The two words would best encapsulate this month: RAIN and TEETHING.
Goodness, have we gotten rain. Thunderstorms galore. We can hardly work the garden, it’s so soggy. A lot of our vegetables are turning yellow and wilting from too much water. We had to rush the potatoes out of the ground (in the rain), because they were rotting in the mud. It’s been a wet year in general; but July has seen flash-flooding and entire weeks of rainy forecasts.
And teething. Oh, the misery. Lydia’s final molars have been making their entry, and boy, have we all felt it. Lydia’s sleep has been dreadful all month, which means my sleep has been dreadful all month. I wake up tired. I walk around like the Undead most days, just trying not to break anything.
And oh, the whining. And the crying. And the nursing. And the clinging. And the constant refrains of “Hooooold meeeeeee!”
(She was like this with all her other molars, so I know there’s an end in sight. In the meantime, I’m just trying not to snarl too much.)
Anyway. I have managed to enjoy a couple of things this month (not least: plentiful raspberries, family bike rides in the rain, and puddle stomping.)
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
Daring Greatly discusses overcoming shame and embracing vulnerability as a way to unlock creativity and nurture love and connection.
I wish I had loved this book more. Everyone on the internet seemed crazy about this book, and I had to wait months to get it from the library, it was so popular.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good book filled with insight and wisdom. You might absolutely adore it. Brown is wonderful. It just didn’t speak to me like it seems to have spoken to a lot of people. (I saw her TED talk a few years back, and I had the same feelings then. It’s one of the most-viewed TED talks of all time.) I felt the author writes like a researcher (which is what she is). And I dunno — maybe I already am really vulnerable? I didn’t feel like I came away from it with transformed.
Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
What a lovely book! Such gorgeous illustrations, and I love the chance to familiarize Lydia with all the wonderful produce. Thanks to this book, she can name the first 65 or so fruits and vegetables, including such exotics and artichoke, kumquat, and starfruit. (She tends to get bored by the time we reach ugli fruit). I think it helped her be more willing to try apricots, which are now in season. Her mispronunciations are the best part — I die every time she gets to “cupumber” or “goosebabies” (gooseberries).
Relient K – Collapsible Lung
I have been a fan of Relient K ever since I first heard Matt’s heavenly voice singing “Maybe it’s Maybelline” at a party when I was 17. I was instantly lovestruck. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Relient K changed my life. They’ve been my favourite band ever since. I’ve seen them in concert three times (which is a lot for me.)
So of course I was thrilled when their new album came out.
My dominant emotion, upon my first hearing, was confusion. It didn’t sound like Relient K. (Except for “That’s My Jam” and “Lost Boy.”) The lyrics were uncharacteristic of the band — I was hearing lines like, “I never meant to be your part-time lover / But then again I’ve never been a full-time man.” What? What are you talking about, Matt? Of course you are! Even his singing was different. A number of times, Ben said, “This isn’t Matt, is it?” (It was.)
I’m still a little confused. Clearly, the band is experimenting, and quite possibly experiencing a bit of an identity crisis. I discovered they got a few new co-writers on board — folks who’ve previously penned hits for such artists as Lady Gaga, Cee Lo Green, Bruno Mars and Beyoncé — which would explain a lot. Hence the out-of-character references to drinking and casual sex.
But do I like the new album? Yes. Absolutely. The melodies are super-catchy and fun. (Except “Sweeter,” which is boring and kind of misogynistic, in my opinion.) I listen to it every single day. I just don’t know what to make of all the references to alcohol and dysfunctional relationships. And I kind of miss the old “Sadie Hawkins Dance” Relient K.
Ben and I saw Monsters University on a whim because we had free movie passes. Just the two of us in a theater full of kids. LOVED IT. Absolutely loved it. But then, I am a huge Pixar fan — my top movies of all time include Monsters Inc, The Incredibles, and the Toy Story trilogy.
If you love Pixar, Monsters University will not disappoint. Funny, original, heartwarming. Brilliant story, great acting, lovable characters. You know, the works. Oh, and little elementary-school Mike Wazowski? Cutest thing EVER.
In the Kitchen
You remember my earlier mention of plentiful raspberries? In addition to freezing and juicing them for future smoothies, I used them to make raspberry-dark-chocolate muffins (my all-time favourite muffins) and the most amazing jam of my life: White Chocolate Raspberry Jam with Coffee Liqueur. If you come into some raspberries (you might have to wait for the fall crop at this point), I HIGHLY RECOMMEND BOTH.
How about you? What have you been into this month?
Liking up with HopefulLeigh.