Tag Archives: nablopomo

Picture books in our hands

I experienced something new last week: The online library system said I couldn’t reserve any more books because I’d reached my (25-book) limit.


(That reminds me … I wasn’t quite able to reserve all I’d wanted to when I hit that limit, but since we just picked up holds, there’s room. Lemme go rectify that … Done.)

We’ve been working our way through the SLJ’s Top 100 Picture Books, and I reserved the next chunk of them that are available at our library. We’re more than half way through that list, and I’ve added a few other lists to what I’m keeping track of, in terms of picture books. Let’s see, I’m tracking Caldecotts and 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up.

My son was SO. EXCITED. to pick up this huge stack of books (there were a few for me there, too)! Whenever we get new library books, they’re the most interesting thing in the world to him. I anticipate I’ll be reading aloud most of the day today, as long as my voice can hold out. (I’ve got a cold of some kind.)

Have you read any of these picture books? What are yours, or your children’s, favorite picture books? Have you worked through book lists like this? How do you decide what books to bring home?


I offhandedly asked on Twitter a week or so ago, “Is NaBloPoMo still a thing?”

Today, being November 1, I went in search of the answer to the question. And while the official Twitter account for the event is dormant, fallow since 2011 [November 8, they didn’t make it very far into NaBloPoMo, did they?], the answer is yes, the event lives on.


And here I am, posting.

Maybe I should take a step back. You know that November is National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo), yes? The event has daughtered spin-off events galore: National Knit a Sweater Month, which I participated in last year, and National Blog Posting Month, which I took completed in 2012.

I miss blogging, and there’s lots I could talk about. I still sometimes find myself composing blog posts in my head.

I’m not officially committing, but I want to take a swing at it, NaBloPoMo 2015. Can I do it? Will you join me?

Baby in Red (sweater)

Word Lily knitsYay, I finally tried the sweater on the babe and even got photos, all in the same day! Let’s pretend it isn’t nearly a month after the last end was woven in …

The pattern is Gavyn.

While I didn’t love everything about the pattern, or the knitting, I do think I quite like the finished sweater.

Baby in red

This was my first bottom-up sweater, my first non-raglan sweater. I made the 12-month size and added an inch to the length of the body of the sweater and about 3/4-inch to the sleeve length, because my boy is tall and long-torso-ed.

It doesn’t look as big on him (at 7 months) as I thought it was, as I was aiming for, but it will still hopefully fit him all this winter.

I used recycled sweater yarn, in 100 percent cotton; tripling the yarn gave me gauge on the recommended needle size.

I’m linking up with FO Friday and Fiber Arts Friday; visit these places if you want to see more projects! 🙂

Right Now (7 Months)

The little-one-who’s-not-so-little turned 7 months old yesterday. A whole month more than half a year. It’s mind boggling.

Right now, he is still super smiley and he laughs a lot.

He has five teeth; I think a sixth is probably close.

He army crawls and is pretty proficient at it, although he hasn’t yet seemed to grasp that he could move himself to Mama (or whoever) when he suddenly decides he wants to be held, instead of lying there crying.

He has a pretty firmly developed (although relatively new) pincer grip. He can pick up and feed himself puffs (and he’s gotten to where he can also crush them between his fingers, if he wants, too), and dead leaves, and dust bunnies …

He has learned that Mama can walk away and leave him. Even if he’s playing contentedly, either by himself or with Daddy, when I walk by, he cries.

He *loves* to watch and chase and pull her hair pet the dog.

He enjoys being read to, when he can sit still long enough (which isn’t all that rare, actually).

He doesn’t really have a favorite toy.

He doesn’t like long car rides.

He likes eating food (pretty much everything he’s tried he’s gobbled down), but he clearly doesn’t think of it as sustenance yet.

He takes two naps a day, which hopefully total three hours or more. He goes to bed at 6:30 or 7 and wakes up at 6:30 or 7, sometimes (but not always) waking once or twice in the night. Sometimes when it’s time for sleep, he rejects any soothing efforts and reaches for his crib, crying until we put him down. It’s got a I’ll do it myself! feel to it.

He loves to bounce and jump, whether with his hands being held by someone, in the exersaucer, or in the Johnny Jump Up. Moving vertically is very fun.

He likes motorboat sounds and tickles. Buttons are fun, as is being outside. And windows. Mostly everything goes in the mouth. He likes playing peek-a-boo, and is sometimes the initiator.

Looking forward to Advent

It seems weird to look forward to, to anticipate, a period of waiting and anticipation, but I am. This is Asa’s first Christmas season, and I look forward to sharing it with him. We got a new Advent devotional, with each entry tied to a song, so hopefully he will be able to appreciate that, at least a little. We’ll be getting our tree on Saturday (the day before Advent starts), and while the space constraints are many, we’ll be getting a real tree, and bigger than the ones of recent years (which were in the 3-foot range). I think we’ll be keeping most of the glass ornaments stowed away, though, and concentrating on the less breakable ones.

I’ve enjoyed this little break between Thanksgiving and Advent this year; usually it’s one right after the other, which seems to add to the stress for me. The breathing room is nice, and I feel it’s allowed us to be a bit more intentional about things.

Shopping is started, although by no means finished, ha!

The little guy’s 7 months old today; hopefully I’ll get some good photos taken, to be able to share with you all tomorrow.

This will be our first year having a real, bonafide, Christmas morning with just us, without extended family. I’m really looking forward to it, and I’m excited to see how our traditions end up taking shape.

I guess this is a bit rambly, but I don’t have the brain function to focus intently on a more in-depth post, I guess. Have I mentioned that I’m counting down the days of NaBloPoMo? I’m scared that the end result of this little experiment will be burn-out, rather than enthusiasm. We’ll see.

Do you have your tree up already? Growing up, we used to always (go and cut our tree) on Thanksgiving weekend. I like the idea of doing it at the start of Advent — which is usually right after Thanksgiving, but is a bit later this year. (“Haven’t we been here before, Rocky?”)

How is Christmas prep coming in your house?

First snow and leaps

We had the first significant snow of the year yesterday. It was so much fun to take Asa out in it! Sorry, no pics. We were kind of in a hurry.

I finally bought The Wonder Weeks last night, and then proceeded to read the beginning part and the chapter on the developmental leap we’re now entering (Leap number 6, Wonder Week 37). Asa will be 31 weeks on Saturday, but these leaps are calculated based on gestational age, so he’s 33.5 weeks now, which is when the fussy period for this leap usually starts. We’re right on schedule, except we’ve apparently missed the sunny period beforehand, which usually comes *after* they realize mom can leave them. We’re still not quite over this yet, I don’t think. Maybe this realization is tied more to actual age rather than gestational age? If so, that would explain the overlap of the two for us.

I’ve heard such good things about this book, how it’s helped moms understand and thus deal with the fussy phases that precede / accompany these leaps in neurological function, so I hope it helps us, too. It’s so hard to watch him struggle! So far, the book seems to have described my experience perfectly; I really hope that understanding will translate into a smoother transition for him and a less stressed-out mama. (Maybe I need to read that chapter again, while he’s still down for his nap …)

It’s so much fun to watch new skills emerge! I wonder which ones he’ll pursue first this time. 😀

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

In the Woods by Tana French

Word Lily review

In the Woods by Tana French (Viking Penguin, 2007), 429 pages

In a small outlying Dublin neighborhood, three children hop the stone fence into their favorite woods. But then they don’t come home for tea, and they don’t come when their mothers call. Much later, police find only one of the tweens, terrified and with a complete block as to what filled the missing hours. Years later, that found boy is a detective on the Murder Squad. He’s changed his name and left the past buried. But when he and partner Cassie Maddox investigate the murder of a 12-year-old girl in those same woods, well, things get interesting.

I’d heard so many good things about this, I knew I wanted — needed, even? — to read it. I’m glad I finally got around to picking it off the shelf. The writing is superbly beautiful and filled with nuggets like this will still being accessible and readable.

The characters are definitely flawed, just the way I like them. Even when they disappoint me.

Haunting is a good word for In the Woods. Not that it scared me, but that it stayed with me in a somewhat uncomfortable way. It’s interesting to read the blurbs on the back cover, some call it a “hard-boiled police procedural” and others label it “psychological suspense.” Of course these aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, but it does kind of show, I think, the limits of labels.

I think I might finally understand all the people who say they love sad books. Well. I’m not saying I love sad books to the extent that I’m going to seek them out, but this book is sad, and I [still] love it.

I was spoiled, I knew before I got to the end that it wasn’t all wrapped up neatly. But I don’t think it would have bothered me like it did some people, even if I hadn’t known. I should have suspected, anyway. I’m OK with ambiguity. The sadness was harder for me than the lack of closure.

In the Woods won an Edgar Award for best first novel.

Rating: 4.5 stars

I look forward to reading more from French. I’ll probably start with the follow-up to this one, The Likeness

About the author
Tana French grew up in Ireland, Italy, the US and Malawi, and has lived in Dublin since 1990. She trained as a professional actress at Trinity College, Dublin, and has worked in theater, film and voiceover.

Other reviews
Caribou’s Mom
Reading Matters
You’ve GOTTA Read This
Book Journey
Fyrefly Books
Farm Lane Books
Presenting Lenore
Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link and I’ll add it here.

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

Sunday Salon

It’s hard to concentrate on writing a coherent blog post when someone’s in the hospital, having a baby. What could be better than a month that brings two cousins for Asa, though, I ask you? (One’s already been born, and now we await the second.) I can’t wait to meet them. (And no, they’re not twins.)

Hopefully I’ll have a review of In the Woods by Tana French for you tomorrow.

I’ll start reading Lilith next.

Other than that, enjoying the last day of this long weekend and looking forward to, preparing for, Christmas.

There’s a chance of snow tomorrow; maybe Asa will get to experience the magical white stuff this week? (We had flurries very briefly a couple weeks ago, but they were gone once he awoke from his nap.)

Hope you have had a great November and are having a good Sunday!

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.