Wednesday, April 29, 2009

In which the librarian tried very very hard not to swear delightedly

This is the perfect way to finish BEDA - because it really speaks to the spirit of the event.

So I feel you all need to know that my daughter is a genius. A certifiable genius. I want to add a disclaimer here (because I am neurotic) that I may have put up before. I am not one of those mothers who is completely and utterly anal about how smart my kid is in relation to the rest of the children around. I live and work in an area where parents are sending their children to preschools that promise to have the kidlets multiplying and dividing before kindergarten. I know of parents who get TUTORS for their two year olds. I roll my eyes at this because while I want my daughters to be smart and be the best they can be, there is really no point to it all if they don't enjoy themselves along the way. Life is there to love, not to win! That said: Kaylee is a genius.

My child loves the alphabet. She loves it. From all the Early Literacy information I read to pass on to parents at my storytimes I know that before the age of two it's common for a child to know the alphabet song. At two they often start identifying letters. Late twos often start knowing the sounds that the letters make and early threes might be able to sight read words that they see a lot.

(That is why books like The Monster at the End of This Book are so great! I mean look at this page!

Point to "Monster" as it is being read! Point to "Scared" and all the "Please"es! Kids pick up on this stuff and they learn to recognize the shapes of words!)

ANYWAY (oy with the digressions already! Just tell the story, Susan!) - Kaylee loves the alphabet. She points it out wherever we go. She has those foam letters in the bath and she can identify every one and LOVES to identify every one. I already knew Kaylee was a genius because of that, but yesterday - yesterday takes the cake. We were sitting in front of a chair made by my best friend for Kaylee that has her name on it, and Kaylee pointed to the painted name and said, "KAYLEE!"(Note: This chair had been moved out onto the porch for a few weeks and has just recently been moved back inside - and I know that neither my husband or I have pointed out the name on the chair to her since before it went outside.) I basically died from excitement right there. Then I pointed to the letters one by one and she named them, then I asked her what those letters spelt and she shrugged. Then I asked her what the word was on the chair and again she said "Kaylee!" I asked her how to spell Kaylee and she had no idea ...

So yeah, I know it's "just" sight reading and not real reading, but my daughter - who is not yet two - read her first word yesterday. And I'm going to be insanely proud.

And there ain't nothin' you can do to stop me.

(The Genius en repose being read Goodnight Moon by her father)

Monday, April 27, 2009


First off - a public notice: whoever took my phone charger please give it back! I'm asking for your own good. If my mother finds out who you are and discovers that you are the reason I'm not texting her constant updates ... well, I just don't know what will happen to you! So just slip it somewhere I've already looked twelve times and I won't be upset!

I've been getting a lot of requests for details, so here ya go! Pip was the easiest delivery ever. 3 pushes. Well, 4 - but the first one doesn't really count. Everyone told me that my hour and a half with Kaylee was beyond easy and I was inclined to agree ... and then I had Pip. It totally made up for the two and a half weeks of contractions I had!

I feel wonderful. I feel really really wonderful. I probably shouldn't say that because now people might expect me to do stuff and get things done when I'd rather everyone expect me to take it easy and if something gets done it's a happy addition! Right?

The other request everyone wants is a sisters picture. This has been rather difficult to provide because everytime Kaylee sees the camera she wants to PLAY with it so I have to get these pictures on the sly. This is the best I've managed so far - but it has the added bonus of showing my sister Elizabeth the ringlets I've been bragging to her about!

And with that I go to do something ...

Or not. As the case may be.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

BEDA excuses

Lookie what I made!

Pippa arrived yesterday at 3. She's 7lbs, 2oz, and practically perfect in every way. Her full name is Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim's Daughter Longstocking. We'd call her Pippi, but that name seemed taken (weird, huh?), so we're going with Pippa!

Monday, April 20, 2009


Based on the small theatrical performance I just witnessed, I had better NEVER run out of cheese. Ever. In my child's whole life. See, I opened the refrigerator to get out the milk so I could pour two glasses and a sippy cup of milk. In my child's head I was opening the PORTAL OF CHEESE thereby reminding her that CHEESE IS AVAILABLE and then I did NOT give her any.

"Cheese? Mommy? Cheese?"

"One minute - I will get you some cheese after I pour this milk."

"Cheese? Mommy? Cheese? Cheese? CHEESE? CHEEEEEESE? CHEEEEEEESE?"

So yes, I don't move as fast as I normally do - and getting two glasses and a silly cup down and then filling them up took MAYBE a whole two minutes, but from the theatrical piece Kaylee put on (which I entitled "have a little patience, child" and she entitled "In which my mother does not give me cheese. And I die. From tragedy. I am dead and that death was caused by tragedy.") you would have thought that I took TWELVE YEARS to give her her beloved cheese.

That said, she is now being the sweetest child ever and asking me to dance with her. Y'all will just have to be patient and I'll give you a real blog post later. Tonight? Tomorrow? You'll never know! I'm keeping you guessing!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Yes, so this whole "Blog Every Day April" thing hasn't worked so well for me so far, but it has gotten me to be very conscientious about the fact that I don't blog as often as I should. That's something, right? PLUS the whole "I could be having a baby at any moment here" drama just keeps distracting me. BUT my favorite librarian blogger ever just posted her picks for SLJ's battle of the books and I am totally going to copy her.

(BTW - this just goes to show how completely and utterly dense I am sometimes. When SLJ posted the Battle of the Books Brackets I immediately put them up in my small corner of the Children's Services workroom and looked over them and thought "that is awesomely awesome" and made predictions in my head. But share those predictions? That completely didn't occur to me!)

(And also BTW - Abby predicted who she thinks is going to win, sometimes even pointing out that she is predicting the one she likes less. That's a good strategy on her part but I am a SELFISH and SELF CENTERED BLOGGER today, so I am going to write these predictions as if EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD AGREES WITH ME ABOUT EVERYTHING! So therefore the books I like the most will win, right? Lets assume so!)

1) The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: Volume II vs. Ways to Live Forever judged by Roger Sutton.
I just started the first volume of Octavian Nothing yesterday. It is beyond amazing! I have no idea why I waited this long to start these. And from what I've been told it just gets better. Ways to Live Forever was good. I read it back when it was on the new books shelf. I remember what it was about, but I don't remember any of the specific plot points. Octavian Nothing on the other hand has already given me ample bits that I know will stick in my head for years to come. So while I technically haven't read it, I am still going to declare:

Winner: Octavian Nothing

2) The Graveyard Book vs. The Trouble Begins at 8, judged by Jon Scieszka. (Full Disclosure? I thought I had Scieszka spelt properly, but Google fixed it for me.)
This is another easy one. While The Trouble Begins at 8 is brilliant and funny and well written, very little can beat The Graveyard Book in my head. And if you have a chance to listen to the audio version - DO IT! Some authors should not read their own works aloud. Neil Gaiman should. He's a born storyteller.

Winner: The Graveyard Book

3) Chains vs. Washington at Valley Forge, judged by Elizabeth Partridge.
Wow - three easy ones in a row. I loved loved LOVED Chains. I love pretty much everything Laurie Halse Anderson does. I hadn't even heard of Washington at Valley Forge before the brackets were announced and I haven't gotten around to this title yet. If it somehow beats out Chains I'll read it before making next week's predictions, but I don't see how anything could beat Chains.

Winner: Chains

4) Here Lies Arthur vs. Tender Morsels, judged by Meg Rosoff.
I knew a hard one would come eventually! Two I haven't read yet going up against each other! And they're both fantasy-ish (from the mini descriptions at Indiebound ... ), so I can't just plead a fantasy bias and go with that. BUT I can mention that I got very annoyed with Arthurian rewrites a few years ago and that bias is still in place, PLUS I've always had a thing for books about liminal spaces. I blame one specific college professor for that, but it has stuck! So ... I am going to have a very full week on the reading front, but assuming bambino #2 doesn't show up during it, I am required to spend a lot of time with my feet up, so it shouldn't be a problem for me to promise to read the winner of this bracket as well! Actually - knowing me I'll read them both, but I'm only giving myself a deadline for the one.

Winner: Tender Morsels

5)The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks vs. We Are the Ship, judged by Rachel Cohn.
We Are the Ship is beautiful, well written, and important. It has won tons and tons of awards, and rightfully so! However ... my thesis in college was on Foucault's Theories of the Panopticon and How that Relates to the Female Bildungsroman. (Yes, I pull that out at cocktail parties just to sound pretentious. It is beyond fun.) The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is a Female Bildung (those of us "in the know" about bildungsromans call them "Bildungs" as a nickname. Because we're just that cool), and the main character becomes increasingly obsessed with Foucault's theories of the Panopticon. E LOCKHART, YOU HAVE SOME 'SPLAININ' TO DO! Were you reading my senior thesis? So ... I have to vote for Frankie, because ... well ... I have to.

Winner: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

6) The Hunger Games vs. The Porcupine Year, judged by Ellen Wittlinger.
This one is very similar to Bracket #2 for me. I haven't read The Porcupine Year and while I'm sure it's lovely I can't imagine it beating out The Hunger Games. I'm not sure I can tell you how much I loved THG. And anyone who gets an ARC of Catching Fire will be FOREVER in my debt if they share it with me! /love

Winner: The Hunger Games

7) Graceling vs. The Underneath, judged by Tamora Pierce.
Y'all already know how I feel about The Underneath. BLECH! And I adored Graceling ... so this one is a no brainer.

Winner: Graceling

8) The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary vs. Nation, judged by Ann Brashares.
AUGH! I love The Lincolns. Bit of trivia for you? Candace Flemming kinda wanted to name it Abe and His Babe. Well, she might have been joking when she said that, but it's still pretty awesome. I haven't read Nation yet which is a TRAGEDY because I love Terry Pratchett. I love him with a passion! And knowing him ... knowing how much I love him ... if anything could beat The Lincolns, it'd be Mr. Pratchett. Please don't make me pick?

Winner: a TIE! (:

And with that, I go to curl up with the cutest toddler the world has EVER seen.


Sunday, April 05, 2009


I just made an 8X8 pan of brownies. I then cut it into four pieces. That means that this here 4x4 brownie in front of me is SIXTEEN SQUARE INCHES of brownie. And when I go and get seconds? Yeah - that'll be THIRTY-TWO square inches of brownie. And I won't feel bad about it. Not one little bit.

And yes - I know that I totally failed at BEDA, but I'm not giving up! I have a half finished blog entry for Friday AND a half finished blog entry for Saturday ... and I'll finish them someday, and there will just be this gaping hole in my blog. It's ok - I'm not going to let myself stress. Because. Good reason, huh?

I took some great pictures today, but for some reason I can't get the computer that I am on to admit that my camera is hooked up to it. It will make the "something just connected!" noise when I turn the camera on and the "something just disconnected!" noise when I turn the camera off, but will it actually admit that it is connected? NO! So pretend there are adorable pictures with these stories. That may make things better.

Kaylee and I figer painted this morning. It was a ton of fun! We used my mother's technique of pouring lotion on a plate which the Kins thought was beyond fun. And we used this random horrible smelling lotion that was given to me by a book seller this around the holidays. And dang, this story really isn't that interesting without the pictures. Trust me. They're adorable?

Oh, blech. The whole blog I had planned out hinged upon my pictures. I'll just put off more substantial blogging until tomorrow.

Bye all.


PS - I have become a Nerdfighter! How cool is that?

Thursday, April 02, 2009


There are a ton of reasons I haven't been blogging lately. The main one, though, is this: I AM PREGNANT AND SNARKY! I pride myself on being a happy positive person. I don't quite know what to do with myself when suddenly I'm snarky! It's tragic - it really is.

Y'all - I have DISLIKED BOOKS recently! I know - that is COMPLETELY unlike me! And how can I blog about a book I disliked? That's so mean! Jeremy Tankard found my blog when I talked about how much I loved him ... what if some author googles themselves, finds my blog (THAT WAS WRITTEN WHEN I WAS PREGNANT AND SNARKY), and decides that if one random librarian pirate didn't like their book then they shouldn't try again*. On the other hand, it is completely disingenuous** of me to assume I can write a blog that contains tons of book reviews and NOT discuss the books I don't like. I had a dilemma. I have come upon a solution! I tend to link to other reviews anyway, right? Why not just include a link to a positive review along with my negative snark! That way nobody will decide not to read a book just because some snarky pregnant lady told them it sucked - they can decide based on my snark and someone else's non snark. Good idea, yes? Shush - it's BRILLIANT!

*Oh, the narcissism!
**Fun fact: Disingenuous is possibly my least favorite word EVER! People use it when they want to call someone a no good fake liar pants but they don't want to actually be seen calling someone a no good fake liar pants. Therefore I find the word itself to be disingenuous. Did that stop me from using it here? Nope. You want a blog that doesn't hold itself to a ridiculous double standard? Go read something else!

First up, Gossamer. Fuse Number 8 wrote a beautiful review of Gossamer, and it makes me giggle because it begins "And now a book we can all agree on. The newest L0wry* is out and it's loverly. A class act all around." Oh, Fuse #8 - I almost always agree with you, and the one time I don't you are not expecting it! It's a stealth disagreement! Gossamer is a quiet book about dream creatures and a boy who was abused by his father who is now staying in foster care with this lovely older lady who works to help fix his damaged soul.

*did you see what I did there? No? That's because I'm SNEAKY!

I think part of my problem with Gossamer is that I listened to the audiobook. I don't tend to like soft, quiet, smart books on audio. They always seem beyond pretentious when I hear someone reading the words and obviously thinking the words are some of the most brilliant things they've read in awhile. Also, the snarky side of me was getting very annoyed at the trend in children's books for the problem child to be a problem for a reason and that reason is usually his/her home life. AND the child is always fixable (Side note: I am an optimist. When I'm not PREGNANT AND SNARKY I do think that everyone is basically good and I certainly don't want to ever tell my children that someone is just a bad person and there is nothing they can do to fix that ... but right now I am PREGNANT AND SNARKY so I will let my feelings flow!). I think my biggest problem with this is that it is almost always the parent's fault. In this book it was extreme abuse, but in general I get annoyed with people's tendency to think that a child is only acting out because they don't get enough attention at home or the parents don't care or whatnot. I have so many friends who have children somewhere in the autism spectrum who are the best parents ever but whose children "act out" (oh look! CNN even has an article about that exact thing today!). AND as I've mentioned time and time again - I am NEUROTIC. Books like this make me feel like when Kaylee (sweetest baby ever that she is) decides completely randomly in the middle of the store that she wants me to let her hold THAT GLASS JAR OF JELLY RIGHT NOW (which: no, Kaylee. You want to hold this plastic jar of salad dressing? Fine. You want to cuddle up with the ice cream? Well - you're crazy, but ok. When you get bored with either of those and drop them on the floor they will not break. The glass jar will. Let us sing a rousing chorus of Row row row your twinkle twinkle instead) and will scream and scream, I feel like everyone I walk by is thinking, "what a horrible mother. She obviously neglects her child and that is why her child is screaming and screaming and screaming."

SEE? This is why I haven't been blogging. What was meant to be a brief "I was not such a fan of this book" description has turned into a "I AM NEUROTIC AND EVERYONE JUDGES MY PARENTING ABILITIES" rant. Anybody want to count up the times I have used the word "pregnant" alongside the word "snarky" so far? Yeah, me neither.

Another book I disliked was The Underneath. I actually read this one ages and ages ago - before this book won a Newbery Honor. It was perhaps my biggest surprise of the award season because my dislike for this book was SO huge. I read it because Abby the Librarian (who I love and idolize and pretty much always agree with) loved this book. I'm sorry, Abby - you're wonderful and brilliant but SO WRONG on this book! Again, this may have been worse because I was listening to the audiobook and "smart" audiobooks just don't jive for me. The prose in this book is lyrical and "beautiful" and DOES NOT STOP! Let me demonstrate (note: I am not actually quoting the book, but I am barely exagerating ... well, maybe a little at the end):

This tree. This big tree. This enormous tree. This tree that can reach the sky with its branches. This tree that is home to so many animals. This tree that reaches up with its branches and down with its roots. This old tree. This ancient tree. This tree that has stood on this spot for many many years. This tree that has seen the animals live. This tree that has seen the animals die. This tree that remembers back to the days of yore. This ancient tree that whispers on the wind. This tree of life and love. This tree will be chronicled until I run out of words to use to explain this tree. This tree that you will hear about until my keyboard fails on the letter E. This tree? This is the one I'm talking about.


I could go on ... and on and on, but how about if I mention one book that I've loved recently? I'm about halfway through the first Septimus Heap book and I love it. My only complaint is the name: (this may be a spoiler - don't read on if you don't want to hear my surmise) On the first page, we are told that Septimus Heap is dead - has died pretty much right at birth. I think we are then meant to forget him - his death just made it very convenient for Jenna to join the Heap family! But they named the book Septimus Heap! So while I am halfway through the book and Septimus Heap is still presumed dead, I am fairly certain that he is not in fact dead, I am fairly certain he has been reintroduced as another character, and I am pretty sure I know who he is.

That said, I love it. I absolutely love it.

More, less snarky, book reviews to come. I promise! Maureen Johnson is the reason I am blogging every day, so I really should talk about how great her books are, right? Well stay tuned! Or not. Whichever.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


So I have been very motivated by Maureen Johnson to get off my behind and actually type up some of the millions of things bouncing around in my head. I had such great intentions for starting April off with a bang - I have a ton of things to blog about. Seriously. Just you wait.

SO - Today I worked, went to the doctor, went back to work, stayed at work late because of the doctor's appointment, picked up Kaylee at daycare, made a fantastic dinner, ate my fantastic dinner, ate seconds, ate thirds, ate even more while watching my husband trying desperately to fix Comcast in time for Lost, cheered him on when he prevailed, watched Lost (OH MAH GOODNESS!), put Kaylee to bed too late, sang her more songs/read her more books than usual because she was cranky going to bed late and I prefer sending her to happy sleep instead of sad sleep, made my husband a fantastic desert, puttered about, puttered about, puttered about, and THEN decided to sit down and blog.

(yes, I made that sentence AS LONG AS POSSIBLE!)

But I am le pregnant and therefore I am le lazy so I decided to implement operation, "I own a laptop! I should blog FROM BED!" Brilliant operation, right? Except the only outlet in the bedroom is hidden behind the headboard and somewhat impossible to get at ... and also kinda full. AND the laptop is kinda out of battery. So the laptop is charging right now and I am typing on the desktop in a tragically upright position. That is why my first post of BEDA09 is going to be tragically short. Because I am le lazy. Well, truth be told, my doctor is worried about me and I've convinced her that I can still work only by promising to spend as much time as possible lying down. And as you can tell - my day today has been full of many things, and lying down has hardly been one of them. Well - while dinner was cooking, we played Kaylee's FAVORITE GAME (and I whole heartedly encourage this) called "Mommy lies on the floor and I tuck her in." It's adorable - she covers me with her blanket, then grabs a stuffed animal for me and hands it to me. Then she hands me her sippy cup. Then she looks around for other things I might need while taking a nap. "Crackers!" "Diaper!" "Shoe!" "Colors!" (That's what she calls her crayons) Eventually I convince her to sit and read me a story or sing me a song. Can you SEE why this is my favorite game? It is A) ADORABLE and B) lets me lie in one spot while getting quality baby playing time .. AND eventually she reads to me. I am a fan.

So ... better BEDA09 tomorrow when my laptop is charged? Don't mind if I do. And people who I owe emails to? Totally coming! I promise! I am such a bad friend. But for now - I lie down.