Saturday, April 18, 2009

Reeda Turns Two

(She actually blew out the candles. I hadn't seen her do that before.)

Last week we celebrated Reeda's second birthday. Things have been really hectic around here lately, so it was just a quite celebration with the four of us instead of the party with the godparents that I was hoping for.

We had presents, ice cream and a thrown-together-cake-at-the-last-minute-that almost-wasn't. As I was mixing some of the ingredients for the cake I realized that we were out of baking powder. I called a nearby friend and ran over to her house to get some from her. Can I begin tell you how relieved I was that she was home when I needed her?

Reeda's favorite present was a doll stroller. She has barely stopped playing with it since she got it. The few times she doesn't play with it, Happy Boy can be seen running around with the stroller on his head. :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

File Under: Things I Never Thought I’d Say

Don’t screw yourself.

Context? Happy Boy was using a thin cardboard tube as a screw and “screwing” different things and people. After asking him not to use screws on the furniture or me, he started using it on himself. What I said came out before I thought about what it meant.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

18 Weeks

That’s how far along I am in this pregnancy.

Each pregnancy I have I get bigger faster and yesterday my husband told me that the way I was sitting with that particular maternity shirt made me look seven months. That reminded me of this post by Elizabeth Foss.

My husband didn’t tell his parents until last month, which sounds late for grandparents to know, but his family has a tendency not to tell people things. For example, I found out today (from reading her blog) that his sister-in-law is pregnant and due in May.

Besides being amazingly tired the first six weeks, I have been feeling much better this pregnancy than in my previous ones.  In fact, several times I have wondered if I was still pregnant because I thought I felt so well something must be wrong. But then I would hear the baby’s heartbeat and feel relief.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another Book List

Some British media group came up with this list based on a request for readers to submit their ten favorite books. Here are the rules:

Bold the books you’ve read, italicize those on your “to be read” list, and tally the total. Then list three books that you think should be on the list.

According to the media group that did this, the average number of books read from the list is six.

(My notes: Some of this seems a little redundant, like 33 and 36, and some of it seems to be somewhat-pop fiction like 37,42 and 50. )

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (Read some of them)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (I currently reading this and am about halfway done.)
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hussein
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Read at least one book of stories, but not all SH.)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery 
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Read: 32

Want to Read: 25

The “Want to Read” number looks a little ambitious, but since I have the rest of my life ahead of me, it might happen.

My three books:

The Betrothed
The Divine Comedy
The Little House on the Prairie Series (obviously I can include the entire series because there were whole series included on the list).

So, anyone else up for this meme? Flannery? Mrs. Bear?

Monday, March 9, 2009


During yesterday's homily, the priest mentioned that Mount Moriah, the mountain on which Abraham attempted to sacrifice Isaac, and Mount Calvary are one and the same mountain. My husband and I looked at each other in surprise because this was something we had never heard before.

Today my husband asked his Bible-scholar brother-in-law about this and was told that they are generally believed to be the same. Here is the verse that lends credence to that belief:

Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, which had been pointed out to his father David, on the spot which David had selected. (2Chronicles 3:1)

I guess the reasoning is that since the Temple is in Jerusalem, obviously Mount Moriah is in Jerusalem. Mountains are not that common in Jerusalem, so Moriah and Calvary are probably the same.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Maybe Not

Today I mentioned to Happy Boy that I had to make a grocery list for SuperTarget. He took a piece of paper and scribbled out his own grocery list.

As we were leaving for the store he said to me, "Here is my grocery list, Mama."

"What do you have on it?"

"After SuperTarget, we go to Toys R Us."

That's what YOU think, dear.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fraternal Love

The other day Happy Boy and Reeda were playing together and they bumped their heads together. Happy Boy just sat there a little stunned, but Reeda started crying. When Happy Boy noticed her crying, he ran to me and said, "Mama, I need a Kleenex for Reeda! She is crying and I need to dry her tears." I probably don't need to mention that my heart melted instantly for his love and concern for her.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Out for a Walk

I found this picture when I took Happy Boy's birthday pictures off the camera. This was taken in December when we went for an outing. I think it's funny that Reeda is taking Happy Boy for a walk. :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Too Funny Not to Read

I just found this blog post and wanted to pass it on. It is only three sentences, so you have time to read it.

Material Discontent

We* have had our vacuum since we received it as a wedding present. In other words, our vacuum is almost six years old. For quite some time, every time we use it we have gotten a strong dusty smell, even when the bag was just changed. This combined with knowing that with two children, the floor should be vacuumed or at spot-vacuumed at least every other day and increased knowledge of dust mites and allergens in the carpet has made me want a new vacuum.

I would read blog posts by people with a Dyson and think, "Wow. I would really like a Dyson. It is so powerful." Then I would visit people who had a Roomba and think, " This would be great to have. I would easily be able to vacuum every single day." Or I would have to get out the vacuum just to vacuum up a patch of dirt or food and think, "What I really need is a hand vac. It is just ridiculous to lug out this big thing just to vacuum up a small area of the carpet."

It was with great shock that I realized that I desired not one but THREE new vacuums. That was a bit extreme, especially when the vacuum I had was still functioning. How could this happen? How could I be so materialistic? I could give the excuse that "I want all" like St. Therese said, but I don't think that is a valid excuse for me. Rather, I think it is a consequence of living in a rich country where lots of people buy what they want when they want it regardless of their financial situation. We see the nice things that people have and want them too, not knowing whether they can afford them or whether those things just drove them deeper into debt.

For Christmas I was given a Roomba. However, ideally, I still would like both a Dyson and a hand vacuum. Having one object of my desire unfortunately did not quench my desire for the others. Even though these are only wants and not all-consuming desires, it disturbs me that I feel this way. However, I don't know how to rid myself of this greed (or is it envy? or merely covetousness?). Whatever it is, it seems to be a spiritual ill and I suppose I need to pray more for contentment. Lucky me: Lent begins tomorrow! It seems to be the perfect time to try to become less attached to worldly things.

*I say "we" because my husband vacuums just as much as I do, and more if I am pregnant.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

I don't watch the Academy Awards, so I am in no way desirous of watching a movie merely because it did well at the Oscars. However, there are times when a movie I enjoy is nominated for something (such as the Lord of the Rings movies) and then I hope that it does well.

The movie Slumdog Millionaire did surprisingly well at the Oscars for being a foreign film with no big-name actors in it. I don't really care how well it did, but its presence in the spotlight for the last few days has reminded me that it was a movie that I wanted to see.

I love the plot: a poor man raised on the street becomes a millionaire on an Indian quiz show and then has to prove how he learned all the facts he knew. There is a problem, though. I try to keep my standards high when it comes to movies and that means skipping the R rated movies. I simply don't want to subject myself to the sort of thing that contributes to the "restricted" rating. And unfortunately, Slumdog Millionaire has that rating.

I thought, "Well maybe the rating was only because of language." I don't mind that to an extent, so I might have been willing to watch it. I looked up the movie's review on the Catholic Bishop's website and found what I was looking for:

The film contains beating and torture, fleeting rear nudity, crime and prostitution themes, underage drinking, brief scatological humor and occasional rough and crude language.
Well, that settled it. I have no interest in watching that stuff. It's too bad that they don't sell movies edited for airplanes.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Reeda is now able to climb out of her crib. This has made bedtime, naptime, and morning time quite a trial. The other night I went to check on the children about ten and found Reeda playing in their room while Happy Boy peacefully slept.

In the mornings she is now getting up between one and two hours earlier than she did ten days ago. Before when she woke up, she would make a sound or two and go back to sleep. Now she climbs out and by the time she has made it to my room she is too awake to fall back asleep. I will pull her into my bed and watch her yawn, rub her eyes and make sleepy-child noises, but she will not go back to sleep.

In anticipation of this unpleasant event, I bought a crib tent off Craigslist several months ago. I got it out after her first escape only to discover that the children had lost ALL the poles for the tent. After scouring the room I was only able to find half of them. Now we are stuck with a tired Houdini and a somewhat tired and very annoyed mama on an almost daily basis.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Happy Boy!

Happy Boy recently celebrated his fourth birthday. For several months he has frequently requested "a birthday hat and train cake" for his special day. He wore the hat most of the day and was very excited as he watched my husband and I assembled the cake. Now he is looking forward to Reeda's birthday so we can have the birthday hats again and more balloons.

For more pictures of the cake, visit my cooking blog.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy St. Valentine's Day

We normally don't do much for Valentine's Day. I would like to do something fun and romantic, but neither of us want to pay for a babysitter or brave the crowds. I love all the ideas for yummy Valentine's treats that have been floating around various blogs, but we are trying to cut back on sugar, so that eliminates just about everything.

However, we were actually able to do something special anyway! I was very happy when I realized that we had all the ingredients for the dinner we had the same thing the night we were engaged! It wasn't anything special; we just went to a local hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop and split a 12 inch grilled pastrami sandwich, but it was SO GOOD. So tonight I pulled out all the ingredients, assembled and grilled the sandwiches, and we reminisced about that long-ago night.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Signing Time

For the last two or three years that I have been reading mommy blogs I have occasionally read posts about how great the Signing Time DVDs are. I looked at their website, but the cost was too much for me, so I would forget about it until I read the next Signing Time praise post.

Last week I was at the library and I noticed that they had several Signing Time DVDs there. I don't know why it never occurred to me to look there, but I didn't. I checked out the first one for the children, hoping that it would capture Happy Boy's attention.

Not only did it capture Happy Boy's attention, but it also caught Reeda's. This is the first time that she has EVER been interested in watching any type of film and she loves it. I have been extremely impressed with her development in the short time that we have had the DVD from the library. She now has a slightly larger vocabulary, but the main improvement is that words that she said before are significantly more enunciated than before she watched Signing Time. I am excited to see how much of an improvement she has once she watches more of the series.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hello Again

Wow, I've been gone a long time. I have been somewhat operating in a fog and have been almost completely out of it since I got back from vacation. It didn't help that our trip home was far worse than our trip there (I won't bore you with the details) and we suffered its effects for days, and then Happy Boy got croup.

Back to the here and now. We have been having some pretty inclement weather for this part of the country. My husband's school canceled classes two days in a row. I don't think that has happened before and I am not complaining. ;) We ended up having what people here call an ice storm, but what my husband says is "practically nothing."

Yesterday morning Happy Boy looked out the window and noticed our landing covered with ice and... hail? sleet? I don't know what it was. He said excitedly, "I see winter!" It is pretty sad that in the middle of January he has no idea that we are in winter. How could he when the month's high was 80? Every time we read a book about snow he says, "I like snow." Unfortunately for him, he has only experienced snow once in his life and was too young to remember it.

Have a great night!