Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Book Review: Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween

Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to TweenRedefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween by Melissa Atkins Wardy
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was more curious as to how this information would be presented, rather than looking for a new resource. I've been reading and actively analyzing gender stereotyping for a long time. I think this would a be a great resource for someone new to the arena. Because as the author correctly states, "once you see it, you can't unsee it". How the media and retailers are dictating childhood is awful. What's terrifying is how many parents follow along, sometimes even accepting it even tho it makes them feel uncomfortable ,especially when it comes to the way girls are becoming objectified at younger and younger ages).

There's a lot of this that I think works for raising boys and girls. Many of these approaches I've used with my son since his birth. Gender neutral clothing and toys, encouraging arts and sciences rather than superhero/princess play (not that it's not present. I am a Batman fan, raising a Batman fan), being outside and playing hard, etc...these are things all kids need. There's also a lot of emphasis on the importance of boys and girls playing together, and making sure they are in environments that encourage this and how to deal with spaces- schools, daycares,doctors offices, etc- that can fall into the rut of separating by gender.

But there are definite problems with the book. First, Wardy skirts around slut-shaming often. She talks a lot about having open dialogues with your daughter, about how to deal with circumstances when she wants to wear clothes that may not be age appropriate. But instead of emphasizing just that, it can become a discussion of "what sort of attention do you think you'll get?" or "Do you understand the message an outfit like that gives?" Wardy's daughter is not a teenager, and I'd be curious to see how these conversations go when she does have one. I guess we will see on the blog?

She also doesn't seem to talk a lot about body confidence, other than the fact that we should encourage healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle. The one time weight is mentioned, it's that we should be worried about the rise of obesity. Young children, girls in particular, will go thru phases of thinning out and gaining weight. I felt like there could have been more discussion as to how to help with body confidence,again, other than healthy eating habit and active lifestyle! You can be both of those things and it does not ensure that you will have a physical physique that will safeguard your confidence.

One thing that caught me off guard is her absolute hatred of Monster High Dolls. Yes, she hates Barbie, and Bratz are awful, but Monster High Dolls ("Meanie Monsters" she calls them) had their own special write ups several times. Here's what bothered me "Girls that dress like that often don't have full and happy hearts, and they use clothing like that to get attention and make themselves feel full". I like Monster High dolls because they are so far from human reality. They are complete fantasy. But I feel like her conversation with her daughter is actually teaching her how to view people who are different, or alternative, as something to fear or that they mean.

I was also uncomfortable with Wardy's idea of "Branding". How she "branded" herself and how to try and find your child's "brand". I don't feel like you can really go up against companies trying to brand themselves to your child, and then turn around and try and do it yourself. It felt unnecessary. Encourage your child without trying to pigeon hole them. They are going to go thru phases and try out new things, sometime to push our buttons, and other times to test their own limits and levels of comfort. I think it would be ridiculous to try and keep them "on brand". So parents, toss that idea aside because it's trash. You can have a happy, thriving, adventurous kid without "branding".

Again, I didn't hate the book, but I'm sure you can see there was more I disliked than liked. But if I were approached by a parent or family member who was testing the waters, I think this would be a good starting off point of noticing the world around and how to engage in conversations with family, friends, teachers, doctors, dentists, retailers, etc... to try and be part of enacting change.

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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Book Review: Food: A Love Story

Food: A Love StoryFood: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I really wanted to like this. But I think Jim Gaffigan and I just feel just too differently about food for me to find much humor in this. I would never consider myself a foodie, but the foods we love/hate are completely opposite. So after the great introduction, which had me laughing out loud, the jokes fell flat after a few chapters. I gave it a good shot tho, making it over 100 pages, and skipping forward a few more chapters just to double check but no...I just could not enjoy this book.

It doesn't really feel like a love story about food, more like random commenting on food. It's a shame...because I really loved Dad is Fat, and I still think this has a great cover. I wonder how many other foods they tried before settled on the hot dog.

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Thursday, 4 September 2014

Weeble Wobble Cowl

I *FINALLY* was able to finish the Weeble Wobble Cowl! My original plan was to knit this cowl during Game of Thrones. I figured, that's an hour a week of knitting, 12 episodes, surely I can get a cowl done in that time. 


First off, I totally messed up following the direction. For the first short row (the short rows are the weeble wobble effect). Instead of simply slipping stitches at the end of rows, I misinterpreted this to mean actual decreases. Which messed up the whole effect of it and I had to unravel the whole damn thing. I guess the lack of sleep and then Game of the Thrones distraction made for a bad mix.

So I re-wound most of the skein, read a couple notes on Ravelry, and got back to it. And I still have a few issues with the finished product:

1- I'm thankful I bought 2 skeins, because I was told that I could do the project with one. And yes, you *could* but I was over all the counting and just winged it in some places. 

2- Even after blocking, it still rolls a lot and you can't really see the weebles and the wobbles. 

3- I think even if I had done the beginning purl rows shorter, there would still be too much roll to it.

I do love the colors tho. This was the first yarn I bought at Rhinebeck and it was beautiful to knit with. I'm glad I have enough leftover of the 2nd skein to make some nice wristers. Maybe a teeny tiny cowl for Oz? Well see....

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Book Review: Getting The Pretty Back

Getting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family, and Finding the Perfect LipstickGetting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family, and Finding the Perfect Lipstick by Molly Ringwald
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I found this book when I was shelving the biography section. "O hey- I love Molly. This should be good!" I mean, Pretty In Pink and Sixteen Candles are 2 of my most favorite movies. But then I read some of the reviews and I didn't know if I wanted to read it. A lot of the reviews were unforgiving, and I didn't want to ruin whatever idea I had of who Molly Ringwald is.

First off, it's not really a biography. Which is really disappointing, I would have loved to have read her autobiography and hear all the details of growing up in the Brat Pack, living in France, working on Broadway...but you don't really get any of that. Instead you get Molly Ringwald trying to help you find your pretty. Which is cool, I guess. Having 2 kids, I have lost some of that.

So here's what I've taken from this book:
- I need to find a black turtleneck. I used to have them, looked great in them, but I haven't owned one in years. I'm finding one this fall.

-Black Honey by Clinique is a *great* lip color. Another staple I used to have, why had I forgotten this? Need to add this back into my tiny makeup collection.

-Definitely making a cheese plate when people come over. Goat cheese, Brie or Camembert, English Cheddar (the real stuff, for sure), Gouda, and a blue cheese...That sounds like a nice time to me. Why were so many people in the reviews hating on the cheese plate? Cheese is delicious.

- I need to find a good, everyday handbag. It may be time to invest in a grown up purse. That's sort of scary for me.

-I've never had Bouillabaisse, but I want to try it. Honestly, I just want to have more time to eat good food. I agree with a lot of her sentiments on food.

-A beret sounds like a good idea...

-...and so does buying new underwear.

I've fallen into the mom rut.

Of course I'm never going to find (or fit into) a Yves Saint Laurent vintage trench coat. But I don't have to. Reviewers seem really hung up on that and the Hermes scarf (which, again, you don't have to buy, but is it wrong to learn how to tie a scarf? I think not...)

And I don't agree that only skinny people should wear skinny jeans. CLothes are for everybody as long as it makes them feel...wait for it...pretty.

The book never feels quite self-help, and it's written in a pretty informal girl-friend kind of way. In spite of myself, I found myself enjoying it, even tho I avoid both chick lit and self help like the plague. It fall into my "quick easy read" category.

NOW...time to shop and eat some tasty food.

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Friday, 8 August 2014

Lazy Blogger

Well. Not really. Griff has 3 more weeks of school and after that we can start sharing evenings. With it getting down to the finish line our evenings are usually me holding the baby while he does homework. Yes yes, I'm sure I could put her down, but I know if I hold her she won't wake up. So we just watch tv. So no knitting, no projects, no blogging. I do get an occasional evening, but I've been trying to knit (yeah that cowl I was going to finish by the end of Game of Thrones? Didn't happen.)

So when I get back I want to blog about projects, and Oz's birthday party, and experiments with MY NEW CAMERA. Griff got it for me for Mother's Day and I was absolutely shocked, but  I haven't had a moment to learn how to use it and all the cool things it can do. So here's a sampling of Tilda eating some nectarines.

The quality is so much better than my other camera, that honestly, was a great camera but just old. So imagine how great it will be when I actually learn how to use it!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Date Night: Cute Clothes Special

We went on a date. I wore a cute dress. I may never master the selfie, but damnit, this dress is adorable! I bought it from modcloth, and it's perfect for me for two reasons:
1- The print is Road Trip themed with it's roadside attractions. LOVE IT.

I'm not sure if my clear jellies was the right choice for this dress, but I really don't have many cute shoes. So I need to work on that. We'll get there. 

Autumn Mix Muffins

So I've been trying to clean out my cupboards lately, and I found a box of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix. The side of the box calls for:
1 c water
1/2 c of vegetable oil
2 eggs

Well, I decided to throw a bunch of other stuff in there too. Here's some things I added:
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/2 c applesauce
I just grabbed some natural maple syrup and just poured some in
1 tbs brewer's yeast (I'm breastfeeding so it's good for lactation. Please don't feel like you need it.)

The first time I made them I was mixing everything up and then realized I had no eggs. WHAT WOULD A VEGAN DO!?!?!? To the internet...
I'd already added the applesauce. But I had flaxseed as well, so I added a tbs of that and a tbs of water. But I'm sure if you had eggs, go ahead and stick to the plan. But the 2 times I've made these, they are so moist and delicious, I really don't think you need them, especially if you have applesauce.

I added some raisins and oats, baked at 400 for 15 minutes.


It's like autumn in the springtime. And Trader Joe's sells this mix all year. So you can buy it, and modify it however you wish! Really great, so easy to make.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Book Jar

What to read next? What to read next? My To-Read stash, hidden in the top of my closet, is so overwhelming I rarely pull from it and either buy something or just take something out from the library. But then I read this great article/idea from Book Riot about a Book Jar , it was just too perfect not to do.

Now it's not ALL the books. I wasn't going to pull books down to get to the very back. So these are all the books I could see easily enough and list. It also doesn't mean I'm going to concentrate solely on my jar, and not enjoy my comics, library books, or whatever else. I usually juggle 3 things anyways. This will just hopefully encourage me to start reading/weeding my horde.

Did I mention there's a used book sale the end of this month? More to the stash.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Lists 11-14

^I PUT 2 "L"'s IN THE WORD TRAVELING. Embarrassing? yes. But markers don't come with spell check. O well. I'm behind because I've been sick...and then kids got sick. Oz was sick, Tilda was just loud. I'm so tired. So freakin' tired. When am I going to NOT be tired again?

Monday, 10 March 2014

Lists 7,8, & 9

This weekend has been crazy busy but so much fun! So my lists took a back seat for the weekend (not mentally tho. I was thinking about them, so it was quick to put them together) while we were GO GO GO this weekend. We had company for the weekend, cupcakes for breakfast, work, the roller derby, a trip to the zoo, and a few great finds at the books store. I even was able to do the grocery shopping solo and had a chai which was a HUGE treat for me. But anyways...LISTS. I made them:

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Day 3: My Ideal Day

Just a smidgen of me feels guilty for not having an "ideal day" featuring my kids. But I'm sort of burnt out at the moment. Last night I had virtually no sleep, and I've had 2 pretty demanding young ones today. So all my daydreams were about the day when me and Griff can finally slip away camping for a weekend and that be OKAY. I'm thinking it'll be 2 years still, but we'll get there.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

#30 Days of Lists--- Day One

A few years ago, my friend Christie found a thing called 30 Days of Lists. That first year was free. It was when Oz was a baby, and I need a creative outlet. I've done a few more of their lists since then (which are not free, but still completely worth it). Here I find myself again, with a new little baby, and needing an outlet for creativity. Quick, direct, thoughtful creativity.

Angel Oak

The other weekend we spent down in Charleston (specifically Isle of Palms). We walked the beach, we ate overpriced food, we visited the South Carolina Aquarium, and most importantly-to me at least- we paid a visit to Angel Oak. 

Angel Oak is an awe-inspiring site. The street is massive and sprawling. It reaches up and then spreads it's branches wide, dipping back to touch the earth, and twists on itself. In it's presence, you do feel like you're at church. 

This was our second visit, the first time we went was on a Monday and it was sunny and virtually empty. The photos I took on that day were especially beautiful, but sadly, I haven't uploaded them. Maybe one day. 

On a Sunday, there was a lot more traffic, but it was still a great visit. These were just photos taken with a camera phone, but you still get an idea for how beautiful she is. 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Time for Tea

What did we do before Pinterest? Seriously? So many fantastic ideas. When we moved into our home I wanted to set up a tea and coffee station. Previously, our mugs had been 'hiding' in our cabinet, but I *LOVE* our mugs. They represent all sorts of things. Interests, travel, thrifting finds, memory...I doubt there is a mug that I couldn't tell you a little something about. A warm, tasty beverage is important, I wanted to create a place to represent that. 

So my initial idea didn't extend beyond a white peg-board to hang the mugs. But then right next to it was this molding that you can use for framing. So duh- let's frame the peg board. And spray paint it red. 
 I can't even pretend to "step-by-step" this because putting things together and using tools is all Griff. I have the ideas, he amazingly makes them happen. I would be at a complete loss using a tool. I screw up with a fucking hammer. That's right, he hangs all the photos. Because I screw up. It's just not my thing. I own that. But Griff has so much fun putting together a project.
 And the final product. We debated about arrangement. I wanted them in straight rows, Griff wanted them "higglety-pigglety" (and that, my friends, are his words. Not mine). But he put the board up and in the morning before I was up he had put all the pegs in. So technically, he won, and I think he was right about how it looks. We still have a small shelf of mugs, but like I said, we have a LOT of mugs.
Also, the first shelf is of our cookbooks and coffee canister. Second row are puzzles and boards games. So if you want tea and Candy Land, you are ON. 


Oz was so excited to see snow. Lucky for me, when he was out and playing he was happy, but he was just as happy to sit inside afterwards; warming up and enjoying cocoa and cartoons.

It's neat (and scary) to think that Oz is finally at an age where he will start establishing memory around this time. I hope this snow makes the cut. He had an absolute blast, built 2 snowmen, had a snowball fight, and played with neighbors. It was an awesome. An absolutely beautiful week.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Worst book of the year? Already?

Geek Girls Unite: How Fangirls, Bookworms, Indie Chicks, and Other Misfits Are Taking Over the WorldGeek Girls Unite: How Fangirls, Bookworms, Indie Chicks, and Other Misfits Are Taking Over the World by Leslie Simon
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

It was at this quote, I quit reading this book:

"Patti Smith, on the other hand, was not one of the lookers, but her overwhelming stage presence and protagonist musical style made her utterly captivating, endlessly powerful, and oddly attractive". (pg 96)


There is nothing "unifying" in the author's tone about geek women and fandom. Which is a shame, because she's nabbed a fantastic title and written a shit book. I feel like this would only be a title worth reading for someone who wanted to pose as a geek. It's like she wiki'd and wrote all the talking points of geekdom.

I do hope that someone does one day write a proper book on women and fandoms though. Shame this wasn't the one.

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014


We are in the midst of kicking our tail in high gear to get our guest room/craft room set up, since the in-laws are coming and up until this point it's been primarily un-packing central. It being the craft room, a lot is going up on the walls. It seemed a bit pointless to paint the walls, so I decided instead we'd just paint the trim in a fun color. So this is our project this week.
 Originally, I wanted yellow. I told Griff  "Think 1970's Marigold". He just smiled and nodded. We picked a color, and I got home and immediately started to second guess myself. All the other colors in our home are cool colors. Blues, Greens, and Purples. Suddenly, yellow trim seemed very out of character and OMG we should have picked a purple. But Griff was like "No, let's just do this color, if we change our minds later, it's not a big deal. We can paint it again one day easily enough" (obviously I just paraphrased the shit out of Griff.)
Once I started doing the room, it felt right though. I don't remember the name of the color. It's Autumn something...but to me it should have been called Yellow Brick Road. I think I will move my collection of green glass into this room, and set alongside my Ruby Slippers. I'm excited to see everything put together in here and start using it on a regular basis!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Book Review: Glamping with MaryJane

Glamping with MaryJane: Glamour + CampingGlamping with MaryJane: Glamour + Camping by MaryJane Butters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book wasn't quite what I was expecting, but I love it nonetheless. Where to start?

First, I wish that it had more GLAMPING in it. I would have loved a book of nothing but gorgeous campsites and trailers. In that regard, the book was a bit of a tease. It provides loads of inspiration and definitely set me daydreaming.

The author really wants to share a lot of information tho. Like how to hitch a trailer, how to change a tire, why it may be a good idea to carry a firearm, etc...Things that are undoubtedly important when camping, but this is hardly the resource I think anyone would go to to try and learn those things.

There's also a lot of use of parenthesis. (It gets a bit much. Why not just have another sentence. When I keep seeing things in parenthesis it makes me want to whisper. Used excessively it makes me think of Mare Winningham's Mother in St. Elmo's Fire).

It's not quite a manual. Not quite a coffee book. It's some bizarre mix in-between and I wish there had been a bit more focus one way or another.

So why 4 stars? Because 4 stars means I really liked it, and I did, despite it's shortcomings. I am making plans to glamp up my back garden now. And this season when I take something pretty on our camping trips, I will feel a tad less silly.

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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Is it Friday yet?

One of those days that I am so blind tired.

Oz woke up saying his belly hurt. I thought he was just whining. Then he walks up to me in the kitchen and throws up all over the floor. Mom fail.

Matilda has spent the last 2 days going though a growth spurt. Cluster feedings galore.

There is a horrible pain in my jaw. I need to get to the dentist.

My glasses are scratched beyond repair. I'm going to need new ones.

Our main bathtub is going to need replacing. I don't even know where to begin.

I know I'll look back and miss this time one day, but right now I just feel overwhelmed with how long and exhausting the days are.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Oscar's Book Nook

Like so many other ideas, when we bought our home this past September, I wanted to blog as we decorated and renovated. But things moved quicker than I could keep up with. I will probably still blog renovations when we start them (and believe me, there are plenty of renovations to be done!), but I can go ahead and share a few things we've done decoration wise.

Surprise, surprise---books nooks are a big deal to us. We have a plan for one in the living room, and I want a small one in our bedroom. But as it is, it was easiest to start with Oscar's room.

Inspiration came from this much shared pin on Pinterest:
But let me tell you....those IKEA spice racks are sold out most of the time. So it was frustrating waiting for the moment that the internet would say they were in stock and then plan a trip to Charlotte and hope they weren't again sold out. Thankfully, tho, IKEA is ever so kind, and puts the dimensions of all their products on their pages. So Griff was able to buy the wood and cut the shelves himself. It also meant that Oz could pick the color that he'd like for them to be.

It's also worth noting that when we told Oz he was going to have his own room, we asked what color he would like it to be. His answer was "RAINBOW!!!". Every time. I found some interesting rooms painted rainbow that was a bit more effort than I was wanting to put in. So I resolved myself as many colorful accents to make it a rainbow room for him....but this is about his nook. FOCUS.

I think it's quite a comfy little nook. I want to buy a little rainbow rug for in front of the chair. The lighting is quite harsh (photo was taken with my camera phone), but the shelves are actually a bright green. My mom bought the chair for Oz ages ago and it's been at her house. It was a challenge convincing him to let us bring it home.
And of course, for Christmas we decorated the nook as well. I changed out all of the book with holiday ones.

I'm happy with how much he uses his space. Sometimes when he's having a rough moment and I take him to his room to calm down he will climb in his chair and grab a magazine. Usually he forgets he's even upset and then will rejoin me when  he's done having a read. And sometimes I find him there just of his own. It makes my heart sing that he loves his books. I think this nook has a fair few years to go before we have reorganize the room to make a shared bedroom for him and Tilda. We will see what we come up with then.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Itsy Bitsy

So, if you know me at all, know me just a little bit, you know that I am terrified of spiders. I hate them. They move in a way I call "unnatural" (although, obviously...they are natural. They're just disgusting and creepy as fuck).

While I've tried hide my fear from Oz, because I don't want to teach him to be afraid as well, he has become somewhat interested in them and frequently reminds me that they are "our friends".

Leading up to Halloween Oz had been telling me he wanted to be a ghost. I would ask him every couple of weeks, I had pinned ideas...I knew that even with a new baby, I would be able to throw together a decent ghost costume for him. He had also decided that Dada was going to be a bat. I wanted to be a witch, but he told me I had to be a zombie, the baby was going to be a witch. I would beg and beg, could I please be a witch, but no. He was firm on this point. I was going to be a zombie, the baby was a witch.

So one day, we're putting out spider webs for Halloween decorations and Oz tells me:

"I want to be a SPIDER for Halloween"
"Uh, I don't think so buddy."

Oz stops what he is doing and looks at me, square in the eye.

"You want to be a witch?"

Evil. Evil. EVIL. My kid is 3.5 and already figuring this shit out.

After making sure he really, really, really, wanted to be a spider (Spiders? Why did it have to be spiders), I took to the internet to find the least scary, least offensive, handmade spider costumes on the web. And with the help of Aunt Deba, we pulled off a pretty damn cute spider costume. In true Oz fashion, he opted for his rainbow boots. I do love that little evil genius.

And the costume is really easy enough. He's wearing a black long sleeve top and leggings. I bought a black knit hat and just glued a load of different sized googley eyes to it. 

I really wish I had saved the link of the blog I found the inspiration for it. The only sewing required was for his back piece. I picked an orange polka dot and Deb sewed it up for me and we stuffed it. The legs are 2 feather boas cut into 4 pieces and are attached together with black yarn and his writs with black elastic hair bands. Even I had to admit he was freakin' adorable. 

Sadly, I couldn't take him trick or treating. I was so sore and tired still, so I opted to stay home and pass out candy. Apparently we live next to the popular street...we only had 4 trick or treaters. I was pretty sad for that. But when Oz came home...pure bliss. He was so excited and happy and Griff said he had had the best time, and had decided on his own that it was time to head back. He was very proud to show me all his "treats!". Oz has had pretty much no candy, so it was a lot of fun seeing him try all of these things for the first time. Dots were the clear favorite. 

Working Mummies

Working MummiesWorking Mummies by Joan Horton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Since going back to work, Oz has had some anxiety. Now when I leave I hear a lot of "I miss you" and "Don't go"'s. It breaks my heart, but I love my job and it's only part time, so I know he'll be fine. And in the long run, it's important that I keep doing what I love.

So while I was shelving children's books the other evening I found this and it couldn't be more perfect for us. It's Halloween ghoulish, and it's talking about something on both our minds.

Overall, I love it. The illustrations are fantastic, the rhyming cute. I want it for my collection of children's ghoulish books. The only reason I'm giving it an "official" 3 stars is because the jobs are...well, a bit on the traditionally female side. I would have loved to seen a bit more diversity (a Police Officer, a Lawyer or Judge...).

And personally, I loved that it included a librarian (even though title is librarian assistant, but who knows? One day I just may get that Masters and official title!).

"This mummy's a librarian.
She has a great selection
Of rare and wiggly book worms
In her specimen collection."

That page alone was what I needed to share with Oz. And the illustration is of a Mummy with short hair and glasses. So pretty darn close to perfect.

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Friday, 3 January 2014


I don't even know if the last postings I had last year I knew I was pregnant. Or if I posted about my pregnancy at all. Once upon a time, I thought if I ever was pregnant again I would blog about the whole run of it. About trying for a VBAC. But no such luck. I felt like I was pregnant forever and ever and ever. I was sick and so exhausted for about 7 months of it. I am done having babies. So I won't get to do that blog series. But at the end of 9 months (she was 3 days overdue), after 26 hours of labor, I had my baby.

She was 9 lbs 11.5 oz. I won't share all of the details of her birth story here, because it's not the forum for it. But it was one of the strongest moments of my life. I was tired, and after 5 hours of pushing, I was exasperated and wanting it over with, but then she was there and all the pain and exhaustion was gone. And she was in my arms and perfect and god how you love them in that instant.

I've now had a c-section and a vbac. What I know is that birth, any way you do it, is labor. It's hard. It's a mountain.

October 19, 2013. Our little Halloween Pumpkin.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

The 2013 Book List

So I made a quite manageable goal of 25 books for 2013. At some point I realized it was filling up with Graphic Novels quite quickly, so I quit officially adding them.

1. Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood by Naomi Wolf. --I finished reading this before I found out I was pregnant. Interesting. That or I just don't remember.

2. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White--My sister and I are still working through our "list" of books you should have read in school but probably didn't. I never read this one. I loved the cartoon. And I'll be honest, I didn't care much for the book. Wilbur is an annoying little pig. I have no idea what Charlotte friended him. He's a whiner. I wonder what my impression would have been as a child tho? I'll be curious to hear what Oz and Tilda think when they are older and reading.

3. Water Witches by Chris Bohjalian- I really wanted to like this one, but I was just bored by it. It took me ages to finish it. I just didn't care like I had hoped I would.

4. Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir-- It's not brilliant writing, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Love Cyndi. LOVE. HER.

5. The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury---This is the first Bradbury book I've read. I fell in love with it. The story, the's magic. I had to buy the cartoon DVD and add it to our collection as well. This is something I hope to make the whole family fall in love with.

6. Walking Dead 14: Way Out

7. Walking Dead 15: Find Ourselves

8. Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney---I anticipated that I would enjoy the illustrations of this, but I was surprised at how moving the story was. I have found other works/memoirs about depression to be overly indulgent and I get frustrated with the author. Instead, in this one I feel like I learned a lot. I hope to find more of Forney's works to read.

9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling--So, the plan was to read all of the Harry Potter books while I was pregnant. No such thing happened! But I enjoyed revisiting the first. I will always remember how magical it was the first time I read it, and none of the magic has faded. It's such a complete world. I wish I could go there.

10. How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran---LOVED THIS. I took this out at the library, and I want to add it to my collection. Laugh out loud hilarious.

11. Everyday is an Atheist Holiday by Penn Jillette---I may not agree with all of Penn's views, but the man makes me laugh.

12. Banished: Surviving my Years in the Westboro Baptist Church by Lauren Drain-- Meh. They're horrible people, no surprises. Drain was kicked out of the church, but she's making money out of it. I don't think she's terribly sorry for the practices she took part in.

13. Stitches by David Small---another graphic novel memoir. Enjoyed.

14. Walking Dead 16: A Larger World

15. The Year of Learning Dangerously: Adventures in Homeschooling by Quinn Cummings---This was a fun read while we spent some time discussing whether or not we'd be homeschooling Oz (answer? probably not. Unless he asks us when he's older). But Cummings investigates all the different styles and goes "undercover" to get better ideas of how and why people homeschool, while trying to figure out how to school her own daughter. It was a good read.

16. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris--A lot of fans of Sedaris do not like this particular book. I saw him read one of these stories for a BBC Radio 4 recording, so I think I feel a bit nostalgic. I enjoyed it. It's not a sit down and read through book tho, and that's probably the mistake people are making. They are fables. You need to read one here and there.

17. Help! I'm a Prisoner in the the Library by Eth Clifford--Loved this as a child. I checked it back out when I started working this year. Definitely need to either find my copy packed away in my parent's storage, or I'm going to need to buy it. I'm starting to become a bit obsessed with children's books set in a library.

18. Batgirl Vol 1: The Darkest Reflection----Batgirl has small boobs. This was incredibly important to me. She can fight crime because she doesn't have a ridiculous chest. I'm excited to watch this story unfold.

19. Y: The Last Man. Vol 1: Unmanned---Another new comic obsession coming on! I started by checking them out, and I've come to a standstill as we don't have Vol 5 in the system. I may just have to start buying them once I've caught up on Walking Dead. It's a fantastic story.

20. Batman: Noel---It's a Batman version of A Christmas Carol. WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE!?!? Griff bought it for me for Christmas and it's a great addition.

21. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury---Another book on the sister's reading list. And I got Griff to read it with me as well. He actually tore through and read it quickly. It took me a bit longer to get into it, but once I did I fell in love. It had been awhile since I had to sit with a pen next to me so I could underline as I read along. So many amazing passages. It's a new favorite.

22. The Plain Janes #1----Graphic Novel about a group of high school girls (all named Jane) who begin to art bomb their community. It's such a lovely concept and idea. It made me wish I had been that clever in high school.

23. How to Make Your Child a Reader for Life by Paul Kropp---A lot of the resources are dated, but I think the bones of information are still relevant.

24. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin---Griff started reading these and it had been a long time since I had seen him so excited about a book. He was talking to me about them non-stop, and I found myself asking more and more questions. So I started reading the first one, and I found myself really enjoying it. I won't be reading the series back to back like Griff has. I need to break it up a bit, otherwise I'll burn out and never finish. Plus, I really enjoy being surprised by the show. So I don't want to read ahead.

25. The Great Gatsby---That's right. Another from the sister list. This is one of Meghan's favorites, and I missed this one in high school. Crazy, right? It took a little while to get into the rhythm of writing, but once I did, I found myself enjoying it. But it was so sad. I did not expect it to end so sadly.

26. Illustrated Classic's A Christmas Carol--After having a baby, I didn't think I could sit and read the book. So I decided to read the graphic novel version.

So there ya go! Here's to a lot more reading in 2014. Griff's on first shift now, so we can go to bed together at a "decent" hour and lay and read for a bit. Also? Nursing a baby gets boring and there's nothing to do but read. Working in a library is good for encouraging a bit of reading too :) So more, more, more in 2014! I've set a higher number this year (50) because if I'm going to read a load of Graphic Novels, I'm going to count them. Ready....set....GO!

If I were a pony, a My Little Pony...

So it's not the 2014 intro blog I've been writing in my head, but I had fun playing on a pony generator tonight. I went with Joker colors and a basket of yarns cutie mark. I wasn't sure if I should go with that or a book. But seeing as I could set myself in a Library...yarn it was! This shit was important today.