Saturday, January 11, 2014

Mindless Weekend Rambling: How to Find the Time

Welcome to my new blog event called Mindless Weekend Rambling where I will ramble on and on aimlessly about all the junk rolling around in my brain. Occasionally I might rant and rave about something that is bothering me or question the sanity of it all, or maybe choose to discuss my to do list or plans that I am making or maybe share something new I learned. The only thing I can guarantee is that it will be totally off the cuff. I hope you will bear with me and maybe get a laugh or two in the process.
So to start this weekend I want to know how on earth anyone finds the time for things, especially working mothers!
A couple of my friends have been pushing me to join a gym and now a few of my coworkers are getting together to join LA Fitness (to reduce the cost) and invited me to join them.  I have had to turn everyone down, its not that I don't want to loose weight or get healthy. In fact I would love to start swimming again! It is the fact that I have no idea where I would find the time in any given day.
Here let me give you a brief rundown of my daily/weekly schedule and see if you can find the time for me to drive to the gym, work out, get cleaned up and drive home or to work.
Monday - Friday
I get up between 6:30 & 7:00am - start warming Munchkin's milk, read him a book, change his diaper, give him the milk, let the dog out and feed the dog. Sit for a couple of minutes to watch the news and wake up (all while trying to control and keep a toddler and rambunctious dog quiet so hubby can sleep).
Now it is about 7:30am - cook munchkin breakfast and feed him (usually scrambled eggs or pancakes with fruit, or really whatever I can get him to eat that day). Pack Munchkin's lunch & pick out clothes for both of us and maybe find a minute to throw a lunch together for us.
It is now 8:00am - roll Munchkin's high chair into the living room and turn on Mickey Mouse and rush into the shower. Get myself ready (rarely have time for makeup and never to do more than throw my hair in a bun or ponytail).
8:30am - put the dog out again, get Munchkin dressed, shoes & coat on, let the dog in and put him in his crate & load everything and everyone in the car.
8:45am - drop Munchkin off at daycare with all his stuff.
9:00am - grab some breakfast for myself on the way to work
9:15am - walk into work late (yes I am late almost every day, thankfully I have a very understanding boss and one who appreciates the fact that I am good at my job).
9:15am - 5:00pm - work (I am great at multitasking so I manage to find time to read and write while on the phone or between files).
5:15pm - go pick Munchkin up at daycare (usually he has only had one nap and is cranky and doesn't want to leave).
5:45pm - get home, unload everyone and everything from the car. Let the dog out & in. Scramble to cook some dinner with a fussy, cranky toddler hanging off my legs.
6:00ish pm - Feed Munchkin dinner & maybe get a bite here and there myself if I am lucky.
6:30pm - push high chair into living room so Munchkin can watch Thomas the Train while being contained. Put leftovers in fridge, get munchkin's bedroom ready for bedtime (pick a book, put a cup of water in the room, fill vaporizer, pick up any toys, lay out pjs). Maybe get a load of laundry going depending on how fussy the little man is.
7:00pm - spend a little time playing with Munchkin or mellowing out watching his goodnight show depending on his mood.
7:30pm - let dog out & in, feed dog. Start the bedtime routine (pjs, lotion, brush teeth, wash hands and face, have a sip of water, read a story, another sip of water, look at pictures, lights out, sing a song and put him in the crib where he may fall asleep right away or scream for an hour).
8:00pm - Pick up toys scattered all over the living room, shut tv off, clean up kitchen and start dishwasher.
8:30-9:30 or 10:00pm - Nightly chores (Monday: set menu, shopping lists, clean litter box, take out trash and recycling, cut dog & cat claws & some laundry, Tuesday: pick up house & laundry, Wednesday: clean bathroom & go through mail piles, Thursday: clean kitchen & whatever project needs tackling, Friday: banking, bill paying, filing & take care of any business).
10:00pm - get ready for bed and lay down to read until 10:30 or 11:00
Weekends are then spent running errands on Saturday morning (of course with Munchkin in tow while hubby sleeps) and then doing any chores that require more effort in the afternoon (ie: sweeping, moping, dusting, etc.) and catching up on laundry again. Usually I am lucky enough to get out of cooking dinner on the weekends since Hubby likes to cook. Sunday morning finds me & Munchkin either vegging out and playing or at church while Hubby again sleeps. During football season we all gather and watch the games Sunday afternoons or if there isn't football on we might play some games, or do some more outside chores or go visiting.  Then the week starts over again.
So there you have it.  My insane schedule, I am on my own all week long since Hubby works the opposite schedule, so I can't have him take care of Munchkin or prepare dinner so I can work out.  The only thing I can think of is maybe from 7-7:30 am I could maybe squeeze in some pilates/yoga and then after Munchkin goes to bed maybe run on an elliptical for half an hour while laundry is running.
So I pose the question, how on earth do you find the time to exercise, let alone do anything else?! 
There is so much I want to do, I see all these fun things I want to do with Munchkin or crafts I want to make on Pinterest but in reality there is almost no spare time in my schedule.  I have even had to cut out TV from my schedule, I have stopped watching so many shows (NCIS, NCIS LA, Criminal Minds, Castle, Etc.) because the DVR was just getting filled up and Hubby was complaining there was no memory left for his shows.
So I will stop ranting and raving now.  Is there anything you wished you could find time for but just can't seem to squeeze in? Or have you maybe managed to find the time to do what you wanted?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Bedtime Story: Hush Little Polar Bear by Jeff Mack


travels from one magical place to another. “Hush baby polar bear. Sleep in the snow, and dream of the places where sleeping bears go.” Readers follow a baby snow-white plush polar bear that has been brought to life by his owner’s imagination from the back of a whale with the sea spray surrounding, to a land of tall grass where butterflies fl oat by up into the sky itself…and happily right back through the window into the loving arms of his owner asleep in bed. Mack’s lush and lovable illustrations suit the lulling, rhyming text to make a perfect bedtime book sure to leave readers and listeners with warm and fuzzy feelings read after read."

My Review: I adore this book, the story is cute how the polar bear gets to dream too. The illustrations are beautiful and soft. There are a lot to look at in the illustrations, each time you read it you can spot something new. We started with just pointing to the polar bear and by the end of reading it twice little Munchkin was saying polar bear. This is a very cute book and perfect for sending little ones into dreamland.
My Rating: Since writing this review, it has become very clear that this is Munchkin's favorite book currently. He always knows where his polar bear book is and insists upon reading it at least 10 times a day. It definitely earns a Four Paw and a Stump Wag rating!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

After Dark Review of Tender Mercies by Kitty Thomas

I have added After Dark Reviews to my blog as a way of notifying you of a review of a book with Adult themes and scenes. From now on I will keep my reviews of all books I read that have explicit scenes in them for late night posts for those of you who prefer to avoid them or easy to find for those of you who seek them out ;)
Synopsis: ""Grace. That word that finally meant something again. Mercy. Favor. Good will."

Fed up with play kink, Grace Warner moves to an island that embraces erotic slavery to be with a man she met online. Within hours of her arrival, everything is ripped from her, and she quickly learns play is preferable to the realities of actual enslavement.Asher Collins has spent the past year mourning and blaming himself for the death of his slave, Darcy. When Grace catches his eye at a showing, obviously abused, he becomes obsessed with buying her and finding a way to atone for his own past sins.

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction, and the author does not endorse or condone any behavior done to another human being without their consent. This work contains subject matter which is not appropriate for minors including depictions of abuse, slavery, dubious consent, and anal play."

My Review: This book was so much more than I was expecting and I loved that aspect! I don't know exactly what I was expecting but it wasn't all the emotion and trust building. I loved the characters and where the battles they each individually fought to get to be who they are. This was a quick one day read but it was so taxing, I felt exhausted by the end of the book. Kitty Thomas does such a great job of bringing you into the scene she sets and making you feel the emotions, whether they were Asher's or Grace's or even at times William's. I will definitely say this is not the book for everyone, read the synopsis and disclaimer carefully before reading it.
My Rating: I really enjoyed this book and it totally captured my attention. I had planned on just reading half and then finishing another book but I couldn't stop reading. I love the characters she created, and while there wasn't much of a backstory you didn't really need it.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Review of Swept Way by Josepha Sherman

Synopsis: "When her eccentric friend Dr. Reit invents an amazing transport into other worlds, Sheila McCarthy accidentally falls through the portal into the kingdom of Arren. There, Sheila finds herself part of a band of warrior-women. Astride unicorns, they gallop toward a dazzling city made of marble. But will they arrive in time to stop the evil king and his wicked wizard henchman from carrying out their deadly plans? And will Sheila ever be able to return home?

Thus begins the spellbinding story of an ordinary teenager trapped in an extraordinary place. Swept Away! and Sun Blind are the first two novels in the dazzling adventure The Secret of the Unicorn Queen.

The Secret of the Unicorn Queen is the newest addition to the Del Rey Imagine program, which offers the best in fantasy and science fiction for readers twelve and up."

My Review: There is a lot going on with this first book in the series. There is some scifi (which I am not a huge fan of but it worked well getting this story started) and then the fantasy element and loads of adventure, even had a little romance mixed in too. The characters took some getting use to but they tend to grow on you. I loved the little bit of romance, it had a very sweet touch but isn't overwhelming and didn't take over the story like happens so much in current novels. I am looking forward to what happens in the rest of the series.
My Rating: It was an enjoyable and quick read as an adult, though I think I would have been intimidated by all the science talk when I was younger and just wanted to read about unicorns. That said it was a good start to the series and I am attached to the characters enough to continue reading. I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Review of Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu

Synopsis: "Everyone has a secret. But Lucy’s is bigger and dirtier than most. It’s one she’s been hiding for years—that her mom’s out-of-control hoarding has turned their lives into a world of garbage and shame. She’s managed to keep her home life hidden from her best friend and her crush, knowing they’d be disgusted by the truth. So, when her mom dies suddenly in their home, Lucy hesitates to call 911 because revealing their way of life would make her future unbearable—and she begins her two-day plan to set her life right.

With details that are as fascinating as they are disturbing, C. J. Omololu weaves an hour-by-hour account of Lucy’s desperate attempt at normalcy. Her fear and isolation are palpable as readers are pulled down a path from which there is no return, and the impact of hoarding on one teen’s life will have readers completely hooked."

My Review: Wow this was quite an intense story, not much truly happens and it all takes place within a few days but has quite an impact. I find it disturbing the extent that Lucy goes through to keep the family secret a secret, not to mention all the unanswered questions that arise in her attempt to hide the hoarding. It makes you wonder might become of Lucy in the future, could her need for some order fade away as her mothers had (and it as it sounds her grandmother as well). There are so many more questions raised about hoarding and I don't think there are really a lot of answers out there but at least this story brings the issue and impact to light.
My Rating: This story was pretty traumatizing to read (or listen in this case) but so good. I really think it should be added to your reading list this year. I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday Reading List

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review
Marcie by Carly M. Duncan
Seventh Night by Iscah
Hearts In Darkness by Laura Kaye (After Dark)
Pal for Pugwug by Susie Jenkin-Pearce (Bedtime Story)
Frankenstein Agent of Shade: Vol. 2 by Jeff Lemire (Graphic Novel)

Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Swept Away

Currently Reading:

One Big Beautiful Thing by Marie Flanigan - Kindle - 6%
The Gnosis of Salmon by Lynne Marie Rowley - Kindle - 43%
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling - PB - on page 183 of 309

 Books to be Read Soon:
Water Harvest by Eric Diehl (Requested Review)
One Shark, No Swim by Lehua Parker (Requested Review)
Knightmare by Deborah Valentine (Requested Review)
The Lover from Hell by Rob Palmer (Requested Review)
Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber
Tender Mercies by Kitty Thomas
This Little Piggy went to the Liquor Store by AK Turner (Audio)
Janes in Love by Cecil Castellucci (Graphic Novel)
Fables Vol. 3: Storybook Love by Bill Willingham (Graphic Novel)
Stringz by Michael Wenberg


Ugh! What a start to the new year :( This last week was filled with me and Munchkin finally recovering from our colds and then me and hubby went down with the stomach flu along with an nasty snow storm.  Reading was set aside this last week to recover and to give the house a good deep cleaning in hopes that the little man doesn't catch that stomach bug.
We did manage to get out and play in the snow with the little man at least. He had a blast playing on his new sled.

So hopefully this week goes a little better and I can get some more reading done and keep everyone a little healthier.