Five on Friday: My Baby Faves

When I was pregnant, I spent countless hours asking my friends what I needed for the baby and scouring Lucie’s List and Amazon for reviews on cribs, strollers, jumperoos, baby bathtubs, the works! I’ve learned mostly through trial and error what works for us and what doesn’t, but I thought I’d share some of my personal “must haves” for a first time mom.

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Fisher Price Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat. This thing is amazing. We started using it when Baby E turned three months, so that she wouldn’t have to constantly be on her back or tummy. She did ok with Tummy Time, but she really enjoyed being able to sit and play. I was able to put her in her “froggy chair” and wash the dishes, clean the bathroom, put the laundry away, etc. Of course as soon as I bought this one, they came out with one that has a tray so you can put other toys on it. Even so, this chair is a definite winner for us!

 

81cnwlz4uwl-_sx522_Boon Grass Drying Rack. I wasn’t planning on bottle-feeding, but it is what it is. I bought bottles before baby arrived as a backup, and it’s a good thing I did. On Amazon Prime Day last summer, I saw the Boon Grass Drying Rack available and I realized that if I did end up using bottles, I was going to need somewhere convenient to dry them. This thing is wonderful. It sits right next to our dish drainer on the counter, but it allows me to keep all of her bottle parts (thanks, Dr. Brown) together. Just lift the grass out, dump the excess water and wipe it all down.

 

41oemawsmklNoseFrida. I know, I know. It’s disgusting to even think of sucking snot out of your baby’s nose with your mouth. BUT, trust me, when your precious little peanut is having trouble breathing and the stupid bulb aspirator you got from the hospital just isn’t cutting it, you’ll try anything. One of my best friends bought me one and it is probably the single best baby gift anyone has given me. I’ll give one to every expecting mom from now on because it is THAT awesome. The boogers don’t come anywhere close to your mouth, by the way. There is no way possible that you could ever accidentally suck down some of your baby’s snot.

81e045uv26l-_sy679_Ergobaby Four Position Carrier. I know it’s expensive. I held out on buying one for that very reason. However, I’ve tried a K*tan, a Boba, an Infantino Unison, and the Ergo, and the Ergo far surpasses all of the others. The K*tan was frustrating because although it’s easy to put on, it’s not adjustable. The Boba is adjustable since you have to wrap it yourself, but I didn’t feel like it was secure enough once Baby E weighed over about 10 pounds. Plus, it was hard for me to get the fabric stretched quite right once I had to let her little legs dangle out. The Infantino Unison is pretty awesome since it’s a soft structured carrier – just put it on over your head, pop baby in, buckle, and go. Easy peasy, it’s adjustable, and it’s small enough to throw in the diaper bag. This was my favorite for a little while, but as Baby E got bigger, I couldn’t get the fabric to stay spread from knee-to-knee – I had to adjust it every few minutes. And although it says you can carry baby forward-facing, it’s not ergonomic for baby as their legs just dangle straight down – no hip support. The Ergo is pricey, it’s a little harder to put on (I can’t reach the between-the-shoulder-blades clasp by myself), but WOW is it comfy. It feels incredibly secure, Baby E seems comfy, and there’s no questioning whether baby is in it correctly.

41szcbn2t5lBaby Einstein Take Along Tunes. This was another gift, and it has been a lifesaver. Anything with lights and music is GREAT, but I like that this is small and easy for Baby E to hold by herself. She can press the button easily enough, and the lights keep her entertained when she’s starting to have a meltdown. I’ve been using it with her ever since she was a newborn, but now she’s finally old enough to play with it independently and she loves it. It follows us from room to room and she chews on it and has a great time.

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Unintentional Hiatus

So, I just realized that I haven’t posted since mid-December. Haha, oops. Every night when I lie down in bed, I go over in my mind all the things I want to write about and I keep telling myself I will start again tomorrow.

My absence has not been for lack of material, I assure you of that. New motherhood leaves no shortage of good blog material! I’m just so TIRED all the time, despite the fact that Baby E sleeps for 12 hours every night. The 24/7 responsibility for another person is just exhausting no matter how much rest you’re getting.

I’ve also been dealing with some PPD/PPA issues since October, and I fully intend to write about them once I get my thoughts in order. While I was ashamed at first, I know now that I have nothing to feel bad about. I believe that it’s important for me to share my experience so that other moms may read about it and realize they’re not alone or crazy or bad mothers. I am happy to report that I’m doing much better now thanks to medication and opening up to my friends and family.

Otherwise, my days are full of snuggles and smiles and dirty diapers. Baby E has started solids and is working on crawling. She has also mastered the fine art of screeching like a howler monkey, and she enjoys sharing this talent with the world at the most inopportune times, such as during Mass. She has moved into her crib and we have a convertible car seat sitting in the office just waiting to be installed. She loves to roll around and put everything in her mouth. She also drools like a faucet, so I spend a large chunk of time washing the 30+ bibs we have every couple of days.

She is growing up much too quickly, as babies tend to do. I’m doing my best to enjoy every second with her and to savor all of the sloppy kisses and nighttime hand-holding because I know that it will all be over before I know it.

Adventures with Santa

One of the things I most looked forward to while pregnant was Christmas and all of the traditions I planned on continuing from when I was little, as well as new traditions I wanted to implement for Baby E. I absolutely insisted to hubby that we had to take her for pictures with Santa.

I bought her a fancy Christmas dress and tights. I researched which mall had the best Santa. We got her dressed, packed her up, and headed out only to find massive lines that looked hours long. We tried three separate times on different days at different times and still no luck. I found out that some malls let you make a reservation to minimize the wait time, but you have to prepay for a package and it’s nonrefundable. One thing I’ve learned in my short time of being a mother is that infants are unpredictable and paying for anything in advance is a bad idea.

We decided to give it one last chance at a different mall near hubby’s job. I planned to meet him there in the afternoon. If it didn’t work out, then I would go on my own with the baby first thing on a weekday morning.

She woke up from her nap. I fed her. I asked her to please not poop until we got home. She smiled, which I took as agreement. I ended up having to buy her the same dress in a bigger size because she outgrew the other one in the short time we had it. I dressed her, putting a cloth diaper in between her disposable and her dress, just in case she had a poopsplosion in the car.

Everything was fine as we were driving. I could hear her in the back seat playing with her kitty. All of a sudden it got eerily quiet and for a brief second I thought I was fortunate enough that she had nodded off again. My excitement was short-lived, however, when I heard the first tell-tale grunt of a pooping baby. Not long after those brief strains did I hear the explosion of poop and I knew immediately that her outfit was ruined. And to add insult to injury we were stopped in traffic and the car was slowly filling with the stink of dirty diaper.

When we got to the mall, I had to take her out of her car seat and assess the damage in the car. I ended up having to strip her naked in the Macy’s parking lot and essentially bathe her with baby wipes. She had poop all the way up her back, on her legs, on her stomach, everywhere. Her white tights were ruined. The cloth diaper took the brunt of the damage, but her pretty dress was a close second. Luckily I had brought a backup dress with me, although it wasn’t nearly as festive.

Clean and dressed, we made our way to Santa and hubby. Luckily there were only about 5 families in line ahead of us. We waited about 15 minutes and then I had to hand her over to a stranger – what a bizarre feeling. I stood behind the photographer and called her name and waved and tried to get her to smile. Hubby tried the same on the other side. No luck. She refused to smile, but she didn’t cry either, so I’m calling it a win.

On Being a Motherless Mother

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Today marks five years since my mom passed away. Like every single day, I miss her terribly and wish she were here. This year is especially difficult because I am a mother now as well and feel like I am missing out because she isn’t here to experience it with me.

The night before my mom died, I remember thinking a few different things. The first thing that crossed my mind was, How are we ever going to celebrate the holidays again? Thanksgiving is next week. The next thing I thought was, I am never going to have children if it means that she won’t be able to meet them. I swore to myself that there was no way I would ever want to have a baby because my child would never know their nana, and she would never meet her grandchild. I felt this way for a long time, but then my best friend, Christina, gave me some amazing advice that made me change my outlook on the situation.

During my pregnancy, I mostly ignored the fact that my mom wasn’t around. This was especially hard because pretty much every baby book and website tells you to turn to your mom, sister, or aunt when the baby arrives. Also, doctors constantly ask about your mother’s pregnancy and labor, so I was continually having to tell people that she had died several years prior. This always led to looks of sympathy and apologies on their part and lots of awkwardness on my part. I turned to my dad for answers to my questions about my mom’s pregnancy – Did she have a lot of morning sickness? How long did she work? Were there any complications? How long was her labor? Did she have an epidural? What was her recovery like?

Then Baby E was born and the second I looked into her eyes my heart swelled with more love than I have ever known in my whole life. And I finally understood my mother. I realized in that moment that all the times she asked about my day she wasn’t trying to be nosy, she asked because she cared. When she wanted a hug she wasn’t being weird and pushy, she just loved me so much. When she sacrificed things so that I could have something, she did it willingly and without regret.

I miss her now more than ever because I finally understand her. When I sit in the dark with Baby E, rocking her to sleep and holding her little hand, I sometimes cry because I can’t tell my mom how much I appreciate her and everything she did for me. We sit in the chair in the nursery underneath a photo of my great nana, my nana, my mom, and me. I love that photo more than anything because it inspires me to always be as strong and kind and loving as the women who came before me.

Baby E’s Two Month Update

I can’t believe my tiny little peanut is two months old already! She went from being a fragile 6 pounds 10 ounces, to a much sturdier 11 pounds 1 ounce. I look at pictures from when she was first born and I can’t believe that skinny, squirming newborn has turned into my chunky, flailing infant.

She had some issues with acid reflux and lactose, so she was switched from the regular Enfamil Newborn to the Gentlease. I noticed an almost immediate improvement in her eating – no more choking and gagging during feedings, no more kicking and screaming, no more arching her back and crying, no more wanting to eat every hour. Now she eats calmly, roughly every 2-4 hours, although for the past few days she has been giving us a nice long stretch at night. Except last night, when she was up at 11:00 pm and 3:30 am. I blame that on her shots, though. She slept most of the day because of them and I think it threw off her new sleep schedule.

Around six weeks, we really started to implement a bedtime routine for her. Around 7:30 pm, I tell her it’s bedtime and she says goodnight to daddy. She and I go upstairs and do a diaper change by nightlight in her room. I put her pajamas on as well, and then if it’s time for her to eat, she has a bottle also by nightlight and with her Sleep Sheep playing white noise in the background. There is no eye contact or talking during any of this, which is really difficult because she’s usually super smiley and adorable at nighttime. I rock her for a little while (she has to stay upright for 15-20 minutes after eating) and then she is transferred to her bassinet in our room. Her Sleep Sheep goes with her. Most nights she will wake up when I put her down, but she is pretty good and will only fuss and flail around a bit. As long as she doesn’t cry we just watch her on the monitor and she falls asleep about 20 minutes later. If she does cry, one of us will go up and offer her a pacifier and rub her tummy and hair until she calms down. We don’t pick her up unless she is inconsolable, which has only happened once. Usually as soon as we walk into the room she stops crying.

She was waking up at midnight, 3:00 am, and 6:00 am, but for the past several nights she has been taking a small amount of formula at bedtime and then she sleeps from roughly 8:30 pm to 3:00 or 4:00 am. This is fantastic for me because it means she is in bed by 8:00 pm so I get to spend some quality time with hubby, watch a little TV, and then go to bed by about 9:30 pm. That gives me a nice lonnnng sleep. I do her middle-of-the-night feeding and then she goes back down until about 7:00 am when she is ready to get up for the day. Mommy is not a morning person, so Baby E has learned to hang out in her bassinet and watch the ceiling fan, look at the light coming in the windows, and babble to herself and me while I get to keep my eyes closed just a little bit longer before beginning the day. I’m very blessed that she is calm and perfectly content to entertain herself. Obviously if she starts to fuss or cry I suck it up and get going.

She is not a big fan of daytime naps lately, although I do usually get one long one out of her at some point during the day. The only problem is that in order for her to sleep for a decent amount of time during the day, she has to be sleeping on me. This means I get very little done because I am often confined to the couch for 2-3 hours while she sleeps. I don’t mind too much because at least I get to rest and zone out while watching TV or playing on the internet, all the while enjoying warm baby snuggles. Hey, one day she’s not going to want anything to do with me, so I’m trying to soak up the loving snuggles while I can.

If she’s feeling especially generous towards me, she’ll tolerate me putting her in one of the carriers and wearing her around the house while she naps. This way I can wash the dishes and her many bottles, or throw in a load of laundry, pay the bills, go to the bathroom, etc.

Now that she’s on a different formula, she’s much calmer when she’s awake. I read to her a lot even though she has no idea what’s going on. She smiles and waves her arms around, but I think that’s more so because I make funny voices and faces at her during the story. She does tummy time several times per day and is usually ok about it, but towards the evening she gets lazy and will just lie there and grunt. I put her down on her activity mat, but she doesn’t really swat purposely at any of the hanging toys yet. She likes watching the lights and looking at herself in the hanging mirror, though. She has also grown to love her swing. She hated it the first couple of times I put her in it, and then I discovered that she only likes swinging forward and back, rather than side to side. Also, it has to be on the fastest setting and the mobile and lights have to be turned on. Now when I sit her down in it, she immediately smiles and waves her arms around. She is much more talkative now, so when we sit on the couch together and I talk to her, she will often reply with some kind of noise – and she is making new ones every day!

She definitely likes things done “with purpose.” When we rock her, we better do it like we mean it. No gentle rocking for this little lady! If we walk her around the house to calm her down, we have to speed walk. The swing has be on full speed. She likes being in the stroller only if we’re going over slightly bumpy ground – if it’s too smooth, she fusses.

She had her two month checkup and vaccinations yesterday. The doctor was pleased with how much she has grown and said that she looks “perfect.” She is right around the 50% percentile for everything. I was concerned about a flat spot on the back of her head, but the doctor assured me that it is minor and common. She said all babies have a preference for lying on one side and it’s hard to avoid a flat spot since they spend so much time on their backs: sleeping on their backs at night, napping on their backs, lying on the floor on the activity mat, sitting in the swing, sitting in the car seat, etc. She said if I notice her sleeping on that side, I can try to turn her head, but she might not like it. As long as she has full range of motion in her neck (she does!), then she is fine.

Five on Friday

  1. I finally got around to putting batteries in the Rock ‘n Play, and have discovered that if Baby E is freaking out, she will almost instantly calm down if I turn the vibration on. She’s sleeping peacefully in it now as I type this (although for how long, no one knows). It’s still not the miracle product everyone makes it out to be, but she will catnap in it and will sometimes even just calmly sit in it while I get things done around the house (i.e., pee, scarf down a sandwich, etc.).
  2. I’m thinking of starting The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as my next read, as soon as I can find some time. Right now any spare time I have is usually spent sleeping, and by “sleeping” I generally mean closing my eyes and praying that the baby doesn’t wake up. And then the baby wakes up. I swear there is an alarm in her head that goes off anytime hubby or I are about to relax.
  3. Usually I would have started decorating for Fall already, but I haven’t been able to this year. I was going to skip the Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations and just save up all my energy for Christmas decorating, but now I’m having second thoughts. Hubby stopped at Target the other day to pick up Baby E’s Halloween outfit and he surprised me with these really cute kitty Halloween towels. I think I’ll take some time this weekend and pull some stuff down from the attic. I’m not going to go all out, but I really do need SOME stuff around the house to make it feel festive.
  4. I had my first pumpkin muffin of the season last night and it was glorious! Again, if I can find the time, I think I’ll make a quick batch of my own to have on hand.
  5. Every day I tell myself that we are going to get outside and go for a walk, and every single day I fail. Either she is too fussy, it’s too hot/sunny, or the day just gets away from me. I really need to start getting outside, though, while I still can. Before I know it, it’s going to be winter and we’re going to be trapped in the house day after day. Not only does she need the fresh air and stimulation, but I could use the exercise. I only gained 30 pounds during my pregnancy, and 20 of those came off instantly after birth, but I’ve still got 10 extra pounds of flab hanging around that I’d like to get rid of. My diet right now consists of anything I can eat one-handed and/or quickly during the day, and whatever is fastest at night for dinner (this usually means pizza or some kind of takeout now that my mother-in-law is away and not cooking for us anymore).

What I’m Reading

Honestly, I finally finished reading Prep the other night while hubby had the baby. I was able to lie on the couch with a snuggly blanket and read just like I used to. It was fabulous. However, I don’t have the time or energy to form the correct words to write a proper review. Suffice it to say that I really enjoyed it. Also, it took me being more than halfway through it before I realized the author is a woman. I was so impressed with how well Curtis was able to write from a teenaged girl’s perspective. Haha.

These days, I’m doing a lot of much lighter reading…

Baby E’s Godmother got her this book for her Baptism a couple of weeks ago. We read it together for the first time the other day and I’m pretty sure she enjoyed it as much as I did. I managed to get a couple smiles out of her when I showed her the pictures of the bears.

The baby bear asks mama where he came from, so mama explains how they asked God for a baby and they got him. She tells him how her stomach got bigger, how they went to doctor’s appointments, and how they prepared the nursery. Obviously Baby E has no idea what any of this means, but I think this will be a good book for when she’s a little older and starts asking the same questions as baby bear.

I liked it so much that I immediately went on Amazon and ordered every other “God Gave Us…” book by these authors.

Go, Dog, Go was one of my favorites when I was little. I especially liked the big dog party in the tree at the end. However, I didn’t realize how ridiculous the story is until I’ve started reading it to Baby E recently. There is one particular subplot of two dogs that keep running into each other. The female dog asks the male dog if he likes her hat. He is extremely rude and keeps telling her that he does not like her hat and then he leaves. I still love it – all of the dogs are adorable and I enjoy the drawings – but it’s definitely a weird one.

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? was a gift. I had never heard of it before, but we’ve read it several times and it’s cute enough. I’m guessing it teaches sounds? I kind of feel like an idiot when I’m reading it to her because of all the weird noises, so this is one that we read when we are home alone during the day.

Five on Friday

I attempted to write a blog post last week, but Baby E just wasn’t having it. I am currently sitting in the dark in her nursery listening to her Sleep Sheep play water sounds while she fights sleep in her crib. She is just over six weeks now and thinks it’s her job to not nap during the day anymore. It’s like she’s afraid she will miss out on something awesome.

Anyway.

  1. I realize I haven’t posted anything book-related in quite some time. I am actually currently reading Prep, and by “currently reading” I mean that I haven’t touched it since just before she was born. In fact, that is the book I was reading the night I went into labor. That was almost 7 weeks ago. Oops. I bring it down to the living room every morning with the intention of finishing it as soon as the baby falls asleep, but then I realize I would rather be napping.
  2. Baby E has been congested since birth, and the doctor keeps saying that we need to get the boogers out of her nose. Problem is, the nasal aspirators don’t work all that well. I read really good things about the NoseFrida online, but the idea of sucking her snot out with my own mouth kind of grossed me out. I asked a friend about it and she said it is the greatest thing ever. She ended up buying me one so I had no excuse not to try it. Oh my goodness. It is a lifesaver! I will be buying one of these for every expectant mom that I know. It’s so much less gross once you actually try it, and it gets EVERYTHING out with a little saline spray beforehand. Baby can breathe much easier now.
  3. I tried hard during my pregnancy not to made any bold “I’ll never…” statements. One thing I was very iffy about was baby wearing. I thought it was for hippies. I’ve never seen anyone wear their baby around here and I didn’t know if any of my friends did it. I registered for a basic wrap (K’tan) anyway and my coworkers ended up buying it for me. I finally tried it one day when I really needed to get off the couch but Baby E couldn’t stand not to be touching me. She screamed for a couple of minutes at first and then promptly fell asleep. FOR HOURS. The K’tan is good because there is no wrapping involved – just put it over your head and go. But, the downside to that is that you can’t adjust it to fit either more snugly or more loosely. Also, it’s REALLY hot. I keep the baby in a onesie and I wear a tank top and we still both sweat like crazy. A friend let me borrow her Boba wrap and I like it a LOT better. Yes, you have to tie it, but it’s so easy. I can do it by myself without any problems. It’s also a little more breathable so we don’t get as swampy when we use it.
  4. Apparently my company is having a BBQ tomorrow for everyone and I wasn’t invited. One of my coworkers texted me to ask if I was going and I told her I never received an invitation. My boss then emailed me and told me he forgot to include me. Thanks a lot, that makes me feel great. I know I’ve been out since May, but I’m still an employee.
  5. Last week was the baby’s baptism. I was really nervous that she would cry during the whole thing and cause a scene, but she was a perfect angel and slept for most of it. She only cried when the priest dumped water on her head and then went right back to sleep. Whew!

Life with a Newborn

It’s true that you really don’t know what it’s like until you’re living it. Every single sleep-deprived, poop-stained, screaming second of it. I am sitting here with a sleeping baby strapped to my chest because that is the only way she will stay calm and quiet long enough for me to get anything done.

Overall Baby E is a REALLY good baby. She eats well, she sleeps occasionally, and the only time she really cries or fusses is when she’s hungry and we’re too slow with the bottle prep or when she’s overtired. She is nowhere near a routine or schedule of any kind, but she seems to only need 1-2 night feedings now, and she actually gave me a 3-hour block of sleep the other night! I felt like a new person when I woke up (in a complete panic because of course something must be wrong with her, right?).

My days (and nights) consist mostly of washing bottles, drying bottles (seriously, if I ever meet Dr. Brown, I am going to punch him/her in the face for creating the most annoying bottles on the planet), feeding her, changing her, changing her again because she just pooped in the brand new diaper, bathing her because she pooped all over herself (and me), snuggling her to sleep, annnnd repeat. That being said, I have managed to find time to shower and eat, although most of our meals are eaten cold these days. Also, my husband and I have perfected the art of hand signals and lip-reading so as not to wake the sleeping baby. If you’re pregnant, work on this now. Oh, and figure out how to turn on the closed captions on your TV. You’re going to need them.

Sarcasm and joking aside, it’s been really great. Sure, I’m tired and stressed out and there has been more crying on my part than I anticipated (mommy guilt is no joke, you guys), but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love having her sleeping on my chest, I love when she looks into my eyes when I feed her, I love how cute she looks wrapped up in her towel after a bath, I love her little noises (there are new ones every day, it seems), I love seeing her with her dad, it’s all just so amazing.

Bumpdate: 35 Weeks

Whenever anyone warns you about pregnancy, they seem to only focus on the first trimester aches and pains. No one ever really mentions the “fun” stuff that happens at the end: the feeling like you’re carrying around a bowling ball in your pants, the sensation that your pelvis is going to crack in half if you dare to roll over in bed in the middle of the night, the getting up to pee 42 times every night, the popping hip joints, the acid reflux that appears for NO reason whatsoever, and the difficulty going to the bathroom (Let’s just say I had to ask hubby to make a special trip to the store for prunes — and I don’t even like prunes, but boy do they work. Something else that works to get things moving, if you’re suffering like I am, is drinking a cup of hot water with lemon first thing in the morning. Thank you, Google.).

Other than that, baby and I are doing well. I had a check-up today and I am 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced, but my doctor is not concerned and feels that I still might make it to 40 weeks. I have to keep taking the medicine and resting for the next week and a half, and then she said I can resume normal activities. At this point we are out of the woods and she said if I go into labor, they won’t do anything to stop it. Exciting and horrifying all at the same time! Baby is still measuring small, but the doctors seem to think it’s because I’m tall (???) and some people just make small babies. S/he is still having a dance party in there every night, my ultrasounds look good, and his/her heartbeat is normal.

Hubby is in the process of painting the nursery. We went against everyone’s advice to choose a gender-neutral color and we chose blue instead. The room has a white chair rail, so I chose a light blue for the top half and he chose a darker shade for the bottom. With the white furniture we’re going to order, it is definitely going to be a little heavy on the Frozen side of things, but at least my youngest niece will approve. She has told us numerous times that we should name the baby, boy or girl, Elsa.

I’m not sure if we have everything we need, but I think we have all the essentials for now. We have a car seat to get the baby home from the hospital, we have onesies and socks and hats and little mittens, we have towels and washcloths, and we have a small supply of diapers and wipes. We have a Rock ‘n’ Play, a Pack ‘n’ Play, an activity mat thingy, a bathtub, nail clippers, a thermometer, a nasal aspirator, and I have all kinds of breastfeeding gadgets. I want to order the stroller tonight, along with a few more receiving blankets and whatever else is on sale at Babies R Us that I think we might need. The major item we’re missing is a bassinet – my friend had promised me hers once her son is done using it, which should be any day now. If that doesn’t pan out, then I figure we’ll just go grab our own from the store.

We met with pediatricians yesterday. The first office we went to came highly recommended by my sister-in-law and two family friends. I had high expectations going in, and honestly, I just wasn’t wowed. Neither was hubby. Everyone seemed nice enough, but the building and office were kind of run down and in need of work, none of the doctors took the time to talk to us (we met with a nurse instead), and even getting in there to have the consultation took days of effort because no one ever answered the phone or returned my calls. It took my sister-in-law calling on our behalf for someone to finally get back to us.

The other office we went to was just one that I found online that got good reviews. What a difference! Everything was clean and in good condition, TWO doctors took time from their lunch breaks to sit with us and answer all of our questions, and the rest of the staff we met were friendly and nice as well. It’s a bit of a further drive — 20ish minutes versus literally driving down to the street to the first place — but we think it’s worth it.

I’ve been trying to read more and have breezed through the following:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children — This was excellent, and not at all what I was expecting. I thought it would be sort of a thriller, and I suppose it is in a way, but it’s also just a really fun story.

Prey — My husband loves Michael Crichton books and he recently started this one and was telling me how good it is. He encouraged me to try reading the first chapter, which I did one night while I was making dinner. I finished the book in two days, that’s how much I liked it. It really surprised me. The science-y stuff went a little over my head, but the rest of the story was fantastic.

In Her Shoes — This was a fluffy, easy read. I wanted something mindless, and this book was exactly that. It was fun and cute, and I enjoyed reading about the sisters’ relationship, but I also found myself skimming lots of parts just to get through it.

Jemima J — I’ve always wanted to read a Jane Green book because the company I used to work for designed her website and I remember that she had a HUGE fan base. I picked this up at a used book sale and while it was ok, I felt like it was just another version of Bridget Jones’ Diary. I felt like it dragged on for a bit and could have easily been edited down.

The Descendants — This is what I’m currently reading. I did not see the movie, at my dad’s advice, but I saw the book lying around on a table at the same used book sale, so I grabbed it. I’m far enough removed now from my mother’s death that I can (somewhat) better handle similar stories. I’m doing ok reading it, but I can see how watching the movie would have probably been difficult for me. The story is pretty good so far, but the characters are driving me CRAZY. The dad comes across as such a pushover, and the daughters are just rotten little brats with no discipline or manners whatsoever. I kind of just want to smack them most of the time. I’m about three-quarters through, so I’m definitely committed to finishing it at this point.