Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Friday, July 30, 2010

Plans Plans Plans

My poor sweet husband.

Such a great guy.

He hasn't had an actual vacation in soooo long. You may remember when he had a week off in March, a week off after to spent a week in Florida with my best friend, and he renovated our kitchen? 


Well, today being the LAST DAY OF SUMMER SCHOOL and the first day of my husband's summer vacation it of course meant we were back to doing work around the house. Poor guy, I wonder if he'll ever get a rest? By the time we finish everything here we will be ready to sell and then there will a ton of stuff for him to do at the new house....

Here's what is on this week's agenda- 1) frame in the closet doors in the guest room and the nursery, 2) putty all the holes in the walls left behind by the previous owners, 3) paint the guest room and the nursery, 4) clean and de-clutter the guest room (this one was my job!! You know, cause I can't paint these days), 5) buy a new desk and bookshelf for the guest room, 6) get rid of the queen size bed in the nursery, and maybe some other small stuff.

We are just going to paint the nursery white for now because we won't find out if the little one is a boy or a girl until the end of August so the plan is just to to refresh the room with a nice coat of white and then paint just one wall blur or purple depending on the outcome of the ultrasound.

But don't you worry too much about my hubby, it's not all work and no play. He's already got some golf days lined up and I am sure there are some sleep ins in his future.  (I know there are some in mine! I just got a snoogle- body pillow, and I have the world's greatest nap ever!). 

So all this talk has got me thinking...do you use your vacation time to vacation or to get stuff done you don't usually have time for?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I am a knitting master....

well, okay maybe not a master, but I have finished my first project! Are you proud? Cause I am.

I am still working on my scarf from waaaaaay back at Easter when I re-learned how to knit, but I was getting a little bored of knitting just in a straight line. The scarf could be finished but I like really long scarves so I want to keep going until it is much longer.

Sooooo, I decided to try my hand at baby booties for the up-coming arrival in our family unit. It was still pretty much knitting in a straight line with a little bit of sewing and the creation of two pom-poms. Without further ado, here are my first baby booties...





I am so proud!

Next on the agenda? Maybe a matching hat?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Goodbyes


I attended a heartbreaking funeral today for a friend's husband who passed away last week. Listening to all the great things that were said about this man who was a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a friend and a firefighter was touching. Seeing the pain on the faces of his family and friends was heart wrenching. There were over a 100 firefighters in attendance today, and as the coffin left the church they lined the road. An honour guard, bag pipes and a fire engine led the processional through the street and the firefighters saluted the coffin as it passed. It was quite the sight.

I left today thinking that I will always say I love you to my friends and family. I will let them know how much they mean to me. I hope you do the same.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

GRRRR

Do you ever write a long blog post just to hit the wrong button and everything gets erased?

Yeah, that sucks.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Break Reading Challenge #10

For this activity we were asked to randomly generate a name, a title, and a picture and then use all the elements to create a cover for a new book. Once that had been done, we were instructed to write a synopsis to go along with it.

Here's my cover...


And the synopsis...

Summer time at the vineyard was never quiet, especially if you were the region's top party planner. Avery Lindemann was proud of her work and her reputation. She was the best at what she does and people came from far and wide to have their events hosted by Lindemann's Winery and, of course, Avery herself. 

This summer's main event was a gala dinner planned by Avery, hosted by the winery and the guest of honour was the designer of the country's top fashion house, Stapleton Designs. Nicholas Stapleton was a genius when it came to women's fashion, and he knew it. Avery was determined that this party would be her best yet and nothing would ruin the summer's biggest night. However, 6 hours before the gala is set to start a model turns up dead in her dressing room surrounded by empty wine bottles, the winery is crawling with police and Nicholas Stapleton is nowhere to be found. Will this be Avery's biggest night, or her biggest failure?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lazy Day Afternoons

Here's what a typical Monday to Friday has looked like for me these past three weeks...

I wake up at 7:00 to get ready to teach joyful, and motivated (read: attitude-rittled, hormonal, mouthy teens) students all about the English language at summer school, I shower, have breakfast and generally roll out of the house at 8:00 to start work at 8:30.

Summer school runs for a short four hours during the day (8:30-12:30) (although it feels like a 12 hour day most days) and then I am home by 1 o'clock at the latest.  During my servitude at summer school I teach two classes with a short 20 minutes break in between. Every year I am amazed at the students who come to summer school, do nothing, and get the exact same marks that created the situation that landed them in summer school...but that is another post for another day.

My afternoons are pretty much free and open. I remember having a lot more lunch dates with friends last year (have I gotten less popular?) and that my time was much more filled. Not so much this year. Perhaps it is the pregnancy, perhaps it is the 4 hours without AC, who knows but my afternoons seems to consist of plenty of napping this summer.

Oh, but people, do I have plans! PLANS! I have plans to get a pedicure, plans to drive to the show store where I have a gift certificate for a free pair of Berks, plans to get maternity underwear because I hear it is awesome, plans, plans, plans. I am going to de-clutter my entire house, I am going to set up my home office (only three years after we moved here), I am going to do the laundry. See, plans!

However, nothing seems to ever come to pass because I always end up asleep. Asleep on the couch, asleep in bed, one day I wouldn't be surprised if I was asleep in the hallway.

And here we are with one week and a bit left of summer school, the summer half over...what will happen to all my plans when I have the entire day free? Dear lord.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Review- Two Amazing Reads

As I have been promising, here are my reviews of the last 2 books I read, both of which were great.


The first book is The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs.


As a new knitter I was very interested in reading this just based on the title, and then the synopsis on the back drew me in even more. Here's what Chapters.ca has to say about the story: 

The "New York Times" bestselling sensation that''s ""Steel Magnolias" set in Manhattan" ("USA Today")-now in paperback. Juggling the demands of her yarn shop and single-handedly raising a teenage daughter has made Georgia Walker grateful for her Friday Night Knitting Club. Her friends are happy to escape their lives too, even for just a few hours. But when Georgia''s ex suddenly reappears, demanding a role in their daughter''s life, her whole world is shattered. Luckily, Georgia''s friends are there, sharing their own tales of intimacy, heartbreak, and miracle making. And when the unthinkable happens, these women will discover that what they''ve created isn''t just a knitting club: it''s a sisterhood.

Sounds awesome, right? Well it is. Jacobs does a great job of creating realistic characters and I especially liked that there were so many strong female characters that were working hard to make it on their own. It wasn't a love story (although there is some romance) it was a great story about how our female friends can be our greatest supports. I loved the idea that a family can be made out of friendship and connections. As I read the majority of this book, I was home visiting my mom and being an expectant mother, I think it made everything that much more poignant to me. I did, however, find myself often wishing that I had no left my knitting at home and that I was a much more accomplished knitter than I am at this point!!

I have also just discovered that there is a sequel- Knit Two, and website! I think the sequel will soon find it's way into my hot little hands.

My second review is for The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. I hadn't ever heard of this book, or author, until I was finished reading The Friday Night Knitting Club at my mom's house and needed another book. Man, am I glad I found it!!

(I tried to upload a picture of the cover but couldn't get it to work! So sorry!)

Here's what Chapters.ca had to say:

From the #1 internationally bestselling author of The House at Riverton, a novel that takes the reader on an unforgettable journey through generations and across continents as two women try to uncover their family's secret past.
A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book-a beautiful volume of fairy tales. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife and raised as their own. On her twenty-fi rst birthday, they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and very little to go on, "Nell" sets out to trace her real identity. Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell's death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled. A spellbinding tale of mystery and self-discovery, The Forgotten Garden will take hold of your imagination and never let go.


This book was a great read. As a lover of historical fiction I will devour the descriptions of the clothing, the food, the homes, and society. This book doesn't disappoint. The Montrachet family is such an interesting study in family dynamics, what is or isn't kept hush-hush, and how people were expected to behave in society at the turn of the century. This book will draw you in with it's fantastic descriptions, intriguing characters, and excerpts of the fairy takes written by the Authoress (how magical does that sound). It will keep you on the edge of your seat and gasping at the end. If you loved The Thirteen Tale, you will LOVE The Forgotten Garden!

Cliche Much?

I am the sad perpetuator of a cliche. Yes, unbelievable (at least to me) but true.

My mother-in-law and I don't always see eye to eye, in fact she often drives me up the wall. Now, don't me wrong, she is a super sweet woman who loves her son (and maybe me) and would do ANYTHING for us, but she can be super self-absorbed. We spent Saturday.....and Sunday without planning to up visiting for my father-in-law's birthday.

***At this point on Sunday evening I had quite a few more paragraphs written explaining what happened while visiting my in-laws, but after some time I do not want to post my anger.***

I just wish that, as my husband once said, my mother-in-law had seen the chance she had to have a good relationship with me, especially seeing as she as no daughters. But at this point in time it seems to get worse every time we get together. I would like to think of myself as a pretty nice person, someone who is easy to get along with, however, that does not seem to hold true when it comes to my mother-in-law. I am nervous for when we have children in the picture and we start to butt heads over how they should be raised. Plus, I know it bothers my husband that we don't get along all that well.

Hopefully in the future I will find a way to stand up for myself and not feel like I have to walk on eggshells when at my in-laws house....hopefully.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Things I've Discovered While Pregnant

My nails grow much faster.

I sneeze EVERYDAY.

I am thirsty all the time.

People don't let you carry anything. I can barely carry my purse places.

Getting more energy in your 2nd trimester is a big fat lie.

I have lost my ability to use grammar correctly.

Eating meat sometimes makes me feel queasy.

Sleeping is not comfortable most nights...already.

The heat is not fun.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's a Doozy....

Better grab a cold drink and some snacks. This might take awhile.

Okay, so my life has been a little crazy the last week or so. Regular school ended and then summer school started (what was I thinking?) and the heat. Oh, the heat!!!! But no worries right, summer school must be air conditioned. Right? RIGHT?????

No.

No.

No.

Well, to be exact the school has air conditioning, they have just decided not to turn it on. So pregnant me as been hauling my butt out of bed during summer vacation to hang out in a poorly ventilated room with 25 14 year-olds whilst (I love that word) it was 45 degrees outside with the humidex (celsius for all the Americans visiting today). So. Not. Fun.

More like melty, squishy, sweaty, stinky...GROSS.

So needless to say that after summer school ends I have been dragging my pregnant butt home for some serious nappage. Ahhh, I love afternoon naps.

To sum up, 4 days of last week were spent oozing in a hot classroom and then I took Friday off to go home and see my family. My sister and I drove down together on Thursday night. We arrived at 7:00 pizza and wings in hand and then promptly drove to the emergency room. Why you ask? Well, I'm glad you did.

On Tuesday after school my sister picked me up to go shopping for my dress for her wedding, I am the maid of honour. We had decided it would be best to pick out the dress before I get too huge! However, on top of everything else, the brakes on my car gave out on Monday so my car was in the shop and my sister had to drive across Toronto to get me so we could go shopping. Due to this I offered to treat her to lunch. While we were at lunch, Jen noticed that her face felt funny and I could see some red blotches. By the time we got home Thursday night it was a full fledged allergic reaction, hence, our late evening trip to emerg.

The rest of our weekend at home was moderately uneventful. We had family over on Friday for dinner, went shopping in Michigan on Saturday and had more family over on Saturday night. One would think after all that I would be rested and ready for another week at summer school. Oh, but you would be so wrong my friends.

I has massive stomach pains on Saturday night after shopping. Nothing serious, don't worry, but it hurt! My midwife thinks it was from my full day of shopping on Saturday- walking around a mall in flip flops and my stomach muscles aren't used to carrying the extra baby weight (because yes, at 3 1/2 months I am already showing that much!) (Do you think that was a polite way of saying my stomach is out of shape? Hmmmmm) So I was still a little sore on Sunday and the drive home didn't help matters.

So here we are on Wednesday of this week. I have lived through 2 days of back to back field trips with summer school (yes, field trips at summer school. I know. I know. Dumb.) and a third day back in the heat. I think I am starting to get the hang of it though and I don't feel as tired today. I even had enough energy to re-organize my pantry and kitchen cupboards, complete with new labels from my label maker ( I love it!). What else is on today's agenda? Well, I would really like to do some baking and make a good pasta dinner for myself since the hubby is out playing baseball...plus So You Think You Can Dance is on!!

I just wanted to say one more time how sorry I am there was such a gap between any real interesting posts. My book blogger friends should be happy to know that I have finished a couple great books and plan to put up some reviews ASAP!!

Missed you all.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Menu Plan Monday- July 12th

I am still really trying to get on to this menu planning thing, but it seems like there is always something that pops up and stops me from being super consistent. But here we go again...


Monday: Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese ( an easy night!)

Tuesday: Nacho Bake

Wednesday: Ravioli and Cheese 
Afternoon Baking: Corn Bread

Thursday: Chicken Fingers and Fries

Friday: Steak, Potatoes, Mushrooms, Veggies
Afternoon Baking: Whole Wheat Poppy Seed Muffins

Nope, Still Here

I know, I know, I know....

It has been forever since I posted, but the crazy heat and humidity of last week kicked my butt, especially since I am teaching summer school WITHOUT air conditioning!! Crazy right? First, summer school? What was I thinking? Second, no AC...what are they thinking?

I promise a nice long newsy post ASAP!! I just finished a great book and am halfway through another so I've got lots to tell.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Round Four Winner!

Jan from Eating YA Books and I judged round four of the YA Bloggers Debut Book Battle hosted by Alyssa at The Shady Glade.


Jan and I read Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver and The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. I enjoyed both books but throughout my reading I felt that there was a clear winner.


Before I Fall grabbed my attention immediately with it's interesting topic and twist on the usual story line of popular and unpopular kids in high school. I felt that the characters were well crafted and interesting to read about and I looked forward to see what was going to happen next.

I have been a long time fan of fantasy books and fantasy world so The Iron King was right up my alley. I throughly enjoyed the twist of the usual fey/faery story line with the addition of a modern take and an environmental concept. I did however, feel that this book would not have as wide an appeal as Before I Fall nor was the theme or moral (looking at from a teacher's perspective) as deep or significant. So....

...therefore, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver is the winner!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Update! Update!!

Can you believe the year is already half over? Where does the time go? This crazy world seems to be spinning faster all the time.

I wanted to update my reading progress for this year so far. I am on a fantastic pace to beat my total number of books read last year and most of my reading challenges are well under way. Here's my reading so far by the numbers...

Total Books Read (Jan- June): 43

Number of Pages Read (Jan -June): 13 269

Chunskter Challenge Reading: 2/4

Read the Book/ See the Movie Challenge: 4/4 books, 2/4 movies

Books to Read Before I Die Challenge:  5/12

EW Summer Reading Challenge: 1/3

Read-a-thon Participation:  1 (TBR Read-a-thon- 5 books finished)

If you want to see my full list of books read so far this year, or want more information on the books I have read for the challenges click on the I am reading...2010 page at the top of my blog, or click here.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Welcome to Summer!!

Well, it's officially here...summer vacation. I am teaching summer school again this year, Grade 7 and 8 English, but there is a silver lining. This year's co-ordinator is HUGE on trips so between our 2 days at the movies, one day at an outdoor ed centre and one day shopping at St Lawrence market in Toronto I have only 10 real days of lessons to plan. Not so shabby!

I actually like teaching summer school because it keeps my routine going for at least a month, I get paid an indecent (a lot) of money for the work I actually have to do, and I still have my afternoons free. This year will be my last year, at least until the kiddo(s) are older but I will be able to bank a lot of the money from this summer to help next year when I am on maternity leave and getting little to no pay (unemployment only).

Other than that I have some weekends booked, a cottage in August with my parents and freedom until September!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Break Reading Challenge #4

SCAVENGER HUNT!!!!





Instructions: Find the following things and create a post on your blog with the results. 

1. A blog that is new to you that focuses on the same type of literature you do.

Bookalicious Ramblings (chick lit, historical and YA- I don't read much chick lit but this blog caught my eye!) 

2. A book that is new to you that another blogger reviewed.

Life, After by Sarah Darer Littman (reviewed by Curling Up by the Fire)

3. A book set in Africa (in your preferred age category, if possible).

Alexandria of Africa by Eric Walters

4. A book about a human/animal bond (in your preferred age category, if possible).

Secretariat by Raymond G Wolfe Jr. (historical)

5. A book trailer for a book you want to read.


6. A book with a color in the title (in your preferred age category, if possible).

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory (historical fiction)

7. A blog that is new to you that is dedicated to a certain genre (ex: only books about vampires, only historical fiction, only urban fantasy, etc.)

Reading the Past (historical fiction)

8. A book blog maintained by a librarian.


9. A book blog maintained by a teacher.


10. The title of an upcoming book by an author you like (provide details - title, release date, synopsis).

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins- 

Release Date- August 24th
Synopsis from Chapters.ca- Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she?s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she?s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what?s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss?s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins?s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Last Words...

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe