Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Totally stolen from She Likes Purple.

DISCLAIMER: Um...Looks like I did read a lot of these. But...in my defense...I started reading at age 3, went to High School in Canada (where the required reading list is DAUNTING) and...well...I am a big dork.

Key1) Bold the books you have already read
2) Italicize the books you intend to read
3) Personally added: Notes in parentheses next to note-worthy titles.


1) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
2) The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (Um, sorry in advance, but can we say WORDY?)
3) Jane Eyre by Charlotte (DELICIOUS.)
4) Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (sadly, sadly addicted.)
5) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (would like to name my child Scout, but Demi and Bruce STOLE IT FROM ME YEARS BEFORE I WAS OF CHILD BEARING AGE.)
6) The Bible
7) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
8) Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell (ADORE Orwell.)
9) His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
10) Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
11) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (My favourite book from the time I was 7 until I discovered A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at 21.)
12) Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
13) Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
14) Complete Works of Shakespeare (Not my fault. Theatre major.)
15) Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
16) The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
17) Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
18) Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (Though it makes me think of “The Good Girl” more than the book…)
19) The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Slow going at first, then I adored it…)
20) Middlemarch by George Eliot
21) Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell (actually…embarrassingly…I am obsessed with the book and movie…I collect Gone with the Wind memorabilia…)
22) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
23) Bleak House by Charles Dickens
24) War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
25) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (My ex was obsessed…)
26) Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
27) Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28) Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (um...I didn't like this. Sorry. The Turtle chapters got to me.)
29) Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
30) The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
31) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Oprah made me do it. And, I gotta say…BORING.)
32) David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
33) Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis (ALL of them)
34) Emma by Jane Austen
35) Persuasion by Jane Austen
36) The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis (One of the books I read to Violet in my Belly.)
37) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
38) Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres
39) Memories of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (So heart-breaking.)
40) Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne (I think this would be good to read with Vi to the New Bebe in my Belly.)
41) Animal Farm by George Orwell (one of my favourites of all time…)
42) The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Angels and Demons was better.)
43) One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44) A Prayer for Owen Meaney by John Irving
45) The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
46) Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
47) Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
48) The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (I read the Robber Bride and Alias Grace a whole bunch of times...that should count...)
49) Lord of the Flies by William Golding ( DESPISE this book. The first time I ever hated something that was required reading)
50) Atonement by Ian McEwan
51) Life of Pi by Yann Martel
52) Dune by Frank Herbert (Jason makes me watch the RIDICULOUSLY LONG MOVIE, I should totally get credit for that.)
53) Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
54) Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
55) A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
56) The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57) A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
58) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Read in conjuction with 1984, not for credit. JUST BECAUSE.)
59) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
60) Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61) Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (The only reason I don’t despise Stienbeck)
62) Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (creepy, dude. CREEPY.)
63) The Secret History by Donna Tartt
64) The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
65) Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (BORING.)
66) On The Road by Jack Kerouac
67) Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
68) Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding (This made the list? Seriously?)
69) Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
70) Moby Dick by Herman Melville
71) Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens ( one of the first books I ever bawled through. I read when I was 8)
72) Dracula by Bram Stoker
73) The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
74) Notes From A Small Island by Bill Bryson
75) Ulysses by James Joyce (Strangley enough, I was inspired to read this by George Clooney.)
76) The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (Dude, I was angsty, and I even thought this was DEPRESSING. Well-written, but DEPRESSING.)
77) Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
78) Germinal by Emile Zola
79) Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
80) Possession by AS Byatt
81) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (LOVE LOVE LOVE.)
82) Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
83) The Color Purple by Alice Walker (CRY CRY CRY)
84) The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
85) Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (Um, I tried. Nope.)
86) A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
87) Charlotte's Web by EB White (I have been thinking of reading this with violet...but it seems kind of...morbid.)
88) The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
89) Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Read when I was 10. Liked Encyclopedia Brown better.)
90) The Faraway Tree Collection by Enid Blyton
91) Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
92) The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93) The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
94) Watership Down by Richard Adams
95) A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
96) A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
97) The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas (Aramis, my heart be still.)
98) Hamlet by William Shakespeare (The Taming of the Shrew is better.)
99) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
100) Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

so...50 out of 100. Not bad, I suppose. I am surprised, I always feel so less well-read than everyone else around me.

*Anyone remember this program from elementary school? You read so many books and they gave you a free personal pan pizza coupon form Pizza Hut? I was drowning in personal pan pizza coupons....

Monday, July 28, 2008

One of the ways having a daughter brightens my day...

how can you be grumpy after watching this?

By the way, my ma does not have cancer! Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers.

She has been diagnosed with something called Histiocytosis, though we don't know the extent yet. Any info any of you have is more than welcome.

I spent 2 weeks on edge, waiting to hear the results, but holding it together. When I found out, I cried, got a fever, then slept all afternoon. Then I got up, picked a fight with Jason, cried some more, then fell asleep again. Apparently, I handle a crisis well, but after the crisis is over, WATCH OUT, HERE COMES THE CRAZY. Luckily, the next morning I was back to normal.

Ma and I have a close bond...actually, the four women in my immediate family are all very close. Ma is the matriarch, I am the crazy one, Mandie is reliable and hilarious, Bethany is a bit of a diva but also very big-hearted. I speak to one or more of them at least twice a week, despite the 3,000 mile gap between us. I want to think of this as a natural bond; but the more I see of other women and the women they are related to...the more I think we must be unnatural. It is not the norm for four highly-charged and passionate women to be so close.

We do all work to stay close, to stay involved in each other lives. But we are very lucky to have a mother who encouraged and fostered our friendships.

Though I will love my bebe-in-baking no matter the gender, I am hoping for another girl. I want my daughter to have the built-in support system I have been blessed with.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

cherish her.

A woman on Oprah, victim of horrific abuse, made a comment about always knowing she would leave a man for hitting her, but that she didn't realize that by that time it was too late.

I live in a state with some of the highest rates of crime against woman in the country. I know too many women who have been abused. I know women who have been nearly killed, who have been strangled while pregnant, who have permanent scars from the men in their lives.

Why? I wish I knew. I wish I could take every ounce of domestic violence away. I wish my daughter didn't have to grow up in a world where this is so commonplace. How am I supposed to protect her? How do I teach her to know which partner will truly love her, and which one will shred her dignity, her mind, her body?

It seems to start off so minutely. Just these little jabs, this slow pecking away of self esteem, imperceptible to the naked eye. Snide comments about looks, intelligence, talent, common sense, housekeeping habits, anything. Slowly escalating to outright insults, name calling, blatant condescension.

He makes you feel as though you have brought it on yourself. He is a manipulator who makes you think it is all your fault. He makes you feel that everything that goes wrong in his life is at your hands.

I know this firsthand. I was in the place where I was made to feel low. I was made to believe I was nothing and deserved worse. I literally lost all of myself, and thought there was nothing in me worth loving.

I was lucky. When he threw the shoe at my head, I ended it. I was able to go to my parents. I was able to get out.

It was a long recovery. I didn't date for a year, trying to find myself. Through friends, family, faith, and soul searching, I had regained most of my former self by the time I met my gorgeous and loving husband.

But I know so many who are not so lucky. Girls who believe the man who could do this to them could really love them. (they can't.) Who believe they will get better on their own. (they won't.) And who truly think that they are at least partially to blame. (they aren't.)

I want so much for them. I want to give them strength and power. I want to give them a place to go. I want to take away the hurt and restore the confidence. I want them to be the people I know they were before.

I want them to be healed so I can have hope for my daughter's future. I can only instill so much in her, I can only go so far.

At some point, I will have to let her go and let her fly.

I am terrified by this thought. Chilled to the bone.

My dirty little secret.

I hate pregnancy.

Not something you expect to hear from someone who yearned for another child. Nor from any mother, really. We are conditioned to believe that pregnancy is magical and we glow and rainbows shoot out of our butts.

And it is magical. Let me just say up front that I am Astounded (capital on purpose) by the things my body does to sustain this life. I am so very grateful to be nourishing my next child, to be the haven where the bebe develops.

But I am tired of this process I have barely begun.

There is no glow. There is SWEAT. Because even if you feel like you are chilly, you are sweating through the ‘clinical strength’ deodorant and the cami you have to wear to keep your belly from hanging out and the shirt over that and the sweater you wrap around yourself, cause gosh darn it, it is CHILLY. And it SMELLS.

The thick, lustrous hair is a lie. It just looks thicker because of the knots between the layers. That is not shine, that is grease.

Clear skin? HA! My bacne and zit on my NECK (WHAT?!?!) mock that notion.

You notice I waddle? That is because the hormones are loosening my limbs for my hyperactive bebe to expand its living quarters and knocking my hips out of place.

That knowing little smile? Just means that you should move out of the path to the toilet because I am about to hurl.

I am tired of being unable to get comfortable. Of getting up in the middle of the night to pee. Of not being able to eat anything. Of wanting to vomit at the most inopportune moments. Of losing my patience. Of being worn out. Of taking half doses of my anti-depressants, and worrying that the little bit I am taking will forever damage my child.

I am jealous of women who do this effortlessly, who can breeze through pregnancy like a little blip in the road. My body looks like it should be built for babies, but it takes pregnancy hard. I wonder why I seem to struggle so much through something that is a natural event that millions of women endure. I feel like I am not the strong woman I know I am.

I want coffee and sushi and midol.

But more than that, I want my baby. I want my daughter’s sibling. I want to kiss it and love it and know that it is ok and not worry that the heartbeat stopped or I did something wrong I never knew about and there will be no more baby.

This growing babies business is tough.

*I mean no disrespect to those women who are having a hard time getting pregnant. I AM grateful for this pregnancy, and I KNOW how lucky I am. Just a vent, ladies!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Grumps.

I feel like crap. I can barely keep anything down, my back aches, my hips ache, I am tired. I think I need to get my wisdom teeth yanked soon, and I want nothing more than a cup of coffee and a handful of ibuprofen. But instead of whining, how about listing some things I am grateful for?

  • A February due date. I love that my next child is going to share my birth month. Valentine’s day is my second most favorite holiday, and I have visions of heart-themed birthday parties.
  • Reaching the 10 week mark. Making my way out of the single digits was cause for celebration.
  • A husband who makes geeky smart jokes and just assumes I know what he is talking about.
  • Even if I don’t.
  • A daughter who can not only tell me when she has an ear infection (“I have owie in my eaw, Mama.”), but also does not scream at the doctor trying to make her feel better.
  • A daughter who has never given me a hard time about taking medicine. At this point, I just hand her the squirter and she gives it to herself.
  • A Monday afternoon on the couch, watching Spongebob with my girl.
  • A husband who doesn’t make a mess when he pees. I never knew what a problem that was till reading truemomconfessions.
  • Two best friends willing to do anything to make this time easier for me, whether it is cleaning my house or letting me sleep on their shoulder, or yelling at my hubby for not pampering me.
  • Rainy days. I love them, I really do.
  • My ma who makes me laugh. And my sisters who do the same thing. No matter what is going on with them…like my mother’s current screenings for cancer, or my sister’s car accident, or my other sister’s complications from a tonsillectomy…we are those people who laugh through grief.
  • Soda. You make my tummy happy, though you also make me fart.
  • My life. My wonderful baby, my one on the way, my fabulous husband, my girls, my family, my everything. And also, lying on the couch all night while Jason does all the housework.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

just some thoughts.

There cotton floating through the air.

I believe it is the traveling seed of a tree here, maybe a cottonwood? When it is time for pollination and growth, it frees itself from its home and dances away.

It does not seem to rest. It falls in a floaty, lazy way toward the ground, then is caught by a slight upwards currant and goes racing back to the sky. It circles around you as you walk, surrounding you like so many fairies.

And just when you think it has come to rest - on the ground, on a bench, on a car - the slightest breeze comes along, more gentle than you or I would even notice. It is off again.

Days like this, when the sky is gray, the workload is high, and my focus is gone, I long to be one of those pieces of cotton.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Whaaa...? O, yeah, I haz a blog.


been a long time, eh?

*sheepish grin*

Sorry about that!!!

Some news with me:

Violet goes in the potty for M&M's. When we told daycare she was ready to start using the big girl potty, we were informed she had been 'doing that for awhile'. Apparently, she figured we could wipe her bum till we thought of an appropriate bribe.

It is sunny and above 60 degrees for the Third! Day! In! A! Row! Which means it will rain all over us at the parade on Friday.

I am glad to say I missed the whole Fussy/Fussypants blog fiasco. I am no longer in middle school, so it would have given me a headache to participate.

I think that is it. except, OH YEAH! I am all knocked up. :O

I found out 3 1/2 weeks ago, and immediately vomited. Then had a nervous breakdown. Trying to carry another child shortly after losing one to miscarriage is difficult, harrowing. I never expected that. I was a complete and utter wreck for a little over 2 weeks. I could not bring myself to announce till just now. But I have seen the sac. Next week I will see the heartbeat. I have gotten past the stage I was at when I lost Max.

I am due on Valentine's Day. Keep me in you prayers.