Saturday, August 13, 2016

What I'm reading (when I'm not watching garbage tv or feeding a small person)

The speed of dark

Elizabeth Moon

I am going through a little science fiction phase. I guess I have been for several decades. 

Style forever

Alyson Walsh

This book is for women over 50, so I consider myself advanced for reading it now!

The girl on the train

Paula Hawkins

I know, I'm late. But I started reading it when it was a new release, honestly. This is my phone book, so I only read a few pages at a time while I wait for appointments and such.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Tell me about that time you survived having two little ones at home

I have complained nonstop, so everyone within earshot knows this past year has been hard.  HARD. I was sick/depressed from the second I got pregnant, and Lizzie's good health was in question the whole time.

But now is NOW, and we're all happy. We and the doctors are confident Lizzie's lingering medical issues will resolve in no time. My activities are restricted for a few more weeks, but I feel back to normal 90 percent of the time. Mamie is Big Sister #1, on duty to help with diapers, bottles, pacis, and toys at all times. We are all extremely fortunate that Nick could take a whole month of paternity leave -- I know few people have that luxury.

On Monday, that month ends! I'm not the first person to be home alone with a toddler and a baby, but it will still be a first for me! I am trying to substitute organization for confidence. I am reminding myself the babysitter comes on Wednesday and Thursday, so it's not like I really am on my own all week. I am surveying the internet for tips related to this situation. I welcome all advice, motivational quotes, expressions of solidarity.

Helpful internets:

Monday, May 9, 2016

Toddler Update

Mamie is 2 years, 7 months old and 36 inches tall, which is very tall. Her favorite things are dinosaurs, books, cooking, and outside.

Right this second, her two chicken friends, Peep and Bok, are talking to each other.

"Peep peep"
"Hello, Mom"
"Mom mom."
"Yes, sweetie."

Bok is Peep's mom.

Her hair has grown down to her waist band, and she runs when I say the word "ponytail."

She is trying to learn the word "skull" but usually says "head bone." Daddy has no head bone because he is a jelly head.

She does not nap. You don't have to ask me if she took a nap today, because if she had, I would have called TMZ.

She woke me up for breakfast yesterday and said "Happy Mother's Day." Nick said she did not practice.

She is so patient and happy while Mommy conserves energy to grow her little sister.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What I'm reading: Kooky and spooky edition

Just finished....

 What is not yours is not yours

Helen Oyeyemi

Mamie likes the shadow puppets on the cover. The library would like for me to return this week-overdue copy because there's a long line of people waiting to read it.

"Modern surreal fairytales" is the best description I have heard of Oyeyemi's work, and I'm a fan. This one makes me want to hear ghost stories.

Just started....

Shirley: A novel

Susan Scarf Merrell

I don't know exactly what to expect yet. How does Shirley Jackson work out as a creepy character outside her own creepy creations?  

Friday, March 4, 2016

Let's ride the time machine and see what was on my mind a year ago! Things were so different.

March 17, 2015
Today’s focus is my diabetes health. I have one month until my next appointment and A1c check.  These are the things I can do for the best outcome but then:
  • Follow insulin regimen
  • Send bs readings to dgd every thursday for adjustments
  • Check blood sugar AT LEAST four times a day
  • Exercise 30 minutes per day
  • Avoid drive thru food and pizza delivery
  • Take all supplements
  • Take fertility tea daily
  • Keep stress down
  • Increase fruit and vegetable consumption during the day
  • Stick to sleep schedule
Most of last year I was so desperate to lower my blood sugar and start fertility treatments. Now I am 20 weeks pregnant and my A1c is lower than it was a year ago. I guess the plan worked!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

This house is finally getting painted!

You don't want to find out that the person who painted the exterior of your house before you bought it did not use primer.

I started looking for a painter last year and was shocked to get two quotes around 4 times what I expected. I had a few panic attacks and refused to think about it again till this year.

Then, you know, nesting. There are so many things I have vowed to get done before Baby 2 is here, and painting is first on the list. A few weeks ago, I scheduled three more estimates from the top painters on the Better Business Bureau.

1) I canceled because their website was really fancy, and they claimed to work really well with designers. I'm thinking this painter might go beyond the scope of my "just paint it" project.

2) Came over to look at the house and then sent me a rude email claiming the project was beyond what they could tackle to their usual standards. Panic attack. This is so bad I won't be able to find anyone to paint the house at any cost?

3) Incredibly nice contractor with good reputation submits a proposal at the exact right price.

And they start today!

Monday, January 11, 2016

I let my kid tear up books; don't revoke my librarian degree yet

The day starts with all of Mamie’s books on shelves or in drawers, except for the ones she took to bed with her. The day ends with half of her books scattered about the house. And always there is a stack reserved on my desk, waiting for a page to be taped, a flap to be glued, a spine to be reinforced. She lives, plays and sleeps with these books, and I rarely limit her activity with them.
Librarians may be renowned for casting side-eye at patrons who damage books, but that’s not my job anymore. When I worked in libraries, I had a professional obligation to protect and preserve the books. Today my obligation is nurturing my daughter’s relationship with books… and they see some damage in the process.
Lucky for Mamie and her books, I am not just any librarian, but one with a special interest in book repair and preservation. I began to learn the craft of book repair in my college work-study job 20 years ago. Later as a high school library aide, I loved the opportunity to nurse worn books back to sturdy condition so more students could experience them. In library school, I studied the proper handling of very rare and old manuscripts. As an archivist, I was literally a professional at the preservation, storage and treatment of paper documents.
You might think years of vigilance in the protection of library materials would make it tough for me to stomach my daughter chewing on, bending, or dropping her books down the stairs, but it’s not hard at all.
Her copy of Goodnight Moon does not belong among those books which need to be guarded from the elements. It is held precious in a different way. It represents a beloved moment when Daddy reads at bedtime, the comfort of familiar pages when she is agitated. It is like a small stuffed lovey that Mommy will repair until it has been loved irreparably. And then Mommy will replace it with a new one and hope it is just as loved.
It was hard to go through her paper-ripping phase when she was less than a year old. I stocked my office with book tape and plastic covers, dug out my bone folder and awakened my old preservation skills. The wounded books stacked up, but they always eventually made it back into circulation. It’s been a while since she tore pages just for the thrill of it, but her books do still see significant wear from rough handling. She will carry and read a board book all day long until the spine is cracked and needs a little glue. She takes books to bed and fiddles with the loose covers until she falls asleep. She even used to teethe on books when nothing else would soothe her. They aren’t pretty, but we still read the tiny books with bite marks.
I saw very early that she responded to books in the same way I do -- with excitement and craving, looking to them for tactile comfort, the deep satisfaction of possession.
She inherited that passion directly from me and her dad. Our family motto could be "As Many Books As You Want." We have rooms full of books because we like living in our own library. We always have at least one book with us, whether we are engaged in reading it or not.
I get particular pleasure out of gathering, examining, sorting, and stacking my books, and our daughter has the same habit. At bedtime she distributes books to each of us and then sits down to read her own while we read aloud.
She may have also inherited her rough handling of books from me.
I have never been precious about my personal books. I don’t mind worn covers, annotations, creased pages. A book with scars has been used, and that's so satisfying to me. My daughter shows no prejudice against her shabbier books.
I am thrilled that she loves books; I always wanted her to have abundant access to them, but I couldn't have forced her to love them as much as her dad and I do. I hope her interest will grow into a love of learning, imagining and creating.
So I let her have (mostly) unfettered access to her books, let her use them and enjoy them however she chooses. Am I too permissive, failing to teach her a respect for books? Not really. Though she is only 2, she has picked up the distinction between her books, my books, and borrowed books. We have conversations about the difference between coloring books and coloring in books. Who wouldn't be confused?
What I want most is for her to respect and cherish what all books contain, and what they represent.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Why I've been a hermit in a coma for three months

I'm just going to cut to the chase: We are expecting a baby. Who has time for suspense and cute reveals when you have already been in survival mode for a few months?

2016 is going to be a busy, happy year in the Beyer house.  It's going to be a busy year for the house. I will have to vacate my office so Mamie can move into that room, giving up the nursery for the new baby. We also have big plans to build out our library with floor to ceiling shelves and a work space for Nick. And paint the outside of the house.

You can imagine how much of this I will do with my own two hands when I currently need to sleep 15 hours a day and spend the rest of the day feeling green.