I have been desperately trying to read better books this year. I started with No Ordinary Time, which was a mistake. It's 800 pages or so and a bit too ambitious to fit in between things. I've made it halfway and have a mild crush on Eleanor Roosevelt (which I understand is not an uncommon reaction to her) as well as a greater understanding of the time period and the vast complexity of politics at that time. It's a bit mind-boggling and not at all surprising how long the book is. The author has tackled a crazy amount of details and put them together in a reader-friendly narrative. However, it is dense and I've decided to take a break and revisit FDR in a month or two.
As part of my strategy to tackle the 300-plus books on my to-read list, I'm enlisting Audible so I can read even when I can't (ie. driving without kids, doing laundry, cooking, etc). I'm working through Gone Girl, which I was unable to bond with when I tried reading it last year. It's much more engaging this way. I've also started Quiet, which is very interesting (although it feels a bit narcissistic) and Breakfast with Buddha. It's a good mix as I've got a book for almost any mood, but I may be stretching myself a bit thin.
P is working on building a new desk for his new office. Kind of like our house, he learned a lot from building the first one, so Desk 2.0 has been designed modularly and will have a more durable finish. He also just recieved his newest toy, a ShopBot, which is a small CNC router for wood projects. He's geeking out over it, so he spends most evenings in the shop, or raiding with his guild on WoW, or attending meetings for the School Referendum PAC. He's a busy boy. But, last night, we had a rare night out at a "House of Cards" party. I don't watch, but I made it through a few episodes and have been coached through the major plot points. I didn't ask any embarrassing questions and was able to add a little clarity to the bookends on Chapter 27 (Thank you HuffPo spoilers).
Ellie is enjoying gymnastics and takes drawing and ballet through school. She's starting to sound out words, which is amazing and terrifying. I have a feeling she'll be surgically attached to books much like I was once she can actually read to herself. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. She is really into pretend play and enjoys stage directing little dolls (the smaller the better). They always do exactly as she demands, which makes them preferable to real playmates much of the time.
Cali has been staying full days most of the time at school. I have some mommy guilt over that, but I get a lot more done at home and haven't needed as many naps. She seems to love it. She gets to take a lunch and backpack and hold sister's hand in the car line. I'm flirting with finding an actual occupation to devote myself to now that baby days are mostly past. Her verbal development is coming along slowly. She seems a bit shy and has a tendency to whisper words. I think it's mostly a response to her gregarious sister. She's not as persistent about making herself understood as Ellie is/was and has a tendency to get frustrated. We've had to start asking Ellie to use an inside voice sometimes. She can be quite loud when she gets excited.
|Big girl bed|
|A little stripey. Also, the best part of playdates is other people's dress up shoes.|
|Painted turtles in Cali's class|
|Ellie's face upon seeing the squid dad was NOT eating in China.|
|Cali's miserable face.|
|Change of scenery for the potty. She placed it there by herself.|
|Playing the piano with Stuffy|
|Ellie's treasures at age 4.|
|Our 18" blizzard covered things pretty well. Too bad this is the year we neglected to put away the outdoor furniture :(|
|Mostly enjoying the snow.|
|Ellie's "finished" mandala. She cut it out all by herself too.|
|Showing something from gymnastics (box pushups?)|
|38 bags and boxes to AmVets.|
|A gift from Thailand. Hard to top this Buddha.|
|Chillin' with Dad.|
|Ellie artwork is getting more creative.|
|Cali in class. Looking through a color box. She later took them all out and let a classmate pick them all up.|
|The family that reads together....|
|Parts of the horse, tracing, lettering, coloring... all sorts of things happening here.|
|Painted dragon for the Chinese New Year from Cali|