Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Salon: The Rambling Update

Sundays are such lovely days. The mornings start off at a leisurely pace which lasts most of the day through. We wake up when we wake up. We take the day as it comes. No offices to go to. No schedules to follow.

In the pre-baby days, I would often spend Sundays reading and catching up with my fellow bloggers. I could spend all day on my computer if I wasn't careful--and sometimes I did. Post-baby, days like that are non-existent. I am not complaining. It's just how it is. Now my Sundays are filled with board books and miniature cars and dolls, pots and pans and utensils turned into musical instruments, water play, and leisurely walks. I almost dread when the next door neighbors officially move in. Will they mind that Mouse likes to climb the steps up to their front door and examine the yellow flowers along their driveway? There is the occasional tantrum when Mouse doesn't get her way or when she grows tired (oh, how she hates naps and fights us tooth and nail most days), but generally, our Sundays are filled with the activities of a 14 month old who barely takes time out to rest. Her smiles and laugh never cease to melt my heart.

Mouse has quite a few words under her belt now. I love hearing her say "apple" and will often say it myself just to hear her say it back. She can say "up", "down", "Daddy", "kitty cat", "shoes", "ball", "boat", "hi", "bubbles", "pizza", and "bye" among other less discernible words.  She is learning the names of the children at her daycare. I am always amazed at just how much she understands. She waves goodbye and can blow kisses. She knows how to blow her nose and is learning how to brush her teeth (although there's still more biting than brushing). At her daycare she's discovered how to climb up the step stool to get to the sink--she can turn on the water and "wash" her hands.

Mouse also is at that "helpful" stage where all she wants to do help. I let her carry the cat food dishes to the sink for me, and will lift her up so she can put them in the sink's basin. We are still working on the part where she needs to leave the fresh food out for the cats and not pick the dishes up as soon as I put them down. She likes to play with the broom and "sweeps" the kitchen and dining area floor for us. She likes to move clothes from the washer to the dryer and from the dryer to the basket. Mouse has gotten good about putting her own clothes in the hamper in the evenings before bath-time. All seemingly simple tasks, sure. Still, seeing a child grow and learn . . . It's amazing and I couldn't be more proud.

Her knee bouncing dance has been taken to new heights. She loves to spin in circles, often making herself dizzy to the point of falling down. She has a magnet farm set on the fridge (thanks to Serena for the idea!) that plays music, and many afternoons or evenings you can find all three of us spinning to the magnet's tunes. When the music stops, Mouse walks over to the farmhouse, pushes the button and starts the music again. She makes sure her dad and I are dancing before resuming her spot and spinning again.

Anjin and I recently got a new bedroom set, our first after having used a hand me down set for the past 15 years. The bed is high and so I got a little foot stool to make it easier for me to get into bed. Mouse learned quickly how to climb up the steps and pull herself onto the bed. She also knows how to get down--although we're still working on completely mastering that trick. She recently went down our entire flight of stairs all on her own (my husband and I holding our breath the entire time). She has been going up them on her own for awhile now, but I could never interest her in practicing going down. Now we know she knows how to do it! Backwards and all.

It isn't just stairs Mouse is climbing these days either. She climbs everything. Or attempts to. It's exciting and thrilling, but scary as heck for us parents.

It wasn't too long ago I was worried about Mouse's lack of interest in books. No sooner had I come to accept it for what it was--just a young child too busy exploring her world--then suddenly she began bringing me book after book after book to read.  She likes to climb onto my or her dad's lap for story time. I joke with friends that her first full sentence was, "Sit down!" Said with a pointed finger at the spot where she wants me to sit, often after she's dragged me by the hand to the location, book in hand. She loves to be read to--even if she sometimes still has difficulty sitting through the entire book. 

She definitely has her favorite books. She'll go to her shelf and start pulling off books, throwing each one to the ground until she finds the one or two she wants. In one reading session, we'll read the same three books over and over and over again. The more often we read a book, the more she will take charge and start turning pages herself. And sometimes she'll "read" to me. With a couple of books, Anjin and I noticed that she always stops us at the same place--right after the cuddle. We, of course, use voices and act out the stories as we go--and the cuddle seems to be one of her favorite moments. She'll get a big smile on her face and giggle as we squeeze her close. 

Besides playing outside at her water table, Mouse seems to love reading most these days. She will bring me a book to read to her no matter where we are in the house. As a fellow reader, I love it and only hope her interest in books continues to grow.

My own reading has flowed at a relatively steady pace. I rarely open a book on the weekends, unless it is to sneak in a page or two before I fall asleep, and so most of my reading is done during my lunch break at work. My usual preference of reading one book at a time has shifted somewhere along the line to reading two at a time. One at work and another at home before bed time. At one point last month I had four books going at once.  In fact, I think I'm at that point again right now.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain failed to win me over, and I doubt I will return to it. I just can't bring myself to care about the characters or to find out what happens next. For me, that's always the kiss of death for a book. The book is basically a fictionalized story about Hemingway and his first wife--about how they met, fell in love and about their relationship. I can't complain about the writing--it's actually well written from what I read of it. It just wasn't my cup of tea. Since I don't have a lot of time to read, I've gotten a lot more picky about how long I'll stick with a book that isn't capturing my interest.

One of the books I have going is a paranormal romance involving fairy magic called Twixt by Diane J. Reed. I finished reading the first chapter, but got sidetracked by Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff and then decided I really needed to finish another nonfiction book I had started reading a month before . . . I do plan to get back to Twixt one of these days. My only gripe about the book so far is the use of italics. It seems like every other sentence contains a phrase in italics (used for emphasis) and I am finding it distracting. The premise of the book is interesting, however, and I hope I can get past my issue so I can enjoy the book.

Tim Powers' Hide Me Among the Graves is another book I have been reading--a horror novel of sorts--featuring ghostly vampires and well-known (and real life) literary figures.  I am about half way through right now.  I am finding it fascinating, but it is one of those books that requires a bit more concentration than some of my other current reads, and so it is taking me a little while to get through.

I also am reading Love is Murder, an anthology of short stories edited by Sandra Brown, for an upcoming tour.  I will be highlighting some of the short stories over the next few weeks leading up to my final review of the book.

As I was straightening my desk the other day, I came across a book my friend and fellow blogger Stacy was kind enough to send me, I Was a Really Good Mom Before I had Kids: Reinventing Motherhood by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile.  And of course, I had to open it up and start reading.  I am liking it quite a big so far--the humor and the truth of it.

Anjin has been bugging me to listen to Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened, and I began listening to it Friday as I straightened the house before heading out to get my hair done.  I have been a follower of Jenny's blog, The Bloggess, for awhile now and just love her sense of humor.  Her book is no different.

Suddenly my four books have turned into five.  How did that happen?!

What have you all been up to lately? What are you reading?

© 2012, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

27 comments:

  1. Hooray for Tom Powers! Haven't read this one though.

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  2. Um ... that would be Tim Powers. Typing with one finger on mobile device :-P

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    1. Terri - Haha! I do that all the time too. :-)

      This is my first book by Tim Powers. It's good so far!

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  3. Reading all of your experiences with Mouse just takes me back, and makes me sentimental and a little sad that now my baby is about to go to high school. How on earth did that happen? She was just learning to navigate our stairs! Waaa. You will enjoy Jenny's audiobook...she is really a bizarre woman, but you can't help but love her.

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    1. Sandy - High school already?! Where does the time go?

      So far I am really enjoying Jenny's audiobook. It's hilarious.

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  4. Sounds like you are enjoying some wonderful moments with your daughter. I remember my son grabbing books and dropping them on my lap to read. I sometimes miss those days but have to say that it is easier to be the mother of an 18 year old. Enjoy your week!

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    1. Kathleen - Mouse is at a great age. Her dad and I are trying to enjoy as much of it as we can. :-) I hope you have a great week too!

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  5. What a fun age! Mouse will want to help you until she gets good at it! lol Your neighbors won't mind her climbing their stairs - I have a feeling they'll love to see her smiling face.

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    1. Kathy - LOL I can believe it! When she gets good at helping, she'll realize it's work. :-)

      The new neighbors (who haven't moved in yet) are an older retired couple with grown children, so my hope is they won't mind Mouse climbing their steps and admiring their flowers.

      I love the warm reception we get when we have Mouse with us when we are out and about. People love babies, don't they? As long as they aren't screaming and crying, anyway.

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  6. Mouse is growing so fast! I can't believe that she's babbling and running around!! This age was one of my favorite times ever...enjoy it and keep putting it on paper! It will be so treasured when you go back to read what she was doing at a certain time in her life!!

    I have Jenny Lawson's book on my iTouch and am listening to her read her book. She's very funny!!

    Hope you have a wonderful week!

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    1. Staci - She is growing way too fast! She amazes me every day.

      I am glad you are enjoying Jenny Lawson's book too. It may take me a while to get through it since I don't have many opportunities to listen to an audio book. I'll sure try though--it's so good.

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  7. I loved reading about all the things Mouse is doing! While I am really enjoying the ages my kids are now, I miss the toddler and baby phase. I love that you're fully enjoying that time with her - no worrying about how much you do or don't read. These days are so precious. :)

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    1. Carrie - I confess sometimes it is a struggle, but I try to remember this time will only come once in our lives and it's worth savoring.

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  8. Well, will you just look at that cutie playing basketball? Thanks for this update and the picture. I was needing a dose of Miss Mouse!

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    1. Linda - Mouse loves playing with her basketball. I figured it was time to put together a Mouse update--both for you and for me. :-)

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  9. Reading your words brought back all the feelings and wonders of those years.They are precious and sacred.
    I loved the pointing and naming of things.
    We still use the words our daughter mis-said at that age. They are part of our own vocabulary, and they bring back that baby whenever we say them. Our son, on the other hand never said baby words. For some reason, he just spoke like an adult right from the start. :<)
    My reading was all kid books for years!
    Blogging is a wonderful way to keep track.

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    1. Nan - Yes, it is! I have been so bad at writing everything down that I probably should for memory sake. Thank goodness my husband is keeping a journal for Mouse.

      I am just amazed at how well Mouse is able to communicate with us despite not having all the words. I had thought of doing baby sign language but it just never took for any of us (probably didn't help that I'm not able to be home with her during the work days). We manage pretty well anyway. When she wants a snack, she takes me hand and leads me to the pantry, and when she wants a drink, she leads me to the fridge. If she wants to go outside, we go to the door. It's all very obvious. LOL There are times I can't figure out what she wants though and that usually results in tears (on her part), but we eventually figure it out. :-)

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  10. Weekends with a toddler are certainly different, but fun too. I could not do much when The Girl was that age. She tagged around with me everywhere but was very demanding so I couldn't even look away for a minute. Now, I had the dog to deal with! I try to read, and she sits on my head. I need to get my son to video tape it because it is the funniest thing to watch. She will not let me read! I had to sneak away to do it.

    Sounds like Mouse is going to be a reader, like you :)

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    1. Ti - Mouse is like that too--she follows me around everywhere and is constantly demanding my attention. Dogs can be just as demanding, can't they? My dog still is, after so many years. He hasn't ried to sit on my head fortunately, but he does insist on my attention often enough--and usually when I'm close to finishing a book. How is that everyone knows just when I least want to be interrupted and then decide to interrupt me? Cats, dog, toddler, husband . . . Doesn't matter.

      I love Mouse's eagerness to be read to. It is hard though when it's time to do something else (bath or eat) and she is determined we will continue reading, even after we tell her just one more.

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  11. I love reading the updates of Mouse. Thanks so much for sharing, Wendy!

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    1. I figured it was time. :-) Have a great rest of the week, Melody!

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  12. I love catching up with Mouse! We are going to be getting Gage a water table for our deck. Any thoughts about the one you have?

    Gage can make it through a book but goes through periods when he won't sit still for more than a few pages. But then he'll have a few days when he'll be bringing us book after book and he'll sit through them all repeatedly.

    I'm jealous of your reading lunch hour :) I hope you get something out of the book I sent. It can get repetitive but it's a fun read.

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    1. Stacy - Mouse loves her water table. It's a sand and water table, but so far we've filled both sides with water. I haven't wanted to try sand or rice yet since she still puts things in her mouth. It is a bit on the big side--I'm not sure she needs quite that big of a table--at least not yet. Maybe when she's older.

      Aren't kids funny? Mouse is like that too. Sometimes she's all about the books and other times, not so much.

      Being able to read at lunch is such a life saver for me. There's an empty office I go to and hole up in there. Very few people know I'm there and the quiet is so refreshing. It gives a chance to recharge.

      I am really enjoying the book you gave me. I can really relate to it. Thank you again!

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  13. Oh my how cute Mouse is! It's hard for me to believe she's so grown up already...I can't imagine how you feel. I love how she helps you with the cat dishes, even picking them up when the food is fresh. And I love her way of finding her favorite books.

    It's great that Mouse has become a reader. I'm so impressed that you find the time for 4 books...I've always liked to have some variety!

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    1. Amy - She's gotten so big so fast. I swear she grows a foot every day. Okay, so not really. It feels like it though. When I think back to the days she was just beginning to lift her head . . . It really wasn't that long ago.

      It's so funny how she tries to help me. She is so determined about helping too.

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  14. It sounds like Mouse is getting SO big! How fast the time goes! I love the new words that my youngest is coming up with as well. They grow SO fast! This was such a great post!!!!

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  15. Samantha - I can't believe how fast she's growing. Too fast! It's fun to see them grow into their own little person though, isn't it?

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