Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


With Bird's birthday comes the culmination of the holiday season at Casa de Crazy.

We had a lovely day.

It began with waking on my own - no ringing phone, no meowling cats, no small boy with footsicles wanting to cuddle and defrost at the same time. I love Bird/the Evil Genius/Mr. Picklebottom, but his feet have found a way to be tucked under a warm comforter and still reach something approaching absolute zero. I enjoy the cold, but not when applied directly to my warm fundament while I am still sleeping.

T, the Evil Genius and I cleaned the pit of despair...er...the Evil Genius' room...first thing - before breakfast, even. We had a race to see who could pick up their section the quickest. I won, but don't tell Bird - he thinks he did.

A gift came in the mail from Aunt D and Uncle T - a book about the Nile Crocodile. It has a 3-D model in it, and when one turns the pages, a part is removed to show deeper into the beast. Very cool. I let him open it before the party. Why not?

I had plenty of munchies set out, and more waiting in the wings if needed:

It wasn't needed...so I guess I'll save the egg-rolls and pizza rolls for another day.

Bird asked for a strawberry cake. I made sure to clarify - did he want a strawberry flavored cake or one with strawberries on top? On top, he said. I will cop to buying a boxed caked mix - Duncan Hines, white cake mix to be precise (it was the least expensive of the name brands). I made the frosting from scratch, though.

I cut the strawberries last night and sugared them so they'd make a nice syrup. This morning I poked the cake layers with a fork and carefully poured the strawberry syrup over them, then iced it with homemade vanilla buttercream, leaving a bare spot surrounded by a wall of frosting on the top. Just before it was time to serve the cake I spooned the strawberries into the well.

There was much rejoicing.

He got some cool gifts from his Gramlin - she found some games and a carrying case for the Didj that his grandfather gave him for Christmas. A Spongebob game? Awesome! (Who taught my child how to speak like a surfer? Not me...)(much)

The racing game is neat, too...and the Dinosaur book for his Leap Pad is a coup - he had one with a malfunctioning cartridge and it frustrated him for several years...and then, when we tried to find a new one, we learned that Leap Pad isn't making this kind any more, they have a new system. Ack! Gramlin (my Mum) went on an epic search across the wilds of the Blue Nowhere and found a copy. My hero!

Mommy and Daddy (me and T) did OK, too - three books:

I look forward to reading this classic to him - and to hearing him read it to me! I can't believe I scored this for ninety-nine cents. There were quite a few copies - I could kick myself fro not buying more for my friend's kids. What was I thinking??

I think six is old enough to have a dictionary. I told him it was a magic book, full of the power of words. Yeah, I'm cheesy - but I hope he comes to love understanding words and shaping the world with them.

I got this book for ninety-nine cents, and it's awesome!! I loved reading it aloud to Bird - it has a groovy rhythm and some fantastic, fun words that roll right off the tongue. The art is funky, colorful, and brilliant. I foresee this being a favorite - of mine if not his!

Yep...more tiny pieces to unite into a diabolical design that will last ten minutes before the Evil Genius decides he can do it better with fewer bits, leaving all the extras on the floor for our feet to delight in. Eh...what the heck - he loves 'em.

He's even learning how to build things on his own, following the directions...

...and sharing with a friend. That's Littleman - he's close to Bird in age, and his mum Kit is a good friend (she even told me I could publish pictures of her kids on my blog before I had to ask!). She has two other kids:

Sweet Cheeks (here enjoying his turn to play in the Big Box o' Fun and Games, because who needs toys when you have an empty cardboard box??)...

...and Baby Man (that's Kit playing "let's see how long we can hold the baby upside-down before he goes off like a fountain at the Bellagio)(Isn't she cute?? Couldn't you just eat this family up?? Well, back off - I saw them first!!)

Kit and Bird's Grandma D both had pity on me and made contributions to his college fund rather than contributing to the toy-shop environment we live in. Sweet!

All in all, it was a good day - the boys played in Bird's room most of the time, had fun with the new toys, and didn't want the day to end. It's amazing - a year ago, they never would have played together quietly like they did today, taking turns and playing cooperatively. The grown-ups got to eat and talk without hearing shrieks of dismay, anger, or injury or refereeing a fight. Wow.

It came to a close like this:

Please ignore the messy bookshelves, pile of (clean!) laundry at the foot of the bed, various stuffed critters, unmade bed (I made it once, back in nineteen-something...) and the length of salt-dyed silk that used to be draped in the scroll work but has been knocked askew by one too many "cuddle" nights, which could more truthfully be called "future UFC champion" practice sessions.


Magpie said...

Sounds like fun - and the cake looks awesome!

Kyddryn said...

Magpie, thanks - I don't think it could have gotten much nicer, and we enjoyed the cake muchly. I will make it again. Mmm, fresh strawberries...

Kit said...

You got some great pictures! We had a blast, and that cake? MMMMMMMMMMM, I could have eaten the whole thing. Seriously. Just give me a cup of hot tea and a fork. Throw in a quiet corner and a book, and I'd be in heaven. Numyum numnum.

Kyddryn said...

Heh, Kit - I very nearly had some of that cake for breakfast the next day. Luckily, the organic strawberry yoghurt caught my eye instead.

It was lovely having you and the boys to play!