Monday, April 19, 2010

a few good books

I am working my way through some good books and I wanted to share. 

Impossible by Nancy Werlin (YA)  is a story inspired by the song "Are you Going to Scarborough Fair."  It is written in our time but with a touch of magic and folklore.  I really enjoyed the story and the characters -- a great beach read.  (Warning, this has a disturbing scene, you might want to read it before you pass it off to your daughters.)

Heist Society by Ally Carter (YA)  is an absolute kick!  This is not a continuation of her previous series (Don't Judge a Girl by her Cover (Gallagher Girls)) but is equally enjoyable.  Think of it as "Ocean's Eleven" for teenage girls.

Right now on the recommendation of a friend I am reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel  (adult historical fiction). This is not a book for the faint of heart or the easily disgusted.  It contains a detailed description of foot binding-- I almost had to put it down myself.  However, the story is fascinating and I find myself sickly fascinated to see how it is going to end. 

Let me know what you think and feel free to pass on any good reads you have found.  I am always looking for a good book!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

brotherly love

One of our biggest anxieties when we had Matthew was how James was going to take it.  James has been Mommy's Boy from day one.  Especially since our move to our new house in 2008 he has been unwilling to be away from me for very long and severely shy of strangers and friends alike.  If he wanted to play with the neighbors (or any other friend) I had to be within a 10 foot radius of where he was playing. 
Not once did John and I even think that Samuel would be upset by the new addition to the family.  Samuel is our independant,  social go getter.  He loves new expereinces and new people and sharing his ideas with the world.
Imagine our surprise when James became instantly enamoured with his new baby brother and Samuel didn't want to have anything to do with him.  I chocked it up to James spending more time with Matthew, since he is only in school three mornings a week, and Sam just being that slightly older age when babies are annoying, not cute.  Samuel also began to revert a little, wanting to be fed and wanting help getting dressed in the morning- both things he can do on his own with no difficulty whatsoever.  We missed all sorts of signs because we weren't worried about our resiliant Sam.

We didn't really get that there was an issue until Samuel sat down with John one night and asked him flat out, "Dad, do you and Mom love Matthew more than you love me?" 
John was flabbergasted!  "No, Samuel.  Of course not!"
"Then how come you do stuff for him, like feed him and dress him, that you won't do for me anymore?"
John explained to Sam that babies can't do those things for themselves and since Samuel is a big boy and can do those things we help him with other things instead, like homework and reading.  To help him feel better, John asked Samuel if there was something he would like to do special with Daddy.  A giant Star Wars battle ensued.  (We are talking 6 days and 50+ action figures taking over the middle level of our house!)  You would have thought Samuel just saw the sun for the first time, he was so relieved and happy to understand that our love for him had not lessened with the new baby.

My older boys are getting so good at expressing themselves and their needs that sometimes I forget how little they still are and how much they still need us to hold their hands.  Of course, I still need my mom, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised at all.  Do we ever grow out of needing our parents?

I am happy to report that after that conversation, Samuel has warmed considerably to Matthew.  A few weekends ago he held Matthew for me so I could help John with a project.   And yesterday while James and John were at soccer practice, Samuel spent 45 minutes trying to make Matthew laugh!  It is nice to see the brotherly love developing.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


*Warning* The following is not for the faint of heart or the easily disgusted.

So as I was helping Samuel with his homework and cleaning the kitchen this afternoon, Matthew began to fuss while in his exersaucer.  "Hang in there, Matthew, we are almost done," I assured him as I continued to wipe the counters.  Matthew was persistant so I turned to look at him.  "Hey buddy, what is wrong?"  I looked down at the bottom of the exersaucer and saw this orangish brown goop all over, then the smell hit me.

You know, at times like these, parents go through a series of steps:

Step 1  discovery
"What is that?  Is that...?  Oh.  My.  Goodness."

Step 2 comprehension
"Is that poop?!  Is that poop all over your clothes and the exersaucer and are you JUMPING IN IT???!!"

Step 3 game plan
"OK, it's ok.  Let's ummm..."
At first glance the situation seems impossible.  One may even be tempted to put the desecrated item (baby and all) out on the curb for trash pick up.  Generally, not a good idea, but certainly easier than the realistic choice, the inevitable choice...  I think I am going to be sick!

Step 4 clean up (several steps in one)
This is where it gets really tricky. 
First, save the baby.  Once his clothes have been scraped down so that I can get them off, with a minimal amount of spreading the mess, it is up to the bathtub.  I don't even worry about telling my older boys to stay away from ground zero, the smell does that on its own.
Next, with bathtime complete my much cleaner and happier baby is back in clean clothes and placed on the floor of the family room while I confront the disaster area.  "Maybe we don't need a kitchen anymore."  I think to myself,  "Couldn't we just seal it off?"
Third, it takes an hour, unknown numbers of baby wipes, half a roll of hot, soapy paper towels, and several lysol wipes before I am satisfied with the cleanliness of the exersaucer and floor.
Now I turn to the clothes.  Briefly I consider tossing them, as I have with previous recipients of such abuse, but I love the outfit he is wearing today and it is worth the effort... I think.  Scrape, rinse in scalding hot water, wipe with paper towel under said hot water, then place to soak in washing machine with laundry detergent and oxy clean.  Hopefully that is good enough because I am not touching those things more than that!
Fifth, sterilize all affected areas and areas guilty by association.
Last, wash hands.  Ten times. With hot, soapy water and brillo pad.

Step 5 reflection
Having suffered from constipation for at least half his life, part of me is proud of Matthew for finally getting over that.  A very, very small part.  The rest of me is ready for a vacation- without kids!

And what did my little charmer do while I was cleaning up?  Why, make another mess, of course!  At least this one is only paper.  He found my pile of mail.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

8 months

Matthew is 8 months old tomorrow.  Time is flying by so quickly I can barely keep up.  In the last two months Matthew has ceased to be a little lump on the log baby and is now a rolling, scooting, sitting, chattering, smiling, teething big boy.  At a dr.'s appointment a week and a half ago he weighed in at 18 pounds and 11 ounces!  He has almost outgrown his infant car seat.  I find myself hoping that he is an early walker- just because he is getting too heavy to carry everywhere!
I can not wait to take him out to Utah to see my family this summer.  He is going to charm their socks off!  Want proof?  They say a picture is worth a thousand words...