Saturday, January 28, 2012

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a MockingbirdTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was one of the few books I actually read back in high school. I remembered liking it, but didn't recall much more than that, so decided to read it again.

I can tell why this book is a classic. Throughout the entire story there are incredibly deep themes about our society... what is wrong, what is right, why people act the way they do. But it's written from the view of a child in a way that makes the most ethical choice in any given situation seem like a no-brainer. You find yourself just as frustrated and angry as the children who are experiencing these things.

The development of characters in this book is genius. Somehow Harper Lee manages to reveal a great depth of personality for Boo Radley even though for most of the duration of the book nobody actually sees him. I also found that a real love and admiration developed for Atticus as a lawyer and father that I'm sure mimics that of his fictitous children and neighbors. I found myself hoping that there were real people like him during that time in our nation's life. And I mention these two characters beside the obvious star of the book... Scout. Makes me want to bake a cake for the kids in the neighborhood just to see if I can befriend one who is just like her.

I was really glad I decided to read this book again. It has persuaded me to give some of those other high school books a chance that I dismissed so long ago.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ballet with Mom

When I was a kid, probably about 12 or so, my mom decided to get season tickets to the ballet. I'm sure she thought with three girls on her hands, she'd have no problem getting one to go with her every couple months.

Well, when the first show came around, there wasn't as much interest as she thought there'd be. "Who wants to go to the ballet with me this Saturday?" Mom asked. After a few moments filled only with crickets, I decided, what the heck? "I'll go!"

Late Saturday morning Mom and I got dressed up in our nice clothes and headed up to downtown Salt Lake to see our first ballet at the Capitol Theatre. You can't go see a show on an empty stomach so we decided to hit up a little deli tucked away in the alley next to the theatre. Sitting at a tall round table on a black and white checkered floor, Mom and I ate our cream soup and sandwiches and talked about the upcoming show. I felt so important and grown up. Just me and Mom out on the town.

Once inside the theatre we found our seats. I remember sitting there listening to the orchestra warm up while looking at all the little old ladies with their grey hair perfectly curled and hair sprayed  into q-tip-like poofs. I flipped through the program reading the story line and all the names of the dancers and producers. Then the lights went down and the curtains opened.

For an hour or two Mom and I sat and watched while the dancers twirled and leaped on the stage. I admired their costumes-- their flexibility, grace, and strength. My sisters had no idea what they were missing out on.

Lucky for me my sisters never showed an interest in going to the ballet. Of course I never told them how fun it really was. The ballet turned out to be a thing just my mom and I did together. Every couple months we'd head back to that same tucked away deli with the black and white checked floor to eat lunch before the show. The shows ranged from humorous to sad to just plain awe inspiring and I loved each one of them. And who could forget all the little old ladies with their q-tip hair?

I haven't been back to see a ballet since I was a kid. And the little deli is no longer there. But I still remember those great times with just Mom and me. She always made me feel special and I remember that the most.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Week 12: Plum

So I've missed writing about the last few weeks, but things have been fairly consistent around here. My nausea has really let up a lot and so long as I eat on a regular basis, I feel just fine. There are still a handful of foods that don't sound too appealing, but for the most part, I've been able to eat a much wider variety. Well, except for at night. Breakfast and lunch I feel almost normal. When it comes to dinner time, some switch goes off and the nausea comes back. Which doesn't really work out too well for Seth. He's had a lot of macaroni and cheese and ramen noodles lately. Although, I do try to cook when I can.

The larger pants I bought several weeks ago are already getting too tight. Looks like it's time to start looking for some maternity pants. I can't wait for that elasticy goodness... I'm wishing I could wear my stretchy pajama pants to work!
Now for a couple weird pregnancy symptoms. Starting several weeks ago my legs would itch like crazy, especially when going to bed at night. I put lotion on in the morning and thought it was just due to the dry winter air. But nothing was helping! Like clockwork as soon as I got in bed my legs, especially my shins and calves would just itch like crazy! I finally checked it out and sure enough... it's one of those random things that shows up. Good news is, I found some new lotion (Curel Itch Defense) that seems to be controlling the itchiness way better.

Also rearing it's ugly head this week is a sensitive tooth. I just went to the dentist like two weeks ago and my teeth were fine, but somehow overnight I have this tooth that is ultra sensitive. I'm hoping this is one of those things that doesn't spread and/or get worse. And yes, apparently sensitive teeth during pregnancy are pretty common. Who knows what'll show up next?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Week 8: Raspberry

Written week of December 18, 2011

Well I'm happy to report that things are starting to feel better around here. I still feel slightly nauseous, but not near as bad as it has been the last couple weeks. I do feel more tired these days but don't have that same lingering disinterest in all things as I did previously.

I forgot to mention this last week, but my pants seemingly got too tight overnight and I had to go spring for a few new pairs. Kind of weird to be wearing a larger size than I ever have in my life. But it's for a good cause. Plus I need to breathe. I'm a little surprised to be able to see a little bump so soon. I thought I wouldn't see anything for a least several more weeks. Also, how come nobody ever mentions the almost instantaneous drastic changes on the digestive system? Probably half this bump is from all the gas stored up in there. Geez. Oh and don't expect to be your "regular" self. Ok I'll stop there.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Week 7: Blueberry

Written week of December 11, 2011

The mild nausea has continued this week but I'm starting to get used to it. Bad news is, seems like cheeseburgers are one of the few foods that I can eat pretty consistently. At least it contains all the food groups?

The most exciting thing that happened this week was my first ultrasound! Seth came along with me to see how everything is progressing. Surprisingly we were able to hear and see a heartbeat! And our little "peanut"! Such a trippy thing! I think we were both expecting to see a small blurry image of the baby, but weren't quite expecting to hear the heartbeat so soon. Good news is it was a strong 152 beats per minute! We came away with the first 2 pictures of our little peanut and have them proudly displayed on the fridge. Can't wait to tell the family!

We also picked a name already. Ok... not really but here's a conversation Seth and I had the day after the ultrasound:

Me: I found a name for the baby!

Seth: Oh yeah?

Me: Yeah. Mah-NEE.... MAH-nee.... Muh-NEE?

Seth: Money Money Money?

Me: {laughing} No! I don't know exactly how to pronounce it.

Seth: I don't want any weird foreign names.

Me: No it's M-A-N-I..... Spanish for 'peanut'! HA!

So we now refer to our growing child as little "Money Hanson." I think it'd be a good investment, don't you?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Week 6: Small Pea

Written week of December 4, 2011

All of my week 5 symptoms continue... the sore bewbs, the mild constant nausea, the unending thirstiness... although I'm happy to say my skin is clearing up and looking better.

The hardest thing for me lately is not enjoying food like I used to. These days it's a way to try and control the nausea, though most of it isn't very appealing. I've found I have a particular aversion to chicken (even more so than usual, and especially RAW chicken... yuck) and cooked vegetables (esp. tomatoes) sound horrible. It's hard to plan my weekly menus when nothing sounds very good. The foods that have kept me going are turkey sandwiches, toast, fruit juice (orange in particular), fruit,  egg & cheese burritos, and anything dairy, especially cheese & yogurt. Water also doesn't sound very appealing, though I try to drink it as much as I can. I'd much rather have a Sprite or fruit juice, though I try to limit those because of the sugar. It's not that I crave all these foods, they're just the ones that seem least repulsive. The good news is, I don't seem to have the same intense hunger emotions as I did last week... meaning the despair and crazy need to EAT RIGHT NOW. It is a little difficult for me to feel mildly sick all the time though... I'm so used to never having any ailments.

I've also noticed that I don't really feel like doing anything. I've lost interest in blogging and cooking and just being productive in general. I swear I spend about a million hours a day on the internets or watching tv, though I don't really enjoy it all that much. Doing nothing and doing something both sound not fun. I think I need to start forcing myself to do things more often or it'll just get worse.

One note of bad news this week: Seth's grandpa died, so we'll be going to his funeral on Friday. This also means a reschedule of the first ultrasound, so we won't be seeing anything until next week. Nothing like anticipation. I still really worry about our little pea, hoping this one will hang on for the long haul. But so far so good...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Week 5: Appleseed

Note: I wrote the following entries week by week just to keep track of what was going on with my pregnancy. If you don't like reading about all the gory details of this stuff, feel free to skip it. I just figured any post was better than no post.

Starting to feel more pregnant. My bewbs continue to be sore as they were very early on and my skin has broken out horribly. So much for glowing, awesome skin (I was afraid of this). In addition to those symptoms, there are a few that are a bit more annoying. The most annoying of which is the frequent mild nausea. I'd told myself I didn't want to overeat during pregnancy, but it's getting tough to do this when the only way to stave off the mild nausea is to constantly be eating something. I can't go more than a couple hours or I really start to feel it. And when I get really hungry I have this crazy urgency like I have to eat RIGHT NOW otherwise I just start fading into this mild depression and/or anti-social despair. It's hard to explain. I'm also constantly insatiably thirsty. Which makes for unending trips to the bathroom. Also I've never been so gassy and bloated in my life.

I had my first prenatal exam this week. I decided I really like my doctor. I feel lucky to have found a good one right away without hardly trying. I never thought I'd have a male ob/gyn, but he isn't creepy or weird and does a good job of making me feel comfortable. Anyway, they just did the standard weight measurement, blood pressure, pee in a cup, followed by a pap smear, and a million blood tests. One huge bag of schwag later and I'm home. Excited to go back next week with Seth to get my first ultrasound and hopefully see something in there. Maybe even a heartbeat?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Big Decision

It was a day like any other day. I got up, went to work, came home to our little apartment and crashed with Seth on the couch for a little relaxing t.v. time while we talked about our days. We covered the usual topics: coworkers, bosses, the latest gossip and then out of the blue, Seth dropped the bomb.

"I've been thinking about it and I think as soon as your IUD expires (the next month...) we should just have it removed and start trying for a kid."

As soon as I lifted my jaw up from the floor, my mouth started moving a million miles a minute.

"But I thought we were going to wait another year. Do we have enough money? What about your school?"

All questions came up with reasonable answers followed by "We'll make it work, we're in a good position right now and I don't think we should wait. Plus, I really want to be a dad."

That last one: "I want to be a dad". How could I argue with that?

Then came the real reason why I was stalling: "I'm scared. I don't know if I can do it. What if I don't like kids? What if our relationship changes? What if I get fat and ugly and I'm a horrible mom and then you want to leave me?"

The thought of having kids always terrified me. My life had been a certain way for so long, it was hard to imagine it being any different. Things were good. I liked our life. Throwing in this huge change could affect so many things, and I was scared the change would be negative.

This time Seth was the voice of calm and reason. He assured me that it would be impossible for him to love me less and if anything, his love would increase. He assured me that we would work out the financial details and that we wouldn't starve to death. That he would support me and help me. And then I agreed. And then I sobbed for a good 15 minutes all while assuring Seth I was fine and just needed to let all these pent up feelings out. "Yes I know I'm crazy {sobbing} I'm fine I swear {sobbing} just ignore me... this is going to continue for a few more minutes {sobbing}"

Somehow finally getting off the fence about whether we were going to have kids made the idea less scary. We would have kids (so long as we were able) and that was that. While the idea was still scary, I was getting used to it. All of a sudden I was interested in all things pregnancy: checking my temperature and other things to monitor ovulation times, going to the doctor to get an exam and pre-natal vitamins. It was all sort of a trippy dream. Like I was in some alternate universe. A universe where all of a sudden I'm TRYING to get pregnant, not avoiding it like the plague.

About 9 (emotionally exhausting) months later, just about the time I was starting to think my body was rejecting the idea of having children, it happened. I got pregnant. And this time it stuck. That's right people: I'm pregnant! 11 weeks to be exact, with a due date of July 29th. The adventure has begun...