Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
Anyway, still no baby. I go to the doctor in an hour, we'll see if I'm close. I thought I was in labor the other night - strong contractions, ten minutes apart. But I rolled over to have a better view of the clock and fell asleep until my husband's alarm went off to wake up the next morning. So, I guess that would be classified as false labor.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
What first attracted me to this book? The cover. I choose a lot of what I read based on the cover art. So, note to all of you future authors out there (or current authors with crap cover art), you can judge a book by its cover.
Esperanza Rising is based on the grandmother of the author. It is about a girl, growing up wealthy and privileged in Aguascalientes, Mexico in the 1920s, who, after her father's death is forced to leave Mexico with her mother. They arrive in California to work at a Mexican farm labor camp just as workers are threatening to strike, and the "Okies" are showing up, looking for work during the Great Depression.
Esperanza learns a lot, grows a lot and it is all so much sweeter because you know that a long time ago, there was a young girl, very much like Esperanza living this story. She grew up and told little stories here and there to her granddaughter, and now we have this book. It isn't just a coming of age story, but a history lesson about my home state and the farm camps of the 1930s that I don't recall ever having a real history lesson about.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I really enjoy Cecelia Ahern's books (P.S. I Love You, Rosie Dunne, If You Could See Me Now). Ahern is the daughter of Bertie Ahern, Ireland's Prime Minister. And her brother-in-law is from the Irish pop group, Westlife. She is also currently the producer for Christina Applegate's ABC show, Samantha Who?. Along with her four books, she's contributed stories to many different anthologies. Plus, she's so cute.
Each of her books seems to get a bit more fantastical than the last. Her first book, P.S. I Love You, has just been made into a movie starring Hilary Swank. It tells the story of a girl whose husband dies of a brain tumor, but he leaves behind ten notes that she must open on the first of the month starting the month after his death. Some challenge her to do something outside of her comfort zone, others to help her cope with her loss. Each ends with the line, "P.S. I love you." I loved this book. Cried a lot. Am sort of disappointed that Hilary Swank was chosen for the movie (I don't know why, I just don't like her that much... but I'll still see it, and maybe she'll win me over). So, this book was super based in reality compared to her last two.
Her second book, Rosie Dunne was also very enjoyable and very realistic. It's told through emails and letters and is a story of love and friendship and life getting in the way. Very enjoyable.
Book number three is where things start to leave reality. If You Could See Me Now is the story of a woman whose family past is difficult, and she begins to see a man who turns out is an imaginary friend. He helps her to deal with things in her life that need dealing with. I just read that Disney is making this into a movie starring Hugh Jackman as Ivan, the invisible friend, and it is in very early stages of production.
There's No Place Like Here is her newest book. It's very fantastical. The main character, Sandy Shortt's neighbor/classmate disappears at the age of ten. This hugely affects Sandy. Not necessarily the missing girl, who was more her arch enemy than her friend, but in the sense that Sandy becomes obsessed with where things that disappear go. She'll spend hours searching for that sock that got lost in the laundry, etc. Eventually she grows up, becomes a police woman but quits that job to pursue a career as sort of a detective who helps families search for missing people when the police have given up. But then, she herself goes missing. She ends up in this alternate world where all the missing things and people go. She finds missing people that she's been searching for, along with all of her missing belongings. As crazy as all that sounds, it was still a very enjoyable book. She comes to appreciate her parents and the other people in her life with whom, since age ten, she hasn't really had a proper relationship. And the way Ahern jumps from the present, to revealing the back story, to what's going on while Sandy is "missing" is very well-written. Plus, there are ruby red slippers on the cover, which my daughter loves.
Monday, January 21, 2008
I also have issues with people who spell "weird" wrong. My husband, whose spelling has improved much since high school, used to spell it "wierd"(as have other friends I've had over the years) and even on occasion he wrote notes to me in high school addressed to "sweatie" instead of "sweetie." I don't claim to be the world's greatest speller. Nor do I think my grammar is great. Even with a degree in English teaching and a grammar class under my belt, I still ask my husband all of my grammatical questions as he is much better than I.
Just things that bug me that I wanted to get off my chest.
It's super yummy, and a healthy alternative to soda (is that an oxymoron?). It's 70% fruit juice (which is more than I can say for some actual fruit juices on the juice aisle) and 30% sparkling water. And it's quite tastey. So far we've tried Clementine and Apple. I'm pushing for Pomegranate to be our next venture... we'll see.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
Well... I can't really think of anything to post about. But I figure if I'm silent too long, you'll all start assuming it's because I've actually given birth. I haven't. I thought for sure it would be yesterday. I had a doctor's appointment and she stripped my membranes (I've made that a link so if you don't know what it is, you can find out. But I'm not going to force you to read about it if you have a queasy stomach). With my son, I was barely dilated (again with a link, I don't want to make you read all the details of childbirth if you don't want to, you may never have children of your own) when my doctor stripped my membranes and my son was born six hours later, only 90 minutes after arriving at the hospital, dilated at a three upon arrival (ten is when you push the baby out). But alas, it was not meant to be. I'm due on Tuesday, and sadly, I had to make an appointment for the week after my last one, so I officially have an appointment for three days AFTER my due date. That is a bit depressing. But my doctor was nice enough to assure me that I probably wouldn't be keeping that appointment. But she's probably just used to appeasing big, fat pregnant ladies who are grumpy and uncomfortable.
In other news, I talked to a girl today that is 30 weeks pregnant and has only gained 6 pounds. Talk about depressing. She's like 7 months pregnant and not even showing. She looks like she's got a bit of a tummy. Not like she's pregnant. I actually thought she'd possibly had a miscarriage because I knew she was just a couple of months behind me and every time I'd seen her she wasn't showing. SIX POUNDS. At 30 weeks her baby should be approximately 3 pounds, so on top of that she's gained 3 more additional pounds. MOST pregnant women at 30 weeks have gained between 19-25 pounds.
When I was pregnant with my son, my husband worked with a girl who was pregnant with her second child as well. She gained 15 pounds total. She'd always check with my husband to see how much I'd gained. He never knew and would just make up numbers, usually close to her own. What a nice husband!
I'm not complaining about how much I've gained. I've been happy with how much weight I've gained and lost with each pregnancy (cross my fingers), I'm just shocked and amazed when I hear about people who gain so little.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I've been making these cookies for as long as I can remember. I'm not sure where I was introduced to the snickerdoodle, or even if I had an especially strong affection for them. Maybe I just liked the word "snickerdoodle." This was MY cookie. The ones I made whenever I had to bake cookies for anything. Now that I'm avoiding chocolate due to my insane pregnancy belief that it's what's causing my heartburn, I'm breaking out my classic, non-chocolate dessert recipes. Enjoy.
1½ cups sugar
1 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
4 TBSP sugar
4 TBSP ground cinnamon
In a large mixing bowl cream the 1½ cups sugar and the butter. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In small bowl stir together flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Stir into butter mixture until well mixed. In the same small bowl combine the tablespoons sugar and cinnamon. Shape dough into 1-inch balls*; roll each into the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Put balls 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375°. Makes about 36.
*if the dough is too sticky to mold into a ball, refrigerate it for a bit.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
Princess Sparkley was born 4 days later weighing 5 lb.s 14 oz.
This is me on April 7, 2004. Buddy was born April 28. He came a few days early so I didn't get a picture of me on my actual due date. He weighed 7 lbs. 10 oz.
This is me today- 39 weeks. Ignore the look of annoyance as my son runs past (note: he's dressed as a UPS man) and I watch to see if the auto timer on my camera will actually work.
(Don't I look way bigger on the left?)
**Equally fabulous that I'm facing the same direction in all the pictures. Also coincidence. Today's because I have some sort of stain on the left side of my shirt so I posed with my right side facing the camera.
Arthur's Baby, D.W. makes her mom pack a picture of herself so her mom won't forget what she looks like.
This is my dilemma. I never know what to pack for ME to wear home from the hospital. I packed like five outfits for the baby because (1) they are small, (2), I couldn't decide, and (3) my daughter was so unexpectedly small that she came home in a plain white onesie that she was swimming in.
When packing for what I should wear home after my first child, I took into account that I would be bigger than my normal, pre-pregnancy size and I packed my big jeans. It was devastating when they wouldn't fit. I was sure they would. I had to wear maternity clothes home from the hospital. It was such a sad realization that I wouldn't lose everything I expected to quite so quickly.
When packing what to wear home after my second child's birth I packed a pair of cotton, tie waste capri sort of running pants and a t-shirt. They fit, I came home sort of looking like a slob, but I wasn't wearing maternity clothes. That was my goal.
But it's January, so I can't whip out those same capri running pants without freezing.
Basically, my bag is about 1/3 full. I can't pack my toothbrush yet. I can't pack my deodorant yet. And at this point, I guess I'll be coming home in whatever I wear to the hospital because I don't know what else to wear. Isn't that a funny dilemma? I just can't bring myself to wear maternity clothes home. So I can't pack.
A new woman just moved into our neighborhood with three kids. Her oldest is my son's age, 3 1/2 going on 4. Without really thinking about it, I assumed she was older than me. I guess she just seemed more mature or something. Then all of a sudden it hit me last night that my daughter is older than her oldest, and possibly, that could indicate that I am older than she is.
I always think this way. It's like my brother-in-law always reminds me, in his mind I'm still the 14 year old kid he first met when he was engaged to my sister. In his mind I'm 14. In my mind, I'm probably about 22. So why did I stop letting myself "age" over the past 7 years?
Along the same line, today I saw a picture of a girl I grew up with that I haven't seen in 8 or 9 years. She is married, has a bunch of kids and looks like a grown-up. If I didn't know who it was or exactly how old she was, I would probably figure she was much older than I am.
Is it me, or does everyone think this way about themselves?
It took me awhile to get into this book, but more because I didn't have time to read than that it wasn't interesting. The first 100 pages or so were read in 10 or 20 page increments while I waited at the doctor's office. I was so embarrassed each time I went because the first time the doctor asked me what I was reading and told me she'd read it and really enjoyed it and said I'd have to tell her what I thought when I was done. That was the first day I'd read it and at my next appointment, two weeks later, I was still only on page 26 or so. That went on for about a month and a half. Then I actually made myself find the time to read it outside of the waiting room and it moved a lot more quickly. I don't normally read books so slowly. It takes me less than a week to read most books. Sometimes only a day or two.
This book is the story of a girl, growing up poor in Brooklyn in the early 1900s. It's a great history lesson. I feel like I learned so much more about what life was like for people back then than I ever did reading a chapter in a history book about the same time period. The girl's name is Francie Nolan. The book starts when she's 10 or so, flashes back to when her grandparents came to America, her parents' families, how her parents met, when she was born, etc. When the novel ends, Francie is going on 17. But this those few years, she grows up a lot, having to work to support her family starting at 14 (lying that she's 16). The story centers around her, but delves into the lives of her family and extended family around her.
I really enjoyed this book... all 493 pages of it. I don't know that I'd describe it as life changing, but it does definitely make you think. And I think it helped me understand how things were better than any history lesson could have.
*After high school when I decided to major in English, I decided I needed to read all the "CLASSICS," A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was on my list of classics that had to be read.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
So I've started stockpiling books from the library. The problem is, some of them are due next week. I better be able to renew them.
Here's the pile so far: (a lot are young adult novels - okay, most ... don't laugh. They are all pretty easy, pretty cheesey reads.)
Esperanza Rising by Pam Nunoz Ryan
The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
Rules by Cynthia Lord
There's No Place Like Here by Cecelia Ahern
The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
Finding Daddy by Louise Plummer
Big Boned by Meg Cabot
Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins
Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot
Friday, January 11, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
I thought Buddy was going to be our neat kid. The one who cleaned up and put things away. As a toddler he was very adamant about things going where they belonged. Unfortunately, his older sister doesn't have a neat bone in her body, and all of her bad habits (being messy, being unable to clean, staying up late) have worn off on her little brother. This next kid better be the one who likes to clean.
Yesterday my kids had out bits and pieces of every toy they owned and you couldn't walk in their room. We spent a good hour before bedtime getting their room clean (but not the playroom, which was still a bit messy at bedtime). This morning I've been starring at the wall, overwhelmed by how much cleaning, etc. I still need to do before the baby comes and the kids have been upstairs playing. I got a burst of energy and decided we needed to do Princess Sparkley's school for the day and went to get her school books from her room and bring them down to the kitchen table where we do her school work. Their room is a DISASTER. Not as bad as last night... but about 65% of last night. And it's only noon. They've only been up there playing for an hour, maybe an hour and a half. AHHHH!
How do I get them to clean? Princess Sparkley's response is to sort of haphazardly clean up until it loses her attention. Buddy just keeps playing while Princess Sparkley yells at me that he's not helping, and at him that he needs to help. The other day I asked her to clean up the family room (they had toys all over) and when I looked downstairs it actually looked clean. I asked her where she'd put everything (knowing her well enough to know that she didn't actually put anything away. Maybe it was stacked on the stairs to go up, who knows.) She said, "I put some under the [coffee] table and the rest I just stuck in spots." So, the toys were all under the table and on the bookshelf, etc. Not really "cleaning" in my book.
The one thing that gets stuff about 80% clean is threatening to vacuum. And I don't pick up their toys before I vacuum, so if it's on the floor, it's getting vacuumed up. This moves them into action really quickly. But still, only 75% of the stuff actually gets sort of put away. The rest gets put on the couch or the table so it's clear of the vacuum.
Last night I threatened to throw all of their toys away. My husband informed me that would be foolish, we should sell them. But I don't want to go through all the work to sell so many individual toys on ebay. And then ship them. It makes me tired to just think about it. BUT, I could list them as a lot. Their heading would be something like this: "Lot of children's toys - interesting to girl age 5, boy age 3- loved." It would be like the lady who sold the Pokemon card box on ebay that one of her kids stuck in her grocery cart while she wasn't looking and she wrote a whole story about her kids and what they'd done and why they didn't get to keep the said Pokemon cards. Now she's a famous blogger, paid writer and probably has a book deal in the works. I could make a fortune... but probably not off the toys.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
**If anyone can find a picture of this I would love to see it. I just did all sorts of internet searches and came up with nothing.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
When my mom's mom died, I inherited her sewing machine. Until my son was born, I'd never used it. Then it died... well, it's not dead, it's just too expensive to fix right now. So for Christmas three years ago, I received a new one. It's my job in the family to sew now.
Other than the bad experience in fifth grade or so learning to sew, I didn't really sew again until just before my son was born. My mom and I found these baby blankets at a crafty boutique sort of store that were just two 1 yard squares of flannel sewn together. We figured that together, we could make these simple baby blankets.
It started out simple enough. I made one for my sister whose baby was due two months before my son. Then one for my sister-in-law whose baby was due a few days before mine (but was actually born two days later). Then one for my son. Then little baby blankets for dolls.
Left: Carson's (teddy bear toile and navy/white stripes)
Center: Mark's (farm and blue/white stripes)
Right: baby Buddy sleeping on his (navy blue with light blue stars and light blue)
Then burp cloth versions. The burp cloth versions are what my son currently has as his "blankeys" that he can't sleep without. Although there were first four that he liked. Now we are down to two. One is "good blankey," the other is "bad blankey." He can tell the difference by sight and touch. The only difference is that they have a different padding on the inside as my mom and I experimented with what to pad the burp cloths with to make them more absorbent, etc. He has a preference for which one is colder, that's "good blankey."
Left: A doll sized blanket
Center: Curious George burp cloth (rectangle with shoulder cut out)
Right: Buddy's kidney shaped burp cloths/blankeys ("Good blankey" is on the left)
Then, as the only member of my family who "sews," no matter how poorly, it became my job to sew a blanket for each of my nieces and nephews so they could have a "TV blanket" like each of us had that my Grandma Eyre sewed for us as kids. So I branched out and made some with stuffing and tied them. Then I made some with cotton on one side, fleece on the other. My brother even tweaked the Christmas gift drawing one year so I'd be sure to get his name to make him a MASH blanket.
Left: Emma's, light blue with pink flower design and pink (w/ stuffing and tied)
Center: Bryson's, blue Hawaiian print flowers (100% cotton) with stripey fleece on back
Right: Roger's fleece with edges sewn up MASH blanket
Right: Jaxson's, Blue circles and brown puppy dogs with super soft light blue flannel back
And so my sewing career has evolved. My most resent endeavor, I made new burp cloths for this upcoming baby boy entering our family. It involved a 30 minute tantrum in the fabric store from my son (he loves fabric and fabric stores) because I had already picked out the John Deere fabric and wouldn't buy him the race car fabric, but we survived and some burp cloths have been sewn. Maybe I'll eventually get around to a blanket for this new little one... we'll see.