Saturday, August 23, 2008


Tonight it was my turn to put Bean-girl to sleep.

It had been a long day. Husband could see how frazzled I was. And he volunteered to do the night-time routine with the Bean in my stead.

He and I stood together in Bean-girl's bedroom, and he asked, "Who do you want to put you to sleep, Bean-girl?"

She looked in turn at both of us, smiled slyly, and said. . . "Daddy!"

For the first time that I can ever remember. The first time in her three and a half years in this planet. She chose her father.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Summer time

The sunlight fails earlier these days, blue dusk falling and shadows stretching into what once seemed endless hours of golden light. It’s now fully dark when Bean-girl goes to sleep, and her complaints of “But it’s still light!” no longer hold water. The teachers in my mothers’ group are already in the midst of curriculum training and preparation for the new school year. In a few short years, I’ll be preparing my own girls for school, buying notebooks and pencils and backpacks and new fall clothes (well, the fall clothes I can do already, at least!)

I cannot believe the summer is already passing. It seems I say that with the passing of every season. Each turn of the seasons leaves me slightly melancholy; even the passage of winter into spring had something bittersweet about it this year: that fragile new beginning, the vulnerable first buds of green and chill, unsettled winds. Now we tip into fall, the beginning of the earth’s long sleep. Soon this golden summer will be sealed and packed away, like the summer dresses and shorts that I’ll fold and put in untouched drawers and boxes.

For now, we have summer frozen in our refrigerator, in the form of homemade popsicles. My wonderful husband searched online and found rocket ship popsicle molds for the kids. Bean-girl loves pouring fruit juices in the molds. Both Bean-girl and Legume love the frozen results. Slurping them down on our back deck—soon another summer memory.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Blog bling

Both ScienceGirl and Scientistmother gave me the lovely badge on the left! Thank you!

And part of the fun, of course, is passing this on. Many of my favorite bloggers have already received this award. But this still gives me the opportunity to update my blogroll (badly in need of updating) as I highlight some of the newer blogs I've found . . .

1. Mimi at Science, Food, Music, Art: the Meanderings of a Wannabe Wildlife Filmaker. She lives in the gorgeous Caribbean. She works at a butterfly farm. She studies biology, blogs a lot about science, and hopes to be a wildlife filmaker. How cool is all that?

2. Scientia Matris. She's a mother, a scientist, and she's making the big leap by starting her own research group. She gives us the low-down here.

3. Katie at Minor Revisions. You guys all know her, right? You should.

4. Wayfarer Scientista. You should all know her, too. Now this tough woman probably has good bear stories to tell! (Cath at VWXYnot? was telling bear stories the other day. Cath and I are terrified of bears).

Some non-science blogs:

5. Ophelia Rising just writes the most beautiful essays on, well, anything that she turns her mind toward. This is gorgeous writing.

6. MusingMommy--by turns funny, meditative, graceful, and always honest-- stories of motherhood and work (she runs an at-home daycare!!)in the Midwest.

7. Life as I Know It--warm, funny, insightful, and sometimes very moving.

Okay, here are the rules (if you want to play):

Put the logo on your blog.
Add a link to the person who awarded you.
Nominate at least seven other blogs.
Add links to those blogs on your blog.
Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Book meme

I'm finally getting around to this book meme! Mad Hatter tagged me about a week ago. I'm using her color scheme: bold means I've read it, red means I've read it more than once, and blue means I've tried to get through it but have not finished.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (I read the first two books and then stopped. Honestly, I can't see what the big deal is about these books--and I know how unpopular a position that is. I actually thought the movies were much better)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (I love this one. Beats the socks off Harry Potter)
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (Um, I've read the tragedies and what are considered the "major" plays. Haven't read all the poems, and haven't read the more minor histories and comedies).
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (working my way through these now)
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon (It's a great book; I just made the mistake of skimming the end, thus losing the mystery and driving compulsion to read it... then things came up . . . oh, well.)
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov (saw the movie, loss motivation to finish it)
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams (just couldn't get into this one)
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
And I tag . . . anyone who would like to have a go at it!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Quick post

  • Baby Legume is saying "ball." So far, it's her only consistent word. Though of course, it comes out more as "baa."

  • Baby's new favorite thing is handing objects to people. Sometimes Bean-girl gets annoyed when the baby hands her things she doesn't want. Of course, she gets even more annoyed when the baby tries to take things from her (that she does want).

  • The mystery of corn:

This morning the kids lay in bed with us, watching cartoons and cuddling before Husband went into work. "Ugh!" Bean-girl announced. "Baby smells bad!"

"Did she have a poopy diaper! Husband and I asked. We sniffed.
"She smells bad!" Bean-girl insisted.
"What does she smell like?" we asked.
"Like corn!"
My husband and I sniffed and sniffed, turning the baby over. "What part of her smells like corn, Bean-girl?" Husband asked.
Bean-girl leaned in for a good whiff. "Her cheeks!" she announced.
  • And finally, in science related news . . . That science writing job may not be dead in the water after all. I'll let you know more, soon.