Friday, August 8, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 35)


(1)
First off, I want to wish a big happy birthday to my little sister.  Yesterday, she turned 28.  Woo hoo!  I wonder if that makes her too old to party all night on a Thursday.  I bet not. 
Happy birthday, Poonsie!

(2) 
Speaking of all night parties, I threw a baby shower for my friend Peggy on Wednesday, and we stayed up talking, eating, and drinking until 12:30 am.  On Thursday, I painfully remembered why I haven't done that in years.  It was a great party, though.  A big thank you to Kit for the use of her lovely home.

(3)
Last Monday was one of my top five worst parenting days ever.  Not sure why, but someone (or both) was crying for 70% of the day.  We had to leave the arboretum in a fit of tears (Elijah's) and I considered just sitting in the car with the kids and crying until Kurt got home, but I couldn't stand the noise.  Of course, Tuesday was 10,000 times better.  That's just how it goes sometimes.  But man, I am glad that day is behind us.

(4)
If you are wondering about the other 4 days in my parenting hall of terribleness, they all occurred when Elijah was a baby, and all involved nights where there was absolutely no sleeping.  So, upon reflection, things are pretty good around here.  (Note: The picture at the top was not taken Monday.)

(5)
One of my current favorite books around here is If You Want to See a Whale

(6)
I am a big fan of Goodreads, and this week I created my first list!  Check it out, vote, and add your own favorite train books.  I am sure I have forgotten some.

(7)
Finally, the most exciting news around here this week is that I got a job!  Starting in September, I will be teaching preschool three days each week.  Isabel will be joining me.  It seems like the perfect opportunity to dip a toe back into the paid-employment waters.  Wish me luck!

Friday, August 1, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 34)

(1)
 It's been over a month since my last post.  Whoops.  Sorry about that.  My only excuse is that we were gone on vacation for almost three weeks, visiting our families in the Midwest.  It was awesome and fun and excellent, but there is nothing like that much time away to make you glad to come home.  It's good to be back.

 (2)
I rarely go on Facebook, but I had occasion to recently, and I'm glad I did because I stumbled on the most excellent website of a former high school choir mate Chris Giesler.  If you are reading this, and you work for The New Yorker, you need to snap this guy up.

(3)
It's official.  Elijah no longer takes naps.  I am a little sad, but he enjoys his quiet alone time well enough for me to get a break, and bedtime just got a whole lot easier.  Plus, school starts next month.  It does make me feel like he's growing up fast, though.

(4) 
I narrowed the twenty entries in the YA category for the Kindle Book Review contest down to the  top 5.  Once the results are public, I'll post my recommendations here, but I will say that there were several strong contenders.  And now that that's over, I am going to reward myself by rereading The Fault in Our Stars.  

(5)
Kurt and I have been making our way through Parks and Recreation.  If your sense of humor is anything at all like mine (sorry Mom) and you haven't watched this show, please do.  Our evenings are significantly more hilarious since we started.  

(6)
Speaking of humor, Elijah has started telling jokes.  Or I should say joke.  The joke is: What has three legs but never runs?  I think he heard the joke on Thomas.  Anyway, I believe that there is an actual punchline, but it doesn't seem like he knows it.  Instead, he makes up his own.  Favorites include "a house with legs" and a spider.

(7)
Finally, I want to give a shout out/thank you to Kit, for piling us all into her van this morning for a 2 adult, 5 kid trip to the zoo.  Crazy fun times were had by all.  

Happy weekend! 


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.