Add It To My List: October 2017

 Link-up creators are Lauren from Eat, Drink, & Be Lauren and Bre from Bre Writes. Basically, they are always recommending things to each other- podcasts, television shows, music, blah blah blah. And they figured- why not share even further?
  • Printed Post-It Tutorial & Layout
    • This is several years old but I just found it and used it for work- love that I can be Post-It organized without having to display my messy handwriting ;) 
  • John Green's video on Trump & Russia, where he talks about what we know but also what we DON'T know...and why it's important to acknowledge both.

  • The other Green brother, Hank, and his video about wanting media to be about something
  • Aldi's apple fritter bread
    • NOT their coffee
    • but also their cheese sticks
    • and raspberry ice cream sticks
  •  Yet another Hank Green video: The Secret to Hank's Productivity
 What are you loving this month?

Busy, but Happy

In case you haven't noticed, I've been a little MIA lately. Just got way out of the blogging flow.

We turned in the majority of paperwork for foster care licensing. I think the only thing left is to give the doggies a rabies shot (Tank did it himself last time, so no record, but it's due anyway so just have to find time to take them to the vet). So now...we wait, apparently. Oh, and maybe go get another set of fingerprints because apparently one is not enough.

Babycakes & I visited my parents for a family reunion. It was short visit and it was weird that Tank had to work and couldn't go- but it was nice to see them.

It wasn't the best timing, because I had my second test the week after so I missed a weekend of cramming. And the FC/A meeting was the day before my test so I was scrambling to make sure all of that was taken care of also bit into study I'm not sure how I did. Probably still passed, at least? But almost certainly not as well as my first test.

And we have a Halloween party at our house this weekend. And my freakin' one year old has SPIRIT WEEK at daycare next week! What is that?!? So...I'm gonna try to think of something for that (I refuse to buy a shirt from this daycare for "school spirit" though...not spending over 10$ on something she will wear maybe 2x in her life...). But I'm not too upset, because I figure Halloween/Spirit Week is an excuse to work on her "dress up" box.

Although, it really gives me a new project because I have this old but small chest that was mine as a kid/teen that my mom gave me (along with many other matching pieces) when we were setting up the nursery. But I had no idea what to actually put in it so I haven't bothered to scrub or repaint (because when something just sits for 10+ years, it starts looking very sad). But it's perfect for dress-up/costumes because I don't actually care if they get wrinkled/etc so they can just be tossed in, and Babycakes loves playing with it empty half the time.

I also had an amazing girls night! It was super low-key and something my friend started, group? That sounds so cheesy and awkward. Basically a get-together, specifically for new moms, to have an excuse to hang out with friends and support each other. It's very positive, both in regards to yourself and your female friends, and it was ah-mazing. Shout-out to our husbands, because while the "careless caveman" portrayal of husbands/dads is definitely something our culture perpetrates...none of ours blinked an eye when we peaced out of the house on a weeknight to do this, because "Yeah that sounds great, you totally need/deserve that." Plus, I had some delicious caramel hot chocolate and pastries so ya know. Win-win.

Oh, and I started working out/walking again. Not very much- maybe 1-3 times a week. But it's something, and it's good for me.

So, I've been busy. And it's been slightly stressful.'s been good. I'm doing things I want to do...I'm living my life.

It's pretty darn great.

Current Thoughts [October 2017]

original photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

FYI: renaming the "Mid-Month Updates" to "Current Thoughts"

  • Can someone who disagrees with kneeling during the National Anthem please explain to me what is an appropriate means of protest? Because it is nonviolent, does not block roadways or workplaces, and takes up no ones time.
    • And just a reminder that, FYI, protesting is part of the know, the document and ideals that is actually supposed direct our laws and governing rather than bullshit opinions of people who didn't pay attention in history class. 

      • The military is not a single person or school of thought. Like the NFL and literally every other group in America, there are diverse opinions and beliefs and races and religions. Gettin' real sick of people speaking out about how "soldiers" feel about politics and the above-mentioned forms of protests. This idea that there is a single prevailing opinion within any group of people is exactly what has our country in the fucked up position it is currently in. 
      • I think I might be getting carpal tunnel between school & work and typing/writing all day. Trying to take asprin & do some stretches to help...might break down and get a wrist brace.
      • There is a consignment sale for kids coming up and I am PUMPED. I am not a super Black Friday shopper or anything like that, but this is only 2x a year and it's the easiest way to get baby clothes. Even asked for help to line up a (free, thankfully) sitter. 

      • Still riding that bullet journal train. Y'all, it's like magic. I am not working any harder than normal but I actually feel like I'm being more productive, because instead of wasting time trying to remember what all I have to do I'm just...doing it. And it's all there in a tiny little book. I'm such a nerd. 
      •  Babycakes got bit at daycare...twice in one week. She was the biter for a while, so I try to be understanding...but one of them left a bruise that lasted about 4-5 days. She's skinned knees and stuff, but that's while having fun. This is the first time someone else has truly left a mark, and while I know it happens it's still uncomfortable.
        via GIPHY

      • Pretty much our whole family is feeling icky. THANK JESUS no stomach bug, which is going around. But snotty and Babycakes had a fever, so she had to stay home from daycare. I'm about 90% sure it was due to teething because as soon as she came home and had one dose of Tylenol she was totally fine, maybe 15% snug-lier and whiny than normal...but no more fever and up for playing. Which sinus headache-y mama was not prepared for (I stupidly thought we'd have a sick cuddle day...ahahahaha).
      • It's freakin' October and I'm still having to shave my legs, because it's like 75 and about 1000% humidity at 5 am. GET IT TOGETHER, MOTHER NATURE. I need it to be cool enough to wear leggings, okay? Because again- ickyness all over the house. And it's hard to be sure anyone has a fever when realistically we could just be sweating because everything is sweating because it's seriously almost 80 when we wake up. 

      • It's so frustrating to me when people don't just FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS. I'm having to train new people at work again and ugh it's the worst. People who don't grasp things baffle me. And I'm sure that's a privilege that I have...but ugh it's soooo hard. Especially when I'm not a friendly person to start with. 
      • I'm officially addicted to caffeine. If I don't have a cup of coffee or can of soda by lunch I have a raging headache and feel quite stabby. Based one a post in a moms group though...I may be able to blame pregnancy. Apparently it can make you resistant to caffeine- like shaking after a cup of 1/2 decaf, or make you dependent on it (aka me). 

            This turned a little more rant-y than I expected...but this is sort of where I get things out and all the fun stuff I like typically goes to the Show Us Your Books or Add It To My List link-ups. One rant-y post a month seems fair.

            What's up with you lately?

            Show Us Your Books Link-Up THIRD ANNIVERSARY: October 2017

             You guys!!!

            It is the third anniversary of Show Us Your Books! That's so amazing. This link-up is by far my favorite bloggy day of the month. 

            Thank you to all participants, and our wonderful hosts Steph & Jana, for creating such a fun and welcoming and bookish community. You guys make me happy every second Tuesday of the month.

            Now, on to the books!

            Did I mention this series is about  ASSASSIN NUNS WHO WORK FOR DEATH and OMG WHY AREN'T YOU READING IT ALREADY IT'S SO AMAZING. And there's some love and political intrigue and in this one in particular some deeply disturbing incest but still READ THESE BOOKS.

            Third book in the trilogy, you learn more about the various gods and their followers which is cool...and also see above aka READ THIS SERIES IT'S AMAZING.

            This book was a really interesting look at disability and what makes a human a human and "us versus them" and personal responsibility and all that happens within the context of a standard but still interesting police thriller.

            If you have ever wondered what the term "rape culture" means, read this book. It's the best illustration of it ever. Yes, the book is a bit of a beast and it took me a while to get into it. But it's so. damn. worth. it. Seriously. Just read it. It looks at friendship and sex and family and personal responsibility and mentors and sports and small towns and loyalty and right and wrong and gray areas and it gave me all the feels. I will say it may be closer to a 4.75 because 1) those parents have been through a fuck of a lot and while tragedy does not gaurd against tragedy, it seems awful; and 2) that girl handled everything like a MF'ing champ. And while I respect that and appreciate that she wasn't broken...she had a right to be affected more than she was.

            The Girls by Emma Cline
            Y'all, I had to write this blog post twice because instead of hitting "Publish" I hit delete.
            Both times, I forgot to include this book. It seemed to have really divisive reviews and I went in expecting...something. I literally got nothing. I wasn't shocked or disgusted or moved or anything...if it's not the first time a book has done nothing, it's the first time in a loooooooong time. I did skip over the description of the actual murders, because...reasons. But since we knew about them from the just never clicked. I was never given a reason to care. There was no motive, there was no just all felt distant and pointless. I can't recommend.

            What have you been reading this month?
            Link-up & let us know! 
            Life According to Steph

            Books as Memories

            It's a well-known phenomena that hearing certain songs can take you back to a certain place, or situation.

            I think I have this with books.

            The Twilight series got me through my husband's deployment (judge, IDGAF).

            Books 1-21 of the Stephanie Plum series got me through what turned out to be basically a super stressful friend-breakup, within about a 2.5 week time period.

            The Hunger Games got me through my last years of undergrad.

            And the His Fair Assassin series just got me through my first test of grad school. 

             When I hear about these books, I don't just think of the characters and plot. I think about where I was emotionally when I read them. I think about every detail that lined up and made those stories exactly what I needed at that moment in time.

            Memories and emotions are strange, double-edged creatures. Our memories are almost never as trustworthy as we typically believe.

            If I read Twilight today, I might be a hater. There are certainly people out there who trash it. But it will always have value to me, despite it's problems. I don't pretend there aren't problems, I just know how it was useful to me despite them.

            Is it good for every person in every situation? 

            Probably not.

            But that could probably be said for all books, in the end.

            So often the snooty literary folks will pretend a book is good solely because of the specific words in the specific order on the page. But that's sooo not true.

            It's about the culture the story was written in, and it's about the reader. That's what makes being a reader so amazing and magical. You get to personally connect with a story- sometimes positively, sometimes negatively. But like everything in life, the personal background of a reader absolutely shapes the lens in which we view the story.

            There was a Christian book I had heard a lot of hype about and was excited to try. Pretty much as soon as I started it (via audiobook) I could tell me and this author just didn't jive. He ended up saying what was- to me- an incredibly sexist statement and I flat out DNF'd. When I mentioned this too someone else who read the book, they said that sentence never even registered- they didn't remember it being in the book at all, and walked away feeling like it was a great book. Think she actually had some kind of personal connection to the author, and therefore probably went in predisposed to think highly of what he had done or even just with a better idea of the heart behind the statement*.

            *because saying something out of ignorance and saying something out of hate are very different, and I do believe if we want to change the world for the better we must be ready to stop being angry at people for being ignorant and work with them to educate...although this is a much longer thought subject for a different post

            Anyway, it happens. It doesn't make her a bad person or bad reader. Pretty much all of those series I listed have gotten tons of flack for various reasons. And I'm sure at least one person would say I can't be a feminist and enjoy Twilight. But...I definitely consider myself a feminist- and I still stand by the appeal of that series!

            Do you link books and memories? 
            If so, what are some of your connections?

            Reading Q&A

            I'm taking this from Teh Megan, who took it from someone else...blogging is all about connection, right?

            If you came up with this & want credit, let me know & I will be happy to link your blog/etc!

            How many hours a week do you spend reading?
            This really really varies due to about a million factors.
            Anywhere from 1-10, let's say. More if an audio-book is involved.

            I like Megan's answer:
            "I don't count the hours of things I enjoy."

            Do you prefer digital or print books?
            All of the above.
            Nothing is as cozy or relaxing as cuddling up on the couch with a
            blanket and a physical book. It's also easier on my eyes. 

            However, ebooks are so handy!
             I can read on my phone at lunch or my iPad
             and binge a series super quick through the library. 

            via GIPHY
            2 favorite genres?
            General Fiction
            after that, it's a free-for-all

             2 not-favorite genres?
            deep sci-fi (Journey to the Center of the Earth type)
            after that, it's more dependent on writing than genre

             Biggest book pet peeve?
            super sweet love stories
            not necessarily cliches, but just...
            when nothing goes wrong or people are "all-in" immediately

             Favorite thing about reading?
            the escape it provides- it allows me to "hide" from real life

             Bookish confession?
            I used to dog-ear pages constantly.
            As I get older I understand why this is so upsetting,
            but for years I was guilty as sin.