Friday, December 20, 2013

Counting on dinosaurs

This afternoon, on the phone, Meg's aunt asked how many dinosaurs she had. Meg immediately dropped the conversation to go and count them. This is not to be undertaken lightly, and her aunt had to go before the process was complete, but she assured Meg I could and would text her with the answer as soon as there was one. Eventually Meg looked up at me.

I observed two dragons, Daniel the tiger, and a really large housefly lined up with the dinosaurs. I could see dragons and a gigantic bug being considered dinos, okay, but...
"Is that including the tiger?"
"Don't include the tiger when you're counting dinosaurs."
"Why not?"
"Because he's not a dinosaur."
"Oh. Well, I'm just using him as a dinosaur."
Maybe Daniel is an honorary saber-tooth tiger. I suggested she count again.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Glad we have that settled

"Yeah, I was about to call you Loppy Sloppy but then I decided to call you Muvver Dear. Loppy Sloppy would be kind of disrespectful. Kind of rude. So I called you Muvver Dear." Meg

Saturday, December 14, 2013

How we decide what to watch when the short people are napping

"Let's put on Henry the Fifth."
"Do we have Henry the Fifth?"
"I brought it into our marriage, so unless we've gotten rid of it, we have Henry the Fifth. And we wouldn't have gotten rid of it. It's a classic. I can't find Henry the Fifth. Here's Hamlet."
"I don't want to watch Hamlet."
"It ought to be here. Here's Romeo and Juliet, Pirates of the Caribbean..."
"Maybe this is a bad time to mention it, but I've never seen Henry the Fifth in our house."
"You wanna watch Hamlet?"
"I'll be spending a lot of time in the other room."
"Aw, don't do that."
"Oh, it's a cold wintry day. We'll watch Shakespeare."
 "Unless you prefer Romeo and Juliet?"
"Fine, bring on the mass murder and suicide - it's a step up from teenage suicide."
"I didn't make that up - Data said that, and Picard just went ::facepalm::."

"Are you quoting me quoting Data?"

Also, in other news, this is the Mel Gibson Hamlet, which is quite old. I could tell because Mel Gibson looks really young. That would be because it was filmed in 1990. (Yikes.) So I amused myself with the who-else-is-in-this game. Ian Holm (Old Bilbo) was Polonius (didn't recognize him being annoying) and Glenn Close was the queen (She was on the front cover, so I got that). The uncle king was Alan Bates, whom I've never otherwise heard of. Then I asked IMDB who the girl was. Ophelia. That girl. Helena Bonham Carter. !!! She does go insane as Ophelia, but not batty Bellatrix Lestrange crazy, so... yeah. Kind of fun.

Jonathan: "See, if this were a fantasy universe, Fortinbras is really an enchanter who creates the apparition. And then he walks away with the kingdom."

Meg got out and tried to understand why Hamlet was being mean and crazy. Maybe she'll tell us when she figures it out.

Monday, December 09, 2013

How nice of them

Meg was putting together our US states puzzle. It's always full of charming surprises for her. "Virginia! That's where we live! I think they decided to put our state here because they knew I would like it. So that's very nice."

Saturday, December 07, 2013

The Kate update

Kate is a little more than two months old now; call it two and a half. She's getting strong and will hold her head up, and can do push-ups to hold her torso up, and has a truly impressive grip with that little bitty hand. I can put her in the Bumbo seat for a few minutes; not for a long time, but long enough to get a quick task done.

Last night I balanced Kate on her stomach over a boppy pillow. She decided she didn't like it and started squirming. She actually propelled herself forward far enough to unbalance herself and landed face-first on the couch. I was curious whether it was just a fluke or if she'd do it again - and also it was hilarious to watch - so I re-balanced her, and yes, she managed to scootch forward again and go plop. It was pretty funny the second time too.

When full and clean and nobody's putting her in undignified positions, and Mommy hasn't eaten any veggies on the Not Cool list, Kate's such a happy baby. She smiles and chatters with you. This afternoon I was holding her and thought she was asleep, and she giggled for me out of the blue. So charming.

Since she was born we've been giving her a wubba-nub pacifier, which is a pacifier with a stuffed animal attached. She has two frogs, Rana and Rajah, and a lamb, currently known as Lambie. (Original.) We like them because they give the pacifiers ballast and heft so they stay in the baby's mouth better, and also they give her something to grab onto. Kate, in the course of discovering her hands, has started to figure out how to hold the frog and adjust her pacifier in or out.

This evening, though, the wubba-nubs all went into hiding and we had to give her a plain pacifier. Ordinary. Frog-free. NOT AS GOOD. When it fell out, she grabbed her bib and tugged and tugged, and the pacifier DIDN'T GO BACK IN. Also, something was pulling on her neck. It was extremely frustrating.

Meg helped me set up our Christmas tree this evening and decorate it. While I've been writing this post, Kate's been beside me, sucking on one of the frogs and looking at the Christmas lights. She's just drifting off. Sparkly lights and gentle dishwasher noises make for pretty good lullabies.

Friday, December 06, 2013

I think that's a false dilemma

Meg, inspecting one of my old scrapbooks: "Stickers! There's stickers on there, Mommy! Did I see you putting stickers on there, or was I not born yet?"

Good use of an if-then statement

I tried to read Meg some psalms this morning. I made it through a couple, and then got as far as...

Me: "A Psalm of David. You know David!"
Meg: "Yeah, I know him! I have a picture of him in my Bible. I'll go get it for you." She disappears. "Oh, Bible! Where are you, Bible? If I didn't have my Bible, I didn't have my picture of David. Hmmm."

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Again, and in SPANISH!

"Would you like to pray your bedtime prayer tonight, or shall I?" I asked. Meg always wants to pray for meals these days.
"You do it!"
I open my mouth --

So I did. Kind of. It's a good thing the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, when we don't have words!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Me: "Thank you for your input."
Jonathan, helpfully: "That means go away and be quiet."
Meg: "No, it doesn't! It means stand there and be miserable!"

Sunday, November 24, 2013

King Daddy the First and his kind-of coronation

Meg just put a plastic ring on Jonathan's head and declared him "King Daddy the First." But then the ring slid off. As crowns so often do.

Jonathan: "While the king was looking down, the jester took his thorny crown."
Meg: "Are you the jester?"

Saturday, November 23, 2013

No fishing

"We do not fish for our sister, not even with a leopard-spotted scarf." Jonathan

Friday, November 22, 2013

Just to clarify

Meg wandered out of her room and had some questions about the daily schedule.

"Is this naptime, Mom?"
"Was that just me playing quietly in my room?"


Also - and this will be of absolutely no interest to those of you without babies, so feel free to stop here - I figured out what to do with those baby nightgowns with elastic around the bottom. As far as I can tell, they're kind of worthless for night wear once the baby's feet stick out, but I had two that still fit her fine through the top and sleeves. Today I put one on Kate and (this is the key bit) added pants. Duh! Now it's a shirt that actually stays put around the waist. I feel clever. Or possibly silly. But also clever.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The peacemaker

Our golden bust of Bismarck usually wears Meg's lei and necklaces, but tonight Jonathan found them jumbled in the living room and picked them up. Meg came running over in alarm.

"No, Daddy! They're mine!"
"No. Bismarck's."
She grinned suddenly. "Okay."

That's Bismarck, still averting crises a hundred-some-odd years after his death. Not bad at all.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Kate started smiling last weekend! She's got a great smile. I'm trying to get some good shots, and I'll post them on Facebook.

Also, on the subjects of smiling and lipstick, I was reading and apparently you're supposed to apply lipstick with a brush. What?? Someone invented a double-ended lipstick-and-brush. I can see it maybe if you're a professional makeup artist and the lips are going on stage or a movie, but for normal mortals? Somebody explain this to me.

A daughter's prayer

In one of my notebooks, I came across something Meg prayed for me a while back. I think I had a headache that day, and it was too sweet not to write down.

"Oh dear Lord, please heal my muvver's head and her feelings. Please give her wisdom and patience and ibuprofen and her lipstick and... what else do you need, Mommy?" Meg 12/16/12

I think the Lord definitely heard her. :-) He has definitely kept me well supplied with lipstick and ibuprofen (jury's still out on wisdom!).

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I'm still trying to make things

The phrase "You can do quilting" means vastly different things depending whether you're reading a sewing blog or a fashion magazine. Instyle does not, sadly, give you a tutorial on how to quilt something.

Now that I have two little ones, every stitch I sew is a victory. This even includes stitches I have to rip out, so there. Under this reasoning, any completed project is a lot of victories all rolled into one. I guess the big question is just how victorious it has to be, to be "finished" -- will anyone really notice if the hem is uneven? But if I don't fix it, will it look homemade? And what if it looks homemade either way? Decisions, decisions.

Today Jonathan taught me to tie a bowline knot and a drop loop knot. I'm really pleased - it'll be very handy to have knots that won't fall out. It's so aggravating to scramble after beads in the grocery store after one good tug on your necklace.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

True observations about Brigadoon

Tonight I insisted on putting on Brigadoon instead of Treasure Planet. I billed it to Meg as a grown-up movie with singing and dancing and (just to make sure she was properly excited) said if she didn't like it now,  she would someday. She seemed okay with that and started a running commentary on it.

Me: "Those are the two guys this movie is about. Do you know where they are?"
Meg: "No."
"Scotland?! Dad has a story about Scotland!"
"Yeah! It's a good place."
"I wish we could visit Scotland, but it's not in Virginia."

Sadly true. Then some cows swam into view.

Meg: "And those are the cows this movie is about."
We had a brief digression on hairy cows or harry coos. Then Meg got to the essential question of any art analysis.
Meg: "Are there any dinosaurs in this movie?"

"The girl in red is the one getting married. The one in yellow is her sister."
"Is she getting married?"
"Why not?"
"Because... she hasn't found anyone to get married to yet."
"Maybe she could marry the guy singing Bonnie Jean."
There, she solved it. Note: if my bright three-year-old can predict the plot, your plot is not, um, twisty.

A minute later she sees them singing about heather together. "Hey, her sister found someone to marry!"

Scene change.
"He's trying to make her go away so he can take a nap. He's tired."
"Why is he tired?"
"He was lost in the woods all night!"
"Is he a wood man?"
"No, he's an American."

The American who isn't a wood man: "If there's anything I hate, it's you. Any civilized person would be dead by now."
Meg, disapprovingly: "He's not kind."

"They're all going to the wedding? Are they all going to marry each other?"
"Well... the bride and groom are going to marry each other."

"Did he fall out of a tree?"
"Yeah, he fell out a tree because Jeff the American, the hunter, wasn't careful and he shot him!"
"He should be more careful next time. I'll be more careful when I shoot a monster--"
"YOU don't get a gun until you're older and we teach you how to use it!"
Maybe we need a new rule: no shooting monsters in the house.

"What's going on?"
"She's sad because he's going home to America and she has to say goodbye forever."
"Oh. Maybe she'll find someone else to marry."

"Is that the end?"

Not squishing Kate

I had both girls in the chair with me, which is generally a supervised sport. Me: "Don't squish."
Meg: "I'm not squishing. I'm just keeping her toes from wiggling."

Kate has felt recently that she should be held at all times. And held properly, too - none of that putting her in your lap and using your hands for something else nonsense, either. Computers are okay sometimes, though she likes frequent, if not continuous, eye contact. One of her grandmas was able to come down on Friday and hold her, and I got so much done!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Why you should put all your clocks back promptly instead of piecemeal over the next week...

For whatever reason, the big clock in our living room was running ten minutes fast. It wasn't a big deal, and probably helped us get out the door when we were running late, and the rest of the time we just remembered it was actually ten minutes earlier than it said.

Then the time changed. The clock now proudly proclaimed a time an hour and ten minutes off. This was terribly confusing to Meg, who kept trying to say naptime should be over an hour early, and furthermore we're starting to talk serious math calculations when actually we just wanted to know what time it was.

So Jonathan corrected it. It's the simple things in life.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Pretty to go

It is a truism, right up there with a-single-man-in-possession-of-a-large-fortune-must-be-in-want-of-a-wife, that you never have enough burp cloths. (Less euphonious, though.) Kate's burp cloths were all Meg's, and there never seemed to be enough of them, and while they're fine with the nursery, they don't match the cute diaper bag

The solution was obvious.

To the fabric store!

Rather to my surprise, Joann's actually had half a dozen cute flannels in orange and turquoise. So I got them. And prewashed them so they'd shrink before sewing instead of after, because that's just annoying.

Yesterday afternoon I lovingly, meticulously, made three big squares, each with a different pattern on each side and cut out on the grid so they had actual right angles and genuine equal sides. I poked the corners out and ironed them and topstitched all around so they'd stay put. Boy howdy. I did them right. Besides being nicely absorbent, they'll be good to lay her on or to cover her feet when we're out and about, or for a nursing cover in a pinch.

But that sort of precision is exhausting and took like three hours. I took the rest of the flannel, sliced each piece into quarters without measuring, and zigzagged around the edges. Boom. Done.

And that is the story of how I made two dozen burp cloths and three big squares, all cute to go with my pretty diaper bag.

The end.

Friday, November 01, 2013

I love her more than monsters, too

"Mommy, you're the best mommy and God's the best God of any other gods in the whole world! I love you and God more than monsters." She frowned. "I don't love monsters." Then she gave me a kiss. "That's because I love you so, so much."

She's so sweet.
Jonathan: "And quotable."

::update:: Meg came and kissed me again. "Just because I love you. QUOTE IT!"

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Good news!

Good news! The camera turned up! About four a.m. I figured I might as well clean out the diaper bag just to make sure the camera wasn't there, though of course it wouldn't be. But it was. :-) I feel like the woman with her lost coin. We should PARTY!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Meg is pretty sure Jonathan isn't a potato

It all started when Meg knocked on the bathroom door.

Jonathan called, "Nobody here but us chickens!"
Meg: "There aren't any chickens in there."
Jonathan: "How do you know anybody is in here? Maybe I'm just a potato."
Meg, giggling: "You're not a potato!" Then she stopped giggling and said, very firmly, "And I WANT TO GO POTTY."

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kate and the lost camera

We had a rough night last night -- meaning Kate did, meaning Kate and Jonathan and I did. Note to self: NO MORE EGG ROLLS. This morning we went out and about and she slept hard. That kind of night is exhausting, y'all. However, since I was out and about I didn't get to cuddle her and appreciate the improvement, and after we got back this afternoon and ate, we had more gastric distress and woe. But then I washed her and wrapped her in a big fluffy blanket and she's sleeping on my lap, very peaceful, and occasionally she'll open her eyes and look at me. And that is a wonderful thing.

I try not to post about hard things here, mostly because nobody likes whining and I don't feel mature enough to do it without whining. Generally. But I am sad today because we went to the church fall festival on Sunday evening, and it was delightful, only the camera display was acting up and then we lost the camera completely. I think it fell out while we were folding up the stroller in the dark. There were lots of baby pictures on there I hadn't downloaded, and our first family picture. So I'm kicking myself, because while cameras can be replaced, Kate will never be two, three, and four weeks old again. I don't know about you, but when something like this goes wrong, I tend to feel like everything is wrong. But I'm still hoping the camera will turn up somehow, somewhere. Maybe even if the camera is ruined the memory card will be okay.

Monday, October 28, 2013

I don't really know what to say to that

"Mom, why do people put up bones in their yard? To be pretty?" Meg
"I don't think bones are very pretty..." Me
"We could go buy bones! And we could wait until people's naptimes - it won't be our naptimes, but it will be their naptimes - and put the bones up in their yards, and when they wake up there will be pretty bones in their yards!" Meg

"Mom, does the light help you make stars into constellations?" Meg

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A month and a day and another day

Kate's a month and a two days old. We're finally, finally having fall here. We had dew a few nights back, and this morning I woke up to condensation on the inside of the windows. There was some lovely fall color as I drove down Sycolin Road, the end out towards Ashburn, and it was bright and blustery and plenty cold enough for my puffer vest. I do like fall.

Meg held Kate for the first time this morning. We were all sitting in the big chair and I put her mostly upright in Meg's lap. Meg did a good job. Sadly I didn't get a picture, first because we were all in weird pajamas and unkempt-looking, second because it's hard to get a good shot of a chair you're sitting in, and most of all because the camera was clear at the other end of the house. So I wanted to make sure I mentioned it on the blog.

Meg is still fascinated by her sister. I call her Katherine, or Kate, or Katiekins. Meg calls her Kaffrin or Katie-kinsie. (Is Kaffrin like caffeine? Meg discovered slant rhymes and has been playing with them all week. "Caffeine" would be somewhat appropriate, if you are what your mother eats.)

I'm still kind of fascinated by Katie, too. She's charming. I love her little fists. I love the way she holds the frog wubba-nub pacifier with a hand on either side, to keep it from getting away -- when she can find both hands, of course. I love her curly little baby feet, which are straightening out and not going to be curly much longer. I love it when she looks straight at someone (preferably me) with those big eyes; and she makes the funniest faces. The best is with her mouth in an O and her eyes wide. What is she thinking?

Speaking of not knowing what they're thinking, Meg went in to her room this evening, theoretically to put on pajamas, and I hear maniacal laughter. "Ha ha ha ha ha! My destiny!" Just... what?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


"The attacking armies are wicked, Mom. That's why I'm keeping them out with this high high castle. Don't you like it? Don't you like the door at the top?" Meg

Then she went and got her catapult out to attack the castle with. "Mama, I can't find the ball. I'll shoot the dragon at it instead."

Meg has some catchphrases which we tend to hear a bit.

"I was wrong and you were right. E-I-E-I-O!" (Or, alternately, "I was right and you were wrong. E-I-E-I-O." I don't encourage this version, though.)

When someone sneezes, she says, "Zoontai!"

Me: "MEG! Oh wait, never mind, you're okay."
Meg, curiously: "What did you think I was doing?"

She also refers to the droid as "RD-2D."

Saturday, October 19, 2013

No flood today

Meg had her toy car on its side and stuffed animals arranged in it.
"Okay, everybody out of the ark. God's not sending a flood today. <animal voices> No flood! Hurray! Yay!" And then in her own voice, as narrator, "That's 'cause there's only four percents of rain today."

Thursday, October 10, 2013


I am pleased to announce that our baby arrived! Katherine is two weeks and a day old, and is quite charming. We like her a lot. Just now, I said, "Isn't she pretty?" and Meg answered, "I am overcome by my sister's beauty."

Friday, September 20, 2013


"Is it just me, or does Meg essentially have the stepladder from Munchkin?" Jonathan asked, slicing yellow squash.
I laughed. "I don't exactly remember the stepladder from Munchkin, but it seems likely..."

Meg, meanwhile, set up the alleged implement, got on it, and started turning the kitchen and hall lights on and off so as to make the squash-slicing as inconvenient as possible.

"Usable by Halfling Only. So you see this giant monster and a halfling up on his stepladder."

Yup. That would be Meg. If ever we get a monster, she will certainly climb on her stepladder and shoo it away, probably with her fishing pole with a magnet on the end. (We made magnetic fish to catch with it.)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I at least outwitted the hamburger

My great housekeeping success for the week was buying a ginormo-pack of hamburger and getting it all cooked or frozen by the cook-or-freeze-by date. This is a bigger deal than you might think. Hamburger is sneaky.

Also... I haven't had this baby yet. But I'm going to.

Meg and the wise men

"Do you know who the 'starlit magi' were, Meg?"
"No, who?"
"The three wise men, who followed the star!"
"Oh. What were their names?"
"Well, the Bible doesn't really say, but according to tradition, their names were Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar."

I was vaguely pleased with this passing-down of knowledge that Everyone Should Have. I'm so glad to have seized a teachable moment. Meanwhile, Meg was contemplating.

"I think their names were Pinky, Dinky, and Binky."

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Tex-colored shirt

Some of you may remember Tex, our cat. He passed on years ago, but he lives on in family legend, I assure you, because he was quite the personality. He now also lives on in my closet, because over the weekend I bought a Tex-colored shirt.

Tex was a Turkish water cat with green eyes and a stripe of fur on his face that exactly matched his eyes. We always joked that that must mean he had green fur. Well, my new t-shirt is that same army green that his eyes were, and it also precisely hits the tone of my eyes. And my eyebrows. So apparently I have a Tex-colored shirt that turns my eyebrows green. Hmm...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Surprising maternity moment

When your inner child kicks and knocks the laptop off.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Interpreting the sock omens

I have high hopes that this child will make her arrival soon. We're eleven days from the due date and my mom is praying she'll come quickly. And then last night I organized my socks by color in neat rows five across and counted them. I do that every now and again, organize them I mean, so I wasn't worried until I started counting. That's a sure sign something isn't normal. (There were thirty-three pairs clean; and I think that's most of what I have, because it's still sandal weather and I've been doing a lot of laundry.) So possibly I'm nesting. A friend today told me that a vast burst of nesting might mean you'll go into labor within 24 hours, and we're at 23 and counting. Come on, baby!

Meg likes socks, too. Her new thing is to usurp her parents' socks for her own purposes. Wednesday she very matter-of-factly put on my red ladybug socks under her boots and I didn't discover it until she was fully dressed, at which point I didn't care. I mean, she put on socks and shoes all by herself and looked fine. Jonathan, however, will not let her wear his socks on top of her shoes; that's going too far. She hasn't tried messing with the baby's socks, which is just as well, because I'm a little crabby and might breathe fire if she disarranged the baby's sock drawer... which is not organized by color. Anyway, it's basically all pink. And most of it still needs to be washed. If my subconscious insists on nesting it really needs to start working on more useful things, because there's plenty left to do.

Also, I've decided I need another couple pairs of boot socks for fall. There is nothing unusual about this either - days get shorter, orange clothes come out, I want another plaid shirt, and I want more boot socks. Argyle would be darling. Sadly, though, most of the inexpensive socks are all polyester, and my feet are getting too old for man-made materials. I may have to actually buy quality socks one of these days.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Meg and the stroller

Since the baby is due in, oh, two weeks, it was about time to start rounding up carseats and strollers and whatnot. The living room is currently host to two strollers, actually, and Meg has taken a shine to the nicer one.

"Should we let Meg in the stroller? I'm not sure it's made for that..." Me
"I think it's undergoing rigorous field testing." Jonathan
"No, it's undergoing Meg testing." Meg

"Dad, how are we going to buckle my sister into this stroller?" Meg
"Step 1: remove older sister from stroller.
Step 2: put little sister into stroller.
Step 3: buckle in little sister." Jonathan
"Step 4: STROLL!" Meg

"Lookee over here, Mom. I'm a well-suited child." Meg
"Oh, really. Well-suited to what?" Me
"The stroller. But excuse me, Mom, I need to hop out." Meg

At last count, she had filled it up with one large bed pillow and six stuffed animals, as well as herself, and had pulled the sunshade down like a tent. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

The patience of Meg

This morning I successfully dumped my divider full of beading supplies and the beads went all over. Meg helped me pick them off the floor, and then I showed her how to put them back in their sections, each kind in its own little house.

About half an hour later I wandered back. She had most of the bigger beads in place and was still moving infinitesimal ones around.

"I think I like organizing."

I'm not surprised. I like organizing; Jonathan likes organizing; she's one of us!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cleaning up

The other night Meg put some serious elbow grease into helping me scrub crayon and marker marks off the furnishings. She really got into it. I appreciated the help, and even more appreciated that she noticed "This is really hard work!"

I was putting out a fresh bath mat, and noticed a disgusting brown stain on it. Sigh. It had been washed thoroughly, but I figured I'd better go alert Jonathan that it was okay to use. He and Meg were playing horsie, or possibly Meg was playing horsie while he read. It's hard to tell sometimes. Anyway, I delivered the message, and Meg leaped down like I'd offered ice cream.

"Can I see the disgusting brown stain, Mommy?? I fell off the horsie to come look at it!"

So I went and led a guided tour.

There's just so much to learn in this world. For instance, the nuance between using a tissue and a shirt-tail when your nose needs wiping. We were at the store waiting to return something as I tried to explain this, and added keep your shirt down to keep it out of temptation's way! The clerk looked at me, startled, and said, "Did you really just say that??" Clearly he's not raising a small person if this is a surprise. Then he asked if "latent congratulations" were due, apparently referring to my maternal state. I could have asked if he was calling me fat and burst into tears... but I didn't. I admitted yes, they were, and he said, "Oh good! I guessed right!" He also offered us a box of tissues, which was more helpful.

This morning we were at a friend's house and Meg spilled her drink. One of the grownups said maybe she'd better come get me and we'd find paper towels to clean it up. Meg, seeing no need for anything so formal, sat down on the spill and wiped it up with her shorts. Problem solved.

Then I took my first bubble bath in a long time. It was a very nice bath, only I displaced more water than I remember. Quite a lot more, actually. Archimedes' principle strikes again!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

In which I do not sneak

Happy last Sunday before Labor Day, everyone! I thought it deserved a particularly summery outfit for church, so I put on my lime green maxi dress with the orange flowers and the blue and purple and yellow bits, and added an orange purse and turquoise earrings and shoes for extra beauty. When your bump is as big as mine, there's no point in going subtle. Meg wore a hot pink dress today and her stompiest dress shoes, so we were a great pair.

My favorite conversation of the morning was with Deb, a mom with older kids. We talked for a bit and then I said I needed to sneak out and grab someone before the music started.

"Not in that dress, you're not sneaking anywhere."

Aw, man! Floor-length lime green isn't sneaky?!

Then after, when I moved back into my row, I kind of slightly ran over Meg with her sister, who was sticking out further than I realized. I think my sneaking days are officially over.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

There are tyrannosaurs and then there are brontosauruses

This afternoon Meg handed me her dry erase board and requested that I draw her a dinosaur.

"Why don't you draw a dinosaur?"
"I don't know how!"

That seemed like a pretty good reason, so I drew her a brontosaurus. Those are within my artistic abilities, but Meg wailed because it wasn't a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

"You didn't ask for a tyrannosaurus! You asked for a dinosaur, and I gave you a dinosaur!"
"But it's a brontosaurus!"

I explained that when you ask someone to do something for you, and you throw a fit about how they do it, they aren't going to want to do anything for you again. Meg didn't hear me; she was too overwhelmed by this parental betrayal, that I should have drawn her a brontosaurus and think it was a good enough dinosaur. In this life, there are tyrannosaurs and there are brontosauruses. Obviously.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The best place for a bath

"Our child is sandy and her sheets stink, so tonight we should wash our child and her bed," I announced.
Meg: "No, we should wash child in the TUB!"

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The dino and the toothbrush

Meg brushes her own teeth, at this point, mostly. She has a dinosaur toothbrush holder which adds a lot of zest to her ablutions. Yesterday we had a discussion when I noticed a lot of... was that toothpaste?... around the teeth of the dinosaur toothbrush holder. I explained that she didn't need to brush its teeth; her toothbrush is just for her. Then I rinsed the toothpaste out of its mouth to reduce temptation. (The jobs you never expect, going into parenthood.)

This evening, toothbrushing seemed to take suspiciously long.

"You're not brushing the dinosaur's teeth, are you, Meg?"
"No... I'm just brushing the rest of him."

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Carry the backpack

"Bilbo's sword is named Sting," I told Meg.
"And what's his backpack named?"
"I don't think his backpack has a name."
Meg considered this. "I think his backpack's name is Carry."

Friday, August 09, 2013

What to wear, what to wear

I'm about eight months along, and this little one is due in about a month and a half. I am now officially bigger than I've ever been before; it's not a bad thing, except that I get up most mornings and look at my closet totally confused. Even when things fit, they don't fit like they used to, so I guess I have to recalibrate all my outfits. Things don't seem to go with each other. What does the well-dressed mama on a budget even wear for late summer? I have this irrational feeling that I should be a) covered (even in the middle), b) really stinkin' cute, and c) still look like myself. I don't want to buy much for just a month and a half, but I really would like to wear something attractive.

I used to know how to sew, but my waist doesn't seem to be where I left it and hemlines are rising and falling - like the Roman Empire, only faster - and sometimes they rise and fall again in the same skirt. Terrifying.

I still have cute shoes, though. So there.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

What does a lawyer do all day?

"He throws things at people! He throws ecces at them!" Meg

Ecce, of course, is the Latin word for "behold" or "attention." Apparently she thinks... I don't know what she thinks. Lawyers did formerly use legal Latin, and I guess documents would have started with "Ecce," but it's been a while. But at least Meg is well-versed in the tradition.

And yes, Jonathan started a new job today (!!), and one which requires absolutely no throwing of documents at people, in Latin or otherwise. It's part-time and should go through the election. He also has a couple of full-time possibilities going. We're happy!

In other news, Meg found my hair dryer... thing, the diffuser or whatever it's called. It goes on the business end and does something that's supposed to be good for doing something to your hair. (Clearly I use it all the time.) She has been sailing in laundry hampers and using our ship's wheel left over from the Tempest to steer them, so the diffuser went right on her hand for a flipper and she tried to look for a second one. I tried to persuade her to be a one-flippered Meg, like Captain Hook with his one hook, which almost convinced her.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Meg and Nana were watching the cat curled up in a sunbeam. Meg said, "And my favorite place is here eating PANCAKES!"

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The mice came out to play

I had a mouse house when I was younger. I had barbies too, but what I really liked was my set of stuffed mice and their household. I made them furniture, accessories, and entire wardrobes of clothes. They had shelves of books, a pantry of homemade food, and a set of doll china. It was pretty cool. (Interior design and fashion design!) Anyway, the mice got packed away in the top of my closet until such time as Meg would appreciate them.

Over the weekend, Meg came to me greatly concerned because while Daddy Tigger had an outfit, Baby Tigger did not. This was clearly unacceptable. I promised to make Baby Tigger a sweater, but first I jumped up and down rejoicing because this meant she cared about clothing her animals, which meant SHE WAS READY TO PLAY WITH THE MICE.

So down they came! Meg has spent the last several days going through the mouse goods and dressing her critters. She set up an outdoor room on the top shelf among my human-sized house plants, so the mice have a very pleasant jungley patio. Most things survived pretty well, though the teeny oil lamp had its glass shade break and the cardboard pantry was just done for. The mouse clothes, you'll be glad to know, were apparently not tailored very precisely and Baby Tigger fits into them just fine. Also, I crocheted him a quick sweater... but the green yarn I had was that really massive chunky kind, so the sweater is pretty peculiar. But Meg doesn't seem to mind.

I asked her what her favorite part of the mouse house was. She grinned and said, "Playing and dressing!"

Friday, July 19, 2013

Going on an airplane

I emerged from the shower to see Meg stuffing animals into a bag.

"I'm going on an airplane!" she informed me.
"Oh, fun!" I said. "Where are you going?"
"To Iceland, to find more dinosaurs."
"Can I come too?" I asked.
"Sure!" she said. Then, reassessing: "But you have to take that towel off your head first."

Saturday, July 13, 2013

You can't get there from here

Meg was in tears over something, and I was hugging her on our bed. Our map of Middle-Earth caught her eye.

Meg: "Is that a puzzle map?"
Me: "That's a map of Middle-Earth. It's a place in a book."
Meg: "How do we get INTO the story book?"
Jonathan: "That is the question."

I tried to gently explain that it was just in a book; you couldn't get there from this world. Meg started bawling.

Me: "Is Meg crying because she can't get to Middle-Earth?" At which, I started crying too. It's been a long day.

Jonathan: "Now my wife is crying because my daughter is crying because she can't get to Middle-Earth!"

You can't make this stuff up.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Library principles

As Martha Stewart says, which books you want to have in your library is a very personal decision. But if you're like me, eventually you run out of places to put new shelves and you have to actually pick a few volumes you can live without -- before the shelves make like a black hole and collapse in on themselves, taking the books with them.  (Dun-dun-DUNNNN!) You never know.

I'm finally coming to a place where I can admit that just because it's a good book doesn't mean I HAVE TO OWN IT. This has taken years, y'all. I'm finding the easiest ones to get rid of are classics that the library has, or are readily available -- like Shakespeare. I have the complete works; the library has the complete works; the internet has the complete works; I do not also need to have all the plays in single-play bound format, though I'm keeping the copy I used when directing a play because that's full of notes like a scrapbook and therefore irreplaceable.

So to make your sorting easier, I now present you with some principles for your personal library.

Good Reasons to Keep a Book:

1. You like it.

2. You want to lend it to friends.

3. You want to read it a lot and will almost certainly want to read it next after nine p.m. or after the libraries are closed.

4. You want to read it a lot and the library is apparently run by philistines and doesn't have a copy.

5. It's just that awesome.

Inadequate Reasons to Keep a Book:

1. You've read it.

2. You haven't read it yet.

3. Somebody gave it to you.

4. You paid money for it.

5. It was free.

6. It's a good book.

7. It's so bad, you want to quarantine it.

Anybody have any good stories about culling their libraries, or not culling their libraries, or really epic collapsing shelves?

(This list brought to you by popular request after my Kitchen Principles post. I love getting popular requests.)

Saturday, July 06, 2013

In which we rearrange, which is always more complicated than it looks

Jonathan is now officially full-time job hunting. His last position ended last Friday. He has some good leads, with one he's really excited about, so all that's coming along, and also we're re-thinking our house set-up. We love having Daddy home, and we're pretty sure Daddy likes us, but at the same time everyone's happier if he can just go away and shut the door. I hear new retirees have this problem, too.

Inconveniently, we don't have a spare room, so Jonathan's computer was smack dab in the middle of the living room, which translated into the middle of everything. There is a limit to how much Meg and I can be out of the house, especially when it's always either over ninety outside or else raining and I'm trying not to go shopping every day, so nobody was getting anything done and by Thursday the Time Had Come to Rearrange. However, it was the Fourth of July and we had other things to do, so it got put off.

The only thing I could think of was our room. The bed only takes up a little more than half the length of the room, and the other end mostly gets used for holding stuff. Admittedly, it's useful stuff like clothes and shoes, but maybe we could get creative...?

July 5 we got up, not very early because we'd been at the fireworks, and started organizing. We had cleaned our room earlier in the week, so it was in pretty good shape. We started by cleaning Meg's room, moved most of the moveables out of our bedroom and into hers, cleaned off the sci-fi-and-fantasy bookshelf in our room, and made the inconvenient discovery that the desktop is plugged into the modem, doesn't have a wireless card, and the modem has to be plugged in in the living room. Um. Jonathan assured me he did want internet access on that machine, unfortunately. But giving up was not to be thought of! We must rearrange! We'll figure it out later. Jonathan hoisted the computer desk from the living room into the bedroom to make a kind of office nook, adding three boxes of law books, two short filing cabinets, and the now sci-fi- and fantasy-free sci-fi-and-fantasy shelf for extra beauty, and tidily arranged all the computer stuff around on it. Then we moved dressers, other shelves, and stuff around the rest of our room.

It actually looked pretty good. At this point the bed was covered with sci-fi and fantasy, not to mention all the usual flotsam, jetsam, and paraphernalia that magically appears when you move furniture. Meg's room was full of the rest of our junk, I mean treasures. The living room had big dusty holes where there used to be a computer desk and two filing cabinets. But it looked pretty hopeful.

Mid-afternoon Jonathan had to go out and do something, so he went and did it. Meg and I took a nap.

When he got back, we tidied up and started rearranging books for real. The shelf at the end of the hall - pshh! The shelves are all bending down in the middle, but they'll be fine. We can fit a LOT more books onto that. In fact, maybe I can hold up the middle of shelves with stacks of books on the shelf below. Also, I started a massive giveaway pile of books in the middle of the hall, because we didn't really need to walk down that hall. After vacuuming the desk hole, we moved two shelves into it, and loaded them up with cookbooks, Shakespeare, and medieval-ish fiction and theology, because obviously those belong together. The Greek and Latin all moved into the shelf at the end of the hall with the other history and language, which freed up enough room in the living room for the sci-fi and fantasy. Which freed up our bed. Which meant, happily, that we could get into it, which we did, and called it a day.

All we're lacking now is wireless for Jonathan's computer and somewhere to put laundry, my shoes, and bedside stuff, and we might need a charging station and another lamp because it's kind of dark in his office nook when the sun goes down. Not too bad!

Friday, July 05, 2013

I guess cleaning is scary

Jonathan: "Why are you climbing into the crib?"
Meg: "I don't want to be cleaned up by accident!"

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Failure to communicate

Meg dropped some applesauce onto the table this morning, and I looked up to see her finger-painting with it. So I handed her a paper towel. She looked at it confused and then delicately, delicately, wiped one finger on the towel.

We all burst out laughing.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Special reasons

"But I don't want to share the car with Daddy! I need the car for special reasons. FOREVER." Meg

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pink skirt

I've been wanting one of those knit skirts for a while. You know, knee-length, stretchy, a little bit flared, maternity-friendly, and preferably brightly colored. The least expensive one I've found so far was $10 at Wal-Mart, which while not that much, is kind of a lot for a Wal-Mart skirt that I plan to wear for maternity: not to be a clothes snob or anything.

But today I was at Wal-Mart and found a $3 shirt, size 4X-Large. Now THAT, my friends, is about right. It caught my eye because it was a good shade of hot pink and had some cute stud detailing around the collar. I could do something with that.

XXXX-large shirt

Ta-da! Pink skirt. It looks much better on me than on the hanger.

The sleeves became pockets and the studded collar became studded pocket edges. I think they keep it from looking obviously homemade.

The sides of the skirt come up in a subtle scallop. It's such a casual skirt, just zig-zagging it was enough. It will be easy to hem it later if I decide it needs it.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A legal lunch

Meg tried to snatch back her hamburger bun before eating the hamburger, and Jonathan warded her off. "YOU don't have a vested interest in this bun. You have a vested interest subject to divestment! And I have divested you of this until such time as you eat your hamburger!"

Then Meg started singing.
"Row row row your ketchup
Gently down the french fry.
Merrily merrily merrily merrily
Life is bun a dream."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The rain it raineth every day

We're having a grand rainstorm this afternoon with tornado watches, flash flood watches, dire hail predictions, the works. I think it was a cold front plowing into a hot (yep) humid (yep) mass of air? The radar maps are very exciting with lots of bright red on them. Anyway, we decided it was not a good day to go swimming, and also we won't be able to go to Bible study this evening if it doesn't calm down.

Meg was particularly concerned about Bible study, because that's where the dessert is. So she tried to get me to make it stop raining. When that didn't work, she took matters into her own hands.

"Rain, stop! Rain, be still! STOP!"

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Without ice cream there is only darkness and chaos

There was no ice cream and the power stayed on today, but we did have a certain amount of chaos. It all started when I picked up a big package of chicken thighs at the store and had Meg help me fix them. We discovered she has a passion for dredging chicken in flour - which is great, because I don't particularly like doing that. She dredged and I browned and we were a great team until we ran out of chicken. Then it (amazingly) started snowing chickeney flour all over that corner of the kitchen. I mopped it off her hands, feet, face, and stepstool, had her wash her hands, and then she snuck back and started spreading the love again. So I washed her thoroughly again, exiled her from the kitchen, rescued the chicken at a suitable shade of brown, got the crockpot going, and declared naptime.

Then I wiped off the counters, swept, and decided that what this world really needed was a pot of rice. The rice wasn't where I thought it was, but I came across it in the pantry, so I was able to get it going and sit down to peruse recipes.

Was that something... burning?

It sure smelled like something burning, so I got up, moved the rice off the burner, and went to fill the pot lid with water to add back into the rice pot, to cool it off. Only I forgot that the pot lid was glass. And it was hot, since it had been on the rice pot.


The lid exploded all over the sink and floor. I spent the next half hour sweeping and picking up little cubular shards of tempered glass. We didn't really need that lid anyway. However, I still need to go borrow a shop vac and suck the remnants out of the disposal.

On the up side, the rice was just fine and the chicken, cooking merrily in the crock pot, was really good. I can definitely recommend pre-browning the chicken thighs, if you're willing to risk chaos.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Kitchen principles

I feel like so many people are working so hard be healthy in what they eat. And yes, it's important. But unless you have a particular medical reason, I can't help but suspect that balance and moderation go a lot further than all this baked-everything weirdness full of kale. In my quest to spread cheerfulness and light and because I think certain foodie trends are silly, I'm compiling a list of principles which you are welcome to ignore completely as it suits you.

1. Just fry the French toast already. It'll take five minutes and taste right.

2. Eat the yolks too. They're full of choline and who knows what all that you probably need. Eat a reasonable number of eggs, not five dozen like Gaston, and it'll be fine. The exception is if you're cooking something fussy that you actually need only egg whites for, like meringue.

3. Put sugar in the ice cream. Don't add corn syrup, aspartame, or lovingly hand-harvested organic agave nectar. Then eat a reasonable serving, not the entire batch.

4. You may eat kale if you actually want to. If you want to put caramelized onions and bacon bits in it, do it. If you secretly hate kale, please use it for centerpieces and eat something else. Exception: if your hostess fixed it, you may eat it anyway.

5. Bread won't kill you unless you're genuinely gluten-sensitive. I think the era of worrying about carbs is mostly past... I hope. It goes without saying you should also be eating things that aren't bread.

6. Have you ever noticed how much saturated fat and cholesterol is in coconut oil?? Compare it to olive oil sometime. Don't use coconut oil for, on, and in everything. Use it sometimes (like for frying French toast, yum).

7. There is no shame in macaroni and cheese. Probably don't eat it every day unless you're expecting. Grilled cheese is another completely legit food item, especially around small children.

8a. Potatoes are food, not fiend. Sweet potatoes are good too, but they're not regular potatoes, so please don't use them for all the same things.

8b. Zucchini slices and spaghetti squash are not pasta. They're good too, but they aren't pasta.

8c. Greek yogurt is not heavy cream.

9. If someone offers you something they grew themselves... eat it and thank them!

Monday, June 03, 2013

Are you happy??

Me: "Okay, hon, your mom's coming tomorrow."
Meg: "DAD! Your mom's coming tomorrow! Are you happy about it??"
Jonathan: "Yes."
Meg: "Okay. I need more ketchup."

Please don't apologize for your house

No, seriously.

You can consider it a ministry, if you like. The reason is, it's so very depressing for someone to decry the state of their bedroom and I go in, expecting something really epic, and it's actually a lot cleaner than my own. Now I feel like the bad housekeeper in this situation.

I'm usually just grateful to have a place to set up a pack'n'play in!

Saturday, June 01, 2013


For those of you who haven't heard yet, Jonathan is looking for a new job. On the one hand, this is kind of concerning, because, well, we like to eat. Also, job-hunting is stressful. On the other hand, it's a little exciting. It's like sniffing the air and knowing rain is about to fall - it has that smell. I can't conjure up a job for him, but the Lord can. I did the calculations, and one or the other of us has hunted for a job on average every eighteen months since we were married and God has always provided.

So most of the time, I manage not to worry about it. It's kind of like George whosit, trusting the Lord for his orphanage - He's brought us here, and to a significant degree, it's His business to keep us. I even comforted a sweet lady the other day who was pretty upset on our behalf. Then I have other days where everything is bad and we're doomed and Meg will wear diapers forever and I'll never, ever get to live in a real house or have a garden this side of heaven. So there. Or we might have to move to Kentucky. The horror.

So if you want to help, do please pray. If you know of anyone who wants a researcher/strategist lawyer type, by all means let us know. There's a fine line between getting lost and having an adventure, you know.

Geek cred: neutral

So, we went to see the new Star Trek movie. I liked it.

I hadn't realized it was a reboot of Wrath of Khan - which was fine, because I haven't seen Wrath of Khan since high school and I've lost a lot of brain cells since then and don't actually remember anything about it except the pink blood when they lost gravity - but when Khan showed up in this version, I shrieked (softly, since it was in the theater), "IT'S DR. WHO!"

Please note, I haven't actually seen Dr. Who. I tried to watch one episode and got halfway through before my laptop overheated and still don't know how it ends. Also, I've only seen one episode of the new Sherlock Holmes.

Khan, incidentally, is not Dr. Who. He is Benedict Cumberbatch, meaning he is Sherlock Holmes and Smaug. The Dr. Who I was thinking of is David Tennant. So yes, my geek cred took a pretty serious nosedive this afternoon. I still maintain that in Khan's trench coat, he looks like Dr. Who. He kind of acted like him too, part of the time, as much as I can tell from my (obviously) vast second-hand Dr. Who experience, except for being a homicidal maniac.

Then I came home and saw the trailer for the new Percy Jackson movie, Sea of Monsters. Hermes is going to be played by Nathan Fillion. When I got to that point, I shrieked, "IT'S NATHAN FILLION!" I was right.  It looks awesome.

So, we have determined that while I'm kind of foggy on Benedict Cumberbatch and David Tennant, I can spot Nathan Fillion at fifty paces. I guess that brings my geek cred for the day about up to neutral.

Monday, May 27, 2013


Pyramids came into the discussion this morning, so I went and found my Guide to the Valley of the Kings* for Meg to look at the pictures.

Meg: "Oh! This is nice, Mommy, but I don't have a king."
Jonathan: "You don't need to have a king. The Egyptians provided their own."

*Which is not where the pyramids are, but it's the book I had.

Friday, May 24, 2013

I figured it out

Now that I'm officially "showing," I've figured out why I had all those cute dresses in my closet I didn't actually wear. They didn't come from the maternity department, but they were cut to be attractive for maternity figures - Empire waistlines, lots of elastic, that sort of thing. They're really cute now. No wonder I didn't want to wear them last summer.

Bonus: I have lots of cute dresses.

Double bonus: after this baby, I will know better than to buy that style again!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A really amazing mom moment

This afternoon, just as I fell asleep on the couch, Meg brought me her princess tent to set up. "Please wait till I'm awa...." is about what I said.

She waited very patiently, tucking me in with blankets and animals, and when I showed signs of returning to the land of the living, she popped back up. "Can you set up my tent?"

I put her off until I was upright, and then I put her off until I'd hung up Jonathan's dress pants. Then we came back to the living room and surveyed the chaos.

"Where should I set it up?" I asked her.
"Ohhhhhhhhhh," she said. "I'll clean up."

And she did! As soon as there was a suitably animal-free space, she assembled the poles and I put up her tent. And we all lived happily ever after.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Do you enjoy house tours? I find it endlessly fascinating, how other people live and what stuff they choose to have. Agatha Christie would agree. Sometimes I even get good ideas.

Right now, I'm liking how this blogger describes her house as having "zones." I realized that's what I already try to do, but hadn't expressed. Dishes live in the kitchen; books live most places except the kitchen and bathroom; toys stay in Meg's room and the living room; laundry goes in... well, my room, except when it's actually in the washer or dryer. I'm not going to forbid items from visiting other zones but they may not stay there. That includes you, dishes on the dining table that's actually in the living room.

Each room might get messy, but as Jonathan said, at least the messes don't cross-pollinate. Also, for some rooms, you can close the door when company comes.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Babies, dinosaurs. Babies, dinosaurs.

Meg has a special announcement. We had our 20-week ultrasound this week, and she says... "I get a baby sister! And that is very good." She says she will share her crib with the baby, and maybe her dinosaurs; though other times she talks about putting the dinosaurs way up high so her sister won't chew on them.

But we weren't talking about sisters at breakfast. We had much more urgent matters to discuss, like dinosaurs.
"I'm not Miss B---! I'm Karen Cretoxycon!"
I looked at Jonathan. "Did you know your daughter is Karen Cretoxycon?" Meg giggled. "Did you mean Cretoxyrhina?"
Jonathan looked lost. He doesn't get Dinosaur Train references yet.

Then Meg wandered off and started singing.
"The King was in his counting house, counting out his money
The Queen was in her parlor, eating bread and honey
The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes
When along came a dickey bird and nipped off her nose
And the nose spoke sternly to the velociraptor!"

Then I told her to go to the bathroom and find some big girl underwear. This was apparently too much for Karen Cretoxycon, because she got as far as the (closed) bathroom door and wailed, "I CAN'T FIND IT!"

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Mystery object

"What is this, muvver?" Meg asked.
I look at it. "That's for cleaning our blinds that we have over the windows."
"We have blinds, I tell you! Blinds! BLINDS!!" Meg

Monday, May 06, 2013

Not out of the bosque yet

I've finally gotten around to tracking down the connection between the Spanish word "bosque," as in the woods in the Rio Grande valley, and the English word "bosky," which I came across in Milton or Spenser or somebody and which also means wooded or bushy. I did what I could, but I had to rely much more on wikis than I would have liked. So I may have to correct some of this later.

My first guess was that the English was borrowed from the Spanish, or maybe both of them were descended from Latin. But it looks like that's not so! I think I've found one of those rare instances where the Latin and the Spanish both borrowed from Old Germanic.  According to this source there's not much agreement where the old Germanic term came from, and one expert thinks it originally came from the Latin "buxus," box tree; but nobody else thinks so.

"Bosque" apparently comes by way of Catalan/Provencal/Old French, "bosc," from the proposed Germanic "busk," meaning brush or thicket.  The Latin "boscus, bosci" is a medieval (not classical) word meaning wood or wooded area. Fun fact: descendant words are "ambuscade," meaning an ambush set up in the woods, and "oboe," which is -- a woodwind!

I would like to see what the OED has to say about the English "bosky." Merriam-Webster just ties it to Middle English "bush" or "bosk," and I want more details. The whole business about the SH and SK at any rate makes sense - English apparently did that a lot. You see the same thing in "shirt" and "skirt," which are exactly cognates only one of them had more Norse influence. I think. If I'm remembering.

Small doings

Quote of the day: "Edmund is a bad pentaceratops." Meg
Me: "Edmund isn't a pentaceratops at all, bad or otherwise." He's her friend.
Meg: "Yes he is! He's a pentaceratops!"
Usually she's better at identifying dinosaurs than that.

In non-dinosaur news, we had macaroni and cheese with salad for lunch. Meg ate her salad happily and I had to force her to try a bite of the macaroni.

In other news, my summer shoe collection has kept shrinking. One can't really wear boots year-round, and I keep outgrowing or wearing out my old sneakers and sandals. My pink flowered Converses bit the dust ages ago and these days the whole brand is too narrow for me. I looked at Keds, which do come in cute gingham print, but they weren't that inspiring. Mostly what's available right now is neon running shoes, which would be fine if I liked running, looking like I go running, or neon. I'd really rather have something a little more... discreet. Dressy. Versatile. So today I found a lovely pair of leopard-and-gold sneakers. I saw them and decided they spoke to my soul AND would match pretty much all my casual clothes, which is a little terrifying, but there you have it. They were on clearance. I can't imagine why.

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 is out! Jonathan and I cleverly arranged our date night to fall last Friday so we could go watch it on opening night. It was the first decent movie to come out pretty much since The Hobbit, so we expected it to be busy, and it was. We had to sit far enough forward that I couldn't actually see the entire screen at one time. But we enjoyed it.

I wouldn't say it was groundbreaking, but they did a very respectable job. We had character growth, an enemy from Stark's past come back to haunt him, a double agent, and some fun interactions between Stark and a kid. The villain had a slightly more fictional superpower than usual, enough that I had to actually suspend disbelief instead of saying what cool technology it was, but it was a superpower calculated to give Iron Man plenty of trouble. The plot was reasonably tight. There were lots of pretty explosions. Also, if your idea of villainous revenge is to give someone your evil superpower, don't be surprised when that doesn't quite work out for you. Please try to think these things through.

Probably the biggest change to the Marvel movie-verse to come out of this movie was the answer to that offhand question of Captain America's from The Avengers: "Take away that suit, and what are you?" Of course Stark had a smart-aleck answer in the moment, but at the end of Iron Man 3 he had a real answer. It turned out to be a pretty good present for Pepper, too.

We didn't stay till the end of the credits. Did we miss a scene, anybody?

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Sam Vimes would be proud

If you saw me this winter, I was probably wearing my brown cowboy boots. Just a guess. They were my birthday present and cost about four times what I would normally spend on a pair of shoes. I wore them everywhere, every day, from church to stomping around in the woods. They were real leather and I conditioned them properly, and when spring rolled around, they still looked practically new.

Compare this to a pair of ankle boots I got while I was expecting Meg. They're cheapy black plastic pleather stuff, a half-size bigger than usual with a gentle wedge and the softest, squishiest footbed ever, so they were perfect. I wore them for about those six months, put them away, and when I got out my maternity wear this spring, noticed the outer layer was peeling everywhere. They're still comfortable, but they look awful.

Terry Pratchett, if you've read his books, calls this the Sam Vimes Principle. Vimes says you can spend $10 a year every year for cheap shoes, or spend $100 up front and get a good pair that will still be going strong ten years later. I think I just proved the principle. I am so buying good boots from now on!

Update on life

I always forget just how much pregnancy brain afflicts pregnant mamas. I forget my shopping lists, and then when I get to the store I forget what I wrote on them and go up and down the aisles saying, "I think we needed applesauce..." I usually remember the coupons, though. I forget words, especially nouns, and Meg is always supplying them for me with tolerance. This evening Jonathan was telling me a story. I was listening, I really was, but I went straight from "...became a character in his own right..." to "...practicing Civil-War style medicine on him." I think I may have missed something. Fortunately he thought this was hilarious.

The other day I explained this phenomenon to the college girls at church as "The baby is eating my brains" and they just about died laughing.

Meg still takes a keen interest in Baby Junior, as we are referring to the new arrival until we discover which pronoun is appropriate. (Meg is still convinced he's a boy.) We had a mutually confusing conversation a couple days ago, when we were talking about grapes. She thought Baby Junior was in my tummy "eating grapes with his teef!" Nooooo, I said, Junior is too little to have teeth. I have to do the chewing for him. She just looked at me in disbelief. But she is definitely preparing for his arrival. She got out the stepstool and carefully arranged her stuffed animals on the highest shelves of the bookshelf so, she explained, he wouldn't be able to chew on them.

I'm so proud of Meg. She's fascinated by words and has almost got them figured out. She goes around saying, "Duck! D-d-d-d-duck starts with... D!" and "Say starts with A!" (True story.) If you show her a written word, she will rattle off the letters for you, D - U - C - K, and might be able to tell you what sound the first letter makes. If the word is accompanied by a picture, she's fabulous at reading the first letter and guessing the word: the other day she got "spaghetti" that way. We're practicing saying all the letter sounds and putting them together.

We also count things, anything and everything, and do simple addition problems. She was really solid on adding two fingers and two fingers, but when there were five fingers on one hand and three on the other, that was too hard. Sometimes we do addition out loud and sometimes I write it out for her in a proper equation. When Nana came for a visit yesterday, I hear they counted to a hundred and Meg noticed that for every new set of tens, the same digits recur in the same order. I think she's doing great.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The great sunscreen debate

I have an impressive friend. She fell in love with evidence-based health care, arranged her college career and now motherhood around learning to read studies and statistics, and she delights in figuring out what exactly the best and most recent research says on, say, using toothpaste for a child under two. Then she does it.

I bring this up because with the warm spring weather comes (a drumroll, please) sunscreen season! Sadly, I do not have the educational background or mental rigor left to actually inspect the studies on sunscreen use. I just have a naturally suspicious nature and the remnants of philosophical/theological education. This leads me to doubt whether I should slather my child with SPF 100 before going out to get the mail.

Quite apart from whether it's the best use of our time and money, I just wonder whether it's good to insist that every member of a population ritually put on commercially-produced chemicals daily. I saw a headline of a study saying that skin cancer rates have actually gone up since sunscreen use started. Because of the sunscreen? Because people thought it was okay to stay out way longer if they had sunscreen on? Because those people drank too many cokes and it made them more sensitive? Or was the headline completely bogus? I don't know.

This is the whole question of wisdom. How do I parent properly in a world of imperfect information and a whole lot of limits? My dad always said, "The only thing you can't go overboard on is Jesus Christ." He was specifically talking about theology, but I think the principle holds across pretty much everything. I think C. S. Lewis was getting at the same thing when he said some things are a duty to maybe die for, but not to live for - like serving in a war or practicing lifesaving. You may die for that duty, but it shouldn't consume your every waking thought and affection. And Aristotle, of course, was all about virtue being finding the golden middle path between falling off into error on either side.

I could refuse to sunscreen Meg, ever, and cover her with trendy coconut oil (all those health benefits!) so she could get really tan and smell like summer all the time. Or I could sunscreen her every morning just in case we poke our noses out of doors.

The best I've come to, and you might disagree, is that we put on sunscreen when we're going to be outside for a significant length of time. I figure, when experts discover that excessive sunscreen use causes [whatever], we won't have used it excessively. And in the meantime, we won't get many sunburns. Because nobody likes crunchy red skin.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Friend bowling and zapping Peeps

It was ridiculously hot out today, so we went over to a friend's house and played on their slip 'n' slide. Meg took to it like a duck to water, running along the length through the sprinklers and giggling and falling over and getting soaked. She even invented a new game: when her friend ran along it, she tossed a ball at him. It uncannily hit him just wrong and knocked him down. She invented friend bowling!

In other news, this video inspired me to the crazy length of actually going out and buying Peeps and a chocolate bunny on 70% clearance, just so we could make Bye Bye Bunny s'mores. Peeps aren't precisely a food item, but they do grow massively in the microwave, which is hilarious. So we made s'mores last night. Meg was excited and called them "snores" until I pointed out to Jonathan how cute that was, at which point she frowned and clarified that they were really s'mores. S'more or snore, I was queasy so I couldn't try mine, and actually I'm not convinced any of us ate them judging by the number of Peep-infested plates I washed: but we all appreciated Peeps grown monstrous. It's the simple things in life.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Spring clothes

Spring has finally, finally, arrived here. I opened a window yesterday and (surprise!) found a very nice sunbeam. Being part cat, I immediately stretched out it, and spent most of Meg's naptime reading a magazine. It was a really good sunbeam.

I spent the rest of her naptime (on through dinnertime and past her bedtime) doing the Great Seasonal Clothes Swap, which involved getting out pretty much every item of clothing I own and either putting it into or out of a storage bin, mostly trying them on along the way. It was more exciting this year since I got out the maternity clothes. Yes, it's true! We are expecting a new arrival at the end of September. And, between junior and the pleasant weather, it was high time to get spring things out.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

I hear it's just a stage

I'm actually not sure whether staying home and doing housework all day makes the house any cleaner, net, than going out and about. If we're out, at least the home mess stays stable. If we're in, all that Meggie energy gets channeled into her toys so that whichever room I clean, there's another one getting methodically turned into a disaster. We seem to generate more trash and laundry at home, too (especially during potty training), and I know I generate more dishes to wash if I cook.

Staying home and cleaning does change the distribution of the mess, though. Instead of dirty dishes I get tastefully assorted roomsful of dinosaurs, stuffed animals, and easter eggs, and the laundry baskets fill up with clean clothes rather than dirty. I guess that's worth it?

Fish noses

Meg and I got some fish at Long John Silver's. It comes in large fillets, you know, so I cut it up. She and her stegosaurus liked the corner pieces especially well and called them the "fish noses."

Friday, March 29, 2013


From the other room, I heard Meg opening the fridge.

"What are you doing?" I asked.
"Mm, looking for something good to eat."
"Would you like a bowl of cereal?"
She considered this. "Yes, that would be app'op'iate."

When I walked into the kitchen, she presented me with the bowl and box of cereal she wanted; she started digging for the best spoon; and then, when it was all poured and ready, she told me which chair she wanted to sit in (the new one). There you go.

Speaking of new chairs, we have new dining chairs! We were down to two, plus the desk chair, so it was time. I found two of those upholstered dining/occasional chairs at Homegoods. They are covered in leaf-green pleather, which is not quite what I had intended to own ever in this universe, but it's a good green. It matches my cherry dishes and green glassware beautifully, looks good with the rest of my red and black and white and cobaltware, and even does pretty well with the other furniture. Also, I'm liking the pleather - it cleans up easily.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I gave Pulse a good try, but it just wasn't working for my blog-reading purposes. It's good for news sites where you want to scan headlines but only read the text occasionally, and I really wanted something that would tell me which blog posts were new since I checked last.

The two main contenders I considered were Feedly and Bloglovin. The reviews were helpful - I learned that in Bloglovin, you have to click through to the original post to read the full text. Yikes. That would have been exasperating for me, so I ran the other direction very quickly and downloaded Feedly.

That works fine. It was very low-stress setting it up. It asked for access to my Google Reader account, so don't go with Feedly if you don't want them accessing your Google Reader info, but it syncs fine with it, back and forth. I was able to organize with as many blogs per category as I liked; none of that twenty-blog-maximum nonsense. I haven't quite gotten the hang of how much of a post you have to read for it to mark it read, so often I will get through a category and then click the "mark all as read" checkmark at the top to clear it out - which is an extra step, but not bad. Feedly also has a very friendly user interface for their app.

I did keep Pulse for news sites, though. It's nice for browsing on my Kindle.

Poppy clutch

Poppy clutch by Roger Vivier
A good purse is hard to find. It's kind of a long story, but I've been looking everywhere for a pretty clutch that isn't on a crossbody strap.

I came across this beauty in a magazine. Isn't it darling? It's quite high-end, of the if-you-have-to-ask-how-much-it-is-you-can't-afford-it kind, but I fell in love anyway. That is hand-painted silk chiffon. Clearly it was time to get creative.

Poppy clutch by me
First I went shopping for a base purse. I found a silver sequined fish-scale purse with a removable strap on clearance for about $7. Then I went to the fabric store and picked up half a yard worth of red chiffon. They didn't have silk chiffon like the original, but the polyester was at any rate cheerful and red. I also got a bottle of glue.

I started by cutting up some red knit to cover the sequins, which I glued down. Then I cut the chiffon in quarters to get two layers for each side, hand-stitched two layers to the clutch right below the base of the closure, and started experimenting with the right pleats and twists. Then I stitched the twist down and used a candle to melt the raw edges of the chiffon so it wouldn't unravel. I would recommend doing this in a well-ventilated area. Then I did the same process on the other side. Last of all, I got out my watercolors to imitate that lovely poppy center from the original.

I'm not sure it worked. It's not like the original, but it's kind of pretty. It turned out soft and floaty and very red. Nobody else will have one like it. Will I be happy to carry it? Is it better than not having a poppy clutch at all?

Um.... probably?

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Last night we went to the outlet mall, where they had a number of ride-on toys for the kids. One of these was a train with Barney (you remember Barney?) sitting in the conductor's seat. Jonathan asked Meg about him.

"Um.... he's a hippopotamus."
"I can see that. Rounded snout... But hippopotamuses aren't usually purple, are they?" said Jonathan.
"He's a special hippopotamus," Meg announced.

I just about died laughing.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wait, what?

Meg, looking out the window: "What is that?"
"What is what? The wind?"
"What is the wind?"
"It's when the air gets pushed around."
Meg, nodding sagely: "Ah. That's why I'm eating my breakfast."

Do we need to work on cause-and-effect??

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Song of the Day: Da Doo Ron Ron

"Young lady, you will have your time-out, and you're not supposed to like it!" Jonathan

"Dad, will you please play Minecraft? It gets dark and all the monsters come out." Meg

In other news, Meg has a new favorite song. She sings it, "Did you run run run, did you run run?" --which makes a lot more sense than the original, actually.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A visit from a leprechaun

This year the St. Patrick's Day ...leprechaun? left us treasure to find when we got up in the morning. It was in a treasure chest and everything.

Meg has been praying regularly for God to send her more dinosaurs, and He must have told the leprechaun, because there was a parasaurolophus in there. There was also a pack of stickers; we figured those must be for Meg too.

We also found a red glass guacamole bowl, a Wallace and Gromit movie, and quite a bit of chocolate coinage in gold and green. The gold ones were American coins, but the green ones had big shamrocks on the back, so those must be what leprechauns use. We were glad they shared.

For breakfast I fixed us green milk, which Meg thought was about the awesomest ever, and Lucky Charms cereal, which she turned up her nose at. I finally explained she didn't have to eat the marshmallows if she didn't want to. Then we all found green outfits for church.  And afterwards, we watched the VeggieTales St. Patrick's Day segment (Fanciful Flannelgraphs with Lutfi!). I've always liked that one.

I think it made a big impression on Meg. After her nap, she asked, "Is it still St. Patrick's day?" And this morning, again, "Is it still St. Patrick's day?" Furthermore, she's changed her regular prayer. Now she's asking for "A whole treasure of dinosaurs." She would particularly like a coelophysis, pteranodon, and a pterodactyl.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sweet tea

I've tried making sweet tea several times, and it's the nastiest stuff. McDonald's, on the other hand, makes quite good sweet tea and it's on the dollar menu. So I go to McDonald's all the time. However, it was getting to the point where I went to McDonald's every day, which was possibly excessive.

My mother makes good sweet tea.

So I called her this morning and asked directions. Which pan do I boil water in? (The smallest saucepan.) How long to steep it? How much sugar? I followed her directions and the tea turned out great. Thanks, Mom!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

No more Google Reader

When I called up my Google Reader this afternoon, I was surprised to learn that it will be closed down as of July 1. Who knew? I've been using Reader since before I was married, which is pretty much forever in technology years. But I loves my blogs, precious, and would miss them if the list disappeared, so today I went out foraging for a new feed reader.

Several reviews recommended Pulse. I assumed it would be like most sites, and you should sign up via web browser and then sync the Kindle to that, so I did. That web interface was the most exasperating thing. It had no functions - no buttons to push - no menus to find - the directions from online tutorials didn't work. Menus named didn't exist. I couldn't import my feeds from Reader, and I couldn't even figure out how to import the dratted blogs manually. I would have deleted my Pulse account then and there, but I couldn't figure out how to do it, since I couldn't even find the FAQs (hidden under "Feedback").

So. The welcome email said to feel free to reply if I had any questions. (To put it mildly.) I composed myself, then a very polite email explaining my problem, and shot it off. Not three hours later,  I got a response - in good English! - from a tech person at Pulse, walking me through how to import blogs. I tried it and it still didn't work.

At this point it dawned on me that all the instructions assumed you were on a mobile device.

So I got the Kindle app and tried it through there. Lo and behold, happy days, the missing buttons were right there. And they worked. Whew. So I spent the next three or four hours importing, arranging, organizing, and playing with my new toy.

My initial reaction is that Pulse has a pretty high learning curve, if you're coming off Google Reader. It would save a lot of frustration if you do your set-up via a mobile device in the first place. The interface, once it's going, is a lot of fun. It's image-based instead of text-based, so it will work better for some blogs than others.

One major difference is that you have to sort your blogs into folders of no more than twenty blogs each; I had about a hundred, so that forced me to look through and categorize them. But that needed doing anyway. Another thing to note is that it does not seem to have a "mark as read" function or list for you how many posts, exactly, are unread. Newer posts float to the top when you open your category and you can slide back to older ones until you catch up on what you've missed.

All in all, I'm relatively pleased. If I had to be shoved forward technologically, at least I wound up in a pretty good site. That tech support is incredible.

House hunting update

I haven't posted about the house search for a while because, well, it's been pretty nondescript, aka depressing. The housing market around here is getting more expensive - not totally sure why that is, except apparently everyone wants to live here?

We still learn new things, every house we consider. For instance, if it's over a hundred years old and never been seriously remodeled, run away quickly. Kitchens from the 1960s tend to be a danger signal. I think it would be one thing if we were carefree do-it-yourselfers who were happy to stay up till 2 am every night ripping floorboards and replacing joists, but as parent of a joyful three-year-old, I really draw the line at living rooms slanting downhill. There are projects our church family can help with, and then there's ridiculousness, yours for a limited time only for a quarter of a million dollars!


The process is cementing some things firmly in my mind. First of all, I. have. got. to. have. a. yard. I am going nuts. I need to plant daffodils. Secondly, we have got to get a second bathroom. Not even a choice. Third, I still detest townhouses, for me. I read an article that said an astonishing 25% of young couples/families actually want townhouses. That seems... inflated, for the young couples I know.

I went and looked at two houses the other day. The first, sadly, was only two bedrooms. It was a bit raggedy round the eaves, but cute other than that. Then I went home and read the description, which went "Unsafe - do not enter." Oh. I do prefer being able to enter houses I live in. The other house turned out to be the next-door neighbor to one we looked at a couple months ago, which we had turned down due to wavy floorboards and the presence of neighbors with a yard full of trash. I hear they were very nice people, just... lots of trash. Well, it was the trash house for sale this time, and visions of cockroaches danced in my head. Also - more seriously - that neighborhood is up-and-coming and I suspect developers of harboring trendy little townhouse dreams there.

I'm getting discouraged and starting to contemplate filing house-hunting under "mythical creatures." I'm trying hard not to get all jealous and cranky about it. This was my choice, when I opted not to go back to work after Meg arrived.

A foreclosure just came on the market today. It's sorta kinda mostly actually in our price range, depending how much fixing it'll take, and it's nice and close by. Meg and I are off to investigate in a little bit. As my mom says, when we do get a house, we'll know for sure it was the Lord's provision. So do please keep praying.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

what once was lost

Meg found her missing glasses lens. It was in the gas tank of her little car.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Music to my ears

Meg to me: "Is there another job I can do, sweetie?"

"Oh mommy, you're so beautiful."

Straightening her arm out: "Look! I have no elbow at all!"

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Cat, like i-kat

This morning we changed Meg's sheets and bedspreads, and she got really excited when I got out her pink and purple ikat comforter.

"Yay! Purple cat! Purple and white... cat!" Meg

Sunday, March 03, 2013

My dino girl

I did a search for  "dinosaur" on Pinterest, much to Meg's delight. I may, possibly, have created a monster.

"Oh, cute! More dinosaurs! I should wuv to play wif some of those! ...No, I don't want to eat any of your bread. I'm busy scrolling." Meg

The echo

Today at church we had a responsive reading. It was one of those where the Lord is giving the law and finishes every phrase with, "I am the Lord." The leader would read his sentence, the congregation would read our sentence, and then, bright and clear in the pause, a little Meg voice echoed, "I AM THE LORD!"

I heard later that our college friend Andy (sitting in the clear opposite corner) nudged his sister Anna and said, "Is that Meg?" And Anna said, "I think so!" Yes, yes it was.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Clocks in real life

After about the fifth time Meg asked if she could get up yet, I told her that at four-thirty, when the long hand was pointing at the six, her nap would be over. Meg brightened up immediately.

"Oh! I didn't know!"

Sunday, February 24, 2013

So Meg can read clocks, now

Meg just boggled me by reading a clock. She looked up at the big one over the couch and announced that it was seven o'clock - the little hand was on the seven, and the big one was (almost) pointing up. Who knew?

Chinese food

We got some sweet and sour chicken takeout, and Meg thought the "Chinese chicken nuggets" with "real sauce" were pretty good. She also likes using chopsticks and refers to them as "pork chops."

Saturday, February 23, 2013

And threw him down the stairs

There's a scene in Busman's Honeymoon where Peter and Harriet are speculating as to where old Noakes had actually been hit in the head, since he subsequently got up and fell down the stairs. Peter starts quoting the way he does, "Upstairs and downstairs and in my lady's chamber," and then hurriedly backs off - "No, no, not in my lady's chamber."

I never quite understood why he was in such a hurry to backtrack, besides obviously preferring their bedroom not be the scene of the crime. But then last night I was reciting the full nursery rhyme.

Goosey, goosey, gander, whither dost thou wander?
Upstairs and downstairs and in my lady's chamber.
There I met an old man who wouldn't say his prayers,
I took him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs.

The goose was in my lady's chamber when he met the old man. Well, Noakes was pretty much the old man who wouldn't say his prayers, and someone definitely sent him down the stairs. Peter had stumbled into a quote more applicable than he meant, and that was why he was so anxious to dissociate it from their story.

I just love figuring out Sayers references.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A dinosaur's home is the castle?

Meg was playing with her castle and dinosaurs, doing all the voices.
"Go in, go in."
"Why are you in my house?"
"We're not in your house, we're just... it's our house. Dinosaurs are nice!"

Meg and Goldilocks

It's always curious, finding out what bothers your little one. Today we were reading "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," and Meg got antsier and antsier as Goldilocks did more and more naughty things. Finally she clapped both hands over her mouth and hopped away.

She closed the book for me.  "There are some things that she's not supposed to do."

Monday, February 04, 2013

Dangerous to be her toy

"Everybody!  This is not gonna work, and I'm gonna lock you in the dungeon!" Meg


Meg was looking at my Pride and Prejudice poster. "King Herod and Mr. Wickham, they're both two wicked guys."

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Peach cobbler

Today it snowed off and on all day. Apparently it's also the Superbowl? I came home from church, took a nap, and decided that what the world really needed was peach cobbler. To my astonishment, we actually had frozen peaches and enough butter, so I made one. It took a while, but turned out pretty nice.

Then Meg accidentally knocked over a bucket of laundry soaking in oxy-clean (my fault for leaving it there), so we had emergency mop-up operations, and then she and I ran to the grocery store for tortillas for dinner, by which point I completely forgot about my cobbler.

I remembered just before Meg's bedtime. She was put out that I'd made dessert without her, and retaliated by refusing to try any. She actually preferred going to bed without dessert. That'll teach me.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Another Meg quote

Sorry for the deluge of Meg quotes today, after two weeks of nothing. We finally have all our technology working again and an afternoon at home, and I keep remembering more good ones. For instance, there was the time I told Meg she should finish going potty and then she could have... um...

"I think 'M & Ms' is the word you're looking for," she informed me.

This is the way of a temper tantrum at our house

Regrettably, and no doubt this astonishes you, it sometimes happens that all is not perfect peace and amity between me and my three-year-old. This is how one such difficult conversation went yesterday.

"No." Me
"WAAAAH!" said Meg.
I waited.
Meg, taking a deep breath, "I NEED SOME SPACE." She ran into her room and slammed the door.

Emotions are hard things.

Meggie cuteness

The other day, after it had snowed and thawed and there was rock salt all over the sidewalks, she said, "Look, Mommy! Snow crumbs!"

Then last night, Jonathan tried to tell Meg a story about France. I wasn't sure Meg was clear on France, so I started quoting Ratatouille at her. "Ze best food in ze world is made in France. And ze best food in France is made in..."

Meg looked blank. But then she guessed -- "Mexico!"

Fiendishly clever, these Americans

Meg wanted some hummus, but I was being uncooperative because I didn't want her double-dipping in the container. Jonathan got up and got her her own little bowl to put it in. Meg got really excited.

She said, "Thank you, Dad! Dad is INGENIOUS!"

Thursday, January 17, 2013

January craft: turquoise kitten

Try not to think about the Rat. Meg helped me style this shot. As soon as the kitten was dry, she whisked it off to play with the Rat of Irrational Happiness, and apparently they're best friends now.

Right... I've had this little plaster kitten for years. I believe my old pastor's wife made it back in craft show days. However, it had collected a couple of chips over the years and the faux terra-cotta paint job no longer did it for me. Clearly it was time to jump on the paint-animals-bright-colors trend.

I was going to paint it pink, but I already had turquoise paint. It's plain craft paint, not primed or sealed or anything. I kinda like it.

The Rat, by the way, was a white elephant gift and before that it had been a joke gift, meaning the person who gave it to the other person is the one who bought it with malice aforethought. It usually lives out of sight in the pantry to scare away real rats and unsuspecting houseguests. I don't know why Meg loves it so, but it would make her sad to get rid of it. So the Rat stays.

January craft: better cardboard swords

 One delightful side effect of wrapping lots of presents is that you get not only wrapped presents (PRESENTS!), but empty cardboard tubes to use for swords.

I conveniently finished two kinds of wrapping paper and a roll of paper towels the same day, and thought of a way to make wrapping-paper tube swords even awesomer. What they really needed were those cross-tree hilt things.

I gently pressed the short piece just flat enough to cut two pointy-ended ovals out of it, one on either side for the long tube to slide through. It was a little bit trial and error. The oval has to be longer and narrower than the circle of the tube so that it will hold it in place, but not so narrow as to smash the tube flat.

I really like playing swords with the cross piece. It catches your opponent's sword when you parry it so your hand doesn't get pretend cut off, which is a great feeling.

The swords have even held up relatively well. When one end got bent out of shape, we just slid the hilt to the other end and kept going. Then, when that was bent, we strengthened it with leopard-spotted duct tape. The awesomeness just keeps sharing. I love it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Orange you glad... oh never mind

As I was putting away the lettuce, it came to me what remaining Romaine is, really. It's the Romainder.

Friday, January 11, 2013

An anniversary of sorts

Today is the one year anniversary of Jonathan working at his current job. It's hard to believe it's only been one year. We're so happy here and with the situation. It was really a miracle job, especially because we know so many law grads who still haven't found a position at all. So we're grateful.

Also, I want to take a minute and brag on my husband. He's handsome. He gives great hugs. He does dishes. He writes a mean will (but he'd rather write nice ones) in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He tracks down people across thirty years and five states armed only with their name and their parents' names, and imports angels from the far east. He also fixes toilets and internet when they start leaking. We've been married four and a half years, and I adore him so much.