Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Books! And the sound of my soul crushing.

Hello there, ol' blog. This may have been my longest blogging break - over five months! I actually forgot what my blog looked like, yet it feels like I just wrote my previous blog post a couple weeks ago...

I figured I'd be very noncommittal and set the bar very very low with my first post of the year, and will just talk about books. Much easier than figuring out my feelings of having an unexpected baby (now toddler!) in the house, going to court and the overall stress of dealing with terrible government workers on a weekly basis.

This year, in between buying a house, caring for the previously mentioned baby in addition to the terribly headstrong two-year old Devin, starting my master's degree, and working full-time as a nurse, I finished 36 books as part of my 2017 reading challenge. This was a total of 12,577 pages! My goal was 30, so I felt pretty great going over it. I'm setting my goal this year at 30 again, because I'd rather overachieve than underachieve.

I can easily say my favorite book this year (or rather, two books) was The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear, which is part of the Kingkiller Chronicle. I came across this series by complete accident, and looking back it seems like they were the most "meant to be" books I've ever read. A coworker had recommended a book to me, saying I would love it. I wrote the name down, but I accidentally washed the paper and months went by with me forgetting to ask about it. One day after rating a book on goodreads, I saw a comment from Patrick Rothfuss saying something along the lines of "I'm a really great and accomplished author of an epic series and I have a beard and this book made me cry," so I meandered over to his page to see what this asshat looked like and to see if he really was accomplished. Lo and behold, I came across his insanely accomplished and successful series and recognized the name as being the one my coworker recommended, or so I thought.

I refuse to read books that are part of a series unless all of them are out because I hate being left on a cliffhanger and have learned my lesson one too many times (namely, Harry Potter. A million times over.). Diligently, I looked up all three of his books on goodreads to make sure they were out and they each had thousands of reviews, so I figured they were all released. WRONG.

Anyways, I started the first book and wasn't completely taken in within the first few chapters. I told my coworker I finally checked out the book he recommended, but I couldn't remember the name so I said, "Ya know, the one about the wind and it's like a story within a story? You said it's good, right?" He was adamant that I'd love it so I pushed through. Well, I ended up finishing all 662 pages in about a week. And then when I checked out all 994 pages of the second book, I finished that in a week. While dealing with three members of my family having norovirus, with two of the three shitting allllll over my house.


So as you would imagine, I was SO ready for the third book and when I went to check it out from the library, it wasn't there. Oh well, off to Amazon to pay whatever amount they want because I'd pay a million dollars to know how it all ends. But. BUT. IT WASN'T THERE. Because there IS no third book yet and I don't think I've ever been so enraged in my life? Just ask Sara, I probably texted her 9,000 times telling her how deeply upset I was and I could just feel my soul being crushed. And this went on for monnnnnnths, you guys! Months! I'm not even kidding! I just couldn't get over it.

My first course of action upon not finding the book was to go to goodreads, and guess what all the reviews were? People asking when the book was going to be out. I dieeeeeee.

When I went to yell at my coworker for recommending an unfinished series, he said he had no idea what I was talking about because the book he recommended wasn't part of a series. What?! Turns out, he recommended Shadow of the Wind, which is also a story within a story but a very different story than I read.

Anyways, on December 31st of this year, while thinking of all the books I've read, I figured I'd see if there was an update for a release. Apparently Patrick has been promising for seven years to release the book and I was hoping 2018 would be the year. But no. It's not and he's already said it won't be released in 2018, so I'm angry once again about it. Ha! So all this to say that this trilogy, what's released of it, is easily in my top five, maybe even top two, favorite books (behind the seven Harry Potter books). Read it if you don't mind cliffhangers, otherwise don't. Just don't. I still feel the crushing pain like it was yesterday.

Cheers to more books in 2018!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Potty training, IUD, and a menstrual cup.

Warning, period talk ahead. 

Devin is mostly potty trained! And she did it completely on her own.

Around the time we moved she was starting to become interested in going on the potty, but then with all the changes she had zero interest. I tried to push it for a few days and then decided I didn't actually care because diapers are way easier than managing a public bathroom. Gross. But, we continued to read the potty book at bedtime because she loves it and now I attribute it to her learning. She'll basically recite the whole book while in the bathroom and loves shouting, "Hooraaaaaay! Pee pee in the potty! I did it! Undiiiiiies!!!!" Yes, it's freaking adorable. She had a couple accidents the first few days, but has been good since. She does still wear a diaper for bed and naps, though. I have no idea how to go about night training!

Because she's so excited about the potty, she insists on going to the bathroom with me. She often went with me before, but now she is VERY interested in every aspect of my bathroom functions. This is how she came to learn about my menstrual cup during my very long eight day period last month. I got a copper IUD put in at the beginning of May and as any woman who has one knows, your period is a lot heavier and longer the first many months. I didn't notice anything about my flow because of the cup (just that it was fuller than usual when I emptied it) but definitely noticed the length of time. Which was forever.

Anyways, every time I went to the bathroom Devin insisted on watching as I put in/took out the cup. Many people are probably fuh-reaking out right now, but hello. She's a female. Someday she'll have to go through this. It's normal, it's natural, and there's nothing to be weirded out about. Moving on. So she insisted on watching me and I explained that I was on my period, this was my "period cup", and I put it in my vagina to collect blood that I'd dump later. (Ok, maybe this is kind of something to be weirded out about. Ha.) I would leave it out at night and each morning she'd see it washed and on the counter and would say, "Put in period cup, mama!"

We are now two weeks past the end of my period and she still talks about it, you guys! I'm just waiting to embarrassed about it in public with her talking about it. She saw one at Sprout's and excitedly identified it as a "period cup", which totally had me laughing. I'm glad to educate her so young and even more glad that I won't have to have such an awkward talk when the time comes. Now if only I could easily sneak in the sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll talk so easily...

*update because I wrote this last month and forgot to post - I had my IUD period again this month and it was shorter than my normal period with minimal cramps. Hallelujah. And Dev got wayyyyy excited when I pulled out my cup and cloth pads shouting, "Yay, mama period! Put in the cup!" I'm still laughing about it!

And now here's my PSA - if you haven't tried a menstrual cup, ladies, do it! You can leave it in for 12 hours, no worry about getting TSS, more Earth friendly, and less toxic to your body than bleached and drying cotton. Pair it with a reusable pad and you're good to go. Put A Cup In It is an awesome resource and they even have a quiz to help figure out which cup you should try. I have the Lunette Cup and cut the stem off, which I love it. Not a sponsored post, just a cup lover. I'm going to buy a second one to keep at work in case I start there, though as of now I feel comfortable putting it in around the time I'm supposed to start because it's not drying/irritating like a tampon is if you haven't started yet.

Also, it's so awesome for workouts! I never worry about leaking and it's great for when I swim. A couple weeks ago I went on a seven hour hike up Humphrey's Peak (big group, took a lot of breaks) and was away from a bathroom close to 9 hours. I wasn't conceded about TSS, leaks on the heaviest day of my period, or finding a place to change a tampon. Totally awesome and a hike I would have cancelled previously if using tampons. I'd have missed this 12,633 foot view from the top of Arizona!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Two kids under three. Luckily not two under two.

Most parents have 9 months to adjust to the idea of bringing another person into their home, but us? Two hours. TWO. We got a call at 1pm saying a baby needed a home and Little Dude was dropped off at 3pm without so much as a diaper. Luckily we had cloth diapers on hand. So now that we're two months into parenting two kids, I feel like we're doing pretty good.

The biggest thing I've struggled with is questioning myself about treating him like he's my own. There is an endless supply of love, but I wonder if I'm giving him the same amount of attention as Devin and I'm not sure if it's because I didn't give birth to him or if it's because he's a second child and they always seem to get the shit end of the stick? Like with Dev I didn't want to give her grains until a year old and didn't get a walker for her because they can be bad for development. But with Little Dude we dump a handful of Cheerios on the ground and let him crawl around to eat it, and I just bought a jumper last week so that I can have two seconds without chasing a baby to clean the house. (Though Dev claims the walker as her own...) I'm 99.9% sure that everything about my parenting towards him is because he's a second child, but I still question it!
I'm finally starting to feel okay going places with both kids. The second week we had him I took them both to the gym daycare which is a long walk through the parking lot and up a long, steep flight of stairs, and it was so awful. He was falling asleep so I brought him in the carseat and Devin had a meltdown and needed to be carried, plus I had my gym bag on. I for sure thought we'd fall down the stairs. Then after my workout Devin had another meltdown when she saw me and refused to walk or be strapped into her carseat and Little Dude was screaming because he pooped and needed food. I swore I'd never leave the house with them again. But alas, in the past week I've taken them to a concert downtown (my step sister was a finalist in a regional talent show) that was past their bedtime, to Target, and to the gym. And we survived!
Some things that have helped us get out: baby wearing (duh), baby wearing both of them (not ideal, but you gotta do what you gotta do), a carabiner for my keys, getting Little Dude into his seat fed and diapered before dealing with Devin, ignoring crying baby/toddler by turning the music up, using a backpack as a diaper bag, getting Devin excited to help me, e.g. "You would be such an awesome big girl if you feed Little Dude for a minute," and bribing Devin with chocolate and popcorn in the car. Parenting at it's finest.

Sleep has gotten much better. Norovirus finally pooped itself out so Little Dude just wakes at 1am and 4am, then 6am for the day. He was waking up a lot more than that so I did some sleep training and it helped a lot. Not totally cry it out, just fuss it out? Again, something I never did with Dev until she was like two, so is it because I'm not worried about him crying or because I'm so fucking tired? Pretty sure it's the latter because I'M SO FUCKING TIRED. It's just not sustainable to be up all the time and I'm pretty sure I'd have to do it with any subsequent children. His naps are all over the place, though. He has visits with his parents right around nap time and it throws him off for the whole day, and he often won't take his second nap on those days then goes to bed early then wakes early and that leads me back to so fucking tired.
Luckily everything is really helped by the fact that Dev is over most of her jealousy and just loves the Little Dude. She now understands that sometimes his needs have to come before hers and she isn't needing to be so involved to the point of it being difficult, like when she was insisting on putting him to bed with us. She still tries to be the boss of him though, as pictured below. Ha! They also both love being outside so it's perfect timing that summer is here and we can be in the sunshine for hours at a time most days. Having two kids definitely makes me get way more stir crazy staying in the house!
Overall, this has been quite the journey so far and we're happy to have a family of four for now!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

7QT: New baby edition.

7 Quick Takes

1. A month and a half ago we acquired a five month old little dude. I will not speak to how the acquisition of said child occurred on social media, but I felt the need to at least share such major and life-changing news. A BABY! We expect to have him for a while with the hopes that he'll be reunified with his parents.

2. The transition to two kids under three is huge. Evvvvvverthing is effected! Naps, diapers, feeds, bedtimes, sleeping arrangements, car seats, who holds who, babywearing jealousy, etc. Obviously adding another human into our home changes things, but we didn't realize quite how much of a change it would be.

3. Devin has also needed time to accept such a large transition. She was waayyyyy excited in the beginning, so much so that she insisted on changing his diapers, feeding him, putting him to bed and smothering him. Luckily she has calmed down and isn't quite so overbearing, but she still smothers him with love and is a little rough.

4. Devin started sleeping through the night (8pm-6am) two nights before we got him so it feels like salt to a wound now that we're back to every three hour wakings for diaper changes and feeds. I am trying a sleep training routine which has somewhat worked, but then he got norovirus and was pooping up a storm which put a halt to things because he would end up getting shit all over his bed and clothes, stinking up our room.

5. I am happy to have another baby to wear! I still have all my wraps/carriers and wear Devin, but not super often. Well I wear her often now because gets a little jealous of him.

6. Vince is the real MVP because he cares for both kids while I work nights, meaning he's practically solo parenting for three nights and days in a row. Devin was demanding enough, but add in another mouth to feed and butt to change and he's a little frazzled. I'll be switching to days soon which will allow me to break up my schedule, which hopefully will help.

7. Raising someone else's child is incredibly difficult, frustrating and sad, but also so rewarding. I'm glad we're able to give this guy a happy safe home while his parents figure out their lives, and glad that he can get the emotional attention he deserves at such a developmental age. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Today I Am...

Today I am...

Reading: a few books: Looking for Alaska (didn't realize it was sad and my heart is broken!), Dissolving Illusions, and A Feast for Crows. I've been reading A Feast for Crows for a long time, but I keep taking breaks for other books. I don't know why I can't just finish the Game of Throne series already. I'm on goodreads if you wanna be frannnds. My goal for the year is 30 books and I've already finished 10 (with two more almost done) so I have high hopes to complete my goal.

Sipping: on jasmine green tea. So much sweeter tasting than regular green tea, but without being actually sweet!

Anticipating: getting wood floors. We'll be fixing our foundation in the next year or two which may requiring raising the house a bit, so we're just doing laminate floors for now to not risk messing hardwood floors up. We're getting dark five inch planks and I'm wayyyyy excited. The carpet in the living room is just so gross! It won't match the laminate that's already in the rest of the house, but oh well. 

Listening: to audiobooks! I have a 20 minute drive to and from work, and I figured that would be a good way to pass the time. I am a visual learner so audiobooks are really difficult in the beginning, but once I'm able to get a grasp of what the book is about and the main characters, I'm good. Meaning the first hour of the book I'm just thinking, "This is so dumb. I don't understand any of this. WHO are they talking about? WHAT'S GOING ON??" But I keep persevering and I've been enjoying them. So far this year I've listened to The Messenger (ugh, as a Giver lover I had high hopes but this book was just terrible!), Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs (geared towards a generation 10 years older than me - not bad on audio but I would've stopped reading the book) and Rogue Lawyer (I love John Grisham, so it didn't disappoint). I'm about halfway through The Lost Gate and it is so enjoyable. I've also been listening to The Slow Home and The Minimalists podcasts. 

Baking: a lot, actually! I've made some tasty gluten free biscuits and gravy (following the recipe on the side of the Bob's Redmill 1:1 replacement flour mix) and cornbread muffins - I don't include the butter and bake it for 20 minutes in 12 greased muffin tins then eat with honey butter. We've made the bread in our cast iron many times until we tried muffins, and they're just easier to keep moist and store. We went out to breakfast the other morning for the first time ever in town, maybe? Not many gluten free options here. I got blue corn pancakes that were AMAZING, so I had to make some yellow corn pancakes using this recipe. Vince and I agreed that these were a delicious pancake being so light and fluffy, and by far my favorite pancake recipe now. To make it gluten free, I used the above-mentioned flour replacement.

Post theme found on Camp Patton and kept alive by SK Bell.