Tania's Words

here is an empty shell- a resonant shadow- waiting

Archive for reading

Potty time!

So many things to talk about. Life has been an absolute whirlwind of random stuff. First, Parker started “school”. Really, he is at a preschool/daycare. He only goes for about 6 hours a week, just on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The decision to send him kind of came to me all at once. Dan and I had already talked about sending Parker to preschool in the fall, the 3 year group. He’s a bright kid, and I think that the social interaction will be good for him, as well as some independence from Mommy, as he has been super attached. Once I realized that we wanted to send him to school, I had to think about the fact that we have a new baby coming. I was concerned that if we sent Parker after the baby comes, he’ll feel like we’ve banished him, or somehow link the two events together.

And so the search was on! Really it was the worlds shortest search, as we ended up putting him in a daycare that my two best friends had used. Once we’d picked the place, there was no reason not to go ahead with it, and so in three short days, I was dropping Parker off for his first day. I struggled with feelings of guilt, and worry. I felt guilty for sending him away, even though I knew I was doing it for all the right reasons- for him. Because I believe that it is important for kids to socialize and to become independent. Although he cried when we dropped him off, he stopped almost right away. Yes, I called to check, and was gratified and proud to hear that he was fitting right in and enjoying himself. By his second day, he didn’t want to leave when I came to pick him up.

Now that Parker is in school, Dan and I decided it was time to potty train. I know, we must be gluttons for punishment! Before we took him to school, I had asked Parker if he wanted to go, and he’d gotten very excited and said yes. So I told him that if he went to big boy school, he’d have to learn to go on the potty like a big boy. Ms. Rose (his teacher), said that it would be a good time as well, since he adjusted well to school and he is around lots of other kids who are learning to go potty as well. So starting Friday morning, potty bootcamp started.

From the get go, it was rough. I had a lot of doubts about whether or not we were doing the right thing, and the right way.  Parker got a new duck potty that sings when he makes it into the potty. The first day of boot camp he was put into big boy undies right away and we had a duck alarm sounding ever 15 minutes, and when it went off he’d have to sit on the potty. There was a lot of resistance, tears, and assorted meltdowns that first day. Sometimes being a parent is so rough, you never know if you are doing the right thing for your kid, or if you are just scarring them for life! But the second day went better, and twice he asked to go when he needed to. The big breakthrough was during dinner when he asked to go cause he had to go #2, and he did it! Any parent out there who has been through potty training knows that that is a huge success! Dan and I were so proud of him, and he got a cool prize which he loves, a dollar store fishing pole with magnetic fishies to catch. It is his favourite toy right now!

And of course, last but not least, I threw my back into spasm again last night. I am so tired of this, I cannot wait to be done with pregnancy. I’ve been in bed all day, listening to Parker and Dan downstairs feeling lonely, useless, and completely lame. I hate depending on Dan to do everything for me, I hate not being a part of Parker’s day and all of his successes with the potty, and I really hate not knowing when I am going to feel better and not have to depend on others to help me with Parker and everyday stuff.

With all this stuff going on, I’ve not been finding time to work on editing the book. We recently refinanced our house, have been shopping for new insurance, and I’ve been very busy trying to find new teams for Relay for Life, drum up sponsorship, and somehow, find time to fund raise for my own team. I am hoping that things will settle down a bit in the next week, and that before the baby comes I’ll get some solid work done on the novel. Here’s hoping right?

On a slightly more creative note, while I haven’t had a chance to write, I have been reading 100 years of Solitude, which I am really enjoying this time around. This is my second try reading it and it is going much better. My biggest issue is that the book features a huge cast of characters who all have the same name or a slightly different names. Oy. I also recently read Water for Elephants, which was AMAZING. I recommend it highly. Highly.

Advertisements

I fall off the wagon, I get on…

Oh the circle of life. How it turns.

Ok so that makes no sense, but hey, Parker and I watched the Lion King (again) this morning, so I have it on the brain. Now we are watching Finding Nemo. Poor guy inherited my immune system. Which is to say he got nothing good. Thank goodness he got the de Sostoa hair, or I’d be feeling pretty guilt, especially as he’s coughing up a little lung right now.

So, I am back. Morning sickness is over, NaNo has been defeated yet again. I made it in the nick of time- I was only 4,000 words short at about November 21st, and then for some reason I stopped writing and just…stopped. It might have had something to do with the death cold I’d contracted, but details, shetails. Finally, November 29th, I camped on Maura’s couch, cementing my bony butt into her cushions,  and declared I would not leave until I was done. Unfortunately, her family expired before I got to the goal, and at 9pm, I left, with only 500 words to go. Motivation being my middle name by this point, I settled on my own couch and made it work (A la Tim Gunn, of course).

I won’t pretend this book is anything as good as I’d hoped, or even really somewhat like my vision going in, but that is what NaNo does to you. It makes a mockery of all your carefully laid plans, spits on your hopes and dreams; and just at the moment when you are curled in the fetal position, quivering and crying for your mother, shows you the light. Did that make any sense?

Ok, it is obvious NaNo has sucked the life and intelligence out of me at this point. I am mostly here to update you all, get back into the swing of blogging, and talk about the future.

I’d intended to keep track of all the books I read this year…which I did for about half the year. I have no idea when I stopped really, so I can’t even guess what I am missing. Which is a good thing, actually, since I haven’t read a single thing of substance in months. I don’t know why, but I guess I just decided to read easy stuff and skate along for a while. I never read Dangerous Liasons, and now I really would like to get that done, if only that, by the end of the year.

I’d like to set a timetable for editing and querying for the first book, and get back to reading SRP books with Maura. I think those will be on my mind for next year. I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, as a rule, but I would like to start the year with a plan. Of course, several things will be getting in the way of that plan….Relay for Life, having a baby. You know, the usual.  For now, other than reading Dangerous Liasons, my number one task is to pick a name for little baby boy. Any suggestions?

uhhhhh, Sookie….

It’s pretty sad that only incredible boredom is getting me back to my blog.  But hey, whatever works, right?  If blogging was a muscle, mine would be a puny little atrophied mess. Yeah. What can I say, I’ve been busy.

First, Maura got me reading these terrible books. Ever heard of that True Blood TV show? Well, they are based on these books by Charlaine Harris- the Sookie Stackhouse novels. Well, I for one am on the bandwagon. I almost didn’t make it through the first book- the style it is written in is not my cup of tea. But for some reason I persisted, despite really disliking the first two.  By the time I was on the third, I could not stop. I can’t tell if the writing gets better, or if the story is just so good it sucks you in.  These books are like crack. Once you start, just just cannot stop.

Well I assume. I don’t do and never have done drugs. But I watch a lot of Intervention. And the Sookie Stackhouse books are my current brand of crack. That might just be my personality though. I tend to get obsessively into things. I go through phases. Most recently, the Bones phase that almost ended my marriage. Just kidding. Although I am pretty sure that if I watched one more episode of Bones, Dan was going to take away my rights to Netflix (consequently, how awesome is Netflix streaming through the X Box? So totally awesome).

Alas, there were only so many episodes of Bones to watch. Once I had exhausted those, I had to find something else to latch onto.  Or devour like a swarm of locusts. And thanks to Maura, that turned out to be the Sookie Stackhouse books. Which I’ve read and re-read. Now I am getting the DVD’s of the tv show sent to my house (once again, can we talk about how awesome Netflix is?).

All that, and Relay for Life was last weekend. It was awesome. I mean, really incredible. I really rather wish I had been feeling 100% for the whole event, seeing as I’ve been a part of the planning of the event since last September. Either way, though, it was an amazing success. Hopefully, someday I will feel up to a long, drawn out blog about it. I won’t make any promises.

So as you can see, I’ve been busy, like I said.  Hopefully now that Relay is over for a few months, I’ll have a little time for things like house cleaning, and blogging.

Well I am off to watch some more Lost, Season 3. And maybe find a snack to eat.

The super book editing behemoth of my dreams.

Oh man, just give me a big fat F for blogging this month. Man life is out of control. Not only has my life exploded, but my brain, apparently as well.  I’ve read approximately three books since I last blogged, none of which did anything to improve my life. Two were Nora Roberts books, and one was my own book, for Book Club. Since we read it, I am now trying to edit it…which is lame. I mean really, really lame. I need to invent my own book editing software. It will involve at least three giant screens, a super computer with really detailed voice recognition software, and some sort of automated serving bar. Except that I cannot drink thing fun. Wine, beer, soda, tea. Apparently, when your stomach is waging full scale rebellion, all you can drink is water.

On the subject of wonderful things, only this time, actual wonderful things, I have been allowed the blessing of watching my niece Paige full time. She is just about the cutest, sweetest, and absolutely the easiest 9 month old baby in the land. No joke.  Having two little ones under the age of two running around has wrecked some havoc in my life however. I did finally get the house clean today. And I mean clean, not picked up. As in, cleaned bathrooms, scrubbed floors. For the first time since Parker was born, I am caught up on laundry, and have been keeping on top of it. Unfortunately, I’ve been an epic failure in the kitchen lately.

Question for you stay at home mom’s out there who aren’t at all good at it…does it ever feel like as soon as you’ve gotten one aspect of household management under control, another one falls apart? I mean I was a disaster in the kitchen, and then one day I decided I wanted to start cooking, and suddenly I was like, a whiz in the kitchen. Ok well…that may be an exaggeration. But Dan was going to work every day with a home cooked meal, courtesy of moi. Of course, while this was happening, the laundry was busy multiplying in my bedroom, and before I knew it I had seventy five bastard piles of laundry love children to pay child support for. Or something. And now, I have that whole fiasco under control, but poor Dan and Parker have been eating spaghetti and chicken stir fry every meal.

And the worst is that I know I could be like, super mom, super wife, super Taaaaaniiiiiaaaaa…but I am lazy I think. I like working on my book, and sitting and watching a little TV at night when Parker is asleep, hanging out with my girlfriends and their kids.  Plus there is the sickness I call Farmville. I still have no idea why I like playing this game. There is hardly any point, and yet, I am sucked in. If I just cut Farmville out, I am sure I’d be rocking the stay at home mom gig. Oh the pressure.

All right, well I am off to edit my novel on the dinky machine I like to call my laptop. One day, I swear I will make the dream come true, and will have the super book editing behemoth computer of my dreams. Just you wait.

I really, really love this tea. Really.

I definitely should not be blogging right now. First, I am wearing my glasses, which means I can barely see the computer screen, much less the words. The only thing that can come of this are some typos. Second, I am tired. Really tired. For some reason I thought it was a great idea to do two workouts yesterday. In the morning, Laura and Maura came over (with Samantha and Robbie), and we did The Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga. Really,  the three of us doing hard yoga while trying to keep the kids from beating each other was hilarious. I think Dan got a big kick out of it, we looked like fools. Later that day I went to Maura’s, as she had just borrowed the Jeri Love, Get Ripped, 1000 DVD.  I don’t know what is wrong with us, that we were so excited to try it out we could not wait. It was a 1000 calorie workout, and it was hard! I really liked it though. It was a great challenge, and Jeri Love was awesome! I was totally prepared not to like her based on her outfit. This sounds lame, but really, you have to like the person leading the workout, or it just won’t work. And she was wearing leopard print and one of the backup women was wearing  leather pants. It didn’t bode well, but it worked out!

Of course, I am a bit sore now, as that was two in one day. I followed that up with a small amount of sleep, and am capping that with my new will to drink less soda.  Which is going well, so far as consumption goes. As far as mood….well we will leave that alone for a bit.  I am trying to take it slow, and cut down for now, and then in a few weeks cut down again. Right now I am drinking tea to save my life. I am of course, drinking my favourite tea, a loose leaf tea from Teavana which was a Christmas gift from Dan’s Mom. I love it so much, I’ll probably cry when I am done with the canister (at this rate, that will be tomorrow). In case you are curious, it is the Flavoured White called Strawberry Paraiso. So yummy. Now that I’ve discovered the website, I’ll probably be on for an hour, picking out my next tea. So exciting!

I am getting so pumped for Relay for Life. Our team already has 10 members! Last year it was just Maura and I, so this feels great. I have high hopes that this year will finally be more like our first year, when we had a big team and so much fun.  Not that the other years weren’t fun, but things just seem to go better and run more smoothly in the campsite with more of us to help out!

I have to say that I love being on the committee, and planning for the event, and most of all, I love the feeling of purpose and family that it gives me. I am hoping to get a blog post together soon about why I am so invested in Relay.  But for now, you all might just have to accustom yourselves to my Relay related tweets and such.

In unrelated news, I have to share that my son is the sweetest little boy that ever did live. All morning he has been taking play breaks to come over and lay his head in my lap and just cuddle. Then he goes back to playing.  It is nice, he usually isn’t that independant when it is just the two of us…he likes to have my undivided attention. For the most part, today, he has been occupying himself. It is wonderful!

Otherwise, I started yet another Pride and Prejudice sequel. As promised, I am reading Amanda Grange’s Mr. Darcy’s Diary. It is much more readable and enjoyable than the others I have read. It is by no means great literature, but I will definitely be able to finish this one. As you can see on her website, she has taken this same premise (first person diary format) to re-tell familiar stories from another character’s point of view. Which is interesting, but I doubt I’ll read more. While I am liking the book, it’s not one I’d read again, nor does it contain any huge revelations or aha! moments. For the most part, it isn’t anything I couldn’t have surmised myself. It is very straightforwardly written and executed. I would hope that with that sort of a platform, a writer could really use their imagination and create something compelling. I would only recommend this to a die hard P&P fan who wants to get a little taste of Mr. Darcy’s take on what went on.

I finally found my copy of Cry, the Beloved Country. One of the reasons I couldn’t finish it was because I could not find it- but I did manage at last to locate it, buried in the mess on my desk, which I successfully cleaned off yesterday. As soon as I’ve finished this P&P book, I will finish Cry, and then I must finish editing Maura’s first draft and get it back to her. And then I must read Dangerous Liasons, as it was my SRP pick for the month and I haven’t even found it to buy yet. I will check Amazon.

In non book related news (Yes I know, it is shocking), in a few weeks we will have a new niece! We are so excited to meet little Eva Jan! I have some gifts at the ready for her and Mommy, and am impatiently waiting my chance to dole them out.   And soon after, we will have yet another little niece! I am so blessed to have a wonderful family, and we are all so blessed with these beautiful children. I have so much to be thankful for, and yet rarely take the time to reflect on that. I think it would do me a lot more good to reflect on my blessings, than to lament my losses- this is something I will try to work on this year.

And I will finish with another quiz. First to answer gets points. Name the song , “I’d like to make myself believe that planet earth moves slowly.”

The Most Depressing Reading Spree Yet.

Apparently this blog is going to be about books. A book blog. Because it seems that reading is all I ever do. Well not really. There is my obsession with Lost, taking care of Parker, and the house.  I’ll admit, though, that the house is the most sadly neglected aspect of my life. I am a terrible housewife. Really terrible.

Moving on to things that cheer me up, lets talk about what I’ve been up to lately. Let’s see. I have been under the thrall of a death cold which will not release me. Maybe it’s been two colds. Who knows by now? I’ve been sick for about four weeks, which is just a barrel of laughs.

Wait, this is supposed to be cheering me up. Ok, happy thoughts. Well, after I finished The Great Gatsby, I read A Farwell to Arms.  I had read pretty much the whole book a week ago, barring the last 30 pages. However, since I knew how it ended (yes, for those of you who don’t know, I read the end of most books first. I like knowing what is going to happen), I couldn’t bring myself to read the end. I already knew what happened right? But it was so much worse in context of the whole book. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the book. I really like Hemingway.  As someone who has been a history dork in a past life, I really appreciated his candid description of the war (WW1). There is something very simple and dry about his style of prose which belies what he is really saying. The whole book you have soldiers talking about how tired of the war they are, how they are done with it already, telling each other, “You think you know, but you don’t yet. You’ll know when you really know, ” The whole book is kind of like this- men saying something without saying it. There is a subtle subtext to all of the conversations, all of the interactions, that really make the reader think.

You realize by the end of the book, that it really adds up to nothing. Henry’s realization that he is really nothing important- in the end his relationship with Cat, his status as a lieutenant, all the men lost in the war, the war its self…it is as if it is nothing really. The meaninglessness of the situation, the war, his life. The scene in the end when he is remembering  the ants on the log- it is really moving in this way.  He is so detached from what he sees happening, as if he is a God like figure, but one who doesn’t really care or isn’t very invested. It doesn’t matter if the ants live or die in the end. He could take them out of the fire, but eventually, they will die anyway. It is almost as if their existence is meaningless. It doesn’t matter that he kills them, none of it really matters at all in the end. But as much as it doesn’t, and as detached as he is from it all, underneath the words on the page, you know that he finally gets it. What the soldiers were talking about- now he really knows.

Ok, so that was depressing. But it was a good book. I apologize if my sentiments are rather  muddled. I am not up for any real meaningful insights today, or any sort of real eloquence. Perhaps I should just leave it at that then.

Anyway, last night I read Of Mice and Men, which I have never read. Wasn’t crazy about it. Mostly though, that was because after the Hemingway, I wanted to read something uplifting. The only really uplifting stuff I have is Nora Roberts type stuff. Which is why I read these books.

Life is hard, and sometimes, it sucks a lot. I mean, it is awesome a lot too, but sometimes, you just need to escape a little. I love the predictability and dependability of a good romance novel. You know that in the end, love will conquer all. They will be happy and together, and everything will work out. Sometimes, I need a little of that to get through the day. And while I really needed a pick me up last night, I just wasn’t in the mood for Nora.I really should have known better.

This was like the time that Liz and I watched some ridiculously depressing movie (I can’t remember what it was though). We decided to watch something uplifting, and picked Legends of the Fall. Neither of us knew a thing about the movie, other than it starred some hot guy (maybe Brad Pitt?). Any of you who have seen this movie will know what a monumental mistake this was. This movie was like one seriously depressing moment after another.

And so went my reading of Mice and Men. In my defense, I had no idea what it was about. I loved The Grapes of Wrath, which was a depressing book in general, but overall had a beautiful and uplifting ending. How was I to know it would involved murdered puppies and mice and lonely people treating each other badly? Oh well.

I haven’t much hope for the next book I am reading, which is Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton. But it was there, I was there. I would have read Sons and Lovers, because as we all know, I love me some D.H. Lawrence. But I figured I should expand my horizons and read something by someone I haven’t read before.

Speaking of all these books, lets talk about how much I love my library. I got all of these books at my local library’s Friend to Friend sale for 1-2$. It is awesome.  Hence, I heart the library.

Well, I should be off. In non book related news, Relay for Life is kicking into high gear. I had no idea how involved I was going to get with the planning committees when I joined last September, but I am really loving it. I am getting to know some amazing people, and I am a part of something that is really important to me, an organization and a community that are near to my heart, that inspire me and give me hope. I don’t think I could ask for more!

On being a Lostie who reads Fitzgerald and Nora Roberts

Let’s see, what have I been up to? Umm…a lot of nothing I think.

At least, I don’t seem to have anything fantastic to tell you. I’ve been working out a lot. I really want to win this Biggest Loser competition we are having. I don’t think I will (I am currently in 6th place), but I am gonna keep giving it my all. Which means a lot of gym time and a lot of workouts at Maura’s house- both of which are awesome!

Speaking of the gym, I’ve finally mastered reading and working out. Well, depending on the workout. I can now read on the elliptical and when walking on the treadmill. Which really helps, especially on the elliptical, which I find mind numbingly boring.  Thanks to my new skill, I read The Great Gatsby for the first time.  Yeah, I know, how weird, I made it through high school and a degree in English Lit without ever having to read it. Which is sad because I loved it. Absolutely loved it. It was so beautifully written, I cannot wait to read it again sometime.

Because I am me, I also re read my two favourite Little House books again. I’ve literally read these both so much that my copies have fallen apart. I had to borrow Maura’s copies. Which led to this fantastic idea I’ve had.

Well maybe not fantastic, but I still like it. I am going to keep track of every book I read this year, even re reads. I’ve always wondered how much I read in a year, and if I can stick with this, it’ll be a cool list, I think.  I just have to be willing to own up to some of the crap I read. I read a lot of crap. I like to think that I make up for it by reading some awesome stuff. But lets face it, I’ve been known to read a shampoo bottle when I have nothing to read. I just have to read. It is essential for my mental health. So I read a lot, and some of it happens to be trashy Nora Roberts novels. Sue me.

So, other than reading and working out, I’ve also been watching LOST non stop and ignoring my dirty house. But in an effort to redeem this inexcusable laziness, I’ve begun working on a baby blanket for little Eva Jan. That makes up for the crazy wreck that my house has become, right?

I can’t help it, I love Lost. After Dan and I finally watched the end of Season 5 (I love you Netflix), I decided to watch the other seasons in order to get a good refresher and reminder course. There is so much mythology to remember! I still cannot believe how much more you catch watching it back. The creators said from the beginning that they knew where they were going with the whole series, and after watching just the first episode again, I believe them! As of right now, I am about halfway through Season 2, which means I have to deal with Ana Lucia, who was probably my least favourite character barring Mr. Eko. Go ahead and throw tomatoes Losties! I don’t care how cool you think Mr. Eko was, he made me want to go to sleep. Snoooore!

And now, it is time for me to close this fascinating blog post. My fingers are numb. I must convince Dan to line the doors and windows with plastic, otherwise I will be in danger of freezing to death.

In case you were curious, upcoming books on my list to read:

The Help – Katheryn Stockett

The Lost Symbol- Dan Brown

Dangerous Liasons- Choderlos de Laclos