Becka's Babble

Ramblings of a Romance Writer

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Good News

Well, I saw my doctor today and have some good news to report. First of all, the placenta moved away from my cervix, so I no longer have placenta previa and I'm all clear for a vaginal birth. Yay!

Second of all, I've only gained half a pound since the last appointment. Considering that's probably the baby's weight, since it is now putting on a half pound every week until birth, I'm pretty stoked! :D

Also, my doc said she wants to induce me in the week before my due date of Jan. 10th regardless of the weight of the baby. Because I'm a diabetic that's on medication, they have to monitor me very closely in my final weeks, moreso than a diabetic who's controlling their diabetes with diet. So she mentioned the week between the 3rd and the 10th, in there somewhere. DH mentioned, "Or the 31st?" She looked at him and said, "Oh sure, for the tax break? You bet!" LOL

I suppose the baby will be healthy enough at that point being 38-39 weeks old. She will be at term by the end of the year. Hopefully she was serious about the end of December induction! LOL Maybe I can whittle her down as the weeks go on. Heh I have to go in twice a week in December so they can hook me up to the fetal monitors to make sure there's no stress on the baby. I just don't want to be in the hospital on Christmas day. Baby can come before or after Christmas, but not ON! I want to be home opening gifties with a warm fire, some cinnamon rolls and holiday cheer, darn it!

I bought a few things for the baby just in case she decides to come before I have my baby shower (many smooches to Joleine and Michelle for throwing me one. :). I have about 5 onesies, 3 jammies, 3 pairs of socks, and 3 hats. I know, not much, right? Jim's mom already bought us the uber pack-n-play complete with a baby changing station, mobile, lights and music doo-dad, and an adjustable bed height for infant or toddler, along with a carseat/stroller combo. So, if baby comes early, all we really need now is some diapers and wipes. I'd considered buying a giant box of diapers from Costco, but read online that you should really only buy a few packages of newborn-size diapers, since the baby grows so fast. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do about that situation. We shall see. The rest of my kids didn't grow like weeds, so perhaps Sophie will be the same way.

Anyhow, just thought I'd share that info. Funny thing is, the tech at the ultrasound told me baby's head was down, but my doc found baby's heartbeat high up on my belly, which means she's probably sitting head up at the moment. Guess the wee one is still rolling around in there! Let's hope she rolls back into position before D-day... :P


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Goings Last Camping Adventure....for awhile at least

In case you didn't know, DH recently got laid off from his job. Couple this with the fact I'm just a housewife, who happens to be pregnant, and the sudden, dramatic downturn of our economy, this doesn't bode well.

However, there are a few irons in the fire for my ol' hubby and his job prospects, so all is not hopeless. Due to this craptastic crapfest, we decided we needed to get away for awhile and relax. As you know, we've gone camping a few times in the past, but never "by ourselves". We've always gone with friends. This time around, we decided to meander on up to Ft. Stevens, Oregon on our own, a place we've actually never visited - the only stretch of American soil to be shelled by the Japanese in 1942 (as Hawaii wasn't a state when they bombed Pearl Harbor).

Anyhow, it was awesome to camp out there, amidst the many different batteries protecting the mouth of the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean. We had fun exploring the catacombs of the bunkers and the old giant gun pits.

But that wasn't our only adventure. The first night, we discovered our air mattress had a hole in it. We tried patching it, but to no avail. Thankfully, DH had just bought an air mattress for the kids, a "king" mattress, which is actually two twin mattresses that will zip together to make a "bigger" bed. Well, that first night, they were sound asleep, and we didn't have the heart to steal it from them then. So we "roughed it" on the hard ground with just our blankies and two half-inch thick foam pads we had. You might think this is what camping is all about, but not when you're 7 months pregnant! Holy cow, I couldn't sleep at all that first night. I was so uncomfortable.

Not to mention the LEGION of raccoons that descended upon us once we were safe in our tents. Once we'd doused our lantern, they were bold enough to enter our campsite while me and my oldest daughter were sitting at the campire. They were trying to get into our chip and bread duffel bag. LOL Okay. So I shooed all FOUR of them away - yes, four - and my daughter was freaked out while they snorted and hissed at me, little buggers.

I then proceeded to put our dry goods bags in our van which was just a few feet away from our site thinking, "They can't open the ice chests. We're all good."

We finally go to bed, and a little later, we hear THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. Little bastardos CAN get into the ice chests! Let this be a lesson to y'all. So we put a few of our heavy items on top of the ice chests while DH shooed away SIX of them. The four came back with two of their friends, I guess. Cute as all get out, but dang, are they little pests! One even tried to make off with our kids' clothing bag which had their toothpaste inside, which we figured they could smell. LOL He was snorting, huffing and puffing, trying his hardest to drag it away, but it was just too heavy, I suppose. We got a good laugh out of it all, especially when raccoons lined the pathway to the bathrooms a few yards away. Fun times when you're heavily pregnant and have to get up 2 to 3 times due to shivering.

Yeah, when I shiver, it makes me have to go more often for some reason. And I was shivering. Why? Because it wasn't just cold, it was BASTOGNE cold. Holy cow.

So the next night, we steal the air mattresses from our kids, tell them to deal with sleeping on the ground (with our pads and a few extra blankies as more padding to lie on), but even these mattresses suck due to the gaping CHASM between them! Sure, you can zip them up, but there's still a crack about 2 to 3 inches wide in the middle. And since the nights were BASTOGNE cold, cuddling is a must to stay warm. So that crack didn't do any wonders for DH's back, lemme tell you. LOL

We managed to go for a family bike ride to one of the batteries, which was fun, and another day, I was exhausted (due to lack of sleep), so DH took the kids for a longer ride. We had good food and many a roaring fire, played Apples 2 Apples Jr. with the kids, and had a fun time.

We originally were going to stay there for four days, but the cold and the uncomfortable mattress situation made us come home a day early. But it was fun nonetheless.

You might think we're crazy for going camping at the end of October, but it was only because baby Sophie is going to make her debut sometime in January, and camping with a newborn isn't going to be pleasant. So while DH might be able to take the kids on his own, I won't be able to go camping with the baby until she's older. Fort Stevens was our "one last hurrah" as a family. Also, there was NO ONE else at the camp site aside from a few older folks in their campers, which was probably why the legion of raccoons descended upon us as easy picken's. :P

We liked the empty campsite because we never had to wait for the potty and we always found an open shower. (Yes, there are showers, we don't like "roughing it" camping in the back woods). Well, let me rephrase. DH would probably like that, but I like my car-camping. I don't necessarily mind if there are showers nearby or not, but there MUST be some sort of outhouse/toilet/honeybucket on hand. I can't stand hiking, so trekking to the campsite with gear from the car doesn't appeal to me.

Anyhow. :) DH has his perspective of the camping trip on his blog at, or you can see our camping pics at:


Monday, October 20, 2008

What the Heck is Wrong with Other People's Kids?!?

Okay, folks, time for a rant. What the heck is wrong with other people's kids? Seriously?

Today I was taking my kids to their art class. We have to go to the Cultural Arts Center, which is a converted Lutheran Church, and their classes are downstairs. There's a little swinging gate on the stairs down the kids love to take turns opening.

Anyway, we go downstairs, I drop off the kids and head on back upstairs. When I'm literally on the top stair right at the swinging gate, a troupe of four kids go racing by me, none of which say, "Excuse me" or even look at me as I'm forced to wait for them to thunder on by before I can continue on my way. When I do, one more child who must have been in the rear of the pack comes around the corner and literally PUSHES me out of the way so he can get by me. PUSHES!!!

I was this close > < to yelling, "Excuse YOU!" But then came mom, who didn't say one word to me, didn't even look at me. Nothing like "Excuse us" or "I'm so sorry". I was appalled! Now, keep in mind these kids are older, maybe 7,8,9 years old - they should know how to be polite. I might expect a toddler or little kid to push by me, but older kids? And not even MOM was polite??

It takes a lot to offend me, folks, but today I was. I don't know if it was the pregnancy "Bitch" hormones going into overdrive or the fact it was my snacktime and I needed to boost my blood sugar. Perhaps it was just plain ol' righteous indignation.

Because seriously, if you don't instill MANNERS into your kids, no wonder they turn into little hellions.

My second daughter Miriam asked me the other day while we were at Fred Meyer's, a big grocery chain here in Oregon, "Mommy, how come every time we come here we hear that?"

"Hear what?" I say.

"That baby crying."

I listen, and sure enough, there's some kid wailing away a few aisles over. I guess I'd just tuned it out.

"Well, I don't know," I answer. "Guess someone's cranky."

So when we catch up with said squawking child, he's throwing a tantrum in the cart and mom is shopping like NOTHING'S GOING ON!!! Uhm, woman, your baby's crying, and you might think ignoring it will make the child stop, but I'm here to tell you that you've gotta instill some kind of DISCIPLINE to your child, yes, even in the MIDDLE OF FREAKIN' FREDDY'S IF YA GOTTA!!!

When my kids act up at the store (on those very rare occasions), I speak softly to them, so no one else can hear (because really, it's no one else's business). I say, "You keep this up, I'm going to smack you right here in the store, I don't care who's watching."

My kids, knowing that I MEAN what I say, back off and behave afterwards, perhaps all the while misty-eyed at the thought of Mommy punishing them in public.

I'm telling you right now, I was downright afraid of my mother when I was a kid. She didn't ask for respect, she demanded it. I'm not talking fear like OMG she's going to beat me, but fear as in I knew she meant every word she said and I didn't dare test her limits. This is the same kind of mommy I wanted to be with my children, albeit loving on the same token.

I love you to pieces, but if you give me attitude, disrespect, or disobey me, there WILL be Hell to pay.

Now I don't beat my children. Please. I do believe in smacking their hand, and we have, on occasion, spanked our kids. But our kids learned early on not to do the things that prompted spanking, and now, it's very RARE we ever have to do it. Just the threat usually reins them in.

Of course, we also teach them to be respectful, to wait until it's their turn to speak, never to push anyone, say "please" and "thank you" not as an afterthought, but as the first thing you say when someone does something nice for you.

This just seems like common sense to me. My husband and I did NOT get "lucky" four times over. We were not blessed with overly angelic children. We simply taught them early on the meaning of respect and that they are expected to obey our rules. Why is that so hard for some parents? I just don't get it.

Perhaps I can't expect too much from that mom who had no manners herself...


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Random Ponderings...

I'm officially 7 months pregnant - into the final stretch - the third trimester. Baby is about 15 - 16 inches long and weighing in at about 2 1/2 pounds. I'm going to have another ultrasound on Wednesday to measure the size of the baby and the location of the placenta. Last ultrasound, it was 2 cm away from my cervix. Apparently, it can float away during pregnancy and attach itself elsewhere, so they want to monitor that and see where it goes (if it goes).

What's really weird is despite feeling the baby kick and my expanding waistline, and having to make a 3-point turn in bed just to roll over, it's hard to wrap my head around the fact there's a baby in there! I guess it's just been so long since I've been pregnant. But it's not much longer before we'll have a new little one in the family! My mom-in-law just sent us off our gifties of a new carseat/stroller combo and a pack-n-play.

Friends are talking about throwing me a baby shower and I need to go buy some stuff as well. I just want to be prepared. I'll probably buy some newborn diapers, wipes, and some onesies and jammies. At least we'll have the carseat - that's a big load off! (Thanks, Mom! :D)

Aside from baby news, I just recently went to a book club meeting to discuss my book THE WOLVERINE AND THE ROSE with the ladies at Powell's Books in Beaverton. Pretty awesome, I've got an "in" over there. The lady who coordinates the book club is also the same woman who does the signings AND who orders the romance novels for the store. So she told me to send her all my ISBN info on my other print books and she'll order them. They love to support local authors, and I think that's just fabulous! :D

It's too awesome to say I've got books on the shelves at Powell's! :D Just need to conquer Powell's downtown next...

I got my cover for my latest book coming soon! It will be released in November from Champagne Books, and it's entitled ONCE A DREAMER. Here it is along with the blurb:

When her adoptive mother dies in a bank shootout, orphan Karina Vadislav is sent to live with Patrick Baker, her uncle in Dodge City, Kansas. After years of abuse, she flees, meeting Benjamin Sawyer, a gambler with a sordid past. He agrees to help her claim her inheritance in Topeka, posing as her husband to keep her safe.

But there are men who are out for Ben’s blood and will stop at nothing to see him dead. Coupled with Karina’s bloodthirsty uncle, neither of them is safe on the trail.

When bullets fly and truths are revealed, will Ben and Karina’s fragile love survive the ultimate betrayal?


Anyhow, that's all for now!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

FINALLY Updated My Website

In case you haven't noticed, my website has been full of dead links forever. Mainly because DH and I switched Internet providers an eon ago and I never got around to having him make me an FTP log in to update things. Not to mention the fact that two of my publishers also totally changed their eBookstores in the interim. SIGH

Anyhow, I've finally poked around in there and updated all my buy links for every single book, as well as updated the new releases featured on the front page. I still have a few things left to do, as the print release of LEATHER & LACE isn't on my site yet. But if you see another dead link or a typo or something that seems out of place, let me know.

Otherwise, you can check it out at:

Who knows how many sales I might have missed out on with all those dead links? Yikes! Laziness does not PAY folks. Nyuk nyuk.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Okay, This Thing is the Coolest Device I Have EVER Owned

Yes, yes, I know I already have a post about this, but I've just got to spread the Gospel of iPhone to the masses. I have a 3G, which retails for $199. Considering everything this nifty little device does, that's a SCREAMIN' deal.

Let's review what it does for ME, Beckabecks:

It's a calculator. Handy for when I'm at the store.

It's a notepad. Handy for when I want to jot down a grocery list or reminders to myself.

It tells me the temperature of any city I choose. Excellent for finding out what the beach might be like this weekend.

It's a clock.

It's a map. Enter any address and it will pop up a map. If you're in the map app (lol), you can also enter in say... "Thai Restaurant" and it will show you all the local Thai restaurants in the area. Oh, would you like to call them? Here's their number. Just push "call". Do they have a website? Yes? Why don't you browse it?

Which brings me to it's connected to the Internet via the cell network. So you never have a "disconnect" to the Internet. Nope. Check email? You bet. Browse You Tube? Go ahead! In fact, you can turn your iPhone sideways and it will play the video in a "widescreen" format. Can you go to websites? Need you ask? And no, it's not the craptastic text only websites. You can totally see every picture and every inch of pink on Becka's Babble. :P

And let's not forget that if you have to squint to read that text, you just pinch your touch screen to zoom into the text and/or website. You can spread your fingers wide to zoom back out.

It's a hand-held game device. There's an app store with hundreds of games you can either pay for - and some for free! Some apps aren't even games. You can download the dictionary, for example. Or the Bible. Or a bajillion other things. One of the things I downloaded was a Diabetes program that keeps track of your blood sugars throughout the day.

And yes, I bought Bejeweled 2 for it. Love that game, as well as some other word games, solitaire, hangman, and an app for Pandora, the FREE Internet streaming radio (for lack of a better example.) You put in an artist you like to listen to, and it will pull up that person, and play *other* artists that are similar, that you might like. Pandora is cool in that it's not just for the iPhone, it's also online. You should check it out.

Oh, did I mention that this nifty thing is also an iPod? Sure, I have an iPod already, but I could ditch it if I wanted.

It also does awesome texting, as it's smart, with a "qwerty keyboard" (all touch screen, of course, no buttons), and if you happen to make a typo, it suggests a correction for you, and 9 times out of 10, it guesses the word you were trying to type. It also remembers previous texts, so you can browse through your older texts to your contacts.

It's a calendar, and I can make appointments on whatever day I choose.

It's a camera. Want to take a picture of something cool? No prob. Point and shoot. Want to email that photo? Okay!

Oh yeah. And it's a phone.


I never thought I'd use one as much as I have used this little thing. I was so wrong. Now I wonder how I lived so long without it.

I love the thing so much I've named it "Vera", after Jayne's beloved gun in Firefly. LOL

Seriously, folks, if you've been thinking of getting one, you really should. $199 is NOT that expensive for everything it does. And I'm just in awe of all the apps that are available for it. My phone could do SO much more if I downloaded more apps.

THIS is why I will always keep it charged and always keep it close to my person. Never again will my phone be lying useless, dead on the counter. Forever and ever, amen.



Monday, October 06, 2008

Becka's Newest Toy

Yes, DH loves me... Yes, DH loves me. Yes, DH loves me... for my iPhone tells me so! :D

Yes, that's right, DH gave me an early birthday present this weekend, my very own iPhone 3G:

I've wanted an iPhone for a long time, pretty much ever since DH got his about a year ago. Thing is, I'm not really a "gadget" person, and put off getting one for myself because I thought it would be too much for me.

Turns out, this phone is exactly what I need. My old cell phone was this archaic flip phone from like 1950 or something (lol). Texting on it was a PITA, as you had to press the number buttons a few times to get to the "letter" on that button. Gah. I always forgot the thing, and never charged it, because I never used it.

But the iPhone is so much more than just a PHONE. Sure, I don't have many people to call, and I basically have a "phone" just so I can make the random phone call or when something "bad" might happen - flat tire, dead battery, etc. But this gadget lets me connect to the Internet. No matter where I am, I can check email, visit my websites, check the news, play games, listen to music on the built in iPod feature...

With all the bells and whistles, it pretty much ensures that I'll keep it charged and with me at all times, much to DH's relief. Every time he calls me, I never answer, because like I said, the phone was never charged, or I forgot it at home. :P I don't think I'll be doing that anymore!

Woohoo! I have been assimilated!


Friday, October 03, 2008

Becka's Birthday Bash

Hello everyone! If you've been following my books for the past few years, you might know I hold an annual birthday party for myself every year. :) It's called Becka's Birthday Bash, and it lasts for an entire week, the week of my birthday, October 9th.

This year, it will be held from Oct. 6th to Oct. 10th on my author loop, The Magic of Romance. I will be posting excerpts, posting fun facts, fun questions, holding contests and giving away sweet wrapped "mystery" birthday gifties. :D If you'd like to come and partay with me, you can join my group at:

The best part is, all of my author friends are coming as well! (Well, most of them. :P) You'll be reading their excerpts and entering their contests as well! So it won't just be a Becka Bonanza. :D

I'll be giving away some sweet prizes - you don't want to miss it!

Remember, Oct. 6th thru Oct. 10th, Monday through Friday of next week. Hope to see you there!