Midweek Ramblings…

Finally. Last October I bought a bike for Alex. On Sunday he finally decided to take it up and down the street. On Monday he rode around the block. Just like everything Alex does – all in his own time. Maybe we will have  family bike ride after all this year!

Thanksgiving has come and gone here in Canada (without a blog post – oops! Enjoy the pics in this post from the weekend) – but I wanted to share a book that would be nice for my American readers – it’s called “Bear Says Thanks” by Karma Wilson. It’s a lovely story in rhyme about saying thanks to your friends – perfect for before Thanksgiving Dinner.

Speaking of books, I’ve finished a few good ones recently: Still Missing by Chevy Stevens (sort of like Room, but through the eyes of the woman), Bared to You by Sylvia Day (50 Shades read alike – not as much character development, but written much better), and Insurgent by Veronica Roth (second in the Divergent trilogy… so hard to  wait until 2013 for book 3!)

Just over 2 months until our trip to Cuba! The count down is on! So excited. Especially since I scored a bathing suit on clearance at Old Navy for $4.

I’m having fun pinning Christmas pics and sites to my Pinterest page. Hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner.  I must admit, if a Christmas tune sneaks into my random playlist on iTunes that I’m no longer skipping the song. I’m singing along 🙂

The Handmade Culture craft show I organized turned out really well. The number of people through was down from last year, but I think everyone sold one or two items which is good. I’m now trying to get rid of the stash on Etsy.

I’m the worst at Thank You notes… It’s something I’m working on.  So S, you will be getting come goodies in the mail soon!

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Books on my Bedside Table

I’ve been reading all sorts of things recently – but as always – mainly fiction.  Some fiction titles as you know can be a little more stressful than others…

I’m afraid that the book I’m going to be starting tonight will be like that:

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
It a ” thriller and close study of maternal ambivalence, and the role it might have played in the title character’s decision to murder nine people at his high school”… Let’s hope I make it through this one!

But also on my table is a few fun things:

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
I’ve heard this is her best book yet – so I’m really looking forward to it.

 The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
A family saga through the eyes of a dog – how great is that?!

I’ve also been listening to a series in audiobook format while I’m at work – it’s the way I get a lot of my Young Adult fiction in. I’m on book 2 in the I am Number Four series by Pittacus Lore. Book 2 is The Power of Six. I must admit – book 1 was really good – book 2… not as much – but I’m waiting to finish it before I draw my final conclusions.

So… what’s on your bookshelf?

Nini

A co-worker just passed me this book no less than 5 minutes ago and I must share it with you all.

It’s called Nini by Francois Thisdale and it is the most beautiful adoption story. Nini is a Chinese adoption story (as many adoption stories are) about the promise of love, family and home.

I highly recommend it (and I recommend that you have tissues as well).

Sunday mornings

For the last three weeks, Alex and I have been going for Sunday morning walks in our local nature area – The Old Grove. Before Alex, on my days off from work, when the weather was nice, I would take Mason there for long hikes. Now our hikes are a tad shorter, but just as much fun. I really enjoy spending the time outdoors with Alex – he loves to run and play with the sticks, and throw rocks into the water. It’s amazing to see how far he’s come since our first Old Grove adventure in Sept 2009.  How I wish I could stop time.

I have also recently taken out the book 15 Minutes outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with your Kids by Rebecca Cohen. I’m hoping it will inspire us to get outdoors more and have lots of new experiences. So long as the weather cooperates… rain rain go away!

 

 

Helping kids understand

I just came across a wonderful picture book about adoption. It’s called I’m Adopted and is by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly. The book is simply written to describe the whys, whos and hows of adoption and contains lots of pictures of children of all races. The nice thing about I’m Adopted is that it is not just written for children who are adopted, but also for children who are interested to learn about adoption. I think it would be perfect to help explain adoption to a child who has a new friend who has been adopted, or a child in their class is etc.

On My Bookshelf

I just finished a book that was recommended to me… and feel I should recommend it to you!  It’s called “Please Look After Mom” and is written by Kyung-Sook Shin.  Shin is actually one of the most popular novelists in Korea, but this is her first book written in English.

In “Please Look After Mom”, Shin looks at the relationship of a mother and her children, as well as with her husband.  The mother goes missing at Seoul Station (we all know how busy the subways are in Seoul!) and the family is trying to find her, but they quickly realize they never really ever knew their mother.  It’s a very moving story and will make you appreciate your mother and all she does, even more than you already do.

Books On My Nightstand

Yes, I’m still here – just absent from the blogging world longer than I wish – but that’s life with a 3 year old! It’s busy! And after working on a computer all day, often the last thing I want to do at night is to hang out on my computer yet again. I am more often hanging out with a bag of chips and a glass of wine on the couch watching “How I Met Your Mother” or “Big Bang Theory”.

The one thing I still continue to do everything however is read. Books help me relax, and this working momma needs that.  I don’t read as much as I used to, but I still ensure I get a few minutes each night.   I am currently reading “Fear The Worst” by Linwood Barclay – I’m not far enough in it is tell if I’m going to enjoy it yet or not.

Recently I have read:

“The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo” and “The Girl that Played with Fire”, both by Steig Larsson. I thought they were great!! They were (for the most part) fast paced and kept my attention – which caused me to stay up way too late more than once.  I’m going to be starting “The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” shortly. I can’t wait to see how the trilogy ends.

The book I just finished was “Secret Daughter” by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. This book was one of the best I’ve read in a long time.  It is about a three women – one in India, and one in California, and the daughter shared between the two.  One of the reviews on Amazon described the book perfectly – “On the surface, this is the story of a child born in terrible circumstances, the twist of fate that changes her life, and her adolescent search for self that creates ripples with the people who surround her. Yet there are many more layers to this novel. There is great complexity in the relationships between parent and child, and husband and wife, making them both realistic and heartbreaking. There are the questions of class, education, gender and culture in our globalized society, so beautifully illustrated through two seemingly opposite families. The characters are imperfect, but they all learn and grow through their experiences”

I personally felt that Gowda was able to accurately describe many of the emotions with adoption – through many different view points.  The emotions of infertility, the pain of making the best possible choice for your baby, the feelings of being adopted, the fears of an adoptive mom, and the strength of a mother’s love.   At times I thought she was reading my mind. For that reason alone, I would love my friends to read this book – so they may understand some of the feelings I have had in the past – and may have in the future.  Well, that reason and the fact that it is  compelling, well paced, and a great story.  One of the lines that I feel really resonates is “the family you create is more important than the one you’re born into.” How very true.  If you are going to read this book – have some tissues handy – it’s at times a real tear jerker.

I was actually just trying to find my last book blog post – and it was in November.  November! Yikes! Other good books I’ve read since then included:

Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other” by Scott Simon (4 out of 5)
Little Bee” by Chris Cleave (4 out of 5)
Room” by Emma Donoghue (5 out of 5) – if you click on the link, be sure to watch the book trailer.
The Help” by Kathryn Stockett (5 out of 5)

So what are you reading? Any good suggestions? One I’m interested in is “Little Princes“.

Books On My Nightstand

I was just making a graphic novel book display at work (yes, blogging at work right now – don’t tell!!), and came across three books that I had to sign out.  They are a trilogy by Kim Dong Hwa,  set in 19th century rural Korea.  The books tell the tale of a young girl, her relationship with her mother and the changes into womanhood that occur with every spring’s rainy season.The books are described as “A sweeping trilogy of first love and second chances.”  They are romance, coming of age, Korean, and graphic – lots to love!

I cannot wait to start these tonight!

 

On my bedside table…

This just came over the counter at the library and I think it is a MUST read:

When Did I Get Like This? : The Screamer, the Worrier, the Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget-Buyer, and Other Mothers I Swore I’d Never Be by Amy Wilson

According to Harper Collins When Did I Get Like This? is the hilarious story of one mother’s struggle to shrug off the ridiculous standards of modern parenting, and remember how to enjoy her children. 

I’ll just add that to my beside table reads… which are as follows:

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this book – the first in a trilogy. 

Twenty-four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives. In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.

Fly Away Home by Jennifer Wiener – A new book from one of my fav Chic Lit authors! If you have seen In Her Shoes with Cameron Diaz, this is the author who wrote that story. 

Written with an irresistible blend of heartbreak and hilarity, Fly Away Home is an unforgettable story of a mother and two daughters who after a lifetime of distance finally learn to find refuge in one another.