Book 4/25: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I made the comment to the girl I work with last week that I had finished my book and needed something else to read, and she brought me The Help by Kathryn Stockett on Tuesday. Oh, WOW! I started it Tuesday night when I got home, and returned it to her on Thursday morning. It was absolutely wonderful.

Short synopsis: Set in Jackson, MS in the early 60’s, and the main girl has just returned home from college (Ole Miss, of course!) and all her friends are married and starting families while she isn’t. Through a series of events, she decides to write a book about “the help” - the black maids, cooks and nannies - from their point of view, and wants to tell the good, the bad and the ugly.

There are parts that are absolutely hilarious, and parts that had me in tears, and I felt like I actually knew all these people. I’m sure some of it is because I live/work in Jackson, and have been in MS all my life, but I know that a lot of it is because of WHERE I work. The church I work at is filled with families that this book could have been written about. I’ve been able to see the Ole Miss love, the high society living and the Country Club/Junior Leage lifestyle up close and personal - especially in some of the older ladies that go to this church. It was a wonderful story, and hit, maybe, a little too close to home - especially for some of the older families in the city. However, I loved it.

I plan on buying it so I can let my mom and aunt read it, and I’m very excited they are making it into a movie. I also want to read it again, and actually enjoy it this time instead of being worried for a lot of the characters in it. I really enjoyed it, and give it 5 books.


Up next, Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer. I promised my sister I would...


Why are girls so mean?

Cadence got in trouble at the babysitter’s on Tuesday and Wednesday for being mean. There are two sisters there right now, S and P, but S hasn’t been there in awhile because she started school this last year. Cadence loves both of them, but tends to play with S more, and joins in when S starts picking on her sister (who is the same age as Cadence.) Tuesday she got in trouble for being mean to P, and for telling her she wouldn’t play with her, only S. She then got in trouble when she got home for the same thing, and we had this long talk about being polite, playing with everyone, yadda yadda yadda. Wednesday was a little better, but she was still snotty to P (but not to S). After another talk when we got home, she decided to draw S and P both pictures to take to them the next day.

She drew them BFF pictures (complete with flowers and hearts and all kinds of girly things), and I noticed yesterday when I picked her up that she still had both the pictures with her. This morning she informed me (with her head down and in that pitiful voice she gets) that both of them told her that they didn’t want their pictures and were going to give them to someone else instead. Since they didn’t want them, she decided to keep them for herself.

Now, I know my daughter hasn’t been great with one of the two girls, and we are dealing with that. But when I heard they didn’t want the pictures she drew, the Momma in me came out in full force. I wanted to march to the babysitters and snatch both of those little girls up by their little blonde ponytails! I didn’t (obviously), but I did tell Cadence that I’m not sure why they didn’t want them because she did great on them, but maybe she could give one to the girl next door next time she sees her. She was happy with that idea, and walked in this morning like nothing was wrong.

I know that girls do this, and we’re going to be dealing with this kind of stuff for the rest of her life. But why does it have to start this early? And I know that there will be times that Cadence is the one that some Momma wants to snatch up, and I just pray I find out what happend so I can snatch her up first. I also now understand why my mom has spent the last year (my sister’s senior year of high school) being furious. You can mess with me, but don’t mess with my kid and hurt her feelings!!

Things like this are making me hope this next one is a boy. Boy drama isn’t quite this bad, right??

Things I’m thankful for:
1) My creative daughter
2) My day is about to end!
3) Long holiday weekends
4) Lunch with Mike
5) It’s not storming (yet!)


Book 3/25: The Tommyknockers by Stephen King

After  A Clockwork Orange I took a break, but eventually picked up The Tommyknockers - another book Mike got me for Christmas. One thing I’m starting to love about Stephen King is that he takes his dear, sweet time telling a story. This one was more supernatural than scary, and I enjoyed it more than The Stand. There weren’t as many characters in this one (well, it was close, but the story flowed better this time), and he’s great about doling out little bits of info at a time - just enough to keep you wondering *exactly* what is going on. The subject matter was a little ridiculous (and he pokes fun at himself about this in one part of the book), but he did a great job of making it seem plausible.

This one is long, too, but I was able to get into this story a lot easier than The Stand (only other SK book I’ve read.) I’m not sure if it’s because I knew what to expect a little more, or if I just flat out enjoyed the story more. I’m now on the hunt for a few more of his books, and I give this one 4 books.


Next, The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

Book 2/25: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

I have 3 books I’ve finished and not posted about, so over the weekend I hope to get all three up.

First up is A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, and I’ll say, it was better than I thought it would be when I started. The only thing that threw me (and almost made me put the book down in frustration) is that he uses a lot of made up, teen slang throughout the book, and in the beginning it was hard to get into the story because of it. Once I got a little farther into it, however, I started recognizing the words, and it the story was good. Well, about as good as a story about a kid who’s in a gang, gets arrested and goes through brainwashing can be. The copy I had said something on the cover about having the original ending in it, and I loved the way it ended.

It’s not a happy book, or a light, fun, summer read, but was good nonetheless. But, I will say, after reading The Stand and this one back to back, I had to take a break for awhile! I’m glad I picked it off of my “classics” list, and enjoyed it a lot. I give it 4 books.


Next, The Tommyknockers by Stephen King.

16 Weeks - We have an Avocado!

16 weeks

Get ready for a growth spurt. In the next few weeks, your baby will double his weight and add inches to his length. Right now, he's about the size of an avocado - 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces. His legs are much more developed, his head is more erect than it has been, and his eyes have moved closer to the front of his head. His ears are close to their final position, too. The patterning of his scalp has begun, though his locks aren't recognizable yet. He's even started growing toenails. And there's a lot happening inside as well. For example, his heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to increase as your baby continues to develop.

I still feel great, and can’t wait for my appointment next week! It’s been pretty boring around here, and I hope to have graduation pictures up in the next day or two. I’ve purchased some onsies (Wal-Mart had them on sale for $1 each, so I have yellow ones now), and Debbie met a lady with a Fisher Price Ocean Wonder swing. We found it for $35 on craigslist, and I’m so excited to have it home and to get a baby in it! I can finally drink water again without feeling sick, and so far, foods aren’t really bothering me, either. Nothing else exciting is going on, and we’re just waiting at this point!

Things I’m thankful for:
1) Cheap baby stuff on craigslist
2) Ice water
3) 16 puke-free weeks
4) The baby bump that is growing
5) Good books


15 Weeks - We have an Apple!

(Yes, I am shamelessly stealing this from my cousin as well, but I think she'll forgive me. And yes, I AM starting almost halfway through. So sue me! ;) )
15 weeks

Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds. Finally, if you have an ultrasound this week, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or a girl! (Don't be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby's sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby's position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to "hide the goods.")

I’m feeling well, and (I think) starting to feel a little movement. It’s not a lot, and comes at random times, but I have felt a few little flutters. I can also tell the baby is getting bigger, because it really does feel like I have a whole apple floating around in there. If I bend a certain way, or lay on my side or stomach, I can feel this little knot that seems to be there now. Even after going through this once, it’s a bizarre feeling. Everything seems to be going fine, and I have another appointment in two weeks!

Things I’m thankful for:
1) An easy pregnancy
2) That I’ve made it to 15 weeks without being sick
3) I get to hear the heartbeat again in two weeks!
4) I’ll get another ultrasound in 6 weeks!
5) Cadence is still super excited


Conversations about The Baby

Cadence talks about The Baby a lot. Like, as in, multiple times a day, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Our conversations are usually pretty benign - names, how the baby will treat her, what she’ll do to help with the baby, where will the baby sleep, etc. - but up until this weekend, we’ve only had one conversation that was uncomfortable and/or deep.

The first was shortly after we told her I was pregnant, and she was talking about helping give the baby bottles. That isn’t a big deal, except I nursed her, and plan on nursing this one as well. I figured that was as a good a time as any to talk to her about breastfeeding, and told her that most of the time, the baby wouldn’t use a bottle, but she could definitely help me in other ways, and help feed it when it was old enough to eat baby food. She asked how it would eat, and I asked her if she had ever seen puppies or kittens drinking milk from their mommies (“Just like the dog in Alice In Wonderland!” she told me) and said that Mommies were super awesome and could feed their babies the same way. She was slightly shocked when she found out where the milk came from, but got over it MUCH faster than I expected - actually, much faster than most of my family when they found out I was going to nurse Cadence. I’m sure this topic will come up again when she actually sees me nursing (and because she’s fascinated with “booms” and talks about them a lot), but for now it hasn’t been an issue.

This weekend, the second conversation came up. She asked me out of the blue, “Momma, what if the baby doesn’t come out tan like us?” My first thought was, “Then something happened I don’t know about, and your Daddy is going to be PISSED!,” but I told her that since Daddy and I were both tan, then the baby would be as well. She then amazed me with how much she had been thinking about this, because she said, “But Alfie’s parents are tan, and he is brown” then stared at me with an “explain that one!” look. I then (as simply as I could) explained that she’s right, but Alfie was adopted from Africa, and wasn’t ever in his (current) Mommy’s tummy. But, since she and the baby were/are in my tummy, and Daddy and I are both tan, they are tan as well. She thought about it a second, then said, “Oh, OK!” and went off playing. It amazes me how much she thinks about this stuff, and how much she notices about the world around her. I’m now waiting on “How did the baby actually GET in your tummy??” to surface. This should be fun.

And here I am at 14 Weeks. Not much different than the last picture, but for those that know me, I’m definitely starting to show.


Things I’m thankful for:
1) My inquisitive daughter
2) Honest questions, even if they do catch me off guard or are hard to answer
3) That she’s excited about The Baby
4) Over 14 weeks and I still haven’t been sick
5) I haven’t gained weight all over this time


Graduation and First Kisses

Cadence had her Kindergarten Graduation on Monday, and she looked so grown up! I spent all day crying, and I’m so glad Mike had the video camera instead of me. Here’s a few of my favorite shots of the day, and I”m honestly surprised I look as good as I do after the crying fest!



With Mrs. Walker, her math and homeroom teacher

With Mrs. Grace, who I wish could go be her teacher next year as well

And a bonus picture of her on her new big girl bike that she got for graduation!

On Tuesday they had their end of year party at Pump It Up, and of course, Ethan *sigh* was there. She went down the slide with him a few times, and seemed to have a great time. When it came time to leave, she wanted a picture with him, but was too embarrassed to ask, so she made me do it. He agreed, and the picture is just priceless. She is laying all over him, and completely infatuated! After that we left, and she went to give him a hug by. When she did, he leaned over and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Now, those of you that know Cadence knows that it takes A LOT to embarrass her, but that kiss made her turn about 10 shades of red! She was totally speechless and stood there with her mouth hanging open. All I could do was laugh at her. She’s talked about it for days, and I think is still slightly in shock. I think it was a good end to the year.

Things I’m thankful for:
1) Innocent kisses
2) Knowing that yes, my daughter CAN be embarrassed!
3) Graduations
4) New Bikes
5) My big girl


Appointments, and a full week!

My 13 week appointment was Thursday, and it went well and was uneventful! My blood pressure was good, I've lost a pound, I'm off the progesterone, and the baby's heartbeat was 148. I asked her about the pain in my abdomen (more of a muscle thing than cramps) and she said it's because my broad ligament is stretching, and it's completely normal.

I go back at 17 weeks, at which time they'll do the spina bifida/down syndrome blood test, and everything they did today. After that, it's 21 weeks and an ultrasound. I still don't want to know, but Mike is just as adamant that he does want to. I hope I can get him to change his mind in the next 8 weeks, because my nurse said that if the couple doesn't want to know, she does her best to not find out as well. Also, the doctor that is delivering the baby loves it when they don't know, and really makes a big deal out of it (even though he's crazy and makes a big deal out of everything! That's why I love him.)

Cadence will have a pretty busy next few days. Mother's Day is tomorrow, and we're going home to see all our Mommas and Grand Mommas. Then on Monday she has Kindergarten graduation. I'm sure I'm going to cry my eyes out, and will be taking tons of videos and pictures. Then on Tuesday she has her end of year party at Pump It Up, then a doctor's appointment right after to get the rest of the shots she needs for school. I'm going to take the entire day off, and promised her I would take her to Maggie Moo's after the shots to get ice cream cupcakes (with a heart made out of pink, shimmery sprinkles!) 

We also bought her a graduation present today - a brand new, big girl bike. It's an 18 inch one, which is on the verge of being too big, but with the handlebar and seat down, she's ok. She was almost too tall for a 16 inch bike (girl has crazy long legs already), so we decided this was probably a better bet and would last longer. We're taking it with us tomorrow, and plan on starting to teach her while we're out in the country and not surrounded by traffic. This should be interesting!

Things I'm thankful for:
1) My big girl
2) New, Big Girl bikes
3) Getting to spend Mother's Day with my mom
4) Great doctor visits
5) Ice Cream Cupcakes (with sprinkles in the shape of a heart!)


The drama, it starts early...

Cadence has a crush on this boy named Ethan that is in her class. I have to give it to her, he’s quite the cutie, and he’s very, very polite. He is blond, has kinda shaggy hair, and this “cool kid” vibe to him at 6. If she’s going to have a crush, he would be the one to pick!

Anyway, she is in love with Ethan, but will deny it anytime you ask. However, she has been talking about him a lot these past few weeks, and will giggle every time she says his name. She is right in the middle of the biggest crush of her little 5-year-old life.

So, that brings us to today. When we were going to the car to take her to the babysitters, she told me that she had picked Ethan some flowers, and was so excited because he took them and told her thank you! She was grinning from ear to ear, and I was good naturedly kidding her about liking him. She then told me (while still grinning and kinda staring into space) that after he took them, he gave them to a little girl in their class named Claire.

That’s right. He took the flowers that Cadence gave to him, and gave them to another girl. Cadence wasn’t upset about it at all, and when I asked why he did that, she goes, “Because Ethan is Claire’s boyfriend!!” So yeah, at 5 my daughter is caught in the middle of a love triangle. And over a boy the teacher says is totally oblivious to all the attention that he’s getting from the girls!

Things I’m thankful for:
1) Kindergarten crushes
2) Spring flowers
3) The weather getting warmer
4) Sinus medicine that’s safe for pregnant women
5) Naps (which I wish I could have right now)


End of year parent/teacher conference

I had a conference with her teacher this morning (annual parent/teacher conference) and it was definitely different than the last one we had before Christmas. Today, she told me that Cadence is doing excellent, and she’s a totally different child than she was at the beginning of the year. She said that there have been very few instances where she’s seen that same girl that started the year, and when she shows up, all she has to do is say something and Cadence is able to calm herself down. She said she’s been a joy to have, she’s doing great in class, and that I shouldn’t be worried at all about next year. We both agree that it’s good she’s going through Kindergarten again - not because of academics, she’s fine there - but because of her social skills. We both know that it will be good for her to be one of the oldest in the class instead of by far the youngest. I’m actually getting excited about next year, and I’m not worried like I was a few months ago.

I also talked to her reading teacher again this morning, and she agrees that Cadence wasn’t ready for “big school” at the beginning of the year, but definitely is now. She also said that she has a feeling her teachers next year are going to think she walks on water and love her, and I commented that I’m not sure that would be a good thing! I just hope that her teacher will push and encourage her, and that she’ll be able to blossom next year.

Those conversations were such a great start to the day, and it makes me feel good to know that she’s starting to grow up some, and that people enjoy being around her.

Things I’m thankful for:
1) Wonderful teachers
2) A wonderful school that was ok with working with us to help her
3) My spunky, energetic 5 year old
4) The new baby on the way
5) A wonderful ending to the year