Saturday, July 30, 2011

Books from last week

I'm short on time (what else is new?) but I wanted to share with you all the books that I read this past week. This was a good week for recently written books!

#1: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
#2: The Priest's Graveyard, by Ted Dekker
#3: Theodore Boone: The Abduction, by John Grisham

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Last week's books

I had another great week of summer reading!

I squeezed in three books.

The first: Sister, by Rosamund Lipton

This is a British thriller about a woman who returns home to London to take care of her sister's things after said sister's alleged suicide. However, all signs point point to something fishy, and the book revolves around the NYC sister's battle to get police, doctors, and neighbors to believe that her sister was murdered. Very, very creepy! I gasped out loud several times for sure. This was Rosamund Lupton's first book, and I am hoping for another soon!

The second: Dreams of Joy, by Lisa See

This is the sequel to Shanghai Girls, which is one of my favorite books. I was surprised to see this book come out, because I didn't even know See was writing a sequel! I am always a little wary of sequels when I really enjoyed the first book, but this did not disappoint. This book is from the point of view of Joy, the daughter character from the first book. It takes place during the 1950s in rural China. Joy has run away to aid her Chinese relatives in the Great Leap Forward, working in communes, contributing to the population boom, and risking her life in multiple was. This book was so well-written and rivals its predecessor. I love reading about different cultures/countries, especially during significant historical periods, so this one fit the bill for sure.

The third: Angel Falls, by Kristin Hannah

Summer guilty pleasure reading at its finest. :-) This was another Kristin Hannah book that I hadn't read. This is the first of her novels I've come across that didn't feature a female protagonist or a sister/sister or best friend relationship. It was refreshing to hear this story from a male's point of view. It is the story of a woman who falls off a horse, suffering major injuries and ending up in a coma. Nothing can rouse her from her coma except the mention of her first (estranged) husband's name. The story of their enigmatic relationship is revealed through various family members' anecdotes, the woman's thoughts, and flashbacks. When the woman wakes up, she has lost most of her memory, so the book morphs into the story of her choosing between two men and two very different lives.  This was a very fast, easy book, and a good little love story. :-)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fashionable Friday

Loving the cute GAP sundress and wedges for Mama's doctor's appointment!

My appointment this morning went great! Normally I take Quinn to day care when I have appointments, but since this one was at 8, Randy was able to go with me and corral her while I talked to the doctor. Now that I am nearing the end of my pregnancy I will be going to the doctor more frequently. Everything is still going great. I am definitely very hot and very uncomfortable, but glad that the baby is healthy!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


So the title of this blog could be perceived in two different ways...

Quinn, Randy, and I are all HOME in Waukee after our vacations.

 Quinn's and my vacation was HOME to WESTSIDE! Hooray! :-) If anyone doesn't know, Westside is where I grew up and where my parents still reside. My mom still teaches, and my dad is retired from teaching but still works other jobs. They are seriously the best grandparents in the world! My mom has so much patience, and my dad is just so kindhearted around his grandkids. They all love their Grandma and Papa. This week, Quinn got so good at saying "Papa" and loved playing with my parents' cat and turtle. She is entertained by almost anything, so she had a blast just running around their house. Nothing is off-limits to kids at their place (totally child and baby-proofed) so she just has so much freedom. What a life for a 1 year old!!

Anyway, it was very relaxing to go and stay for a few days. I didn't take a single picture - we were having too much fun! I got to take a few naps and lay on the couch and read, so I was a happy camper. No stress!

Randy was out in Western Nebraska for work. His trip there took 8 hours! Yikes! We had breakfast together Monday morning and then went our separate ways. He got home Wednesday evening, and Quinn and I got home around 10:00. She went straight from carseat to bed without a peep, and Randy and I got to visit for a little bit. We were both tired from driving!

Now, home for two days before we hit the road again. This time: Omaha on Saturday. Summer is all about road trips, right?

Hoping for some summer fun in the sun today with Quinners! Happy Thursday!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Books I read this week!

I always have friends asking me for book recommendations, so I thought I would share with you the books that I read this week.

I finished this while traveling this weekend: These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf

I had never read anything by this author before, but I liked the cover and premise when it came up on my Nook homepage. I had just finished reading After by Amy Efaw, which is topically very similar. Both books are about teenage mothers who abandon their babies. This book was incredibly creepy, but very, very good. It was told from the points of view of four different women, which was unique and unexpected. Having just read a book similar to this, I got a little weak-stomached at times, but all-in-all it was an outstanding, quick read!

Then, I read this: Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

I have read a million Kristin Hannah books, but for some reason hadn't read her most popular one! It was very typical women's lit: two childhood best friends from opposite sides of the tracks, aspiring to make it big in journalism, told with tons of references to '70s-'90s pop culture and music. I loved the storyline and connected with both of the main characters. I wouldn't call this book thrilling or exciting by any means, but Kristin Hannah always delivers a good story that tugs at your heart. My favorite Kristin Hannah book is still True Colors, so if you haven't read anything by her, that's a great one to start with.

I just finished this this morning: The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

Wow. I have never read a book like this before. It centers on the love story between a mentally handicapped woman and a deaf-mute man in a 1960s mental institution. This author explains tons of the research that she did on such institutions, and it is harrowing to believe that the awful things done to these residents happened in real life, too. This book was so good: it followed this couple, who eventually get separated, and the woman's daughter over the course of 50 years. I love how Rachel Simon wove the characters, both main and secondary, together through their stories, letters, and anecdotes. I haven't read Riding the Bus with my Sister, which is a memoir that this author penned about life with her mentally disabled sister, but I will definitely be reading it soon!

All good books! It was a good week for reading. Beautiful Girl was definitely the best and most unique book out of the bunch, and something different for summer.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

29 weeks redux

The only thing I have to add today is my "official" belly picture. My tummy is out because all of my shirts are too short now anyway!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

16 months!

Quinn is 16 months today! Yay! I love being home with her for the summer. Here are just a few quick updates on what is new in the Kaspy house. much better!! She is sleeping now as well as she did when she was 9 months old (that's when she stopped sleeping through the night). She goes to bed between 8:00 and 8:30 and sleeps until 7:30 to 8:00. For months she has been wanting water in the middle of the night, and that has just miraculously stopped for now. Keep your fingers crossed!

Eating...we are working on fork skills! She does ok with a spoon, and the fork is getting there. Quinn is still a pretty good eater! She is less picky than most kids her age that we interact with, so I'll take it.

Talking...more and more! There are lots of things she says that only I can understand and way more that only she can understand, but we are getting there! She says clearly: mama, dada, night-night, ball, book, up, down, out, oh no!, uh-oh, yes, all done, no, cat, book, hi, bye, and her new favorite, BITE! She uses that a lot when she wants something we have that she hasn't been served, like ice cream.

We are working on other animal names and sounds, foods, "pool," "more;" she is getting better at "grandma," "papa," and "puppy," three of the most important words! :-)

Enjoys...reading books, playing outside, going to the pool, climbing stairs, eating snacks, watching PBS kids' shows, baths, playing ball, sorting/organizing, playing with big kids and babies, playing on beds

Dislikes...diaper changes, getting her face/hands washed

Looking forward to a few more weeks of summer with Miss Q!

Dirty face after a "bite" from Daddy!

Monday, July 11, 2011

29 weeks?!?!?!

I am 29 weeks pregnant today! How did this happen?!? For the most part, I feel like this pregnancy has been going by very slowly. My dear friend Jenni and I discussed this on the Fourth; she knew I was pregnant before I did back in January. Needless to say, that was a million years and pants sizes ago.

I don't have a picture today, but I have a very good reason. It is summer! Hello, gym shorts, t-shirts, and ponytails. I have put on mascara fewer than five times, and my hair straightener may be gathering dust in a corner somewhere. Other than going to church or out to eat, out with friends, or visiting my family, I am one comfy and casual prego.

But anyway - - -  29 weeks! That means that next week is 30 weeks, and the final countdown is on. I feel like I have a million things left to do before Baby K gets here, but I know that I would feel like that even if I had all of the things on my to-do list really checked off. If nothing else, Baby K has diapers, enough clothes to get by, a bassinet to sleep in, and a mommy and daddy who couldn't be more excited to meet him. At this point, Quinn remains ambivalent.

Miss Quinn turns 16 months tomorrow!

Happy anniversary

Happy Anniversary to my beautiful sister and brother-in-law! We love you, Beth and Brent, and wish you many more happy years together!

Friday, July 8, 2011

One of those days..

I was on Facebook earlier today, and I commented on how Quinn was having "one of those days." It started out fine enough, with breakfast and a few garage sales, but she would NOT be satisfied all morning. We tried playing upstairs, downstairs, on the steps, in the the front yard, the back yard, you get the picture, and she was just unhappy. TV was the only thing that would satisfy her, and you can imagine how much this teacher mama loves that....

It was just a morning of lots of tripping and falling, "no mama," and shrugging off my attempts to hold her hand or soothe her. However, we had a quick lunch and down for her nap she went. Three hours (!!) later, a new child woke up. We had the best late afternoon! We went to the pool where she played nicely with some big kids and I got to chat to some moms, one of whom boosted my ego by asking me for tips on avoiding stretch marks during pregnancies, and we stayed for well over an hour. We got home, jumped in the tub, and Daddy surprised us by coming home early! It was a perfect night for Casey's pizza and caramel corn, reading books in the a.c., and going "night-night" early. I think back to how frustrated I was today and how nothing I could do would make Quinn happy, and I laugh at myself. I am so lucky and blessed to have her! Of course she gets tired of the same old toys and snacks and Mama; who wouldn't?

The other day I wrote about how Quinn and I couldn't go to the pool because a boy had nearly drowned. Later, that boy died from complications from his injuries. He was only 5 years old, swimming with some extended family. I can't help but wonder what was going through his mom's head when she got the call that her little boy had been hurt, and how hard she must have prayed at his bedside through that night, wondering if he would make it. Such a tragedy.

As I write, I can hear Quinn rustling in her crib and feel Baby K. moving in my belly. I have such a healthy, happy family, and I could not love them any more.

Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 16:5-8

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Plan B!

So, Quinn and I had visions of grandeur about today. The weather was nice (just a little bit cloudy and low 80s), I had no real plans, the house was picked up...we were ready for the pool! After Quinn's nap, I wrestled her into a swim diaper, got her dressed into one swimsuit that turned out to be too small, undressed her and redressed her into another that I had forgotten had a broken snap (she wore it anyway), packed Quinn and her snack and water and the swim bag into the car, and off we went, only to discover...the pool was closed! I had NO idea why. Our pool closes early if there are too few swimmers or it is too cold, but neither made sense on a day like today. Puzzled, we swung through the McDonald's drive-thru for a Diet Dr. Pepper and headed home. Since we were already in our swimsuits, off we went to the backyard! We don't usually play outside in the middle of the day unless water is involved because it is too hot and it wears me out! I am still learning my camera - I need to adjust for brightness?!

posing for Mama!
going up my slide backwards
so big
isn't that a cute little hat? My mom made Quinn some cute outfits/hats while Quinn stayed with her a few weeks ago.
By the way, it turns out our pool was closed because a little boy almost drowned yesterday! We heard this on the news later. Apparently the lifeguards had to perform life-saving techniques on him and everything. Sad/scary!! We hope that the pool will be open tomorrow, though, so that we can get our fix!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Week in review...

Quinn and I had a fun week! It was our first full week of summer home together (even though she went to day care yesterday so I could go to my doctor's appointment). I could get used to this. :-)

What have we been up to?
Swimming! Quinn and I went to the pool twice this week - actually three, counting today! I am working on getting her comfortable in the water. We are careful with her ears because of her tubes, but she doesn't mind getting her face wet or anything. I am so proud of how brave and social she is! She will go up to big kids, moms and grandmas, babies, and lifeguards, do her signature over-the-head wave, and chat, chat, chat! She is fearless in the water and loves to walk where it is deep (yes, she's gone under).

 Getting hurt! Monday at the pool, she skinned her face on a cement block. Skinned knees are nothing new around here, but she's got those, too. On Tuesday Quinn thought I was "getting her" (trying to change her diaper!) and she tripped headfirst into the corner of a baseboard, taking a big gouge out of her forehead. It bled a lot; I didn't know whether or not she needed stitches! I knew Randy would be home in an hour, so I just put Neosporin and a Band-Aid on it and called it good for the time being. He fashioned up a butterfly bandage for her to keep the cut closed, and we've had good luck ever since. It is definitely scary to see blood running down your little girl's face!

Playing outside! Except for the two 100 degree days we had, Quinn and I were outside for a few hours every day. You will notice she is wearing the same pink halter top in multiple pictures - it's her current favorite!
Just being a sweetie! Grandma came to visit one day. The picture from above is from before church this evening. I stuck a bow in her hair, and for some reason, she left it there! She hasn't kept a bow in her hair in several months, so this is huge for a mommy who wishes she had a girly-girl! You can't tell there, but her dress is a maxi-dress - floor length! I think it's so funny they make those for babies/toddlers. She is certainly a stylish girl, even with a big bandage on her forehead.