Wednesday, March 28, 2018

March Book Report

All I can say is the rainy March weather fared well for my reading life.

The Mothers by Brit Bennet
March Book Report from Work it Mommy blog
Goodreads Synopsis:
Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett's mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.

"All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we'd taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season."

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother's recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor's son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it's not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a "what if" can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.

Thoughts:
A beautifully written debut novel some parts read like poetry. It was a predictable plot but  freshly told by the use of a chorus narrative. 

Stars:
4 out of 5

Buy the book here

Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
March Book Report from Work it Mommy blog
Goodreads Synopsis:
The true story of an outlaw childhood where rules were unheard of, the Christmas tree stayed up all year round, Valium was consumed like candy, and if things got dull an electroshock-therapy machine could provide entertainment.

Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her unorthodox psychiatrist who bore a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. So at the age of twelve, Burroughs found himself amidst Victorian squalor living with the doctor’s bizarre family, and befriending a pedophile who resided in the backyard shed. The story of an outlaw childhood where rules were unheard of, and the Christmas tree stayed up all year round, where Valium was consumed like candy, and if things got dull an electroshock- therapy machine could provide entertainment. The funny, harrowing and bestselling account of an ordinary boy’s survival under the most extraordinary circumstances.

Thoughts: 
I am still disturbed by this memoir. It stated it was a hilarious read but I found it to be so very sad and demoralizing. And then halfway through the book I started to realize you just had to laugh to keep it from sinking in that all this horrible stuff actually happened to someone.

Stars:
2 out of 5

Buy the book here | DVD

The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks
March Book Report from Work it Mommy blog
Goodreads Synopsis:
After thirty years of marriage, Wilson Lewis, son-in-law of Allie and Noah Calhoun (of The Notebook), is forced to admit that the romance has gone out of his marriage. Desperate to win back his wife, Jane's, heart, he must figure out how to make her fall in love with him... again. Despite the shining example of Allie and Noah's marriage, Wilson is himself a man unable to easily express his emotions. A successful estate attorney, he has provided well for his family, but now, with his daughter's upcoming wedding, he is forced to face the fact that he and Jane have grown apart and he wonders if she even loves him anymore. Wilson is sure of one thing--his love for his wife has only deepened and intensified over the years. Now, with the memories of his in-laws' magnificent fifty-year love affair as his guide, Wilson struggles to find his way back into the heart of the woman he adores.

Thoughts:
I didn't know The Notebook had a sequel so this was a happy surprise! An easy read that buoys my spirits considerably after my stint with the above novel. It was nice to get reacquainted with Noah again.

Stars:
4 out of 5

Buy the book here

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
March Book Report from Work it Mommy blog
Goodreads Synopsis:
Mid-December, and Cambridgeshire is blanketed with snow. Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw tries to sleep after yet another soul-destroying Internet date – the low murmuring of her police radio her only solace.

Over the airwaves come reports of a missing woman – door ajar, keys and phone left behind, a spatter of blood on the kitchen floor. Manon knows the first 72 hours are critical: you find her, or you look for a body. And as soon as she sees a picture of Edith Hind, a Cambridge post-graduate from a well-connected family, she knows this case will be big.

Is Edith alive or dead? Was her ‘complex love life’ at the heart of her disappearance, as a senior officer tells the increasingly hungry press? And when a body is found, is it the end or only the beginning?

Thoughts:
Come to find out I REALLY enjoy a good suspense book and this fact, coupled with a sassy female detective, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I will admit some of the British acronyms/jargon had me a bit confused but that says more about my tired mom brain than anything else. I look forward to reading the sequel. 

Stars:
4 out of 5

Buy the book here

For One More Day by Mitch Albom
March Book Report from Work it Mommy blog
Goodreads Synopsis:
For One More Day is the story of a mother and a son, and a relationship that covers a lifetime and beyond. It explores the question: What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one? 

As a child, Charley "Chick" Benetto was told by his father, "You can be a mama's boy or a daddy's boy, but you can't be both." So he chooses his father, only to see the man disappear when Charley is on the verge of adolescence. 
Decades later, Charley is a broken man. His life has been crumbled by alcohol and regret. He loses his job. He leaves his family. He hits bottom after discovering his only daughter has shut him out of her wedding. And he decides to take his own life.
He makes a midnight ride to his small hometown, with plans to do himself in. But upon failing even to do that, he staggers back to his old house, only to make an astonishing discovery. His mother, who died eight years earlier, is still living there, and welcomes him home as if nothing ever happened..

What follows is the one "ordinary" day so many of us yearn for, a chance to make good with a lost parent, to explain the family secrets, and to seek forgiveness. Somewhere between this life and the next, Charley learns the astonishing things he never knew about his mother and her sacrifices. And he tries, with her tender guidance, to put the crumbled pieces of his life back together.

Through Albom's inspiring characters and masterful storytelling, readers will newly appreciate those whom they love and may have thought they'd lost in their own lives. For One More Day is a book for anyone in a family, and will be cherished by Albom's millions of fans worldwide.

Thoughts: I’m still grieving the death of my beloved papa so this touching story about a son getting to spend one more day with his deceased mother gave me all the feels.

Stars:
4 out of 5

Buy the book here

Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand
March Book Report from Work it Mommy blog
Goodreads Synopsis:
A warm June evening, a local tradition: the students of Nantucket High have gathered for a bonfire on the beach. What begins as a graduation night celebration ends in tragedy after a horrible car crash leaves the driver, Penny Alistair, dead, and her twin brother in a coma. The other passengers, Penny's boyfriend, Jake, and her friend Demeter, are physically unhurt--but the emotional damage is overwhelming. Questions linger about what happened before Penny took the wheel.

As summer unfolds, startling truths are revealed about the survivors and their parents--secrets kept, promises broken, hearts betrayed. Elin Hilderbrand explores the power of community, family, and honesty, and proves that even from the ashes of sorrow new love can take flight.

Thoughts:
I was expecting a lighthearted beach read and got an emotionally wrought, poignant coming if age novel. So many intertwining narratives that unpeeled like an onion skin, layer by layer. I loved this book. This book also used the chorus narrative- I am hooked. This also redeemed Hilderbrand in my opinion after her lousy novel The Matchmaker (and the only other book of hers I have read.)

Stars:
5 out of 5

Buy the book here

Monterey Bay by Lindsay Hatton
March Book Report from Work it Mommy blog
Goodreads Synopsis:
In 1940, fifteen year-old Margot Fiske arrives on the shores of Monterey Bay with her eccentric entrepreneur father. Margot has been her father’s apprentice all over the world, until an accident in Monterey’s tide pools drives them apart and plunges her head-first into the mayhem of John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row.

Steinbeck is hiding out from his burgeoning fame at the raucous lab of Ed Ricketts, the biologist known as Doc in Cannery Row. Ricketts, a charismatic bohemian, quickly becomes the object of Margot’s fascination. Despite Steinbeck’s protests and her father’s misgivings, she wrangles a job as Ricketts’s sketch artist and begins drawing the strange and wonderful sea creatures he pulls from the waters of the bay. Unbeknownst to Margot, her father is also working with Ricketts. He is soliciting the biologist’s advice on his most ambitious and controversial project to date: the transformation of the Row’s largest cannery into an aquarium. When Margot begins an affair with Ricketts, she sets in motion a chain of events that will affect not just the two of them, but the future of Monterey as well.

Thoughts:
Since this is set in my hometown I have been wanting to read this since it first came out. Since I am intimate with the area I could exactly place all the historical locations with the current day ones and it really made the book come alive. (It also described our fog to a T) I however did not like the main protagonist or the portrayal of iconic John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts and will have to do my own fact checking over some things (because it interests me to know more + I would love to one day write my own Monterey story) It slightly disappointed me that I didn't know the author personally but I may have had her mom as a teacher, haha.

Stars:
4 out of 5

Buy the book here

Book Counter: 15/30 half way there!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Growing up Clark // six month edit

Half a year has never gone by so fast!
Growing up Clark // six month edit on Work it Mommy blog
Weight | 17.9 pounds 51th%
Height | 27.6 inches 87th%

On the verge of up-sizing diapers. Again. He will be in a size 3. The last size Brielana wore when she stopped wearing diapers. Let that sink in. My 6 month old is wearing the size my 3 year old last wore. 😂

Beginning BabyLedWeaning and I am so excited! He tracks foods and will reach out for it and has so far tried scrambled eggs, banana, chicken, cooked carrots and celery, green beans, sweet potato, waffle (no syrup!) raspberries, blueberries, rice and shredded pork.
Growing up Clark // six month edit on Work it Mommy blog
Wary AF of people in sun/glasses. Even me. He gets a very concerned look and is on the verge of tears. Its actually pretty funny since he’s around people who wear them constantly. 

Getting some knee chub and I am in love. Chubby knees are my favorite.
Growing up Clark // six month edit on Work it Mommy blog
Still complaining of teething pain without actually having a tooth yet. (Our Pediatrician says there are two bottom teeth on the verge of erupting) Any suggestions? The teething tabs we used are now off the market. I’m not sure about amber necklaces. Hellllp!

Still loving his big sisters. The adoration in all their eyes is my whole world.
Growing up Clark // six month edit on Work it Mommy blog
Clapping when happy and it is thee cutest. I will add he also claps when eating haha.

This guy's "sit-er" is broken. I made that joke at Clark's Well Baby visit last Friday when I was explaining that he will not sit up, he immediately pushes up from his feet so he can be in a standing position and sure enough, he did it for her too! Thankfully she says its not that he is behind developmentally he just really wants to stand. So for now he's working on doing chin ups and when on his belly, pulling his knees under his bum.
Growing up Clark // six month edit on Work it Mommy blog
Gear

Nuby Teething Mitten- this thing looks ridiculous but Clark loves it!
Baby-Led Weaning book- such a great resource!
Bumbo and tray- we start off in this portable chair before moving up to the high chair.
Gripe Water- with the introduction of solids comes digestion issues (tummy troubles) this stuff helps ease gas and some mild teething pains!
Saline drops- keeping nasal passages hydrated to avoid stuffy nose and flaky boogers.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Currently 003

How is it March already?! Joining Anne for her Currently link up! I'm also celebrating 
F I V E years as a blogger, today in 2013, I published my very first post and began this journey. Thank you for celebrating with me :) Affiliate links used. A small commission may be received if you purchase an item through my links. Thank you for supporting my blog!
Currently 003 by Work it Mommy blog
Planning |
On introducing solids to Clark using BabyLed Weaning. Brielana took to BLW so I hope to repeat the process! Now to brush up!

Seeing |
My girl's room in shambles is breaking my heart. Due to the rain and an unseemly crack, their room was flooded on Friday night. I've never loved our wet-vac more. Or sandbags for that matter. Thankfully it is now contained but an actually repair won't be on the agenda until summer (after our unpredictable "rainy season" ends). I'm glad it wasn't worse and that the room is still liveable, it just isn't perfect and it's bugging me. 

Making |
DIY cleaning products! Like I mentioned last week I still use conventional (albeit green) cleaners but wanting to use my essential oils, I've started throwing stuff together. I love this easy stainless steel appliance polish and this dusting spray.

Pretending |
I’m a good housekeeper. I did Kendra's #justcleanit challenge last week and cleaned the whole house from top to bottom. It took may hours and lots of elbow grease but we are all spring clean over here! The best part is I sat down and wrote out a Cleaning Master List for each room and broke down Daily, Weekly and Monthly tasks to complete and assigned each room a day of the week. I found since decluttering a bunch of stuff that I now have the head-space to tackle cleaning without feeling overwhelmed or not knowing where to begin. It has been a wonderful growing process!

Wearing |
My mom uniform= cozy cardigans + ruffle tees (plus a tank top layer for warmth and nursing modesty, haha) + skinny jeans + slide on sneakers.
Currently 003 by Work it Mommy blog


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