Friday, February 27, 2009

Book Review #4, #5

I do recommend Sarah's Key, by Tatiana De Rosnay.

I am definitely not a history buff, so maybe it's no surprise that I had never heard of the Vel'd'Hiv roundup. July 1942, Paris, France: French police gathered thousands of Jews, including 4,000 children, and locked them all in the Vel'd'Hiv stadium, previously used for bike racing. The days they spent in that stadium were horrific: people committed suicide, had babies, starved, etc.

This book tells the story of Sarah, a 10-year-old girl who was part of that round-up. When she and her parents were arrested, she left her little brother in their apartment, locked inside of a cupboard so he would be safe. Sarah didn't know that after their trip to the Vel'd'Hiv stadium, she and the other Jews would be taken to a camp, brutally separated from their family members, and then shipped to Auschwitz. (The part where they force the mothers to leave their children, even babies and toddlers, was the most horrible for me. To imagine my babies wandering around without anyone they know, hungry and dirty...) Sarah manages to escape and is determined to go find her little brother.

The story alternates between Sarah's story in 1942 and Julia's story in 2002. Julia is an American journalist researching the Vel'd'Hiv' roundup in Paris. She discovers Sarah's story and finds some intriguing connections between her own family and Sarah's. I was fascinated by the events that occurred in 1942 and Sarah's story. One review on the back of the book says, "It will make you cry--and remember," and that was definitely true for me! However, I was disappointed when, about 2/3 of the way through the book, the author shifted to tell more of Julia's story instead of Sarah's. It seemed more like a romance novel at the end than historical fiction. But I still definitely recommend this book!

I don't recommend The Virgin of Small Plains, by Nancy Pickard. It was actually a really enticing mystery novel: it begins with the discovery of a young girl's body and then slowly reveals more and more details about who she was and how she died...the whole time I was guessing and deliberating about what might have happened.

But, it was one of those books where you finish it and go, "Was it really worth my time to read that?? Was it worth letting Carson discover each item in my make-up bag and destroy the eye-shadow so I could keep reading? Was it worth staying up late to read and then falling asleep on the playroom floor the next day until Carson bit me to wake me up?" For me, the answer was NO. (Sort of like Twilight.)

If you love a good mystery/romance, read it, but I didn't love it!

Monday, February 23, 2009

a typical conversation with Carson

Carson's current vocabulary consists of words like ball, key, bird, day (pointing to the window...he wants me to open the blinds so he can see the new day), hi, bye, amen (after and sometimes during prayers), car, duck, bread, etc.

It's difficult to be much of a conversationalist using only nouns and greetings.

So, here's a typical conversation in our little world:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

smart pooper.

(He rarely lets go of my keys. I lose them a lot less now that he keeps track of them.)

Good thing he's so cute.

'Cause he pooped on the kitchen floor today.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

To P-A-G-E

For my debut in the blogging world I would like to pay tribute to my wonderful wife Page. On our nation's sappiest holiday I will try and stay away from the sap and stick to what makes Page a great wife.

P- is for Permission to live my dreams. In fall 2007 when we were given the opportunity to go to Cambodia I thought Page would say of course we can't take a 5 month old to Cambodia for the summer. I was blown away when she said yes. We survived the crazy traffic, malevolent mosquitoes, and Page and Carson learned that Uncle Ben's isn't even real rice. (One day we will go to Chile)

A- is for Acquiescent (I hope this word has good connotations). The first time I first laid eyes on Page she was basking in a beam of sunlight studying in the Eyring science center at BYU. Ok, it might not have been that magical at first, but over the next month I came to school every morning to see her in the same spot studying away. We studied together every day, and I quickly realized she was a smart cookie. I have never met someone who studies as hard as she does. After physics and two semesters of Organic Chemistry I scored higher than her on just one test. She would have been a shoe-in for the medical school of her choice. Yet, she has made the sacrifice to let me go to school while she uses her brains to raise our wonderful children.

You can tell I look a little tired in this picture. She always helps me do better than my best.

G- is for Genius. Page has an exceptional natural capacity of intellect, especially as shown in creative and original work ( Since we have been married I have been amazed by Page's ability to take a few pieces of paper, a glue stick, and scissors and create things that have beautified our home. Her creative work never fails to bring out oohs and ahhs from our visitors.

E- is for Eatery. Page has devoted a part of her life to keeping Carson and I alive (I am glad he survived the okra) and healthy. Most mornings of the week I can get up, start studying and have eggs, toast, cereal, and fruit before I am off to school. While I am eating my breakfast, Page prepares my lunch which is usually the delicious leftovers we had from the night before. If it weren't for page's culinary skill I would be Raman man like many of my other medical school colleagues.

I hope that one day I can do as much for her as she does for me. I love you Page.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Frosty's Demise

We've had some near record-high temperatures here the last few days, and poor Frosty hasn't fared so well. The day after his life initiated, he started to lean a little to the right:
And then he leaned a little more:

And then Frosty showed us just how flexible he could be. Can anyone else lean all the way over with their head just inches from the ground?

Then poor Frosty surrendered to the 70 degree weather. Now he's just a pile of leaves.

We, however, have welcomed the spring-like weather with open arms. Yay for daily family walks, playing ball in the backyard, and our (super expensive) heater being turned off for a week now.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

All in a day's work.

He's had a busy day.
Walking around in costume, making sure to press the button on his belt every few seconds so we can hear Bob the Builder's theme song.

Ok, no more hat.

Diving into the dryer to retrieve lost socks.
Oops, forgot some snaps.

Emptying the bottom shelf.
Thanks, I needed to clean that anyway.

Making sure to get every last crumb out.
Brushing mom's teeth.
Almost locking the bathroom door.
Airing out.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

the 6 steps to creating the perfect snowman

It never snows in North Carolina.

...until tonight!! Surprise!!

Rick came home just in time to play. We let the dinner sit on the table and get cold while we seized the snow. Carson could not stop looking up at the sky.

Carson and I chased each other around...

...and then I caught him!

And now, for the 6 steps to creating the perfect snowman:

Monday, February 2, 2009

today's to-do's

Carson's response to "where is it???"
  • vacuum entire house (check.)
  • laundry (in the dryer.)
  • get an oil change (dreading.)
  • call maintenance to fix our dishwasher (check... PLEEEEASE come soon!)
  • groceries (Harris Teeter sales or Aldi? TBD.)
  • finish organizing all the boys' clothing (almost done.)
  • go walking/jogging (perhaps lumbering would be a better word in my case.)
  • locate the LOST bin of NEWBORN clothing (AHHHHH!! Seems impossible, but hopefully it pops up...either that or this baby better be born fitting into the 3 month size.)
  • play with Carson (easy!)