Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Hangover Part II

What to say about this movie?  Was it as good as the original?  Probably not.  Did it live up to expectations?  Pretty well.  Was it damn funny?  Hell yes!

Obviously this movie had all kinds of pressure on it to deliver on the surprise success of the original.  And while you could argue they played it safe by sticking to the same formula as the first movie, they certainly raised bar.  The set up may remain the same, but the stakes are higher, the exploits gorier and the disbelief that this is happening AGAIN manages to be plausible.

Read the rest of my review

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Don't Tease The Addict

Ok, I promise this blog isn't going to turn into "I want a baby" central, but the other day (AFTER I wrote all about how badly I want another baby) my husband ran into our neighbor who just had a baby, and thought it would be clever to bring her over so I could see the baby.  And hold the baby.  A one month old baby.

You guys - I WANT one so badly!  She was just so adorable and sweet and cuddly!  It was totally hard for me not smooch all over her face, but I restrained myself because who wants a semi stranger kissing all over your baby?  But I did stroke her chubby little cheeks and feel her soft silky hair; oh, I remember those days when I would just sit and hold my babies and rub their little heads!  It was so fun to have a tiny one in my arms again - I forgot how sweaty holding a baby can make you - they are such hot little things!

Jack and Izzy also totally wanted to hold her, but I didn't even ask if they could because even thought I know they would be good and gentle I didn't want the neighbor to feel uncomfortable.  I did offer to watch the baby any time she wanted me to because, duh, BABY, and now Izzy tells me every day that she hopes the neighbor baby will come over for us to babysit.  Izzy wants another baby almost as much as I do (sometimes she tells me TWO more!). Sophie was totally interested too and that night she sat with me for the longest time holding her baby doll, chattering to it and feeding it a bottle.  It's all pretty cute.

But of course, it's also all I can think about now.  Much to my husband's deep regret.

ps: I really hope the neighbor needs me to watch the baby soon. I also hope that when she calls she says her name because we totally don't know it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Last Day Of Preschool. Ever

Today was Isabelle's last day of preschool - we now officially have a kindergartner.  Crazy.  It wasn't emotional or sad or anything, but that is probably because I have one who's just starting preschool in the fall and another who will still be home with me full time so I do still have some baby left to cling to.

But that is getting to be less and less.  As of yesterday Jack has decided that he's done with his potty chair and now uses the regular toilet all by himself, and he has also abandoned his nightly pull-up (which hasn't been wet in forever) in favor of sleeping in underpants.  So, 100% potty trained that one.  he has also taken the leap (finally!) into dressing himself, and will put on not only his underwear and pants by himself, but also his shorts now.  For longest time I've been trying to get him to even attempt doing this, so this new independence is both sudden and welcome.  But it also means he is no longer even a little bit baby, and really a big kid.  Six months ago I was wondering how we would get him ready for preschool in the fall; now he'd be ready if it started tomorrow.

And Sophie.  She is finally starting to talk, which, I know is actually really late in terms of development, but still seems way too soon to me!  She's my baby - how is it ok that she can talk and play games along with the older kids?  That she can ask for orange juice clear as day, and that when she cries in her room at night, she's no longer just crying, but yelling "mama!" 

I'm so excited and proud at their growing up and gaining independence, and of course I love that it means less work (in the physical sense) for me.  But it's sad too; I was really good at having babies, and taking care of babies.  It's probably the only thing I've ever done that I really felt good at and loved doing.  And now that period is over and I don't feel as confident about taking care of older kids.  I mean, I'm not all panicky and freaking out because I still feel like a good mom, it just doesn't come as naturally to me as the baby stuff.  And of course, the fact I really want a fourth child (that no one else wants me to have- except Izzy) doesn't help.  It is easy to ignore the baby fever when you're busy with three kids and one or more of those is still little and really needs you.  But it's harder once they get old enough that you have to stop fooling yourself about still having a "baby" and accept that all you have are kids.  Sad as it is to say, I miss carrying around the bottles of formula and burp cloths and that look they get right before they spew the entire contents of that bottle right back up at you.  I could hold the baby and a bottle in one hand while also feeding another kid and I'll tell you, nothing else has ever given me that sense of "I am GOOD at this."  I'll even miss changing diapers, not necessarily the act itself, but those little moments every day where it's just you and your baby and you can make faces and play with them one on one.

Oh well.  This is one chapter closing for my sweet, oldest girl, and I can't wait to see what the next chapter will bring for her, and for Jack who is going to start preschool next fall.  And of course, I guarantee some choice statements are going to come out of Sophie once she gets a firmer handle on the whole English language.  It's been so fun so far seeing them turn into little people - and it's only going to get better!


ps; but I still really want a baby!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

If You Blog It, They Will Come. Unless You Forget Your Links

Haha, remember when I said I was going to start writing reviews of all the movies I went to see?   And then I started making sure I went on opening day so my reviews would be up and helpful to anyone looking to make a choice on what to see that weekend?  And how I diligently came home from the theater and wrote and posted my reviews?  And then I completely forgot to link or promote them in anyway?  Yeah.  Now we know why I haven't taken the blogging world by storm.

Anyway... see what I thought of Bridesmaids, and my review of Priest here.  I also saw Pirates of the Caribbean.  If you don't want to read the reviews the let me just say: Bridesmaids: SEE IT, Priest: SKIP IT, Pirates: highly enjoyable if you like that kind of thing but probably not going to stunt you socially if you don't go see it.

up next weekend, Hangover 2 - and you better believe I am almost peeing myself in excitement.  Hey, I warned you I was a 12 year old boy when it comes to movies.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Picture (im)Perfect

So, in light of the fact that not one of these stories is enough to stand alone as a blog post, and as a result I keep failing to blog at all, I thought I'd just give it to you all in one big, picturetastic lump.  Whee

These are from last week when it was 98 degrees in Omaha, and 92 degrees IN MY HOUSE. Naturally Brett was out of town and texting me about his hotel room and bubble baths (which? my revenge is telling the internets that he takes bubble baths), and I finally caved and took the kids to a hotel. With air conditioning. And no onDemand movies (wtf?), but still. Air conditioning.

we had McDonalds for dinner because I was too hot to think much beyond "get to a hotel"


these two were so cute sleeping together.  When they FINALLY fell asleep and I checked on them, Sophie was snuggled right up next to Izzy.  Pushing her all the way to the edge of the bed


this is seriously my new favorite picture of Sophie



I'm sure all that would have made a great blog, but I was too hot to type, and afterwards I was too busy not being hot, and talking about how hot i had just been, to break out the computer.  In other words, lazy.

Moving right along then. Yesterday at breakfast, while I was busy doing things that don't involve watching my toddler eat cereal because I can handle the mess after the fact but not while it is progress, Izzy and Sophie were doing this:


Izzy literally fed her the entire bowl of cereal.  It was ridiculously cute.  Also yesterday, we had a few last moments in the old Isuzu Rodeo as daddy cleaned it up to sell it.



sorry these pictures are so awful, but I kind of forgot about the whole "the camera isn't in auto, so if you go outside into direct sunlight from your dim house you might want to change the settings." Hello over exposures!

Nine years ago this car carried me from Illinois to Steamboat Springs, CO as I moved in probably the only spur of the moment, no reason behind it, decision I've ever made in my life.  Five years ago, it carried me to, and then my precious newborn Isabelle home from, the hospital.  It carried us to Chicago and back when Brett's grandma died, and it brought Brett here to Omaha when we made the decision to leave Steamboat.  Pretty big steps for our family, and all in this one car.  But it's had a good run, and no longer runs good, so it's time to go.  Plus, Brett got a new (old) car, which has awesome features like a transmission which doesn't lurch randomly and four doors which ALL open.  I know, we're fancy.


Any diddle, that's pretty much all that's going on around here.  Oh, except I got this big bump on my temple that I thought was maybe a bug bite (although wouldn't I see like a tiny red spot that was the actual bite mark?) or possibly one of those terrible painful zits, but I wasn't sure and all of a sudden last night it made the side of my face around my eye swell up (giving me a gorgeous bag under just the one eye - sexy).  And the doctor I went to see totally couldn't tell what it was either, so she gave me a steroid shot (which OMG still hurts!!) and antibiotics and said I should take some Benadryl.  So that was fun.  I think I'll spare you a picture of that one.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

BlogHer Book Club: Girl in Translation



At heart Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok almost seems to be a modern day fairy tale.  Set in the eighties, about a young girl newly emigrated to New York from Hong Kong, the story has all of the classic ingredients; brilliant, hardworking heroine, crushing poverty and unthinkable living conditions, a few kind souls who offer salvation just when hope is at its most dim.  And yet this is no fairy tale. 

Read more...



BlogHer Book Club Reviewer

Consolidation

So, last year when I was really blogging up a storm, I ended up with blogs all over the place.  I've got one for daily photos (which only sometimes get taken and almost always suck), my thoughts on entertainment (which I'm going to keep bcause it is my ad free page on the off chance I ever do one of the sponsored posts through BlogHer that needs to be ad free- doubtful), one for my diet attempts, and one (in concert with many other fabulous women) that was about fashion (which no one seems to write on anymore? Are we still doing that blog?  But my bio there is actually kind of funny.  you should read it).  Anyway, I got spread all over the place because when I get organizational I get down to the nitty gritty, and for some reason I couldn't possibly have all of those different topics on my REAL blog, so of course I had to create new and ever fascinating blogs pertaining to whatever different subject I might need to talk about.

But now of course I'm not saying anything on any of them.

And even though it shouldn't, it kind of drives me crazy that there are these blogs out there with nothing happening on them.  So my organizational crazy lady desperately wants to come in and clean it all up - maybe incorporate those posts into my regular blog and close up shop on the other sites.  Well, I think I'd leave Lawrencing Around up (although I need to spruce that sucker up visually - it is D U L L), and of course, All Kinds Of Pretty wasn't solely mine so I'm not deleting anything there, but I can just post any future fashion stuff here and not worry about the linking and whatnot (seriously - is anyone planning on writing there again?  I'd like to, but my fashion lately has been in the toilet so there hasn't been much to report).  But Escape From Cake I could easily just fold into this blog and then delete (Sarah do you have an opinion on this?).  I mean, I'm still really trying to lose weight (and I'm down about 10 pounds, yay!), but really not enough to write a whole blog about.  I could just update here whenever I feel like it and who cares about that other blog?

What do you think?  Should I consolidate (almost) everything into this one central location?  Or should I just forget about incorporating the old posts on this site, leave it where it is, and start posting anything new here? Does anyone care?  Is anyone even reading this anymore seeing as I never blog about anything lately?

BlogHer Book Club: Caleb's Crossing


(this was supposed to be posted last month - somehow never did.  whoops!)


I was lucky enough recently to be a part of the BlogHer Book Club, and I got to read an advance copy of Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks. Honestly, I didn’t expect to like it.  My usual book choices lean towards sci-fi fantasy and thriller novels – fast paced, escapist fare- and more literary choices tend to leave me cold.  I like to fly through a novel, so anything that is intended to be savored loses my interest.  But that was not the case with this book.  Right off the bat, despite the author’s use of archaic vocabulary and speech patterns authentic to the historical period, I found myself absorbed and enthralled by her characters and story.


Read more...


BlogHer Book Club Reviewer

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wild Kingdom

Our yard has turned into breeding central lately.  Last year we had one nest with baby birds, right over our garage, but this year we are practically overrun with nests.

Rabbit's nest in our backyard

doesn't look like much, but that hole is deep!

The nest over the garage (which has been taken over by some other kind of birds - who are WAY sloppier nest builders than the swallows)


And the tree in our front yard, which is home to a robins' nest, a dove's nest, and at least two other kinds of birds as well.  It's like an aviary


This morning there were two different kinds of eggs underneath this tree that had fallen out of nests.  


I thought that at least one of them was from the dove's nest, since they were right underneath it, but they didn't match.  I did however freak the hell out of mama dove when I popped up on my ladder.  Whoops.

dove's nest

however, there was another nest not 10 inches away on another branch, and the pale blue speckled one was clearly from that nest.  I couldn't find the nest the brown speckled egg came from (this tree is dense and very sharp!), so I tucked it in with the blue ones since they are the same size.  I feel incredible guilt over this, however I couldn't just leave it on the ground in case there was any chance of it still hatching.


I know and accept that nature sometimes is harsh and not all babies make it, but I don't have to just sit by and let it happen if I can help it, you know?  Like when i found this guy on Tuesday:

baby robin, two days old

you could see his organs through his skin. which was totally gross, but cool


He was lying on the ground under the tree just at the edge of the grass.  I was so surprised when I saw that he was still breathing, and thank god for Google so I could look up what I was supposed to do to try and save him.  I couldn't reach the robin's nest, which is at the very top of the tree, so I built him a new one and hung it as high as I could in the hopes that his parent's would find him and continue to care for him.  Unfortunately, I don't think I got him warm enough (I was worried too have him inside too long because maybe they would stop looking), because even though I saw them chirping and looking for him, he never made a sound and they couldn't find him.  Baby robins need to eat every 20 minutes, and after I watched all day and the parents never went back to him, the thought of going out in the morning and having to remove my makeshift nest because he had died was too horrible and I called wildlife rescue.  I brought him inside and set his little nest on a plate with a hot towel on it (I kept reheating it every 20 minutes), to get him fully warmed up while I waited for the woman to come pick him up.  I was worried that he had been left too long and was so weakened that he was no longer hungry, but after about an hour, when I went to reheat the towel and check on him he popped his little head up and opened his mouth SO WIDE.  It made me feel terrible not to have any food for him, but also so relieved because I knew that he was going to make it.  And half hour later the woman showed up and fed him and took him away to be cared for before being released back into the wild.

Pretty cool, although Jack cried because he wanted us to take care of the bird.  I just said the bird would come back to visit, and in a few weeks I'll point at a robin and be like "There.  See?  He's just fine."

Now I can't wait for baby bunnies!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Know What I Did Yesterday?

I finally stopped spending all my time ogling decor ideas online and searching through fabrics, and decided to actually do something. The chair in my bedroom was the easiest project I had to work with, so I figured it was the best place to start, and yesterday I sanded, primed, painted and recovered the seat, turning this:


into this:


looks pretty good, doesn't it?