Squirrels ruin it for everyone

Over the winter, we put one of those clear suction-cup bird feeders on a window behind the couch, and for months we’ve enjoyed seeing birds hang out practically in our family room. And not a single squirrel! It’s been great. Jack has learned not to rush to the couch shouting when he sees a bird, so we’ve gotten to see a bunch of them close up.

But then, just today, a squirrel figured it out. John came downstairs and rushed the couch (startling us) to knock sharply on the window and yell at the squirrel who had somehow managed to squeeze himself into the narrow shelf with the bird food. He jumped away.

A couple minutes later, I saw the butterfly bush shaking, and sure enough, there was the same well-fed squirrel clinging to the junction of two branches, staring at us through the window. He made another leap for the feeder. We yelled and knocked and he jumped back to the bush.

Two more times in less than five minutes, so now NOBODY gets the bird feeder. I took it down. Maybe the squirrel will forget about it. Or maybe he’ll bash his little brain out on the window. I’ve already heard a thump that I’m pretty sure was the squirrel bouncing off the window and falling.

I need to attach the feeder higher anyway to get the windows open as it warms up, so I’ll take the opportunity to put it on the other couch window, far away from the butterfly bush.

I don’t know if I’m going to win this fight or teach the squirrel to fly.

My apologies to A.A. Milne

Jack has a number of rubber duckies of various sizes, most of them classic. He has one ducky wearing a Winnie the Pooh costume (red shirt, bear ears). We call it Winnie the Pooh Duck.

(Thank you, eBay, for not making me go take a picture of ours.)

The other day, I was trying to find something for Jack to watch, and I came across the Winnie the Pooh cartoons. I showed him the pictures. “Jack, would you like to watch Winnie the Pooh?”

He looked. He thought. He said, “Winnie the Pooh is a duck, Mama, not a bear.”

We didn’t watch it.

I need to make time for yoga

I do not have enough mental space to be stressed out over more than one thing right now.

Some family stress has returned – that’s plenty. Some work stress started today, and I’m trying to remember that I don’t need to care about that, except that I do.

And then Jack’s preschool teacher has to pile on her with notions about how Jack should eat, and now I’m having imagined fights discussions with her about how she needs to just not worry about if Jack eats, what he eats, and in what order he eats it. I pack his lunch every day, knowing full well he might just eat the fun parts, and you know what? It’s FINE.

I don’t care that you are trying to get the kids to eat foods in a certain order – no, that’s not true. I think it’s incredibly NOT helpful that you’re doing that. Jack doesn’t need any pressure from ANYONE about what or how he eats. He can eat the fun stuff first. If I didn’t want him to eat it, I wouldn’t pack it for him. Sometimes he eats goldfish and apple slices and skips his sandwich. Sometimes he only eats his sandwich. I’m not worried about it, so why are you?

Writing this did not make me less stressed about it. It just reinforced that I need to say something to her. Which is also stressful. Yay confrontation!

Playing in the snow

We got ridiculous amounts of snow this past Saturday. It snowed steadily for, I don’t know, 18-20 hours, and we got over a foot of snow in the flat parts of the yard AFTER all the wind. Jack kept asking to go outside during the storm, and we kept trying to explain that blizzard-level winds were making it too dangerous to be outside. Toddlers, man.

It’s been really cold, so the snow was light and powdery. Not good for snowballs or forts or snowmen, but great for falling and rolling around (and easier to shovel). Jack LOVES it. For two days we’ve been running around the yard pretending to be transformers and climbing mountains.

Then finally, on the third day after the storm, it warmed up enough to make the snow packable. Jack and I spent a delightful afternoon making snowballs and pretending they were people or eggs (never a snowball). Rather, I sat on my butt in the snow making a pile of snowballs. Jack picked up each snowball and either rescued the person from the natural disaster that had befallen it (the disaster varied), buried the penguin egg in the snow to keep it safe from hatching, sat on the penguin egg so it would hatch, or gave me the egg-for-eating so I could make a snow cake.

My favorite was when he’d take an egg to a spot to bury it, put it down so he could dig a hole, and then lose it (or step on it) in the messy snow surrounding him. “Where’s my egg?”

It’s warming up to the 40s tomorrow and for the next few days, with rain in a couple of days, so we have maybe one more day to really play in the snow. Gotta take advantage.

Video Games

Jack has discovered video games. Bad parenting? Maybe, maybe not. It’s only been a week, and he calls them activities. He’ll ask to do “an Octimus Prime activity”, for example.

Tangent: he has gotten WAY into Rescue Bots, which is the new young kid version of Transformers. We play a LOT of Rescue Bots vs “Cepticons” now, and he falls asleep to us telling stories about Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Quickshadow. So when he first asked to do an activity the other day, I had the brilliant idea of searching his tablet for age appropriate apps or games involving Rescue Bots. There are two.

So far, he has a love/hate relationship with these games. SO much fun, and he wants to play them ALL the time, but he’s never played anything like this before, and the learning curve is steep, so there’s a frustration factor.

Still, it’s adorable to watch him figure this out. There’s a really sweet Very Hungry Caterpillar game, some great Thomas the Tank Engine games, and a very cute interactive version of The Monster at the End of This Book with Grover and Elmo.


I left the house the other morning to drop Jack off at preschool and meet with the co-op board members. I realized about halfway to school that I had forgotten my phone.

I’m perfectly capable of going for a while without my phone, AT HOME. Out of the home, during the work day – that’s a different matter.

It wasn’t the end of the world, but it was a minor annoyance, mostly because I kept forgetting that I had forgotten it.

My brain:

“Oh, I’ll text John, make sure he knows I don’t have my phone. Whoops, can’t.”

“What time is it? I don’t know, I’ll have to ask somebody.”

“Oh, I can listen to my audiobook on the way home. Nice. CAN’T! No phone.”

Driving by the flooring store: “Ooh, let me just call the Rawlings about floor and carpet remnants or a carpet pad. NOPE.”

It was a very frustrating two hours.