Tuesday, May 20, 2008

But Can We Still Wear White?

If you've been following my musings for long enough, you probably read all about the fact that I am a Sweet Adeline, and that my chorus goes to competition each year. Last year, we marched on to the stage ready to make a name for ourselves. Ready to own the competition. And, once again, we came home as bridesmaids. Although the many years of getting screwed by the judges made us far from virginal.

I believe, in all, our chorus has won eight second-place medals in the last nine years. The odd year was a third place medal, and I just won't talk about that one (actually, I wasn't on stage that year...Gabe's arrival was imminent).

This past weekend was chorus competition again. I didn't mention it because we have worked so hard each year and been so disappointed each year, that I'm getting tired of taking up bandwidth to even mention it. Ok, now that I've mentioned it, I guess you want to know how it went, huh? Well, all I have to say is...


I like to give credit where due, and I lifted this photo from the Great Lakes Chorus Web site (not my chorus) because I didn't take a picture of my own medal. But mine is also shiny and BLUE. BLUE BLUE BLUE!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Blog Tour: Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book

When I received the Working Woman's Pregnancy Book in the mail from MotherTalk, I decided that the best time to read it would be over lunch at work. After all, I'm a busy working mom who used to be a working pregnant woman. Context is everything. Then, it quickly dawned on me that if I were reading a pregnancy book at work I would have to first explain that, no, I’m not pregnant. Then, I would have to get into why I am reading the book, which might reveal my bloggity nature, and I do not want those I work with to have that much information about what goes on inside my head. So, instead, I read the book before bed at night (with a cup of tea and a cookie...or two).

The Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book, by Marjorie Greenfield, M.D., comes across as a meld between a “what to expect” type book (although not at all like WTEWYE) and a pregnancy message board (minus the cutesy stuff and babydust). The many stages of getting pregnant, being pregnant, birthing, and life with a newborn are covered in a factual, straightforward way. Along with each subheading, the author provides quotes from various working women who contributed their thoughts to the book. The combination gives the reader a good factual foundation along with some real life instances of when a pregnancy did (or did not) follow the book.

Overall, I will say that I liked the book as a pregnancy resource. The real question, though, is did it take the extra step to become a working woman’s pregnancy resource? I would say that yes, it did. I liked very much that the book addressed issues specific to the working woman. Dr. Greenfield covered when to tell your boss and coworkers you are pregnant, how to deal with feeling not so great while at work, FMLA and other maternity leave issues, when (and whether) to return to work, daycare options, and dealing with special circumstances (like sick kids, appointments, etc.). The factual information was presented clearly, but did stay at a fairly basic level. Those women wanting more detail on either general pregnancy information or work-specific pregnancy information will want to include other resources in their repertoire. I am an information hound, so when I was pregnant with my son, I think I read at least six or seven pregnancy books. Each one had something to offer me that was different from the rest. Had the Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book been available when I was expecting Gabe, it would have been on my must-read list. At the time, I found the other pregnancy books definitely lacking in how to approach being at work and going back to work. Most books were a throwback to the days when women stayed home after having children. This book, on the other hand, assumes that you are working and will continue to work. It makes me feel less like a second-class mom.

That being said, I am not 100% sold on the “flavor” quotes throughout the book. At first, I liked the way they nicely balanced the factual information. I thought that they became a bit overdone by the end, though. And I especially disliked when there were more than two quotes used to offset a particular piece of factual information. But this book is not about quotes and snippets. It’s about getting a bit of practical advice to help the working woman with the ups and downs of pregnancy. And on that count, the Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book delivers as promised (sorry…couldn’t resist).

In the interest of full disclosure, in exchange for my review, I received a free copy of the book and a gift certificate.

Monday, May 05, 2008

What a week

My life has gone from busy to super duper uber busy in a matter of a week. It's throwing me for a bit of a loop, if you must know the truth. And I know that you must know the truth. Essentially, a lot of work projects are happening in tandem, I have a few more projects on my plate because we just lost a member of our team (no, she didn't die...she's just moving on to greener pastures. Oh, wait- that still makes it sound like she died), and my chorus' competition is in two weeks. By the end of May, two major elements of my stress will be complete, and I will only have another dozen or so looming. Ha. Only.

In the meantime, I am reading another book for Mother Talk, and the review will be posted on May 13. If I weren't so busy at work, I'd leave the book lying around on my desk purely for the freak-out factor (it's a pregnancy book). But, given that we're all at the end of our rope to begin with, providing even the slightest hint that I have a "hidden agenda" would send a few good folk over the edge. I'm not going to do that. Well, not today at least.