Pregnancy: Old Wives’ Tales Edition

Soon we will discover whether the baby beluga is a boy beluga or a girl beluga. I have no idea what the beluga will reveal itself to be and I have strong ideas that it’s a stubborn baby and will hide its parts. Jesse thinks the beluga is a boy (of course) and my sister/friends all think the beluga is a girl. My dreams have had featured both a big and a girl, while my friend Tessa had a dream we had a girl. Lots of thoughts out there…but what do the old ladies of yore say? (I’m using this list, the image is from a very funny book called Pregnancy Sucks.)


Old Wives’ Tale #1 – Linea Nigra
No line here: INCONCLUSIVE

Old Wives’ Tale #2 – Carrying High or Low?
What does this even mean? I’m carrying a baby in my uterus…I guess it’s high? They should include pictures with these things.

Old Wives’ Tale #3 – The Draino Thingo
Just no. Why would ANYONE do this? Who just has Draino around so they can mix it with their pee?!

Old Wives’ Tale #4 – Is Your Skin Dry or Soft?
Umm…definitely dry.

Old Wives’ Tale #5 – What’s Baby’s Heart rate?
The faster the heart rate, the more likely it’s a girl. Our baby’s heart rate has been between 155-160 at our last two appointments.

Old Wives’ Tale #6 – Your Flowing Locks
I’m not sure my hair will ever be thin, but it has become dull & dry. Oh! How I wish I could say it’s gorgeous and glossy.

Old Wives’ Tale #7 – Where Are You Carrying Extra Weight?
This is a horrible thing to ask a pregnant woman to judge. Honestly, I’m gaining weight everywhere. I feel like an already giant cow being fattened for slaughter. So where do I see most of the weight? Everywhere, but mainly the front.

Old Wives’ Tale #8 – Numbers…
Now I’m supposed to do MATH?! Let’s see…I was 30 when the beluga was conceived and the magic happened in February. 32 (and I so remember that numbers ending in 2 are even)…that means:

Old Wives’ Tale #9 – Sweet, Salty or Sour?
I’m not really having cravings. I like milk and OJ, but both make me a little queasy. I definitely like sweet fruits over anything sour (never drinking grapefruit juice again). Not all that interested in anything too sweet though. Yeah…this one is INCONCLUSIVE.

Old Wives’ Tale #10 – Wedding Ring Test
I tried this over the weekend with my family and since most of them think it’s a girl they could have made the results whatever they wanted. And I think we had the circle=girl thing wrong. When I tried it this morning on my own, it went back and forth which apparently means boy…so this is INCONCLUSIVE as far as I’m concerned.

Old Wives’ Tale #11 – Got Morning Sickness?
I’ve experienced some morning sickness, nothing crazy though. But according to this site any morning sickness means GIRL.

Old Wives’ Tale #12 – How About Those Cold Feet?
It’s too hot in Arizona to have cold feet, but it’s something I’ve always had. Are they warmer than usual…actually, yes. (But it’s only if they’re the same that it’s a girl and if they’re colder it’s a boy, so I have no idea what it means that they’re warmer than normal.)

Old Wives’ Tale #13 – How Do You Look?
Another question a pregnant woman shouldn’t have to answer. You know how I look?! FAT. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a boy or a girl, they’re both going to make me look fat for the next 21 weeks (and maybe longer). But do I think I look better than before? No.
GIRL because they like to steal Mom’s beauty.

Old Wives’ Tale #14 – The Breast Test!
They’re both ginormous compared to pre-preggers standards (also does anyone have boobs that are even?). I’d say the left is leading though. (I’ve seen other lists that say the opposite of this one though.)

Old Wives’ Tale #15 – North or South?
Umm…does this mean which direction I was sleeping around time of conception or when the baby was growing genitalia? Currently I sleep with my head to the West, before to the North…so umm…why are North and South the only options?

Old Wives’ Tale #16 – Pimples, Schimiples…
Oh, yes. I have them.

Old Wives’ Tale #17 – Are You A Lefty or a Righty?
Despite the fact that it’s recommended I sleep on my left side, my right side is so much more comfortable.

Old Wives’ Tale #18 – Check Out Your Wee!
Should I be looking at a certain time of day to determine color? I mean, urine tends to vary in color throughout the day. Sometimes it’s bright, sometimes almost clear. Does this mean twins?

Old Wives’ Tale #19 -What Does Your Belly Look Like?
What kind of watermelon are we talking about? I’m big all over, so there’s definitely no basketball here.

Old Wives’ Tale #20 – Hairy Legs?
Is my leg hair growing faster…why did anyone ever put leg hair growth and baby gender together? How do the two correlate?! Mine’s pretty normal. Maybe even slower.

Bonus Round:
According to the Chinese Lunar Pregnancy Calendar the beluga is a GIRL.

There’s one that says if your age and conception year are both even/odd, it’s a girl. Well, mine are: GIRL.

GIRL: 13
BOY: 1

Guess we’ll see what science says soon!

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Never Want to Trade Places With

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is invited to share their answers. If you’re interested, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish to take a peek at upcoming Top Ten Topics.

This week’s topic:  Top Ten Characters I’d NEVER Want To Trade Places With

Sansa Stark from George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. Life in Westeros is not pleasant, but especially for the poor girl used as a bargaining chip on more than one occasion.

Mark Watney from The Martian by Andy Weir. Because if I were left on Mars I wouldn’t survive. I can’t do math and I’m not great with science.

Ursula Todd from Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Can you imagine reliving your life over and over again and hoping you finally get it right? While I think the idea of reincarnation is plausible, it’s the remembering previous lives that I wouldn’t be crazy about.

Darcy from America Pacifica by Anna North. Despite the fact that I didn’t like this book, the world Darcy lives in sounds TERRIBLE. She lives on a floating island made of trash because the Earth is experiencing an Ice Age and land is inhabitable.

Jonny Valentine from The Love Song of Jonny Valentine by Teddy Wayne. I never want to be famous and I never want to be pre-teen or teen-aged boy.

Ben Benjamin from The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison. Heartbreaking. I don’t know if I keep going.

Harry Potter from well…duh. Like with the above “never want to be famous”, can you imagine the pressure of being THE BOY WHO LIVED. I mean, Harry’s life sucks and then he has moments of “woo! not sucking” and then it goes back to him having to save everyone he loves from a terrible future. I would NEVER want to trade places with Harry Potter. Magic is cool and all, but…the pressure.

A member of the jury from The Submission by Amy Waldman. Talk about an impossible situation. You make a choice without knowing anything about the designer and that one decision turns the world upside down.

Darrow from Red Rising by Pierce Brown. Red Rising’s gods and peons universe is brutal. First, I feel like space travel is great in theory, but would suck in real life (I’ve read Chris Hadfield’s autobiography — it takes a lot of pressure to fly into space). Second, Darrow is a red so he’s pretty close to the bottom and life for Darrow SUCKS.

Tie: Offred from The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and Hannah Payne from When She Woke by Hillary Jordan. Both of these women have to deal with tyrannical, religious and oppressive governments. No thank you.

Red clearly equals bad in literature — thanks, Nathaniel Hawthorne.

A Quick Trip to Portland

On Saturday I experienced my first perk of “Non-Rev” flying. I had no idea it was called that until I went to the dentist and answered a question about Jesse’s new job. My hygienist said, “I’ve only flown non-rev once, we didn’t have any problems.” So that’s what it’s called…

(Perhaps I haven’t shared the good news…Jesse got a new job with an airline! Yay!)

Where's the magic?We both had the weekend off so we decided to fly to Portland, OR for a few hours. We decided on Portland because the flights there & back gave us enough time to hang out, plus public transportation in PDX is fantastic. We were also attracted to Portland by two tourist-y locations to visit in our four hours on the ground: Voodoo Doughnut and Powell’s City of Books. (I’ve never seen Portlandia, but maybe I should watch an episode now?) We love food and books so it really worked out.

Q: You’re going to Portland for the day? Why?
A: Because we can.

(As ridiculous as it sounds, it was a lot like driving up to the Grand Canyon in a day — which I’ve done with my family ONCE. The difference though: the airplane has a bathroom, when it got dark I could turn on a light, and the view from a plane is better than that from a car.)

Mt. Hood & friends.
Mt. Hood & friends.

So we left PHX bright and early — I bought coffee, I packed a couple of reading options (Three Weissmanns of Westport, Shotgun Lovesongs, & many other prepubs from Edelweiss on my iPad), and we were off! I was incredibly distracted by the view from the window seat, there were real mountains and SNOW and big areas of NOTHING.

Rainbow!We took the MAX line downtown and headed straight to Voodoo Doughnut. (The ride into Portland really didn’t sell me on the city…lots of trash.) Of course we tried the Maple Bacon Bar because…well…bacon on a donut?! I thought it was delicious, Jesse didn’t love it.

Then we walked over to Powell’s City of Books and whoa. It is HUGE. Four stories of books AND a second location right across the street. I definitely got lost and bought books that I didn’t really need but felt the urge to purchase anyway. Plus I saw the Espresso Book Machine in action — pretty cool!

Powell's purchases.However, I also spotted prepubs FOR SALE for $15. First, it shouldn’t be for sale. Second, for the same price as a new book…umm…really? The other annoying thing about Powell’s — used books and new books were smushed together on the shelves. Annoying? Yes. I also question how much they were selling used books for and if some of those “new” books weren’t actually used. When I see a book with a broken spine selling for the same price as the new book, I’m gonna have a few questions.


A few books stopped by for a visit, some might stay forever.

Mount Library Books Pretty covers, film adaptations, Tournament of Books, awards, random lists, known authors, recommendations from co-workers & friends…these are the reasons I decide to check out a book from the library. Of course, that only gets the book into my house. It doesn’t mean I’ll actually read it. (There’s no explanation for what I decide to read next…it’s pretty random.) What’s really sad is that I periodically return a BUNCH of books, but then even more come calling my name.

Several of the books I have checked out at the moment are on the ToBX list. For instance, I HAD to check out the book  that could stop Life After Life‘s chance from even competing (Woke Up Lonely — the reviews on Goodreads are not great, its average is a 2.82). Then there were a few books on the ToBX list I’ve had checked out for a couple of weeks (or have checked out multiple times) that I must now get serious about cracking open (The Luminaries, The Son). I feel like I’m more interested in the Tournament this year because I’ve actually read six of the books on the list (and attempted a seventh, but the second person POV wasn’t working for me).  This year (since I still have time) I’m going to at least glance at all seventeen books.

Book Sale FindsAnd purchasing…well, I just buy at random. Like if the Friends of the Library is having a sale and then on the last day they decide to make all of the books 5 for $1…yeah, I bought 15 today. That’s right! Seventeen books for a total of FIVE BUCKS. Apparently there were books under the tables in boxes on Friday that I had NO idea about. Well, never fear, friends! I discovered those boxes today. Some of them I already own… Yes. I have a problem. 

(Oh…and Jesse says I have to mention that I am very excited the Broncos are going to the Super Bowl. WOO HOO! PFM! HURRY HURRY! OMAHA, OMAHA! BAGS MONTANA FAT MAN!)

Bout of Books 9.0 — Wrap-up!

Bout of Books 9.0 Wrap-Up
Number of pages read today: 1,612
Total number of books read: 4
Challenges: 5 — Check out my Progress post for details

Thoughts: It’s over! I survived! It turned out to be a pretty successful read-a-thon for me. I finished four books and participated in more challenges than ever before! (In my head that’s said in an announcer’s voice.) The Kate Atkinson book probably wasn’t the best choice for a read-a-thon (it’s a little dense compared to the other books I read), but it was fantastic. Overall, I’d call this a fantastic Bout of Books week and I can’t wait for the next one in May!
Bout of Books

Behind the Scenes at the Museum (1995) by Kate Atkinson 
After loving Life After Life, I decided to go back to Atkinson’s backlist and read her debut novel.

With the story of Ruby Lennox, I immediately saw similarities to Ursula Todd and as a storyteller Atkinson has only improved. Of course, she had a pretty strong start with this one.

While there were a few things with this one that didn’t seem to work, overall it’s a wonderfully weaving story of several generations of Ruby’s family — Alice, her great grandmother, Nell, her grandmother, and Bunty, her mom — and we see over and over how history manages to repeat itself despite all the different paths taken. There’s one piece I could have done without (see the spoiler on my Goodreads review),  but it also didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the novel.

The Martian (Feb 2014) by Andy Weir*
An enthralling survival story about an astronaut left behind — an accident — on Mars. This is definitely SCIENCE fiction, there’s a lot of calculations and astronaut-esque strategizing. I was reminded of Commander Chris Hadfield’s autobiography and how astronauts are taught to figure out how not to die. They look around them with the thought of “what could kill me next” and try to avoid it. That’s this book.

I am also very interested in a real astronaut’s take on this book and just how real it could be…I’m kind of hoping Commander Hadfield and some of those Mars Curiosity folks read it and get back to me.😉

The Divorce Papers (March 2014) by Susan Rieger*
First — if you aren’t at all interested in anything related to the law, you aren’t going to love large parts of this book. There are large sections written in the style of court rulings. BUT if you do like smart, well-written, funny, honest novels about marriage, family, and friendship, then you will love this book.

Sophie Diehl is dragged into the middle of an ugly divorce — she’s not a civil attorney and has no interest in being one — but the client likes her so she sucks it up. There are work politics involved with this decision, plus Sophie’s own issues with divorce — does one ever really get over her parent’s divorce?

Through legal memos, court opinions, personal emails, and letters we learn about the heartache of a marriage falling apart, the beauty of long-lasting friendship, and the intricacies of the law (or just any divorce!).

It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2006) by Ned Vizzini 
There’s a lot of pressure on teens to be the best at everything…pretty, smart, thin, athletic. In this novel, Craig puts a lot of pressure on himself, so much so that he ends up admitting himself to his neighborhood psychiatric facility. Once there we meet an interesting cast of characters that all are there to heal themselves but also end up helping Craig. The ending felt inauthentic, after only five days Craig feels the Shift. But part of what brought on his recent suicidal thoughts would have been his suddenly not taking his prescription. Is five days enough time for that to properly balance him? I’m not sure. (It is based on the author’s own experience, so I’m sure he would know better than I.)

But despite that, there’s a very real message here: you can change your situation. You can manage the craziness of life. And no matter what: live. Of course, this novel is all the more tragic due to the author’s recent suicide. I can only imagine the suffering he experienced, while he was praised for his novels, that can only lead to one putting more pressure to be better and do better. I don’t know his situation, but I hope his family is given the space they need to heal.

Teens are lucky to have this honest novel about depression and the pressures of high school. If you know someone who’s struggling (or even think for a minute they might be), this is a good book to pass along — also include The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

*Advanced copies received from the publisher with hopes I will read them (I don’t always read them and I definitely don’t always talk about them). I was not compensated for these reviews and I do not receive payment for any reviews published on

"Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life." – Mark Twain

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