Weekly Update 42

tabby kitten sitting on the grass
Photo by Septimiu Lupea on Pexels.com

Off the blog

Well, the countdown has started for inducing baby – that is, it’s scheduled for the 5th of December. Yes. That’s next Wednesday. And I’m freaking out. I’m excited too, of course, but having a date makes it all seem so imminent. I have been doing my shopping for the baby, double-checking of the bags I’ve packed for the hospital, and doing some finishing touches on the nursery. We have a post-birth sleeping plan (I’ll sleep from 6pm till 12am, and Aaron will sleep from 12am till 6am). Of course, we can cat-nap while the baby is sleeping, but we’re switching off baby-feeding-duty. I’m thinking of setting up an air mattress in the nursery for the first little bit so that we can keep the baby monitor out of the room with the person on sleeping shift.

I’ll also be in a program specifically designed for post-partum mothers who have bipolar disorder for a month after the birth, so reading time might be dramatically reduced. Luckily, my mother-in-law will be around to take care of the step-kids while I’m in the program.

I just realized TODAY that I had to shop for Christmas as well as for the baby! So I just did all my online shopping in one go. Most of the presents are books, of course, but there are a few non-readers that I bought presents for, too.

I made a ticker for my weight loss post-partum, too. My plan is to lose one pound a week, which will put me at 140lbs somewhere in the summer of 2020. lol. I’ll be keeping track of calories consumed starting the 10th, and start training for a walking marathon that will take place in September. My original plan was a Tough Mudder, but I realized that was just silly. Then I planned for a century bike ride but realized that it would be hard to train for that with a baby in tow. So walking marathon it is. I can walk with a baby in tow, surely? I’ll keep you updated on how my weight loss and training is going!

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Reading this week

Currently Reading

Still Serial Reading Gulliver’s Travels for my Educated Mind Project. American Overdose is an ARC that I am a few days behind on finishing (I’ll be more than a few days by the time I finish, but oh well). The Mark of the Raven is an ARC released on December 5 (yeah, I’ll be behind on that one, too). I’ll be listening to The Soul of an Octopus in general, but during my labor I decided to listen to Sense and Sensibility, since I can listen to that with great distraction and still understand what’s going on – I’m very familiar with the story. The induction will probably last several hours (inductions generally do), so maybe I’ll even get close to finishing it!

Completed in the past two weeks

Completed

Finally finished Washington Black for my Litsy Markup Postal Book Club. Just in time to mail it out! Burning Magic was a cute little kid’s book that I decided to jump into because I was having readers’ slump. And The Witch of Willow Hall was an ARC provided by NetGalley and Graden House Books (Release date Oct 2). Review coming soon!

Acquired

Acquired

This will probably be the last of my ill-advised over-requesting of ARCs. I think. NetGalley provided The Mark of the Raven (Bethany House), Roam (Central Avenue Publishing), and The Sisterhood (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers). The Lathe of Heaven and The One and Only Ivan were on sale at Audible. Dopestick and Educated were purchased with kindle credits that were about to expire.

The Passage, by Justin Cronin

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Summary: The Passage is a sweeping story that takes place over a 100 years, chronicling the beginning of a vampire-esque plague that mostly wipes out humanity. It begins with the scientific origins of the plague, the outbreaks of plague throughout the US, and introduces the main post-apocalyptic characters and how they have survived through the years. When these characters meet a strange girl with a signal embedded under her skin telling them to bring her to Colorado, the real adventure begins.

My thoughts: I have mixed feelings about this first book in the trilogy. I felt that it was a little longer than it had to be. The characters that it first introduced were given a lot of personality, and then they ended up not to be as important as you’d expect, given that most of the book took place post-apocalypse. On the other hand, the characterization did lead to a lot of personality for the book, which is part of why people love this book so much. (I am must a fan of brevity, I guess.) Overall, though, this book was fantastic. Though it had some slow points, I was mostly engrossed in the action the whole time, and very much want to read the second and third books to see how everything turns out.

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Weekly Update 40

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Off the blog

Well, I had a fantastic time at the Book of Mormon performance last Saturday. I even wore the only dress I still fit into (it’s stretchy), and got a baby-bump picture. 🙂

This week was stressful, with two to four engagements every day. It was pressure week for First Lego League and our team met Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. Right now, I’m sitting at our tournament, waiting for our first judging session in a half hour. Wish us luck! It’s a 7:30am to 5pm event, all told, so it will be a long day.

Other than being overworked, I had a good week. I got to have an ultrasound on Friday, and the baby looked perfect. We’re really looking forward to the birth, even though I don’t quite feel ready yet.

Reading this coming week

Currently Reading

Due to a need to rush through my library book (Stay with Me) and my Litsy Markup Postal Club book (Washington Black), I have decided to cut down on the number of books I’m reading for the upcoming week. That, and sometimes I just need to concentrate on a couple of books rather than 10, lol.

Completed Last Week

Nothing! Or, more accurately, no books.

Weekly Update 39

man old depressed headache
Photo by Gerd Altmann on Pexels.com

Off the blog

Hello everyone! Happy voting week to those of you who are in America and got yourselves out there. I got out and did my civic duty, as well as taking my parents to get their votes in.

This week was busy as I had to deal with hypomania symptoms, a kid with a gut bug, finding a Girl Scout troop for D and a Cub Scout troop for M, and a trip to the ER on Friday night. That last one was mostly an accident. I had a headache starting around 4pm, took Tylenol and went to bed at 8pm (it was my second-in-life migraine by that point – the first being when I was around 14), woke up at 12 pm with it feeling even worse. This time, I thought of preeclampsia and took my blood pressure with the old monitor my dad had given me. It said 170 / 92 (or in that area) 3 times. I figured I should have Aaron drive me to CVS to check a different monitor, but decided to call the nurse line and ask if that was really necessary – surely I wouldn’t explode overnight? They, of course, told me to get to the hospital right away. 6 hours later, I was released with a clean bill of health for baby, a nascent headache, and doped up beyond straight walking. My blood pressure monitor at home was off by 50 points. No preeclampsia. Woopee! I went straight to bed when I got home, and woke up two hours later with a nascent headache but wide awake. I imagine I just over-stretched myself on Friday trying to rush around and get everything done.

Which doesn’t bode well for next week – on which I have two to four engagements a day. Don’t expect me to finish any books!

Today, I will be going to Book of Mormon with Aaron (provided he ever wakes up, poor thing) and then he and I will hang out with a good friend watching Doctor Who.

On the blog

After participating in Nonfiction November, I wrote only one book review – on The Re-Origin of Species.

Reading this coming week

Currently Reading

Completed last week

Completed

Finished the first Harry Dresden book for my Dresden Group Read. And listened to Einstein’s Cosmos, by Michio Kaku.

Acquired

Acquired

No Country for Old Men and I Am Number Four were Audible Daily Deals. All that Remains is an ARC from Edelweiss. Influenza I accidentally requested from both Edelweiss and NetGalley, and got approved on the same day. lol Overstory, Vaccine Race, and American Eden are all award nominees that I plan on reading soon.

The Re-Origin of Species, by Torill Kornfeldt

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Summary: With a hefty dose of skepticism, Torill Kornfeldt interviewed several scientists who are trying various methods to clone or genetically reinvent extinct animals – mostly for the sake of recovering their ecological purpose (for instance, mammoths knock down trees and stomp down permafrost, passenger pigeons devastate forests with the same (but less threatening) ecological benefits of forest fires, etc.) Kornfeldt briefly describes the science behind each project, but does not go into a lot of detail, so the book is good for someone who has very little science background.

My thoughts: I’m a little torn about bringing back extinct species. My instinct is against introducing potential “invasive species” which might not act exactly the same as the original animals did. There is, also, the worry that creating new animals will somehow create new viruses that can move to humans – though that may be worrying too much. Overall, I think the book was well-written and interesting, though it could have been more engaging at times. I liked Kornfeldt’s mixture of awe and skepticism, which managed to present both sides of the story well. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in endangered species, as it really does provide some interesting food for thought.

My thanks to Edelweiss and Scribe US for an ARC of this book. Their contribution did not impact my review.

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