100 Favorite Books Meme

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 1 comment
This meme has been floating around blogs for weeks now. Apparently this is a list of 100 favorite books as voted by the general public (in order). I, obviously, was not one of those who voted. I definitely need to pay closer attention to the NY Times bestseller list.

To play along, you take the list below, paste it into your own blog, put READ next to those you’ve read, WANT TO next to those you are interested in, AGAIN & AGAIN next to those you’ve read and can’t stop, and leave blank those you don’t care to read. Of course, I added some of my own commentary and I bolded my favorites.

For someone who once aspired to write a great novel, I am not well-read (well, that is if you consider reading this entire list as well-read). My list is pretty pathetic.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) By the time I caught on to this one, everyone else had already read it and spoiled it for me
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) Again & Again
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) Again & Again
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien) I just can’t get “into” this genre
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling) WANT TO (with Chloe someday)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling) WANT TO
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden) WANT TO
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Rowling) WANT TO
17. Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling) WANT TO
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) READ
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) READ
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) READ
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel) WANT TO but it may go the way of Da Vinci Code as everyone keeps talking about it
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) READ
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck) READ
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom) READ
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell) READ
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel) I think I may have started this one as I know my Dad read it and had it in our home library
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella) READ
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible READ
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt) READ
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) READ
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens) READ
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens) READ
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald) READ
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling) WANT TO
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) WANT TO
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) WANT TO
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy) WANT TO
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller) READ
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding) AGAIN & AGAIN
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. Tigana (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White) READ
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck) READ
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier) AGAIN & AGAIN (I read this in high school and hated it and then I picked it up years later and loved it!)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen) READ
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) READ
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding) READ
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck) READ
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd) WANT TO (started but not finished)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton) READ
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce) READ

Chloe's Pre-School Photo

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 1 comment

Chloe's Pre-School Photo, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

There seems to be a puzzle theme in pre-school photo backgrounds but nevertheless we got a great photo of Chloe from her pre-school.

Chloe Rocks Out at the Easter Party

Saturday, March 24, 2007 No comments

Easter Party

IMG_1434, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

We enjoyed our Saturday morning hunting for Easter eggs with our Newcomer’s group. As expected, Chloe was not thrilled to meet the Easter Bunny, but she warmed up to him and even allowed him to get close enough to hand her an egg. Chloe now believes bunny’s lay eggs and stickers hatch from them. After the egg hunting, a local performer put on a concert for the kids. I managed to get a video of Chloe rocking out. We received lots of compliments on Chloe’s overalls and many asked if I make her holiday-themed overalls. I do not, I get them all here.

IMG_1445, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Lesson Learned

This past week has taught me a lesson - Children grow up way too fast. I no longer have an infant. I have a toddler who is on an advanced placement track to becoming a teenager. I would have sworn on more than one occasion this week that I was with a 13 year old and not a two year old.

Example 1: There was the moment in a store this week that made me thankful that there aren’t bars in malls. My dearest child was on her worst behavior running away from me in the store and hiding in the clothes racks like a teenager who didn’t want to be seen with her mother at the mall. I would demand Chloe come stand next to me and I would get, “What?! What!? I stand right here! I’m right here!” The scariest thing about it was the throwing up of her arms at “What!? What!?”. I think she came pre-programmed with a pre-teen/adolescent attitude.

Example 2: On waking I have Chloe sit on the potty. After a not so great night, Chloe wasn’t keen to this idea and at my request I got, “I don’t like Mommy right now!” back at me. This was a first and I am certain not the last time I will hear this statement. I figure it’s just a preview to my life in 10 years.

Example 3: Check the photo out—Chloe feeding the dog (below). Chloe has now added feeding the dog to her daily list of chores and demands that she do it everyday. I am no longer allowed to feed the dog and as soon as I make the attempt I get scolded and have to witness the waterworks. So, Chloe was feeding the dog when I noticed her pants were now “hip-huggers” (see photo) and she was wearing her dress-up shoes. Oh please, tell me this is not her fashion sense.

IMG_1418, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Two Year Referral Anniversary

Sunday, March 18, 2007 2 comments

chloe_referral_blog, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Two years ago today we received the call from our agency, GWCA, that we had a daughter in Guangdong Province, P.R.C. We were so excited to hear all about her and to see her photos via email. When we received Chloe's photos we took the digital image up to have it put on coffee mugs and a t-shirt we proudly wore. As we look at Chloe today, we can hardly recall life without her.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Saturday, March 17, 2007 1 comment

Happy St. Patrick's Day, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe holding her St. Pat's card from BeBe & PaPaw and the $5 she got inside.


Friday, March 16, 2007 No comments

I'm predicting you can find this rodent under 8 inches of snow in his hole on Gobbler's Knob in Pennsylvania. Hey Phil, still think spring is right around the corner?

Snow Angel

Snow Angel, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Well, it's snowed all day. Big, fat snowflakes. As soon as Chloe got up from her nap I dressed her for outside and we went to the backyard to play. As soon as we got outside it started sleeting. So, we spent just enough time outside to snap these photos and return inside.


IMG_1398, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe clearing the snow from the top of the sandbox.


IMG_1396, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe standing in the backyard by her sandbox (left). I shoveled this back patio 3 times today already and it keeps getting covered.

Snow fight

IMG_1397, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe is trying to pick up some snow to throw at me.

Happy Birthday Matt!!

Thursday, March 15, 2007 No comments
Today, the Ides of March, is Matt's birthday. Matt has been very busy at work and has been working lots of crazy hours so Chloe and I wanted to make him something special so we made him a chocolate cake. As we frosted the cake, Chloe informed me that she doesn't like cake but I can assure you that she likes icing.

Chloe is beginning to comprehend that a birthday means a celebration and she's all for that. She is already making plans for her birthday in June. We drove Matt to work in the city and talked about it being Daddy's birthday. Apparently this got the wheels turning in her head and as we waited in traffic across from Central Park she pointed out a black horse & carriage that she wanted to ride on her birthday. She also informed me that she wanted a pink cake and to take a boat/ferry on the Hudson River (yes, my child does know that the Hudson River separates NJ and NY...do you expect anything less from a former U.S. History teacher?). Well, her wish is our command. Now, we just have to work on comprehending that she has 3 months to wait until her birthday.

Daddy's Cake

Daddys Cake, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe assisting Matt with the candles on his cake.

Daddy's BDay

Dadys BDay, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe, wearing Matt's tie, looks on as Matt opens cards and his present. If you can, check out the chocolate icing on Chloe's face.

Class Photos

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 1 comment

ywca_class_photos, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Mommy & Me photos came in today. I thought Chloe looked so cute with her pig-tails!

Dog For Sale..

Monday, March 12, 2007 2 comments
After sweeping and mopping the floors today I let the dog back in the house. I had a white streak haul past leaving behind a trail. I followed the trail to the end to find the perpetraitor....

Winter is Still Here

Wednesday, March 07, 2007 No comments
It's 19 degrees and it's March 7. The first day of spring is roughly 13 days away and we have snow. So, I am happy to report that I booked Chloe and my flight to Dallas for Easter. I never thought Dallas would rank #1 for my places to escape winter, but hey, its 70 there today, that's 51 degrees warmer than here. And, we will get to see PaPaw and BeBe for Easter. We just learned that PaPaw has little chicks. Chloe will be excited to visit them on PaPaw's farm.

Speaking of Chloe & PaPaw's farm, she has had some funny comments as of late. So, I'm listing her latest below---

  • When asked where she lives, Chloe says, "Chloe lives on PaPaw's farm." (ok, that was out of left-field)

  • Driving to the train station, we passed a car dealership where the cars on the lot were covered in snow. Chloe said, "Look Mommy! The cars are hiding!"

  • We were leaving pre-school the other day and Chloe kept saying, "Ho! Ho! Ho!" I asked her if she was Santa Claus and she responded, "No, Mommy, I don't like Santa Claus but Mommy does. Mommy says Santa is nice. I don't like him anyway."

  • Chloe likes coins and she was playing/looking at a quarter in the car. I asked her if she could tell me the name of the person on the quarter. Much to my amazement she responded, "George Washington Bridge". I was stunned. True, it is George Washington and not the GW Bridge on the quarter, but hey it's pretty good for a 2.5 year old especially since I have never discussed who was on the quarter with her before.

Where's Spring?

Monday, March 05, 2007 No comments
It's snowing...in March. It was 60 degrees here Saturday and now it is snowing. I'm talking snow...lots of it. We couldn't wait to use the snow thrower and now I never want to see it again. Unbelievable. Where is that groundhog? He obviously lied.

On another note: Chloe and I ran some errands this morning and we stopped into Starbucks for a latte. Chloe informed me while we were waiting for my drink that she had to potty. So, we went to the potty! Yea Chloe! She also informed me that she had to go potty in the next store we visited and the next store and the next. It wasn't just a desire to check out the potty in a new store. She really had to go. This potty training is going to put a major damper on the errand and shopping excursions if I spend the majority of my time searching for the toilet. ;)

And another note: If you checked out Emma Claire's blog then you have read that referrals arrived today. China did not refer as many LIDs as had been hoped. For those of us waiting it just keeps getting more depressing as it seems our referrals keep getting further and further away. If referrals keep coming at the current pace then we are looking at a 2.5 year wait and a mid 2009 referral. Our agency also sent out a note informing people that pursuing other options (adopting domestically or from another country or fertility treatments) could delay your referral from China because the CCAA requires a child (adopted or biological) be in the home for 1 year before a child adopted from China is placed in the home. This just really upset me as it seems to slam the door for other options. We had discussed having 3 children but with the growing wait and now this new kink in the plan it seems 3 children is a growing impossibility (and at this point it seems 2 as well) as we aren't getting any younger. I don't quite comprehend why a biological child has to be one year old before bringing an adoptive child into the home. It just irks me that the CCAA is now making regulations on my reproduction. But, what is one to do? Matt says we should submit a petition to the CCAA that if Chloe remains an only child for another 2.5 years she will be an unbearable brat! I don't think they will buy it. Maybe I should send in a videotape of her playing the game Memory with me. If she doesn't find the match after turning over the 2nd card then she just keeps going until she finds the match! When I tell her she can't do that and she can only turn over 2 cards, she screams, "It's Chloe's turn!” throws the cards at me and lets out the highest pitched squeal. Time out anyone? Maybe that would convince them...you think?

The weekend...

Sunday, March 04, 2007 No comments
We had a nice family weekend. What did we do? I'll tell it in pictures.


Lunch, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

After trying to remember where it is we finally found our favorite fish & chips shop and ate lunch. We also went next door to the carry out and got some favorite Brit snacks.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Apparently someone couldn't wait until we got home to eat the sticky toffee pudding we got in the carry out shop.


OOOOOOH a Lion!, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe and Matt looking at the animals in the Asian Mammals exhibit. Chloe loves the bear and the elephants.

Do Not Disturb

Do Not Disturb, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

I love how these signs are everywhere, along with a huge sign of rules on entry yet people were picking up the butterflies and touching them with their fingers. Ridiculous. The exhibit was fun and enjoyable. It's neat to see butterflies fluttering about in the middle of winter.


Monarch, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

A monarch butterfly in the exhibit.


Butterflies!, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe and Matt smiling in the Butterfly Conservatory. Chloe was scared at first but when we left she screamed to go back through. She had to settle for a butterfly book from the gift shop.

New Toy

Chloe is scared when I vacuum the carpet & rugs so in an effort to acclimate her I purchased a toy vacuum for her. She was so excited when it arrived and declared, "Chloe not scared!!". It has become her favorite toy and for the last two mornings when I enter her room to get her she tells me she wants to go downstairs to vacuum.