Like Looking In The Mirror

I am always that mom.

The one who says "No" to everything.

Recently, Mr. Husband has been working an odd schedule, leaving Alexis and I with the occasional Sunday to ourselves. That would be fantastic, except for the part where I shoot down every suggestion for every activity that the kid can muster. As Alexis reported with sad-puppy eyes this weekend, she doesn't even remember what the inside of a Build-A-Bear store looks like.

It's such a sad first world existence she leads.

This weekend I thought I would continue to break her heart by suggesting we head downtown for the Arts Festival. She loves downtown. She doesn't love the Arts Festival. While she has had fun every time I've drug her to it, she has it in her head that it's "boring." Which, um, there's funnel cake at the Arts Festival. There is no such thing as "boring" when funnel cake is in attendance.

Alexis disagrees with that assessment. In fact, sit down for a moment. I need to tell you something shocking. Are you ready?

My kid doesn't like funnel cake.

I KNOW! I KNOW! I KNOW! In so many ways, she is the PERFECT kid for me. She just has that one major flaw. I try to forgive her for it.

As we walked around the Arts Festival, Alexis moped and whined and complained. "This. Is. Boring," she snapped more than once. Any normal kid could have been cajoled out of that funk with a promise of funnel cake. Alas, Alexis is not normal.

However, as we made our way towards Point Park and passed by booth after booth filled with horrible-yet-fantastic food, Alexis set eyes on a little something that made her little heart pitter patter. "Momma, can I get popcorn?" she asked.

For once I got to be the mom who says, "Yes!" It was kettle corn, but who cares about semantics?

Alexis settled into a spot on the lawn to enjoy her giant bag of kettle corn and listen to some live music.

You have to love the grumpy eye-averting action. It's Alexis' superpower to quickly look away just as I'm about to click the shutter button. These days, it comes out mostly when she's mad at me.

The Grump continued to grump as she ate those first few kernels. I'm not afraid of no 5-year old, even when she's wearing her Grumpy Pants, so I asked if she would be willing to share a bit of that giant bag of kettle corn that was nearly as big as she is.

I'm guessing that would be a, "No."

That would be a, "HELL NO." And a, "I'm counting every single kernel and if even one is missing, I will cut you."

She's cute when she's being a snot, though.

I continued to torment the poor child, mostly because I really did want some of the kettle corn.

And then it happened.

You know how sometimes you look at your child and all you see is yourself? How it's like looking in a mirror and seeing a reflection of the person you are/were/want to be?

That's EXACTLY the face I make when people try to touch my funnel cakes.

I couldn't be prouder.


There Are Fairies Living In The Garden

One of my 153205325 ongoing projects was FINALLY completed this past weekend.

Alexis' fairy garden.

The idea originated when we were at Disney World two years ago. There is a Tinkerbell-themed garden area that makes an appearance during the Flower Show, and it features tons and tons of fairy houses.

Alexis saw the fairy houses and declared that she wanted one. SO BAD. But, she wanted hers to be pink. Ask and ye shall receive . . . eventually.


I already had the big metal container that the fairy garden lives in. I don't remember where it came from, but it has been a part of my garden since college. (I refuse to do the math and figure out how many years that is. REFUSE.) (GET OFF MY FAIRY LAWN, WHIPPERSNAPPERS.)

The house is just a plain old wood birdhouse I picked up at JoAnn's. I painted it and decorated it using some stuff that I found sitting around the yard (bark for the front door, rocks around the windows) and some stuff that was in my craft box (mirrors for windows and twine for general decor). Alexis helped me glue some pennies to the roof because she said that pennies are lucky and so are fairies. Somehow that justification made sense when she first brought up the idea.

There's a path made out of rocks, tiny little fencing we found at JoAnns, a clothesline for the fairy clothes, a seashell pond, and even a tiny bench holding an even tinier watering can.

It's all stuff that we've found at random places in the past two years. Except the fairy clothes. I made those. Anybody who is a real seamstress best not look closely at them because I made them late on a Saturday night by the light of a flashlight at the order of a Tiny Terrorist. She doesn't know how badly they are made, which is good because she'd probably crack her whip and make me do it again. Of course, sewing fairy clothes on a Saturday night is EXACTLY how I expected to eventually spend my summer nights.

The "grass" is Irish Moss that I found at Lowe's. There's also lobelia, alyssum, and a couple of dwarf trees I found at Bedner's. One of those trees holds Alexis' favorite part--the fairy swing.

Thanks to the wind moving things a bit and a bird dropping a feather by the seashell pond, Alexis is convinced that fairies really have visited her fairy garden. She will tell you that they eat the blueberries and strawberries from the other side of the yard. She'll tell you that only the fairies can open the door to the house. She'll tell you not to touch the tiny rake because it's exactly where the fairies want it.

It's probably best that you play along. Otherwise, she may just stab you with the tiny fairy pitchfork.


Yes, He's Still Cute