Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

Howdy! Link up below.

1. I arrive at the babysitter's house at least five minutes early every day,  no matter how hard I try to leave early. Given the fact that it's her home, and her and her family are getting ready to start the day, I feel bad, so I either wait out front or circle the block once or twice. 

2. Lena's dress at the Emmy's was... something. She said it "looks like cake and feels like sweatpants." 


3. Love these composition totes from Out of Print:


4. I found this lemon poppy-seed recipe last weekend and was pretty jazzed that I actually had all the ingredients, including the ripe lemons my husband assured me had on the tree. Fast-forward a few hours later- he's out with a friend, Sawyer's fast asleep and I'm in the baking mood. I go out to pick a few lemons and THEY'RE GONE! Who steals lemons? My theory: the guy who does the lawns. He sees month after month of our lemons staying on the tree and he figures we won't miss them. Any other time he'd be completely right. Sadly, there has yet to be any lemon poppyseed bread.

5. Having to decide on a little boy hair cut in the future scares me. Albeit, we are putting the cart before the horse, since my baby is basically bald.

6. We were watching Parenthood (so good, so depressing) the other night on Netflix and the song Transatlanticism by Death Cab came on, and I instantly fell in love. And then Julie realized that she wasn't getting the baby she wanted to adopt and, if it weren't for my husband being in the room, I would have lost my shit. So now I'm facing a serious conundrum: download the song and bawl my eyes out every time I hear it, since I now associate it with all things sad, or go without.

7. I haven't been able to exercise as regularly as I am used to and feel like I am on the cusp of losing my shit. No joke. If anything, I am downplaying the severity of the situation. 

8. I added a "currently reading" line to my email signature at work last week. Number of people that have noticed: 0. Fucks I give: 0.

9. I've been doing my best to influence my students' reading habits, and I'm feeling relatively successful so far. I have two tackling The Goldfinch, two reading Five Days at Memorial, and two starting Let the Great World Spin (so many pairs... it's like the literary Noah's Ark).

10. My mom and other sister are coming into town this weekend! This sister hasn't met the baby, so I'm excited. She likes dogs more than people, so she'll probably play with him for five seconds before lavishing the dogs with attention.

The Gimmies

Whenever I want something I think of this book:

I have enough books. I have enough stuff. But of course, as soon as I say that I'm "cutting back" or am on a "financial diet" I turn into freaking Sister Bear at the grocery store pitching a fit because I can't have my favorite candy. 

So, we'll window show. Here's some of the books I'm currently coveting: 

The Roundhouse by Louise Erdrich- For book club.

Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant- I love her blog and have never disliked a recipe I've made from it.

How to Pray When You're Pissed at God by Ian Punnett- I have a really complicated relationship with God, and I am exceptionally pissed at him/her/it right now. 

One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child, and the Joy of Being One by Lauren Sandler- It's important to be informed.

Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line by Michael Gibney- I've had my eyes on this one for months.

The Children Act by Ian McEwan- One of my favorites!

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell- My husband and I may suck it up and go halvsies on this one. We're both huge fans.

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez- This book about immigration in the US seems like it may be another Tortilla Curtain.

A Secret History by Donna Tartt- I really enjoyed The Goldfinch and have heard great things about this one too.

Skippyjon Jones Cirque de Ole by Judy Schachner- This one's for Sawyer- I love little Kitty Boy!

What are you throwing a fit for right now? 

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

Link up below! (And hello and welcome to some of those that have just been starting to participate! I'm trying to find the time to jump over and visit your blogs, but I have a 4 month old and just went back to work- to say things are crazy is an understatement!)

1. I'm so conflicted about the ice bucket challenge. It's for such a great cause, and is so entertaining, but here in California we're in drought crisis mode. Being from the Central Valley I'm pretty sensitive to this stuff, since so many family friends are farmers and depend on irrigation for their lively-hood. Plus, don't we feel a little bad for the people in third-world countries who don't even have access to clean water? But still, so much money for ALS. 

2. I love writing tests sometimes:

3. Today was our fifth day with students and out eighth overall. Getting into the swing of things has been really tough- I'm exhausted, I hate taking Sawyer to daycare (despite being totally comfortable with the provider... I just miss him), and I'm still getting over losing my beloved senior class. 

4. Speaking of the seniors, several came to visit me today, so that was nice. 

5. How do we feel about kombucha? I'm scared to try it, but it's all the rage right now, and we know how important it is to be trendy.


6. Yesterday while at the grocery store an employee was checking out and wanted to buy a pack of cigarettes. The checker straight-up refused to get them for her, saying, "Nope, we take care of our own here." The employee gave in, admitting that she did have an electric one she was trying to use more. It was great.

7. The school year our district gave each teacher $500 to spend in their classrooms- and astronomical amount for our area (profession?). I went to the teacher supply store, which is mostly geared towards elementary teachers, and piled my cart full of random (but useful) crap, thinking I had spent a lot. Nope, not even a third. I'm not used to this luxurious lifestyle.

8. A campus supervisor asked me, and my very pregnant friend, when we were due. Come again? Say the fuck what? I admit it- I have five pounds to lose still, but they're hanging out around my ass, not my belly. 

9. I need to devote some serious time to looking at books that have come out in the last few months and ones that are on their way. Not that I'm buying them, thanks to a self-imposed financial diet, but I still feel out of the loop.

10. I made this two weeks ago. It was was so easy and so delicious- I need to make more tarts. Plus pretty, an important quality in food (see above- blogger was being weird).

Six Degrees of Seperation: Gone Girl

While I didn't love Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, I did think that using it as the jumping off point for this month's Six Degrees of Separation (Annabel and Emma's meme) might be fun. 

Gone Girl --> Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Why: Why, yes they do both have "girl" in their title! But that's not why I chose to connect them. Both are contemporary fiction that was much buzzed about that I thought was overrated. 

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo --> The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
Why: Both are set in Sweden.

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared --> The Unlikley Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Why: Both include old men who walk a lot.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry --> Bridget Jones' Diary
Why: Both set in England... I can't help it- anything British reminds be of her.

Bridget Jones' Diary --> Ann Frank's Diary
Why: Both diaries. Duh. 


Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

Link up below!

1. This is my view right now, as a I simultaneously finish tomorrow's powerpoint and write this post. I know I should put him down, but he's just so cuddly. 

2. Today was day three of full-time working and daycare. The good news is that Sawyer is doing awesome during the day- he's there for eight hours and has been sleeping for half of the time. He comes home happy and I don't feel quite as bad. We're home by 3 or 3:30 in time to eat, play, and rest a bit before the whole dinner-bath-bed routine. I'm still sad because I love being around him all day, but I am happy he's adjusting so well (and sleeping from 11:30 to 5:45 when I have to wake him up to eat and leave). It looks like we'll survive.

3. Tomorrow is our first day with students- dun dun dun. I'm hoping each day speeds by.

4. I wish splash pads were popular when we were young. They look so fun and I'm sure our parents would have appreciated an additional option for exhausting us during the summer.

5. I want to create some sort of on-going Scrabble game in my classroom. Besides putting magnets on the back of letters I've got nothing in terms of the logistics.

6. Things I feel a little out of the loop on: ISIS and Sinjar Monutain, current immigration reform steps, types of life insurance, Israel and Palestine developments (did the cease fire end up happening), and all this crap that's happening in Missouri with the racist police officers.

7. Things I know too much about: torticollis, ebola, hot-car deaths, Fit Bit battery issues, and vaccination schedules.

8. I'm always torn about celebrity deaths- I have trouble getting truly upset over people I don't personally know. I can appreciate that they sometimes draw attention to controversial issues that people have trouble talking about, though, like addiction and depression. 

9. Boris is still sitting in my garage, waiting for his forever-mother to come pick him up.

[messy garage FTW]

10. I love these fruit hacks- the strawberry one is great, and I had no idea that pineapple juice was so effective for coughs. 

A Summer of Learning


Alternate title: How to live with a third roommate who can't feed himself, control his bowels, or talk

I know summer isn't officially over yet, but as I go back to work tomorrow it might as well be (although I'd appreciate it if we could get a little cooler, temperature-wise). This time of year always leaves me feeling a little reflective- last summer I had an awesomely busy, fabulous break (Florida! The Caribbean! Riding the bike trail! Yoga! Pool time! Happy hours! Friends!), while this one has been a lot slower paced. What I've learned:

To be more flexible
I'm a pretty disciplined, structured person (just ask my students) and I am a huge fan of schedules and routines. If I say I'm going to read for thirty minutes and hit the treadmill for forty, that's what I do. I thought that would neatly carry over into motherhood- feedings, sleeping, activity time, etc... And it has to a point- we have a loose schedule we follow each day. But I'm not quite as uptight in terms of timing- if I'm changing his diaper and he's having a great time being naked I let him hang for a few extra minutes. If he and his dad are having one of their lengthy "conversations" I hold off on nap time or bed time until they're done. If the kid is hungry after two hours instead of three hours, then he gets to eat. We're all happy with this- he's a happy baby, he's gaining weight, and we're pretty well- rested (minus those few bad nights I had earlier this week... ouch).

Good friends stick around
I'm used to seeing my friends often, whether meeting up at someone's house, going to happy hours, or going out. I was a little apprehensive about how things would work with a baby in the mix, especially with those that don't have kids. Luckily everyone, for the most part, has been really understanding and accommodating. I don't see them as often by any means, but that's okay.  We've had friends offer to babysit, make us food, drop by to visit, and send texts to check in when they get the vibe that things are tough.

My mom friends are awesome
I have several friends, that are moms, who are a wealth of information. They have been so helpful at either validating what I'm doing or offering gentle suggestions. Once Sawyer screamed himself hoarse during bath time (which he now loves), a friend assured me that one of her kids had done the same during a crying fit of her own. My own mom has also been incredibly useful. 

To make nap times count
For the most part nap times are productive- exercise, house cleaning, laundry, or planning for the up-coming year. But sometimes you need to sleep. 

To make sound effects for everything and toys out of anything
Sawyer is at the age where he's starting to distract pretty easy- bad for feeding times, great when he's crying. Diaper changes are made fun by flailing around diapers in his face (sooooo funny, apparently). Stubborn onesies that won't fit over his head are accompanied by weird noises from me. 

Bad habits can be broken fairly easily
Sleeping in the swing became sleeping in the Pack-n-Play. Naps in my arms became naps alone (for him... not me). Swaddling both arms became swaddled with one arm (and neither in the next month or two). Rocking/nursing/walking to sleep became him falling asleep on his own. And so on and so forth. I used to beat myself up over things (and probably will continue to do so in the future), but now that I know with some determination things can always be changed.

To stick to my guns
You will nap- even if we have to repeat the "laying down" process a few times. You will get in 40-60 minutes of tummy time a day, whether in five minute spurts or twenty minute blocks. You will stay in the Ergo in Target, even if you're pissed. We will take baths at least every other night. 

That having a boy is totally fine
I really wanted a girl when I found out I was pregnant. When I learned I was having a boy I was a little bummed- a feeling that at least partially carried over up until Sawyer was born (not like depressed, just like "aw that little dress is so cute I wish I could buy it" sort of bummed). But now, I can't imagine anything else! Little preppy boy's clothes are the cutest (onesie polos are the best).

That I'm still me
I've obviously changed because I've had a kid- my Instagram feed is now comprised of 90% baby pictures, as opposed to dogs, alcoholic beverages, and pictures of hikes/bike rides. I talk about him all the time, and the five(ish) pounds still attached to me ass are a constant reminder. But I still get out with my friends, still partake in the hobbies I enjoy, and talk to my husband about things that don't concern the kid (we've even managed to go out, alone, once a month or so, too).

Things I'm still learning:
To stop comparing
This comes to me in terms of my time-management, post-pregnancy body (those last few pounds require so much effort to shed...), and baby's development (he'll do things when he gets there!).

To put away my phone
I've gotten a lot better about this when I'm with him- when I'm playing with Sawyer the phone goes away unless I'm taking pictures of him or texting occasionally. Web browsing, blog reading, and Pinterest pinning is for later, while breastfeeding or when he's napping.

To accept breastfeeding/pumping
I know, probably TMI for some, but I really don't enjoy this aspect of motherhood. I like spending time with him when he's calm and content, but this whole thing is such a commitment. I don't want him to get older, but I do fantasize about him turning one and being able to send him downstairs with my husband in the morning so that I can sleep (to like 8 or- gasp!- 9!) and he can drink a bottle of good old cow's milk. But right now it's so much cheaper and better for him- I hope it all works when going back to work.

So, here we are. Last summer I learned to love the Moscow Mule, this year I learned how to live with a baby. In my house. Using my stuff. Spending my money. 


Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

[this too shall pass... right?]

Link up below!

Right now my thoughts are completely consumed with being exhausted (my good sleeper has decided that he'd go ahead and wake up and cry at three for the past two nights, which I know isn't unordinary but I'm just terrified it's the new normal), how we're going to transition back to work/day care next week logistically, how he's going to do being away from me (and vice versa), some work crap, and some other shit. Eloquent, I know. The only thing bookish right now is that I'm rereading Catcher in the Rye and I still contend that Holden is pain in the ass (sorry, husband). I try hard to not be a complainer or a whiner, but right now that's pretty much all I feel like doing- I've reached my "enough is enough" moment. That being said, the next week or two while we're getting into the groove of things might be a little light here on the blog. Hang in there with me, mmmmkay? Have a great week! 

July Reviews

[hey, this is me, phoning it in this month. sorry.]

Let's not talk about the fact that it's August. Let's just not. And also, let's not talk about the impressively shitty mood I am in at this very second. Let's be honest- it might be better for the whole wide world if I just don't talk, period. 

But I'm going to, because it August 2nd, and I'm a day overdue for reviews. 

[Picture me, grabbing a straw to suck it up while simultaneously putting on my big girl panties- at least someone here can be entertained]

Last month I read two books, which sounds pathetic, but one of them was The Goldfinch, which counts for 2.5 books, so I don't feel bad. Lucky for me, that means a super review post (since we all know how much I love reviews):

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
775 pages
I already talked about it here

Verdict: See above

Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro 
240 pages
This is a collection of five short stories that all deal with music and relationships, with subtle ties to one another. There's one about a saxophone player that undergoes plastic surgery to improve his looks to hopefully make it big. One about a dried up crooner who is trying to romantically end a marriage. Then there's the struggling songwriter who ends up involved in another couples' strife. And the mentor who ends up professing her own struggles.

Verdict: I thought four of the five stories were really good (how's that for generic?), and that of course Ishiguro's writing is impeccable. If you're a fan of short stories I definitely recommend it. 

Total: 1,015 pages