Every Day Kind of Magic.

I’ve been following the tale of the baby hummingbirds just outside our front door for weeks now.  I don’t know why  hummingbird mommas like to build nests in this area.  It’s such a high foot traffic area, what with all the Amazon deliveries.  heh  Also, our neighbor’s entry way is right there, too, since their front door is maybe 10′ away from ours… and they have a teenage boy and girl who go in and out all the time.  Really, it’s kind of a mystery to me what’s so attractive about this walkway for hummingbirds.  ANYWAY… last year’s hummingbird nesting didn’t end so well.  The news got out in the neighborhood about our baby hummingbirds last year, and the neighborhood kids were over here pulling on branches and trying to see in the nest, and one day just a couple weeks after they had hatched, the babies completely disappeared.  I want to believe that the momma bird relocated them, but I know that’s not very likely.

That made this year a real treat… given where the nest was located on a flimsy branch and the way their little nest split apart when the babies started growing (who knew baby hummingbirds could have too much butt??), we guessed that this might have been a first time momma.  We hope she does better next year.  So, we worked to protect them… Tony constructed a support beam and wrapped paper towels around it to provide  “extra” nest (Tony checked on them last Sunday, Mother’s Day, and one of the babies had fallen out of the nest and was clutching onto a tiny twig for dear life, so that’s when he did nest construction!), and we blocked our pathway with a garbage can and put a sign out to the community’s landscapers to stay away, it was effective for delivery people as we found packages tucked behind our garbage can (ha), and we even tried to enter and exit through the garage when it was feasible, and we didn’t tell any of the neighbors about this every day miracle.  Her nest for sure wouldn’t have stood up to the kidhandling that happened last year.

Then… Saturday, I was in the garage and noticed the momma hummingbird was divebombing anything that moved within a 20′ radius, and she was screeching at everything.  I went around the corner of the garage to put something in the garbage and she screeched at me.  I noticed around noon that even our neighbors were entering and exiting through their garage, instead of their front door.  That made me laugh, because normally Saturdays and Sundays are filled with door slamming noises from them.  I was amazed that someone so tiny could cause so much havoc.  But I kind of knew what was happening.  Her babies were learning to fly… and isn’t that the way any momma is when her babies are leaving the nest?

 

Tony discovered the nest on 4/16.  Two tiny eggs, so tiny I couldn’t even see the 2nd egg as it was hidden under the ledge of the nest.

On 4/29, they were just teeny tiny things, not even filling the nest completely.

 

On 5/5, they had grown so much.  We could tell the momma bird had been there frequently.  Poops everywhere!

On 5/8, they’d grown even more.  
5/12, bigger yet. More feathers, too. On 5/14, look at all those feathers, and their eyes were open!!!
Another picture from our 5/14 peek.   5/18 found one of them outside the nest.  Both didn’t fit inside the nest, so thankful Tony built them an “extra” nest.
5/20 there was lots of commotion from the momma bird.  On 5/21, their nest was empty.  

 

I’m looking forward to seeing them at our feeders.  Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I *think* I saw one of the babies last night at our feeder… but who knows, really?

 

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Selfies At Safari

I found a most cooperative goat who liked to take selfies with me.  😀

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Nebraska Recoup, Safari

We recently visited Nebraska and Iowa, and one of the many highlights we had was a visit to the Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari in Ashland, Nebraska.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I briefly glanced at Yelp reviews and thought we’d maybe spend a couple hours there.  Well, turns out, since it was our first visit, we should have allotted an entire day for the place.  Also, out there is the SAC Aerospace Museum, and that could have easily been a whole day thing, too.  So, basically, our trip needed to be about 4 days (or weeks!!)  longer to accommodate our exploration needs.  ha

The conservation park/safari was fantastic.  We saw deer, elk, bison, various birds, we did a short hike to see their bears and wolves, bald eagles, pelicans, water turtles, and even pet their goats  and hear their roosters crow.  And let’s not forget the surprise up-close look at a free roaming red ring snake that scared the bejesus out of William.  He was walking with the ranger, chatting her ear off, and the “twig” moved in the path in front of him.  Eep!

As I’m looking through the pictures from our visit to the safari, I’m truly amazed at the variety of animals they have at their facility and the layout of the land is beautiful for these animals.  It really is like a throwback to another era.  You’re not allowed to drive over 7 mph.  Animals would randomly cross the road to chase each other (the pelicans had a bit of a conga-line going on, which caused a bit of a road block).  One of the bison decided he needed to cross the road to get a drink of water.  Plus, the road was quite bumpy in some areas, so most cars were hardly moving.  So, people were letting their kids roam inside their cars, too.

Our rental car company upgraded us at no cost to a Dodge Durango, which has a 3rd row of seats.  William got his snack bag and set himself up as far away from us as he could in the back of the vehicle and proceeded to have himself a picnic back there.  He was extremely happy with himself and we were finding crumbs and wrappers for days afterward.

 

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Filed under Best Husband, Our Kid is Cute, Travel and Adventures

Sweetness.

We took William to a magic show as a reward for finishing his school workbook.  As we walked in yesterday and chose our seats, I sat down next to a woman who had two daughters.  The older one looked to be around 8ish, the younger one somewhere around 16 months.  

The show started and the lights dimmed and everyone was engrossed in the comedian/magician.  The little girl gradually got more and more wiggly, crawling off her mom’s lap, back on her mom’s lap.  I had tried to connect with the little girl earlier when I had sat down, but she just gave me a hard stare, which totally cracked me.  Nothing says “you’re a goofball” quite like a child under 2 giving you the death stare.  Tough customer.  

Anyway, I kind of tuned her out and didn’t pay much attention to what was going on as I focused on the show, other than to notice that the little girl was quite limber and impressive in her feats as she climbed all over her mom and her mom seemed kind of defeated… like,  “just do what you want, all I want to do is watch the magic show already.” 

At one point, she climbed back up on her mom’s lap and curled up, her back to me.  All of a sudden I felt a tickling on my hip, which kind of spider walked up my side.  I wasn’t sure what exactly it was until I side-glanced and realized the little one was nursing and her hand must have gotten “lost” somehow. 

Amused, I moved my hand down and captured the fluttering hand of the little girl.  She grasped on and pretty soon her little thumb was stroking the back of my hand, back and forth, back and forth.  She relaxed and quieted, soothed.  Not even realizing whose hand she was holding.  I smiled, thinking that her mom probably holds her hand in a normal nursing situation, but with her attention elsewhere and just wanting her to be quiet, she didn’t even realize it.

Her mom laughed at the show and the little girl startled and got wiggly again.  But it was just a sweet moment that made me smile.

William loved the show, by the way.  So did we.  🙂

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Parade Musings.

A random something that I think about every time I watch a parade is how difficult it is to get a good picture of it.  They never look right. There’s always too much in them, which makes them too busy, which means you just don’t know where to look.

When I’ve gone to the Rose Parade in Pasadena, the floats I photograph look flat and uninteresting, yet the reason I took the picture is the exact opposite, I thought the floats were amazing and beautiful.  City parades are the same, although I’ve come to realize that city parades are really just local businesses advertising themselves while riding in the back of a pick-up truck waving flags.

Disneyland’s parades are even more busy, MORE lights, MORE people, MORE things in the picture.  What were we looking at?  Where did it go?  And the electrical parade is at night, so even more tough to take a picture of.  Plus, I think at least half of the experience at Disneyland’s parades is their music, which of course you can’t capture in a picture.

Is it just me?

Pictures are original content from the Pasadena Rose Parade, circa 1983 or 1984… a unicorn float, a smurf float and a cottage float.

 

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Filed under Tidbits, Weird is Fun

Talent Show.

Last night at Awana Club they had a talent show.  Last year, the Cubbies (William’s group) did not participate beyond watching from the audience. This year, they let them sing as a group.  William told me early on that he wanted to sing a song all by himself.  I told him that was called a solo.  Yes, he said, that’s what he wanted to do. This was about 2 months ago.

The teachers have been getting them to practice at every meeting, and at every meeting William proclaims practice to be boring.  If it’s insisted that he practice, he makes a big show of it and sings faster and louder than the other kids.  Except… a couple weeks ago there was some sort of turning point for him and he started accepting that practice is necessary.

Last night was the big night and he was, literally, beside himself with excitement. The practice time was perfect… I wish I had recorded that.  Alas, I did not.  But the actual performance ended up being pretty hilarious and cute.  He did great!  But it looked more like William and the Cubbettes as backup dancers.  But who cares?  Everyone was happy.  Oh, and you get to see a cameo of my backside… I’m the one in a blue shirt. ha

Click to watch

(Video credit goes to Tony)

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Sky Friends.

Earlier this evening, as I stood facing the pool, on my right there was a sunset visible between the branches of a tree laden with so many white blossoms that it looked like a popcorn tree.

On the other side of the pool, the moon was already in the sky behind a veil of fog. Sky friends that bring light and get glimpses of each other sometimes. I wonder if they’ll see each other again in the morning? 🙂

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Morning Goodbyes are Hard.

Leaving for work this morning, William clings to my hand and says, “I’m never letting you go, mommy.  You’re my mommy forever!”

I stroke his arm that is attached to the hand that is holding me.  In response he says, “If you leave, I will cry!”

I see the sadness in his eyes and so I stroke his forehead and say, “Why don’t you come out to the garage and hug me goodbye after I get in my car?”

He tentatively smiles and says, “OK!”  So we hold hands and head into the garage.  He stands on the step and waits for me to get in my car, buckle my seatbelt, open the garage, start up my car and pull it partially out of the garage.  Then I open my door and he runs to me, crawls in my lap and holds on tight to my neck.  He kisses me on my cheeks and my chin.  I feel his hands tangle gently into my hair.

I remind him, “I’ve got to get on the road now.”

He looks sad for a second and then says, “Can you call me on your phone?  When you close the garage door, can you call me on your phone?”

“Yes, I sure can!  What a great idea!”

He gives me one last kiss, hops out of the car and runs back inside to wait for my call.

I love how his brain works.

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Never Alone.

Yesterday I had a “William Day.”  He had a field trip with his preschool, a morning thing, and after it was done, we headed over to our little local zoo.  He was off in the playground and I was observing him play while eating my lunch.  The weather was chilly, and there weren’t that many people about.  And then I heard a noise behind me, but I hadn’t sensed a presence.  At least of the human persuasion.  I turned to see what it was and … I guess this little fellow wanted to share in my lunch.

Apparently, I’m not allowed to be without a critter nearby anywhere?

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Christmas Eve

This morning I decided to attend service at Saddleback Church.  I’ve never been to a Christmas service there, and it did not disappoint.  I enjoyed the message, and the carols their worship team sang accompanied by their orchestra (they don’t always have the orchestra, so that was a treat), and the candlelight portion of it while singing Silent Night was just lovely. For me, it was also a treat that the early service today was not packed with people like the rest of the services this week have been.  (Most likely because there was not childcare offered at that service.)
This has been an odd Christmas so far for us, as William came down with a fever Thursday, but it disappeared the next day, and then other symptoms showed up last night.  Everything we’d planned has been dumped and we’ve had to figure out new plans, but still make it special.

I am blessed to have quiet time with our family.  We are blessed to have presents to give each other.  Chicken pot pies make a great Christmas Eve dinner.  A movie (Moana) makes a wonderful “out of the house” treat on a chilly day. 

Consciously choosing joy… as the quote in my sidebar says (that I’ve had there for years now because I can’t seem to find something I like better) says, “You can’t get to joy by making everything perfect. You can only get there by seeing in every imperfection all that’s joy.”

Merry Christmas.  

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