Friday, January 31, 2020

Books I Read (January)

Books Read for January: 5

The Perfect Predator 
By Steffanie Strathoe and Thomas Patterson

The true-life account of
 (just as it says in the title
"a scientist's race to save her husband from a deadly superbug." 

I have no scientific background, 
but she writes in a way 
that makes it easy for me to follow. 

It was engaging and had me on the edge of my seat. 
The kind of book where I neglect parenting duties 
("here's a bunch of play-doh, go wild") 
so that I can finish the book. 

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill 
By Abbi Waxman

From the second I heard of this book, 
I had a gut-feeling that I'd absolutely love it. 

I was not disappointed. 
I loved it. 
The characters (all of them!) were charming and witty. 
The banter ranged from thoughtful to absolutely hilarious 
(I even posted one page of the book on my IG stories 
because I was laughing so hard from the dialogue). 
The book did slump a little in the middle 
but it redeemed itself shortly thereafter. 

Five stars. 

The Cactus 
By Sarah Haywood 


This book had all the makings of a favorite. 
Specifically: a super practical, anal retentive, borderline-autistic narrator, 
who you know to be my favorite kind of character. 

Problem was, every support character was ghastly irritating
yet by the end it felt like you were suddenly 
supposed to like these horrid characters 
who you'd been hating /rooting against all along, 
without giving much proof as to their redemption. 

It was... ok, I guess. 

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle 
By Stuart Turton 

How do I describe this book? 
It's impossible. 
It's complicated and twisty and not what I expected.

I avoid reading book descriptions in advance, 
which meant I was totally lost for the first few chapters. 
That said, in a way I enjoyed it more 
watching it unfold through the character's eyes, 
than if I had known what was transpiring. 

On one hand, I found the book weird and irritating. 
On the other hand, I enjoyed that I had no idea how it would end, 
who to trust, 
or what was really going on. 

Would I recommend it? 
With caution, yes. 
It's not light reading. 
It's not a quick read. 
But if you want a mind-twisting book that may make your head hurt, 
then this is a good one for you. 

In The Arena 

By Charlton Heston 

This was a reread. 
By the end of the holidays, 
I needed a mindless enjoyable read, 
and this fit the bill. 
I picked it up periodically throughout the month. 

My review now does not change 
from my first review years ago here
I've seen a few more of his movies since, 
which made it overall more interesting. 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Final Thoughts Before the Big Day

Tomorrow is the Big Day. 
My c-section and hernia repair surgery is scheduled for 7:30am. 
Adam and I will report to the hospital at some ungodly hour like 5am, 
while the kids and my in-laws are still sleeping at our house. 

As a note, I do have a "'Book I Read [January]" post scheduled for Friday, 
so if I die on the operating table, 
just know you'll still get to read my January book recs for this month!

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. 
Here are my final thoughts before the big day. 

C-section Anticipation 

Am I nervous for the operation? 

Not really. 
I've had two before and they both went well. 

I still hold the nagging fear that something will go awry 
(wrote about those paranoid fears here). 
But I'm mostly focused on the excitement of it all. 

I understand there's a lot of "hurry up and wait
in planned c-sections. 
There's also a lot of:
 "oops your time slot got pushed back  
because there's an emergency in front of you.
This happened to my MIL where Adam was scheduled to be born at 7am 
and she wasn't in the OR until early evening due to events of the day. 
I'm not a patient person, 
especially when I'm hungry, 
so this could prove... interesting. 

Baby Anticipation:


I am nervous for the baby's health post-op. 
Oliver spent two hours in the NICU 
because of all the mucus in his lungs. 
Phlegm normally gets squeezed out during a vaginal birth,
 but is a common issue with c-sections. 
Maybe that will happen again, maybe not. 
Maybe we'll have something different. 
But until he's back in my arms, 
I will worry about him. 


Yes we have a name. 
I don't love it. 
But it's what Adam and I could mutually agree on, 
therefore I've mentally accepted it as the final name. 

It will not be another vowel. 
The full name will have an alliteration to it. 

If this baby was a girl, 
the top contenders would have been: 
Bailey (my favorite), 
Charlotte (Adam's favorite), 
and Autumn (both love). 

Weight Guesses

Our bets:
Adam is guessing 8 lbs 5 oz. 
I am guessing 10 lbs 5 oz. 

As a reference point: 
With Aaron I weighed 178 lbs and he was 10 lbs 4.7 oz. 
With Oliver I weighed 168 lbs and he was 7 lbs 9 oz. 

This time I weigh 180 lbs, 
so I'm guessing a slight bump up from Aaron. 

On one hand, it doesn't matter because it's a c-section either way. 
On the other hand, a big baby comes with added complications 
(blood sugar levels, weight loss, etc) 
so I have to be ready for that. 

Expectations for... 


Everyone tells me the 3rd c-section is the worst. 
And apparently the joint hernia repair can also prolong recovery. 
Either way, I'm mentally prepared for a long road ahead. 

Adam will be on PTO until February 7th, 
then he will work from home the following week (through Valentine's Day). 
After that, we've arranged for an assortment of help 
(mostly from my dad) 
so that I won't have to take Oliver to or from preschool 
for the rest of the month. 
Aaron can walk to/from the bus stop with neighbors. 


Both Aaron and Oliver were reasonably good sleepers. 
For both, the second night home from the hospital was total hell, 
but then it got better after that. 
What I need is predictability. 
I'm ok if the baby wakes 4 times a night, 
as long as it stays consistent at 4 times a night. 

Aaron slept through the night at 6 months 
and Oliver at 9 months, 
and I have no delusions about this baby beating either of those. 


Obviously, I expect to exclusively breastfeed. 
My biggest hurdle with both boys was circumcision day. 

After his circumcision, Aaron didn't nurse for 24 hours, 
dropping weight and the nurses were freaking out about his blood sugar. 
It was the worst 24 hours of my motherhood. 

Oliver behaved similarly, 
but being smaller size they didn't freak out as much, 
and me being an experienced mom, 
I already had an armful of tricks up my sleeve to coax him out of the slump. 

If I can get over the circumcision, I feel like I should be good to go. 
Obviously, there's a host of factors that could change all this, 
like NICU time, 
but I'm trying not to dwell on them. 

Anything else? 

In my last therapy session on MLK Day, 
my therapist brought up my expectations for Adam. 
She knows me well enough to know I'm an OCD-Clean-Freak 
and that my husband does not share these same traits. 

I hadn't planned on discussing my expectations for Adam, 
but when I made a humorous comment 
about the house falling to pieces under his reign of terror, 
my therapist jumped on it. 

How will I cope with a messy home? 
How will I respond to Adam not cleaning to my standards? 

I didn't have a good answer 
other than the "bottle up my emotions and explode later?
which we all know is soooooo healthy. 

We ended the session agreeing that I need to tell myself: 
It doesn't matter if the house is a disaster for a few weeks. 
It doesn't matter if kids lunches aren't packed well. 
It doesn't matter if the laundry isn't done on schedule. 
It doesn't matter if we get ants because Adam doesn't sweep. (!!) 
It doesn't matter. 
(Repeat to myself 100 times)

Eventually it will go back to normal.  


Friday, January 24, 2020

39 Weeks

39 Weeks

Countdown to C-section: FOUR DAYS!!!

On Wednesday, Aaron tested positive for Influenza B. 
I PANICKED, thinking if I get the flu, they'll move my C-section. 

But no, the OB confirmed that 
as long as my symptoms are mild 
and I'm on Tamiflu, 
they will proceed with the operation as scheduled. 

Aaron, meanwhile, is doing great. 
He did have the flu shot in the fall (as did I) 
so his symptoms have been very mild. 
All hail modern medicine. 

Baby Size: Pumpkin

Current Weight: 179.0 lbs
Weight Baby #2: 166.0 lbs
Weight Baby #1: 177.0 lbs 

Some shitty nights, 
where I wake up with terrible ankle aches 
and end up downing tylenol 
and moving rooms to find a comfy spot. 
Some good nights, 
where I wake up 4 times to pee but go right back to sleep. 

Each night is Russian Roulette. 

Symptoms of the Week:

1. Swelling. 
Swelling came on fast and furious this week. 
Sausage fingers, baking-bread feet, and numb thighs. 
I countered my body's swell with 
an excessive amount of cucumber/lemon/ginger water, 
which seems to be helping somewhat. 

2. Achy ankles FOREVER AND EVER. 
3. Insatiable hunger. 
4. Braxton Hicks

On one hand, yes, I want baby to move so I know he's ok. 
On the other hand, he's out of room 
and moving around means hitting my bladder 
or some other vital organ, 
and it's horribly uncomfortable. 

Exercise Status:

Excited For
7:30am on January 28th!

General Mood
Pretty good. 
Ironically, Aaron's flu has been a welcome distraction. 
It gives me something to focus on these last few days. 
I'm always busy getting him water 
or books or checking his temperature. 

From my lengthy to do list for January, the only things left are: 
1. Pack hospital bag. 
2. Install infant car seat 
3. Register at hospital (Monday

Overall, I'm feeling really good about it all!

Whoops, same shirt as 38 weeks. 

39 Weeks with Oliver here
39 Weeks with Aaron here

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Pregnancy Favorites Third Time Around

Top 10 Pregnancy Favorites: 
The Third Time Around! 

Let's dive right in, shall we?

1. Belly Band 

I bought it when pregnant with Oliver 
and used it solely while running. 
Now I use it for every. single. day. because I'm #huge. 
I don't know what I'd do without it. 

2. Ingrid & Isabel maternity jeans

My previous pregnancies I bought expensive jeans 
but this being my last, 
I didn't want to spend the money. 
I tried these and loved them MORE than my expensive jeans. 
I particularly love that it's NOT a full panel in the back. 
It keeps my back cooler 
AND allows me to easily pull up the jeans when they slide down 
(all jeans slide, even the crazy expensive ones). 
I liked these so much that I bought two pairs. 
Good thing too because last week I tripped at Oliver's preschool 
and ripped the knee of one pair of jeans. 

Previous pregnancies I shopped at Motherhood (cheap)
and Pea in the Pod (pricey) 
but this pregnancy was introduced to H&M 
when my friend let me borrow some maternity clothes. 
H&M tee shirts are AWESOME. 
They feel so soft and smooth. 
They hug my pregnant body in all the right places. 
And they have great "basic" tees
which is really hard to find (even at Target!). 

4. Burt's Bees Belly Butter 
Target $13

Cheap, fragrance-free, and easy to apply. 
No more needs to be said. 

5. Zella Maternity Leggings 
Nordstrom $65

I don't know how I managed to wear 
my regular leggings in previous pregnancies, 
but that absolutely was not happening this pregnancy. 
Perhaps how low I carry? 
My weight gain? 
Who knows. 

I decided to invest in maternity leggings from my favorite brand. 
Worth. Every. Penny. 

In summary, I rotated 3 pairs of pants this entire pregnancy. 
Two Target jeans above and these leggings. 
That's it. 

6. GAP Pure Body Maternity Tanks
GAP $20 

Note how not-pregnant this model looks.
I looked like this at 12 weeks.

These tanks were a favorite in my second pregnancy 
and still going strong in my third. 
They are the absolutely perfect sleep tank. 
(Or summer tank if you are pregnant in the summer.) 
Soft, smooth, comfortable... everything. 

7. Medium Weight Compression Socks 
Target $10

For those ankle and leg cramps. 
I despise socks so much, 
but have slept in these to relieve the swelling pressure. 
They are a bitch to get on though. 

8. Indie Lee I-Recover Mind & Body Gel
Follain $48

I bought this on a whim 
after Kelsey promoted it for cancer survivors,
 describing it as a "clean beauty icy hot." 
Now, when I wake up in the middle of the night with horrific leg/ankle pain, 
I apply this and it provides mild, but immediate, relief. 

9. Hanky Panky Thongs 
Nordstrom $22

I had these pre-pregnancy 
and thought I'd stop wearing them pregnant 
because what pregnant woman wears thongs? 

Turns out I carry soooooo low that regular underwear wouldn't work 
but these remained wonderfully comfortable 
no matter how low my belly has gotten. 

10. MeUndies Men's Boxers 
MeUndies: $16-$24 

In 2018 I was a member of MeUndies 
(wrote about my love of their boyshorts here
and also bought some fun print boxers for Adam. 
Of course, I no longer fit my boyshorts, 
BUT Adam's size XL boxers fit my very low pregnant belly just fine 
and have become my new go-to sleepwear. 


Also, for your curiosity... 
Pregnancy Favorites with #2 here (lots of overlap)
Pregnancy Favorites with #1 here (no repeats!)

Monday, January 20, 2020

3 Things

Natasha did this so of course I had to steal it. 
I did a different "3 things" survey back in July 2017 (that here
but this is a whole new 3 things. 
Aren't you excited? 
Just nod and smile.

3 Things

3 Songs that Makes Me Think of Highschool

1. "Here's to Tonight" - by Eve 6. 
Danced to this as a highschool dance with my first boyfriend. 

2. "Hanging by a Moment" - Lifehouse. 
It was "our song" with [again] my first boyfriend. 

3. Literally anything by "The Offspring." 
That whole album defined my highschool days. 

3 Things I Like to Give

I LOVE buying gifts
Bridal showers, 
baby showers, 
holidays... everything. 
The only thing I don't like are "hostess gifts," 
because I never know what to get there. 

2. Things I'm not Using 
"Oh you could use this thing cluttering up my house? TAKE IT"
Also why I love to consign my kids' toys.

3. Advice. 
I love giving advice so much 
that I tend to give it even without be asked. 
AKA: I am the Queen of Unsolicited Advice. 
Most of my friends are gracious and brush it off. 
But sometimes it reallllllyyy pisses people off. 

(Obv I do!)

3 Things I Like to Receive

1. Gifts 
Adam hates opening presents in front of people. 
I love it. 
I could unwrap bridal shower
 and baby shower 
and holiday gifts all damn day. 

2. Book Recs. 

3. Leftovers. 
When we leave a party and people are like: 
"Do you want to take home leftovers?
I am NOT shy about saying yes. 
It means I don't have to cook!

3 Things I Hate That Many People Like

1. Eggs and Avocado 

2. Dogs (or pets in general) 
To quote Natasha here: 
"Having a dog is like having a toddler for fifteen or more years.

3. Wearing leggings outside of the house. 
It's a psychological thing. 
Leggings are like baggy sweatpants. 
They are for lying on the couch. 
Maybe for working out in sub-zero weather. 
But either way, they are not pants. 

Clothes I Find Uncomfortable

1. Jewelry. 
Sometimes I think I have a little Aspberger's in me 
because jewelry is such a repulsive sensory thing. 

2. Socks 
My shoe choices are all "can I wear this without socks?" 
Summer: flip-flops
Spring/Fall: TOMs (maybe Converse)
Winter: slip-on booties or fur-lined Uggs 
The only time I wear socks is to go running 
and then I strip them off immediately upon finishing. 

3. Pajamas. 
I've never found a pajama set that I like. 
Give me a tank and underwear (and/or boxer briefs) 
and I'm set. 

Things I Love Seeing in Other People's Posts

1. Well-written articles educating me about a new topic. 
I love learning. 

2. Book Recs 
(of course)

3. Surveys that I can steal!

Friday, January 17, 2020

38 Weeks

38 Weeks

Countdown to C-section: 1 week, 4 days!!! 


Baby Size: Winter Melon 
otherwise known as Baby Elephant

Current Weight: 179.4 lbs
Weight Baby #2: 166.0 lbs
Weight Baby #1: 175.0 lbs

I am now the heaviest I've been in my entire life
Let us take a moment of silence to commemorate this moment. 

Total shit. 

To not be pregnant anymore. 

Symptoms of the Week:
1. Painfully achy ankles alllll night long* 
2. Insatiable hunger. 
3. Braxton hicks 
4. PMS-level crankyness

I've tried to diagnose WHY THE HELL my ankles 
are so particularly bad this pregnancy, 
when this was virtually a non-issue in my other two pregnancies. 
The best I can figure is that I sat in an office 
for both my other pregnancies, 
while this time I'm on my feet all day long

All over the place. 
Those feets are always sticking out somewhere. 

Exercise Status:

Excited For
Also I was gifted a spa giftcard this Christmas 
and tomorrow I'm using it for a prenatal massage. 
Let's hope they have a table big enough for my elephant bod. 

General Mood
I am sooooooooooooo done. 
I have late-stage pregnancy PMS. 
I am cranky and everything pisses me off. 

The Wegmans app crashed on me while making my grocery list 
and I let it ruin my entire night
 as I had to rebuild my grocery list from scratch. 
Is that worth of ruining a night? No. 
But still, it did. 

38 Weeks with Oliver here 
38 Weeks with Aaron here