Monday, January 31, 2011

what I’ve read :: January 2011

For a couple of years now I’ve been thinking of keeping a book journal. I love to read, and read a lot, but I’ve been known to forget what I’ve read. Sadly, I often forget what a book was about. So, this year I started keeping the journal & thought it would be fun {for me at least} to post at the end of each month what I’ve read.

So, here’s my list for January:

blank confession

Blank Confession by Pete Hautman

Synopsis from Shelfari:
Shayne Blank is the new kid in town--but that doesn't stop him from getting into a lot of trouble very quickly. The other kids don't understand him. He's not afraid of anything. He seems too smart. And his background doesn't add up. But when he walks into the police department to confess to a murder, it quickly becomes apparent that nothing is as it seems. There's more to Shayne--and his story--than meets the eye. As the details begin to fill in, the only thing that becomes clear is that nothing about Shayne's story is clear at all. Blank Confession is a compelling mystery that will keep readers turning pages, from National Book Award-winning author Pete Hautman.

I picked this book up on a whim at the library. It’s only 170 pages so I read it in one day. It’s pretty good. There wasn’t anything about it that made it super memorable. Just okay.

maze runner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Synopsis from Shelfari:
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade — a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift. Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up — the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

I’m not 100% sure where I heard about this book, but I’m thinking it was on Miss Zoot’s blog. This book was very interesting. If you’ve read the Hunger Games trilogy and enjoyed it {I LOVED it} I think you’ll really enjoy this book. It’s truly amazing the stories that people come up with.

one day

One Day by David Nicholls

Synopsis from Shelfari:
15th JULY 1988. Emma and Dexter meet on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways.
So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that?
And every year that follows?

Honestly, I didn’t finish this book. I read the review in PEOPLE magazine & thought it sounded interesting. For whatever reason though, I just couldn’t get into it. I did skim through it & think I know how it ends. Also, I’ve heard they’re making it into a movie starring Anne Hathaway, so maybe I’ll try that instead.

sworn to silenceSworn to Silence by Linda Castillo

Synopsis from Shelfari:
A killer is preying on sacred ground.... In the sleepy rural town of Painters Mill, Ohio, the Amish and English residents have lived side by side for two centuries. But sixteen years ago, a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community. In the aftermath of the violence, the town was left with a sense of fragility, a loss of innocence. Kate Burkholder, a young Amish girl, survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Killer but came away from its brutality with the realization that she no longer belonged with the Amish. Now, a wealth of experience later, Kate has been asked to return to Painters Mill as Chief of Police. Her Amish roots and big city law enforcement background make her the perfect candidate. She's certain she's come to terms with her past until the first body is discovered in a snowy field. Kate vows to stop the killer before he strikes again. But to do so, she must betray both her family and her Amish past and expose a dark secret that could destroy her.

Loved, loved, loved this book! I was hooked from the first page & couldn’t put it down. I would highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys this genre. Also, there’s a sequel, Pray for Silence, and I’m so looking forward to reading that one.

what the dead know

What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

Synopsis from Shelfari:
Thirty years ago two sisters disappeared from a shopping mall. Their bodies were never found and those familiar with the case have always been tortured by these questions: How do you kidnap two girls ? Who—or what—could have lured the two sisters away from a busy mall on a Saturday afternoon without leaving behind a single clue or witness? Now a clearly disoriented woman involved in a rush-hour hit-and-run claims to be the younger of the long-gone Bethany sisters. But her involuntary admission and subsequent attempt to stonewall investigators only deepens the mystery. Where has she been? Why has she waited so long to come forward? Could her abductor truly be a beloved Baltimore cop? There isn't a shred of evidence to support her story, and every lead she gives the police seems to be another dead end—a dying, incoherent man, a razed house, a missing grave, and a family that disintegrated long ago, torn apart not only by the crime but by the fissures the tragedy revealed in what appeared to be the perfect household. In a story that moves back and forth across the decades, there is only one person who dares to be skeptical of a woman who wants to claim the identity of one Bethany sister without revealing the fate of the other. Will he be able to discover the truth?

I’ve read a couple of Laura Lippman’s books, and I don’t think this was my favorite. It wasn’t “not good” per se, it just wasn’t great. It seemed to me the story dragged on, and I figured out the “twist”, but it did take most of the book.

Right now I’m reading Heartbreaker by Julie Garmond at Rebecca’s recommendation. I’m still pretty early into it, but it’s really good so far. I was hoping to have it finished by today so I could add it to my January list, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

So, do you like to read? What kinds of books? Do you keep record somehow of the books you read?

Friday, January 28, 2011

my heart hurts

This picture was taken three years ago today. Where is my baby?!

If anyone knows of a place where I can get an inexpensive time machine I would appreciate the info.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

garage: before and after

The purging/organizing streak continued on Monday with the garage. Chris took two car loads to Goodwill and we have a huge pile for the trash. It looks so much better in there now!

Before: IMG_1076_1  After:IMG_1079_1

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

back to life, back to reality

After 3 weeks of Christmas vacation, followed by a week of snow days, Jboy finally went back to school today. While I enjoyed our extended time off together, I have to admit that I'm looking forward to getting back into a routine.
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Monday, January 17, 2011

what’s for dinner?

Some years ago, in an effort to save money, I started planning out our meals for a week or so at a time. This also helps with the dreaded “What’s for dinner?” conversation. I can just look at the calendar & say… meatloaf muffins, or spaghetti, or… whatever you’re fixing. ;) j/k

Sadly, my repertoire isn’t very big so we tend to have the same meals over and over. {and over} Poor Chris. I made a list some time ago with meal options, sides, etc. and just refer to that as I plan our meals.

In my recent efforts to get more organized {we cleaned out the garage today, stay tuned for pics}, I decided to put together a “meal planning” notebook so everything would be in one place and when it came time to do the menu I could just pull out the notebook & have everything I need.

I printed calendars for the entire year, typed the meal list with pretty fonts, and printed enough copies of our grocery list for the year. {I’ve always been a little OCD about some things and we have a typed grocery list that, before they changed everything around, was in aisle order for the WalMart we shop at.} Then I put it all in a 3-ring binder & made a pretty cover.

Here are some pictures:
 IMG_1046_1 IMG_1058_1IMG_1047_1 IMG_1048_1 IMG_1052_1 IMG_1053_1 IMG_1054_1

It’s already made planning our meals easier. Do you plan your meals ahead of time? How far ahead do you plan?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

finally, a before AND after

Yesterday, we finally tackled the playroom. I’ve said before that this room often falls under the “out of sight, out of mind” umbrella. Generally, Jboy doesn’t actually play in his playroom much, it’s more just toy storage. He usually winds up bringing his toys in the living room to play. Over the last week or so though, he’s been playing in there more often. I wanted to organize his toys and make them as accessible as possible. I’m hoping that now that it’s more organized, and we intend to make sure he picks up every night, that he’ll be more apt to play in there.

Anyway, here are the before & after shots: IMG_1033_1  IMG_1036_1

I think I’d certainly be more likely to play in there now, wouldn’t you?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

the miracle pill

I haven't talked about this much at all on my blog, but for several years I've struggled with depression and anxiety. It's something I've dealt with for a long time, but just kept writing it off to being lazy, or hormones, etc. In December I finally decided that I needed to go see my doctor and discuss my options. Every time I'd see one of those antidepressant commercials & they'd list the symptoms I'd be like, "Yep, yep, yep. That's me."

On December 6th I met with my doctor and after some discussion we decided for me to try a medication called Cymbalta. You've probably seen the commercial: "Depression hurts. Cymbalta can help." According to the doctor it would give me energy, improve my mood, lessen my anxiety and possibly help with the headaches I was also dealing with. I started taking the medication and let me tell you, this one is NOT for me. I have never felt so fatigued in my life. I could {and sometimes did} sleep the day away. It wasn't uncommon for me to sleep until noon. Poor Jonathan was getting no attention, playing way too many video games & watching too much tv. I stayed on the medicine for 4 weeks thinking maybe my body just needed time to adjust. Not so much.

I scheduled my follow up appointment & when the doctor asked how the medicine was working for me I immediately told him that it wasn't. We talked about what I was experiencing & {obviously} agreed that was not the right one for me.

My doctor decided that I should try a different drug called Pristiq. The commercial for this one has the little doll that you wind up. {Can you tell I was paying a lot of attention to the antidepressant commercials?}

This medicine has changed my life! Within days I felt like a whole new person. The fatigue was completely gone, and I suddenly had the motivation to do all kinds of things. My mood had improved tremendously and I had so much more energy. I feel like me, only better.

My friends & family have been joking around that they need to get some of this stuff because they've never seen me like this. Every day when I wake up I'm able to get up & going so much easier. And, well, you've seen the pictures of all the purging/organizing going on around here. For the first time in a long time, I look forward to getting out of bed everyday. That in itself shows that this is the right medicine for me.

** My little disclaimer:: I'm certainly not trying to say that antidepressants are for everyone. If you think you might be dealing with depression, please go see your doctor. He/she will be able to help you figure out the treatment that's right for YOU. **

Friday, January 14, 2011

for posterity's sake

{also known as something i can use to blackmail him with when he's 16}

When we were first potty training Jboy, we obviously spent a lot of time in the bathroom. One day, while waiting for him to "do his business", I was getting kind of bored so I started chanting "Push it out, shove it out, WAY OUT!" {a la Bill Cosby "Himself"} Well, he apparently really liked this song & now requests it almost any time he needs to... well, you know. He's been potty trained for almost a year now, and about once a day {sometimes more, sometimes less} you'll find us in the bathroom; him sitting on the porcelain throne & me singing "The Poopy Song". Push it out, shove it out, WAY OUT! Sometimes he'll ask me to sing it louder, or faster, depending on his "needs". Occasionally I'll also do a little dance. Suddenly I've never been more thankful that there isn't a camera in our bathroom.

And since we're on the subject of "intestinal" issues... for some reason, of which I am completely unaware, my child calls passing gas "butt smoke"! Where in the heck did he get that from?! I will say I laugh hysterically every time he says it, so I'm sure that doesn't deter him any.

Do your kids have any funny bathroom "routines"? Please say yes.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

i’m on a roll y’all

Well, my purging/organizing adventure didn’t stop at the laundry room. Here are the after shots of some of the other areas that have been tackled over the past week:

our bedroom closet:IMG_1017_1bookcase in our bedroom:IMG_1022_1



I can’t say how good it feels to get these areas organized. There are still more areas around the house that need attention, but I’m just taking it one at a time.

Monday, January 10, 2011

snowmageddon 2011

As is always the case when it snows in Atlanta the whole area shuts down. Thankfully we already had enough “supplies” and didn’t have to brave the store with the crazies.

Starting last night around 9:00 the snow started falling, and falling, and falling! It was so beautiful to watch. When we woke up this morning we had about 6 inches! I don’t think we’ve had this much snow in the area in almost 18 years!

Of course we had to get out & play in it this morning. It would’ve been cruel not to do so. There had also been freezing rain last night after the snow, so there was a layer of ice on top.

Since the temperature was only about 27 we bundled up good & headed out. Jboy had on a pair of pajamas (the snug kind since he doesn’t have long johns), a long sleeve t-shirt, fleece sweatpants & a fleece hoody. He also wore a hat, two pairs of mittens & the two hoods (from his hoody & big coat)! We weren’t taking any chances. LOL When it had snowed at Christmas, Lisa told me that she tied grocery bags around the girls shoes so their feet wouldn’t get wet. Brilliant! We did the same to Jboy today & it was awesome!

We had a great time playing in the snow, even though it was too powdery under the ice to really make any good snowballs or a snow man. Chris & Jboy attacked me good a couple of times & I almost fell on my face trying to get away. Thanks guys!

Here are a few pics to enjoy!
IMG_1013_1 IMG_0941_1 IMG_0965_1 IMG_0977_1IMG_0972_1  IMG_0986_1 IMG_1006_1IMG_0992_1

From the looks of it the snow & ice will be here for a couple of days so we’ll be marooned for a while. Thank goodness we have food & that I went to the library yesterday & checked out five books!!!

snow 2011 - sneak peek

Come back soon for more pics!
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Thursday, January 06, 2011

just the after

I really wish that I had taken a before picture of my laundry room. Only those who had seen it in its previous state will truly be able to appreciate the change. I blame it on the fact that I didn't really intend to completely clean it out & revamp it today. It started with just emptying the trash can, and before I knew it I couldn't stop until it was finished. I am so pleased with how it turned out. Now the hard part... keeping it looking this way!

Monday, January 03, 2011

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