Friday, June 27, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 33)
 Hosted at ConversionDiary.com

(1)
I just gave Elijah a haircut.  This was the first time I did it by myself.  It was only mildly traumatic.  For me, I mean.  For him, it was much worse, I fear.  Judging from his screeches, he is the only person in the world with nerve endings in his hair.  He's recovering with a Popsicle on the couch as we speak.   It appears there is no lasting damage, except, of course, to his hair.  But I hear that grows back.

(2)
This week I finished the eighth of the books for the KBR contest, young adult category.  There are now three books that I have really enjoyed, although all for vastly different reasons.  At this rate, I should be able to choose a top five without including anything I didn't really like.  With 12 books to go, I am hoping that my decision is a difficult one.

(3)
It's official: I am now outnumbered when it comes to choosing the radio station in the car.  Elijah always wants "banjo songs" (WAMU bluegrass radio), while Isabel just wants "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" from the Sing Along With Putamayo CD.  So, we pretty much just switch back and forth between those two.  I miss you, NPR.

(4)
While listening to the aforementioned "banjo songs" today, I heard a version of "The Great Divide", and was surprised to find that I knew all of the words.  It seems that repeated listenings to Nancy Griffith as a child have made their mark, even though I haven't heard that song in at least 15 years.  Also, if you watch the video, be sure to appreciate the early nineties fashion.  Love the blazers, ladies.

(5)
When it comes to kids' picture books, it sometimes seems unfair that the author gets top billing over the illustrator.  Not so much, however, with one of Elijah's current favs, The Only Alex Addleston in All These Mountains.  The pictures are lovely, and make the story come alive, yes, but oh, the story.  It is just so sweet.  And the language is beautiful.  Read it, please.  Then write me to tell me how much you love it.  

(6)
In that same vein, once again the scientists have spoken, telling us that reading to our children is good for them.  This time, the news is that even newborns benefit from being read to.  I hope this news gives Sandra Boynton a bump, being that she is, in my opinion, the queen of the board book.  

(7)
Given the number of Popsicles my children eat, I sometimes feel a tad bit guilty re: my chidlren's nutrition.  But today's quotable Elijah made me feel a little better.  At the grocery store:  "Look, Mommy!  Pizzas that are frozen.  I never knew about that." Good, son.  Let's keep it that way.

By this time next week, we will be in Michigan, on the far side of a ten+ hour road trip.  Wish us luck.  My main strategy: lots of carb-based snacks (but no frozen pizza).  And headphones.  For me.  Have a great weekend.



Sunday, June 22, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 32)
Sunday Semi-retirement edition


If you've been around the blog lately, you may have noticed that posts have been a little scarce.  Here's why:

(1)
I am continuing down the list of 20 titles for the 2014 Kindle Book Review contest, young adult category  I just finished the seventh one.  Fortunately, it was quite good and did not involve either vampires or a post-apocalyptic story line.  I would be delighted if I could say the same for the next 143books on the list. 

(2)
I am tired.  I cannot remember the last time both of my children slept until at least six o'clock.  To get eight hours of sleep (assuming no one wakes up in the middle of the night), I would have to go to bed at 9 or 9:30, which I am not willing to do.  Nap time often finds me napping rather than blogging.  Not my ideal, but that's just the way it is right now.

(3)
My mom suggested that my lack of bloggy-ness began with my failure in the A to Z Challenge, and while I don't believe that is the whole story, there's probably something to that.  I set a task before my self and did not complete it.  That's hard.

(4)
Some days, parenting takes all that I have in me.  This relates to number (2), but it's more than that.  I love my children so much, and delight in them hourly, but dang, this job is hard.  Friday, for a solid hour and a half after nap time, one or both children was screaming.  I had to get off the phone with my friend Emily because Elijah would not stop yelling at me to read him a book.  All of this drama tends to sap my will for other pursuits, blogging being one. 

(5)
Call me Augustus Waters, but sometimes this blog just seems like a shout into oblivion.  I am very grateful for my few but loyal fans, many of whom are related to me, but sometimes I have a hard time motivating myself to keep posting on this blog that only a few people are reading. I think part of that comes from the fact that I never really settled on a theme, and I don't do much to promote my blog on social media.  

(6)
I have other interests that I'd like to pursue.  There's reading, of course, but I would also like to spend some time writing more fiction.  Also, we've been in this house for nearly 6 years, and there are projects I've never tackled, but I'd like to.  So, with what little time I can find, I'd like to do some of those things.

(7)
So, what I'm really trying to say with numbers (1) - (6) above is that my heart is just not really in this here blog these days.  I may come back to it.  After all, that worked for Michael Jordan.  For now, though, I am just going to take a break.  I will still post a few pictures from time to time, hopefully once a week.  I will still do 7 Quick Takes Friday because I like to, and its an easy way to fit all my updates into one post.  So, if you stop by once a week or so, you should be able to experience all I have to offer, at least for now.




















Friday, June 13, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 31)
 Hosted at ConversionDiary.com

(1)
Isabel is getting really good at buckling her high chair, and entertains herself in this manner for many minutes each day.  Unfortunately, she can't unbuckle it, so this is definitely a "together" activity.

(2) 
Week one of summer va-cay was super fun.  I built a little "music wall" outside on the back porch, and I acquired a very sturdy, weather-resistant play kitchen, so the back "yard" has been a major hang out in the past few days.  In the field trip dept., we have so far enjoyed the Arboretum, the library and the fountain in Columbia Heights.

(3)
I finally read The Fault in Our Stars this week.  What took me so long?  I couldn't help tearing through it, even though I simultaneously didn't want it to end.  If you haven't read it yet, you really need to.  But be prepare to neglect all other life responsibilities for a few days.  Sorry laundry.

(4)
In addition to buckling, Isabel has been "reading" a lot of books this week.  She spreads them all over the floor in the process, but that's okay because she reads them in a super-cute, very low voice.  I will try to capture this on video soon.

(5)
Next week, Elijah and I are hosting a little math camp at our house.  And by math camp, I mean a little 3-year-old fun time with play dough, Legos, art and yes, a tad bit of math.  Because I love math.  I know, nerdsville, but I can't help it.  And, as one of my dad's students said, "It seems like people who are good at math are good at a lot of other things, too." So, no reason we can't start early.  I'll let you know how it goes.

(6)
I am through five of the books for the KBR contest judging.  The last book I had to read was so bad that I almost didn't finish.  I only have to pick the top five, and if that makes it in, then I will cry.  I don't think it will.  But I finished it anyway.  Because I'm a good judge like that.  Only 3/4 of the books to go.  

(7)
 We're gearing up for a busy weekend around here.  Potluck, b-day party and babysitting tomorrow, Father's Day on Sunday.  A big shout out to Kurt, who is an excellent father even in the face of extreme stress (read: road trips), and another big shout out to my own dad, who is the source of my aforementioned math love.  You guys are amazing.



(3)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Life's a beach - 2014 edition


It's 90 degrees here, a few days ago we did what any sane parents of two small children do on a random June weekend - we took a three hour car ride south.  The car ride was every bit as awesome as a car ride with a 3- and 1-year-old can be.  I think I pulled a muscle in my shoulder while trying to keep Elijah from kicking Isabel.  But, we made it. And our hotel room had two rooms, which basically saved us from total insanity.

But!  The beach!  Elijah is still solidly pro-sand, anti-ocean.  Isabel joined him in that camp, though, to be fair, the water was freezing.  Sand castles were made, sand was eaten, fun times were had by all.


Also, Elijah had his first experience with that quintessential beach activity: digging a giant hole.


Now, it's back to reality.  Just kidding.  School's out, so basically, it's happy-fun-time 24/7 around here.  Let the adventures roll on!