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.