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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

The Sunday Salon: Almost There!

The Sunday

I started composing this post couple of days ago, but with everything else I was doing during this long weekend, it got sidelined. I am enjoying my five-day weekend and will return to work on Tuesday, thanks to the Independence Day holiday and two vacation days I needed to use up at work. I've been thinking of this long break as the quiet before the storm, because I am expecting the little one to arrive any day now. Actually, I am hoping she will come any day now. I got my last pending work responsibilities settled. (I still have to work until I go into labor.) The baby furniture and items are all ready and waiting for their tenant. Sleeping has been so freaking difficult and painful! At this point, I am ready to be done.

About eight months ago, when I found out I was pregnant, I couldn't wait to get here. There is something very beautiful about a belly bump and the idea of carrying a living breathing being inside a body. And while the whole experience has been wonderful and I wouldn't want to change a thing, the inconveniences have been a steady reminder that this isn't for ever.
  • Not being able to eat tuna.
  • Not being able to run.
  • Not being able to get a sentence in without panting.
  • Not being able to go bowling.
  • Not being able to work without worrying about the unfinished stuff.
  • Not being able to go to India.
  • Not being able to plan anything without wondering about how it will impact the little one.
  • Not being able to eat without wondering if it's on the NO list.

But on the plus side,
  • Feeling the punches and kicks from this little peanut.
  • Getting extra attention everywhere (this is both a plus and a minus, but people mean well and it's always nice to have someone walk ahead of me to a meeting room and get things set up for me).
  • Getting rid of my tea/coffee habit. Now, I have tea/coffee occasionally, more as a drink to relish than as something to help me stay awake. Of course, the upcoming sleepless nights may change that.
  • Having the husband take care of some most of the chores. (Okay, he is not going to like this point.)
  • Not feeling guilty about wanting to stay put and not do anything because my leg/feet/hips/back/everything hurts.
  • Watching her kicking and sucking her thumb on the ultrasound.
  • Planning, like all new parents do, about how we want to bring her up and what we should/shouldn't do.
  • Looking at all the cute baby items, this time with a personal investment in them. (On the other hand, worrying about consumerism and challenges in bringing up a girl in a world that is still not ready for her.)
  • Having a cute little kicking and thrashing bundle to look forward to, after all the struggles.

I am told that the pregnancy will appear to be a piece of cake once we get into the routines of feeding, diapering, and not-much-sleeping. Oh well. As long as there is a cute little bundle to tickle and cuddle with.

This past week, I picked up my knitting needles after having put them down at the beginning of my pregnancy. For some reason, I completely lost my interest in knitting as soon as the hormones started raging. Besides, with a summer baby on the horizon, I didn't have a strong incentive to knit anything. This week though, I started easing back in. I made a Gryffindor lion banner - it's now gracing my Harry Potter box set. I also knitted a cardigan for the little one and I'm in love with how it turned out.

Last night, after finishing the cardigan, I hit a rut. I wanted to read something but nothing is sounding appealing. There's also a part of me wondering what will happen if I went into labor halfway through the book. (I rarely go back to a book I stopped reading for whatever reason.) For that reason, I picked up and abandoned The Book of Speculation for now. A quick read is probably what I want. If fiction, then something plot-oriented. But nothing fluffy or silly. Nonfiction actually sounds sweeter - reading facts or essays is probably what will work best for me right now. If you have any suggestions of books that are quick reads, not too deep or profound, and easy on a distracted or restless mind, throw them my way. If it's a book that helped you when you were busy, definitely let me know about it.

I have been considering taking a Scribd, Oyster, or Kindle Unlimited subscription. That was the plan for a long time - I thought it would be a good idea to have an ebook subscription when I am nursing a kiddo. But now I am not too sure. I rarely deviate towards books when life is busy. I'd rather knit or watch TV, so I'm not sure a subscription would fly, but we'll see. Audiobooks will probably work much better.

Friday, I celebrated my birthday. Ever since we found out that we are having a July baby, I wondered if there is a chance she will arrive as my birthday present. I didn't want her to be born on my birthday, of course, and I'm sure she would prefer to have her own special day. So it was with a lot of relief that I woke up on my birthday with zero indications of going into labor. The husband got me an Audible subscription, which I am super excited about because I am caught up with my Audible library and need to stock up on new titles. He also got me a book embosser that I cannot wait to get my hands on. It's still being delivered, so hopefully, it will be here this week. At work, I had a surprise baby shower and birthday gift - my colleagues had chipped in for a gift card. Honestly, that made my day, especially since I didn't even see it coming.

Today is likely to be a day of chores. I still need to return a couple of library books before the baby comes, pack my hospital bag (I tried delaying this as much as possible), stock the changing table, order swaddling blankets, and buy yarn for some knitting projects. Hopefully, I'll get to some of these today.


bermudaonion(Kathy) said…
I wish people would stop giving pregnancy and baby advice because each pregnancy and baby are different. Vance slept 6 hours a night as a newborn so we never really had sleepless nights and you may not either. Your knitting is gorgeous!!
Vasilly said…
It's almost time! I just finished telling my daughter to come whenever she wants to since she's already past due. ;-) Did you know that Scribd had audio books? I plan on sticking mostly to Scribd and ebooks from the library for the first month or so after the baby's born. That way I don't have to worry about fines. If you want to try out Scribd for free, here's a link: I hope you spend the next few days relaxing.
iliana said…
Happy Belated Birthday, Athira! That's awesome that your husband got you the audible subscription. Look at your knitting talents - beautiful. Your little peanut is going to be one stylish baby :) I cannot imagine how you must be feeling but I hope all goes well with your delivery and that you and your husband welcome your little girl soon. Enjoy the extra days off from work!
Diane D said…
Happy belated Birthday and I am so Happy your big day is nearly here. That sweater is precious and yes -- that is my daughter on Ravelry - she got all the talent in our family.
Lisa Sheppard said…
Happy birthday and I hope that little girl gets here soon for you!
Lisa Sheppard said…
Oh yeah, and I love, love that little cardigan. So beautiful!
JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing said…
Happy Belated Birthday! My niece and BIL have birthdays just a few days apart and always celebrated "Birthday Week" with special activities over several days and a big family party. Maybe you'll end up with a similar situation. Looking forward to your news!
Delia (Postcards from Asia) said…
Happy belated birthday! I love your knitting projects, they look very nice. That sweater is so cute! And that banner...I'm sure Harry would approve. :)
Meg said…
You're in the home stretch -- yay! As someone who is thick in the middle of all those sleepless nights with a 12-week-old right now, I do look back a little wistfully at the "ease" of pregnancy . . . but I also remember how uncomfortable it was, though I only made it to 32 weeks with my little guy. Sending you lots of good vibes as you prepare for birth! Motherhood is tough and beautiful and so worthwhile -- you will rock it. :)
Ti Reed said…
It's easier to carry the baby around when he/she is inside the tummy but there are benefits to them being outside of the body, for sure :) I remember the first time we went out to dinner with the car seat and trying to figure out what to do with it, etc. I was such a goob.
literaryfeline said…
Happy belated birthday! It sounds like you had a nice one. :-) I watched a lot of television during those early days and weeks of breastfeeding. I had trouble focusing on books--too tired, too emotional, too anxious, what have you. You'll figure out what works best for you, I'm sure. :-)
Care said…
I enjoyed this post - and golly, you are so talented! Love the cute lil sweater! Happy belated birthday!
Happy belated birthday to you!! I'm glad you and the baby will have different birthdays, and then you can each have your special time. I hope the last few days of pregnancy treat you well! xx
You are so close! I am so excited for you! Happy belated birthday, too. :)

I do have a nonfiction recommendation. When Caleb was still a newborn and we weren't sleeping much, I read The Sh!t No One Tells You by Dawn Dais. It's a really funny parenting book with essays about being a new mom and the things no one tells you about. I loved it because I could relate so much, and it had short essays which I could read quickly when I was exhausted and it was the middle of the night.

Good luck and I can't wait until you get to meet your little one.
Belle Wong said…
I'm so excited for you! And happy belated birthday!

That cardigan is so adorable - seriously, you just knitted it this week? I am in awe of your knitting skills!.

If you're still thinking about getting an ebook subscription, I'd definitely recommend Scribd because it has quite a good audiobook selection, too. And quite a lot of graphic novels/comics.