Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Reading Addiction

I have an addiction to reading that I never would have ever thought possible. As a kid growing up I have never enjoyed reading; reading was always a chore. I always felt I struggled with reading because I was neither a very fast reader nor a very interested reader. My reading comprehension was just fine if I put my mind to it but that was half the problem, I never wanted to put my mind to it. So ever since I was a kid the only time I read was because it was assigned to me and even then sometimes I didn't do it.

Then I went to college and graduate school. There I was forced to read countless assignments and textbooks and study my brains out to survive my courses with good grades. During the last 8 years or so I never realized how much faster of a reader I became.

Below is a picture of my notes and a few textbooks from the time I was in chiropractic school. UWS is still a little old school and give all of their notes in paper, hard copy format (they are just now getting on board the digital train).

The stack of papers on the left are all my notes from school. I placed a basketball next to it so you could get perspective as to how tall it is. When I stand next to it it comes exactly to my belt line. There are hundreds, if not a couple thousand pages sitting in that stack that I read at least three times to prepare for each exam I had. I quickly found out in school that if I got through the notes three time in preparation for an exam I would either get an A or a high B. Spending more time on the notes did not improve my score enough to spend more time going through the notes. The middle stack is of text books I thought were worthy enough to purchase and keep. Not many of our textbooks were required for us to buy since the notes the doctors provided were so thorough. These textbooks were ones I knew I could reference later in life and though I didn't read any of them all the way through, I did read a substantial portion of a few of them. The stack to the right is a few binders with a few more notes in them and a few empty binders I hope to organize my notes into.

Now that I have graduated from chiropractic school I am officially done with school forever I have found reading can actually be enjoyable. My dad gave a book to read on Christmas Eve and I blew through it in a couple of days. After finishing it I had a longing for more to read so I found a list of top 100 books everyone should read. Some of these books were classics others were more recent best sellers and popular fiction. As I looked over the list I decided I was going to read all of them. I wanted to start with a few books from my early school days since when I read them back then it was not for the purpose of enjoyment rather for assignment. I also made a goal to read 20 novels during 2012. I believed that was a pretty lofty goal since I thought time availability and my slow reading would hold me back. Well, we're not quite through February and I just finished my tenth book since my Dad gave me his book on Christmas Eve. I don't think I'll have a problem getting 20 in by the end of the year.

Here is what I've read so far (not all are from the top 100 list but most are):

Kiss It Good-Bye by John Moody
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
The Great Gastby by F.Scott Fizgerald
The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Here's what I'm working on next:
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (I've read half of it so far but had to return it to the library because someone had it on hold)
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (one of my all time favorite books)
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

As you can see I have an addiction. I can't get enough. T is getting annoyed with me because she says I read too much. She used to complain about how many sports I watched on TV, now it's reading too much. To be honest I couldn't care less about TV right now. Since I began reading I watch very little TV, though I still watch plenty of Blazer games.

I have learned the importance of reading in the last couple of months. My dad told me once one of his favorite possessions is his library card. He has often said he feels reading is one of the most important skills a person can have and the countries who do well in this world are thought who have low illiteracy rates. I have learned a ton from the 10 books I have read thus far and I look forward to the things I will yet learn as I continue to read. I don't feel bad about my addiction, in fact, I think more people should quiet their lives by reading more often. Read to your kids multiple times a day to instill the love of books in them and read on your own to cultivate a love yourself.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Baby #2

J and I are expecting baby number 2 in July of this year. I am not quite sure of the exact due date because it keeps changing. Originally my due date was July 15th which happens to be my birthday, but it seems to have moved up a bit. Hopefully we will know the exact date when I go in for my 20 week ultrasound which happens to be in a couple weeks. I can't believe we are so close to finding out the gender. I think J is hoping for another boy that looks and acts just like Camo. I think it would be fun to have another brother for Camo to play with, but for some reason Camo keeps telling us he is going to be having a baby sister. I am really worried that if it's a boy then he is going to be disappointed.

I once again have felt great throughout this pregnancy. I feel almost the same as I did with Camo that's why I am thinking it might be another boy. I am having the same type of cravings. I crave chips and salsa, french fries, pickles(i always crave pickles though), banana peppers, and salads with vinegar dressings. I do have a little bit more of a sweet tooth with this pregnancy, but mostly I crave salty foods.

I have continued to be able to exercise which is such a blessing. I have still been able to run my 3-4 miles a day, but I am much slower. I felt like exercise is what helped me maintain a healthy weight during and get it off quickly after having Camo. I am hoping I will be able to continue it throughout this pregnancy. I can definitely feel that I am popping out more with this pregnancy earlier. I have gained about 5 pounds so far and I am about 18 or 19 weeks. . These pictures may not be exact to what week I am in, but close enough.

Here are some pictures.
15 weeks

17 weeks

19 weeks.
This picture is awful, but you can see my belly poking out.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Camo turns 2

Where has the time gone? We have a 2 year old on our hands.. We celebrated Camo's birthday with his friends then had a family birthday dinner the following day. He had a Thomas/Elmo birthday party with one of his best friends, Avery. They absolutely love each other. She just turned 2 as well. We started the festivities out with pin the nose on Elmo, then we opened presents, sang happy birthday, and closed the party with a present game so that each of their friends could go home with a little toy. It was so fun to watch all the kids play and I think it was a hit for Camo and his friend, Avery.

Pin the nose on Elmo
The toy glasses he won from the present game.
Passing the presents
Enjoying the cupcakes.
Best Friends
Told you they love each other.
Camo is always trying to make Avery laugh.
Avery's Elmo cupcakes. Her mom made those. Aren't they awesome?!
Camo's Thomas cake. My client made this for him. Wish I could take the credit.

The following day we celebrated with J's parents, his sister and their family. We made hawaiian haystacks. I forgot how good they are. They are super easy to make. Then we polished off the rest of Camo's Thomas the Train cake.

He is getting the hang of opening presents now.
No messing around when it comes to cake.

I can't end this post without talking about my sweet boy. He is such a loving little guy. Whenever he hurts anybody he immediately gives a hug and say's I'm sorry. He loves to read books. We never go without a nap or bedtime without reading him a few books. He communicates very well. I would write all the words that he say's, but honestly there isn't a word that he doesn't say. He is using sentences now and his new favorite sentence is "what's that?" Hopefully we have a smart boy on our hands. He loves his octopus stuffed animal that his dad got him. He won't go to bed without that, piggie, his burp cloth, camo blanket, and a sip of water. He refuses to use the potty, but I am not going to rush him on this. I will wait until he is ready. Camo loves to play all sports. He is a great listener and is surprisingly very obedient for a 2 year old. He will pretty much eat anything and so far has not been a picky eater. We will see as he gets older. He isn't napping very well. He usually ends up talking for over an hour in his crib before he either falls asleep or I go in to get him. He loves babies. He tells us he is having a baby sister. We just love this little guy and can't imagine life without him.