Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ben's Mirthday

JeriLynn, I think it was, talked about her son's "mirthday"--his one month birthday. I liked the idea. So I stole it. Thanks, JeriLynn.

Happy Mirthday, Ben!
One month old on Saturday, August 27

Let's start with our size comparison. Thanks, Tannie, for letting me steal that idea. I'm all about idea thievery lately.

3 Days

1 Month

No, I did not intentionally get him screaming both times. It just happened that way because it was the only time he was in the car seat both days. But you can tell that he's already getting longer, and he definitely has NOT plumped up. When you hold him he is all arms and legs. He is looking less newborn, but he's still tall and skinny. Like his dad.

Contrary to what his car seat pictures may suggest, Ben is an extremely mellow baby. Thank goodness. We were due for a mellow one.

I am not one to put babies on a schedule--that can come when they're bigger. However, he has quite conveniently put himself on a pretty darn consistent schedule. As long as he's fed and changed and we're not going anywhere, he will sleep from 8:00 to 11:00 each morning, 12:30 to 4:30 each afternoon, and 6:00-8:00 each evening. Almost on the dot, every day. During the night, he only wakes up twice, if that. Then he's up at 6:45 and happy to start again. The only problem with this schedule is that he is always awake when everyone else is eating. Makes cooking tricky.

Speaking of happy, he smiled for the first time yesterday! Oh, it just makes you melt.

His sisters still love him...a little too much. Jane is very helpful with getting diapers or burp rags, and she'll sit with him and keep him company while I make lunch or dinner.

We are blessing Ben this coming Sunday. Let me know if you want to come!! It'll be quite the party, with many people staying at our house for the weekend and several (as in lots and lots) more coming over for lunch after church. Should be quite the party. We're excited to see you all!

P.S. I've added Day 21-30 of my book list. I post-dated it for last Monday, so it won't show up on the top of the list. Go back and read it. Please. And leave a comment when you're done. Pretty please. :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Foul Ball

As I have mentioned before, Chris will occasionally help a friend of ours with his fireworks shows. Most often, it's the fireworks at the Slat Lake Bees baseball games.

Last Saturday, Chris was only helping with the actual show (fire control) and clean-up afterward, so the kids and I went along just for fun. Sweet deal--hang out with Chris and watch a ball game (or at least pretend...we didn't actually care...) until the very end of the game. Sit in the stands with just the kids and me for the last inning, watch the fireworks, and go home. No problem.

Part one worked great. The girls had all kinds of fun running up and down the hill.

We shared some snacks.

And Ben took a nice little nap.

Good times.

Part two, however, failed. Miserably.

By the time we cleared out of the grassy area (because of the coming fireworks show) and settled in to the stands, we were all wearing down. The girls were tired and bored and hungry. I was tired and bored and hungry. And I assume Ben was tired and bored and hungry, too, because he was anything but content. As any mother of small children will attest, this was a very bad combination.

So, there we are. Sitting on the end of a row in the stands, Ben screaming in the ring sling, Jane doing anything she possibly can to run away from me, Megan eating laffy taffy candy she peeled off the ground. I gave her a pacifier just to get her to stop doing that, but she threw it on the ground repeatedly and put it right back in her mouth. So disgusting. Let me just say that a baseball game is not the best place to take three very small children by wasn't going well.

And then I got hit by a foul ball.

Yes, you read that correctly. I looked up just in time to see the ball coming straight at us. My only instinct was to wrap my arms around Ben, and I only barely had time to do that before that ball made serious contact with my right knee.

Ouch. To put it mildly. In my head, it was quite a bit louder and may have included a few additional choice words. But only in my head. As far as anyone around me let on, they all assumed it had grazed Megan's arm. No one said a word about me.

Worst part? The ball rolled away and some lady down the row in front of us caught it. All that, and I didn't even get to keep the ball.

I told Chris and he reported it to the medics (without my knowledge, incidentally) who brought me an ice pack. I'll let you guess how long it managed to stay on my knee, considering the aforementioned child situation.

To add insult to injury, a storm blew in and the wind picked up quite a bit. We had to sit for a good half hour after the game ended (as if the game counted for anything) before they even did the fireworks. Several people around me got up and left, apologizing all the way. Apparently my stressful situation was obvious...but they still left. Sigh.

Luckily, we did get to see the fireworks. I was worried that after all that, they would be cancelled altogether. Thankfully, the show did go on, and it was a definite redeeming point to the whole adventure. It was a very good show. Good job, Wendi and Tony! And Chris, too.

I will say, I am extremely grateful that the ball didn't hit any of my kids. Ben was on my chest, Megan was standing between my knees, Jane was standing right next to me. The ball went in the only possible open spot between them all to hit me. If it had to hit someone, I'm glad it was me and not them.

Here is my knee three days later. The swelling has gone down significantly. Hopefully in another day or two I'll be able to walk up and down stairs again.

In the meantime, I'm not sure I'll be attending any more baseball games. Or if I do, we'll find a babysitter first.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 21-30

Day Twenty-One
Favorite Book from my Childhood

Heckedy Peg
by Don and Audrey Wood

I still have my copy from when I was a kid, and I have yet to let my girls look at it without my direct supervision. I liked this book so much I even rewrote it with months of the year instead of days of the week.

Day Twenty-Two
Favorite Book I Own

Seriously?! Have you seen my house? My bookcases are overflowing. I like them all so much I just have to buy them. If I read a lot but didn't own, this might be a more relevant question. For the moment, I am going to skip this. I'll add my answer to this in with Day 30.

Day Twenty-Three
A Book I have always wanted to read but still haven't

Wuthering Heights
by Emily Bronte

I feel like I should have read this a long time ago. I even own it (see why 22 doesn't work?) and still haven't read it. Not sure why I think I should...the only thing I actually know about it are that the late Heath Ledger and his sister were named after the main characters. Maybe it's a dumb book and it's not worth my time. Who knows...I'll probably still never read it. But I still think I should...

Day Twenty-Four
The Character I Relate with the Most

I don't like this one. I have no idea. So I made a new one for this day.

Funniest Book I've Read Recently

The Willoughbys
by Lois Lowry

Thank you again, Kate, for introducing me to this one. It's about four children who want to be old-fashioned, so they set out to be orphans. Their parents decide they would be happier without children, so they set out to get rid of them. Trust me, it's hilarious. I reread it while I was in the hospital with Ben.

Day Twenty-Five
A Book you wish More People would Read

The Westing Game
by Ellen Raskin

I first read this when I was in sixth grade. I have since read it many times, including once with each class I taught at Providence. I think it is very clever, and well worth the read. Read it.

Day Twenty-Six
A Book that Changed my Opinion about Something

I Didn't Plan to be a Witch
by Linda Eyre

I actually just read this book last Friday (yes, the whole thing). It's a book about being a mother, and I couldn't have read it at a more perfect time. I'm planning a post on the Village soon about it. Keep a watch out there if you want to know more.

Day Twenty-Seven
Most Surprising Plot Twist or Ending

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
by Agatha Christie

I have read literally dozens of Agatha Christie mysteries, and many, many other mysteries by different authors. I feel like I'm pretty good at solving the whodunit long before the last page. This one? Holy cow. I never saw it coming. If you only read one Agatha Christie book ever, pick this one.

Day Twenty-Eight
Favorite Title

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
by Robert M. Pirsig

I read chunks of this in college, though I must confess that I still really have no idea what this book is even about. But I do think the title is clever.

Day Twenty-Nine
A Book Everyone Hated but I Liked

Spoon River Anthology
by Edgar Lee Masters

Masters went through a cemetery and wrote short poems describing the imagined lives of each name on a gravestone. I read this book in a drama class my senior year in high school. It makes for a dramatic performance piece in reciting the poems, and it makes for an interesting personal read as well. That said, most other students in that drama class hated it. But I was intrigued.

Day Thirty
Favorite Book of All Time

As I mentioned before, this one book could easily fit half of this list. Like days 1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, and 26. I tried not to overlap, and yet this book has already hit the list twice. Any guesses?

Referring back to day 22, my favorite book I own would have to be my four copies of this book.

Going through this 30-day list made me want to read it again. This time around, I picked the small red copy.

Yes, Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favorite book. Any questions?

And there you go. 30 "days" of my book experiences. Hope you found it at least mildly interesting.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 11-20

Day Eleven
A book I hated

Summer of the Monkeys
by Wilson Rawls

I know a lot of people who really love this book. In a word, I don't. I'll stop there so as not to offend anyone who does like it.

Day Twelve
A book I used to love but don't anymore

Baby Island
by Carol Ryrie Brink

I LOVED this book when I was in elementary school. It's about two (or three?) girls who get stranded on a desert island with six babies. Once upon a time, that would be a dream come true. Now, I know better. Ha.

Day Thirteen
Favorite Writer

Agatha Christie

No contest. Thank goodness for used book sales at public libraries.

Day Fourteen
Favorite Book by Favorite Writer

And Then There Were None
by Agatha Christie

This was the very first Agatha Christie mystery I ever read. I was in sixth grade, and I haven't stopped reading her books since. This one is quite interesting. There are two versions, by the way--the novel and the play. The ending of the novel is WAY better than the ending of the play. And incidentally, this book was originally published under the title Ten Little Indians, which was later changed because it was politically incorrect. Or something. Anyway, good book!

Day Fifteen
Favorite Male Character

Sherlock Holmes
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I always wanted to just know things that other people didn't. I think that's why I like Sherlock Holmes so much. And I like mysteries. It's like a double prize.

P.S. The picture is Jeremy Brett; his is considered one of the most famous portrayals of the character in the BBC television series.

Day Sixteen
Favorite Female Character

Grandma Dowdle, from A Long Way from Chicago
by Richard Peck

Grandma Dowdle is that old lady who no one likes but actually helps everyone else without them knowing. I like the contradiction between appearances and actions. And she's funny. Without meaning to be.

Day Seventeen
Favorite Quote from a Book

"An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day on, you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do."

from Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen

Oh, I just giggle every time. And Donald Sutherland gave my favorite rendition of that line in the newest movie version, hence the picture.

Day Eighteen
A book that Disappointed me

by Christopher Paolini

Remember yesterday when I said that fantasy books can easily be over the top? This is one of those for me. All the characterizations seemed stereotypical of fantasy novels. It was rather predictable in plot. And I always get irritated with imaginary worlds that give an impossible guessing game at the pronunciation of all the names. You might not guess it from my list so far, but I do really like fantasy books. I wanted to like this one, but, not so much.

Day Nineteen
Favorite Book turned into a Movie

Ella Enchanted
book by Gail Carson Levine

movie starring Anne Hathaway and Hugh Dancy

I have to qualify this one, too. In my 30 point list here, I'm trying really hard not to repeat. If I did, there is one book that would easily take over half of the list. For this one, I was much more inclined to pick Sherlock Holmes or Princess Bride...but I already used those. So I went with Ella Enchanted instead.

Now, if you've read the book and seen the movie, you'll know that they are actually quite different. It's true. I found, however, that I really enjoyed both. While the book is great, the movie kept the main important parts of the book (like the curse) and turned it into something that worked in a movie while still preserving what the story originally was. I think it was a good call. If you read the climax, what Ella does to break the curse is impressively powerful. If you were to watch that same action in a movie, it would be really boring. I think they did right in changing the story how they did. And I still like them both.

And while we're sidetracked onto movies, my second favorite thing after books, I will also add that I think the worst book-into-movie that I've seen recently was Inkheart. Huge disappointment. Secret of Nihm and War of the Worlds are pretty far down on that list, too. Just in case you wanted my opinion.

And that reminds me that there is a movie version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead that I've only recently become aware of. It stars Gary Oldman (Sirius Black) and Tim Roth (the guy from Lie to Me). I want to see it.

Day Twenty
Favorite Romance Book

Once Upon a Marigold
by Jean Ferris

Strictly speaking, this is not a romance book. I don't read those. But most all fiction books (that I read, at least) have some measure of love story. This is the one I picked for today. I also considered The Witch from Blackbird Pond, which I get goosebumps when I read the end, but that's not really what the book is about. So I went with this one instead, which is completely adorable and wonderfully funny. Read it if you need something light-hearted.

Stay tuned for our final installment, 21-30

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 1-10

When we were younger, I remember my older sister saying that the state of her bedroom was a reflection of her mind-state at the moment. If her room was clean, life was good. If her room was messy, she was probably stressed about something, or really busy, or whatever.

I have found the same to be true with my blog--if I'm not posting, it's because life is temporarily less than exciting. "Less than exciting" can mean that life is either not going amazingly well at the moment, or things are extraordinarily boring.

Let's just say, we're not so bored right now.

Several people in my ward have said that the third kid is the hardest. Once you get to four or more, it's way easier. Much less of an impact to add one more person. Problem is--we're only on the third kid...

To distract myself from our slightly rocky transition into family of five and to get back into the blogging grove, I stole a 30-day activity from a friend's blog (thanks, Rebekah). 30 Days is a long time, so I'm going to do it in three chunks instead.

Day One
Best book I've read in the last year

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

I read this first for Tannie's book club a couple years ago now. It is very well written and has a good mix of historical information and just good story interest.

Day Two
A book that I've read more than 3 times

Ella Minnow Pea
by Mark Dunn

This is actually our current book club book. I first read it in high school, I think, and have probably read it at least half a dozen times since. It's a good book largely because of the novelty of it--certain letters are removed from the language of a society, and as they disappear in the story, they also disappear from the book. Very clever, and very well worth the read.

Day Three
My Favorite Series

I have to add a caveat to this one. I don't read series. In my entire life, I can claim only four series that I've read in their entirety--Harry Potter, Peter Jackson, The Dark is Rising, and Lord of the Rings, which I don't even totally count as a series. It's more just one really long book.

Anyway, of those four, I would have to pick Harry Potter as my favorite.

Day Four
Favorite book of my Favorite Series

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
by JK Rowling

Harry wasn't quite old enough yet to be completely obnoxious like I thought he was in books 5 and 6, and I really liked the new characters (like Mad Eye Moody) and the plot twists (like the polyjuice potion). And I liked the Quidditch World Cup. Even though it didn't really have anything to do with the rest of the book.

Day Five
A book that makes me happy

Princess Bride
by William Goldman

Classic. The movie is great, and the book just makes the story 100 times better. The characters have so much background. And the first chapter is probably the best first chapter in all of literature. Just sayin'.

P.S. If you read it, know that everything the author says about himself is a lie. He made it up for the story, it's not true. He doesn't even have a son.

Day Six
A book that makes me sad

Good Night, Mr. Tom
by Michelle Magorian

Don't get me wrong, this is a wonderful book. I picked this one because there are some very unfortunate things that happen to children. And that makes me sad. But, that's what happens in a World War II book, right?

Day Seven
Most underrated book

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
by Tom Stoppard

Any Shakespeare fans out there? Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are the two friends of Hamlet who deliver Hamlet and the letter that is intended to get him killed. Hamlet reads the letter, swaps it for a new one, and his friends get killed instead. This book--play, actually--is that story from the friends' perspective. It's a fun twist on a rather tragic little tale, and it's also hilariously funny. I also performed a scene or two from this while in Alaska. I was Guildenstern.

Day Eight
Most overrated book

A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeline L'Engle

I know this is a classic and just about everyone reads it in fifth grade. Well, my fifth graders didn't read it with me because I found it rather annoying. I know it has a positive message of love and whatnot, I just didn't care much for any of the characters or events.

Day Nine
A book I thought I wouldn't like but ended up loving

by Brandon Sanderson

I don't really love contemporary adult fiction. I find a lot of the fiction books that come out now for adults tend to...well, not meet my moral standards, let's say. Brandon Sanderson has no problem keeping his books clean while also using high quality story lines and writing technique. I thought I would hate it because it's a new book written for adults, and a fantasy. I like fantasy, but they can be a little over the top sometimes. This book, though? Awesome.

Day Ten
Favorite Classic Book

The Lord of the Rings
by JRR Tolkien

I first read these books on a bet with my uncle. I won. He never paid up. But it was worth it anyway.

Stay tuned for 11-20 next

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Nothing much to say...

Chris and I make cute babies.

Yep, pretty sure. They stay cute when they get bigger, too.

The general consensus seems to be that Ben looks most like Chris. What do you think?

Check out Ben's eyes. They are very dark, with only a tiny, almost white line surrounding his pupils. I've never seen any eyes quite like them.

We went to Silver Lake this week with Lisa and her kids again, while our husbands spent the day at Lagoon (lucky!). For comparison sake, here is our grandkid picture from August of last year.

And here is the picture we have this year. Yep, they got bigger. Picture proof.

And just for funnies, here is Ben sharing his opinion about...something. Not sure what it was, but he seems to disapprove. Thumbs down!