Friday, August 21, 2009


They say you get the children that you have the most to learn from. With Bug and G, I am doomed to experience arthropods in ever more disturbing ways....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

flora and fauna

Every monring, Bug assumes the personality of some animal or another. He is often "a baby mammoth from the ice age in Alaska near UDP's house" these mornings. The natural history museum in London is what I think it must be like walking through Bug's mind. Animals and facts and stories all bound up....but nothing is behind glass in his mind...He would often ask, "Okay Mama. Take this picture right here" and stand next to the animal and assume the animal's character in just a twist of his body or a gleam in his eye. Below, the lion is whispering what to eat for lunch in his ear....
And here he is pretending to be the jaguar.
OFten, he is a REAL BLUE WHALE. The life size model is in the background below. No wonder Bug thinks he should get his way when is a REAL BLUE WHALE...
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Antural History Museum

These pictures are for UDP. Taken upon request by Bug.

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dino boy

This picture is of Megalithicus Americanum from the most recent ice age in North America. It is essentially a giant beaver. Imagine the docent's surprise when a 4 y.o. yankee blonde shouts "MAMA IT'S A MEGALITHICUS AMERICANUM. UDP WILL BE SO HAPPY." At the London Natural History Museum. We stood there enjoying the wonders of such a large rodent for quite some time....
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London. Night 2. Queen's Park.

I'm always asked for more pictures and I don't know if it's that I'm not taking enough for the far flung admirers or if they just think my kids are cute. I'm choosing to go with the latter as I prefer a positive outlook on things. Anyway, I just want you all to know that I'm trying. REally. I'm trying to take more pictues. But I offer these photos as evidence of exactly with whom I'm working and exactly what task you've laid before me.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

london day 1

There is a disturbing trend at venues meant to entice children. The powers that be think it's really great to make what is usually small, massive, huge, ginourmous. So I found the blow-up caterpillar entrance to the butterfly house at the London Zoo to be just weird and gross, Bug thought it a chance to enact actually being eaten by such a large thing. He was ingested with pleasure. G, as usual, looked on with amazement and then joined in. I had to put my active imagination to rest and walk through the unGodly maw and just go see the butterflies.
At the Zoo we found things that are naturally and surprisingly large like this moth that was "small" for its species, but still as big as G's head.
There were also a maze or tunnels for the kids to experience the aardvark and meerkat habitats from those animals' perspectives. Unfortunately, G does not make a good meerkat. Only her gigi-bob's got a view...
The Victorians loved nature and tried their best to import animals from all over the world. While the pics of the caged hippos from that era are sad to me, they did seem to do aviarys really, really well. Here is the original London Zoo aviary and it was such an open, bright space, I thought surely I would be able to take a pic that captured my children at their sweetest. Not so, as this was the first time all day I'd ask G to sit....this was the most pleasant face I could find after many attempts. There is a bit of parenting wisdom that goes, "It doesn't matter how it gets done, just that it gets done." I dunno. I don't think it applies to my kids. "Sit here and let me take a picture," kind of implies that HOW it gets done (sweetly) matters. Sigh. The molehill that is my mountain.....
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Friday, August 14, 2009

Picture, picture

Lemme set this one up. We are in London. Day 3. Natural History Museum. Earth Wing. I've been trying to get the kids in a sweet picture all day. In the background you can hear me finish saying, "...are you ready to take a picture?"Extrapolate as you wish...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sad Baby G

Okay, so she's not a baby any more. But she does get sad and this is her real sad face. Not a pretend, put on, mac it up for the camera face. Just a sad, sad face. She's wearing M's running hat and Bug took it and though retrieved, it took a while for her to recover.

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So, G's Auntie Zizi has a picture of her about 6 months younger than this eating out of the sugar bowl at the 868 house oh so long ago. Here, we find G red-handed, dumping out the sugar from the bag to more easily grasp a fistful.
No remorse.
Just happy to show me that indeed the sugar has gone all the way down into her tummy. London pics soon.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

bumper harris

So, we're in London just now and photos to post yet. Always loads of stories, but no photos. So, here is a story that doesn't have a photo because we zoomed by too quickly to take a pic on the way up from Camden Town station near the London Zoo...

On the way up from the London Underground, we pass by an unassuming poster. Blue with white letters. It is an official poster. One of the many factoids the London Underground has posted to entertain the masses while tolerating the construction we pass by on the escalator. The poster says, 'Who is Bumper Harris?' and then it says 'Bumper Harris is the one-legged man who road the first escalator to prove it was safe.'

Saturday, August 1, 2009

frogs, snails, and tiger tails...

There is something pathetic and sad about a frog thumping against the confines of one's plastic recycling box.

Bug desperately wants a pet. Auntie MaeMae and Uncle B has graciously adopted Belly Kitty as their own due to his allergies and questionable breathing around furry type things.

I touched a frog this past Tuesday. I just had to. Bug wants a pet. We can't have one. Snails and worms don't quite do the trick as they mouths and eyes and tummies easily discernable to a younger audience. And then, there was this frog thumping and thumping against the box. So I rolled up my sleeves and grabbed the frog and let Bug hold him while I found a jar. The jar happened to be glass and I knew we were doomed, but see a kid and a really wanted amphibian pet calls for jumping on the band wagon. Yes! We can build a terrarium! Yes! Yes! The frog will outlive us all eating rolly pollies and flies from our backyard -collect them! Yes! The frog would love a feather from a large dopey wood pigeon in its new home. The frog ended up with loads of junk on its head. Grass, feathers, flowers, leaves. Everything that can be plucked and picked from a backyard with small fingers. The frog was even more terrified than when we found him in the recycling bin.
So you knew that within the hour, the frog jar would come crashing down...
and the only makeshift house I could find was a Pringles' can. Bug thought it too smelly until I wanted to release the frog. Then he was just heartbroken and stumped. Thankfully M came home from work at a reasonable hour and said that all great scientists must tag and release the animals in their care. That Bug must collect more and study them more and release even more froggies into the wild. Our backyard is now littered with makeshift homes for worms, snails, and other bugs - soon to be released as well.
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