28 February 2011

25 Weeks

How Far Along?
25 weeks yesterday.

Appts coming up?
None until March 15th.

Thoughts about where you're at in your pregnancy?
Eh. Tired. Happy to feel Baby moving more. I think she loves kickboxing as much as her Mama!

What are you working on?
Still working on my list of 101 Things in 1001 Days. Figuring out when we will have the nursery painted and what needs to be done before then (i.e., moving the cat's litter box, switching dressers, finding a new home for the desktop computer...) Need to call hospital - we are already registered but have to reserve private room.

Complaints or worries?
Pretty bitterly disappointed that my Sweetheart seems suddenly adamantly opposed to the 3D ultrasound I'd been planning to get (esp since I have the opportunity to have it free this week). Worried that I haven't heard from the friend who is supposed to host one of our showers for weeks... need to figure out a back-up plan, and quick.

Not so much. Like chocolate more than I ever have in my life, though.

Happy moments/blessings?
(Cooked) sushi for lunch with my friend, A, last Tuesday and then a lovely lunch out with my amazing mother-in-law on Thursday. My mother-in-law and stepmother are planning a really lovely shower for family in April. Also, my Sweetheart bought Tex and me a new (used) Escape on Saturday. I will miss my Focus, but we are selling it to my brother (for less than 1/3 the Kelly Blue Book price, so nice to be able to help him out) and the Escape probably will be safer.

Any fun things coming up?
I am cranky so it's hard to see fun things ahead. Dinner (finally!) with our friend KP tomorrow should be fun. I hope to visit my beautiful Robinsta this week. If I decided to go get the 3D anyway (which I am not leaning toward, as badly as I want it), then I would try to do that this week, too.

20 February 2011

24 Weeks or, V is for Viability!

How Far Along?

24 weeks today.

Appts coming up?
None until March 15th.

Thoughts about where you're at in your pregnancy?
Super excited to have reached 24 weeks. 24 weeks is commonly considered the age of viability. So if - God forbid - Tex came early, he/she would have a great chance of survival. Of course, I want Tex to stay in there for another 16 weeks, but it's a relief to know we've made it to this developmental milestone.

What are you working on?
Working on my list of 101 Things in 1001 Days. Figuring out when we will have the nursery painted and what needs to be done before then (i.e., moving the cat's litter box, switching dressers, finding a new home for the desktop computer...)

Complaints or worries?
Pretty wicked sciatica today, but since Tex is healthy and growing, everything is worth it.

Pizza, forever! Would like a beer. Really want some sushi right now, too. And cherries. And some citrus - really want some ice cold fresh pineapple.

Happy moments/blessings?
Very cognizant of how amazing my Sweetheart is and of how lucky we are to be together, waiting for Tex to join us. Lovely breakfast at a new coffee shop with my friend, B and made plans to try a new local tea house next week with . Had fun splurging at Borders yesterday and exploring the Auto Show today.

Any fun things coming up?
Hanging with my Sweetheart tomorrow. Lunch with A on Tuesday. Another visit with Gram some time during the week... Maybe other stuff, but my brain is getting super fuzzy again the last few days...

15 February 2011

Deep Down True

Sometimes I read a book that I really like but I just don't want to write a review for. I'm not sure why that happens, but it does. Deep Down True by Juliette Fay was just such a book for me.

Maybe it's because, on the face of it, the plot isn't anything unusual. Dana Stellgarten is newly divorced and trying to find her place in the new world she now inhabits. She has always been unfailingly nice to everyone, but that is wearing away now as she faces life as a single mother who is trying to do the best she can for her children while forging ahead. 

Life can be rough. Her teen niece soon seeks refuge with Dana. She suspects her daughter is developing an eating disorder. Her ex-husband tells her she needs to find work since he is unable to contribute as much as he should. In the meantime, the Queen Bee Mom befriends her and her son's football coach woos her. Life is complicated and confusing; but Dana discovers the rewards of staying true to herself and not worrying so much about everyone liking her.

What makes this book so special is the character development. All of them rang true, from the perpetually adolescent coach to the fragile tough-girl niece to the bitchy alpha-mom. Even more remarkably, I began to care very much about Dana, her family, her eventual beau and the family she cooks for in their time of need. The richness of the characters made this book burrow into my heart.

Good Night, Tweetheart

Abby Donovan is in a rut. Her first novel was well-received, receiving an endorsement from Oprah and coming thisclose to winning the Pulitzer Prize. That, however, was four years ago. Now she's becoming withdrawn, not venturing from her room at the Plaza very often, stuck on Chapter Five of her second novel, about to get fired by her publisher.
When her publicist  sets her up with a Twitter account, Abby is intrigued. Soon she finds herself drawn into a Tweeting relationship with Mark, an English professor who has taken a year's sabbatical to travel the world and write the Mediocre American Novel. 140 characters at a time, Abby and Mark get to know each other, each gradually letting down carefully consturcted barriers until a secret that threatens everything they have been building is revealed.

Goodnight, Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros was a cute novel with an intriguing premise. While the characters are not as fully drawn as they could be (a neccessity since we learn about them through their tweeting relationship, I suppose), it was a quick and pleasant read, sure to be enjoyed by readers of contemporary romantic fiction.

14 February 2011

Axl's Favorite Cookies

First of all, I need to confess: when I learned that my Sweetheart had a dog, I wasn't entirely thrilled. I have always been more of a cat person and I wasn't excited about having to get up to let up a dog, dealing with scooping poop and all the rest.

But, then I met Axl.

He is now "my" puppy (while, ironically enough, the cat and I pretty much just tolerate each other). I completely adore him and am so happy that Tex will grow up with such a stalwart friend.

On our Honeymoon, I bought a dog bone shaped cookie cutter and decided I should make him homemade treats because he is so entirely awesome. I am not sure anymore where I got the recipe, but he loves them. In fact, since the first time I made these cookies for him, every time he hears the oven door creak open, he hightails it to the kitchen to see if I made him more cookies. (Seriously. My Sweetheart loves to show company this trick.)

I made a fresh batch last night (and cut one into a heart for his Valentine). You might want to make some for your pup, too. Here's the recipe:

Axl's Favorite Doggy Treats
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (I always use smooth, although I imagine chunky would work, too)
  • 1- 1/4 cups hot water
  • May need a little additional flour for rolling out the dough.

1- Preheat oven to 350° F.
2- Mix dry ingredients together.
3- Mix in the peanut butter and hot water. You may need to add more flour if the dough is too sticky.
4- Knead the dough well.
5- Roll out the dough into 1/4" thickness and cut into shapes with dog cookie cutters (or whatever shape makes you and your puppy happy - cats, perhaps?).
6- Bake for 45 minutes or so on lightly greased cookie sheet (I always use parchment paper instead).
7- Let cookies cool completely on wire rack before giving one to your favorite puppy!
Because there are no preservatives, I always store these in the fridge. On occasion, I have made a double batch and then put half in a ziploc bag and keep them in the freezer until we need them. Axl has never complained, so I suppose that's working well!

13 February 2011

23 Weeks

How Far Along?

23 weeks today.

Appts coming up?
None until March 15th.

Thoughts about where you're at in your pregnancy?
More than halfway there. It's all good - even the sleepiness and sore hips and hormonal roller coaster are all a-okay if they mean the Baby is growing and healthy.

What are you working on?
Working on my list of 101 Things in 1001 Days. Washing all the floors to get the house back to normal after the plaster and paint work. Need to make dog treats this week so the puppy doesn't feel neglected.

Complaints or worries?
Not too much. Just found out maybe I should not be eating tuna at all, so have to find out about that. It gets frustrating that I cannot do certain things (painting, shoveling blizzard snow, moving furniture) that I always did for myself before. But overall, everything is good.

Pizza, still! Would like a beer. Really want some sushi right now, too.

Happy moments/blessings?
I started feeling Tex move this week! In fact, yesterday morning, the Baby woke me up before 6am, apparently having a dance party! Baby's heartbeat was strong at the dr appt Friday. I finally met the final dr in our practice; and really liked him. I spent Monday at CPL, where I got many hugs and heard about tons of great books and saw Jon Scieszka present a highly entertaining program. My Sweetheart and I attended a first birthday party for my friend's daughter and I got to introduce him to the Morgan clan - one of my favorite families in the world.

Any fun things coming up?
Well, tomorrow is Valentine's Day, but my Sweetheart is on overnights, so I suspect it will be seriously low-key. I plan to bake some brownies for my Sweetheart tonight (pretty sure he won't be reading this beforehand ;). Tomorrow, I get to pick up a disc with pictures from the last ultrasound and am finally going to the Belly Factory to look at diaper bags. We're getting a new tv delivered Friday. Maybe the Auto Show next weekend. Life is crazy busy, but I am very blessed.

08 February 2011

R.I.P. - Brian Jacques

Author Brian Jacques, best known for his remarkable Redwall series, died of a heart attack on 5 February. He was 71 years old.

From NPR:

The 21-book fantasy series Redwall is filled with the heroics of anthropomorphic animals. Foxes, squirrels and mice feast and fight their way through numerous adventures and in the process have won the hearts of millions of young readers.

Since they were first published in 1986, the books have been translated into more than 20 langauages and have sold more than 20 million copies. Jacques wrote the first book to entertain children at a school for the blind where he was a patron.
While I have not yet read any of the books myself, I have known many young readers who have loved them passionately over the years. The gift he gave to a whole world of readers will honor his memory for years to come.

Between Sisters

Gloria has just failed almost all her exams, passing only needlework and art. At sixteen, she is all but illiterate, unable to read and write almost entirely. She is afraid about the lack of opportunity for her and decides that she will learn to sew and become a seamstress. Before she can make concrete plans for this, her Aunt Ruby approaches with a solution - her cousin is a Somebody, a doctor who requires a nanny and housekeeper. If Gloria works for Dr. Christine for two years, sewing school will be paid for and she will have the chance to rise from the ranks of Nobodies.

Gloria loves working for Christine, referring to her as a "sister" and loves Christine's young son, too. She makes some new friends (including a handsome young doctor) and joins a band with a church youth group. However, some of the "friends" she makes begin to take advantage and when money goes missing in Christne's home, Gloria begins to question what it means to be family and whether keeping secrets is worth the cost it can incur.

Set in modern Ghana, Between Sisters by Adwoa Badoe is an engaging look at a teen across the world who faces the challenges of growing up head-on. Highly recommended.

A New Project

So, I dunno, maybe a week ago, my husband texts me from work asking if I’ve heard about this 101 Things in 1001 Days, which is also known as the Day Zero Project. I had not, but I was somewhat intrigued. When he got home, he did a little more research and started getting excited about it. He started creating a list, which led me to start thinking about my own list.

After a lot of thinking and scribbling, I finished my list. My list - as well as posts on my progress - will be posted on a separate blog devoted to my 101 Things. I'm on Day 2 now... Wish me luck!

06 February 2011

22 Weeks!

How Far Along?

22 weeks today.

Appts coming up?
Quick check-in with the OB on Friday.

Thoughts about where you're at in your pregnancy?
Still at that weird place - I still haven't fully "popped" and am not sure I've really felt the Baby, but my belly is definitely growing harder and everything seems good.

What are you working on?
Trying to finalize the list of names and addresses to give those hosting showers for the Baby. Not (entirely) Baby-related, my Sweetheart inspired me to create a list of 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days, so I am starting that tomorrow and blogging the experience.

Complaints or worries?
Not much Baby-related. Really wish I was feeling Tex move around, but the Baby was great on the ultrasound, so I guess nothing to do but wait.

Pizza! Really want some sushi right now, too.

Happy moments/blessings?
We saw the Baby on Thursday, which was awesome! Looks like Tex is doing just fine and dandy! Also, my Sweetheart met another dad-to-be online whose wife is due around the same time as me and they've become e-pals, so that makes me happy; it's nice for him to have someone in a similar boat to talk to.

Any fun things coming up?
Another busy week ahead. Monday, I am going downtown for CPL's annual Best of the Best program; Jon Scieszka will be there, which is cool. My brother is coming to paint the front room, so it will be nice for the house to be put back together after that. Get to pick up a cd with ultrasound pictures this week. Rescheduled dinner with KP on Friday. Zoe's first birthday party on Saturday.