Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Books: 2013 Part 1

I have been on a reading craze lately so I decided instead of waiting until December to review them and writing a post that was 100 miles long, I would do the first half now. I also decided to actually review them instead of just listing the title.

1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn **** Awesome. Crazy psychological suspense novel. Very well-written. It has some swearing.

2. A Joyful Mother of Children by Linda Eyre *** Loved it. Sometimes being a mother is a drag, and this was a nice little reminder that being a mother can be wonderful. She has TONS of organizational tips, plans, meetings, etc. which I thought was slightly overkill. Then again, she had nine kids so maybe by the time I get to nine (aka never) I will have that many plans.

3. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams *** Science fiction isn't really my favorite but this was still enjoyable. It was quirky and clever and some of the humor I just don't get but the writing is superb, the characters are great and I still think everyone should read this.

4. Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman ***** Comparison of French and American parenting styles by a British expat living in Paris. I must say as a mother that this got rid of some of the guilt I feel over not being supermom. Those French mothers are unapologetic about their methods and I respect that. I also read it three weeks after H was born and it helped me solve the issue of her needing to nurse every two hours. So I will be forever grateful for that.

5. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua *** Funny and interesting but I'm not sure what the point was. It's a memoir, not a parenting book. We get a glimpse of what life is like for a Chinese-American mother and her daughters but not much else to it.

6. The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe *** Classic.

7. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand ***** SO GOOD. If you read any of the books on this list, read this one. I had people recommending this to me for a while and I'm sorry it took me so long to get around to reading it. Probably because I originally thought the book was about the author's spiritual journey to enlightenment (I don't know where I got that from) and it sounded boring to me. It's not. It's about the incredible life of Louis Zamperini, an almost-Olympian, Japanese POW, and survivor of a month in a life raft after being shot down over the Pacific. Absolutely fascinating and very well-written.

8. The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt **** Very good. And I think it was reviewed best here.

9. Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain **** The conclusions she draws from the studies presented were interesting and eye-opening for me, especially because I am definitely an introvert. However, the layout and organization of the book were confusing. It felt like she kept wandering off on tangents and never quite finished her original thought.

10. The God Who Weeps by Terryl and Fiona Givens **** Thought provoking and faith promoting but hard to read. The Givens are very intelligent and you can tell by their writing. (I'm going to name drop and say that I know the Givens - they were in my stake growing up and I hung out with their daughter and they are salt of the Earth kind of people - love them.) I am still thinking about this book months after having read it and I highly recommend it to anyone seeking to clarify or strengthen their testimony of LDS doctrine.

11. These Is My Words by Nancy Turner ***** A love story told in the form of a diary. The characters are endearing and the story is sweet.

12. Nurtureshock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman ***** READ THIS. Read this if you're a parent. Read this if you're not a parent. Read this if you're done parenting. Read this if you hate children and never want to interact with them. It's fantastic and will turn all your previously held assumptions about children and how to teach them on it's head.

13. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell *** Quick, easy, fun read. Like a romantic comedy in book form. The ending seemed a little clumsy to me - like she didn't quite know how to finish it. But I'm a sucker for a good love story and this one was very satisfying.

14. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams *** See Hitchhiker's review

15. Life, the universe and everything by Douglas Adams *** See Hitchhiker's review

16. Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer **** Romance but not a Fabio/heaving bosoms romance. More like Jane Austen romance. This book also has a bit of mystery. I may have ignored my children for one whole evening so I could finish it.

17. Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Gail Steketee **** Fascinating. Really well-written, the author was able to describe the condition and the people it afflicts from a sincere and objective point of view. The chapter on animal hoarding was especially mind-boggling to me. I had the urge to clean out my entire home after reading this.
We like to read around here.

Friday, June 14, 2013

I like my children.

Um if you are just looking at my blog it seems like my children are a constant annoyance to me and life is a drag.
It's not. I like my children and I like being with them.
So I wanted to highlight some of my favorite things about them:

1. At night when we change her out of her clothes to put on her pajamas she insists on first running around the house at top speed in only her diaper and screaming "Naked! Naked!" for a few minutes. She thinks it is the best, and I do too.
1.5 The way she runs is also hilarious. I don't have any video, but just imagine someone running on a trampoline and that's kind of what she looks like - like she is about to fall over at any second.
2. The singing. She LOVES to sing and has about 10 different ones in her repertoire. She is on repeat for most of the day, and I'm very proud of her for learning all of them.
3. She just recently discovered potty humor and now gleefully exclaims "poop!" and then laughs to herself at random points during the day. I also have a two-year old sense of humor so I also think this is pretty funny.

1. Just figured out how to roll from her back to her stomach and is always quite pleased with herself until she remembers she hates being on her stomach and starts crying. I am a terrible mother so this makes me laugh.
2. When she gets excited her she gets this big wide smile and flaps her arms back and forth as fast as she can. She will do this at very un-exciting things, like when I smile at her. It makes me feel very interesting and exciting.
3. I still get to cuddle her in my arms and she likes it. I am not a cuddly baby person, except for with my own children. And then I am like yay babies! And I start doing that annoying mom-talking. It is the best.
In conclusion, my children are hilarious and awesome and adorable and I love them.
Even when they bug me.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


One pair of heavy duty ear plugs.
My second born has taken up a new hobby:
Twenty-four hours a day she does this. I am going out of my mind.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

New Car

I took a Personal Finance class as a High School freshman and one of our assignments was to "buy" a car. Our teacher asked us to make a list of requirements that we wanted in the car and then find one that fit within our budget.
Since I was a clueless teenager who didn't even have a permit yet and didn't know what sorts of requirements I even needed, this was my list:
1. Purple
2. Sun roof

Now that I'm older I have become a bit more discerning in my car requirements, which came in handy because Seth and I just recently bought a car!
Although I'm happy to say that I at least fulfilled one of the requirements on my original list:
Sun roof!
I have been out and about every day since we bought it two weeks ago, although the excitement will probably wear off soon and I'll go back to being a homebody. Especially with two little girls that I have to haul around with me whenever I go anywhere.
But in the meantime I will be enjoying my sun roof. My freshman self would be pleased.
(It is a 2009 Hyundai Sonata, for anyone that cares.)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cottage Cheese

T tried to give her sister a bite of chip with cottage cheese.
She may need to work on her coordination a bit.

Monday, June 3, 2013


How was your day?
Mine looked a little bit like this:
What you can't see is the other, messier half of the house.
Then this occurred about an hour into T's "naptime" (aka sitting in her room crying.)
And yes, I did open up the door and let her get her books.
Then I cleaned the whole house and dealt with two little girls who refused to take naps and one who refused to eat dinner.
And that is why I am going to bed now, at 8:45.
Good Night!