October 29, 2005

Another Exciting Week in Ogle Land

It has been a busy week, looking back on it. Last Saturday night,
Laura used some very effective nonverbal communication to let me know
she was done sitting in her high chair (she refused to put on her bib,
a usual prerequisite for eating, even though I knew she was hungry.
Finally, I asked if she wanted "down", she said yes, then grabbed her
bib off the high chair, put it around her neck, and asked for some
food. I asked if she wanted to sit at the table; BIG smile: "Yes!") Since we haven't gotten around to getting a booster seat yet, she's just been sitting on a towel-covered dining room chair, which seems to work just fine. Saved us twenty bucks or so, which works for me!

As a result, in what time I had on Sunday, I made her a little
vinyl-covered placemat and another vinyl "pelican" style bib, so now
she has a "spot" at the table (and hey, it's portable!). I am now out
of iron-on vinyl, which means--ohhhh,alas!--a trip to the fabric store
is in my future. Laura's been doing pretty well at the table; and on
those rare occasions when she hasn't, we have the high chair to return
to. I figure we have about three months before Emily really needs it,
so we should have most of the kinks worked out by then.

Matt had parent-teacher conferences on Monday, so we went without
Daddy at bedtime. Conferences seemed to go pretty well this time

Thursday, the Borah girls came over (minus Lydia, who's in
kindergarten now) for an hour to play. A good time was had by all,
though Laura was crazy teething and was somewhat bashful as a result.
In the mail that day came the next Wiley book, which will be released
Nov. 29th. I'll try to read and review it this week; meanwhile, I'm
basking in the sophomoric glee of having a book in my hands before the
general public (not to mention the fact that the author sent it to me!)

While I'm on the subject--of reviewing--lest you think I like every
book I read, here's one to be panned: To The Flag: The Unlikely History of the Pledge of Allegiance. Let me say at the outset that I *wanted* to like this book; I was looking forward to reading it and getting to know more about this contentious subject. You'd think that the author would be writing for a pretty big audience; you'd think he'd want to make his message (whatever it turns out to be) accessible. You'd be wrong.

I had two main problems with the book, both of which prevented me from
getting through the first chapter (I did struggle through the
preface). First, the writer is one of those who "likes to use a
twenty-five cent word when a nickel will do." I'm no slouch in the
vocabulary department, if I do say so myself, and yet I was constantly
annoyed; I'm not sure if the guy used a thesaurus too much, or if he's
just really, really pedantic and obnoxious. The second problem was
the more serious of the two; he had deplorable organizational skills.
The first few pages of the chapter went into great, enormous, mind-fatiguing
depth as to the similarities between Bellamy, the guy who wrote the
original pledge, and his boss. Why? I don't know! and that's what's
wrong; there was no overview, no preview, no roadmap to say, here's
why this is so important to the history and fascinating to boot. So,
sadly, I put it down and moved on; I don't mind being patient with an
author, especially of nonfiction, but he didn't give me a good reason
to be. Blechth. I hate giving up on a book.

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