Circus Confessions: What Mommy did…


I may have hidden some of the chocolate the children got at their Christmas parties.  It may now be gone.  I also may have had more coffee.


It is also possible that I gave my one  year-old a vanilla cream cookie before lunch, as a result of her loudly expressing her displeasure that I was not able to make a sandwich and cut up oranges at the speed of light, and all with one arm (because she wanted to be in the other).  Additionally, it is also possible that the vanilla cream cookie is all she actually ate, as who wants peanut butter and jelly after you have eaten a vanilla cream cookie.  I may have had diced up peanut butter and jelly for my own lunch.


Circus Favorites: Chugga-Chugga Choo-choo


Happy Monday morning!

It’s bitter cold outside.  The little kids are engrossed in Sesame Street, the coffee is hot, so its time to share a book I’ve been meaning to since Christmas!

You all may remember my post about our summer family circle time (colorfully illustrated with photos taken by a 5 year-old).  I told you all about My Truck Is Stuck!
It has remained a daily (sometimes times 10) favorite of circus boy #3.  The rhythm and repetition have been fantastic for his developing speech.  (In fact his speech therapist has used it with him several times, because he loves to try to repeat the recurring phrases, “Help! Please help!  Does anyone know how to make my stuck truck go?)

Well, Santa brought a new favorite. Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo Its also written by Kevin Lewis, and has many of the same helpful qualities for language development rolled into a fun little story with fantastic illustrations.

While there isn’t quite as much repetition as in My Truck is Stuck, Chugga-Chugga has a wonderful, rolling rhythm and easy flowing rhyme.  The traditional train sounds “chugga-chugga choo-choo” and “Whooooo whoooo!” repeat throughout the story, while staying in the story’s captivating rhythm.  Its short and sweet, but the thing I really love is the depth of the story that occurs in the illustrations.  If you’re going to use a book to get a child talking, you’ve got to ask questions (in fact, if you want any child to engage with any piece of literature, you should ask questions!), and these illustrations offer so many things to talk about.  The train in the story is carrying all kinds of animals and toys as it winds through brightly colored, toy constructed towns and scenery.  There are so many objects to find and name in these pictures.  Its been another great one to get our slow talker making some attempts at new words (and oh have we heard some new words lately!  YAY!!). 

Hope you get a chance to take a look at this one and enjoy!


Circus Funnies: All about jokes

Circus Boy #2 really likes attention.  He gets it any way he can, but first and foremost by (attempting) being funny.  So rather than subject ourselves, our family, our friends, his teachers and classmates to “POOPY!!!  HAHAHAHA” or “How did the alligator climb the tree into the sky and get on a really, really, really high airplane and go to the moon?  By California!! HAHAHAHAHA!!” and other things which make no sense at all and are not remotely funny, we decided to teach the boy a few jokes.  We started with these two:

1)  What game do you play with a wombat?


2) Knock-Knock, Who’s there?, Boo, Boo-who?

Don’t cry its only a joke!

Well, apparently he started to tell his teacher the wombat one, but didn’t tell her he was telling a joke, so when he asked what game you play with a wombat, she told him “I don’t want to play with a wombat!”  (Which, his retelling of, totally made me laugh.)

So he tried his jokes on us at home; the ones who taught him the jokes, mind you.  Except, that he had them a little….melded.

Mommy, what do you play with a wombat?

::sigh:: I don’t know, what?


::Pretend laughter:: interrupted by….

Don’t cry, Mommy, its only a joke!

HAHA!! ::Real laughter::  And Daddy nearly sprayed tea out of his nose.

That kid is good for a joke, even when he isn’t tell it right.

Anyone have any jokes a soon to 4 year-old would get?  He needs some new material.


Happy Monday!


(Support the circus, visit: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Takes2Stitches?ref=si_shop)


Circus Love: The little things

Stay-at-home moms (or dads) know what I mean when I say there’s a window of about 30 seconds between getting the last peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the table, and when the recipient of the first peanut butter and jelly sandwich finishes it and asks for more.  If that doesn’t happen, there’s the inevitable first catastrophic spill triggering the beginning of the clean-up routine.  During that 30 second window stay at home parents everywhere face the same fundamental dilemma; what can I make and eat for lunch in 30 seconds.  No, the handful of m&ms and swig of cold coffee are not a good option.  And granted, there will be “leftovers” consisting of crumbs and crusts and partially chewed pieces of sandwich that you didn’t realize were partially chewed (awesomely delicious surprise…gag).  But it sure is nice when you get some real food for lunch, even if it is scarfed down in bites between picking up the banana you just cut up for your one year-old off the floor.  (Guess what, she didn’t want more food after all….)   

Which is why I was so looking forward to lunch the other day.  There was leftover chicken alfredo in the fridge for me (real leftovers, not the pre-chewed, previously saliva seasoned ones).  As the children settled into their food, I could not wait to get to that fridge and pop that dish in the microwave.  I  knew there was some fresh parmesan cheese to grate over the top, and oh, it would taste so good.   But in my dash to the fridge I quickly decided that getting the cheese and grater and all out, would take up too much of my precious estimated 60 second lunch.  I pulled out the container and popped off the lid to vent it in the microwave.  You know what?  There, covering the top of those noodles and sauce was a beautiful layer of cheesy goodness.  Mr, Ringmaster, knowing I would eat those leftovers for lunch, grated cheese over the top of them before he went to work that morning. 

Thinking about grating parmesan cheese on a busy mom’s lunch at breakfast time, that’s love right there.

But alas, no leftovers (at least the good kind) today, and I just spend like 300x my allotted 60 seconds to write this post.  Kids are restless, time to go.  M&ms and a swig of coffee it is! 



Tea Paties and Baby Dolls: The Circus Gets Girly

ImageNo one will ever be able to convince me that there are no natural gender roles.  We’ve had a tea set and kitchen set since my oldest boy was small, never has it gotten so much attention as my 12 month-old daughter has given it over the last few months.  We get tea, her brothers get tea, and they’re nearly untouched and forgotten stuffed animal cast offs now get tea.  The baby dolls get fed spoonfuls of imagined mushed who knows what, and they are rocked and patted and snuggled.  The very same were chucked across the room after being dangled by a foot, in her brothers’ toddler years, despite my pleas as a mommy with their siblings on the way to please “be gentle with the baby.”

But that’s ok.  The boys have their tea party moments with her, and she can make a “vroom-vroom” toy car go with the best of them.  But I am so enjoying the girly aspects of play these days.  Here is a sweet a little felt tea and cookie set I made her for Christmas: ImageObviously, I didn’t make the plates and the tea pot, they are brother cast-offs.  But I was tickled with the way they came out, so I put a set up on my Etsy store.  http://www.etsy.com/shop/Takes2Stitches?ref=no-search-results  You can see more pictures there as well.  Next I am on to a doll blanket and pillow.  🙂

Don’t worry, the boys are getting in on the home-made Christmas gifts, too.  I’ve got fleece mittens with an embroidered Dusty from Planes in the works.

Anyone making anything for your own little ones?

Happy Thursday!


Circus Rules: On the ownership of the omelet

Circus Rule #3471:  You do not steal someone’s eggs and not eat them.


Mr. Ringmaster got out omelet supplies this morning.  “Add an extra egg” I called, thinking the baby could have some eggs with her breakfast.  He added an egg.  Chopped tomato and cheddar cheese later, with a little pancaked shaped egg flip, and the omelet was done.  Chop off portion for the little princess.

Circus Boy #1 enters stage left.  “Can I have eggs for breakfast?”  Chop off portion of omelet, place on plate.  Circus Boy #1 exits stage left for the dining room.

Circus Boy #3 enters with a point and a grunt, indicates, he would like eggs.  Mr. Ringmaster, at this point desperately hoping he is misreading the signals, offers various types of cereal.  Circus Boy #3 grows agitated.  Thrusting his pointer finger up toward the counter where the eggs are resting on Mr. Ringmaster’s plate, there’s no mistaking his request.  Mr. Ringmaster looks at me, “give him the eggs.”  And so three of the four circus offspring sit down to Daddy’s breakfast, while Daddy downs a quick bowl of plain brown rice cereal. 

But alas, they are not eating!  They’re looking at the eggs, they’re pushing them around on the plate, nibbling at a snail’s pace.  And oh no, Circus Boy #1 has run out of time.  He has to get ready for school.  And the littlest circus offspring, after eating about 50% of their eggs indicate their desire to get down with various versions of pointing and fussing. 

And so Mr. Ringmaster gathers up the poor, largely uneaten, chopped up and now cold omelet, gets a fork, and finishes it off.  “You realize that’s probably full of slobber, right?”

“Yeah, we call that seasoning around here.” 



Just Peachey

Yesterday was one of those mornings when everything took about 10 times longer than it should.

You know, you’re just about ready to get out the door for church when one child starts whining that his shoes hurt, you’re pretty sure he’s just being difficult, but you oblige with a different pair.  Those don’t work either.  Meanwhile another child refuses to wear his socks.  The diaper bag falls over, spilling its contents.

Fine!  Back to the original shoes, no more whining.  Get the socks on!  At which time you smell someone’s diaper.  You change the diaper, get everyone in the car.  You’re about 20 minutes late for church.

Then on the way out of church, you experience miscommunication with your spouse as to the location and collection  of items (diaper bag, baby’s shoes, bible and notebooks) and perhaps a child.  Several back tracking trips, and one cell phone call later, you’re back in the car, with all children and about 90% of the belongings you started with.  Close enough.

You get home, feed the children, begin to get them down for naps.  You’re tired.  You’re a little hungry and a bit grumpy.  A nap would be so nice.  So naturally you decide, why not can some peaches!?!

Why do you choose this?  I don’t know, we’ll go with temporary insanity.


In all seriousness, we bought the peaches yesterday at the farmer’s market, and we really had to can them today.  So, we did!

I’m often asked why I would ta001ke on such tasks as canning.  They take time, lots of time.  You could just buy canned peaches in the store.  Is it really that much cheaper?  Healthier?

Yes!  And its easier to decide to do, because Mr. Ringmaster is willing to help!  He took over the cutting/peeling halfway through, and did most of the clean-up.  So, it really wasn’t too bad at all.  Its rather nice to do projects like that together.  Even if they are punctured with “DADDY! DADDY!” or “Mommy, I want…..” or “Can somebody WIPE ME!!??” every 30 seconds.

I only had a peck (minus those used in peach cobbler) to do.  Start to finish it was about 2 hours.

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