Tuesday, July 29, 2008


A week ago, I wrote about the differences between my kids based on their ages. In truth, there are actually a lot of similarities between my kids, both at their ages and with the way Melkamu acts now compared to how Patrick acted at the same age. I give you the comparison:

Patrick, age 1, mopping the floor

Melkamu, age 1, mopping the floor

Patrick, age 1, climbing on Caesar

Melkamu, age 1, climbing on Caesar

Patrick, age 1, getting a haircut

Melkamu, age 1, getting a haircut

Patrick, age, 1, at the zoo

Melkamu, age 1, at the zoo

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Book meme

I stole this from another website and am picking it up as my own, since I'm curious to see how many I've actually read. The average American has read only SIX of these books! I've bolded the books that I've read all the way through and italicized the ones that I'd like to read. There is a * next to my favorites.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling*********** (can I add any more stars--I love this series)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (I've read a lot of Shakespeare, but I'm sure I've missed quite a bit as well!)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger * (one of my all-time favorites)
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (Will I be arrested, living in Atlanta and not having read this yet?)
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (does seeing the movie count?)
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden *
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White* (currently reading this one to Patrick)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl *
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (I read the complete unabridged version around age 14--it is ridiculously long)

Which books are your favorite (on the list or not)? What do I absolutely need to read? What should I skip?

I am tagging Virginia, Heather (because you need something else to do before Mallory gets here ;-) ), Lisa, Rachel, and anyone else who would like to do it!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Four and one

There are so many differences between a four year old and a one year old. Patrick, for example, has 20 teeth. Melkamu has 6--and this represents a 50% improvement over the number with which he came home! Patrick loves to run and jump. Melkamu desperately wants to run and jump, but hasn't learned how to do so yet. Patrick is learning to read. Melkamu is learning to speak.

And then there are mealtimes. Witness:

A 4-year-old after eating a bowl of yogurt

A 1-year-old after eating an identical bowl of yogurt across the table

They do like to do things together, thankfully. They play and chase each other, wrestle and laugh. In some ways, 4 and 1 are not very different.

Apparently, 4 and 50+ are not very different either, as Patrick and Grandpa G demonstrate their Hawaiian shirt-wearing skills.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The wedding!

My sister is a married woman now! This is the pillow I made for their rings. The quote says "Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts." Siobhan is a big Shakespeare buff and I wanted to find the right quote to add to the pillow.

The wedding was wonderful. It was perfect weather. Siobhan looked gorgeous, Aaron looked very handsome, and they looked at each other with the kind of love that will last forever.
Siobhan in her "Bride-to-Be" sash and Melkamu at the rehearsal dinner/bowling party!
Right before the mikvah along the banks of the Hudson River!

Getting hair done at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning (with coffee provided by the wonderful matron-of-honor, of course).

Patrick, Mom, Siobhan, and I rode in the limo to Innisfree Gardens, where the wedding was held. Doesn't the bride look perfect?!

Three very handsome men before the wedding: Jason, Aaron, and Patrick.

Oh look, I found another one! Doesn't he look proud of himself in his little polo shirt?

This is Siobhan and Aaron taking pictures before the wedding. What a beautiful place for a wedding!

Ketubah signing, with Rabbi Neil Levinger.

The chuppah, which my mom brought back from Russia.

Dad walking the bride down the aisle. Mom's on the other side of her.

The happy newlyweds!

Me and cousin Taryn--I have an identical picture of the two of us at my wedding! (And no, we didn't match dresses on purpose.)

We had such a great time at the wedding!
Dad and Aunt Joyce acting...well, normal for them. I wonder if the Board of Directors at Dad's library knows what he does when he's not at work?
Dancing fools!
We wore out Kamu--he fell asleep on Jason's shoulder and stayed asleep for a good 20 minutes after being transferred to chairs during dessert. The cupcakes were delicious!
It was a wonderful, wonderful wedding and now the newlyweds are back to work and play in Albany. If they would only move down here to Atlanta, all would be great!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A post to tide you over

'Cause we're leaving to go to NY for my sister's wedding! We leave in 6 1/2 hours and I haven't even finished packing. Not even close to finished. It's a little scary.

So I'm going to go pack while this lovely little video of the boys wrestling uploads. There is a lot of giggling involved, and the only reason I'm not in the thick of it (read: at the bottom of the pile with 65 lbs of kids on top of me) is that I'm holding the camera.

When I get back, wedding pics!