Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Quick Update- Meet Baby Wyatt!

Hey all!

So..the last 5 weeks have been bumpy. I went to my doctor's appointment on February 12th and was sent directly to the hospital for preeclampsia. I stayed in the hospital about 3 weeks before they needed to deliver my son via C-section, due to some issues he was having as well. He was born early, at almost 33 weeks. On the day he was born, it was discovered that he had a brain bleed in an ultrasound, which prompted the delivery. Three days after he was born, he had a reservoir put into his head. He is now two weeks born, and doing really well! He is still in the NICU and probably will be for a while, which is hard. I just want him well and at home, but for now he is in the best place for him. However, if you could keep him in your prayers, that would be appreciated. :)

Meet Wyatt James Atticus! We gave him an extra middle name to grow on. :)





Feeling nautical! And I no longer have the feeding tube in my nose, I eat like a big boy now!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Book Review: Frostfire

Title: Frostfire
Author: Amanda Hocking
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary:

Bryn Aven is an outcast among the Kanin, the most powerful of the troll tribes.

Set apart by her heritage and her past, Bryn is a tracker who's determined to become a respected part of her world. She has just one goal: become a member of the elite King’s Guard to protect the royal family. She's not going to let anything stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss Ridley Dresden.

But all her plans for the future are put on hold when Konstantin– a fallen hero she once loved – begins kidnapping changelings. Bryn is sent in to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?

My thoughts:

I don't know when Amanda Hocking became one of my favorite authors to read, but there she is. She kind of snuck in there when I wasn't looking. I have read her Mermaid series and Trylle series, and enjoyed them. This book was even better, in my opinion.

Bryn Aven is a complicated character - she has just the right amount of both internal and external conflict to make her interesting. She's a tough cookie, almost too tough to be completely likable, but she shows enough vulnerability that the reader can sympathize with her. The plot itself was pretty good ~ and kept me reading until I finished. My only complaint is that the story ended rather abruptly. It seemed to end mid-scene, with no real ending at all! I hate that. I don't mind a cliffhanger, but I like cliffhangers that have a little bit more closure. Lol.

I am so upset I have to wait until May for the next installment! This was the perfect read for me at this time. It held my interest and I loved the setting and the characters. If you are a fan of YA or supernatural, you will like this book! Even if not, and you are looking for something fun to read, you might want to give it a go.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Sunday/Monday Update~ Feb. 8, 2015


It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, that is guaranteed to add to your reading list.

I had big reading plans for last week, but my cold did me in! I spent most of the week crashed out sleeping. I do feel much better now though! My week of sitting on my duff continues per the doctor, so we will see what this week brings. 

The blizzard from last week brought 16.5 inches of snow in less than 24 hours! It was crazy~ I had wished for snow, but I didn't anticipate that much! My city was one of the hardest hit. 

Also, even after trying this and failing before, I started a blog simply for the pregnancy and baby. I am hoping to keep it up ~ I think it will be a great way to keep in touch with scattered family members regarding the little guy, after he is here. I will probably still talk about all that here as well, since it is obviously a huge part of my life right now (the hugest!) but probably not as in depth as I will there. If you want to check it out, it is the Magpie Mom.

Read Last Week:

  

Frostfire by Amanda Hocking: This was a fun read! I enjoyed it while convalescing. 

The Sh!t No One Tells You by Dawn Dais: I loved this book! There was a chapter I wasn't too keen on, but otherwise I found this book to be helpful. I think what I learned most was not to be too attached to an idea about what you think you might do as a parent ~ it may be subject to change. 

Reading This Week:

   

Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities and Other Inscrutable Geographies by Alastair Bonnet: Little know fact about me~ I am a geography nerd. 

And then I am not sure! I guess I will wait and see what comes in from the library, and/or strikes my whimsy! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

My Sunday/Monday Update! Feb 1, 2015


It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, that is guaranteed to add to your reading list.

I have a cold! I really enjoyed subbing the past few weeks, and it seems the germs really liked me in return! Right now its not too bad, so here is hoping it goes away quickly. 

I saw my baby doctor last week too, and she wants me to put on some more weight. She actually ordered me to eat whatever I wanted and to sit on the couch and read! That sounds like something that may only happen once in my life, so I am going to take advantage of it. Between my cold and the doctor's orders, I believe I am going to have a lot of time to read this week. I have apparently just been pushing myself too hard. 

We are also in the midst of a blizzard! Well, maybe not a full on blizzard, but definitely big snow! 10-14 inches are predicted for today heading into tomorrow. 

Read Last Week:


My True Love Gave to Me by assorted authors: It came! It finally came! I had only been waiting an entire month for it! It was worth the wait. I really loved all these short holiday/winter themed stories.

Reading This Week:

  

Beneath the Bonfire by Nickolas Butler: I did start this last week but it got shoved to the side when My True Love came in.

Frostfire by Amanda Hocking: I picked this up at the library yesterday - I think the snow drew me to it.

I am also continuing to read The Little Paris Bookshop. Maybe this week I will be slowed down enough to really enjoy it.

Watching:

A lot of CW shows! We also found Ellen's Furniture Design Challenge, which is pretty awesome. My husband likes to dabble in making furniture when he gets the time, and so he loved the show. He made me the cutest little bookshelf this summer! Also, I saw a preview for The Slap!! Last year, my friend who lives in Australia that I never get to see enough recommended this book to me. It is by Australian author Christos Tsiolkas and was also a television program in Australia. I am excited to see it was made for American television too!





Friday, January 30, 2015

Book Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

Title: A Little Something Different
Author: Sandy Hall
Source: Swoon Reads

Goodreads Summary:

The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.  But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship. 

Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together....

My Thoughts:

This book sat on my shelf for months, until the other night when I was blessed by a case of insomnia. Wandering the house, looking for something lighthearted to sink into, I saw this on the bookcase, grabbed it, and retreated back to my bed. Where I proceeded to read this book cover to cover.

A Little Something Different is a YA book, a simple little book really, not too complex or crazy. Just fun and easy breezy. It is written from 14 multiple viewpoints, which seems like it could be annoying, but it really wasn't. Interestingly enough, the one point of view missing was that of the main character Lea, and it didn't seem to matter. We see her through the eyes of many different people, and in some cases, non-people; these points of view are enough to give the reader a clear picture of the character. Were some of the character a little flat? Yeah, I would say so. There just wasn't enough material for each character to be given a chance to grow or be expansive. Were some of the characters unlikable? Yes - in my opinion the college professor was the worst! She was a catalyst for movement in the plot, but at the same time I couldn't get behind some of her actions. She is one of the few adult points of view, yet she behaved questionably a few times, in my opinion.

Overall though, I found this book to be enjoyable. It was perfect for the moment I was in, needing something light and fluffy to read. I wouldn't read this book expecting big things - it is more of a sweet little read, quick, easy, and fun.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Sunday/Monday Update!


It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, that is guaranteed to add to your reading list.

I have been really enjoying working with students again! While I miss my old job sometimes, subbing is working out much better for the "right now"of my life. The husband and I haven't been out much lately, focusing mainly on getting stuff ready at the house and doing what needs to be done, which carries with it its own sense of accomplishment and actually, fun as well. I am going to drag him out next weekend though ~ the man just works too hard! 

Thanks for all the comments regarding cable last week! We went ahead and cut the cord, and knocked our plan down to basic. So far it doesn't seem too bad, although I am desperately missing the end of Top Chef!!! I am pretty sure I can watch it online though, I just need to figure that out.

Read Last Week:

My reading habits have been a little erratic lately ~ a little bit of this, a little bit of that. I did manage to finish  two books though! 

  


Baby Bliss by Dr. Harvey Karp: Apparently this guy also did The Happiest Baby on the Block~ I think this is the exact same thing, just in different packaging. It was pretty interesting! Review soon.

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall: I read this one night when I couldn't sleep~ I just had too much on my mind, go figure! Lol. This book was a super easy, lighthearted read. I enjoyed it although it was just a super simple story. It did have like 14 different points of view it was written from, and none of them was POV of the main character- which was a little something different! Review soon.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George: This book is really good - but a little slow for me right now. It's not grabbing me and making me read it, but I don't mind going back to it here and there and reading a little at a time. I never read a book this way, so this is a new and different reading experience!

The One-Way Bridge by Cathie Pelletier: This book is cute, but I can't figure out where it is going yet. I will keep reading it, probably in the same way I am reading The Little Paris Bookshop. 

Reading This Week:

  

Beneath the Bonfire by Nickolas Butler: From NetGalley. I am so excited to read this book! I loved Shotgun Lovesongs and this sounds really good as well!

I'm a Mom! Now What? by Susan Laurent: Yeah, these books will be trickling in. It has come to my attention I have no clue about babies. In fact, my husband is much more baby savvy, so I lucked out there! I know these books can't really prepare me totally, but until a few months ago I wasn't sure if a newborn sat in a high chair. Lol. 

Watching:

I found House Hunters International on Netflix and can't stop watching! Does anyone else watch this? What I can't get over is how people want to move to a new culture yet want it to remain exactly like they are in America! It drives me crazy! Lol. We are also watching Parks and Recreation as well as assorted network television shows, mostly CW. 

Posted Last Week:






Saturday, January 24, 2015

Gardening with Art (my Uncle Art, that is!)


My Uncle Art and I have a tradition: every January we meet one weekend morning, drink coffee, eat pastries, and pore over our new seed catalogs together. Some years we plan our gardens together, and split the costs of seeds. Other years we veer off course, each going our own way in our garden planning. This year is going to be one of those years. 

Last Sunday, I braved the icy cold Michigan weather, stopped for a Cafe Mocha from Tim Hortons, a current addiction, and while I was at it, picked up a few doughnuts too, including my favorite, the chocolate dip. I had my few catalogs of choice with me, and when I arrived, my uncle was waiting for me at the dining room table surrounded by his lists and catalogs. My aunt was just pulling her homemade scones from the oven , and the tea kettle was rattling away on the stove top. There is nothing like a cozy morning, thinking about spring and budding plants and sunshine, when the sky is gray and snow is piled up on the ground outside.You almost feel like you are getting away with something, by skipping the gray and daydreaming of bright arrays of colors and fresh warm fruit and veggies from your garden.

I had two catalogs with me- one from Botanical Interests, another from Baker Seeds, which is full of rare heirloom seeds. I love to sit and flip through this one, and can look at it for hours really- it is so full of old varieties that are weird and so different than what I usually see, plus the descriptions are pretty amazing too. This year though, I am doing a scaled back garden. I am due in April and don't foresee having a huge amount of time to spend in the garden this year. I chose to limit what I am ordering, and am going strictly with my choices from Botanical Interests this year. I am a bit of a nutter about GMOs, and that is one reason I like this company as well - no GMOs. Plus, they have a ton of heirloom varieties, which thrills the historian in me. I think it is pretty cool to grow something that has been around for generations!

Doesn't this just scream spring?

After a good bit of discussion with my uncle, who grew up on a farm in Canada and has a humongous garden which is even more awesome when you realize he is 70 plus years old, I decided on: a trellis of sugar snap peas and lima beans, a favorite of my husband's; a bed of strawberries, because there is seriously nothing better than eating a freshly picked strawberry, warm from the summer sun; a huge bed of free ranging herbs; and my favorite of all, a very small pumpkin patch! I am going for two varieties, one that is good for Jack O'Lanterns and another all white kind of pumpkin. I just think it would be such a fun photo op for our son! He will be only 6 months old in October, so I am not sure if he will be able to sit up or not, but if not, we will still carve his first pumpkin for him from our garden. Plus we can take his picture anyway, with one of us holding him, or even all three of us in our modest pumpkin patch. I am pretty excited about all this can you tell? 

My uncle is doing a giant garden again this year, and soon we will be getting together to start our seeds. I love this tradition with my uncle. I am the only one thus far who shares his love of the dirt and the satisfaction of eating something you have grown yourself. Maybe this is something my son will enjoy one day as well. Our catalog planning session is a day I look forward to all year, especially once winter sets in when we are bundled against the cold and dreaming of the spring .