A Bean to Grind

The ranting and ravings of a mom fueled entirely by coffee

Monday, December 23, 2013

the view in my rearview

So, you know how it is when you're just having one of those days where your kid is extra cranky and you're just a little bit short on patience? Don't pretend you don't know exactly what I'm talking about. Well, I had one of those days recently. Little Bean woke up on the wrong side of the toddler bed - at 5:45am if you want to get exact about it. He had a whopping tantrum immediately upon waking up because he suddenly NEEDED the hall light on (which we never ever in the history of his life have kept on overnight, so it's not like it was a surprise to him that it was off). And that pretty much cast the tone for the rest of the day.

Lucky Mommy.

We made the best of it and went to the nearby free zoo for some kids activities they had going on. (We were going to have FUN if it killed me.)

And then I looked in my rearview window and saw this:

See the little monster glowering back there? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being a mom. But man, some days there just is a little monster glowering in the car seat, no?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

It's kinda starting to look somewhat like Christmas

The snow is falling, the winter wind is howling, and with a mere seven days until Christmas, Little Bean and I decided it was high time to make Christmas cookies.

Now, I seem to be unable to make normal baked goods. Witness here. So these gingerbread people (and yes, you also spot a gingerbread squirrel), didn't just get a simple coat of frosting. Oh no.

They got ugly Christmas sweaters!

I know, I know, but don't they just beg to be devoured? Well, most of them anyway. This guy looks a little nervous.

Little Bean got in on the decorating action too, which pretty much consisted of drowning a cookie in frosting and pouring LOTS of sprinkles on it. He declared it his masterpiece and then moved on to other things that interested him more at the moment. Like rolling on the floor pretending to be a puppy from outer space.

Yep, there's a cookie under there. Somewhere. I think.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A chill in the air

I think I can speak for the entire state of Minnesota when I say, "Nooooo, nooooo, NOOOOO! We're not ready for winter yet!"

After snow storms reaching into April:

We tried to make the most of what we suspected would be an all-too-short summer.
(We had to party extra hard to cram in all our summer revelry)

And now it's that time of year again. We took out the air conditioners (which we used maybe three times), closed up the windows, and turned on the heat. We pulled up the crispy and spent flowers that made our yard so pretty this summer.

We harvested all the garden goodies:

And now it's time again to bundle up, hunker down, and hope for an early spring.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The wrath of the librarians

I love libraries. Just love them! I can hardly believe that there is this place where you can pick out any book you want and take it home for free. The book you want is at another library? Well, don't trouble yourself to go get it, the library will bring it to you! I REALLY love getting e-books on my Kindle from the library too. Then I don't even have to get off the couch to get the book I want to read. The future, my friends, is HERE.

But the feeling isn't exactly mutual. I have kind of a history of enflaming the wrath of librarians. Now, I would argue that this particular flame is not that hard to fan. Let's be honest.

How have I managed to incite librarian rage? Well, there was this time when I tried to pick up a book that was on reserve for the Uncaffeinated One. You know, my husband. Now, one wouldn't think picking up a book for one's husband would be a big deal right? Well, you see, I did not have his library card. ROOKIE MISTAKE. I explained the situation to the librarian and she made a point of showing me that she was annoyed.

"I SUPPOSE I can allow you to check that book out on your card, but you will get a black mark on your account." she huffed.

A black mark? On my library card? Is that like a scarlet letter?

Oh well, I thought. Sure, give me a black mark on my card.

Well, she wasn't kidding about the mark, and I seem to have accumulated a few of these marks over the years... here's a recent screen shot of my library account.

Did you see that friends? No, not the $7.60 in overdue charges. Let's forget about that. I have 23 blocks on my account! 23! Now, I still have no idea what that really means. They have yet to tell me that I can't check out a book, which is all I really care about. And if I'm being perfectly honest, I'm even a little bit proud of my whopping 23 blocks. Who else can boast that?

And the other time I angered a librarian? That was worse. I had the audacity to try to park in the ramp a full three minutes before the library was open. The horror. The librarian who confronted me nearly got purple in the face from yelling at me - with my young son in the back seat. I could say a lot more about this incident, but most of it's pretty snarky, so I think I'd best just leave it there.

Suffice it to say that the library merely tolerates me. That's ok, I'll take its free books - I don't need its love in return.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The playground is a battlefield

[The following is a post that I wrote some back in May and never got around to posting. I must have been busy or something. I wanted to share it with you now.]

It was the first nice day in about forever and we were both itching to get out and play. Little Bean said that more than anything he wanted to go to the "big, big, playground". So we went, and frolicked, and got all our wiggles out. I was so impressed, watching Bean climb higher and go on bigger slides than he had the last time we had come last fall. He followed an older boy down a big twisty slide that I would have hesitated to go on myself. He got to the bottom, his hair standing straight up from the static, and I asked him if it was fun. "Yes!" he chirped. I asked him if he was going to go again. "No!"

And then he met a little boy about his age but a bit bigger and definitely rowdier. They played nicely until they had made their way to the big twisty slide and Bean looked like he was going to go again. Then the other little boy pushed him. I admonished him not to, but I was far below and he knew I couldn't do much to back up my threats from there. He shoved again and poor Little Bean started down the slide when he wasn't ready. He screamed in terror, and got caught in one of the twists. I managed to get him down, but I bet it will be a good long time before he tries that slide again. The other boy's mother was nearby and when she heard my boy holler she ran over and was suitably horrified. The boy was made to apologize. Then, like a kicked puppy, Little Bean followed this boy to another part of the playground, still eager to pay with his new friend.

The other mother and I chatted for a bit while our lads played in the sand. And then it happened.

The kid thew a fistful of sand in Little Bean's face.

I could actually see his heart break. And my heart broke too. Bean just didn't understand why his new friend would suddenly turn on him like that. After we picked the bits of sand from his eyes, he went back to play by himself, the offender having been whisked away to a time out. He meekly confided to me that he wasn't ready to forgive the other boy just yet (I wasn't either).

I know there will be many, many incidents like this to come, and maybe my sweet Bean will even be the perpetrator from time to time (just kidding, he's perfect!). As a mom I just wish I could protect him from every hurt - physical and emotional. But I suppose, if I did that, what kind of character would he develop. (Oh, building character is sooo overrated, right?)

My Bean, the picture of innocence. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

No ordinary cupcake

Some days I'm a pretty good mom. Some days a little less so. But some days, I am a super-duper, mind-blowingly awesome mom. Like the day that for Little Bean's birthday I made him...

wait for it...


Oh yes, that's right. What's more fun than a yummy chocolate cupcake? Why, a yummy chocolate cupcake that looks like a simian, that's what. What really delighted me about this whole endeavor was that one can actually buy candy eyeballs for just such a project. Pretty first world, isn't it? But man, it's funny.

The other thing that tickled me about the monkey cupcakes was what they look like when they're half eaten. A little sinister, don't you think?

Don't blink, Uncaffeinated One.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Little Bean turned three!

Well, when I wasn't looking the Little Bean went and grew up another year and recently turned the big three. How did that happen? I have no idea. But it looked a little something like this:

As this sweet little guy grows, he just gets more and more fun. He's the best little pal a mom could ask for, and even though I wince a little to think of him turning four in what will surely be the blink of an eye, I am really excited for all the fun waiting for us in the year ahead.

Happy birthday Little Bean!