Thursday, December 20, 2012

Books Read Analysis

I started tracking my books read on this blog in 2008.  Five years later, I decided to do some minor analysis.

I read the following books per year:
2008 - 62 (average 5.17)
2009 - 48 (average 4.00)
2010 - 78  (average 6.50)
2011 - 57 (average 4.75)
2012 - 74 (average 6.17)

I read the following books, on average, per month:
January - 4
February - 4
March - 3.8
April - 4
May - 7.8
June - 4.6
July - 6.8
August - 7.4
September - 7.2
October - 4.8
November - 4
December - 5.4

The months in which I read the most varies from July, September, December, October, and August through the last five years.  Of course, these numbers are skewed a bit due to speed reading a few series - some of which were shorter stories.  Also, this month's book club book is a bit longer than usual so it's going to take me all of the month and then some to read it so I have logged nothing for December and may have very little next January as well.

I know people with children say they don't have time to read, but I make time - and I have no real time-consuming hobbies.  I read during lunch and after Little Miss falls asleep (which is no later than 9PM).  I read the most during the week between 9PM and midnight.  I read the least when new tv is on.  Interesting to see if there are any trends.

This coincides with my attempt to get back on track with Good Reads (goodreads.com/princessapr).  I hope to be more active than last time which shouldn't be difficult.  I have included the books I've listed on this blog, but I think it'll be nicer to be able to go somewhere with more uniform and correct links. 

Who is Sleeping in My Bed?

Little Miss never slept in our bed - not as an infant and not now.  Exceptions for me are when Husband is out of town, I let her crawl in with me, but she'll start in her room.  Exceptions for Husband are when Little Miss wakes up close to morning.  This morning, it was not close to morning, but he let it slide - probably because she actually didn't overcrowd him.  When asked why she crawled into our bed, she just said, "I just needed to be with my mommy and daddy."  Husband looked at me and said he couldn't argue with that logic.

She's clever, too.  She climbs into our bed at the foot and goes straight up the middle so as not to disrupt us.  I don't even wake up most times or, if I do, it's because she slips between the covers clumsily.  In the summer, if the covers are off, I won't even notice.  She's like a bed ninja.

Santa's Message

Starting last year, we did this video for Little Miss.  The personalized video is only available for a short time, but it's worth it (the basic video is free).  Little Miss really enjoyed it last year, but this year, she was spellbound.  When it concluded, she looked at me and just thanked me.  I asked her again what she thought and she lit up and said, "It was WONDERFUL!  Thank you for playing it for me." 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Rumors Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Little Miss has been around a lot of babies lately.  Despite previously not wanting a sibling, she's back on the sibling bandwagon - not enough to ask for one but enough that she'll mention it in casual conversation.  She got to hold a baby last weekend and was very maternal to all the babies at The Picture People.  

Last night, Husband asked if she wanted a brother or sister, feeling her out as we do every so often.  She said she only wanted a sister.  Then, she proceeded to explain all the things she would teach her new sister as if she was coming for Christmas.  The talk was eventually replaced with her desire for candy, but I'm really afraid she's going to tell people she's getting a baby sister.  And she's not.  Or definitely not right now.  This could yield very awkward conversations.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Newtown, Connecticut

Husband and I were caught up in the memorials and stories emerging from the Newtown, Connecticut shooting last Friday.  We mostly read online and kept it off of the television.  We took turns wiping our eyes and hugging Little Miss just a little tighter.  We mostly shielded the event from Little Miss as much as we could.  Then, during Sunday Night Football, we were silent along with the stadium in respect for the victims.  Little Miss was not and would not listen to us.  So, I tried talking to her to no effect.  Then, we booted her to bed.

When she got to bed, she looked up at me wide-eyed.  I just told her we were being quiet because something sad happened.  She wanted to know what happened.  "I'm ready to listen.  You can tell me now," she said.  She was so earnest and interested.  I hesitated.  Maybe if she was older or if she caught some footage on television, I would tell her.  I don't want to lie, but I also want to keep her protected from the world just a little longer.  She did press me a few more times in a very solemn way, in a way I've never seen her before, but I held off telling her the entire truth.  I told her there was just something very sad on television.  She just nodded, and I was grateful that was all she needed to know before lying down to bed.

I know there will come a time where she'll be exposed to a situation on television or in school, and we'll have to have a conversation with her, but we haven't gotten there yet.  This jump between 4 and 5 is traumatic enough for us.  She's grown up and matured overnight, it seems, but then in some ways, she's still our little girl.  I feel somewhat cowardly for not coming clean, but she'll grow up soon enough. Meanwhile, she can stay our little girl for one day more.

UPDATE:  In the meantime, Husband sent me an article where a woman told her children, aged 3 and 6.  I do understand telling small children especially if there is an older sibling.  I also think I would tell Little Miss if she was in kindergarten already or in public school where the lock downs are happening more often and where news is spreading quickly that it would help her deal with all the adult panic.  So, ultimately, we may change our course of action, but we haven't yet and, if we do, I want us both to be there for her

FURTHER UPDATE:  Husband did tell me later in the day that he agreed with everything I said and thought.  It's always nice to know that we're on the same page for big decisions.  It's only the television and menu that causes bickering.

Mulan

According to Little Miss, all Asian women look "just like Mulan".  I'm trying to figure out where this lies on the racism scale.  We saw a painting of a Japanese woman pouring tea.  She points and says, "That looks just like Mulan."  So, then I explained that they both came from the same part of the world, but that woman is Japanese and Mulan is Chinese.  The woman in front of us laughed at us.  Little Miss does know that I'm Korean and she is half Korean, but I don't think nationality means much to her at this age.  As with everything, there is a learning curve.  The long kimono did resemble Mulan's outfit when she saw the Matchmaker so in her world, I suppose they were similar.  Maybe her next gift will be a globe or world map...

Weekend Update - The Longest Day

Friday, as events unfolded, I, like everyone else, wanted to be home with my little one. However, I had my office holiday party. So, I settled for calling Little Miss at which point she informed me that she was busy playing on the computer and couldn't talk to me. The holiday party was fun and, when I got home, I cuddled her. She was sleeping so I got in a full 10 seconds in before she rolled over in her sleep.

On Saturday, we had the longest day in history. We woke up a little late and rushed to head to the US Botannical Gardens. Husband drove us which helped tremendously. We met Brother-in-law, Sister-in-Law and Nephew as well as another family. The last time we went to the Botannical Gardens, Little Miss was about 6 weeks old. So, I recreated that first picture down to the same pair of pants.
After we toured the train exhibit and the Botannical Gardens, we all went to lunch and then Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law were nice enough to drop us home.  Nephew boosted our ego by objecting loudly when we had to leave.  During lunch, there was a baby and Little Miss asked to hold her.  She's become very maternal.  It's super sweet. 

Within the hour, we had to head to Brother-in-Law and Nephew to celebrate Hanukkah.  Little Miss had a desire to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, but she didn't tell us until the day of so obviously I had nothing planned.  When I told Brother-in-Law, he suggested we do something for Hanukkah.  There was latkes and apple sauce and doughnuts.  Little Miss had a doughnut, but she was difficult about trying the latkes. I think she would have liked them though.  She did enjoy playing dreidel though (or, rather, she liked the chocolate).  When she got home, she declared that she "won Hanukkah".
Afterwards, we went to the mall for holiday portraits. We waited forever it seemed. After probably a half hour, the kids had their photo taken.  Then, we waited literally forever.  I bought the kids treats.  Then, they went to a couple of stores and we still hadn't even seen their photos.  Finally, they got to leave the mall and go back to Brother-in-Law's house to hang out.  The photo at least turned out cute even if they look like such big kids!  They had a late dinner and then Little Miss and I went home.

On Sunday, it was a lazy day.  I had a massage which was glorious.  My back doesn't ache anymore and I feel good, but it was a rough massage!  So, I think I have little bruises on my shoulders and neck which kind of do hurt.  I may have to ask for a lighter touch next time!  Also, it's not relaxing if you're ticklish.  Strangely, my feet weren't as ticklish as my sides and arms.  So embarrassing.  Little Miss stayed up way too late last night, but she was up this morning with minimal issues.  She is Mary in the procession in school today because, as the teacher put it, her "deep reverence to God".  It makes me giggle.  She told us she wanted to go to church, but we didn't.  Then, last night, she said we were supposed to go to church.  I told her we'd be going next week for Christmas and she seemed happy about that.  I may have to just get up and take her after Christmas.  We'll see how she is that first Sunday I wake her up.  She may change her tune.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Maine Vacation

This is a new feature. I made this Photo Book on Shutterfly from our vacation in Maine. I usually do one for our Wildwood trip, but I didn't have nearly the same amount or quality of photos. So, I just bought prints to frame instead. Some of these photos made the blog already, but here they are all in one place.  OK, I don't think the link to the widget works, but you can click here to see it.
The new way to make a photo album: photo books by Shutterfly.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12/12/12 12:12

Just a tidbit.  I'm tickled that it is 12/12/12 and the last of the sequential dates I'll ever see.  

As one who was married on 10/10, these things amuse me to no end - though in no way make it easier to remember things as I have forgotten our anniversary date many years in a row now.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Orzo with Parmesan and Basil

Here is what we made last weekend. It is a dense recipe. A little goes a long way. I also think it needs the basil though I'd go light on the salt. We didn't add any herbs or seasonings and it was kind of boring which is just what Little Miss wanted. I don't think it needs any salt with all the cheese though.  

Orzo with Parmesan and Basil 
Ingredients: 
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter 
  • 1 1/2 cup Orzo 
  • 3 cups Chicken Or Vegetable Stock 
  • 6 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Basil 
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese 
  • 1/2 teaspoons Salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoons Pepper  

Directions: 
Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the orzo and saute for a few minutes, until the orzo starts to get golden brown. Add the broth and cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until all the broth has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, add the basil and Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

Weekend Update - Change of Plans

What was going to be a somewhat busy weekend (though not nearly as busy as last week) turned out to be a relaxing one.

My office moved last Friday so I worked from home.  This means that I got the chance to pick up Little Miss from school which excited her to no end.  Then, we went to the library and to the grocery store.  We picked 3 winning books from the library, too.  I won't miss them when they are returned.  We've read them a zillion times in the 3 days since we've borrowed them.


On Saturday, we were going to hang out with Brother-in-Law and Nephew to celebrate Hanukkah, but Nephew got sick.  Poor little guy.  So, Little Miss and I did our big grocery trip and then took a pretty lengthy nap.  

Little Miss spied Pinterest over my shoulder and requested we try an Orzo dish.  She actually quite liked it though she didn't eat a lot of it.  She literally gave it a thumbs up.  Sometimes, she needs easy things to try to encourage her to try riskier items.  She's still stinging from the sweet potato.  

So, on Sunday, I had to go to work to set up my new cube.  It's going to take some time to adjust to the new commute and new cube.  I will miss the storage from my old cube, but this office is brighter which I like.  I'm trying to think on the positive side of things.  When I got home, Husband's friend was over to watch football.  I coaxed Little Miss into a quick little nap while I made some snacks and cooked lunch for the week.  Then, Little Miss woke up and ate the longest lunch in history.  It basically went straight into dinner.  

I have to say that Little Miss has been very good lately.  She's super excited about Christmas.  She's trying to be good.  She isn't perfect, of course, but we can't complain.  She accepts punishment and knows when she's done something wrong and, last weekend, even apologized without prompting and showed actual remorse (though she may have been more upset that she got caught than sorry for her actions).  It's sometimes still weird to be like we are raising a human and not sucking at it as much as we thought.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The One where the College Basketball Team Scored a Touchdown

Last night, Husband and Little Miss were talking about a College Basketball game.  Husband was explaining which team he supported.  Then, he went into the other room to make dinner while she continued to watch.  She gave a really cute play-by-play and let him know whenever his team scored.  Then, one team had 7 points and she told him it made the extra point after the touchdown. 

Though it was incorrect, I was very impressed that she knew that a touchdown plus field goal equaled 7 points.  She's more than a decade more advanced than I was as a young girl. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Books Read in November 2012

  1. Never Enough by Lauren Dane (NOTE: This is the third book of the Brown siblings about the Brown siblings and their friends. The order of which can be found here.)
  2. Inside Out by Lauren Dane (NOTE: This is the fourth book (a novella) of the Brown siblings about the Brown siblings and their friends. The order of which can be found here.)
  3. The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts (NOTE: This is part of the Inn Boonsboro trilogy. The order of which is The Next Always, The Last Boyfriend, and The Perfect Hope.)
  4. Rescue My Heart by Jill Shalvis (NOTE: This book is the third book in the Animal series. The order in which to read can be found here.)
  5. Delusion in Death by J.D. Robb (NOTE: This is #35 in the In Death series. You can find the order in which to read here.)
I’ve had some issues with my attention span this month, but the books I did read, I enjoyed quite a bit. Strangely, the Lauren Dane novella took me the longest to read and it was only 80 pages. Two of the books were conclusions of trilogies. Though I liked both trilogies, the last books were not my favorite. I was pleasantly surprised by the lastest J.D. Robb book though. High body count, good character development even after 35 books – good stuff indeed.

Movies Watched in November 2012

  1. Argo
  2. Katy Perry
  3. Quantum of Solace
  4. Skyfall
  5. Silver Linings Playbook
This month started slow. I saw Argo which I loved. Then, I rented the Katy Perry movie for Little Miss. I fast forwarded through much of it. It’s not that it was totally inappropriate, but she’s just interested in her personal life. She only wanted to hear her favorite songs which opened and closed the movie so it worked out. I rented Quantum of Solace on Instant Play so I could catch up before Skyfall and just squeezed in Silver Linings Playbook last weekend. Good solid films this month.

Weekend Update - It's Beginning to Look a Little Like Christmas

Last Friday, I met a friend for manicures and then a movie. It was a relaxing time after a rough week and an even rougher Friday. On the way home, I went grocery shopping. On Saturday, Little Miss and I woke up and hung out. Then, we tidied the apartment, cleaned and got ready to go. Husband got up, and we all got in the car to go to storage to grab all the Christmas decorations and get a tree. There were a lot some mishaps along the way. We got to storage and Husband couldn't find the key to the lock. This is after he went back to the apartment specifically to get the key so he knew he had it. It turns out that it slipped out of his pocket, but it still resulted in going back home and then back to storage. By this time, we were all a bit cranky. At one point of the grumbling, Little Miss just said, "Come on, guys. This is nothing to fight over. You all just need to CALM DOWN." I giggled. Husband did calm down and he even had a smirk. We later laughed out loud especially after imagining how well our dads would have taken to the chastising. We then went out to the tree farm which is a good distance away. Only to find out that it is no longer in operation. So, most of our day was gone at this point. We got off the exit where I work and drove to see what else we could find. We were going to stop off at Home Depot if we couldn't find anything else. We found a small nursery and stopped in there. We picked up the perfect size tree, a small pointsettia, and tree bags and watering thingy.
When we got home, I did all the decorating excluding the tree and undecorated Halloween and Thanksgiving. The Inlaws came over to help Husband put the tree in the stand (because I'm useless there) while I switched our plates from regular to snowmen. Then, Husband cooked dinner. Earlier, Little Miss and I made brownies with M&M's.
On Sunday, the three of us went to Breakfast with Santa. Then, we hit the grocery store for a couple of items and dropped Husband home. Little Miss and I then met Sister-in-Law and nephew for Christmas portraits. Nephew is 2 1/2 so it's a difficult time. Little Miss was the same way at that age. Still, we yielded a couple of nice ones so that was our only goal. Lucky for me (sarcasm), I get to go through this all again next week when Little Miss poses with the other nephew. Kill me now. I can't wait. The four of us went to lunch and then Little Miss and I walked the mall for a little bit before heading home where we both took a very long nap.

Busy weekend and they are only going to get busier until the new year.  

Sounds of the Husband

Today, Little Miss had to eat dinner and take a bath.  She was given a choice of which she'd like to do first.  So, Husband laid out her options.  A couple of times.  I think he was trying to convince her to do things once way, and she wanted the opposite.  If she took her bath first, he could keep working on the Christmas tree versus losing time by fixing her dinner and then doing the bath.  She countered that she wanted dinner first and then bath which is the usual routine.

So, finally, she threw up her arms and just said, "We'll, fine, you just do whatever you want."  Then, she walked away.  Two seconds later, she needed her stool and Husband went to get it for her.  He was borrowing it to decorate the tree.  She met him halfway and took it, "I've got it from here."  

Between the words and attitude, this is all something Husband would totally do down to the tone and inflection.  It drives me crazy so I'm glad he got it back in his face.