Jeepers, creepers

Based upon the last post, you might be tempted to believe that the most extensive craft that happened here at Casa Mir during Chickadee’s visit was the Great Vision Board Extravaganza. It was certainly the craftiest thing that I, personally, did, but it wasn’t the craftiest thing overall.

That saying about absence making the heart grow fonder was never more true than it has been for my children this year. Monkey doesn’t so much wear his heart on his sleeve as he just walks around in a giant Monkey-heart-suit, gushing blood and hugs everywhere he goes. Every single time Chickadee was hospitalized he missed her terribly; every time she was home, he wanted to be with her (even if she had no desire to be with him).

Chickadee, on the other hand, was plenty busy wrestling her various demons, and so if she missed Monkey, in the beginning, it certainly wasn’t apparent. And then his clingy version of love during her stints at home were largely unwelcome. I think until she moved away in October, she had convinced herself he was a standard Pesky Little Brother, end of story. But AFTER she left, things changed. I mean, yes, LOTS of things changed, but in particular, I think Chickie came to see Monkey in a new, kinder light. She missed him, maybe for the first time.

And so she began plotting.

She told me about it beforehand—swearing me to secrecy, of course—but I didn’t really appreciate the enormity of the project until she showed up for break with a bag full of fabric and thread and stuffing and half-formed body parts. “It’s not done yet,” she fretted, from the first day she was back. “It’s not done and I don’t know if I can get it done in time. I have to get it done before I leave!”

I assured her that if she didn’t, she could mail it to him, later, but no, she insisted she HAD to finish it. The first five days, though, Monkey was here, too, and so she couldn’t work on it at all. During those five days, my children played games together, compared iPods, and were generally inseparable. Monkey fairly glowed with the happiness of it all. Chickadee remained somewhat inscrutable, but despite her unwillingness to DISCUSS whether she was enjoying her brother’s company, she played the role of doting big sister to a T.

After Christmas, Monkey went up to their dad’s house for a few days. Chickadee brought out the bag and resumed sewing… a few minutes before bed here, a half an hour after lunch there. And on the night before she was supposed to leave, she surveyed the bag of body parts at bedtime, on the verge of tears. “I’m not going to finish. Why didn’t I work on it more?” Again, I assured her that she could mail it later, but she was insistent that it had to be ready for him before she left, so that she could give it to him in person.

“Okay,” I said. “Tomorrow, we sew.”

We got up the next morning and had breakfast. She sewed while I folded her laundry and packed her suitcase. She sewed while I pinned up a skirt we’d bought her at the thrift store, then sat beside her, making the alterations in my own messy stitching, until the skirt fit properly. She sewed while I sang along with her music until she was forced to tell me how embarrassing I was being. She sewed all day. And she finished it. And then she fixed up a box, too, and said she was ready to give him his birthday present, and then she’d be ready to go.

My ex was kind enough to drop Monkey back at home a couple of hours before he needed to head back out with Chickadee.

“I have something for you, Monkey,” she said. “Wait here.”

Monkey obediently parked himself in a kitchen chair. Chickadee ran upstairs to retrieve the box. She brought it down and handed it to him.

“Ooooo… kay?” he said, looking at with a small grin. “Can I open it?” She nodded and he lifted the lid, peeled back the tissue, and gasped.

Inside, her masterpiece: Hand-sewn, every single inch of it.

(If you’re not familiar with Minecraft, right now you’re thinking that’s a pretty ugly-ass teddy bear, I know. This is a creeper from the game. It’s hugely significant to Minecraft-obsessed Monkey, and as it turned out, he was perfectly outfitted for this occasion, too.)

Sweatshirt courtesy of his dad. Mr. Creep—as he’s been dubbed—courtesy of one awesome young lady who knew exactly what would make her brother’s day.

“I know your birthday isn’t until Friday,” she told him, “but I wanted you to have it before I left. I hope you like it.”

“I don’t like it, I LOVE IT!” he declared, hurling himself at her for a big hug. “You’re the greatest sister ever!” She tried to duck her head, but she was smiling.

Mr. Creep now lives on a little high shelf in Monkey’s room, as Licorice found him VERY INTERESTING, and Chickadee informed the entire family that if the dog ripped up all those hours of work, she couldn’t be held accountable for her actions. We agreed that seemed fair.

Did I mention that it was awfully nice to have all my chicks home in the nest, together? Because it really was. Creepy green creatures notwithstanding.

54 Responses to “Jeepers, creepers”

  1. 1
    Leandra January 2, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    As the mother of a 10 year old boy who is also obsessed with Minecraft, I’m sorta ashamed to admit that I didn’t know that was a creeper. I knew it was Minecraft related (what with the squares and all), but I was leaning toward ugly ass Minecraft teddy bear.

    Seriously tho, that is an AWESOME gift.

  2. 2
    Katherine January 2, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    How very cool! My minecraft loving teen thinks it is also very cool! What a wonderful gift from Chickee – she surely knew how to please Monkey.

  3. 3
    deva January 2, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Silly blurry monitor. I love the sweatshirt. Chickadee’s handiwork made me gasp. She is quite talented!!

  4. 4
    Jen January 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    I love that *so* much, Mir. And now I’m off to Google that outstanding creeper hoodie because MY kid needs one too.

  5. 5
    el-e-e January 2, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    *tearing up*

    Sweetest thing evar!

  6. 6
    Lisa in NJ January 2, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    Very cool gift from Chickee for Monkey, the love that went in to that creeper is awesome :) She did a WONDERFUL job on Mr. Creep. Maybe she should sell them for a little spending money…I know I would buy one :) I knew right away what is was considering I just made a creeper and dirt block cake yesterday for my son’s birthday LOL. What a cool gift

  7. 7
    Midj January 2, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Aaaaawwwww…Gotta love those big sisters! J jumped up and down in the street when we surprised her with her “little” brother for Christmas… Happy New Year Mir!

  8. 8
    Jen January 2, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    Perfect. Just perfect.

  9. 9
    Jenne January 2, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    Ok, just burst into tears here in the office!

    That. Is. Awesome.

    My daughter’s birthday is 4/17 . . . . Chickie could SO have a cottage industry going in a heartbeat! Love love.

  10. 10
    Kelly Dyar January 2, 2013 at 4:43 pm #


  11. 11
    laura January 2, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    Funny thing. My girls refer to each other as ‘seesters’ too.
    Pretty amazing gift. Nothing in the world like seesterly love.

  12. 12
    Brenda January 2, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    That’s so impressive, especially since it’s hand-sewn! There’s something so wonderful about giving or receiving a present that’s just so perfect. I am notorious for not finishing presents in time (I actually still have to mail my brother the slippers I knit him for Christmas). I’ve just stopped telling people when I’m making something for them, because if they don’t get finished on time or not at all, I don’t get all embarrassed. I’m so glad Chickie finished in time!

  13. 13
    Nancy R January 2, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    I was teary, fully expecting a Chickie doll…hee…just typing that made me realize how voodoo-like that would be. :-)

    This is better

  14. 14
    Amanda January 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    Very cool!

    Is there like a Minecraft-for-dummy-parents guide somewhere? My oldest is 6, and his older neighborhood friends are getting into it, and I just don’t understand what it is. Virtual Legos?

  15. 15
    Megan January 2, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    As someone who often shows love via pricked fingers and hours and hours and hours of work, that is some very serious sibling love and appreciation going on right there.

    What a fantastic girl.

  16. 16
    Lindsey P January 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    That is SUCH a fantastic gift, straight from her heart. Gotta love it when siblings can get ALONG!

  17. 17
    Susie January 2, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    You had me at ‘bag full of stuffing and fabric and half-sewn body parts’… From one big sister of Minecraft lovers to another, well done Chickie!

  18. 18
    Lucinda January 2, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Methinks she’s growing up. Monkey’s a lucky boy.

  19. 19
    Em January 2, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    Best, Sister. Ever. And when she opens up an etsy store to sell those, you promise to post a link, right? My kids would go nuts over that!

  20. 20
    Beth B. January 2, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    That is awesome; wow I am impressed with her sewing skills! And speaking as a mother of a similarly-Minecraft obsessed 9-year old, that is a very cool gift!! My son would have FLIPPED out for that! Wow!

  21. 21
    Kellie January 2, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    That is just awesome. It is not only a great gift, it’s an awesome memory for Monkey, Chickie, AND Momma Mir :)

    And now it’s 2013 – and it’s already started off pretty darn good!


  22. 22
    Michelle January 2, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    Oh. My. Goodness!!!

    I am so very impressed, what an incredible work of he(art). I am so happy for you all that despite the agony of this year the silver lining is peeking through.

  23. 23
    Cheyenna January 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    So sweet !! Her note on the outside is the best.

  24. 24
    bryan January 2, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    Warm fuzzies.

  25. 25
    Momma Chaod January 2, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    Aww! I love all the sibling love! Awesome job Chickie! My 14yr old just walked past, glanced at my screen and yelled ” Creeper!!! I want one!!” . Lol

  26. 26
    Wendy January 2, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    I cracked up when I realized you did not in fact refer to the father as Mr. Creep….that was a period not a comma. When I first read it I thought that doesn’t sound like Mir.

    Very thoughtfully gift by Chickadee!

  27. 27
    ccr in MA January 2, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    Wow, excellent job! What a great seester she is. And good at sewing, too!

  28. 28
    addy January 2, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    Wonderful! How thoughtful of her. And way cool on the sweatshirt too!

  29. 29
    Michelle E January 2, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    Aww! So sweet. What an awesome sister! Plus, what a great job she did on that creeper! I’m looking at it and thinking that’s what my daughter desperately needs. But where did she find the fabric that is so perfect?!?

  30. 30
    Mir January 2, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    Michelle, I know she got the fabric from Spoonflower (there are a bunch of Minecraft ones there, I’m not sure which one she got). And she found directions online on how to make it, too.

  31. 31
    Korinthia Klein January 2, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    That’s amazing.

  32. 32
    naomi January 2, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    Love it! My 11-year-old daughter made Minecraft stuffies for everyone she loves this year (pigs, Creepers, goo?, Ender….somethings?) and I keep telling her she should work on them all year this year and set up a booth at a craft fair next holiday season. I must get her some of that fabric for her birthday!

  33. 33
    Sharon January 2, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    That is so freaking sweet! She did an awesome job, btw,

  34. 34
    Navhelowife January 2, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    Awesome. Simply awesome.

  35. 35
    Djurdjica January 2, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    Bessssssst pressssssent eversssssssBOOOOOOOOM! :D

    Chickie is awesome! So is Monkey, for loving Minecraft.

  36. 36
    CuriousCat January 2, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    i don’t know what to tell ya, kid.
    you got some pretty awesome children there.

    i guess it’s just a cross you’ll have to bear.

    (seriously, though. i would SO put her to work making and selling these. she can finish school anytime, pfftt. this could be her “facebook”. probably you should buy her a little sewing machine, though, so she doesn’t have to do them all by hand. )

  37. 37
    Cele January 3, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    Duelly Impressed. What does she charge an hour?

  38. 38
    Jamie January 3, 2013 at 3:12 am #

    OMG, so awesome of Chickadee! My own kid would be so thrilled with that, too.

  39. 39
    kellyg January 3, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    Thank You! You have solved one mystery for me. On Halloween, there were a handful of kids with costumes with green blocky heads at my kid’s school. I had no idea what they were and the other parents I asked didn’t know either. Obviously we are not a Minecraft family.

    Although I did recognize the Nyan cat costume during the school Halloween parade.

    Chickie did an awesome job on the Creeper. So cool.

  40. 40
    Lily January 3, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    That’s such an awesome gift!

  41. 41
    Rachel January 3, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    I don’t think it’s possible for me to know any LESS about Minecraft than I currently do, but that gift is awesome! I guess after reading this post I know more than I did a few minutes ago (there are some green squares involved, and you can buy sweatshirts inspired by said green things)… =)

    Great job Chickie! Licorice, you have been warned… avoid Mr Creep at all costs. =)

  42. 42
    Tenessa January 3, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    Not only a cool gift because it was something Monkey would like, but all that work, and SUCH work! Excellent. I’d like two. :)

  43. 43
    ~zandra~ January 3, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    What a great job Chickadee did! Not only knowing exactly what her brother would love, but the hand made love that went into it :)

  44. 44
    Andrea January 3, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    Your Chickadee is one awesome big sister–and quite the seamstress. I am so glad she got to see him open it and get some of the love back from him that she put into the project!

  45. 45
    js January 3, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    All I could think this whole time was that I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself from jumping in and finishing it for her. I think it’s awesome you did not do that. I think your family is pretty awesome, too. Suck it, 2012. 2013 is in the house!

  46. 46
    Stephanie Stenner January 3, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    You’ve got some great kids, Mir. They’re as special as you are.

  47. 47
    Little Bird January 3, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    That is possibly the most awesome thing ever! The thought that went into that gift is evident! Mir, you raised (and are raising) them right!

  48. 48
    Velma January 3, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    Oh dear. I just teared up for the first time in 2013. As mother of a similarly obsessed child with an older sister who is more distant than he’d like, I know how much this must mean to them both. Happy sigh.

  49. 49
    Mary K. in Rockport January 3, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    I was also going to ask where the specific fabric came from, but now I don’t have to!

  50. 50
    kapgaf January 3, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    OK, so unless I’m in some weird time warp/loop thing, today is Friday and it’s Monkey’s birthday. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MONKEY” or even JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE, SINGE” and of course Happy New Year to all the family and best wishes for a 2013 totally without suck.

  51. 51
    Kristin January 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    My boys would kill for that.

  52. 52
    Krystal January 4, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    I’m tearing up here. Such a wonderful gesture. She did an awesome job on it too! What a great thing to do for her brother.

  53. 53
    Stimey January 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    I hope you’re ready for Chickie’s blog-related ego to get even bigger, because the thought, the love, and the really amazing job she did are going to earn her lots of kudos. This made me smile so big.

  54. 54
    Amanda January 19, 2013 at 6:57 pm #


    I was reading this post and my son (who is equally Minecraft obsessed) saw me scroll up and saw the foot of the Creeper that Chickie made…

    The following was a scene of gibberish and Oh! My! Gods!

    He went all “my preshhhhus” on the picture.

    So yea, I think Chickie has a talent for this….

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