Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Princess!

Happy Birthday to my "Baby" Sister. I won't tell you how old she is. But if you remember how old I am...she's a lot younger.

(And yes, for those of you keeping track, that makes 3 May birthdays for our family. Only Lulu is individual enough to have a different birth month. She decided to get married in May so that she wouldn't be left out of the fun.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Random Monday

1. LOST is over. I have many emotions about this - more than a TV show really deserves. I think the primary one is relief. That and the resolve to NEVER watch another Cuse / Lindelof show should there be one.

2. Lulu is coming home tomorrow. Tomorrow! Hooray! For a week. Boo! But we'll take what we can get! And my exclamation point is stuck in permanent mode!

3. Good friends from TN are also coming for a visit this weekend. Hooray again! I'm not sure I can stand all the excitement. [insert wry smile emoticon here]

4. Prince Charming and the girls went on a father / daughter road trip last Thursday. I was home alone for three days and two nights. Yes, I missed them very much but yes, it was also kind of awesome. I played the piano a lot. Read. Cleaned without "help". Tidied up without the usual three person destruction crew following along behind me. Stayed up way too late. Watched musicals. Went out with a friend without needing a sitter. Tagged along with Mom and Dad.

5. I've decided single people have pets so they don't feel crazy when they talk to themselves.

6. My birthday was very nice, thank you. Now the deliberations on what to do with my birthday loot. I'll take suggestions. Any books I should buy? Movies I must own?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yes, It's True

That little rumor you've been hearing is true. Today is my birthday. We did most of our celebrating last Saturday. By which I mean Prince Charming arranged child care and took me out to dinner and a bookstore. He knows me so well.

We do not have big plans for today. Other than get through it. (Wednesdays are like that around here)

As for how old I am, this is all I have to say:
I won't be needing Cousin E to help me blow out the candles this year and not just because I'll have an entire squad of candle-blower-outers to help me.

And I hear that beginning next year my own mother plans to start fudging my age. OK, scratch that. I've just seen her blog. She spells it out for all to see. If she doesn't mind having a daughter that age, how can I mind being that age, right?

Monday, May 17, 2010

For the To-Be Read Pile: Top 100 Children's Books

School Library Journal recently posted their list of the top 100 Children's Novels. I was thrilled to see many of my favorites made the cut. I've put the ones I've read in bold and the ones my children have either read, had a parent read, or listened to on tape or CD in italics.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sweet Pea Reminiscing


Sweet Pea has been telling us a lot of "when I was born" stories lately. She's very interested in how her new baby sister is growing inside me, how big the baby might be when she's born, and what the baby will be able to do.

So far we haven't been able to convince Sweet Pea that newborns are pretty much unable to do much of anything. Sweet Pea is sure that she came fully capable: talking, mobile, and ready to take on the world.

Today at my doctor's appointment Prince Charming and I took Sweet Pea with us. (She was going to hear the heartbeat again but it turned out that Prince Charming and Sweet Pea both missed the doctor almost entirely because Sweet Pea needed a bathroom break.)

"Mama, when I was borned," Sweet Pea told us while we waited, "I grew in your tummy. Then I came out. And I said, 'Hi! my name is [Sweet Pea's real name]'."

Which is exactly how I remember that happening too, of course.

So all our thinking and planning for Baby Girl #4 may just be unnecessary. She might just pop out like her big sister and announce her name to the world.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Proverbs 31:10, 28-30 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
I'm very thankful for my wonderful mother and also for my lovely grandmothers who have greatly influenced my life.

And just for the record, now that I'm a mom myself, I'd like to say, "I get it now." They'll know what I mean.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Books of 2010 - April

1. Americans in Paris: Life & Death Under Nazi Occupation. Non-fiction by Charles Glass. Very interesting book, read as research but worth the time for any one interested in WW2.

2. Parenting the Hurt Child. Non-fiction by Gregory Keck & Regina Kupecky. I've seen this book discussed and recommended by adoptive parents. We have not adopted, but we do work with hurt children on a regular basis. Very good and I highly recommend it.

3. Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood With Britain in Its Darkest Hour. Non-fiction by Lynn Olsen. Fascinating reading. Primarily about Edward Murrow, Averill Harriman and Gilbert Winant but also about London itself. Read as research.

4. Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World. Non-fiction by Claire Harman. What's a month without at least one book about our immortal Jane?

5. The Dead Travel Fast. Fiction by Deanna Raybourn. OK. Obviously trying to capitalize on the interest in vampires these days. I love Ms. Raybourn's blog better than I do her books.

6. David Copperfield. Fiction by Charles Dickens. This one took me a long time to read. It wasn't that it bored me, it's just...dense. Very dense. I enjoyed it very much once I got into it.

7. Parenting With Love and Logic. Non-fiction by Foster Cline & Jim Fay. There are definitely some good ideas here. Take the good, leave the not-so good. Also leave the idea that any of your conversations with your kids will sound like the sample conversations in the book. Not.Gonna.Happen.

8. Benny & Shrimp. Fiction by Katarina Marzetti. I think this book was translated from Swedish or something like that. Odd, very, very, odd. And not something I would ever read again.

9. Pink Slip Party. Fiction by Cara Lockwood. I ended up skimming a lot of this chic lit effort. Casual drug use and much bad behavior by all characters.

10. Living With Less so Your Family Has More. Non-fiction by Jill & Mark Savage. Turns out Prince Charming and I are already doing most of the things in this book. Still, it's nice to be reminded why and encouraged every once in awhile.

11. Child of Mine: Feeding With Love and Good Sense. Non-fiction by Ellyn Satter. This is the only book our library has by this author. I've seen her ideas on several blogs and was intrigued. This book is actually a great parenting book in general, as well as being very helpful about food & nutrition. We've already implemented some of what I read and we've seen that it works. Highly recommended.

12. The Liberators: America's Witnesses to the Holocaust. Non-fiction by Michael Hirsh. Read as research.

13. A Matter of Justice. Fiction by Charles Todd. Series mystery. I haven't enjoyed any of the later books as much as I did "A Cold Treachery" (see January books). Of course I keep reading them. It's a series.

Totals for April:
Fiction: 5
Non-fiction: 8
Dickens Completed: 1

Once again, I'm linking up with Fish Mama's Booking It. Be sure to check out all the great reading lists. You never know when you'll find a new favorite book.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Cautionary Tale

Prince Charming and I, being the Planners that we are, had already decided on our favorite baby name for a girl or boy before we even got married. This may seem unusual but we talked about pretty much everything before we were married. Names were important to me and I wanted to be sure we were on the same page.

Turns out, we were. We both loved the name we would eventually give our oldest daughter.

Now it just so happens that the names we liked both started with the same letter. This letter is a bit more uncommon for names (in other words it's not "A" or "J". There must be a million names starting with J. Just ask the Duggars).

Second pregnancy rolled around. Of course we still liked the same name for a boy. But we had to think about the potential girl name. As it turns out, we both really liked another name that started with the same letter. So, heedless of the danger, we bestowed that name on our little Tigger.

Now an interesting thing happens as a couple grows and matures. Some of our ideas about families have been in place since our dating days (we agreed we would homeschool, that I would stay home, that Prince Charming would be pursuing a non-traditional career path, that we would live within our means - no matter what those means were). Some of our ideas have changed slightly since those days. Back then Prince Charming thought he was making a concession when he agreed to consider three children.

These days he's just hoping we can hold off buying that "white conversion" (you Tim Hawkins fans get it) as long as possible.

Baby Girl #3 got a slightly more unusual name starting with the same letter as her older sisters. We talked about naming her something else, but we didn't want her to feel left out. After all, what if she was our last child? (Perhaps I should mention that her name is unusual in the U.S. but not overseas. When we went to Scotland last year we got several, "Oh, I love that name!" type comments) With this baby we kept her name to ourselves until after she was born, the theory being that once those people who loved us were holding her in their arms, they wouldn't care about the name so much. (One set of my grandparents tried to pump Polly for information right before Sweet Pea was born. Foiled! We specifically did not talk about baby names around Polly because we knew she'd spill the entire discussion to anyone who asked her!)

It didn't really occur to me at the time but later I was writing out all their names and realized something: not only do their names all start with the same letter, they also have the same number of letters. (6)

Do you begin to see the corner we've painted ourselves into? There are, by my count, about six more names that fit that criteria. None of which just jump out at us shouting, "Name Baby #4 this!" And there are few more names that start with the same letter but have a different number of letters in them. Some of those we like but we are not exactly in agreement over which.

Baby Girl #4 is going to stay "Baby Girl #4" for awhile, is what I'm saying.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bouncing Baby...

Girl!

We had our ultrasound today. Baby was quite active and, though sitting on her bottom for most of the scan, stretched out enough to confirm our suspicions that Baby Girl #4 is well on her way.

Thursday will mark the half-way point. I may regret saying this later, but I feel like this is pretty much flying by. Which is a good thing, of course.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Happy Birthday to the Bear!

When I think "baby brother" something like this comes to mind:



Only that was then and this is now:

Still funny, handsome, nice (shh...don't tell him I said that), and pretty much the best little brother in the history of little brothers. Only a lot taller than I remember.And stronger. And he's a pretty great uncle too, just ask the three silly girls in this picture.

When did all that happen?

Happy 15th Birthday, Bear!