Thursday, June 21, 2012

Week 34: Cantaloupe

This week we went in for a 34 week ultrasound and found out a bunch of interesting details about our girl. They say she weighs about 6.1 pounds and is in the 70% percentile for weight, or 2 weeks ahead of schedule. She's got a little hair and chubby cheeks AND..... she's still breech. So that stresses me out a little. But, at least she's big enough at this point to not be super small if she comes out.

So since she's breech, I've been reading up on the Internets to see if there was anything I could do to try and get her to turn. I found this website that had a few weird suggestions and thought it was all a bunch of nonsense until the nurse at our birthing class repeated the same exact tactics. Here were just a few:

1. Stand on your head in a pool.

Ok really? I don't know how I'm going to do that and even if I could, the 5 seconds I'd be able to stay under water wouldn't really be enough time to make a difference.

2. Clip clothespins to the outsides of your pinky toes.

Apparently this spot is tied to the uterus in reflexology and supposedly makes it relax enough to allow the baby to turn.

3. Stick headphones down your pants so they're near your pelvis and play classical music.

I don't even know why this is supposed to work.... the baby wants to turn to get closer to the music?

4. Put your shoulders on the floor and butt up in the air (modified downward dog) and stay like that for an hour.

I'm not joking... the nurse lady at the birthing class actually demonstrated this one. It was a horrifying and awkward 10 seconds. Even if I could get in that position, there's no way I'd be able to stay like that for an hour.

5. Put an ice pack on your belly where the baby's head is.

I guess this makes their head cold so they move. To me this was the most plausible solution.

So I figured I should combine some of these tactics to be really sure I can get her to turn. Tomorrow I plan on standing on my head in a pool all afternoon with clothespins on my pinky toes. On the next day I'm going to strap an ice pack to my belly, stick some head phones down my pants, and get in the modified downward dog pose for a few hours. If that doesn't work, looks like I'll have to get those hypnotism dvds I've heard about...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Book Reviews: Slaughterhouse-Five, The Good Earth, Lord of the Flies, The Maze Runner, and The Tipping Point

For those of you who haven't jumped on the Goodreads bandwagon, I highly suggest it. It's a great way to keep track of the books you've read, the books you want to read, see what all your buddies are reading, and get recommendations on what to read next. Plus I need more friends on there. How else am I going to find my literary soul-mate? And if you were on Goodreads, you'd have seen all these awesome book reviews long ago!

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The more I read Kurt Vonnegut, the more I like him. He has some of the best similes I've ever heard. He's quirky and weird and funny and gets a message across all at the same time. I swear reading his stuff is like looking into my own brain and all the weird thoughts I have on a constant basis. But somehow he's able to voice those thoughts in a more clever way. This isn't my first Vonnegut book and it definitely won't be my last.

The Good EarthThe Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really wanted to love this book, but I just thought it was average. Basically a guy is poor, buys some land and eventually gets rich... all whilst adding a few wives and children along the way. A simplistic synopsis? Maybe... but accurate I think. There are lessons to be learned here... about pride and family and hard work. But, I guess these things were taught a little too slowly and uneventfully for my taste. Don't get me wrong, I liked this book. But I wasn't enamored by it. It's just another one of those "classics" that to me, doesn't deserve the title.

Lord of the FliesLord of the Flies by William Golding

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I remember watching this movie when I was a kid, but didn't remember much of it besides the basic premise. Basically it's about a bunch of boys who are stranded on an island without adults and how they cope with their new surroundings.

The short and sweet review is I liked this book. The characters were well developed and the plot was actually really fascinating. It makes you wonder how close to reality this would be if it happened in real life. Sort of scary to think of, really.

There was one thing I didn't like about this book: the narrator. Normally that wouldn't be a huge shocker, but the author read this book. That usually means it's going to be awesome, but I've decided Golding should stick to writing stories, not telling them. He didn't put much feeling into it which made some of the situations fall kind of flat when they normally would have been really intense. I think I would have been better off reading this one.

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)The Maze Runner by James Dashner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was actually pretty entertaining overall. There was good character development, a good amount of mystery and suspense, good plot line. However, I thought there was a little too much repetition... yes I know Thomas doesn't remember anything, I don't need you to tell me twenty times. And it seemed like any time the author described something bad, he used some variation of "cold"... things to the effect of "his blood felt like ice" or "a wave of icy dread swept over him" etc. I tried to pay attention and see if maybe it was some sort of symbolism, but if it was, I was too dense to pick up on it. I also assumed there would be some reason for Thomas' fellow Glader's hesitation to explain things to him. He keeps asking questions and never gets any answers, but there is never any explanation as to why they're so secretive.

*Spoiler Alert*

So, the main thing I didn't like about this book was the ending. I know it's a set up for a sequel, but still... it seemed more like the author was finally like "Well, I gotta come up with an ending... how about... this." It just didn't make sense to me that the real world is a wasteland full of people that are dying and yet the whole time the Gladers are in the maze scenario they're able to get all this delicious food and basically anything else they ask for. Not to mention the technology these people used to create the maze. Where did they get the manpower to create such an elaborate maze? How did they make the portal that the Grievers came out of? How did they make the Grievers? Seems like if they had the technology to do all this fancy stuff they should be able to come up with a cure for the Flare and wouldn't need to rely on a group of smart kids to do it. It was just too far-fetched for me. Based on this first book as a whole, I'm not sure if I'll get around to reading the sequel.

The Tipping PointThe Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Tipping Point identifies the main factors involved in what makes something "big." It answers the question of how people and ideas get famous, how major trends start, and what makes something "stick" in our minds.

For me this book was both entertaining and enlightening. While I don't think that I personally fit any of the personality types (Connectors, Mavens, & Salesmen), it was interesting to scan through the people I know to try and identify someone who did. I also liked learning about the seemingly insignificant factors that are actually the main cause of huge epidemics & social problems.

Although it has been a while since I read Gladwell's book Blink, I would say this one ranks right up there with it, which was a nice surprise after being slightly disappointed by Outliers.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Week 33: Pineapple

I know... there's been a lot of baby posts lately. But I'm 33 weeks pregnant over here. There's not a whole lot of exciting things I can do right now!

The last few weeks have been interesting. I thought I'd hit the "uncomfortable" stage when this baby seemed to shift further down into my pelvis. All of a sudden my walk was very slow and standing up in general didn't feel that great. After several days of this, I woke up one morning and realized I felt completely normal again. I'm really hoping it stays like that until baby is actually ready to come out.

Little Sylvie has also started what I call "alien movements"... you know... the longer slow movements that look like an alien is moving around in your stomach. She still mainly does the short quick movements lower in my abdomen, but over the last few days I've noticed larger movements. Usually I'll be sitting there with my arms folded across my stomach and all of a sudden my arm will raise up. I haven't been able to distinguish which body part is pushing on me, but she's definitely building up some muscles in there!

One of the recent bonuses of being pregnant was my first Mother's Day. Seth got me a gift certificate for the salon I go to and adamantly specified that I use it on some sort of spa services, not something practical like getting my hair cut. So, this last weekend I got a much needed pedicure (I haven't had one in years!) and this weekend I'll be going in for a pregnancy massage. Woohoo! He definitely does a good job of taking care of me.

We're pretty much just playing the waiting game now. All the must haves are ready to go so we're mainly stocking up on information. We started a 4 week bout of birthing classes over at the hospital and actually learned a thing or two so far, which was nice. If anything we'll have a couple extra tools to use when the time comes, just in case I need it. Plus it's just a fun thing to do together. I'm also trying to get through a book or two that cover the basics of early babyhood so I don't look like a total idiot by putting a diaper on backwards or something. When you have almost no baby experience like me, you don't take any of these tips for granted!