7 Quick Takes Friday!

Yay! I haven’t joined Jen for quick takes in several weeks, and when I realized this morning that it’s Friday I did an embarrassing little shuffle-dance over to the computer to whip up some quick takes. Of course, that was half an hour ago, because as soon as my rear hit the chair Sienna decided she wanted to paint so I had to get out her paints, find a paintbrush, set up her paper and get her a glass of water to rinse her paintbrush with. Then I had to search for something for Charlotte to do, since painting is not yet in the realm of things Charlotte can do unsupervised. I decided on nesting blocks, which she promptly ignored in favor of pulling all my pots and pans out of the one cabinet she can get into. I figure the mess is worth the fifteen minutes of relative peace (although certainly not with a side of quiet) that it will buy. Here we go!

Liam Xavier Bede
Don’t let that innocent face fool you
had a massive diaper blowout on the plane trip back. Two of them, in fact. It was the most awkward plane experience I have ever had, up to and including the time I was nursing Charlotte and accidentally sprayed breast milk all over the man sitting next to me.
At one point, a very kind flight attendant ventured over to help after the Ogre had begged a few trash bags off him. He began his sentence before he quite reached us, and the sentence went something like this:
“Can I get you some water to help clea….”
I can only assume that he meant to say “clean up,” but those words were lost when his face transformed from a friendly smile into The Horror Face.
 It took about thirty wipes to deal with each diaper blowout, since he somehow managed to get poop all the way up to the folds of his neck. And believe me, those folds are numerous. Luckily, I had enough wipes. Unluckily, I didn’t have the foresight to pack a change of clothes.
My Sister-in-Law
is a fantastic photographer. While we were in Texas, she was kind enough to take some family pictures of us and a few of the kids individually. She took that cute picture of Liam in the hat up above, and she took this one of the girls:
This picture cracks me up. Sienna has this slightly creepy trying-to-look angelic smile on her face as she hold Charlotte in an iron grip, and Charlotte has the same look she always has on her face (the one she was born with, that was apparently taken straight from her father’s DNA and imprinted all over her own) as she tries to wiggle free of Sienna’s grip. It cracks me up because I know exactly what will happen two seconds after this picture is taken: Charlotte will scream “No!”, twist free of Sienna’s grip, smack Sienna on the forehead and run away while Sienna yells “Mom! Charlotte hit me!” and fake-sniffles while putting on an expression appropriate to a martyr.
Emily also snapped this picture of all of us, the first family picture we’ve had since Liam’s birth:
I love this picture for several reasons. First, I’m sitting down and mostly behind Sienna so you can’t really tell that the baby weight from Liam has found a permanent home on my mid-section. Second, the Ogre is actually smiling. It’s practically miraculous to find a picture of the Ogre after the age of about nine in which he’s smiling, so this one thrills me. Third, and really the reason I love it the most, is because you can tell exactly which children take after which parents in this picture. Sienna and I are sitting together with the same cheery smile on our faces, and the Ogre and Charlotte are sitting together with the same pained smile on their faces. And then there’s Liam in the middle, who is a baby and so far acts like a baby, albeit a much more cheerful baby than Charlotte was. I have a feeling he’ll be on Team Happy in the future.
My Vegetarian Friend
is in town and coming over for dinner tonight. Much to my surprise, I’ve found that I’m actually looking forward to making a vegetarian meal. The idea of having to cook something company-worthy and substantial without meat in it has forced me to consider making things I’d never have considered if I could have just planned the meal around which type of meat I would be serving. I’ve decided on Smitten Kitchen’s mushroom lasagna with an an apple, endive and butter lettuce salad.
I’m really looking forward to it. The lasagna looks divine. The Ogre, being the carnivore he is, is slightly annoyed and has insisted on picking up a few sausages to go along with dinner. I’ve learned not to fight him on the meat thing. Meat, to him, is like cheese to me: without it, life would be colorless and dull. And less fattening, but we try to ignore that part.
I Seriously Love Cheese

Doesn’t that look glorious? Yum. While we were in Texas we had an amazing dinner with my aunt and uncle. My aunt put out Brie with fig jam on top for an appetizer and I think I ate 90% of it. It was one of those appetizers where politely waiting one’s turn was not an option.

She also made this crawfish soup which was way too spicy for me, but that I devoured anyway. Usually when foods are very spicy all I can taste is the spice, but this soup had delicious flavor with the spice. I’m not sure how she did it, but it was fabulous.

But back to cheese. What’s your favorite type of cheese? Mine is goat cheese eaten in combination with other things but either Stilton or aged raw cheddar if I’m eating it alone. Tell me what your favorite is! I love trying new cheeses. (But please don’t tell me if you either can’t eat or don’t like to eat cheese. Then I will just cry for you.)

Speaking of Terribly Sad Things

The following story is almost as sad as the time we signed Sienna up for ballet, and the first day of class (actually, the five minutes before class even started) resulted in a split lip, bloody tights, and a traumatized Mommy who may or may not have overreacted just a little and called the ambulance.

My husband bought me Connie Willis’s Blackout and All Clear for Christmas. I finished Blackout on the plane and packed All Clear in an easily accessible place in one of the suitcases so I could pull it out as soon as we got home.

Which I fully intended to do. Not twenty minutes after we arrived back at our wonderful little apartment, I opened up said suitcase and began digging for the book. It took about thirty seconds for me to realize that I actually shouldn’t be digging for it, since I placed it right on top. Then, to my horror, I remembered the Ogre and my father re-packing the suitcases to make weight, and setting aside a few things for my parents to ship to us…a few things like books. So now I have to wait for my parents to ship the boxes of books that we left there, which is horrible, because the two are actually one book published in two parts and Blackout ends in a totally unsatisfactory and painful cliffhanger.

I’m in pain. Not since Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ended have I longed for a book so desperately.

These Books

are set during the London Blitz. I’ve begun to realize how woefully incomplete my knowledge of history really is while reading these books. I sort of knew about the Blitz, but it was an abstract thing. I had no idea how long it went on or how incredibly brave the people of London were during the bombings. I’m also beginning to be a little ashamed of my understanding of World War II. I always knew that the British people had stood up to Hitler but I also always assumed that it was a paltry effort that would have been for naught if it weren’t for America. Now I’m realizing that England’s effort was absolutely heroic, and that our country really should have been ashamed of itself for waiting until we were dragged into the war before we helped our age-old allies.

I’m really interested, now, in learning more about history, but I’d rather not just sit down and read a textbook. Any suggestions? I’ll read historical fiction, but only if it’s well-researched, and I’ll read historical non-fiction, but only if it’s not in a school textbook. I’d love to hear from you guys on this, since I’ve never really delved into history before and have no idea what I’m doing.


With That Being Said

history that’s being made right now is starting to annoy me. Lebanon, it seems, is on the verge of collapse. Again. I’m not really sure why this is earth-shattering news since the Lebanese government seems like a scratched CD that keeps repeating the phrase “about to collapse”, but apparently it is.

I know that it’s earth-shattering news because my stats have gone through the roof. I was absolutely baffled the day before yesterday when I had nearly 700 visitors. I’m big time now! I thought to myself. They like me! They really like me!

Then I figured that I should probably do a little digging to figure out where all these visitors had come from. Previous experience has proven that a huge leap in numbers is usually a result of a notable blogger posting a link to my page, so I assumed that the same sort of thing had occurred. I dug around in my stat counter until I reached the “Came From” page, where I found that all these people had come from a Google search for…Lebanon.


So I searched for Lebanon myself, and there in the images, right in the first three search results, is a picture from my blog of Miss Lebanon 2010. It’s from this entry in which I relate my grandmother’s wisdom, and is only tangentially related to anything Lebanese. Why Google decided that my blog is an appropriate search result for Lebanon is beyond me, but I hope that this non-situation dies out quickly in the public interest because I would like my stats to come back down to a more reasonable number, a number that represents my wonderful readers who actually read my blog and not random searches for Lebanon.

Does anyone else read their keyword analyses? Among the many Lebanon entries were two that really freaked me out. The first was “hot mature ladies walking with there husband she barefoot” and the second was “how to poop when pregnant.”

Who are these people? What kind of search is that? Google, it seems, has a seedy underbelly in which weirdos search for things like “spy on sleeping pregnant wife” (another real search that landed the unsuspecting creepo squarely on my non-creepy site).

I hope that Simcha does another issue of her search terms poetry, because although mine would be almost entirely composed of the word “lebanon” (which apparently no one capitalizes), I now have some other good things to throw in. Please, Simcha?

Go see Jen for more quick takes, and Happy Friday!

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