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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Writer's Workshop

I almost named my child _________, but chose _________ instead because.......

I should be working on reports.
But am feeling uninspired,
so Mama Kat is proving me with an excellent distraction.

I've always loved the name Noah.
Until I met Scott,
I knew I'd have a boy named Noah.
Until I met Scott.
With out last name beginning with an N,
Scott wasn't about to have a child who's first name
also started with an N.
So Noah was vetoed!

When Scott and I got married,
I was an ultimate James Dean fan.
I told Scott we need to have three boys;
James, Byron, and Dean.
Yay, he didn't go for that either.

When we learnt we were pregnant,
we began the name process.
We could not agree.

One night,
I was watching TV,
ok, I was watching 
One Tree Hill.
Scott's nephew is named Lucas.
How cool would it be to have our son be named Nathan?
Then we'd have Lucas and Nathan, Scott.
Get it? Scott?
I loved it!
Scott did not.
Cos you know, 
the whole N thing.

Then Scott looked over and said he'd go for Ethan.
Ethan? Hmmmm.....
I like it!
Do we know any Ethans?
Nope!
Ethan from Survivor was one of our favourites,
so that was a good sign.

Ok so,
I almost named my child Nathan,
but chose Ethan instead because
my husband was not a fan of the name Nathan!





Tuesday, May 29, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 12

Do you guys remember Jason?


He was our unbelievably fabulous guide
in Mfuwe.

This past weekend,
Jeff and Susan took their daughter up to Mfuwe.
They came back Sunday night.

Monday, 
Ethan and I get to school.
I'm in my classroom and Ethan comes running in
(school hadn't started yet).
"Mommy, mommy
I got a letter from Jason."

At first, all I could think was
Who the F is Jason?
But then Ethan explained
Jason was the guide from our safari
and hands me a letter.


It was so sweet.
Jason just said how he hopes Ethan's doing well,
said he's been seeing some great wildlife
and told Ethan how Jeff and Susan saw lots of animals,
but no lions.

Ethan just had to share it with his class.


Happiness is seeing the look on your son's face when he receives a letter.






 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Accidentally Married to......A Vampire - Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

It was time to get back to some
delicious vampires.
Accidentally Married to..... A Vampire?
did just that.

Niccolo is a general to the Queen's vampire army.
But he wants to be free from her service,
so he goes to the Goddess Cimil.
She foresees his future.
He will be bonded to a human woman
who will set him free.
The catch?
There's always a catch.
She won't be born for another 300 years,
and according to Cimil,
he cannot touch her,
until he marries her,
and changes her, 
willingly,
three months from the date they meet.

Helena is vacationing  in Mexico,
when she comes across the body of Niccolo
(Cimil put him to sleep for 300 years).
She is now thrown into the world of vampires,
Gods and demigods.
She is also caught in a war.
Niccolo who is her destined mate,
and Andrus the Demigod
who wants revenge against the Queen.




Friday, May 25, 2012

Five Question Friday

It's African Freedom Day
here today.
Which means it's a long weekend here.
Woohoo.

But no, 
we are not taking advantage 
of the long weekend
and going away somewhere lovely.
Instead,
our weekend will be spent with
Scott entertaining Ethan
while I get some work done.

So far today,
I've marked my students
summative assessments,
written my Unit reports, 
made hummus
and written my Professional Goal Statement
for Grad School.

Oh yay,
Grad School.
Did I mention I decided to apply.
(Let's hope I'm not jnixing it
and will get in)

But now,
before I begin marking some 
Maths paper,
I thought I'd take a moment for
Five Questions Friday!





1. Are you a napper?
Ok,
so this is a toughy.
I'm not generally a napper,
I'm not sure when I could fit one in during my day.
Although,
there are those days when I
need a nap.
And when I need one,
I take one.

2. What was your favourite subject at school? Most hated?
I loved history.
I even majored in it in university.
But maths....
oh maths....
you are not someone I get along well with.

3. Did you have something old, new, borrowed, blue at your wedding? What were they?
I seem to recall making sure I had it all,
but, blimey,
I cannot recall!
Let's see if I can dig into
this old brain of mine.
Ah Ha! I remember!
My brother's girlfriend lent me an anklet.
My jewlery was something my grandmother had bought
years and years before my weddidng day.
My dress was new.
My garter was blue!

4. What one thing are you determined to do this summer?
Have fun!
Buy shoes!
Get into Grad school!
Have fun!

5. Ice cream or popsicles?
Ice cream!
No contest!
Chocolate Mint Chip!
Chunky Monkey!
Phish Food!

Ok, time to get to those Maths paper.
They're not going to mark themselves.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Entangled - Nikki Jefford

The power went out yesterday evening.
It wasn't too stressful, 
as it isn't nearly as hot and humid here
as it was in Dar,
so power outages are bearable.

But what to do?

Easy!
Pick up a great book.

And I did.

I need to keep track of where I get these books from.
Did someone recommend it?
Was it a free Kindle?
Did I find it on Goodreads?
Because, honestly,
I cannot recall why or how this book
showed up on my Kindle.
But I'd like to thank whoever put it there.

Entangled was fabulous!
Nikki Jefford created not only a great storyline
but amazing characters.

Graylee and Charlene are witches
and twins.
Jefford begins by letting you know that although they are identical
they are also very different.
Charlene is devastated when her boyfriend dumps her.
She vows to make his new girlfriend pay.
But, somehow,
Graylee dies.

Three months later, 
Graylee wakes up, 
to find herself in her sister's body.
Their mother had a resurrection spell
that went wrong.
Now Graylee and Charlene share a body.
Every 24 hours.
And Jefford lets us know
that not only does Charlene not like this,
but Charlene's not all that nice!

I'm not sure if I loved the book
or hated it.
Cos I really hated Charlene.
Like really.
Hated.
So....
I guess that mean Jefford did a smashing job,
and that means
oh yes, 
totally loved it!!!!


 
 

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 11

With the end of the school year
coming soon
(17 school days left),
I find myself spending a lot of time at home
planning the last couple days
marking assessments,
writing reports,
I've forgotten to just relax.

This weekend,
Scott and Ethan reminded me
that it was the weekend
and time to relax!

I started with a 
cinnamon latte.


I got a lovely lunch,
grilled haloumi,
hummus,
pita,
veggies. 
Yum!


Even Ethan had a great time.


And since I was feeling so chilled,
I even baked Ethan his
enormous cookie
that he's been asking for.



Happiness is a Sunday relaxing with my boys.






Monday, May 21, 2012

Blood and Sunlight - Jamie Wasserman

After the last few books I read
(not including the Fifty series)
a mate commented 
that there was a lack of vampires.
She wondered if I was off vamps.
Off vamps????
Oh, no!!!

Melanie works as a waitress.
Her boyfriend, Bryan,
likes to play dress up.
He dresses like a vampire,
he sleeps all day,
he drinks red wine.
Basically, he thinks he's a vampire.

One night,
they head out,
take drugs,
the usual,
when suddenly Bryan is attacked.
Melanie panics, 
and passes out.
She later wakes up in a trailer
that's been set on fire.
And here she meets Lucas.

And so begins part 2 of the book.

Lucas is a wannabe vampire hunter.
So she's gone from being with a 
wannabe Dracula
to a wannabe Van Helsing.
But Lucas isn't all that stable,
and uses her as bait to catch the vampire
that changed his girlfriend and killed Bryan.

And so begins part 3 of the book.

In comes Keenan. 
He is a vampire.
And in order to save Melanie from death,
he changes her.
And now Melanie's a vampire too.

I dunno about this one.
It got some great reviews on Goodreads.
I'm just not sure about it.

But that hasn't scared me away
from my vamp books! 


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fifty Shades Freed - E.L. James

Ok,
I finished it.
I read the Fifty Shades trilogy
and I'll admit it,
I enjoyed it.

In Fifty Shades Freed
Ana and Christain are married.
But life is not all roses
as Ana's former boss
is out to destroy what he believes
could have been his. 

And while I did enjoy this trilogy,
and thank my July mamas
who put the pressure on to read it,
and all our Fifty discussions,
I can't help but wonder;
this is the book that all the shows are talking about?
Really?




Tuesday, May 15, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 10

Last year, 
I spent Mother's Day
at the Lusaka airport.
We were here house hunting
and getting Ethan registered for school.
The plan was to take the morning flight back to Dar,
and spend a lovely Mother's Day there.
We got to the airport,
checked in,
and learnt our flight was delayed.
And delayed,
and delayed again.
It was not a happy Mother's Day.

This year was going to be different.
This year was different.
Mother's Day began on Friday.
Ethan's class invited the moms for tea.
The children got in a line to recite a poem.


They made us lovely cards
and a potted cactus.


After school,
Ethan got a much needed haircut.


Sunday,
Ethan came bounding in my room
at 5:30am
to wish me a Happy Mother's Day.
I informed him
that being able to sleep in
would help make it a happy one.
Scott got up,
entertained Ethan
and let me sleep until 8am.

We decided to go out for lunch.
I'd been told of a place
a little far from us,
and thought we could give it a try.

On the way home,
Ethan decided I needed flowers.
The man selling the flowers had 2 bunches.
One bunch was 40,000 kwa
(about $8)
the other for 70,000
(about $14).
My darling son,
looked at me,
then replied
"I'll take the one for $40"!
LOL!
Yes I am loved!



Happiness is spending a fabulous Mother's Day with my boys.







Monday, May 14, 2012

Fifty Shades Darker - E.L. James

Yes I went ahead and read
Fifty Shades Darker.

No, it is not a literary masterpiece.
But it is mindless entertainment.
And, we all need 
mindless entertainment at some point in our lives.

Fifty Shades Darker takes place 
five days after the ending of it's first book. 
Ana has left Christain
and they are both miserable.
So what do they do?
They get back together.
And proceed to spend the rest of the book
fighting and well....
making up,
to put it mildly.

But despite it all,
I'm intrigued by their....
....
odd relationship.
And it is an easy read,
so you know I'll finish the trilogy.





Sunday, May 13, 2012

Insurgent - Veronica Roth

It's getting cold here now.
You'll be hearing alot about the weather here
in the next few weeks.
But,
despite the coldness,
I found a fabulous way to warm up
on a Saturday afternoon.
All you need
is an extra large latte
and Insurgent.


It has occurred to me
that I really should have re-read Divergent
before diving into it's sequel
as I had a few brain freeze moments.

But oh,
Insurgent was fabulous!

Insurgent picks up right where Divergent left us.
This one has conspiracy after conspiracy
throughout the novel.
And a shocker.
I'm usually good at picking up on the
 OMG he didn't!
But not this time.
I was totally shocked!

Roth does an amazing job
at bringing her characters to life.
Tris is a strong 16 year old.
Yup, she's 16.
She's torn by her conscience.
Unable to accept herself
or believe others will accept and love her.
Four is the mysterious boy.
You know you love him
but he's secretive
and that bothers you.

Who should you trust?
And when the one you trust
betrays you,
what should you do?

Apparently,
once again,
I have to wait a year to find out
how it will all end.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

I Am Mom Enough

Ok, I know we've all seen the Time Magazine cover
asking if you're mom enough.
I'm sure many of you
have either written a blog post
or read a blog post about it too.
And then there's the bunch of you
that have gotten into 
Facebook conversations about it.
It's everywhere.
Women are now asking themselves
and each other;
Are you mom enough?

So here's my thing.
I tend not to make my blog controversial.
I'm fairly easy going. 
However,
this whole thing has gotten me
pissed!

My personal feelings about the cover
are just that,
my personal feelings.
Who am I to judge another mom?
Motherhood isn't exactly the easiest job. 
And while I'd like to say there isn't a manual on Motherhood,
apparently there are many.

But how dare anyone judge another mom
because they don't do the same thing.
Yes, personally I wouldn't breastfeed my almost 4 year old.
But again, that's me.
What I'm utterly offended by
are the various blogs and Facebook conversations
making mothers who don't breastfeed
or co-sleep
out to be horrible moms.

I am mom enough!

Ethan had latching issues.
According to Dr Sears,
I'm not mom enough.

Ethan was,
and still is,
underweight.
I supplemented his bottled breast milk
with formula.
According to many Facebook conversations
that doesn't make me mom enough.

I didn't co-sleep with Ethan.
I have nothing against co-sleeping.
It's just not for me. 
I tend to toss and turn when I sleep,
and was terrified I'd roll on top of a sleeping Ethan.
How dare Dr Sears imply that doesn't make me
mom enough!!!!!

And now,
there's a Facebook conversation
about those 
"protein shakes" for kids.
Things like Pediasure.
It almost seems like the breastfeeding moms
are against those moms that give their kids these shakes.

Well, I'm one of those moms.
Ethan hates milk.
Scott brought some Carnation Essentials
back from his trip to Canada.
Ethan loves it.
He went from barely drinking a glass of milk a day
to asking for a glass of milk 
a few times a day.
So how can that be a bad thing?
How can I not be mom enough?

Yesterday at school
Ethan's class had a Mother's Day tea.
Each child said why they loved their moms.
No child said it was because their mom
practised Attachment Parenting. 
Ethan said he loves me
"because she buys me toys."

Hey, Dr Sears,
guess what?
I am mom enough!!!!!!



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 9

Ethan often enjoys playing outside
with our guard and gardener.
A couple of weeks ago,
he was upset that we would not let him play with them.
They were playing checkers
outside the gate,
and well,
we didn't want Ethan outside the gate.
He was devastated.
He wanted to learn how to play.
Easy enough,
I played with him.

Checkers is Ethan's new favourite game.
I came home the other day
and wondered why it was so quiet in the house.
Walked into the living room
to find this;





Happiness is finding someone to play checkers with.






Saturday, May 5, 2012

Before: A Larkstorm Short Story - Dawn Rae Miller

You might remember my gushing
over how much I enjoyed reading
last month.

Well while I await for the arrival of
Nightingale
Dawn Rae Miller 
has provided me with a little...
beginning.



Before is just what the title says it is.
A short story that occurs 
three years before Larkstorm.

It is the evening of Lark's
brother's binding ceremony.
She's nervous about seeing her mother.
Anxious to meet her new sister-in-law.
If you've never read Larkstorm
but are thinking about it,
read this, 
and you'll be hooked.
If you have read it,
read this and you'll have many
Oh! now I get it 
moments.
Beck is a smart one.
He's known for a long time.




Deadlocked - Charlaine Harris

Tuesday May 1st
couldn't have come any sooner.
It was a day I had been waiting for.
It was the day that the newest
Sookie Stackhouse book would be out.
I waited forever
for Deadlocked.

Sookie is like a dear friend.
I hadn't seen her since last year.
I was looking forward to catching up,
but dang Sookie,
you're not the same!

I'm not sure what it was,
but I wasn't as excited reading about Sookie
as I have been in the past.

Sookie's been through a lot.
I get that.
In Deadlocked
she's convinced everyone's conspiring against her.
Ok, maybe not everyone,
but she starts to distrust a lot of people.

Felipe de Castro, Vampire King of Louisiana
has arrived. 
During his visit with Eric,
a half were woman is found dead.
And yes,
Sookie was right,
it was a conspiracy,
but it wasn't as interesting as her past mysteries.

Although,
I do have to admit
the ending grabbed me.
What will happen with Sookie and Eric?
Is our favourite Viking vampire gone?
Will there be a new beginning for
Sookie and Sam?
Will book 13 grab my attention once again?
Only time will tell.




Thursday, May 3, 2012

Writer's Workshop - Lies I Tell

List of Lies You Constantly Tell

This week MamaKat 
asked us to share a list of lies
we constantly tell.

I'm sure you're surprised to hear I tell lies.
I know, I know
you thought I was so wonderful.
But it's true,
I tell some lies.

Here are my top 3 lies.
Well,
at least the lies I don't mind sharing.


Lie #1 - I lie about my age.
Shocking, I know. 
And no,
 I will not admit to my real age.
Let me just confess
I'm not really 32.

Lie #2  - I lie about my weight.
I know you don't care
about my weight
but I do.
And I refuse to admit
that I've gained some weight.

Lie #3 - I lie to Scott.
Ok, it's not an evil thing.
And really, I don't consider it a lie.
I just don't admit that the new shoes are new.
I just tell him I haven't worn them in awhile.







Tuesday, May 1, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 8

The weather here has gotten strange.
I'm not sure what season we're in
or how to dress.
The mornings are cold.
Not cool.
Cold.
We're talking jersey and scarf weather.
Then, by breaktime
the jersey comes off. 
Lunch time the scarf comes off.
Is it winter?
Is it summer?
Not too sure?

Well....
the pretty flowers we see
make up for the lack of understanding.





Happiness is pretty flowers reminding you it's really not that cold out!





Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James

Last summer,
I read the book 
by Joleen Naylor.

About a month ago,
I came across a post on Facebook
where a mate of mine states
she needs to finish reading 
Fifty Shades of Grey.

I was a little confused.
She made it sound like it was a famous book
and why did she add the number 50 to the title?

Then last month,
my colleague comes into my classroom 
asking if I've heard of Fifty Shades of Grey.
Nope.
She said everyone's talking about it.
We Googled it.
Jodie summed it up as
housewife porn.

Well now,
everywhere I look
people are talking about this book.
There are endless discussions
on FB groups about it.
So I caved.
I bought the trilogy on iBooks
and was up all night reading it.

Ok,
let me just say
after reading the book
I'm not sure what the whole fuss is?
I know it began as a fan fiction
from Twilight.
But you don't need to be a Twilight fan 
to enjoy this.
It has nothing to do with vampires.
It is not meant for your teenaged daughter.
It was not as shocking as I expected it to be.

Does that mean I'm a 
"smut expert"?
(mate's words, not mine)

Am I happy I caved into the pressure?
Undecided.
Am I glad I read it?
Yes, actually.
Smut aside, 
I did enjoy it.