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Showing posts from October, 2009

Reading Roundup: October 2009

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann

This had the potential to be a good book but it really wasn't. It took me a long time to get through it because I kept getting bored. That's not a good sign. The main problem was just a lack of focus and too much repetition of the same ideas and facts. The story was interesting, but not as interesting as the author seemed to think it was.

Right of Thirst by Frank Huyler

I had a hard time getting into this book at first, but after a while the story picked up pace and I really enjoyed it. It's an interesting meditation on international aid and on growing older, among other things. The writing is really beautiful and the plot has several twists that I was not expecting.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

I really don't like the title of this book, but it was still a good read and a has a very interesting plot. It alternates between the story of a twelve-year-old boy and his first lov…

I should be in bed right now

I really should be; I don't know if it's the cold, the dark, or the lingering effects of the flu (S-Boogie was sick for all of last week), but we've had some rough mornings here this week. And yet I'm still diddling around on the internet.

My mom just bought a plane ticket for when the baby gets here. It seems like things are happening fast, and yet there's so much to still happen before that time. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. Hopefully buying a house. Hopefully finding money to pay for diapers and for delivery. Part of me wants things to go fast, and part of me just wants to enjoy the next few months when I can sleep at night and we only have to deal with two children.

Speaking of two children, Little Dude and I have been having a hard time lately. I think it's partly just being a three-and-a-half year old, partly having recently moved, having his sister go to school all day, and potty training. He's been acting out a lot more than he used …

My Life Soundtrack

Today STM wrote a post about a playlist that would reflect her life, and I like the idea so much that I'm copying it here. It's also been a while since I wrote a really interesting post so hopefully this will fill that gaping hole in my blog. I listened to a lot of music while I was growing up and I feel bad that during the last few years I really don't listen to it much anymore. Most of the people in my family are 'music people' and I think I'm not. Maybe I'm just not relzxed enough anymore because the chaos of life with kids is usually just too much for me to handle without adding some background music to the mix. So there aren't really too many songs from the last five years or so, but here's the rest of my playlist:

Much of the music we listened to when I was a kid was country music. Old, classic country music. Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard, George Jones, etc. When I was very young we didn't have a television, but we …

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Today I finally broke down and bought a big bag of Halloween candy at Target. I'm probably going to have buy another one next week because I don't expect this one to last until next Saturday. Tonight I just realized that the advantage of having a baby in February means that I have free reign during the holidays to eat whatever I want. Awesome.

The List

Several people have asked about our list of countries, so I thought I'd go ahead and post it. I found a list of all the 'sovereign' countries in the world, pasted it into a Word document, and then started paring things down (there were nearly 200 to start with). This list reflects stuff that interests our family and I left a few countries on there for personal reasons that you may or may not want to keep or replace with others. Like there are a lot of Scandinavian ones because we have ancestors from there. Also, since the list was based on 'sovereign' nations, it left off Taiwan and just put Great Britain instead of separating out England, Scotland and Wales. I'm still not sure how we're going to handle that one when we get to it. Anyways, here's my list and you can customize it as you see fit.

As far as research goes, I've been able to find a lot at my local library. I'm blessed to live in a city with a library that has a large collection of chi…

Get Up and Do Something

So I know I posted a few weeks ago about feeling irritable and guilty and overwhelmed. The other day I realized that another reason for the feeling was the fact that I have gotten into the habit of avoiding doing pretty much everything besides the basics of cooking, laundry, and general kid maintenance. You would think that avoiding difficult things would make you feel better, but instead I had been feeling steadily worse. So the other day I finally started cleaning up and organizing many of the giant piles of stuff sitting around my house. And on Saturday Mr. Fob and I deep cleaned the house as well. Guess what? I feel a lot better. Tonight instead of watching TV I went and ran a few errands that are more pleasant without kids, including a trip to the library to pick up some books. It feels much better to have some productivity in my life.

I also decided to start a project that I've been thinking about for a while. We are going to spend the next year or so learning about different…

The Good News

Apparently the way to invoke bad karma is to write a blog post about how terrible your last week was and to hope that the new one will be better. My cold has not gone away, and last night as I was descending our basement stairs I managed to miss one and fell down the last three or four. My back has been aching all day and I felt miserable; thankfully tonight things seem to be clearing up a bit and hopefully tomorrow I'll feel better. If I'm trying to look on the bright side I can say that I've been taking a lot of hot baths and lying around on my couch for the last week or so.

In other news, something I've been hesitant to announce on my blog looks like it might actually come true so I'm going to say it: we're buying a house. Right now in the middle of the process this doesn't feel like 'good news', but I have faith that it will work out and we will be somewhere else in a month. Somewhere without scary stairs to the basement or leaking pipes or inco…

Crazy Week

Hopefully this week will be a little better; today is starting to feel that way, especially since right now I'm home alone because Mr. Fob took Little Dude with him to run an errand and my fabulous sister-in-law took S-Boogie to go have fun with her cousins. I should probably be lying down on the couch right now but decided to take a chance and blog instead.

Last week was fun, but crazy. Mr. Fob has six siblings, three of whom live in Hawaii. Last week two of his sisters and their families came to visit, plus his dad, so we all went up to a cabin by Bear Lake for a few days. It was fun and a little crazy at the same time. Since we were already most of the way up there, we took a quick day trip up to Wyoming and rode horses at my aunt's house. It was fun, even though the horses were acting kind of crazy since we had some from my uncle and some from my aunt and they weren't too happy about getting together (and no, I didn't get on a horse this time--not a good idea in my …

Reading Roundup: September 2009

The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson

I didn't put the subtitle of this book on here because it's really long, but the book is about a cholera epidemic in London during the mid-nineteenth century and the men who figured out how the disease was spreading through the water system. It was a very readable, interesting book about a lot of related topics: epidemics, sociology, history, the development of cities, ecology, and sanitation. I felt that in some places his arguments were not convincing and I didn't agree with his decision in the final chapters to try and tie so many things together, but I generally enjoyed the book.

Abide With Me by Elizabeth Strout

I really enjoyed reading Olive Kitteridge and so I thought I'd try some of Strout's earlier work. This book also had lovely writing, but I felt that story fell a little flat and I didn't like very many of the characters.

1959: The Year Everything Changed by Fred Kaplan

This is another book that had potential to be goo…

You're doing it wrong!

This morning was, unfortunately, like too many other mornings on school days. The kids dawdled through breakfast and getting dressed while I spent my time repeatedly saying things like "go get dressed", "stop talking and eat breakfast", "we don't have time for that", and so on. By the time we were out the door walking (running) to school I was pretty upset. I realized today that part of the reason why I was upset was because I was just as mad at myself as I was at the kids. Because it's all my fault that they don't get up on time, my fault that they can take thirty minutes to eat a bowl of cereal, my fault that S-Boogie still can't focus enough to get herself dressed without my help.

I realized while walking home today that I've fallen into the trap of feeling too much guilt and responsibility. Lately I feel like everything I do is wrong, that everything is totally my fault, and that I'm an utter failure. The problem with this minds…