Friday, September 30, 2011


Every day it is more fun to watch my girls together.

Lass loves to try to imitate Miss.  She gets so excited when she sees her, and sometimes Miss is the only one who can cheer her up.

Miss takes her role seriously, and loves to point things out to Lass and explain them to her.  She calls her "Sweetie" and "Honey" and can be so adorably sweet to her it makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time.

Can't beat this.  I'm so happy they have each other.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

And Baby Makes Three...

Three little ones that is.  You might remember this post around New Years when I said this regarding my happy anticipation of this year 2011: "And my hubby and I agree, that we would like to grow our family by at least one more little soul, so maybe 2011 will bring another tiny bundle our way."  

Well, we didn't quite make it in time for 2011 to bring us another little bundle, but March 2012 will do very nicely.  Here is our little bundle at about 14 weeks gestation.

We haven't told the girls yet. Lass is too young to really understand of course, and Miss doesn't yet understand the concept of waiting months for something to happen.  She's already talking about Santa like she thinks he's going to come and bring her more Care Bears any day now.  So, I'm just putting off the inevitable question of "When is the baby coming?" for a little while longer.  I think maybe we'll wait until after the ultrasound that will hopefully tell us baby's gender in a few weeks.  Then we can tell them specifically that they are having a little brother or sister.

We are so thrilled and feel amazingly blessed to be expecting a third child in our family.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bring on the Ickies

Miss went to school today.  Her teacher texted me this photo of her having fun.  Unfortunately, she came home with pink eye.

I knew that she would probably get every yucky, germy illness known to humankind now that she's started school.  But ew.  Pinkeye?  Really?  At least it's not the really goopy, crusty kind.  Her eye is just red.  My husband said that's because it's viral instead of bacterial.  The bummer is I can't just go get antibiotic eye drops to make it go away fast.  This one might take a little while.  The good thing is she doesn't seem bothered by it a bit.

She's still my little sunshine, just with very frequently washed hands.

Gotta try my best to keep the germies away from this little one.

I'm sure the next few months will be peppered with lots of illnesses picked up at preschool.  We'll try to keep them to a minimum.  I'm loaded down with Wet Wipes and hand sanitizer, and of course we wash hands a lot.  But the ickies will come anyway.  We'll take them in stride and hopefully my littles won't be knocked low for long by anything.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lass - 13 months

My little Lass is growing so quickly.  She was 13 months old yesterday. 

It seems like she is changing and doing more every day.  She started walking more and more about one to two weeks after her birthday.  She is now walking everywhere, and getting pretty quick.

She loves to climb and get into things.

She smiles and laughs easily and loves to be tickled.  She doesn't say many words yet.  Just "Mama," "Dada," "Hi," and a version of dog "Da."  She's working on saying "Sissy."  My favorite is when she says, "Ticka, Ticka, Ticka" and tickles herself or someone else.  It is adorable to see her smile and say this while poking her little fingers in her own armpits or tickling her own toes.  She signs "More" pretty consistently now, but that's about it.  She sort of seems to do "All done" once in a while, but I'm not too sure about this one. I never really made the effort to teach her any other signs, so that's all we get.

She adores her big sister.  Miss can be a bit overbearing with Lass sometimes, grabbing and pulling on her.  Most of the time Lass is pretty tolerant, but she has learned to assert herself when she has had enough.  Usually she screams, but a few times she has tried to bite Miss!  Of course I tell her, "No biting," but I can't blame her really...  She is quite assertive with me as well.  When she doesn't get her way she likes to scream at the top of her lungs and throw herself backwards.  I learned quickly that, when redirecting her from a behavior I don't want her to do, I need to keep my hands on her to "catch" her and make sure she doesn't hit her head as she throws herself to the floor.  She's a feisty little one, my girl is.  She's also a total love bug.  She is super snuggly and gives the best hugs and kisses.

She loves to read and play with blocks and balls.  However, her favorite thing these days is dressing up.

Often when we go in the family room to play, she will immediately go to the cabinet where I keep the tutus, pull them out, and hold them up one at a time so I will put each of them on her.  All three at once is how she likes to wear them.  She also loves wearing hats and glasses and carrying a purse.  She must have gotten the dress up gene from me!

She also loves to dance and has the most wonderful little personality.  She imitates everything, from facial expressions, to sounds, to sneezes.

She is so fun to be with every day.  Most of the time she is such a happy little girl, and I just love to watch her grow and change.  I can't believe she is 13 months old!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


We take reading pretty seriously in our house.

We read a lot.

We love it.

I'm happy that my girls like books so much, because I am a total book worm.  Reading is my thing.  I have discussed this love of mine in a previous post and also mentioned that I have really enjoyed a blog called 101 Books.  I would like to clarify that in that post I wrote that I had only read 2 of the 100 books on Time Magazine's list of the top 100 books since 1923.  I was wrong.  In addition to Animal Farm and Gone With the Wind, I have also read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy and I'm pretty sure I once read Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.  So, four of 100, and since writing that post, I have read To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye.  Six of 100.  Really?

In spite of my kind of pathetic lack of experience with the classics, I really do read a lot.  Have I mentioned this fact?  It became clear to me just how much I read when I was reading a post on 101 Books in which Robert Bruce (the blog's author) included some links to other blogs he enjoys.  I checked out a few of them, and noticed that in more than one, the blog's author had written in some way about a goal to read a certain number of books within the year.  I think one was 52.  Another might have been 60.  I decided to look back and count how many books I've read this year.  I've never really had a way to do this before, so I have never had any idea how many books I read in a year.  Now that I have a Kindle, I can just look back at what I've read on it, try to remember all the paper books I either checked out from the library or borrowed from someone, and that gives me a pretty good estimate of how many books I've read so far this year.  So far, 39.  That's just over one per week.

With all these books I've read, I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite reads of 2011 so far, in no particular order:

Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue - A woman is kidnapped and held prisoner for many years.  She has a son during this time.  This book is told completely from the perspective of this five-year-old boy, who has never known anything outside his "Room."  One of my all time favorite books.

To Kill a Mockingbird  by Harper Lee - Wonderful book.  I love Atticus Finch.  I'm glad I finally read this.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave - Told from the perspectives of a Nigerian refugee and a British journalist.  Their paths had crossed one day in Nigeria.  It's a powerful story.

The Silence of Trees by Valya Dudycz Lupescu - The life story of a woman from Ukraine, from age 16 through about six decades.  The descriptions of Ukrainian traditions, myths, etc. are rich and fascinating.

The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula McLain - Like a fictional memoir, based on lots of factual information, of Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemmingway's first wife.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett - Everyone knows this one. I'm just saying: I read it.  It's extremely good.

A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith - My mother-in-law loaned me this one.  It's historical fiction (my favorite genre) about the early settlement of the state of Florida. A very good read.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - A young adult book, it's not something I ever would have chosen, but read for a book club.  It was very entertaining, and the idea behind the plot was very unusual and creative.  Set far in the future, kids from districts of a country called "Panem" are selected to compete in the Hunger Games, where they have to fight each other and the elements to be the last survivor, literally.  And they do it on TV for the whole country to watch.  I went on to read the other two books in this trilogy.

The Passage by Justin Cronin - Another book club book I wouldn't have picked on my own, I thought I was going to hate this but really enjoyed it.  Also set in the future after a bunch of "Virals," essentially vampires, have destroyed most of civilization.  I'm hoping the sequel to this will be out soon.

Right now I'm reading Fall of Giants by Ken Follet, one of my favorite historical fiction authors.  I think this book will end up on my list of favorites from this year, though I'm only about one-third through the nearly-1000-page book.  I also have six or seven books downloaded to my Kindle, waiting to be read.  And I just found out today that you can now get Kindle books from the library.  Heaven.

Gotta go.  Page 356 is calling me.  What are your favorite books??

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Lens

I got a new camera lens last week.

I am still learning how to use it well.

I think I love it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Feeling Crafty

We went to the park on Friday for a play date.

Before I talk about how much fun we had, I must make note of the fact that these pants were the worst possible choice to put on Lass to go to a park where the ground is covered with mulch.

They're not just fleece pants.  They're extra fluffy, nubbly, super-fleecy fleece pants.  Watch, and take note.  Don't put super duper fleecy pants on your kid if there's mulch at the park.

A little while after I took the photo below, I put Lass in the sling so she could have a little snack.  The whole time I was holding her I was picking mulch off her pants.  I didn't even make a dent in the matted, embedded mulch stuck in these things.  The big pieces came off, but the smaller fibers seriously got matted into the fabric and will not come off.  I took them off her the minute we got in the door, tried a little while longer to de-mulch them, and then put them in the trash.  They are that far beyond saving.  Who knew?

We did have a wonderful time at the park.  It was a great park.

And we were there with great new friends.  I just have to say how much I enjoy finding a new mom friend with young kids who is easy to talk to and fun to hang out with.

When we first moved here I hated that I didn't know any other moms for so long.  It's hard to be a new mom living far away from family and not really having any friends.  Over the years I have gradually met some really cool mom friends.  It helps more than I can explain to have other moms for support and just hanging out.  Friends who understand that when we get together, conversations will necessarily be fragmented, between corralling kids, wiping noses, answering questions from curious two year olds, excusing oneself to change smelly drawers, etc.  Friends who will grab your kid before she falls off the teeter-totter if you're distracted for a second with another kid running the other way.  It's an extra special bonus to find a friend with whom I have things in common besides just being moms.  The kind of friend with whom I laugh a lot and can talk about just about anything.  I have a few of these treasured friends.  Sometimes I don't see them as often as I'd like, but I'm thankful to have them.  Friday's play date was with a new friend (and her kids!) whom I think is going to be this type of friend.  It was a good day.

On a completely unrelated note, I have been feeling super crafty lately.  The other night, while watching Chopped, I made Miss a new tutu.  This weekend I finally finished a yarn wreath (I totally got this idea from another mom blog, Mrs. Priss) I have been working on for months.  This was the wreath in June.

I really struggled with getting the wreath covered with the yarn.  The straw wreath was not the best choice for this type of project.  I chose it because it was half the price of the foam wreath, and I thought it might be kind of cool and rustic looking.  It turned out looking fine (though not especially cool or rustic), but the extra hassle of getting it covered completely was not worth saving $3.  And I have to say I do not know the trick (is there one??) to working with yarn.  The above pile of tangled mess started out all nice and neat.  It repeatedly got tangled beyond untangling, and I had to cut it and start again more times than I'd like to remember.  Anyway, even after I finally got the wreath covered, I was so fed up with the project that I put it away for two months, until this week, before finally finishing it.  It took some nice crisp fall weather and a desire for a pretty fall-ish wreath for my front door to prompt me to pull it out, along with some great fall-colored felt.

I made a bunch of felt flowers.  Check out Mrs. Priss's tutorials for these pretty and absurdly easy rosettes here.

Find Mrs. Priss's pom-pom-looking flower tutorial here, and yarn wreath tutorial here.  I told you I got the ideas from her!!!  I'm totally giving credit where it's due.

I love how it turned out!  I swore I wouldn't make another yarn wreath, but I like this one so much, I just might.

Next time I'll get the foam wreath though...