Friday, 12 April 2013

7 Quick Takes: the probably completely random edition

(Well, hosted this week at Camp Patton, for reasons described below.)


Firstly, it's been quite a month for babies in the blogworld I inhabit.

First Brianna Heldt took a bunch of her eldest kids to watch her have baby Alice Therese in the hospital.

Then after a week of baby trying to come, our own Josephine Alice arrived (can I just say, Brianna, we've had the middle name Alice, after HRH Alice Cooper, picked out for a good long while, so not copying!) and is now 2 and a half weeks old:

Baby Josephine with 2nd & 3rdSister

Josephine kind of pushed in at 38 weeks gestation and pinched Hallie Lord's son Charlie's spot - he was overdue and driving her crazy and now he's a week old can you believe it? And THOSE CHEEKS!!!

Finally, last but certainly not least, Jennifer Fulwiler's baby Joseph arrived with a delivery which sounded scary in itself and after the birth resulted in Jen being in one hospital intensive care unit and her baby in another. Learning of this, with my post-pregnancy hormones and my own new little girl sharing the same saint name as Joseph, I burst into floods of tears. I cannot imagine what Jen and her family were/are going through. Prayers, people!


And - breathe.

As the 3Sisters have had over two weeks holiday from school and pre-school for the Easter break, and my husband has been on paternity leave, we've all had chance to get to know the baby and pitch in together helping out. With other kids to look after, fights to break up, groceries to buy, meals to cook, lots of laundry to do, visitors to host and so on it's not really been a traditional babymoon, but I'm sad in a way that it's ending. It will be good for all of us to get back into a routine, and I need to do more for myself, but being in a little happy but very sleep-deprived bubble has been kind of nice. I love my family and our family time.


Our priest, Kathryn, came to visit baby Josephine last week bearing an orchid, a baby blanket and sweets for the Sisters, and to say prayers of thanksgiving for the new baby & our family which was great in itself! What was even better, especially given my hankering after more family time, was that we discussed my return to my ministerial and other responsibilities and agreed that I remain on maternity leave until September. Whereas with 3rdSister, I continued my study, training and voluntary work without hardly taking a breath, toting her to study sessions in the car-seat and writing assignments during her afternoon nap, things seem to have shifted now and as a family we feel we'd benefit from that extra time. So until 3rdSister is in pre-school 2 and a half days a week, and 4thSister tries out a little daycare, I'm going to be doing full-time parenting, and some extra-curricular reading and writing, with no pressure. (Apart from any work I do for our family's software company, of course, from which I'm technically on maternity leave until December....)


After reading & reviewing Karen Le Billon's French Kids Eat Everything, and managing to throw together some words of Sarah Reinhard's Catholic Mother's Companion to Pregnancy, I decided to persevere with non-fiction reading (which I don't tend to like to do for pleasure!) and try and produce some reviews. This is my first lot to plough through:

You can't see brilliantly from the photo, but there are two relationship/marriage guidance books there,  plus 'Desperate: Hope for the Mom who Needs to Breathe' by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson, 'Quiet' by Susan Cain which appeals to the introvert within, and 'Style, Sex and Substance' which I have been waiting to read for ever, and finally purchased, given that I hardly went out and spent any money during late pregnancy so can splurge now!


I also read 'Gone Girl' after Elizabeth Esther put something on Facebook about it, and perhaps I don't like reading fiction anymore, either, but I just found its presentation of humanity as too dark and nasty. I enjoyed what the author did plotwise, and using the character's different viewpoints to confound the reader, but the subject matter was just awful and I would not recommend another to read it, despite its bestseller status.


I DID thoroughly enjoy Rachael Lucas' 'Sealed with a Kiss', a sort of romantic comedy of errors set on the beautiful Scottish island of Bute, which shot up the Amazon download charts last week. I'd had this on my Kindle the minute it was released, having followed Rachael on Twitter since we both commented on a storyline on The Archers (a BBC radio soap opera on farming we have in the UK, which doesn't explain it well for overseas readers and will be reductionist for those of you in the UK!) way back when. So I was very happy for her success, glad I'd got in first before it became an overnight sensation and loved reading the novel on my Kindle during nightfeeds! It's currently at a very low price and very much worth a download!


Finally, another thing that has kept me going through nightfeeds this past week has been the run up to the Broadway opening of Matilda the Musical. Our family is obsessed with this show - I took 1st and 2ndSister to see it in London last year - and I've been wondering how it will be received in the US. The build-up on Facebook & Twitter has been quite exciting, so interspersed with checking in on how the new babies in Take 1 are doing, my smartphone's been in high demand in the wee hours. The reviews are now in, and it seems that US critics think exactly the same as UK ones - this is a very special, amazing, family musical. All that remains now is families to flock there in droves to make it as much a success as it's been in London. I highly recommend it!

* with thanks to Grace at Camp Patton for hosting this week - head over there now and read a whole load of other Quick Takes!

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