Friday, May 28, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Looking for recommendations...

As I am one of the first of my friends to be having a baby, I am putting a request out for recommendations from other mothers.  What is your favorite parenting book?  What parenting book(s) did you find to be a waste of time and money?  Do you have any favorite parenting websites?

Thank you!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I won?!

I have been using Swagbucks since the autumn of 2009.  It is a search engine in which you randomly get rewarded for searches.  You get rewarded with swagbucks that you can then redeem for prizes.  I, for the most part, have only ever used my swagbucks to redeem $5 Amazon giftcards.  Today I decided to try entering a swagstakes (kind of like a raffle) for a $5 Target giftcard, and I won!  I think this may be the first time in my life I have ever won any sort of raffle or contest, and I am pretty stoked (and thus I had to share).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Daybook for 05/25/2010

Outside my is sunny and warm.

I am thinking...about how I have such wonderful friends and family.  I have had two delightful baby showers in the past couple of weeks. 

I am thankful for...having good amniotic fluid levels and a healthy baby.  I am also thankful for my husband who has been so incredibly supportive throughout the pregnancy.

From the kitchen...there will be cheeseburgers, corn on the cob, and carrot sticks this evening.

I am wearing...a coral pink maternity top and a long denim skirt

I am creating...the last bit of Rosalyn's blanket.  I have 16 rows left.  I should be done by Thursday at the latest.

I am shopping this afternoon.

I am reading...a couple of books.  I am rereading The Art of the Personal Letter: A Guide to Connecting Through the Written Word by Margaret Shepherd and Sharon Hogan.  I wrote a bit about it in my post last night.  I am also reading Private Pages: Diaries of American Women 1830s-1970sedited by Penny Franklin.  It is a collection of several diaries written by women.  It is an interesting read for sure.

I am talk to my mother on the phone tonight. 

I am hearing...a dog next door barking incredibly loudly;I don't think my neighbors own this dog so hopefully it isn't a new acquisition.

Around the house...there is so much to be done, I am getting things ready for the Diplomat's arrival.

One of my favorite chocolate almond ice cream from a local farm and creamery.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Grocery Shopping, Writing Letters, Finishing Rosalyn's blanket, and a prenatal appointment.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Yours truly as a baby.  Take a look at the newspaper in the bottom left; my mom says that just happened to be there and it was not a way to date the photo

For more daybooks vistit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Letters, cards, and other mail related things...

   Since the time I was old enough to appreciate mail, I have enjoyed both receiving and sending mail.  In the past year and a half, I have become very lax about sending letters and cards--well if you discount the fact that I have been writing a whole bunch of thank you cards for wedding gifts and baby gifts. Upon receiving a very sweet letter from my great-aunt last week, I have been encouraged to get back in the habit of writing to friends and family.

  I have also been inspired to find other letter writers; I suppose this is because sometimes I feel like the world has turned its back on this time-honored tradition of communicating via the handwritten letter.  In my search I have stumbled on several blogs that revolve around letter writing.  Two of my favorites are 365 Letters and A Year of Letters.

   Over the past few years, I have read several books about letter writing.  In the past few days I have been rereading the couple that I own.  I mostly finished rereading For the Love of Letters: A 21st-Century Guide to the Art of Letter Writing by Samara O'Shea.  Everytime I read this book (including the first time I read it), I skip over the chapter about writing racy letters.  I think the author did herself a disservice by including this chapter in the book.  Otherwise the book has several good suggestions, but the author gives the air of being a little bit immature at times.  I am currently rereading The Art of the Personal Letter: A Guide to Connecting Through the Written Word by Margaret Shepherd and Sharon Hogan.  It is a delightful read and has many wonderful tools to help readers begin or revive a letter writing habit.  It is a book that makes me want to write more letters--not a bad thing seeing as I definitely need that encouragement.

So I have been inspired to write more letters from several sources over the past week.  Now the question remains: Have I put these plans into action?  Amazingly, yes I have.  I have sent a few birthday cards and letters and a few notes of congratulations.  Of course, I have also sent another half-dozen thank you cards as well, but I am not counting them as a part of my quest to send more correspondence, as that seems to be the only mail I had been keeping up with at all.  Now comes time for me to issue a challenge: sometime this week, write a letter to someone you care about. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pregnancy Update: 35 weeks and 6 days

This week has been a busy one in relation to pregnancy and baby stuff.  There were a few little bumps in the road mixed in with some happy outcomes. On Wednesday, Ish and I visited the Diplomat's pediatricians' office.  It was clean and bright, and everyone was so good-natured and friendly.  I definitely feel secure in our choice of pediatrics practices. Thursday I had a prenatal appointment and that is where the bumps come into play.

--I gained 1.5 lbs in 2 weeks (a bit under the 1lb per week goal, but as long as I am gaining it is good)

--The Diplomat's heart rate continues to be good.

--My blood pressure is still nice and low.

--My fundal height has not changed in two weeks and it had barely changed in the 2 weeks prior to that.  This was cause for some alarm and following up with a few tests.

--Test number 1 was a non-stress test.  I was hooked up to a monitor to assess The Diplomat's heart rate over a longer period of time.  The monitor also produced a print out so that accelerations and decelerations could be more closely evaluated.  The Diplomat passed with flying colors!

--Test number 2 was to get another ultrasound in order to track The Diplomat's growth and to check my amniotic fluid levels.  The Diplomat's growth is right on track to match the due date, and my amniotic fluid levels are normal.  This of course does not answer why my fundal height hasn't changed, but it does assure me that my precious little one is doing just fine. 

--According to the ultrasound, The Diplomat is no longer head down but isn't breech either.

--Did you know ultrasounds can predict how much a baby currently weighs?  I had no clue that this was possible, but The Diplomat weighs approximately 5 lbs 12 oz.

--I have graduated to the once a week prenatal appointment schedule.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So much wasted time...(Warning: Rant Alert)

Upon arriving back in Delaware on Sunday evening, I discovered that the internet at Chestnut Hollow was down.  The wireless signal was strong and the DSL light was steady green but the internet light wasn't on. 

Monday morning I called Verizon to try and fix the problem.  After more than an hour on the phone with a technical help customer service representative, I was told that he was wasting my time because his computer was having issues resetting something or other but he would call me back within the next two hours.  Once the two hours had passed and I hadn't received the promised return phone call I went through the computerized menu for the 4th time of the day (thanks to Verizon's computer system for randomly disconnecting me and for rerouting me to IT folks in regions other than Delaware!).  I got to a different, much more competent technician.  He walked me through a bunch of stuff only to find out that the one thing he needed to do on his end couldn't be done because one of Verizon's computer programs was down.  He figured out the estimated time of when that would be up and running and told me realistically I should wait until Tuesday and call back because then I would be guaranteed that the program would be up and running. 

Tuesday morning I was greeted by a blinking DSL light.  I called Verizon.  The computer improperly rerouted me to California.  The technician in California, after asking what type of operating system I use (a Mac), rerouted me to a Windows Technician.   The windows technician said because there was now a DSL problem that she could at least help me with that.  She insisted I complete impossible tasks, even after I told her they were not possible.  Finally, I requested that she send a service technician out to fix the DSL problem (because honestly, repeatedly requesting that I check if the phone line has a dial tone when I had already explained several times that we don't have a telephone for a land line is a little bit ridiculous). 

Tuesday afternoon, a technician came out and fixed the DSL.  He was super-nice and fixed the DSL.  At this point, Ish took over and called Verizon to get the internet up and running again.  The technician he reached walked him through everything, and since the software on their end was working properly, they were able to fix our internet problem.  Afterwards, he had the technician transfer him to billing and Verizon compensated us for all the hoops we had to jump through by reducing our bill for this month by 25%. 

This whole ordeal was such a hassle, but I am thankful it happened now and not in a month when The Diplomat will be here; the time to do such things will not be readily available then.  I must also note that up until the past few days, all of my interactions with Verizon's customer service had been wonderful.  I was always walked step by step through whatever issue the modem was having.  The most recent interactions definitely put a bad taste in my mouth, but I am hoping that if there are anymore technical issues that Verizon's customer service will redeem themselves by providing the stellar customer service I have received in the past.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

See you on the flip side...

...of the weekend that is.

I am off to Massachusetts for the weekend to visit my family and friends.  Chances of me blogging during that time are close to nil.  See you next week!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Daybook fo 05/11/2010


Outside my is sunny and cold outside.  The weather forecast is predicting rain for today.

I am thinking... about Emily and praying that her labor goes well.  I am anticipating today's arrival of a new niece or nephew.

I am thankful husband who has eagerly gone to several child birth classes and all of my prenatal appointments.

From the kitchen...there will be ravioli tonight. I am trying to clear room in our tiny freezer to pre-make some meals for after the diplomat is born. 

I am wearing...pajamas. 

I am creating...a baby blanket for Scott and Emily's baby.  It will not be done on time, but it should be done by the time the baby is a week old.  That is much better than I anticipated.

I am Massachusetts on Thursday. 

I am reading...a lot about babies.  For leisure, I think I have decided on Water for Elephants.  My mom and sister have been recommending it for ages.

I am sell some books to a local used bookstore in order to make room for the Diplomat.

I am hearing...the footsteps of Mr. Upstairs Apartment Man.  He has a really heavy footstep, especially in the morning.

Around the house...there is so much to be done.  Thankfully, that does not include laundry--my arch nemesis.

One of my favorite things...watching Red Sox games and knitting--either concurrently or separately.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Today and tomorrow will consist of cleaning and packing.  Thursday morning, Ish and I will be Massachusetts bound to visit my family.  Friday is travel recovery day.  Saturday my mother and sister are throwing a baby shower for the Diplomat.  Sunday we will be returning to Delaware.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
Shedding Light, September 2009

For more Daybooks and to join in the fun visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful mothers in my life.  May God bless you as you live out your vocation. 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Show Us Your Life--Names

I was reading one of my favorite mommy blogs and the writer was participating in Show Us Your Life  hosted by Kelly's Korner.  This is the first time I had come across this meme/link-up.  It is pretty cool, because unlike some other weekly memes it has a different question to answer each week and they span a wide variety of topics.  This weeks topic was names for children/future children.  How appropriate!

Since probably the 2nd or 3rd grade I have been playing with name ideas for future children.  The number of notebook pages I have filled with baby names could be called nothing short of ridiculous.  It all started when I found a book of baby names my mom and dad used while trying to name me and my sister (it was all Gaelic/Irish names so I know it wasn't used in naming my brothers).  Over the years, I purchased/acquired a whole slew of different baby name books.  Perhaps I always knew I was meant to be a mother. 

On April 29th, 2007, Ish and I talked about the real possibility of getting married for the first time--it had been talked about briefly in passing before that.  The discussion naturally led to the topic of children.  That was the first time we talked about baby names together.  Since then we have talked about baby names several more times.  When I became pregnant with the Diplomat, our choices for names were pretty much solidified.

If the Diplomat is a girl, we have picked out the name Liliana Rae.  We would be calling her Lily.  For as long as I have been coming up with possible name combinations, some form of Lily has always been in the running.  When I suggested Liliana to Ish, he readily agreed.  We chose Rae in order to honor his mother.

If the Diplomat is a boy, he will be named after his father.  He will be an Ishmael Matthew (Ish's baptismal name, not his birth certificate name).  Originally we had decided on Ishmael Micah, but as my pregnancy has progressed, Ish decided that he would like a junior despite his distaste for the name Matthew.  My family has been trying to figure out a nickname in order to differentiate between my husband and potential Little Ish.  My mom has come up with Squish as the baby will be a squished down (smaller) version of his father.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Farm Photo Friday--05/07/2010

In April, Ish and I took a trip to The Inn at East Hill Farm in Troy, NH.  I took quite a few photos, yet I never really bothered to post them--Ooops!  I have decided that I am going to have some fun and post them one by one every Friday over the next several months.  I may also include photos from our friends' farm that Ish has been spending a lot of his free time helping out on.  We shall see. 

East Hill Farm, Troy, NH--April 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pregnancy Update: 33 Weeks and 4 days

I had a prenatal visit this morning--my first one with this particular midwife. It was fast and pretty much uneventful.

--I am still gaining weight, but I only gained half a pound over the past week and a half. As long as I am still gaining and the Diplomat is still growing, I am not going to worry about it.

--I have to hop on finding a pediatrician. I acquired some good advice from the midwife I saw today as to how to actually go about doing that.

--The Diplomat's heart rate is right where it should be.

--My blood pressure is still very low.

Oh High School AP Environmental Science...

...I am calling you out.  Pretty much everything I learned in that class came full circle to blame all the earth's problems on overpopulation. Well, I am still not buying it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Daybook for 05/04/2010

Outside my window... it is sunny with a beautiful breeze.  Even though my allergies are going crazy, we have the door open since the central air here at Chestnut Hollow seems to have gone kaput. Actually, it just sounds like we have a 747 taking off in the living room.  The maintenance man should be coming by soon (one of the benefits of living in an apartment).

I am thinking...about all the things I need to do before the Diplomat arrives.  Less than 7 weeks until our precious bundle of joy is due to arrive. 

I am thankful being my husbands last day of teaching for Spring Semester.  3 weeks off and then the Summer Term begins.  The beauty of having a husband who works in academia.

From the kitchen...there isn't much at the moment.  Grocery shopping is happening tomorrow.

I am wearing...a short-sleeved green maternity dress, the super-cute flip-flops my sister gave me last year,  my glasses, and my engagement and wedding rings.  Have I mentioned how super excited I am that my wedding rings still fit?

I am creating...a baby blanket for Scott and Emily's baby.  I don't think it will be done in time seeing as the baby is due on Saturday and I still have about 14 inches worth of blanket to knit on size 6 needles.  It is coming along beautifully though.  I am really happy with the pattern--it is a King Charles Brocade bordered by a basic garter stitch.  I will post pictures once it is done.

I am write several notes, letters, and cards that I have been procrastinating for no particular reason.

I am reading...a lot of articles here and there.  I need to settle into a new book.

I am hoping...that the Red Sox win tonight.  They had a 17-8 victory last night over the Angels, but one game isn't enough to give them a winning record.

I am hearing...beautiful birdsong.  There are some birds with really beautiful calls that live in the trees behind Chestnut Hollow.

Around the house...there is so much to be done before the Diplomat arrives.

One of my favorite looking down and seeing the Diplomat squirming.  No one can explain the joy of having a tiny life moving around inside you; it is simply amazing.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Today: Taking care of some things around the house.  Writing some of those letters.
Wednesday: Grocery shopping and swimming.
Thursday: Prenatal Appointment
Friday: Nothing as of yet.
Saturday: Dinner with friends.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...Sorry no picture thought today.  My husbands monitor has a faulty cable and my external hard  drive is hooked up to the desktop. 

For more daybooks visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cool Mother's Day Magazine Subscription Deals on Amazon!

I usually am not one to post steals and deals on my blog, but I was very excited when I logged on to my google reader this morning and read about this super deal on magazine subscriptions posted on Money Saving Mom.  Amazon has several magazines marked down to only $5 for a 1 year subscription. I took advantage of the subscription to Parents magazine which I have been wanting to subscribe to for a while.  I was just waiting for the right deal to come along.  Not only was this a great deal in and of itself, but I used a $5 gift card that I had received for using Swagbucks.  Thus, I got my subscription for free! 

Sweet deal huh?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Confession and A Request

Sometimes one of the hardest things to do in life is to be honest with yourself. I find that this is often the case with my prayer life. I have a difficult time saying to myself, "Siné, you aren't spending enough time with God. You're not holding up your end of the relationship." In the times when I am honest with myself about my prayer life and the fact that it is in shambles, I create a ridiculously strict prayer regimen that usually ends up failing within a couple of days.

My current prayer life needs some major renovations, and I am trying to resist the urge to set myself up for failure by designing a superhuman prayer directive. Instead, I am making two realistic daily prayer goals. Seeing as it is May, the month dedicated to our Blessed Mother, I have made it my goal to pray the 7 Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary each day. I also will be praying a daily Rosary.

I ask you now for your prayerful support as I begin my journey back to a more fruitful prayer life. Also, if you have any intentions that you would like me to offer up in prayer, please leave a comment or e-mail me.