Saturday, February 28, 2015

Books that I read for fun in February 2015

Last year, I spent the last half of the year documenting the books that I read for fun. I have decided that I need to continue that as reading is important part of how I relax.

So here are the books that I have read for fun in February and that helped me keep my mind off of being sick and having kidney stones.... (Disclaimer: if you click on the book picture, it takes you to the page on Amazon.)

Here are the books I read for fun in:

January 2015
Books from 2014

Have you read any good books lately?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Love Centered Parenting by Maria Gavriel



Our modern culture has lowered the volume on our inner voice. We, as parents, are often left disempowered and unclear about our parenting choices. What exactly has been muffling that inner voice, and where do we go from here? Love Centered Parenting offers friendly guidance to help you find your own inner wisdom, so that you hear it loudly and clearly during your parenting journey. It is an intimate share about fertility challenges, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, sleep issues, diet, natural healing, and healthy choices-encouraging you to tune into your own intuition, while reaching out to community to support you. As you read through this book, you will be reminded to tap into your innate intelligence so that you are left feeling empowered with your conscious parenting choices. 


Maria Gavriel's book is a refreshing read for those who are expecting a child or in the newborn phase of parenting. Love Centered Parenting is broken into 2 parts. The first part talks about Gavriel's own journey to motherhood and what it means to invite a child into your body and into your life at delivery. After each chapter, Gavriel invites her readers to do a simple meditation that is based on the chapter that you just read. I like how she broke part 1 into talking about how hard it was to conceive, how to have a natural healthy pregnancy, the different approaches to delivery and how each woman has the right to decide for themselves and for their families what their roles should be after the baby is born--whether they should go to work or not-- and how women should not feel guilt about their own decisions. 

The second half of Love Centered Parenting, gives a spiritual and holistic approach to raising your infant. The topics include sleep patterns, breastfeeding, having a healthy diet, whether or not vaccination is right for you, etc. While I did not agree with every point Gavriel made, I never felt like I was being lectured as I was reading. In fact, I felt that she would tell me that it would be okay to disagree with some of her points; in fact she writes "So take from this book what you like and what resonates with you. Then feel free to tweak what you learned and customize it according to your own and your family's needs."(p.157)

I loved her main message that ultimately it is up to the parents to believe that they know what is best for their child and for their family.  will admit that I wasn't sure if I would get a lot out of this book. We are done with the trying to conceive stage of our lives and are currently enjoying parenting and raising 3 children--ages 8, 5 and 2. However, it was refreshing to hear someone else solidify what I have felt. My husband and I as parents know what is best for our children and for our family and it is with help from resources such as Gavriel's book that we can gain confidence in our parenting abilities. 

I received this book for free from Westwind Book Marketing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

It's been cold and snowy....

This past week it has been COLD! In fact according to one of our local weathermen, it has been the coldest 10 day stretch since 1886! That is ridiculous. 

Thursday that kids did not have school since the temperature was so cold. Seriously messed up our plans for the day but what are you going to do? Friday, the kids didn't have school again, as the heat in half of the building was not working. Not good when it is -10 degrees outside. 

As for me, Thursday, I had to make 2 cakes for the kids' school Lenten fish dinners. I do this every year. Friday, I had to go out and deliver them to school. I also had to make 48 white chocolate dipped oreos for the school's father/daughter dance on Saturday. 

Saturday morning, we woke up to LOTS of snow on the ground and it was still snowing pretty heavily. I think in all total we got at least 7 they postponed the father/daughter dance to the future. Rebecca was upset as she had been so looking forward to it, but she understood. The good news was that the temperature finally made it above freezing, so Bill was able to take the kids outside to play while I fixed dinner. It was good for them to get out of the house. And after dinner, the kids had cake that I made since Rebecca was upset about the dance being cancelled.  (I guess I will take the oreos to my work as I DON'T need them in our house!)

Today, it was a matter of trying to dig out....This morning, Benjamin spent much of the morning being a "Ben in a bin" as he decided to sit in one of the toy bins and play. He played like that for over an hour. It was so funny. 

Bill was able to take the kids out again this afternoon while Ben and I stayed in and I gave Benjamin a bath and put laundry away. 

We are looking at much of the same weather next week...COLD! Just saw that we are under a wind chill advisory for tonight. 

Oh well. It is winter in Ohio and we just have to deal. 

I hope that wherever you are, it is warmer than here and that everyone is well! Hope everyone had a great Sunday!

Monday, February 16, 2015

And life marches on....

Sorry I have been MIA on this blog. The last time I wrote was on February 5, when I told you all about having the flu and coming home from having kidney stone surgery. Thank you everyone for your well wishes and good thoughts. I wouldn't wish having the flu and kidney stones simultaneously on anyone! Well life has continued to go on, as it should, and I have just been trying to keep up really.

The Thursday after I came home, Rebecca's school had their annual Knowledge Fair and science fair night, where all the kids got to show off their projects. The second grade did individual reports on dinosaurs and had to complete a diorama about their dinosaurs (that thankfully my mom helped her to finish since I was in the hospital). Rebecca did her report on the pterodactyl. Unfortunately I was still in a lot of pain and therefore missed it, but I heard that she did great and she told me her little presentation when she came home.

I missed work that week. My doctor wanted me to take a month off due to having both influenza B and the kidney stones, but I just can't afford to take that kind of time off. I did end up taking last Monday and Tuesday off. On Monday, I had my stint taken out. I was so glad to have it out, as it was causing me to have spasms and those were really painful and it meant I had to get up and go to the bathroom every hour and a half. During my appointment, my urologist told me that basically I should only be drinking water and real homemade lemonade, or water with lemon as there is something in the lemon acid that helps to break up kidney stones in women. So I have been drinking a lot of water and water with lemon. I have to go back in 6 months for an x-ray and to make sure that no new stones are forming.

Wednesday last week, I went back to work and I was exhausted. I came home and crashed. I took Thursday off and then worked again on Friday. I was very tired. One of the side effects of this stupid influenza B is prolonged tiredness that could last up to a month. I have been extremely tired and cold to my bones as well.

Thursday and Friday the kids had their Valentine's Day parties at school. Jacob actually had 2 parties as he has different teachers on Thursday and Friday.  Rebecca's class had their party on Friday. Both kids said their parties were fun. The kids had to make boxes to take to school for their Valentine's. I covered the boxes in plain brown wrapping paper that I had and gave the kids stickers and markers and they created their own boxes. I didn't have the energy to get really creative with them this year, and the kids didn't seem to mind.

Saturday, Valentine's Day, it was cold (wind chills in -20s) and there were a lot of times with white out snow conditions. We stayed home. Bill went out and got the kids McDonald's for Valentine's Day lunch and then he and I had subs from the pizza place across the street for dinner. Sunday, we decided to brave the cold and took the 2 older kids to see the new Spongebob movie. It was Jacob's first time to see a movie in the theater and he did great. He loved it! As for me, it was okay. Really it was a glorified episode....

Today, it is President's Day, which means no school for the kiddos. I did tutor this morning (I am tutoring our neighbor in English and Spelling), but other than that I have not done much. It is so cold outside and I have been freezing all day long, even though it is 70 in our house. I have also been exhausted all day. I took an hour nap on the couch this afternoon.

This week, I am taking Tuesday and Thursday off from work, with hopefully going back everyday starting next week. I hope that my energy level comes back as we get life back to normal. I just am tired of being sick and tired.

How are things in your neck of the woods? 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Kidney stones + the flu = A 3 day hospital stay

I am friends with a couple of you on facebook, but for those that don't know, I came down with flu like symptoms a week ago Wednesday--sudden onset of fever, chills, achiness, headache, etc. I stayed home from work on Thursday and Friday and spent most of those days on the couch resting. On Sunday night, I still wasn't feeling all that well. Just as the Patriots intercepted the ball at the end of the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, I doubled over in pain feeling as if someone was taking an on fire knife to my back and side. Bill took me to the ER where I was diagnosed with not only kidney stones but with a confirmed case of influenza B as well (they did the flu swab on me)! Talk about a double whammy!! I spent the next 3 days at our local hospital, where I finally had surgery to break up the kidney stone on Wednesday. I was able to come home last night. I am still in some pain, and am uncomfortable .I have been told that because of the stones and the flu that I won't be back to normal feeling probably for about a month. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent a prayer my way. Now it is off to rest.....