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  1. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson
  2. The Buddha in the Attic, Julia Otsuko
  3. Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
  4. My Beloved World, Sonia Sotomayor


  1. Argo
  2. Behind the Candleabra
rms10: (pantheon)
Books: )


  1. Moneyball
  2. The Dark Knight Rises
  3. The King's Speech
  4. Looper
rms10: (pantheon)
1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
Learned to crochet.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I did not exactly keep my New Year's resolution about calling out concern-trolling, but it turns out that plenty of people were doing that (especially when it came to health care, etc.). However, about halfway through the year I made a resolution to be better at finishing things -- whether it's a final editing pass on a document or weaving in ends on something I've crocheted or wiping off the counter after washing dishes. I've gotten a lot better at it, but it's something I still need to work on. So it is my on-going resolution for 2013.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! Friends, family, and meeeeeee!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes -- my grandmother and two aunts.

5. What countries did you visit?
Norway (to visit my brother) and Germany (to visit a friend). With a toddler, yo.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
A shorter commute.

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
November 6 -- election day and Leo's birth day!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Some of this is luck, but finding a new job relatively quickly while unemployed and visibly pregnant.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I'm not really sure, actually.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a pretty easy pregnancy until the last month, when my round ligament pain was so bad I could barely walk. I also had a third-degree tear and a postpartum hemorrhage during/after childbirth.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Honestly can't think of anything.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Sam has been difficult the last few nights, but overall he was a trooper with us moving, him starting preschool, him getting a little brother, and going through potty-training.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Most of the GOP's.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent and daycare.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Having a second kid.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
I can't think of one in particular. I don't listen to tons of music, actually. Oh, probably one of the songs that Sam has picked up at preschool.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? Happier but more stressed.

ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter. I am 7 weeks postpartum here, people.

iii. richer or poorer? Poorer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Like last year, I'm pretty happy with how I spent my time this year. I have a job, we spend a lot of time together as a family, and that doesn't leave me with much time to "waste".

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
I really can't think of anything.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
We stayed at home, and my in-laws were here. Poor Sam had a bad cold.

22. Did you fall in love in 2012?

23. How many one-night stands?
None. (Same as last year! Duh.)

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Parks and Rec, Downton Abbey, Community, Sherlock, Nashville.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Of course not.

26. What was the best book you read?
The Red Garden, by Alice Hoffman. Loved it.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Didn't have one this year.

28. What did you want and get?
A JOB. A completely intervention-free labor and delivery. Success breastfeeding.

29. What did you want and not get?
A magical solution to our Oakland-Stanford job split.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I only saw three movies this year, so I suppose Moneyball was my favorite of the three.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 33, and I can't remember what we did. I was really pregnant, and we were getting ready to move . . . it was all kind of chaotic.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I'm not sure. There was a job at UCOP that I was in the running for and didn't get, but I very much like the job I have now.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Maternity clothes in a business casual environment! It is as boring as it sounds.

34. What kept you sane?

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Chip Esten, who I've loved FOREVER and is currently killing it on Nashville.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Health care and reproductive rights.

37. Who did you miss?
Extended family.

38. Best new person you met?
Sam's preschool teachers are the best.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
Working hard pays off in ways that you can't necessarily predict.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Don't have one. This was a year of massive change -- new jobs for both me and Eli, a short stretch of unemployment for me, a move, and a second kid. Good god, I'm tired again just thinking of it. (Also, haven't had a 5-hour stretch of sleep in over a week.)
rms10: (pantheon)
Leo's birth (and aftermath)!

Executive summary:
11 hours of labor
10 minutes of pushing

Leo's stats:
7 lb, 6 oz.
19.5 inches
Apgar 9 and 9
40w4d gestation
Born Tuesday, November 6, at 3:52 p.m.

Birth details (not particularly gory): )

Postpartum hemorrhage, non-gory details )

Postpartum hemorrhage, the gory detail )

A final personal note )

(For reference, here is the birth story from my older son's birth.)
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As someone who is currently spending at least 4.5 hours/day nursing a newborn, I am delighted that so many of you are addicted to Letterpress!

(rstanek on GameCenter. I'm getting better. Bring it on!)

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

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So far today, I have:

- Snuggled with a sleeping Leo.
- Painted a pumpkin with Sam.
- Taken pictures of the lovely Japanese maple tree in the yard.
- Chatted with a neighbor.
- Not slept very much.
- Drank a lot of coffee (related to previous item).

All good for the soul. Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

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Little Leo was born on Election Day! November 6, 2012, at 3:52 p.m. Only four days late this time! 7 lb 6 oz, 19.5 inches long, full head of dark hair, and totally adorable.

I'll post a longer birth story later, but in short: between his perfect position (anterior) and it being the second child, giving birth was no problem. The postpartum hemorrhage (AGAIN), not so much.

We're all settling in at home. Sam is a very sweet big brother. Nursing is going well. I actually got a three-hour chunk of sleep last night, and some coffee this morning, so my brain is almost working.

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  1. As many of you have heard, [bugaloo] (short for [untitled 2: electric boogaloo] -- I spelled it wrong originally and it stuck) is a boy! We're very excited, mostly because now we can CLEAN OUT THE BASEMENT and go through all of S's baby clothes.

  2. My first thought when I saw that fetus penis was, "Oh, hell no, I am not cleaning toilets with three boys in this house." (I clean the bathrooms and E cleans the kitchen, mostly because E can't clean the bathrooms to my standard, and I can't clean the kitchen to his.)

  3. Explaining to S that we know the baby is a boy, but that the baby isn't here yet, is a bit trickier than I thought it would be.

  4. When I was younger, I thought a lot about what girls need in order to be confident and feminist in this world. Now, though, I'm excited that we have the chance to raise well-rounded, confident, feminist boys in this world.

  5. This morning, I told S that today we were going to find out if the baby was going to be a boy or a girl. He responded, clear as could be, "Maybe it's a goy!" His first wordplay! That's definitely the first time I've heard him combine two words like that to make a new one and/or to be funny. Plus, there's the added bonus of the unintentional multi-lingual pun, as S and [bugaloo] and I are all in fact goyim. I am very excited about this major milestone!

Have a great weekend, everyone!
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Things here are going well!
  1. As many of you have heard on other social media platforms, I'm pregnant! 12 weeks along (due in early November). The queasiness has been manageable (hooray for ginger ale and crackers); the fatigue has not.
  2. Three of my cousins are pregnant right now, too, with due dates in June, August, and September. The family reunion in 2013 is going to be so much fun.
  3. We are going to find out the sex, if only to make it easier to explain to S. But neither E nor I has a preference, and I was kind of delighted that E said it was "trivial". The values we want to instill in our kids are independent of gender. (Also, we are both of the opinion that birth order factors into personality more than gender does.)
  4. I started reading the Norse mythology in Bulfinch's, as preparation for our trip to Norway. My brother had warned me that it was depressing. I'm not sure I'd call it depressing, just . . . does Thor do anything other than go around and bash giants on the head with his hammer? Eh, I'll read some more on the next rainy night.
  5. On a political note, I am delighted that a ballot initiative to overturn the death penalty in California has made it onto the November 2012 ballot. (As California enacted the death penalty by ballot initiative, it can only be overturned by ballot initiative.) But I don't want to get my hopes up and be disappointed if it fails. Sigh.
  6. And back on a happier note, S remains hilarious and delightful. His current obsession is "yardwork", which he defines as hitting plants with a stick. And when he pretends that we're all in a car, he insists that we all put our seatbelts on. Aw!

Hope you're all having a great week!
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  1. The Golden Gate, Vikram Seth
  2. The White Queen, Philippa Gregory
  3. Half a Crown, Jo Walton
  4. The Red Queen, Philippa Gregory
  5. The Last of the Tribe: the Epic Quest to Save a Lone Man in the Amazon, Monte Reel
  6. Bossypants, Tina Fey
  7. At Home, Bill Bryson
  8. The Secret Lives of Dresses, Erin McKean
  9. Packing for Mars, Mary Roach
  10. The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs
  11. Spoiled, Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan


  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J. K. Rowling

Abandoned Books:

  1. Rapture Ready: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture, Daniel Radosh


  1. Inception
  2. Richard III
  3. Toy Story 3
  4. Amadeus
  5. The Adjustment Bureau
  6. The Other Boleyn Girl
  7. Hot Tub Time Machine
  8. The Right Stuff
  9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
  10. Exit Through the Gift Shop
  11. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  12. Bridesmaids
  13. Helvetica
  14. The Muppets
  15. Bill Cunningham New York
  16. Midnight in Paris
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Well before I had kids, I used to joke that I'd want to take maternity leave when the kids were, say 6-12 months old, or 12-18 months old. They're just much more fun at that age!

I finally got a job, after a long time looking, applying and interviewing for a range of positions. I start on April 11. Sam will be 18 months old on April 16.

(All I'm saying about it publicly is that it's not an academic position.)
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2010 had a lot of ups and downs, but it was good. Here's the usual end-of-the-year meme.

2010 )

(Previous years: 2006, 2008, and 2009.)
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And now it's time to talk about All Clear! It's been all I could think about over the weekend, and I finished it this afternoon. My thoughts on it behind the cut, while it's still fresh in my mind.

Spoilers for All Clear )

I know several of you have read it -- what did you think?
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I just finished Blackout, by Connie Willis, with perfect timing -- All Clear comes out on Tuesday. (If that's not a reason to finally get a library card here, I don't know what is.) And oh boy, I need to talk about Blackout. Surely some of you have read it?

Major Blackout spoilers here! )

I'm sure that, like, half of my questions are answered in the first half of the book. Still, have any of you read it? What do you think?
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Any advice for getting a ten-month-old to stop grinding his teeth (8 total)? Or should I just start saving up for the inevitable TMJ treatment?

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Sam is nine months old (as of yesterday!), and the past month and a half have been a blast. Sometime in there he's shifted from interacting with us to communicating with us. We have exchanges of blowing raspberries at each other. He'll shake his head back and forth, and get very excited if we do that back at him. He's started high-fiving and waving (next up: the terrorist fist jab), and is starting to understand when to wave. All these exchanges make him very happy.

It's all very cool, because he's not talking, but it seems like these are all ways of us telling each other, "Hello! I am here! You are here! I love you!"

Also, he is properly crawling, although he's still faster at the inchworm method.

He is also still crazy kicking all the time. Here's the most recent video of him kicking, behind the cut:
kicky Sam! )

Seriously, he is crazy active, as can be seen in all these videos. I guess it's no surprise, as he was always a very wriggly fetus. Maybe, uh, I should cut back on the caffeine?

Right! Life is good! I know I keep saying this, but 9 months is a very fun age.
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Sam is very, very close to crawling -- he often gets up on all fours and rocks back and forth. Occasionally, he'll move one of his hands. More rarely, he'll try moving a knee. He must be close to putting it all together.

There are some other cool developments lately:

  • He was playing with two toys so that they were interacting with each other (holding a block and hitting it with a giraffe). There have been plenty of times that he's been holding two toys, but this was new. It's never even occurred to me that it was a specific and advanced skill until I saw him do it for the first time.
  • I think he's figuring out various signs of affection. He'll give you a giant grin if you kiss his forehead.
  • He's starting to figure out waving.
  • He's figuring out how to clap! So much fun. He loves it when I lay on the floor next to him and clap. He'll totally get the Michigan fight song by fall.

And that's all in the last two weeks! Dang. What's really surprising is that he's also teething, and he's still sleeping well!

(7 1/2 months old! Such a fun age.)
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I didn't manage the four-month-update, because I was too busy. In a related note, I've been back at work for a month now.

How Sam's doing )

How I'm doing )

Obligatory adorable picture of Sam )
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Yesterday, Sam turned three months old! He celebrated by having an ear infection, poor guy!

Even with an ear infection, he is the happiest little guy out there. He loves to kick kick kick, and a couple weeks ago he started interacting with toys! I think he's also deliberately reaching for the toys on the playmat, but I'm not sure. Music seems to make him really happy, but honestly, he's just a happy guy.

Breastfeeding is going well -- he's gained two pounds in the last month -- and I'm working on improving my pump output. We're having a bit of trouble getting him to take breastmilk from a bottle, but I think it's because he's sick.

Sleeping is also good -- he will actually fall asleep on his own if he's swaddled! And sleepy, of course. It doesn't work if he's playful. We had a good nap schedule for a while, but again, that has sort of fallen apart with him being sick.

And now for the milestones -- again from What to Expect the First Year, because I'm tired and don't want to look them up in the AAP guide to the first year:
Milestones )

How I'm doing. )

And of course, the gratuitous adorable picture of Sam!

Looking ahead

March 2013



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