November 28, 2008

Twinkle, Twinkle

Posted in What's Going On tagged , , , , , , , , , at 5:57 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

We had a nice Thanksgiving – a bit long, after spending time with two different part of our family and not getting home until about 11:30. We put the girls to bed, and I started washing some leftover dishes while my dear sweet darling husband (DH) brought everything in from the van. He came into the kitchen after his last trip, and asked if the dishes could wait – he wanted to show me something outside.

So I grabbed some shoes, and he wrapped a blanket around me (he really can be thoughtful sometimes!) We walked around the side of the house, where the dusk-to-dawn light isn’t as visible, and he stopped and pointed to the sky.

We are very fortunate to live in a rural area where we can easily view stars at night. Light pollution is practically nil (aside from that pesky dusk-to-dawn light.) There are fields and trees and woods, and that’s just our yard. We could go outside and watch the stars on any clear night, but sadly…we just don’t. And after tonight, I’m ashamed of myself for not taking advantage of our surroundings more often.

The stars were so bright tonight, so vivid – like layers upon layers of stars in the sky. We stood together craning our necks backward to see as much as possible, and still couldn’t take it all in. Orion was immediately overhead (this is “our constellation”, but that’s another very mushy story.) Both Jupiter and Venus were supposed to be very visible in the sky tonight, and we easily spotted one – Venus, I think, because it was so bright, and blue tinted. No moon, but so many stars.

And then, while gazing off to my right, I saw a blazing star shoot across the night sky. I am 29 years old and have never seen a shooting star until now. It was beautiful, and amazing – a streak of fire zipping across the sky. I was still gaping at the sky in shock when I turned to the left to look at DH – and saw another shooting star! This one wasn’t as dramatic as the first, but…wow. To see two in a row…it was just incredible. Like an awesome Thanksgiving light show, just for us. What a perfect end to a great Thanksgiving.

And totally confirmed my choice of a science curriculum for Princess – Apologia Science, which begins with astronomy. Too bad she was already in bed – she would have been just as amazed. I hope she doesn’t have to wait so many years to see her first shooting star…

November 27, 2008

I guess she was looking ahead.

Posted in Baby Talk, Happy (Insert Holiday Here) tagged , , , , at 6:35 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

I suppose now that maybe, just maybe (although it certainly didn’t seem that way at the time), it’s a good thing that Boogie decided not to grace us with her presence on her due date. On November 27, 2007 – exactly one year ago today – I was pleading with my giant baby belly to please, please contract already. I didn’t really expect it to listen – after all, Princess was five days late, and she was (unfortunately) evicted. But I was in a great deal more pain the second time around, and was very anxious to have it over with.

Of course, I didn’t look ahead on the calendar to this year, to note that Boogie’s first birthday would have been on Thanksgiving Day, had she not been so stubborn comfy. And while it wouldn’t be a bad thing, per se, to have a birthday on Thanksgiving, I would much rather her have her very own special day.

I never expected her to hang in there for eleven days past her due date, and suspect that I’ll always hold a bit of a grudge over that one. In fact, I’ll probably remind her of it at least once a week for the duration of her first pregnancy someday.

Anyway.

Another Thanksgiving, and I have so much to be thankful for. A husband who is quite often maddening, but is truly a good man, a wonderful husband and father. Two beautiful, sweet, perfect little girls. A comfortable home, heat, plenty of food to eat, clothes, vehicles, creature comforts. An amazing family and terrific friends. A God who loves us and provides for us. Well, those are obviously a little out of order – but the point is, I could go on all day counting my blessings, and still never cover them all.

November 24, 2008

“Go ahead and do it wrong, it’s okay.”

Posted in Baby Talk, Things That Tick Me Off tagged , , , , , , , at 4:41 pm by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

GOOD NEWS: Boogie has officially unwrapped her first birthday and Christmas gifts, which was actually one really huge gift from her Gramma (love my mom, she’s just the awesomest.) She knew that we had saved to buy Princess a great carseat when she was close to outgrowing the seat with the 40 pound weight limit. There was no way in the world I was moving my then-not-quite-four-year-old into a booster, so we splurged on the Britax Marathon, which harnesses your kiddo in until they reach 65 pounds. (At nearly five, Princess is about 42 pounds. I’m guessing this thing will last a while.) Britax has a wonderful reputation for being one of the safest seats on the market, and beyond that, they have some cute covers – hers is pink and yellow and flowery. And according to her, it’s way more comfy than the Evenflo Triumph seat that became her sister’s.

Well, having Boogie in the Triumph was fine for a while. There was, of course, the nagging mommy guilt about having her in a seemingly inferior seat to her sister’s because, after all, I do love her just as much and absolutely want them to be as safe as possible. I’ve considered bubble-wrapping them, except that so much packing surely wouldn’t fit in the carseat, and there’s the chance of asphyxiation and whatnot. So naturally, my thought processes turned to obtaining a Britax seat for Boogie as well – and I fell in love with the brown and pink flowered seat that is exclusive to Target. Only problem? The price tag – $279. Ouch. You obviously can’t put a price on your child’s safety, but it wasn’t so easy to convince my husband, Mr. I Never Rode In A Carseat and Look At Me, I’m Perfectly Fine. (I know, it’s a long name, but it seems to be a family tradition – his father is Mr. Hey Did You Know That Your Baby’s Carseat Is Turned Backward?)

I thought…Christmas. Maybe I can justify it for Christmas. Of course, it would be the only thing that Santa brought her, and her sister would surely wonder why a) she only got one thing and b) it was something as terribly no-fun as a carseat. But then – dum-da-da- DUM! – Gramma to the rescue! Mom offered to buy it for her, so long as it could be a combination birthday (which is in early December) and Christmas gift. Would I mind? Heck NO, I wouldn’t mind! So she bought it, and last weekend she let her unwrap it early. Mr. INRIACALAMIPF was immediately sent outside to install it in my van, and Boogie rode home in more comfort than she’s ever known from a carseat. And it’s darned cute too.

BAD NEWS: Holy wowza, that seat is HUGE! The Evenflo Triumph is notoriously short, and so I wasn’t totally prepared for how much more room the Marathon would take up in the back seat of my van – now, the front passenger seat is sitting completely upright and the back of the carseat still mashes into it. (Which begs the question, HOW do people fit these things rear-facing in the back of a normal car, if it’s this tight in my van?!) I tend to sit pretty straight anyway, but this is still rather uncomfortable. And the seat looks as if it’s tilted just ever so slightly to the right, which doesn’t really fly with me. There’s no question that it’s tight – I make him (you know the one) get into the seat while tightening it. But still, I would feel better having it looked at by a professional – someone who can tell me if it’s inclined correctly, if I need to reconfigure the middle row to make it fit better, what have you.

The problem is – there ARE no professionals around here. Which I suppose is a hazard of living in a middle-of-nowhere tiny little podunk town. But you would think that someone would be trained in evaluating a carseat. The state police department – who used to have someone on staff (I know this because I had them check Princess’s seat a couple of years ago) – no longer has anyone. The lady who I talked to his morning told me that they “just tell parents to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.” Gee, really? I had never thought of that. I resisted the urge to inform her (although I probably should have, perhaps for the greater good) that studies have shown that four out of five carseats are installed incorrectly. Four out of five. Think of your own children, and add in a few friends’ kids to make five, if you don’t currently have five in carseats (and God bless you if you do.) Now think – only one of those children is as safe in their carseat as they should be. Is it yours? What if you have more than one child? What if you have two? Are your children the only two out of ten riding in a properly secured seat? Anal as I am about proper installation, I’m not willing to bet my girls’ lives that they’re two out of ten.

I’ve tried to call the local fire department to see if perhaps they had someone – no answer. Same with the local rescue squad. Searched online for a carseat inspection station – the nearest one is an hour’s drive away.  *sigh*

If I can’t find anyone today, I’ll try the city police, fire and rescue tomorrow. Surely to goodness someone will know something about proper carseat installation. Even if it’s just to look at mine and say “wow, you guys did a really great job installing this one, it’s as secure as Fort Knox”, I want to hear it from a pro. And by gosh, I’m going to find that pro if it’s the last thing I do.

November 2, 2008

OH, and…

Posted in Crazy Homeschoolers tagged at 2:29 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

…I finally created a blog just to share what we’re doing in “school”. Check it out – Regalia Academy, over on the right. 🙂

Where ladybugs go to die.

Posted in What's Going On tagged , , , , , , at 2:26 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

That would be my house. My living room floor, my kitchen windowsill, in front of the glass door. Piles of them, if we’ve been gone for a while. Otherwise, I’m on an at-least-thrice-daily vacuuming regimen to keep all the little buggers sucked up before Boogie does the job for me. I suppose they could be considered protein, but the idea still grosses me out more than a little. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is: I hate ladybugs.

Princess has been sick all day today – some sort of mystery fever, she hasn’t been in any real pain. She hasn’t wanted to play, or eat, or drink – so she laid on the couch all day long and, between naps, watched more TV in a day than she usually watches in a week. But the fever felt like it might be down a bit before she headed off to bed tonight. I’m just glad that, if it had to happen, it was today and not yesterday. She had a wonderful Halloween – we went to Trunk-or-Treat at my mom’s church, and then trick-or-treating around her neighborhood. She lives in a nice neighborhood full of cookie-cutter houses and very little traffic – unlike our rural home, where the houses are spaced waaaaay apart, and people fly like maniacs around the twisty streets. No one recognized her costume – she was EVE from the movie WALL-E, and YOU just try recreating a robot who has no feet and whose head hovers above her neck! Boogie got a ton of compliments on her white tiger costume, which was of course chosen for it’s adorableness in the first place. I just hate to have one child fawned over and the other practically ignored – Princess’s costume was, at least, more original.

In the midst of fetching food and drink for a child who wouldn’t touch it, I did at least get some wonderful news today – a new baby on the way, for a very sweet friend and wonderful mother. It’s early still, but I’m thinking identical octuplet septuplets, plus one that looks like her, for a grand total of eight. I hope for her sake that I’m wrong. 🙂