Category Archives: For fun

A sticky hypothetical … and some reviews!

I could tell you all about my jaunt to the circus with Miss Maeve last weekend. I could, but then I’d have to tell you how we:

1) broke the dry-underwear streak that had reached a record five days

2) and then again just an hour later

3) and that ill-prepared me grabbed two pair of extra underwear before we left but somehow didn’t figure on needing a change of clothes …

4) which I’m chalking up to me being both A) scatterbrained and B) awfully darn assured in my daughter’s ability to do her business in the appropriate places (I so prefer this one) — none of these being, by the way: 1) my lap, 2) my friend’s arms while down on the circus floor or 3) standing near enough to my leg that I also get wet.

5) Now, if I were talking about the circus I would then also have to tell you that I worked up a sweat in the tight little seats while trying to shimmy off the wet clothes (we were in a box, so it wasn’t like it was in front of all 10,000 strangers/circus-goers, although I’m not sure that by that point I would have cared) and then sliding off her oh-too-cute plaid ballet flats I had excitedly tossed into my T*rget cart a couple weeks ago only to now find them, well, to put it nicely — superbly sea-worthy. (Isn’t that what boat-lovin’ people say about their crafts?) They were so liquid-tight I could have dropped a couple goldfish in there for a backstroke competition.


Anyway, I could tell you about all of that: the night that left me sticky, my purse crusty from the ice cream with sprinkles that fell from its precarious perch on the seatback right into my bag, and my hands perfumey from my friends’ oily air freshener in her car that had exploded in the console bucket thingie where she also had stored our circus tickets, which then resulted in writing on the tickets smearing off onto our hands and us wondering aloud if we would even be allowed into the joint to begin with — since it totally looked like we had printed them up in our own Perfume-Laden Basement of Circus-Ticket Thievery. (Doesn’t everyone have one of those?) 

Yes, yes, I could share all of this wonderfulness with you but … I won’t.

Instead I’ll just tease you with the promise of two reviews in the very near future. (One tonight, and one first thing Monday.) And even better, an additional promise: neither review has anything at all to do with pottying or underwear-wearing. (Although methinks I’ve got a post rumbling ’round my wee brain about children’s underwear and the flagrant advertising found therein. Or thereon. Whatever it is, I. Don’t. Like. It.)

But, my friends, I’ve digressed. Back to mamagigi’s forthcoming reviews (isn’t it awkward when people refer to themselves in the third person? mamagigi doesn’t know, she’s just venturing a guess.)

The first review might be interesting for hungry folks in the audience (and their snack-hungry children, of course) and the other is for those who love children’s books and who are also sentimental, soft-hearted for inspirational words and all mushy inside.

And, well, if you’re at all like me, you fit both bills. Hungry, sentimental and all sorts of mushy (no comments from the exercising-folk in the peanut gallery).  Yes indeedy, dear readers, I am a prize. Ain’t my husband lucky?

Incidentally, I also have three (!!) other reviews coming — one of which has giveaways (that totally rocks, donchyathink?) — so start a-stretchin’ your finger-typin’ muscles and get ready to enter here to win! And I’ll even give ya a hint: it involves one of my favorite feel-good-while-frolicking-in-sunflower-full-fields songs. Bet you think you know what it is, right? (I know. I should make my hints more abstract. Rest assured, mamagigi will work on that.)

And with all of that excitement, excessive mushiness, and frenzied stickiness amid tigers, ponies and men in leotards, I bid thee adieu.

For now. 



Filed under Adoption, Children, Children's books, For fun, Maeve, Parenting, Reviews, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Maeve: Cat’s Meow!







Filed under Adoption, For fun

So stinkin’ cute! (But I’m biased …)

My parents had a little egg hunt in their backyard for Maeve on Easter. She was a riot to watch as she had to first understand what she was supposed to be doing, and then she was so focused on finding eggs that she’d walk right by anything else — even when it’s not something that would ordinarily be found in a backyard.

Ya know, like a box of Colorforms sitting on the sundial in the garden. Or the box of lacing cards on the patio table. Or the chocolate rabbit tucked inside a planter.

Tonight, as part of the “quiet time” in our evening routine — after daddy’s late arrival home had the two of them playing and getting all riled up very close to her bedtime — I brought out the lacing cards. (Props to grandma and grandpa, by the way. If she’s going to get some sort of toy, two classics, throwbacks from my childhood, were a sweet way to go. Colorforms! Lacing cards! Come on!)

So tonight, had someone peered into our living room windows, they’d have seen one little girl happily sitting next to her father on the couch, poking the lace through the card and pulling it back up. They’d also have seen her parents, each sitting comfy and concentrating on their own cards. (It is surprisingly soothing. Seriously. What?)

Each time she’d finish one, she’d shout, “Ta-daaaaa!” and hold it up. Then she’d climb down from the couch, her face beaming, and bring the card to me before excitedly picking a new one from the box.

Here are two of my favorites from tonight. Her turtle and the teddy bear I began and, ahem, she “finished.”

She’s so stinkin’ cute, I can hardly stand it.



Filed under Adoption, For fun, Maeve

Photo Op: Lemons Into Lemonade

Maeve and I had a fun Saturday, joining friends of ours (a classmate of Maeve’s and her mom) for a musical storytime at the bookstore, lunch, a carousel ride (with me miraculously not getting ill all over myself) and an impromptu meeting with the Easter Bunny. A good, long day with heavy eyelids on the ride home (the young girls, too!).

After my friend dropped us at home and Maeve and I made our way to the door, I realized my house keys were in the most unhelpful of places: inside the house. My friend was gone and my cell phone, which needed charging, sat on the buffet in the dining room. Ya know, the dining room inside the house. Thomas wasn’t home and I wasn’t sure when he’d be back.

At first I was frustrated — we were tired, Maeve should have been napping by now, and although we’d had a great “potty” day, as I searched my bag and the stroller’s storage areas to be absolutely sure I didn’t have the keys, she announced, “I did it. I peeped.” So much for the dry pull-up we’d been celebrating in various bathroom stalls all day.

Realizing there was nothing to do but wait for Thomas to arrive home, I reined in my frustration and worked to change my outlook. We made it a special Mommy and Maeve adventure, playing in the backyard, looking for squirrels, saying hello to a neighbor’s dog, taking a loooong walk around the neighboorhood led by Maeve (which then required the already-tired me carrying my 30-pound daughter home the last four blocks), and then returning to the still-locked house for a rest on the front steps.

And then! I remembered I had my camera from our day with our friends.

And so, without further ado, from the Lemons of being locked out, I bring you … Sweet, Sweet Lemonade.





Filed under Adoption, For fun, Love, Maeve

Book lovers unite!

Ooh, ooh, ooh! Thought I’d share two cool recent book-related website finds.

The first is for all you children’s book author wannabes (my name is soooo on that list!). is a fun new site that not only sells children’s books, you can read them online first for free — so if you’re looking to buy, but it’s not a book you’re familiar with, you can not only judge the book by its cover, you can actually read it, front to back, and decide if it’s for you. So far there are several hundred books available for purchase there, all of which can be read completely first.

My favorite part about the site, and here’s where the author-aspiration part comes in, is its “Create” tab — click it and get down to business writing your own children’s book. Choose your fonts, illustrations, text, title, cover, pages, all of it. It’s just a cool (totally time-consuming, be-prepared-to-get-sucked-into-it) exercise to see it come to life right before your eyes. You know, to help you keep the dream alive. If nothing else, it’s something to do with all that extra time on your hands. Ha.


The other site — and I know I’m late to the party on this one having only recently found it — is I love the thinking behind it: recycling books you no longer want and “setting them free” to travel the world and land into the hands of people you’ve never met. And, best of all, you can even track your former book’s travels!

Imagine, the site says, leaving a book on a park bench, in a coffee shop or in a hotel while on vacation for someone else to find. I can’t help but think I’d keep wondering if and when someone found it and whether the surprise made their day! There’s something mysterious and romantic about the idea. Yes. I know. I’m strange that way.

OK, so imagine being the person who stops to rest on the bench and sees a book sitting all by its lonesome. You look around but don’t see anyone that looks like they belong to it. So you flip over the cover. A bookplate explains it’s been set free and is yours for the reading. An unexpected gift. (And we can all agree that books and reading are a gift, right?) Bring it home, log onto the site and mark the book “captured.” When you’re done, set it free and check in later on the site to see when it’s found a new home.

The site boasts that 651,923 people in more than 130 countries have “shared their passion for books with the world.” In fact, the term “bookcrossing: n. the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise,” was added to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary in 2004.

Yeah, I’m definitely late to this party. If you are too, don’t fret. We’ll go together. Click your state, find your town or the closest one with a book that’s been set free and not yet captured, and your adventure awaits.

Cool, eh?

(My problem is actually letting go of the books in the first place.  Just ask all my stuffed bookcases, the boxes of books in the attic that I can’t part with, and my husband, who’s carried them up and down and around over the years with me pointing where I want them.  Rrrrright.)

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Filed under Books, Children's books, For fun

Ever the optimist

This morning I was helping Maeve get dressed and when she slid a sock over her toes I noticed a dime-sized hole in the sock. “Oh noooo!” I said, pointing to the spot on the side of her foot.

She looked down, her mouth fell open, and she declared with delight: “Mommy! A wiiindooow!”

Hmmph. Now that’s seeing the glass half-full.


Filed under Adoption, Children, For fun, Maeve, Parenting, Someone else said

Show Me ‘Sad Face’


Taken while Christmas tree shopping this weekend. The tree lot is right next to a playround, which makes for an interesting tree-choosing time, indeed. (In case you ever wondered, in a two-year-old’s version of Rock Paper Scissors, Playground Beats Getting a Tree.)

I’m just sayin’.

Nonetheless, she rode daddy’s shoulders and we ultimately picked a tree two feet higher than our ceilings because everything else about it was perfect.


Filed under Adoption, For fun, Maeve