Friday, December 20, 2013

Home for Christmas

You see my daughter in that dress, that is the christmas dress I wore one year when I was little.  My mom brought out the dress and she loves it.
We have almost lived here for three years, this is our third December.  Every december my kids get out for school the Thursday before Christmas.  Every Friday before Christmas, I work busy busy busy to get ready to leave bright and early in the morning on Saturday for christmas with the family.  And by bright I mean dark for two hours.  Except for the first year when a storm was coming, so we left Thursday after half day kindergarten. This my first lazy Friday before Christmas in this house.  It was thrilling.  We cleaned, we screen timed, we played, we wrapped presents, etc Three out of the five of us stayed in pajamas all day.  (Brent went to work)
Anyway, so... it has been 7 years since we have spent christmas eve in our own beds.  Its all very exciting to know we aren't leaving for Christmas. Although sometimes nerve wracking, we have never spent christmas alone! But I have no desire to sit in the car for 9-13 hours.  Seven years ago, the last time we slept in our bed for Christmas eve, our 10 month old went to bed at 6pm on Christmas eve.  Brent and I spent the rest of the evening with his family, his parents had just gotten off an 18 month mission for our Church in Toronto.  Everyone dressed up for the nativity, honestly it was my first memory of every seeing anyone dress up for the nativity.  I'm one of the younger siblings and cousins so I have no memory of doing it as a child. (Apparently Brent was a wiseman who brought root beer to the baby.)

   Then the next morning we woke up when the baby woke up.  We gave him some awesome presents, since we had barely any money. Which we had been storing wrapped in the fireplace for some reason, I don't know why Brent decided it.

  My husband gave me the movie Sphere.  I learned I hated that movie, and refused to finish watching it, while my husband did not refuse.  He also made potatoes for his family Christmas dinner.  Awesome memories huh?

Since we are having memories, lets continue
Last year we went to Utah, that was 2012
 Third Baby's First Christmas.  He and great grandma were fast friends.

The previous year we went to Texas, 2011

(Where my 4 year old nephew decided he wanted to be the baby Jesus. I'm so glad for pictures, it was super hysterical.)

The year before that we were in Seattle.  2010
My maternal grandma lives in that area.

Before that we were in Texas again.  2009
Look how little they all were.
Especially my daughter, who is now 5!

Oh the year before that was the year my daughter was born and two weeks old.  So we did spend that year at our house, but some of my family came to visit, two of my brother, my sister, my parents and their respective families.  (My daughter's stocking fit on her head, as her Aunt Teresa so kindly pointed out.) 2008

The year before that we spent it at my in laws.  2007

Remember 2006, is the whole point of the post, that we have only spent two christmases at home. This will be our third, and our first without family.

8 years ago we spent it with my brother, his wife and toddler. It was our first christmas married, and I was 8 months pregnant.  (Yes, this is a terribly unflattering picture of me, just keeping it real.) 2005

And 9 years ago, we were in Texas, a week before we got married.  2004
Nine years ago most people had huge boxy tvs with small screens.  My husband and I were quite young, but looked even younger.

Its December

Its December, and it has been that way for 20 days.  Have you been busy like me.  My daughter has, she has hit up every santa she can find to tell she them she wants a green boy bike.  Ok, she doesn't say all that, but the bike she wants is too big for her, a boy bike and green, I'm not sure why she got obsessed with it.  She isn't getting a bike for christmas. 
First we found santa at Home Depot. This is actually my favorite picture.  
(My seven year old won't go near Santa.)
 Even though baby is blurry this is my favorite picture of the month.  He has since learned how to rip ornaments off, and turn on and off the lights.  I guess he isn't a baby, he is my 16 month old toddler.
 Then we found Santa with Mrs. Claus at church.  This Santa actually distributes presents to poor kids on a firetruck, pretty cool in my opinion.
So the other day we also saw Santa at Bass Pro Shops, and I have the copy that Bass Pro Shops gave us, but I didn't bother taking a picture.  How many does one child need?  She knows they are pretend santas and will tell you that, but that doesn't stop her need to see them all.  I wasn't too impressed with Bass Pro Shops santa, which was annoying because they actually wanted money for seeing santa (buying pictures).

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I do a terrible job of keeping track of my family's history. But it should be said today, November 19, J finished the Book of Mormon. We started reading it with him when he was a sunbeam, so when he was 4. About 6 months ago he decided he wanted to finish it before he turned 8. Last month we did the math, he needed to read two pages a night to finish it. As a family we were only doing 8 verses a night, so he needed to finish the 2 pages on his own. (He would knock out a few chapters a week during sacrament meeting ) Once we finished Helaman, he took off. In less than 2 weeks he on his own read 3 Nephi, 4 Nephi, Mormon, Ether, and Moroni.
This morning at breakfast we all individually told him congratulations, now we can start on 1 Nephi again. (We also had longer conversations about his awesomeness) But even his not quite 5 year old sister said it. She said it first, well she said now you have to start over. I loved that even she knows you never stop reading the book of Mormon.

Kicking baby

I have 11 weeks left. Today when I went to the doctor, I saw a med student first. She asked how I was doing, I responded uncomfortable. Her reply oh no, blah blah blah, question I can't remember. I said no, I'm fine, I just swear each baby kicks harder. (Not actually harder, my body just gets more sensitive to the pain.) Then she got ready to hear the baby's heart beat, as she exclaimed, oh my goodness you're right, I can see him kicking you!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Ok, so its a little early for Happy Thanksgiving.  But you know that is about how my life is, either really early or late.  So here it is.  Here is cute almost 5 year old (less than a month!) with her turkey she made for school.  She did everything other than glue the leaves, I helped her because I used the glue gun. 
Speaking of early or late, we got the car all cleaned and vacuumed for Thanksgiving. Hoorah! And I got my christmas sewing done.  As it all my new niece's and nephews' stockings and a tree skirt.  They needed to be done before Thanksgiving, so they would be at their houses for set up the day after Thanksgiving.  So they are all shipped and I believe arrived.  Another Hoorah! Now, for some reason I'm making that cute girl above, matching dolly dresses and her dress, than I have a month to finish.  Then I have a baby quilt to make during December.  Then who knows what January holds, because I'm already so uncomfortable I want to scream! 12 weeks.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


I feel guilty.  I think I should be enjoying my daughter in pre-k, but I'm not.  Its good for her this year, she is doing well, she is excited, her teachers like her, but I just keep thinking kindergarten will be easier.  And by that I mean I don't have to sign her in and out of school, and her schedule will better line up with her brother's.  Yes, its stupid, but still this child has done so much pre-school, I'm ready to move on as a mom, even though I know her in preschool instead of kindergarten was perfect for her.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Nov 1

For now I feel like posting my gratitude online. We'll see as the month goes on. 
1. That I live in a place where I feel unjudged. I spent a lot of years feeling like everything I do is being judged it's a relief to feel free of that for the last two and half years. 
2. We had no school today, no one woke up before 8. I didn't see my kids until 8:30. It was nice.... Relaxing....
3. All of the Halloween decorations are gone, and costumes put away, my life feels so clean right now. Well at least the living room. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween 2003

I actually have no recollection of Halloween 2003, but I do remember a week or two before.  At about 10:30 at night, Brent found me online and started chatting.  Something to the effect of you have to come to this awesome Haunted house, on the top floor of the towers (the dorm rooms).  My response, no, I'm in my pajamas and its cold outside.  Whatever, I'm going to come get you. (By the way I believe he had just went through the Haunted House with some other friends, mostly female.)  Less then 5 minutes later he knocked on my metal apartment door.  I was annoyed that he came over, I was annoyed that I was leaving, there was about a foot of snow outside and we had to walk across a field. None of my roommates were willing to join us. I wore clogs for some reason, so as we tracked through other people's foot prints, my shoes were repeatedly filled with snow.  Needless to say I was beyond annoyed by the time we walked the 50 yards. We met up whatever friends he had left behind to accompany me through this Haunted House. There was at least four of us there, that I knew, but 10 years later have no idea who it was other than Brent. We took the elevator up, and we went through the Haunted House the RAs had set up.  Since I was mad, nothing scared me, people would jump out, and Brent would look at me expectantly and I would glare at him.
You think this experience would have affected our friendship/relationship, nonsense.  The following day it was like nothing happen, other than he would periodically laugh at me for being so angry, and I would periodically follow up with being annoyed and ignoring him for a few days.
Years later I realize how awesome it was that I was annoyed because nothing scared me.  I loved to deny boys, so looking back nothing makes me happier than remembering he never got me.  He played his cards wrong, for girls to properly be scared she needs to be with really jumpy friends.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Rapunzel Halloween Costume

Would you like to see more pictures of my almost 5 year old in her Rapunzel wedding dress?
Hop on over to my craft blog.

She found the wind blowing her LONG VEIL quite thrilling. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Check out

My brain is ready to check out.  I'm a few weeks away from my third trimester.  (nov. 5)  My brain and body really want to start it early, I'm so done, the baby's kicks are growing much more constant and stronger, I'm growing more and more uncomfortable and I can't coherently finish a conversation. But yet, I can't check out, I don't have the time until November 1.  But seriously I'm ready to quit.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Mini Golf

We are not a big outside of the house entertainment family. But we had coupons for mini golf. We had fun. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

"Still love your views"

As you know I'm nostalgic lately, and my last two pregnancies have made me very lovey. So with that fore warning here we go. (I've been thinking about this post for a week or so.)

A few weeks ago in church, a couple talked, who were second marriage newlyweds, and both public health nurses.  The husband said something like, "my wife is amazing at what she does, to hear her talk about tuberculosis."  Brent turned to me and asked, "Tuberculosis?" I whispered, it makes sense, public health is their passion, most couples don't spend as much time talking politics as us.  He smiled, shrugged and turned back to listening. I personally though it was one of the most enduring things I've heard someone say across the pulpit.
So as we established in a previous post, ten years ago, the reason I was willing to reciprocate Brent's friendship is he wanted to talk politics with me. Ten years later I'm sure we talk some form of politics every day.  A week or so ago, we were discussing something, and he said, you're right, good point.  My immediate thought was swoon. Sure I know he values my opinion, but to hear an point blank affirmation after all these years still made me weak in the knees.  I'm a weirdo I know. Let's just say, I have more in common with Leslie Knope on Parks and Rec than just the way our names are pronounced.  Although actual political views are not the same, we are on different ends of the spectrum.
A long the same lines, on Facebook a few weeks ago there was some post written in a political nature, with millions of comments of mindless blah-- plenty of scare tactics and logical fallacies, but no real intelligent debate. Brent posted a two paragraph response, clearly explaining the issue, and explaining the two sides to the issue. I read it, and I thought, I married the most amazing man, I could have ever imagined.  I honestly can't remember what the post was about, but to read his response, made me fall in love with him all over.  He is so good at explaining an issue, without a bias. We are a good pair, he often gets bored while researching an issue, and doesn't often research both sides, but I often help him see the other side's perspective.  I can study politics much longer than he can, but I never as eloquent in my explanations.  My brain thinks to fast and my thoughts get jumbled.  It happens in every conversation I have even non-political ones.  That's the other reason I married him, he could follow my bizarre train of thoughts, and seemed to find them intriguing.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Different Personalities

I'm in the process of listening to conference one last time before conference again.  I think this makes three, including live four.  An interesting thing has happened, talks that once annoyed me have now become meaningful, talks that once sounded like gibberish of stories, now make gospel sense. So this last time I around, I was listening, and went through a few talks at once, while driving kids around.  As the days passed, I kept thinking this one though over and over.  So I went back and scanned through the last 6 or so talks.  I found this, from President Utchdorf's talk during Priesthood titled, "Four Titles".
But while the Atonement is meant to help us all become more like Christ, it is not meant to make us all the same. Sometimes we confuse differences in personality with sin. We can even make the mistake of thinking that because someone is different from us, it must mean they are not pleasing to God. This line of thinking leads some to believe that the Church wants to create every member from a single mold—that each one should look, feel, think, and behave like every other. This would contradict the genius of God, who created every man different from his brother, every son different from his father. Even identical twins are not identical in their personalities and spiritual identities.
It also contradicts the intent and purpose of the Church of Jesus Christ, which acknowledges and protects the moral agency—with all its far-reaching consequences—of each and every one of God’s children. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are united in our testimony of the restored gospel and our commitment to keep God’s commandments. But we are diverse in our cultural, social, and political preferences.
The Church thrives when we take advantage of this diversity and encourage each other to develop and use our talents to lift and strengthen our fellow disciples.
 I love this quote so much, there is so much to say about, but I think I will leave well enough alone.  We are meant to be different.  We can be righteous and still be different.

Friday, September 27, 2013


You know when you find a song that you are obsessed with and you are willing to listen to it over and over again.  For me right now, its this song. K'naan 70 Excuses, its so soothing, perfect rainy day song, which we've had lots of lately, thankfully.
Especially as I've been reminiscing about 10 years ago.  In high school I was pretty sure I could have done anything I chose, and I'm sure that's true.  And, even though I still have most of my life ahead of me, many things are narrowing, as I've spent the last 6 years as a stay at home mom, I'm not going to law school, I'm not going to be come a doctor (not that I ever wanted to). I'm never going to live in a big city.  Etc etc Sure there are plenty of stuff I could do if I wanted, but the period of my life where it might have appealed to me, has passed.  I have absolutely no interest in moving to DC and being poor with my husband, where 7 years ago I could see an appeal. My life is exactly what I've chosen, excuses are excuses, and you live the life you lead. Although my life is a little different than his song. He is singing about a lady who didn't choose love, at this point in my life, I'm pretty sure that is all I choosen.  Which isn't exactly true, but I do remember making the decision, am I going to choose Brent and love and give up on my dreams, or am I going to walk away from him and keep my plans.  I decided I would regret leaving him a lot more than giving up on my dreams.  I don't regret my decision at all.  Anyway, like I said, I'm just a tad obsessed with this song right now.  I also love the African drums in the end. K'naan is very talented.  (My family has been listening to him since the World Cup in 2010.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Third Boy

I'm 21 weeks pregnant.  Only 19 more to woot! Maybe even less if my doctor induces me early again.  (I use to be against such things, until I saw how my body labors, by far my easiest child to birth was the one that was induced early.  That might be one of the reasons we are having babies 18 months apart.) 

I had another ultrasound.  The ultrasound technician told me by baby is beautiful, and its more than skin deep, his organs are just as beautiful.  Yes, I'm having my third boy.  Which is wonderful, I love my boys.  I just want to squeeze them and keep them little forever.  Then again, President Hinckley said, "that when a man gets old he had better have daughters about him." I'll never be an old man but I'm also grateful for my daughter. But I appreciate the blessing of having more boys than girls, girls baffle me. My daughter is such a firecracker one of her equals three brothers.

Back to the baby, the tech asked how big my babies were, she guessed he was going to be on the large size again.  Oh, baby A at 9 pounds was so big.  This baby has long arms, and very wiggly like our others.  The more babies I have, the more ultrasounds I have, and the more I have, the more it bewilders me that I can grow a human being in my abdomen. I mean there is another heart beating inside of me, and to see a picture of a four heart chamber that inside of me, just boggles my mind.

 I'm not sure if brains and skulls change in the next 19 weeks, but to me it looked like he had a nice oval-ly head, like me and my second two kids. (My husband and oldest have beautiful round heads.) The tech also kept telling me his nose and lips were also just perfect. Years ago I might have wondered why she made such a big deal about some of these things, but now I realize what great blessings they are.  The ultrasound was done in less than a half an hour thankfully since I don't particularly love them. So I guess I can get cracking on his baby quilt.  After I make a princess dress....
And wonder can you actually prepare an 18 month old to be a big brother?

Thursday, September 19, 2013


My birthday is this month.  It just happens to be three days before my father's birthday which just happens to be two days before my sister's birthday.  My father only has two daughters, isn't this fun for him?
My husband's birthday is in February, which just happens to be two day's before my oldest son's birthday.  My daughter's birthday is in December, so for two years during my husband's MBA I would whine during September that my birthday was so lonely, no one celebrated with me.  I grew up with a birthday week extravagance, and my husband and son's birthdays are pretty much non stop parties all week, mixed with the holiday.  And my daughter, well the whole month is a party and decorations, so what about me?  I think overall I was just lonely while my husband was doing his MBA, because my birthday always corresponded with mid-terms. So my plan was once my husband graduated we would have a September baby, so I would have someone to share it with.  He of course thought I was nuts-- that's our relationship it works.  But my body does not cooperate with plans.  I am not one of those people that can say I want my child's birthday this day, so I can count 9 months back.  No, not until this pregnancy, I never get immediately pregnant.  So I planned in fluff months, well apparently I planned too many cushion months, because my fall baby was born the first week of August.  Pretty much a summer birthday.  But during that pregnancy I almost did myself in, planning my husband's 30th birthday and my son's birthday party and a class party, and since then I've been eternally grateful that I have no child sharing my birthday week. If I'm ever not pregnant again and I choose to be a room mom again, I will never have a class party over my birthday.  Its nice not to plan someone else's party during my birthday.  Since September has no holidays, it means its my birthday in prime glory.


Chapter 3

In high school I hated dating, occasionally I would go on a few dates, then I would decided I despised it, and stop.  Then a few months later, I would go on a few more, and hate it again.
I grew up with plans of college, degrees and a career.  I had babysat for 4 years, and for the last two I babysat usually three times a week.  I would have claimed I was good with children, I seemed to be sought after and refused to take a job for under $5 an hour.  The summer I was 15 I found a different job, and never looked back on babysitting.  I had no desire to take care of anyone's children, and had no interested in getting married or having my own children one day.
Both of those details are needed to understand why a few weeks before I went to college my father sat me down and told me DO NOT tell people you do not like dating, do not tell people you don't want to get married.  I'm sure I hmmed and hawed, but by 18 I was fairly obedient, and so I planned on listening to my dad.
I went off to college, following his advice, I was a good girl, who was friendly to boys, flirted with boys, and tried to be friends with girls.  I was never good at that last part, turns out girls don't actually like other girls that are flirty.  I was in Mormon country, so I tried to stick with other freshman boy.  I had no interest in getting to know any boys who were ready for anything beyond an LDS mission.  I had no problem dating boys who would hint to me writing them on a mission, but I had absolutely no interest in anything else. I had gone on plenty of dates with boys looking for someone to write them on their missions, I had diffused all those, so that is something I could deal with. Boys looking for a wife, that was not something I was ready to undertake.
But when Brent came in my life, he create a hitch in all my assumptions with boys.  He had not confirmed it, but I was positive he was a Return Missionary, I was positive he was a good obedient boy who listen to a Mission President who told him it was now his responsibility to get married.  (I was right that he was a good obedient boy who would try listen to his President, I was just wrong in the advice his President gave.  He was told him to buy real estate, but that story comes up later.)
I swear the more I ignored Brent the more he wanted to be my friend.  I can't remember how technology worked in those days, but somehow he had my screen name and he started chatting with me on AOL IM, and then he truly wouldn't go away.  So finally I disobeyed my father.  I told him, I'm not interested in being friends with you, you are a return missionary and I don't want to get married.  He said I'm not interested in dating you or getting married to anyone right now.  I said I don't believe you, freshly return missionaries always want to get married. He was the only boy I told that to, the only time I disobeyed my father and mentioned that.  Although considering how committed to my degree and taking the right classes at the right time, and keeping to my four year plan, I'm pretty sure a lot of my neighbors knew I was an outsider that had different goals then them.
So Brent continued to talk to me when he saw me, and continued to instant message me.  I couldn't understand why he wouldn't go away.  I think he was actually being honest when he said I don't want to date you, which is why he wouldn't go away.  Some how we started talking politics, and then I truly started chatting back with him.  Remember my major was political science.  I grew up in a house that got the newspaper, and news magazines, we discussed current events. One of the things that made me most homesick is as far as I could tell everyone I knew was illiterate.  I know I was at college, but where were the insightful people who cared about issues and discussed what was happening in the world.  This was only a few months after the US invaded Iraq, I was used to discussing with my fellow classmates how our lives would change based on what our politicians were doing.  Then I went to college, I found it a huge let down, that no one seemed to know where the heck Washington DC even was.  Sure I was freshman level PolSci but it was a general so it was a large class and most of the people I came across were upper classmen trying to meet a prerequisite.  So when Brent started talking politics to me it was a godsend. But I was torn, I didn't want to be friends with him. Then I realized beggars can't be choosers, and he seemed to be the only person that genuinely shared my interests and was actually trying to be my friend.
By the end of the month (september) I apologized to him.  I said, I'm sorry I've been so rude, maybe we can actually be friends.  The rest was history, we spent weeks talking about every political issue you could think of, we spend hours each day talking.  But it was all good, he only wanted to be my friend.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Next Installment of 10 Years ago

Its about time I write my next installment.
So like I said I can't remember when I met my husband, and neither can he.
By this point in 2003, we had the same church callings in our singles ward.  In case you that means nothing to you, we were ask to both volunteer in the same organization in our church congregation made up of all single adults from age 18-30, minus our three ecclesiastical leaders and their wives, who had children that were give or take college age.  Our ward or congregation was about 40% college freshman, a few sophomores, a few other things, including some in their late 20s. It was an odd mix, of 18 year old freshman, and older 20 year olds who lived at home, and a few others scattered in-between. Some even had a career and owned their own house.  I on the other hand was an 18 year old freshman.

So Brent and this other girl were in charge of our church organization, and I was called/asked to serve under them.  Part of their responsibility was to visit random members of our congregation at their apartments. Since I didn't really know them, they pick my apartment as their first visit.  By the way I should mention, there was 6 girls in the apartment/dorm on campus apartment I lived in. Three were from Utah, two of those did not share my faith, the other one never stayed in town during the weekend, and so never talked to anyone who came over for church visits.  The other two did attend church with me, one was from North California, the other from Southern and I of course grew up in Dallas.  When Brent and this other girl came over, it was me and my two roommates from California who were in the living room, the others all left to their bedrooms. I remember a few things from that night.
 1. Brent sat on a kitchen stool in our living room.  (My apartment living room/kitchenette was about the size of a children's bedroom.) He had some pretty sweet looking red skate shoes, so I complemented him on them.  This made him very uncomfortable, and he spent the rest of the time trying to hid them from view which was challenging since he was sitting on wooden stool.
2. The girl that came with Brent was flirting mercilessly with him. I assumed she must be madly in love with him, and the sooner they got married the better.  The girl as in the other one that shared our church calling (job).  (I was only partially right, he married me instead...)
3. The girl introduced herself as a sophomore, as were my two roommates that were present, and said Brent was a freshman.  This confused the heck out of me.  Brent had this squeaky clean appearance that included an invisible sign over his head that said I served a mission. A mission, as in a 2 year church mission, were he went proselyting about our church.
4. After Brent and this other girl left (I honestly can't remember her name). My two roommates said Brent was kind of cute, I looked at them skeptically.  At that point in my life he was not my type.  Even though I did admire his skate shoes, I had not hung out with skaters since middle school.

A week or two later, I went with them to visit other members of our congregation as part as our church service.  Once again the girl flirted ruthlessly with him.  Then when we got to his car, she told me to take the front seat.  I found this quite awkward and confusing.  He refused to leave the parking spot until she buckled up. We visited two separate guys who lived at least 20 minutes away from campus and both lived at home, both times this girl had me sit between her and Brent.  Like I said I was rather confused, half the time she was shamelessly throwing herself at him and half the time she was avoiding him.

Turns out this girl was weeks away from being engaged.  My husband was interested in her at this point because what single straight male would not be interested in a fairly attractive girl that shameless throws herself at him?  I one day told him, wow you really dodged a bullet with that one, who wants to marry a girl who flirts with other men?  But what was by far the most awkward was when her fiance starting attending church with us, and he was all ready to be buddy buddy with Brent and I, because we worked with his fiance, but all the rest of us could remember not knowing she had a boyfriend.  Every time this guy was around I felt like I knew a secret, and by how awkward the girl acted I'm pretty sure I did. It was weird. Now this might all sound like I was jealous of the girl, you have to realize Brent and I knew each other for two semesters before we started dating, we both knew who the other person was dating, and in fact he remembered a boyfriend of mine that I had forgotten about. Plus he never dated this girl, because she had a boyfriend.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


I'm 18 weeks, and I've been feeling my baby kick for almost a week. Overall I find it kind of trippy. During my last pregnancy my placenta was posterior, so I couldn't feel my baby this young. 
If memory serves right I felt my first two before 17 weeks, so go figure. If memory is correct I felt my first baby the soonest, which is opposite of normal. My oldest was the most active baby, by far. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ten years

Back to School makes me all sorts of nostalgic. Like how fun it was to back to school shop with my mom.  Not nearly as fun with my own kids.  When my mom took me she bought ME clothes, that didn't cost ME money, now I have to spend MY money on my kids, instead of ME. I've been even more reminiscence this year. When the high school seniors at our church became college freshman, it was .... I don't know the adjective. We have now lived in this house for two and half years, that is almost a year longer than anywhere else.  That means I've seen babies who I'm not related to grow up, I've never experienced watching my friends' babies go from infants, to two and half year olds!  That means the kids that went off to college were only 15 or 16 when we moved in, some didn't drive yet.  My own child was getting ready for kindergarten when we came and now we are getting him prepped for his baptism.

 Anyway so my nostalgia.  Ten years ago the week before Labor day I met my husband.  Neither of us remember meeting each other first the time, so needless to say it was not love at first sight.  I know by Labor Day I had already met him, because we talked at a Labor Day BBQ like we knew each other, but beyond that????  I remember the Bishop introducing us at some point on a sunday, but I also remember thinking, I've already met this boy.  Yes, we are one of those LDS couples where our Single's Ward Bishop encouraged us to be friends.  (Cue: Matchmaker Matchmaker make me a match song.) Anyway, so the point of the post, all month long I've been nostalgic about realizing I've known my husband for a decade.  A decade was such a long time before I made it to college.  A decade!  Its reminded me of all sorts of memories.  Maybe I'll share them over the next year and half, until we've been married for 10 years.

In the past 10 years we have gone from two single kids, to two married adults, with almost four children, two cars, three degrees and mortgage, that includes a nice big yard.  How life can change in a decade. I truly was a kid when I met my husband.  In case you didn't make the inference, I was 18 when I met my husband, I had been moved out of my childhood home for a whole like 5 days.  Overall I find this terribly embarrassing to admit.  My husband was 21.  Needless to say, by the time I was 20, and we got married, everyone including most of our relatives thought we were very young to be getting married.  They were probably right, but sometimes I wonder if its easier to get married young.  I was dumb and only knew that I never wanted Brent to move away from me.  Ha, the jokes on him, I moved to this house two months before him.  This all being said, I knew I was in love with Brent and never wanted to him to ditch me, but it was an extremely hard decision to marry Brent.  I wrestled with it, for months, not the idea of being in love with him, the idea of being married.

But I'm so off topic.  We are suppose to be reminiscing about the foolish 18 year old me, who went to college, with every article of clothing she own, thinking it was hardly anything for a wardrobe, only to come to find out Utah girls did not need as much clothing as North Texan girls.  My closet door was broken off for the first month of school, and everyone who came into my room said, wow you HAVE a lot of clothes.  Me the whole time wondering how anyone could get by with less.  Embarrassingly I now say I never once wore the same outfit to church the first semester of school. Luckily two of my roommates were California girls and were spoiled in similar ways. I still have and wear some of those clothes... Ah, to be an old married woman with many children so you have to wear clothes some of the same clothes for a decade. I guess I should be grateful, I am on my fourth pregnancy and can still fit into clothes I bought in High School.  I guess some clothes were a decent investment after all.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back To School

I would post pictures but google and I are at odds, and this is probably the end of our friendship.  I refuse to pay $5 a month to host my pictures on my blog.
Anyway, school was wonderful.
Dropped J off, no big deal, other than the massive amount of parents parking and doing the same thing.  Which is why we walked.  I don't live nine tenths of a mile away for nothing.  Problem is I have to push my four year on old on the front of the stroller with her baby brother, and I'm 16 weeks pregnant.  Which means I have done no exercise in at least 10 weeks.  1.8 miles pushing two kids in the sun in August was a lot, I was super exhausted when we got home.
My daughter is in afternoon Pre-K she had a hard time waiting all morning.  When it was finally time to take her, we drove.  I'm a lazy american what can I say.  I thought I might cry a little in the car ride over, but I held strong.  Then once we dropped her off (I was the second mom to leave, no need for long good byes). I was carrying Turbo the baby out with me.  I kept giving him kisses as we walked, then I thought I would cry because I was so overjoyed that he and I got our alone time together again.  We came home and took naps, (we had a very full and exhausting morning) and then woke up and made phones calls.  (I only have 5 and half months left of just he and me as the baby.)
Then it was time for pick up, N gets out 20 minutes before J, so we waited in the car while it rained.  N loved school so much she didn't want to go home.  She has two kids from last year in her class, our next door neighbor, and two boys from church.  I loved that she loved school.
J said school was fine, and upon questioning him, he told me lots, but overall the first day was slightly boring and uneventful for him.  I love his school though, I love that his special teachers remember him and his personality.  Pick up was great because all the teachers remember him and me.

Friday, August 16, 2013


Since I just told my blog I was pregnant.  I will say, I'm totally kicking myself for painting my daughter's room pink.  I knew I would, but I also knew she wanted a pink room.  Well it was already pink, we just wanted it less ghastly of pink.  Its really quite a lovely shade of pink.  Assuming her clothes and toys are picked up, she didn't wet the bed last night and there is a chair in there its a lovely room to read in.  That's a lot of stipulations I know, but if it was just a show room it would be lovely.
In case you didn't do that math, my next baby is coming in February (since I didn't have enough birthdays in February I figured why not add another one!) So at Christmas time I'm going to move my one year old in with his sister, we are putting the baby with the child who will be 8, two weeks after the new baby is born.  The 7/8 year old is a stellar child to share with babies, he sleeps through anything.  He can sleep through a baby crying himself to sleep.
Back to the point of the post, my one year old son is going to be in a pink bedroom.  How to make it a shared room instead of my son sleeping in a girls room?  I don't know, I just don't know.  It definitely changes some of the plans I had for my daughter's room.  Sadly, pinterest doesn't even have ideas for me.
I will say, I went back and forth with my daughter's room.  I wanted to paint it a unisex color in case we had to switch kid rooms ever, but then I just decided why not pink.  She's obsessed with pink.
Not that I'm repainting it, because my husband might have a hard attack if I suggested such things, but part of the reason I did pink is I figured its $30 and one conference weekend to change it, pretty easy.
The real reason I won't repaint, is a one year old isn't wise enough to care.  Plus the question is how permanent is their room sharing? Probably two years, but after that who knows?


It was time to wean my baby.  Considering I've been pregnant for 15 weeks, and the baby is a year old, it was time.  Last Sunday I mentioned to my husband, how sad I was to wean him. (The baby was mostly weaned as it was.)  I said by the time you get home (he was leaving on a business trip for 5 days) the baby could be done.  It makes me want to cry.  He said you could always wait until I get home if its going to to make you sad.  I said good point.  That was my plan.  Then on Monday, it seemed ridiculous to nurse him at bedtime and the same on Tuesday.  Then I realized I was done being sad.  I had mourned on Sunday, and that was enough. Once I make a decision, I make a decision, and that is that.  I stress until I make a decision, but the minute I make the decision, I'm done, never looking back. My baby loves cow milk, its actually quite bizarre to me, none of my babies have loved it like the current one does.

Monday, August 5, 2013


As you may know meaning of names is very important to me. So when my husband picked Durl for my third child's middle name I went with it. But I couldn't find the meaning for it, which slightly disappointed me. Yadda yadda yadda the other day I realized I should look up the traditional spelling-- Durrell. It means strong which is ironic since my husband picked the name from my great Uncle who at 70 still participated in Rodeos. And my son seems to be freakishly strong for a baby. Who knows how he'll be as he grows up, but in the womb he was by far my strongest baby. He was born 2 lbs bigger. And in general it has not been uncommon for strangers to interact with him and say wow he is strong for a baby. He has a freakishly strong grip, and has a tendency to hurt me when he is trying to play. 
But like I said who knows what he'll be like when he grows up. Then again he does have broad shoulders and red hair. 

On a side note like I said, I'm interested in name meaning. For years I thought my name was beyond lame because it means from the gray forest. Then I married a man who's name means from the hill. (He tells me his name was picked for its meaning.) My name finally found purpose next to my husband's name. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013


My poor child.  For the last year and half of going to the dentist I ask them the progress of my oldest's teeth.  He is now 7 and half.  He has not lost any teeth, and finally his last friend who hadn't lost a tooth, finally lost one a few months ago.  I was worried he wasn't growing new teeth under his baby teeth, but upon inspecting the last set of x-rays from 6 months ago, I misunderstood what they told me the previous visit..  He is indeed growing adult teeth, just slowly, and based on x-rays and exams he is going to get his molars before he starts to loose baby teeth.  So yes, my child is going to be like 9 when he lose a tooth.
About a month ago it clicked in my head, my daughter who is three years younger than her brother is going to loose a tooth first.
The dentist confirmed my assumptions, here is why.  The average baby gets his or her first two at 6 months.  My oldest was 14 months, and so he is going to loose his baby teeth that much later than the average kid who loses his teeth at 5.  Not only that, my son has is apart of the minority that is going to have his molars erupt before loosing his baby teeth, putting him that much more behind the curve.
Well my daughter got her first baby tooth at 10 months, still behind the curve, but I think children who teeth at 6 months it is not unusual to loose teeth at 4.  I'm not positive on this though.  My second son also got teeth at 10 months, my mom said I can't believe he has so many teeth (6).  I said well he is 11 months, she said you guys (as in her babies) never got teeth that early.  Point being 10 months is not early.  So if I got my baby teeth after I was 10 months, and I lost my first tooth in May after turning 5 in September, that would imply that my daughter is going to loose her baby tooth before she is 5 and half.  Not an exact calculation but an estimation after years of having the dentist and hygienists explaining baby teeth falling out to me.
Then we went to the dentist last week.  They confirmed my suspicions. They showed me with the scaler that indeed her two bottom teeth will probably fall out in the next 6 months, they were starting to be wiggly.  (Once home I inspect and they did not seem wiggly to me, so we still have a few months.)  While my son on the other hand, his molars probably need a little more than 6 months to erupt, and there is no sign of wiggles, his teeth are not close.  At some point this month I have to break the news to him.  He is not going to be pleased, but the hygienists keep telling me this is actually good, his adult teeth are going to be so healthy because he'll be old enough to care for them correctly.  They are also not worried because he has plenty of space for his adult teeth to grow in.
Such is life.  He has plenty of skills that he could tell you he is above schedule, but he also knows not everyone is really good at everything.  So some people read Harry Potter 7 really young, and other people loose baby teeth on time.  Such is life, you can't be everything.  Sometime it stinks to be a late bloomer, even if it turns out to be a blessing in the long run.  I'm pretty sure the consolation prize of really knowing how to care for his teeth will not make him feel better.

Friday, July 26, 2013

How about you?

I'm tired and grumpy how about you?
Throughout the day yesterday I told my husband multiple times how tired I was. (The kids and I have been swimming about an hour, twice a day, all week.) Last night I said to my husband lets go to bed early.  He said ok, or we could watch a TV show.
What he really meant is, yes, I know you are tired, but lets spend sometime vegging out.  I know you can never say no to watching tv.
Ok, maybe he wasn't secretly saying that.  Maybe he doesn't realize that I never ever say no to watching tv.
So I'm tired and grumpy.
I blame it on him, but its probably my fault.

When we woke up, I mumbled something.  He said what, I mumbled it again.  He said what again, I yelled I don't care, I'm tired and its all your fault because we watched tv last night.  He ignored that.  Pretty much he might be a saint.

Once last thought the problem with kids that keep growing up, is how are you suppose to eat ice cream at 10:30 in the morning when you are grumpy.  I don't want my kids eating ice cream.

Maybe I should get dressed and brush my hair.  I probably would be in a better mood.  I'm a big believe in you feel how you look, if you took terrible, you'll feel terrible.  I don't think I'm a very frivolous clothing shopper, but I always go and buy clothes right after I have a baby.  If I can't dress normal, I will feel awful.  Sure nothing fits, but if you buy new stuff of the clearance racks you can find things that fit.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


I woke up today with a great desire to have the whole house clean. I told the big kids if you clean your rooms, the basement, the living room, and the kitchen table then I'll take you out for frozen yogurt this afternoon. (The living room and kitchen table are an everyday thing.) After breakfast they quickly descended into the basement. Before their baby brother was down for his morning nap, they were back with pleas of not me and pretty pleases. What they actually wanted was me to clean the basement, while they played. With a new cardboard box that became empty after a diaper change, they were once more below except this time creating a bigger mess. They often say cleaning the basement is too hard, which I don't understand, all it is throwing toys in boxes. Eventually the box was no longer new and they searched for my companionship. I asked my daughter if she was ready to clean her room, she said yes. First task, pick up all the dirty laundry. Second task, get all the toys out of her bed so we could wash her sheets. She even went a step farther and strip her sheets and put them in the laundry. I was so proud! Then I helped her clean up the rest, organizing toys in her room is extremely overwhelming to her, and a job she cannot complete on her own. (The basement is a chore they have completed countless times on their own.)  Once baby brother woke from his nap, J man spent less than 20 minutes on his room. Then twice I reminded them of our ice cream deal. Twice they looked at me, with not even a sideways glance at the basement stairs. Twice they looked away from me with not even a plea of come help us. 
Overall it was a success today. Their rooms where cleaned without weeping or wailing or gnashing of teeth. (It is not uncommon for someone to growl at me when asked to clean.)  I saved $10, because no ice cream was rewarded. Monday morning holds the bright future of cleaning the basement. I did not nag, i only mentioned the deal three times. Plus we went to a party tonight where they had unlimited cookies, cake and jelly beans. 

And if asked after the bedrooms were clean I would have join them in the basemen. I would have gladly read my book in the cool basement as I told them, did you put away the blankets? Now find all the (toy) food. Now find all the cars. Put away all the stuffed animals. Etc etc

Friday, July 19, 2013


This is one of my favorite stories. Last May I was meeting with Nan's teachers and one of them told me this. They were discussing pets or dogs in class. The teacher asked, Nan do you have a pet? Like a dog? She matter of factly answered no I have a baby brother. True true my dear, that's what I told her all through my pregnancy. She loves going to petsmart to see all the pets (ours always has cats up for adoption and doggy day camp you can watch through full size wall glass windows.) When she would ask me when can we get a pet the answer was when your youngest sibling who is 5 maybe we can think about it. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013


You see this globe? (Sorry for once again the bad lighting, it's hot outside, and so my blinds are close to stop thermal energy.)
I was so excited when we bought. We had just moved in our house so we still had space, I had been wanting a globe for so long! We got a steal of a deal at a garage sale, and it was only 2 years old, so the African borders/countries hadn't changed yet. Plus it was antique coloring! My dream come true! I didn't want ridiculous pastel colors. But since I've brought it home its always been a void of brown in my mix of black seating. We got rid of old couches and got new furniture and I still have black chairs! 
Too bad we didn't get a antique colored globe instead of antique parchment globe. Still I can't complain, new that globe is over $500, and if I remember right, we spent $100. Then again the axis doesn't work. 
Here is a close up. 
Since I can't change my globe, I guess I need color pictures in my frames, instead of sepia. I also need to change my frame arrangement  since we moved our lamp. Other than blocking my frames its really the best place in the room for the lamp. Some might suggest a colored lamp shade but that's not my style, it would look like a purple elephant in the room. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013


My husband and I both have a budget in which we can buy whatever we want. It's our spendy cash budget. My husband is very nice and often pays for date night with his. (I never pay for date night with my budget, as you'll see why.) I am I think 2 and half months over budget. It's a sad place to be. But at least I'm not in debt to JPMorgan, just the family. Still it is debt :(  I could make excuses but really what comes down to is poor self control on my part. 20 extra dollars one month, $50 another, 2 amazon books here, another one there, until it added up to 2 and half months. Now I'm on a spending freeze. Summer is a good time to be on a spending free, because hitting up the craft store, or target is never fun with all the kids in tow. As far as I can tell the best way to not spend money is to not go shopping. So, I must avoid stores. Unfortunately there are a few things I would love to make... I do not have the supplies, so they will have to wait, until September. My poor decisions are so lame...
If I can actually wait until September life will be grand, because other wise I'll be feeling guilty into October. 
Speaking of October, I want to know what my kids want to be for Halloween, since its after July 1st, but I'm holding strong, and not asking. 
I know I'm a nutter!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


The time has come, we got a piano.

We went a digital piano. Digital pianos sometimes get a bad rap but I think they are stellar. We have a full size weighted  keyboard, just like an acoustic. We got a brand new piano for $1600. We never have to tune it, as in we never have to pay a tuner. As in a $1600 is a flat fee. The size is better for our house. Plus people can play with headphones, as in if I don't feel like listening to "twiddling" I don't have to. 
After we had been married for a year, I found out my husband is very musically inclined. Although he enjoys music, he has no great love to will him to practice and he seems to despise performance. But he never actually said the last part, it my inference based on his dislike of talent shows. Actually I think I mixed up where despise and dislike should be. 
The kids love all the options, on a digital piano. 
Even the baby loves it. 
My husband surprised me while I was at swim lessons with the kids and rearranged the room so it fit. 
Please excuse all my junk in the picture, life is too life like to hid my junk for one picture.
PS I know low lighting does not produce the best lighting for cell phone pictures on blogs.  But remember how I couldn't move the junk, yeah, life is life, I figure a blurry picture in 20 years is better than no picture.  I'm learning to embrace life as it is.  Its so peaceful and liberating.  Like tonight as I sat on my patio, I stared at my "native" hill.  At an earlier point, I wish it would have been beautifully landscaped, but I do not have the time, money, skills or a husband who wants such things.  He seems to like life a tad bit messy.  Instead of wishing for impossible things, I stared into the native plants (weeds mixed with flowers) and found peace.  

Monday, July 8, 2013

Spring/Summer Reading

The Elite (The Selection, #2)The Elite by Kiera Cass
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you know my book reviews you know I never like book 2 as much as book 1 in a series.  This is no exception.  I loved book 1, The Selection, but The Elite just wasn't as great.  Not only that I didn't like the cover.  Book 1 cover was pretty, book 2 cover annoyed me.  I didn't like seeing a face on the model, I didn't like her hair, or the cgi, etc etc.
On to the plot: I didn't like the characters in this book as much as the last even though they were the same characters.  Their action aggravated me beyond belief, but I guess that is the problem with Teen Fiction, the characters act like stupid teens. After reading book one I didn't know what boy I was rooting for but in the beginning of book two I definitely picked a side.  Yes, this is another love triangle teen novel.  And keeping with last book, I find the author's future intriguing.  After World War III, we become United States of China, since they invade to collect on our debts, which we can't pay.  Then after the Fourth World War, a man takes over renames the US, and makes it a monarchy.  Which is how our main character makes her story, in a Bachelor type competition to become the next princess. Even though I didn't like this book as much, I still will wait in anticipation until next spring when book 3 comes out.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read this because my husband is a huge fan and kept asking me to read it.  I enjoyed most of the book, but I did not LOVE it, like so many fans. I don't love sci fi, so Orson Scott Card is not my favorite author, but I do think he is a very skilled author. I appreciated reading an author that shows discipline in their writing. I feel like most current authors are lacking the self control needed to allow the reader to use their imagination. Card does not have that problem. It makes for an enjoyable read.
I found the political discussions interesting because I love a good political discussion, I found the military tactics painfully boring, but appreciated the genius child descriptions, since I have a genius child. Even though the military tactic sections bore me, I did read the first 2/3 with great interest, because of my oldest child who is a genius.  The part where they felt adults were the enemy because they underestimated them really clicked with me.  How often to I underestimate my child?  I also wondered does he think I'm keeping secrets from him when I don't answer his questions.  Actually I don't know the answers of the questions he asks me, life is rough when at 7 you are smarter than 2/3 of the adults, if not more. I very useful book for parents of Gifted children to read. 

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)Insurgent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Normally I don't like book 2s, but this is the exception. I LOVED this book! Who would have thought? I didn't hear the best of reviews about this book, so I wasn't expecting much, I did read that the author does not plan her novels. I heard nothing happened. When I read it I thought, whatever something is always happening, the plot moved along beautifully I thought. The romance definitely drew me. But what I really enjoyed about this book it was classically dystopian plot with a teen fiction spin. Complete with 'the man' trying to break the man character because 'the man' believed the main character was the key to breaking the resistance. I loved that part for the sole reason of the author keeping a solid archetype of the genre.  I always thought I didn't like dystopian because I hate 1984 and couldn't understand Ayn Rand in high school. While I read Insurgent I remembered all the dystopian I had read and enjoying. (Since revisiting Ayn Rand post college, I can appreciate and comprehend her writing, something I couldn't do as a weak reader in high school.) Anyway, if you are looking for a fun dystopian book, read this series, fight your way through the first 40 boring pages of book 1, and love book 2. It might be the only book 2, I've ever loved.

By the way we listened to book 1 and 2 of Harry Potter with our seven year old on our car trip, and watched movie 1.  I forgot how much I love reading Harry Potter.  I knew I loved him, but I forgot just how deep my love goes.  It is so fun to experience it with a newbie. I will feebly admit, I am a Harry Potter success story, the Harry Potter series was the first books I read for pleasure. 

The Spiderwick Chronicles Box Set (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #1-5)The Spiderwick Chronicles Box Set by Holly Black
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I listened to this on tape with my 7 year old.  It was very fun to listen to this with him.  He like many inexperienced readers is afraid to pick up books out of his comfort zone. This was his first exposure to fantasy chapter books. I knew he would like fantasy if I could just get him to pick up the right book. Now I need to get a papercopy for him to reread. I picked this up on a whim and I'm glad I did, because even my four year old enjoyed listening to this series.

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette (The Penderwicks, #3)The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book three, and I honestly can't remember the other two books. I do remember the characters, Birdsall does an excellent job of developing her characters. Since it is a children's book, I found the book slow in the beginning, but it was age appropriate. I honestly was wishing I was reading something else that was on hold at the library, but I continued because the characters were well developed, and enjoyable to read about. It was worth the perseverance, I loved this book by the end. It made me cry. I cried for Rosalind, but it was probably from pent up emotion from the previous chapters before Rosalind got back from New Jersey. Hooray for Jeffery.
One day when my four year old daughter is old enough to read chapter books, she will be sorely disappointed that she does not have three sisters, and instead two brothers. I know this since she already asks me how families get lots of sisters. The positive thing is there are books about families with lots of sisters. She will love the Penderwicks.

During this time for book group I picked and reread, Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot (Cecelia and Kate, #1)Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book.  I thought it was Jane Austen mixed with Harry Potter.  How can you go wrong with that mix?!  The romance/society/dating of Austen and mixed with magic.  It was fun, and I would totally recommend it to people who like both JK Rowling and Jane Austen.  It was a little predictable when it came to the romance, but isn't that the way we like Austen's time period.  But I also found two story tellers slightly confusing, the book is a series of letters back and forth between cousins. Plus I thought the cover was fun. But just for the record, book group didn't enjoy it as much as me.  They thought the cover was ugly, they didn't like the plot being based off of letters, and struggled keeping the characters straight.  

View all my reviews

 The Far West (Frontier Magic, #3)The Far West by Patricia C. Wrede
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I enjoyed Eff, Lan, and William, I enjoyed them as adult characters. The pace of this book was much better than book #2. I'm sad the series is over, although I'm glad the author finished it before I got bored with the series. I enjoyed Wash and Professor Ochiba. I enjoyed the alternate reality of the American wild west with magic. It was also fun to read about a magic society were everyone can possess magic as long as they study.

 Across the Great Barrier (Frontier Magic, #2)Across the Great Barrier by Patricia C. Wrede
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book, but not as much as book 1. But when have I ever liked book 2 as much as 1. I'm very interested to read book 3. It didn't seem to have as much plot as book 1, a lot of wandering around the Frontier, and what seemed like not a lot happening. But like I said I still enjoyed it.

 Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A friend picked this for book group. I was a little wary of yet another Teen Fiction Dystopian lit series, but my friends assured me there was no love triangle in this one. I almost quit this book multiple times in the first 40 pages. It took me 2 days to get through the first 40 pages. I could not stand the main character's voice. At page 40, I decided I would give it 10 more pages. By page 60, I was hooked. As the book progressed the character's voice changed thankfully. Which is all part of the plot. I was slightly surprised at how much of a romance this story was, but in truth that is what pulled me. A lot of the plot was seemed like petty teenage angst, but oh when would they hook up? In the last 80 pages it finally turned into a Dystopian revolution, and once again I was surprised at how much it hooked me in. The last 80 pages was much more classic Dystopian than most teen fic that is currently popular. I found it surprisingly enjoyable. By the time I finished I wondered if my husband had the patience to put up with the first 300 pages, because if the series follows the current trajectory, it could get very interesting in a dystopian genre way.
Lastly, for some reason when Four cuts his hair I found it very touching, which is such a minor plot detail.
Also this book is fairly pg-13, if anyone cares.

The Selection (The Selection, #1)The Selection by Kiera Cass
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh my goodness, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this book. Dystopian lit version of the Bachelor. Just for the record I don't actually like the Bachelor. I was disappointed when I figured out this was only book 1. Why does everything have to be series? Hopefully its true to its name and actually a trilogy. I couldn't read this book fast enough, normally I clearly pick sides in a love triangle, but this book I'm not team anyone. What will the next book hold?!!
I really fell in love with the book, and wanted to keep reading after it was finished.

 Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic, #1)Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. Its fantasy historical fiction. Ok, so its not historical at all because they live in a magical world where everyone can learn magic if they apply themselves and dragons fly around west of the Mississippi. I've realized I like magical fantasy as long as the rest of their world is pretty normal and preferably on Earth in a time period I enjoy reading about even when its not magical.
Eff is the main character and she thinks she is unlucky being the thirteenth child. Anyway, I enjoyed the book, I'm excited to read book 2. I like books that take place on the frontier.

 Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great (Fudge #2)Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It took me a page or two get into this book, since it was in Sheila's voice instead of Peter's. I personally think Peter is a better storyteller. I didn't like this book as much as the books about Peter, but it is a good book for kids to realize its ok to be scared of things. I'm interested to see if my son likes this book where its a girl's perspective. He did want it from the library so we'll see.

 What Matters in Jane Austen?: Twenty Crucial Puzzles SolvedWhat Matters in Jane Austen?: Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved by John Mullan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book. It made me want to quit all of life and reread the complete works of Jane Austen again. Its a book comprising of 20 essays all by John Mullan about Jane Austen's works. There was about four of the essays that bore me, but other than that I loved the other 16. I found them so fascinating. Two of which were the last two essays, I'm not sure if I was just exhausted or if his arguments loose steam near the end. I really wish I would have made notes so I could remember what other essays I found dull.
It makes you wonder who is your favorite herione?
Elizabeth Bennet?
Anne Elliot?
Fanny Price?
Emma? Its not Emma, but it make me wonder if it is. Its also not Fanny Price, but I like Fanny more than the next reader.

 Superfudge (Fudge, #3)Superfudge by Judy Blume
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I reread this book after Reading Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing. I remembered I liked Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing better than Superfudge. But it was still fun.
I haven't given this book to my 1st grader yet because there is chapter that strongly suggests Santa Clause is pretend. My seven year old still is very much in awe of Santa glory, I'm not ready for that to end. I own an older copy, I got for 50 cents. I'm debated removing that chapter. Is that wrong of me? Maybe if he was nine. I was a cynical second grader but why make him one?

 Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Fudge, #1)Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this book. I reread before I gave it to my seven year old to read. He read loved it too. Even though he is is first grade not fourth, I thought he could relate to having a younger sibling that is crazy and demands a lot of attention. I found myself hoping he wouldn't relate to Peter feeling neglected by his mother's attention, but alas he probably did. :(

 Viva Jacquelina! Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Over the Hills and Far Away (Bloody Jack, #10)Viva Jacquelina! Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Over the Hills and Far Away by L.A. Meyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Although I love Jacky I'm losing interested in this series. I'm ready for Jacky and Jaimy to get married, 10 star crossed lover books is PLENTY. I'm sure LA Meyer could continue once they got hitched, its hardly like Jacky is going to stop being crazy just she has a husband. With these opinions I was slightly annoyed during the first third of the book, but then as I read about Jaimy's adventures, I realized ok, so Jacky's adventure are feeling over donE, but yes Jaimy really needed this last adventure before he was ready for Jacky. I enjoyed Jacky's story after she got out of Madrid, and so I was a little sad when the book was over, but over all this book just doesn't have the same pizzazz as some of the earlier books.

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That brings us back to March which was the last time I posted one of these.