Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Adventures at the National Zoo

This weekend, the weather was beautiful (even though it was still a little cold) and Nana was in town, so we went on a trip to the National Zoo.  It was Miss Chief's first Metro ride and her first trip to the zoo- her first time seeing lions and tigers and bears, oh my!  I think her favorite animals were the birds and the panda bears- at least they were the ones she talked about the most as we walked around.  By the end of the day we were all exhausted, and we spent the whole ride home talking about the kitty cats who say, "Roar!"

What did you do this weekend?

Much love,
The Geeks

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Oh, Internet... {67}

*personal photo*
This little goober's favorite snacks are bananas and applesauce, both of which she requests by name- "nee-na" and "ah-pee-saw".  She really is getting smarter every single day!

I only have a few things to share with you from the awesomeness of the internet this week:

First, a bit more about Cinderella, which I still haven't seen:

Catholic All Year got her 12-year-old boy to review Cinderella, so I suggest you check that out if you're waffling about whether to drag any brothers along with you.

Molly Makes Do shared some thoughts on why it's actually okay to be rescued by somebody else, sometimes.  We don't have to always fix everything ourselves- that's why we have families and relationships and friends.

And then I'm sure you've seen this one making the rounds on Facebook:

What Would My Mom Do?  (Drink Tab and Lock Us Outside)

What happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Let's Go on a Walk

enjoying the warmer-than-frigid temperatures // *personal photo*
Much love,
The Geeks

Friday, March 20, 2015

Oh, Internet... {66}

*personal photo*
This week, someone showed us that she's capable of going down the slide by herself.  (And also that overalls are about the most adorable clothing item ever.)

This week, the internet showed us these things:

Jamie at Petite Panoply was way more fashionable for The Feast of Saint Patrick than I was in my green sweater and boring black trousers.

Carrots for Michaelmas shared a wonderful review of the new live-action Cinderella.  I think Mr. Geek and I are going to go see it next week when his mom is in town and can babysit for us and I am SO excited!

Catholic All Year explained what Solemnities are (yay dessert!).

A Beautiful Mess shared a really intriguing looking cheesy baked cauliflower dish that I'm itching to try!

Over on Weddingbee, Miss Clownfish discovered a bridal crop top to potentially wear over her wedding dress and it's totally not what it sounds like.

The Blue Angels flew over Main Street, USA in Walt Disney World!  I bet that was cool to watch!

A Pinch of Pixie Dust shared her Top 7 Desserts at the Magic Kingdom and my mouth is literally watering.

What happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Fashion Adventures: I Made Her a Skirt!

Today's Fashion Adventure is all about the cutest member of our family:

This little girl!

See, I had this white halter dress with a ripped seam along the back zipper, and I was going to repair it one day when I realized- this would make a really cute skirt for someone I know.

As with all simple sewing tutorials, I found this one on Make It and Love It.  I simply used a size 2T skirt as a guide to cut the skirt off the dress (adding a little bit extra to create a waistband).  Then I folded that extra length down to make a pocket for some 3/4" elastic.  I cut the elastic the exact measurement of the sample skirt's waist, fed it through the pocket, then overlapped the ends by 1" and stitched them together.  (Use that link above to get a more in-depth tutorial with photos.  It's super simple!)

Daddy called halfway through our photo shoot:

Onesie (which is officially too small now, I've finally come to terms with that): Zulily
Leggings: Koala Kids via Babies-R-Us
Skirt: handmade

Have you ever made any clothing for your little ones?  Isn't it gratifying to see someone wearing something you made yourself?  (Even if you didn't have to hem it, because you used the hemline from the dress...which isn't cheating, for the record, it's using your resources...)

Much love,
The Geeks

*all photos are personal*

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Disney Royalty

royal guests at Cinderella's Royal Table // *personal photo*
Today, I'm linking up over at Focused on the Magic for the Wordless Wednesday blog hop!  Today's theme is Action.  Click the button below to join in on the blog hop!

Much love,
The Geeks

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Potter Talk: Tom's Worst Memory

Harry Potter is and will always be my favorite book series because every time I read it, I find something new- new insights into the characters or new, subtle themes I'd never picked up on before.  And Mr Geek is and always will be my perfect partner because the same is true for him.  The other night, we stayed up all night discussing one of his new theories, and it felt just like we were back in the middle of The Three-Year Summer (the period of time between the publishing of books 4 and 5).  This lively conversation inspired me to start sharing some of our theories and observances, and solicit your thoughts on the topics.  Sound like fun?

Hogsmeade, Orlando, FL // *personal photo*
So the other day, Mr. Geek brought up a really good point about Harry's worst memory- the one that he relives whenever the Dementors are near:

It can't possibly be his memory.

Harry was just over a year old when his parents were murdered.  There is no possible way that a 13-year-old kid can remember something that happened when he was a year old- especially not in such detail.  So why does Harry hear his mother screaming so clearly?  Why does he see a green light?  Why is he able to recall the order of events that night so very long ago, before his long-term memory had fully developed?

Mr. Geek's theory is that this is not, in fact, Harry's memory, but Voldemort's memory, and the connection established between the two of them is what allows him to experience it.  In other words, it's not his own brain remembering the night his parents died, but, rather, it's his connection to Voldemort that's allowing him to access the images and sounds of that night.

And he goes one step further with this theory.  Mr. Geek believes that this isn't just Tom Riddle's memory- it's actually Tom Riddle's worst memory, and that the Dementors are essentially triggering a memory stored in the horcrux inside Harry.  Now, obviously, the day his parents were murdered probably qualifies as the worst day of Harry's life, but, without this connection to Voldemort, he could never possibly have remembered it.  Harry was mentally, emotionally, and even physically abused by his family and schoolmates growing up- surely he has plenty of worst memories that he could relive in the presence of a Dementor.  But that fateful night could certainly qualify as Tom Riddle's worst memory- it was the night he lost everything!

Mr. Geek's final bit of proof is that when Harry escapes Voldemort once more in Godric's Hollow in book 7, their mental connection very clearly gives Harry the full view of the events of that night from Voldemort's point of view- from his walk down the street until the exact moment that the curse rebounded.
And his scream was Harry's scream, his pain was Harry's pain...that it could happen here, where it had happened before...here, within sight of that house where he had come so close to knowing what it was to die...
Voldemort's worst memory would most definitely be that of the night when he almost died, as, to him, this is the worst thing that could ever happen- his worst fear.

These arguments are convincing, but I'm not sure this is what Jo intended when she had 13-year-old Harry remembering a night from toddlerhood.

While a baby that young may not have developed a long-term memory, extremely traumatic events can have a psychological impact on us, even if we can't remember the events themselves.  It is pretty realistic that young Harry would dream about a bright green light, and you may even be able to convince me that he might dream about a woman screaming, though his subconscious might not be able to recreate the images his infant eyes had seen.  Furthermore, this might be one of those side effects of having magical blood- having a really good memory.  After all, Harry also grows up dreaming about his flight in Hagrid's motorbike, and Voldemort wasn't there for that.  (Mr. Geek disputes this argument by pointing out that if wizards had such great memories, then people like Ron could never do poorly on exams.  My counter-argument is that Ron would have to have paid attention during a lecture in order to remember any of it.  Mr. Geek's counter-counter argument is that Neville pays attention and is still not a stellar student.)  Or, perhaps, the Dementors are able to pull out something buried so very deep in a person's psyche and expound upon it, such that your worst memory could potentially be something you never actually remembered until the happiness-sucking Dementors are in your presence.  Furthermore, I think Jo's point in labeling this memory as Harry's worst memory- this memory his little brain was not capable of storing for that long- is to show us that the death of a parent profoundly affects a person for the rest of his life, regardless of how well he remembers the exact details of the death itself.  After all, most of the Potter series is Jo's own coming to terms with her mother's death many years after she was gone.

So what do you think?  Is this Harry's worst memory, or is it Tom Riddle's?  Is the whole thing just a metaphor for dealing with trauma, a plot device to give us a glimpse at what actually happened the night that Harry became The Boy Who Lived without having to just tell us about it, or was it intentional?  Did Jo intend for the explanation of Harry's memory of that night to be the horcrux Voldemort unintentionally left behind, or is this one of those "I'm not good at math or science" moments where she doesn't quite understand how the human brain functions?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Much love,
The Geeks

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Oh, Internet... {65}

This weeks Oh, Internet is super late, I know, but I still wanted to share with you some of the best things that happened on the internet this week!

Better than Eden shared a beautiful reflection on encouraging your children in their vocations without pushing them in one direction or another.  I think all parents want their children to get married and give them grandchildren, but it's important to remember that there are other very important vocations that don't result in grandchildren.

The Modcloth Blog shared some cute hairstyles that work well in the pool.  (We're going to the beach in April and it's literally the only thing that's kept me from going crazy in all this snow...)

Oh Joy! shared some brief yet poignant thoughts on being present.

Petite Panoply payed homage to Debbie Harry with an awesome outfit!

"I'm raising children in a culture that despises them."  Go read this heartbreaking look at going against the stream over on Mama Needs Coffee.

Am I late to the party here?  This song is my jam.

What happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, March 2, 2015

Bookish Adventures: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

It's been a while since I've done a book review here- a long while.  But I finally have time to read again, and although I'm not shooting for one book a month like I was way back in 2013, I do figure I can share my thoughts on what I read here, from time to time.

*personal photo*
I had never read any of Neil Gaiman's work.  I've seen Coraline and I've seen Stardust and I've obviously seen the episodes he's written for Doctor Who, but I've never taken the time to sit down and read any of his books.

I don't know how he knew- I didn't specifically mention Neil Gaiman as an author I'm interested in- but Mr Geek got this for me for Christmas when I had been dying to read it for some time now.  When he asked me what sorts of books I might like, I mentioned the series I had started but not finished- Divergent and The Mortal Instruments, to be specific.  But I think he secretly wants to pull me out of the rabbit hole that is YA literature I've fallen into since graduating college- or at least out of the more cliched bits of YA because, as someone famous once said, it seems we use the term "young adult fiction" to describe books that we actually enjoy reading.  But somehow Mr Geek knew that this was the sort of book that would satisfy my taste for sci-fi/fantasy and coming-of-age stories without being too terribly juvenile, and boy was he right.

This book is beautiful.  It's a little scary, in the way that Coraline is a little scary, and it's a little convoluted at times, in the way that Doctor Who is convoluted at times, but mostly it's just beautiful.  It's interesting- now that I'm a mother, I find it very difficult to read stories or watch movies where children are left on their own to get into dangerous situations.  Even though the stories would never get interesting if these children were not left to go on adventures, I can't help but sit there and wonder, "Where is his mother through all of this?!"  And it's equally heart-wrenching for me to read about children who feel neglected or unloved or alone- it makes me want to go grab Chief out of her crib and hold her tight and never let her go (because obviously I only have time to read when she's asleep).  But, of course, our protagonist would never learn anything about the world or about himself if he were not allowed to encounter danger, and he would never have the opportunity to be so very, very brave if he started out the story feeling secure and loved and whole, so eventually I am able to forget my annoyance with his parents- or at least push it to the side- and become engrossed in his adventures.

I think my favorite part of this book is the way the details unfold slowly- Gaiman only gives you information when you strictly need it, not all at once, and the boy's name is never actually revealed, he's just "I" and "me" the whole time, so that you can perfectly inject yourself into his brain and see the world through his eyes.  It is not readily apparent from the novel's opening that anything particularly fantastic is about to happen, although the title leads one to believe that there is at least a bit of whimsy in store.

I really don't want to spoil anything for you if you have not read it- least of all delicately unfolding plot or the truths about life that it reveals- so the only other thing I will say is that reading this book has confirmed for me that I need to go out, right now, and acquire every piece of fiction Neil Gaiman has ever penned and then try to control my appetite so that I don't gobble it up too quickly.

Have you read this beautiful book?  What did you think?  What have you read lately?

Much love,
The Geeks