Books, Mommyhood, Toddler

… That I shall miss you When you have grown

I love this little boy so much that sometimes I fear that my heart cannot bear such brutality. I try to remember this on days like today, when he has a cold and he is cranky, bossy, rude and demanding, when I’m snappy and short and impatient. But when he is in bed, asleep and I have calmed down his nerves and mine, and I look through our pictures from  my camera and I just want to sit and cry at how quickly all this is passing.

Today, I looked up as he followed J down the stairs and he looked like a kid, not my baby, not a toddler- a kid. In his navy shorts and  a bandaid on his finger and scrapes on his knee, there he was – a little boy. And with every fibre of my body, I willed time to pause.

He got down the stairs and called out “Mommy” in his sweet 2 year old voice and just like that he was my baby again. At least for today.

The title is from the last two lines of W.B Yeats A Cradle Song

A Cradle Song

The angels are stooping
Above your bed;
They weary of trooping
With the whimpering dead.
God’s laughing in Heaven
To see you so good;
The Sailing Seven
Are gay with His mood.
I sigh that kiss you,
For I must own
That I shall miss you
When you have grown

———-William Butler Yeats

Books, Bun365, Snippets, Toddler

Snippets #2 { 10.11.2011} Week in my Life – Monday

So that was a long title….yeah. Anyway, I waffled back and forth about participating in Adventuroo’s Week in Life project – it seemed like a big commitment and if I was going to do it, I wanted to do all 7 days or none at all.

In the end I decided it would be fun to participate but I’m going to do some things differently- I didn’t take any photos yesterday and I planned on this post this week anyway capturing some of the things Bun and I are into right now. So I’ll probably do some traditional posts for tuesday and thursday and maybe the rest of the day will be snippets like this or not…I’m not quite sure yet. But I’m committed to blogging the next 7 days in a row. Thats going to be a record

These Snippets are for the past 2 weeks


*photo by Google Product Search

Reading-   A Life of Spice. I’ve really slacked off on reading this month because I’ve found my mojo on the interwebz lately. So I’ve been reading a lot of blog, and some photoshop tutes

*photo from AMC*

Watching: Breaking Bad is rocking my world right now! I can’t believe I almost gave up on that show. We have the season finale DVRed, but haven’t watch it yet. I ❤ Jesse so much!

Listening: 90s throwback. J and I recently watched the top 100 songs of the 2000s on VH1 while we were super wined up on a saturday night and it has brought back all these memories. So I’ve been playing some late 90s early 00s pop classics like “Since You’ve been gone” and “Mr. Brightside” and “Hey Ya” and dancing around with the kiddo

Wearing: Its fall! My favorite pair of jeans are out and I even rocked some black leggings last week.

*photo from Solo Lisa*

Wanting: These Rainboots  and a return of normal naptime for the Bun


*photo from Amazon*

Reading: Hooray for Fish. Bun really liked some of the books in the Maisy series so I checked this one out from the library since it was by the same authors. Oh, its been such a big hit that I think we might have to buy it. Its colorful and adorable and the words are so easy to say that he has most of it memorized

Watching: Have you heard of the Wonder Pets? They help baby animals and save the day. The show is cute but the entire song is sung and the theme song will forever be stuck in your head. Highly Highly annoying. It has taken over our lives-  Bun loves it though and asks for it constantly and even sings the theme song in the car.

Wearing: I’ve pulled out most of Bun’s fall clothes but I’m still trying to squeeze in some summer outfits for the warm afternoons, since I know it will be the last time he’ll ever wear them.

Playing: Closing doors is the most fun game in our house right now. He goes into rooms and shuts the door and then giggles and giggles. That and cars.



Books, Toddler

How Gyo Fujikawa saved me from the terrible two blues

Last night I spend hours editing a big ole batch of photos. I was super excited to post them on my blog this afternoon and do an update on my happy life. But I just can’t do it this afternoon, because I feel anything but happy and putting up photos of me smiling at my kid just feels dishonest.

Toddlers can be demanding, cruel and rather unpleasant creatures and also the sweetest, funniest and loving ones in the very next instant. Why didn’t someone tell me this before I decided having a kid was a good idea. I guess I should have continued reading past the newborn section in the 8 million parenting books that I browsed back in the baby fever days.

But now that the Bun is finally napping I need something to take my mind off of my troubles so I’m going to write about my new find in children’s author/illustrator that I recently discovered. And so when Barnes and Noble sent me a coupon this month I decided to splurge on a new book for Bun. I was originally looking for “O What a Busy Day” but my local store didn’t have that one so I chose to get the A to Z picture book instead

*photo via Sycamore Street Press*

*photo via Vintage Kids’ Books my Kid loves*

And I’m absolutely  in love with her simple bright colorful illustrations. They have a vintage, timeless feel to them without crossing over into the cheesy territory. Even the black and white illustrations have so much character and pop. I looked her up on wikipedia and she was one of the first illustrators in the US who published books with multi racial characters, which is something really rare in vintage books. I’m so happy with our new find, I can’t wait to explore more of her books.

Books, Capture the Everyday, Life

{Capture the Everyday} Books You Are Reading

I feel terrible that I had to skip the past few weeks of Melissa’s meme, but when I saw this week’s assignment, I knew I had to participate.

Capture the Everyday from Adventuroo

I have actually been reading quite a bit recently which is good because I didn’t read for the entire time I was pregnant and almost all of Bun’s first year. I just didn’t have the attention span or the energy and I was so focussed on my baby that the thought of being invested in characters or thoughts or opinions of anyone but my immediate family just seemed too overwhelming. I don’t think I even read the news for the first few months after Bun was born. But I picked it up again once Bun started having a predictable and stress free bed time and I had a good chunk of time to myself in the evenings. These are the three that I consider as read for this week.

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton:  I devoured this book in a day and a half. I loved all the characters, especially Grace and the book does such a fantastic job of evoking atmosphere that I would feel chills and goosebumps from it days later. I will admit that I love almost anything that has to do with the early 20th century in Britain, so I was predisposed to like it, but I think it is absolutely fabulous. I’m so glad I gave Kate Morton a second chance because I really didn’t care for The Forgotten Garden

Broken Glass Park: This is a memoir/autobiography/novel about a seventeen year old living in the Ghettos of Germany. I absolutely loved the first 2/3rd of the book. The end got a bit too surreal and almost got too melodramatic. This was a little different from what I normally read but I’m glad I branched out.

Organic Baby and Toddler Cookbook: Okay, so I haven’t read this from cover to cover, but I have been glancing through this over the week. All I have to say “Meh”


A Book List

This is from my friend JJ’s blog. Thanks for a super fun blog post!!!

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve only read 6 and force books upon them 😉

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials-Phillip Pullman
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. The Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens

24. MiddleMarch-Geroge Eliot
24. The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. The Grapes of Wrath- John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia- C.S Lewis
34. Emma – Jane Austen
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
36. There is no 36 anymore. I’m going to add Anne Frank, everyone needs to read The Diary of Anne Frank.
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi- Yann Martel
52. Dune – Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60-Love in the Times of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia MarquezProbably one of favorite books of all time. I try to revisit it every few years.
61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov – I really want to read this book ever since I read Reading Lolita in Tehran.
63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones- Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses – James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons- Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal – Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession – A.S. Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton I would underline this book 5 times if possible. I love it so much. It was my very favorite book when I was a kid. I still love to read and pretend I am a child again.
91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Books, Vintage Books

Vintage YA Fiction – Trixie Belden


I have just discovered some new young adult vintage fiction series. Trixie Belden was written around the same time as Nancy Drew but for same reason did not make that transition into my generation unlike Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys.  I was lucky enough to pickup two paper backs from the 50’s for a dollar each, they are #4 The Mysterious Visitor and #5 The Mystery Off Glen Road. Like all other YA mysteries the plots are really simple and of course has very little violence. In #4 ,which I just finished, the villain is an imposter who is trying to swindle on of Trixie’s friends and a revolver or real danger is present only in the last 3 pages.

The most charming thing about the series is how well the era is captured in the dialogues and the writing. Trixie is 14 years old and lives in Sleepyside, NY which is a suburb of Manhattan. She lives on a farm with her three brothers and parents. She also has a neighbor Honey Wheeler and her adopted brother Jim Frayne. Jim, Honey, Trixie  and her brothers Brian and Mart make up the Bob-Whites which is their secret society.  Trixie also rides the bus along with her friends because they all live far from the village , which is where the poorer people live.  She struggles with math woes and hates to write “themes” which I gather are essays or term papers. They all also have to dress for dinner and dressing in jeans is referred to as dressing “sloppy.” In fact one of the character’s mom won’t let her wear jeans at all. Trixie also calls her mother “Mom’s” and the book definitely reinforces the idea that women who cook, clean etc are virtuous. In fact, Trixie, for being a tomboy even makes comments like “Mom’s just goes in the kitchen and walks out with something delicious.” Also, her chores are babysitting, while her brothers get to groom horses.

Its charming to be transported back to a post WW II suburb in NY.

I’ll post more as I read more.

Books, Vintage Books

Some new friends from the world of Vintage books

Now that round one of wedding days are over and round two hasn’t consumed me yet, I had a little bit of time to catch up wit my good friends….my old books. Last week , I bought a used book called Emily of New Moon. Emily of New Moon is a written by Lucy Maud Montgomery who is famous for writing the Anne of Green Gables Series.  Anne of Green Gables was one of the defining books of my childhood. I used to read that book over and over again and pretend that I was Anne Shirley living in Prince Edward Island. Anne of Green Gables is a must read for anyone who is interested in life in North America during the turn of the century. The book has wonderful details about schoolhouses, types of fashion popular among adolescents and of course it is a great story.

Anyway, Emily of New Moon is also a series set in Prince Edward Island and I am so glad , I started this series. I don’t think it is going to be as dear to me as Anne of Green Gables was , but it was still really fun to read.

Plot Synopsis:

Emily is a 11 year old girl who loses her father to consumption and has to go stay with her two estranged aunts in Prince Edward Island. The setting is right after the WW I and New Moon Farm is in a tiny little village. In  the novel, Emily is imaginative child who is whimsical and wants to be a poetess and has a hard time adjusting with her aunts who are very sensible and do not know how to interact with children. However Emily also makes some friend and has some wonderful adventures on the farm like, solving a old mystery, learning more about her family and herself and becoming a better writer.

I will probably re read my old faves the Anne of Green Gables series soon and write a synopsis on that soon and I plan to finish the Emily series as well.

The best part about these books is that they are a part of public domain and can be downloaded and read for free!!! One site for reading them is Project Gutenberg 




I recently read two 19th Century mystery novels. They weren’t particularly good but it was okay for a quick read on the treadmill. However it got me thinking about my preferences in mysteries. I used to think that I like reading mysteries until I realized recently that I really dont’ like contemporary thrillers and mysteries very much at all. I hardly ever read those. I love reading mysteries that are set in a different time. I  divide my mystery preferences into two groups.

A. Vintage Mysteries- This is really categorized by Agatha Christie for me, I just don’t know other writers who were writing in that time period. I love the British setting and the dialogue and reading about little details like teashops, housemaids, getting news through the radio, butchers who deliver parcels. I have re read all her mysteries so often that I already know the killer and the plot but I love the old fashioned details. Whats great is A&E has made all the books into movies and some wonderful person has put up the Poirot series on YouTube. Now I’m hooked , it wonderful to see the cool 1940s fashions , cars, and other details. I guess thats why I like the young adult mysteries of Enid Blyton too, I might have outgrown the plots but I love the details and the language.

B. Historical Mysteries- These are written in contemporary times but the plot and the characters are set in the past. I have just recently started reading this genre and its not as good as Christie but they are still fun. I guess the problem is that in spite of the details the language seems very modern. But I did like the two recent ones I read because it did have little details about life in post civil war Boston. It has motivated me to learn more about the Gilded Age, so I suppose thats good.


Lucky Find

When I was a little girl one of my favorite authors was Enid Blyton. Blyton was a children’s book writer and she wrote wonderful stories that filled me with a longing of adventure, fantasy, whimsy and just plain fun. She wrote several series books and also some individual ones. When I moved to the U.S I was sad to see that her books weren’t available here at all. I guess she had never made the transatlantic journey and most American kids , unlike European and Asian kids , have no idea who she is.  Therefore I could never buy her books on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, but today I found a small web retailer that sells most of her books. I have a few of her books from childhood that I brought with me to the U.S but I am now excited to add more.

Blyton wrote for different genres, for the older kids there are her mystery books which have different groups of friends investigating mysteries. Since she wrote in the 1920s and 30s and 40s her books have old fashioned and vintage details. My favorites are the following series:


 Famous Five: This is a series of 4 cousins and one of their dog who solve a variety of exciting childhood mysteries, like finding lost treasure and stopping crimminals. The also have internal squabbles because they often don’t get along. This is one of her most popular series and there was a T.V show on this as well.


Secret Seven: This is a series that has seven neighborhood kids who have a club house which meets every week. Other than solving neighborhood mysteries they have secret codes for the club house and bullies and pesky younger siblings who want to join. These mysteries were less complicated but I loved reading about their private clubhouse and how they would have secret meetings with yummy food and play pranks on each other.


The Five Find Outters: This series is about 2 pairs of siblings and their friend who solve mysteries in the countryside. They also have a local constable who is goofball hates the findoutters  for solving crimes before him. These have a more comic tone than the other two.

The Barney Mysteries: These were usually more adventurous and the kids were older(teens) and they would go on vacation and find mysteries to solve.


Mallory Towers: These follow the story of Darrell and Sally and their years in boarding school, from first form till they graduate. The stories are about friendships, adventures, playing pranks on teachers etc. These girls are fun and spunky and intelligent and the heroines aren’t typical girly girls but they all have lessons to learn.I actually own the set.  I love this series and the St. Clair series even more now after having experienced boarding school.


St. Claires: This series is similar to Mallory towers and follows two twins and their years at boarding school. The twins and some these characters are more naughty and this is a more fun series. In these, they often plan elaborate midnight feasts which are against the rules and worry about swimming and tennis competitions.


The Faraway Tree: This is Blytons series that are more fanciful and magical. This is one of my favorite books from my childhood. It is the story of 3 poor(ish) kids who move to a cottage by the edge of a forest and find out it is a magical forest with a magic tree in the middle. They have all sorts of adventures with the magic folk like pixies and brownies and goblins when they climb to the top of the tree and find that there is a different magical world, like the land of giants, or the land of upside down and it changes every week.

She also wrote a lot of books in the same vein as the Faraway tree with magical creatures and friendly toys like her O’Clock Series, Family Series, Mr. Twiddle, Mr. Meddle, The Naughtiest Girl, Circus Stories, Noddy and many more.