How are you all doing? Ready for December? I can't believe it's already the end of the year. Where did it go?!
The past couple of months have gone by in a whirlwind. Between illness (human and animal), company, travel, the holidays, and the usual activities, I have barely had time to breathe. I was reading up a storm for a while there, but my reading has since slowed down. My husband and I rarely get to enjoy a date night (or afternoon, in our case)--maybe once every three months or so when my mother comes for a visit. In October, we took advantage of her kindness to go see the movie Argo, starring Ben Affleck. I enjoyed it so much that I bought a copy of Antonio Mendez's memoir, The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA. I have finally settled down to read it. My knowledge of the CIA is limited to fiction novels--and who knows how much of that is actually based in fact? From what I've read of Mendez's experiences so far, I have to say, my impressions of the CIA aren't so far from the truth! His story is fascinating, and while I am not racing through the book as fast as I have other books I've recently read, I am enjoying it.
On the side, when I am in the mood, I have been listening to Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov on my short drive to work each morning. The book is narrated by Jeremy Irons, and he seems to be a perfect fit for it. I have always wanted to read Lolita--in part because I wanted to see what all the fuss is about and another just to say I have. The book was quite controversial for its time--and really, still is. Nabokov's language is beautiful. I am, however, struggling with the content. I haven't yet met Lolita, but the main character's observations and ramblings make me nauseous. I am trying to plow through despite my disgust, but given how often I've chosen the radio over the audiobook when I'm in the car, I wonder if I'll ever make it to the end. You would think, given my occupation, I would have a stronger stomach for the subject matter, but sexual abuse and pedophilia have always been a subject I tend to steer away from when it comes to my pleasure reading.
I still can't seem to find my copy of A Killer Read by Erika Chase. Darn it. I was really enjoying it too. *Pout*
Although I do not get too much live television time, I have been (somewhat) keeping up with Revenge, Once Upon a Time, Glee, Revolution and Vampire Diaries. I'm not too enamored with Vampire Diaries this season and the jury is still out on Revolution. I kind of like it though, or else why would I still be watching it? Revenge and Once Upon a Time are by far my favorites though, and I've been quite pleased with the shows this season.
On the home front, our first road trip was a success. We spent the Thanksgiving weekend with my in-laws at their home in Central California. I had to work up until the day before Thanksgiving, and so we hit the road late that evening. We planned it, in part, so Mouse would sleep most of the drive there. And we are so glad we did!
Several months ago, Mouse became interested in using the toilet. I think because so many of the other kids at her daycare were being potty trained. At daycare and at home, we use a toddler toilet seat insert (they make travel ones too!) that fits into the regular toilet rather than one of those portable potties. It's not something we've pushed with her at all, wanting to go at her pace. Since then, she intermittently asks to use the toilet and has done so successfully. More recently, she's stepped up her game, wanting to use the toilet more often. So, it shouldn't have come as a surprise when Mouse demanded we stop so she could pee fifteen minutes into our trip. We hadn't even left our home city yet. At first I was concerned we stopped at a place without a changing table. That wouldn't be a problem though. Mouse wanted to use the actual toilet. And she did. A half hour later, we stopped again, and again she insisted on using the big person toilet. It is quite comical, thinking back on it, and in its own way fun.
Our actual visit with my in-laws was very pleasant. Mouse had a blast playing with her grandparents, great-grandmother, and uncle. We don't have enough leaves to make a leaf pile worth jumping in at home, so Mouse got to tackle the pile in her grandparents' yard. Her grandmother trimmed her bangs, evening out the initial trim her dad had given her many months ago. There was much laughter and many smiles over the holiday weekend. Still, it was good to come home again and sleep in our own bed.
We went from the stomach flu before the Thanksgiving Holiday to colds after. I'm hoping this cold will be a short lived one and not too nasty.
Riley was diagnosed with arthritis at the beginning of November. It took a few tries before we found a medication regiment that gave him some comfort from the pain, the poor dog. I was really worried about him for awhile there. He wasn't eating and was clearly a lot of pain, barely moving. He's always acted like a pup, even at twelve years--it's been hard seeing him act more his age. I am happy to say though that he is doing much better now and is mostly back to his old self.
On another note, Christmas is right around the corner. How is your holiday shopping coming along? I've been struggling with gift ideas for a couple of men on my gift list. Neither are readers so books are out of the question. I would rather not do gift cards, although that is an option if I'm desperate. I do not see them often enough to know much about them in terms of interests and what they need or want. There's still time, I suppose, but it's running out fast. If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them!
I hope to get the Christmas lights and decorations up this weekend, maybe even as you read this! I'm feeling in the spirit this year.
Mouse amazes me every day. She speaks so clearly and understands so much! Her pronunciation of "fox" had us all in fits of laughter there for awhile, but she seems to have figured out a closer version of it that's still cute, but not quite as, shall we say, shocking. The other morning as I was getting dressed, Mouse said, "Beautiful." It warmed my heart. I love how she says, "Maggie poop toilet" after using the toilet. Or "I did it!" She has the definition of "Mine!" down pat, but she also knows how to share. Just the other day, my cat Parker was sniffing my dog Riley's toy bone, and Mouse shooed Parker away, "No, Anya!" (Anya being the name of my other cat, but often what she calls both cats interchangeably). Mouse proceeded to pick up the bone and carry it over to where Riley was lying. Such a simple action, and yet so telling in how much Mouse now understands.
I have a couple of reviews ready to go for this next week and have been working on a couple other posts. I really need to work on my end of the year post but am dragging my feet.
What are your plans for December? Both personal and reading wise? I hope you all have a wonderful month!
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