Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Guess who has high blood pressure?

At my doctor's appointment yesterday, my blood pressure was a little high for the third week in a row, and there was protein in my urine. The doctor told me to watch out for headaches that don't go away with Tylenol and pain in my upper right rib, I think. If I get any of those, I'm to go straight to labor and delivery because he'll want to run some tests. 

Well, I got a headache at work, so I stopped at Walgreens after to get some medicine. I took it and tried to hydrate myself, but even after the chiropractor I still had a headache. I was nervous I was just psyching myself out: I have a tendency to do that. I asked Cass what to do, and he said I should just call the Dr and let them know that I have the headache but think I might be psyching myself out. So I did, and they decided I should go into Labor and Delivery. 

Cass had work meetings and homework, so I told him to stay home. If anything crazy were to happen, he could get a ride to the hospital, but I was pretty sure they'd just do some tests and I'd be fine and they'd send me home. 

I was mostly right. I had to wait a bit once I got to the hospital, but they finally got me set up with some monitors around my belly and a cuff. The cuff would take my blood pressure every ten minutes, and I guess the two monitors were for baby's heartbeat and contractions. I felt like they kept me on forever, but at least I had my book. They also took a vial of blood and had me pee again. After another while, they said all my tests came back okay, gave me some lortab  and sent me home. 

It was a little scary being in the hospital and not knowing all what was going on, but I was sure the baby wasn't coming then! And even though I was worried at the hospital, I could still hear her heartbeat and even feel her move around a little. So here's hoping I can make it the next few weeks til she gets here and that everything goes well until then! 

Monday, March 25, 2013

St George Weekend

This past weekend, Jordyn had a dance competition down in St George, so I invited myself a long to play at watch Jord dance. Jordyn did a great job at her dances; she's getting better every time! It was fun to watch her dance and spend time with her and Mom, even though they wore me out! By the time we got back to the hotel Saturday night my feet and ankles were swollen and I felt like I could hardly move! Then I slept most of Sunday . . . 

Entertaining herself with lip gloss at Chilis


Jordyn in her "Hound Dog" costume



Making silly faces at Chuck-a-Rama

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

37 Weeks!

We've finally hit 37 weeks! I can hardly wait til baby girl gets here! I keep getting bigger every day and feel like one big stretch mark, but I hear it will all be worth it once she's here. 


The other night, Cass and I were in bed and I was the big spoon. She starts kicking and Cass asks, "Is she kicking me in the back?" Yes indeed! Silly girl. 

She moves a ton, especially when I'm trying to sleep! Sometimes I feel like she's only not moving when my belly is too hard and contracted for her to move. It's so weird, though, because my belly is all lop-sided. She's always on my left side and sometimes it's very obviously lop-sided. 

Baby girl likes to kick me in my ribs a lot. I have a bruise on my ribs from her. For real. Visible bruise! 

A student asked me if I was having twins because I am so big; I explained that it's normal. He was all, "No, [math teacher] didn't get that big!" Well, she's taller than I am! And she didn't go full term. Regardless. I'm huge. 

Doctor says: 

Last week at 36 weeks, 1 cm and 70%
Today at 37 weeks, 1 cm and 80%
He says the most he'll let me go over is a week, but he doesn't think it will come to that. My belly was also measuring big today, so big baby? 

I got a Prenatal Massage yesterday. It was super great and relaxing. I could have fallen asleep right then and there! And I did take a little nap after . . .

Cass put the car seat in last week and it's so weird to see it when I turn around to back up! Speaking of driving, it's a constant battle between my short legs and my big belly, do I squish one or stretch the other? 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Veil of Roses

I really thought I hadn't read Veil of Roses before, but as I started reading it, it felt rather familiar, and by the almost end, I was positive I had read it before.  Regardless, I think Laura Fitzgerald's Veil of Roses is a good, and important read. 

Veil of Roses introduces us to Tamila from Iran. Her parents have sent her to America.  And if she can find a husband, she can stay. No more veil.  No more oppression.  She can finally be free. 

I liked Veil of Roses because Fitzgerald keeps it light, but still obvious that women in Iran are oppressed   It's a good introduction to the subject; it serves as the setting, not the conflict of the novel.  It's made me interested in learning more about the Iranian and Islamic cultures.  I recommend this book to older YA readers and adults, especially women who are interested in a simple introduction to the differences in their lives form the women in Iran. 

I Hate It When Exercise Is the Answer

I Hate It When Exercise Is the Answer by Emily Watts is a sort of self-help book, designed for you to rad a chapter a day and implement the small changes into your life. It's got some really good ideas. Watt's ideas are more for a professional or a mom, though, not necessarily an in-between-er like me.  But with a little adaptation, it can be a helpful read for anyone. 


When you first look at Gail Carson Levine's Fairest, it seems like it's going to be a Snow White tale. While it has elements, it is also a story all of its own. If it wasn't called Fairest, I'm not sure it would even appear to be like Snow White until over halfway through. You see, it's about this girl, Aza, who was abandoned as an infant at the door step of an inn.  Luckily, the innkeeper and his wife took her in and raised her as their own.  Aza lives in the kingdom of Ayortha where everyone is beautiful and has a beautiful singing voice.  Aza, however, doesn't quite fit in.  She's larger and isn't as beautiful as the other Ayorthians, but she does have the most amazing singing voice and has taught herself a trick.  Not only can she imitate other voices, but she can make it sound like it's coming from somewhere else. 

Because Aza is so different from the other Ayorthians, many guests at the inn don't care for her.  That is, until she bonds with the cranky duchess because of the inn's cat.  And so when the duchess is on her way to the palace for the king's wedding and the duchess's companion falls ill, Aza is asked to go with the duchess in her place.  And so Aza's fairy tale begins. 

Fairest is a really cute YA novel. I recommend it to those who enjoy a twist to the traditional fairy tale love story. 

The Wise Woman

The Wise Woman is definitely, 100% Philippa Gregory's weirdest book. If you skipped Virgin Earth and Earthly Joys, this one is a skipper too. It gets pretty weird with the witchcraft and the sex. I'm not sure who the target audience even is. It's just an odd book.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Our Life Lately

So I'm a slacker blogger lately, but life has been pretty chill. We had a super romantic date where we walked down to the Taco Bell for the new Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos. They weren't as good as we thought they were going to be though.

Then, last weekend, or two weekends ago, really, Cassidy, cousin Caitlyn, and I trekked up to Flowell for the farewell of the latest Elder Swallow. Joel was called to Manchester in England. He gave an awesome talk and will be an awesome missionary. And it was great to see the Swallow side of the family. We played "family rook" for hours. I'm not very good but it's fun! 

This past week was Cass's spring break, so he was able to catch up on some work, school work, and rest. Now he's gotten his mo-jo back and is ready to finish this semester and graduate! Speaking of finishing the semester, we have lots of options now for post-SUU life. Cass has been accepted into the Masters of Education Administration program at the U and University of Nebraska, as well as the Masters of Public Administration program at the U and BYU. He even got a scholarship to BYU! We're just waiting to hear back from the U for a few things, and then we can make our decision! 

So that's life for us right now. Pretty routine for the next few weeks til Baby Girl gets here! 

The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance

A few years ago, I took a Mormon Lit class at UVU.  It was a really interesting class and exposed me to new novels. Comedian Elna Baker's The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance was not a novel we read in that class, but our professor talked about it to us one day and read us an excerpt.  After hearing Baker's voice come to life via my professor, I had to get my hands on it. 
New York Regional is a hilarious yet touching memoir by a born and bred world-traveling Mormon. Her sense of humor sort of reminds me of Chelsea Handler, but not as crass. So I recommend this book with the caveat Baker uses in her dedication to her parents: " . . . aside from the nine-F words, thirteen Sh-words, four A-holes, page 257, and the entire Warren Beatty chapter . . . You might want to avoid chapters twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three . . ." 
Read on! 

The Wave

I first read The Wave  by Todd Strasser many moons ago, and upon rereading it, I still think it's a valuable read for the lesson it teaches. Based on a true story, The Wave is about a young history teacher trying to explain to his students how those in Nazi Germany were so oblivious to their surroundings and willing to follow Hitler.  I think it's a great book for a teacher to pair with Anne Frank or simply for anyone who finds themselves asking the same questions as those students. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Sun Also Rises

This was my second go at reading Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises and it was easier to read as well as more enjoyable, though not necessarily a book I would recommend, and certainly not a book I couldn't put down. 

I also get a little upset with Hemingway after reading The Paris Wife and seeing what a jerk he was to his wife, Hadley. And if I understand it right, The Sun Also Rises was written at the end of their marriage, yet he dedicates it to her!! What?!?! "Here, dear, enjoy my affair!" Puke. 

But knowing, or maybe only feeling, that The Sun Also Rises is basically Hemingway speaking as himself, one almost feels bad for him, and certainly for his character Jake. He tries to chase fun and live in the moment, but is clearly an outsider and observer, even among his friends.  he is searching for happiness and cannot find it.  It's a little bit tragic. Maybe that's why it's dedicated to Hadley? He wasn't their marriage to work, but it just can't? 

So maybe The Sun Also Rises is a little more poignant than I first realized.  I'm truthfully unsure on how to rate or recommend this book.  Becoming familiar with it does make one well read, but it's not necessarily enjoyable.  But should all books be enjoyable? If Hemingway's intentions are fulfilled  isn't that good enough? What do you think? 

The Virgin's Lover

In The Virgin's Lover, Gregory moves us forward from Henry VIII's reign, past Edward's and Mary's, and into Elizabeth's. (If you want to read them "in order," The Queen's Fool comes prior to The Virgin's Lover.)  The story is not told from the view point of Elizabeth, but one of her lovers, Robert Dudley, as well as his wife Amy.  It's interesting to read from this perspective as one can see the abandoned wife and identify with her pain. It's also interesting to see Robert's guilt, yet how he still chooses to continue on with his affair. If you're into historical fiction, this novel gives an interesting insight into Elizabeth's life and is worth the read. 

Now, Gregory enters into a little bit of speculation, since most folks, obviously, didn't document their own affairs.  But Gregory is great at doing her own research and including an author's note to let your know where and why she made speculations or changes to history. It really makes me respect her as an author. 

The Boleyn Inheritance

Philippa Gregory's The Boleyn Inheritance picks up where The Other Boleyn Girl left off. Well, skipping the short marriage of Jane Seymour and the birth of her son, Edward. The Boleyn Inheritance shows the changes that have come about because of the interfering Boleyn's and their cousins the Howards. We read about the marriage and annulment of Henry VIII to Anne of Cleves as well as the consequent marriage to Anne Boleyn's much younger cousin, and my second favorite wife, Kitty Howard. 

I enjoyed The Boleyn Inheritance, but it's a little more like short stories put together than Gregory's other works.  I would have liked her to delve more into the characters and given these wives their own novels as well, although I can understand why she chose not to. Writing takes much longer than reading, and Gregory prides herself on doing actual research. This could have gotten very tedious.  Or maybe there wasn't enough truth out there, just rumors or unreliable accounts.  or perhaps she just had other ideas she was anxious to get to work on.  So I understand why the book may be set up like it is, but it made it harder to get into the work  and get to know the characters.  Regardless, it's an enjoyable historical fiction. If you like Henry VIII's life as I do, give it a go!