Month: June 2011 (Page 1 of 2)

Dancing & learning signs during snacks

Here’s a slice o’ Jack for your Monday – my day off!  (My glorious day off!  The first in two weeks where I can breathe through my nose and have an appetite and keep food down and don’t hack up loogies from my rattled thorax!)

I love days off. I’ve only been awake three hours but I already:

  • Took out trash from the whole house
  • Moved the swamp cooler to Jack’s room
  • Did the dishes
  • Cleared out the living room of junk
  • Scrubbed the microwave
  • Prepared our dinner to marinate
  • planned grocery list
  • and of course played with Jack and fed both of us

I REALLY want to mop the kitchen when Ben gets back from the library, in case Jack wakes up and needs to be entertained away from the kitchen.  It’s his favorite room lately.  I’m pretty terrified that this happened the other day:

Too soon! Too soon! Curses to all the men in family over 6 feet tall!

While I’m listing – TV shows!

At trivia this week Erin and I confessed our love of TV.  It seems like all the cool people say they don’t even OWN TVs, let alone enjoy a show or two.  Well, gosh darn it, I LOVE television.  It’s the most relaxing part of my day.  You should see how I held it together last night when Ben noted our DVR failed to record this week’s So You Think You Can Dance aka SYTYCD aka “The Dance Show” competition episode.  I didn’t even cry.  It helped that I had just indulged in an 80 minute episode of a British lovefest called Sherlock.  I mean, the actor is named Benedict Cumberbatch for goodness sake! Whoa, I got way off topic there.

I just mean to say that I love TV.  I recently got Amanda hooked on Battlestar Galactica, bought Ben all of Cowboy Bebop for Father’s Day, and gave Erin a list of shows to persue on the back of a beer coaster.

I thought it would be fun to list some of my all time favorite shows and where you can find them.  You know, if you find yourself hiding from the heat in your basement den after the baby has gone to sleep and you have the next day off work and just want to be entertained for a while.  So in order of my brain’s wandering, here is my list.  (I starting trying to indicate whether these are listed on Netflix instant, DVD only, or hulu, but it got way out of hand.  You’ll have to search for yourself.  But know that most of these I do not watch live.)

The IT Crowd
Doctor Who
The Big Bang Theory
The Office
30 Rock
Burn Notice
The Good Guys (sniff!)
How I Met Your Mother
Better Off Ted (sniff!)
Arrested Development (sniff!)
Veronica Mars
Better With You (don’t be hatin’ on me)
Firefly (sniff!)
Cowboy Bebop
Battlestar Galactica
Twin Peaks
ADD ON Pushing Daisies (sniff!)

Hmmm, that might be all for now.  I might add on to this later.  Help me in the comments if you can!

The Kindle, one year later

Before I had a Kindle I wasn’t much of a reader.  I read maybe 4 to 8 books a year. When I was given the Kindle after Jack was born, it came with an unexpected gift – access to the books read by other family members.  See, my gracious father set it up so that we all share his Amazon Kindle account.  So whenever I finish one book, I can instantly start another with limited searching and possibly no additional purchase.  Here is a categorical listing of what I have read on my Kindle so far (* indicates I recommend this book):
Murder Mysteries
The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown
The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
*Angels & Demons – Dan Brown
Deja Dead – Kathy Reichs
The Devil in the White City – Erik Larson
*The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson
The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – Stieg Larsson
The Girl who Played with Fire – Stieg Larsson
Heat Wave – Richard Castle
YA Fiction (aka works by John Green)
*An Abundance of Katherines – John Green
Looking for Alaska – John Green
Paper Towns – John Green
*Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green
Adult Fiction (Curiously, all from a slightly feminist slant)

*A Rather Lovely Inheritance – C.A. Belmond

The English American – Alison Larkin
The Actor and the Housewife – Shannon Hale
The Abstinence Teacher – Tom Perrotta
The Weird Sisters – Eleanor Brown
YA Dystopian Thrillers
Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
*The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
*Divergent – Veronica Roth
Matched – Ally Condie
Funny Non-Fiction (aka my favorite genre)
*Packing for Mars – Mary Roach
*Stiff – Mary Roach (yes, I re-read it on Kindle)
*Bossypants – Tina Fey
*The Guinea Pig Diaries – AJ Jacobs
Waiter Rant – Steve Dublanica
*At Home – Bill Bryson
People of the Book – Geraldine Brooks
The Disappearing Spoon – Sam Kean
Outliers – Malcom Gladwell
Assassination Vacation – Sarah Vowell
And to impress upon you the awesomeness of our shared Kindle Library:
Books I started but didn’t finish
Valiant – Holly Black
An Irreverent Curiosity – David Farley
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk – David Sedaris
The Geography of Bliss – Eric Weiner
Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man’s Smile – Gyles Brandreth
American Gods – Neil Gaiman
Bruno, Chief of Police – Martin Walker
Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
God’s Secretaries – Adam Nicolson
Cosmopolis – Don DeLillo
The Hangman’s Daughter – Oliver Potzsch
The Candy Shop War – Brandon Mull
Sphinx’s Princess – Esther Friesner
Little Bee – Chris Cleave
Simon Bloom, the Gravity Keeper – Michael Reisman

…Still leaving over 150 archived books in our collection I haven’t even looked at.  But I’m not a total moocher.  I sought out several of those above, and will soon be adding more:

Books on my To Read list
A Rather Curious Engagement – C.A. Belmond
Nerd Do Well – Simon Pegg
The Red Market – Scott Carney
The Maze Runner – James Dashner
The Redbreast – Jo Nesbo
The World’s Greatest Stuntman – Vic Armstrong
The Psychopath Test – Jon Ronson
Some old Sherlock Holmes, because I’m becoming obsessed with the BBC modern series adaptation.  
33 finished books of varying lengths.  (Ben likes to point out that the books he reads are SO much longer than mine, that mine are itty bitty girly books 😉  I’d say that’s a huge improvement over my old 4-8 books a year, wouldn’t you?  But the scary thing is that I read only a fraction of what my sister can devour.   Isn’t that right, Amanda? What’s your count for the past year?

Does that blow your mind? – continued

As promised to Amanda, here are some more videos of Jack’s trick.  

Here’s Amanda setting him up. He had just woken from a nap and was a little slow. But still eager to play.

Here he is just after learning the trick. He’s eager to do it, and it’s usually a domino chain of explosions.

Other tricks that Jack has recently learned:

  • blowing air
  • kissing your cheek – usually a gross, open-mouthed press to your cheek, but tonight he actually make a puckering lips smack!
  • holding the phone to his shoulder/ear region
  • pretend washing the table with a napkin
  • Putting pencil to paper
  • Can balance on two legs for a few seconds (only done twice, he doesn’t seem to like it yet)
  • Fast at climbing up stairs, can go down backwards with lots of prodding

Other things he can do, learned/mastered in the last month or so

  • Cruising!
  • waving bye bye
  • high fives
  • nodding yes
  • standing in his crib after naps
  • “Da” has been generalized for many things, but with tones. Mom, Dad, bottles, animals, fruit, all “da!”
  •  Sorting, stacking rings, putting straws in cup lids . . .any kind of “this” goes in “there” task

And reading by osmosis!

(There, Amanda.  Blog updated.  I’m going back to sipping tea and doing nothing.)

Mavi and Jeff’s Wedding

The purpose of our trip was to attend the wedding ceremony for our dear friends, Jeff and Mavi.  They held it on the Monument, right on the edge of a cliff at sunset.  It was gorgeous. 

I love her dress, hand made by the bride – of course!

Who’s that on the left?  Ben and Brian participating in a brass quartet to accompany the ceremony!  Jeff requested that Ben play for them.  Now, he hasn’t played in 12 years, since his marching band days in high school.  But he rented a baritone and practiced practiced practiced to play for the wedding. 

Jenni and I were duly impressed by their chops.

The wedding was so much fun.  They had a reception dinner at Dos Hombres where I met some of their crazy friends from NY.  The next day they had a picnic in Lincoln park.  I wish I hadn’t gotten sick so I could have enjoyed it more and talked with the bride and groom longer.  But it was still fun, and great to see old friends like Katie L. and Katie H. and Neil (with new fiance, Novolin!)  I wish all my old friends ever would just move to the Denver suburbs and entertain me.  Is that so much to ask?

More swimming photos

 (He just took a mouthful of water in the above photo) (The pool water is cleaned by de-ionization of salt, or something, instead of chlorine.  So it tastes salty.)
 Day two, Jack was under the weather with something.  Vaccine reaction or roseola, we’re not sure.  But he preferred eating watermelon poolside to swimming that day.
All that swimming and sun makes a good sleeper. With his butt in the air 🙂


Amanda said: I keep looking at your blog for updates, a summary of your GJ trip, etc.

It’s like you’re sick/working/being a mom or something.
Yes, with emphasis on the “sick.”  I had a nasty stomach bug Sunday to Wednesday.  Then just two days later, I got a sore throat and case of the yucks.  So much for this four day weekend I was looking forward to!  Hopefully it breezes over me and I can enjoy the next three days.  Maybe post more videos and pictures.
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