It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 17, 2018)

Blahhhhh.  It’s Monday and I’m exhausted from the weekend.  There are certain seasons in which I’m happy to just laze around, run errands and straighten up the house on weekends, but the holiday season isn’t one of them.  Steve would tell you I’ve always been a big one for dragging everyone out to make memories and having kids has just exacerbated it.  What can I say?  I want the kids to be able to look back on a childhood full of fun and magic and if that means I have to shout at everybody to put their shoes on, I guess that’s just the price we all have to pay – right?  Anyway.  This weekend was packed full of all the activities we didn’t manage to do last weekend.  On Saturday we pulled out our shiny new National Aquarium membership and spent a few hours with the fish.  My favorite part of the aquarium in Baltimore is the gigantic – multi-story! – indoor reef.  On Sunday, we braved a rainstorm to stand in line for the Christmas trains at the U.S. Botanic Garden.  This was our third year attending (I think? I know we went two years ago, and I’m pretty sure last year, too) and it never disappoints.  My favorite part is always the D.C. monuments and landmarks constructed out of bark and other plant material, but the kids love the trains.  Nugget was delighted to see his friend Thomas chugging along through the exhibit and Peanut thought the North Pole display was magical.  We spent Sunday afternoon working feverishly on a research project for school (due today; we waited until the last minute but we got it done) and I was glad to curl up with Michelle Obama’s memoir and a cold kombucha after tucking the kiddos in for the night.  And now – a new week beckons.

  

Reading.  Some reading week, all right.  I spent the entire workweek on The House of the Spirits and was about halfway through the 488 pages when I sat down at the computer to renew my library books and discovered there were holds – ouch.  I was sure I’d end up with overdue fines as a result, but somehow I powered through more than 200 pages on Saturday and was able to return it on time.  Yay, me!  Next I checked one off the longtime TBR and read the first volume of Art Spiegelman’s classic Maus.  Finally, after two tough reads, I rewarded myself with a book from my own shelf and one I’ve been looking so forward to – Michelle Obama’s new memoir, Becoming. #myforeverfirstlady

Watching.  Well – I didn’t actually watch anything this week.  I’ve been craving one of my favorite classic 1930s screwball comedies, but I haven’t turned the TV on for myself all week.  (I feel like I get asked all the time how I manage to read as much as I do.  Part of it is being a fast reader, but a lot of it is simply the fact that I don’t really watch much TV at all – I probably average about an hour a week of actual TV watching.  No shade to TV; there’s lots of great material there.  I just mostly don’t gravitate to it.)

Listening.  A hodgepodge, which is pretty usual for me.  Some podcasts – my favorite parenting and home podcasts are putting out their holiday episodes, which I always enjoy – and a little music.  Decemberists, Offa Rex, Christmas carols.  I popped the Shins into the car CD player this week and enjoyed it, but there’s really nothing that comes close to the Decemberists and my beloved R.E.M.

Making.  A menorah and nine glittering “candle fairies” (one shamash fairy and her troupe of eight candles) for Peanut’s school holiday project.  Each kid chose a holiday to research and represent with a paper-based project.  Much to my delight, Peanut picked Hanukkah – although I don’t personally celebrate the holiday, I love absolutely everything about it – and we had fun making a play set with the “candle fairy” paper dolls, a menorah and two dreidels with pockets to house the fairies.  I texted pictures of the project to a good friend who is Jewish, and she adored it.  I’ve also made progress on my own Christmas preparations.  Cards will go out tomorrow (I think) and I’m done with the kids’ shopping.  I have a bit more to get for grandparents and extended family, but I’m getting close.  (Also, why is anything after December 15 considered “last minute” shopping?  Hello, Amazon Prime ships in two days!)

Blogging.  Winter list on Wednesday – gotta keep the momentum going after a great fall.  And I’m recapping our Advent adventures on Friday.  We didn’t do everything I wanted to, but we’ve done a lot.

Loving.  The family-friendly theatre season is on point this year!  Peanut and I are continuing with our tradition of a girls’ date to the theatre in the days leading up to Christmas – we’re seeing Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas this year – but I’m also giving theatre tickets to a few other shows as Christmas gifts.  I don’t know if the kids’ theatre scene in D.C. has always been great and I’m just now figuring it out, but I’m so hype to see some shows this winter.  I’ve loved theatre (both musical and otherwise) since I was in high school, and it’s great fun to share it with Peanut.

Asking.  What are you reading this week?

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