Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Meg vs. Books: Recent Reads and The '13 List

As you can see in the navigation bar, I started a book list. Last year I started trying to document all of the books I have read. I hate that I can't remember them all, and even forget the plot and the things that touched me. I want to go back and reread some that I know I liked but only vaguely remember, but then there are so many books I still want to read! And I try to stick to the classics because there are so many of them, they are tried and tested, and I hate starting a book and then realizing I'm not going to get much out of it or it isn't appropriate. I love looking at the list and thinking about the books and the different things I got out of each of them. I am such a nerd.

Once I start a book I get wrapped up and have a hard time putting it down (right now my rule, with few exceptions, is that I leave the book in the baby's room and I try to limit myself to reading only while he is nursing. But he has a long, sleepy nursing session every night so I have been doing a surprising amount of reading). I am always tempted to join a book club, but then I don't want to have to read something I can't jump heart and soul into.

So just because I feel like it, I am going to start posting a bit about my reading. If you've read it (or even if you haven't) and want to chat about it, I'm all for it! If you have any book suggestions, pass them this way! If you think I have really boring taste in books, I won't be offended! (My sister, for one, and I think most of John's family, think so. I got a lot of remarks asking why on earth I would read War and Peace.)

So far this year I have finished War and Peace, which I can't even begin to describe except that it is epic and amazing and my brain and heart were so filled for days afterwards.

Next I met my goal of reading one book in Japanese by reading Breaking Into Japanese Literature translated by Giles Murray.

It is a collection of Japanese short stories, and on each page there is the Japanese text, a comprehensive vocabulary dictionary, and the English translation. If you think this is a cop-out on reading in Japanese because you have read lots of books in some romance language, I will ignore that criticism. If you are a non-native speakers and have read any literature in its original Japanese or Russian or Chinese without such an aid, you are my hero, and I will readily admit my inferiority. Having all the help right there on the page made the reading really manageable and enjoyable--other attempts have left me drowning in my dictionary and unable to get through anything beyond a sixth grade reading level (when they stop putting superscripts over new words!). The only other book I have read on my own in Japanese is Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, which of course is funny because that was originally written in English. If you have studied or are studying Japanese, I would definitely recommend Murray's compilation. And I just discovered that he has a second book out called Exploring Japanese Literature that has the same format, so that may just go on my book list for the future.

And just tonight I finished The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. My friend Emily reviewed this book over on Everything for the Love, and I had been itching to read it ever since. So you can imagine my delight when I happened upon it at the thrift store for only $1! I loved this memoir--so much food for thought on so many topics: poverty and distribution of wealth, parenting and discipline, priorities, addiction, mental health issues, love, and more than anything the resilience of the human spirit.

On that same trip I also grabbed Snow Falling on Cedars, which I knew nothing about but recognized the name. I am so excited to read it! WWII-era, historical fiction, murder mystery, Japanese-American history, and courtroom drama? This book must have been written for me. I will let you know if it lives up to my hype.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Meg vs. Myself: Weekly Goals Feb. 25-Mar. 2

It was a long time coming, but I finally reached my goals from a month ago.

February 4-9
*Clean and sand the vanity, get prepped for staining (scaling back on this one!) As I was sanding, I noticed some bubbling on the side of the vanity. Uh-oh! That part is particle board and so I can't just sand it off. I am afraid that my gel staining plan may go down the tubes, and we will be looking at buying a new vanity instead =(
*Get that tree guy out here for a quote! Had an adventure with a shady character starting the job, asking for money, getting in an argument with John in the front yard... I am too nice to people sometimes. Thankfully John got it all resolved for us, and in the end the guy did at least hack down part of the yucca tree at a rate cheaper than the pros. Ended up getting two real quotes later the same day, and the guy we liked better brought his price down as a result. He should be coming in the next couple of weeks when his schedule opens up.
*Work on cleaning out the garage, getting rid of the rats. Slowly purging and throwing things away. And John caught a rat in one of his traps! Gross, but what can you do?
*Get everything ready for Big Brother's birthday party! He loved it. Maybe if I get a few minutes I will post his checkered flag Cars cake.

I can't believe it took me so long to get that done! But lest I get myself bogged down, here is a list of other things I did in the last few weeks:

*Hung the bathroom door back up so I can work on the vanity without the boys getting into things.
*Filled two green waste bins with pieces of our yucca tree, TWICE!
*Decorated for and celebrated Valentine's Day with my kiddos.
*Got out of the house almost every day.
*Got up to running about 3.5 miles.
*Made 4 Pinterest recipes: 8 can taco soup, strawberry almond milk ice creamdorayaki and churro waffles. Dorayaki won for my favorite, taco soup was a surprise hit with John.
*Took apart the broken chair sitting in our garage and put it in the trash
*Replaced the car seat baby brother grew out of and got rid of the old one.
*Replaced all four tires on the van and got the wonky alignment fixed.
*Got our car back after having it stolen. Bought a cheap version of The Club.

Here's to making good on this week's goals:

February 25 - March 2
*Try out the gel stain on the bathroom vanity, see if it will work. If it does, do a first coat. If it doesn't, shop for a deal on a vanity.
*Clean out all of the tiling supplies still sitting in the living room/garage, give things back that we borrowed.
*Gather up all of the Boy Scout stuff that has been left in our van at various times and accumulated in the garage. Send it back to the Scouts.
*Get some recommendations for a handyman to fix our rotting eves.
*Make one Pinterest recipe
*Practice the piano.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Meg vs. Time: Facebook Friday

1.  My mom posted this for me. Sad but true. We still haven't found anywhere we like better than SoCal!

2. Something to think about (though who knows if these stats are true).

3. This site is hilarious.

4. Hehehe.

5. Perhaps we could use some changes in our system of punctuation.

6. More truth.

7. I still haven't gotten tired of T-Rex memes.

8. Silly.

9. Ahehehehehe.

10. Sorry if I take a while to call you back...

Happy Friday! I spent the last 3 days out and about, so I think I will stay in my pj's a while longer.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Meg vs. The Car: One long day.

We got our alignment fixed and tires replaced today. It only took:
1 walk to and from McDonalds with 4 boys 5 and under (my nephew was with us),
20 chicken nuggets and 3 yogurt parfaits,
1 face plant into the play place mat,
1 pants change,
1 unexpected trip to Costco,
2 frozen yogurts,
1 heinously large bag of veggie straws,
3 toddler meltdowns,
1 poopsplosion,
1 call to Grammy, and
1 nursing session in a corner outside Costco while the big boys fought in the cart.

I wanted to hug the tire guy when he pulled our van right up on the sidewalk for us to jump right in.

I got home and John took a study break because big brother wanted to wash the cars with him, so they are sparkly clean too.

Good thing I had this super easy taco soup planned for dinner. Took 10 minuted to make and was pretty tasty! I am currently ignoring the fact that I have hardly touched my goals from 2 weeks ago, let alone set more for this week. We'll just be happy we got through Wednesday!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Meg vs. Inspiration: C.S. Lewis on Homemaking

I love C.S. Lewis, and I am working on loving homemaking, so of course I loved this quote. You can download the printable here.

Meg vs. Time: Facebook Friday

It is getting harder to find 10 things. Again, a good thing, right? Could be attributable to Valentine's Day this week though.

1. Lots of pictures of people's Valentines gifts, brags about spouses/significant others, etc. My favorite was from Emily: her husband brought her Wendy's chicken nuggets to work. That is true love.

2. I keep trying to tell this to my kids.

3. These Bad Lip Readings are so ridiculous, it's hard not to laugh.

4. Happy Puritan Valentine's Day.

5. And Star Trek Valentine's Day.

I grew up watching The Next Generation. I wonder what nerdy things I will make my kids like?

6. My brother took Air Canada to China. Unexpected.

7. Don't forget to enter to win free glasses!

Okay, I think that is all for today. 7 is also a complete number, so we'll go with that. Happy Friday!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Meg vs. 30: Golfing Goal Met?

John and I finally got over to the driving range today. We went to a really nice range with a chipping green over at Hidden Brook. I did manage to hit the ball, but you can judge whether I met my goal to "Learn how to hit a golf ball and not look like an idiot."

We may need to go a few more times... I actually hit a couple that went 75 yards or so, which I was pretty happy with for my first try. And I realize my practice swing is ridiculous, but from the outset I knew my main problem would be that I would tighten up and be hesitant to swing the club, so I had to force myself to loosen up before each swing. I don't think anyone who knows me will be shocked to hear that I am too uptight =).

Friday, February 8, 2013

Meg vs. Time: Facebook Friday!

FYI, these are generally listed in the order that I see them on Facebook. In case anyone thinks my priorities are off =).

1. With friends like mine, I would trust them and jump too.  http://xkcd.com/1170/

2. My BFF Emily talks about growing and branding her Etsy shop.  Read it here!

3. The first thing everyone should learn.

4. Spot on. Especially when the hubs has to study on Saturdays too; it's true for both of us.

5. This article about Mayim Bailik's son weaning. I don't care about the content of the article so much as WHY SHOULD I CARE WHEN BLOSSOM'S SON WEANED? Seriously. Enough Mommy wars. Who cares?!

6. And on an equally important note,

7. Ooh, someone who sees mommy wars a little more sanely.

8. How to be happier, as learned through Tetris.

9. Apparently America needs more babies. I knew my boys were valuable =)

10. And as a bonus, babies are funny.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Meg vs. Vision: Firmoo Free Glasses & Giveaway on Lil' Bit & Nan!

Recently my 2-year-old broke my only pair of glasses. They were my only pair because he also broke the pair before that. What can I say? He loves glasses and is not good at being gentle with them. So currently my glasses are taped together and sitting in the car so I can use them to drive, but the rest of time life has been a blur in a more literal way than usual.
Enter Firmoo! I recently remembered that Bethany over at Lil' Bit & Nan had blogged about their First Pair Free program, and when I headed over to look up the information, lo and behold, she is holding a giveaway for another pair of free glasses from Firmoo! So I went ahead and ordered my free pair, and if I'm really lucky, then I'll get that pair of prescription sunglasses I've been wanting, or maybe a back-up pair of glasses (imagine that!). They have lots of cute and really affordable styles, so head over to Firmoo to check them out, and over to Lil' Bit & Nan to enter this awesome giveaway! Thanks Bethany!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Meg vs. Myself: Weekly Goals Feb. 4-9

Some weeks I wonder why I bother...

January 28- February 2
*Clean and sand the vanity, get prepped for staining (scaling back on this one!)
*Get that tree guy out here for a quote!  Still don't have a phone, so this one has been tricky.
*Work on cleaning out the garage, getting rid of the rats (GROSS!!!)

Unsurprisingly, my goals this week will be pretty much the same. I did do some other things, like cutting back rose bushes and refilling the green waste bin, but other than that I mostly just survived the week. And I suppose that is okay.

February 4-9
*Clean and sand the vanity, get prepped for staining (scaling back on this one!)
*Get that tree guy out here for a quote!
*Work on cleaning out the garage, getting rid of the rats
*Get everything ready for Big Brother's birthday party!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Meg vs. Time: Facebook Friday

Well, Facebook seems to be getting less entertaining for me, so I guess this whole Facebook Friday thing is working. Still, I found a few gems:

1. I believe in the Oxford comma.

2. I love Japan for a lot of reasons. This is one of them.

Click the link to see 9 more awesome buses.

3. My favorite status update of the week:  "I'm feeling a little old after my 1st grader told me that he can't use books from the 1900's for his space report because people in those days thought Pluto was a planet!"

4. One of my law school classmates and her husband are hoping to adopt a second baby. They are amazing, wonderful people. If you know anyone who this might interest, please pass it on! You can see their adoption profile here, and their blog here.

5. My brother posting more pictures from is trip to Japan.

6. This bird.

7. This post, reflecting a conversation Emily and I had about blogland.

8. Cute Valentine's cookies from Munchkin Munchies. Sadly, I have very little energy for making fancy cookies lately, but maybe I'll get my act together by V-Day.

9. Health Professions Humor. I think my husband will appreciate this.

10. A good post from a good blog. I think we all get too distracted by technology at times. This is one of the reasons I don't get a smart phone; I don't want the temptation all the time.

And this is a good time to go play cars and trains like my boys have been asking =). Happy Friday!