Month: October 2016

On the Books, October Edition

Choosing between reading, writing, knitting, and staring vegetatively into space has resulted in a lot of scrambling for minutes and not as much reading as I thought I’d get done this year. It’s almost the end of October (in case you overlooked that somehow), and I’ve read 12 books out of my goal of 35. I don’t think I’ve ever read so little in a year. But here’s what I have in terms of a bookish update.

26061560The Biggest Story offers a look at the Bible’s story from beginning to end. The sweeping overview from creation to the resurrection offers a look at the big picture of God’s plan for us. It’s the literary forest when children so often just get shown the trees. And the illustrations are absolutely mesmerizing! I could stare at them for hours.

The twins aren’t big enough to sit down and appreciate all the illustrations, but they did seem fascinated by all the colors, when they slowed down enough to take a look. I read them the entire book in about forty minutes while they were playing several days ago. It’s simple and straightforward enough that I suspect it would resonate with some preschool-aged kids.

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I also started reading Kipps aloud while the kiddos played last week. We’re about 30 pages in, and it seems to provide excellent background noise for playing–they tend to entertain themselves more and use me as a jungle gym less when I’m reading aloud, so that’s a win.

H.G. Wells is surprisingly easy to read aloud. The dialogue and sentences just flow the way good writing should. And it’s refreshing to read some of Wells’ non-sci-fi works. I’ll probably take my time getting through it, but I’m already loving the characters. 28587957

Annnnd yesterday at Barnes & Noble, I couldn’t resist Jodi Picoult’s latest release, Small Great Things. I suspect that once I crack it open (probably this afternoon), I’ll finish it in just a couple of days, even if I have to sacrifice a night of sleep to do so.

 

 

9 Reasons I’m Not Taking a Nap Today

No Naps

  1. The prospect of having to wake up again is prohibitively depressing.
  2. Naps cause responsibility-free breaks to go by far to quickly.
  3. Naps aren’t really responsibility-free, because I need to do laundry and folding laundry is somewhat easier when twins aren’t systematically unfolding it at the same time.
  4. If I go to sleep, babies’ naps will be 50% shorter, and they’ll wake up 100% more grouchy.
  5. I would spend a quarter of my naptime thinking about what needs to be done after naptime is over.
  6. Deadlines. Clients that actually want things to be turned in by 6 a.m. And there’s no way I’m getting up at 3 a.m. tonight/tomorrow to make that happen.
  7. If I’m smart about it, I can get a load of laundry washed, a sinkful of dishes cleaned and put away, the living room vacuumed, the dogs fed, the mail checked, the counters wiped off, drink a pot of coffee, and still squeeze in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy while babies sleep.
  8. If I’m not smart about it, I can stare into space in the blessed silence for half an hour.
  9. I do what I want.

Twins Go To Colombia

Before the twins were born, I swore I wouldn’t let them stop me from getting out of my comfort zone and traveling. What I didn’t realize was that sometimes a trip to the grocery store would qualify for both counts. Nevertheless, when Mom asked if I wanted to take the boys and join her for a week in Medellin, Colombia, of all places, I decided to commit and then figure out the rest later.

That strategy–commit, then figure it out–sometimes works, and it sometimes backfires.

Say you’re at the grocery store, and on a whim you buy all 30 ounces of cream cheese for a cheesecake. No matter how you feel about it later, you’ve got to actually bake it. Because there’s no way you’re eating enough bagels to excuse that purchase. You bake the cake and act like it was totally planned.

When you buy airline tickets to Colombia, you go. Even if, as the days before the trip approach, you find yourself wondering what on earth you’ve signed yourself up for.

In this case, the strategy was a good one. I’m glad I went, I’m glad the babies had the experience–even though they’ll never remember it–and I’m glad I got out of my comfort zone enough to make it happen. With that said, there were many moments during the trip that I longed for a childproofed playroom, for a husband to dump the babies on long enough for me to take a nap, and for wonderful English-speaking baristas at familiar local coffee shops.

The following are some of those moments.

  1. When stuck on the metro wearing a screaming baby while sandwiched between 25,734 complete strangers.
  2. When on the metro alone with one twin, after Mom got off the metro at an unknown previous stop with his brother.
  3. When desperately trying to explain that I want a hazelnut latte, not a cafe americano con leche.
  4. When trying to remember the Spanish word for “upstairs,” drawing a blank, and feeling like an entire university Spanish minor course of study is failing me.
  5. When fumbling with Colombian pesos and trying to disguise the fact that I have no idea how much the jumble of coins in my hand is worth.
  6. When staring blankly at a menu of traditional Colombian food and realizing that none of it is remotely appetizing.
  7. When the standard, already-annoying twin questions (how old are they? are they twins? which one is older? are they walking yet? are they identical? are you through having kids now? you must have your hands full? is this one bigger? are their eyes more like yours or their dad’s?) are even worse when presented in rapid-fire Spanish but blending in is impossible with blue-eyed, fair-skinned babies.

My memories of Colombia will forever be misty mountains, lush flora, gently swinging cable cars, plywood “beds,” incredibly kind locals, and various iterations of the above seven situations. I would go back in a heartbeat–but I’d definitely arm myself with more mental preparedness and basically just prepare to function in survival mode for the duration of the trip, should that become necessary.

In other news, I’m still recuperating, because some vacations are relaxing and some vacations are exhausting and this was the latter.