Friday Five

1. It has been almost two weeks since my last post. I have been tired and unmotivated. I’m so tired of living in Maryland and just tired in general. Hopefully I’ll find the energy to get back into the swing of things. I feel guilty not writing, but the guilt isn’t enough to get me going again.

2. Dr. Seuss came out with a new book on July 28, What Pet Should I Get? It’s pretty amazing to see Dr. Seuss’ legacy continue to thrive after his death. His wife found the manuscript of this brand new story while going through their things. This is Dr. Seuss’ first book to be released in 25 years and features the brother and sister from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.  I can’t wait to read it to Jimmie. I added it to our Amazon wish list.

3. We said goodbye to cable this week. It was my idea. I figured we could save a little money before we moved if we got rid of cable for the rest of our time in Maryland. We already have Netflix and we also just subscribed to Hulu. We are thinking about ordering a box from Amazon for the local channels, as well. In the end, we will probably save about 300 dollars, which isn’t too shabby. Bonus of using Hulu: Korean Dramas with subtitles. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit, but after only two episodes, Winter Sonata has sucked me in.  We went to the island where a lot of it was filmed towards the end of our Korean journey.

4. Speaking of saying goodbye, Kaitlyn said goodbye to Nick on the Bachelorette on Monday. I didn’t like either of the two last men standing.  And even though Nick was kind of creepy, I really didn’t like Shawn, who is now engaged to Kaityln. They swear they are going to get married, but I won’t believe it until I see it. I hate when the Bachelor or Bachelorette says they knew from the beginning who it was going to “win.” Because if Kaitlyn knew she would choose Shawn, she wouldn’t have slept with Nick in Dublin, just throwing that out there.

5.  I went to the Target secret toy sale yesterday and scored some great deals! Jimmie was a champ and was pretty patient throughout the whole two hour ordeal. There was only one person doing markdowns on toys. I basically had  to stalk her down the isles as she checked for price changes.

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This is how I shop at BJs

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“Move over bud! I want to drive!” Jimmie and his bestie.

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This is how I shop at Target.

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Jimmie’s favorite toy for a week until I had to get rid of them. The paint was peeling and I was starting to think they weren’t BPA free….

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Just cuddling with this chair cover, don’t mine me.

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matching cousins

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Jimmie can walk with his walker now; walking into walls is his specialty.

Book Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

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Who was murdered? Were they murdered? And who did it? Big Little Lies is a murder mystery from start to end. As you’re reading it, you feel like you’re right there smack in the middle of it all.

Set in Australia, Jane and her son move to a small beach town to start over. Ziggy, Jane’s son, is starting Kindergarten, and Jane, a single mother, is looking for new scenery. They seem to start over a lot, every six months to be exact. During Kindergarten orientation, Jane meets Madeline and Celeste, both women have children starting school the following semester. Fate certainly bring Jane and Madeline together and their children become instant friends, as well. And this is where it all begins. Not only is there drama within the adult community, there is also a situation going on with the kindergarten kids. Big Little Lies is full of small town secrets. Everyone knows everyone. They all drink the same coffee, send their kids to the same school, and attend the same social events.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriaty is my new favorite book. I loved every single word on every single page, all 458 of them. This was one of the longer books I have read in a long time and it held my interest to the very end. It didn’t drag and there aren’t any useless details. Every detail leads to the shocking ending. The book really does feel like a murder mystery dinner. I was sucked into trying to figure out A) who died? and B) who killed them? I actually didn’t figure either answer out until it was revealed in the novel.

Big Little Lies opened my eyes to a new scene of craziness: parents at school. Parents will do anything to protect their children including: invite every child to their child’s party except for yours and start a petition to expel your child.  It really showed how some parents helicopter around their kids and involve themselves way too much. It is scary.

The biggest scare of the whole book is the in-depth  scenes that involve domestic violence. It is not okay to be assaulted, by anyone, even if they hit back in self defense. You never know who is in a violent relationship, even if they look picture perfect on the outside, and violence against a spouse does affect  children, even if they are not directly a part of the violence.

The only thing I started to question after I finished the book was over was why the opening character, Mrs. Ponder, didn’t play a larger part in the story. She seemed quirky and fun. I was hoping that there would be more details given about her life, but she wasn’t mentioned too much after the first few pages, just in passing.

Big Little Lies is full of surprises. I suggest you put it on your summer reading list. It is too good to miss. It will be available in paperback on August 11. You can buy it now in hardcover and e-book edition.

Friday Five

1. I have been at this blogging thing for about 4 1/2 years. I say it time and time again, and will continue to say it, I do this to keep myself writing and to have something (anything) to show to a future employer. I know this isn’t the best, award-winning writing, but it’s something. It shows that I have continued to put effort into a “job” since I haven’t worked since March 2012. With that being said, I am becoming less and less motivated to blog. I’m sure every blogger goes through this, and now it is my turn. I used to try to post at least three times a week, and now, I feel like all I can muster up the energy for are book reviews (sometimes) and Friday Fives. I’m going to continue to blog but not as religiously. I just don’t have the motivation or the energy. I sometimes feel like motherhood is pecking at my brain leaving less time to think about anything but what to feed Jimmie and when the heck is he going to walk? (Originally I wrote plucking and realized at breakfast that I meant pecking. See what I mean?) One day I will regain my ability to think like a normal adult without stumbling over words in daily conversations. One day.

2. Speaking of parenthood, last night was a doozy. Jimmie did NOT want to fall asleep. It took over two hours for him to finally fall asleep. Those two hours were full or crying, rocking, reading books, checking his diaper to see if he pooped, and calmly telling him to go to sleep. He kept pointing at his night light, so I thought he wanted it off, but he didn’t. Jimmie cannot be rocked to sleep. The last time I did that was maybe when he was around two months old? He definitely hasn’t been rocked since he went into the crib at three months, that’s for sure. So trying to do it last night was a waste, but I did enjoy feeling the weight of his body relax on me. Although, that was just followed by screaming when I put him in his crib. Momma said there’d be days like this….come on tooth number 12! You have to be in today!!

3. We booked our trip to New England. After feeling a bit overwhelmed that we were trying to do too much, we shortened our trip to just two different lodging locations (plus staying with good friends for a few nights, and with Jim’s sister and family for two nights). I say lodging because we booked through airbnb. We are staying in a cabin (with no TV!) in Connecticut and in a lake house in Massachusetts. I am super excited to relax in the woods and look at the water in both places. Jimmie will have his own room (I can’t sleep in the same room as him, hence why we are not staying in a hotel) and we will have space to hang out after he goes to bed. We will not be going to Vermont or New Hampshire this time around but we will be visiting: NY, CT, RI, MA, and ME. Not bad for a 1 week trip!

4. I started Big Little Lies and I am LOVING it.  I decided not to join the book club because it required me to join another club on post. I went to a meeting on Monday and it required time that I didn’t have. Most of the time would have been during the day, and I am obviously with Jimmie during that time. At least I found a great book out of the deal.

5. Anyone get anything good on Amazon Prime Day? I honestly didn’t remember it was happening until 9 PM. I was going to order a cookbook that I had mentioned on here before because I had to return it to the library: Weelicious Lunches. It was about $2 cheaper than it is now, which was a nice bonus, but I was going to buy it anyways. I did get a $3 credit for an ebook purchase by choosing no rush shipping. Usually they only offer $1 credit. I am looking forward to Christmas shopping at Target in two weeks during their “secret” toy sale. Last year I was pushing the stroller and pulling a cart. This year I can put Jimmie in the cart, which will be helpful.

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Jimmie’s feelings on Selfies, plus my creepy eyes.

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Someone likes to feed himself now. (With his left hand??)

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YUM! Good foods to practice with: rice, blueberries, and eggs. Not as messy as liquidy food.

Friday Five

1. It is officially monsoon season in Maryland. Didn’t know Maryland had a monsoon season? Oh, me either. Let’s jut call it Summer 2015, the Inaugural Monsoon Season in Maryland. How come it always pours when I’m leaving a store?

2. We have an ant problem and it is super gross. The exterminator I called said it is the worst year for ants and flies in 10 years. Oh, great another momentous occasion in Maryland. Also, I can’t even step outside without getting a bug bite. They love me, they really love me. The ants appeared a few weeks ago and I figured it was from Jimmie throwing his food all over the kitchen. To rectify this, I moved his chair to the other side of the table (away from the window) and started to vacuum in there every day. Carpet….in the kitchen. I’m just as amazed as you are. This seemed to solve the problem (plus some spray and traps) until two days ago. ANTS ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER. Panic ensued (on my part) and I ripped apart the kitchen and cleaned (my ALREADY CLEAN) kitchen. I like to think I am a clean person. I am not one of those, “I don’t have time to clean because I have a kid people.” I clean ALL THE TIME. But apparently, ants do not care. Fast forward to this morning, I wake up with ants IN THE DISHWASHER. You have GOT to be kidding me. As I sit here, I am freaking out and periodically going into the kitchen and killing ants as they appear. I am patiently (not) waiting for either my landlord or realtor to call me back. I already have the exterminator on speed dial. On the other hand, I now know how to take apart my dishwasher, clean it, and put it back together. I’m so handy.

3. Another complaint about my temporary home is that our backyard (if you can call it that) isn’t flat. I put the baby pool out there yesterday (I know…finally) and Jimmie sat there trying to find his balance for 15 minutes. Why is Maryland so hilly?

4. TV show update: I was unhealthily (is that a word?) upset when I found out Pretty Little Liars wasn’t on this week. I was looking forward to it all day. SAHM problems. Also, I stopped watching Big Brother because it is SO BAD this year. Kaitlyn has really dug herself a deep hole on the Bachelorette. Maybe she will end up alone. At this point, if she doesn’t pick Nick, the other guys WILL dump her when they see these episodes play out.

5. How cute are these books? They are little art board books for babies! We got two from the library the other day. Speaking of books: I joined a spouse book club on post. My first meeting will be in a few weeks. I was just notified that the book we are reading is available at the library. I’ll have to go get it today. This month’s book is Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, a book I have been wanting to read.

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Jimmie had A BLAST at the Farmer’s Market last weekend

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His cuteness kills me. He is finally getting the fourth bottom tooth!

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This bear was given to Jim from his Grandmom almost 30 years ago. Jimmie loves him.

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Toby enjoying our grass…

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Pool fun!

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 I wish this pool had a swim up bar. I need a margarita.

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Post-pool snack.

Happy 13 and 14 Months, Jimmie!

I was too tired and lazy to do an update for 13 months. I’ll blame it on my wisdom teeth recovery!

Words Jimmie can say: Nothing new. But he can point now which is a helpful form of communication. He also likes to pick up an object and grunt. I assume he is asking what it is. He also babbles a ton of  stuff that doesn’t make sense.

Favorites: Singing, dancing, being outside, swinging at the park.

Weight: 23 1/2 pounds 

Firsts this month: Jimmie can pull up on anything and everything now. He cruises and walks (sort of) when we are holding his hands. He pulled up into regular crawling shortly after his first Birthday. He also got his first molar (and 2nd, 3rd, and 4th!) Jimmie started to point about two weeks ago. Jimmie went to the beach for the first time in May. Some new foods he tried were: strawberry ice cream, plums, mangos, mexican muffins, chocolate chip cookie, peach cake, and cool whip.

Nightly sleep schedule:  For a few weeks he was waking up before 7 and I was going crazy. Not used to all that! But he is back to sleep until about 7 or 7:30. He also still goes to bed between 7 and 7:30 but sometimes it takes him a while to fall asleep. Tried putting him to sleep later, he was too fussy. We are also transitioning to from two naps to one after lunch nap. We were getting stuck in the two is too many but one morning one wasn’t enough. So far, so good!

Favorite toy: Fisher Price Roll-a-Rounds Swirlin Surprise Gumball Machine – he loves putting the “gumballs” in here but also anything else in his playroom. He also loves Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Puppy’s Activity Home.  Jimmie can now stack his rings on their stand too, which is really cool. He can also build a block tower of two or three blocks.

Hardest moment of the month: Teething and a bit of constipation.

Best moment of the month: Our trip to the beach over Memorial Day weekend! Which now feels like forever ago…

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Book Review: Summer by Summer by Heather Burch

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Summer is excited for her last summer before college. She accepts a job as a nanny in Belize hoping to find some peace and fun. Bray, the older son of the couple Summer is working for, is off to Belize to party and hopefully keep his parents from getting a divorce. After meeting for the first time, Summer and Bray hate each other instantly. Bray invites summer on a dive trip hoping to clear the air. After a record breaking storm, Bray and Summer find themselves stranded on an island. How will they survive? Not only do they have to survive the island, but they also have to survive each other.

Summer by Summer by Heather Burch is a Christian YA novel.  I really liked the message the book sends, as well as, the story. Summer used to attend youth group and church before her boyfriend got into a horrible accident. She even pledged to wait to have sex until her wedding night. After the accident, Summer lost her faith and her will to pray. On the island, Summer rediscovers hope and faith in God. Even though this book is considered a Christian novel, I don’t think it it is preachy. It really is a great summer romance read.

Heather and Bray’s relationship grows as the story progresses. Just as Summer’s relationship with God is reborn. With only each other to rely on (and prayer and faith in God) their dire situation becomes bearable. Some of the story seemed too good to be true, as you will understand as you read the book; some surprising finds make life on the island for Bray and Summer easier than most would have it if they were stranded on a deserted island.  It wasn’t a Swiss Family Robinson situation. The island seemed, as some points, relaxing and wonderful.

This book was unlike other Young Adult Novels that I am used to reading. I enjoyed the switching point of views between Bray and Summer and I also enjoyed the underlying message . Bray and Summer could have given up on their lives in the massive storm, but instead, they fought for themselves and for each other. They chose to live, and continued to choose life as they tried to survive on the island.

The end of the novel takes some weird, unexpected turns that really threw me off. I feel like the last 30 pages are really rushed. There could have been a second book with all of the information that is thrown out there. Other than that, I really enjoyed reading another book outside of my comfort zone, even though the end was unrealistic to me.

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday Five

1. We watched Gone Girl last night. I actually thought it was really good. I read the book a while ago, but it seemed to me that the book and movie were similar. I have to look up the book ending, though, because I’m pretty sure the movie ended differently than the book.

2. We spent a few days in NJ over the weekend. Minus the rain, it was a beautiful couple days. It wasn’t too hot and we were able to spend a good amount of time outside. Jimmie was able to meet his California cousins and see some family and friends he hasn’t seen in a while. Overall, a great trip!

3.Jimmie started pointing at everything this past weekend. Now that he can “communicate,” knowing what he wants is a little easier. And when I say a little, I mean a little, because sometimes I have no idea what he is pointing at!

4. We’re thinking about taking a mini New England road trip in the fall with Jimmie. Any suggestions? I have never been past New York. We plan on starting in NJ driving to NY to see Jim’s sister and then continuing to CT, MA, VT, etc. (Possibly making it to Maine?) I’m really excited!

5. I am excited to have four whole days this weekend with Jim and Jimmie. Today was are going to PA to visit some friends we haven’t see since our wedding! Since then, they have had a little girl who we haven’t met yet. We are going to lunch, petting some animals, and sneaking in an unplanned visit with Jimmie’s other grandparents.  The rest of the weekend is open to adventure and chores. Hopefully we fit in more adventure. The chores can wait.

 

 

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Already driving? Seriously?!

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cousins

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Cousins with kids! (plus one in Nicole’s belly!!)

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“Why won’t the rain stop, Mom?”

Happy Birthday, America! (Toby’s Birthday is also July 4th. Happy Birthday to my pupster too!) Check out my favorite 4th of July Pinterest Finds. Enjoy your weekend. Have fun and stay safe!