O’Pizza Face

Until today, our baby has been (if I do say so) remarkably
good-looking. He lost his newborn red-and-wrinkly look very early on,
and has in fact looked altogether too mature—more infant than
newborn—for my comfort. Slow down, I want to tell him. He doesn't listen any better than time does.

Today he's doing his best teenager impersonation. The baby acne is
out in full force: Beanie was afraid he had measles. My babies always
break out impressively around four weeks of age. (And, sob, Sean is in
fact four weeks old today.) I remember when Jane was his age; even
though all the baby books had warned me, I was shocked by the profusion
of red bumps on her sweet little face. Still, the books said baby acne
was normal; she was right on schedule for the temporary outbreak,
according to all those authoritative tomes.

So I was not alarmed—until my landlady got a look at her.

is WRONG with the BABY?" cried Mrs. Pappas, an earnest and dramatic
Greek woman in her mid-sixties. She had raised four babies of her own,
and the magnitude of her horror at the sight of Jane's spotty face
shattered my complacency.

"It's baby acne?" I said, asking rather
than asserting, though all the books had been so firm on this point.
"It's normal, right? For babies this age. It's not supposed to last

"Ah," said Mrs. Pappas, nodding sagely. "It must be an Irish thing."

Never fear, Sean Patrick. Sure and you'll be a handsome lad again soon enough.

Par-tay in the Bonny Glen

Oh, we had so much fun yesterday! It was As Cozy as Spring over here, and believe me, the company was not a Small Treasure but rather a big one! Jenn and her lovely family were in town for a short while and did me the great favor of spending the morning at my house. Kristen
drove down with her gorgeous girls, and pal Erica brought her gang to
join the fun. Snacks, conversation, bloggity friends, and seventeen
children—who could ask for anything more?

I haven't uploaded photos yet (and in any case, my camera was AWOL during the group shots), but Kristen has a nice pic of the four moms on her blog. I wanted the baby in the picture but Rose had him and wouldn't give him back.

February Already?

The baby is three weeks old today, can you believe it? He smiled at
me this morning, a big, real, eyes-lighting-up-in-recognition smile
when he focused on my face. Scott was there to see it. It was one of
those moments where you wish life came with a freeze-frame button so
you could stay in that flash of time for ages.

Scott went back to work today after two weeks off, sob, and my
parents, who flew in for a short visit (yes, my mom was just here
helping before and after the delivery, but my dad hadn't seen the baby
yet), went back home this evening. We are missing them already. And of
course this means that tomorrow, for the first time, I am on my own.
It's a day full of stuff to do, too: big kid stuff, running around.
Should be interesting…

Speaking of big kid stuff: It's time for one of our favorite activities of the year: the Journey North Mystery Class. We have done this fascinating project four times, either alone or with a group.
This year, another mom in our circle of homeschooling friends has very
kindly offered to host the Journey North gang, what with my being three
weeks postpartum and all. Jane is extremely excited. Truly, this
geography project is one of the highlights of our year.

Our Shakespeare Club took a two-month hiatus for the holidays and my
delivery, and we'll be maintaining a low-key pace during the ten weeks
of Journey North so as not to overload anyone's schedule. But my Taming
of the Shrew kids will be working on their scenes during the break, and
we plan to get together now and then to rehearse. Jane spent this
afternoon walking around muttering Katherina retorts under her breath.
We're doing a couple of scenes, which means a couple of Kates and
Petruchios. Fun fun.

Haley S. sent me the link to Academic Earth,
a WAY COOL site full of video lectures from top university professors.
Thanks a ton, Haley. I'm psyched about the Nabokov lectures, having
recently shuddered my way through Lolita for the first time.

Gosh, I read a lot in January. Eight novels and two nonfiction
books. For the first half of the month I was too pregnant to do much
BUT read, and during the second half I was snuggled up with my sweet
bairn, under doctors' orders to take it easy. I've been working on a
"books read in January" post, mainly for my own records, but I keep
getting too chatty about individual titles and it's taking forever to

The January Carnival of Children's Literature went up last week. I haven't had a chance to peruse the posts yet but it looks like a doozie.

Speaking of children's literature, I'm pretty excited about the new Kidlitosphere Central website that was just launched by a team of my favorite children's lit bloggers:

"KidLitosphere Central strives to provide
an avenue to good books and useful literary resources; to support
authors and publishers by connecting them with readers and book
reviewers; and to continue the growth of the society of bloggers in
children's and young adult literature."

Spread the word!

Immediately, Immediately, Immediate-ly

As my husband is wont to say, God bless Youtube. One of the girls
was confused about whether or not to drop the silent e in
"unfortunately." I know how I resolved that question at her age, and I
went a-googling to see if I could find a certain video clip.

And sure enough, faster than a rolling O, there it was.

course you know we spent the next hour watching more Electric Company
clips, with the girls cracking up at my terrier-like 70s-child
excitement. The lolly song! And that other lollipop song, the creepy one. Hey, you guys! Silent E! The uberfunky TION
song, which I now realize may have been the genesis of my
environmentalist streak. (Rewatching it, I'm rather shocked by the
garmentlessness of the crowd at the end of the song. I guess the Age of
Aquarius touched kiddie TV too.)

Look, there's Morgan Freeman with a broken leg singing "There's a Hole at the Bottom of the Sea." Frankly, I always thought the gang was a little hard on the gorilla.

Rose and Bean liked Letterman best, and who can blame them?

Collecting Bach Links

We're in the mood for a bit o' Bach. Taking a nod from Ambleside, we listened to his Magnificat in D
this morning—to the first movement, that is. Somewhere around the
second aria, Rilla decided her mission in life was to plant both feet
flat on Beanie's face. For some reason, Beanie found it difficult to
listen to music that way. Rookie.

Anyway, I'm rounding up my links for easy access during, let's say,
Rilla's naptime. If you've got any great Bach links, books, CDs, etc,
you'd like to share, please fire away. 🙂

Magnificat in D on YouTube (Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra) (One of many, many recordings there.)

Wikipedia page on Bach's Magnificat

Wikipedia page on the Magnificat itself. (Includes Greek, Latin, and several English translations.)

Mr. Bach Comes to Call (Classical Kids CD)

Have any of you read this book: Sebastian Bach, the Boy from Thuringia? Do we desperately need to read it? Because I'm trying this crazy, crazy thing where I (gulp) don't buy any more books for a while.
::::shudder:::: Sorry, I felt faint for a minute there. Good thing I'm
sitting down, anchored by a great big lump of snoozing baby.

(Deep breath) Okay then. Moving on. Beanie has just begun reading Genevieve Foster's George Washington's World, and in a nice bit of dovetailing, we learned that George was born in 1732 and Bach wrote his Magnificat in 1730.

Here, for good measure, is the Douay-Rheims translation of the
Magnificat, Mary's great outpouring of joy from the Gospel of Luke:

My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name.
And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.
He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy:
As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.