Saturday, March 09, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mouse!

My baby girl is 2 today!  She is so different today than she was just a year ago.  She is more sure on her feet, definitely more verbal, and can do so much more  than she could back then.  

Some of the things she does that make me smile:

She still loves to spin when dancing, encouraging her dad and I to join in on the fun.

Twirling in circles and insisting I fall down right along side her, only to get up and repeat the process over and over.

How she adds "so much" to the end of her sentences (examples include "I love you so much!" or "I miss you so much!" or "I broke it so much!") ~ a sign I use the phrase too much!

"Just one more, please" - a phrase used often when she wants something, even when coming back for seconds, thirds and fourths.

The way she blows kisses.

The way she cuddles up next to me when we are watching television or reading on the couch.

The way she sits in my lap when we read together.

The way she caresses my arm and face when she's trying to fall asleep.

The way she fake cries, "Wah! Wah!" and then laughs.

"The bear is coming!" - how she encourages us to hide with her from the imaginary bear, checking now and then to see if he's still there.

The way she crouches down and creep forward, flashlight (tube of toothpaste) in hand, peering into the dark cave (bathroom).

The potty dance.

Enjoying imaginary picnic lunches with her.  

How she always asks for an apple to delay going to bed.

The way she sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, The Wheels on the Bus, The ABC song.

The way she always sings a clean up song when cleaning up.

How eager to help she is.

How she loves to say, "Catch!" and then throw the ball at me.

The way she eats her taco, from the middle of the bottom first.

The way she pretends to talk on the phone, "Hello!  How are you?"

The way she says, "No saying!" when she wants me to stop talking (when I'm talking to someone else).

I love how when she is given two of some special treat, she always gives one to me or her dad or her friend.

Seeing her play with her friends; how excited she get when she sees them, and how she holds her own even with the older kids.

How she always responds with, " I pushed Austin," when I ask her what she did that day at school whether Austin was there or not.

Her hugs.

Her kisses.

Her laugh.

Her smile.

How energetic she is!

And how playful.

The way she shakes her head to feel her hair move.

Seeing how resourceful she is and how quickly she learns to do things.

How she reaches up on her tiptoes to open closed doors.

How she insists that all doors be closed after she enters or leaves a room.

How she says, "Riley!  I'm home!" when we come home at the end of the day.

The way she runs to me when I come pick her up from school and then takes me by the hand to whatever she'd been doing when I arrive so I can join in the fun too.

The way she runs to greet her dad when he gets home from work.

How obsessed she is with Dora and Caillou and Mickey Mouse.

Hearing her say good morning and seeing her bright smile when we wake up together.

How she loves to play with her cars and train one minute, build a doghouse with her Duplo Legos the next, and then nurture and care for her baby dolls.

How she tells her dolls "It's okay" when they are sad.

How much she loves being outdoors.

Watching her race to the door when the doorbell rings.

Crawling and hiding in her dad made fort with her.

How she chases the dog around the house and throws him his ball.

Listening to her count out tortillas and cups of flour with her dad.

"I tickle you!"

Watching her sleep.

Just about everything she does makes me smile, when it comes right down to it.  I feel so lucky to have Mouse in my life.

Happy Birthday, Mouse!

[March is a busy month in my household with birthdays and a wedding and a houseful of guests.  I am taking three and a half weeks off from blogging as a result.  Enjoy your reading!]

© 2013, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Bookish Thoughts: What's a Witch to Do? by Jennifer Harlow

What's a Witch to Do? by Jennifer Harlow
Midnight Ink; March, 2013
Crime Fiction (paranormal cozy); 336 pgs

I like cozy mysteries just fine, but there's something to be said for adding in an element of the paranormal.  So, when I came across this title, I couldn't resist.  It looked like it would be a light fun read, and I was right!
From the Publisher: 
A suspenseful brew with a dash of passion High Priestess might sound like an ’80s hair band, but its Mona McGregor’s life. She runs the Midnight Magic shop in Goodnight, Virginia, and leads a large coven. She’s also raising two nieces and hasn’t been with a man for fifteen years…until a handsome doctor takes an interest in her. But Mona’s life really heats up when Adam Blue, a sexy werewolf, arrives at her door. Adam informs her that someone wants her dead and he is there to protect her. Hell’s bells! When a demon begins stalking her, Mona has to suspect her coven members, and even her family. 
With two handsome men and a determined demon after her, Mona teams up with Adam to find out who really wants her dead . . . and who really wants her.
What's a Witch to Do is the first in a new cozy mystery series, a spin off of the author's F.R.E.A.K. series which I have yet to read.  If you haven't read the other, don't worry.  You'll manage just fine.  Right from the opening of the book, it's clear Mona has a lot going on in her life.  I found What's a Witch to Do? to be a fast-paced suspenseful romp.  It was a bit predictable, but, I often find books like this to be so--and I don't really mind.

There was a lot to like about Jennifer Harlow's book and about her characters.  I loved the interaction between Mona and her nieces.  It's obvious she really cares about them and will do anything for them.  The two young girls seem older than their ages, but given their past--at least the hints we are given--it's really no wonder.

I love that Mona isn't your typical urban fantasy type heroine.  Yes, she's a strong woman who isn't afraid to speak her mind, but appearance wise, she's not exactly Angelina Jolie (and I am so tired of heroines who eat anything they want and don't gain weight!).  Mona can hold her own though, especially when it comes to working out problems.  I like that Mona is modest, even despite her position as high priestess.  She truly cares about those around her and isn't afraid to ask for help when she--or others--need it.

There's plenty of action with a side of romance as Mona tries to figure out who is out to get her.  There's a definite southern small town feel to the novel with the genial hospitality and the gossip that spreads like wildfire.  I enjoyed getting to know the people of Goodnight, and look forward learning more about a few favorites in future books.

Rating: * (Good +)

You can learn more about Jennifer Harlow and her books on the author's website

Source: I received an e-copy of this book for review from the publisher via NetGalley.

© 2013, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

From Book to Movie: Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook (Spoilers)

Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook
Viking, 2002
Romance; 256 pgs
(Movie version came out in 2005, directed by Gary David Goldberg)

My must see movie wish list is not nearly as long as my must read wish list, but occasionally the two share titles.  I am generally a person who likes to read the book before seeing the movie, and so there are quite a few movies I have not gotten to simply because I have yet to read the book.  Must Love Dogs was on that list for quite a while.  I have wanted to see the movie since it first came out, only, well, it took me awhile to get to the book.  But finally I can say I've seen the movie!  Now that I've read the book.
From the Publisher:

Forty-year-old Sarah Hurlihy, a divorced preschool teacher whose life is her classroom, is about to meet her first date in more than a decade. It was the "Loves Dogs" that hooked her in the personal ad, and now she is scanning her neighborhood café for the man with a yellow rose. And find him she does, but he's the last person on earth she expects to find there . . .

In Must Love Dogs, hilarious missteps abound. Sarah's widowed father, Billy Hurlihy, with six adult kids, is seeing at least two women. And he and Sarah aren't the only Hurlihys with romantic challenges. Her brother Michael, for one, has a rocky marriage that Mother Teresa, his St. Bernard, just may put over the edge. With self-deprecating humor and a laugh-out-loud view of the way we live now, including shar pei/Labrador crosses and a transgenerational body-piercing experience, Must Love Dogs is a perfect beach read that melts the heartache of dating with warmth and humor.

Must Love Dogs was a fun way to spend an afternoon.  I do not often read books like this, admittedly, and so think that played a big part in my delay in reading the book.  I enjoyed it just the same.  Sarah seems like the kind of person I might like to hang out with--and I just love her family.  I think they and John Anderson were perhaps my biggest draw to the book. I confess there were moments I wanted to shake Sarah and point her in the right direction, but what would be the fun in that?

I liked how the author didn't gloss over how difficult it can be to start over after a failed marriage and in starting to date again.  She also touched on ongoing marital issues and the challenges that are sometimes faced when the couple grows apart.

In the book, the reader is inside Sarah's head and sees the world through her eyes.  As a result, not much is known about her possible love interests.  The movie helps fill that out, however, complementing the book quite nicely.

The book and movie are quite different in several respects, but it didn't hurt my enjoyment of either.  There's a lot less dating and more walking through Sarah's typical day in the book than there is in the movie.  The mode of putting out an ad for dating was also different--likely a sign of the changing times from when the two were written.  The movie had more obvious funny moments while the book took a more subtle approach.  And, of course, there were some character changes-additions and cuts.

I bought into the movie romance more than I did of that in the book, but I think that is in part because the movie took it farther.  Not only is the viewer given Sarah's perspective, but we also get the perspective of her love interest, Jake Anderson (John in the book). There's also the fact that the movie and book end on slightly different notes.  One being your happily ever after type ending and the other being more of an introduction to that possibility.  If that makes sense.

One thing I liked about the book more was the portrayal of Sarah's family.  I felt like I got to know them much better in the book and I missed the interactions between Sarah and her niece in the movie.  I think their relationship was a significant part of the book and was one of the reasons I was endeared to Sarah.

Overall, I enjoyed both the book and the movie.  It's hard to say which I liked more--but for different reasons.  Both were entertaining and a nice break from the more serious topics I have been reading lately.

Rating: * (Good)

You can learn more about Claire Cook and her books on the author's website

Source: I purchased a copy of the book and movie for my own pleasure.

© 2013, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.