Saturday, March 31, 2012

books and movies

I started off this year in such a reading rut.  I was read out.  I actually returned a book to the library half finished. gasp! I return many books to the library unread or having only read less than fifty pages and found out it wasn't for me.  But I read this sucker all the way to the middle, felt it was going too slow and returned it.  

Here's what I've been reading so far this year:

First, the clockwork books.  These are the "prequels" to the City of Bones books. I thoroughly enjoyed the City of Bones books last year.  These are set in London at the turn of the century. I loved the setting. I liked the characters. However, the plot centers around "automatons", clockwork robots that are magically given life. I wasn't a fan of the automatons but I still liked the books.  

 I read about Mr. Rosenblum on a blog.  It's my friend's mom's blog.  I usually like her books.  Every once in a while, I realize that the books she's recommending are more for my mother's age.  I did enjoy this book, but it was a slower read for me.  Mr. Rosenblum is a German Jew who moved to England at the beginning of the war.  He wants desperately to be an Englishman, and even keeps a list of all the necessary components of being a proper Englishman, and he builds his own golf course to complete his list since all the golf clubs won't let a Jew join.  I liked that I could tell my hubby about this book because it was about golf. I loved the characters. I loved his wife, Mrs. Rosenblum! I want her to make me a torte!

Graceling is our book club pick for March.  I finished it quickly. It had the same feel as the Poison Study books I loved last year.  But I loved Poison Study more.  I liked the characters. It has a medieval feel, but some people have "graces" which are like special gifts or powers.  It makes them either used or shunned by their society.  I liked the plot, I liked the handsome prince who saves the day.  It definitely kept me entertained.  I'll have to report more when we have our book club discussion next week!

My friend from church who works at the library recommended this next one.  It is a juvenile book which my friend doesn't usually enjoy.  One afternoon at the library, Lulu was having tons of fun playing on the computer and I was getting bored. I saw it on the shelf, picked up and started reading it, and took it home.  It was wonderful! It is written from the perspective of a gorilla, living at a mall/zoo, and how he saves the animals.  I love the observations he makes about humans. I loved reading his perspective.  It was eye opening and thoroughly enjoyable! A quick easy read that I now have to convince my sci-fi/fantasy reading nephews to read!

 I read about the next one on another blog. She used to write Deliciously Clean Reads and I loved getting recommendations from her because I could count on them being clean.  Then her blog changed and it's mostly about her family.  But she recently posted about this trilogy.  It's about a post-apocalyptic society (think Hunger Games, Matched, etc.) where those who live in the wall are privileged and have what they need, and those who live outside the wall basically serve those inside and live in a shantytown.  Every month, the first two babies born outside the wall are presented to the wall and donated. It's supposed to be an honor, because they'll now have a privileged life.  But really it's just to expand their shrinking gene pool inside the wall.  When those outside the wall start to want change, a midwife seems to have all the clues about all the babies who have been donated to the wall.  I liked this book, I have already ordered the next one from the library!

 Okay, so here's the sucker I didn't finish. I originally checked it out last year and couldn't get into the beginning.  Then I read about more people liking it.  And I had loved her previous book, Bel Canto! So I tried it again in January.  It's about a scientist doing fertility research in the Amazon.  The pharmaceutical company funding her research is tired of not getting any results or answers, so they send another scientist to find her and check on her.  He doesn't come back! So they send another to find him, and find the researcher and get results.  I got halfway through, felt like okay, she found the doctor in the Amazon, now what? I returned it and thought I'd worry about it later.  Two good efforts, right?

Then my dear friend said she loved it, couldn't wait to talk about it and was probably going to choose it for book club next month! I thought, crap, now I have to finish it!  This is where I think I realized I had truly been in a reading slump. Because I checked it out last Monday, found my place in the middle on Tuesday and finished it Friday morning!! I finished the second half in two days! I flew through the ending, couldn't get enough and couldn't wait to talk about it!!! It has so many ethical and controversial questions about medical research, how we treat each other, fertility, etc.  The author leaves many loose ends.  So I am forced to resolve all these characters, and it's a lovely ending in my head! :) But I really enjoyed this book and  even though it was a bit of a labor of love for me, I still would recommend it!

Now I'm on to the second Maze Runner book. I read the Maze Runner this winter for book club. It was a bit freaky and definitely not my usual book pick, but of course since it's a trilogy, I have to read the next one! I'll let you know!

I'm tired. Here are the movies we have enjoyed lately from the library and Redbox.
-Merlin, the series. It's a bit cheesy but we love it and keep watching! It's clean and family oriented so if my kids were older, they could watch too!
-Moneyball, good movie! Brad Pitt is of course eating the whole movie. What is with that? Interesting movie about sports (hubby picked it of course!) but still enjoyable for me, but not inspiring/exciting like Miracle or other sports movies
-The A-Team, the new one. Don't judge, it was a fun movie!
-Knight and Day, the one with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, it was fun
-Gnomeo and Juliet, loved it! can't believe we haven't watched it before now!

Next up, my hold for Downton Abbey is finally in!!!!! I'm so excited!

I took the girls to the dollar theater and we saw Chipwrecked. I will freely admit, I love chipmunk music. I love when they sing, it was not a painful two hours and the girls thought it was fun.

And Yes, I loved the Hunger Games movie! I have no issues with movies that are different from the books. I learned from Harry Potter 5 not to reread the book right before seeing the movie, I forget details in books so fast that it just doesn't bug me that they never said Effie Trinket's name in the movie! I thought the casting was perfect, I thought they showed just enough action, and my hubby who hadn't read the books could follow the movie! Can't wait for more!

Phew! Are you still here? What have you read/seen lately?

Friday, March 23, 2012

welcome, Eden!

 Well, this photo is officially way out of date! A whopping three months out! :)

Our spring break week started off with a bang! We found out last Thursday that my sister in law was going to have her long-awaited c-section on Sunday! We were so excited, they were very anxious and nervous.

Sunday was a big day, I spoke in church and was in charge of sharing time for primary, PLUS the A/C was out at church and it was 85 degrees outside. It made for a very swampy and stressful Sunday! I had hoped I would have something to announce in my talk, but alas, the delivery was delayed by two emergencies.

We got out of church at 3 just in time to hear the big news! 
Eden Joy and Gabriel Martin were here!

She's just a little cashew but she's sooooo pretty!
W and I were lucky enough to take the boys to the hospital to meet their new sister. Lots of tears were shed by all as we mourned the loss of Gabriel. My sweet oldest nephew is so sensitive to these things and didn't quite understand everything.  

Grief is a funny thing. It hits you at the strangest times. I'll be driving along and suddenly crying.  I just hope that Eden brings some peace and joy to their home!

I took this picture right before we took the boys home. I love how it so aptly portrays the boys' reaction to their new sister. My oldest sensitive nephew, my aloof nephew and my giddy nephew! :)
This little girl is almost three pounds smaller than my smallest baby at birth-it's so fun holding a tiny one and I can't wait to come up with an excuse to visit her again! :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012


I am curious as to whether the whole Pinterest "change your terms or I'm leaving" is legit or not.

I am skeptical of reposting videos of Kony 2012 on Pinterest and FB. I am not sure what reposting a video is going to do to incite change.  Maybe it's more useful than posting my bra color to support breast cancer though.

I am tired of the election already and it's early in the year.

I am not sure what I'm going to do about said election.

I am needing to make a lot of personal changes and really really struggling to do so.

I am craving some good spring skirt sewing! Easter dresses, here we come!

I am weary of our current schedule.  It's the best for us right now but I really do want to cook more consistently and my long work days make that so tough.  I know, I know, crockpots! But the truth is, my girls don't eat well when it comes to crockpot cooking! And by the time we're home from work, it's time to snarf down some food and rush to bed!

I am nervous about adjusting to daylight savings with Lulu's current resistance to bedtime already at an all time high!

I am thankful for the months where the heater and the AC are both unnecessary!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I just love...

how Lulu says "a" and "the" so properly! She's so articulate and always pronounces each with the long vowel.  "Mom, I would like A banana, please!" She's so dainty!

how Lulu's tummy talks to her.  She will say things like, "My tummy says I want to color."

Miss M got in the car after school yesterday and announced, "I don't know how I'm learning this reading thing. It's amazing!"

that Miss M is old enough to brush her own teeth now. It's the little things.

girl scout cookies.

the quilt squares my group is doing so far this year. Check 'em out!

Miss M's missing tooth smile.

my mum earrings. I finally put them together and I'm wearing a new color everyday! I ordered them off etsy for a crafting night and they didn't make it in time so I just now put them together and I'm in love!

seventy degree blustery days! I hope there are more in store because I'm loving them lately!

that W puts up with all the movies I keep bringing home from the library. He has gotten into "Merlin" but he basically shakes his head at "Step Up".

Fanta Zero.

Jazzy Apples. It's a new hybrid I bought on a whim because they were cheap and small (perfect lunchbox size) and they turned out tasty, crisp and yummy so far!

the daffodils blooming.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mystery Solved

So...I have this speech kid.
When I show up at the clinic on Wednesday afternoons, he's often sitting in my chair waiting for me.
I kind of adore him.
He reminds me of my brother Sam a lot.  
He has autism, and he's draws pictures of houses and public buildings (like city hall) and all the power sources and transformers coming from them.
He also has severe apraxia, which means that he has a lot of trouble with creating the motor patterns for speech, speaking clearly, producing intelligible words and saying certain sounds. However, the odd thing about apraxia is that then he'll be able to say an entire sentence  clear as day. 

Anyway, two weeks ago, he showed up to the clinic, went straight to the bathroom, shed his school uniform and came out wearing spongebob square pants pajama shorts, a blue tshirt, a grey vest with a hand drawn paper paw print stuck to his chest.  To complete the outfit, he had on black gloves.

I soooo wish I could share a picture of it with you. You'll just have to imagine.  It was so hard not to giggle, and I spent the entire session trying to ask the right questions and target the right activities to figure out what in the world he was wearing.  The vest apparently originated from a vampire costume, so that was all we could get out of his brother.  

Fast forward to last Wednesday where he was waiting in my seat that afternoon. I got out my computer and he asked for "I want coloring picture, please" and then gestured to his paper where he'd drawn what he wanted me to find a graphic on google for. This is a routine for us.  He prints it out, colors it, cuts it out, we discuss it and then he covers it with contact paper. 
We have spent many sessions coloring WB logos and covering them with contact paper! :)
His paper had more pawprints like the one on his vest and he'd written WILDKRATTS under it.  
I figured he was obviously misspelling it, and I googled wildcats and came up with a bunch of sports logos for wildcats. 
It was obvious that was NOT what he was looking for.
I finally turned the computer over to him and said, you type it in. 
He typed in WILDKRATTS. Any of you out there know what popped up?

I just about died!!! EUREKA!!!!!

shorts? check!
vest? check!
paw print logo? check!
blue shirt? check!
black gloves? check!

He was dressed up as one of the Wild Kratts brothers! Who are they? Apparently it's some PBS show that he obviously loves where they save animals and learn about them.  It made my day! All of us therapists were so excited to have solved the mystery, and all he wanted was to print out the picture, color it and laminate it with contact paper! :) 
I love my job. It was just what I needed to think, oh yeah. that's why I do this. 
I told you, I'm a sucker for this kid.
I so wish we could unlock all his words-there is meaning in everything he does. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

I have been touched by the support and love shown by all of you after my last few posts.
I think it's obvious I've been down in the dumps. I'm surrounded by family and friends, but it's been a difficult few weeks.

I've debated about how much I can say. It's my blog and my record and it's happening to me, but I don't want to share too much private information.

Many of you know that one of my sisters in law has been expecting twins.  They are due to arrive in the middle of March.  However, one of the twins has had a lot of difficulty from the start.  It has defied every expectation of the doctors, but this baby fought to stick around and protect it's twin sister until two weeks ago when we found out that it wouldn't make it.

My heart is broken for my brother and his family and this loss.  While it's ultimately what we expected to happen and probably the best thing for this precious baby, it is still a loss.

We have spent the last two weeks working very hard to prepare for the sweet little girl that we hope continues to grow and get cute and chubby for a few more weeks.  But when I get down time, I realize how I'm not handling it very well.  I am down and weepy and exhausted. And I'm only the aunt. I cannot imagine how hard this has been for them.

I am so thankful for the knowledge I have of eternal families.  Miss M has asked many times over these months about eternal families. I feel comfort in reminding her of the blessings of our temple marriage, that we will be together for eternity through the promises we have made. And I feel peace and security in the knowledge that I will meet this little baby someday.

In the meantime, I cannot wait for the birth of this little girl.  I'm so enamored with my littlest niece, and I can't wait for another one.  I look forward to the joy of being able to celebrate these babies.