Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blog Tour: The Pregnancy Journal

When I received my copy of The Pregnancy Journal by A. Christine Harris, Ph.D., I was skeptical that a book with a day to day format would appeal to me. I am not someone who does well with too rigorous a routine. If I were to classify my routine, "routine" would be far from accurate. But I really enjoyed having the opportunity to review this book. And had I known about it when I was pregnant, I would have loved following the little daily facts, quips, and quotes. Of course, knowing me, I would have read the whole thing at once. And then again. And again.

The Pregnancy Journal is set up to provide information day by day throughout your pregnancy. Each day has some general information about the baby, about you, and then at least one item from a variety of categories like "Food Facts", "Childbirth Then and Now", "Childbirth in Other Cultures", and "For Your Health." The short entries are informative, interesting, and often amusing. And they are just the right bite-size amount for when you are suffering from pregnancy brain. And each page includes a relevant quote at the bottom. Here is one of my favorite tidbits, filed under Childbirth Then and Now:

"In colonial America, it was common to have the laboring woman seated on her husband's lap, he being seated on a chair. He would hold on to the woman around the top of her abdomen or under her arms. As a male writer commented in 1882:
The position was certainly not a bad one for all parties with the exception of the husband who, in tedious cases, suffered rather severely; but then this little tax on his affectionate nature was, in those days, considered the very least return he could make for the mischief he had occasioned."

That is actually one of the longer entries, but I loved the last little part about "mischief." Oh, those wacky colonials!

Having nothing to do with the great content, I also liked that the book was study and spiral bound. If a woman were to record thoughts, facts, and milestones throughout the book as it indicates, there is nothing worse than not being able to write on the left hand page because the book won't open properly. The spiral binding lets one lay the book flat and turn pages easily. Good for both writing and reading, and a great way to keep the record of pregnancy intact long after.

Other than the fact that I would never have recorded my weight or waist size throughout the journey, I fully embraced the rest of the book. Kudos to Harris for pulling together this clever book and many thanks to Mother Talk for asking me to write a review.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Is this thing on?

Hello? Hello?

Yes- I'm still here. Can't seem to form a coherent thought to save my life and, what, with the writing-as-a-career thing going on that's not so good. So, I've been spending time at work banging my head against a wall trying to finish my projects and then coming up with exactly how to word something late in the evening. To harness the productivity, I've taken to working after the kids go to sleep at night. I won't even mention to you the size of my laundry monster (it tried to eat the dog) and things like dust, iron, and sweep are considered four-letter words in our house, and we don't use language like that (yes, I know that sweep has five letters...go with me on this, ok?).

Here's what's been keeping me busy when I'm not working:

Mr. D will be starting a new job on July 1. Right now, we commute together, which is lovely because he loves me so much and drops me off at the door of my building and then takes the kids to daycare, and I have to just sleepily stumble up a few stairs and voila! I'm at work. After July 1, all child transporting and self transporting will fall to me. Bleh. The least evil of all the solutions (because we opted to ignore Cthulhu's ideas) was to get a new parking lease near the daycare (about a mile from my office) and transport myself via foot or bus to and from that location. No problem. My concern, however, is that I am NOT a morning person, I have never been a morning person, and if I can't leave the house at least 30 minutes earlier than we do right now, I will never make it to work on time. I know- wah, wah. I have to start being freakin' organized, and get the kids clothes together the night before, and my clothes the night before (I spent 15 minutes looking for a belt this morning before I said screw it and then had to get dressed all over again), and use the crock pot a lot more so that we are not eating dog kibble for dinner.* I am so thrilled for him to have this new job, but I am terrified that my little world is going to crumble in on itself. How the hell do single moms do it? I am completely serious. They deserve medals.

Before the end of the month we have to replace one car with something that probably won't die at a moment's notice. Our earlier plans for stimulus check = minivan downpayment are being trumped by the new fact that we will be driving to work separately and have no intentions of feeding two gas guzzlers (the gas sipping car is the one dying). So, we will get something little and cute (and not too pricey because the big one is likely to go bye-bye within a couple of's old) but it has to have enough room in the back seat for the kids just in case. I have never bought a new car in my life. I have always been blessed with good car karma. I am not looking forward to this because I keep thinking that we're going to get screwed or hate the car in a month or something else terrible.

I have agreed to again chair fundraising for my chorus (but insisted that there be three of us to share the burden). I must be insane. Any fundraising ideas that have worked for groups you know are welcome. Keep in mind that we are a mixed-age group (early 20's to early 80's), spread out over a pretty large geographic area (about a two-hour's drive diameter), and have a sizeable collection of nay-sayers (so helpful!). But I'm coming up empty at the moment.

Ok- back to work. Maybe if I pretend I'm just about to go to sleep the writing will come to me more easily.

*Actually, Mr. D has said that he will go to work early and get home in time to have dinner ready by the time we get there (6:30-ish). I hope that it works out.