Happy holiday weekend to my American friends! I feel like we’ve been getting a ton of time off lately – not that I’m complaining. I’m going to try to squeeze some work in today, just to stay ahead of the curve, and we’ll probably hit the trail for a hike later – I think it’s supposed to be reasonably nice. The first two days of the weekend were unusually low-key. Steve and I are trying out a new weekend routine: we spend Saturdays with sleeves rolled up, getting projects done around the house, and Sundays are reserved for family fun. (Although we would swap if Saturday weather was better or if there was a specific scheduled event we wanted to do.) This was the first weekend of trying out the new arrangement and it felt great to have a buddy helping me get things done around the house. In the morning, Nugget and I went to Wegmans while Peanut and Steve went to Lowe’s. Naptime was all about getting the Christmas tree down (finally!) – I took down and carefully packed up each ornament, while Steve broke down the tree itself. After nap, Steve fixed a couple of small fixture issues while I kept an eye on the kids and worked on my big project for the weekend – cleaning out and organizing both of Nugget’s closets. (He has his clothes and diaper station refills in one closet, and the other is the kids’ shared toy closet – in a small townhouse, you make your space work to the max!) By the end of the day, we were exhausted, but we had two perfectly clean and organized closets, a nice breathable space where the Christmas tree used to be, and I even found time to hang up Nugget’s wall letters. (Still looking for the rest of his wall art.) The only problem with the work-one-day-play-the-other arrangement? By Sunday we were so beat that a family walk to the pizzeria for lunch was all we could manage. Oh, well, we’ll figure it out.
Reading. Really productive reading week! I finished up The Underground Railroad early in the week, and can confirm that it deserves every bit of the hype. Definitely not an easy read, but stunning and worthwhile. Then, because I guess I hadn’t had enough of harrowing reads (??) I turned to In the Country We Love: My Family Divided, actress Diane Guerrero’s memoir of growing up the daughter of undocumented immigrants and coming home from school one day, at age 14, to find that they had been deported and she was all alone in America. I cried throughout most of the book – what a powerful story. Moved on to Today Will Be Different, the newest book from Maria Semple, who wrote one of my all-time favorite books, Where’d You Go, Bernadette. I’ll say more in my monthly round-up, but meh. I was disappointed. Finally, and currently, I’m midway through March: Book 3, Representative John Lewis’s three part graphic memoir of his time as a leader of the Civil Rights Movement. It’s shaping up to be a powerful conclusion and just as much of a wow read as the first two volumes.
Watching. We’re still on a total Rock the Park kick. Just finished watching Season 1 on Netflix, and have moved over to Hulu for Season 2. We now feel that we are friends with the hosts, and spend the entire episodes commenting, deep thoughts like “I think Jack’s been hitting the gym.” (Steve) and “Awwwww, Colton finally got to see a manatee!” (me). The show is absolutely exploding our travel list, too.
Listening. I have a personal victory to report – a clean podcatcher! Finished up all of my podcasts and was able to pop back in on my Audible app with a clean conscience. (Don’t ask me to explain why I feel the need to be caught up on podcasts in order to listen to an audiobook, because I don’t know. It probably has something to do with the way podcasts pile up if you don’t stay on top of them, but that’s about as much as I want to parse it.) Anyway, Nugget and I listened to Middlemarch on the way to and from Wegmans (and I tuned in while putting the groceries away and un-decorating the tree, for two solid hours of listening on Saturday). It’s hilarious to listen to anything with Nugget, because he repeats everything like a little echo. So the whole way to and from the store, Juliet Stevenson’s narration was punctuated with little exclamations from the back seat, like “Indeed, Aunt!” and “Foreign travel!” Everyone should listen to George Eliot audiobooks with a toddler. It’s the only way to roll.
Making. Progress on home projects, as described above. Christmas decorations broken down and in storage; front porch flag ordered (it’s not an American flag – I thought I’d mix it up a bit – but I’m also not going to tell; you’ll have to wait and see!); two clean and organized kids’ rooms (and they’re going to STAY THAT WAY); and nine boxes on their way to Goodwill today. I feel GOOD.
Loving. Some of my favorite podcasts make a point of shouting out favorite things or events or happenings each week. For instance, on Sorta Awesome, the hosts begin every episode with “Awesome of the Week.” And Tea and Tattle‘s Miranda and Sophie open their show with “Jump for Joys.” So I thought I’d do the same. Last week I was loving… a freak warm spell! 65 degrees in January – are you kidding me? I remember those weird warm weeks happening from time to time when I lived down here a few years ago. I should probably be more concerned about the weird weather, but I was just enjoying the super-mild winter way too much – especially after three years of frigid Buffalo temps. I feel like I should make my first “loving” something better than the weather, but – whatever. It really was all anyone could talk about in D.C. last week.
Asking. What are you reading/watching/listening to/making/loving this week?