Dewey 24 Hour Readathon!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

 So my readathon plans changed drastically after and a late night trip to the ER with my three-month-old daughter on Wednesday.  We've been in the hospital ever since after she was diagnosed with RSV. We're still here, but my husband brought me a couple books from my readathon stack to try to get my mind off things during the few short minutes when she's sleeping and I'm not. It's so hard to sleep when you're on high alert listening for every cough. Anyway, I'm sure I won't get much reading done, but it's nice to have a distraction during this stressful time. 

It's time to read! As I explained earlier this week, this this is my 10th Dewey readathon and my first with a baby. I'm excited to get as much reading done as possible, but I'm sure there will be some baby-related breaks. Happy reading everyone!

Pages Read: 240 pages 

Currently Reading: Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword
Books Finished: Everything I Need To Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book, Embroideries
Breaks Taken: Lots, to nurse, cuddle my sweet girl, etc. 
Snacks Eaten: Hospital food
Mini-Challenges Completed: 0
Blogs Visited and Commented On: 0

You can also find me here on Instagram, Twitter, and LibraryThing.

Introduction Quiz:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Indianapolis, IN
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?  Apple chips and dark chocolate
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
This is my first readathon with an infant, so my breaks will include nursing, diaper changes, and cuddles.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?
This is my 10th readathon and I’m usually a cheerleader and sometimes host a mini-challenge. This year I’m just going to read because I have a feeling that will be hard enough with an infant and the accumulated lack of sleep that she has caused.

- I will be updating this post throughout the day so I don’t bomb people with half a dozen new posts.
- Please turn off your comment word verification for the day! It’s such a pain for cheerleaders.
- Tweet about your day with the hashtag #Readathon or by tagging @readathon 

- If you need any ideas for great readathon books, all my previous readathon posts are below.

April and October 2011  /  April and October 2012 / April and October 2013 / April 2014 / April and October 2015.

Photos by me. 

Almost time for the readathon!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Saturday is the Dewey Readathon! For one day in April and October each year, if other obligations don’t get in the way, I spend one whole day reading. It’s always so much fun and I get a ton of reading done. Heather and Andi are the incredible ladies who help organize the whole thing and you can get more details at the official site

This will be my 10th time participating in the event. TEN TIMES!!! You can see little Ollie pup above during my very first Dewey readathon in 2011 and then Ollie during my last readathon in October. He's been my cuddle buddy during each one. So for fun I tallied up the number of books and pages I read in previous Dewey Readathons. In the nine I've participated in, I read a total of 10,113 pages and 43 books! 

Saturday I will be reading from 8 am until whenever I fall asleep. I have my stack of books ready to go. It will be interesting to see how my first readathon with an infant goes. Sydney is three months old now and I have a feeling she's going to make reading a little trickier. 

If you're thinking about joining the fun I'd highly recommend it!

Here's a few tips that have worked for me: 
1) Pull together a stack of books in advance. I like having a wide variety of young adult novels, plays, graphic novels, mysteries, etc. I don't like diving into heavy classics during a readathon.

2) Have good snacks ready to go and plan your meals in advance.
I usually go to Trader Joes and pick out a few treats (chocolate covered pretzels, guacamole, etc). Then I get a slow cooker meal ready to go the night before. Or sometimes just get something out of the freezer to thaw for dinner. I snack throughout the readathon, but not just on junk food.

3) Don't make other plans. It's way more fun to read all day and not worry about how long you have left before you have to get dressed and leave the house.

4) Set a few social media rules for yourself. The readathon community is 2/3 of the fun, but if you're on the computer all day then you definitely aren't reading. I give myself at least the first 10 minutes of each hour to cheer at other blogs, tweet, update my post, and check the new challenges, etc. After that I move away from the screen and back to the books. Figure out what works for you, maybe it's only checking in every third hour or something.

5) Possibly my weirdest tip... don't just pick out your big stack of books in advance, tally the pages and type up the authors and titles too! Instead of wasting time during the readathon, I like to make a list of the books I think I might read in advance. That way I can just pull the page count, author, etc. from that list when I'm updating my post. This is particularly helpful for audiobooks. I like to start a new audiobook (something shorter and fun) the day of the readathon. I try to finish the book during the day and I look up the page count in advance so I can keep track easily. 

Happy reading!

April and October 2011  /  April and October 2012 / April and October 2013 / April 2014 / April and October 2015.
Photos by me. 


Monday, April 11, 2016

I discovered Litsy more than a month ago and I'm such a fan! The great people at Out of Print created an app that's basically Instagram for book lovers. You can post quotes from books you are reading or short reviews. It's simple and fun and I'm really enjoying it. The only downside is my ever-expanding TBR list!

If you join, you can find me on there as Avidreader25.

Sydney's Birth

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

 It’s only taken me 2.5 months to post about this, but better late than never!
So as a first time mom I’d read a million articles and taken all the classes, but nothing can really prepare you for childbirth. I’m a planner and I like to know what’s coming, so the unreliability of pregnancy and labor was a challenge for me.

My pregnancy went pretty smoothly. I was exhausted, but didn’t have any extreme side effects. As my due date approached we were ready, but I wasn’t miserable. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a month, but I figured I’d probably be late. 

On my actual due date, Jan. 13, I went to work. At 1 pm I met my husband at the OBGYN for our regular appointment. We did a no stress test for the first time and the baby was moving like crazy and everything went well. Then we met with the doctor for my examination. She took one look and checked my cervix and said, “Well, you need to head to the hospital.” 

Our very punctual baby decided I needed to go into labor on my actual due date! We were beyond shocked. She said I was already 6 cm dilated and about 80% effaced. She said I had been progressing slowly for weeks. Instead of going through the early stage of labor in a few hours, I’d been doing it for weeks because our baby was turned a bit and wasn’t pushing on the cervix. So the early stage of labor was pretty much done! I called my work and let them know I wasn’t going to be back after my appointment… or anytime in the next 10 weeks. 

We left the doctor and I headed home and my husband headed back to work to pick up a couple things. I put our bags in the car and started calling a few people and headed to the hospital.

We got there and I was still my clothes from work and a hoodie I’d thrown on. We went up the special elevator for women in labor and when we walked up to the nurses’ station they looked at us like we were lost. I think they thought we must be visiting someone, because I definitely didn’t look like a woman in labor.

Our doctor had called ahead, so I was immediately checked in. The rooms were so nice and huge! My doctor really wanted me to start on Pitocin immediately. I was actually kind of bummed because my doctor wasn’t on call that night. Another doctor at the practice was the one making recommendations and I wasn’t a huge fan. My nurses supported my decision not to start Pitocin yet and they broke my water instead.
For the first few hours I walked around the halls with my husband, tried the birthing tub for a while, and was able to move freely in the room. I really wanted to be able to do that and so I was definitely glad it worked out that way. 

My best friend got there around 8 pm. She’s got three kids, so she knew what to expect. She brought snacks for my husband and rubbed my feet when I was in the hospital bed. She was amazing! My sister, a professional photographer, got there a bit later and took some photos of the early stages for us. It was nice to be able to chat with people to get your mind off the contractions. They were definitely getting more intense. At one point I started puking, which is fun. I also couldnt stop shivering. They kept bringing me warmed blankets. I had serious heartburn through the labor too, which I thought was weird. Labor stalled out around 10 pm. I was stuck at 8 cm and we decided to start Pitocin around 11 pm. I got an epidural at that point. 
After getting the epidural tube put in and leaning me back on the hospital bed, the anesthesiologist leaned over my shoulder to check the tubing and asked what I felt. I said I felt a rush of cold and smelled mint. He looked a little alarmed and confused and then laughed and said, “Oh! The mint is just my gum.”


After that we had about 3 more hours of labor. The pain was gone, woo hoo! We could track the contractions, but it was weird not to feel every bit of them. Our daughter’s heart rate was dropping whenever we had a contraction, so we were trying different positions to fix it. After an hour of pushing our daughter was born at 3:11 am.  Her head came out and we realized the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. I stopped pushing while they cut it and then delivered her the rest of the way. That was the reason her heart rate had been dropping during labor. 

She was 6 lbs and 9 ounces and 20.75 inches long. She was just gorgeous and so alert from the very first second! There were no other issues and so we got to hold her almost immediately. Even from the first minutes she loved sticking her feet straight up in the air. After about an hour we invited my sister and best friend to come back and meet her.

 All around it was a pretty great experience. I know there’s so much you can’t control when you have a baby and I’m beyond grateful that our delivery was a smooth one. 

All photos are private and cannot be used by any other source.