Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Book review: The Well and the Mine

If you are looking for a fantastic read, I suggest, The Well and the Mine by Gin Phillips. I can't recommend this book enough. I am so amazed that this is a first novel.
It takes place in a small town in Alabama during the Great Depression. It is written in a style that I don't think many authors could pull off. But this author is such a beautiful writer that it works.
The story focuses on the Moore family and switches off between their voices. They are a hardworking, loving family whose sense of generosity and community makes you want to be a better neighbor.
To me, the novel seems so timely. There is so much talk about recession and depression lately, but you can get a glimpse of what it must have been like for people in the early 1930's. It brings things back to what's important -- family and community.
I got my copy from the library, but you can also get it on Amazon.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Movie review -- Bedtime Stories

Loved it! Yes, I did. After seeing so many kids movies that were good for the kids and O.K. for grownups, I found one that was good for my six year old and for me. My almost 4 year old wasn't into it, but if you have a little older child, this would definitely be a movie you could both enjoy together.
I've been "off" Adam Sandler for a while. Yes, I lost my shit while watching Happy Gilmore, but that's the last time I found an Adam Sandler film entertaining. This one brings him back in my good graces. I laughed out loud a few times, and so did my son. I wish I had had a sitter for my daughter, because she was just a tad too young.
Anyway, if you have time, see this, or rent it when it comes out on DVD.

We're home, struggling through this last week of winter break, as I'm sure many parents are. It's not that I don't love them, it's just that I have to work. I have the luxury of working from home, but my rugrats aren't the kind that I can park in front of the t.v. for a couple of hours while I get a bit of work done. I'm like a freakin magnet. I tell them, "go and play in the front yard." They don't listen. What is wrong with my kids!!!!???? I pull out a bunch of shit for them to play with, I roll out their scooters, grab a few balls and tell them to go have fun... the world is waiting for them to have an adventure. They would rather sit right next to my desk and ask when I'm going to be done with work. Am I that much fun??? What do you do? Are your kids as needy as mine? I'm a self starter and their inability to use their imaginations just really gets to me. It makes me so freakin grouchy. What did I do wrong???

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Party's over!

I survived it. 16 kids and 8 adults in my small abode. It didn't rain, so that is good, and all the work I did on the food turned out alright. My homemade lego cake was cool and even though my homemade lego pinata didn't look great, I don't think the kids noticed.
There were lots of cousins around and also a few buddies from Luc's school. It was weird, though... this was the first year where the non-relative parents just dropped off their kids. It was like.. hi, what time should I pick little Johnnie up? I had prepared a lot of food expecting everyone to stay because they always have in the past. I'm fine that they didn't stay, but it's like some sort of milestone. My son now has parties where the parents of his mates don't stay. Crazy!!!!! He'll be six on Tuesday and that blows my mind! I'm tired, so I'm going to go to bed now.
All I have left to do for Christmas is wrap presents and one more day of baking. I can go go bed without a lot of shit hanging over my head.
Good night!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Now I remember... I hate December!

Around mid-November I start to get excited for the holidays. I look forward to Thanksgiving and then shopping for gifts for the family for Christmas. We'll have a pretty tree and sing carols at the piano while we sip egg nog and laugh jovially. The presents will be prettily wrapped and the kids and I will enjoy decorating Christmas cookies that we'll deliver to the neighbors.
Around December 10 (that's today) I wake up from my dream and remember that December sucks. My anxiety is starting to kick in. Not only do I have Christmas to plan for, but my first born celebrates his birthday 2 days before Christmas. I always do a party for him and I have a huge freakin family. Now that he is in kindergarten, he also wants to invite a few buds from class -- and i know that also means that a few of their parents will be there as well. So, the count could get as high as 33 if everyone comes -- I'm sure that won't be the case.
My house is filled with lists. Lists of gifts I've purchased or need to purchase. Lists of things I need for the party. Lists of what I need to do to get my house in order for overnight guests (in-laws and bro-in-law will be here for a few nights at Christmas). Lists, lists, lists!!! But I don't seem to find much time to get anything crossed off my lists. In between work, xmas shopping, homework, and just giving my kids a bit of attention, there doesn't seem to be much time for the extras.
It's no wonder I usually end up with the flu or pneumonia right around Christmas. I can't wait until about mid-January (after Amanda's birthday). Just wake me up then.
If I suddenly found myself very wealthy, I would probably just book a vacation for 2 weeks for the family and get the heck out of town:)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Tree is up!

We got our Christmas tree today and it is a nice one! It's the first time in a few years that everything has gone smoothly. We didn't pay an arm and a leg, the tree went in the stand beautifully and is fairly straight and there are no bald spots.. like on our sad tree last year. My husband didn't even curse once while helping me set it up. And Lucas was so into decorating this year. It's the first year he's really cared to hang more than one ornament. He did about 2/3 of the decorating after I got the lights on. We turned on the fireplace (doesn't that sound wrong) and had the Christmas tree lights on during dinner. It was a very nice evening.

We then headed out to Moorpark to view some crazy lights. They are in this wealthier part of town and just about every street in the neighborhood is jam packed with lights and displays that are so over the top. The kids loved it. It's like each neighbor is trying to outdo the next and we get to benefit from their competition. After we got home and pulled into our own driveway, our lights did look a little sad, but that's OK because I know my electric bill won't exceed what I spend on presents.