Friday, August 28, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday, #29

1. This week has been So. Much. Fun. Justin's been on vacation, and we've really been trying to do different activities together to make up for the fact that we didn't actually GO anywhere. Maybe next time we'll have a trip or something planned far enough in advance to not make my worrying tendencies flare up. This time, though, we settled for our ordinary home with some extraordinary fun. Extraordinary in our eyes anyway. We're planning a picnic for later today, we went to the 'bouncy slides', as Mia calls the inflatable gym, and we've had ice cream cones in the backyard. It's been a nearly perfect week.

Our biggest adventure this week was our trip to the zoo. I posted a few pictures on Wednesday depicting the girls' reactions to all the exotic smells, and I'm trying to edit the rest of the pictures to post this weekend for one GIANT zoo post. Should be fun. Stop back by to see a giraffe, up close and personal, along with my tiny little Mia feeding that giraffe. I was amazed by her bravery...this from the girl who would not go near the goat we'd passed a few minutes earlier at the petting part of the zoo. Who'da thunk it?

2. Also on our agenda for this week - bubble baths! Mia's had an easy thousand of these, but in keeping with the week-o-fun, we decided it was high time for LJ to experience the bubbles, too.

Lauren had such great respect for the bubbles that she politely lifted herself out of the water at the EXACT moment this picture (below) was snapped in order to let an errant toot escape. The sudden noise was enough to frighten Mia and I into having flashbacks of the floating poop fiasco. We both watched warily to see what would happen next, but thankfully, nothing was...forthcoming.

3. I've discovered something this week about myself: I'm a cranky napper. With Justin being home, and us doing funfunfun activities all week, I was so worn out that I gave in and decided to take a nap yesterday during the girls' naptime. Bad idea.

It's been quite awhile since I napped during the day - since Lauren was a newborn - and I fell asleep so hard that I woke up disoriented, sweaty, and grumpy. The rest of my day was off because I just felt so groggy. Usually, I'll sit down and read a book or write, and then if I get sleepy I'll close my eyes for a few minutes before the girls wake up. And that leaves me refreshed. Not cranky or sweaty.

I'm going to do my best to remember this and not let myself be talked into a full-length daytime nap in the future unless I'm terribly sleep deprived. Normal days plus abnormal naps equals no fun.

What's your perfect nap?

4. Lauren's continued to do really well at Kid's Day Out. She had one rough morning this week, but I think she's settling in fairly quickly. Monday morning was the day she had a bit more trouble than we'd expected...she cried when I left, but seemed to calm down easily enough. Later, they called and said she kept falling asleep only to wake back up and get upset, so I picked her up early.

Her teachers were concerned that she needed to get a nap right away, but as soon as we were in the car, she perked up and jabbered the whole way home. There were not 15 consecutive seconds of silence from the time we left until I got her asleep about an hour later. So, my guess is that she wasn't terribly tired at school, just worn out from all the newness of things - and bored from the lack of talking. I have no doubt that the teachers spoke to her all morning long, but being a shy girl, she wouldn't have talked back. And apparently, all that pent-up speaking will lead straight to a nap.

This must also be why Mia, at almost 4 years old, rarely takes a nap...she never stops talking long enough for her brain to quiet down. I'll call this The Ratio of Words to Sleep Theory. Have any other kids demonstrated this theory's truth? Let me know, and I may interview you when I'm published in a scientific study.

So, never. You're safe.

(Even I am surprised at the direction that Quick Take went. Feel free to be bewildered at my thought train. I know I am.)

5. Last week, I finished reading Persuasion by Jane Austen. I think I'd read it before - or attempted to - and not really enjoyed it much. It seemed distant and boring when I remembered what little of it I'd experienced. But this time was different. It was wonderful. My heart was actually pounding at intense moments, and I couldn't put it down at times. Late nights saw me poring over this story, intent on reading just one more more page.

Why the change of heart? I saw the movie. I never thought I'd say that a movie had helped me enjoy a book more fully, but that is exactly what happened with Persuasion.

My husband bought me the complete set of Jane Austen movie adaptations from PBS last year, and Persuasion is one of my favorites. Pride and Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Mansfield Park, and Northanger Abbey were the others in the collection, and while I've loved them all, Persuasion has something different that sets it apart. I've watched it over and over, and finally decided to try re-reading the book; I am so glad I did. The book was one of the most difficult I've read, just in the sense of the language alone, but the feelings are so complex that I couldn't have sorted them out without seeing the actors' portrayals of them. Beautiful book, beautiful movie. I highly recommend both - starting with the movie.

Unless you are far more schooled in understanding Jane Austen's language than I am, and then by all means, read the book first. But if that's the case - you've probably already read it a hundred times, and are only suffering through my juvenile ramblings to be polite. Carry on.

6. What if Jane Austen had written a vampire novel? I KNOW it's blasphemy to even wonder about such a terrible mutation of literary styles. But still, I wonder. (Here we go again with my strange thought trains...lucky for you, if you click to a different page you are no longer subjected to them. For me, though? The days are long and confusing.)

7. I'm trying to decide what to take to our church's bake sale this weekend. What sorts of things have you had good luck with at bake sales? What sells first, and for the highest amounts - big, fancy cakes, or small plates of a few simple cookies? Conversely, what's your favorite baked good to purchase from a bake sale - a beautiful, whole pie, or a bag of mixed munchies for after lunch? (Who are we kidding - that bag of munchies rarely makes it past the church parking lot.)


Thanks for stopping by This Heavenly Life today! Don't forget to click over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes, and have a beautiful weekend - the weather where I am is supposed to be in the upper 70's for a HIGH. In late AUGUST. And to me, that sounds like just about the most perfect forecast I've ever heard.


  1. Perfect nap? Any! I LOVE naps, and now that I have a baby, I have an excuse to take them! Just one more reason I love being a mommy!

    As for the bake sale, I would bake a cake and make homemade frosting. The homemade frosting usually really gets people excited at bake sales!

    Thank you for reminding me about Jane Austen - I've been reading more lately, but just whatever I find laying around. My husband asked me what I really wanted to read and I answered "a chick-flick in a book, whatever you would call that." But Jane Austen? Perfect! And by the way, I would TOTALLY read a Jane Austen vampire novel!

  2. I'm glad y'all had fun at the zoo. We have an awesome zoo here in town, and why I haven't gotten us a membership I don't know. Must rectify.

    I only recently discovered Jane Austen, myself. I was pleasantly surprised at how our church service prepared me for understanding the language. (We use the 1662 Book of Common Prayer for the Reformed Episcopal Church.)

  3. Hi
    Glad you are having such a good week. Thanks for the tip in #5, I recently saw "The Jane Austen Book
    Club" and based on their protrayal of that book was going to pick it up, maybe I will watch the movie first.

    BTW my favorite nap is also curlling up with a book and drifting off.

  4. Amanda - Chick Flick in a book - perfect! That sounds exactly like Austen :)

    Rebecca - Lucky you! Discovering Jane Austen for the first time? Fun. That's cool that you've got some background in her language - I rely on skipping and guessing to get me through at times :)

    Joy - Hmmm, I think I'll need to see that movie.

  5. I'm so glad Lauren's still doing well at Kid's Day Out! What a relief! As for your talking vs. sleeping theory, all I can say is that I have a four-year-old chatterbox who hates any form of sleep. That's proof enough for me...but I'll let you know what happens if she ever loses her voice.

    That's a great tip about Jane Austen. I haven't seen the movie yet, so I'll put it on my list.

    As for the bake sale, I say stick to the classics: make brownies.

    Can't wait for you GIANT zoo post. Enjoy the weekend!

  6. If you want a nice compromise between something that will sell at the bake sale and something that you can find time for, make chocolate chip cookies. Involve the kids.

    Better make a double batch if you want enough for the bake sale.

  7. I'm glad there were no poopy disasters in the bath... those are crummy.

    I adore Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, but I saw Persuasion a few months ago and loved it a lot.

    Have I blogged about these ( before? They are divinely delicious and super easy to make.

  8. "errant toot" had me rolling in the aisles!!

    My oldest, Cartoon Girl, stopped taking a nap by 4yo because she just couldn't stop talking or turn her brain off. I finally told her that she didn't have to go to sleep but she did have to stay in her room and amuse herself while her sister slept. Her room was a disaster but she managed just fine. And she still hasn't stopped talking and she is 22yo.

  9. When I desperately need a nap, I actually try to take one on the couch and not in my bed. I can't sleep as soundly there (especially since several of my children don't nap any more) and although I may be more grouchy when they wake me up by peeling back my eyelids, I actually feel better than when I get a really good long nap.

    For bake sales I usually bake cookies, but I think everyone else does too. So those do not seem to sell out first. However, that's about all I buy from bake sales. I'm too cheap to pay the kinds of prices that are set for whole cakes and pies.

  10. Emily - See? You're helping me prove my iffy theory :)

    NCSue - That's a good idea - getting Mia to help bake something will make it super fun. And will necessitate the double batch!

    Lenae - Mansfield Park is my hubby's favorite, (which he'll deny up one side and down another while he storms off to watch Smallville...)and I love it too. The ending is wonderful - so playful and happy. I'll have to look into your recipe - I think I remember you posting about it awhile back.

    Debbie - You're telling me Mia will be this talkative FOREVER? I'm in for it :)

    Jordana - Yes! The couch is usually where I choose to 'rest my eyes', and this week I snuggled up in bed. Maybe that was the real problem. My body assumed it was deep sleep time, and when it woke unexpectedly - bad news. Couch it is. And our bake sales are always just for whatever price a person chooses to donate. So I could bake a cake and it may sell for $3 or $20 - I don't know if that makes me more or less likely to make a large item...

  11. Mmmm... bake sales... my favourite! I'd recommend Bakerella's blog for inspiration, particularly these: OR these:

    For bake sales, I always go the "easy-yet-impressive" route.

  12. This is the first time I have read your blog and I really enjoyed it!! I think I will read again!!!

  13. It may be too late for your bake sale this weekend, but I've heard good reviews of ice cream cone cupcakes. Basically, you put cake batter in ice cream cones and bake them, then frost them so they look like ice cream cones. They have visual appeal and are inexpensive to sell individually so people will impulse-buy them.

  14. I have a REALLY hard time waking up from daytime naps too. I am just generally a cranky sleeper though -- always a little grumpy when I first wake up, unfortunately :)

    Glad you enjoyed your "staycation" -- sounds like fun!

  15. If vampire novels were more popular around the time of Jane Austen, I think she would have written one. It would be satirical, though; she did write a Gothic, after all (and what is a vampire novel but a specific kind of gothic?), but it wound up as a sort of play on the genre.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?