Why I Would Marry My Kindle If Alabama Would Make It Legal Already

Stuff I Like

Over the summer I started thinking about getting an e-reader. I kept talking about getting the Nook, but then kept going back to just getting nothing because I didn’t think I could let go of reading real books. I’ve always loved holding books, owning them, buying them. I love my bookshelves. BECAUSE THEY HOLD MY REAL BOOKS. How could I let that go for an e-reader? I couldn’t.

Luckily, my husband tends to tune me out a lot when I’m rambling, because he never heard me mention anything about e-readers.

He got me a Kindle for our anniversary. My first thought was: Haven’t I mentioned several times I didn’t think I could get into an e-reader because I would miss real books? My second thought was: Why didn’t he choose the Nook? That’s the one I’ve been leaning towards.

Thank god, too! Because I have ended up loving the Kindle with every ounce of my being.

Of course, it helps that I also joined a Book Club this summer. This would be my book club reading list. These books were either books for our monthly sessions or books the club read before I joined and had referenced in one of our gatherings. I’ve been trying to catch up so when they draw parallels I’m not left behind. This is what I’ve read since October for book club in the last 3-4 months.

Stuff I Like

But what makes me love the Kindle? Is the fact that I can read those books AND other books AT THE SAME TIME. I’ve always tended to end up having one or two (or three or four) books going at once, but that’s such a pain because you can’t carry them all around with you. But with the Kindle? You can. These are the other books I’m reading or planning to read.

Stuff I Like

And I always have all of these with me. ALWAYS. Because my Kindle goes with me almost everywhere. If I’m in the mood for a non-fiction? Or a book club book? Or a Young Adult book? I’ve got them all with me. This is what has been the thing I never really considered when worrying I’d miss my books. That I’d be able to read anytime, anywhere. I have read more since October than I did in the entire year before.

My point? I (heart) my Kindle. It has an app for my iPhone that I use a lot too when I’m trying to read in the dark. (The Kindle is like the Nook, not backlit, so not readable without light.)

I just wanted to share this because whenever I reference it on Twitter or Facebook someone asks me about it. Do I really like it? Do I miss books? I’ll tell you the main selling point for me. Donnie got me the one that has lifetime 3G, so as long as there’s 3G service (which there is in my house) I can buy new books immediately. Like when I finished The Girl Who Played With Fire – which had I crazy-ass cliffhanger – I immediately bought The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest. At 2am. If you’re impatient like me? This is a dream come true.

And so ends my love letter to my e-reader. You can move along now.

A New Defition of “Old Soul”

Proud of her new jacketNikki came home from school yesterday with a story. Evidently some kids in her class where talking about boyfriends and girlfriends. She voiced up her opinion of the matter and evidently said, “Guys…that’s inappropriate.” As Donnie and I are smiling seeing that unfold in our heads she sighs and says, “And the teachers started laughing!”

Man. It took so much willpower to take a deep breath in that moment and stay calm. WAAAAY more than it does when the kids are being bad. That urge to laugh was greater than any urge to yell I’ve EVER HAD in my entire life. But I could tell laughing? WOULD BE A BAD IDEA.

So…I took a deep breath. Several of them. And then I explained to her that, “sometimes you use bigger words and expressions that other kids don’t use. I think it has to do with hanging out with E and his friends. You just sometimes talk and act like a teenager. And when adults see and hear that? It makes them laugh. Not AT you, just at the fact that you don’t sound at all like a 5-year-old.”

She kinda smiled. Because, along with the vocabulary of a teenager, she often thinks like an adult. She knows she’s cute when she talks like that. She knows that’s why her teachers laughed. She just wanted someone to talk about how cute she was.

::sigh::

It’s equal parts entertaining and horrifying, how she uses her cuteness to her advantage.

Should I ship her off now or wait until puberty hits?

The Other Side

Chef Nikki Last week was – in my mind – my first official week back at work. It was actually my third week at work, but my first week with bootcamp every morning at 5:30am and no snow to mess up the schedule. 5 days of a 5:30am bootcamp, and an 8-3+ office schedule. I sprinkled in a couple of high school theater obligations here and there and managed to cook 3 of the 5 nights. We did leftovers one night and we ate out another.

I think I did a great job, thankyouverymuch. Scratch that. I WAS AWESOME.

BUT – being back in the swing of things again I’m reminded why this life is a little bit easier, now that I’m working outside the home. There is something I forgot about when I went back to being a Stay-At-Home-Mom.

Other people are more likely to help you because being a Work Outside The Home Mom seems to make people think you need more help. Like my husband. He’s been helping out so much more because me working in an office gives the illusion that my life is busier. But I’ve had to tell him the truth: It’s Not.

I am just as frenzied at night as I was before I went back to work. When you’re at home all day with the kids, you don’t have much free time to keep up with the basic chores like laundry and cleaning and groceries because you’re TAKING CARE OF THE KIDS, when tends to create MORE laundry and cleaning. I am no more busy now than I was before. It just LOOKS like I am. When I come home now? The house looks the same as when I left because no one was here all day messing it up. There are no dirty dishes because someone else was feeding the kids. No craft messes because they did that at school.

When I wasn’t working in an office, I spent nighttime hours cleaning up messes from the day. No point in cleaning until after the kids go to bed. (Can I get an AMEN?) Now? The house is still clean when the kids go to bed! We’ve been gone all day, no time to mess it up. So I spend the time at night running the errands I probably did during the day before. See? Same level of busy-ness. Just a different kind of schedule.

But since I’m at work all day? It LOOKS like my life is more hectic so my wonderful husband is helping out more. I’m NOT complaining, but until we chatted about it the other night, he didn’t realize I needed the help just as much before.

The only thing more difficult now is scheduling. My schedule is not as flexible. If something needs to be done during business hours? I’m kinda screwed. Even getting off at 3pm, I still have to pick up E on non-rehearsal days and on rehearsal days? Sometimes I have to be at his school too for my own obligations. So – the part where I do need help I didn’t need before? Is with tasks that have to be done between 9am-5pm. So far those tasks aren’t bad, but they will be and then D and I will have to share the responsibilities I normally carried on my own.

Hee.My point? If you’ve always been a Stay-At-Home Mom? And especially if you have a spouse who doesn’t help much? THEY SHOULD. If you’ve always been a Working-Away-From-Home Mom who thinks maybe life would be less hectic if you were at home? It won’t. You still will feel like you’re never caught up on life because you keep having to clean up the same messes every day. And you’re so busy keep the kids happy/alive that you don’t have time to always do the things during the day you normally have to do after work. So you still find yourself waiting until the kids go to bed to do the grocery trips or wash the dishes.

In other words? Are you raising a child? YOU ARE AWESOME and I’m so sorry life is so hectic for you. To me, the biggest perk of being a SAHM is simply being able to be there with your kids. The biggest perk of being a Work Outside the Home Mom? People seem to understand your stress a lot more and either (A) Help out or (B) Don’t judge you if you send your kids to school in the same clothes two days in a row. (They were clean! I promise!) It’s hard to work around a rigid schedule sometimes working in an office, but at least there’s someone there everyday noticing the work your doing and PAYING YOU FOR IT. Having gone back and forth and in several different varieties now – Working, Going to School, Staying at home, Working AND Going to School – I can tell you it is always hard. No one has it easy.

The way I look at it? It’s the trade-off. The universe blessed me with three fantastic humans to be permanently attached to and love unconditionally. And nothing that awesome comes easy. And I’m okay with that.

beerchicken

Andreanna’s Beer Chicken

Beer Chicken

The original recipe for the Beer Chicken I have come to love came from a site that has since moved. The moved recipe is here. The writer, Andreanna, now writes at a splendid new site that you should be following. Especially if you have gluten sensitivities or if you have a primal diet. HOWEVER – I have neither issue and I love just about every recipe of hers I try. So you should follow her NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE.

ANYWAY…She has the recipe for beer chicken that has become a staple in my family. It is why I bought another big crockpot like you see in the picture, so I could cook TWO at a time for family dinner nights. But one chicken? Enough for my 5-member family and usually gives plenty of leftovers. (For the record? Leftovers? MAKE the BEST chicken sandwiches EVER.)

Without further ado…ANDREANNA’S BEER CHICKEN, varied every-so slightly due to the tastes of my family.

Ingredients

  • 7-8 lb oven roaster chicken (Although my grocery store often only has 5lb+ fryers, and they work fine too. Just gives less meat.
  • One onion cut into large pieces
  • Several stalks of celery (I use 2-3)
  • 2 oranges, sliced.
  • 1 bottle of Guinness draught beer
  • Salt, pepper, paprika, thyme.
  • Put the chicken in the crockpot, boobs up. (Boobs are squishy! Am I the only one who sometimes struggles with the orientation of a whole chicken? If so, remember boobs are squishy! Back is not.)
  • Place chunks of onion in first, squishing in around chicken
  • Lay celery stalks around chicken
  • Place slices of oranges around chicken
  • Pour beer in over the entire chicken.
  • Sprinkle top of chicken with seasonings.
  • Cook on low 5+ hours, until chicken is 165° internally.

SO GOOD. Especially the next day on sandwiches. If you want to know how to make use of all of the bones and broth etc…go to the orignal recipe where you can see how to make stock and soup out of the leftovers. I’m honestly too lazy to attempt that. But if you do? YOU WIN THE AWESOME COOK AWARD!