Monday, December 2, 2013

Book Review: Undead Chaos

A book review! I haven't done one of these in a while. :)

By: Joshua Roots

The job was simple: decapitate the zombie, get paid, get out. Warlock Marcus Shifter followed the plan perfectly.
The corpse, however, did not.
Now there's a body on the loose, accusations of illegal necromancy are flying, and the answers are waiting in the perilous alleys between the mortal and paranormal worlds. They're no place for someone who mostly gave up magic after a childhood accident. And given his tendency to shoot off his mouth and his Glock, Marcus is having a hell of a time digging up more than just bodies.
When an apocalypse-minded megalomaniac threatens Marcus's family, things get personal. Marcus will have to embrace the magic he's been avoiding for years—and even that might not be enough to save the world from a hellish demise.

In the interest of full disclosure, Mr. Roots is a friend of mine from Absolute Write

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure I was going to read this at first. I'm not really a fan of zombies (they're overused, much like vampires), but Root's clever writing style pulled me in 100%. Marcus is a great character, fully realized and believable. I love that he relies more on his gun than his magic. I also loved how not jaded he was. Many characters like this are bitter against the world for one reason or another. Yeah they kick ass and take names, but they're also emo and it can be annoying after a while. But not Marcus.

Yeah, he's been through some crap in his life, some of it his own making, but he still has a lot to live for and be happy about. Like his loving family and his bees. I will never look at bees the same way again.

And Marcus isn't the only awesome character in this book, there's also Steve. Every line of Steve's dialogue is pure gold. Quinn is also wonderful and unique.

In short, I really enjoyed every moment I spent with this book and I'm dying to spend more time with these characters in their world.

Well thanks for reading! I hope I've given you an idea for something fun to read this week.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

And here follows the obligatory gratitude post. ;)

But seriously, I have a lot to be thankful for. If you're friends with me on Facebook, you'll notice that I don't do the daily gratitude thing in November because, well, why try to do something I know I'll forget to do two days in?

So here follows some things that I am grateful for this year.
  1. My family. Daniel is the most amazing husband and father ever. My boys are gems (most of the time). I'm so lucky that I live near my sisters and that my parents are able to come visit us, as well as being not too terribly far from Daniel's family. Oh, and Happy, I love my dog. :)
  2. My job. I'm so grateful that I get to be a stay at home mom. As hard as it can be sometimes, I love being home with William and Jacob. Also, I love being able to spend a whole day in my PJ's. ;)
  3. Writing. I love to write and create new worlds and characters to populate those worlds. I love coming up with stories. Again, it's not always easy, but it's worth it.
  4. All the material things I take for granted. I live in a nice place. We have a good car. I'm able to buy food, clothes and other, less essential things. I love the internet and the TV. And books, so many books!
  5. My religion. I'm grateful to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-Day Saints. It gives me peace and direction in my life, as well as connecting me to good people and new friends.
Well, I think that about covers it. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it) and try not to over eat.

Oh, a programming note: Starting next week I'm going to start a series of writing tips over at Kricket Writes. I've been thinking about doing this for a while and I finally figured out a plan. So look forward to that. :)

And Happy Thursday! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

*Poke, Poke*

Are we all still alive? I am, mostly.

I did that thing where I kept forgetting to update this thing or I felt like I just had nothing to talk about. Now, I'm not going to sit here and promise to keep to any kind of schedule right now, because we know that's not going to stick. Because, really, I'm not a politician. ;)

So let's do a quick run down of what's been going on and then we'll see where we're at from there. We'll start with the bad, just to get it out of the way.

Bad: I've been dealing with a lot of headaches and back pain as of late. I could use a chiropractor but that is expensive. I'm making due with drinking more water and watching how much sugar I take in. Plus I'm trying to not sit slouched over so much. Also, I haven't been writing like I should. Despite it being NaNoWriMo. I have no excuse except that I'm lazy. And I'm currently trying to come up with ways to teach William not to wet the bed at night.

And now some Good: I got a sweet new hair cut and color the other day. I've never had it this short and I'm totally loving it. Also, I got a new techie toy, a Microsoft Surface. I've only had a couple days but so far I'm liking it. It doesn't support Google Chrome, which sucks, but I'm managing.

And in other news, William turns four on Sunday. Is there a way to get kids to stop growing?

Well I guess that's it for now. Hopefully I'll be back in a week, but no promises. I do have some book review I can do though.

Have a Wonderful Wednesday! And thanks for reading!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall, Already?

Okay, so this month got away from me in like every way possible. The first week of September I was in Utah visiting family. Then the next week we brought home a guest and she stayed with us for a week and a half. Then last week I went to a Fall Out Boy concert, which was my first ever concert. And somewhere in there, I turned 27. God I'm old.

Anyway, I've been busy and have totally forgotten to blog, or write, or do much of anything productive. I can blame some of it on a wicked cold, and then thus weekend I had a migraine from hell. I call those my "Post Stress Migraines". They only seem to happen after all the crazy has gone away. It's how I decompress I guess. It was either that or I killed my neck trying to see over people at the concert. Which was awesome by the way. And no, I don't have pictures because I was too busy enjoying the moment to film it.

And so, life is now back to normal. I'm in the process of revamping my daily routine, again. I do this a lot, but I'm still struggling to find something that works. Of course, one day I'll figure it out and then something outside of my control will change and I'll be right back to square one again.

But one thing that will not change is what I do here on this blog. We will be back to normal and hopefully I have something more to say at Kricket Writes, on Wednesday, than, "Not much." But I'll wait and get into all of that then.

So, I hope you have a Marvelous Monday and I'll see you on Wednesday!

BTW, do you follow me on Kricket Writes? Well you should. Go click that link and follow me, because, I mean, really, who doesn't want more Kricket in their life? ;)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me!

I have a cold. Picked it up at the in-laws, go figure. :)

Anyway! Vacation was great, the boys had a blast. I know they've had a good day when Will comes up to me and asks to go to bed. But, it's good to be home.

Anyway, I'm not sure what I'm going to do for my birthday. I want to go out and stuff, but it all depends on how I feel by the time Daniel comes home from work. So off I go to make my self feel better.

Have a good week, dear reader! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all my birthday buddies out there. 9/9 is the best!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Going On Vacation

I feel like I don't have much to say today. We're going out of town for Labor Day so I won't be back on this blog until next Friday.

I got a couple kid related post in the works. One talking about the shows my boys like to watch on Netflix and one about the games William likes to play on my Kindle. Beyond that, not much else is going on.

I will be on time with my What's Up Wednesday post on Kricket Writes for this week and next, and hopefully I'll have more to talk about there.

Have a good Monday and and good week!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Book Recommendation

I don't feel like doing my usual Krank today since Monday's post was pretty cranky.

So I'm going to throw out some book recommendations.

Do you like YA with awesome female protagonist? Do you like a rich fantasy world full of magic? Do you like knights, mages, gods/goddesses, spies, international politics, mysteries, or crime solving? Then you will like pretty much anything by Tamora Pierce.

I'm a special fan of her Tortall series. I do own every book there is. I'm amazed by her writing skill. She's managed to write 5 different series that all exist in the same world. And each female protagonist is amazing and original.

So lets run down the list of awesome. Let me start by saying that you can pick up any of these series in an order. They do well standing alone, but you get the full effect of awesome if you read it in order.

First there is Alanna and The Lioness Quartet. Alanna is a girl with the Healer's gift, who also wants to be a knight during a time when such things are not allowed. So she must disguise herself as a boy to achieve her dream.

Next is Daine and The Immortals Quartet. Daine is a young woman who has a special gift with animals, looking for a new home while hiding dark secrets about her past.

Third is Kel and The Protector of the Small Quartet. Now that Alanna has paved the way for girls to become knights, Kel is the first girl to openly try for her knighthood.

Fourth is Aly and The Trickster Series. Aly is the only daughter of the famous Alanna. While trying to find her place in the world, Aly gets pulled into the dark underbelly of spy work and international politics.

And finally there is Beka and her series. This series goes back in time a bit to a, many times over, great grandmother of Aly. Beka wants to be a Provost Dog (aka a police officer). She has a special magical Gift that gives her a unique advantage when pursuing murders and other criminals.

Each of these characters and their series are so unique and original. That's what truly amazes me about Pierce. They are all young adult, coming of age stories, showcasing a different part of the rich world of Tortall. I've been a fan since I was a teenager and even now, as I reread these books, they still hold up and capture the same magic for me as an adult.

As a writer, I can only hope that my female characters will come off as amazing as Pierce's. Where each has a unique voice and story to tell.

So hopefully I've given you a good idea of something to read this weekend. Tell if you do or have read these and what you think.

Happy Friday and thanks for reading!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mommy Confessions: My Big Fat Lazy Bum

This, you will notice, is not the usual Happy Korner, but it's not a Kranky post either. It's confession time!

Sometimes I feel like I'm the laziest person I know. I've been a lazy, procrastinating, lazy person most of my life. Why did I have less than average grades in school? Too lazy to do my homework. Why did I flunk out of college? Too lazy to go to class. Why did I have so many sick days when I was working? Too lazy to go to work. Why does my house get dirty and stay that way for days, if not weeks? Too lazy to get off my ass and do anything but the bare necessities.

Oh, I come up with all kinds of excuses for my self and those around me. I'm sick, I'm tired, the boys were crazy, I'm in a bad mood. The list goes on and on. But what it really gets down too is that I allow myself to get distracted with things. Books, games, this damn internet. I lack self discipline, period.

But man, what really gets under my skin is people who think that being a stay-at-home mom is easy. That we just get to do whatever we want and sit around and watch soap operas all day while we eat tootsie rolls (I do neither, I prefer M&M and Star Trek reruns ;)) Being a SAHM means that you have to be your own boss. You have to learn how to manage your time and keep your self on track. This is not as easy as it might seem, especially for me.

So how do I overcome this? Do I have the secret formula? No, but if you find one, please share, I'll pay you! The best I've managed to come up with is momentum. I have to get up in the morning and just get right to work and not stop until I have no more energy left. I've learned, over time, to pace my self. There was a lot of trial and error in that, but I've figured out what works for me.

And for all the tricks and tips I've learned and applied, there's still the part where I get up off my butt and actually move. Sometimes I think I need tasers on every chair and attached to all my electronics just to keep myself moving throughout the day. One day I'll have a computer smart enough to not turn on until I have proven that I got all the stuff on my to do list done.

But until then, I guess I have to hold my self accountable and not be a big fat lazy bum. Hi ho! Hi ho! It's off to do the laundry I go!

Thanks for reading and have a Marvelous Monday!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Kricket's Happy Korner: Volunteering

Let's talk about volunteering and how awesome it is. :) If you didn't know already, I volunteer for Foothills Animal Shelter. I go in on Saturday's and walk dogs for 2 hours, and then spot clean the kennels. It's pretty much the best thing ever.

Not me, but you get the idea. 

My previous volunteering experiences have not been as good. As a teenager, the youth organizations of my church gave us a lot of "opportunities" to serve, and most of them I did not like. Going and singing to old people at a nursing home always scared me (thanks traumatizing experience, Brownies). And going to other people's home to clean it, worst idea ever. "Service Projects" always made me cringe because it generally involved helping other people. I'm not really a people person.

Don't get me wrong, I love people. I'm also pretty good in social situations and I'm even comfortable standing up and giving talks or teaching a class. It's just, given a choice between helping people or picking up dog poop... Hand me the pooper scooper please.

So what made me think of spending my Saturday afternoons volunteering? Well, for a while now I've dreamed of the time when the kids would all be in school and I'd have entire afternoons to my self and the idea of volunteering at an animal shelter always appealed to me. Then, one day it dawned on me that I didn't have to wait that long.

I'll admit, my reasoning for starting were 100% selfish, and that's okay. I wanted to get some time away from the kids and I wanted to play with animals. All of these desires are totally self serving. But yesterday, as I was walking dogs and seeing how happy they were, with their cute little puppy smiles and the way their tails wag, I realized that I'm helping them more then they're helping me and it made me feel really good.

You're smiling because he's smiling. :)

And who doesn't want to feel good?

So, if you're looking for something good and productive to do on the weekends, a good place to start is . There you can find projects in your area. Also, if you're interested in helping animals, look up your local animal shelter or humane society to see if they are in need of help (trust me, they are).

Well, thanks for reading and I hope you have a Magnificent Monday!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Kranky Kricket: Poop

I posted a little thing on Facebook about this yesterday, but I thought I'd expound upon it here, because this is my blog and I can do that. ;P

So I have some neighbors that I, believe, have two cats. A gray tabby and a black one. I know the tabby is their's for sure, and the black one is always around so I just figure it's my neighbor's as well.

Anyway, I live in a little town home complex that has a rule about keeping your animals on a leash when outside, INCLUDING cats. And along with that rule is one to pick up after your animals.

Well, these cats have decided that my garden is their litter box. I used to have flowers there, but they died, so now it's just an empty patch of dirt by my front door. And for weeks now I've been finding cat poop in there and there has been dirt spread all over my front walk. It's annoying and it's messy, not to mention gross and dangerous. Poop of any kind is full of nastiness.

I'm getting fed up with this. I've even moved some of my potted plants so that the cats can't get to the area, but that hasn't stopped them. There was dirt everywhere just yesterday. I shouldn't have to put up with this or clean up the cats' mess. They're not my cats.

And what really gets under my skin is that I have a 10 lb Chihuahua who is the same size, if not smaller, than these cats. I pick up his poop when we go out. You'd think these cat owners could do the same thing.

So, now I'm waiting to catch these cats in the act. And when I do, I'm going to talk to their owner. I'm sure the owner isn't aware that their cats do this and hopefully by making them aware, they'll stop letting their cats out. They're not supposed to be out by them selves anyway.

And for the record, I like cats, never owned one, but I do like them.

I mean, come on, who couldn't love a face like that? :)
Well, thanks for reading and I hope you have a less cranky Friday and a fun filled weekend!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I'm alive, I swear!

Hello dear reader. I am sorry for my absence. I have not forgotten you. Well, actually, I did, but it wasn't on purpose. Life keeps me busy and away from my computer a lot, which is good, but still.

Daniel bought this fancy new Chrome Book thing for school, which he started yesterday. But when he's at work it's all mine. So now I'll be able to update my blogs and be online more without having to lock my self in my room and away from the boys. They didn't like that and it's hard to concentrate when there are boys screaming at the door.

So here I am, telling you that things will be going back to normal now, promise. :)

Thanks for reading and have a good Tuesday!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Kricket's Happy Korner: Happy Animals

I can't believe I totally forgot to do a post Friday. And I had something to Krank about too. But, it's a new day now, and a Monday at that, so let's think happy thoughts.

This past Saturday I started to do volunteer work at Foothills Animal Shelter. It was all orientation stuff and training, but I'm super excited. I've always wanted to work with animals. When I was little I wanted to be a veterinarian, but as I got older and realized how much school that required, I gave that up.

I've always loved animals and growing up we hardly ever went without some kind of pet. Mostly dogs and countless hamsters, but we also had parakeets, and a cat, once. My dad is allergic to cats. And I am much more an animal person than a people person.

Once Daniel and I got married we went through two hamsters and now have a dog.

We got Happy from Foothills Animal Shelter two years ago and I love him to death. He's a great little dog. He loves to cuddle and play and he's as his name implies, happy.

So here in a couple weeks I'll start really working at the shelter. Part of this is to just get me out of the house and away from the kids once a week. And nothing is more relaxing and happy than hanging out with animals.

And now, if you have a pet, give it a big hug and a treat. If you don't have one and want one, go to your local shelter. Some of them, like Foothills, even have small critters like birds and rodents or reptiles. Save a life, an animal's and your's. :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kricket's Happy Korner: Girl Power!

Okay, I meant to post this yesterday, but yesterday went to hell in a hand basket, so here we are today. :P

I woke up this morning not having a clue what I was going to write about today. This last week has been kind of cruddy for me and I couldn't think of anything happy to talk about. But then I remembered what people always say, when you're feeling down, count your blessings and what you're thankful for, so that's what I'm going to do.

So, once a month, like many women, I get super grumpy and irritable and my body seems to go on strike and do everything it can to make me feel miserable. For a week or more I sit around hating the fact that I am female. But today, I want to talk about all the reasons it's good to be a girl. :)

  1. In my opinion, girls are just naturally prettier than boys. We're all round and soft and squishy in all the right places. There's a reason God made Eve last, it takes time to make something this perfect. ;)
  2. With that, we have more options in how we beautify ourselves. More clothing styles, more hairstyles, make up, perfume, the works. 
  3. Our reproductive organs are all nicely tucked away inside of our bodies. I just can't imagine men are very comfortable most of the time.
  4. Speaking of reproduction, we are the only ones that can have children. Maybe one day technology will be able to make men have babies (and I'll be totally on board with that) but until then, we're the ones that get to do that. As unfun as it is sometimes, overall, having children and raising children is a wonderful and amazing thing. That's why we put up with this monthly pain and annoyance.
  5. I'll try not to be all sexist and say that women are better than men at almost everything, because that is more on an individual basis than a gender one, but it is nice that in this day and age, women can do practically anything they want. We can stay home with kids or we can go out and have a career in almost any field. Thank you, early feminist.
And there you have it. This is what I tell my self when I have those, "I don't want to be a girl!" days. It helps to think positive. :)

Thank you for reading and have a happy Tuesday! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Kranky Kricket: Smart Phones Don't Like Toilets

So, I didn't update this last week because I had family in town and I went an entire week without getting on my computer. Minor miracle for me. But I'm back now and we shall move forward into the Krankiness. :)

Let's talk about smartphones and the people that provide them to us. About three weeks ago I upgraded to a smart phone and I was very excited. It can do everything my Kindle does, plus make phone calls. Only thing that kept me from putting my Kindle aside for good was the tiny phone screen. I don't like squinting at screens.

Anyway, when I bought the phone, the nice guy at the store talked me into getting insurance on the phone. At first I almost didn't do it. I've never once broken any of my previous dumb phones. I always managed to keep them safe in my pocket and away from sticky/slippery children hands. But as the salesman was describing the insurance, I got this image of Will or Jacob dropping my phone into the toilet so I went ahead and signed up for the insurance.

And lo and behold, I dropped the phone into the toilet. Serves me right trying to multitask at 5 a.m. I tried to save it as fast as possible but it was a goner.

So then I went to my local cell phone store to get a new phone and that's when stuff started to get annoying. Apparently, not all Verizon stores are the same. See I got the phone at the Flatiron Mall in Bloomfield with my sister. And the stores that are in the mall operate differently than a stand alone stores, at least with the insurance and stuff. So after driving all the way to one store and waiting around a bit with Will and Jacob in tow, I'm told I have to go all the way back to the original store.

I got sick later that day so I had to wait until the next day to drive over half an hour just so the salesman could call the insurance place for me and then I talk to the insurance lady and get it all settled. $100 later and now I'm just waiting for my new phone to arrive in the mail sometime tomorrow.

Of course, with all of this, I've lost my contacts and all the pictures that were on the now dead smart phone. I didn't have a ton of stuff on there yet, but it's enough to be annoying.

But I've learned my lesson. Never take a smart phone into the bathroom with you and make sure you're paying attention to all the fine print.

And that's my crankiness for the week. I hope your's has been less irritating. :) Thanks as always for reading and have a good weekend!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Kricket's Happy Korner: Who Are You?

I'm going to start this off with a little book review, because I like books, so there. :P

Storm Front by Jim Butcher get 5 stars!

Harry Dresden is a Wizard for hire, the only one listed in the Chicago phone book. Business is slow but things begin to pick up when he is called in to help the police solve a gruesome murder that could only be done through powerful magic.

I was told to read this book, so I did and I loved it. It's a fun read and Harry is a great character to be in the head of. The story never stops and even through the crap just gets piled on higher and higher for Harry, he always manages to scrape out by the skin of his teeth. It's intense and keeps you guessing. I didn't stop reading until my Kindle died and reminded me that it was past midnight and time to go to bed.

I highly recommend this for anyone who likes urban fantasy or crime mysteries. 

The other thing I want to share was a personality quiz a friend showed to me just this morning. I'm a sucker for these things but I have never found one that was so accurate. It's kind of scary. It had me down to a T. Try it out, it only takes about 20 minutes and maybe you'll learn something new about your self.

Thank you for reading, as always. Have a happy Monday and Happy Canada Day to my northern neighbors and early Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Kranky Kricket: Not So Kranky

Yeah, I have stuff I could whine about today (I always do) but I don't want to do that because yesterday was Daniel and mine's 5 year wedding anniversary. :)

Back on June 27, 2008 Daniel and I got married at the Salt Lake City Temple.

In front of the Temple doors
It was a pretty amazing and stressful day (as wedding days always are).

In the 5 years since, I have moved a total of 4 times between 3 different states (GA->UT->CO), worked for 2 years, had 2 kids, been too poor to buy milk and then had enough money to buy a car, wrote one book that sucked and am working on another one that hopefully doesn't suck as much. Daniel has gotten his Associates degree in Accounting and had a few different jobs, and all the while we have weathered the ups and downs of life together. I couldn't have asked for a better man to have by my side through all of it.

And the best part is, I get to keep him forever and ever! You know, whether I like it or not. ;)

So looking forward, what will the next five years bring?
  • Daniel will get his Bachelors in Accounting
  • We'll get out of debt
  • We'll buy a house
  • We'll have at least one more kid
  • I'll finish a book that is good enough to be published
  • And the rest of life will just be smooth sailing....
I mean, that's how it works, right? Once you make it through the first five years everything gets easier? No? *looks disappointed* Oh well, I guess we'll just keep doing what we do, BEING AWESOME! :D

Wow, we looked so young!
Thank you for reading while I gushed and have a happy weekend!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Kricket's Happy Korner: Books!

If you hadn't noticed, I really love to read. I read as much as possible, but it's hard, I don't have as much time as I used to.

So, over the last couple of weeks I've read two very good books and I shall review them here.

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley gets 4 stars.

It's a really interesting read since the main character wakes up in a park, in the rain, surrounded by dead people and has no idea who she is. But she soon finds out that she's an agent for a secret government agency that protects the world from supernatural threats and one of her co-workers wants her dead.

This book gripped me from page one and was a great ride. Even parts of the book that could have been very info dumping and boring were good, not perfect, but still good.

I highly recommend it to people who like the paranormal and/or superheros like X-Men.

Don't Bite the Bridesmaid by Tiffany Allee gets 5 stars!

Alice needs a date for her sister's wedding that's taking place on a week long cruise. Who better to ask than her hot neighbor Noah? Problem is, Noah is a vampire.

This was just a fun and quick read all around. I'm not normally one for paranormal romance or vampires but the characters in this book are just soooo good. They feel very real and I believed everything they did. The romance was wonderfully sexy and the ending was also quite satisfying.

I haven't enjoyed a romance like this in a long time.

So there you have it. What good books have you read recently, tell me in the comments!

Have a Happy Monday!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Kranky Kricket: Mommy Guilt

Oh my, I just realized, here at 7:30 PM on a Saturday, that I forgot to post a blog yesterday. I had it all planned out in my head too. But have no fear, brave reader, I am here now. Following is a slightly pessimistic, and rambling, view of motherhood.

So let's talk about Mommy Guilt. It's a thing, I'm sure of it. And it's brought on by some crazy idea of what the "perfect" mother should be. In my mind, the "perfect" Mom is one who keeps her house clean, kids properly fed and appropriately clothed, is loving but firm in her disciple, keeps her kids busy doing healthy or educational things, sticks to a good schedule/routine, and is always productive. Any thing else, like hobbies or spending time with people who are not your kids, is just gravy.

I am none of those things. Well, I might be a couple of them on any given day and I've only manged to do all of them at once, maybe twice a month, but that's it.

I'm always behind on the house work, and my house isn't even all that big. There are some days where the majority of Will's diet is Goldfish and we're all in our PJ's all day. My disciple ranges from spoiling the boys, to completely over reacting to minor things. The boys spend way too much time watching TV and not enough time being outside or doing something constructive. My routine, even when written down, is all over the place most days. And I spend way to much time being online doing next to nothing.

I am so far from perfect it's scary and depressing. And there are many days that I go to bed kind of hating my self for it. And rationally, I KNOW I shouldn't feel this way, I KNOW that no one is perfect, not even those people I look up too. I KNOW that there really isn't such a thing as "perfect". And yet, I always find my self lacking.

All of this, is Mommy Guilt. We Moms want the best for our families and we want to give them our all and make life easy and beautiful for them. I mean, that's our job right? It's not enough that we're pregnant for 9 long awful months and then push a baby out of our abused bodies. We're expected to care for and nurture every aspect of this tiny creature's entire life.

And this Guilt doesn't even cover our other roles as Wives, or Employees, or Friends, or Family. This just has to do with children.

It's a lot of responsibility and a lot of pressure. Lives are in our hands. If we mess it up, there's a whole life damaged and scarred, that might not be able to recover. Lot of freaking pressure, I tell you. Thus, the Guilt.

And Mommy Guilt can be debilitating, trust me, I know. I fight it every day. I open my eyes every morning and have to decide how I'm going to approach this day and by the time I close my eyes at night, nothing has gone as I planned. Sometimes it's totally out of my control, but many times, I know it's my fault and what I did wrong. I promise to do better the next day, but it never really gets better. The Guilt makes it hard to get up the next day. It makes me want to curl up in a ball and sleep, hoping that when I wake up, all the problems will just go away.

To be really blunt, it fucking sucks. ((or no, she said the F word, run for your lives, cover your bleeding ears!))

BUT, I offer hope, more for my self than you, but you can have it too, I'll share. Now, repeat after me: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT. SCREW WHAT OTHER PEOPLE DO OR THINK. YOU ARE THE MOTHER TO YOUR CHILDREN, YOU KNOW WHAT'S BEST FOR THEM AND YOUR SELF. THE REST OF THE WORLD CAN EAT YOUR HOME MADE CHOCOLATE POOP PIE! (bonus cookies for the person who gets that reference)

Now, go forth, dear reader, and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Comments welcome!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Kricket's Happy Korner: Father's Day

So yesterday was Father's Day and of course I got to thinking about the fathers in my life.

And, obviously, the first one to pop into my mind was my own dad.

Dad and William on a merry-go-round
He's kind of awesome, but I'm kind of biased. :) I know I'm really lucky to have such a great dad in my life. He's happy, fun loving, and smarter than a lot of people give him credit for. I've been told we're a lot a like and I used to hate that growing up, but now I'm proud of it. He's a terrific dad and an amazing granddad. William and Jacob adore him.

And then there's Daniel.

Jacob, Daniel & William
I could not have asked for a better father to my children. He loves hanging out with his boys and is willing to do everything for them. He's patient when I'm not and shares in all the responsibilities. I couldn't do all of this without him.

So Happy Father's Day to my dad, Daniel, and all the other great fathers out there. I hope you had a good day yesterday and that those feelings will lift you up throughout the week.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Kranky Kricket: Disappointments

Hello Good Reader. Take a deep breath in... now let's get it all out.

Don't you just hate it when you discover something new and you're really excited about it but after a while it's just hugely disappointing? I've had this happen to me three times this week.

I'd like to start with the game I discovered a few weeks ago called Dragon Story. I praised it in my first Happy Korner, but just this morning I found out some things that kind of tick me off. So over the last few days the game would crash on me whenever I tried to visit other people's dragon islands. I couldn't figure out why this was happening so I did some digging online. Come to find out, the version I have on my Kindle is not the actual latest version of the game. If I want that, I'd have to have an iOS device. Apparently people with iProducts have all sorts of features and dragons that I, as a Kindle user, will never have. And it doesn't look like the developers of the game are going to fix this anytime soon.

It's just annoying. Why offer a game if you're not going to offer the full version? I'd even be willing to pay real money to get a fuller version of the game, but that isn't even an option.

Nonetheless, I'll continue to play the game, just minus the social aspect of it, since the reason the game would crash was because I was trying to visit iOS supported islands.

The other thing that was disappointing was an anime I found earlier this week called Trinity Blood. I got so into this show. I normally avoid most things with vampires because I feel the trope is way over used, but this put a different spin on it that I like. Plus, the biggest draw for me was the main character, Able Nightroad. He's pretty much the most kick ass anime character ever. Goofy+Hot+Killer Powerful=Totally Awesome in the Kricket Book of Awesomeness (it's a thing, I'm working on it ;) ).

But the last episode of this show was just awful. It's going good and it's gearing up for, what should be, an epic battle. It even gets this battle started, but then it's like the writers realized they only had ten minutes left of the show and rushed the hell out of it. There is just soooo much more they could have done with this, it makes me sad. But, it also makes me want to read the manga and/or novel as well, so you have that.

And finally, there was a book I was looking forward to reading but 10% of the way through and I just couldn't get into it.

I tried, I really did. But it gets to these parts with these aliens and the author just took too damn long to actually describe what these aliens look like. At first I thought he was talking about a creature with multiple heads and arms and things and I could not for the life of me figure it out. Finally it comes together that a single alien entity it actually a pack of wolves, and as cool as that is, the whole book was just done for me by then. So I moved on.

And that's my gripes this week. Now that I've let them out I feel a little better.

So tell me, what things have you gotten really excited for and then walked away from wondering why you even bothered? Tell me in the comments!

Thanks for reading and have a Happy Weekend!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Kricket's Happy Korner: Family & Books

Last week was a very busy week. Lots of running around, lots of cleaning, lots of visiting with people. I think this week will be more relaxed.

So here's what I'm thankful for:

  • I got to see my day last week. He was in town on business and we got to celebrate his birthday with him as well. The boys loved hanging out with Granddad and we can't wait to see him and Grandma again in July.
  • Will got his new glasses and he loves them. It's nice to have frames that fit and lenses that work.
  • I love good books and I love finding new ones.

Speaking of good books, here's a review!

I'm giving The Enchanted Forest Chronicles 4 Stars. I used to consider this five stars when I was younger, but now that I'm an adult and a more experienced writer I see flaws that I didn't notice before.

This is a four book set that is a quick and easy read. It's very funny as it takes a lot of the classic fairy tales and turns them around on themselves. It's a great series and pretty solid story telling. What got to me was the third book. It felt like there were just too many characters in any given scene and they all had to say something. You have a pregnant queen, a witch, a magician, a King of the Dragons (who is female), 2 cats, a  talking rabbit that got turned into a blue floating/flying donkey, a fire witch, and all the villains. That's a lot of useless talking.

But the whole thing picks up again by the fourth book.

It's a great read and I highly recommend it to anybody, but especially middle school age girls.

So there's a dose of happy to take with your drink of choice as you continue to face this day. Happy Monday!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Kranky Kricket: Love/Hate Government

Unlike last week, I don't really have a laundry list of things that bothered me this week. I mean, yeah, there are some government things I could talk about, but my opinions aren't that much different from everyone else.

A lot of what's going on in Washington is interesting and everyone is all shocked or surprised by things, whereas I don't think they should be. What is going on now, this is not the first time our government has covered up an international incident. This isn't the first time different groups have been targeted and harassed by the government. And this is not the first time that the government has spent a lot of time and resources monitoring their own people for various reasons.

What makes things different now is that we live in an era of information. It's easier to find information and it's easier to spread it. Thanks Internet. Sometimes all we find and spread are lies, but in there is a nugget of truth. And thankfully, we the people, no longer have to simply take what we are spoon fed by the major media.

But even through all of this, I still love this country and I'm still grateful for this government. It's not perfect by any means, because it is run by people. And humans are possibly the most flawed creatures on this planet. But I'd rather live here than any where else.

Now remember friends, take deep breathes and let go of all that negativity and have a great weekend!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Kricket's Happy Korner: A Slice of My Life

Hello lovely readers and welcome to the first episode of Kricket's Happy Korner! This is where I share the stuff that made me grin or laugh or whatever happy response you prefer. Let's get started shall we?

To start things off, I'm grateful for long weekends where I get to have Daniel home for an extra day and we all get to play together as a family.

Ke$ha's new CD. I've been listening to it non-stop for like a week. It's a great mix of peepy and soulful songs and it just makes me grin and want to dance or sing along when I listen to it.

So You Think You Can Dance is pretty much the best competition show on TV. Who wants to watch mediocre singers stand on a stage when you can watch amazing dancers fly across one? I mean really. Also, way better than Dancing With the Stars because these dancers actually know what the hell they're doing and they're damn good at it too.

I've become addicted to this game on my Kindle Fire called Dragon Story. It's a game were you hatch, raise and breed pretty dragons. The dragon designs are great and very diverse. I find it great fun, but I'm pretty easily amused.

And now for a book review. :)

I'm giving Mockingjay 4 Stars. I really liked it, and felt it was a good ending to the series. Not a happy ending but a real one. I've read other's reviews and understand some of the negative ones but I like that this story didn't end happy for Katniss. At least not fairy tale happy. It's more real. Some reviewers wanted her to be a super hero, but she's not really, she's just a 17 year old girl trying to survive and sometimes only kind of succeeding. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the movies.

I am a big fan of Felicia Day and she just launched a new YouTube channel called Geek & Sundry Vlogs and on it is one vlogger who talks about comics. I'm kind of new to comics and Amy Dallen does a good job of introducing the world of comics to people. Also, she's kind of cute as a button. Here is the first video. You should check out the rest of the channel as well, it's nothing but geek stuff.

And that's all for now, friends! *reads over blog* Yep, that kind of sums up my life and all the things I like to do.

So tell me, what makes you happy? Is there something new you've discovered that you'd like to share? I'd love to hear about it in the comments. *hint hint nudge nudge*

Have a happy start to your week!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Kranky Kricket: The First Scream

Welcome to the first edition of Kranky Kricket, where I whine a little and y'all get to be my sounding board. :)

Okay then, everyone ready? Deep breath in, and SCREAM!

Being sick really sucks. So does figuring out that your old favorite way to sleep is bad for your neck and is why you wake up stiff every morning. Of course this is a new development. I strained my neck somehow a week or two ago and now I wake up hardly being able to move it. It gets better after being awake for a while and moving it around, but it's back the next day.

I know I should go to the chiropractor but as it is with insurance right now, it'd cost $40 a visit. And if you've ever been to a chiropractor you know it's nearly impossible to go just once a month. They always start with at least weekly visits, if not more. I really like my chiropractor, I'm just poor at the moment since we just had to pay for new glasses for William out of pocket.

And that's a whole other issue. I was taking him to one eye doctor that prescribed bi-focals for Will. I was skeptical at first but we still tried them for a month. Will spent the whole time wearing them on the tip of his nose so he could look over them. After determining that the eye doctor was on crack I found a new one. New eye doctor is much more competent.

Alas, we have already bought one pair of glasses this year, so insurance is not going to cover a second pair for him. $387 for a pair of kids glasses. I can't even imagine how much money my parents spent on glasses for me.

In other things that made me frustrated, not having internet. I'll admit it, I'm a slave to my computer and all my devices that connect me to the internet, so when that goes away, I feel a little lost. And I don't consider my self that addicted, honest.

But then the other thing is when you call the internet provider company about it, all you get is robot answering machines and then it has the audacity to tell you what websites you can go to to find out about local outages. Well now, if I could get ON THE INTERNET I wouldn't be calling you now would I?

So there's my gripes for the week. Tell me what's been bugging you this week in the comments! It's good to get these things out so we can all enjoy the weekend a little more.

Thanks for reading and have a Happy Friday!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The New Plan

Hello Wonderful Readers! Thanks for being patient while I tinkered with my blogs, I hope you find it worth your time. :)

So, along with a slightly new look, notice the background change and a few new things on the side, there is also going to be a new line up of content that I will stick to like it's a new religion. If you really love me, and I know you do, you should be excited for a chance to hear from me 3 TIMES A WEEK! Crazy, right? Yeah, I'm crazy.

Here is the New Schedule:

MONDAY: "Kricket's Happy Korner" I'm a real believer in the power of positive thinking (think happy thoughts and you can fly Peter Pan!). Also, I'm a fan of reminding my self of all the things I have to be thankful for. Sometimes the world is full of so much crazy and negative things and you just need a pick me up. And what day do we need that most? Monday. So I'll be writing about things that make me happy and what I'm thankful for in the past week.

WEDNESDAY: "What's Up Wednesday" This will continue over on Kricket Writes. I've been doing it for about two months now and I like it. In WUW I give word count updates on my current projects and other general writing observations. I'll also be sharing an excerpt of something I wrote that week and sometimes sharing interesting/insightful writing news/advice.

FRIDAY: "Kranky Kricket" Because we can't be happy all the time and sometimes you just need to let some things go. So here I'll be purging all the things that annoyed me over the week so I can be unburdened for the weekend. You're welcome to come join me as I scream into the void just for the pleasure of hearing it echo back to us.

I'll still be doing book reviews, if I liked the book, it'll pop up on Monday, if I didn't like it, you'll see it on Friday.

And there you have it. I am very serious about sticking to this new schedule and if I slip up, you're allowed to be angry with me. So please, come along with me and leave comments, I LOVE comments! Let's remind ourselves that we're not alone in the great big thing that we call The Internet/The World.

Happy Monday!

P.S. I wrote this a few days ago and now remember that today is Memorial Day here in the USA. So thank you to all the wonderful and brave men and women who serve to protect this country and have helped to provide the freedoms that I take for granted everyday.

Special shout out to my brother who served in the Navy! :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Work Being Done

So last night I came up with some ideas to put some life back into my blog.

I know, I'm always coming up with new schedules and swearing that I'll stick to them, but this time, I Think I've got it. :)

Thus, for the next week or so, I'll be overhauling both of my blogs. So I'll just but this sign here:

And everything should be up and running nicely next week. Have a good week!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Book Review: Catching Fire

(as usual, everything is from Amazon)


Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.


Well, like with The Hunger Games, I'm a little late in reading this. And as with the first book, the thing that got me to pick it up was the movie trailer.

I think I liked this book more than the first one. I like political intrigue and sometimes I wish we could have seen more of that in this book. It looks like the movie will show us more of that so I'm excited to see it.

I found Katniss even more believable in this book than the first one. She's still in survival mode and now she's even more torn between Peeta and Gale, as well as torn between whether or not she should be in love with anyone at all. It's nice too see a love triangle like this where the girl isn't always consumed with lovey dovey thoughts.

I'm also impressed with the characterization of the other side characters. They're fleshed out nicely and I hope we get to see more of them in Mockingjay.

Oddly enough, Catching Fire has drawn me in more than The Hunger Games did. So I'll be reading Mockingjay soon. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Potty Training & Advice

NOTE: I apologize to any of my readers who aren't parents or who just don't care about this kind of stuff. You can always check out The Writing Blog. :)

We have made a great big step in potty training this week. William is consistently pooping in the potty and hasn't had any accidents of any kind in almost a week. Trust me, a week is a long time in Potty Training Land.

When I started potty training (and I say the rest of this as someone who's still in the thick of it, this stuff ain't over by any means) I did a ton of research about when to know your child is ready and how to go about it and all that jazz. And the one thing I saw repeated over and over is to trust your instincts.

There are some other basics to getting started. Like:

A. Be sure your child can communicate well. There's a lot of explaining that needs to be done. Your child should be able to understand you and vise-versa.

B. Persistence  Once you start, don't give up. Take breaks if you need to, if you or your toddler is just too stressed out by the whole thing. But don't give up.

C. And as I said, trust your instincts. You know your child better than anyone else. You'll know when they're ready and you'll know what strategy will work best to help them learn.

The strategy we've used for Will has been pretty straight forward. In the beginning I had (still have) a potty seat in the living room and I'd make him sit on it ever half hour or so. Every 15 minutes kind of drove me crazy. We also spent a few days running around commando so he didn't have the security of going in his pants.

Once he went in the potty properly we celebrated and rewarded him with cookies. Will loves cookies. After a while he began to understand that going potty=cookies and began to go as often as possible.

Learning to poop took a little longer. We began using a chart to mark when he went potty and when he had accidents. I think that was more for me than him, but he likes getting stars. And then I began not letting him do anything in the morning until he pooped in the potty. Again he went pantless. Will loves his TV time in the morning and was willing to do whatever it took to get his TV.

It did not take long. Within a day he got the idea and being rewarded with TWO cookies after pooping is the best!

So now, my next step is to get the potty seat from the living room to the bathroom. Will's going to miss being able to watch shows and potty at the same time, but that's what books are for!

In other kid news, Jacob now has two teeth and is this close to walking on his own. I'm kind of freaking out about having two little ones walking around. Things were easier when Jacob couldn't move much.

And that's what my life has been consumed with lately.

Thanks for reading! Happy Thursday!