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[sticky post] Books and Movies, 2013

  1. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson
  2. The Buddha in the Attic, Julia Otsuko
  3. Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
  4. My Beloved World, Sonia Sotomayor


  1. Argo
  2. Behind the Candleabra

Books and Movies, 2012

Books:Collapse )


  1. Moneyball
  2. The Dark Knight Rises
  3. The King's Speech
  4. Looper

2012 in Review

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
Learned to crochet.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I did not exactly keep my New Year's resolution about calling out concern-trolling, but it turns out that plenty of people were doing that (especially when it came to health care, etc.). However, about halfway through the year I made a resolution to be better at finishing things -- whether it's a final editing pass on a document or weaving in ends on something I've crocheted or wiping off the counter after washing dishes. I've gotten a lot better at it, but it's something I still need to work on. So it is my on-going resolution for 2013.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! Friends, family, and meeeeeee!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes -- my grandmother and two aunts.

5. What countries did you visit?
Norway (to visit my brother) and Germany (to visit a friend). With a toddler, yo.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
A shorter commute.

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
November 6 -- election day and Leo's birth day!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Some of this is luck, but finding a new job relatively quickly while unemployed and visibly pregnant.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I'm not really sure, actually.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a pretty easy pregnancy until the last month, when my round ligament pain was so bad I could barely walk. I also had a third-degree tear and a postpartum hemorrhage during/after childbirth.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Honestly can't think of anything.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Sam has been difficult the last few nights, but overall he was a trooper with us moving, him starting preschool, him getting a little brother, and going through potty-training.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Most of the GOP's.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent and daycare.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Having a second kid.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
I can't think of one in particular. I don't listen to tons of music, actually. Oh, probably one of the songs that Sam has picked up at preschool.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? Happier but more stressed.

ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter. I am 7 weeks postpartum here, people.

iii. richer or poorer? Poorer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Like last year, I'm pretty happy with how I spent my time this year. I have a job, we spend a lot of time together as a family, and that doesn't leave me with much time to "waste".

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
I really can't think of anything.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
We stayed at home, and my in-laws were here. Poor Sam had a bad cold.

22. Did you fall in love in 2012?

23. How many one-night stands?
None. (Same as last year! Duh.)

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Parks and Rec, Downton Abbey, Community, Sherlock, Nashville.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Of course not.

26. What was the best book you read?
The Red Garden, by Alice Hoffman. Loved it.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Didn't have one this year.

28. What did you want and get?
A JOB. A completely intervention-free labor and delivery. Success breastfeeding.

29. What did you want and not get?
A magical solution to our Oakland-Stanford job split.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I only saw three movies this year, so I suppose Moneyball was my favorite of the three.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 33, and I can't remember what we did. I was really pregnant, and we were getting ready to move . . . it was all kind of chaotic.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I'm not sure. There was a job at UCOP that I was in the running for and didn't get, but I very much like the job I have now.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Maternity clothes in a business casual environment! It is as boring as it sounds.

34. What kept you sane?

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Chip Esten, who I've loved FOREVER and is currently killing it on Nashville.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Health care and reproductive rights.

37. Who did you miss?
Extended family.

38. Best new person you met?
Sam's preschool teachers are the best.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
Working hard pays off in ways that you can't necessarily predict.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Don't have one. This was a year of massive change -- new jobs for both me and Eli, a short stretch of unemployment for me, a move, and a second kid. Good god, I'm tired again just thinking of it. (Also, haven't had a 5-hour stretch of sleep in over a week.)

Leo's birth story

Leo's birth (and aftermath)!

Executive summary:
11 hours of labor
10 minutes of pushing

Leo's stats:
7 lb, 6 oz.
19.5 inches
Apgar 9 and 9
40w4d gestation
Born Tuesday, November 6, at 3:52 p.m.

Birth details (not particularly gory):Collapse )

Postpartum hemorrhage, non-gory detailsCollapse )

Postpartum hemorrhage, the gory detailCollapse )

A final personal noteCollapse )

(For reference, here is the birth story from my older son's birth.)

Words words words!

As someone who is currently spending at least 4.5 hours/day nursing a newborn, I am delighted that so many of you are addicted to Letterpress!

(rstanek on GameCenter. I'm getting better. Bring it on!)

Posted via LiveJournal.app.


Happy Thanksgiving!

So far today, I have:

- Snuggled with a sleeping Leo.
- Painted a pumpkin with Sam.
- Taken pictures of the lovely Japanese maple tree in the yard.
- Chatted with a neighbor.
- Not slept very much.
- Drank a lot of coffee (related to previous item).

All good for the soul. Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Introducing Leo Murphy R.!

Little Leo was born on Election Day! November 6, 2012, at 3:52 p.m. Only four days late this time! 7 lb 6 oz, 19.5 inches long, full head of dark hair, and totally adorable.

I'll post a longer birth story later, but in short: between his perfect position (anterior) and it being the second child, giving birth was no problem. The postpartum hemorrhage (AGAIN), not so much.

We're all settling in at home. Sam is a very sweet big brother. Nursing is going well. I actually got a three-hour chunk of sleep last night, and some coffee this morning, so my brain is almost working.



Five family things!

  1. As many of you have heard, [bugaloo] (short for [untitled 2: electric boogaloo] -- I spelled it wrong originally and it stuck) is a boy! We're very excited, mostly because now we can CLEAN OUT THE BASEMENT and go through all of S's baby clothes.

  2. My first thought when I saw that fetus penis was, "Oh, hell no, I am not cleaning toilets with three boys in this house." (I clean the bathrooms and E cleans the kitchen, mostly because E can't clean the bathrooms to my standard, and I can't clean the kitchen to his.)

  3. Explaining to S that we know the baby is a boy, but that the baby isn't here yet, is a bit trickier than I thought it would be.

  4. When I was younger, I thought a lot about what girls need in order to be confident and feminist in this world. Now, though, I'm excited that we have the chance to raise well-rounded, confident, feminist boys in this world.

  5. This morning, I told S that today we were going to find out if the baby was going to be a boy or a girl. He responded, clear as could be, "Maybe it's a goy!" His first wordplay! That's definitely the first time I've heard him combine two words like that to make a new one and/or to be funny. Plus, there's the added bonus of the unintentional multi-lingual pun, as S and [bugaloo] and I are all in fact goyim. I am very excited about this major milestone!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Delightful news

Things here are going well!
  1. As many of you have heard on other social media platforms, I'm pregnant! 12 weeks along (due in early November). The queasiness has been manageable (hooray for ginger ale and crackers); the fatigue has not.
  2. Three of my cousins are pregnant right now, too, with due dates in June, August, and September. The family reunion in 2013 is going to be so much fun.
  3. We are going to find out the sex, if only to make it easier to explain to S. But neither E nor I has a preference, and I was kind of delighted that E said it was "trivial". The values we want to instill in our kids are independent of gender. (Also, we are both of the opinion that birth order factors into personality more than gender does.)
  4. I started reading the Norse mythology in Bulfinch's, as preparation for our trip to Norway. My brother had warned me that it was depressing. I'm not sure I'd call it depressing, just . . . does Thor do anything other than go around and bash giants on the head with his hammer? Eh, I'll read some more on the next rainy night.
  5. On a political note, I am delighted that a ballot initiative to overturn the death penalty in California has made it onto the November 2012 ballot. (As California enacted the death penalty by ballot initiative, it can only be overturned by ballot initiative.) But I don't want to get my hopes up and be disappointed if it fails. Sigh.
  6. And back on a happier note, S remains hilarious and delightful. His current obsession is "yardwork", which he defines as hitting plants with a stick. And when he pretends that we're all in a car, he insists that we all put our seatbelts on. Aw!

Hope you're all having a great week!

Books and Movies, 2011


  1. The Golden Gate, Vikram Seth
  2. The White Queen, Philippa Gregory
  3. Half a Crown, Jo Walton
  4. The Red Queen, Philippa Gregory
  5. The Last of the Tribe: the Epic Quest to Save a Lone Man in the Amazon, Monte Reel
  6. Bossypants, Tina Fey
  7. At Home, Bill Bryson
  8. The Secret Lives of Dresses, Erin McKean
  9. Packing for Mars, Mary Roach
  10. The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs
  11. Spoiled, Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan


  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J. K. Rowling

Abandoned Books:

  1. Rapture Ready: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture, Daniel Radosh


  1. Inception
  2. Richard III
  3. Toy Story 3
  4. Amadeus
  5. The Adjustment Bureau
  6. The Other Boleyn Girl
  7. Hot Tub Time Machine
  8. The Right Stuff
  9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
  10. Exit Through the Gift Shop
  11. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  12. Bridesmaids
  13. Helvetica
  14. The Muppets
  15. Bill Cunningham New York
  16. Midnight in Paris