My body is amazing.

As my pregnancy is drawing to a close, I wanted to reflect upon the amazing journey my body has been going through. Ladies, this body that we have – it is amazing! It can do amazing things that I didn’t appreciate until now. Being the typical girl, I’ve always had body issues and was never satisfied with the way I looked. It wasn’t until I agreed (finally, after many years of people wondering if I ever would) to try out this whole baby thing, that I realized how amazing my body really is.

I’ve watched my body change and grow to accommodate this new life inside me over the past 9 months in awe. I’ve subscribed to all the baby websites that send weekly “what is going on inside your body” emails and I’ve learned so much about what my body is doing, even when I’m not actively thinking about it. Whether I was paying attention or not, my body has been actively working every moment of the day to grow this baby and all his accessories. I want to see my placenta before the hospital takes it away because I spent 9 months with it growing inside me. Call it scientific curiosity, but my body produced this wonderful thing that has fed my baby all this time. The least I can do is give it the respect it deserves and take a good look at it. I watched the bump slowly expand over time and watched my uterus grow from the tiny size it was normally, to this wonderfully enormous mass that supports life. How can I think it is anything less than amazing?

Yes I’ve probably complained plenty about the discomforts of being pregnant, but there’s so much more to the experience than that. The hormones, for one, have been great. I’ve never had this general calm and happy feeling before. I’ll miss it, that’s for sure. I wonder if I’ll still be this nice after delivery? Will I still have this general feeling of contentment or will I be back to the nervous wreck I have been known to be? I guess we’ll find out very shortly.

In the mean time I’ll leave you with this funny:
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3rd Trimester blues and some helpful stuff I bought

I’ve posted a funny post previously about some of the not so fun things that creep up on you during the third trimester. That was more tongue-in-cheek sillyness, but this one will be a little more serious.

Some of the biggest issues I’ve had have been lower back pain, pelvic pain, and just other all around pains. You just get so dang big and everything is pressing on everything. Sleeping gets hard because you have to sleep on your side, but all that weight cause my legs and hips to cramp up. So I’m constantly waking up and rolling over (which requires a 3 point turn, let me tell you) and by the end of the night both sides hurt and I’m out of sides and sleeping is just done at that point. Moving side to side and rolling hurts in the pelvic and nether region and there’s really not much to be done about that.

However, I at least got a few items to help make it easier. I bought one of those maternity support bands that you wear under the bump to help support it and relieve some of the pressure on your back. Most of the ones I saw online were in the $60-range but I found one at a local boutique for $20, and it is the Medela brand (which is my breast pump, go figure). It goes around the belly and secures via velcro in the front. I wear it all day, and I’ve considered sleeping in it, but it didn’t seem like a good idea to have extra bulk in the bed in addition to my body pillow. In any case, I really recommend it (or any other maternity support band of your choice) because it does take some of the pressure off. I immediately feel relief when I put it on, and immediately feel more pressure when I remove it. That was a good purchase.

I also purchased a birth ball, or exercise ball, or whatever else you want to call it inflatable ball. We went to Academy and picked it up based on my height. It helps sit in a more squat-like position and open up the pelvis.  I try to sit on it daily, though I don’t always remember, but it does help stretch everything out. I also hear it is good to use during labor, if you’re allowed to be moving around. It also helps that the one that was meant for my height is purple, so you know that makes me happy. This was recommended by a doula that taught a comfort measures in birth class we took (cause it was free, woot). She also recommended taking two tennis balls and tying them in a sock to use for back massaging during labor. So we’re definitely going to put that in the hospital bag. I hope to bring the birth ball too, though I don’t know if I’ll get to use it at all. I guess if not we can always deflate it to keep it from taking up a lot of space.

Feel free to share if you have other recommendations for helpful items in this last stretch of my pregnancy.

The birth plan I wanted, and the discussion with my doctor

At my last appointment I brought in the following draft birth plan. That was when the doctor told me about the likely early induction and of course now my birth plan will need to change. But I wanted to share my original thoughts.

*If no medical complications arise, the following is my birth plan:

During labor
• Allow in delivery room: my spouse, doula, my mother
• Planned delivery: vaginal
• Stay hydrated with clear liquids and ice chips
• Eat and drink as approved by my doctor
• Intermittent fetal monitoring while I’m still mobile
• Heparin or saline lock rather than an IV
• Pain relief: Demerol at first and Epidural when requested and possible
• As few interruptions as possible
• As few vaginal exams as possible
• Hospital staff limited to my own doctor and nurses (no students/residents/interns)
• No labor augmentation

During delivery
• Not be reclined
• Use foot pedals for support
• Continue Epidural
• Use a mirror to see baby crown
• No forceps usage or vacuum extraction
• No episiotomy

Immediately After delivery
• Cut umbilical cord only after it stops pulsating
• I would like to see the placenta before it is discarded
• Hold baby and attempt to breastfeed

Baby
• Keep baby in my room at all times
• Baby’s medical exam given in my presence and/or my spouse’s presence
• Please don’t give baby formula or a pacifier
• Breastfeed with the help of a lactation specialist
• Baby’s first bath given by myself or my spouse
• Circumcision performed by my doctor

If C-section is necessary
• Exhaust other options first
• My spouse to remain in the room the entire time
• Stay conscious, use epidural
• Explain the surgery as it happens
• Hands free so I can hold the baby immediately
• Breastfeed in the recovery room

I was expecting to go into labor naturally and labor at home for as long as I could stand the pain so I could eat and move around and be more comfortable. Being induced means I’ll be strapped to the bed the entire time with the IV full of medication and of course an epidural, cause there’s no way I’m doing pitocin contractions naturally. I was expecting to have the contractions start out bearable and gradually increase, and maybe have my own pain tolerance increase with them, but that won’t be the case with induction. Pitocin contractions come hard and fast, period.

The doctor said they don’t allow you to eat because your stomach needs to be empty should a C-section be necessary. I thought that was due to anesthesia but he said it was because there is a risk you might aspirate if you throw up. Ok, got it, no food. But he said I can have glucose and clear liquids, so Gatorade is going on the packing list.

On a lot of these medical intervention items – like forceps and episiotomy (where they cut you down there if you’re not stretching enough) he said that I gotta trust his judgement. I’d rather have a small tear than a large cut, but sure if that isn’t even possible then yes if necessary, cut. I guess I should add the word “routine” to some of these. Hopefully my doula will be able to help facilitate the conversation so that the doctors and nurses aren’t making decisions without my input.

I’m wanting most of the stuff done to the baby to be at least in my husband’s presence if I’m not able to participate. Hopefully the nurses will allow that. Doctor said I won’t want the baby in my room the entire time, but it is hard to feed on demand when the baby is kept away. I don’t want them to give him formula or a pacifier at least until breastfeeding is established. But I might change my mind as exhausted and out of it as I will be at that time.

I’m also told if I end up having a C-section, I might be in the hospital up to 5 days. That doesn’t sound fun, but again, I might feel differently. I need to check with my insurance and find out the coverage details in that situation.

Got some unexpected news at my last doctor’s appointment

On Friday I had a bit of meltdown at/after my doctor’s appointment, because my timeline is being cut in about half. It started out like a normal doctor’s visit, but this one was a little more involved because the doctor took the Group B strep culture and I also got my flu shot and my Tdap vaccine. I also brought a copy of my draft birth plan because I wanted to go over it with my doctor before meeting with my doula. My original thinking was I’d go into labor and wait it out a bit at home until the contractions got unbearable. That way I could still move around and eat and be comfortable before going to get the epidural and being strapped to a bed for the remainder of the time.

What the doctor told me instead was because of my gestational diabetes they will need to induce me, and may do so as early as 38 weeks or maybe up to 39 weeks, so the baby doesn’t get too large. I was almost 36 weeks at the time of the appointment, so I kind of had an OMG moment since that’s just over 2 weeks away! I really didn’t want to be induced, partly because I’ve read that can increase the chances of a C-section, it makes the overall experience last longer since they need to give you all kinds of medication to prep your body for delivery since it hasn’t done that on its own yet, plus the pitocin makes the contractions come hard and fast, so no gradual increase in pain as labor progresses. That means I’ll be asking for an epidural right away and won’t be able to walk around for any of it.

That will certainly throw a lot of what is on my birth plan out the window, but I definitely understand the risk of a large baby. I was just thinking that I was controlling that with diet and since my blood sugar numbers have been good and the doctor hasn’t needed to put me on insulin yet I thought I was in the clear. I’m really glad I brought the topic up since that really changes my plans quite a bit.

So the doctor said he might be inducing between November 3-10. I thought I had another month to go with my due date being November 17th. So, bear with me while I get the rest of my mind wrapped around this change.

My Mom isn’t flying in until November 8th, and I wanted her to be here for the birth so she could help me get around during recovery. But now that Dad has decided to fly out with her and take a couple of vacation days to stay until mid-week, perhaps this is a good thing. At least if I have the baby before they arrive, Daddy will get to see his grandson in the short time he’s visiting. Mom will stay for a month and a half though since she can do some of her work from my house.

On a more fun and less stressful note, I had my Houston baby shower on Saturday. I hosted at my house since few people had been over yet and now my friends know where I live and can visit me and the baby. I had a really good turn out and I’m so happy with the great friends I have here. I got a lot of fun toys and good stuff for me that I didn’t have yet, so I’m very thankful.  Also, look at the Smurf cake for Smurfberry!

smurfcake

5 things that make pregnancy oh so glamorous /sarcasm

5 things that make pregnancy oh so glamorous

There are things we are commonly warned about that occur in pregnancy, such as stretch marks and nausea. But there are also other interesting tidbits about being pregnant, especially in the 3rd trimester, that maybe not all of us are aware of. Here are a few observations I’ve made recently that show just how UN-glamorous pregnancy can be. Come have a chuckle with me and enjoy the list.

5 things that make pregnancy oh-so glamorous.

  1. Hemorrhoids. Yep, apparently these are common. Yech. Not only are you constipated a lot, but when you do go, it isn’t all that pleasant. TMI? No topic is off limits when you’re pregnant.
  2. Incontinence. You’ll sneeze and pee yourself. Yep, it is just a matter of time. I live in panty liners now.
  3. All that discharge. Did I mention panty liners? Yep. Cause gross stuff comes out of you. Here’s TMI again.
  4. Gas. You’ll fart like an old man, I kid you not!
  5. Leaky Boobs. Ok, I haven’t experienced this quite yet, but I’m sure it is coming. I carry some of those boob pads in my purse just in case I start leaking at work someday.

Got anything to add to this list? I’d love to hear it.

Gestational Diabetes and the managed carb diet. Pricking your finger is no fun.

Gestational Diabetes and the managed carb diet

Late in my second trimester I had to do what every pregnant woman gets to do in the mid-20th weeks – take the glucose tolerance test. Well, I failed the 1 hour test, as many people do, and I was really trying to be optimistic about having to take the 3 hour test. Unlike the 1 hour, you have to be fasting for the 3 hour. So not only do I have to skip breakfast, but I have to have my blood taken 4 times, before, and at each hour after drinking the extremely sweet stuff, and not be able to eat or drink anything until the test is complete. I took a mental health afternoon from work that day since I knew by the time the appointment was over I’d have a massive headache and would be in no condition to drive to work and think anyway. So I scheduled a hair appointment instead.

The test itself was a bit worse than I expected. I felt so nauseous the first hour and was very worried I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I was in the waiting room with everyone else waiting for some blood work at the lab so it wasn’t like I had a comfortable place to go lie down. I just leaned back in my chair against the wall and tried to relax until it passed. Immediately after my final blood draw I had my husband meet me and we went and had an awesome lunch at Chili’s, which included their amazing giant cookie skillet dessert! YUM. Oh man I want one right now.

Anyway, unfortunately, I flunked the 3 hour test as well (yes, that is what my nurse told me – I “flunked” it). So that meant I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and needed to meet with a dietitian to discuss my results. She told me my first and second hour results were very high, but that by the third hour my body kicked in and processed the stuff ok. My fasting number was fine too. But the risk with my body taking several hours to process a large amount of carbs/sugar is the baby is getting too much food and can grow too quickly. The last thing we want is a huge baby with health problems, so for the remainder of my pregnancy I need to be on a controlled carb diet. The dietitian explained to me that I can have 30 grams (aka 2 servings) of carbs for breakfast and for each of my snacks, and 45 grams (3 servings) for lunch and dinner. So as long as I watch the labels of my foods and try to be careful with the amounts (because servings are tiny ok!) I should be fine. Then she gave me a device to prick my finger and measure my blood sugar and said to measure my blood fasting, and 1 or 2 hours after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Not fun at all, let me tell you. Especially pricking my finger at work. Gross. Thankfully my OB only wants me to record my fasting blood sugar. He said as long as I follow the diet, I only need to provide him with a trend of my daily fasting numbers to see whether I need insulin. So far my numbers have been fine, hope that continues to be the case.

The first two weeks of being on this diet I actually lost two pounds. I wasn’t expecting to be losing weight while pregnant, but I did have plenty that I recently put on with my “I’m pregnant, I can eat whatever the hell I want” diet. I’ve also noticed my feet haven’t been swelling as much, but I don’t know if that is related. I’ve been doing this for almost a month now and I’m finding it not too difficult to stick to the diet unless people try to tempt me with dessert. I haven’t been attending the office monthly birthday parties since it is always cake and ice cream – none of which is on my diet right now. I know I’ll splurge a little at my own baby shower – yes I have at least one more put on by my Houston friends (and maybe work will throw me one) but that’s it. For now as long as I eat a good dinner of meat and salad, I can still have the skinny cow ice cream that I enjoy. So I guess it could be worse, right? So not only am I counting down the days till I can have sushi again, but I’m also counting down the days until I can eat a giant cookie dripping in fudge and ice cream. Just bring those to my delivery room, ok?

A letter to my beginning blogging self (guest post at Texas Women Bloggers)

DearMe

Today I’m guest posting at Texas Women Bloggers with their Dear Me: A Letter to My Beginning Blogging Self feature. What a fun idea! Have you ever thought back to before you started blogging and wanted to share some advice to your younger self?

Hey there younger Julie, sup? Well you’re about to start this journey called blogging, and you don’t even really know what you’re getting into. You think it is just a way to write down your thoughts and share them with your online friends from all those cool message boards you’re a part of. Blogging is so cool right now (weblog, I remember that word). You’re in college now, so this is a good time to explore everything on your mind and write it all down.

Click here to continue to Texas Women Bloggers to read the rest of the article.

Image Used with Permission. Original Source: Texas Women Bloggers

Supernatural Convention #DallasCon

The weekend of September 20th hubby and I attended a convention for our favorite show: Supernatural!  I know I’ve blogged about how amazing this show is multiple times, so it should be no surprise that we finally decided to go to a con.

The convention was in Dallas, which is about a 4 hour drive from Houston. We drove up Friday evening and I only bought us general admission for Saturday and Sunday. The con really started on Friday, and there were plenty of people who shelled out all the money to get the Gold seats. Sure, the Gold package sounds awesome – great seats, extra autographs, and a special more intimate panel. What I really wanted was a photo with the boys, especially with my boyfriend Jensen Ackles. I mean seriously, that man is gorgeous, and is my #1 celeb crush. So way back when I first found out about these conventions put on by Creation Entertainment and learned of the scheduled dates for the con in Dallas, I went ahead and bought a duo photo opp with Jared and Jensen (Sam and Dean from the show). I bought this while hubby was still on deployment, ages ago it seems now. This was before we moved, before I got pregnant, before everything got a little more complicated. So as the timing worked out, I got to take the photo while 7 months pregnant. No big deal, just a little extra bump in the photo heh. I bought the general admission passes when they started selling them and reserved our hotel rooms at the Westin, but this was at a much later time than when the photo opp first started selling. I wasn’t about to let the photo sell out and miss our chance. Much much later Creation added a Houston stop on the convention tour, for the first time in 10 years! I had already bought the Dallas con, and we decided it still made more sense to go up to Dallas in September while 7 months pregnant, than to try to sell our tickets and buy the Houston ones instead for January, when we had a 2 month old.

So we had a little Dallas weekend adventure. This was actually our very first time in Dallas, but we didn’t really explore any sights there. Another time Dallas, sorry. We got up there Friday evening, and while I really wanted to check out the Karaoke Kings since everyone says how fun it is, this prego girl just needed to go to sleep. Maybe if I wasn’t pregnant and didn’t have to work that day and then have a 4 hour drive I would have been up for it, but I could barely keep my eyes open.

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We bought a few souvenirs in the vendor room prior to the panels starting. I bought a book (which I’m holding in the photo with the cardboard cut out Sam and Dean) with lots and lots of photos and tidbits about the show and the making of. Hubby bought a coffee thermos that says “Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole.” Yea, pretty awesome. Saturday panels included some fun from the host Richard Speight, Jr. (Gabriel/Trickster) who ran up and down the audience and I got to high five him since I was sitting in an aisle seat at the time. There was a panel with Jim Beaver (Bobby) and Kim Rhodes (Sheriff Jody Mills). Osric Chau (Kevin Tran) had a panel where he was dressed normally (apparently he likes to cosplay at every convention – and he did dress up later). Then Mark Sheppard (Crowley) took the stage, and really, he didn’t stay up on the stage. His panel was probably my favorite (you know, not counting J&J) because he walked around the audience and joked and poked fun at people, especially those dressed up as Castiel. Gil McKinney (Henry Winchester) was another favorite because I didn’t realize how talented this man is. He is a great singer and even sang a song from Les Miserables, in the middle of his panel, because someone asked about it. He sang “Empty chairs at empty tables”. I’m sure if I had attended the Karaoke Kings I would have known of his singing ability, but alas, I did not. Also, this was my first con and a lot of people go every year it seems and know all about these guys. Later there was a panel with the goofy Richard Speight, Jr. (Trickster), Matt Cohen (Young John Winchester) and Rob Benedict (Chuck Shurley/Carver Edlund. That was followed by the last panel of the day, Misha Collins (Castiel). Another important character had an appearance on Saturday as well – the Impala! Yep, I took some photos with it. Sunday they actually opened up the trunk so I had to take another pic. That was awesome. Saturday was a full and fun day for sure.

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This funny sign was outside the theater/panel room. Creation has a fun sense of humor. Also the stars kept commenting on how long the panel room was. I’m starting to think Dallas is their biggest turnout on this tour. Go Texas! We love to bring the boys home.

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Sunday was the (THE) day. The day I finally got to (for like 15 seconds) meet the boys for our photo opp. The photo opp was first for us, then their panel was later in the day. There were private meet and greets going on too, but I didn’t shell out the bucks for those. Kinda wish I had though heh. I need a bigger budget for these things. Anyway, the line for the photo was moving so fast that it was obvious we’d only get seconds with Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. When it was our turn I quickly went and hugged them both (!!! Yes I hugged them OMG!) and hubby shook their hands, then we took the fastest photo ever and it was over. $250 for 15 seconds with them. With each photo you’re allowed an additional family member with you, so this turned into a really nice family photo, bump and all. The helper in line commented on my fan in training. :) I was nice and decided to allow hubby to take the photo with me lol. I had originally considered getting my sandwich photo with them hehe. Either way I told hubby to stand next to Moose (Jared, and his 6 foot infinity) and I of course stood next to Jensen – he’s mine, after all. I mean, look at that amazing photo. First of all, the photographer is amazing. One click and he captured me looking my very best and hubby too. No one blinked, smiles were awesome, and Jensen even leaned down into me. Squeeee! He’s the same height as hubby so if he stood up straight I’d be a midget in that photo with all these men over 6 foot tall. I considered asking for a chair to stand on lol. Anyway, I got my snuggle with Jensen and all is well in the world.

 

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Then the afternoon panels got going. First we saw Tahmoh Penikett (Gadreel) and he was really cool to get to hear. I didn’t realize he played the FBI agent on Dollhouse too. Very cool. Then the headliners Jensen Ackles (Dean) and Jared Padalecki (Sam) took the stage, and that was just the most awesome thing ever. I loved hearing them joke with each other and entertain silly fan questions. At one point someone asked them what their favorite monster was and what their favorite way to kill them was – and Jared just had to be crazy sweet and said he married his favorite monster (Ruby) and his favorite way to kill was to give her children. OMG! Then he mentioned she was backstage and we all went nuts chanting her name and so she came out for like two seconds to say hi and gave Jared a kiss. So sweet. Jensen answered a question by giving a slight spoiler about the duration of Demon Dean in this upcoming season, so that was kind of cool too. The season starts Oct 7 and I can’t wait to start watching it again. Jensen and Jared must have mentioned in their special Gold panel earlier that they moved to Austin and bought neighboring houses, so now they don’t need a phone. Yes, they have become bffs because of this awesome show and their wives and babies hang out. Guess maybe I need to make more trips to Austin… and be on the lookout for sightings hehe. Jensen was asked what his first car was, since Dean has “baby” the Impala. He said it was his mom’s Nissan Pathfinder, and that is the car he packed up when he moved from Dallas to Hollywood. [And as an aside, I had to get some car repairs done and I had to get a rental. Well they were out of smaller cars that day so they gave me a Nissan Pathfinder, and for a moment I felt a special connection to Jensen.] Anyway, when the band was transitioning the end of the panel, Jensen got up and sang with the band for a moment. OMG I love his voice.  Seriously, that man is perfection. Later there was a panel with Jim Beaver (Bobby Singer), Misha Collins (Castiel) & Mark Sheppard (Crowley), but at that point everyone was just being silly and goofy and Mark just walked around the audience and ignored Misha and so Jim and Misha were answering fan questions while Mark antagonized them from the crowd. Silly guys. Right after that panel the photos were available (which was awesome, because we were told they wouldn’t be ready until 9pm, and this was only 7pm – we were prepared to wait, and get back to Houston at a ridiculous hour and then have to go to work the next day). The photo turned out amazing. Just amazing, and we paid for a JPG to be emailed to us and got on the road back home. We got in around 11pm, so not too late, but Monday morning was sleepy. What an amazing weekend though!

10 Year Blogoversary and Redesign

I recently realized that my domain Velvet-Rose.net is 10 years old!! I bought it September 16, 2004. It has been 10 years! Happy 10th birthday VRnet! In honor of this birthday, and really because I’ve been wanting to fix this place up a bit anyway, I installed a new theme.

It isn’t perfect, and the header image I decided to use doesn’t quite fit as well. Someday I’ll have to make a new one. But for now, this will do. At least it is a fresh look that works well with current versions of plugins and everything else. I’ve had a lot of issues with the old design being outdated and interfering with other things. Also, since I’ve had this blog since college, all the information was so out of date. The old way the site was organized was the blog was on WP, but everything else was on separate php pages, not in WP. So everything I wanted to keep/move to the new look I had to create new WP pages for. So those of you who’ve been following my blog over time will see I decided not to keep a lot of my former website pages. The site looks much cleaner this way, and reflects my 30-something self, rather than my college self.

So, what do you think of the new look?

#AskAwayFriday – my first post!

 

MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter

 

This is my first time participating in #AskAwayFriday so wheee let’s have some fun! My first exchange is with the host MrsTee herself! Here are the questions she asked, and my answers. If you want to exchange questions with me for an upcoming Friday post, just let me know :)

 

1. You have 2 blogs!! How do you manage and organize for both? It was easy at first when I wasn’t actively trying to breathe life back into VRnet! My friend and I started Chapter Break while my husband was on deployment, so I had a lot of free time. Now it isn’t as easy to keep up with both, but I do my best :) We have specific features we post on particular days on Chapter Break, and we plan those out in advance. The posts I’ve been doing on VRnet are less structured so as long as I write something for each week I’m happy. I’ve done some reviews and memes on this blog that were more timely, but as far as sharing my personal journey – that is an organic process with no set schedule. 
2. Your site ChapterBreak is dedicated to your love of books and reading. Name the following:
Must Read - Eep, well this is hard! Personally I say Colleen Hoover’s Hopeless and Slammed are great reads and can appeal to many people who enjoy various genres. I also think Outlander is a good one to recommend, even if it is a massive beast and the continuing books get even bigger. Everyone needs to meet Jamie and especially now that the TV show has been made, it is even more important to understand who Jamie is. 
Best Book To Movie – I think the Hunger Games adaptations have been the best I’ve seen so far. I love the books and I love the movies as well.
Most Disappointing Read – It kind of isn’t fun to list a book that was just completely disappointing, but not all books work for everyone, and some books do feel like a waste of time. One such example (I don’t know if this is *the most* disappointing, but it is at least *one* very disappointing read) is The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. One of my book clubs read it and I don’t think anyone liked it. Most people gave up and didn’t even bother finishing it. It was boring, strange, and was just overall not our cuppa – even though this is the creatures book club where we read a lot of paranormal and sci-fi stuff.
3. What is your favorite thing about living in Texas? I really enjoy how much Texans love Texas and how they treat each other. I didn’t see a lot of state or local pride where I was growing up in California, and I also encountered many people who just couldn’t be counted on. But here people are so proud and friendly – must be some of that southern hospitality.
4. What memories do you have from living in Ukraine? I don’t have too many memories since we moved when I was young, but I do remember the special time I spent with my grandparents – with grandma teaching me to read and grandpa playing with me in the park. I remember them pulling me on a sled in the snow. I remember the building we lived in was blue and tall. So a few snaps here and there in a child’s memory.
5. Slipper, sneakers or pumps? Sheesh, if I could always wear slippers how awesome would that be? I wear loafers to work, they have more support (thank you plantar fasciitis) but I do enjoy wearing good padded slippers at home.
6. Coffee or tea? Definitely tea. I love tea. I’m European after all. 
7. What is your favorite thing about Fall? Fall in Texas is great because people finally stop complaining about how dang hot it is. Seriously lol. Fall is when you can finally spend some time outside – if the bugs don’t eat you up like they do me. You can even drive with your windows down if you’re into that sort of thing. So it is the relief from the summer heat but the still comfortable temperatures that I enjoy most about fall.
8. If you could take an entire day to yourself what would you do? I would sit in my favorite comfy chair and read. Seriously, everyone go away (except for my cat) and give me some quiet time. Kitty and I like to take naps in between reading sessions.
9. How many keys do you have on your keychain? ? I only have two keys – the house key and the car ignition key. I had a lot more where we lived previously, but here we don’t have a mail key because we have a real mailbox, and the front and back door are keyed the same. Makes my keychain so much less bulky!
10. What is the last tweet you sent? Apparently, this was my most recent tweet (not including RTs or auto shares) at the time of writing this post.