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