Thursday, May 7, 2015

Brief Hiatus

I am currently in the last stages of studying for my Praxis exam - I take the test Monday. In order to devote as much time to it as possible. I am taking a brief hiatus from the blog. I will be back next week after the test. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A to Z Comes to an End

Today marks the last day of April, and with that, the end of the A to Z challenge. While I haven't been able to post every day, I have managed to post something for every letter (at least I will have once this post goes live!). I have learned a lot this month about myself and the process for posting - what works for me and what doesn't. With school starting at the beginning on June I know that posting everyday will probably not be realistic, but this month has shown what I am capable of doing and I am hopeful that I will be able to keep this up.

So, with that preamble out of the way - here are the last three letters of the alphabet.

X is for X-ray! -  I had the hardest time coming up with something for X. This is by far the hardest letter of the alphabet for this challenge. I asked Matthew if he had any suggestions. He informed me that X was his favorite letter and that x-ray starts with X, so for that reason, x is for x-ray!

Y is for Yarn - It would just seem wrong to have Y stand for anything else. Since we are having to watch our pennies around here, I have put myself on a yarn purchasing moratorium for this year. But I HAVE TO KNIT. So this has forced me to actually delve into my stash. I had more than I thought. I have also gone back to my hibernating projects and am working on finishing the ones with promise and am frogging (unraveling) some that I know I will never use or will just be unhappy with the finished project - so even more yarn to use!! This my friends is why you have a stash.

Z is for Zoo - With school starting in a month, I am trying to take advantage of the time that I have left and am trying to spend more time with Matthew. For a mommy and son outing we met some friends at the zoo yesterday and it was an absolute blast. Going to the zoo with Matthew now is a whole new experience. He is more interested in the animals and gets excited when he sees something new. He also tells me which ones he likes and makes it known if he wants to move on to see other animals or if he just wants to run. The weather was perfect and I had an absolute blast with my little man.

Thank you Regina for going on the carousal since mommy has vertigo!

With that the A to Z challenge comes to an end. I hope that you enjoyed following along. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Wake Up Mommy

W is for - Wake Up Mommy. That is how Matthew woke me up on Sunday morning after having climbed out of his crib. Honestly, if scared the hell out of me for a minute - but once I woke up a bit more I realized that we weren't going to be murdered in our beds. After he climbed out again when he was finished with his nap, we decided we should probably rectify that situation quickly before he broke his head climbing out.

So, Matthew now has a big boy bed! He loves being able to get in and out of his bed, and has shown that to us during our bedtime routine which has lasted a LOT longer than normal since the change (we now spend about a hour convincing him that he should stay in his bed). Any advice how to keep him there?

The transition has been surprisingly emotional for me. He is quickly becoming a boy and is leaving behind more and more of his infancy and that makes me both excited and sad at the same time. I keep reminding myself that he is still my baby boy, but my baby boy is quickly becoming a little boy.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

V is for Volume I

The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume I
The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume I by Arthur Conan Doyle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been a long time fan of Sherlock Holmes. My history with the character however, has been mostly confined to the television adaptations that they show on PBS (both the older versions and the newer ones which are awesome). I grew up watching the episodes with my mom, but never actually opened a book with a Holmes story until college. Even then, I only have read a couple.

So, I decided to rectify that. We own all of the Holmes stories in two volumes, so I really had no excuse not to read them. I have finished Volume I which ends with the "death" of Sherlock Holmes at the falls. I got hooked to the stories and really enjoyed reading them. I was afraid that knowing mostly how they ended because of the TV series that the joy would be taken out of it for me, but that didn't happen. The shows and the books are different enough that I enjoyed seeing what the original story entailed. If you like mysteries, you will like the original Sherlock Holmes stories - give them a try.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Five for Friday - "U" Edition

Five for Friday time - brought to you by the letter "U."

1. Unicorns: I follow a blog called The Bloggess (if you haven't checked it out yet - it is a must). Earlier this week she posted about some unicorns that she bought - really it was about a giant giraffe that she didn't buy, but the unicorns played a key part (seriously, read the blog - it is amazing). She used the phrase "broken and magical." That has stuck with me all week and I wanted to share. We are all broken and magical in our own ways.

2. Uncluttered: I had an orientation meeting this week for the masters program. It seems a lot more real now! After I got home, I got to work uncluttering my desk and getting my work space into shape. I want to make sure that I start this venture on the right foot.

3. Unearth: We have an exciting weekend planned! We are going to weed our front garden and define the garden in our backyard that is right now a complete mess. We are planning on creating a small garden to plant some tomatoes and carrots in the back. What are your plans for the weekend?

4. Umbrage: I really don't have anything for this, I just really really like this word and don't get to use it enough. So, since it is U today - I am using the word umbrage!

5. Under the Weather: Thank you to everyone who sent me well wishes while I was sick. I am feeling a lot better, but am still a little weak. This illness really took a number on me, but I am feeling better with every day.

Have an amazing weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for...

T is for Today.

Recently, much of my time and focus has been spent on the future. Where will I be going to school? Will I be going to school? What do I want to be doing in five years? Will all of this future focus, I sometimes forget to live today.

I think we are all guilty of this more than we would like to admit. Instead of playing with your children, you are reading on the computer or your tablet or checking your calendar for tomorrow. Instead of having a good conversation at dinner, you are still focusing on what happened earlier today at work or on the road. I am going to do all of those things again. To be fair - you need to - you have to plan ahead and think back on what has happened - it just can't consume your time. So, I want to try harder to have more of my focus be on Today - what is right there in front of me at that moment.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for Stuber

S is for Stuber - as in Barbara Stuber, author of Girl in Reverse.

Girl in Reverse
Girl in Reverse by Barbara Stuber

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Girl in Reverse is a good book. Not great, but good. I loved the main character and the small community that she has surrounded herself with by the end of novel. However, the story line seemed forced at times.

The real LOVE of the novel for me - the setting. Set in Kansas City during the time of the Korean War, it has scenes on the Plaza and at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Having grown up in Kansas City, and having spent a large amount of time at the Nelson, the setting sold me on the book overall.

Without giving to much away, the story is set around a young Chinese girl who had been adopted into a middle class white family. She struggles with her identity and who her parents were while faced with open racism at school and in her community. Through artifacts and pieces of the Chinese collection at the Nelson museum, she is able to get some of her questions answered and discover more about herself. For those of you that don't know, the Nelson has one of the largest Chinese art collections in the U.S. and is one of my favorite exhibits at the museum. By interweaving the story with pieces from the collection, Stuber makes this a really fun read for anyone who has visited the museum.

While I might not recommend this to just anyone, I would highly recommend this to anyone from Kansas City or anyone who has visited the Nelson Atkins museum.

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