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October 2nd, 2008

kindling: 3 novels

_Just One of the Guys_, Kristan Higgins

Is it chick lit? Is it a romance? *shrug* Our heroine is the youngest of five; her four siblings are all men, and, in addition, she/the rest of the family pseudo-adopted another boy. Her father and the men are all rescue workers (firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, etc.) and she passes out at the least sign of blood. And she's decided to do something about it: take the EMT class.

She's pretty cool in a lot of ways: she rows, she's tall, she swears a lot. I'm less enamored of the LoTR fetish, but hey, it's not uncommon. And she's a huge Yankees fan which of course causes me some distress. Perhaps even a lot of distress.

She's been pining after the boy that her family sort of adopted after his sister died of leukemia and his parents' marriage fell apart along with his mother's ability to stay sober. There was a college fling, which did not help anyone get over anything. She tries dating someone else. He tries dating someone else. Some of the results are almost as funny as the various dating attempts in Jennifer Crusie's _Manhunting_. In the background, her mother, divorced from her father but still very close, is starting to date and that freaks just about everyone out.

I don't know that I would have picked this up, if I hadn't read a very favorable review on Smart Bitches. I'm awful glad I saw that review, because this was a really great read.

_The Chef's Choice_, Kristin Hardy

It's like there's an author-first-name theme going on. Not on purpose. Another one I picked up as a result of a favorable review (I think not on Smart Bitches, but I don't recall). This is a category romance, and it has some Issues. Our heroine does landscaping for her parents small inn in Grace Harbor, Maine. She's never had good sex (this would be one of the Issues, common to a lot of categories) and has more or less sworn off men (at the Oh So Ancient Age of 27). On the day she covers the front desk so her parents can go to a doctor's appointment for her dad, in walks the new chef, who until recently had a cooking show and was chef at a High Tone Place in Manhattan called Pommes de Terre. Which I would expect some but not all of my readers to translate correctly as Potatos (strictly strictly speaking, Earth Apples, which is, interestingly enough, the literal translation for Potatos in at least one other language: Aardappelen, which I think is Dutch, but don't hold me to it right this instant). I question whether _anyone_ would name a High Tone Restaurant _anywhere_ potatos in ANY language, but hey, what do I know.

There's the usual category style effort to convey the details of his job (and, to a lesser degree, hers): celebrity chefdom, line cooks, the layout of the kitchen, blah blah bleeping blah (oh, wait, that's the previous book reviewed).

Needless to say, our heroine initially reacts very negatively, but is drawn to him by his magnetism and general nice-guyness which is at odds with his celebrity chef rep which turns out to be largely fraudulent. They plant a garden together, he gets an offer to be exec chef at a casino in Vegas (which is presented as a huge step up from. . .whatever) and mocked into accepting it before thinking it through carefully. The mockery is particularly whacked, as his current gig in Grace Harbor is described as being a Michelin rated chef hiding in the countryside.

Hello? Do we _know_ anything about Michelin ratings? Anyone home here? Or, alternatively, if expecting people to have some sort of clue is too much, come on, did you not even see Ratatouille?

Whatever.

As categories go, not too bad.

_Unbreakable_, Sydney Somers

I got the kindle edition on a free giveaway day.

It's a paranormal romance. There's a race or races of demons. There are augmented humans (in this case, they have a gene that lets them catch some sort of whatever from an attacking demon that, if they survive the attack, enables them to fight the demons) fighting the demons. The hero and heroine were cop-partners when attacked by a demon. He "died". She didn't. She was attacked by the same demon later and vanquished it and received training from another augmented human. He received training from an organization of augmented humans but never got back in touch with her, hoping to protect her from his new life. The one really good thing about this book is that that decision/mind-set (will deny you the adult right to choose what you do with yourself) is treated as the Toxic Badness That It Is. Everything else is just a matter (to my mind) of someone working out a really unpleasant childhood in a fantasy universe. Needless to say, YMMV. Free was good; I would not recommend spending money on this.

breastfeeding and other postpartum TMI

Once again, you have been warned.

Between some pumping, some toddler nursing, some ice packs and even a few cabbage leaves -- but most importantly, due to time passing -- the painfully engorged boob is Much Better and I am optimistic that it will be more or less normal in the next day or so.

Tomorrow is 1 week since A. was born; I haven't had any lochia to speak of for a day or so (well, I suppose what I'm seeing now is lochia alba -- does that even count?). And we'd probably better get those staples out tomorrow while we're at it.

Child care for today canceled, but B. called and asked if we wanted her to come by in the late afternoon, which was quite fantastic. C. left late in the morning, so we actually got a lot of help today. If no one cancels tomorrow, we have two people showing up, which means R. might actually get a bike ride. Which would be awesome all around.

Obviously, recovery is going to take weeks yet, but it's a whole lot easier since I'm not anemic this time around. Also, I'm making a much more concerted effort to be lazy.

weigh the baby

Wednesday morning, A. came by to weigh the baby. Discharge weight on Sunday was 8 pounds 5 ounces and we were hoping we had at least turned the corner. Weight with diaper and t-shirt was 9 pounds 2 ounces, so even allowing for some in the diaper and shirt, we figure we've definitely turned the corner and may be back up to birth weight.

No worries around here; that baby is getting plenty to eat.

In Toddler Fun: Tantrums, T. was throwing the usual I want to go back outside tantrum (dude, it's dark and it's almost bedtime; you are staying in). As he shuttled from one adult to another trying to get someone to open the door to The Outside (which we had childproofed since he figured out how to unlock and open it which scares the crap out of us or at least me), he'd pause by A. (in my lap), and gently touch her ear, before continuing with his tantrum. If ever there was a good opportunity to lash out at someone weaker Because She's There, this would be it. And he's not taking that opportunity, which is enormously comforting.