The Siberian American: March 2018

Monday, March 12, 2018

Four Books I Read in February

Hey, friends! Once again, it's my favorite day of the month. I had a really slow reading month, partially because the lack of sleep really caught up to me, but it was also because I got stuck on a book I really didn't like. I'll share more about it in my reviews, but I really need to learn to abandon books I don't like. I keep reading with the hope that they will get better (and this one did a little), but really there are too many good books in this world to spend time reading bad ones!

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
There's not much left to say about this book that others haven't already said. I took so long to read it because I was supposed to get an ARC when it first came out, but it never showed up, so I was grumpy about it. LOL. This book had a great pace, and the characters were all interesting. I really liked how it ended, too.

The Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel
(c/o NetGalley)
I read a lot of World War II historical fiction-at least several books a year. This is my first one for 2018. This one was very good, but it does not make my list of favorites. The pace was good, and I read it quickly, but even though it was heartbreaking, I felt like I was missing out on some of the emotion that could have been there. I did like all the characters and would still recommend it to those who like WWII historical fiction.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin 
(c/o NetGalley)
A lot of people will like this book. I am not one of them. It was written well, but it was so boring to me. A few times I got frustrated with myself that I was still reading it. That said, I'm glad I finished it because Vasrya's section was the best part of the book for me.

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh 
(c/o First to Read)
I actually really liked this book. I do think it was just trying too hard to throw in twists at first, but several of the twists toward the end were done well. It took me a bit to get into the book (same as I Let You Go), but it turned out to be worth it. I will say there is a loose end at the end that bothers me a bit.

Favorite reads in February: Big Little Lies and Let Me Lie.

Linking up with Steph & Jana.

I love book suggestions. What have you read lately?

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Anthony Update: Months 1-4

A few days ago on Instagram I asked whether y’all would prefer to read an Anthony update or a travel post, and Anthony was the clear winner. One of the (many) reasons I have barely blogged since Anthony was born is I’ve really struggled with how much to share about him online. I keep having this idea in my head of Anthony’s future employer googling his name and finding a post about how much he pooped as a one month old (this is a moot point because I don’t put our last name on my blog, but it’s how I think about it). Still, I really want to share this sweet time with y’all, so I am going to start to write a more about him. If there is something I don’t share but you want to know, send me an email, and I’d be happy to tell you more in a more private setting.

Anthony-three months
At some point in time, I had wanted to do monthly updates on Anthony, and that obviously didn’t happen, so I’m going to combine all four months in this post. It’d be a super long post if I went over everything that has happened, so I’m taking a then and now approach.

General Thoughts
Time is so weird after giving birth. Anthony turned four months on February 20, and I am amazed we are already a third of the way through his first year. Then again, it feels like he has been part of our lives forever. It’s such a crazy feeling.

Who Does Anthony Look Like?
When Anthony was born, he looked a lot like Christopher. There were several features that were definitely mine (like his long fingers and toes-so cute to see on a newborn!), but if you look at Christopher’s newborn photos, it almost looks like the same baby.

Anthony-one month
Anthony is definitely a mixture of both of us now. The feature of mine people always comment about is he has my eye shape. One thing I think is interesting is Anthony does not have much hair yet, but so far, it’s light brown. For some reason I always thought his hair would be dark brown, like his dad. Obviously, it will still change a million times, but Chris was born with dark brown hair, so it was a little surprising to me.

Anthony-a few days ago
One of the things that really surprised me was how early Anthony started giving us social smiles (around six weeks). He also started laughing a little before three months.
He has recently started rolling tummy to back and is babbling constantly these days. It’s so fun to hear all the different sounds he makes.

Anthony-one month
I mentioned it in my last post, but Anthony has never really been a good sleeper. When he was born, he had his days and nights flipped. Around two months, he had his first five-hour stretch (which counts as sleeping through the night), but it has only really happened once or twice.
Here’s the detailed version of how sleep is going currently. Long story short, he’s waking up about every hour and a half right now.

I’m hoping to share a little more about this later, but I feel like people always tell you how great breastfeeding is for a baby and how natural it is, but no one really talks about how hard it can be. Those first few weeks were so hard, and I wanted to quit about a million times because of how painful it was. We later discovered Anthony had a tongue tie, and fixing it made things so much better.
I still pretty much exclusively breastfeed (I do pump every once in a while), and it’s going well for the most part, though Anthony is much more distracted these days. I’m still dealing with a pretty major oversupply problem four months in, which is pretty frustrating, (I deal with clogged ducts multiple times a week), but I’m hoping to continue as long as I can.

Anthony-two months
Anthony has always liked music, and it’s still one of the best ways to calm him down. He has also always loved riding in the car and going on walks. One of the best toys for him has been a Baby Einstein Musical Toy. It can usually calm him down when he’s upset, even now.
Since about two months, Anthony has loved spending time kicking and playing on his Fisher Price Kick n Play Activity Gym. He loves playing with his hands, and walks and car rides are still his favorite parts of the day. He also loves when people talk to him.

Anthony has always hated being swaddled and even broke through those Velcro SwaddleMe swaddles as a newborn.
Sleep and naps. He used to be a big napper, but he’s really fighting them these days.

Us on Valentine's Day
Other than the sleep, this is such a fun age! It feels like every day Anthony is learning something new, and he’s such a happy baby. Hopefully I’ll have the time to share a post like this every month from now on, but I’ve learned not to make any promises with how unpredictable our days have been lately!