Friday, September 30, 2005

I found this list on another blog and I think it's interesting. It's the 100 most banned/challenged books. In other words, they are books that people are trying to keep out of schools and libraries. The ones I've read are purple.

Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
Forever by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Giver by Lois Lowry
It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Sex by Madonna
Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
The Goats by Brock Cole
Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
Blubber by Judy Blume
Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
Final Exit by Derek Humphry
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard

Deenie by Judy Blume
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar

Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
Cujo by Stephen King
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Crazy Lady by Jane Conly

Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
Fade by Robert Cormier
Guess What? by Mem Fox
The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Native Son by Richard Wright

Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Jack by A.M. Homes
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
Carrie by Stephen King
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
Family Secrets by Norma Klein
Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
Private Parts by Howard Stern
Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
Sex Education by Jenny Davis
The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

I can't believe people complain about those books. I really enjoyed some of those that I read. Since I was pregnant with Emma, I've only read non-fiction books, usually about parenting or natural health. I've been thinking that I want to start reading some fiction books again and this list gives me a good place to start.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Today I went to the dentist to get a cavity filled. Due to my intense fear of needles, I was dreading the visit. But, surprise! The dentist said he could fill it without numbing me first. I was somewhat nervous when the drilling started but I didn't feel a thing and it was over in about three minutes. Steve was supposed to meet us there so he could watch Emma, but he was in a meeting that ran late. I was embarassed, but the people there were so great! They got toys for her and the receptionist played with her in the hall while I was stuck in the chair. She had a blast sitting in one of the chairs while one of the hygenists raised her up and down. This is a new dentist, and I love him!

I've been feeling a little sad lately because Emma really isn't a baby anymore. How can she be growing up so fast? Sometimes I just find myself staring at her, marveling at how much she has grown. Every day her little brain amazes me! Doesn't she look like an old kid???
I remember reading a poem in the past that I really liked. It's a short little co-sleeping poem that mentions "kicking about" and ends with "dreamed our sweet dreams, hand in hand". Anyone know of it? I thought it was in my Family Bed book, but I can't find it there or anywhere online either. While searching, I did find this one that I like:

So This is What it Must Be Like...

So this is what it must be like,
heaven I mean.
I think to myself,
as I lay in bed one morning.
I hear the rhythmic breathing of my family,
so near.
All nestled together in one bed.
My son stirs,
and nuzzles over,
to nurse.
So this is what it must be like,
heaven I mean.
A pair of sleepy eyes open,
and peer up at me.
His little fingers fiddle,
with a button on my night shirt.
Daddy rolls over,
and puts his arms around his family.
We are all together,
as a kitty purrs gently at the foot of the bed.
So this is what it must be like,
heaven I mean.

(c) 1996-99 by Robyn Lawrence

That could have been written by me if it were a daughter and two dogs instead of cats...and, um, if I wrote poetry.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Last night Steve and I played Scrabble and he beat me by four measly points! Argh! Like an immature baby, I stormed off to bed after I lost, leaving the game set up on the table. This morning when Emma and I got up, this is what we saw:
Isn't that sweet?

Tonight we met Steve at Friday's for dinner, then he went back to work. He is still there now at 10:38. After dinner, he walked us to my car, and Emma was not happy to see him go. She cried and forlornly said, "Pa?...Pa?" most of the way home.

As if having a bad night weren't enough, poor Steve had a bad morning as well. His mom's dog, whom they've had since Steve was in 8th grade, got cancer and had to be put to sleep. Steve and his step-dad took her to the vet this morning, then brought her back home and buried her. He was pretty upset about it, understandably. I'm going to give my dogs a few extra hugs tonight and appreciate them a little more.

Monday, September 26, 2005

This last weekend was one of my best ever for garage sale discoveries - and I only went to one garage sale! On Saturday Emma and I stopped at a fund-raiser sale that was being held at some academy. They had hardback children's books there for $1. That's pretty cool in itself, but the really amazing part was that they were really great classic books! I bought 26 books, most of which were Caldecott medal winners. Among them are Stone Soup, Caps for Sale, The Elves and the Shoemaker, The Polar Express, and The Fisherman and His Wife. I'm so thrilled to have these books!!

Last night I made what was possibly the most disgusting dinner ever. It was this soup with sausage, black beans, and sweet potatoes that sounded really good but turned out to be tasteless black sludge. I hate to throw anything away, but I had to throw out the entire pot. Blech! Luckily, I (almost) made up for it tonight by making some delicious Mexican Turkey Hash. Plus I made a Heath ice cream cake that should be ready to eat soon. Yum!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Last night I found some fabric that I already had and set out to make a dress. I had so much trouble with the gathering that I finally got frustrated and went to bed. Today I finshed it and it's not as good as I imagined, but it will be fine for a playdress. I couldn't get her to stand still for a picture, so you only get to see the back.
Whenever I'm getting fabric cut at Joann's they always ask me what I'm making and they often look surprised or confused when I say I'm making diapers. Today the girl asked me if I made up the idea by myself, and then if I sometimes throw them away when they get dirty. I told her no and said that a lot of people even sell them used, like on ebay. She looked incredulous and also like she might throw up. I think it's funny that most of those who cloth diaper don't think twice about buying used diapers but the general public is so dismayed about it.

Friday, September 23, 2005

I just came up with the coolest idea! Tomorrow Joann's is having a big sale and I was already going to go get some fleece to make Ems some pants, but now I've got something even more fun! Emma has several long sleeved onesies that have been given to us. Onesies don't fit over cloth diapers very well, so I rarely use them. However, my plan is to cut off the bottoms and turn them into dresses, similar to this. I'm just going to get enough fabric for one tomorrow, in case it turns out looking really dumb. I'm off to design a pattern!

Oh, one more semi-related I've been jonesing for some long sleeve knit dresses for Emma lately, right? Well, in the past two days I've really lucked out with some good deals. We will soon be receiving in the mail one Hanna Andersson dress, two Zutano dresses, two Land's End dresses, and a Gymboree dress. I'm SO excited and I don't even care that I spent my entire last month's secret shopping money on them!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

On another blog I read, someone was recently talking about holiday traditions and it got me thinking about traditions in my own family. My mom is a complete tradition hound. It's one tradition after another at the holidays, which is great. So, in keeping with the tradition of having traditions, I'm going to implement some Christmas traditions in my own family.

1. Every year, Emma (and any subsequent children) will make age-appropriate Christmas tree ornaments for the members of our extended family. It will be fun, the families will love it, plus I love an excuse to go to Michael's.
2. I will always have mistletoe hanging in our house. Who doesn't love spontaneous random kisses? I think Emma, the kissing queen, will especially love this one.
3. Every year at some point we will drive around and look at Christmas lights. We always do this anyway but I want to make sure we never stop because I enjoy it so much.
4. We will buy a new Advent calendar every year and have fun opening the little doors for years to come.
5. The week before Christmas we will make lots of cookies and deliver them to public service employees.
6. I'd like to have some sort of fun, symbolic family activity the night we set out the Nativity scene, but I haven't come up with anything for that yet.

Well, I guess that's a start. I stole numbers 3 and 4 from my mom but I don't think she'll mind. I'm sure she'll be happy to spread around the tradition love!

I took these pictures of Emma in the yard today and I think they're really cute.
Whart fun is playing with bubbles if you don't dump the bubbles on the ground and splash in them?
Steve is coming home tomorrow!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Have I mentioned that I love sewing diapers? If someone told me five years ago that my favorite hobby would be sewing diapers, I'd have said no way would I be that lame. Alas, I am that lame. Just for fun today I took a picture of some of the diapers I've made for Emma.

She has so many other WAHM diapers that I could get rid of but I can't bring myself to part with any of them! I have a diaper addiction! I suppose there are worse things to which one could be addicted.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Well, I just reread my post from earlier and I want to reassure everyone that I'm really not a psychopath. I promise! Emma just now fell asleep (at 7:00) and that could be fantastic if she's down for the night or bad if she wakes up at midnight rarin' to go.

I've figured out why my house is always a mess. When Emma is awake, I keep thinking I'll do all the cleaning when she's asleep. As soon as she falls asleep, I think to myself, "This is a perfect time to read a book/knit/eat some ice scream/do anything but clean." Will I ever learn?

There are two things I've been lusting after lately and I am probably unlikely to get either any time soon. :( I really want these shoes, and I really want Emma to have this dress/leggings set. I could maybe convince Steve that I really really really need the shoes, but I can't justify spending $54 on an outfit for Emma. I've been looking on ebay but even used ones are almost that expensive.
I'm going to make a sign saying something like, "If you want to die, by all means please ring this doorbell," and hang it by our front door. After much struggling, I finally got Emma down for a nap and was looking forward to accomplishing many things. Not ten minutes later, some teenage guy came and rang our doorbell, which chimes long and loud, THREE times! Of course Jose barked frantically the whole time and of course Emma woke up. No matter what I did, I could not get her back to sleep. As I was laying there trying to calm her back down, I saw the guy walking across our lawn back to his truck and had an urge to run outside, tackle him, and beat him with a stick.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Lately I've had a strong desire to knit Emma some longies. This is unfortunate because any knitting time I have should be devoted to those darn insipid socks. I'm wondering how long I can actually stick to that plan...there are just so many cool things to knit!
For those who were wondering, this is the bra I got. Nothing fancy, but definitely comfy and supportive.

I am so tired of Steve's job. You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but it still annoys me that he works so darn hard. He got back in town Friday night, spent the entire weekend working at the kitchen table, and left the house this morning at 6:00 a.m. to fly to Chicago for the week. Grrrr! He is supposed to be studying for his CPA exam, which is the first weekend in October, while he is out of town. However, lovely KPMG is sending him on these trips with a new guy who has only been there two weeks! That means that Steve has to take lots of time explaining things to this guy, then at night has to go back and redo the new guy's work because he really doesn't know how to do it yet. All this, of course, leaves absolutely zero time for studying. Dumb old KPMG!

I'm so excited about cooler weather! Yesterday morning we got a little ahead of ourselves and turned off the AC. We spent the rest of the day oomplaining about how hot we were and finally, when we went to bed, we decided to turn it back on. Thank goodness because right now it's 90 degrees outside. I'm getting impatient, mostly because I want Emma to be able to start wearing her fall clothes! How superficial is that?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

So I took this quiz and...

You are a MASTER of the English language!

Huzzah. While your English is not exactly
perfect, you are still more grammatically
correct than just about every American. Others
admire the way you speak and could learn a lot
from listening to you. Still, there is always
room for improvement...

How grammatically correct are you? (Revised with answer key)
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Here is a disturbing video about the dogs who were left behind after Katrina. If you have room to welcome an abandoned pet in your home, please go here and register. I signed us up to take in one dog, but I have a sickening feeling that some people would rather just shoot them than go to the trouble of transporting them and placing them in foster care. I keep thinking about my little Joe and Pax running around out there, hungry and alone. I heard that originally FEMA was telling people to evacuate but not allowing them to bring their pets. WTH?!?!?! If there was a disaster heading towards Kansas City, I'd get the heck out, but I would absolutely refuse to leave my dogs. There is no way.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Today Steve and I were discussing the no-TV thing and he condescendingly called it my "little adventure" and said the TV would be back at the end of the month. Hmmmm. I guess now I have to hope that he ends up liking being TV free so much that he doesn't want it back. Plus, there is another setback. Tonight was going to be the big night, but the speakers didn't get finished over the weekend and I don't want to be without both TV and music, so the TV will stay until next weekend, when the speakers will be installed. I will, however, make every effort to not watch it. We will only turn it on to listen to CDs.

Tomorrow we are bringing food to a friend who just had a baby and I know I'm going to get a bad case of baby fever. Emma seems so big to me these days! How can she be growing so fast?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

I keep getting these "comments" on here that say something like, "Great blog! I have a site about blah blah blah. You should come check it out." The link is always there and it's to some dumb site about Viagra or mortgage refinancing or whatever. I can't believe they found another way to send out spam! Argh!

Today we went and bought speakers for our living room. Tomorrow Steve is going to set it up so the computer (which is in the office down the hall) will play into the living room. That way, when the TV is gone, we'll be able to listen to all the music on my computer out there instead. I'm so excited!

I'm kind of bummed about the socks on which I am working. I'm knitting them for someone who told me she only wants machine washables. No problem, except that when I bought the yarn I somehow missed the fact that it is hand wash only. I somehow didn't discover that until today. Now I have almost a whole sock completed and I can't even really give it to her. Guess I'll just have to keep this pair for myself! I don't mind at all except that I'm seriously running out of time. Only four more months until Christmas!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Steve and I have been playing Scrabble every chance we get this week - meaning every time Emma is asleep. He always beats me BUT yesterday I won! Today the final score was 294-293 and guess who lost...that's right, me. Gah!

I've been eating a bunch of crap lately. Wendy's is now offering little packets of toppings to go with their Frosties. The choices are M&M's, Oreo, and Butterfinger...the best of those being, of course, Butterfinger. We're hooked and have been driving to Wendy's every single night for those yummilicious Frosties. Plus earlier this week Steve made a peach pie and of course that had to be eaten with ice cream. I have got to lay off the ice cream.

I am much better at surfing the Internet looking for yarn and dreaming up new things to knit than I am at actually knitting anything. I just finished turning the heel of a sock and I had to take a break because it wore me out!

Now back to the sock...

Monday, September 05, 2005

For someone who didn't have any legitimate words one week ago, Emma has really had a language explosion. She is now saying baby, ball, bubble, clock, car, and hot - and all at appropriate times!
I've been thinking a lot about our TV usage. It's not on all the time, but Emma does like her Veggie Tales, and Steve and I like to watch movies in the evening. I'm mostly concerned about Emma watching it. Before she was a year old, I was really a stickler and she watched NO television. I've gotten pretty lax about it and now I'm feeling guilty.

I've been thinking about this a lot and I want to try going TV-free. I asked Steve his thoughts on putting our TV in the basement for one month, just to try it out. His response was, "But we hardly ever watch it anyway." Good. Then we'll hardly miss it. Next week when he goes out of town, I'm unplugging the TV and putting it away for a trial period of one month. It's a good time to do it because he will be gone for two weeks in a row so he won't be around to miss it. However, when I hear stories about people who've gone TV-free, no one ever says they missed it. All I hear is how much it enriches their lives. I guess we'll see.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Emma is finally starting to say some words consistently. Steve and I are so excited. She's been saying "hot" every chance she can: when eating food that's even the teeniest bit warm, when getting in the bathtub of warm water, when getting in the hot car. She also now excitedly says "baby" every time we see a baby anywhere. Very cute! Plus today on our walk she pointed out a basketball net and I told her what it was and every time we saw another net after that, she said "bah-baw". What a genius!

She is so snuggly these days. It's nonstop kisses and hugs from her all day long. Yesterday at the grocery store she was in the sling and she must have given me 50 kisses while we were there. I feel like every day she just gets cuter and cuter. She often brings her stuffed dog back to the dogs' dishes and pets him while he "eats". She has also begun bringing her various stuffed animals and dolls to me to nurse them. We've been taking so many pictures and videos of her because I don't want to forget all this adorableness!

Steve made a lovely carving of Abraham Lincoln out of his mashed potatoes last night. I knew I married him for a reason! We built a teepee in the living room last night that Emma thoroughly enjoyed. And lastly, here is another one of her just looking cute with Joe and Pax.

For some reason when I started this blog, I couldn't upload pics the normal way so I had to download another program to let me do it. Now that program isn't working but suddenly I can upload pics the normal way. In celebration, here are some more pictures.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Last night I was reading various articles about the Katrina vicitms. This one and this one are just a sampling. Afterwards, I almost felt ashamed to crawl into my soft, safe bed and snuggle up to Steve and Emma. I can't even come close to imagining what those people are going through.

I guess I don't see why anyone down there is starving. How difficult is it to toss some food on a plane and drop it for them? Come on, the rest of us in this country are sitting here with full refrigerators and stocked grocery stores. What's the hold-up???

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Steve is back and I'm so happy! Other than Monday night, Emma and I had a really great week together. MUCH better than last week when Steve was gone. We did a bunch of fun things every day. Still, I'm happy Steve is home. He is going to work tomorrow, but he's off all next week! Yay!
I'm legal! My license tags expired one year ago today and I just now finally got my new ones! Last year my car didn't pass inspection because my brakes were bad and I've been waiting all year for Steve to fix them. Last weekend he put the new ones on - a task that took him all of fifteen minutes - and today I went to the license bureau and I'm in business! No more looking over my shoulder all the time while I'm driving!

Steve finished his work early so he is coming home tonight instead of tomorrow night! Yay!