Friday, October 18, 2013
Seven Quick Takes about books, furniture, and life with boys
Such a nice and surprising thing happened to me last weekend. We celebrated Gareth and the twins' birthdays with my inlaws by going out to eat. Just as we were getting up to leave, a woman stopped me and asked me if I was Angel and I just blinked at her for a minute and said I was (most people I know in real life don't call me by that name), and then she told me she recognized me from my blog! I'm afraid I probably sounded like an idiot because -- well, it may happen to other people that they're recognized in public because of their blogs, but I have, like, 30 readers in all of the universe. We had a nice chat and then I had to go before the little ones' good behavior reservoirs ran dry. But I have to say that it made my day. Thanks again, Ashley!
The restaurant we went to was strategically situated near the best bookstore (for new books) in town. That was also Gareth's request for his birthday. They have an awesome children's section, so I stocked up on picture books. (It's only about a 35-45 minute drive to this bookstore, but I never know when we'll be able to get back to it.) The best book of the haul:
WOW. Awesome book for young train lovers. A description of a family's journey on the Transcontinental Railroad, but so much more. Gorgeous illustrations, cutaways of steam engines, and maps. Chipmunk is obsessed by steam engines and steam power, and he adored this book.
For myself I picked up
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. After reading her description of the evils of open floor plan offices, including uncontrollable loud noises and interruptions, I thought, Hmmm, sounds just like my house. This is also why I rule quiet time in the afternoons with an iron fist.
We're refinishing our coffee table.
I didn't take a "before" picture, so you'll just have to imagine a 10 year old cream-colored coffee table that has been through five boys and all the corresponding Hot Wheels races, Duplo bombs, little plastic army guy wars, wooden block towers, worm collections, toy hammers and saws... etc. etc. When we bought the coffee table we only had two kids, a boy and a girl, who honestly weren't that hard on anything. In other words, it was before I had learned never to buy white. (Then we moved into a house with white-painted kitchen cabinets and a white bathroom, so I guess I still haven't learned.) Anyway, finishing this coffee table should have taken about a weekend, but that's for other people, not for us. For us, we're on our third weekend. We have one more coat of paint to go. I'm hoping the black paint will hide all the dirt that routinely ends up on this thing, and that dings in it will just mean it looks fashionably distressed. Also on our list are new couches, since the boys have wrecked those, too, a new coat of paint on the walls (to go with darker furniture) and more Ikea hack "built-in" bookcases.
We survived the PSAT this week. Andy was out of town (of course) so I had to figure out how to get Gareth to a testing location an hour away by 8:30 AM. It was also pouring down rain. And then we didn't have the right kind of ID. We managed to scrape up something that would work through the grace of God, but -- stress, you know. The ADD thing never really goes away. I'm still the only mom at events who doesn't have a pencil. On the way home, I felt like such a rotten mother/homeschooler that I made eye and dentist appointments (which needed to be made a couple months ago) immediately upon walking in the door. And bless doctors and dentists who will see 6 or 7 kids all on the same day!
Meal planning lately has also been hit or miss lately... mostly miss. We've had "Spanish Omelet Week" and "Pancake Week" now. So I've been checking out the possibility of some online subscription services. This blog post was very helpful in laying out the pluses and minuses of various real food - gluten-free compatible plans. I'm doing my 30 day free trial of Plan to Eat, and I'm also looking at No More to Go and Fresh20. Really I just want somebody to tell me what to make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Somebody who knows my schedule and that my kids don't like beans and refuse to eat salad unless they can eat it like rabbits while standing in the garden. Anyway, I like Plan to Eat but it still requires me to work.
Overheard at my house:
From a teenager, regarding the PBS kids' show, Dinosaur Train: "What happens when you go through one of those time tunnels and accidentally eat one of your ancestors?"
From the 3 year old, upon hearing that a car went through a stop sign and broke the law: "We will have to fix it! Because it's broken."
According to the 6 year old: "If you lose one eye and have to have a glass eye, at least it would be easier to look through a telescope."
And that is glass half-full thinking, folks.
See Jen at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!