Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December Books

Jeanne M. Dans - Indigo Christmas

Holly Roberts - Your Vegetarian Pregnancy: A Month-by-Month Guide to Health and Nutrition
(no, I'm not a vegetarian. Just looking for ideas on how to get more protein into my diet)

Mercedes Lackey and Roberta Gellis - And Less Than Kind
(wish I'd noticed that this was the 4th in a series and not read it first, although considering the subject matter it didn't entirely matter)

Mary Hunt - The Financially Confident Woman

Stuart MacBride - Cold Granite

Tom Vanderbilt - Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)
(This was so interesting! Never would have picked it up if Catherine hadn't praised it but I'm so glad I did.)

Sarah A. Hoyt - Heart of Light

Dervla Murphy - Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle

Debra Ginsberg - Blind Submission

Kate Clifford Larson - The Assassin's Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln

Tanya Huff - Sing the Four Quarters

Walter J Ciszek with Daniel L Flaherty - With God in Russia

Jean Ferris - Much Ado about Grubstake
(Liked some of her other books much more.)

Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns - Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip

Donita K Paul - Dragonspell

Malcolm Gladwell - Outliers: The Story of Success
(Another one that I found completely fascinating.)

Tracy Groot - Stones of My Accusers

Harvey Karp - The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer

Li Cunxin - Mao's Last Dancer: The Amazing Story of a Poor Chinese Boy Who Became an International Star

Anthony Bourdain - Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Nancy Moses - Lost in the Museum: Buried Treasures and the Stories They Tell
(I really wanted to like this but was quite disappointed in it.)

Patricia T. O'Conner - Words Fail Me: What Everyone Who Writes Should Know About Writing
(I have no plans to write a book, so why do books on writing fascinate me so much?)

Gary Paulsen - Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod

Trish Ryan - He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: A Memoir of Finding Faith, Hope, and Happily Ever After
And if I were to ever write a book, I don't think I could ever be this honest. I mean, I can't even blog without doing so semi-anonymously.

Joyce Penner - What to Pray When You’re Expecting

Laurie Colwin - Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen

David Howarth - We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance

Steven Gilbar - Chicken a la King and the Buffalo Wing: Food Names and the People and Places that Inspired Them

Frances DeBra Brown - An Army in Skirts: This is Our War Too!

Susanna Kaysen - Girl, Interrupted

Sharon Hanby-Robie - A Simple Christmas: A Faith-Filled Guide to a Meaningful and Stress-Free Christmas

Jan Burke - Eighteen
(Generally, I don't like short stories. Jan Burke is one of the very few exceptions.)

Beth Lisick - Helping Me Help Myself

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Review: Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity

Keri Wyatt Kent's latest book contains practical advice on how to honor and observe Sabbath (whatever day that might be for you).

The writing is warm and personable, filled with examples from her life and the lives of others, making it eminently relatable. Suggestions on ways to begin implementing Sabbath observance helped make the practice accessible, and all of her suggestions and examples were completely non-legalistic and non-guilt-inducing. .

Her emphasis on what is restful for me, and why Sabbath is relevant today was thought-provoking. I appreciated the author's remarks that Sabbath may be very different for you depending on your season of life,

Highlighting the blessings of rest was inspirational, and challenged me to focus on what I could do the other six days of the week in order to enjoy God's gift of Sabbath rest.

On a more personal note, I grew up in a church that was EXTREMELY legalistic, and keeping the Sabbath (on Saturday only, anything else was an abomination) included a lengthly list of do's and don'ts and quibbling over what was and was not permissible. Although I left that church years ago, I still initially cringe when I hear the term Sabbath because of the negative connotations it brings. Kent's book was wonderfully reassuring and motivated me to try and reclaim the word and the concept and institute some rituals/traditions/habits that bring me closer to God.

Thankful Tuesday

  • My time off from work last week was so enjoyed and needed. I felt significantly better most days. Amazing what that rest thing does, huh?

  • Speaking of time off from work, this is also going to be a short week for me - I'm taking off Thursday and Friday! L will be home those days as well so it should be nice. I hope to watch a lot of football and take down all the Christmas decorations. And all basically means the tree and mantle.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Weeks Twelve & Thirteen

Yeah, I missed week twelve. Whoops. So, instead, a two-week recap.

I had my twelve-week doctor's appointment where I learned that I've lost 7 pounds since the week eight visit. Apparently frequent vomiting + the inability to eat very much at any one time = losing weight. Since I was overweight at the beginning of the pregnancy, it's not really as big of a deal as it might otherwise be.

Still vomiting occasionally (i.e., every third day or so) and still feeling very very queasy on the non-vomiting days. Still not able to eat much, and still don't have a lot of energy. I do have enough energy to sit on the couch and read a lot though, so it's not all bad. ;)

And, links: has images from week twelve & thirteen. Baby Center has a graphic showing what the baby (embryo) looks like at twelve weeks and at thirteen weeks. And with less pictures but more text, is BabyCenter at twelve weeks and at thirteen weeks and of course Amalah at week twelve and week thirteen.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Tour of Homes

It's BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes!

Welcome - I'm glad you stopped by to see how we've decorated our house for Christmas! Unfortunately, due to morning sickness and major first-trimester exhaustion, decorations this year got scaled back.

Our front door has a plastic wreath (I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that) that I think doesn't look too bad. It's crying out for something to give it a little pop but see again above re: the extreme exhaustion. Well that and that I'm fairly decorating challenged.

We have our tree in our family room, and this year we went with a red and gold theme. Please don't ask how long it took to get the tree decorated, but I will admit to cutting it close to my self-imposed deadline in order to participate in this tour. Even though it took awhile, it was lots of fun decorating it. I had my ipod set up to play lots of Christmas music, and it made for a nice atmosphere.

One present under the tree so far, and it's not even wrapped. Yes, we're pretty behind on our shopping. It's not even a surprise at all because it's something L won during his work party.

I've got some favorite ornaments on the tree, including a cute little glass snowman and an adorable penguin:

This tree has joy!

Some more closeups of the tree:

I'm not sure this snowman should have really made it onto the tree with his blue hat, but I love him too much to leave him packed away.

The mantle is usually covered with cards by Christmas, but it's still skimpy so far. I'm hoping for a flood to come in in the next few days! The stockings are completely empty so far so I'm hoping to get to the store this coming weekend and get some stocking stuffers to fill them up!

And closeups of the stocking holders. Mine is the tree; L's is the snowman. He has to remind me of that because apparently I have a mental block about remembering who has what color stocking & all the rest. I should probably get some personalized ones then I could manage!

Finally, my favorite seasonal throw that's on the futon across from the tree. It's quite warm too - I love to spend time in the room enjoying the pretty tree and the throw keeps me cozy as I read.

Thanks for visiting! For more tours, don't forget to visit BooMama!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Week Eleven

So. Still itching. Have figured out some ways to minimize it, but can't get rid of it completely. And if I don't slather (and I mean SLATHER) on lotion within a few minutes of getting out of the shower it's too late. I'm doomed to itch like crazy until my next shower & chance to moisturize.

I spoke a little too soon on the nausea easing. Thursday was one of my worst days ever; I may have thrown up close to 20 times during the day in three marathon sessions. Unfortunately one of the sessions was at work. Fortunately I made it to the bathroom and no one else was in there so I had some privacy at least. And one of my friends there got me a Sprite when I asked her to in hopes it would ease my stomach a bit (it did). I threw up so much that day that my throat burned for hours; maybe too much stomach acid passing by? I'm definitely hoping that was just a big finale and that it'll mark the final day of vomiting for me.

Still having occasional mild cramping and still not as regular as I'd like to be.

I think this week mostly brought on lots of excitement that we are so close to being out of the first trimester! And that means I'll be spilling the beans at work, to more than just my closest friends there. Although, with the Christmas holiday and my vacation plans and all, I'll probably be waiting until the New Year to announce at work anyway. Which, eh, close enough. It'll be something exciting to talk about in January which so often needs it. I mean, I can only talk about the NFL playoffs on a couple of days, and beyond that we'll need another topic. (Monday and Friday will probably still be devoted to playoff discussions, at least with one coworker in particular).

And, some of my favorite sites: has images from week eleven. Baby Center has a graphic showing what the baby (embryo) looks like. And with less pictures but more text, is Baby Center again and of course Amalah.

And, I found a cool day-by-day pregnancy calendar which I've had fun perusing. If that's not enough, yet another daily calendar

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Week Ten

The biggest thing for me in week ten is the ITCHING. Seriously, I just itch. Apparently it's not an unknown side effect, but still. I hadn't expected it and L thinks it's weird. Which, I can't really argue with him. It is weird. Fortunately mine seems to just be average annoying itching, not the more serious ICP itching. But I wish it would STOP before I loose my mind and/or scratch myself bloody (already done that a bit actually).

On a brighter note, the nausea maybe (knock on wood) is easing a bit. I haven't thrown up since Tuesday morning, and I've had stretches of time where I don't feel as if I could throw up if I blink wrong. L thinks I'm looking more like myself too, so I'm cautiously optimistic. Of course, as I type this I'm feeling quite queasy so it's not all gone yet.

Still haven't managed to get out the camera and take some belly shots. I'm probably going to regret that.

Too much information alert: I'm starting to suffer from something most pregnancy books & sites claim is very very common throughout pregnancy. I was hoping I could avoid it, but unfortunately I'm, um, not quite as regular as usual. I'm going with the assumption that the occasional mild cramping I'm experiencing is related to this or else it's my uterus as it gets ready for the massive expansion ahead.

And, some of my favorite sites: has images from week ten, Baby Center has a graphic showing what the baby (embryo) looks like. And with less pictures but more text, is Baby Center again and of course Amalah.

And, I found a cool day-by-day pregnancy calendar which I've had fun perusing. If that's not enough, yet another daily calendar

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thankful Tuesday

  • We had a nice Thanksgiving and time spent with family.

  • It's December! And that means I have a Christmas tree in my family room! And it's beautiful, even though it's not completely decorated. I hope to finish it this week now that we additional ornament hangers. ;)

  • I'm going to be taking an entire week off for Christmas. Whoo-hoo!