What I’m Into: April 2014

Hill of Calvary(Hill of Calvary: inspiration found here and here.)

Easter hunting

As I already mentioned in my last post, it was a long month for me.

There was good stuff: my first-ever nephew was born (six weeks early, which was scary; but he’s doing well now); and Easter was lovely, too. Though I feel like I was in a haze for most of it.

I looked forward to April all winter long; but then morning sickness unexpectedly knocked me out and left me on the couch for far too much of it. Even with afternoon naps, I’m usually completely worn out by 7pm and in bed by 9:30.

My poor neglected little toddler has been taking it like a champ. And I’m hoping to feel much better in the next few weeks, so that hopefully I can really jump into spring in May. I’m already starting to regain some energy, and being in the kitchen doesn’t always make me want to puke.

Here’s what I’ve been into!


Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder (Richard Louv) — Lovely, exciting, inspiring. I want to make camping a yearly experience again, like when I was a kid. And I want to spend much more time playing outside.

Next month.

Childrens’ Books

In the hopes that I would be guaranteed excellent books every time, I decided to start taking out all the Caldecott-medal winning books from the library, a few at a time, starting with the most recent. We’re already fans of well-known winners like Where the Wild Things Are and The Snowy Day, so I figured I couldn’t lose.

I’ve gotten mixed results.

Locomotive (2014) went straight back to the library because it’s waaaaay too advanced for a young child.

(I’d already taken out This is Not My Hat [2013] last year and absolutely loved it.)

A Ball for Daisy (2012) was puzzlingly mediocre.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee (2011), however, was beautiful and charming.

The Lion and the Mouse (2010) was a pretty big hit, too. Gorgeous illustrations.


Because I’ve felt so sick and tired, we’ve watched more than our usual amount of TV.

The Parks and Rec season finale was SO GOOD. This was the best season yet, and the finale was utterly perfect. We were so happy to see the Cones of Dunshire make a reappearance.

We also started watching 30 Rock on Netflix, which is hilarious and fun. Tina Fey is a comedic genius.

We finished Firefly, and absolutely loved it! The latter half is way better than the first. I love everybody so much (but especially Wash and Zoe). I’m even warming up to Inara, and I never care for characters like her. I can’t wait to see the movie now!


There were a few evenings/afternoons where I just couldn’t get off the couch, so I ended up watching a few movies with Lydia.

We saw Rise of the Guardians on Netflix, and despite its cheesy-sounding premise (Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Sandman and Jack Frost team up to fight an evil adversary), I found it surprisingly tender and moving.

We watched the first half of Turbo but had to turn it off because it was SO BAD it was embarrassing us.

Look. I can do fantasy and science fiction. Kids go to wizarding school and fight a dark wizard with magic and love? Bring it. Lovable monsters fuel their city with the screams of children? Brilliant. Children walk through a wardrobe and enter a magical land with talking animals? Yes yes yes.

But I draw the line at a snail who wants to be a race car (even though he idolizes a race car driver), and becomes one by going through an internal combustion engine but fails to sustain any fundamental changes to his bodily structure. I mean, he doesn’t even have wheels.

The writers weren’t even trying to be convincing.

I’m sorry. NO.

Lastly, Ben and I got our hands on some free movie tickets and saw Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier. I loved it. (See? I have a very high tolerance for pseudo-sciencey nonsense.)

I’m sorry, but I love all the Marvel movies (except Thor. That one was lame. And the first Captain America was a teeny bit ridiculous, too). I love the action, the clever banter, the guaranteed happy endings. And it doesn’t hurt that Chris Evans is quite possibly the most beautiful man I have ever laid eyes on. *Swoon.*

With the Munchkin

Playing guitar

We seem to have hit a Golden Age with Lydia (now two years, eight months); and it’s a good thing, because I have not had the energy to spend much quality time with her. And definitely not enough energy to organize activities for her.

She’s been so great with playing independently, though. And she’s so unbelievably imaginative. I love hearing her create characters from popsicle sticks, toothbrushes, cookie cutters, and stickers.

We did make this awesome sparkly slime one evening in lieu of TV. It was a huge success! Even Ben and I couldn’t get enough of it. Creating it was like magic! And it has so many interesting properties to explore! We all played with it for a good hour that night.

I also tried this super-simple soft play-dough (made with hair conditioner and corn starch). It was nice the first day, but quickly became very crumbly and messy. Lydia just pretended it was (very messy) snow for her dogs, which I guess is okay.

soft play dough snowAnd that’s my month in review!

What have you been into?

As usual, linking up with Leigh Kramer.

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.*

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  1. I love the resurrection garden idea, we are total going to copy that!

  2. If you haven’t read it already, you’ve got to get ‘King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub’ by Audrey Wood. It’s a Caldecott winner, and SO MUCH FUN to read with your little one. My ‘little one’ is 20 now, and we still quote it to each other.

  3. I didn’t care for Turbo one way or the other, but we were given a family gift to go see it in the theatre! I was out most of the time with the girls, but Silas, a Lightning McQueen fanatic, was GLUED to the screen. He didn’t move. He barely cracked a smile. Just GLUED. At the end, in the final big race *SPOILER* when Turbo win, Silas jumped onto his chair, stood there and started cheering. He’s not very into emotional displays, so Sim and I just died. It was hilarious. So, I liked the movie for that reason alone.
    And I’m praying that energy returns, and sickness flees!

  4. FIREFLY. I’m so happy you finally watched it. Now you know why our dogs are named Kaylee and Jayne. Watch Serenity. And when you’ve recovered, we’ll be her for you.

    We haven’t seen CA2 yet and I’m dying to because we’ve caught up on Agents of SHIELD and reached the events from the movie. Those Marvel movies are so well done. I love them. Even when I shouldn’t. And Thor was filmed in my home state so maybe I’m prejudiced.

  5. If it helps, the Caldecott Medal is given for illustration, not for story. They consider how well the story and illustrations suit each other, but are really looking for the “most distinguished” illustrations of the year. (Doesn’t mean there aren’t some puzzlers on there, though.)

    • That’s what I thought (though I wasn’t sure. So thanks for the confirmation). And most of them are gorgeous. But A Ball for Daisy is, in my opinion, ugly to look at. (And there’s no text whatsoever.)

  6. I loved “Last Child in the Woods” too.

  7. OH MY GOSH. Kathleen – we literally just finished binge-watching* 30 Rock a few weeks ago on Netflix. It was so tragic to have it be done. TINA FEY IS A FREAKIN’ GENIUS. I am a forever fan of hers. She’s amazing.

    And THEN – we started Parks and Rec!! We are on like the 5th episode or so. Loving it so far. Clearly we both have excellent TV taste :)

    *binge-watching, parent-style… you know – like 2-3 episodes a night, as time permits, as long as we weren’t already exhausted… lol!
    beth@redandhoney recently posted..Seared Chicken with Smoky Cabbage Noodles (GF, DF)My Profile

  8. Morning sickness…I didn’t know you were pregnant! Congratulations. The picture of Lydia with the guitar is darling. If you need another show to binge watch, let me suggest a few of my favorites: Ally McBeal, Gilmore Girls, Felicity, LOST.
    Leigh Kramer recently posted..What I’m Into (April 2014 Edition)My Profile

  9. Three things:

    1. I’ve been sick this past week and have energetically been completely wiped out. I’ve been reading blogs, but haven’t even had the energy to comment until tonight (and apparently only now have enough energy for bullet points). My point? I can’t believe that you, with your own current energy shortage (though for far different reasons!) actually found the energy/motivation to write *two* posts this week.
    2. I love these monthly recap posts. I really love them. I’d totally steal your idea for myself if it weren’t stealing.
    3. 30 Rock: we named our cat after Liz Lemon.
    Rebecca recently posted..Royal Tour New Zealand & Australia, 2014: Best OfMy Profile

    • 1. Thanks for understanding. 2. Thanks for your kind words. You can totally steal the idea, as it wasn’t mine in the first place. There’s a linkup of bloggers who do this. You should totally join in! 3. RAD! I didn’t know that! :)

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