Update Week 48

Sunday was M’s first chess lesson, and he really enjoyed them. Since then, I’ve been letting him do chess puzzles on my phone (hopefully we can transfer to my Nook as soon as I can get the app on it) when he’s out of screen-time. I figure it’s still a screen (incentive) but he’s doing something productive (learning chess). Later that day, I took him to Into the Spiderverse, which was fantastic. I really suggest it to anybody who likes comics.

Tuesday, I had a couple of appointments, AND I cleaned the horrendous mouse-nest out of my parents kitchen. I hadn’t realized how bad it had gotten since I’d moved out. Since then, the cat has apparently been catching about three mice a day, so hopefully their mouse problem will be at an end soon. If they just go away, then they won’t have to deal with the cat, right? 🙂

Anyway, the week was a series of appointments scattered around, with me trying to eek out some reading time as well as some time to do the necessary things of life. During some of my me time, I managed to finish The Hate U Give (movie), which was also fantastic. The ending was a bit different than in the book, but not different enough to change the basic spirit. Yesterday, Aaron took M snow tubing, paid for the entrance, and then M refused to even try. 😦 Aaron was pretty upset.

My mom got an a “walking EEG” which means she was all wired up but still able to move around freely. We’ll see if she’s been suffering any petit mal seizures. Those could have an effect on her memory. Also, D finally got her autism assessment. I still don’t think she has autism, and I think everyone else now agrees with me, too. But the assessor said that he’d have some interesting information regardless.

Planned for the weekend: today, D will cook us dinner. Which means that Aaron and I will spend the entire afternoon helping her cook dinner. We have decided I’ll take the make-the-shopping-list and the shopping part and he can take the cooking part. That will make accomplishing all the important things we have to do this weekend very difficult. Tomorrow, I will have a “girl’s day” with D and niece L. I’m also inviting my friend Liz, because I was already supposed to hang out with her when my sister suddenly sprung girl’s night on me. (She was planning on taking M and nephew B out for boy’s night, and L assumed I’d do the same with her and D.) I’m thinking we’ll do something craftsy. Maybe teach them to crochet? Can you teach a precocious 3yo to crochet? I don’t know how to crochet either, but Liz does.

P.S. M tells me that staring at a screen will rot my brain. I’m trying to explain the difference between doing something productive like composing a blog post and watching TV. He doesn’t believe me.

Reading this upcoming week

currently reading

This week, I hope to finish and review The Merchant of Venice (coming up on Tuesday). I’m starting The Ruins of Gorlan as a part of a year-long read of Ranger’s Apprentice series with a couple of friends. And I’m FINALLY listening to Overstory.

Completed this week

completed

I finished two books this week: The Scarlet Letter and The One and Only Ivan. I watched three movies: Into the Spiderverse, The Hate U Give, and another version of Twelfth Night. All three were really good, though I preferred the other version of Twelfth Night that I watched a week or two ago.

Acquired

acquired

Since I plan on reading these books soon, I broke down and ordered them on audible. It was one of those days when I wanted to start something light – then I went ahead and started Overstory anyway. lol

Thyroid Awareness Month

Well, if you’ve been following my weekly updates, you’ll know that my new baby was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. This was quite a shock at first, but I’m feeling much more sanguine about the situation now that I have talked to the endocrinologist and know that his meds are working.

A functional thyroid is necessary for brain development in the first 3 years of life, and babies with hypothyroidism can end up with varying levels of intelectual/developmental disability. Of course, I would like to do some research on the subject, and what would you expect me to do but look up some books?

Sadly, there really isn’t very much out there about pediatric hypothyroidism. Here’s the obvious choice:

These seem to be aimed at doctors, of course. Any other readers out there who want to find information about a medical condition, but finding it difficult?

Beyond These Walls, by Tony Platt

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Summary: Dr Platt, a well-established criminologist, outlines the history and current state of incarceration in the US. He covers topics such as how women and minorities as overly-impacted by the harsh sentences, the overpopulated prisons, and the enforced deportations of documented and undocumented immigrants. He warns us that past efforts at reforming the system have actually resulted in changes for the worse. He urges that change needs to happen from the top down, rather than from the bottom up – in other words, we need to change how the people at the top think about incarceration, and not focus only on punishing the people at the bottom (i.e. cops and prison guards) for the failures of the system. He suggests that if we punished white collar crimes (especially those that affect thousands of people) with the same ferocity as crimes of the poor, then reform would happen faster – since the people who have power to do something about the problem will witness the problem first hand.

My Thoughts: I admit, at first I didn’t think I was going to like this book. It started out slow – detail-heavy, with too many statistics listed in sentence after sentence. However, I started getting more into the narrative by the second or third chapter, when Platt started including more information on each event spoken about, instead of just listing events. By the end of the book, I was quite enjoying the educational aspects of the book. This is a topic that I have read a bit on, but not extensively, so I can say that it is a good book for a lay-person trying to educate herself on the history of incarceration in the US. Platt’s views on how we got where we are today, and some of his suggestions of how to look at reform differently (i.e. from the top down and by putting more white-collar people in prison) are definitely food for thought. This is a well-researched book, with lots of important information. It’s not fast reading, but it is worthwhile.

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Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book. Their contribution did not affect the content of my review.

Update: Week 47

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This last week went well. During the weekend, Aaron and I each spent special time with each kid without the baby around. Aaron took both kids (separately) to an inside amusement park. I took D to get a mani / pedi and bought her this gigantic cake at Buffalo Wild Wings. I have not had time to do something with M yet, but the plan is to go to that Spiderverse movie and dinner either tomorrow or Monday.

Because we found the owner of the cat my sister and J rescued, my dad decided he wanted a kitten as a mouser. So we procured a kitten for him. He asked mom multiple times what she wanted to name her, and mom answered “is she staying?” every time. So her name is now Is-she. I wanted to name her Mothra, but was voted down by dad. 🙂

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I went out for New Year’s Eve with my friend Todd. I didn’t get a picture of him, but I got a selfie:

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We were wearing all red and black. 🙂 Aaron was sweet enough to watch the kids for the evening, for which I’m really grateful. He, D, and M stayed up till midnight to watch the ball drop. So we were all tired in the morning.

We have decided to sign M up for chess lessons starting Sunday. He’s resistant to change, so I hope he doesn’t object too much. He loves chess and is good at it for a self-taught 6-year-old. (In the sense that he can almost beat me, not in the sense that he is a child prodigy.)

Reading this upcoming week

currently reading

Mimesis and Greece in the Bronze Age are both long-term reads, which I’m sort of alternating through. But I’m in the mood to read just a chapter or so of each soon.

Completed this week

completed

I pumped off a few books and one movie this week. I chose to listen to and watch Twelfth Night, but then looking at my schedule decided I would review it a little later in the comedy trimester (due to themes I’d like to set up). So the review will be upcoming, but not my first Shakespeare review. 🙂

 

 

 

 

To Be a Machine, by Mark O’Connell

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Summary: Believe it or not, transhumanism (the alteration of humans using technology in order to improve upon the human in some way), is becoming more and more mainstream. In this well-researched book, journalist Mark O’Connell records his journeys through transhumanism conferences, meetings with rich, well-connected transhumanist individuals, and a crazy bus-ride with a person who was “running for president” and wanted to make people live forever.

My thoughts: Like the author, I am skeptical that transhumanism is really a great development for mankind. It feels a little – well – wrong to change one’s body to “improve upon it.” And I don’t want to live forever. However, I think the book was very interesting and expressed some interesting arguments in favor of transhumanism. Despite the author’s skepticism, he portrayed transhumanists in a positive light, and remained impartial. The book was well-researched, and I certainly feel more educated on the subject now. I would suggest this book to people who are interested in technology waves of the future with a dash of philosophy.

 

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Kids Books and Graphic Novels Week 47

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Cute but not very content-filled finger puppet book about a turkey celebrating the fall.

3 and half snowflakes

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Rather silly book about a boy who is always being told “no” because of naughty behavior. But then he’s told he’s loved at the end. Awww.

3 and half snowflakes

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Adorable book about a little owl who flies around and enjoys a night.

5 snowflakes

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I loved this book. I actually cried. Of course, I’ve got weird post-partum hormones right now, but still. Very touching.

5 snowflakes

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Cute, but a tad predictable.

four snowflakes

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A classic, of course. IL is too young for interactive books, but it’s still worth the read.

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