Archive for April, 2006

Oh, This Could Have Been Ugly

April 19, 2006 @ 10:34 am | Filed under:

“MOMMY!!!!!!! You know that little pink ball I found at the park? It just exploded EVERYWHERE!”

I am nursing a four-day-old: I can’t exactly spring up and rush to the scene of this alleged explosion. Scott hears and comes thundering. Even more alarming than Rose’s outcry is my husband’s quiet “Ohhhh no.”

Seems that little pink ball was a paintball.

Fortunately, the explosion—and an explosion it was indeed—occurred in the bathroom. Rose had just finished washing her newfound treasure and was drying it with the hand towel.

I keep having little flashes of what might have been (the sofa, the carpet, the drapes, the children). Scott will see me shudder and know at a glance what I’m thinking.

“I know,” he’ll say. “Suppose it had happened in the car?”

Talk about dodging a (little pink) bullet.

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What We’re Reading This Week (No Mystery Why)

April 18, 2006 @ 7:05 pm | Filed under: ,

This is a week for piling on my bed with a snoozing bairn in the midst of us all, and these are the books we’re in the mood for…

069400873701_aa_scmzzzzzzz_How a Baby Grows by Nola Buck. This little board book has been Wonderboy’s favorite for months. “These are the things that babies do: cry, wet, sleep, and coo. These are the things a baby sees: Mommy, Daddy, window, trees.” How well he relates to the key objects and events in these babies’ lives! He loves to snuggle in my lap and talk about all the small details on the page: the butterfly, the dandelion, the Cheerios on the floor beneath the highchair. And now, suddenly, he has a whole new connection to the book, with a real live crying, wetting, sleeping, cooing baby sharing my lap with him. I bet he has brought me this book ten times a day since his baby sister came home.

Daisy Thinks She’s a Baby by Lisa Kopper. A sweet and simple picture book about Daisy the dog’s penchant for playing baby: she likes to ride in the stroller, sleep in the crib, and sit in the highchair. Her disgruntled toddler companion does not find this amusing. But one day something changes, and Daisy can’t be a baby anymore, much to everyone’s delight. I hope your library has a copy of this charming book, which is, alas, no longer in print. The spare, repetitive text and funny colored-pencil illustrations make it a perfect choice for a toddler read-aloud, and my beginning-reader finds it just right for her emerging sounding-out skills.

101 Things to Do with a Baby by Jan Ormerod. A friend gave us this unique book when Rose was born. It follows a young girl, perhaps five or six years old, through the course of a day with her baby brother, listing all the many things there are to do together. From sharing a bit of egg to frothing up the soap bubbles in baby’s bath, the moments chronicled here are familiar, funny, and enchantingly real. Amazing illustrations. Every time we have a baby, the big sisters around here remember how much they love this book. (They are especially fond of the daddy’s red face during a family floor-time exercise session.)

These are just a few from the pile beside my bed…I’ll share more in the days ahead. For now, I’m off to bed (early!) with the bairnie snuggled beside me. Is there anything sweeter than those little sighs newborns make in their sleep?

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I’m With Anne

April 17, 2006 @ 7:34 pm | Filed under:


“Oh, Marilla, look at his dear, darling toes! Isn’t it strange they should be so perfect?”

“It would be stranger if they weren’t,” said Marilla crisply.

from Anne’s House of Dreams by L. M. Montgomery

Things to Do While Your Mother Is in the Hospital

April 17, 2006 @ 7:22 pm | Filed under:

If you are five…

…and your grandmother puts a snapped-off tulip in a cup of water on the counter, painstakingly fill the cup with spoonfuls of dirt because “I thought if I planted it, it would keep growing.”

If you are seven…

…almost (but only almost) step on a snake as long as your little brother.

…get stung under the chin by a wasp.

If you are ten…

…recall a passage from that scintillating classic, All About Weeds, describing the sting-soothing properties of yarrow, and concoct a poultice of newly emerging yarrow leaves with which to soothe your little sister’s wasp sting.

If you are any of the above…

…watch a Bill Nye the Science Guy and then recreate the solar system on the floor of your bedroom, using various stuffed animals to represent the planets.

We Are in Love

April 16, 2006 @ 5:06 pm | Filed under:


Thank you all so much for your notes and well wishes. We came home from the hospital yesterday but naturally it has taken me a while to get to the computer. Our newest darling is currently slumbering in Grandma’s arms. Poor Grandma had to wait all day for her turn—this little sister is much in demand, and there are many arms to hold her!

Everything went very well during and after the delivery, and we are so happy to have her home. She looks exactly like Rose, just as the sonogram indicated.

I am somewhat tortured by the whole blog alias thing—seems so strange not to be shouting her name from the blogtops! And really, I have no idea what to call her here. Jane picked her name (in honor of Jane of Lantern Hill) and Rose, Beanie, and Wonderboy all grew into theirs. I suppose we’ll just give the baby a little time to grow an alias of her own. Ah, the demands technology places upon mere infants these days…

Anyway, thanks so much to all who wrote me over the past few days. It has been lovely to sit down to all these warm and thoughtful notes. I wish I could show her off to you all in person!

Poet Spotlight: Christina Rossetti

April 13, 2006 @ 9:40 pm | Filed under:

Kelly at Big A Little A started “Poetry Friday” not long ago, and I thought it might be fun to feature not just a poem but a poet. This week, I’ve chosen the Victorian poet Christina Rossetti, whose Sing-Song collection has enchanted my children for years.

You can read about Rossetti here.

Read her provocative poem “Goblin Market” here.

Read Sing-Song here.

Here’s one of Beanie’s favorites:

Growing in the vale
By the uplands hilly,
Growing straight and frail,
Lady Daffadowndilly.

In a golden crown,
And a scant green gown
While the spring blows chilly,
Lady Daffadown,
Sweet Daffadowndilly.

And, in honor of Good Friday:

Beneath Thy Cross

AM I a stone, and not a sheep,
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath thy cross,
To number drop by drop Thy Blood’s slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon–
I, only I.

Yet give not o’er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.