Now Reading

I mentioned in this post that I’m a sucker for  “You must read these books before you die” type of lists.

Well, wouldn’t you know that Buzzfeed came out with a 16 books to Read Before They are Movies list, and with a month and half left (at the time) until baby, I said why not! I’m up for the challenge.

Here’s the list, plus I’ve linked the title to the preview (if available),  in case you were interested.

1) Labor Day by Joyce Maynard-You’ve seen the preview, it has the always fabulous Kate Winslet in it. My library doesn’t have the book, and I highly doubt I’m getting to the movies to see this one in the next few weeks, so I’m tabling this one for now.
2) The Monuments Men by Robert M Edsel and Bret Witter. Boring. So, so, boring. I could not keep up with all the details. I bet it’s good for someone who can follow all those characters, but I could not.
3) Vampire Academy– Richelle Mead: I’ll be honest. This was really enjoyable for a quick dumb, teenage read. It’s 1,000 times better than the Twilight Saga. When I first read reviews it was Twilight meets Hogwarts. Which, is not true. It’s about Vampires and their protectors, at a school for Vampires, but it lacks the finesse and smarts that the Harry Potter series had. It’s still an enjoyable easy read for when you just want something dumb. This is my version of reality TV since I refuse to get sucked into that shit. At least reading dumb reads still expands my vocabulary, uses my imagination, and can help with grammar..or so I tell myself. It’s about a Vampire and her protector, and it’s part one of seven books. I’ve already downloaded the second book to my Kindle. I’m also convincing myself that I will be doing a lot of reading while breastfeeding. (Other moms, feel free to laugh at me for that).
4) Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin : I hate this book. I hate it a thousand times over. This was one of the worst books I have ever had the displeasure of reading. At no point during all of Helprin’s rambling could I begin to even tell you the point of this story. Helprin is a very vivid, picturesque writer–which is great when there is a plot that makes sense. I found myself constantly re reading parts of the book because I had no idea what was going on. I am intrigued to see how they will make a movie out of this because I truly cannot see anyone sitting through it. I have read others reviews, and I am saddened to have missed the point of the book–but it did not grab me as it grabbed other readers. It was 800 pages, and about 400 pages too long. If you read it and loved it, please convince me.
5) A Long Way Down– Nick Hornby: I’ll be honest, I just watched the preview and I can’t wait to get my hands on this book/eyes on this movie. I’m crying already. (hormones?)
6) DivergentVeronica Roth: Loved! But– I can’t bring myself to read the rest of the series.
7) The Fault in our Stars- John Green Someone hold me forever.
8)The Hundred-Foot Journey- Richard Morais
9) The Giver-Lois Lowry: I read this book in eighth grade and instantly fell in love. It is where my love with Dystopian novels started. Following The Giver I loved Brave New World, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Hunger Games, Logan’s Run, 1984, A Clockwork Orange, etc. These novels always make me realize that life is about choices, and you don’t have to conform, and there’s always more to know, more to do, more to rebel. They are obviously far fetched, but always, after reading them, I feel such a rush, a surge of power/energy, to fight the power. I just can’t help loving them.
10) Dark Places-Gillian Flynn: Gillian Flynn is good until you get to the last chapter, and then you hate her.
11) This is where I Leave You-Jonathan Tropper. I thought the movie was better. Neither were out of this world great. But, would spend an hour and a half watching the movie.
12) The Maze Runner-James Dashner: I’m on chapter 2. Its Dystopian. I already feel myself falling in love. It too is part of a 3 book series.
13) Gone Girl: Gillian Flynn: I actually read this book last year for my one time book club. I couldn’t put it down. It was soo good. And then I got to the ending. And I hated it. I HATED IT. The book was a page turner, so promising, so well written, so I don’t know. I was just enamored with this book. And then, THEN, I got to the last chapter and I was so disappointed. I’m hoping the movie changes the ending like they sometimes do. Also, I wish Bradley Cooper was playing the lead character. He seems like a MUCH better fit for the lead role. We’ll see Ben. We shall see.
14) Unbroken- Laura Hillenbrand: I finished this yesterday. and OHMYGOD. A) I am ashamed and how little I know about WW2. One week ago if you asked me about the Pacific side of the war, I would have said “They bombed Pearl Harbor; we dropped an A bomb; we won.” I had no idea about the POW’s in Japan, I had no idea about the fighting, sub scanning, rescues, I had no idea about the people who died just in training. I just had no clue. And B) What the book really did for me was humanized soldiers. And I don’t think I’ve ever done that. It really opened my eyes to why that was the great war, and the type of people American’s use to be. It was really amazing. I couldn’t put it down. I still can’ stop talking about it. It makes me sad that I wasn’t interested in this while my grandfather was alive because I would have loved to talk to him about his time in the Pacific and then his time in the Atlantic/Caribbean. This book is why I am excited for The Monument Men.  (Coincidentally is this is also the book I tried to read during our dress rehearsal, and I couldn’t concentrate).
15) Wild- Cheryl Strayed –
16) Serena-Ron Rash: All I know is it’s Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Which always equals Oscar gold to me.

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Is January over yet?

I refuse to let my child be born in what I consider to be the worst month, in the history of my life.

So you read last week’s post. And you read the week before that. NOTHING POSITIVE.  Well in the time that it took me to post last week’s post and this week’s post, we’ve had even more JOYOUS news.

1) Polar Vortex. Go away. It’s cold. My dogs can’t be outside in the cold and they have cabin fever. So PLEASE bring the on the sixty degree weather. Richmond had 2 inches of snow and virtually shut down because the temperature hasn’t risen above 20 degrees. Except for today! It was a balmy 50. Almost bikini season!

2) On Wednesday, 3 days after I went into labor that stopped, my doula called and cancelled. CANCELLED. Did not provide me with a reason (well TECHNICALLY, she did say it was family stuff, but if I’m due in 3 weeks–I’m gonna go ahead and say, she got scared and didn’t want to do it) . She did not provide me with a back up–sure, she gave me a list of people to call, but 3.5 weeks before this child (who is already trying to make an early appearance) is born–YOU should be finding me a replacement. Not me.

3)Because of number 1, I came home Thursday night, whilst Phil was still in Tampa to find my downstairs room flooded. Mind you, I just was patting myself on the back for hiring maids who made my house look/smell amazing, and it was so worth the money. And I came home to a flooded basement. Nine months pregnant, with ice on the street and dogs that need to go outside because they’ve been at the vet all day, and my pipe has burst and the water is everywhere, and MY HUSBAND IS IN FLORIDA. Oh, we also decided not to shovel the sidewalks because Phil was leaving for Tampa, and I’m lazy/pregnant. So when I finally found the valve to turn off the water, the main water pipe was frozen so I couldn’t turn it off by hand or with a tool. Luckily, I have amazing neighbors. He turned off our water, and brought over his shop vac and got all the water out of the basement, and the plumber came and fixed it that night. But I did not want to deal with that because..

4) D has still not expelled her underwear. I think it’s happening today. We haven’t taken her to the vet (so please refrain from telling me I should, I know I should, but she’s eating, drinking, going to the bathroom, and playing on her own,  she’s just not releasing those from her body. Today’s the day, I can feel it. Phil can feel it. If she doesn’t by Saturday then I will take her to the vet). So I’ve been spending everyday with D worrying, exasperating Phil because he’s not worried, and probably causing more stress on myself than necessary. (Update: As of 1/28/2014 she has “returned” three pairs, and a million paper towels. We are just waiting on two more pairs. So I’m even less worried about it now.)

With all that here are all my silver linings:

1) Polar Vortex allowed me to stay home from work last Wednesday, so I got a little more Phil time. And D wasn’t home alone.
2) I found a replacement Doula, who I actually like a lot more than the first one because she seems a bit more hands on, a bit more knowledgeable, a bit more interested, and just all around a better fit for us. This is her website .
3) We have an AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING plumber. He came that night, found the problem, fixed it for a moment, then came back the next day to finish fixing it, and only charged us $85 because he didn’t fix it the first day. I mean! He came at 7 pm at night, in the ice, to fix a leak, stayed for 3 hours, and came back the next day, and only charged us for one day because it was his fault he couldn’t fix it that night.
4) I don’t know what the silver lining is here. Proof that I’m going to be a good mother because I worry about my dog and I’m trying to do everything to make her better? I currently have a compromise with her and baby that is, this baby can’t come out until those underwear come out. So me thinks that D is keeping them in because she doesn’t want to stop being the baby anymore. Maybe that’s her plan?

In Baby News:

My work threw me a shower today, which 100% surprised me and I got the last of my big purchases! We got the mamaroo!! I was this close to buying it today, and now I don’t have to. So the house is officially ready for Baby Taylor. I don’t know if the people and animals inside of it are ready, but as far as being baby ready, we got this thing covered. At my appointment on Friday, I felt like the little queen of the Centering Group. I had already gone into labor so I got to share my story with everyone and all the girls were amazing. They kept telling me how strong and great and inspiring my story was. So, now that I’ve gone through it, told the story, prepared myself more, I can have this baby. Well- that and when D decides to poop. Then I can have this baby.

The midwife thinks that Baby T weighs about 7.1 lbs already. I gained 4 lbs in two weeks beginning of January, and have since stayed the same. So I think I really will hit my goal of 170 (I’m 167 now with 3 weeks left to go).

Everyone: Go light a candle, say a prayer, give me some good vibes, so my dog will get this stuff out of her TODAY. K? Thanks! (For those that read this yesterday, thanks for the prayers, just two more to go!)

Dress Rehearsal

On Sunday, I turned 36 weeks. I also experienced what it might be like if I go into labor. Maybe this kid is like me–good to be prepared? Better safe than sorry? Anyway-the point is I spent the night in the hospital Sunday night, because I apparently had nothing else better to do.

Here’s how it went down: I started having contractions. I attributed them to Braxton Hicks and thought:
“Maybe I need to drink more water,” and nope, they weren’t going away.
“Okay, maybe I need to change positions”. Nope. Not changing. Pretty consistent every seven minutes.

Phil is getting ready for work (night shift, yes!) I tell him that I think I might be having contractions. We call the doc and he says “If they continue to last for another hour or so, increase in pain, or water breaks I need you to come in.” Phil leaves for work. I decide that if I have to go into the hospital, I should wash my hair. (I hadn’t washed it since Thursday. I’m trying to wean myself off of shampoo so that my hair gets use to it. Three days is about my max). Then like an idiot, I’m standing in the shower going–“Well how the hell am I supposed to know if my water breaks if I’M IN THE SHOWER?!”

I continue to go about my business, and the contractions continue to go about theirs. I’m not ready to go to the hospital, and I am not ready for this baby to come, I MEAN THE CAR SEAT ISN’T EVEN INSTALLED. So I avoid it for as long as possible until I get a contraction that was like a feeling of  Joey Lawrence a la Blossom “Whoa.” So packed my bags (thankfully they were mostly packed) put the dogs up, but the spare key in the spare key spot and drove to the hospital. In the 10 minute drive, I did try to call all my best friends who have had babies to have them talk me off the ledge, but it is 9 pm at night and of course no one is picking up their phone.

Still not convinced that this is anything, I park my car on the street with a $700 + camera inside. So for all you ladies that go into fake labor: Remember to actually bring your bags inside. Poor Phil had to run out like five times.

I check in, I get monitored up, and my contractions aren’t even registering on the monitor. So I’m kind of like, okay than what is going on? My gal pals are texting me and I’m trying to give updates but I’m all “I DONT KNOW WHY I’M IN PAIN AND WHY COMPUTERS ARE TELLING ME I’M NOT.”

(For those who wonder, the contractions felt like period cramps that came in waves. Sometimes they were painful, but I could still talk and breath through them, but they were 100% uncomfortable and I just kept telling myself they will pass, they will pass, they will pass).

Doctor comes to evaluate me, and I’m 3 centimeters dilated, 70% effaced, and the baby is at -2. Naturally, I shot straight up and said “Am I having a baby today?!” She said maybe, and that she would check me in two hours.

And that was the longest two hours of my life. Because I couldn’t move, I was uncomfortable, I tried to read (because all the blogs said bring a book–and HAVE THESE PEOPLE EVER GIVEN BIRTH BEFORE? I read the first three sentences 50 times before throwing the book back into my bag, because that was definitely not happening). I kept telling Phil we weren’t ready, he kept saying–do you think you will be ready in four weeks? I said “can we go back to 2009 when I didn’t want kids?” he said “Too late now”.

Doctor comes back, still 3 centimeters dilated, baby is at -2, but now I’m 100% effaced and the contractions are 4 minutes apart, and we are 80% sure we are having a baby tonight. Also-Phil gets called into surgery to do a hip replacement. PERFECT TIMING WORLD.

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I do the only thing I know how to do. I cry. Hysterically. I call all the parents, I continue to cry. I am texting my girlfriends. I text my friend Heather and ask if she can come in and just sit with me because I need someone who won’t tell me it will be okay, but will be like yeah this sucks (but..it’s fine). I’ve got the doula on stand by, I’ve got painful IV’s in my arm, I have no make up on (but clean hair). And this was not my plan. The Epidural doctor comes in and goes through the concerns and I’m 99% sure I just kept nodding and saying this isn’t happening, but okay Doc–you keep telling me what’s up.

Heather comes, Phil comes, we sit in the room..Things are good. Still having contractions. Still freaking out. Still in a Hospital.

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This is why you want makeup. and a Hairbrush.

And then it’s time to sleep (but ha! because no, that doesn’t happen). There are lights everywhere, things beeping, even when you turn off the overhead lights and shut the blinds, the monitors are still on. They have given me 2 (maybe 3) saline drips, so I have to go to the bathroom just about every five minutes. And I’m hungry, but I didn’t bring snacks to the hospital BECAUSE I WASN’T HAVING A BABY.

Well, at about 4 am when I woke up for the 800th time. I looked at Phil and said “We aren’t having this baby.” My contractions had just about stopped. I was hungry, I wanted my bed. My dogs. And I wanted to not be there. So I somehow fell asleep for another hour and a half. The doctor came in and checked me, I hadn’t changed. And what do you know, I WASN’T HAVING THAT BABY.

Thank God.

So now, I have 4 weeks left. I’m 3 centimeters dilated, and I’m 100% effaced. Neat.

However, the dress rehearsal taught me the following:

  • Bring an eye mask
  • Bring your own pillow
  • Pack snacks
  • Bring ear phones
  • Bring socks (This was something I didn’t have because socks are weird to me, and that hospital is freezing)
  • Maybe put some makeup on? You’re waiting around for a while. Maybe you want to send some selfies to friends.
  • Forget the books-bring something trivial. A magazine, an Ipad, something that requires zero concentration
  • DO NOT FORGET YOUR CHARGER
  • Download the Sleep Pillow app. That’s the only thing that got me to sleep was the sound of a fan, coming from my phone.
  • Practice breathing exercises now, those helped tremendously when I would start to have freak outs. Thank God I started yoga early.
  • Leave detailed instructions to people who are watching your dogs. Like, please make sure bathroom door is closed or else you have this on your hands:
    photo 3 (1)

Things I can’t say enough about: The nurses were fantastic. The Doctor’s were fantastic. The hospital room (minus the terrible pillows) was actually decent.

At the end of the day, Phil and I long distance high fived, went to sleep, installed the car seat, and lit a ton of candles that this baby would bake for 4 more weeks. Here’s hoping!

Life is funny sometimes.

It’s January 16th. One month until my due date. Two months until my one year anniversary. So much has changed in a year and yet, even though we keep changing, the world keeps moving.

This isn’t really a post of pregnancy, or what’s going on. It’s just more a word vomit. To be honest, it’s been a pretty rough month for me. (and for those of you who talk to me on the phone, I don’t necessarily go into detail on this stuff because a) some of it i’m sick of complaining about and b) sometimes i’m sick of hearing “silver linings”. Sometimes I just want to vent and be like this sucks, and not hear “well, think of it this way”. I want to hear “god that does suck” “how shitty” or something other than “mmhmm”. So the reason you haven’t heard all these complaints is because I am not at a place right now for sympathetic ears…moving on)

I’m extremely unhappy in my professional life. I can write about it now because I’ve talked to the bosses. But I feel like I’m working so hard for this thing, that’s not happening, and at the same time I’m moving so far away from what I had hoped to achieve by going back to school. That’s all I will say. But I’ve already cried to both bosses twice. Blame it on the hormones. And they were receptive to my feelings and felt awful that I was feeling that way, and are trying to make a difference. Here’s hoping.

I’m lonely. Phil has been on night shift for the past 10 weeks. At first it was awesome. But now that he’s started interviewing he’s gone all the time. And I just want to hang out with him. There are silver linings to him being gone. But there are also, just really shitty evenings like today. I saw him for a grand total of 50 minutes since Saturday. I won’t see him again until this Saturday. And he will most likely be sleeping, because he’s still on night shift. So I still have 4 more weeks of coming home to an empty house. And making dinner. And not interacting with him other than a few texts here and there. It gives me a new found respect for military wives, but…right now. I’m complaining about my life. Because right now, I’m sad. I know other people have it far worse than me. But right now, January 16th it is my chance to be sad.

I know of 4 deaths since January 1st. Three family members, one friend’s son. One friend’s four month old son.  Unexpected. On New Years Day. Great way to ring in the New Year!

Two of the family members were very sick. And the silver lining is at least they are no longer suffering. I don’t really need prayers or sympathy. I’m fine, and I’ve accepted. I’m more concerned for the family members who are hurt and upset by this. Those that lost their daughter, sister, friend. Those that lost their mother and grandmother. It’s sad. Unexpected and sad. And I’m sad for those that are grieving.

And then today, I found out about a family pet that passed away. And that’s the one that has broken me. It’s broken me because pet’s affect me more than people do. Because they never do anything on purpose to hurt you. They do nothing but love and devote you. Sure they eat your underwear/shoes/passport, or dig holes in the back yard, or do a million other annoying things. But not because they are mad at you. And the second you get mad at them, their whole world is turned upside down and they apologize the only way they know how, with love, and devotion, and way too many kisses.

It upsets me because my dogs are getting old. It upsets me because by the time they do pass away, Baby T will probably be of an age at which I have to explain death to it. I have an understanding of the right way to do it, but how do you explain something that you can barely understand.

Death is part of life. There is no stopping it. No matter how long, or at what cost we prolong it, it happens. It happens when we least expect it and it happens when we most expect it.

I’m not religious. So, saying like god has a plan, or praying for you during this difficult time, really does nothing for me. Because it’s not that God has a plan. It’s that we all have only a short time here, and we have to make the most of it. And we have to make the most of it with the people we spend time with.

Anyway, like I said. This was more like word vomit.

I want to go hang out and love on my dogs now. I need to snuggle their faces while it’s still just the three of us before this baby comes and rocks our world.

It happened!!

I’ve reached the stages of now understanding why pregnancy is miserable. Luckily, I only have 5.5 more weeks, but oh my goodness.

For the past 5 days, every day starting at 2 pm. There is a butt? foot? leg? Don’t think it’s a head because the baby was confirmed head down like four times, but could be–lodged underneath my right lung. I can’t sit at my desk comfortably, I can’t breath, I can’t move, I can’t, can’t, can’t do anything. And then 4 hours later when I get home–whatever annoyance was there, moves. I can’t even describe the feeling. It feels like a lot of pressure underneath my right lung, not a bruise, but just a definite discomfort. If I take a deep breath and sigh, I am relieved for like five seconds. If I LEAN into my right side, I get some mild comfort back, but the leaning is not comfortable.

I am down to two pairs of tights. My maternity jeans no longer fit. I can wear some of my old/looser jeans completely unzipped and open with the band and another spandex top. But, that’s a lot of spandex (which maybe that’s why I have pressure underneath my lung??). And I grunt a lot. Sigh a lot. Make noises a lot.

I am done. Just over it. Baby can come any time now (not really).

I hired a maid last night. I officially feel like I am a real doctors wife now. She is going to come every three weeks and do the DEEP cleans, baseboards, fans, bathrooms, kitchens, and all the other stuff that I just won’t do. I don’t know how long we will keep her, but she will be a necessity the first four months. Plus she seems super nice, and reasonable so, maybe that’s the reason we did such a good job of saving money (silver lining). Clean house = peace of mind.

Phil had his first interview at the Mayo Clinic today. It was -4 degrees. So–maybe that one isn’t MY number one choice. Maybe Florida is starting to look better? Because of that I don’t have a picture for you all this week.

But updates for this little 34 week old munchkin are: 5.5 lbs. 17.72 inches. (which I know for a fact these legs are LONG, the reach from one side of my body to the other). Digestive system is fully working, Shim is peeing up to a pint of fluid a day (and I am peeing 7x’s that). The placenta is starting to age this week which means, it’s almost baby time. Could survive if delivered today, but let’s let shim stick around and get some baby fat and lung maturity on it.

Sorry for the Delay

Hi y’all. I could blame this break in posting on a number of things, the holidays, having mini time off with my husband, being pregnant, whatever…but I’m back.

Where did we leave off? Oh, I broke the internet with D and her being the most adorable dog ever.

So high-level recap on my life:

1. 2 weeks ago I flew to St. Louis for my baby shower. Unbeknownst to me, my mom who lives in Japan flew in and surprised me (Thanks Dad!). It was great to see my mom, spend time with the family, see my cousins, and start plotting my move to St. Louis. It really was a wonderful shower, with delicious food, and Baby T and I are completely spoiled.

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2. Christmas! This could honestly be the first Christmas that I wasn’t disappointed in a single gift that I received. They were all great, and wonderful, and it was a really relaxing day with my in laws. Food was also included and it was delicious.

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3. I became lazy. I’m pregnant, so I can do that. Phil was on a mild vacation, so we cleaned house (barely), watched a lot of movies and TV, and just vegged. Call it a staycation.

4. New Years Eve. We went to a wedding. It was beautiful. We were beautiful.

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5. Now the countdown is on. 6 more weeks of work and then this little person arrives. To be frank, I’d be okay with 4-5 more weeks of work (but who’s counting!)

I will say, upon all of these things–we’ve ran into friends who had questions etc about pregnancy. Which like –I get. I get that people are polite and want to ask and whatever. But literally, every time I see someone and their first question is “How are you feeling?” It enrages me. I will tell you and talk about it if I want to, but if you ask me about it I immediately shut down. Mostly because I feel like there is more to me. Remember me? I’m a person. I have real things going on in my life.

Also, I FEEL FINE. I FEEL NORMAL. So as I’ve mentioned I feel like people want me to complain, but anything I have I feel like I can’t complain about it.

1. I have had heartburn twice. It’s not enough for me to bring it up and talk about because a) I don’t want to hear “just wait it gets worse” and b) people get heartburn all the time. Like people are actually on medicine for it, so no. I don’t feel like this is something to bring up.
2. The baby kicks me and it hurts. Still not going to complain. My baby is moving. It’s healthy. It will be out of here in 6 weeks.
3. Swelling. I take my rings off at night. Not worth discussing, or complaining about.
4. I get out of breath going up the stairs. But I’m in better shape than like 75% of the population, so I don’t feel like I should complain about this stuff, because I know other women have it far worse.
5. I wake up in the middle of the night and pee. Do you really want to hear me discuss my bodily functions with you?
6. I’m having trouble sleeping. BECAUSE THERE IS A 5LB BABY INSIDE OF ME. What is worth discussing about this? So you can say, oh I’m sorry that sucks?

I know all of these things suck, I don’t want to talk about them. My New Years Eve resolution was not to complain as much. In fact this the quote I hope to live by:

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain”

When people ask you how your day is, and if its going great, don’t find something to complain about just to make conversation. Say you are having a great day, don’t say, it’s going great but it sucked this morning because this asshole cut me off. That’s irrelevant.

I digress. I digress because I got some unhappy news today and I just want to vent about it–but venting won’t change anything. So, I’m looking at all my silver linings, and hoping for a happy 6 more weeks.

Updates on us:

Baby is head down, yeah! Baby is about 5lbs? 17 inches? Baby is very very active. Hiccuping all the time–which I read is a good sign because it says it will be good at swallowing once it’s born, helpful for feeding situations. Baby’s legs really like hanging out underneath my right rib cage.

Next week, when I don’t feel rushed–I’ll be a bit more cheery 🙂