Book reviews!

It's Friday again!

I took the plunge recently and decided to read books on the Kindle while I'm feeding Josh, rather than just browse IG and facebook on my phone and feel my brain slowly atrophy. I love turning real pages, but a Kindle allows me to use only one hand, and to read in the dark without any light on. It really changed how I feel about spending hours feeding this little guy!

I want to share some of what I've been reading and maybe inspire you to pick up a book. A good story based on true events or true people feels so worthwhile to read (as opposed to reading, say, Buzzfeed ;) )

Lilac Girls
I didn't want to put this down - the subject matter was fascinating.... a story from the viewpoint of a girl who survived Nazi medical experiments. Wow. I haven't read a holocaust story quite like this before. It also covers the viewpoint of a Nazi female guard, and a woman in America who helped the experiment survivors. This was the first novel I had read in quite a while and it got me back into the swing of reading. It's not too long at all. (And the characters are based on true people, which always makes it more interesting.)

We Were the Lucky Ones
Loved this book. It's detailed and thorough, and I really felt like I was there. It covers a close-knit  family who are split up during WW2 for several years, following each person's individual story along the way. All the characters were relatable, reacting to situations in a similar way to how I would (probably) react...which I appreciated because there's nothing worse than an author who makes their main characters do stupid/obvious things just to create more drama in the story (see next review, haha). This book was utterly realistic and believable! And you could feel the warmth of the family's love throughout. Highly recommend.

Her Mother's Hope / Her Daughter's Dream
These are 2 books that go together as part of a saga. I bought both as a bundle on Amazon .... and I wish I hadn't. I've never had a book that I put down about 5 times swearing I couldn't stand to read it's rambling repetitiveness, annoying characters who never communicated to each other even tho they had millions of opportunities to, etc... one second longer. But I read it because it had some 5 star reviews and I thought, it must get better???? In the last quarter of the second book, the story became more interesting. But not until then. Most of the fault with this book was poor story-telling. It was like she was making it up as she went along almost. It could have been a good story. Francine Rivers has some excellent books but this was not one of them, in my opinion. (Read 'Redeeming Love' instead.)

These is My Words, by Nancy E Turner

Set in the pioneer days on America... this was my favourite book I've read in a loooong time. (Probably since I read "A Thousand Splendid Suns" about 10 yrs ago). I LOVE it. I want to buy the hard copy just so I can have it in in my shelves and read it all the time. I actually read this when I was a lot younger and didn't get it at all. But my mum shared her copy with me recently and it is hilarious, sad, and brutally real. One of those books where you know the characters will play on your mind for a long time to come. I miss them already and I'm still on the last few pages! 

Any recommendations out there for me? Do you agree with my reviews or am I way off??? There's no accounting for taste... each to their own... and all of that. :)

4 months of Josh

In the interests of real-life and ain't-nobody-got-time-for-that, I've copied my excerpt from instagram about J turning 4 months in the next paragraph. I need to take some more photos of this kid other than just the classic baby-sleeping-on-me phone shots. I've included a comparison with Ella at the same age down the bottom - gosh she was cute - and you can see how different they are.... at least, I can't really see similarities with my own kids but what do you think? Are they completely diff or quite similar?

I'm shocked that 4 months have gone past and I've... what... cooked dinners, rocked babies and broken up toddler tantrums seemingly this whole time. He still doesn't take day naps (except in a moving vehicle or with a mouthful of boob - but it has to stay in his mouth) and has started waking up 4-5 times per night this past month... 😴. I kept waiting for him to go almost completely bald and blonde like Ella did but it seems he is a little auburn boy to stay. He is teething fiercely and has been for at least the past month. I also keep hoping he will find his thumb and learn to self-settle like his sister did at this age, but it seems nothing will do except the real thing. 🍈🍈 
My heart has been in shreds since he was born. 💔 Could not be more besotted with this little dude. Also, he thinks having his nappy and clothes changed is h i l a r i o u s  (totally opposite to his sister who would scream the house down every time!).

We're surviving! Somehow! I'm always surprised how we are actually surviving. I have to say one child to two children has felt like a HUGE jump. I know it's different for everyone but this has really tested my fortitude. I don't even know what fortitude it, but it's been tested I tell ya. Just the logistics of getting everything done without leaving my baby in the hands of a 3 yr old; the evening craziness where everything gets beyond challenging; the fact my baby rarely feeds except lying down in the dark but I can't leave my 3 yr old alone in the other room.... and so on. But here we are, alive and well.

Josh at 4 months - (not great lighting and my phone stretches photos a bit, sorry)

[Ella at 4 months]
Ella was scrumptious! I didn't realise I've got a similar little plaid shirt for Josh that he'll fit soon. I often find myself thinking these days that there is no way I could ever have another baby and do all this exhaustion and sleeplessness over again. But then I see these pics of my two babies and wonder what a third baby would look like? What mix of genes would they get? Would we get a little curlytop buddha-baby like I was? Or blonde lanky little guy like Calum was? lol...

Ella's Room

I have to be honest - I took these pictures this morning on a whim and if you see crumbs in the carpet and dried bread crusts under the chest of drawers just pretend you didn't, ok?

Blogger does this weird thing where it darkens my photos and - honest again - I CANNOT be bothered sorting out the html. I used to do that stuff, and edit photos, but all you mamas know ain't nobodymum got time for that.

Let's begin with a blast from the past.
I was pregnant when we moved in and this was an office. Seeing this pic still makes me nauseous.
... then I painted it and it was temporarily a playroom.... and stayed that way until I was pregnant with Josh and we decided to move Ella in here.

Here it is today:

 A couple of years ago we fixed up this play kitchen for Ella:

(It used to look like this:)

I just painted it, sewed the curtain, and put in the new knobs. I'd really like to replace the cruddy old tap with a little cute brass one but haven't found any yet.

Wardrobe setup is pretty basic and I didn't bother tidying it for pics... but I did paint these wardrobe doors a while back.

Which is an improvement on the original doors below! (And those curtains!! Gak).

I still dream of painting all those wooden doors in our house, and one day we'd like to install new carpet but that's definitely a one-day dream.

Our house is a DUMP right now so I'm going to post another before and after to make myself feel better about life.


And currently:

Don't mind my model who was attempting some kind of acrobatics, and who I didn't bother trying to get clothes on because I pick my battle these days.

Ella-isms, v1

Three is a fun age. I promised to post a blog post every Friday and in lieu of having anything else prepared, here are some Ella-isms from my equal parts polite and crass, just-turned-3 yr old.


In the car on the way home from church
Ella: I had so much fun at sunday school!!!
Me: Did you? That's great Ella. What did you like about it?
Ella: I just weally like da boys actually.

Just casually to herself one day: "Goodness me look at dis baby! he's so cute and tiny."

Me: Daddy has smelly farts. 
Ella: Me too. I have da smelliest farts in da world

When prancing around in her chosen outfit (below): "I wear dis sometimes, to keep me cute."

After I thank her for something: "you're most welcome!"

Me: What would you like for breakfast Ella?
Ella, in loud stage whisper: Sugar!