28 June 2010

12 Weeks and Counting

On Friday I'll hit the 28-week mark of my pregnancy. That means 12 weeks, give or take a few days, to go. That means that I've hit my third trimester. That means that my belly is getting BIG.

I've had a little time to reflect on this pregnancy lately. When I was pregnant with Benny I kept an inconsistent journal about how I was feeling, what he was doing, etc. I have not checked in with myself or this baby nearly as much during this pregnancy, but I feel like I should take some notes about it. Somewhere. That somewhere just so happens to be here.

The pregnancies have been vastly different. The only thing that seems to be tracking the same is my weight gain. Although I feel MUCH bigger this time around. I had morning sickness with Benny, but that included vommitting (sorry for the graphic content). With this babe, I just felt like I was going to puke for about a month straight. It didn't matter what time of day it was or how much/little I had eaten. I was able to run this time around - until around five months. But, I haven't been nearly as active since. With Benny I walked all over Austin. Could be because I had more time on my hands.

I'm not nearly as tired this time around. My dreams seem to be more vivid. She isn't kicking as much or as consistently as Benny did. Maybe she'll sleep better in the first few months. I have acne. My nails aren't nearly as strong and my hair seems to be falling out rather than getting longer and stronger.

But, the biggest different about this pregnancy is the name game. With Benny, Nate and I argued for months about his name. We had an idea, but we couldn't agree on a freaking name. We wanted to use Nate's mom's initials B.J.B. So we were rather limited on choices. Nate didn't like any of the B names I liked. When we decided on Benjamin Jasper Brown, Benny's arrival was about two weeks away. Nothing like procrastination.

With this baby, there has been little discussion and even less bickering. I settled on a first name and a middle name rather quickly. Nate agreed without much hesitation. That happened shortly after we found out that we're having a girl. The struggle, at this point, is keeping the freaking name a secret.

But, with three months to go, we should be safe.

On a separate, but related note: Benny is most certainly starting to notice that things are a little off. He told me that the baby would sleep in mommy and daddy's room, not his room (oh, my little Bear, you're in for a bit of a disappointment there). Today he told Nate that he was going to have a little sister and that he would be a big brother. Nate asked if he was going to help out with his little sister. His response: "I'm going to help get the baby out of mommy's belly." So, he's starting to think about how the baby will get out of my belly. This should provide some interesting discussions in the future.

17 June 2010

Book Review: The Help

I have been so busy (or not so busy) slogging through several nonfiction books that I forgot how enjoyable it is to pick up a light work of fiction. I'm not trying to imply that The Help was light in terms of subject matter. It was light in the sense that it was easy, breezy to read. I finished this nearly 400 page book in about a week. That's a record for me at this point in my life.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett is about three women in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi. Two of the women are maids, one is a white woman. She tells the story from each woman's point of view. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical of a white woman writing in a black woman's voice. Although I think there were some problems, Ms. Stockett generally did a good job of creating three distinct characters. The three women, Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter, form an unlikely union to write a book about what it's like for maids to work for white women. In the days before and during the civil rights movement, this was a dangerous undertaking. The story is certainly worth reading. I do remember thinking: This book is almost written like it will become a movie. And, sure enough, the book IS being made into a major motion picture.

02 June 2010


Every time I try to pull away from research and academia, something pulls me back in. Two weeks ago, I received my complimentary copy of Muslim Women in War and Crisis. It's a collection of articles about, you guessed it, Muslim women in war and crisis. I wrote one of the chapers. It's a gorgeous book. I'm very proud of my chapter. Last week I received a message from my dissertation advisor. We collaborated on a paper a few years ago. We have submitted it to several journals and have been rejected from them all. The most recent message came with the news that a journal is interested in publishing the article, with a few revisions. Whoa. With all of that news, I decided that maybe it's time to dust off some of my old papers and start submitting them to journals. So this weekend I'm going to spend some time revising a paper I presented at a conference nearly two years ago. It's about women organizing against war. I'll keep you posted...