Monday, March 28, 2016

What I Read: November/December

Continuing on with my goal to read 60 books before I turn 30 this September. Here's what I read in November and December.

16. Inferno by Dan Brown
I love Dan Brown. His books are so multi-layered and unfold in such a way that leaves me breathless. This one brings as back to Robert Langdon who again gets himself involved in a twisted, international affair involving death, deception, and crazy people. I think the craziest part of this book was how much of it really could happen and the devastating impact on the world if it did. I'm totally vague-blogging right now because I don't want to give away too much. If you liked The DaVinci Code and/or Angels and Demons, you'll love this. 

17. The Brat by Lynsay Sands.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. Even the title is stupid. I finished Inferno in the middle of a pumping session and needed something to read for the next 20 minutes, so i stupidly downloaded this. Get this: medieval times. Kings niece needs to marry as does a knight. Niece is the most horrible, unreasonable brat except it's just a game because she doesn't want to get married. They get married, and then someone tries to kill the guy and the brat saves him. The writing was mediocre, the story line even less impressive. I guess they can't all be winners. 

18. Vision in White by Nora Roberts
No joke, I had to Google this book to remember what it was about. Pretty sure that says it all. It was typical Nora Roberts and if you've read one of her books, you can absolutely predict the entire story line. It's the first of the books in the Bride Quartet, so I of course I read them all because I'm a sucker for people falling in love, and once I read part of a series, I get stuck and feel like I have to finish it. If nothing else, Nora Roberts just keeps the semi-decent romance novels coming and fools like me keep reading them, so kudos to her.

19. Everything I never Told You by Celeste Ng 
Luckily I found this book in between Nora Roberts errors in judgement. This book starts with the line "Lydia is dead, but they don't know that yet"- and I was hooked. The book goes back and forth from after Lydia's death, the years before it, and all the way back to when Lydia's parents met to unfold the story of this Chinese-American family living in the 70's where the parents clearly play favorites (Lydia) and struggle with the fact that neither accomplished what they had hoped to accomplish in their lives. This book is so well-written and the family is fascinating.

20. Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts
You guessed it, another book in the Bride Quartet that I couldn't help but read. This was the second book and it was cute and all, but the usual Nora Roberts style- not much to it, but it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside when you're done.

21. Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle 
I had high hopes, because I love John Green, but this book was just okay. It's a compilation of three short stories with interweaving story lines and characters. There was nothing bad about it, it just didn't thrill and engage me like John Green books usually do, so I was disappointed. 

22. Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts
You got it: book 3. Nothing more to say.

23. Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts.
4th book. It was cute to wrap it all up and was a nice conclusion for the series.

24. Looking for Alaska by John Green
Here is the John Green I love. I was surprised when I went to find a picture of this book to discover that this was Green;s first novel. The main character in this book, Miles, goes to an elite prep school in search of the "great perhaps" and ends up finding friendship, love, and heartbreak. This novel is sweet, adorable, and heart wrenching, all at the same time. Green just has a way with words that makes you fall in love with his characters and feel everything that they are feeling. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

The second snow day this week

At 5:31 this morning my phone rang. It was school. Immediately the am I late for work? Why would they be calling me? Crap, am I getting fired circled my mind because paranoid is my middle name. Alas, it was a snow day. Which took me completely off guard because there was no snow. We had a snow day Monday for that storm, and apparently the rain/ice for today lead to some treacherous roads- I wouldn't know, I've been cozy at home with the kids and the wood stove. 

I'm a little bummed. I've got things to do at work. We were in a good flow... also I wanted to get out of school early this summer because, duh, summer. 

Mimi project: Fun and tasty
Not going to hate on an extra day home with the babies though. We played with Play-Doh, read books, painted, colored, rode bikes in the living room (because who doesn't ride bikes in the house?) and then... I was out of ideas. And it was only 11 am.

In comes my saving grace. Drew's mom called to see if it was okay for her to come over and hang out a bit/do an Easter project with Fynn. I'm hoping she couldn't tell that I was doing a happy dance while on the phone with her. Mimi came over, a grand time was had by all, and it lasted until nap time.

And here we are at 3 pm. Bentley is sleeping, Fynn is singing to herself in bed, and I'm on the phone with the hospital about the bill from when Bentley was born that they have screwed up at least 6 times and still claim we owe them money. Even though we've paid it. And the kid is more than a year old. 

Fun stuff

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Photo-Dropping it like it's hot- Round 1

Months of not blogging has left me with a plethora of images in need of sharing. Here it goes (and I think they're in order):

Hanging out in the driveway with my little man while his sister takes a much needed nap

Boys and their trucks

Home Depot Projects

 We took a visit to a (semi-) nearby animal sanctuary. And only semi-regretted the 2+ hours in the car each way.

Babywearing at the zoo. Love our Tula

Kid meeting kid (I couldn't help myself)

Naptime near the tigers


There have been lots of tandem-wearing walks
which has really helped me get back into shape

Of course we had the obligatory fall apple-picking which was hated by all children involved.

 And because he is so happy, and so stinking cute, some pix of the little dude.

Halloween brought us a princess fairy (in all pink, naturally) and a recycled monkey costume that was just a little too big.

B is suitably unimpressed that his sister wore it first. 

Bentley loves to help empty the dishwasher which means a change of clothes and dirty dishes.

Their faces. Love them.

When aunties babywear

Went to an over the top birthday party where a princess visited and Fynn was in girly-girl heaven.

Still many more pictures to come... but sleep first, because there's never enough of that in this household. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

What I Read: September/October

Despite the crazy of the last few months. I still managed to work towards my reading goal of reading 60 books in 15 months before turning 30. Here's what I read in September and October.

7.The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
I always love this book. I've probably read it a dozen times and each time I love it just as much. This is also one of the few books that have been turned into a movie I actually like. Probably because I love Rachel McAdams. Regardless, there's nothing I don't love about this book, and each time I read it, it makes me cry.

8. Unfinished Business by Nora Roberts
I had to look up this book in order to remember what it was clearly it was nothing amazing. From what I remember after reading the synopsis, it was a typical Nora Roberts romance: avoid falling in love, fall in love, fight, make up and get engaged. Meh. Not a bad read, but nothing to seek out. 

9.The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
I've never read The Ten People You Meet in Heaven, but after reading this I feel like I need to. This was such a powerful story and made me really think about time and how I'm using it. Also it made me cry while pumping in the mother's room at work which was super not-awkward when I went back to my classroom.

10. 99 Days by Katie Cotugno
I intended this as another breezy read because I was looking for something to read while pumping at work, but it ended up being deeper than I thought. The main character is caught in a love triangle with two brothers, one who she broke up with after cheating on him (with his brother), but isn't over and the other she's always had a crush on and cheated with. Even better, her mom is a famous author who wrote the story of her cheating in a bestselling novel, so the entire town knows what she did. I like the way the author structured this, because each chapter is one of the 99 days that Molly is living in her hometown.

11. Only His by Susan Mallery
I hate myself a little for reading this book past the first chapter when I discovered a) triplet sisters named Nevada, Montana, and Dakota b) a small town made up of mostly women who are so man-hungry they don't know what to do with themselves c) a woman named Heidi who lives in the mountains on her grandfathers land raising goats (good lord, did she have blonde braids too?). It was cheesy and dumb, yet I couldn't help myself even though I didn't actually like either of the main characters. 

12. Paper Towns by John Green
I borrowed this book from a student who gushed about it, and then I had to have an awkward conversation with her mom about it because it was a little too adult for a 5th grader. Aside from that, I loved it. Green's characters are always so believable and multi-faceted. Something about the way he writes always gets to me, and I end up thinking about the book long after I'm done reading. Also, this was recently made into a movie, so as soon as it's on Netflix or Prime, I'm all over it! 

13. The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott
In searching for a picture of this book to post, I discovered a movie by the same name starring Kate Winslet which made me laugh because the book took place on the Titanic. This was an interesting book since (like all Titanic books/movies) you know what's coming long before it happens. The girl in this book aspires to be a famous designer. She ends up on the Titanic by being a maid to a designer she admires, but soon shows her mad sewing skills. After the ship sinks, there's a lot of drama regarding life boats and the rich people who saved themselves. There were several twists and turns in this book and a lot of characters to keep track of, but it was done well and I really enjoyed it. 

14. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Love, love, love this book. Sophie Kinsella wrote a book with a similar premise, but Moriarty really hit it out of the ballpark. In this book, Alice wakes up in the gym (and she never works out) after hitting her head. Once she gets to the hospital, she realizes that she's lose the last few years of her life, and in the years she can't remember she's completely changed. The last she remembers, she and her husband were in love, she was an overweight mom who was close with her kids, and her friends are all there for here. Now she discovers she's getting divorced, her kids barely know her, and her old friends can't stand her. The way Moriarty peels back the layers of Alice's past and current life is amazing and you find yourself loving her.

15. The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts
Why oh why do I always read her books? Mostly because they're breezy and I'm a sucker for people falling in love. This was the third book in a trilogy taking place in Boonsboro (which I learned all about when my kids were studying Westward Expansion/ Daniel Boone, so weird connection). In this one there's a ghost that looks out for some of the characters and no one really finds that strange. So, again, nothing to seek out, but not a bad book to read. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Some Days

Some days, no matter how bright they appear in the early hours, end up sucking all the life out of you. Obviously, today was one of those days. The anticipation was great; Drew was taking both kids to a local boat show giving me 2 hours of precious (and exceedingly rare!) time to myself. I was going to run. And take a nice long shower with no tiny humans either joining me or yelling at me. If, after all that, I was still feeling ambitious, I was going to do some grading or clean the kitchen.

Of course, that didn't happen. With the wind chill, it was too cold to run (even for me). My DVD workouts kept skipping (I blame the crappy $20 DVD player we've had since college), and just as I got out of the shower (which was blissful, I'll admit that wen't exactly as I had hoped), Drew called to say they were "coming in hot" because Fynn desperately needed to pee. Oh and that the excursion had been a nightmare due to one overtired 3 1/2 year old who melted down publicly several times. 

Bentley took a lovely 30 minute car nap which mean the afternoon nap wasn't going to happen. Fynn has become a non-napper 90% of the time and today was nothing new except she needed one. The rest of the day was spent with whining, fighting, and Fynn being a sassy little brat over and over again.

The one perk to days like this? By 6:30 both kids were in bed. 

To make things better, let me just share what I wore to work on Friday... because I clearly have no shame (both at work, and on the internet) 
Penguin Footie Jammers and Pearls. Obviously.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The training you never want to use

While feeding the kids dinner tonight, Bentley got that unmistakable look; the bulging, panicked eyes as he tried to reach towards me. Without even thinking, I had him out of his high chair, was doing back blows, and suddenly he was breathing again. No more then 5 seconds had passed, yet somehow I aged about 15 years.

All the years I did CPR/First Aid training, and this is the first time I really needed to use that knowledge for more than a scrape or a bee sting.

I'm just so thankful that all the training stuck, and I was able to act on instinct, rather than thinking about the right thing to do in the moment.

And now that it's over, and both kids are safely in bed, and Drew is on his way home with some dinner... I'm going to binge watch some Fuller House and binge eat some Oreos. I think both are well-deserved. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Days like today are why naps are sacred

Bentley had his 1 year check up today, so I took a half day off from work because getting a sub for half a day is easier than finding coverage to leave an hour early... riddle me that one #educationmakessense.

Speaking of fish*. Half day. Went to the good old Wally World for some deodorant (for me) and sneaks (for Bentley). After moseying around the store for an hour (and only buying those two items, you're welcome, Drew), and blissfully enjoying the fact that I was alone! at the store! and not on a major time crunch! I headed to my parent's house to pick up the kids. Usually my mom watches them at our house on Mondays, but they're house is closer to the doctors and oh-emm-gee get to the freaking point already, Amanda.

Okay. Went to get the kids. Needed to leave parents' house around 2:30 for doctors appointment, so had stressed in the morning that my mom could/should maybe try to get the kids down early for their naps. Got there to discover that hadn't happened. Sighed. Got them ready and headed out.

.003 seconds of peace. AKA the eye of the storm
And all hell broke loose. Fynn melted on the way to the doctors because she wanted to go home and never wanted to have another sleepover and lord knows what else, but it meant 25 minutes of whining (her), crying (both of us), and yelling (mostly her). Managed the 18 minute waiting room wait with just Bentley "eh. eh. eh." ing because he was tired and wanted to be held (and by held I mean nursed to sleep). Got them both into the room where the nurse asked 1,623,877 stupid questions (nope, he still doesn't sleep through the night, yes, I feel safe in my house) while both kids climbed all over me and made enough noise that I had to awkwardly half yell my answers and have her repeat half the questions.

Then she left, and I was enclosed in the room with the banshees wishing I was back at work. Bentley was determined to open every drawer and stand in front of the door that I was sure was going to be flung open any second and Fynn repeatedly climbed up and down the exam table while whining. At this point was also when Fynn informed me that someone needs to kill me. That was heartwarming. Once the doctor finally got in there (36 minutes after our scheduled appointment time) the yelling over the screeching continued. Fynn decided she needed to stand behind me on the chair while half strangling me and shouting in my ear while Bentley cried when the doctor looked at him, talked to him, or generally for the entire time. At one point, the doctor looked at me and said "are you going to be okay?"


The ride home was just as long and lovely. Bentley fell asleep for about 20 minutes before I woke him up because if that nightmare of an afternoon continued into the evening hours I was going to lose what little semblance of sanity I'm still holding on to. As I fed the kids dinner, emptied the dishwasher, and desperately counted down the minutes until Drew got home, all I could think about was how I had woken up that morning thinking it was going to be such an easy day. Just a half day of work and a doctors easy.

*A friend from high school used to say this when changing topics and for some reason, 11 years later, it came back to me. I call it inspired. You call it stupid. Toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe.
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