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Showing posts from January, 2010

Reading Roundup: January 2010

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

I read The Lord of the Rings for the first time a few years ago, but had never read The Hobbit. I read it this time planning to read the series again. I still haven't started it, and I hate to say that this book killed my enthusiasm a little. It was all right, but not really my favorite and not nearly as compelling as the rest of the series was. I guess it's time for a reread in order to remember what I liked so much.

Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon

I'm not a man or a father but I still enjoyed this book quite a lot. It's a series of essays about a variety of topics, some related to parenthood and others related to life in general. I thought it was a lot of fun to read and even laughed out loud in a few spots.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana deRosnay

In an interview in the back of the book the author mentions that she particularly likes the novel Rebecca for its elements of the gothic as well as its exploration of how the past intrudes into th…

How Did I Get Here?

Did February sneak up on anyone else? I can't believe that Monday is already February. I've always liked it better than January because it's shorter and because it contains Valentine's Day. I love Valentine's Day; this year I don't have any big plans since I will have a ten-day-old baby. I hope Mr. Fob is planning to pamper me (hint, hint).

Last June February seemed so far away, and yet now it feels like I've been pregnant forever. I can't remember what it was like to be able to bend down. I vaguely remember my 'real clothes'. I don't think the writhing and kicking in my belly are very cute anymore. This time around I have actually felt pretty good while pregnant, but I hit the wall a few weeks ago. Suddenly I feel huge and grumpy and just plain 'done'.

I mostly writing this post to remind myself that there was a reason why I wanted to actually have the baby. Because I know in a week or two I'm going to be exhausted, sore, leaky, …

The Right Place

Last week we finally closed on the house; yes, we've been living here for three weeks now and thought we were going to close much more quickly. It has been a long and weird saga and none of us understand why the seller's bank felt such a need to make things difficult. But now Mr. Fob and I are the proud owners of our very own home and a mortgage that looks pretty daunting from this point of view (seeing 2040 on several papers kind of freaked me out a bit--hopefully we'll pay it off sooner than that).

The only thing that has kept me going has been the assurance that this is the right place for us. I really don't know how to explain it any more than that; this whole time I've had a feeling that we are supposed to live here for some reason, and that somehow things would work out. It wasn't just the house itself, though it is perfect for us. I've had some doubts because it is pretty big. The family that owned it for a long time had 10 children; we only have thre…

"I'm doing a good job"

Little Dude lately is in the throes of that preschool stage where they want to do everything themselves. Generally this works out well, because at three-and-a-half he is pretty capable. He loves to help me unload the dishwasher, do the laundry, set the table, and many other tasks around the house. Being the worrywart and perfectionist that I am, I know I respond too anxiously sometimes and want to jump in too frequently to 'fix' things. The other night we were having pancakes, and he naturally wanted to put butter and syrup on his own. Usually I help him cut, so after watching him hacking away at his pancake I asked "can I help you with that?"

He looked up at me and replied very sincerely: "I'm doing a good job, Mom!"

My heart melted; yes, he was doing fine and I should be careful not to be so hasty to jump in and imply that his efforts aren't good enough.

Stuff I'm Good At

I think it's very easy for most of us to think of things that we aren't very good at. For a lot of reasons there is a human tendency to play down our accomplishments and to focus on the negative. There can be good reasons for this, because no one likes a narcissist, and because humility helps us see the things we can improve on. Lately, though, I keep feeling like I've been blessed with the ability to see ways in which I've made progress in my life. Sometimes I think it's good to take time to acknowledge ways in which we're doing well. Here are a few things I've recognized today:

As I grow as a mother I really do have days when I feel like "hey, I think I'm getting the hang of this" (of course they're always followed by those days that are humbling in the worst way). This morning we got up and went to Church as usual; during Sacrament meeting Little Dude was particularly whiny and clingy and kept wanting to sit on my (nonexistent) lap. Afte…

3 weeks and two days

That's how much more time I have until my c-section date. Up until last week or so, I'd actually been feeling pretty good. I don't know if it was the end of the holidays or what, but suddenly I feel very done with being pregnant. The baby seems to have had a growth spurt and my belly feels huge. Things like putting on clothes, rolling over in bed, getting up from chairs, bending, and even breathing are difficult. Plus I've actually had some contractions, not something I experienced a lot of with my other two kids.

Today I had appointments with both my therapist and my OB. Mentally things are going well and we talked about strategies to keep them that way. I'm grateful to know that I've got support in case my brain gets weird again, but I'm also grateful that my life is in a much better place this time around. Even if I do end up with an emergency delivery again this time it will probably not be quite so traumatic to my brain. My other appointment also went …

Reading Roundup: 2009

(Here are 2008 and 2007)

In 2009 I read 80 books; this is slightly more than 2008 and slightly less than 2007. I was in school for half the year, but many of my classes used novels, and I still did some 'fun' reading on the side.

I read 54 fiction books and only 26 nonfiction; it felt to me like I had read more fiction this year than in the past. Looking at my previous posts, that is certainly the case; during the last two years I've kept track it's usually been more evenly divided. I'm sure that part of this is due to the nature of my classes during the first half of the year; literature programs generally concentrate more on fiction and narrative than nonfiction (although we did do some memoir).

49 books were by men and only 31 by women. Not sure if there's a really good reason for this not; in 2007 women greatly outnumbered men and last year they were evenly divided. Who knows. We'll have to see how 2010 shakes out.

Once again I didn't do a great job a…

A little help from my friends

I love the conversational aspect of blogging and consider my readers, even if I haven't met you in person, to be my friends. In that spirit, I'm asking for some advice today (I'm sure I've done this before).

First of all, I'm trying to decide if I should by an ERGO baby carrier. They're pricey, but I've heard from a lot of people that they are worth the money; I could probably find the money to buy one, but worry that it would be another baby item that just sits around without getting a lot of use. With each of my two babies I've been earnestly trying to give babywearing a try. I loathe carrying around the carseat (and really physically can't for the first two months or so), and babies are too little to sit up in a shopping cart or stroller for several months at least. I've tried two different slings and have pretty much relegated them to Mr. Fob. I'm pretty short and have a short torso, but with Little Dude we had a Snugli-type carrier that …

Random Post: Moving

Last Tuesday I came home from an appointment and Mr. Fob greeted me by asking 'what's the happiest news I could give you right now?' I guessed, correctly, that it had something to do with our house. The seller's bank finally did whatever it was they needed to do for us to close on it, so we scheduled closing and moving. Since we were anxious to move and we had time off for the holiday we made plans to move last Friday.

This was probably one of our craziest moves yet, though not as bad as the time we suddenly had to switch apartments due to water damage a few years ago. We spent most of Thursday packing what we could. Mr. Fob's sister was awesome and helped us out for most of the day as well. I avoided lifting anything but still ended up completely exhausted for the entire weekend. I tried getting in touch with our home teachers on Thursday and wasn't able to, so reluctantly had to call Friday morning to tell them we were moving within a few hours. Amazingly we h…