Preparing.

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It’s the day before Easter. I woke up late this morning, after a middle of the night dialogue with insomnia. Sleeplessness likes to mess with me every once in a while, and I’m not a fan. But for some reason, as I dragged myself out of bed this morning and faced a day of laundry, cat boxes, groceries, and yard work, I felt strangely peaceful and alert.

Tomorrow’s coming, after all.

The kids and I worked in the yard, raking leaves and prepping gardens that I will later plant with hope and spinach and tomatoes. In that order.

We swept off the front porch and took the snow shovels that had been sitting there since January back to the garage. Also, it’s supposed to snow tomorrow, but we are a risky bunch and decided to take our chances.

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And I bought yet even more pansies. Because:IMG_7901.JPG

You can never have too many purple pansies. Never.

And I ironed, which is a twice yearly event, so that’s a big deal. Also there were the tiny boy three-piece suits to prepare:IMG_7897.JPG

Note the clip-on tie. Very important. The nine year old, Blonde, does love his ties. Red, on the other hand, not so much. Last time he wore one he clipped it to the second button on his shirt and just called it good.

Perhaps he’ll start a new fashion trend. He accessorized this with pants that were on the right way, so he’s a fashion rock star, in my book.

And then, there were these:

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Because Easter must have cupcakes. It’s in the bible.

(Ok, yes, I know it’s not but it should be.)

And then, finally:

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The redbuds are starting to show on my little tree. Things are slowly turning soft green and butter yellow crocus are all over my neighbor’s lawn and I am just so happy.

Tomorrow is almost here, and I am so grateful.

I am just so very grateful.

 

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Not a lot of depth, whole lotta shimmy and shake.

I used to think that reality television was so lame, y’all. I mean, who would want to watch some mom try to feed her eight children while learning her new dance routine while losing weight and also picking fights with everyone?

Who would wanna watch that?

ME, THAT’S WHO.

Ok. I am not into a ton of reality shows. I have my favorites. They usually involve food and anything with Paul Hollywood, and I tell you, true. Paul Hollywood could butter toast and it would be done with a steely, blue eyed stare and he wouldn’t even have to touch the butter with a knife: HIS EYES WOULD MELT THE BUTTER. LIKE MELT IT, RIGHT ON THAT TOAST.

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But I digress. My POINT is that I wonder sometimes… do you guys really wanna read about my life? Like… watch me do some laundry and then put it away? Like… that really makes good reading? For reals?

Well, if the Kardashians can do it, so can I.

Scratch that. I kinda have to think that the Kardashians have someone ELSE do their laundry. They mainly seem to sit around on huge, fluffy couches a lot and then do yoga in impossibly tight and misappropriated yoga clothing.

Anyhow. I am telling you all of this, to basically say:

This post is about nuthin. Well, almost nothing. It’s like on the cusp of nothing.

Like every reality show, in the history of ever, there’s not a lot going on here, but there’s a whole lotta shimmy and shake.

So, we got back from Thankgsiving. We were gone for three days. It was like a non stop buffet of really good food (I tried to be good but at one point I think I might have actually taken the entire “take home for the family” plate of pie upstairs in bed. My husband found me gnawing on it like a guilty chipmunk, and then Brian walked toward me, and I had a mouth full of pecan pie and I tried to have a totally normal conversation with him. It was pathetic. I relinquished the pie plate, sorrowfully, after that. It was like Intervention, only with pastry.)

So, after we got back home, I looked around.

It was like my house got mad at me while we were gone. It was a MESS.

There are levels of mess in every house’s life. Some levels are just cluttered. Some are disheveled.

This house looks like it partied in Vegas all weekend.

I texted the husband:

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He responded with his oh-so-usual caring: I’ll help, don’t worry, it’s not so bad nonsense. But I knew, I KNEW, that if I did not deal with that house they would never find me. I would be buried under forty loads of Batman underwear and dirty dishes that learned to procreate on their own.

Of course, while I was cleaning I did have a helper.

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This is Dog. He has some sort of device implanted in his brain that makes him follow me closely wherever I go. Also, I do know I have the beigest hall in the history of halls. It’s a sad little hallway.

So, I would walk down beige hall to put laundry away.

Dog: OH MY GOODNESS I WILL GO TOO! WE WILL GO TOGETHER! WE ARE ONE AND I JUST CANNOT STOP STARING AT YOU BECAUSE YOU SMELL SO GOOD AND I LOVE YOU. THIS HALLWAY REALLY COULD USE A SPLASH OF COLOR!

Then, I walk back the other way, same beige hallway.

Dog: OH NOW WE’RE GOING TO GO ANOTHER WAY?? I THINK THAT’S THE BEST IDEA EVER! YOU ARE SO SMART AND CLEVER HOW YOU WALK BACK AND FORTHING WITH THE PILES OF THINGS! I LOVE YOU!

Then, I go down the stairs. Beige is done.

Dog: Oh HO! THIS IS SO EXCITING! DOWNSTAIRS! I LOVE THAT PLACE! I LOVE THE DOWNSTAIRS WALKING!

And so on.

Dog: AND I LOVE YOU.

Enough, dog.

So, after about four hours of washing clothes I was done. (How did so many clothes HAPPEN? I will give away all the clothes. That’s what I’ll do.)

(Should make for an interesting, albeit chilly, winter.)

And that is my post. It is basically about me doing laundry, but there is also this:

As I was walking back and forth, to the endless delight of Dog, I got a great idea for a story. I needed to write it down, so I grabbed my little notebook. Then, I looked for a place to store the notebook, because as every good writer knows, ones notebook must go back and forthing with you, everywhere, because you never know when the good ideas are gonna strike.

I didn’t have on a bra. That is how I clean. I refuse to be constrained. I might need to clean something up high, and my bra could accidentally snap and strangle me, and I would be found, later, by my husband, snagged by a bra strap, with the cats hungrily circling me.

It could happen.

Also: bras are just a pain.

So, I couldn’t tuck the notebook into my bra. Instead, I tucked it inside my pants. Logical. Sorta weird, but logical.

And then I kinda forgot it was there, until I went to the store and as I was walking down an aisle I laid a notebook.

Undeterred, I said, “Ta DA!” and picked it up and went in search of applesauce.

Dog: I STILL LOVE YOU.

The end.

 

 

 

Momsie’s Top Ten Thankfuls

It’s time! It’s Thanksgiving! Here comes annual Top Ten!!!!

Disclaimer: It’s possible Momsie is on her second cup of really expensive super good coffee from Hawaii because THAT’S HOW WE DO IT ON THANKSGIVING. And thus, whe is SUPER JAZZED AND ALL EXCLAMATION POINTY!

Actually, that’s how my father in law does it. I buy Aldi’s. You know I love you, Aldi’s. We’re besties!

So, here we go!

MOMSIE’S TOP TEN THANKFULS, 2017 EDITION:

  1. Blonde’s smile, when he’s trying not to smile. This occurs often when I come in to wake him up in the mornings. I tickle him, and then I watch. One side of his mouth lifts up, and the other side works very hard to stay down, and the dimples show up. He’s so handsome, my boy. Who knew that we could spawn handsome? Also, that “handsome” is part of the package now? He was all “cute” and “adorable” and “itty bitty” and now he’s dialed up to “handsome.” I tell you, parents, we measure our days by our children. We can’t help it.
  2. Red. He is still at the “cute” and “adorable” stage and THANK GOODNESS. I can’t take too much handsome going on here. Between Blonde and the hubster, I am overloaded and my head explodes. It’s a good thing that Red is still at Level Cute because it calms me down. Here is a picture to prove it:IMG_7411.JPG.jpeg

Ok, I tried to take a picture, and as his very often his adorable habit, he decided to mess with me. This is SO adorable. I promise that there is adorable stuff going on UNDER the blanket. Also, he probably knew that if he took the picture the camera would have blown up due to the cuteness. That happens a lot in our house. The cuteness keeps causing our electronics to spark out all the time.

3. Ok, while we are at it, I want to point out that I have the most wonderful hubs in the world of wonderfulness. Boom. And here is the picture to prove it:

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Ok. So, he was getting ready and didn’t want to have his picture taken. This is a door. I get the difference.

4. Hot pastrami sandwiches. I don’t really know why I thought of that just now. Perhaps the proximity to the hot door-ness that is my husband? We’ll just leave that right there.

5. My momma’s stuffing. Not her actual stuffing, but the kind she serves at Thanksgiving dinner. She has a recipe that involves prepping for this stuffing like four days ahead, and it involves something called giblets, which, truth be told, I have forgotten and baked inside the actual turkey a few times. I don’t really know what giblets are but they taste divine in Mom’s stuffing. Which is where they belong.

6. Fur. We have a lot of fur at our house:

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Spot the cat.

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Voila! Hello. I don’t always sit on the laundry like this but when I do, my human has to take a picture. Because I’m that fabulous.

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Hello. I’m not codependent and needy at all!  But actually yes, I totally am! I love you! Let me sit upon you! I love you! I must stare at you awkwardly while you work! I love you!

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No talking. Sleeping. She saved me from the great outdoors where there was not a lot of food. Or soft places to lie down. Tired.

Also, there is another cat in our house, Bob. She doesn’t like to have her picture taken, so she’s probably huddled somewhere, all hunchy and weirded out that I’m even writing about her.

7. Christmas trees. There was a display of these by my grocers, and I walked over to them on autopilot and proceeded to stick my nose in the trees and inhale loudly which was awkward for the passers by, but necessary.

8. Bow-ties. Both of my boys are wearing them as I write. This is because it’s what is done on Thanksgiving. They are rolling their eyes a lot and telling me “It’s not CHURCH, MOM.” Oh ho, little ones. But it’s my mom’s TURKEY AND STUFFING. So, we wear ties.

9. Free will. One of the two boys is now, most definitely, NOT wearing a bow-tie. So, there’s that.

10. God and Jesus and da Holy Spirit! (That one is from Red, who is now cuddling with me in a really bright orange t-shirt and pants. No tie. He looks great. Sorta. The tie woulda been a nice touch, though but he will not be held down by the man.)

11. Friends. I know I can’t count, but they don’t care. Friends who have basically unintelligable conversations with me like this:

“Hey! Did you…”

“Yes! I did! Have a Happy- ”

“Thanksgiving! You too! I’ll bring that stuff over later.”

“The stuff with the things on it?”

*Child starts yelling in background*

“Gotta -”

“Yep, Child. Go.”

And somehow, we completely understand each other, anyway.

 

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. ‘Tis the season to remember your thankfuls, and hold your family close. I am so very blessed by you, dear reader.

Oh, and?

#12. Sobriety. It comes with twelve steps, so there ya go.

One day at a time.

Every day is precious.

All days are worth it.

 

Now, go forth, and eat a heck of a lot of food.

 

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Kindred Spirits

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This is the cover of the Anne of Green Gables book I had.She’s a hottie, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Y’all. I am very picky.
I don’t like my potato salad unless it is made with Hellman’s mayonnaise. (No, this post was not sponsored by Hellman’s. Call me? Hellman’s?? We can work something out, K?)
I don’t like books that have too many dialogue tags. “They are tedious,” she said, tediously.
I only like spring days that still have a bite of cool in them. Otherwise there’s sneezing. And it’s not the cute, delicate lady-sneezing like a baby bunny. My sneezing is wet-gorilla sneezing.
Apples must be tart. This Red Delicious nonsense is just a dumbing down of apples.
And, classic books don’t translate well into film. In general. I mean, have you SEEN The Scarlet Letter? I’m talking the Demi Moore version. Enough said.
I have read every one of the Anne of Green Gables series, MULTIPLE times. And, yes, I did allow the 1985 television adaptation (with an awesomely cranky Marilla by Colleen Dewhurst).
So, when the great Netflixes informed me that a NEW ANNE was coming… I was skeptical. You know when someone says to you, “Hey! I made some chocolate chip cookies!” and just as you take a bite they add, “Gluten, egg, and dairy free! YOU CAN’T EVEN TELL, CAN YOU.”
You can tell. You can so totally tell.
That’s how I felt about a New Anne.  But, y’all – Netflix has done it right.

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This is a series that is so in tune with my Anne that I nearly cried. Which, as you know, is something a totally dramatic girl would do. This is an Anne that is comical and tragic and gawky,  and at times plain, and at at other times just aglow (when she is least aware of it). She is, in other words, what we girls are. Or me, at least. I do comical and tragic and gawky. I do plain.

I even, every once in a while, glow.
I sat down to start watching this while folding laundry one night because God forbid I ever just watch something without folding laundry. The boys were playing “Smash All the Things” in the other room, but as soon as they heard the television come on, they started sniffing around like the little tv vultures they are.

“Whatcha watchin?” Red asked. “Is it Star Wars? Legos? Something with swords?” I sighed and folded my four hundredth pair of Lego Star Wars underpants. He stared at the screen and then, asked… “Anne of… Green Bagels?”
“No, dear. Shhhhhh. Mommy’s watching. Mommy needs this show.”
We watched, and Blonde, another heat-seeking (i.e. television) missile wandered in, and we all soaked in all the Gables and the Green-ness.

Anne says,  ““Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think.” Anne and I are kindred spirits. She has the same ideas about classic literature and potato salad, I am sure of it. Watch, you’ll see.

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As a Netflix StreamTeam blogger, I get to watch the awesomeness that is Netflix, and chatter about it on Momsie. It’s a great gig.

 

 

Summer is here and I love it.

Guys, I haven’t posted here in like crackamillion years.

Wanna know why?

I shall provide you with a neat graphic:

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Go ahead. Pin that graphic to your Pinterest boards. I dare you.

By the way, I don’t wear a bikini but I didn’t have the patience to try and draw anymore.

So, we have been busy, y’all. The calendar in the kitchen is so loaded down with stuff that I tried to add something to it the other day and it shrank away from me and started weeping. “Go away,” Calendar said, rocking back and forth. “I just want to be alone!”

On Tuesday, we were so busy that by the end of the day, after the boys were upstairs in bed, I found myself looking around in a panic, wondering where my keys were. It’s like when the cool army people jump out of planes, you see? You know… they’re all lined up, jumping out, all “Go GO GO GO!!” – that’s us. We are the army, people. We are being all that we can be.

I’m exhausted.

Ok, granted there has been pool time, and this is when I get to sit in one place for a prolonged period of minutes. I sit there, and then I slowly start to sweat into the plastic back of my chair and it imprints itself all over my white backside. So, then, of course, I go gingerly into the pool and swim around with my head above water, all old-lady paddling, and then get back out. And go sweat again. Sometimes I read. A lot of times I just stare at the blue water and try to remember where it is we are going to next.

By the way, I TOTALLY get it, Mom. You used to take us to the pool? I remember you had a leopard print one-piece swimsuit that was very Mrs. Robinson, except you weren’t really into seducing anyone. You were a good woman.* But the swimsuit still was so Anne Bancroft. ANYHOW… I totally get it. Sitting at the pool, watching your daughters prunitize themselves in the water for hours… You are a saint. We moms, we are SAINTS.

Plus that swimsuit was very cool.

Yesterday, I took Blonde and Red to the pool after some sort of thing they had (I think it was play practice? Because they are in the summer musical? I dunno anymore. I just drive them places and pick them up. I’m a Mom Uber. A MUber, if you will.)

So, we’re at the pool, and I have just head-outta-the-water paddled my sweat off, and plunked myself back down with a book. Red approaches. He’s all wet and drippy and has that peculiar wet-kid walk that is part waddle with his hands all clutched up under his chin. I don’t know why my children walk like this when they go to the pool. It’s like the water makes them all self-clutchy and I guess I should be happy they don’t clutch any other body parts. They look all wet and shrunken, like little wet rabbits, and it’s kind of cute.

ANYHOW.  (Didn’t you miss this? Momsie’s brain while writing is like watching Rocky and Bullwinkle, I tell you.)

So, Red approaches and stands by me, too close, as every seven year old must stand next to his mom, and drips all over my book. “Whatcha doin?” he asks and I bite my face off to not respond with sarcasm.

“I’m… reading. This. It’s a book.” (Ok, that did have a whiff of sarcasm but trust me, people, this was the softer, gentler version.)

Red nods and then asks, “Why aren’t you swimming? Why did you bring THAT *nods derisively towards the book* to HERE *gestures widely to the water.”

I see where he is going with this. His brain cannot understand that I am not in the water the entire time, until I get pruny.

Also, it was adult swim. This is pool-jail for little kids. And here I was NOT SWIMMING WHEN I SO COULD BE.

In other words, I was being glib. I was being all glib about the POOL. This was hard for him.

I tried to explain.

“Honey. I’m an adult. That’s what adults do. We bring books to the pool and we don’t like to get our hair wet.”

He dripped a moment, and nodded, staring off in the distance.

And that’s how my child learned that growing up is awful.

The end.

 

By the way, I took them home and fed them ice cream bars for dinner. This is because I am glib, but I am not crazy. It was necessary.

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*ARE. You ARE a good woman, Mom. The verb tense is important.

Have Yourself a Merry Little- Oh Never Mind.

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So. Christmas is over.

Not really, I know. Christmas is really an all year long thing, as you well realize. But right now, that’s just one Hallmark card short of rubbing it in a little bit. I can’t help it. On December 26 I find myself in a taking down of all the decorations frenzy. Our kitchen seems to offer up only one food group anymore – fudgey items – and I seem to crave… salad. Who knew? If you eat nothing but pie and cheese for a week that spinach might start calling your name?

Also, taking down Christmas decorations is weird. It’s like, I love all the sparkly bits all over the house, but keeping them up just REMINDS me that the sparkly bits will need to come down. It’s like visiting Paris and knowing that in a day or two you will be getting on a plane and ending up in the Newark airport. So, let’s just take down all the sparkly bits now. Let’s squash those hopes of Paris, ca va? Paris is overrated.

My boys greeted me this morning with this nugget: “So, what’s the NEXT holiday we’ve got, Mom? And, are there presents.?”

Speaking of presents, right now I am listening to this:

“Red! RED! Whack the droid with your lightsaber! Use the force. THE FORCE, RED. NO, NOT THAT FORCE, THE OTHER ONE. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY, WHACK THE GLOWING CRYSTAL THINGIE WITH YOUR FORCE!”

USE THE FORCE AND THEN RUN AWAAYYYYYYYY!”

Yep. We drank the Kool-Aid. The boys got a Wii for Christmas (we’re only a few years behind on technology. We take it slow here. Just a few months ago both boys were running around with the BOXES to their dad’s iphone pretending they were their OWN phones. It was kind of pathetic. I wanted to encourage them on being so creative and imaginative but I also felt a bit embarrassed about it all.)

And, I know for a FACT that no Jedi would EVER whack ANYONE with the force and then run away. That’s just silly talk.

Also, there’s this rather illuminating bit of marital knowledge: When you tell your spouse, “Really, there is nothing I want for Christmas. Just skip the gifts, ok?” you must remember this later. You must remember that you said it and you believed it about as much as you believe that elves make cookies in trees and that The Walking Dead is gonna have a happy ending. You need to maybe clarify this statement next year like this:

“Ok. I’m going to tell you that I don’t want any presents. But, when it is 7:35 am and I’ve had about four hours of sleep and the boys have reached a sort of unwrapping frenzy that makes you think of really cute sharks circling in the water, trailing ribbons, I might want a small gift. Just a wee morsel. Something shiny. Like four thousand dollars.”

I told the husband “no gifts.” And then, of course, I got him candy, a Popular Science magazine that he will never find time to read, and a gadget that doesn’t work. And for me? Nothing. Nada. He really actually listened to me.

This is so very rare.

Why is it he does not listen to me when I say things like, “Honey? There is a spider the size of New Jersey in the laundry room?  I tried to friend him on facebook, but he says he’s not on social media and could he just eat me instead? COULD YOU COME HERE AND SMUSH HIM????”

Nope, he doesn’t hear me when we are all about to be ransacked by big, hairy legged monstrosities in the laundry room. But he TOTALLY is all, “I’m the best listener EVER when presents are involved.”

My husband says there are too many caveats in marriage. Too many unwritten rules added to the written rules. I tell him that’s what keeps it fresh. Being married to me is your very own Clue game, only no one dies by candlestick.

The only recourse is to eat some of the candy that I had bought him. I am so over wanting salad now. There is peanut butter in the candy so it’s healthy.

So, my afternoon will be spent with a chocolate hangover and that weird, “there is too much down-time now” kind of feeling hanging over me like a needy roommate. On one hand, I want to deal with the roommate by washing all of her clothes and cleaning house from top to bottom. But the other half of me wants to watch my boys’ bludgeon each other with the Force and run in weird circles in that prancy way that Lego Star Wars characters do.  At one point it looked like Obi Wan Lego guy was doing the Hustle.

And… Lego Star Wars has won the battle for now. The force is strong with this day.

 

The More You Know.

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Here are the Things I Learned On Netflix:

  1. British television is superior to American, in every way. All the time. It’s the law.
  2. When I am tired I seem to want to watch cooking shows. They soothe me, somehow. All is right in the world when you watch someone whip up a maple creme filled zeppole. Also, I learned Italian right there! So double bonus!
  3. Nurse Jackie can be watched until 1 am and then the next morning you kind of feel hungover but NO REGRETS.
  4. THE PEREGRINE FALCON CAN DIVE AT A SPEED OF 143 MILES AN HOUR. FOR REALS. YOU HAVE TO WONDER IF THEY FREAK OUT WHEN THEY DO IT.

Ok, I’m not exactly sure on that last one, as a seven year old was the dispenser of the information there, but he would know. Why? Because the boys watch these cuties:

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They love the Brothers Kratt. And, did you know? Chris and Martin are ACTUALLY BROTHERS. And, Chris and Martin LIKE EACH OTHER, at the SAME TIME, WHILE BEING BROTHERS. Amazing.

And so, whenever we watch them, I tend to add my Mom Two Cents after each live-action segment with the Kratts with something like, “Oh look, Martin just let Chris fall and slip in the muddy gator pit but yet THEY ARE NOT FIGHTING ABOUT IT! AT ALL!. Instead, they are smiling and attempting to befriend a gator! And we know there won’t be any blood because children’s programming! Brotherly love!”

Now, Blonde and Red follow me around like a mini Kratts, spouting facts about animals, in a very endearing, if not slightly nutty Kratt-ian way. I’ll be making dinner and one will fly by, and spout at me, in all caps, because that’s their volume setting at all times:

MOM? MOM??? DID YOU KNOW THAT GORILLAS CAN CATCH COLDS?

Or later, in the bath:

ALSO. MOM? A LION ONLY KILLS ABOUT TWENTY TIMES A YEAR.

Or, while drifting off to sleep:

AND? DID YOU KNOW? RATS CAN LAUGH. THEY CAN! WE NEED TO GET ONE AND SEE.

Ok, it’s possible that last fact was not learned through the Kratts. I just always remember my college roommate’s creepy boyfriend who liked to carry his pet around on his shoulder telling me that. It stuck with me, somehow. Things like that do.

This summer on The Netflixes we are learning. All the time. Like, I just learned this from one of my beloved cooking shows, Cupcake Wars:

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I KNOW, RIGHT????

If for some reason, summer is starting to wear a little thin and you would like your children to USE THEIR NOGGINS FOR SOMETHING OTHER THAN WHACKING EACH OTHER WITH LIGHT SABERS AND FIGHTING OVER TEENY TINY LEGOS, then I suggest Wild Kratts.

Or, this option:

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This is also on the mighty Netflixes. AND the narrator? BRITISH. BOOM. DOUBLE BONUS!

Hey, did you know? Ring-tailed Lemurs actually purr when they are content.

YEP, I LEARNED IT FROM THAT SHOW.

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Thank you, Netflix, for all the learning!