August Playlist

Hello my friends!

August hasn’t been one of the friendliest months; lots have happened, but as long as my niece decides to keep inside her cave just a tad bit longer, we’ll deal with it.

Speaking of her though, we had a nice baby shower for her, and we all had an excuse to dress up, Blondie wore a rose-pink dress, kind of fitting considering she wore a bright ocean blue for Nolan’s shower! Originally, I wasn’t going to want to wear a dress, I tried to talk my mom into getting a jumpsuit or romper, but she talked me out of it, and I found a nice olive-green Maxi dress instead. I’ve been really obsessed with my clothes in the color green these past two years and I have yet to figure out the reason for it! I was going to leave the leggings at home but even I saw right through that idea! Whenever I wear dresses, I tend to wear shorts underneath so I can talk verbally and physically with my legs without flashing the poor people in front of me. I have done this on accident in the past, so it is just better to wear leggings or something.

Anyways, we had a great time, celebrating my sister and my little niece. Nolan had a blast too! He absolutely adores baby socks and the “bow ties” (which are the hair bands!), hearing him “ohh” and “awe” over the gifts was so sweet! He is thoroughly excited about his baby sister, and I am thinking of placing bets amongst family members to see how long it lasts because he does not have the patience for things, so a lot of us know it’ll be an interesting adventure for him.

A week later, my little dude decided to grow up and start preschool!

The first day was a bit odd, he didn’t want Blondie to leave him, but it seems after she left, he had a great time! He came home with first crafts he had made in class, and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing bits and pieces of his morning activities because he was playing with his toys in the living room. We’re all still trying to wrap our brains around the fact that he’s even old enough to attend “big kid” school, but nothing really prepared us for it like the second day, he pretty much told his mommy to go away as he walked up to his teachers and new friends. The other day they came over and brought his Spidey backpack inside to show us some of his assignments and a fairly large magazine full of book fair goodies! I definitely don’t remember this in my preschool days, but since with COVID, they just send home these catalogs for each student and my dad and I went through that whole thing on our own because that was our favorite thing about school, although I never bought books home, so to see Nolan point out certain books or magazines was very touching to me! He loves his books like his mimi and mommy!

And then all hell broke loose, my mom came home from work a week later not really feeling well, and as she tried to start her second shift on Sunday, she was sent home with COVID within half an hour later.

As much as we tried to quarantine in our house, it didn’t really shield us well enough, especially when one of us is like me and needs assistance on a daily basis. I had some sickly symptoms the same day she was tested but I didn’t voice it until that Monday because I was utterly terrified to say anything to my folks, they are both vaccinated but I chose to not get it. I am not one for needles/shots, but I also didn’t know what kind of side effects would present itself later on in life, so I just chose to forgo it entirely and my parents were very aware of my feelings toward it on both reasons, and they haven’t said anything about it. I know it contradicts my thoughts I wrote about in the post I wrote back when this mess started but even then, I still knew I wasn’t getting the vaccine.

My symptoms were mild in comparison to my folks, the one thing we all had was the disgusting taste in our mouths, and we found out it was caused by our medicine, and what seemed to make it disappear were fruity candies, especially Life Savers. I would keep them on my bookshelf so I can chew/suck on it for a bit of time and it would help so much for us! My dad was the last in the household to get it and he used those cinnamon candies and I remember thinking, “why torture yourself like that?!” and my mom would actually eat butter scotches and they worked, but I liked the fruity flavors to keep me occupied for probably 15-20 minutes. We were all thrilled to be done with everything and Blondie and Nolan were allowed to come over again. It was pure torture to be separated from him for basically two weeks, and as he started school too.


All right, so everything aside, this month’s music has been somewhat interesting. In the beginning, I was trying to keep up with the newest releases and the first Monday afterwards, I went through my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify, and I proceeded to put every song onto the main playlist. I ended up listening to three albums, the first was Hollywood Undead’s “Hotel Kalifornia” which came out a couple of weeks ago. I loved it! I have like eight or nine favorites on it, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, you need to! The second was found by accident and it is called, “Aventine” by Agnes Obel. This was also great but very different compared to HU though! And the final was Demi Lovato’s “HOLY FVCK” and I surprised myself with this because I did not think I would enjoy it, but I was wrong and it’s probably one of her best releases in a while.

Here is my Top 20 songs for August! If you would like to check out the entire playlist, click here.

Meteorite by BANKS
Hands of Gold by Delain
Weight of Everything by Ill Factor featuring Katie Garfield
Blow by Eva Under Fire featuring Spencer Charnas
Every Man Is A Warrior by Lena Fayre
The Promise by In This Moment
Valiant by Nightcity.
Thunder by Imagine Dragons
Cake By The Ocean by DNCE
How Soon Is Now by AG featuring Dresage
Dorian by Agnes Obel
This Is What I Live For by Graffiti Ghosts
Kings & Queens by Ava Max
The Champion by Carrie Underwood featuring Ludacris
Let You Down by Sleeping With Sirens featuring Charlotte Sunds
Crazy Train by Joseph William Morgan
100 Little Deaths by Lilith Czar
Pink Venom by BLACKPINK
Happy When I Die by Hollywood Undead
Sound of War by Tommee Profitt x Fluerie

What were you listening to this month?

snowflake

Becoming An Aunt…. Again!

Hello there!

I did not think I would ever write that sentence “becoming an aunt” because my sister was adamant about how she wasn’t going to have any more children after the birth of my nephew four years ago. It’s definitely been a long time since those days, and we need to discuss some things before we get too involved into this post.

Sadly, my sister and brother-in-law separated and eventually divorced in 2020, they just grew apart as some couples do and we wish nothing but the best for them. We still love Brandon and see him from time to time, the most recent was when Nolan was playing T-Ball back in mid-May, as he helped coach his team a little bit, I always felt bad for when he was out on the field with Nolan and his little teammate directing their next movements.

My sister had started dating last fall, and we got to meet her boyfriend Zach (who is now her husband!) on Christmas. They didn’t have the kids that day, so it was a bit awkward to see them hanging outside in like 75 degree weather! I say “kids” because Zach also has a four-year-old son, named Isaiah, and he is literally the splitting image of his daddy. It’s still weird that I have also gained a second nephew through this part. I am happy to say Nolan and Isaiah are the best of friends, Nolan considers him his “brother” which he proclaimed one afternoon sitting at the table with us, and we almost started crying because it was so adorable to say something like that!

SURPRISE!

And then, January came around, and everyone was thrown for a loop when my sister announced to us, she was pregnant. Since her pregnancy with Nolan and everything that happened afterwards went a little topsy-turvey, we just assumed she couldn’t get or even wanted to become pregnant again, so this was a surprise for some of us. I wasn’t too shocked by the news honestly, although I didn’t expect it at all! I had respected her thoughts on not adding a sibling for Nolan in the future. Although this is a totally different pregnancy, it hasn’t been an easy one either. She’s been having contractions since late February I think, which is what happened last time. She’s been put on bed rest, monitoring her heart rate, blood sugar, etc. all throughout the ordeal.

BOY OR GIRL?

Towards the start of spring, we were very anxious to learn the sex of the baby. Despite the similarities between each pregnancy, there has been some odd things happen with this one. She has a better appetite in the beginning, but she’s also had a lot of heartburn too. This was sign number one that we could expect a girl, and it didn’t really settle until she began hearing the heartbeat early on and it was very fast, which is another telling point for when mothers are expecting a little girl, so we all called it around 16 weeks it would be a girl and we were right. They will be welcoming a baby girl in the fall.

Now, let’s discuss what her name will be, but first we have to go back to February and March, because at this time we still didn’t know the gender so there were many name combinations passed back and forth between the early months. I think I might save her actual name until she is finally here and do a whole post about the labor, delivery, and bonding with the boys. However, I will tell you the boy names that were in the running though, because I seriously doubt they will ever be used with them; never say never though!

THE NAMING PROCESS

Anyways, they had a fairly large group of names in the beginning.

After the second or third doctor’s appointment, they started to think of certain names, and they had a boy combination from the start and it didn’t really change that much, the first name never really went away, they still enjoyed the full name but thought using part of it as a good nickname. They were very attached to Jaxon Emery, and honestly, I was thoroughly impressed with this. I mean, I’m the namer in the family and yet I wasn’t asked for assistance!

We were kind of surprised that my sister wouldn’t want to use our papaw’s name: David. She explained they weren’t going to honor anyone because both Nolan and Isaiah have their fathers’ middle names. I understood this but yet it was a bit of a bummer to leave him out of this child’s name. Well, obviously, I wasn’t the only one who agreed with me on this and within a few weeks later they switched everything to Jax Morgan. We actually approved of this! The name Morgan was our papaw’s middle and his mother’s maiden name, it was on the list while she was pregnant with Nolan too, but for a little girl instead.

Speaking of girl names, this was another pairing they had picked out in the early days. They had watched the show Euporia when the second season had begun back in late January, and they were thinking of using Rue, but they had only switched it when they decided it was too close to our dog name’s which is Rumer. Later on, they were talking about Remy Mae, and I was not a huge fan of it. I mainly thought of Remy’s popularity in general, and that’s why I enjoyed Nolan so much because it hadn’t exploded in the naming charts, of course it did surge a bit after he was born, but I hardly ever see it now! For a solid four months they were set with it and I just hated it. I was fine with “Mae” as that is one of my sister’s middle names and another name that is huge on both sides of our families too, so it just seemed likely to come up than any other name, and it’s the only one that had stuck throughout this pregnancy and it does fit well with her first, so I can’t wait to see how much she manages it in the future.

NOW WE WAIT…

As I said in the beginning of the post, Blondie has had contractions all throughout this pregnancy, but we are hoping for little miss sweet pea will keep inside the womb a bit longer. Once my sister makes it to around 32-36 weeks, her doctor will just let her go on with the early labor like she did with Nolan. I was also an early bird, but I was born three months in advance. We still don’t know why I wanted to break out so eagerly–hell, even I don’t know the answer to that question! We just hope she will be content, just a tad bit longer..

I do really want to meet this little babe and teach her the same things I taught her big brother, but I know the longer she keeps in the den the stronger she will be out here. Since she will have a pair of brothers going into preschool this year, she’s going to need all of the good fortune around her and mommy too. The boys are very excited to meet her, Nolan has been really curious of her while in Blondie’s belly. He’s already said he won’t change any dirty diapers though! Apparently, Zach will be in charge of that department! It’s going to be interesting to see how they react when she gets her first poopy diaper too…

I think I will wait until she is finally here to give you another update and tell you her name as well once she’s born and we’ve adjusted to the chaos of having a baby around again. Now if you’re on my Instagram, you might get a little treat as I may announce her welcome to the world on there. If you can, please send my sister and the baby some positive thoughts and prayers starting in early September to help ease the labor and delivery process for everyone involved.

Do you have any guesses as to what her name will be? Also, if you know, please don’t ruin the surprise of others commenting on this post.

snowflake

Book Review: “The German Midwife” by Mandy Robotham

Well, here we are!

This is my last book review to be included in my “20 Books In 2020” reading challenge. I saw this one day while I was scrolling through KU and something about the cover just made me click it and read the blurb, and once I did that I was instantly intrigued with the concept. What if Evan Braun had had a child? This question would play with me while I was reading and after I had finished it.

If you are interested in historical fiction, especially if it is set in the depths of World War II with all of its ugly history dealing with an evil dictator like Adolf Hitler and of course with the aftermath of the Holocaust and its survivors. There are very few times that a book itself would read like if you were sitting in a movie theater watching it on the biggest screen and the volume blasted as loud as it can to pull you into it ever more.


51X-kIIkghLAn enthralling new tale of courage, betrayal and survival in the hardest of circumstances that readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Secret Orphan and My Name is Eva will love.

Germany, 1944. A prisoner in the camps, Anke Hoff is doing what she can to keep her pregnant campmates and their newborns alive.

But when Anke’s work is noticed, she is chosen for a task more dangerous than she could ever have imagined. Eva Braun is pregnant with the Führer’s child, and Anke is assigned as her midwife.

Before long, Anke is faced with an impossible choice. Does she serve the Reich she loathes and keep the baby alive? Or does she sacrifice an innocent child for the good of a broken world?


When I first started reading it on July 20th, my only note I put on the status update on Goodreads was “On chapter 6 and it’s already a doozy!” I am familiar with the hardships that the Jews dealt with during their time either hiding from the SS soldiers and being starved and worked to death in various camps all over Europe. While I was in high school, I took a course called “Novels” and we read Elie Weisel’s Night. This was the first time I ever read a book about a survivor’s time in the concertation camps and I literally thought I would never read a book from that time period ever again.

After reading about Enjeela and Malala’s stories escaping their war-torn homelands earlier this year, I figured I couldn’t necessarily talk myself out of not reading a book set in this time frame.

Our main character Anke Hoff, is the everyday woman in the mid-1940’s, she was young but trapped in the gray area of being a German but not supporting Adolf Hitler and The Reich. She was also helping all women–including Jewish–give birth to their children. The story is given to you in two different parts, so you begin with the character about Irena, a Jewish woman giving birth in a crowded and nasty hut full of other women, including Anke and her helper Rosa. You learn about the ins and outs of bringing a baby into the world and how Jewish babies were stripped away from their mothers and put to death for all to hear in the camp.

The second part of the story are these diary-like entries, they include dates and estimated locations. These tell the story of Anke’s life before ending up in the camps. You get to see everything that happens within a hospital before the war erupted and how she is captured by the Gestapo and eventually sent to a camp. At first, this section was my least favorite because I thought it would be too much information for the reader, including myself to separate while reading about her current living situation. However, it was in this part that talked about how the Nazi doctors and officials treated babies with physical disabilities. This is the reason why in my first note I said “it was a doozy” because I wasn’t necessarily expecting it, but while I was sad to learn what would happen to this innocent babies, it really gave me a sense of who Anke was as not only a midwife but a human being at this time.

In a way to luminate that Anke is a regular woman, the author set up a love interest, and I will be honest, I wasn’t much of a fan for it in the beginning, but when we learn more about Dieter Stenz, the quicker I was willing to overlook my initial reaction to him. As the story was ending and we learn what happens to him, my emotions were all over the place! It also didn’t help that this was the final book in my Goodreads challenge for the year. If you didn’t know by now, I finished 20 books in eight months!

The final thing I enjoyed about this story was that the author Mandy Robotham, is actually a real midwife. This made me really happy to learn this in the beginning because I knew she would include anything she has learned throughout her medical schooling and career as a midwife too. It also made me realize that everything that was discussed about childbirth inside the camps and domestic life in the 1930’s and 40’s could be true in some form despite the fact that the story is fictionalized. So, if you are interested in learning about midwifery, enjoy reading historical fiction and/or a good ‘what if’ kind of story, then you will love this book; if you decide to read it, please let me know your thoughts about it.

If you have read Mandy Robotham’s first novel “The German Midwife” or “A Woman Of War” as it was titled in the United Kingdom? What were your thoughts about Anke Hoff’s story? 

snowflake

 

REVIEW | The Society

review2

Howdy!

This month was a good month to catch up on TV shows that I’ve been meaning to watch for a while, like The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, Supergirl and finally The Society. I know this one came out in May, but I kind of kept dodging it because I really didn’t think I would enjoy it, but then I caved and realized I was wrong with my initial impression of it.

Backstory

The Society is a story of 200+ teens who think they are about to go off on a camping trip as part of their final field trip together before graduating from high school an making their way to various colleges. They are dropped off at main square of their hometown of West Ham, to find themselves not with their families anymore. So, what’s their first reaction to this news? Well, to have a big party of course! Afterwards they find out the hard truth of how to be an adult and survive on their own without anyone helping them.

It is up to them to either work together or create chaos. When someone ens up killed, they have to figure out how to achieve justice an protect everyone when they no longer have a police force in their wing. Everything normal teenagers take for granted on a daily basis, is being thrown in their faces to the harshest reality that they will have to rebuild what they love an move on from their childish games.

What I Really Thought

Okay, so I will try my harest to not reveal everything, but I do have a lot of thoughts so if you want to, you can just skip this section!

There were a good balance of what I like and what I didn’t like about it. I guess in a way, I half expected it to have some supernatural effect to it, which in a way it does, but I mean like a mythology beast that haunts the town or something like that. When that never happened I was kicking myself a bit because I was so iffy about the show itself. It wasn’t until the last episode that I actually started to like it more.

The things that I did like about it were things about the characters, such as their personalities and the fact that we get elements of everyday life. I think adding both the deaf and LBGTQ+ communities were great! They never shied away from the possibility of gun violence, domestic violence, mental illness, pregnancy and inexperienced childbirth being parts of the story. It is modern story of survival and it was nice to see 17-19 year old kids telling the story for once.

It was also like a test to see how much they remembered their studies too. After everything that happened with the trail of you-know-who, I immediately went into the bowels of my brain to see if there was a way that they could serve justice is by a firing squad, which is what they demonstrated on the show and I have to say, that is a very brave thing to do for many reasons. If you don’t have a way to secure your prisoners besides locking them up in wine cellars, the death penalty could be an option. A lot of people may not agree to it, but in order to show others that if you’re stupid enough to make a choice like this, this is what happens as a consequence. I hate that fact a single person had to make that type of result, but I fully agreed with that person.

Now there were some things that I didn’t like, kind of goes with the previous paragraph as the leader demands that all guns are to be taken away. I know they needed to be tested to see if they matched the bullet that killed “C” but keeping them for safe keeping really strike a nerve with me as I think this is wrong. I don’t think anybody else what do anything like that again–then maybe besides Campbell! That’s one of our biggest arguments now, whether or not to remove all firearms, but it’s like demonizing the pit bull breeds, it’s not their fault, it is the one that yields the power and in both cases people are the heart of the issue.

Lastly, I wasn’t thrilled when it was announced that instead of continuing the role of being the leader of their establishment, they held elections. I know this is another part of being an American, but considering how the season ended, I really hated the idea. The thing about having chores or living together to save resources were smart! When “H” vowed that things should be different, people should be thinking of themselves and not of the others living next door really made me angry because that’s just somebody’s ego talking and not giving a damn about what happens in the future. By the time the new season returns, we’ll see that these new rulers of West Ham were just in over their heads and chaos will really take place.

Have you watched Netflix’s “The Society” yet? What were some of your thoughts about the plot and overall story? did you enjoy it or hate it?

 

 

Royal Baby | Classic & Popular English Names!

Howdy!

I have been wanting to publish this post for MONTHS! Back in November, I decided to talk to you about all of my thoughts about The Duke and Duchess of Sussex expecting their first child! However, I wanted to have time to really think about the names that this child would be called, and I am finally ready to tell you, plus give you a few other cute English names that could help give you a royal edge as well!

Since it was confirmed that Meghan would either give birth sometime in April or early May, I knew the middle of March would be the perfect time to release this post to the world as part of the last minute pickings before the newest Windsor baby would arrive and we figure out how wrong (or right) we were with our choices! I still believe what I said in my previous post about their child being referred to as “Lord” or “Lady” instead of having a princely title. However, I realized I forgot something important to keep in mind if they do indeed have a boy, and that is the first son is usually given the title “Viscount” and the second son is the one to be called “Lord” or “Honourable”instead! That’s all I wanted to say before we go any further into the post.

One of the differences between The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is that since Prince William is the first son to the throne after his father Charles, Prince Of Wales, is that he and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge needed to use respectful and royalty-type names for their children. Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis are all very well-loved among the public and the royal family. However, I never got that feeling with Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess Of Sussex. They are really a royal couple of the modern age. So, I added a section in the picture above of both sexes of names that are usually popular with regular couples in both America and Great Britain. I also needed to keep in mind that instead of using his real name: Henry, he goes by his nickname “Harry” and the same goes with The Duchess as her first name is Rachel when she uses her middle name “Meghan” so when I began to look for possible names for their little one, I had pick out names that could work out for these situations too!

I’m going to begin with talking about the possible girl names. I have four that jumped out at me the most and could be good first names and they were…

HENRIETTA LOUISE: The origins for this name is of course, the female variation of Henry. Although it is an older name, I still think it would be cute to see again. It already has royal quality as it was used with King Charles I’s wife Henrietta Maria. Nicknames include: Hattie, Etta, and Ree.

MATILDA JANE: This name comes from Germany, and means “mighty”. It has shown up throughout the English and Scottish royals. There’s another version that has been pretty popular throughout the many generations of the royal family, and that is “Maud” but I feel this has some promise because it’s sweet and sort of a formal name to use the name “Tillie” as this has grown in popularity recently. Nicknames include: Mattie, and Tilda.

NORA ELIZABETH: I picked this because it could play out as both a first name or a nickname for the name “Eleanor” instead. Nora is adorable and little that I feel like it has a big following, especially over the last couple of years. The name Eleanor, has been used a lot throughout British history, the first one to come to mind is Eleanor of Aquitaine, the Queen Consort of Henry II of England.

SOPHIA DIANA: This has been my #1 pick for the past four months! It was really popular here in the US for a few years, and I feel it is still is well-used but I think it could gain the top spot back on the various yearly name lists if they use it too. Unfortunately, the name “Sophia” hasn’t been used among the royals as much. The last one was King George III’s wife and Queen Consort, Sophia Charlotte, and their daughter Princess Sophia, she never married and has no descendants. Nicknames include: Sophie and Fia.

Now it is time for the boy names and I don’t know why, but I always have difficulty coming up with clever boy names. Trust me, I didn’t feel like I was much help to my sister when she found out that she was having a boy instead of a girl. However, there are a few names on this list that are a better chance of appearing with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, so I hope you like this mini stack of names too!

CHARLES HENRY: I think after Prince Louis’s birth and name reveal, everybody started to realize that the royal family really like to repeat names, especially if they have a strong meaning for the couple! That’s why I picked Charles, because let’s face it, there is a greater chance of this name showing up than Meghan’s own father! The name Charles though has had a bad rap throughout British royal history, such as the beheading of King Charles I, but since times have changed and evolved, I think the name can take a whole new life in the modern world! Nicknames include: Charlie and Hank.

NICHOLAS GEORGE: The name Nicholas isn’t common among the British royal family, as much as other monarchies around the world. The reason why I put it on the traditional side is because, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia was first cousins to George V. I think the name is very strong and kind of spunky, I’ve always loved it and it would be nice to see it here! Nicknames include: Nick, Nicky, and Nico.

OLIVER WILLIAM: Now when I was thinking of the lesser classical names, I was pretty stumped for a good few months. So, I had to look online at various baby name websites to see what was popular in the last year and Oliver jumped out at me and I thought, this is really cute! It has the sophistication to be a possible royal name, but it has also has its modern flare as well. And I can definitely see the nickname “Ollie” being used for him too!

SPENCER JOSEPH: This is the name that everybody is hoping and praying for, since Prince Harry is seen to be more attached to Princess Diana’s family legacy and her siblings. Since my last post, I discussed that there could be a small possibility that if the first born son, could be awarded with the title of Earl of Spencer down the line, but after finding out that the current heir, Charles, has two sons, it kind of made me rethink my original notion. I think the name itself is very regal, and cute for a baby boy of the 21st Century! Nicknames include: Spence, Joe, and Joey.

Before I go, I wanted to let you all know that I will be starting a “little” tag on my blog’s Facebook page starting in April! It’s called the ABC Baby Names Tag and instead of doing it all at once, I’ve separated it out into six months. So, every Wednesday from April to the end of September, there will be TWO names for every letter of the alphabet. I would love for you to list your favorites in the comments each week too!

So, now I am officially finished with the post! I’m comfortable with my last minute choices and I believe any one of them have a strong case against them! My mom was very surprised with them as well! And now we wait…

Are you curious as to what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will name their child? Do you have any guesses as to what he or she could be named too? Let me know!