Saturday, January 25, 2014

What I'm Reading, Hearing, Watching, and Doing

My reading list, as usual, is as exciting as it is excessive.  I actually only spend about 20 minutes reading each day, so the fact that I'm carrying around and placing by the bedside all these books is pretty ridiculous.  But if loving so many books is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

I haven't actually started the newest addition to the culinary mystery series I love, but it's a library book, so I have to start and finish it quickly.  I'm almost finished with "The Gifts of Imperfection" (it's my nighttime book) and I'm about halfway through "The Shining" (one of two daytime books).  I purchased the sequel, "Doctor Sleep", as my pages-in-waiting.  The author of the book on my kindle is an old family friend, Darin Michael Shaw.  I believe "Chronicles of War" is his first novel, but his second published work.  I selected the giant book about the Vanderbilt ladies for my book group.  It was one of the more interesting-seeming titles that came up when I googled "books to make you smarter."  So far, I don't feel much smarter, though.  It seems to me that the Vanderbilt family was like a much earlier version of the Kardashian family.  I find myself disapproving of their long-ago extravagant parties and constant building of expensive houses, and not necessarily on principle.  I feel that they're a big part of the reason today's society is so celebrity-gaga and so shallow, as a whole.  Unfair?  That remains to be seen.

From Rip Claw: "Do we have any fun plans for today/tomorrow/the weekend?"  I don't know how or exactly when his obsession with "fun plans" started, but he was literally asking me that question  I figure there isn't anything wrong with wanting to know our plans, or with wanting them to be fun.  I was really tired of hearing the question, though, so I came up with this:
On the chalkboard painted portion of his bedroom wall.
In typical mom fashion, I included chores and additional school work (I give him advanced math problems, reading or writing assignments when we play school) in the fun.  Muah hah hah!

From Cupcake: "NO LIKE IT!" It's a rather long story, and not all that interesting, so I'll sum up: she has to drink some different kind of non-dairy milk that she isn't used to drinking.  We've tried soy, vanilla flavored almond, coconut, and lactaid milks.  Finally, after several days of bribing, cheering, rewarding, bargaining, begging, and attempting to disguise the flavors, she drank some soy milk without throwing her cup and yelling that dreaded phrase.  In addition to being a picky drinker, she is becoming a very finicky eater.  Perfect, considering she's off-the-chart small and her pediatrician probably thinks we're trying to cultivate an early eating disorder. ("Mom, what's it called when people say the opposite of something to try to be funny?" Sarcasm, son.  You'll hear a lot of it in our family.) It's hard to get her to eat enough protein and fat, so I'm very much okay with her love of hummus, guacamole, and peanut butter.
Ignore the messy counter top in the background and focus on the fact that she was licking fresh, homemade guacamole from her fingers.
Okay, I'll be honest.  I wrote the title and the first half of this post about 9 hours ago, and now I can't remember what I was going to share about this subject.  You know how frustrating it is when you lose your train of thought mid-sentence?  This is like that, only a little worse.  I've been sitting at the computer for 40 minutes now, asking myself repeatedly, "What am I watching?"  I keep coming up with a few things that I know weren't IT, but will have to do.

  • Parenthood- It's a show about 4 grown siblings and their own families.  Charming and I are getting thoroughly spoiled by watching it on Netflix, because we're still not caught up to the current season and can therefore watch 3 episodes a night when we are awake enough.  I dare you to watch and not find yourself relating to at least one of the main characters.
  • Progress.  Charming is well on his way to his first ever half-marathon race!  His dedication to the training program and the ease with which he seems to achieve greater and greater things are just so thrilling to watch.  He'll be running the Swamp House Half Marathon in March.  You should, too.
  • Potential paydays.  I am officially an approved substitute teacher for our county's schools.  Some of you may know this already, but many of you probably missed the blog post about it that I deleted a couple of days after publishing it.  (Curious, now, are you?  Let me know in the comments if you want to read the gory details and I'll see what I can do to satisfy.)  Now that I'm an employee, but not actually working, I'm spending time each day watching for jobs to open up.  
  • Pigging out.  The 2 weeks of clean eating made me aware of my awful piggish habits.  I've been watching my junk food and overall calorie intake, these days, and I've only gorged myself a couple of times.  
Really running!  I was surprised by how long after my tibial stress fracture I was running tentatively.  Like a slow, scaredy baby.  Also surprising was how long the mild soft tissue pain can last.  After long or fast runs, I still see swelling around the spot that was fractured, and the muscles in my calf and shin on that leg are much more tender than those on the other leg.  Apparently, though, this type of pain is not unusual for up to a year after an injury like the one I had.  I've been building my weekly mileage back up, and I've had some very successful long runs that have left me feeling like a real runner again.

Really cleaning!  Long ago, I made myself a cleaning schedule that looked so good on paper.  Well, it's actually on Google Calendar, but you know what I mean.  Turns out, following the schedule makes my house look good, too!  I (almost) always regret procrastination; I hate that I put off the tasks that I know I need to accomplish.  I decided recently that I would really, truly, not-just-saying-so, try to procrastinate less and try not to waste so much of my free time on nonsense.  It's a hard thing to do, to be productive, but it really is worthwhile.  What a wonderful feeling of relief comes when the laundry baskets, washer and dryer are all empty!

What advice should you take away from this post?  Read the books I'm reading.  Turn the tables on your kids when you hear things from them that are annoying.  Remember the information you want to convey.  Running is fun, even when it's scary.  Finally, go do--whatever--now!  Don't wait.

Best way to break a bad habit?

Best way to remember your own ideas?


  1. Your Sunday plans look a lot like mine.

    I would like more details about Chores = Rewards.

  2. Love the chalk board...X is in the habit of saying, "Best Day Ever!" Which means you can't be grumpy, as he says it every morning;-) I'm also reading, "The Gifts of Imperfection." And watching Parenthood....but could you share your cleaning schedule...this I have been meaning to both create & implement. Cheers! And I'm totally jealous about you being able to play at a park...our kids can't even go outside:-(