Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hubby's Birthday Party

Yesterday was hubby's 35th birthday and we celebrated with food, drink and good friends. We had a great time and the only blunder, really, was when Hubby and I realized that we were both too intoxicated to grill the fun!!

Some shots of the party fun:

Crowd shot.

Some of "the guys"

That's my best number one right there in the middle

My friend Jeremy and me

Shout out to the ladies!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Have I mentioned that I am a voracious reader? I average three to four books a month. Most of them novels. This month I read two of my favorite novels to date: Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver; and A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini.

Although I've tried to read Kingsolver novels before, I've never really been able to get into them. Prodigal Summer, however, proved to be the one that hooked me in. Now that I have a better understanding of her writing, I think I will try to read some of her other works.

Prodigal Summer follows the lives of disconnected people living in Zebulon Valley in Virginia--a fictional place as far as I can tell--and entangles them each with one another in very interesting ways.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is the story of three generations of Afghani women from the 1950s through the turn of the century. It is a story filled with grief and heartache with tiny rays of sunshine and joy. I finished this book this morning, tears streaming down my face. If you've ever wondered what it's really like for not only women in Afghanistan, but people in general, this book will give you a perspective that is wholly heart-wrenching and utterly real. The only part I will give away is this:

The Taliban has taken over and women are no longer allowed to work or go outside by themselves. There are separate hospitals for women and men in Kabul--the men have several hospitals, the women only have one. One of the heroines is ready to have a baby and is sent to the women's hospital where there is no clean water or supplies. The character in the story then undergoes a cesarean section without anesthetic.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Babysitting and Birds & Bees

I've been babysitting two gorgeous little girls for the last month and a half or so. They're 2 and 4 year old sisters, kids of a couple of friends of mine. Every Monday, Thursday and Friday they show up here with smiles on their faces and hang out for four hours. It's fun. Last week we did finger painting, which turned into feet painting and a trip to the bathtub. Today I think we're going to make collages. I have a whole bunch of old National Geographic and Rolling Stone magazines. I wanted to collect them but hubby is getting irritated with the boxes of magazines and wants them gone. So I figured a good way to do it would be to make collages!

My almost-11-year-old daughter has entered the second Tanner stage. My mom and I had an arguement about menarche last weekend when we were visiting. She was trying to convince me that menarche would occur within six months now that thelarche is evident, but I tried to gently explain to her that there generally was a 1--3 year interim between the two and it wasn't likely that we would see menarche for another year at least.

So she decided to bet me that menarche would occur before this coming January. She's going to lose $50 and then hubby and I will go out to dinner!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

New Challenges, Old People

My grandmother is in the beginning stages of dementia. We thought it was alzheimer's for a time but we've known for a while that it's actually dementia.

So, I haven't been a very good grand daughter. I've rarely been to visit her in the last several years unless some other family member is there, and so, even though I live across town from her, she doesn't even know me or my children half the time because we never go over there.

My aunt and uncle (the same ones who adopted my son) have been taking care of all of her business--everything legal and/or medical for a long time now. They go over to her house every day to make sure she takes her pills and to visit with her for a little while. Then she usually goes over to the senior center and does volunteer work and plays cards.

This week my aunt and uncle are gone until Sunday and I have taken on the responsibility of making sure grandma gets her pills and some family visit time every day. Yesterday was the first time I was over there without other family members in a long time. It was an interesting experience. I could sense that every other time she looked at me she couldn't really figure out who I was. Then we would chat for a bit and talk with the kids. And every few moments she would realize that I was there to "babysit" her and she would tell me that she's too old for a babysitter and she doesn't understand why everyone makes such a fuss. I just replied that we love her and want to make sure that she gets her pills so she stays well. Her mood is pretty variable. I'm just not sure if she'll be in good humor or feeling grumpy.

My grandma is very independent. She always has been. She walks every day and has since I was old enough to remember. My grandpa died in October of 2003--almost four years ago--and grandma seems to have really gone downhill from there. But she still walks every day and gets out of the house. She sure is stubborn!

I sure love her and am glad to have this excuse to visit her regularly again.