Friday, December 30, 2011

11K in 2011 - A final tally

Let me add the final 2 books to the list.

The Back of the Book:
For twelve years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black.  Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.  Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well.  And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts... he's at Hogwarts."  Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends.  Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.

The Bibliography:
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  New York, New York: Scholastic, Inc, 1999.

You can find it here.  Or at your local public library.  Support the libraries!!!!!

Total Pages: 435
Total Pages in 2011: 10,923
Total Pages Remaining: 77!!!

And the final book of 2011-

The Back of the Book: 
(Actually, it's the description from Amazon... The book cover is upstairs.)

For One More Day is the story of a mother and a son, and a relationship that covers a lifetime and beyond. It explores the question: What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one?  As a child, Charley "Chick" Benetto was told by his father, "You can be a mama's boy or a daddy's boy, but you can't be both." So he chooses his father, only to see the man disappear when Charley is on the verge of adolescence.  Decades later, Charley is a broken man. His life has been crumbled by alcohol and regret. He loses his job. He leaves his family. He hits bottom after discovering his only daughter has shut him out of her wedding. And he decides to take his own life.  He makes a midnight ride to his small hometown, with plans to do himself in. But upon failing even to do that, he staggers back to his old house, only to make an astonishing discovery. His mother--who died eight years earlier–-is still living there, and welcomes him home as if nothing ever happened.  What follows is the one "ordinary" day so many of us yearn for, a chance to make good with a lost parent, to explain the family secrets, and to seek forgiveness. Somewhere between this life and the next, Charley learns the astonishing things he never knew about his mother and her sacrifices. And he tries, with her tender guidance, to put the crumbled pieces of his life back together.

Albom, Mitch.  For One More Day.  New York, New York: Hyperion, 2006.

You can find it here.  Or at your local public library.  Support the libraries!!!!

Total Pages: 197
Total Pages for 2011 FINAL TALLY: 11,120

Goal accomplished?  Hells ya.  HELLS ya.  Sure, I re-read some of my favorites, but I read those over and over all the time, so it wasn't like it was out of the norm.  And you know what?  This total doesn't count the numerous blogs and online articles I've read.  Nor does it count the pages from the 2 books I started but never finished, nor the pages from the endless resource books I've buried myself with, looking for answers to endless pregnancy and baby questions.  I only counted the books I actually finished.  

And next year, I plan to do it all over again.  Happy New Years, everyone.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

11K in 2011 - Harry Potter

I WILL hit my goal of 11,000 pages by the end of this year!  I may have just over a week, but it's GOING to happen!!!!

The back of the Book:
Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground.  He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility.  All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley- a great big swollen spoiled bully.  Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years.  But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry- and anyone who reads about him- will find unforgettable.  For it's there that he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter.

The Bibliography:
Rowling, J. K.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  New York, New York: Scholastic Press, 1997.

You can find it here, or at your public library.  Support the libraries!!!

Total Pages: 309
Total Pages read in 2011: 10,147
Total Pages Remaining: 853

The Back of the Book:
The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.  But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.  And strike it does.  For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny. But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone- or something- starts turning Hogwarts students to stone.  Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever?  Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told?  Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects... Harry Potter himself!

The Bibliography:
Rowling, J. K.  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  New York, New York: Scholastic Press, 1999.

You can find it here, or at your local library.  Support the libraries!!!!!

Total Pages: 341
Total Pages for 2011: 10,488
Total Pages Remaining: 512  or 52 pages per day.  I can do this!!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Did I Mention that I Had a Baby?

As I'm typing this my poor husband is trying to soothe a tired 2 month old so that she just might go to sleep early tonight.

Wow, she's 2 months old.  She'll be 10 weeks on Wednesday, and in less than 3 weeks I return to work.  Which makes me want to puke, but I will write more on that later.

So let's see... she's growing like crazy, and is truly a fun little firecracker most of the time.  She has a gorgeous little smile that melts your heart.  She's very strong.

I am constantly stunned at just how little I can get done during the day.  It's even worse since we're having trouble with naps.  As in, she doesn't nap unless she is sleeping ON ME.  This is obviously a big problem.  If anyone has any advice, please let me know.

For example, there are 3 loads of laundry that have been washed, but not folded.  I was happy that we were able to get out and pick up the Christmas cards that I ordered online.  Might I mention that it's only 2 weeks until Christmas?

Romeo has been a champ.  He hasn't yet acted out, although he might be a little clingy.  He loves Maddie.  He gets upset when she's particularly upset.  He cuddles with us when we're napping.  He holds it when he's gotta go but she's nursing.  He has even learned which toys are hers and not his.  :)

At the beginning of January I will be returning to work, which means Maddie will be starting daycare.  I'm utterly terrified.  I'm second guessing my choice of care, even though I know I looked at several before choosing.  I'm worried that she won't adjust easily, that she'll be left crying when she has a hard time sleeping.  She's been well loved, and won't be used to being put down a lot.  I'm really hoping it works out well.  

We've made it over 2 months breastfeeding!!!  :)  And it's going very well.  So well that before I had considered not pumping and giving her formula while I work.  Now I'm actually going to attempt pumping.  Heaven help me.  My employer is very willing to let me and even help me do this.  My actual job, however... we'll see.  I work hard.  LUNCH was a challenge.  Lunch and pumping twice a day?  It's gonna be interesting, that's for sure.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

11K in 2011 - Destined


This book is the next book in the House of Night Series.  The back of the book gives away what has happened in previous books.

The Back of the Book:
"Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side and preparing to face off against Neferet - which would be a whole lot easier if the High Council saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is.  Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together - if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow.

But there are new forces at work at the House of Night.  An influx of humans, including Lenobia's handsome horse whisperer, threatens their precarious stability.  And then there's the mysterious Aurox, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous teen boy who is actually more- or possibly less- than human.  Only Neferet knows he was created to be her greatest weapon.  But Zoey can sense the part of his sould that remains human, the compassion that wars with his Dark calling.  And there's something strangely familiar about him...

Will Neferet's true nature be revealed before she succeeds at extinguishing Light? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox's humanity in time to protect them all?  Find out what's Destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series."

The bibliography:
Cast, P. C. and Kristin.  Destined.  New York, New York: St Martins Press, 2011.

Total Pages: 325
Total read in 2011: 9,838
Total pages remaining: 1,162 or 59 pages per day

Thursday, December 8, 2011

11K in 2011 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Ok, so the rules never once mentioned not reading your favorite books over, right?

I've read this one a hundred times.  I should consider reading the others again, though.  They were pretty fascinating in themselves.

Rowling, J. K.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  New York, New York: Scholastic, Inc, 2007.

We all know this book, so I'm not including the description.  It's also upstairs in my bookcase and I'm too lazy to go retrieve it.

Total pages: 759
Total pages for 2011: 9,513
Pages remaining: 1,487

23 days remaining, so that's what... 65 pages per day?  Oh boy... Wish me luck.  Wish a baby, it's difficult!

Friday, November 25, 2011

11K in 2011 - An update

OF COURSE I haven't stopped reading!  haha.  My infant only sleeps on my chest during the day, and honestly doesn't sleep much at night any more.  I've done quite a bit of reading lately, actually.  Nothing too interesting, though.  So here's just an update instead of a 1 by 1 post.

Your Pregnancy week by week - 6th edition.

Curtis, Glad B and Judith Schuler.  Your Pregnancy week by week.  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Da Capo Press, 2008.

I'm counting this book twice because I read most of it twice, and I've also read lots from other informational books that I'm not counting, so I know that I'm probably low-balling my page estimate this way.

600 pages- read twice = 1200!

Where the Heart Is.

Letts, Billie.  Where the Heart Is.  New York, New York: Warner Books, 1995.

Read on my Kindle!!!!

384 pages according to


(Yes.  I love the series.  I re-read all of them, as is my custom for any movie release.  PS- I loved the movie.  Much much better than the others!)

Meyer, Stephenie.  Twilight.  New York, New York: Hachette Book Group, 2005.

498 pages

New Moon.

Meyer, Stephenie.  New Moon.  New York, New York: Hachette Book Group, 2006.

563 pages.


Meyer, Stephenie.  Eclipse.  New York, New York: Hachette Book Group, 2007.

629 pages.

Breaking Dawn.

Meyer, Stephenie.  Breaking Dawn.  New York, New York: Hachette Book Group, 2008.

754 pages.

I've also read countless Dr Seuss books, Berenstein Bears books, and various other children's stories.  I'm conservatively estimating 250 pages.  This is definitely a low estimate, only because you know how many words are on those pages- not as many as the other books I've read!

Grand total- 1200 + 384 + 498 + 563 + 629 + 754 +250 = 4,278.

Total pages read in 2011: 8,754
Pages remaining: 2,246

Holy WOW!  I think I caught up quite a bit!!!  I still have a lot to read in December, but I think it's manageable at this point.  Earlier in the year I would have sworn I could never catch up.  Looks like I've done a pretty good job!!!

36 more days left.  So if I can read 63 pages a day, I can make my goal!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Maddie Mei- The birth experience

Oh hello!  Yes, we are still alive.  It's been a challenge to get online at all, let alone write a blog post (or 2 or 3).  I have barely gotten bills paid!

But Maddie hits 3 weeks old tomorrow, and we are slowly falling into some sort of routine.  How do you actually get a routine going, by the way?  Someone give me some tips, please.

Oh, right.  Birth.

So my birthing experience was interesting, to say the least.  I started having contractions Sunday evening.  Finally at about 2 am we went to the hospital.  They kept me for 2 hours and released me.  I had progressed between the doc appointment on Thursday (1 cm) to 3 cm, but in those 2 hours nothing changed.  Boo.  Mike stayed home Monday, but went back to work on Tuesday.  The contractions never really stopped, and finally got intense enough to go back on Tuesday.  I called everyone in around 2:15 (my mom and Mike) and we were at the hospital by 4.  At 4 pm I hadn't progressed since Sunday (still at 3 cm).  They kept me an hour before making any decisions.  Miraculously in that hour I went from 3 cm to 5.  YAY!  Baby is coming!  I was admitted.

And then from 5 pm to 12:30 am, nothing changed.  My contractions weren't intensifying or coming any faster, I wasn't dialating.  So the doc came in and asked me to make a choice- go home, break my water, or start pitocin.  I was trying to go without meds, and I certainly wasn't going home, so I opted for breaking my water.  THAT was interesting.  And let me tell you- contractions BEFORE the water breaking- nothing compared to after.  HOLY WOW.  It didn't take long and I opted for the Nubane.

Nubane is a trip.  I rested through the pain for a few hours.  4 am came and I was checked again- STILL no change!!!  At this point I have been laboring for 12 hours at the hospital and I was still just at the beginning of active labor???  WTH?!?!?  

So despite any plans of mine, pitocin it was!  However, the nubane was wearing off, and I was afraid of pitocin intensifying that pain, so... epidural it was.  I got the epidural around 4:45 am.  The pitocin was started around 5:15 am.

Everyone had gone home around 11 pm except Mike.  He was napping on the loveseat.  My mom stayed at my house and came back around 5:30 am.  Which is good, because when the nurse checked me at 5:45 am I was at 9 cm!!!!  Apparently SOMETHING worked.

So we woke Mike and he made the calls to everyone.  Time became a blur at this point, but a little while later they came in to change out the internal monitor on the baby's head- it was all over the board for readings.  So the nurse goes to change it out, and sees that the old monitor had fallen off because oh wow, baby's head is RIGHT THERE!  And it's full of hair, which is why the readings were so bad.

So all of a sudden things are set up and the doctor was called in and I'm pushing before I knew what was happening.  Didn't take long at all- she arrived at 7:19 am.

7 pounds 1 ounce

20 inches long

full beautiful ROUND head of hair

Absolutely perfect.

I must say that delivery was the easiest part of the whole pregnancy.  And I'm recovering just as nicely.  The epidural was definitely the right choice for me.  The nurse said that the epi is probably what jump started my labor- they barely got any pitocin in my system at all.

And Mike?  He was such a champ.  Such a good labor coach- very supportive.  He made it all the way to the end, heard it's a girl, and THEN nearly fainted.  My poor family- they were all out there waiting to hear girl or boy.  The hospital plays Braum's lullaby over the hallways when a baby is born, so they knew she was here.  And then they had to wait 45 minutes before the doctor would let Mike get up and go tell them!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Proud Parents

Baby Madeline Mei was born 10/5/11 at 7:19 am.

She weighed 7 lbs 1 oz and is 20 inches long.

We have been doing very well.  There are lots of pictures (she's gorgeous and has a full head of hair) but none are on my computer yet.

More updates to come when I learn to juggle my baby and non-baby activities.

Friday, September 30, 2011

On raising a boy vs a girl

As I sit here on my EIGHTH day of maternity leave, I've gotten a nice lovely chance to catch up on reading some of my favorite blogs.  

I talk about her all the time.  Remember Rebecca from Girls Gone Child?  She wrote this wonderful post in response to another article somewhere else about complimenting your daughter.

Basically, the original article related complimenting young girls on their looks to telling them beauty is more important than brains and by complimenting them on their looks you are encouraging them to diet as a pre-teen and expect surgery at 17.  Along with other things.  

Rebecca disagrees.  Her post is fascinating to read because she really knows how to say it, ya know?

With my impending D Day, and with it the impending knowledge of whether I will be raising a son or a daughter, the topic really struck a cord with me.  Why do we focus so much on topics such as these for girls?  Maybe it's why I think a boy would be easier to raise.  There isn't so much controversy on what to say and when to say it.  How to raise them.  Why is that, by the way?

Like Rebecca, I don't see the topic as polar opposites.  Why do people think you can be beautiful, or you can be smart.  You can be a successful career woman, or you can be a mother and wife.  You can be an adventurer, or you can have a family.  This has probably been the hardest thing to get past as I have come out of the college world and into the working world.  My mom struggles with seeing this, and I have never understood it.  Why can't you be a little of everything?

I was raised in a world of compliments.  I was also teased in school for my good grades (and really bad athletic skills).  I was not a pretty child, but I never really saw that because my family is so loving and complimenting.  My grandpa always told me I should be a model!  HA!  And while I wish I had learned a little more about fashion and beauty at a young age (I still know squat) I at least learned the value of cleanliness and taking care of yourself.  First impressions are important, and they often start with how you look.  While I was not a gorgeous child I was always clean and dressed appropriately and I was confident in my body.  Isn't that the important piece?  

I'm actually of the mindset that the opposite is true when you don't compliment a young girl.  Telling her she is pretty is going to instill confidence.  Avoiding compliments is going to make an already self-conscious teen question herself and make her wonder if she needed something more.  Like... surgery?  a diet?

I think for the most part parents need to just chill out and stop over-researching every tiny little detail.  You raise your daughter in a world where everything is possible- beauty AND brains, successful in the classroom and on the field.  Yes, it is possible to have a little bit of it all.  You don't worry about what you say and when you say it- you worry about the examples you show her (AND HIM).  You teach them the importance of a healthy lifestyle by HAVING a healthy lifestyle.  You teach them confidence by HAVING confidence.

But seriously... Why does it seem like there are way too many complicating things to think about when raising a girl vs raising a boy?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

24 Hours Later....

I think I'm going to go insane.

Already.  I'm just not the "stay at home" type of person.  Or rather, I am.  I just like to have stuff to do, and to be honest I'm not quite in shape to be "to-doing" it up around here.  But we're trying.

I finished the bib.  With the except of adding on the button.  Because I don't have buttons.  But we are going to a fabric store tonight so my mama can make my nursery curtains, and I plan on stocking up on some extra bright and extra big and extra adorable buttons tonight.

I also made a pot of homemade chili last night.  MMMMMMM it was so good.  And so fitting for this fall weather that I have recently fallen in love with.  I can have windows open.  It's been YEARS since I could do that!  Last year, we didn't have functioning windows/screens.  Mike has since fixed that.  All the college years before that- it wasn't safe on campus to keep windows open.  Before that?   I had a bird.  It has literally been since my first year at UC, or maybe even my senior year of high school since I've been able to freely have my windows open. And my first year at UC- it was one dinky window in a tiny dorm.

Oh, chili, you say?  I love my chili.  I will look for the recipe today to see if I've ever posted it.  I don't think I have, since I've been working on perfecting it for a while.  I finally think I have it to where I like it, though.  And since it's chili, it's high protein, high veggies, and LOW CARB!  Meaning very good for the gestationally diabetic.  The cornbread that goes with it?  Not so much...

I also started one of my organizational projects- Organizing my bookcases!  I'm already not happy with it, to be honest.  Who wants to come help?  There are a few constraints that are really bugging me, and I'm just not sure how to work around them and keep things aesthetically pleasing.  This whole room needs the furniture rearranged, though... Maybe that would be enough to fix my woes.  I'm just not sure how!  Maybe if I draw the room and furniture proportionally from a 2D view from above... that might help me out.  Hmmmm....

Other things I've done, because apparently this blog is now going to be a play-by-play of maternity leave?  I walked a mall for an hour and a half.

And then after eating chili for dinner and sitting on an exercise ball, along with walking a flight of stairs every time I needed to pee, I spent about 4 hours awake with contractions in the wee hours of this morning.

I'm seriously hoping these things get a little more serious around here.  Practice is really cramping my style.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Holy Maternity Week

Friday marked the beginning of the end.  Or at least I hope.

(Pregnancy DOES in fact end, right????)

I started maternity leave.  Which seems weird to me.  It's been a long time since I didn't have a job.  Ok, it was 2008, and again it was for a medical reason (knee surgery, anyone?) but outside of that awful time, it's been a while.  And holy cow, 3 months?  More?  That's amazing.

So my goal is every day I will get up and get dressed still.  What, don't tell me you get dressed every day of every weekend!  I will make breakfast and then set to work on at least 1 project, preferably one that requires movement (today I've somewhat failed).  After lunch I will spend the afternoon doing a sit down activity, and then my evenings will be whatever they would normally be.  

This will keep me sane during this waiting game, no?

So far, the entire upstairs is clean (woohoo!!!!!).  And after a lot of work, the main level is mostly clean too!  We just need to basically sweep and do a few project organization things, and we're good.  Next up- the downstairs.  I'm mad excited here.  My house, for probably the first time ever, is close to being completely clean!

I've also started to crochet.  I already knit, but I was kind of getting bored with it.  So I bought a set of crochet hooks and a book on how-to, and found some patterns on Ravelry, and set to work.  We now have a newborn sized pumpkin hat (that is OMG adorable) and about 20 rows worth of a bib.  :-D  Hopefully by the end of things I'll have a few bibs, and a papoose.  Unfortunately the yarn I bought for the papoose is not very crochetable.  I can't see my stitches!  So I'm going to have to see if I can find a knitting pattern.  Because I want this papoose.  And this yarn was semi expensive (hello soft and fluffy).

And in the mean time I'm totally getting my arms the workout they need.  By throwing a miserable looking "hot dog" dog toy once every 10 seconds for my extremely happy puppy.  He has spent a month learning to live at home all day by himself, and now all of a sudden Mama is home every day all day.  Holyfreakincowhowmanytoyscanwefindforhertothrowtoday?

And fortunately by noon he's zonked.  Like now.  He's curled in a ball in my lap. Gotta love tiny dogs.  So much energy that honestly runs out so fast.

I'll maybe get some cute pictures of the hat and soon-to-be bibs before long.  I'm sure you're dying to see a newborn pumpkin hat, right?  Me too... On the newborn, that is.  Any day now.... Any day now.....

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Dr Seuss Gender Neutral Nursery

Here's what you've all been waiting for!  And so far, according to my blown up facebook account, it's a hit!  That makes me happy.  I put a lot of effort into this one.  Ladies and gentlemen, we have a nursery!

And none too soon.  I'm 37 weeks 3 days.  And I just split wide open the ass of my favorite pajama pants, so... ya know.  It's about time.

Ok.  Here's the tour.  I'll point out the important aspects- those hand made with love... Not necessarily by me, unfortunately.  I just make the baby.  If you like what you see, I'd be happy to tell you where I got it, so feel free to ask!!!!

Who wants yellow and green all over?  Not us.  Our gender neutral- orange and lime green.

The framed art pieces are actually pages from my favorite Dr Seuss book- Oh Say Can You Say (I just realized I've read several more pages recently).  Hand made by my Aunt.  There are 5 pages around the room.

Bookshelves- made by my awesome husband after I realized that my huge self couldn't handle power tools.  There are 3 and they are really awesome.

Blanket made with love by my grandmother.  There are 3 others, along with booties, hats, and even a poncho (if it's a girl).

Banner was made by my artsy friend for my baby shower.  It's made out of fabric, however, so it could be kept and hung in the nursery.

More detailed view of the bookshelves.

The only thing missing- curtains!  And you should see the material we bought for them.  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I am still alive

We gotta stop meeting like this.  I'm such a better friend than that.  And I do consider you my friend!

I have been lazy with pregnancy.  And then third trimester hit and the laziness went away because, oh my god, we're having a baby soon and I need to get my shit together!  But here's the thing- there is so much around me that got neglected, I'm still WAY behind!  And holy wow, people.  Third trimester is THE HARDEST to get things done.  Ok, maybe I'm forgetting all the sickness and exhaustion of first, but... I'm going with it.


Pregnancy news!

As of today I am 37 weeks 1 day.  :)  This means full term, people!  We are all on baby lookout around here.  Not that you really want to know, but I am 1 cm dialated, and the baby's head has dropped.  This thing is for real.

And that also means that I have of course survived what I may have described as a hellacious gestational diabetes diagnosis and diet.  I won't lie, it's been hard at times.  Especially after the first few months when you start getting bored with what you eat.  But for the most part, I'm enjoying the food I can actually eat, and I'm honestly trying to think of ways to incorporate this style of eating (which is super healthy) into my every day life post baby and post GD.  It's really good for you.  And it's really been my saving grace.  I've only gained about 34 pounds, 30 of which I had gained BEFORE BEING DIAGNOSED.  That means for the entire third trimester I have gained 4 pounds.  Don't worry about the baby- he or she has been gaining in a very healthy way.  At my 36 week appointment (and ultrasound... I get them weekly now thanks to the GD) they estimate the baby to weigh 6 lbs 2 oz.

But with all said and done, I have a list of foods that I will be eating post-baby.  Included are spaghetti, a hot fudge cake from frisch's, and my birthday dinner, including cake.  Oh, and eventually pumpkin pie.  pumpkin muffins.  and breakfast foods.  I miss cereal and biscuits and french toast.

So that's the majority of the pregnancy stuff.  More to come.


Apparently the last thing I read was the Song of the Lioness Quartet?  That really can't be true, can it?  I love to read.  I read all the time.  No way.  I said I was going to read Harry Potter... Did I do that?  I can't remember, but I honestly don't think so because I don't remember nearly as much as I would had I just read it... So I guess I need to read that (again).  BUT to help me catch up on my reading (which I thought I was behind before... that's nothing now!!!) my wonderful husband got me the Kindle for my birthday.  I'm so excited, and I have already downloaded several books.  None of which I've finished yet, but I will soon!  And happily I will be updating my 11K in 2011 list here shortly with the pregnancy book that I have read not once, but actually TWICE.


The main reason I have been so lazy!  I thought the 4 months of training for the job was a little much and kind of overwhelming.  BOY WAS I WRONG!!!  So I guess they like me?  Because they gave me a lot more work than expected... It was supposed to be temporary while someone was on leave.  But then she came back, and never took back the work!  I love it, though!  My job is so much fun, and so interesting.  Yes, I plan the production for our making systems.  Yes, to some people that probably would be very boring.  But my job is far from boring.  There are issues every day, and the schedules are ALWAYS like putting together huge complicated and sometimes incorrectly cut puzzle pieces.  Now that I'm finally adjusting (and have only 4 days before maternity leave) I can tell that the work has been a major cause behind my exhaustion.  Not that pregnancy has been enough!  It's gotten a lot easier on me now, though.  I know my job better.  I'm at that stage where I'm ready to learn the next step (believe me... I'm still on a basic level at work).  But obviously with maternity leave starting in FOUR DAYS I'm not moving on until I return.

In other news- 

My house is a wreck still.  But it's majorly improved.  Remember how I said I was lazy?  This is where it's been the worst.  I have finally gotten most of the upstairs cleaned up.  Our bedroom is by far the easiest room to maintain in our house, and I've successfully done so now for over a month.  :)  The guest room is probably just as easy and I've been doing well with it too.  I haven't gotten the office cleaned up, but I at least get in there and dust, vacuum, and clean the window every now and then.  And of course the nursery.  It's been well worked on!  More on that later.  The bathrooms have been more difficult to maintain.  My husband is messiest in the bathroom, and it's honestly a crappy bathroom to begin with.  It's definitely near the top of the major remodeling project lists.

The downstairs, however... is a disaster.  I got the dining room cleaned up last week, though.  And I got the fall decorations out- I just need curtains.  I imagine I can keep it clean enough.  My kitchen is still a mess, and I haven't even touched the living and family rooms.  Both of which have been swallowed whole by books, fabric, papers, yarn, more papers, bags (and bags and bags) and shoes.  Oh, and empty boxes from all of the baby stuff.  But the living room is seriously on my hit list tomorrow.  It's going down.

Mike, a job, and childcare-

So my wonderful hubs found a wonderful (and well paying) job!!!!!!  It's full time (I could sing) with not only benefits (yay!) but AWESOME benefits (YAY!!!).  So we are just thrilled around here.  We're both working on the same shift now.  That's a plus.  We get our weekends together!  And seriously.  I haven't even looked back to the days where we didn't.  How did we seriously manage that for so long?  This is so nice.

And with his new job, and a rather long commute, we had to get rid of his car.  It wasn't reliable.  And definitely not functional as a family vehicle.  So with the new job, and shiny new paycheck, we traded in the little coupe for a CR-V.  :)  We had been planning this purchase for a long while, I'll admit.  Don't think we're rich or anything (we certainly aren't).  But we knew we'd never be able to afford a car payment until Mike had a better income.

There are downsides to the new job, though.  One of which is childcare.  Our baby will be at a daycare center 40 hours a week.  But it's literally down the street from my office, so I can go see him or her at lunch time if I wanted.  And we found a daycare that I'm really excited about.  They stress education.  They start teaching them in classroom style ish at the age of 2.  Geography, Music, Math, Science, and Writing.  There may have been others too.  I can't remember.  They play too, though.  And still have nap times.  They were very organized, had lots of information and were real exciting people.  The kids were all happy, and you could just tell.  It was a good place.  

The only other downside is our poor puppy is not used to us both being gone all day.  I can tell he hates it.  But we're trying to make sure he gets a walk in the evenings or at least something.  And he needs to get used to less attention- a baby is coming after all.  It's just sad to watch.  He's adjusting well, though.  No bad behavior.  He really is a big sweetheart.  You can't help but love him.  I don't care what people say, I don't think my feelings towards him are going to change much after baby arrives.  

Ok, so I've bombarded you with TONS of information tonight!  I'm going to write another post on the nursery, and maybe if you're lucky I'll include a post on Puerto Rico (cuz who doesn't want to see THOSE pictures?).  And maybe, just maybe, I'll get something read here soon and I'll update my reading challenge.  I'm scared to look at the numbers, though... I was so close to caught up.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

11k in 2011- Song of the Lioness Quartet

I'm getting desperate for pages.  I'm SO FAR BEHIND!!!  So I'm cheating abusing the system a little bit.  But they are still legit pages, people!

I have read this quartet probably a thousand times.  It's definitely a good set of books for any young girl to read who is coming of age.  It breaks stereotypes.  The author is fantastic at building a whole world and all the characters in it.  I can actually picture most of them as if they were real and alive.  She's wonderful.  And she has several quartets out there (and sequels, and prequels...).  I still have a few of hers I've never read before, so maybe I'll get on that too!

So I won't give you the whole "back of the book" for all 4, because it would give away the whole story!  But here's the details on the 1st book- "Alanna The First Adventure"

The Back of the Book:
"Alanna of Trebond is no ordinary girl- her dream is to become a knight.  So she disguises herself as a boy and begins training at the palace of King Roald.  Alanna quickly finds out that the road to knighthood is not an easy one, but her skills and stubbornness help her become friends with Prince Jonathan and his followers.  At the same time, Alanna makes an enemy of the prince's uncle, the overly charming Duke Roger.

Here begins Alanna's first adventure- one that will lead not only to the fulfillment of her dreams but to a magical destiny that will make her a legend."

(I'm going to add that I don't like most of the back of this book.  Way more cheesy than the book, I promise!)

The Bibliography
Pierce, Tamora.  Alanna The First Adventure.  New York, New York: Random House, Inc, 1983.

Book two's bibliography
Pierce, Tamora.  In The Hand of the Goddess.  New York, New York: Random House, Inc, 1984.

Book three's bibliography
Pierce, Tamora.  The Woman Who Rides Like a Man.  New York, New York: Random House, Inc, 1986.

Book four's bibliography
Pierce, Tamora.  Lioness Rampant.  New York, New York: Random House, Inc, 1988.

You can purchase the box set here, or find it at your local library (support the libraries!!) - also, it might be cheaper to find them sold seperately.  $266 for 4 books?  holy wow!!!  I'm pretty sure my set was a gift years ago... probably for way less.

Book 1 pages: 216
Book 2 pages: 209
Book 3 pages: 228
Book 4 pages: 308

Total pages: 961
Total pages read in 2011: 4,476
Total pages remaining: 6,524

Up next- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (again- but the first time this year!) (yes, I'm very desperate.  But look- I'm just over a 1000 pages away from the half way mark.  In July!)

Monday, July 11, 2011

An update

Oh hello.  Remember me?  I know I haven't been around much other than the few books here or there.  It's been a busy time for me.  I'll just give you one huge update, mmmk?

All things pregnancy
Pregnant life has not been a happy life for me.  I'm trying my darndest, but it just seems that life refuses to be nice on this journey.  (I really just have WAY too much going on).  Anywho- I failed my glucose screening.  And then I failed my glucose tolerance test.  So I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and told to take an education class (I did) and start testing my glucose levels 4 times (that's FOUR FINGER PRICKS) a day.  

Ok, so I got the news in the middle of a rough week, and it's been pretty stressful, and I cried a lot.  No lie.  But it wasn't bad.  The diet wasn't even that hard to follow, even though yeah- it sucks to give up your carbs.  I like my carbs, especially in the morning.  Cereal?  Milk?  Fruit?  I can live without sweets.  But cutting carbs wasn't easy.  But I did it.  And I was proud of myself!

Until my glucose levels rose again.  The diet stopped working.  So I talked to my OB, and she put me on an even stricter diet with a follow up this Friday.  I started Friday evening.  I cried.  A lot.  It's a really strict diet.  I could probably name what I'm allowed to eat quicker than what I'm not allowed to eat.  As in- eat at all, not just reduce intake.  I'm allowed whole wheat bread (only 1 piece for breakfast).  I'm allowed peas (at least she didn't say anything about them), apples, berries, milk (2 glasses a day, NOT at breakfast), greek yogurt, pears (again didn't say anything about them), oranges that aren't too sweet.  And then I'm supposed to eat tons of protein and fiber.  So leafy greens and meat it is!  Good thing I'm still allowed peanut butter.  I'd die without at least that.

But my numbers were down again!  yay!  Except today, but I think I know why at least.  I didn't eat a good bedtime snack last night, so I started off rough.  Then I had a protein bar instead of a real food for a snack, and I think it shot my numbers up... So no more of those I guess.

But all in all, everything is going well!  We aren't finding out the gender (even though we've had 3 ultrasounds and the doc said we'll have another at 36 weeks).  We have names picked out.  We have done a lot of prepping, and when baby comes I'll do a nursery post (because it won't be finished until after we know baby's name).  We have a good amount of cloth diapers.  At least for at first.

Oh, and the stats- I'm 27 weeks.  I've gained 27 pounds.  The doc doesn't want me gaining any more and says with the restricted diet I probably won't.  I'm not so sure about this... But what the hell, right?

In other news
I spent another 2 weeks in Puerto Rico (another reason for the blog hiatus).  This trip was a lot more stressful.  I had to go with a guy I'm not very fond of at work (and he's not very fond of me).  It makes it difficult for a pregnant woman, especially when you need help.  The work was also different.  We weren't just learning about the plant- we were shadowing for our actual position and doing some real work.  Plus, I used my Spanish a lot more.  You wouldn't think it, but it takes a lot of energy to do that.  I was exhausted!  

Oh, I got to use my first aid training AND Spanish all at once!  It was a horrific story but it's perfect for blogging.  There we were in a traffic jam. On a 4 lane road with a 4 foot median (ish).  When we get up to the front of traffic, there is a man lying in the road with a helmet on.  Not moving much, and very much hurt.  No motorcycle in sight (which to me, is bad...).  So we stop for a second, and I immediately jump out to help (hello CPR/First Aid training!).  I let someone who actually LIVES in Puerto Rico use my phone to call 911 and the guy's family while I spend the next 30 minutes keeping the guy calm and still.  Lucky his helmet saved his head.  His arm was destroyed, though.  But very little blood, so at least I didn't have to worry about that, nor did I have to provide first aid for it.  The guy's name was Alex, and for the rest of my life I'll never forget him.  He probably had a concussion.  Later his family texted me to say thanks and informed me that he had a broken arm (probably both the radius and ulna) and a broken leg.  It was one of those moments where you just react, and then afterwards you really feel proud of yourself.  My story-telling doesn't at all do it justice.  

So... pregnant woman helping an injured motorcyclist... It had to be an interesting moment for everyone else too.  And even if they are the craziest drivers I've ever seen (seriously), they certainly care for each other.  No one in traffic cared about the pace.  Several got out to help and make sure he was ok. It was very nice to see such a great culture.

And on that note I think I'll end right there.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

11k in 2011- The Lost Symbol

While I enjoyed the writing style and overall story of the first two more than this one, I really loved the villain!  He was... very well written.  I also must add that after reading this book I think I can now actually read the Bible and probably take something away from it with an open mind- something I've yet to accomplish.  It may be a fictional story, but the message is a good one.

The Back of the Book:
"In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he i the world's most popular thriller writer.

The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of story-telling that finds famed symbologist Robert Langdon in a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths... all under the watchful eye of Brown's most terrifying villain to date.  Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol is an intelligent, lightning-paced story with surprises at every turn.  This is Dan Brown's most exciting novel yet."

The bibliography:
Brown, Dan.  The Lost Symbol.  New York, New York: Anchor House, 2010.

You can find it here or at your local public library (where I bought my used copy).  Support the libraries!

Total Pages: 639
Total pages read in 2011: 3,515
Total pages remaining: 7,485