Thursday, June 14, 2018

Recent Reads

I love reading other people's book recommendations. I usually read blog book reviews on my phone and add ones I'm interested in to my library list as I read through. I get on reading kicks and right now, I'm in the zone. Here are my recent reads and thoughts:

The Book of Essie by Meghan Maclean Weir 
This is my most recent read. I finished it in exactly 2 days. It was really an addicting story with three different stories all intertwined. The characters sold me on this book, they are truly what got me hooked. The three main characters are each narrators giving the reader different viewpoints. It wasn't a super believable story and the author really loved using teasers of text about an event that had happened and later explaining it, but I still loved it.

 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I had trouble getting into this book throughout the first couple of chapters and by the end I was so sad it was over. The characters are quirky and you find yourself just rooting for them the whole time. I loved the story and it honestly isn't my usual type of story.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
I've seen this book recommended everywhere and to be honest, it was a waste of time to read. The characters were predictable, one dimensional, and very polarizing. The story was predictable and unbelievable. I can't think of one thing I liked about it.

Still Me by Jojo Moyes
This is the third book in the series and I loved it. I've loved the entire series. Louisa, the main character, takes a job in NYC and I loved reading her experiences in the city. I feel like the whole series has been about empowering women, and finding your unique gifts.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriatry
Okay so to be honest I haven't finished this one. I've started it now 3 times. I just rechecked it out from the library and I'm thinking if I don't get through it now I never will. Keep going?

Also, most of these books I received through The Book of the Month club. My cousin is the best gift giver ever and got me this for my birthday (and then I gifted it to my mom for Christmas because I loved it so much). They offer 5 books to choose from every month, all different genres, and offer a synopsis, review, and a little bit to read. I highly recommend it!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Five on Friday: Mom Confessions

The boys have field day today (but they call it fun day). I'm so excited for them. It's definitely one of the best days of the year. And it's the Friday before Mother's Day!! Last year Chris had emergency surgery on Mother's Day, let's hope nothing so exciting happens this year.

For Five on Friday I thought I'd share 5 confessions I have as a mom... They are also probably things I would have thought were terrible back when I only had the boys. Live and learn (especially about not judging).

1. I do not like going to Target. I used to. The boys would get Icee's and look through the toys. I'd pick up knick knacks and essentials. It was a fun time for all. Now it's a time a suck. And even if I have a list somehow I'll miss an item or two or they are out of something. I love target online but I need cartwheel to apply! Looking forward to when the drive up and pick up option opens!

2. I throw away things the kids make. Not everything. But a lot. For preschool I save items and put them in a big under the bed storage tub (but it goes in the attic) and for elementary school I put things in a paper storage tub which goes in the attic. Some things might make it the shelf, but most of the time they end up in the trash. I used to blame Dali for throwing things away and the kids always believed me.

3. We have more than enough together time. Even if the boys have been at school for 8 hours, the  minute they are home they are arguing about something. So if a friend doesn't come up to play I send them away. The arguing drives me nuts. Years ago I would have gushed over how much I missed them and I need a full report on their day. Now I get bits and pieces over the afternoon and dinner and I honestly wondering how many camps is reasonable for the summer.

4. The other day I gushed over Katherine saying Mommy and Momma and Ma. And turned around to tell T if called my name one more time he was going to time out. Funny isn't it? I spent sooo much time wanting each of them to call my name and now I can't get them to stop! (and seriously don't ask me where is soccer socks are one more time because they are always in the same place...even if you don't put them away, I do).

5. I definitely don't get enough one on one time with them. This is a confession I've been thinking a lot about recently and hope as summer comes and schedules slow that we can make more time for it. T probably gets the brunt of it, which is rough because he's a fairly needy kid. But there's always tomorrow.

And a threw in a few pictures of the girlies from recently (the boys like to approve the photos posted and they aren't home to do that currently).

Have a great weekend!! I hope you get to celebrate loved ones whether near or far, here or gone, I hope it's a time to honor and share love with those around you.

Linking up with April, Natasha, and Christina :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

This and That

Hey! I'm so glad it's Wednesday. All day yesterday it felt like Friday, which makes this feel like a long week.

Do you have Mother's Day plans? I arranged a sitter for Saturday night thinking my mom and mother in law would visit Sunday. Instead they decided to come see the boys play soccer and then head to lunch at their favorite restaurant down here. I still need to pick up presents. And I feel a little guilty for keeping our sitter Saturday night.

We have lived in our house for 2 years now! It seems like we've been here forever. While there are a few things I miss about the old house (the breakfast nook being the biggest), I love that our kids are growing up here. We're a mile from Chris' office and can walk to school, the y, starbucks, and whole foods. We finally have a flat yard and a long flat driveway for the kids to play in (and they do...). And the best part is the boys have lots of kids around. It's fun to see them head off or have friends visit. It's so similar to my experience growing up.

That said I'm itching more and more for our remodel and addition. I follow a few local builders and contractors and my absolute favorite, Montgomery Hobson Builder, just did an addition and total gut of a house near us. It looks amazing. We have a couple friends who have used them so I'm hopefully we can swing working with them.  I'm also completely lost in the process. Structural engineer first, architect, designer, contractor... I have no clue how it works.

Katherine hit 17 months. She's at one of my favorite stages. She talks all the time, loves baby dolls, eating, and her blankets (she cannot sleep in her crib without them).

She thought it was hilarious when the boys copied her the other night in the kitchen. And they thought she was hilarious doing "yoga" in the kitchen.

She will beg to go for a walk, to the point she will climb in the stroller. At night now she will request a walk before bed. I was on bedtime duty alone last night and she refused to sleep and kept saying "Walk" so off we went for a few minutes.

 The kids spent 30 minutes climbing the tree after church. KC was in it for the first time and was so mad to leave she threw the worst temper tantrum. Three years ago getting her to church was a problem, now it's leaving.

I love when the girls match (I did the same with the boys when they were younger) and KC loves to match Katherine too.

KC turns 4 in less than a month. We are trying to plan a party for her. I'll probably do a ton of research and then just not do anything. I'm the worst at making choices. The worst. A house remodel should be super fun. 

With the warm weather I've lost all motivation to cook. It's all salads and frozen pizza around here. Our blender broke a year ago and we've yet to replace it so we can't even make smoothies! Warm weather makes me crave them, luckily a Clean Juice is opening nearby (my favorite)... I'll just have to go without the kids because $40 in smoothies is a bit ridiculous. 

And also, I'd like to throw out our xbox. 

I hope you have a great Wednesday! Thanks for reading :)

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Thoughts for Thursday

Last week I brunched, lunched, and had date night. This week has been pretty much the opposite. Meetings at school, cavity filled, kid drop offs and pick ups, but the weather has been nice so that makes all the craziness better. I will say I keep thinking every day is Friday. I had a pretty intense meeting Tuesday and after it I kept feeling that Friday feeling... so I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.

Random thoughts for today:

My kids see the sidewalk as an invitation for a walk at any time of day, shoes on or off. We'll be playing in the front, or back, or driveway, and off they go. It's really cute until I tell them it's time to turn around.

Katherine has been wearing all of KC's old clothes and it makes me so happy. I associate so many memories with clothing and I love that Katherine has a completely different look so different items really look adorable on her that maybe didn't make such an impression on me with KC.

Katherine loves books. She pretends to read them all the time and has some memorized. Chris and I are a little relieved because as the last of 4 kids she really didn't get the same reading experience the other kids received.

Did you vote early? I took the girls Friday to vote, but we ended up leaving before getting a chance (it's at the library so books took priority). I made a point of telling KC we were going Monday and I needed to vote first. She was upset she didn't get to push any buttons. I even met one of the candidates I voted for when I was leaving. And another candidate attends our church. I'm starting to find local politics really interesting!

Speaking of our church, a couple Sunday's ago the 4th graders were invited up into the bell tower. It was so neat. There are about 5 flights of spiral metal stairs to make it up. Once up they were allowed to play the carillon. I think there are only two in Charlotte. There was also a beautiful view of uptown.

I love spring in our neighborhood. Last fall we planted 3 dogwood trees. They were on super sale at Lowe's but we had hopes. 2 of the 3 made it through the winter and we had one flower. It's silly to say it's exciting but it is. We planted these in memory of our sweet dog who we lost in November and call them Dali's Dogwoods. It's right by the sidewalk and she loved talking walks when we moved here. I'm debating preserving the flower and framing it beside a picture of her.

 The homeowner before us had the best green thumb. She planted some beautiful peonies. I tried to move them this fall to another location, but it looks like I may have just divided them? This bloom was picked over a week ago and is still going strong and my kitchen smells amazing.

 My parents came by to visit Sunday. We spent lots of time outdoors and of course got ice cream.

My dad snapped this and I honestly love this "real" picture. I'm sure N and Chris are talking about some soccer thing, T is glaring down KC for some reason (probably related to taking her "spot" or wanting the rest of her ice cream), KC is asking Katherine for a lick, and I'm making sure Katherine doesn't fall out of the chair. 

Still a big fan of ice cream...

I hope your Thursday is going well. KC wasn't late to preschool, I got in a 2 mile neighborhood walk, and Katherine is currently napping... things are starting off pretty well!

Linking up with Natalie and Annie!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Five on Friday

Happy Friday! I'm on my third cup of coffee after binge watching  The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel last night.

Here's my Five things on Friday!

1. Soccer Saturdays are back! After years and years spending hours at the baseball field I am loving spending an hour at the soccer field for each kid and then having the rest of the day for ourselves. The boys still love soccer, although N says he plays to return to baseball in the fall. Last Saturday both boys scored their first goals (T actually scored 5). It was a big day. The weekend before both of the boys' teams had lost by 10, so this isn't like a super star in the making story. And just as last year, one of my favorite things is we can walk to both fields. This year the boys ride to T's and we walk to N's. There are playgrounds at each field too so the girlies are happy.

2. Chris and I had midweek date night and it was perfect. N had been begging for us to head out so their favorite sitter could come. It was completely last minute but she was free and Chris had to work late so I met him at the restaurant right across from his office. We sat outside for a couple hours eating, drinking wine, then coffee, and listening to music. We left after the musician. I wish we could do that every night.

3. I love when the girlies wear the boys' old clothes (and that happens a lot). Here's a side by side of my two blondie babes.

4. I need a good book to read. I finished Still Me by Jojo Moyes and loved it. I haven't picked up anything since finishing it. I might try Big Little Lies again. I started it after Katherine was born but never finished.

5. That's all I got for today! Linking up with April, Christina and Natasha - have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Coffee Talk

It has rained the past two days which has had me wondering what in the world we did to entertain the kids before spring. I'm up to three cups of coffee a day, two in the morning and one right before the boys get home. Seems excessive. 

 Before the rains hit we definitely lived up to the "playground" part of my blog name. Hours and hours spent on playgrounds. One thing I love about our currently location is there is a park or playground in every direction. The boys play soccer, the girls play on the playground. The boys want to shoot hoops, the girls (and sometimes T) play on the playground, after preschool, the girls play on the playground. I just need to start remembering sunscreen.

Last Friday it was so beautiful I decided we should all walk to N's soccer practice together and then order pizza for dinner. His soccer practice ends after Katherine's bedtime so it was a little risky. She had a blast until the last fifteen minutes. 

I had my first dentist appointment in forever yesterday. And I have a cavity. A big one. I get to go back next week to see if he can clean it out without a root canal. Ugh. While I'm so grateful for a dentist I trust and who is extremely kind, I just hate all of this. I also realized I really need to schedule all my appointments (doctors and hair) before the kids get out of school. It's coming up!

Our ice cream game is still going strong. I consider it self medicating for temper tantrums (mine and the kids). 

Happy hump day! I know this sounds silly but I woke up with absolutely nothing we have to do today. It kind of sounds amazing. Pretty sure a trip to the library story time is in our future.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thoughts for Thursday

Random thoughts today...

Why is bedtime so miserable? I think I start dreading the whole night time process right about the time I start dinner. The toddler and the ten year old are easy peasy - just tell them it's bedtime and they're out. But 8 and 4 seem to be in the same "make everyone miserable" camp. I pretty sure I'm losing my mind each night, and occasionally losing my cool. Currently, we put the baby in her crib and she's out. We ask N to read to KC in our room, which is super nice and sweet. Then we direct all our attention to T because he's the hardest at bedtime. I wish I could list everything we've tried at bedtime with T and how nothing has changed. It's always a huge rant about how we hate him (because he has to go to bed) and it goes on and on. N hangs with KC until one of us can come snuggle with her because she can't fall asleep withouth someone (and sometimes N falls asleep with her... thank goodness for him). I keep thinking we will get past this phase but honestly bedtime has been hard for about 6 years now... so still waiting.

My two easy sleepers, N getting Katherine up from nap over spring break.

Moving on...I'm pretty excited the "like to know it - instagram relationship" is going away. When I first joined instagram it was people taking snaps from their day. Then slowly it turned into so many staged pictures one right after the other with everything linked. It got harder to keep up with friends. I really like that now you can just swipe through stories of people linking ten million items (and I love you can mute stories of certain people!). I hope instagram goes back to cute daily snaps! 

I ordered these cute suits for the girls from Target. 

T refused to take his lunch to school today because he said N always packs stuff he doesn't like. But I packed his lunch and it's exactly what he ate for dinner (noodles and watermelon). I wrote his teacher to let her know I'm perfectly fine with him sitting without a lunch. I don't play the lunch game.

I remember when I used to blog about how cute and sweet my kids were... haha. We handle our stress with ice cream. It makes everything better. 

Linking up with Natalie and Annie for Thoughts for Thursday.