Archive for August, 2008

Book Review: Breaking Dawn

August 29, 2008

Breaking Dawn
By Stephenie Meyer
754 Pages
Finished 8/29/08

Summary:

To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, she has endured a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife to reach the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fate of the two tribes hangs.

Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecendented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating and unfathomable consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella’s life–first discovered in Twilight, then scatter and torn in New Moon and Eclipse–seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed….forever?

The astonishing, breathlessly anticipated conclusion to the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions.

I’ve already mentioned that it was 18 days after the release of this book before I got it into my hands. And then, it was another 7 before I could actually get through the whole thing. Part of that was due to the fact that a mom doesn’t have enough time in the day to do it all….but the other part was that it just wasn’t that hard for me to put the book down and then not pick it back up until the next day…or the next. It didn’t suck me in. I enjoyed the story enough…it was nice to finally get past the whole Bella turning into a vampire thing and move forward….and Renesmee brought a nice twist to it all….but this wasn’t a can’t-put-it-down-or-I’ll-go-nuts book for me. I was impressed that the author was able to pull off the climax of the book so close to the end….I didn’t feel like it was too rushed (though maybe a bit “convenient”) and didn’t feel overly tidy to me.

This just isn’t my genre…so if I seem to be coming across as a bit lukewarm, it’s mainly because I don’t typically read books like this. Really, I did like it! Would I list myself with the millions of “entranced” readers around the world? Not quite. But the series does get my recommendation for some fun, easy reads.

2008 Page Count: 7235

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A day of great progress!

August 28, 2008

I mentioned a couple of days ago that we’ve just barely started to see some of the fruits of Owen’s tube surgery, and today we got a whole bushel full! We’ve been working on signing with him for a quite a while now, and he occasionally would sign “more” and “please”, but hasn’t shown ANY interest beyond that (and even those were tough to get out of him). This morning, Emmy found a hat and brought it to me, saying “hat”. Owen immediately made the sign for “hat”–no prompting, no modeling, just totally on his own. And, if that weren’t shocking enough, at lunchtime he initiated “more” on his own several times, and then signed “all done” when he was finished. Being unsure if that’s what he actually did and really meant, I asked “Do you want more?” and he firmly shook his head “no”. I was so surprised that I started laughing, which he thought was great.

Later this afternoon we were having some quiet time and he was pointing to his nose, so I started labeling parts of his face. He picked up on those very quickly, and then after poking me in the eye I taught him the sign for “sorry”, which he responded to very well. It was a really rewarding day for me, as we are used to getting just little bits and pieces of progress at a time. I can only hope that he keeps it up!

Calling all moms of girls!!

August 28, 2008

I need help!  The plastic baggie is no longer cutting it for storing all of Emmy’s hair stuff!  How do you organize it all?  I like the tackle box that the hair guru over at Hair Today uses, but I haven’t been able to find one yet (and the daily pill dispenser box that Joseph got at the health fair has outgrown our needs). What about bows? I don’t have time (nor the desire, really) to make a cutesy something-or-other to hang all the bows on…I just want something simple that will make it easy for me to get what I need without digging through a bunch of stuff to find it. Ideas please!

Tackle It Tuesday

August 26, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Today’s tackle was the front closet. One thing that this house is seriously lacking is closet space. The old house had tons of built-ins that I loved….it was a shock to move here and have no place for so much of our stuff! It has required me to think twice about what to keep and what to toss and so far we’ve managed fine.

During the remodel, this closet became a catch-all for just about anything that could fit in it. And with fall and winter on the way, I needed to make room for more coats (I have a bit of a coat addiction!). I got rid of tons of stuff, put even more stuff where it actually belongs, and pounded in a few nails to hold some of my mops. You can actually see the floor now, although the carpet there is ugly enough that maybe I should have left the mess to hide it!

 

$100 in copays later…

August 25, 2008

We spent a good share of Friday at doctor’s offices, dropping $$ on copays like it grew on trees! All three kids saw the opthamologist in the morning for their yearly checkups. Preemies are at a higher risk for several eye conditions, so we’ll continue our yearly visits until they hit age 7, and then per the doctor’s orders from there on out. All 3 were really good when it came to put the drops in to dilate their eyes and all 3 came away with clean bills of health!

Owen had his post-op visit with the ENT on Friday. We were feeling a bit concerned about having not seen any changes in him after getting the tubes put in. Perhaps my expectations were a little too high–nearly every parent that I’ve talked to has said that they noticed almost immediate changes in their child after getting tubes, so when we didn’t see the same in Owen, I started to worry a bit. But, he passed his hearing test with flying colors. The doctor was really pleased with his results. However, given that his speech/communication skills have been so far behind, he suggested that we continue with therapy and then follow up again in about 6 months. He said that we know he’s hearing now….we just don’t know how he’s processing what he hears. If we haven’t seen a significant improvement by then, we’ll get a referral to see a developmenal neurologist. In the last day or two, he has started to imitate more sounds and seems to be more aware of what we’re saying to him. So, that’s a good sign!

18 days

August 20, 2008

The number of days it took to go from #258 to #1 in the hold queue at the library for Breaking Dawn 😆 I put it on hold a few months ago, realizing that it would take forever to get my hands on it if I waited. As soon as the book came out, I saw that even after having placed my hold 3 months before the release date, I was waaaay down the line. I had Joseph put it on hold on his card the day it came out and he was in the eight hundreds on the list. So, I’m pretty amazed that it only took 18 days to filter down to me. Good thing too, because I’m really struggling to get into the current book I’m reading, so this will be a nice break! As soon as the kiddos wake up from their nap, we’re going to the library!

And yes, I realize that I can hardly be called a true fan of the series if I waited 18 whole days after it came out to read it. Bite me 😉

Summertime Fun!

August 19, 2008

 

We decided to go to Lagoon yesterday one last time before they are only open on the weekends, and apparently everyone else in the state had the same idea we did because it was really busy for a weekday.  Ryan has been waiting all summer long to go on the “sidewheel”, aka the Ferris Wheel.  I don’t like Ferris Wheels and I’ve never been on the big one at Lagoon, but I gave in yesterday.  It’s one of the few rides that the babies can go on, since we didn’t buy season tickets for them.  I was prepared to be on that thing for an hour before they let us off, and I spent the entire ride (which only ended up being two times around, thank goodness!) fretting over the thought of Ryan jumping up on the seat, losing his balance, and falling over the edge.  We all survived and I was more than happy to get off that thing when our turn came to an end. 

Ryan has also been working up the courage ro run through the fountain at the entrance.  He always wants to do it, but once he actually gets near the water, he chickens out.  So, yesterday I walked in with him and showed him where to stand so that he’d get wet.  I failed to take note of where I was standing and all of a sudden the fountaing turned on and I was soaked!  Ryan thought that was great, and it was just what he needed to go wild.  We let him run for quite a while and he was pretty bummed when it was time to go home.  I’m sure we’ll hit the park a few more times before the season ends, but we had a great time yesterday in spite of the heat and the crowds!

Tackle It Tuesday

August 19, 2008

 Tackle It Tuesday Meme

So, I decided a few weeks ago that I’d start doing Tackle It Tuesday, with good intentions to have every mess in my house would be taken care of in just a few weeks.  Yeah right.  All of the end-of-summer activities going on around here have put those good intentions on the back burner….but today, I’m back on board!  I decided to tackle the cabinet above the fridge, which has become a catch-all for lightbulbs/batteries/paper plates and cups/rarely-used pots and pans/etc.  I pulled everything out, threw a bunch of stuff away, rejoiced over finding long-lost items, and put it all back in a much more organized manner. 

I’ve been contemplating this tackle for a couple of weeks and had been keeping my eye out for a basket to put things in, but I just couldn’t part with the money to actually buy one.  On Saturday, thanks to my lucky raffle tickets, I won a bunch of salon hair products and the basket they came in was the perfect size for my cupboard.  I’d planned to have two baskets, but one free basket was good enoug for me!  It’s so nice to actually know what’s in my cupboard and where to find it!

 

After catching the organizing bug, I decided to keep going and clean off the top of my fridge.  The space our fridge is in was built for a larger side-by-side fridge, which we don’t have….and that means that it’s easy to toss hings on top of the fridge so that they’re easy to access later.  That’s now all cleaned up (and dusted….it’s gets pretty gross up there!) and looking purty!

NICU Reunion 2008

August 17, 2008

Yesterday was the annual NICU Reuion and we had so much fun!  Our volunteer group plans all year long to make it a memorable experience for everyone who attends, and this year things went so well!  We did have a little bit of panicking when we realized that the generator left by the party planning company didn’t work, but we were able to work all of that out quickly and get things rolling before anybody really noticed there was a problem.

One of the down sides to being a volunteer is that I was busy working most of the time and didn’t get to spend to much time with my family, so I don’t have many pictures.  The highlight of my day was the raffle!  I bought 24 tickets, and 9 of them were drawn!  I kept getting told that we needed to head straight to Vegas…too bad we’re not gamblers!  We got some fun stuff, and few things that we’ll give away as gifts to people who will actually use them (any bikers out there need a pink and purple riding jersey in a size XS?) but it was really fun just to win! 

The loot!

18 months

August 13, 2008

I can hardly believe that it has been 18 months since we became a family of 5! Isn’t it funny how the instant your family grows, you can’t remember what it was like to have it any other way? Life with just Ryan seemed hard at the time (and it was in many ways…he was a tough baby), but if I could go back–knowing what I know now–I’d have complained much less about all the energy it takes to be a mom! If I’d only known!

On the lines of energy, I’m one of those bad moms that deprives her children of the opportunity to learn the skill of feeding themselves. I’ll admit it–I HATE the mess!! It exhausts me to think about how much energy it will take to clean everything up after a meal where self-feeding has taken place. I’ve recently read on several of my friends’ blogs about their little ones learning to feed themselves….and they are all much younger than Owen and Emmy are. So, this morning, at the tender age of 18 months, I allowed my children to hold a spoon for the first time and dig into a bowl of yogurt. We bought new booster seats last night, so the trouble of cleaning up the mess from the cloth on the old seats was no longer there to make an excuse out of. I expected nothing less than a disaster, but the whole thing went over much better than I had anticipated. The mess was minimal, and most of the yogurt actually made it into their mouths. I was surprised at how well they were able to take those spoons and actually make them work!

Do I deserve a bad mom award for waiting so long to introduce this skill? Maybe. But at least I’ll have a nice clean counter to put it on 😆