Just a quick review of The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. This is our book club pick for September's meeting. I think it will make for good discussion. The narrator is a woman who loves books deeply. She is asked by the country's most famous living author (reclusive Vida) to write said author's biography. Vida's life story takes up most of the book, and it definitely has some disgusting aspects as well as a few surprises. A bit mystery, a little bit love story, some who-done-it thrown in, even some psychology of sorts. I'll let you know how discussion goes (you know our book club often doesn't do too well with that).
Keira Knightley has made the news for being herself. She has refused to let movie production enhance her cleavage in scenes from the movie The Duchess. I am so proud of her. For another movie, she allowed something like this, and apparently, people noticed (of course they did, it was like going from a B-cup to a D-cup or some such nonsense). She seems to have freely admitted, "Those things aren't mine," when it was done. I am still so proud of her, and I think Jane Austen would be as well (Keira was in the most recent version of Pride and Prejudice). I wish she'd wear a shirt that reads, "I don't have a big chest and I'm naturally slim b/c God made me this way: beautiful."
A clip from a news show about Keira's decision showed all the changes that can be made with computers after a movie has finished filming. Once again, I want to say that I feel bad for the teenagers of today, striving to meet an image that is not real at all. It's not just women whose appearances are altered, either. I guess I'll be sure to reinforce to my children that what you see on film, computer or in print is not necessarily what you get in reality.
If I read ahead in a book, is it my fault for being impatient or the author's fault for not keeping my interest? I feel guilty for reading ahead; my daddy would be scandalized by it. However, sometimes I just can't help myself, and I fear it's getting worse, like my patience is wearing ever more thin as I get older. In my defense, I do always read every word of the book. I don't skip ahead and not go back. Does that make it a little more pardonable?
I am ashamed to admit that I've been watching Hogan's Heroes. They have a marathon on Monday nights on some channel. My husband is to blame for this. He enjoys lots of things WWII related, but Hogan's Heroes is downright silly. Click here if you'd like to have the theme song stuck in your head for a few hours.
I can't keep a conversation going. During my Sunday lunch date, I had to ask H-from-college once what I'd been talking about. I find this happening quite often. I'll forget what I was about to say or what I'm in the middle of saying. It makes me angry sometimes. I'll have something I want to talk about, and then it's gone right out of my head. I know, I shouldn't be thinking about what I want to say when another person is talking, but sometimes it's in response to a topic the other person brought up. I blame coming off of a good nine months of sleep deprivation.
It's five minutes 'til 08:00; both of my boys are still sleeping. If I had decided a shower could wait and tried to sleep in a bit, they would have been up by 07:20 or sooner. They know my plans and react accordingly. It's just like in Sheri Lynch's Be Happy or I'll Scream when she finds the secret magazine where her daughters are interviewed about how great they are at creating disaster and generally wreaking havoc (it's just Lynch's crazy imagination but sometimes I wonder...)
So I was a wild and crazy mommy this Sunday: I met a friend for lunch and went shopping with her. I was away for about three and a half hours. C was alone with the conspirators =) It was great to catch up with my friend (H-from-college). Plus I'm always happy to have someone with me who gives me an opinion on what to buy. I am a terrible decision maker when I am shopping for clothes, and you know how I feel about trying things on at home. I had hoped that going out on my own for a bit would make me have some more energy, but, no, I am still exhausted when I fall into bed. Uh oh, I hear some mutterings.
Conspirator #2 woke up at 08:05, and Conspirator #1 awoke at 08:25 with his feet asleep which really freaks him out. Did I mention H's school starts at 09:00?!? This should be interesting. Happy Monday!
H did this all on his own. Those are stickers from Chiquita bananas. When I was little, my grandmother always put the Chiquita banana stickers on me, so I do the same with H. Nowadays, the bananas have the regular Chiquita trademark stickers and ones that say things like: Naturally Fat Free. My favorite one to put on H reads: 100% Perfection!
I thought I would share some of the craziness that goes on in my head. On two occasions when I have seen a Krispy Kreme Doughnut truck, I thought, Forget a Wells Fargo truck, this is the truck I would hi-jack! Tonight I walked by one of the trucks outside the grocery store, and I could smell the doughnuts. Mmmm...good!
I went to a Zumba class at the Y this Saturday. It's pretty much like a Cardio Dance class, and I love it! Any chance I get to dance (and pretend I'm a Britney Spears back up dancer -before the whole getting married/getting divorced/having a breakdown deal, of course), I'm enjoying myself. I feel so energized after one of those classes, and I hear songs that I think must be popular (Buttons by Pussycat Dolls, anyone?). Of course, they could be older songs by now. I'd never know. I don't drive very long distances, and I honestly forget to turn on the radio when I'm in the car (plus I'm a bit of a talk radio junkie when I do listen). However, I really need to attend one of the sculpting-type classes because I need some toning up in more than one area. I just don't know how other people have time to exercise.
C and I joined the Y early in the year, and I started going to a Cardio Dance class on Fridays when my mom could watch the boys. Then, W was diagnosed and had surgery, and all the grand exercise plans were put on the way-back burner. W is too little for the child watch that is available at the Y, and I'm not sure how H would do in there. C and I have discussed each having one night a week we could go. Those would be sandwich nights around here. We just struggle to get motivated. What we need are some very responsible, very trustworthy, very capable baby-sitters. Side note: Aunt J, when are you and Uncle D moving back here? J/K, but I do so completely trust you :) There are others who might be reading this who would qualify as well... At least on this issue, it's not just us.
At a wedding back in May, a fellow mother asked myself and another mom if we ever let anyone besides our parents watch our kids? The answers all around were no. I thought, we need to all band together to help each other out! I have a friend nearby that I would feel completely at ease leaving my children with, but she has three boys of her own. I'm not sure whether asking a mom who has her own children to take care of to add to her load is a good answer. So what did my parents do? My mom has a sister who is twelve years younger and two cousins who were teenagers when me and my brother were younger. My brother and sister-in-law would be fantastic or my niece and nephew (their children), but they live several states away. I'm afraid it just seems like a problem we can't seem to solve. Maybe our plan to pick a night for me and a night for C will work. Wish us luck!
I do believe that W is able to move in a forward direction when on his tummy without my hands behind his little feet to help! Hooray! I've been having a few "pity party" days lately with my worries about W, so it's nice to see some much-prayed-for success. Speaking of success, H came to me today while Thomas was on to tell me he needed to go use the potty. For him to stop watching Thomas and come tell me is fantastic. He is really doing a great job!
I'm excited about the Olympics. C actually knows an athlete that will be competing which just makes it more interesting. The last time the summer Olympics were on, I was expecting H, so that makes it seem like a really long time. I think part of my excitement is knowing there is something on the telly that I'll enjoy watching. I've been known to watch Curling during the winter Olympics! It will be interesting to learn about Beijing. I really liked seeing the sites of Athens in 2004 (via the tv, of course).
W has an ear infection! My poor little guy. He's such a trooper, too, because he really hasn't acted like he was feeling bad. I feel bad for not going to the doctor sooner, but since H had gotten well, I assumed it was just a cold. Mommy guilt all around. The doctor tried to make me feel better by saying it was a cold, he just developed an ear infection. So, W gets ten days of antibiotic and should be feeling better in two to three days. Only four more days of school (MMO) for H. Then, we have all of August with no school. Maybe we'll all stay well for the month!
In an effort to teach H, C and I try to use sir and ma'am when speaking to each other and the children. So, I am always saying sir, since I'm the only gal around here. Now, H will sometimes ask me, "May I have some animal crackers, sir?" Oh well, it will all come together one day. I am glad he is trying, and I don't mind being sir!
I have some pictures of various things (not my children, of course) that I want to put up, but I need my resident technological genius (otherwise known as my husband) to teach me how to do some things. Things including how to get my pictures off my camera and on to the computer (don't laugh - C is really into photography, so I let him handle that stuff).
I better get a move on, so I can get to the doctor appointment on time!
However, I really like changing up my blog layout, a lot. I actually wanted something else, but when I followed the directions, it didn't work. Hmm, something for me to try another day. I'm taking W to the doctor tomorrow. He's still sniffly and ran a slight fever the other evening. It will make me feel better if nothing else. I'll try to really post tomorrow instead of playing blog decorator!
Aaahh, air conditioning, so nice. We had to get a new one. Our old one had a leak as well as some pretty nasty looking black stuff on it. Air conditioning is expensive, ouch. We were lucky to get a day that wasn't a scorcher or extremely humid. We spent some of the afternoon at my mom's. It is nice and cool in her backyard, even when it would be too hot in ours. I think it's because she has some tall trees back there. It's making me think we need to start planting some more trees. We have some pears and dogwoods in the front, but no oaks or poplars. Another thing to add to our home improvement to-do list. Now that we've got the new a/c, it's on to landscaping. Luckily, we do have a friend who does heating and air, so we weren't taken to the cleaners.
What's not so cool, and I've been meaning to blog about for some time now, is my crazy post-pregnancy hair. This happened after H was born, too. I had never heard of this, but the gal who cuts my hair assured me she's seen it before. I have this new "baby" hair growing at my hairline above my forehead. I thought I just kept growing more hair after each baby, but she said I actually lost the hair while I was pregnant and now it is growing back. So, I have these short kind-of bangs that look something like a rooster's comb. I may see if C can get a picture of them. They are too short to really be bangs, so they just sort of stand up! Crazy!
This weekend wasn't too busy, but it flew by (don't they all?) Saturday evening was C's work picnic. We decided to have my mom watch W (it was hot, we would have just had to leave him in the stroller the whole time). The first thing we did was take a plant tour. H enjoyed seeing the fork lifts, and we spotted a roll of the really large-bubbled bubble wrap (that stuff is great for jumping on). Then, we had our picture made with a race car and had some food. H got a miniature race car and some toy construction equipment, even a dump truck for W. Sunday afternoon, I mowed the front yard. I am not the best mower, particularly when I can't really see where I've already mowed :) Oh well, it looks better than before I mowed. Sunday evening, H told us he'd found an elevator, did we want to go up in it? We went in his room, he shut the door and pushed a "button" on the door. Later, the elevator got stuck and he had to push the alarm. He's so fun and imaginative; we really have some great times. When I was turning off his light before prayers and bedtime stories, he said, "I had a great day today, Mommy." I told him I was glad, and that he had a lot of great days. He replied that some days weren't great, but today was a pretty great one!
I finished The Condition by Jennifer Haigh this weekend. I enjoyed the book, but as it tells the stories of each member of a five person family, I find myself reading ahead. I feel so guilty for doing that, but if one story doesn't hold my attention, I have to see what happens with the one I'm more interested in. The author definitely has a great insight on women's insecurities and how they can do some damage. The book is the story of a married couple and their three children. The daughter is diagnosed with a syndrome that makes her not go through puberty, and neither of her parents really cope well with her condition. I would like to say the one book I have read that actually went back and forth between two time periods both of which were so interesting that I never read ahead is Sullivan's Island by Dorothea Benton Frank. It is by far the best of her books. Most of her others are a bit man-bashing.
I decided to check out a free issue of a new magazine for moms. It advertises itself as the magazine for the woman and the mom. I finally got my free issue, and they have children's clothes and women's clothes articles. The women's clothes are for date night, most of the shirts are over $150 each! The children's clothes are outrageously expensive, too, except for an ON item thrown in once a page and some Chuck Taylors. I realize the articles (should they really be called pictorials?) are to give ideas not necessarily for readers to run out and buy the exact items, but if this is a magazine for moms or an average woman, do they really think I am going to spend anywhere near that much money for one item of clothing?!? I know I am on the very frugal side, but I think most people would find these prices ridiculous as well as unaffordable. I need to see what you can get from Target, folks! Bring on the Mossimo!
I've been wanting to mention this for about a week, but I am only now getting a chance. Isn't it quite rude to call someone when you know that he or she just walked in his or her home? after a day at work? when the spouse and children are at the aforementioned home? My MIL did this last week. She called C's cell, and he told her, "I just walked in the door." So, she asks if she should call the house phone, and he says okay. First, he should have said no, he'd call her back in a bit, but she should have known to give him a few minutes. His children are usually excited to see him. We all have things we want to say to him when he gets home. Aaargghhh! I just think it's so very rude.
In middle school and high school, I had a close friend that I talked to on the phone a lot. After a few times of finding me on the phone when he arrived home from work, my dad laid down the law, "When you see or hear me in the driveway, I by God expect you to get off the phone!" No doubt I didn't like the rule then, but I came to understand it as I matured. It's nice to be greeted, to be asked about your day, to feel welcomed and loved. Also, when you are the at-home spouse, often, you really want to talk to an adult at the end of the day! I just wanted to get that out. By the way, Daddy did let me call my friend back while he was getting changed into his "home" clothes and cooking dinner. (I was just a tad bit spoiled!)
H asks what kind of spider is a cob? At first, C and I don't know what he's saying, then, oh a cob. A cobweb, get it? He thinks a cob is a certain type of spider. I looked it up in a dictionary, and the definition for cobweb is spider's web. C and I thought maybe a cobweb was a spider web with dust collected in it (not that we have any of those around our house ;) So, his questions make me find answers.
In other news, it's what a friend calls "sick house" here. H's cold was passed on to W. I think I have only succeeded in isolating the cold to H once since W was born. I am taking Contac to try to keep from getting it. H and W both seem to feel okay as they are playing normally, but they have runny noses and coughs. H was coughing from 1:30am to 2:30am last night.
We did go to the birthday party I mentioned, but it got pushed to Monday due to rain. All four of us went, and it was fun to hang out with friends. H lost it because he wanted a spoon to eat his ice cream with (they had plastic forks). We called it a night then, and of course, he fell asleep in the car. The mother of the birthday boy had great gift bags for the children which included: cute Hawaiian themed rubber ducks, those things you rub between your hands and the little balls hit the middle to make noise (have no idea what they're called), temporary tatoos, styrofoam rockets, and, saving the best for last, glow sticks! The glow sticks were way cool. Now don't laugh, but I don't think I have ever really had one. I enjoyed them as much as the boys! See, I'm still learning...
Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 This was one of my daddy's favorite quotes. I heard him recite it often. I am hoping that we are "training up" our boys to become admirable men some day.
I am so proud of H! He did really well as ring-bearer in the wedding this weekend. Read on!
H had fun at the rehearsal luncheon, running around with the flower girl. And guess who was in the bar of the restaurant we were having the luncheon in? Tommy Lee (of Motley Crüe and Pamela Anderson Lee fame). My friend's husband went down to the bar to get H some Sprite (I cut it with water always!) and came back up and told us Tommy Lee was there. So, H and I walked back down to see him, but I would never have known it was him. Still, it's always kind of neat to say you've seen a famous person. Unfortunately, H didn't get to see any fireworks on the 4th this year, but since it was the night before the wedding, I didn't want to keep him up late (not to mention trying to keep W on his schedule).
Saturday, H had some pictures taken before the ceremony, then I took him for a car ride and he got a thirty minute nap. We returned for the ceremony. He walked down the aisle (somewhat with the flower girl). He did walk straight to me and sit down, but I was right behind the mother-of-the-bride, so that was okay. He sat still and did not talk during the ceremony, and despite the incredible heat, he managed to keep all of his tux accoutrements on until the pictures were finished. He did complain about the jacket and bow tie, but who can blame him? Outdoor wedding in July?!? By the time we got home, I wanted to take another shower before going to bed. I just felt sticky from being hot and sweaty. However, the curse of the weddings seems to be on us, as he woke up Saturday (the day of the wedding) with what he called "a nose problem." I am thinking it's just a cold. At the reception, H had more fun "chasing" with the flower girl and some other children.
I am also proud to say, he has continued doing great with the potty (even while we were away from home, we figured out a way and it involves a cup, 'nough said). We have also noticed that H's manners are improving. We're hearing a lot more pleases, thank yous, and yesses (as opposed to yeahs- which drive me crazy). He is also very helpful when my hands are full (often with W).
A few things from the wedding experience. Three of the guests wore these banded dresses! Wow! They are very short; as I told my husband, there is only so much leg, you know? One of these guests caught the bouquet, and C said, "When the guy who caught the garter put the garter on her, he really put it where you'd put a garter and you could still see it." The dress was that short. When I see the things young women wear theses days, I'm so glad to be an old married woman. The other thing I can't wrap my mind around is the phenomenon of really laid back parents. C and I are both fairly germ-o-phobic (okay, I am reallygerm-o-phobic). Some of the things we see other parents let their children do, though, makes us question whether anyone could truly be that laid back without some kind of medication. I know that we are really not laid back, but still... Oh well, I told C, maybe their parenting philosopy is "whatever doesn't kill them, makes them stronger." To each his own, right?
On a side note, C woke me up one night snoring and hiccupping. How can someone fall asleep when they have the hiccups? It does worry me a bit that he every once in awhile gets hiccups in the middle of the night. He'll have them before going to bed, then they'll go away and come back in the middle of the night. Strange, I know. Let's hope tonight we can all get some much-needed, post-wedding weekend rest.
Happy 4th of July! Don't worry I won't keep this layout for long. It's too busy for me, but I thought I'd impress you all with my ability to change it :) The fireworks started a little last night. Let me tell you, having children will change your view of fireworks even if you already thought they were a dangerous waste of money.
I went to ON and Target today, went a little crazy in Target but saved my receipts for returns. My daddy always said I spent more money on gas taking things back than on the actual purchase (and that was before these crazy gas prices). Oh well, sometimes I like trying things on in the privacy of my own home where I can get my mom and C's opinions.
Today's Successes: 1) I got my ring tone downloaded to my phone! 2) I saw W with his knees up under him (like if he were crawling) 3) I bought a gift for Sunday afternoon's birthday party 4) I vacuumed the entire living room and 5) I cleaned one of my retainers (you do not want to know)! Go me!
This is a question I got about a week ago from H. He has asked me about every animal he knows. Sometimes when he's looking at a book, he'll start asking if each animal in the story poops. I have no idea why he's suddenly so interested in knowing this, but he sometimes wants to know how it's done and where! I need a zoologist to answer all these questions. I try to stay cool and answer to the best of my knowledge, but when he asked about butterflies, it cracked me up!
H is doing really well with the potty-training at home. Now, what about at school (Moms Morning Out) or restaurants or stores? We were at a restaurant the other evening and tried, but C and I were stumped, how do we let him stand up if he's not tall enough? We obviously had not thought this all through as well as we should have. I've heard let him stand on the seat, but what if his shoes fall in the toilet? Oh well, we'll figure it out, and in the mean time, I am so, so proud of him!
W is getting better and better with his sippy cup! Yesterday, I only gave him a bottle for his pre-bedtime feeding. He's even learning not to shake the cup (emphasis on learning). I feel like both of us are getting a little frustrated with learning to crawl. He gets on his tummy, pushes way up on his arms, and... pushes himself backward. The PT has shown me how to try to lift his hips to encourage him to get his knees under him, but this is a little guy who likes to have "frog legs" when he's on his belly. I know it will happen, and I should trust in God's timing. I'm just a wee bit impatient sometimes (no comments, C!). W is also a little monkey. He can be laying on his back, kick a toy with his foot, and then pick the toy up between his feet and lift his legs until he reaches the toy with his hands. Amazing!
I am planning an outing to Old Navy and a few other places tomorrow. I have to exchange some capris and possibly buy another pair of capris and jeans, too! I get so frustrated with ON's sizing. If a size fits in the dressing room, don't count on another pair of the same size (even if it's the exact same style) fitting when you get home! Still, I like that you can find somewhat reasonable prices, so I continue to shop there. This weekend, H is ring bearer in a wedding. So, I will be shopping for bribe toys tomorrow as well. Think: if you walk down the aisle and pose for pictures, you get this toy. It's going to be a full weekend: Friday-4th of July and the wedding rehearsal, Satuday-wedding, and Sunday-a good friend's son's first birthday party! Whew, I get tired just typing about it ;)
I'm a stay-at-home mom with two boys and a girl. I'm trying to figure out how real people (those without hired cleaning crews or chefs) keep a clean house, feed the family, have quality time for children, spouse, and self, and keep everyone bathed! The players: C-my husband, H-my older son, W-my younger son, and M-my girl.