Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Eight Books of July

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Let's do July books real fast before September gets here...

The Sweet Life in Paris was a daily deal on the Kindle that had been on my list of books I wanted to read. I loved his stories about life in France - he knew he was becoming a Parisian when he realized you must dress up to take out the trash. I flagged a few of the recipes as I read, but I'm not sure I'll ever remember to make some of them. (That's a major drawback to books on the Kindle.) Mom and I went to many of the places he describes on our trip back in 2012, and it brought back great memories of that trip!

The Perfume Collector was the July book club book and a good solid story with a little bit of mystery. I don't wear perfume so it was a little difficult to imagine the importance of these great scents, but I'm always down with stories set in Paris. That's why I read two this month. We had some interesting discussion around this one - it's a good book club pick.

The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing came as a recommendation from the fine folks at Rainy Day Books, and I snatched it up when I saw it as a Kindle sale. It's really neat, probably because the setting and characters were unique. It's the story of Indian immigrants living in New Mexico and Seattle with a few fantastical elements and a hefty dose of family drama. I read it quickly (and often in the middle of the night) and definitely enjoyed it.
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I committed to reading 6 (it turned out to be 7) books for the KCK literacy festival. I knocked out three more in July.

Echo was my favorite, my mom's favorite, and the favorite of my partner. It is amazing, extremely well done, and I think adults would love it too! The story follows a harmonica through three different stories, each ending with a dramatic cliffhanger. It's brilliant, and I almost enjoyed being awake in the middle of the night reading this gem!

Prisoner B-3087 is a tough read. It follows a little boy as he travels through ten concentration camps and is based on the actual experience of Jack Gruener. We're working on some lit circles for our sixth graders, and I think we will definitely include this title.

Dirty Little Secrets is the first book in a long time that I ended up having to skip forward to the end before I was finished. I couldn't figure out how the author would resolve this TERRIBLE mess the young girl is in...her mom is a terrible hoarder and she finds her DEAD in like the first 30 pages. It reads really fast, and I think it will hold the attention of our book battle competitors!
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Two other random books I read for students...

When You Reach Me is a NYC story with a fantasy element and was based a little too much on A Wrinkle in Time for me to enjoy. Sure it won the Newbury, but I don't think I would recommend it to many students.

Sunny Side Up looks like a happy go lucky graphic novel, but the cute story about a tween going to live with her grandpa in Florida for the summer actually has many layers. Adults will find the adventures in the retirement community pretty hilarious, and everyone can appreciate the way the authors tackle the tough topic of drug abuse and how it affects families. Sunny is in Florida while her parents take some time to get her older brother some support. It's well done and yet another example of a great graphic novel for tweens!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

On Being 33.

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The morning after we went to the Royals game, we went to breakfast at Room 39 with everyone before they traveled home. It was the FIRST time ALL summer that I woke Rebecca up to take her somewhere. Because she rarely slept during the day for naps, I never had to wake her up to go work out, go to Kindermusik, meet up with friends, run errands...nothing. But I did wake her up on my birthday for breakfast and dressed her in this adorable navy bubble. The bow is perfectly positioned to chew on when she feels like it.
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All the boys plus my dad and Tracy got some good Becca cuddles at breakfast. And the light outside of Room 39 is fantastic for photos. The photos I took at our 2015 mom and daughter book club there are some of my favorite.
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I would say that being 33 is no big deal. It's such an in-between age that sometimes I have to think twice to remember just how old I am. I feel old enough to be a mom, but I'm also old enough to have friends with very sick parents or kiddos. That makes me feel like a grown-up. One friend was just back in KC because her mama was really sick. And we are praying every day and rooting for Rachel and Braden because he's got a big fight ahead of him still. My husband turns 35 in October - this feels like a very big deal though I predict we celebrate it with little fanfare in typical Kip style. But as for 33, it's just in-between number that gives me a bit more credibility at work.
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And before you go, as they say, "let me take a selfie." Rebecca knows how too.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Rebecca Claire || Six Months

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Becca Bear is six months old! Let me write this like it was last week on the 17th when she was gloriously putting herself down early and only getting up once overnight. For several nights in a row, she thought sleep was cooler than her mom, and we all rejoiced. She's since changed her tune, maybe because she's still growing like a weed and popping out her two bottom teeth. Rebecca does not seem miserable, but she has needed to see me a couple extra times the last few nights. I'm trying to give her some grace because her life is certainly busy right now!

Rebecca's bedtime has gotten much closer to seven which is good because Daddy and Becca leave for school at 6:30. We'd like it even a touch earlier to get her much needed sleep overnight! She takes small naps at daycare and even for us at home. Over the weekend she slept an hour in her crib each afternoon, and I didn't even know what to do with myself. She also went down for her dad two nights last week, feeding herself a bottle downstairs before calling it a night in her crib. Kip was rightfully so proud, and it makes things like back to school night certainly easier.

We started dabbling in food in the week before she turned six months old with encouragement from our pediatrician. She's tried a variety of purees and what my friend Jennie calls "mashable solids," and avocado was her first favorite. She's getting the hang of it, and daycare joined in on the fun last week so she's getting more practice now too. We love Rebecca's teachers as they have been great supports as she's getting bigger and doing big kid things like napping in her crib at daycare, eating food and working on sitting up. Silly girl is also laying on her belly and trying to figure out what happens if she arches her back and tries to get up on her knees. Kip boldly predicted Rebecca would be crawling by the end of August, but so far she's just scooting around in circles on her tummy, not full on crawling.
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Today at her appointment, Rebecca weighed 17 lb. 8 oz.  and is 26.5" tall. She's wearing a variety of sizes so I decided to stop buying clothes for a bit longer because it's hard to keep up. Carter's 9 month fit mostly okay or great, all her Baby Gap clothes are 6-12 months, and her pants from the new Cat and Jack line from Target at size 12 months are TIGHT. I think they are supposed to be skinny leggings, but they might be a bit extreme. Thankfully I didn't pay very much for them!

Rebecca is a happy, easy going baby. We started taking her to the church nursery, and she's done fine all three weeks so far. I suspect she loves when the musicians come upstairs and sing during the service! August's temperatures have been extremely mild, so walks and eating outside have been favorite activities for all of the Lynches. Rebecca likes the jumperoo, her activity mat (laying down and sitting up at it propped with the boppy), books, baby paper, Sophie the giraffe, and one of those mom necklaces she can chew on from Nordstrom. Basically, she likes everything.

Her happy gummy (pre-teeth) smiles in these photos were because her dad walked in the room. We both call her Becca bear all the time and are trying to cook up a Halloween costume fitting of such a little doll. Miss Rebecca Claire is really a delight.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Royals Win.

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A MONTH ago, when the Royals were losing more than winning, we went to a game for my birthday. July was the worst month for a previous World Series Champion in the history of MLB, but we picked an awesome game. Dad, Tracy, Mitch, Blake and Spencer came from Indy to go to the game, and Dad had bought awesome seats a couple months ago. We sat in the front two rows right behind the visitor dugout and the media. I've sat in some good seats at the K, but these were certainly the best! We were close enough that I could yell at "Jirsch" (Jirschele) the third base coach, but I tried to restrain.
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Having a summer birthday means that outdoor celebrations are perennially at risk of being too hot. It was warm while we were at the K but not miserable, and it was pretty nice to have a night out with family. Rebecca was in the middle of a particularly rough sleep stretch with all the travel, but she stayed home with my mom and was a delight for grandma. They walked, she snoozed, and Rebecca talked to herself in the mirror, a new favorite activity.
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Spencer and Mitchell got new jerseys while we were there, and Spencer was also rocking some new KC shades. One of the teachers I work with also works at the K, and Kip and I walked over to say hello to her during one of the innings.
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Other big highlights from the evening: Meeting Kaycee, the Royals "other" mascot, appearing on Fox Sports Kansas City (probably cooler than appearing on the jumbo tron), and a crazy Royals comeback win that included a grand slam from Dyson. His first one! I have a video on my phone from the celebration after the grand slam, and it was totally awesome. We stayed pretty late because we were loving all the action, and I was so thankful to kick off the birthday celebration with family in such terrific seats!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Jewell County || Rebecca's First Threshing Bee

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I think sometime during the week leading up to the Threshing Bee I tried to tell my mom I wasn't sure we should go. I was stressed and tired between Rebecca not sleeping and trying to help Rachel as much as possible over the internet from too far away. Mom said in reply, but everyone wants to see you. I think she really meant that they wanted to see Rebecca, but I'm glad we went. It was good for all of us to get a quick break from KC and head to north central Kansas.
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Grandpa Lauren loved getting to see Rebecca and even hold her. She held his hand for a while, and we all marveled at how big his hands are in comparison to her little baby fingers. Becca wore purple to visit her great-grandpa, and it was so sweet to hear him sing her a couple songs including Home on the Range.
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Becca also got to enjoy time with her great-grandma Virginia in Superior and at the Threshing Bee. Rebecca is entering the "put everything in her mouth" stage, though she won't really commit to being a thumb sucker yet and is not interested in pacifiers at all anymore. I packed them up and put them away! Grandma loves her baby great-grandaughter and is always commenting about Rebecca's sweet dark eyes (like her daddy).
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We went to visit Grandpa in the morning and made it to town just in time for a bite to eat in the park pavilion before the tractor parade at the Threshing Bee. Next year, Rebecca will notice the tractors so much more than she did this year. But she was happy to be outside, and it wasn't too terribly hot! I'm still not sure that girl has every gotten fussy or cried while she is outside.
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No one drove the tractor in the parade this year - maybe next year! Becca played some peek-a-boo with Daddy while we visited with family in the nice shade of the pavilion.
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Later that night was the now traditional gathering at my aunt and uncle's house, but this one was designated as a birthday celebration for Bethany's 60th birthday. All of my mom's first cousins on the Roe side were there which is certainly impressive. We didn't make it very long at the party as our little baby was starting to get very tired. Kip talked for a while to a young man visiting from Auburn where he is studying forestry - which is where his dad did his masters degree and PhD in forestry! Small world indeed. There was music, great food and jokes, and we were sad to leave early-ish and miss the beer garden shenanigans back down at City Park.
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Two years ago, my mom's first cousin on the Lewis side, Rod, came from Wyoming to the Threshing Bee with his wife Sandy and one of their sons who lives in South Dakota. They were back this year, but now Colin and Katrina have baby Anneliese! At 18 months old, it was fun to see all the festivities through her eyes and think about Becca in 2017.
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Sunday morning we met for breakfast at the Velvet Rose which is just north of where my grandparents live. It was a new restaurant to us, which is kind of hilarious because it is not a new restaurant! Like we kept asking ourselves, why have we never eaten here? Anyways, after breakfast we went back to visit with Grandpa for a little bit. Everyone sang me happy birthday - Uncle Keith had already disappeared, but technically I share the 19th with him!

It was time to hit the road, and everyone went their separate ways back to South Dakota, Wyoming, Lawrence, Wichita, and Kansas City. The Threshing Bee is mostly a tractor parade, but we've made it into a terrific excuse to all be together and that's why we try not to miss it. Today is my grandparents' 63rd wedding anniversary, and we're so happy they got together to bring us all together. Much much love for this family of mine.