Friends. Hopefully you can find something that will be right for your little one!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tubes, Tornados, and Other Troubles

Yesterday I purposefully woke up my son at 6 am. Why would I do this to my kid with a former-sleep-disorder? Because Sam was getting tubes in his ears at 2 pm and if I wanted him to get any food in his stomach it would need to be at 6 am. So we ate and then faced eight hours of wakefulness without food. As it turned out, the anxiety of just thinking about keeping Sam from food was worse than the deed itself. My boy who normally asks for at least four breakfasts (seriously, on a given day he will have a bowl of oatmeal, a scrambled egg, a cheesy tortilla, and a banana all before 9 am) was just fine. It was nothing an unlimited supply of popsicles couldn't cover.

He did fine. More than fine. Moments before the nurse took him away to the operating room (which I incorrectly thought would be traumatic), Sam announced, "See how much joy I have?" There was one sad moment when he said to the nurse, "Can I please have a healthy snack? I really need some healthy food in order for my body to be healthy." We placated him a bit then sent him off to the operating room "driving" his bed on wheels.

It took him a while to wake up and when he finally did he had about 30 seconds of craziness where with wild eyes he frantically ran his hand all over my face (it was like Helen Keller searching for her mother).

It went well. The only hiccup was when we drove back from Riley to Marion we did so in the midst of a tornado warning. Sam looked out at the yellowish, blackish sky and announced, "Something is wrong with America!"

We got home. We tucked the kids in. And I sat. After being "on duty" without food since 6 am I was exhausted. I said aloud: "I have been waiting for this moment all day."

And then John puked.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

News Flash! Sam is Not God

Sam: "Mommy, I'm going to say something that will surprise you."
Me: "Okay. What is it?"
Sam: (Dramatic pause) "God knows even more about animals than I do."
Me: "I believe it, Sam. I think you're right about that."
Sam: "Mommy, what's part teacher and part zookeeper?"
Me: "You mean a 'zoologist'?"
Sam: "Yes. I'm going to be a zoologist that teaches people about God and really likes animals."
Me: "Okay. Good plan."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Covers for Clara

Yesterday was Clara's birthday. I'll post something sweet and cute and covered in cake soon, but first a gift for you music lovers.

Clara’s birth was so peaceful, so tranquil, so ideal…so boring. In the best kind of way possible. She slept. She nursed. She rested in our arms. And so John took advantage of the quiet time and constructed a mixed tape for me: Covers for Clara. I’ve enjoyed this CD for the past year and wanted to share the love. Feel free to argue with the selection. I will not, however, entertain any suggestions that the order of this playlist is not absolutely perfect.

Feel free to add your own suggestions. What was missed? Perhaps we’ll come up with a Covers for Clara II.

With a Little Help From My Friends--Joe Cocker (Surely you knew this song did not originate with “Wonder Years”.) Original: The Beatles

Something in the Air--Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Original: Thunderclap Herman           

Long Way Home--Mates of State (I love this song. Love it. I can only handle Mates in small doses, but I listen to this song on repeat.) Original: Tom Waits
We Will Becomes Silhoettes--The Shins (Love the twinges of harmonies) Original: The Postal Service
Wonderwall--Ryan Adams (Best. Cover. Ever.) Original: Oasis
All Mixed Up--Red House Painters            Original: The Cars
All Along the Watchtower--Jimi Hendrix Original: Bob Dylan           
Across the Universe--Fiona Apple (I really like the Rufus Wainwright version, though I understand why John went with Fiona. Wainwright is great, but he doesn’t add anything new to the song. He just sings it.) Original: The Beatles
Dreaming--Smashing Pumpkins Original: Blondie
Hurt--Johnny Cash Original: Nine Inch Nails

Technicolor Girls--Mates of State Original: Death Cab for Cutie           

Landslide--Smashing Pumpkins (This gives Adam’s “Wonderwall” a run for its money in terms of best cover ever.) Original: Fleetwood Mac

Wild Horses--The Sundays (I don’t breathe when I listen to this song. Make sure you check out their song “Summertime”.) Original: The Rolling Stones

Mad World--Michael Andres & Gary Jules (This song always makes me cry. Always.) Original: Tears for Fears

Silly Love Songs--Red House Painters (Take that, John Lennon) Original: Paul McCartney and Wings
Hallelujah--Jeff Buckley (Once again I need to mention my man, Rufus. I like his version quite a bit as well….this comment will make John mad. It did. He just read this and exclaimed: “Rufus does it because Buckley does it. His is a cover of a cover. Rufus is derivative”.) Original: Leonard Cohen

Plans--Band of Horses (John said this song probably belong on a “best” list, however, John needed a short song to fill the length of this CD and so Band of Horses it was. Oh yeah, this playlist will all fit on a standard CD) Original: Grizzly Bear            

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Goggle Lied: Or Where is Joe Wilson When You Need Him

Dear Google,

On Friday, October 28th you informed me that the stomach flu had a 4-72 hour incubation period. And so when Monday night came and I was symptom free, I rejoiced thinking I had dodged Sam's horrendous bullet.

I was wrong. YOU were wrong. 98 hours after the Sam's flu made itself known I was clearly not well. Had I known of my impending doom I would have never made the dinner I made last night. Speaking of which, if anyone wants a lovely and easy crock pot meal just click here...I won't be making it anytime soon.

The family has been pulling together to take care of their weakest member. Clara started holding her sippy cup by herself (yes, she is almost a year old and has only now reached this milestone). When a loftily aspired walk across the hallway forced me to unexpected lie down, Sam ran over and covered me in a blanket and then turned around and snatched a choking hazard from his little sister's hand.

"Thanks, Sam. You're a good babysitter." I told him.

To which he responded, "I'm part babysitter, part doctor."

Holly watched and fed my kids for part of the day. And despite John's meeting packed, teaching packed day he would sneak home for literally 10 minutes at a time to drop off Sprite or change a diaper. 

I would have been more prepared had Google not been so misleading. It all goes to show: “The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine.” - Abraham Lincoln

And yes, we have picked out a living room color--thanks for the votes and a special thanks to Marcy for her photoshopping ingenuity. I'll fill you in later but I'm a bit preoccupied right now. I'm preoccupied with things like NOT EDITING THIS POST BEFORE HITTING "PUBLISH".



Monday, October 31, 2011

What Color Should I Paint My Living Room? Vote!

I'm indecisive when it comes to paint colors for my house. I've been pulling my hair out over what color might compliment our orange/burnt sienna couch (technically the color is "Mango").
I searched "orange couch" on pinterest and saw some interesting color combinations (see, Becky, there are multiple reasons to be on Pinterest). Below are my top three favorites:

Option 1: Anonymous (above)
Option 2: Knoxville Gray (above)
Option 3: Teal Stencil (above)

Of course, all of these colors look different depending on the lighting. I've painted some swatches above my couch and am having a hard time pulling the trigger.

Which one is your favorite? In order from left to right: 
Teal Stencil
Wythe Blue (Note: This one is NOT a contender, 
I don't care if it is Benjamin Moore's color of the year)
Fenwood Green
 Knoxville Gray

Any suggestions? Paint sale begins Friday so I'm hoping to decide by then.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Impending Stomach Flu--Or Why I Binged on Donuts

My friend, Kate, messaged me the other day saying that her annoyance at my lack of posting quickly gave way to gratefulness as she assumed it meant we were all sleeping better. She's right. We are. Sam has gone from waking up every single hour of the night to virtually perfect nights--I think in the past month he's gotten up twice--both times related to ear infections (speaking of which, stay tuned for tubes round two!")

Sam has certainly kept us entertained, however, most of his innocent comment, however, have bordered on obscene making them completely inappropriate for the blogosphere (but it's oh so tempting).

Tonight, however, I am penning a post in the woe-is-me category. Sam has gotten his first bout of stomach flu. I should have seen it coming when he refused his third breakfast (seriously, the kid eats three breakfasts). I really should have seen it coming when he decided to forgo his pumpkin donuts (at the time I just thought, "Sweet! More for me!") By the time I realized what was upon us it was well after I encouraged a colorful meal down his gullet.

Sam sat in the tub while I cleaned up mess #1, laughing as I dry-heaved, "Why are you making those funny noises, Mommy?"

I placed towels on his bedroom floor along with a large Rubbermaid tub. "If you need to throw up," I said, "Try to throw up in the bucket and then come and get me."

Whoops. The correct instructions for a puking 3-year-old are actually, "If you throw up, don't move an inch. Just stay still and call for me." Because after throwing up in his BED Sam came running to get me. He ran in such a way that will require a call to Stanley Steamer tomorrow. "Wow, I've sure had lots of pukes and throw-ups tonight," he said proudly.

I was a bit more explicit in my second round of instructions:

"If you throw up, try to throw up in the bucket and then call for me. I will leave my door open and will come to you as fast as I can."

"Will you run?" Sam asked.

"I will run," I promised.

"Okay. And if I see a fire in my window I will stay in my room and yell, "MOMMY! THERE'S A FIRE IN MY WINDOW!"

"No, actually if you see a fire you should leave your room and come tell me right away."

"Okay," he said--


"Okay," he said, "I will only get you for uh-mergencies. And I will get you if there is blood on my arm."

"Okay. Good plan," I said, hoping he wouldn't notice that I neglected to kiss him goodnight.

I'm assuming I'm going to get this crude. I haven't had the stomach flu since 7th grade. I'm due. It's inevitable. I'm also assuming that anything I've eaten today I will find repulsive in the future. That's why I allowed myself to eat TWO donuts. Donuts are my weakness. I cannot master the urge for fried dough. I figured this binge was doing myself a favor in the long run. I'm also second guessing my original plan to carve pumpkins tomorrow. I'm not in the mood for pumpkin gut.

Oh yeah, did I mention John was gone this weekend?

There, Kate. Are you happy?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thou Shalt Not Pass Over Thine Batteries

Sam's requests for the day were simple. He asked to: A) designate a special trash can for batteries (thanks, PBS Kids) and B) paint lamb's blood over our door (thanks, book of Exodus)

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Sam the Realist

We buried Stay-Forever today. I know, I know, he's been dead for a while but the truth of the matter is I've simply been lazy. Whenever I remember we have a dead caterpillar that needs to be buried it's raining or eleven o'clock at night. Sam is still trying to wrap his mind around death. "See, Mommy, Stay-Forever isn't in heaven, he's right there!"(I confess, I may have promised his pet was in heaven during one of my weaker moments).

So we went outside this afternoon and dug a small hole. Actually, a big hole.

"We need to dig a really big hole for Stay-Forever. We don't get to heaven in a rocket ship or on a boat, we get to heaven in a really big hole. So he needs lots of room." Hmmm. This may be how the pyramids got started.

In classic Sam fashion, the minute the last mound of dirt was piled upon his "pet", Sam declared, "The next time I find a caterpillar I'm going to name him 'Stay-For-Two-Weeks'."

My little realist.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Is Gap Racist or is it Just Sam?

I am interrupting the Stay Forever saga to share with you Sam's best/worst quote ever.

This morning we were at a mall in Indianapolis. We walked into Gap Kids where front and center we saw two unclothed, white mannequins. Sam took one look at them and yelled, "Hey, look! It's a store for white people!"

Monday, September 26, 2011

Stay Forever: Gone Forever

Thank you to all of you optimistic souls who suggested Stay Forever was hibernating. He is not. He is decomposing. We are literally watching him shrink before our eyes.

I broke the news to Sam (again) this morning.

Me: "Sam, Honey? Stay Forever is dead."
Sam: "No."
Me: "Yes he is. Stay Forever has died and he is not coming back again."
Sam: (Pause) "Okay...But we can still keep him."
Me: "No we can't Honey. We need to bury him."
Sam: "Why?"
Me: "Um, because that's what you do when things die. You bury them."
Sam: "We don't need to bury him, we can just keep him in the jar."

I didn't know what to say, so I ended the conversation and went upstairs to take a shower. Afterwards I was met with a very excited little boy.

"MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! Come see my new pet!"

I walk down the stairs and see on the floor a small centipede-like insect.

"I have a NEW pet," Sam said, "His name is Stay Forever Two."

Seriously. I can't make this stuff up.

Here we go again.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Caterpillar Purgatory

So I told him. I told him that Stay-Forever was dead. Instead of tears I got an incredulous look and a, "No he's not, Mommy. He's just sleeping." Reading the story of Jesus raising Jarius' daughter last night was not helpful.

Then again, Sam could be right. A few of you sent me messages saying that Stay-Forever could be gearing up to make a cocoon. Perhaps, but I'm not holding my breath.

In the meantime, we'll keep an eye out for any signs of transformation--either into a butterfly or dust to dust.

Monday, September 19, 2011

How to Tell a Child His Pet Died

Any ideas? Sam is still in the dark on this one. I'm priming the pump--or at least trying to. Last night we had this conversation:

Sam: "Mommy, can we keep Stay-Forever forever?"
Me: "Not forever, Honey. All pets die at some point."
Sam: "Why?"
Me: "Well, sometimes pets get sick, or they're just really old and they die."
Sam: (Big smile) "Well Stay-Forever is a NEW pet. He's not old. So he won't die."

Before he went to bed he placed Stay-Forever's jar on my dresser and said, "You can sleep with him tonight, Mommy. That way if you wake up you'll be able to see him."

And during his bedtime prayer he thanked God for his new pet.

You're killing me, Smalls.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Stay Forever is Dead

Well that was quick. Less than 24 hours after their emotional introduction, Sam has lost his first little pet.

Sam is handling it quite well...probably because he hasn't yet realized Stay Forever is dead. I'll tell him. I really will. I'm just working up the nerve.

He introduced his dead caterpillar to my parents today. He told them, "Stay Forever is really happy because I'm taking such good care of him." They played along.

Maybe I'll tell him tomorrow.

Appropriate Pets for Toddlers

As I've mentioned before, Sam wants a pet. So much so that he has taken matters into his own hands and has acquired some pets on his own.

Sam has begun naming and claiming the few random houseflies that have wandered into our house. So far their names are:
Sam actually thinks he can distinguish between houseflies. He'll say something like, "There goes Fly-Fly. Oh wait! That's Ketchup."

Imaginary Pets:
Three days ago Sam introduced me to "Sweet", a dog that he carries around and let's sleep on his tummy.

Other People's Pets:
We dog sat for a neighbor this past week. When we walked into their house Sam began to yell, "Mommy, come see this new pet I just got from the pet store! He's all mine!"

And just yesterday Sam discovered a caterpillar in our entry hall (not sure how that happened). I came home from running errands and saw Sam sitting next to a series of blocks that were arranged to create a fence/home for his caterpillar. I convinced him to put it in a jar which we filled with sticks and dirt and leaves (do caterpillars need water?).

Sam has become very attached to his little caterpillar. I know this for two reasons:

1) He named it "Stay Forever Caterpillar"
2) "Stay-Forever" slept in Sam's bed last night

So the vibe I'm getting from my son is that he would really like a pet. Does that sound about right to you?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Genuinely Grateful for Ear Infections...And the Puking Made Me Laugh, Too

Yesterday around noon I called John and with great joy and triumph announced, "Sam is sick!" This was incredibly good news. The past few nights were pretty rough with Sam waking up multiple times. We were holding our breath trying to figure out if we were back to square one with sleep issues or if he was merely coming down with something that would exacerbate the asthma. And so when I got a good look at his poor nose I was relieved to know I was looking at something temporary. I've never been so happy to learn my child had an ear infection.

This morning when he woke up, Sam came to me and said:

Sam: "Mommy, I got my asthma again while I was walking to your room."
Me: "You did? What did it feel like?"
Sam: "I don't know."
Me: "What did it sound like?"
Sam: (Long pause) "It sounded like something you would say, 'Bless you' to."

Poor Clara is sick, too. Sinus and ear infections. She's had a pretty strong gag reflex since she was born and is known to upchuck if there is an influx of mucus. Sam witnessed her regurgitating for the first time and panicked. Thinking his poor sister was exploding he yelled, "HER STOMACH IS COMING OUT! Hey look! There's Clara's yogurt."

Sam's dinner prayer had me smiling: "Dear God, please help Clara to get really, really better." Amen.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Little Drummer Boy and his Sweet Sister

Life in Pictures
 Sam wanted to play drums with Daddy. This was our (cheap) alternative.
 Clara is not a baby. She's been crawling for a few weeks now. Yesterday she pulled to standing by herself and today I caught her scurrying up the stairs. She is a sneaky little sweetie.
 Love those cheeks.
 And boom! A whole new world has opened up to her.
 In disbelief of her new balancing act.
She's rather tickled with her ability to stand.