Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book Review: Beauty for Ashes


I used to be able to read a book in one day, usually in one sitting, before I had children. However, that is NOT the case these days as the demands of a 5 year old and a 2 year old are often overwhelming that I do good to get to read for 1/2 hour a day. However, since I have been put on modified bed rest, I have made time to read. And I think it is good for my children to see me enjoying reading while they are reading and/ or playing with their toys. That being said, I found myself beginning and reading a WHOLE book in one day (not in one sitting mind you, but over the course of the entire day!) the other day. That book was.....


This book drew me in from page 1 and kept me wanting to read more and more and NOT put the book down.

From the back cover:

"After losing her husband in the Civil War, Carrie Daly is scared she will never have a the family she longs for. Eligible bachelors are scarce in Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, but Carrie has found love. No the weak-in-the-knees kind, but something practical. Still, she isn't quite ready to set a wedding date with Nate Chastain.

Griff Rutledge is a former member of Charleston society, but has been estranged from his family for years. He's determined to remain unattached, never settling in one place for too long. But when asked to train a Thoroughbred for an upcoming race in Hickory Ridge, he decides to stay awhile.

Despite objections from the townsfolk, and her fear that true happiness had elude her, Carrie is drawn to Griff's kindness and charm. It will take a leap of faith for them to open their hearts and claim God's promise to give beauty for ashes."

Beauty for Ashes is beautifully written with a twist of charm and elegance. You really feel for the struggles of the characters in their dealing with the hardships of the time. Each character, both the major characters and the minor ones, are very well developed with their own hardships and struggles to overcome both alone and overlapping with other characters' struggles. But with God's grace love prevails and what is meant to be will be.

This novel is the second in "The Hickory Ridge" series; the first being Beyond All Measure. I didn't have to read the first novel to understand anything in Beauty for Ashes; however, since I enjoyed this one so much, Beyond All Measure, has been added to my books to read list.

Disclaimer: This book was provided free of charge from Thomas Nelson publishers and booksneeze.com. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Review: The Deliverer



I was recently contacted by author Jason D. Morrow to see if I was interested in doing a book review of his book The Deliverer: Book One in the Marenon Chronicles. As I have been trying to expand my horizons of reading  and after reading the synopsis on Amazon.com,I eagerly agreed.

From Amazon.com:

Prophecies are not always clear. That is what seventeen-year-old Silas Ainsley learns when he finds himself in a realm called Marenon. The only way to get to Marenon is to die, and Silas has just arrived. The people of Marenon are nearing the brink of war and many of them claim that Silas is the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. Each group wants to use him for their own purposes, and he doesn't know who is trustworthy. With the help of a lawless band of mercenaries, Silas must journey to uncover the meaning of the prophecy before Marenon falls to ruin.The only way to get to Marenon is to die, and Silas has just arrived.

The Deliverer is an epic fantasy, written primarily from two different points of view---one of Silas, a 17 year old boy who is "The Deliverer", and the other of Julian, who is from Marenon and has a position of power within that realm. The Deliverer begins in the world of Earth, before moving to an after death world of Marenon. Once in Marenon, we follow the story of Silas and Julian as they work to figure out the world in which different races are working to either combine in peace or make each other non-existant. In this is the intrique of who gets into Marenon and who does not? Why do some people live there when others do not get the opportunity? All of this along with an epic adventure full of giants, thieves, flying creatures, etc. That being said this is Book 1, so the story did not come to a complete end. We are left wondering if Silas will truly be "The Deliverer" and wondering what that actually means?

The Deliverer was an epic adventure story that I could not put down. I read it over the course of 2 days and I could NOT put it down. The characterizations of the characters, the plot twists and turns and the imagery that Morrow employs made for a great read! I am SO glad that I chose to review this book! I can't wait to get Book 2 to see what happens!

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from the author in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. I did not have to write a positive review.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pregnancy update: Week 33--Thoughts and what has been going on


Yesterday I was officially 33 weeks along.

For the past 2 weeks I have been on modified bed rest, which is harder than it may seem.

I have not been into work to do any work, I have only worked a couple hours at home on the computer for my job. I have been doing almost nothing at home. Hubby has taken over most of the hard housework, like laundry, going grocery shopping, and moving furniture around for me.  I haven't been going anywhere, except to the hospital twice a week for non-stress tests and to the doctors office.

Sounds idyllic, right?

Well NOT for me. I feel like the walls are closing in on me. I know that I am supposed to rest, but it is SOOO HARD. That is not my personality!  When I want something done, I usually just do it. I am NOT one to stay at home all the time. It is hard to be patient, even though I know that it is best for baby.

Now don't get me wrong, there has been some upsides to being on modified bed rest. My blood pressure, while still high, has come down some since I am not working. I have been able to read a couple of the books that I have had for review purposes (look for these reviews really soon). I have been able to oversee the switching of Rebecca and Jacob's bedrooms. (We moved Rebecca into Jacob's old room which was the smaller bedroom and we moved Jacob into the bigger bedroom so he can share it with the baby when the baby comes). I have been able to order things online for the baby and have hubby pick them up. I have been able to do more swagbuck searches, mypoints searches and other things online.

Today I went to have another non-stress test done. It was reactive (which is good) even though my bp was still high :( I go back to the doctor on Friday. I don't think I will go until April 16 which is my official due date. I don't want to go too early, but I am getting to the stage where I am uncomfortable, having heartburn and just feeling like a beached whale.

I just have to focus on keeping the baby cooking until it is time for him to be born. And relish the 2 times a week I get to spend time hearing his heartbeat during the NSTs and feeling him move.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Book Review: 5 Reasons to Leave a Lover


I have said before that I am trying to expand my horizons when it comes to reading. The last time I read a novella or short stories (other than in a magazine) was probably back in college when they were required reading. That was probably 10+ years ago. I was excited that Carolyn Moncel asked me to review her new book as it was another way to expand my horizons.

Five Reasons to Leave a Lover is the first book of Moncel's that I have read, and I was quite pleased with the character development in both the novella and the 2 included short stories.

From the back cover:

" In 5 Reasons to Leave a Lover, author Carolyn Moncel offers up a fresh batch of stories based on love and loss. As singer/songwriter, Paul Simaon so eloquently suggested in a fomaous song from the 1970s, there are many ways to leave a lover.

However, Moncel's characters demonstrate that the reasons for leaving in the first place are quite finite. Encounters in Paris' Ellery and Julien Roulet return, picking up there lives where the short story, "Pandora's Box Revisited," ends. This time the Roulets are incolved in a love triangle, and along with two toher couples, must explore how love relationships are affected and splinter due to abuse, ambivalence, deception, cheating and death. This bittersweet collection of tales proves that some breakups are necessarey; while others are voluntary; and still others are simply destind and beyond anyone's control."

Moncel made the characters come to live in a believable manner. There really wasn't any outlandish features in the stories that made them unbelievable. Even though I was not able to read any previous works by Moncel, I still felt like I wasn't missing anything from reading this book and learning of the characters.

Overall I would recommend this book as a quick read to anyone looking for something different to read.

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

President's Day


Today is a day off of work and school for many people. Please take a moment to remember not only our past presidents but also our current president. Even if you don't agree with who our president is, please take a moment to pray that he has the courage and strength to make the right decisions at the right time for our country. We won't agree with everything that our president does but we need to trust that he will lead our country. On today, President's Day, may be pray that the wisdom of past presidents shine upon our current leader.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Comforts Brand by Kroger


Being a Bzzagent has it's perks! I have been able to test and review various products over the last 2 years. I was so excited to get a chance to be a part of this new campaign for Comforts brand by Kroger.

After signing up, I received my bzzagent package in the mail. It included a box of Comforts Wipes, a coupon for a free package of Comforts diapers, a pack of Comforts brand sippy cups and coupons for 20% off to share with other parents that I know.


COMFORT BRAND WIPES
The first thing that I tried was the Comforts brand Wipes. THEY ARE AWESOME!!!! They are thick, but not too thick. They hold just the right amount of moisture and are neither too wet nor too dry for me to use. Also I found that I didn't have to worry about them tearing or splitting while I was changing my 2 year olds diaper. Another advantage was that they are priced several dollars cheaper than national brands and that is great for our grocery conscious budget. I will definitely be using these for the brand new baby as well!

COMFORT BRAND DIAPERS
After really liking the wipes, I decided to give the diapers a try. I used the coupon to get a pack of size 6 diapers for Jacob- my 2 year old. We have used various diapers on him in the past, including Pampers, Huggies, and lately Luvs. I have found that they either irritate him or they leak and that is NOT cool in my book. So I figured I would try the diapers (they were free). I will admit that when I opened the diapers I was unimpressed. They seemed flimsly and thin. Boy was I wrong! The diapers held up a lot better than any of the other brands that I have tried. We had NO leakage at all during the day or during the night! The only complaint that I have about these diapers is that my Kroger does not sell size 6 in the big boxes!

We have not tried the sippy cups that we received, as they are meant for ages 6 months to 12 months and Jacob is past that age. I will save them though for the new baby and I am sure they will be a hit!

Overall I was VERY impressed with the quality and low cost of the Kroger Comfort brand diapers and wipes. I WILL be using them in the future with the new baby and still with Jacob. I love the fact that they are low priced without giving up the a large portion of our grocery budget to buy them!

Disclaimer: I was sent these products free to try as a BzzAgent! All opinions are my own.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pregnancy week 31: Bedrest here I come

Went to the doctor for my 31 week appointment.

My 24 hour urine test came back fine.

My blood pressure is still acting up...aka staying high.

So my doctor has recommended that I go on partial bed rest.

Which means that I have to go off work (unpaid) and that stinks. I am going to be on call for work if they find it necessary for me to be there, but other than that I am not allowed to go grocery shopping, doing unnecessary walking, etc. I am going to go stir crazy. I also have to start going to the hospital 2 times a week for non-stress tests. The goal is to get me to 35 weeks at the earliest.

The good news in all of this is baby is growing well, moving around well, and heartbeat sounds good.

MUST FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A surprise in the mail for Rebecca

A couple weeks ago on Facebook, I saw a giveaway for the first 5 people who responded got a copy of Children's author Kyle Mewburn's new book sent to them signed and personalized. I was #4 on the list and won a copy. I asked that he personalize it for Rebecca.


Well....What I didn't realize was that Kyle Mewburn is an author in...NEW ZEALAND!!!

I realized this when we received Rebecca's book in the mail the other day. I was pleasantly surprised that not only did he send her the promised book, but he also sent 2 more books, and a note about how he thought it was silly to send 1 book across the world!


Rebecca was THRILLED! And in awe that they came from New Zealand. (I showed her where it was on the map compared to where we are in Ohio.)
It was incredibly sweet of him to mail them and to personalize each of them for her!

Again, a BIG SHOUT OUT and THANK YOU to Kyle Mewburn for making my daughter's day!! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!
May your day be filled with lots of Love! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Menu Plan and to do list for the week

Hello Monday. Here we go again. Another week. Another menu plan and another to do list. Hopefully I will be successful with both.


This week our choices for dinner include:

Pot roast, potatoes, carrots and onions (in the crockpot)
Ham and cheese, and pepperoni and cheese crescent rollups with fruit salad
Manwich sandwiches, green beans, corn
Taco bake/ macaroni and cheese
Baked chicken, baked potatoes, peas and carrots
leftovers
????

I don't assign a day to each meal. I find that it works best for us to decide the morning of what we are going to have.

Now on to this week's to do list:



This week I hope to get the following accomplished:
  • Finish 24 hour test, take to lab and get blood drawn
  • Kids to doctor appointment
  • My 31 week doctors appointment
  • Get baby bin out of basement and wash and store bottles
  • Go through at least 2 cycles of Swagbucks TV each day
  • Make 2 loaves zucchini bread for freezer
  • Balance checkbook (been slacking on this)
  • Freeze strawberries, melon and yogurt for smoothies
  • Read at least 1/2 of Beauty for Ashes for book review
I think that is a good list for the week. I hope that I will have the energy to get it all accomplished.

What are you eating this week? What is on your to do list this week?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My First "Sunday Night Chit-Chat"

The last couple weeks, I kept seeing people participating in "Sunday Night Chit-Chat" hosted by Carla @ My 1/2 Dozen Daily. This week I will finally participate in my FIRST one!


Baby Boy's face taken in an ultrasound this past week. Can't wait to meet him in person!
 Reading?
I actually have been really bad about reading lately. I have 5 books that I need to read for review, but I haven't had time or energy. I did read the Sunday paper today, so hopefully that counts!

Watching?

Right now nothing. I don't watch a lot of tv. In our house the tv is usually on cartoons for the kiddos or sports for the hubby. Might turn some basketball or something on after the kids are in bed for the noise.

Listening to?

Jacob playing with his crayons and Rebecca is watching "Blue's Big Musical"

Cooking/Baking?

Tonight was a leftovers night for dinner. Yesterday, I fried up 4 pounds of hamburger for the freezer--2 I left plain, and 2 lbs were made into taco meat. I also made a dozen regular size pumpkin muffins and a dozen mini pumpkin muffins.

Happy you accomplished this week?

Catching up on my blog. Got a lot of work done for work. Have the freezer full of food for when baby comes. Bought the baby stuff that I needed in case baby comes early.

Looking forward to next week?

It is going to be a busy week. I have 2 doctors appointments (one for blood work and one with my OB). Hopefully I will get some answers and some clarification for when baby is going to come.

Thankful for today?

A wonderful, understanding husband who understands that I am EXTRA tired and trying to cut back. He has stepped it up big time by doing laundry and he carried in all the groceries today! I love him to pieces and am so grateful for him!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I have been tagged....


I have been absent from blogging and reading blogs the last few days as I have been dealing with pregnancy issues and just being TIRED!!! Today as I was catching up on my blog reading, I realized that I HAD BEEN TAGGED by Kim at "Out My Window".

Here are the rules:

1, Post the rules
2. Answer the 11 questions
3. Make up 11 new questions
4. Tag 11 new people
5. Let them know they have been tagged

OK. Here are Kim's 11 questions and my answers:

1. Why do you blog about personal finance?

I don't really exclusively blog about personal finance. But I do what I do because it helps me stay accountable and it helps me to see in black and white what our issues are. I HATE being in debt, but can't seem to make any headway. I hope that by blogging I can at least get some ideas about what to do and implement them.

2. What is your favorite vegetable?

Fresh Corn on the Cob

3. What is the worst financial mistake you ever made?  Was it a mistake or on purpose?
Opening my credit cards. I did it when I moved out on my own and fell for the save 15% if you open our store card, etc. So it was kind of on purpose but definitely a mistake.

4. Do you like that new car smell?

I suppose.

5. Do you own pets?

No.

6. Do you have a bad habit you would like to quit?

Drinking too much pop.

7. Are you going to watch the Academy Awards?

Probably not.

8. If you were debt free, what would you do with all your extra money?

Take our kids to the beach for a vacation.

9. How much time do you spend blogging on average?
I go in spurts. Sometimes I blog 4-5 times a week. Other times it is 1-3. Depends on what is going on in my life at the time.

10. What is your favorite season? Why?  If you can't choose list the order.

Spring---because the air smells fresher and there is a newness that I love.

11. Do you ever look back at your life and think okay that was one thing I did right?  What was it?

Emailing my now hubby after seeing his profile on an online dating website.

Okay here are my new questions:

1. What is your proudest financial moment?
2. What is your favorite household product that you own?
3. What is your favorite food to make?
4. What do you wish you were able to do more often?
5. 10 years from now where do you see yourself?
6. What are your hobbies?
7. What is the one piece of advice you always give to people?
8. Would you rather live by the beach, in the mountains or in the city? Why?
9. If money were no obstacle, what is one thing you would buy for yourself?
10. Why do you blog?
11. What is your best accomplishment in your life?

Okay now on to my Taggies:

Lisa @ Cents to Save
Gill @ That British Woman
Judi @ Livin' Large- Tales of a Blended Family
Sarah @ Confessions of a Slacker Mom
Melissa @ Mom's Plans
Penny @ The Saved Quarter
Jenn @ Jenn's RAQ
Brooke Anna @ Mommy Does
Canadian Saver @ Saving 4 Later
Jennifer @ Getting Ahead
Mindy @ Living on 1 Income

So there you have it! Good luck to the new taggies!

The Million Dollar Question

Well, it really isn't worth a million dollars BUT to me and my hubby it IS the million dollar question....



WHEN IS THIS BABY GOING TO COME????

On Thursday, I had to go in for a growth ultrasound due to my pregnancy induced hypertension. I was technically 30 weeks 3 days along, with a due date of April 16.



As the ultrasound tech is doing her measurements, she asked me 3 different times if I was sure that the due date was April 16. I kept saying yes. As I was laying there watching the screen, she would measure different things, and everything was measuring way AHEAD of schedule. Most of the organs were measuring between 32 and 35 weeks. The head was measuring 37 weeks along.

As she finished up her measurements, I went to the restroom (WHY DID I HAVE TO HAVE  A FULL BLADDER AT 30 WEEKS???? CANT THE MACHINE SEE THE BABY FINE WITHOUT A FULL BLADDER?) and when I came back, she said that baby was weighing in right now at.....5 POUNDS!!! WHAT!?!?!?!?

As we were leaving, she did say that she didn't have the authority to change my due date, but she wouldn't be surprised if I had it sooner than April 16.

Man, oh, man. I can tell you that my nesting instinct has kicked in full circle this past week. It has been hard to get a ton done, because I am still having issues with my blood pressure and I have been really tired. Also baby boy has been laying the wrong way and I have been having pain in my bottom and side (yesterday I had pain in my side at work that caused me to leave work early). I still have to do the 24 hour urine test tomorrow and get blood work on Monday, then go back to my OB on Thursday. It will be interesting to see what she has to say.

My gut is telling me that I maybe having a March baby instead of an April baby.

What do you think?

Anyone want to guess about when I will give birth? 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

FREE Amazon Kindle book: THE DARKENING DREAM (February 7th and 8th only!)

FREE Two Days Only: A Vampire Novel with Actual Bite!


As the modern world establishes itself and pushes the supernatural into the shadows, the supernatural fights back.

The Darkening Dream is a chilling new dark fantasy novel by Andy Gavin, creator of Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter, that has received rave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and is FREE for two days only on Amazon Kindle (February 7th to 8th)! Download your FREE copy here: http://amzn.to/yTvZPG

Long-time readers of dark historical fantasy (Tim Powers, Guy Gavriel Kay, Katherine Kurtz) will appreciate the weaving together of mythology, occult, and religion, while younger readers and fans of HBO dramas (True Blood, Carnivàle) or urban fantasy (Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher) will be drawn to the twisted imagination, graphic action, and romantic tension.

About The Darkening Dream

Even as the modern world pushes the supernatural aside in favor of science and steel, the old ways remain. God, demon, monster, and sorcerer alike plot to regain what was theirs.

1913, Salem, Massachusetts – Sarah Engelmann’s life is full of friends, books, and avoiding the pressure to choose a husband, until an ominous vision and the haunting call of an otherworldly trumpet shake her. When she stumbles across a gruesome corpse, she fears that her vision was more of a premonition. And when she sees the murdered boy moving through the crowd at an amusement park, Sarah is thrust into a dark battle she does not understand.

With the help of Alex, an attractive Greek immigrant who knows a startling amount about the undead, Sarah sets out to uncover the truth. Their quest takes them to the factory mills of Salem, on a midnight boat ride to spy on an eerie coastal lair, and back, unexpectedly, to their own homes. What can Alex’s elderly, vampire-hunting grandfather and Sarah’s own rabbi father tell them? And what do Sarah’s continuing visions reveal?

No less than Gabriel’s Trumpet, the tool that will announce the End of Days, is at stake, and the forces that have banded to recover it include a 900 year-old vampire, a trio of disgruntled Egyptian gods, and a demon-loving Puritan minister. At the center of this swirling cast is Sarah, who must fight a millennia-old battle against unspeakable forces, knowing the ultimate prize might be her very soul.

The Reviews Are In

"A vampire novel with actual bite." ~The Kirkus Reviews

"Mr. Gavin has brought something refreshingly new to a genre now suffused with poorly-concealed bodice-rippers which have more in common with Fabio than Bram Stoker: depth. His big baddies are scary, not romantic interests, and the added religious lore is complex and engaging. Don't expect another Twilight -- the story can get downright creepy, so be prepared for a return to the old horror sensibilities of supernatural fiction." ~Amazon Review

"With Mr. Gavin's video-game pedigree, I was expecting something aimed squarely at the 18-25 year old fanboy contingent; what I got in The Darkening Dream was something wholly unexpected: A period novel with a female protagonist, a crash-course on Judaism in the colonial years, and multi-layered series of plot arcs featuring a crazy cast of natural and supernatural characters populating 18th Century Colonial America." ~Amazon Review

"…A perfect blend of mystery, magic and myth. A grown-up Grimm's fairy tale...emphasis on grim." ~Amazon Review

Read the first two sample chapters here  http://bit.ly/xXVxXS

Get your FREE copy of The Darkening Dream for two days only on Amazon here. http://amzn.to/yTvZPG

No eReader or Kindle? No problem. Get free apps for your Web Browser, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, or Android Phone.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Book review: The Harvest of Grace

The Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall is book 3 in the Ada's House series.While I have not read the first 2 books, I can say that this book was a very good read. There is a short summary in the beginning to reacquaint or to acquaint you with the characters, as well as a glossary and summary of characters at the end of the book to help the reader, like me, whom may not have read the first 2 books.



In Harvest of Grace, Woodsmall offers another wonderful story filled with love and understanding of God's love.

From Amazon.com (The synopsis):

"Although Sylvia Fisher recognizes that most Old Order Amish women her age spend their hours managing a household and raising babies, she has just one focus—tending and nurturing the herd on her family’s dairy farm. But when a dangerous connection with an old beau forces her to move far from home, she decides to concentrate on a new start and pour her energy into reviving another family’s debt-ridden farm.

After months in rehab, Aaron Blank returns home to sell his Daed’s failing farm and move his parents into an easier lifestyle. Two things stand in his way: the father who stubbornly refuses to recognize that Aaron has changed and the determined new farmhand his parents love like a daughter. Her influence on Aaron’s parents could ruin his plans to escape the burdens of farming and build a new life.

Can Aaron and Sylvia find common ground? Or will their unflinching efforts toward opposite goals blur the bigger picture— a path to forgiveness, glimpses of grace, and the promise of love."

Harvest of Grace is about accepting God's forgiveness and allowing yourself to give forgiveness and Grace to those in our lives whom we may be harboring ill feelings toward. I enjoyed this book very much especially due to it's plot and character development.

DISCLAIMER: I received this book free from Waterbrook Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

To do list and Menu Plan for the week

Last week I accomplished most of what was on my to do list, even with the doctors orders to slow down and take it easy! Yay! Go me!

Here is my to do list for this week! These are in no particular order but are things that I want to get done.
  • Read at least 1 books for review
  • Write 1 product review on blog
  • scour ads to make price matching sheet for grocery shopping this weekend
  • ultrasound appointment on Thursday
  • work 4 days this week, leaving early every day by at least an hour!
  • have 4 no spend days
  • Take blood pressure 2 times a day (per doctors orders)
  • Fry up 5 lbs of hamburger to have in freezer in case I am put on bed rest for easy meals for hubby to make.
  • Portion up and freeze yogurt for smoothies
These are just some of the things I would like to get done. Hopefully I can accomplish them!

Now onto our menu plan for the week:



I make a list of what we have available for the week and then I choose one each morning depending on the mood we are in and what is going on. Here is what we have available for this week:

Pizza calzones and green beans and fruit
Whole chicken in crockpot, mixed veggies, stuffing
Hamburger helper
Pizza
Chicken pasta alfredo
Italian sausage, peppers and pasta
leftovers

For more great menu ideas please visit: orgjunkie.com

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pregnancy Week 29 update....uh oh....

Today I went to the doctor for my 29 week checkup. There was a lot of emotion involved in this appointment.

First of all a little background....when I was at the doctor 2 weeks ago, she wanted me to keep track of my blood pressure at home for 2 weeks as my blood pressure was elevated and we wanted to see if this was a pattern. So I have done just that...and I there is no rhyme or reason to how my blood pressure works. Some days it was fine, other days it was low, other days high....

Fast forward to today....The nurse takes my blood pressure and it was 158/ 90! UH OH!!!! Not good. Anything over 140/70 is a cause for concern in pregnant women.

The doctor came in and she listened to the baby's heartbeat and it sounded good. He is moving good. My belly is measuring at 32 weeks. She is VERY concerned about the blood pressure. She has me lay on my side for 20 minutes and then retake it, and it is still 140/68. Down but not by much.

SO...she orders a bunch of labs for me. I have to have a growth ultrasound next week (Yay, another chance to see the baby!). I also have to do a 24 hour urine collection test, followed by blood work to see if I am developing pre-eclampsia. She has diagnosed me with pregnancy induced hypertension, and she suspects that I am on the brink of developing pre-eclampsia. So I have to look out for extreme swelling, keep track of my blood pressure 1-2 times a day, spots in front of my eyes, abdomen pain and/or headaches that won't go away with Tylenol. I am to call the office if I suspect anything is wrong.

She also wants me to cut back more at work (so I am going to be leaving an hour early or more each day depending on how I feel) for the next 2 weeks. Then at my next appt she will decide if I need to go on complete bed rest. My boss is completely okay with me doing what I need to do (one advantage of working in a Catholic school in a smaller town). She even put on the February schedule released last week, that I would be making my own schedule! :)

There was one thing she said that freaked me out though. She said "We have made it to 29 weeks. My goal is to get you to 35 weeks." AAGHHHH!!! I am not ready. I haven't started getting anything for the baby and it is just not what I wanted to hear.

Things will be fine. I am resting. Not doing much at home (letting hubby take over which is hard, because he is so stressed right now about me). At work I am taking it easy and scheduling myself for the work that I can do sitting down (doing homework with the kids, doing paperwork, etc.). I just have to keep listening to my body and take it easy and try not to stress. And if I have to go on complete bed rest, it will be okay. Whatever I have to do to stay healthy and to have a healthy baby. It will be okay.

Book Review: The Ocean and the Hourglass

Last week, as I was waiting for 3 hours in the medical lab for some blood work that I had to go, I finally had a chance to finish reading Dan O'Brien's book The Ocean and the Hourglass.



This book is a departure from what I normally read. One of my mini goals for 2012 is to expand my horizons when it comes to reading....this book fit the bill perfectly. This book is identified as a fantasy for young adult readers (teenagers).

Per the back cover:

"Dreams are not for the faint of heart, they are for the brave to follow. A book, an hourglass. Nicholas had always dreamt of faraway places, distant lands beyond imagination. Wandering into the library on a cold day, he finds an adventure that he had not been looking for. Transported to a distant world, Nicholas finds himself involved in sweeping adventures of a broken and lost kingdom. Filled with sea giants and ancient cities, the young man soon finds that the adventure was greater than he could have ever imagined."

This book was reminiscent of the story  A Never Ending Story. If you liked that story, then you will like this book. Personally I found bits that I liked and bits that I didn't like. There is a lot of philosophical conversations that take place in the book about good versus evil, what is right, why we think the way we do, etc. These conversations were somewhat hard to follow. In fact, there were several that I had to reread because I wasn't sure how they fit.

I enjoyed the fantastical imagery that was portrayed in the book. I felt that the fantasy part of the book was well written and was wrapped up very well in the ending of the story). I did not really enjoy the "reality" part of the book as I felt that there was no real ending to it and it left the reader hanging on the end. I felt that certain parts could have been omitted without taking away from the overall story.

If you like fantasy books, then this one is for you. If you are interested in reading something different, then this one is for you. As for myself, I will probably pass this book along to someone else, as I cannot see it as a book that I will re-read again.

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from the author in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.