Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Book is Better Than Your Kindle

I love technology, and new devices. My iPad is clutch at home, and my iPhone fills in the same gap when I'm on the go. Pandora, Words With Friends, FourSquare...they are all in my daily life. And as I got my book club book that I ordered off of Amazon in the mail, and swore very loud as I realized I bought the large print edition, I paused to think about why, WHY?? don't I have a Kindle.

But I still cannot get excited about an e-reader. A book is meant to be held. The pages turned. Not a cold hard piece of plastic that you have to plug in. I am the only person in my book club that has yet to convert to an e-reader. And even with my large-print edition book, I will not convert.

And believe me I have tried. I tried to read a book on my iPad and it sucked. I hated it. I hated the book. It took me forever to finish it which made me hate it even more. And I KNOW for a fact that people are going to vehemently disagree with me, so here it is----why my book is better than your Kindle:
  • You can't share your kindle with friends. Okay, maybe you are super generous and don't really like to read that much and are willing to part with your reading 'device' while your friend reads the book that you downloaded. But I LOVE to read a book and pass it on.
  • Sometimes you need a change of scenery. I stare at some form of screen all day long. Whether its a computer at work, TV on my couch or my phone/iPad any other moment of the day, sometimes you just need a break. I love my screens and don't want to give any of them up, I just don't need to add another one.
  • I don't want to have to do math when I read. I hear people talking about percent of book complete, some math conversion to the number of kindle pages to regular pages, blah blah blah and all I can think of is "there shouldn't be math in reading". That is why I like reading--no math.
  • It's harder to judge a book by its cover on the Kindle. I know you are supposed to do it, but I love picking a book by its cover. It's wrong. It probably makes me a bad person. But I don't care. I do it anyway. 
  • It's harder to spy on what other people are reading. I love being on the beach, or in the airport, where a ton of people are reading books and seeing what everyone is reading. It is impossible to do this when everyone is just starting at a screen.
  • Without books places like http://www.open-books.org/ couldn't exist. Or Better World Books. Or even local libraries that get a lot of funding from selling used books. And while I am on it, you can't buy best selling, recent books for $1.00 from the library sale on the Kindle. You have to buy full-priced books.

So agree or agree to disagree but I am a book lover for life. I will continue schlepping 4 books on vacation and shed them along the way. I will still buy used books. I will still buy new books, and if they happen to come in large-print I will read them anyway.

Because they have pages that can be dog-eared. Pages that can be turned. And flipped through. And passed along.

Monday, March 28, 2011

How to be a Parent in 6 Hours

It was a monumental occasion yesterday as we participated in an "All-In-One" parenting class. Yes, we walked out after 6 hours of class and are ready to be be parents--everything from taking care of the baby in utero (let's face it, this is a little too little late, since this bun has been baking for almost 29 weeks) to post-natal baby care.

And the reality of the situation is that I am going to forget about 94% of what we learned yesterday but here are the key things I took away:

1) All mother products are ridiculouly named. Like the "My Breast Friend' nursing pillow. Really? Is that supposed to make me feel all warm in cozy while I nurse for approximately 10 hours a day?

2) I do NOT want a mirror in the deliver room. Enough said.

3) I am lucky to have Nate. There are dudes that totally don't care, are disengaged, or just seem like they want nothing to do with the process.

4) Women make weird noises when they are in labor. And in my mind I am not going to make those noises, but  in my heart my guess is the pain has to come out in some way and it will be weird noises.

5) Neither Nate or I can properly change a diaper, and our children will most likely be running around with their diapers on backwards 50% of the time.

6) Kids have to be in car seats until they are 35.

7) The size of a newborn's stomach when it is born is equivalent to a dice. But the question I still have about this tidbit of information is why I have to feed for 10 hours when the stomach is so small?

So those were my key take-aways. While at lunch Nate and I had a great discussion about the delivery room and we have decided Nate has 2 very important roles:

First, he is the Birth Ambassador. It's a very important job. Making sure that what we need to give birth is in place. It's all him.

Second, he is the Procurement Specialist. Another very important and flashy job that mainly involves getting things like water, ice chips and lots and lots of popsicles. There was this ridiculous video in class where the husband was shoving water in the wife's face every 5 minutes and Nate flat our told me that if I want something, I better just ask for it because he has no desire to be the Water Nazi. And thus, Procurement Specialist was born----a much better ring to it don't you think?

And so the journey continues.....

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Newest Toy

No it's not an exer-saucer, or teething toy. This is a full-blown man-toy.

Nate's new racing bike has arrived!

Some of you may remember the very sad moment last year when Nate's previous bike was stolen (jerks...). He has been searching and scouring for his next bike and after a long winter of riding "frankenbike" he could not be more excited (think of how I am when I walk into a candy store and then multiply by 10).

I have to admit it is pretty fancy looking. His first race of the season is a 100-miler in early May, and I am pretty sure he is going to dominate it with a little extra help from his ultra-sleek, light and aero-dynamic bike!

So if you live in Minneapolis, and are cruising around, be on the look-out for a blur of green and white, and also this is a great time for my yearly plea to all people: mind the bikers people, it could be Nate!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Magazine Cuisine: Episode 5

The April Cooking Light could not have come sooner as I was seriously lacking inspiration for our recipe a week.

Now, I have to admit I do not remember exactly what this recipe was 'titled' but essentially it is a Fettucine Spring Medley. Technically, it was supposed to be made with Pappardelle noodles, but seriously who can find those, and where do they find them, and how to do they have enough time to go and find them?

Anyway, it was delicious.

Fresh Spinach. Fresh dill. Chives. Ricotta.

Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

I am SO excited for fresh veggies that are coming straight out of our backyard again. This dish just tasted like spring to me, and on a day where we got 7 inches of snow, this is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Waterpark Fun

The WI Dells called our names this weekend as the whole family congregated at The Wilderness for a wet n' wild weekend. Although I use 'wild' quite liberally as I am pretty sure I passed out on the couch at 8:30 Friday night....

But it was very fun to see how much Finn loved the water---the wave pool took a little coaxing but once he was in it it went from being "creepy and freaky"...."totally awesome." His words. Not mine.

...to  "totally awesome." His words. Not mine.

Now as a second child myself, I feel it necessary to explain that the reason little Leo does not have any waterpark pictures is because he was just a little too young for this mad house. He did much better in the cozy little villa, and certainly was not for lack of attention.

It was a very fun weekend. Finn literally says the most hilarious things non-stop, and Leo is just so cute and has the biggest cheeks/thighs/etc you just want to squeeze him to death. I wasn't the only one that couldn't get enough of the boys (...think someone is ready for Daddy-hood?)

Now the madness continues. Yes, March Madness (which my bracket is totaly busted), but also the madness of less then 3 months until a baby is in THIS household! Nate had a very profound thought while we were at dinner Saturday night, and that was eventually when we make a reservation for a family dinner with my parents and sister, we could be asking for a table for TWELVE!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Vacation Reads

Nate and I both read a ton on vacation. He likes to remind me that he read way more pages than I did. I guess I didn't realize it was a competition but I'll let him win it, and I will also give him the prize for dorkiest books read on a beach. Ever.

I thought I would give a little book review on the books I read, because I know I am always looking for some new recommendations and this will not only be a what to  read but a what NOT to read.

So, first book was: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.

This is one of those rare books that is slow moving, but you are okay with it being slow. All of the characters get fully developed, and it is a complex story (not your typical single-minded--it's a world war 2 book, or it's a love story, etc). I really enjoyed this book, and for those of you in the medical field I think you would enjoy it even more as there is a lot of reference and discussion of the medical field. This was the best book I read on vacation.

Next up, was a book called Please Forgive me by Amanda Eyre Ward, and let me tell you I the author knew the quality of this book when she titled it, because she SHOULD be asking for forgiviness. Please forgive me for wasting your time with the peice-of-crap book.
The only good thing about this book was that it was short. Do NOT read this book, unless you have a bunch of time you just feel like wasting. Although I would recommend doing pretty much anything else but read this book.

Finally, I read Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald
So I did enjoy this book quite a bit. It is an interesting subject (woman comes to America from Iran and has 3 months to find a husband or her visa expires) that has depth. Now, what I will say is that I feel like this book should have been longer to truly play with the subject matter and develop the characters. It was a little rushed and contrived in spots, but an enjoyable read, with a predictable happy ending. Not the best book I've read and definitely not the worst.

So there you have it. I am still hemming and hawing over what to read next. I am having too much fun just staring at Baby H kicking around at night too read!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Best of Both Worlds

This weekend, I had the best of both world: my family in town to help get ready for Baby H, AND one of my best friend's bachelorette party.

One of my all-time favorite things is getting to meet my friends family and hearing stories about them that you haven't heard, watching the similarities, and seeing how much they are loved by so many other people. So the bachelorette party was like a jack-pot for me.

I got to meet Katie's sister, who is incredibly sweet and kind, and who much to my delight shares many of the same mannerisms as Katie. I got to meet her future sister-in-laws and true to the Plonske name they didn't disappoint: full of good stories and good dance moves (although I didn't see anyone high-kick quite as high as Ryan can.).

Not that I had any reason to think otherwise, but after last night, I am 100% certain that Katie's wedding will be one of the best, most fun weddings I have been too and I am counting the days.

Plus, now that I know Baby H can keep this mama rockin until 2:30AM with heels I am ready to go! That's right! Baby H  hit the dance floor last night in full force, complete with the dance face.

I have to admit I had flashes of feeling quite trashy being in a bar and looking quite pregnant. And the crowning point of the night was when we left the first club a guy stopped me, leaned in and said: "Can I be your next Baby Daddy?". Ick. Seriously? Do these lines actually work on people? 

Next up: the transformation of Baby H's nursery thanks to the dynamic duo of Nate and Dad!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Download

As the vacation afterglow slowly fades away with (even more) snow, emails, and the moan and drone of daily life, I wistfully think back to how 4 short days ago our routine went something like this:

Go for a Run by beach (or in my case a power walk):

Eat First Breakfast (yes there were multiple)

Read by Pool (while trying to pretend I didn't just look like a beached whale)

Eat Second Breakfast

Snooze by the Pool

Order afternoon non-alcoholic Pina Colada's and Eat Jerk Chicken

Watch sunset from our balcony (yes this was the view from our room...bliss)

School Nate at Ping Pong pre-dinner

Eat Dinner, Watch some Entertainment, Turn it in for 10 hours of sleep.

Wake up and do it all again.

We quickly learned what happens when you strayed off of that routine. For example, we went to the nightly entertainment on Tuesday which was the "Perfect Couples Competition." It was a tough sell since NEITHER of us are competitive, but we decided to throw our names in the hat. I mean, we have been together for nearly 13 years. Of course we can answer questions about each other.

Right? Well, we quickly try to prep each other: "What's your Favorite Color?", "What's your Favorite TV Show..". Etc. The host of this little show takes the women to Guam so that we can't hear the guys. They parade us back out, with the audience laughing and begin to start the game show.

The first question (and this was the most benign of all of the questions): What is your wife's bra size?

Ummmm...excuse me? This is not what I signed up for, nor is this a competition I care to win. In fact, after having sat through the whole wonderful 'show' Nate and I decided it should have been called the "perviest couple."

Anywhoo...the other, much MORE fun thing that Happened on vacation was that I had my very first stranger ask me if I was pregnant. And Nate swears he didn't pay this person off....I was a little concerned about looking too much beached whale not enough preggo in my swimsuit.

So we did a photo challenge.

One of these photos is my real bump. The other is with me puuuuushing it out as much as possible. :)

And because Nate likes to remind me that he, himself, is experiencing his own phantom pregnancy, here is his belly shot:

Yes, it is all fun and games until someone somewhere figures out how to actually have men get pregnant and deliver a child....

So we are back at it in the real world. The vacation was exactly what we needed, and the perfect way to bring in Nate's Birthday. And of course...I am already trying to figure out how to plan our next vacation....

Sunday, March 6, 2011

30 years

We are back from vacation. (**sigh**)

BUT, before I indulge myself with stories and photos of said vacation, I wanted to take a moment (or post if you will), to wish my incredible husband a very happy 30th birthday.

30 years.  Nate always says, there is nothing special about a birthday just because it ends with a 0. BUT as I look backward at he 30 years he has already lived and the fact that I have been a part of almost 50% of them, I can't help but to feel lucky to not have shared only in those but AMAZINGLY lucky that I get to be a part of the next 30+.

And I feel pretty confident saying that his 30th year will be an unforgettable one.

Maybe it is the vacation afterglow talking (because--spoiler alert---we had an exactly-what-the-doctor-ordered sort of time), but I could not be more excited to celebrate another 70 birthdays with Nate.

So, HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY Nate!! Here's to many many more.