Sunday, May 11, 2008

Eight million things

Alright, so, eight million is a bit of an exaggeration, but that's what it feels like. It's been forever since I've had time to sit down and blog more than a brief note. Hopefully I'll remember everything I've been wanting to write about.

1. Abby prays on her own now at nap and bedtime. It's so cute the things she thinks to say thank you for. The other day she included outside, the swingset, the gardeners, and Jesus. Tonight when she was done she said, "Jesus loves me!" So sweet.

2. We went to the Jana Alayra concert last weekend. If you have children between the ages of about 18 months and 8 years, I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend her stuff. They're such great songs, super catchy, and the concert DVDs (at least the second one, I haven't seen the first) are really fun. She does all these hand motions to the songs, and Abby walks around doing them as best she can and singing in her monotone alto. Adorable. They perform all over the country; if they're ever in your area you totally have to go. Anyway...we got there super early so I could get in line for the first-come, first-served seating. The girls napped in the car and I wrote thank you notes and read. I was first in line, which was awesome, because we wanted to get close enough to let Abby feel like she was a part of the action without having to go down into the mosh pit of children, which of course she would never do. She was pretty overwhelmed by the whole experience; this was her pose for the majority of the concert:

though towards the end she did start doing some of the motions very small in front of her. I think she enjoyed it, though; at least, she says she did, so that's good.

3. Ron Paul is coming to San Diego on the 23rd! He's doing a book signing somewhere in Balboa Park. We're getting decked out (kids too!) in RP gear and going down to see him. I can't wait to meet him. I'm going to bring a copy of Violette Between for his wife. :)

4. I just found ShoutLife. If you're on it, send me a friend invite! I'm giving up on MySpace; it's too overwhelming for me. ShoutLife is a Christian version--or at least, a much more safe version, you don't have to be Christian to join, but they're strict on appropriateness of photos, etc. I can't believe how many friends requests I got on MySpace from totally skanked-out women. Hello!?

5. I'm in the home stretch for my current WIP. Chapter 18 is mere paragraphs from completion, and I think I'll have about 27 altogether, so that's less than 100 pages left to go! Woohoo! My chapters have come out surprisingly even in length, especially considering I don't plan the out ahead of time. They're all between 9 and 11 pages long. I'm over 70,000 words, so I'll be just over 100,000. Right on target! Way past when I'd hoped to complete it, though, but oh well. I've been putting a lot of thought into the next book, so as soon as I wrap up this one I should be able to jump in and start with it. No title yet, though, which is weird; typically titles come to me right away when I start thinking about a book. This one, though, hasn't offered up anything yet. It actually makes it a little harder for me to connect with it when I don't have a proper name for it. "Untitled" or "Current MS" just don't cut it.

6. My friend Meg recently made the jump to cloth diapers for her son, who is a few months younger than Abby. She has completely inspired me. As she points out in one of the first posts she wrote about her decision, the #2 landfill item is diapers. Every single one ever worn is still out there, not any more decomposed than it was when it was first thrown away. GROSS. So even though we're probably not that far from being potty trained (I HOPE), we're making the switch for Abby, too, and once I'm comfortable with the process, for Penelope Jane, too. I just bought my first diaper, which should arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday. Yay! But I'm not stopping there. I'm aiming to stop using paper towels, tissues, and disposable napkins as well. I'm actually going to get out my sewing machine, get it serviced (I don't know WHAT I'm doing wrong, but the thread keeps getting messed up in the bobbin case when I use it), and going to work making my own kitchen cloths, hankies, and napkins. I mean, why not, right? And while I'm at it I'm going to FINALLY get the curtains made for my office, and once Dan's done with class (less than two weeks left in the semester, yay!) we're going to put up the shelves we bought at IKEA an embarrassingly long time ago.

7. For some reason, over the last two or three weeks I've had a major energy shift. I finally reached my personal limit for being lazy, for procrastinating, for shying away from the mundane tasks I just couldn't be bothered with. I know I'm supposed to have less time and energy now that I have another baby, but it's just not true. I'm exercising, I'm cooking dinner, I'm going to the farmer's market again, I'm writing nearly every day, I'm planning an insane amount of sewing, I'm reading my Bible's awesome, I'm so psyched.

8. We got our new swing set! Old, crappy, screws-jumping-out-of-it set:

New, stable, doesn't-give-you-splinters-or-move-when-you-swing set:

The little house at the bottom has much potential; I can just imagine the girls eating lunch out there on rainy days. Here's Abby in there with her buddy Bryson:

9. A couple weeks back on Dancing With The Stars, they had some of the Riverdance performers on doing a number in between announcements of who was in danger of getting kicked off. They also had two kid couples who were contestants in their junior championship. Abby FELL IN LOVE with Riverdance and those two couples. Most mornings we watch that five or six times before our usual Blue's Clues. And now when we watch it she dances around the living room. "Wow--the feet are so fast!" she says when they show the Riverdance people. For Mother's Day Dan bought me a two-disc Riverdance performance, so Abby and I started watching it this morning. I LOVE that show. I've seen it five times, I think--London, Edinburgh, Chicago, and twice here. I saw the London show the first week I moved out to the UK in college, and listened to the soundtrack the whole year I was there, so now whenever I hear it I'm thrown back to my funky little room in Maclay Hall up on Park Terrace in Kelvingrove Park. Ah, the memories! Anyway, I'm happy Abby is so into it; I'm really hoping she'll want to take dance lessons in a couple years. There's even a big Irish dance studio not far from here. Nana took Irish dance lessons as a child; maybe the talent will run in the family!

Well, I think that about catches me up, save for Penny Jane news which I'll post on the baby blog. I'll leave you with a pic of the ladies of the family, taken today in my mom's rose garden. Happy Mother's Day!

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