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Showing posts from December, 2009

Reading Roundup: December 2009

The first few books here are ones that I forgot to write down in November for some reason.

A Death in Brazil by Peter Robb

This book caught my eye on the library shelf so I picked it up without knowing anything about it. It turned out to be a strange combination of memoir and history book; the style is rambling and sometime it's hard to tell what happened when, and to whom. It took me a while to get through it, and in the end I mostly enjoyed it although it wasn't necessarily my favorite book.

The Midwife's Tale by Gretchen Moran LaskasThis was a quick and interesting read, but in the end I did not feel fully satisfied. Though it is well-written and I was drawn into the story and the characters, it ultimately felt just like many other books I've read that are set in Appalachia. I liked it but did not like the derivative feeling.Fire Lover by Joseph WambaughI don't read very many 'true crime' books, but this one caught my eye because it was about arson (rather…

Christmas Wrap-Up

Mr. Fob and I both agree: this year was a good Christmas. It was nice to not go anywhere and to just enjoy some time with family and friends. We've also been overwhelmed with generous gifts and I'm excited because the kids really like everything they got from everyone. Yesterday we spent the day making and decorating gingerbread cookies, and then we drove around delivering them to friends and caroling. We had meant to get out earlier in the day, but we were lazy and didn't finish up until evening. Thankfully we still caught a few people at home and were able to sing to them.

This morning the kids slept until about 7:30 and then got us up to unwrap presents. They got quite a lot of nice things this year. We got S-Boogie a Barbie house and Little Dude a firetruck and some racing cars. They also got some books from us and from Grandma and Grandpa (my parents). Their books from my mom included matching stuffed animals, plus she got them some fun puzzle games from the 'teach…

The Letter B

We only did three countries that start with B; we did Barbados because we have a family connection there, so I suppose if we do this another time we could try Belgium, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Botswana, or any of the other "B" countries we left out.

Barbados: We just read a few books that we could find at the library, colored the flag, and ate some fish with macaroni pie. They eat a lot of fish there; I 'cheated' and baked some pre-breaded fish fillets from Costco. I did make a fresh mango salsa for the grownups that was tasty, and I used a very yummy family recipe for the macaroni pie (it's kind of like baked macaroni and cheese).

Bolivia: We also just read a few books and colored the flag. I tried a recipe for 'picante de pollo', which is basically a stewed chicken dish, but I must have bought the wrong peppers because it wasn't very spicy at all. We served it with some boiled potatoes and quinoa.

Brazil: The library had a lot of interesting books about Bra…

Follow Up

I had my first meeting with my new therapist today and it went really well. I think that this time it might actually work, and I hope so because I'm sick of not feeling like myself. Obviously part of the problem is the pregnancy, but I haven't been coping well with things for a few years. It felt really good to have someone say "your life is stressful and has been for several years and I'm impressed that you're coping as well as you are." I was really worried about going in and worried that the diagnostic sheet would show that there was nothing wrong with me. I'll admit that I'm pretty good at deflecting help and pretending that things are fine (just call me 'stiff upper lip'). Thankfully my brain really is under stress and there are reasons why I'm acting so crazy; that means that we can do something to fix them. He said he'd rather hold off on medication for a while, and preferably until after I have the baby because we'd end up …

Trying to Stay on the Bright Side

I haven't posted since Wednesday night, and that was a downer of a post. The reason why I haven't been posting is because I don't want to keep writing things like that. And I know part of the problem is simply the fact that I'm 32 weeks pregnant, tired, and hormonal. Today I finally sat down and emailed a therapist that a friend recommended; I don't want this blog to degenerate into what it was a few years ago. Even more importantly, I don't want to get that crazy again without recognizing it and getting help. This time around I think Mr. Fob is a lot less patient with my alternating bouts of anger and crying meltdowns. The truth is, I'm not so patient with them either.

This has been a rough week for all of us. Last weekend the kids both came down with pinkeye, though I'm pretty sure it was not the viral kind and just a bad coincidence. Little Dude spent most of the week battling a bad sinus infection, including complications like the pinkeye and bloody …

The weather forecast makes me want to cry

18 degrees should not be a high temperature. It really shouldn't. And children should not get conjunctivitis, even though we're trapped in the house due to the snow. They really shouldn't develop stomach pain and a fever along with their pinkeye that mean Mommy has to take them to after-hours at the pediatrician at eight o'clock at night. Because that means driving around while various signs say it's either 11 degrees, 5 degrees, or 8 degrees. That's just wrong. Hopefully today my vow to never leave the house will be fulfilled. Especially since I couldn't sleep last night because it was too cold.

Time for a bribe?

I'm realizing that one reason to have more than one child is to keep yourself humble. Everything that worked well with the first one will inevitably fail miserably with the second. We're having that problem with potty training. S-Boogie was, frankly, a breeze to potty train. We put it off until she was a little older than three, then one day announced we were switching to underwear. After a few days she really got it and after that we were more or less accident-free. The end.

We tried to use the same approach for Little Dude. A few months ago we bought him some underwear (he'd been wearing pull-ups for a while and we'd been talking about potty training, so he decided it was time for underwear). I could tell that physically he wasn't quite ready since it took longer for him to figure out when he needed to go and to get to the potty in time. After two months, though, I'm realizing that the problem is no longer physical but psychological. Today we were discussing u…

All I want for Christmas

...is to be in our new house! Well, and a million dollars. Seriously, though, I'm only writing a post with my Christmas list for the benefit of the few readers out there who are already thinking of buying me a present. Didn't know where else to put it, so I apologize to everyone else for my self-indulgent post.

Chocolate--I always like chocolate, preferably dark. I like Sees chocolates, Ghiradelli squares, or basically anything tasty and good quality. Or Ritter Sport bars with cookie in them.

Gift cards for Target or Ikea--I've got bad nesting urges going right now, plus we're moving into a new home.
A sewing machine--speaking of crafty urges, I'd love to get back into sewing again.Subscription for Irreantum or the New Yorker

Money for a massage, pedicure, or a new haircut

Diapers (not for me, for the occupant of my uterus who will be exiting soon)

I've also been thinking about family gifts and I think money for S-Boogie to take dance classes, a swimming pool pass fo…

Like a box of chocolates

Yesterday morning I decided it was time for another trip to DI with Little Dude. I love thrift store shopping and have done it for years; some days it's a total bust and other days it's a gold mine. Thankfully yesterday was a good day and I got a lot of useful things: two new maternity shirts for me (warm ones, thank goodness), pants for Little Dude, a crib bumper, size 6 snow pants that are black so they can be passed down through several kids of either gender, and a bunch of books to give the kids for Christmas. I got a big pile of Magic School Bus books for S-Boogie. Personally I hate reading those out loud, but she loves them and is just starting to figure out reading on her own so I'm hoping they'll help her practice. That means our Christmas shopping is almost done since we're keeping things fairly simple this year for the sake of our budget.

One of the main reasons I went to DI yesterday was to buy myself some new pajama pants. Mine have developed a big hole …