Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book list for July 2012

The Fifth Woman. Henning Mankell*
The Man Who Smiled. Henning Mankell*
Sidetracked. Henning Mankell*

I went to the Masterpiece website and checked the  schedule (.PDF) against the wikipedia page of the novels.  Even though two of the novels aren't featured this fall, and I've read one of the novels adapted into an episode (Dogs of Riga, if you're curious), I still want to finish all 4 of the remaining books before the series starts in September.

It's nice to have goals, I guess.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Do you love me, little surfer girl?

On Friday night we went to see our friends Jeff and Faith, and their new house.  We did not wait 30 minutes after eating, and promptly went swimming.  Our friend Sarah took a lot of adorable pictures of adorable Evelyn enjoying the water.

Here's one now!



A former teacher thought it looked like she was finishing a tap dance routine, and other people thought it looked like she was surfing.

Which is apparently what Brad thought, too.

This was on my Facebook wall on Sunday morning:


That is all.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Wait, just a little bit more: thank you, Sarah!  Thank you, Brad!  And thank you, Jeff and Faith, for having us over to play!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Things consuming my nerd thoughts right now: the Ravellenic Games

The Ravellenic Games are a thing.  A thing in which I'm totally going to try to do this year.

Ravelry users can participate in 'events' and the whole thing coincides with the Olympics and it starts with the opening ceremonies and ends with closing ceremonies. 

You're supposed to challenge yourself and so I decided that now would be a good time to learn how to read charts.

I found a pattern that's supposed to be good for people who want to learn to read charts and now I'm going to make a shawl.

 I think I can finish it by the closing ceremonies--assuming I can finish the project I currently have on the needles I need to use for the upcoming project.  This is not a big deal!  No problem!

(It might be a big deal.)

I'm a little consumed right now.  There's a reason there are no pictures in this post. 

Whatever.  I enjoy obsessive behavior.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Evelyn and Jessi have matching t-shirts because that's cool

Evelyn likes pictures and words a lot, and she's started noticing both of those things on t-shirts lately.  She especially likes her Aunt Jessi's "Save Ferris" shirt.

Available at fine Targets everywhere.

So Evelyn sees Jessi and points at her t-shirt and Jessi tells her "That's Cameron" every time, and now Evelyn probably thinks he's a real person that we know because that's how pictures work for her.  God help you if she gets anywhere near your refrigerator because you'll both be there for a while you say the name of every person in every picture on there because she's going to want to know.

Faces, man.  They're the best, if you ask her.

Alas, there aren't a lot of infant onesies and t-shirts with pictures on them.  Once I saw how excited she was about the superheros on one of her onesies, I thought it would be fun for her to have her very own Save Ferris shirt.




So now she has one!

This isn't a DIY post because

1. I didn't take the time to document things and
2. I'd do it differently if I did it again.

I bought a 2T black t-shirt with the Union Jack and the words "The Beatles" on the front, and a Save Ferris shirt.  I wish I'd cut out the picture of his face in a square so it would look more like the grown-up version, but I wasn't sure how much of the picture you could fit on a little baby chest.  It turns out you can fit more on a tiny torso than you'd think!

Assuming you think about these sort of things.  Because I do.

You can somewhat tell in the pictures (I never remember to take a picture of the shirt itself, and it's pretty difficult to catch a clear picture of Evelyn) that I cut out the words separately and sewed "save" to run up on one side of the picture and "Ferris" down the other.

The stitches are pretty big and sloppy because I was trying to finish the shirt before Evelyn woke up--and because sewing through the painted parts of the t-shirt (screen print only next time!) was pretty tough. Oh man, my fingers.  It's not especially tidy, but sewing with jersey isn't really my thing.  I just kept telling myself that it was punk.  Or something.

Whatever the look was, Evelyn loves it.


And Jessi?


I just want the record to show that Evelyn put on her shirt first this day.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A womanifesto of my very own




The Militant Baker


I thought it would be fun to link up with The Militant Baker's Womanifesto link-up, so I did.  I thought it was cool to see how other women view themselves, and thought it would be a good idea to make myself consider how I think of myself.

So this is what I came up with:




I am Jen.

I am a reader.  I love learning.  I love knowledge.  I don't have to apologize or downplay that.  But I have to remind myself that it's fine to say "I don't know" and "I need help."

I am a wife.  I am a partner. I am so happy that we're in this together.

The most important "this" we have is raising our daughter.  A wondrous creature made me a mother and I'm so, so very glad.

I am Mommy.  I am the very best mom she'll ever have and that thrills and terrifies me.  I made her, and now I feed her and read to her and blow raspberries on her belly and I'll carry her on my hip until my jeans rub blisters on my skin so that she can see and touch everything because I want her to know the world is beautiful and there's so much to enjoy.

I am hilarious.  I want to make you laugh.

I get angry.  I am impatient.  I rant.

I am gentle.

I am doing what I can.  I don't look at this life, at this marriage with this child and the job behind a desk and the messy apartment and the little cliched hobbies like knitting and farmers markets, and feel embarrassed.  I feel blessed.  I feel lucky.  I feel incredulous that all this is mine.  I want to help those who have less.

I care about the family that made me, and the family I'm making for Evelyn.

I am not as young, or as dumb, as I look.

I don't have to cook or decorate or wear lipstick and heels because I just plain don't.

I am secure in my faith and my profession and in my appearance and how my life is right now. But please don't confuse my contentment with complacency.  I am growing and learning and striving for more.

I am myself.  And that's enough.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Anniversary post for Laine and Robert

Tomorrow, Laine and Robert will celebrate five whole years of wedded bliss!

This is what bliss looked like 5 years ago.

That's such a big deal!

In the past year, Robert started his nursing program, they got a new niece AND a new nephew (on Robert's side, obviously), and they threw some parties and participated in some weddings.  They took some trips and worked on their house and are even that responsible couple you call to have them dog-sit for you.  I think that's a big deal.

They hosted the October Girl Party for the family last fall:


Laine had short hair and grew it out.

Evelyn and Laine, sweating it up at the farmers market last August.  Sorry guys.  I'm having problems with pictures.

Daydreaming of another style this June.

Robert grew out his hair and cut it off again.

When she took him to our old church on Christmas morning, a few people wished him a happy birthday.

And Leah moved out. She intended to live with them for about 6 months, and everyone was happy when she stayed longer than that.  But she has her own place now and she's still part of the family.

I saw Leah a few times over the past year, but I only remembered to get a picture of her one time.  I'm sure she's really glad I took a picture of her working, and not that time she dressed up pretty for my birthday.  Still, she's an important part of their marriage, so I wanted to include her.  You're special, Leah!

And!  And!  You'll never guess how they're celebrating their anniversary tomorrow.

Laine's going to run a 5K with Sara and Levi!  Robert will stand with Mom and Dad on the sidelines and cheer!  It's going to be 80° at race time with a high of 100° later in the day!

I know, I'm jealous too.

Actually, I've been informed that they have a date tomorrow evening.  I'm sure they'll have a lot of fun, because that's what they do.

Here is a picture of them having fun on their anniversary last year. I stole this from Laine.  And I didn't send them a card.

Guys, it's really great to watch you find the fun and funny in everything y'all do and it makes me happy that y'all are so happy.  I love that you keep each other laughing, and I can't wait for all the adventures you'll have this year.

Happy anniversary!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mommy blogging in 10 minutes or less!

Pics of cute kid:



Whoops, I meant to say "pic's".  One day, I'm going to kill all the blogs for the inane apostrophe error's*.

 I could also talk about how we had a nice morning drinking coffee and talking with people I knew in college, but I didn't take any pictures so it's like it didn't happen.  Which means Evelyn didn't fall out of chair and hit her head on the floor and scream, either.  So I guess it evens out.

(She's fine. I promise.)

Another pic.  I'd include a video I took yesterday, but YouTube is taking nearly an hour to upload--no exaggeration--and I've watched it on the computer only to discover that it's actually kind of boring and the sound is weird.
Sandwich eating is some kind of sport for her.  She yells like a tennis player before and after every bite.

Picture, followed by a joke that I would make about hoarding and/or homeless grocery cart ladies, but I won't make it because it's insensitive and not really funny.


Another pic.

She later tried to sit in the chair.

BOOM!  Nailed it!  Yeah!  Fist-pumping and freeze-frame high five!

(Dusts off hands and walks off to continue living life.**  Checks YouTube.  Video still isn't finished uploading.)

*That was a joke.
**Knit during naptime.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Things consuming my nerd thoughts right now: PBS

The PBS website is making me all kinds of happy.  This is usually the case--with that one exception when they crushed my heart--but things have been unbelievably great lately.

Documentaries. Pearl Jam! Harper Lee!  Woody Guthrie!

Stuff about art that I don't understand, but I like to watch artists talk about their process and practice their craft.

That darling of the Internet, homebodies, and every Anglophile you've ever met, Downton Abbey.

Antiques Roadshow, which I don't watch.

My current favorite non-fiction series, Michael Wood's Story of England.  I don't know how long the episodes will be online, but I'm going to try to watch each one at least twice because this stuff is riveting!  Historian Michael Wood focuses on this one village and goes through old documents and digs through people's yards (with their help!) and talks to specialists to find out the history of this one village.  It's super painstaking and has lots of scenic shots and everyday folks trying their hand at Old English pronunciations.  Yay!


Also, he wears lots of scarves.  So there's that.  And he uses a magnifying glass!

And we probably shouldn't even get into Sherlock.

BUT.  Here's the best part!

I've really been enjoying Masterpiece Mystery.

A lot.

I'm somewhat prone to obsessive behaviors, so when I say I've been enjoying a lot of Masterpiece Mystery I mean that I've really, really been enjoying Masterpiece Mystery.

To the point where I ask Cody "Can I tell you how much I love Inspector Lewis?" and he sighs "I already know how much you love Inspector Lewis", I disregard his obvious boredom and not only recite dialogue from this week's episode but sometimes I'll even act it out.

It's even more ludicrous--and significantly less funny--than that scene from Be Cool where Dwayne Johnson plays a clueless wannabe actor who tries to re-enact a scene from Bring It On between two cheerleaders as his monologue.  (Sorry about the language.)

So.  Yeah.  That's Cody's life, only with more of me jumping around and excitedly yelling "And then!  And then! Hathaway did this!  And Lewis did this!  And the bad guy was another bad guy who'd been on Sherlock before.  Or maybe MI-5." and then we talk about how England seems to have only 20 actors who are all in the same movies and shows over and over, but at least they're really good.

And! And! Lewis and Hathaway are really smart and funny and so in sync with each other and they care and they solve crimes and make references to music and literature!

Dream team.


Check the schedule!  It's a regular Lewis party until the end of the summer.  Naptime knitting is going to be so much fun this month!

And in September?  3 new episodes of Wallander.  I'm still trying to read through the series before watching the new episodes.

Which will probably get a post all of its own.

I'm sure you--and Cody--can't wait.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Evelyn June is 16 months old!

16 months!  So big!

This past month had everything. Trips! Teeth! Standing! Vaccinations! Peanut butter sandwiches and a happy ending to a quest for an acceptable brand of cow's milk!  Words!  And increased skill of stacking items in sequential order!  Taxidermied animals in museums!

Evelyn reacted to some of these things with an extra-long nap and tears, but most of these events yielded shouts and laughter.

Girlfriend is loud, but generally inarticulate.  She still communicates mostly with pointing and whines/exclamations, depending on her mood.  She responds to a lot of words, and seems to use "Mama" and "Dada" with some intention now.  Also, her Aunt Jessi is pretty certain she's saying "Jessi."  I'm not sure, but I have noticed a big change in her babbling in the past 2ish weeks.  Some of those sounds are very different.

She was an absolute champion traveler in our way to Oklahoma--and back.  She was also a happy and friendly visitor with her extended family there.

She can stand up from a squat.  She can't stand for fairly long, but she's standing longer with every attempt and she stands very strong and straight.  It's very exciting!

She's enjoying books differently--she seems to notice that different characters have different attributes.  She has preferences on what books which people read to her.  Any time I try to read Good Dog, Carl to her, she takes the book from my hands and crawls away in disgust.  I guess Cody just does it better.  We all have our literary preferences.

At her last pediatrician's appointment she measured 30.25 inches long and weighed 17 pounds and 9 ounces.  Her doctor wound up ticking both of us off--me, because he didn't seem to care that she comprehends dozens of words and has a head circumference in the 75th percentile, and only cares about weaning and telling me (of all the people to work on eradicating the horrible Small People Scourge) that she's too small.  Evelyn was just mad he looked in her ears when she'd only met him a few minutes earlier.  That is pretty forward, if you think about it.

She's pretty fascinated by the concept of ears and using them to hear.  If a loud air conditioner kicks on, she covers her ears and looks at us to see if we heard it also.  It's the same way for cars, thunder, certain songs, etc.  She also likes that animals have different ears than we do.

She has 4 teeth and 2 more are on their way.  We brush her teeth (and sometimes she brushes mine.  So helpful) twice a day, and I think her favorite part is dropping her toothbrush with ours in the drawer and then smiling really big in the mirror.

Her smile is very big.  I'm glad we get to see it a lot.  She likes laughing with people and scrunching up her face so you can be sure that she's having a good time.  She yells and does her happy food dance for watermelon, peanut butter sandwiches, any kind of pasta dish, and a few other meals I'm forgetting.

She has shoe preferences, and I think we're just a few months away from her wanting to carry a purse all the time in the style of her Aunt Bodie.  She likes carrying things inside other things.  She loves pushing her stroller all over the apartment, and picks out things she 'needs' to carry around in it.

Happy sixteen-month birthday, Evelyn!

She came to see me on her fifteen-month birthday!




Cody's Father's Day present from her.



She loves her little cash register so much.








Friends!









Friday, July 13, 2012

How I spent my summer vacation: July 6

We slept late on Friday.  After watching Kathy Lee and Hoda, we decided to head down to the Witt Stephens, Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center.  Admission is free, and we always mean to go and never do.

But we finally went and it was lovely!

"Lovely" might be a bit of a stretch for some of these fish.


But this lovely girl was captivated by them.


They had lots of taxidermied animals and fishing lures and a model of a hunting cabin.







And stuffed birds everywhere.  And varmints, but I forgot to photograph them.



She loved it!

Then we ate gyros and went home for a nap.  And after that nap?

More fish and birds!

It's true.  This was a magical Day O' Fish and Birds.  Someone's grandparents were in town and after some visiting and ice cream-eating, we ambled through a pet store because supposedly my parents needed cat food.  I think we were just there because it was nearby and Evelyn has a deep and abiding love for fish and birds and my parents like taking her to the pet store to see those fish and birds.

She's loving this.  Really.

Then we went to Target and then Barnes & Noble, and then we surprised Cody with Firefly on DVD.

Then Cody and I lost truly amazing amounts of our time to watching Firefly on DVD.  We also finished up the week with a trip to the farmers market and the library, making more grape jelly, doing laundry, checking around a little on our community garden plot, buying a new bed for ourselves, and reading and singing and dancing and eating good dinners and playing and hugging and sleeping late.

And that was how I spent my summer vacation.  My lovely, lovely vacation.