Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Look at this baby read!

My baby is growing up too fast! Here he is sitting up reading a book!

This was on his 5-month birthday, 2 days ago. You may note that the book is open to a page that says, "Baby's sitting. Wobble, wobble." At the time I snapped it, he was very wobbly, but 2 days later he can already sit without immediately falling over! (When put in that position.) Also, when he does fall, he can either catch himself on his own arms or flip into a tummy position before he finishes falling all the way. Strong kid!

I swear he will be crawling any moment. He can already roll all around, move in circles, and scoot backwards. But he also gets up on all 4's and rocks violently--almost hops like a bunny when he's doing it! In comparison, I think my second son crawled at 7.5 months and my first crawled at 8.5 months. Oh yeah, he's also really happy again and sleeping through the night again. I guess he was frustrated about not being mobile enough, but now he is too mobile!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday miscellany

  1. I think fried eggs are inherently funny. I'm not sure why, but toy fried eggs and pictures of fried eggs usually make me smile. Forks also strike me as slightly funny, though not as funny as fried eggs. (And of course sporks are funny, but that's more obvious.)

  2. On Saturday Cartoon Network had a phone-in contest to win a $30 Transformers toy, and my 6-year-old was one of only 100 kids nationwide to win one. The same day, my husband won a $20 "Wii Points" card from the Wendy's contest where they give contest codes on their drink cups. (I think it's good for buying old-style games for the Wii, so when we get a Wii, and someday we will...we can use it.) Not to miss out on the good luck, my brother got offered a full-time job (a Hollywood job!) that day, after being out of steady work for quite a while.

  3. If your restaurant chain sells a drink called a Frosty and for more than 25 years, the only flavor it came in was chocolate, then chocolate should still be the default flavor when someone orders a Frosty from you, even if you've recently started selling vanilla ones, too. Just saying...

  4. Also, if a vending machine is sold out of the drink you want, it should give you back your money instead of making you buy a drink you don't want. Especially if nearly all the other drinks in the machine are also sold out, so you have to get a diet soda, which you don't drink (I wrote down the code from the bottle cap and threw the drink away).

  5. Today we took the older kids to Vacation Bible School at the church where they both started preschool, nearly 7 years ago in the case of my oldest. What a blast from the past! I ran into 3 different people I'd known (from elsewhere!) years ago, and also saw the teachers who taught my son's 2-year-old class, now that he's almost 9. After dropping them off, we had some great breakfast burritos...and speaking of blasts from the past, and soda, I also had an RC Cola in a glass bottle!

  6. 12-packs of Dr Pepper (my lifeblood) no longer exist. After 3 stores including Walmart didn't have them, I mentioned it to the convenience store clerk, who told me they were all taken away, & were going to be replaced with 8-packs. Coke will apparently be doing the same. (I'm sure we'll soon be paying as much for them as for 12-packs...and I'll need 3 hands to carry 24 cans.)

  7. My sweet, rarely-crying baby has been replaced with a wildly restless, active, and frustrated one who will probably not calm down or stop moving and kicking until he finally learns to crawl, walk, or run! He's only 4 months old now, so I don't know whether to hope this happens soon or not...but he longs to be on the move.

  8. I heard the song "Hey There, Delilah" by the Plain White T's on the radio yesterday and thought it was sweet and catchy--the kind of song anyone would want written for them, so I bought it from iTunes today without even hearing it again first.

  9. The above made me think that even though Elvis Costello's "Alison" is not the greatest song to have as your namesake song, I have had a song and several poems written for me in real life, and I'm happy about that. (Also, considering that I'm a writer and have written quite a few poems over the years, it's surprising how few poems I've written for other people, though there have been some.)

  10. I think it would be really cool to have a '57 Chevy, a '63 Corvette convertible, or a '65 Mustang convertible. But my other dream car is a minivan! I loved my bright blue van and I really miss it. I also miss having a car with a power moonroof (which I had in my '84 Oldsmobile, once upon a time).

  11. This morning I was annoyed with people for complaining about their (nice) vehicles when I'd be happy just to have 2 vehicles--or even 1 big enough or reliable enough vehicle--for our family of 5. Then I realized I'm not grateful enough for all the things I do have that other people may lack--children, a husband, a house, my eyesight and hearing, mobility, an education, a safe neighborhood, a computer, food, air conditioning, etc., etc. Now I'm feeling very appreciative for all that I do have, and I hope I can keep that perspective in mind!

  12. In a Real Simple magazine section on favorite summer memories, a couple of people mentioned lazy drives, and rides in convertibles. I remember lots of lazy drives with my parents, often with stops for snow cones. I also remember one summer night in my teens, when I went for a ride late at night in my friend John's huge old yellow convertible (one of those 70s boat-sized cars) with him and another friend. We drove out towards nowhere with the top down, with no destination and no place else to be. I'm not sure that the guys were having much fun, but I felt free, like I was flying, without a care in the world. It's just a snapshot in my mind now, but it's still one of my favorite memories.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Yak & tats

There was a yak in my mailbox! Well, actually, a copy of K. Pluta's new picture book, There's a Yak in My Bed, which I won in an online giveaway from her! Yay! We found it when we checked the mail on the way out of the house a couple of days ago, and my 6-year-old immediately read it out loud to all of us on our drive. Then the 8-year-old wanted to read it to himself, even though he'd already heard the story! I'm guessing he wanted to see the pictures, by Austin's own Christy Stallop, better. Obviously, the book went over well here. It's cute and fun, and given that Blooming Tree is a small press that doesn't normally do picture books, I was impressed with the quality of the physical book as well. So congrats again, K. Pluta, & thanks again for the book!

Meanwhile, last night I started reading Jennifer Lynn Barnes' book Tattoo. My husband was out of town, I had finally gotten the baby to sleep around 9:30 (no small feat!), and I let the other boys stay up to have a movie-watching party (they watched Sky High, one of my favorites, and then a new Pokemon episode) and a "sleepover." They finally fell asleep around 11 pm, in sleeping bags on the living room floor. I wasn't sleepy myself yet, so I decided to read. Well, let me tell you that Tattoo may not be the book to read when you're alone in your room late at night! Heh. I got about halfway through, finally going to sleep at 1 am when the sense of impending doom was really starting to creep me out. Let's just say that Jen did a good job of creating suspense and dread. :-)

I woke up this morning with a baby in my bed (he joined me when he woke in the night), but no evil beings and no yaks, so I'd have to say it's so far so good today.

Monday, June 11, 2007

18 years ago today

18 years ago today I met my husband at a Jason's Deli (with mutual friends). Here's the oldest pic of us I have on my computer, from about 4 months after that:

Of course we'll go to Jason's Deli today, as we always do on June 11. And we won't have to drive 65 miles to get there this year, like we did last year living in Florida!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Books & bananas!

OK, this is really strange... in the "8 things about me" meme I just posted two days ago, I admitted, with some embarrassment, that I still like to eat banana baby food. Today, I checked out Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes from the library and read the whole thing. In it, the main character, Martha, and her grandmother tell each other something about themselves every day. And on one of the days, the grandmother happens to tell Martha two things...one of which is that she ate a jar of Martha's little sister's banana baby food that morning!! I am pretty sure I've never read any other thing in which an adult admitted to eating baby food, and here it was banana baby food at that. Bizarre.

That was the second full midgrade novel I read today. First I read M.T. Anderson's The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen, the sequel to Whales on Stilts. Parts of it had me laughing with tears running down my face. Though I'm not sure who it's written for. It looks like a book for 10 or 12-year-olds, but to get most of the humor, it seems to require an ironic stance towards children's series books from the past, not to mention a lot of general knowledge. My older son could easily read all the words, but he'd be completely lost. It seems like its best target audience is...well, adults with weird senses of humor who like to read children's books. But I must say, M.T. Anderson is extremely versatile!

As is Kevin Henkes. I loved Olive's Ocean, which was a Newbery Honor Book. I was amazed again (as with his book Protecting Marie) that he can get so fully into the head of a 12-year-old girl. I think his writing is full of true and perfect moments. I was just lamenting to my husband the other night that the little siblings in fiction books often don't ring true to me, but the 2-year-old in this one did. The adults also seemed particularly real to me, especially the father and grandmother. I think I'll have to buy a copy of this one to keep.

Number 9...number 9...

A 9th "thing about me" I thought of after posting the 8 things meme last night:

Some years ago, I participated in a "Life Vision" workshop at my church where I had to come up with the one word I thought described me best. Just one! I finally decided on analytical. When I later, well, analyzed it a little more (ha ha), I decided my one word should have been imaginative. Though perhaps it should have been indecisive!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The 8 things meme

This one has gone around, and I didn't do it because I already posted 100 things about me. But I suspect there are at least 108 things about me, so here goes:

  1. I once ran for office unopposed--and lost! However, the same year, I was elected to an office I did not run for (ran for one position and was somehow elected for a different one), and got to perform in a play when I wasn't in the cast or even the official understudy. So I guess it all evened out.

  2. I have never gone on a diet. (Not that I shouldn't have; I just haven't!)

  3. I am good at remembering birthdays, if I've known them. (Happy Birthday, David.)

  4. I have never tried sushi.

  5. I've been reading magazines about writing on & off since I was maybe 10 years old. My grandmother often bought Writer's Digest and I used to read hers. I also bought it in college, & have since subscribed to various writing magazines. My head is crammed full of writing knowledge, but somehow it doesn't always translate to actual writing.

  6. I don't wear glasses or contact lenses.

  7. I have liked banana baby food since I was a baby! I rarely actually buy it, but now I have an excuse again... though the banana baby food we gave our baby the other day was awful, sour instead of sweet, so I won't be buying that kind again.

  8. When my 8-year-old recently made a Mother's Day booklet for me, one page was little ovals with things about me, and here's what he said about me: children's book writer, uses computer a lot, is wonderful, is smart, likes me, is nice, likes refried beans, best mom ever. In another part of the book, he says I am "amazing and awesome," and I am not "dull," "dopey," "unsmart," or "other bad things." He also says I'm "one of a kind" and "not bad at all." :-)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

It's that time of year again...

We had our 4th annual Oscar the Grouch's birthday party on Friday, & put pics here. I suggest using the slideshow option for optimal viewing with the captions.

Meanwhile...where did my baby go?!