Happy Birthday, E [Wordless Wednesday]

Evan is three!

And we are almost four!

This photo confirms two things: (1) I am HUGE and (2) Evan is physically incapable of standing still for more than .8 seconds at a time.

For Evan’s first and second birthday I hired a photographer to come to the house, do a family shoot, and then stick around and photograph the birthday party. It seems extravagant, but I love photos and I was afraid that if I were responsible for them, I wouldn’t enjoy the party. Plus, it was a good halfway point in the year to update the family photos. But this year, given our tighter budget, I forwent the photographer. And the results are pretty disappointing. I have very few photos and most of the ones I have are terrible. It makes me sad. I am glad that I enjoyed the party, but I wish I had a few more photos to share with you all and with our family who couldn’t be there.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Into Movies

I’m jumping into Top Ten Tuesday today. Because why not.

These are the top ten books/series that I would like to see developed into movies. Now, I live under a rock (with many other working parents of small children) and it is very possible that some (or all) of these are already movies in the making (or were released last weekend).

Newsflesh Trilogy

Hands down the best zombie story I know. And yes, I am including The Walking Dead.

Lunar Chronicles

I am pretty sure I lose people at the words “lunar people and cyborgs,” but words cannot express my love of this series.

Maisie Dobbs series

Perhaps this would make a better series. PBS, probably. There isn’t nearly enough sex and violence for HBO.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone series

Again, I lose people when I start talking about epic chimera and angel wars. But I’m pretty sure that could make some pretty rad movie scenes.

Across the Universe series

This is the end of human civilization movie the current human civilization is missing.

The Selection series

If The Bachelor can still be on the air (is The Bachelor still on the air?) then this could surely succeed at the box office.

Night Film

This would make such a great movie. It even has the word film in the title.

The Illusion of Separateness

I feel like this one would make an excellent Focus Features film.

Shade series

I adore this series. And I want to see all the kissing on the big screen.

Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful scenery + beautiful people + beautiful story = beautiful movie.

The Sunday Salon [5.31.15] – The Home Stretch

Tomorrow marks the beginning of June and 36 weeks of pregnancy for me.

Someone just told me it seems like I’ve been pregnant forever. And, while I can’t imagine what would possess someone to say that to me, I have to agree. This pregnancy has felt long. It has been mostly unpleasant and I’m done. I really am thankful that I am still pregnant (unlike a lot of other people I know who recently had their babies early) and I need to make it 37 weeks to deliver at my birth center. But this baby can come anytime he wants after next Monday.

Thank you to everyone who left book recommendations on my last post. I still have no desire to read but I’m hoping that changes once the baby is here. I miss reading.

Life has remained busy. Evan just turned three and we threw him a superhero party to celebrate.

He also finished up his first year of preschool and is looking forward to summer camp (although we’ll both be home, we are sending him part time all summer). Ben is wrapping up his school year and I’m wrapping up my work before my maternity leave begins. My mom will be here in just a few weeks (she’s trying to make it for the birth but, as mentioned above, I not-so-secretly won’t mind if he comes before that).

June is sure to be an exciting month around here.

Unless this baby waits until July to make his debut.

*cries at the thought*

The Sunday Salon.com

Tell Me What to Read

What was your favorite book this year? Last year? What book did you have a hard time putting down? What book kept you up into the wee hours of the night? What book are you recommending to everyone?

I want to know what you want me to read.

It has become very clear to me that I live under a rock. I am the most out-of-the-loop I’ve been in a decade when it comes to the must read books. (I don’t do so well with the rest of pop culture either I recently shocked Ben by having no clue that a new Avengers movie had come out. I don’t know why he was shocked.) I have no idea what the “it” book is or was or will be.

I am having a baby sometime in the next two months, which means lots and lots and lots of time spent sitting and nursing. When E was a newborn, I had my best reading month ever thanks to all of that nursing time. I realize things will be different this time with a toddler running around, but I still think I’ll have quite a bit of time to myself nursing this baby (particularly in the middle of the night).

So while I go stock up on lanolin and mother’s milk tea (ick), I need all of you to tell me what books I should also be stocking up on as well.  I want anything that was compelling and page-turning and all of those words we book bloggers aren’t supposed to use. I want books that will keep me going at 3am when I haven’t had a stretch of sleep longer than 3 hours in over a month. If it came out in the last year, assume I haven’t read it (and probably haven’t heard of it). Bonus points if my library has it in electronic format or if you recommend an excellently narrated audiobook (holding real books one handed is hard). Extra bonus points to anyone that sends me a B&N gift card…just kidding…ish.


The Sunday Salon [5.10.15]

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there. Those of you currently nursing a baby, those of you busy chauffeuring your kids to soccer practice and ballet, those of you waiting for your grown children to call you, those of you anxiously awaiting the arrival of your little one, and those of you who still hope to be mothers one day. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you.

My boys have spoiled me this weekend by giving me some time to myself, so I am actually able to sit down and write this blog post.

This pregnancy has not been terribly comfortable for me, so I haven’t felt like reading or blogging or doing much else than watching Netflix or wasting time on BabyCenter. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have about 7 weeks or so until our little guy arrives. I haven’t done much prepping (poor second child), other than setting up the crib and changing table in my bedroom. I should probably wash some baby clothes one of these days. And figure our what we’re going to name him.

Evan will be 3 later this week. While this is hard for me to believe, I am having fun planning his superhero party. I am trying to go a little less crazy this year, but I just love birthdays and party planning so much. Damn, Pinterest.

Other than that, I am just working and parenting and going about life as normal as possible, just 30 pounds heavier and with a few more aches and pains.

I’ll try to be back with some bookish talk one of these days.

The Sunday Salon.com

On Immunity: An Inoculation [Audiobook Review]

Title: On Immunity: An Inoculation
Author: Eula Biss
Narrator: Tamara Marston
Genre: Nonfiction
Pages: 216
Audio: 6.4 hours
Year: 2014
Publisher: Highbridge
Source: Public Library
Book Rating: 3.5/5
Audio Rating: 4/5

Summary (from the publisher):

Upon becoming a new mother, Eula Biss addresses a chronic condition of fear—fear of the government, the medical establishment, and what is in your child’s air, food, mattress, medicine, and vaccines. She finds that you cannot immunize your child, or yourself, from the world.

In this bold, fascinating book, Biss investigates the metaphors and myths surrounding our conception of immunity and its implications for the individual and the social body. As she hears more and more fears about vaccines, Biss researches what they mean for her own child, her immediate community, America, and the world, both historically and in the present moment. She extends a conversation with other mothers to meditations on Voltaire’s Candide, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Susan Sontag’s AIDS and Its Metaphors, and beyond. On Immunity is a moving account of how we are all interconnected—our bodies and our fates.

My Thoughts:

I went into this one a very strong vaccine supporter, so I didn’t need convincing, but I found the history of the vaccines and the science behind it an interesting study.

I didn’t necessarily love her storytelling style, though. She approached this in a personal way, as a mother making her own decision to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. She then tries to relate to all mothers and very clearly has the universal mother in mind as her audience. I wanted something a little more…objective.

I also didn’t quite get what all of the Dracula references added. Perhaps that’s me being dense. Or tired.

This is a quick read and definitely a worthwhile one.

I don’t think this book is going to change anyone’s mind. The people I know who really believe that vaccination is a personal choice that doesn’t affect anyone else or that the CDC and “Big Pharma” are conspiring against us are not going to be persuaded by this book. It seems our society, or at least a not-insignificant faction of it, will continue to deny science, whether it be vaccines or climate change or a myriad of other things, despite insurmountable evidence backing it. This book isn’t going to stop that. But I applaud the effort.

Audiobook Thoughts:

Nothing much to say here. Tamara Marston does a fine job with this, which is all you really want in nonfiction.

Why I Shoot In RAW

Yesterday, I went from the bright sun to the dark car without changing my camera settings. Whoops.

This is what it looked like straight out of the camera:

And this is what it looked like after some very quick editing:

Not much commentary needed here. If this were shot in JPEG, those cute faces would have been lost forever. Shooting in RAW saved all that detail despite my mistake and saved the day. Again.

The Sunday Salon [3.29.15]: What’s Your Secret?

After posting about how claiming you don’t have time to read dismisses the choice you made that led you there on Sunday and then reading about everyone’s busy lives on Friday, I am back with a question for you all:

How do YOU make the time to read?

Do you get hours before the sun? Do you sneak a few pages here and there? Do you rely on audiobooks?

On Friday, I learned that my choice to sleep until 7am every morning (I love me some sleep) means that many of you are up an hour or two before me and that you actually find time to read/blog/relax before work. This seems incredible to me. I have no concept of a leisurely morning.

This makes me wonder what everyone else’s secret is. So, go ahead, share. I won’t tell.


The Sunday Salon.com

Another Day In the Life of a Working Mom: Trial Attorney Edition

It wasn’t too long ago that I shared my Day in the Life post. But Trish from Love, Laughter, and a touch of Insanity is hosting a Day in the Life Blogger Event so I thought I’d join in. My last post was a pretty light workday. Since I had a trial during the first part of this week, I thought I’d share what a busier day is like for me. My first post was heavy on the parenting. This post, not so much.


5:30 – Ben gets up. I hear him today because I haven’t slept well (pregnancy combined with a fear that I will oversleep). I go back to sleep.

6:20 – My alarm goes off. Ben is gone. I think he leaves around 6am. I hit snooze.

6:30 – Alarm goes off again. I check my email then get out of bed and get ready while watching an episode of Gilmore Girls.

7:00 – I get Evan out of bed. He’s sitting up and waiting to show me that his owl nightlight is green and that it’s time to get up. I get Evan dressed and we go downstairs for his breakfast. He eats yogurt and cereal while I drink some orange juice and make his lunch.

7:22 – We are both ready and head out the door into a torrential downpour. We are soaked by the time we get in the car.

7:30 – Arrive at E’s preschool at the earliest allowable time. He is the first one there and asks where all the friends are. It makes a working mom feel good.

7:35 – I start driving to Tampa. In the torrential rain. It is a 25 mile drive. It takes me an hour and 15 minutes. At least I have an audiobook. And some tea, a granola bar, and a pear.

8:50 – Arrive at the court house, 20 minutes after our 8:30 court call. My boss is meeting with the defendant (he has no lawyer) so I join them.

9:40 – We are done meeting with the defendant and are waiting for another case to pick their jury before us. I check my email throughout the day just to stay on top of it. And to argue with my organic coop over whether or not we actually get a share this week. As you do.

11:00 – We return to the courtroom. The potential jurors have accidentally been excused until 1pm so we discuss a few matters with the judge before an 11:30 recess.

11:30 – Meet with defendant to go over exhibits.

12:05 – “Lunch.” We review potential jurors and eat Jimmy Johns in a tiny little conference room.

12:45 – Back in the courtroom to pick our jury.

2:00 – Jury is picked and we proceed to opening statements.

3:00 – We call our first witness.

3:45 – We call our second witness.

4:35 – We rest. Judge calls a recess until tomorrow at 9am. Boss and I briefly meet to plan for tomorrow.

4:55 – I leave the courthouse and head back home. I listen to my book for a bit but then I get bored so I call my mom. We have an interesting chat.

6:20 – I arrive home. The same 25 mile drive took me an hour and 25 minutes during rush hour. And there wasn’t even any rain.

6:25 – I sit down to the family dinner that is already in progress.

6:45 – We send Evan to play independently on the lanai while Ben and I chat about the interesting conversation I had with my mom.

7:00 – I take Evan upstairs to play for a few minutes while Ben puts E’s laundry away.

7:15 – I start to get Evan ready for bed. It’s not bath night, so it’s just getting him in pajamas, washing his face and hands and brushing his teeth. Ben and I tag team this. Then we all read three stories (Green Eggs and Ham, Sleepytime, and Hogwash).

7:30 – We say goodnight to Evan and leave him in his big boy bed. He doesn’t go to sleep right away, but he doesn’t get up. We’ve started putting him to bed at 7:30 instead of 8 to see if it helps the nap situation.

7:35 – I take a shower while Ben does dishes.

8:00 – Ben takes a shower while I watch the last ten minutes of that Gilmore Girls episode and fold a load of laundry.

8:10 – We make the grown-up decision to do work WITHOUT the tv on. I prepare notes for the closing argument for tomorrow. Ben starts a load of laundry so that I can have pantyhose for day two of trial tomorrow and then sits down to do some lesson planning.

8:45 – I send my boss an email, check to see if there are any other important emails I may have missed while in trial (or traffic), and put my work away for the night.

8:46 – Ben is still working so I come here to write up this timeline.

9:06 – Ben finishes working, puts the laundry in the dryer, and gets us some ice cream.

9:09 – We put on an episode of Friends. I check my email and end up doing a tiny bit more work. Then I mess around on the internet, play with our budget and talk to some friends about – oddly enough – work/life balance.

10:20 – We go upstairs, put away the laundry, and get ready for bed.

10:35 – We put on more Friends but Ben falls asleep right away so I switch to Gilmore Girls.

11:15 – I’m probably asleep around now. My alarm is set for 6:20 again the following day.


You should pay attention to all of the things that I didn’t do. I didn’t pick up Evan from school. I didn’t cook dinner. I didn’t do the dishes. I am blessed with a wonderful partner who takes on more than his half of the domestic responsibilities despite working a full time job and adjuncting in the evenings three nights a week. He picked Evan up at 3, parented solo until I got home at 6:20, and even managed to cook us a real meal and have it waiting for me when I got home.

I’d love to see what your typical day is like. Join the fun. Check out everyone else’s posts on Trish’s blog.