March

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Well hi there! It’s been a while!

I know this recap is a little late and usually I’m on the ball during the month and have written some of this up, but here we are on April 3rd and I’m struggling to remember what happened.

Let’s dive into point form, shall we?

This month I:

  • Met some more new mom friends, so baby L and I have been hanging out with them at least once a week.
  • Continued to go to the baby program at the library.
  • Went to the Harry Potter exhibit in the city — very, very cool! And baby L slept for most of it — after sreaming his way through the beginning, of course. He HATES his carrier.
  • Had my birthday, received some flowers, and had a nice dinner with family.
  • Had the first dinner out, in a restaurant, with baby L. He was very good!
  • Got lots of smiles and laughs out of my little guy, plus he’s been talking up a storm.
  • Went to a baby shower to meet my good blog friend Brie’s little guy!
  • Did less reading and more crocheting.
  • Got addicted to Downton Abbey.
  • Actually got out for some great walks, but then winter came back and I got back into hibernation mode.

I’m sure there is plenty more I did, but I can’t remember. Most of this month I’ve been relaxing with my boy, or my hubs when he’s home, and trying not to stress about anything.

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I know this looks like I read a lot of books this month, but a lot of them were graphic novels and manga!

  1. Death Note, Volume 1: Boredom (Death Note, #1) by Tsugumi Ohba (manga)
  2. Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices — Manga, #1) by Cassandra Clare (manga)
  3. Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices — Manga, #2) by Cassandra Clare (manga)
  4. Fun Home by Alison Blechdel (graphic novel)
  5. The Taker (The Taker, #1) by Alma Katsu
  6. Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants by Matthew Inman, a.k.a. The Oatmeal
  7. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B. J. Novak
  8. Flight, Volume 1 edited by Kazu Kibuishi
  9. Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  10. Shanghai Girls (Shanghai Girls, #1) by Lisa See
  11. The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E Smith

Surprisingly, I read 5 books by male authors this month! That’s probably the most I’ve read in any month! I was also super happy to read another Lisa See book, since I loved Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, AND the new Jennifer E Smith! Soooo good!

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Not a horrible month, but I definitely procrastinated more about buying books than past months! I ended the month having only bought one book!

20140325_132313A little dark, but some great ARCs from Simon & Schuster!!

into the still blue Of course, I had to buy this one! Still haven’t read it, but I’m sooo looking forward to! 

How was your month? Have you read anything good lately?

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February

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Well hi there! It’s been a while!

February might be the shortest month, but it’s definitely long here in Canada. The snow just keeps going and going and while we had some great above average days in January (+9 … that never happens!), it’s just downright cold in February. The groundhog said we should have an early spring, but really, my birthday is in March and there is ALWAYS cold and snow. I’m not getting my hopes up.

This month the boy and I started getting out to playgroups and other events for mom and baby. We started to go to the library’s peek-a-boo play, as well as a drop in playtime the next town over. We even had some playdates with some other new moms! I’m such a hermit that I guess it’s kind of nice that baby is getting me out of the house. He’s also a lot more predictable, so it’s easier to get out and run errands with him. We’ve even started going to the library on a regular basis. I can’t wait for him to be big enough to play in the children’s area there — it’s brand new and totally awesome.

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Baby’s first piano lesson. :)

I’m still working on the book buying ban and doing surprisingly well. One would think that I would banish all books from coming into the house, but I still can’t pass up freebies. While I’m not overly critical of the free books I get (though I have got some great titles), I’m SUPER critical about the books I’m buying. I’ve bought a few new ones for baby, but when it comes to me buying one, I’ll hum and haw and eventually put it back. I have to get over this whole “must own all the books” idea I have in my head. It’s okay for me to buy books, but I want to really, really want them and not just buy to buy. So far I’ve only bought three books since the beginning of the year!

In fact, I saw this video on YouTube (retweeted by Giselle over at BookNerd Canada!) and told myself I need to watch it weekly as a reminder. It’s a GREAT video that presses on the fact that it’s our mentality that needs to be changed when it comes to buying less books, rather than putting restrictions on ourselves.

The Edmonton Book Bloggers had a meetup this month, which the baby and I attended. It’s always fun to meet up with these ladies! I can’t wait for the summertime when the roads will be a little better for driving. Oh, and the OLYMPICS! How great is Canada? Our athletes are amazing! I’m really not a sports person but I was glued to the TV for the whole two weeks. It was nuts. Lucas was even decked out in his Team Canada gear on some days, cheering for our team. Hubs and I got up nice and early for the last hockey game and enjoyed every second of it! Sad that it’s over, but at least now our regular TV shows will come back. :)

Awesome things I discovered this month: 

1. The Starbucks app. SO dangerous. But I love Starbucks and feel that this is necessary. I rarely go, but it’s nice to have an easy payment method for when I do.

2. Zinio. This is a new app from the library. Basically, it’s a ton of magazines that I can read on my iPad for free AND there’s no expiry date. I can go through and bookmark articles or recipes in the magazine to go back to later (great for recipes!). I do love magazines so this is a great way to read them without having them clutter up the house.

3. Adhesive nails. Since having Lucas I’ve realized that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to paint my nails. Since I hate to wear makeup, it’s nice to have a bit of girly-ness about me. A new mom friend introduced me to adhesive nails which take about the same amount of time to adhere, but no drying time. It’s perfect! And they seem to last a long time. The really, really nice ones are expensive but I’ve only splurged once on a really good set and will watch out for sales from now on.

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February is always a hard month for reading … especially since we’re always missing a few days! Seriously, when is the next leap year?

  1. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (review book)
  2. Something Real by Heather Demetrios (review book)
  3. Penguins Hate Stuff by Greg Stones (all pictures — definitely not something I’m counting towards my goal!)
  4. Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol (graphic novel)
  5. Before My Eyes by Caroline Bock (review book)
  6. Blankets by Craig Thompson (graphic novel)
  7. The Complete Persepolis (Persepolis, #1-4) by Marjane Satrapi (graphic novel)
  8. Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
  9. Black Orchid by Neil Gaiman (graphic novel)
  10. An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer (audio CD with readings — so counting it as a book)

I know, this looks like a lot, BUT I’ve been trying to get to my local library a lot more which means I’ve been reading more graphic novels. While I’m also trying to knock out the physical ARCs I have on my shelves, I’m also trying to just read what I want, when I want — and trying to read books I buy and books that are gifted to me as I get them (I’m not counting freebies — surprisingly, I’ve gotten quite a few so far!). PLUS balancing other things like the piano and baking and crocheting, not to mention spending time with Lucas and the husband, when I have spare time. It’s actually been kind of nice to not be focused on reading all the time. Feels like a hobby again!

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Not a lot of official “mailbox” books, but I did get some goodies this month!

1392162268089 A beautiful baby blanket from the lovely Jenn (@thejennjenn) of Booksessed (Thank you, Jenn!!) as well as a signed copy of Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie courtesy of Quirk Books. 

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Lucas got some new Oliver Jeffers books — the boy seriously loves his penguin books. And these books are so cute that it’s okay to read them over and over (and over) again. Not pictured is his newest book How to Catch a Star by — you guessed it — Oliver Jeffers. I tell you, the boy is obsessed. 

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Some free books I got from another mom in town who was cleaning out her shelves because they’re moving. Some great titles here! 

1393192952606Courtesy of Raincoast Books and Ambur over at Burning Impossibly Bright. Thank you to both of you! 

How was your month? Have you read anything good lately?

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January

january recap-01

Well hi there! It’s been a while!

Oh, January! How are you gone already? I need this year to slow down!

While December was a month of getting to know our new little third person in the house — a little, brand new person! — January was a month of trying to get into habits and routines. My little man turned 2 months old on January 26th and I still can’t get over the amount of love I feel for this little human. He is just amazing every single day! This month we had a brief roll (I’m not sure he really knew what happened — tummy time has been more like “angry” time ever since), lots of smiles (shy smiles, but they’re definitely there!), and a lot of trips outside of the house.

Even with a 2-month old, it's weird not having a baby belly!

Even with a 2-month old, it’s weird not having a baby belly!

December was kind of nice because I couldn’t really go anywhere on my own, so we were trapped inside. Worked well, since it’s winter here, but by January it was so nice to get my doctor’s okay to drive. I was SO nervous about getting out with a little baby in the car (and not just ANY baby, but MY baby!), but after a few trips, I calmed down a bit and was able to go the speed limit. Our first real trip out, just baby and me, was to the Edmonton Book Blogger’s Christmas Party at the beginning of the month. We had gone out for groceries or appointments, with the husband, but this was our first REAL trip out where we would be somewhere for a few hours. He did amazing and loved meeting everyone! OK, he didn’t say that, but he did have his eyes open in the beginning and was sleepy the rest of the time, so I’d say that was a success!

Two Months Old here! Growing like a WEED, I tell you!

Two Months Old here! Growing like a WEED, I tell you!

Other than that, we had a baby shower this month, thrown by my lovely best friend @DreanaMom. This was our second trip out and I felt like they were just getting better and better. Baby L has his cranky moments, but other than that he is SUCH a good little boy. Very content and happy. I just feel so blessed to have him in my life!

I seriously can't stop taking pictures of this kid.

I seriously can’t stop taking pictures of this kid.

This month we started wearing the baby carrier in the house, so I could get things done and work on blogging things, reading, TV show watching, and whatnot during his naps. Thankfully, he’s a good little sleeper (one night I even got a 7 hour stretch!), so I don’t feel like I’m not getting any reading or blogging done. It’s a lot slower and it certainly felt strange taking 4 days to get my first read of the year in, but I knew that was going to happen. If anything, having Baby L makes me think twice when it comes to buying books — unless it’s a book I really, really want, I usually put it back. In fact, I’ve only bought 2 books so far this year! I’m quite impressed with myself! I’m even keeping a spreadsheet of all of my reads and all of the books I’ve gotten (including gifts and prize winnings), so that helps me question myself again when I’m all, “I need this book!”

No! Not the flowers!

No! Not the flowers!

We took a trip out to the local Muttart Conservatory where there are four pyramids with different set-ups in each one (lots of flowers and foliage); baby and I went to the library’s grand opening celebration, and; the library threw us a baby shower! Lots of fun stuff this month.

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I did start a new feature on the blog this month — Making Music @ Reading In Winter. I love creating music and have shared bookish songs here in the past, but have SUCH a back catalogue of recordings that I want to start sharing that part of my life here. I’m hoping you guys like it!

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I’m actually quite impressed with my reading this month. Yes, I’ve slowed down a lot, but I also feel like I do have plenty of time to read, despite all the interaction time I spend with my little guy, the time spent on chores and housework and errands, and the time spent just watching TV with hubs once Baby L has gone to bed. Becoming a mom has really taught me how to NOT worry about doing all the things and putting things on hold until the next day. Every day I have things to do, but try to carve out at least SOME time for reading, even if I’m only reading 50 pages. Of course, some day he has really, really good naps and I get a LOT of reading time done, which comes in handy when I’m ready really good books!

  1. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
  2. Annabel by Kathleen Winter (Canadian!)
  3. Losing It by Cora Carmack
  4. More Than This by Patrick Ness
  5. The Dirt Diary by Anna Staniszewski (review book)
  6. In Honor by Jessi Kirby
  7. Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #2) by Ransom Riggs (<– bought this month)
  8. The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
  9. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (SO GOOD!) (<– bought this month)
  10. Hidden Girl by Shyima Hall (review book)
  11. Ashes to Ashes (Experiment in Terror, #8) by Karina Halle (Canadian!)

I haven’t spend EVERY spare minute reading, and it certainly feels like I’m moving a lot slower, but I’m very happy with my reading so far. AND very happy that I’ve refrained from buying ALL the books. I still have that gift certificate from Christmas AND some money in my PayPal (which I use for Kobo books), so we’ll see if I start to use that in the future. :)

And I’m happy to say that the two books I *did* buy this month are already read! Go me!

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Not a lot of mailbox goodies but we did have our gift exchange for the Edmonton Book Bloggers Christmas Party! My secret santa was Aylee from Recovering Potter Addict. Not only did she get me a book, but she got the little man something, too! I love her selection since she’s a paleontologist. :) I also have to share the bookish baby gifts from the EBB members, and Baby L’s first bookish gift from Brie over at Eat Books.

20140110_132808Loved Patrick Ness’s book A Monster Calls. This one didn’t quite live up to that one, but still an interesting read! 

1389385973665 A bookish quilt made for Baby L by the Edmonton Book Bloggers! 
20140110_132714 A baby gift to Baby L from Brie — LOVE these books. The illustrations are very lovely! The onesie is also from Indigo. :)

How was your month? Have you read anything good lately?

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