Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 Books

Without further (or, really, any) ado, here's what I read last year. As usual, the goal was 50 books, and, no, I didn't include all the Elephant and Piggie and Pinkalicious books I read in order to pad the total! The only re-read on the list is The Reader.

1. Indignation - Philip Roth
2. Unaccustomed Earth - Jhumpa Lahiri
3. Ghost Story - Peter Straub
4. The House on Fortune Street - Margot Livesey
5. Dear American Airlines - Jonathan Miles
6. Therese Raquin - Emile Zola
7. Love the One You're With - Emily Giffin
8. Friends, Lovers, Chocolate - Alexander McCall Smith
9. The Right Attitude to Rain - Alexander McCall Smith
10. Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout
11. Last Night at the Lobster - Stewart O'Nan
12. The Reader - Bernhard Schlink
13. The Book of Dahlia - Elisa Albert
14. American Wife - Curtis Sittenfeld
15. Testimony - Anita Shreve
16. Broken for You - Stephanie Kallos
17. Amy and Isabelle - Elizabeth Strout
18. Yesterday's Weather - Anne Enright
19. Abide with Me - Elizabeth Strout
20. December - Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop
21. Snow Angels - Stewart O'Nan
22. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World - Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
23. Sing Them Home - Stephanie Kallos
24. Homeword - Margot Livesey
25. Criminals - Margot Livesey
26. The Missing World - Margot Livesey
27. Eva Moves the Furniture - Margot Livesey
28. Banishing Verona - Margot Livesey
29. Honeymoon with My Brother: A Memoir - Franz Wisner
30. The Hour I First Believed - Wally Lamb
31. A Mercy - Toni Morrison
32. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
33. Friday Night Knitting Club - Kate Jacobs
34. Certain Girls: A Novel - Jennifer Weiner
35. 2666 - Roberto Bolano
36. Busy Woman Seeks Wife - Annie Sanders
37. Crazy Love - Leslie Morgan Steiner
38. Fool - Christopher Moore
39. It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita - Heather Armstrong
40. The Careful Use of Compliments - Alexander McCall Smith
41. 44 Scotland Street - Alexander McCall Smith
42. Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese
43. Crossing to Safety - Wallace Stegner
44. Espresso Tales - Alexander McCall Smith
45. In the Kitchen - Monica Ali
46. The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday - Alexander McCall Smith
47. How Tough Could It Be? The Trials and Errors of a Sportswriter Turned Stay-at-Home Dad - Austin Murphy
48. When You Are Engulfed in Flames - David Sedaris
49. I See You Everywhere - Julia Glass
50. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
51. Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale or How I Learned about Love and Life and a Blind Wonder Cat - Gwen Cooper
52. You Can't Say You Can't Play - Vivian Paley
53. Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace - Ayelet Waldman
54. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - Kate DiCamillo
55. That Old Cape Magic - Richard Russo
56. Year of the Flodd - Margaret Atwood
57. Sag Harbor: A Novel - Colson Whitehead
58. Bridge of Sighs - Richard Russo
59. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane - Katherine Howe
60. The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein
61. Songs without Words - Ann Packer
62. The English American - Alison Larkin
63. Best Friends Forever - Jennifer Weiner

Monday, December 7, 2009

Persistent Princess

Anna, while enjoying dress-ups, has never been obsessed with being in costume. She adopts an identity ("I'm the baby arctic fox, and you're the mama arctic fox!"), but she doesn't feel the need to dress the part. Tessa, on the other hand, has become positively obsessed with dress-ups since Halloween. For those of you who haven't seen the gorgeous wonder that was Tessa on Halloween, here you go:

I mean, come on - cute! I know I'm a biased mommy, but that's one adorable Cinderella. Since Halloween, that costume, which I knew would take up residence in the dress-ups box, has been worn more times than my cost-per-wear analysis could possibly have dreamed of and has gone through the wash close to half a dozen times. It's held up remarkably (Disney Store, here's your plug). Ditto for Anna's Minnie Mouse costume, which Tessa has also appropriated. And last year's Tinkerbell costume, although that one doesn't have the princess skirt appeal of the other two, apparently, as it's not getting the same air time.

She's wearing these to bed. To school. To birthday parties (lest anyone forget who the *real* star of the day might be!). And, while at first we thought ???, we have since adopted the mantra that this is not a battle we're willing to fight. As long as she's dressed appropriately for the weather under the costume, and as long as she ends up with shoes and a coat, where's the harm? It's adorable at 2 years 9 months of age. As long as it's gone by 24 or so, she should be fine, right?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


On the way home one night last week, I explained to the girls that Eric and I were going to go out on Saturday night to celebrate our anniversary and that they would get to stay home and play with a friend of ours.

Anna liked that the word has her name sound at the beginning of it, and she wanted to know what it was. I told them that an anniversary is like a birthday, but not for a person - a birthday for something else special that happened - and that this anniversary was for when Eric and I got married.

They absorbed this, and then Tessa proclaimed, "No! It's a Tessaversary."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Well, it kind of makes sense...

Tessa has taken to referring to passing gas as "belly burps." It's nice to see her creativity emerging in such a...descriptive fashion.

Friday, July 31, 2009


First, as in five months since I've written any here. Second, as in the funny ones the kiddos have been saying as their vocabularies develop. I need to record these for posterity and before the soundtrack goes out of my head. Many have now been defeated in favor of the correct pronunciations. I'm actually kind of sad about that.

Here goes - Anna's list is shorter than Tessa's, for perhaps obvious reasons!

Anna's Constructions
beeber = beaver (thank the Littlest Pet Shop collection for even needing to know this one)
drunk store = drug store (upon seeing a CVS: "Mama! It's the drunk store!")

Tessa's Constructions
meenas = bananas
culluh = color (she sounded like something out of Gone With the Wind on that one)
banewns = balloons
cocadots = polka dots
foooon = spoon
eesheeeyah! = there it is!
choo choo pain = choo choo train

Never a dull moment in our family conversations.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Something like this...

Anna meandered into our room, half-asleep, at some point overnight, and we pulled her in to zonk out with us. This happens with some frequency. I can't say that I really mind, since I don't get to see her during the day. Some snuggle time is just fine, and it's not out of hand as she usually burrows in and is sound asleep from about the time her head hits the pillow.

Last night, though, we had the added bonus of Tessa, who woke up at around 4:15 or so and wasn't having any suggestion of going back to sleep. With all of us piled in, little arms and legs and stuffed beasties flying everywhere, and me half-asleep (maybe not quite half), I was struck with an image I hadn't thought of in years. What I wouldn't have given for nine feet high and six feet wide...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Look Who's Two!

Happy Birthday, Tessa!