Thursday, March 31, 2011

Book #18 - Crescendo

Becca Fitzpatrick

Blurb: Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but atleast she got a guardian angel out of it: a mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But, despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He's more elusive than ever and even worse, he's started spending time with Nora's arch-enemy, Marcie Millar.

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Path hadnt been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him - despite her lingering feeling that he's hiding something.

Haunted by images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself increasingly in dangerous situations as she desperatly searches for answers. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything - and everyone - she trusts. 
(From Goodreads)

Opening Sentence: "The fingers of the thorn-apple tree clawed at the windowpane behind Harrison Grey, and he dog-eared his page, no longer able to read through the racket."

Length: Medium - 427 pages

Notes: Ok, so my last book, I said that I just must not like the classics.  Well, now I'm saying that I must just like cheesy teen fiction, because I devoured this book.  This is the second in the series, and I read the first awhile ago, so I had a hard time remembering exactly what happened in the first book, but it mostly came back to me as I was reading.  I seriously read this in 2 days, that's how entertaining I found it!  I have the same complaints that I had with the first book - mainly that there is content in here that I don't think belongs in a "teen" book.  There is talk of sex, nothing graphic, but still - nothing I would want my teenage daughter reading.  But it was definitely a page turner for me!!

Random quote: "Being with you never felt wrong. It's the one thing I did right. You're the one thing I did right."

Recommend: yes

Have you read this book? Share your feelings!

Abbi - March 2011

 Helping Max to eat his food!

 She still loves to color!

 One of my favorites!  This was when she first came to the hospital to meet Easton.  It was love at first sight!

 PB&J face!

 You'll notice she loves to wear these pjs.  Even if I get her dressed during the day, she usually just wants to switch back into some of her princess pajamas!

 So sad... :(

 My beautiful girl

 Yes, the pjs again.  And a tutu.

 Wanting to have her picture taken

If it's not the pjs, it's a tutu!!

March Abbi-isms

While playing ball with her daddy - "Nice throw daddy!"


After putting her to bed for the night - "I miss you mommy."


When asking her if she wants to go potty on the "big" potty - "no mama - I'm just too big."


After going to the bathroom on her potty: 
Me:  I'm so proud of you!!
Abbi:  I'm so proud of you mommy!  (and then to her daddy):  I'm so proud of you daddy!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Book #17 - The Great Gatsby

The Great Gastby
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Blurb: A love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel's more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem.(From Goodreads)

Opening Sentence: "In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since."

Length: Short - 180 pages

Notes: I think that maybe I just don't like the classics.  This wasn't my favorite book.  People chasing after money, affairs, running away from accountability, murder...that's pretty much what this book was all about to me!  I didn't like the characters at all.  Maybe it's supposed to be all about the writing, and not the story.  I don't know.  I feel like something is wrong with me for admitting that I didn't really like this book, but I didn't!

Random quote: "Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead."

Recommend: ehhh

Have you read this book? Share your feelings!

Friday, March 25, 2011


The thing that really pushed me into wanting to get into photography was the birth of Abbi.  My biggest regret was that I didn't have any newborn pictures of her.  In fact, those first few days/weeks, the photos were pretty awful.  So I was determined to never let that happen again.  With my other children, I was going to have great newborn pictures.

Well, now I've determined that I will hire someone to do them next time around.  Not only was I super out of practice, but the days/weeks after Easton's birth were full of cloudy days.  No sunlight makes it hard for someone that relies on natural light for photos.  Not to mention that Easton does not like to be undressed. 

But...  I did manage to get a few good pictures. Enough for hanging in his room, at least.  So I didn't totally fail...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Book #16 - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Alan Bradley

Blurb: It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.” (From Goodreads)
Opening Sentence: "It was as black in the closet as old blood."

Length: Medium - 138 pages

Notes:  I really liked this book!!  It is told by a 11-year old girl, Flavia de Luce.  This girl is funny, and incredibly smart.  It is a fun mystery book that wasn't totally surprising, but not totally predictable at the same time.  It was also pleasantly clean as well.  Reading the reviews on Goodreads, some people loved Flavia and some couldn't stand her - I was one that loved her.  I look forward to reading the next book in this series.

Random quote:  "I remembered a piece of sisterly advice, which Feely once gave Daffy and me:
"If ever you're accosted by a man," she'd said, "kick him in the Casanovas and run like blue blazes!"
Although it had sounded at the time like a useful bit of intelligence, the only problem was that I didn't know where the Casanovas were located. I'd have to think of something else."

Recommend:  yes

Have you read this book? Share your feelings!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Goofy Girl

I am convinced that 2-year olds are some of the funniest people alive.  This girl is constantly making me laugh. She loves to play dress up, but doesn't always choose to wear clothes where they actually go.  Like the bloomers on her head.  And I don't know why I bother getting her dressed - she ends up wanting to put on her pajamas 9 times out of 10!  And she loves cuddling up in Max's blankets and pillows.  Goofy girl!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book #15 - Gift From the Sea

Gift From the Sea
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Blurb: In this inimitable, beloved classic—graceful, lucid and lyrical—Anne Morrow Lindbergh shares her meditations on youth and age; love and marriage; peace, solitude and contentment as she set them down during a brief vacation by the sea. Drawing inspiration from the shells on the shore, Lindbergh’s musings on the shape of a woman’s life bring new understanding to both men and women at any stage of life. A mother of five, an acclaimed writer and a pioneering aviator, Lindbergh casts an unsentimental eye on the trappings of modernity that threaten to overwhelm us: the time-saving gadgets that complicate rather than simplify, the multiple commitments that take us from our families. And by recording her thoughts during a brief escape from everyday demands, she helps readers find a space for contemplation and creativity within their own lives. (From Goodreads)

Opening Sentence: "The beach is not the place to work; to read, write or think."

Length: Short - 138 pages

Notes:  This is a great little book to read in between all those fiction books!!  This is one that I would actually love to own and to highlight and re-read. It is full of all kinds of great quotes, thoughts, and direction.  I especially loved the first two chapters and found that those applied more to me than the rest of the book.  The book really made me take a step back and look at my life and made me want to re-evaluate many things I do so that I could be a better person, wife and mother.  A think this one is a must read for any woman!

Random quote: "I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable."

Recommend:  yes

Have you read this book? Share your feelings!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book #14 - Rebekah

Orson Scott Card

Blurb: Born into a time and place where a woman speaks her mind at her peril, and reared as a motherless child by a doting father, Rebekah grew up to be a stunning, headstrong beauty. She was chosen by God for a special destiny.

Rebekah leaves her father's house to marry Isaac, the studious young son of the Patriarch Abraham, only to find herself caught up in a series of painful rivalries, first between her husband and his brother Ishmael, and later between her sons Jacob and Esau. Her struggles to find her place in the family of Abraham are a true test of her faith, but through it all she finds her own relationship with God and does her best to serve His cause in the lives of those she loves. (From Goodreads)

Opening Sentence: "Rebekah’s mother died a few days after she was born, butr she never though of this as something that happened in her childhood."

Length: Long - 413 pages

Notes:  This is the second in Orson Scott Card's "Women of Genesis" series.  I really enjoyed the first book in this series, and I've been wanting to read this one forever. I wish I wouldn't have waited so long - I really like these books! This really brings the story from the Bible alive. And it's reminded me just how much I really love historical fiction!  Even though this is fiction, I love how I will always remember the story of Rebekah now.  I can't wait to read the next in the series!

Random quote: "Jacob, haven’t you been paying attention? The Lord uses us frail humans to do his work. Miracles are rare. Blessings most commonly come to those who have worked hard and done all that was within their power to bring them to pass."

Recommend: yes

Have you read this book? Share your feelings!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Easton's Story

It amazes me how different 2 birth stories can be - both from the same mother.  Easton's story is definitely different than Abbi's story was!!

I had been having contractions with Easton for months.  So of course, every time I went in for a doctor's appointment, I assumed that I had progressed a lot farther.  But, as we know, for 3 weeks in a row, I was only at a 2 and 70% effaced.  I kept saying that I didn't really know how to tell when I was in labor - just because I had been having so many contractions.  There were several times that the contractions would be regular, but they would always end up going away.

Well, Monday the 7th rolled around.  All day long, I had been having contractions that were regular, getting closer together, and getting consistently stronger.  When Josh got home for lunch, I told him that it might be the day, but not to get his hopes up.  The contractions were a bit painful - about as painful as they were with Abbi when I went to the hospital - but I had just put Abbi down for a nap.  I told him that if they kept it up, when Abbi got up from her nap we would head to the hospital.  And if they got better, we would wait it out.

Abbi woke up, and they weren't any better.  I decided that it was time to head to the hospital.  We packed a few things and headed up to drop Abbi off at the in-laws, then over to the hospital.  I was really excited and anxious to meet my little boy!  Once we were at the hospital, the nurse came in to check me.  She said that the cervix is like the end of a balloon, at at the bottom, I was about a 2 1/2, but at the top I was only a 1 1/2.  Talk about a disappointment!!  They had me hooked up to the monitors and said they'd watch me for an hour and see if I progressed anymore at that point.  My mom and dad came up sometime during that hour, and my mom was wonderful in helping me through the contractions and helping me visualize.  The whole time I was at the hospital, my contractions were pretty regular at 3 minutes apart, and we were all sure this was the day.

One hour later, the nurse came back in.  No progression - still dialated the same.  She said she would call the on-call doctor to see what he wanted to do.  (My doctor was off that day - go figure!!)  I should also mention that I was not at all impressed by this nurse.  Not only did she hurt me when she checked me, but she wasn't friendly at all.  I felt like she was withholding information from me and only telling me the minimum.  A few minutes later, she came back and said that they could give me something for the pain, but the doctor said to release me.  I was so disappointed.  And in pain.  None of us could believe it.  I asked her how I was supposed to know when to come back in if my contractions were already so regular and close together, but all she told me was if my water broke, if I started bleeding, or if they got so bad that I couldn't walk or talk during a contraction.  The funny thing is that as I walked out to leave, I had a contraction and had to stop.  The nurse came over to see if I wanted a wheelchair - I just wanted to say - see?  They do hurt too bad to walk through!!

We went down to the main floor of the hospital and my mom and I walked a few laps, seeing if it would move things along.  Then I decided it was just time to go home.  That whole night, I had contractions, but it wasn't quite as painful - I'm guessing because of the pain pill they gave me.  They slowed down to about 10 minutes apart, but I was still waken a few times during the night because of the pain.  The next morning, I packed Abbi up and we headed to the mall so I could walk and see if we could get this baby coming.  I went around once then had to sit down while I let Abbi play at in the play area for awhile.  I was in so much pain.  I did another lap, and almost didn't make it because I was hurting so badly.  So we went home.  I had contractions all day long.  They were getting consistently more painful, but they weren't as close together as they were the day before.  I didn't know what to do because I didn't want to go to the hospital just to get sent home again.  My next doctors appointment was on Thursday, so I thought if I could just make it through until then, then I would talk to him about induction because I was so uncomfortable and in so much pain.  That evening was bad, and it just kept getting worse.  The contractions were so bad that they made me cry a few times.  I tried to go to bed around 9pm, and I was so exhausted that I would fall asleep, but every contraction would wake me up.  I was timing them, and by now, they were every 4 to 10 minutes.  Finally, at around probably 10:30, I told Josh that I was going to call my mom because I was in so much pain and I didn't know what to do.  She suggested that I call the doctor and ask them, because she didn't know either.  The fact that I was sent home the day before had thrown us all off!!  I called the doctor's answering service, and they said that for the sake of mine and the baby's health, I should at least go to the hospital and get checked out.

After a call to Josh's mom, who said she would come over and stay with Abbi if we needed to go to the hospital, we packed up bags once again.  She got to our house at about 11:30 and we headed for the hospital.  I was in the most pain that I had ever been in in my life.  Every contraction killed me, and I couldn't move.  We walked into the hospital lobby, and it must have shown on my face how much pain I was in because the security guard at the desk immediately asked if I needed a wheelchair.  I declined and said I just wanted to get to L&D.  He said he'd call up and let them know to let us in.  Up the elevator we went, and when we walked into L&D, they immediately put us in a room.  I changed into the gown, and the nurse came into check me.  I was ecstatic when she told me - "yep, you're having a baby tonight.  You are at a 6 1/2-7!"  I immediately called my mom and told her to get to the hospital!

The nurse took us to a delivery room where they hooked me up to an IV and all the monitors and such.  They asked if I wanted an epidural, and I told them YES!!  The anesthesiologist was in in no time, and I was in heaven as I felt that coldness go down my legs!  (I do have to say, though, just to toot my own horn - the nurses said that they were amazed at how calm I was an how well I handled the contractions!)  Once I had the epidural, the nurse called the doctor - which I totally lucked out because my doctor was on call that night!  When he got there to check me, I was at an 8 1/2.

At about 2:15, the nurse came in to check me again and said I was at a 9 1/2 - 10.  She said that if I thought I could push really well, she'd call the doctor in.  I said to bring him in!  I started pushing at about 2:40 and said that I would have him by 3am.  Sure enough, at 2:56am, he joined us here on earth!  With Abbi's birth, I didn't feel a thing, the epidural worked so well, but with Easton, I actually liked it better, because while I still felt no pain, I actually felt when he was born.

Easton Michael
born March 9th at 2:56am
8 lbs. 6 oz.
20 inches long

We couldn't be more in love with our little guy.  He is perfect in every way.  We are so excited to have him in our lives and can't wait to see what the future brings!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Book #13 - Let the Great World Spin

Blurb: In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in bestselling novelist Colum McCann’s stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people. (From Goodreads)

Opening Sentence: "Those who saw him hushed."

Length: Medium - 349 pages

Notes:  Have you ever sat somewhere - like at a stop light, or in the mall - and looked around and wondered where everyone was going?  Or what their story was?  Or what they were thinking about?  This book kind of makes me think of moments like this.  This book contains the stories of many people, some whose lives intertwine, but mostly just about different people and where they were in life during a single event.  It was more like a bunch of short stories, although a lot of the characters ended up having to do with someone else's story.  I actually liked this book - but I have to warn that the language is terrible.    In fact, there was one character, about half way through the book, where I almost put the book down because the language was so bad.  I didn't finish the book thinking - that was a great book - but I didn't hate it either.  It was a middle of the road book for me!

Random quote: "Good days, they come around the oddest corners."

Recommend: eh....

Have you read this book? Share your feelings!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

38 Weeks 3 Days

This little guy is playing tricks on me!!  I really thought that this previous Sunday would be the day.  I had been having regular contractions all day.  This is the first time they were actually consistent and regular.  They got stronger as the day went on, and I even called my mom to make sure she had her phone on her in case I needed to call her that night.  But of course, as I laid down to go to bed, they got further apart until they went away all together.  Such a disappointment!

Today was my doctor's appointment.  I went in with really high hopes, especially because of all of the contractions I've been having.  So imagine my disappointment when he checked me and I was still at a 2 and 70% effaced.  The same.  Again.  He stripped my membranes - which hurts, but I think it wasn't as painful as when I had it done with Abbi, so only time will tell if anything will happen.  I'm beginning to think that this guy is hanging out until his due date!!