Charlotte’s Web Party: Or How I Learned to Stop Freaking Out and Enjoy My Kid’s Birthday

4 Apr

Confession: I am a party planning addict. I’ve always loved a good theme and I can seriously get down with Pinterest…so much so that I get a teensy bit carried away. It’s an problem, y’all. I love decorations and favor bags and details like embossed spoons, and I want to cover the world with birthday glitter and confetti!! So, while Pinterest is a great resource, it’s kiiiinda like birthday party crack for a recovering addict.

 

Shoot, before Pinterest was even a thing, I got carried away with parties. I had a friend growing up whose mother always made elaborate birthday cakes…she created a coral reef out of cake once, and an archaeological dig cake another year. I’m not kidding when I say it was phenomenal. So, naturally, when Maggie was born I declared that I would make every single one of her birthday cakes and they would be spectacular and we would have elaborate parties with excellent themes and mothers everywhere would sing my praises and my name would go down in birthday party hiiiiistory!!

 

The cake thing lasted, oh I don’t know…a year? I made an owl for her first birthday and almost died from the stress. Combined with decorating, organizing invitations and freaking out over gifts and food and flow, it was just too much. Because, there’s the thing: I’m really not a detail person. I have a hard time hammering everything out without having a meltdown because I simply plan too much in too little time, with too little attention to the teensy details of how long things are going to take.

 

And after a few years of melt-downs in which I didn’t enjoy my child’s birthday at all, (’cause I like doing something that didn’t work over and over and over…don’t talk to me about the definition of insanity.) I decided that something’s gotta give. It’s not fair to my children or myself to have me freaking out over ten gazillion tiny details.  While I love the intricacies of themed flatware and have an undying love for swagged table linens, I’m just not a detail person. I’m not. I love ‘em, but I have a real hard time pulling it all off.

 

So, segue to this year…(smooth, eh?)

 

As a truly selfish Christmas gift, I gave Maggie a copy of Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. I wanted to read her first chapter book out loud to her and thought it would be pretty approachable since she loves animals and Garth Williams did such captivating illustrations. Also, I like a good cry.

 

Oh, man was it a hit! Maggie was SO into the book and actually slept with it for a while, which filled my little librarian heart with joy! I was even more excited when she asked to have a Charlotte’s Web birthday party…I may have planted the idea in her head. Okay, I did. But it was awesome and she loved it and I’m not sorry at all.

 

So, I wanted this birthday to be special for Maggie since it’s the first one she’s really had a part in planning. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t get carried away, and I feel like I hit my stride this year! I was able to have a really great party and enjoy myself!

 

 

 

Here’s what we did:

 

 

 

 

 

Outsource – If somebody can do it better than you, let ‘em! It’s all well and good to make things by hand if you can. Shoot, you might even save money. But will it turn you into a raving lunatic? Mayhaps. I have neither the time, patience, nor skills to create every single party detail myself…like I kept telling myself in years past. But! I have friends who do have the time, patience and skills! So, my first words of advice are utilize the connections you have.

 

I started with invitations. I don’t necessarily mind generic invitations, but I really prefer custom invites. Call me a stationary snob, but I like fancy invitations. Now, due to some Pinterest/Facebook stalking I realized that my college friend, Jennifer, runs an Etsy shop called the Prettiest Print Shop. Please go there and oogle all of the prettiness. Go. Now.

 

Now that you’ve oogled and now want to throw a carousel party, did you see that, for an incredibly reasonable price, Jennifer will custom design invitations/stationary/amazing things for you. Did you see that I said they’re custom made? As in, she makes them from scratch, sends you a file and you print to your little heart’s content.

 

Also, I should add that turn-around on these custom invites was super-fast! Jennifer was apologetic that it “took so long” but she was able to whip these out in four days…while she was also throwing a magnificent birthday party for her own daughter. I really can’t say enough great things about using Jennifer’s shop. Best decision ever.

 

Here’s how ours turned out:

 

This hastily taken photo doesn’t do these invitations justice. They’re seriously the best!!

 

 

And I bought a cake. Not sorry. Best cake ever.

Vin picked this little beauty up at the Market District in Solon, OH. He showed the decorator the invites and she took it from there. Brilliant, I say! Also, that buttercream changed my life. Amen and amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pace yourself and pick one thing. Now, I’m about to get a little crazy here, but one way to pull off an adorable party without acting like a crazy person is to live on the wild side and plan ahead. I know, I know…I thought it would never work, too, but trust me on this one.

 

I started collecting ideas about a month out so I had a bit of a plan once we got closer to the actual partay. I clearly gathered more ideas than I could possibly pull off, so that’s when I preceded to do not all the things, but only a few of the things. (Mind blowing, right??)

 

I like hand lettering things. It’s cathartic for me so I knew making some cute banners would be an enjoyable task. I made two. I used fine point Sharpies, card stock and some blank invitations I bought last year when I was delusional enough to think I could make fabulous invitations by myself. Seriously, y’all.

 

This is the one made from the unused invitations. I just copied a spiderweb font I found online and went to it. Easy peasy.

 

Here’s some details from the “Radiant” banner. The triangles and letters weren’t anywhere close to being uniform because I just eyeballed everything. But, get this…Nobody noticed!

 

 

 

 

 

I also made the favor bags, but thanks to the dollar aisle at Target, they were a breeze. I lucked out and found tiny burlap bags and little gift tags that I put each child’s name on. Thinking that everybody would be sufficiently sugared up by the end of the party, I just filled them up with cheap bubbles and hopping frog toys. I also gathered up all of our broken crayons and melted them into mini cupcake liners to make “soda cap” crayons (Wilbur goes to the fair after all) and, because it’s cheap and easy, Mags and I made orange play dough and shaped it into carrots. Sounds kind of time consuming, but it was seriously SO easy.

 

 

Yay for the Target dollar aisle!!

 

 

I was so happy with the way these turned out!

 

 

 

Picking one thing also means delegating and letting others help. I let my husband be in charge of the food. He’s much more prepared to cook for a crowd than I am, he’s a better cook anyway, plus he had just purchased a new smoker and wanted to try it out. To which I said, be my guest, good sir! Sure, we served smoked ribs and pulled pork at a Charlotte’s Web party, but we love irony, so it worked. It was also delicious.

 

Aside from food, I knew I wanted to have some kind of a “pigs in mud” themed activity and tossed around a zillion ideas from painting things to playing with pudding to doing actual mud (not every idea I have is good, not even close). Anyway, I couldn’t ever decide and was starting to get stressed when my mother-in-law stepped in and offered to make pig shaped cookies that the kids could dip in warmed up chocolate frosting. I let her and here’s why: she makes the best butter cookies in the history of mankind, I like eating cookies, I like not being crazy, she likes helping and she’s very good at it. Win, win, and win.

 

She made cookies, threw some canned frosting in a mini crock-pot to warm up, I made another sign and we, were done!

 

The kids naturally wanted to drink the “mud” and we let them ’cause we’re cool like that.

 

 

Lil was a fan.

 

 

Another part of picking just one thing is not over-planning. We didn’t do any other activities or games because these kids present were all four and under. If I’ve learned anything from doing library programming it’s this: events take longer than you expect. It takes time to move people through food lines and the execution of activities is always more time consuming than you think it’ll be. I’ve also learned that people don’t need or expect a three ring circus. One activity is more than enough…just being together with friends and family is special so there’s no need to add extra stuff to it.

 

 

 

 

 

I think the thing that made this party the most enjoyable for me of all I’ve done is that I let go of my preconceived notions of what parties are “supposed to be” and let my child take the lead. When Maggie’s best friend, Ella, showed up and they were both super-excited about opening the gift Ella chose, I let her open it right then and there. Sure, you’re “supposed to” open all the gifts at once. But that’s no fun and birthdays are supposed to be fun. When Maggie told me she was feeling overwhelmed and that she didn’t want to play with all the other kids, I let her play with her new cash register from Ella. Forcing her into stressful social interactions is not fun and birthdays are supposed to be fun. When Mags told me a few days before that she didn’t want everybody to sing to her, I was fully prepared to announce to everybody that we would not be singing Happy Birthday. Sure, that’s what you’re “supposed to do” but sometimes being sung to by a room full of people is scary. It kind of freaks me out, to be honest. She did decide to go ahead with the singing, though.

 

A bit nervous, perhaps?

 

 

This is my favorite picture from the whole day, I think.

 

 

Overall, this was the most fun I’ve had at one of my kids’ birthday parties ever! What are your tips and tricks for throwing a pain-free party?

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

27 Mar

Today my very first baby turns four years old. I seriously can’t wrap my brain around this fact.

 

How in the world did this tiny human…

 

…turn into this walking, talking, laughing little person??

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m planning another post about our birthday festivities (two words: Charlotte’s Web) but for now I’ll leave you with a couple of my favorite pictures and a link back to Mags’ birth story, something I’ll be re-reading and probably crying over all day today.

 

 

One month old with her daddy.

 

 

I stumbled upon this one while I was looking for pictures of us together…of course there aren’t as many of those as I’d like. But I think this sums up motherhood for me: partially out of the picture, just behind a baby taking off…and me just trying to perfect that balance of holding on and letting go, something I know I’ll be working on for my entire life.

 

 

This one cracks me up every. single. time.

 

 

 

Love you, baby girl!

 

 

 

For Katy

19 Mar

My big sister had a birthday on the fifteenth and I thought about her all day long.

 

I thought about the summer camps and the Girl Scout cookie sales…how I was too scared to ring people’s doorbells but she made me anyway. It was the same way at the concession stand at football games. I was always too scared to order nachos for myself but she pushed me to speak up. She forced me step up and make the effort to accomplish what I needed to do even if I was afraid.

 

 

I thought about the years of shared rooms and how my sloppiness made her crazy. I thought about the years of fighting and yelling and butting heads and of the endless games of boob punching that drove our mother crazy.

 

I thought about the zillion times we watched movies and she “got to be” the best character because she always remembered to call it first; Dorcas in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Judy in White Christmas. I thought of the times she hid from me, under the stairs or under my bed, waiting the scare the ever-living shit out of me and how we both laughed until we cried (or cried until we laughed, in my case) over it. I thought about the time she taped down the nozzle on the spray hose to the sink and then asked me for a glass of water and of the time she tried to teach me to drive her stick shift.

 

I thought about when she moved away to college and I realized I had seriously underestimated how much I’d miss her. I remembered the Spring Break I spent in Virginia in her dorm room, and how that was the first time I ever flew by myself. I felt so young next to her friends and so excited she was willing to open up her college experience to me.

 

 

I was always in awe of my big sister. She has always been the brave one, ready to cross the country for school, the ocean for the Peace Corps, to start over and reinvent herself and cross the ocean again for work and love and life. I really admire that about her.

 

And I see all of it echoed in my girls’ relationship with each other.

 

I see us in them.

 

 

 

I see us in the “shows” they put on and the endless games of “Present Me” they play, in which they announce each other and then barrel into the room like the stars they are.

                       “Nooow presentiiiiing Lily Colette Delagrange!” (Stumble, trip, crash, applause, repeat.)

 

I see us in the games of dress-up, during which Lily always has to be the boy and Maggie directs every detail of their make-believe.

 

I see us in them while they’re talking and smacking each other in the back seat of our van, in their little heads bent over their lunches, in their wrinkly toes in the bathtub. I see us in the puddles on the bathroom floor, a direct result of their spitting water at each other.

 

I hear us, too.

 

I hear us in the serious conversations about “sick” kitties/bunnies/babies/dinosaurs and how best to treat them.

 

I hear us in the songs they sing…and their debates over the acceptable lyrics.

 

I hear us in the giggles that bubble up in the most inappropriate of places, like church or while they’re being disciplined. I hear us in this laughter that they can’t control, the giggles that will. not. subside. no matter how serious the situation.

 

I hear us in the shrieks over pulled hair and stolen toys.

 

And, though she lives literally a world away, I feel my sister in my girls, too.

 

Here she is in Istanbul…Isn’t she the most beautiful person ever?

 

I feel her when I see Maggie take the time to get Lily a cup of water without being asked to.

 

I feel her when I see them holding hands in a parking lot or a store.

 

I feel her when they hug and when they pretend to sleep in Maggie’s bed, and when they try to sneak up on me and scare me.

 

My girls are so little, but I already see it all. I know their relationship with grow and change as they individually grow and change. They’ll be distant and close, they’ll be competitors and teammates, friends and enemies. I see Lily look to Maggie to lead the way and I see the conflict in both of them…that desire to do things on their own, but still very  pulled to the comfort and safety of doing things with a sister, however irritating she may be.

 

 

 

Because of my girls I’m able to see my childhood, our sisterhood, in a new light. I see how things must have been for my sister and I have a new sensitivity to how hard it is to be sisters. Our mother always told us that a sister is the one friend you’ll have for your entire life, so you’d better love her and take care of her. There are so many ways I haven’t taken care of my sister, so many times I’ve dropped the ball. And yet, she’s there. Always.

 

And that’s what sisterhood is about. No matter what we do or the choices we make, there will always be a bond that ties us to one another. It’s the bond that made us stand up for one another on the school bus. The same bond that hatched harebrained schemes to sneak around and get tattoos together. The bond that allows us to literally cackle over pretty much nothing on the phone. She’s seen me at my absolute worst and has helped make me my absolute best. I couldn’t be more grateful for that crazy girl in Iraq and the millions of memories we’ve shared.

 

Love you, sis.

Thoughts on the Cross

15 Mar

Things have been pretty quiet around here lately, partially because life it eternally nuts and also because I’ve been wrestling with some really weighty issues. Maybe it’s because we’re getting deeper and deeper into Lent so I’ve got these things on my mind already, but I find myself struggling with anger, fear, frustration, guilt, and feelings of unworthiness, loneliness, and doubt. So basically, I’m Catholic. (Ba-dum-ching!)

 

Did you get that that was a rim shot? ‘Cause it totally was.

 

I think this happens to us all from time to time. Not bad sound effects, though those happen too, but these moments of spiritual, mental, and physical grief. These are times when we just can’t wrap our brains around situations, around suffering, around life. And these are the times we need the cross.

 

And I don’t know about you, but the times when I so need the cross are the times I feel the cross is so unfair. When I’m struggling with my sins, the cross is hard for me to handle. The cross is ugly. It is violent. It asks too much of Christ. I hate that I so selfishly seek my own comfort when Christ went through such agony on the cross.

 

Sometimes I feel like life asks too much of us all, that God asks too much of all of us. Obviously, I understand that the Cross had to happen, has to happen, for us and for our salvation, but that doesn’t make it any less hard.

 

Now, I’m a firm believer in free will, and in knowing that bad things happen as direct consequences of the choices we make, not necessarily because God wills bad things upon us. God is not malevolent, He is not vengeful or spiteful. He’s not out to make me pay for my sins. Quite the opposite, actually.

 

In all the negativity, the struggles, the fears He is present. And what’s more, He wants to make me better. It is in the wrangling with sin that I find redemption. It is in the fighting to find goodness that I see that it’s been there all along…I just needed the grace of the cross to see it.

Quote from Shane Kapler at Just a Catholic.

 

 

I’ve been getting these daily Lenten reflections from Fr. Robert Barron and I really like them. The other day I read something in regards to the cross and Christ’s sacrifice that has really stuck with me:

“So the Father sent the Son all the way out into the furthest limits of God-forsakenness, but why? To usher into those places the divine light. Is death a place that God is not? No, because God is present there in Jesus. Is suffering a place that God is not? No, because the Son entered into suffering. Is sin a place where God is not? No, because God became sin on the Cross, says Paul.

Through Jesus, the divine light journeys into our worst darkness. His aim is to divinize us, to allow us to “share his divine nature” in St. Peter’s words, even in those dark places and conditions. Sin is a turning away from the divine life, and death is a fearful place that seems alien to God. But Jesus invades all those places, and thereby illumines them. He offers us new life even when we’ve wandered as far as we possibly can from God.

In that sense, the Cross was necessary for our salvation since it allowed the Hound of Heaven to hunt us down, even in the darkest places.”

 

I like that. I like knowing that I am hunted, pursued by a Savior who desperately wants to be with me in the midst of the darkest, most dismal places I find myself.

 

And there’s a deep, deep comfort in that. He’s not asking too much; he’s just asking to be with me.

Seven Things: #22 – Indoor Activities

1 Mar lily

I’ve got two words for you: Cabin. Fever.

 

It’s hit hard around here, forcing me to get creative with indoor activities…’cause you know, there’s only so much Dinosaur Train and Daniel Tiger you can watch. Don’t get me wrong, I’m almost as obsessed with Dinosaur Train and Daniel Tiger as my kids are (ugga mugga, by the way), but sometimes you gotta break free (break from the chains). Can you tell I’m going nuts??

 

So here’s our Seven Things for this week…prepare for craftiness!

 

 

1.) Print making. Stamping. Call it what you will, it was a good way to fill a couple of hours with Mags while the littles slept.

I think she did a rather good job…but I’m a bit biased.

 

We used whatever paint we had around and a whole bunch of textured odds and ends to create some interesting art. We had foam hearts with designs on them, various shaped blocks with holes in them, and cars. I had been wanting to try using toy cars for art projects for a while, so this was the perfect excuse! It was pure magic to see Maggie react to the suggestion of getting the tires all covered in paint…I don’t think she believed that I was really okay with it until I did it myself.

 

 

2.) I’ve got two more words for you: Obstacle. Course. With so few opportunities to get out and play, these kids have a ridiculous amount of physical steam built up. Since my house is generally a disaster area anyway I figured I might as well organize some of the larger disaster pieces into an obstacle course. It was a pretty big hit, if I do say so myself!

 

Get ready…get set…

Go!!

It was kinda easy for Maggie, so I made her wear a cheetah mask to add a level of difficulty. Obvs.

Wipe out!

 

So, they had to climb over the chairs, hop on their horses (incidentally named Barnaby and Seymour), scoot through the tunnel, then cross a body pillow without falling in the “hot lava,” and hit the light on their lantern to make wolf howling sounds and win. It was hilarious and a really good time.

 

 

3.) Another two words: Dress. Up. Now, this one isn’t particularly out of the norm for us. We basically wear ridiculous fabulous get-ups 24/7. However, I took this to the selfish next level and let them wear their dress up tutus to the grocery store yesterday. I say this is selfish because it really did me more good than the girls. I read a blog post the other day, and for the life of me I can’t remember where it was or who wrote it…but it spoke about that rough postpartum period when mamas are stuck in the house going absolutely crazy, feeling out of control and inadequate. This blogger went to a breastfeeding support group and the leader told her to get out of the house more. This takes a lot of work, true, but when we take the babies out and strangers coo over them and tell us how gorgeous they are, we’re reminded that those things are true!

When you’re stuck inside, it’s really easy to get stuck in the rut of viewing your children as little dictators who cry all night, scream all day, take your doors off the hinges (literally, that happened), spill water on purpose, pull each other’s hair, and generally give you migraines. But in public! In public, perfect strangers remind you that your children are fantastic. They’re so well-behaved! Sure, they can have a cookie! Look at their sweet eyelashes/hair/cheeks! Listen to those giggles!

 

Peepin’ the kids in the grocery store play room.

 

If you dress them in tutus beforehand, it’ll take it to the next level. Trust me. And I bet, after you’ve wandered through the grocery store being adored by everyone in a five-mile radius, you’ll be so genuine and really, really mean it when you answer the checkout-lady’s question of whether or not you’re crazy to have so many kids by saying, “I am absolutely not crazy. I’m just the luckiest woman ever.”

 

 

4.) How’s about another two words! Play. Dough. 

Are you a fan of The Imagination Tree? This post is pretty much the Mecca of preschool tactile/sensory/amazing activities. A word of caution, though. If you visit this site, be prepared to want to create everything. I’m not even kidding. There are so many good ideas that are really educational and fun. So, yeah. Go there and have fun.

One of my favorite things from The Imagination Tree is all of the play dough ideas and recipes. We whipped some up today just for funsies and it turned out really well!

 

Sweet girl picked the best colors ever!

Again, we added all kinds of sensory items to work on those fine motor skills and get our imaginations working! And yes, those are poker chips. Doesn’t YOUR three-year-old play with poker chips??

 

Here’s the recipe we used for The Imagination Tree’s No-Cook 4 Minute Play Dough. It seriously never fails.

 

 

5.) Give ‘em a mid-day bath. When there’s nothing else to do, this is a great way to let people blow off some steam and keep them contained all at the same time! And odds are, at my house anyway, the little cherubs are covered in some sort of jam or tomato based sauce anyway. Add some kitchen “toys” like measuring cups and whisks or food colored ice cubes. Heck, I may even put mine in their bathing suits and let them pretend they’re at the beach just to mix things up!

 

 

6.) Read books that promote play. If you’re not already familiar with Tana Hobanyou should really check her out. The one we’re obsessed with right now is Over, Under & Through.

 

Please pardon the play dough eggs and the blurriness of the picture…and my dirty table, and on and on.

And, again. Pardon the creepy skeletor hand and the wireless mouse. I have no explanation other than I’m just weird.

 

As you can see, the books have great photography that is paired with concept words like, over/under, in/on, beside/below, etc. These can be tricky concepts for little ones to grasp. But paired with lots of photo examples, these books do a great job of teaching. They also lend themselves very well to “Simon-Says” kinds of games that allow kids to physically explore the concepts and get some energy out. Perfect, I say!

 

 

7.) Take selfies. Because all the cool kids are doing it and, let’s be honest, it’s totally fun. Here are ours from today!

 

“Everybody make a face like Everett!”

Side note: I always think Lily looks like the old Eloise Watkin illustrations of baby Jesus.

jesus

lily

Right??

 

 

Okay, so those are my Seven Things that will hopefully give you an idea of how to spend these seemingly endless snowy days! Anybody else have good ideas for indoor activities?

 

Happy Saturday, y’all!!

Mommy PD: SVU – CASE CLOSED

27 Feb cindy

If you told me a week ago that we’d be wrapping up this killing spree today I never would’ve believed you. As of a few days ago, we were still finding victims left and right. There was no end in sight and the body count was rising.

 

cindy

 

Even the queen stood no chance...

 

 

But you know, I’ve seen this a lot with criminals. The cockier they get, the lazier they get, and our perp was no different. I had been getting a sneaking suspicion that this might be an inside job. Something about the investigation just didn’t add up and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Maybe it was the lack of concern on the part of our officers or the lassez-faire attitude of the Chief of Police, but even I wasn’t prepared for the revelation that blew the top clean off of this case…

 

Wouldn’t you know…the Chief of Police caught in the act!!

 

And none too remorseful, either…

 

Appropriate measures are being taken to ensure that crimes of this diabolical nature never happen again. The Chief is now behind bars awaiting his 1:45 a.m. arraignment. He’s already been quite the cry-baby about the whole thing and, while part of me wants to believe he regrets his crimes, I know the truth. He’s just waiting, biding his time till he can get his slobbery mitts on another victim…

Seven Things: 21

22 Feb

Well, I intended to do a Seven Things post and had actually been working on it earlier in the week (imagine that!), but then life happened and we ended up at the Emergency Room last night with poor Mags who’s got a UTI. It was as pleasant as you can imagine and we didn’t make it home until well after 3 am…which is why I’m posting this now.

 

These were our medicinal highlights:

 

Magazine found in the ER waiting room. Clearly not a Bradley Cooper fan.

She initially chased this with a fish stick to improve the flavor, but as of this morning she claims it’s not too bad. Must be an acquired taste…

 

Aaaaaanyway, here are some of the things that went on this week…I hope you had a good one!

 

1.) Everett can sit in a high chair now. I’m not sure how I feel about it, so I’m going to pretend it’s not happening.

 

 

2.) I’m in pre-Lent training and have decided to really limit my phone usage. I got creeped out the other day because I woke up early to get things done and somehow managed to spend over an hour looking at Facebook. I’m a firm believer that great things come from social media. However, I’d be lying if I told you my obsession with “missing out” on something didn’t severely hamper the amount of time and focus I spend on my children. And that’s just pathetic.

You may remember that I attempted to limit my media use during Advent, as well, which was fair-to-middlin’ (oh, yes I did just quote the Oregon Trail CD Rom game I had growing up), but I’m going to be more specific in regards to Lent. So, my specific intentions are to take the Facebook app off of my phone, make the Pinterest app harder to find, and replace them with Daily Reading and Rosary type tools.

So far I’ve been fairly unsuccessful. Facebook usage is down, but Pinterest and Instagram usage are at an all-time high. I may have to get drastic and just pull the entire plug come Lent. Clearly self control isn’t my strong suit.

What are you planning for Lent? Do you give something up or take something on?

 

 

3.) Some of you may remember that I work part-time as a Children’s Librarian. That mainly consists of reading awesome books to awesome kids, creating awesome Pinterest crafts with awesome kids, and practicing for awesome puppet shows. As you can see, things are pretty much awesome. However, the other portion of my job is to answer reference questions over the phone. What kinds of questions do people call the library for, you ask? Here’s just a sampling of the questions I answered in the last week or so:

  • What is the definition of “frontier” and how does is relate to Star Trek, i.e. Space: The Final Frontier? Answer:
    fron·tierˌfrənˈti(ə)r, noun
    noun: frontier; plural noun: frontiers
    1. a line or border separating two countries.
      • the district near a border separating two countries.
      • the extreme limit of settled land beyond which lies wilderness, esp. referring to the western US before Pacific settlement.
      • the extreme limit of understanding or achievement in a particular area.
    2. “the success of science in extending the frontiers of knowledge”
    3. Lordy be, do I really have to explain this in relation to Star Trek??
  • Where are the two highest rated veggie burgers in Cleveland? Answer: Town Hall and BRGR 9. 
  • I saw a movie on TV and didn’t see the title. It was with Andie MacDowell and she was an American and fell in love with this English guy and her friends told her not to marry him but she did but then she was pregnant at the wedding…what was that movie? The cable company gave me the title, but it can’t be right. Answer: The cable company was right, that movie is called Women and Men: Part 2 and no, the patron didn’t believe me, either.
  • How much is an original copy of Around the World in Twenty-Eight Days worth? Answer: Apparently not enough.
  • I was cooking some burgers in a pan and, once some had cooked, I added more raw burgers into the same pan. Is this cross contamination? Answer: No. That’s just called cooking burgers.
  • How does one find God? Can you email me some articles on that?  Answer: Siiiiiiiiiigh…

 

 

4.) Apparently there’s this burning ball of fire in the sky that some people call the sun. We Clevelanders have really only ever heard of it, but on Wednesday it appeared!!! I kid you not when I say that Maggie saw the sun and immediately put her swimsuit on.

 

After a change of wardrobe we went out and built the happiest snow girl I’ve ever seen!

Tell me that’s not the cutest snow girl of all time. Just try.

 

 

5.) And speaking of wardrobe choices, here’s Lily’s mash-up of Tinkerbell and Yoda.

Fab. U. Luuuuussss.

 

 

6.) I have the most wonderful dad on the planet. Wanna know how I know this? He sent me the complete set of The Mysterious Benedict Society books that I raved about earlier this week.

Give a girl new books and she’ll take joyful selfies all night long!

I seriously can’t tell you how excited I am. Best dad of all time.

 

 

7.) And, last, because she was so excited, here’s Lily with her brand new car seat. It’s the first one that wasn’t a hand-me-down. We sure know how to make a middle child happy around here!

Have a great weekend!!

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