Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Praying for Norway, praying for guidance

In the days since the horrific bombing and mass shooting in Norway, I've been thinking a lot about how all of the baby gates, car seats, Internet monitoring, curfews, lectures, etc. in the world can't protect our children completely.  Of course we have to do these things, but really is the peace of mind it brings just a smoke screen?  The truth is that no one can anticipate and/or prevent all dangers posed to our kids.  Those teenagers were at a well-run, organized camp.  They weren't walking the streets late at night, they weren't engaging in risky behaviors, they weren't involved in anything illegal.  And yet, 68 people on that island are dead.  We've seen it before in school shootings, in repeated natural disasters, and in car accidents, etc, but it never fails to hit home.  Today I read the following text message exchange between a mother and her daughter who was attending the camp (excerpt from MSNBC)

"Mummy, tell the police to come quick. People are dying here,” her 16-year-old daughter Julie wrote in a text message from Norway’s Utoya island on Friday.

Like many of the young people attending a Labor Party camp on the island, Julie Bremnes was carrying a cell phone, enabling her to reach her mom while Anders Berhing Breivik was on a 90-minute shooting rampage, killing dozens of people. Her exchange with her mother, released on Wednesday, gives a glimpse into the long, terrifying wait for help.

“The police know,” Marianne Bremnes, 46, texted her daughter. “They’ve had many calls. Give a sign of life every five minutes.”

Julie, was hiding under a rock with three friends while Breivik roamed the island, shooting people as they cowered, ran, or tried to swim for safety.

“We are in fear of our lives,” Julie texted.

Mother: “I understand. Stay hidden.”
As the wait for rescue dragged on, the text conversation seemed a preparation for the worst.

Julie: “I love you even if I still misbehave from time to time."

Mother: “I know that my darling. We love you very much.”

The exchange went on for about 90 minutes.
...Julie and her three friends were rescued, physically unharmed.

Can you imagine how time would stop, knowing your child was hiding from a murderer under a rock with no

My grandmother was a proud "Norwegie," as she would say, and I'm her proud granddaughter.  I'm praying for the people in that normally peaceful country and I'm praying for all of us to identify and treat mental illness, and to stem the tide of extremist acts and violence. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Coming Soon! Bite of Las Vegas 2011

It's approaching!  Save the date - Saturday, October 15, 2011.

**Update here**

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Topshop Las Vegas

At last!  Topshop is coming to Las Vegas.  Set to open in March 2012 at the Fashion Show Mall.  See you there.

Books of the paper variety

Obviously it's great that people read - no matter how they read or what they read.  Newspapers, magazines, books, ebooks.  Whatever.  Yay for reading.  But.  It makes me so sad to see the remaining brick and mortar Borders stores closing.  My husband and I met for our first date in a Borders, and often go to bookstores just to browse.  That said, I take partial blame for the demise of the book store, as I prefer to use the library over buying books and often order books online.  But my question is this - is this the beginning of the end of print material?  I suppose we're in the midst of the downfall of printed newspapers and magazines already, and with the rise in popularity of ebooks, I have to wonder.  I like the feel of a book in my hands.  I like the smell of a book.  I like the physical aspect of turning the pages and bookmarking.  It's so unappealing to think of reading to my child from a screen or monitor rather than from a dogeared, colored on book. 

What do you say?  Are books the relics of the future?

Monday, July 11, 2011

U2 guest star

This is so sweet...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Music for a Sunday night

These just feel right tonight...

The Avett Brothers, I and Love and You

B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams, Airplanes

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Joplin Recovery

My sister and my dad spent last weekend volunteering in tornado-ravaged Joplin, MO, and we're so proud of them.  They helped clean up yards, separated materials at destroyed properties, helped with demolition, and assisted at an aid station. 

Often tragedies make headlines only until the next one hits.  There's no shortage of tragedies, and it's impossible to donate money/time/services in the face of each one, but please remember that the real work continues long after it's faded from public consciousness.  My sister said they expect it to take three years to clean up Joplin.  The tornado killed 153 people and destroyed roughly 6,000 homes. 

See how you can help and monitor progress in Joplin here.  Then help if you can.  Volunteer, send supplies, or send money.  If you can't help with time or money, pray for them.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Favorite Books for Toddlers

We've amassed quite a library in C's 15 months.  Here are our favorites:

This is My Tractor - a touchy-feely book with an audio button.  Cute illustrations, too.

That's Not My Lion - another touchy-feely.  C loved it when he was very small and now "reads" it to himself.

Goodnight Moon - Who doesn't love it?  C especially loves finding the mouse in every picture and likes to point out the balloon.

Sleepyhead, Sleepyhead - we got this for free in a Cheerios box, but I love the story.  The illustrations are less than captivating, but the story is pretty true to life, about a child delaying the inevitable bedtime. 

and the all-time, number one favorite...
Little Blue Truck - Our whole family love this book.  It has it all - a story with a moral, cute illustrations, nice phrasing (rhyming), and a lot of animal sounds.  We also have Little Blue Truck Leads the Way, but it's not as good. 

C has a really good attention span and loves to read.  Lately he's been more interested in longer books, like Curious George books and some of the classic Little Golden Books, like The Poky Little Puppy and The Shy Little Kitten.  We read them often when he was tiny, and put them aside when he started to want to turn the pages himself in favor of board books.  I'm so excited to have the longer books out again, and am so hopeful that C will love books his whole life.  What are the best books for boys through the years?  I loved the original Boxcar Children series and think a boy would, too, and I want to get The Dangerous Book for Boys one day, but what are a boy's must-reads?