WORK/LIFE BALANCE FROM A MOM AND NURSE PRACTITIONER

Update on home renovation projects

12/28/15
One of the greatest endeavors we undertook this year was buying our first home and doing much of the renovations. In Southern California the real estate market is over-inflated, and our search to find an affordable home took quite some time. The home buying process in itself is terrifying and tedious, however in a market where there are competing cash buyers another element comes into play. My husband and I wanted a home in an area with good school districts, safe and in between our job locations, which in this region is not easy to come by. We could have sacrificed these requirements and bought a newer and larger home, however in order to buy in our ideal neighborhood we chose to sacrifice new fixtures and size. At first my husband was gung-ho to do much of the renovations himself and wanted to get all the original popcorn ceilings and install new floors before we moved in. He had two weeks of paid paternity leave remaining from after our son was born, and chose to use it to work on our house. 

This project turned out to be a lot more than we anticipated. The first week included scraping off the popcorn ceiling that was throughout all the rooms, except the bathrroms. We used a dilution of dish soap and water spray and then scraped off the popcorn ceiling with paint scrapers. The process itself was fast, but left a huge mess all over the floors. The ceilings had to be prepped to be painted with dry wall mud. This was the most tedious task, in my opinion. Here is my husband scrapping dry wall mud in the stairwell.
This took several days with three people. The downstairs flooring in the bathroom, kitchen and living room was a nicer linoleum that was put in by the previous owners. My husband and I originally wanted to replace this floor, however were advised against it by several people familiar with flooring, who advised us it was not only expensive material, but also very water and scratch resistant. The stairs and the upstairs flooring, however had to go. There was shag carpet throughout the stairs and the upstairs. We took box cutters to all of that ourselves and ripped it out. We then had to go rip out the nails on the original plywood floors and rip out all the old baseboards with crow bars, a labor intensive project my husband and I (mostly husband) took on ourselves.




We were originally planning on putting in laminate flooring on the stairs and upstairs rooms, however were advised to put carpet on the stairs by several people due to our young son climbing the stairs. We picked out a carpet and paid to have that installed on the stairs, as well as a nice gray/brown laminate flooring in the upstairs hall and bedrooms. Throughout this whole process we had crown moulding installed, which ended up slowing everything down as we had to rip down the original poor work done by the first guy and hire another guy to redo it all! The final look came  out nice, but the process was a headache. We also picked out a new ceramic tile for the upstairs bathroom, and my husband with the help of our friend installed that. Our friend ended up priming and painting all of the walls a light gray color, which I am not actually sure of the brand or exact color. I eventually want to do an accent wall to break up all the gray, but that will be further down the line. Here are the after pictures of the upstairs.



Upstairs Bedroom Before





Upstairs bedroom after
Upstairs Bathroom Before (ignore the home inspector)


Upstairs Bathroom After

We replaced the tile in the upstairs bathroom with a new ceramic tile, which was cut and installed by my husband.  We have not replaced the toilet,vanity yet, or bathtub yet,however it's on the ever growing list of things we would like to replace.

 

Not much has been done to the kitchen yet. My husband installed a new range to give us more counter space, but we would like to get new cabinets and a stove and dishwasher eventually.
Stove and Range Before





 
With range installed after
 
Dining Area Before
 
 


Dining Area After

My husband installed this hanging light fixture in the dining area we bought from Lowe's. We also replaced the light switch and outlet coverings with more modern-looking ones.


New Outlet Coverings


Stairwell Before


Stairwell After
We replaced the carpet on the stairwell. We picked this one out from a flooring store and paid to have it installed. We also paid a welder to put in more rungs in the bannister for safety as advised by the home inspector. The bannister is extremely ugly, and on my list of things to replace when we get the extra cash.


Lastly, the upstairs patio is in need of some d├ęcor and plants. I am in the process of putting a raised bed and some plants up there to give it some more life.
That is all we have done so far. I will post more updates as it progresses.










"Thanks Doctor"

12/11/15
I don't write about my job much, mostly because I don't want to get sued or fired. I say this because everyone is so litigious these days, especially in healthcare , and I don't want to post anything that may be taken the wrong way. That being said, I am a nurse practitioner, which is an advance practice provider, and I work in the ER. Many people are often unfamiliar with what a NP is or does, even though the profession has been around for decades. NPs are mastered-prepared, and also are licensed as registered nurses. State laws on practice authority vary. In California there is full prescriptive authority, however a supervising physician is required. Furthermore, the scope of the NP practice is determined on standardized procedures in place at one's place of employment. Confusing? Yes. So often when patients call me "Doctor" or "nurse" I just don't have the time to explain my job function to them. I work in the ER, and have a lot of responsibility and autonomy. I worked in the ER as a RN, and it can be an area of burnout and dillusionment. I have definitely had my moments where I have felt burned out, especially on the days when you are the enemy of everyone... The angry patient waiting, the charge nurse for not getting an open bed fast enough, the doctor for not having the labs drawn fast enough. The ER is not like other units in the hospital where you get "thank you'd" often. Most people are not there in happy circumstances and waiting only makes it worse. The other day I had a thank you and it made me feel so validated! I had a nervous boy and his parents after he had a head injury requiring stitches. He and his family had very little experience being in a hospital, and were frantically asking me questions? Will he be healed by Christmas? Will he be permanently disfigured? Am I going to put him to sleep to do the stitches? The young boy asked, when I explained  I would inject lidocaine into his wound to numb it " you are going to inject into my brain?" When I successfully sutured his wound, without warning the boy jumped up and hugged me! "Thank you Doctor" I was so taken aback and touched, I didn't tell him " I'm not a doctor" His mom then hugged me "thank you Doctor!"  It's moments like this i love my job.

Reaction to San Bernadino Shooting

12/3/15
My intent for this blog was to write more light-hearted topics, however after the recent shooting at San Bernadino I feel compelled to write a more serious and perhaps political post. This shooting yesterday really affected me, maybe because of the proximity of the shooting to where I live, the possible involvement of a state agency where my husband works, and because the center this occurred served those with disabilities. Although the motive behind this horrendous act is still unknown, it is known that assault weapons were used. As President Obama pointed out in a statement to the press, there are people on the "No Fly" list that are able to buy assault weapons in this country. As someone who grew up in a state where the right to bear arms is strongly revered, I know how polarizing the topic of gun control is. I don't believe social media is the appropriate outlet to influence people on this topic, or other strongly charged ideological issues. I do urge you if agree that we need stronger laws in our country to write your state representative and vote for candidates that support gun control. I urge you to advocate to your legislators for laws not only for background checks and waiting periods, but bans on the sale of assault weapons. For those that live in California, here is a link to contact our Governor Brown.


.    https://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php



Mixed race and mixed reactions

11/19/15
 Interracial relationships and biracial children are not anything new. Many of my friends and family members are in interracial relationships, are mixed race or have biracial kids. However, it seems that our society is still having a conversation about "mixed" people as if this is a new phenomenon. Our society and culture seems to have a paradoxical reaction to "mixed" race people. As a mother of a biracial child I have experienced these reactions first hand. On the one hand people are obsessed with "mixed race" children. Before I was ever pregnant, people would say "You are going to have the cutest kids!"  I can understand this reaction because often people with great variance in physical traits often produce adorable looking children. On the other hand, American society also is confused as all hell as how to categorize mixed race individuals. The actor Taye Diggs recently came out with a children's book called "Mixed Me" in part for his son who is mixed race. Some people have criticized Taye for saying that he wants his son to acknowledge both his white and black sides. Americans seem to hate the ambiguity of "mixed people" and almost demand that they choose one race or another. The comedian Trevor Noah touches about the ambiguity of being biracial in his standup. He tells a story about when filling out an application for a bank account he was asked to check a box for his race. When he finally chose the "white" box the clerk was so confused, she did not know how to react.  My son has more fair skin and light straight hair and many people who do not know my son is biracial until they see my husband with him. Some people's reactions to my son's looks range from sweet to humorous, to downright rude. People have their assumptions about how people of one race should look or act. I believe unfortunately in this country racism is still alive and well. When the lines of race are blurred it is harder for people to discriminate against one another, and thus this may explain the need for society to classify mixed race people as one or another. Yes, there are fundamental cultural differences that exist between races, however is so hard to understand that these cultures can intermingle? American people have had a long history of intermixing and the backgrounds of most American includes a mix of more than one race or nationality, so why are people still so confused about "mixed" people?

Grateful

11/5/15
November is here, and Thanksgiving is fast approaching. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, in part because it is a low-maintenance holiday. There are no costumes, decorating, going out in crowds, fireworks or gift-giving required. You simply enjoy a good meal with friends or family. That is unless of course you participate in the black Friday madness, which I loathe because it defeats the whole purpose of Thanksgiving, but I digress. I also love Thanksgiving in part because I have so many fond memories of Thanksgivings past. One of my favorite Thanksgivings was in high school some choir members went to a local church and served food to the needy and sang. After I left for college I  wasn't able to go home for Thanksgiving, as the time and money to go back to Alaska so most of my subsequent Thanksgivings were spent in nontraditional ways with friends and roommates. My first year away I spent with friends eating on a blanket on the floor because there was no table. We ate, drank, and laughed well into the evening.  Another year my dear friend and e-mail pen pal came to visit me from Ireland and we met face to face for the first time. My college friends and I cooked her first Thanksgiving dinner with her. She was in shock at American grocery stores when we took her to the warehouse-like Winco to shop for our dinner. One year my roommate and her sister were vegan so we cooked a huge Vegan meal, with the main course being a roulade with the crust made out of lentils, which actually tasted amazing. There's been a few awkward Thanksgivings in the mix. My first Thanksgiving in California I went to a classmate's house and ate with her family who I barely knew, ate as fast as  I could to get the hell out of there. Nevertheless, I look forward to it every year. Now having my own family I look forward to starting our own traditions and memories.
I also enjoy the holiday because of the idea of taking time to reflect on our blessings. The history of the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth may be suspect, and the Pilgrims and Indians probably were not really sitting hand and hand singing Kumbaya together, however the idea is what is important. There is a reason Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a National Holiday. I know this because I starred as Abe Lincoln's wife in my 5th grade's Thanksgiving Day play. I'll be the first to tell you I am sarcastic, cynical and oftentimes just outright negative, but I believe taking time to count your blessing and give thanks is important. Whether or not you go around the table and say what you are thankful for, or just silently reflect, that is what this day is for. What are you Thankful for in 2015?

These are from Thanksgiving 2004 where my friend Dee flew to Ashland to visit for her first trip to the United States, and first Thanksgiving.

What I would do if I did it over again

10/20/15
 
 


When I was pregnant with my son, I had a lot of anxiety over what to expect and how to prepare for a new baby. I didn’t have any babies in my immediate family, and only had handful of friends with kids, who were scattered across the country. I attempted to get info from blogs, my friends or coworkers who had had babies to ease my mind and prepare. Now that my son is over a year old, I look back and think if and when I have another baby what I would do the different and what I would do the same.

Different:

Limit Visitors Until the Baby is One Month

Everyone is so excited to see the baby, and I did get a lot of visitors. Several people advised me to wait until the baby was a month old to 1) get used to being parents 2) wait until the baby’s immunity has built up. One friend told me in her culture they limit visitors until one month and then throw a party and invite people over. I wish I had taken this advice, simply because it’s completely overwhelming having visitors when you and your baby are recovering and trying to get the hang of breastfeeding and your sleep is next to none.

Ask for Help

I wanted to be polite, and after coming home from the hospital I did not ask for help from friends and family with the day to day stuff that I needed. I did not receive the freezer meals or casseroles from friends or family, or other little things like laundry. In my breastfeeding class I took while I was pregnant, they also advised, if someone comes to visit after the baby is born have them do a chore, laundry, cook, or bring a meal because learning to breastfeeding takes up so much time and energy. This advice I also did not take, but I sorely wish I had.

Keep Tags on Baby Clothes

We received more baby clothes as presents than we knew what to do with. I was thrilled about all the clothes and during a nesting frenzy I prewashed all the clothes, organized them and packed newborn-sized clothes into the hospital bag. Little did I know my son would be 10 lbs 2 oz and would not even fit the newborn clothes! Don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful to have so many clothes, especially when the baby is constantly spitting up, pooping or messing up his clothes, but I could have returned or exchanged a lot of the clothes we did not use.  

Supplement With Formula

The first month is tough with breastfeeding, and there were days when my supply was probably not enough for my baby. The pediatrician at his first visit even advised that to keep him from losing weight supplementing with formula would not be a bad thing. I refused to heed this advice because I did not want to introduce formula unless I absolutely had to. Looking back, my baby probably would have slept better and been better nourished if I had given him formula on the days my supply was low. He was still receiving the benefits of breastmilk, and the formula would not have hurt him at all.

Get a Travel System

 A travel system is one of those car seat carriers that snaps in and out of your car and onto a stroller. My husband convinced me not to buy one because the baby would outgrow it in a matter of six months. Instead we bought two convertible car seats that are usable until your child outgrows car seats. Financially speaking, this was the more sound way to go. From a practical perspective, the car seats we bought were hell. Every time the baby fell sound asleep in his car seat and it was time to get out of the car, I would have to pry him out wake him up from his slumber crying and screaming and stuff him into the carrier or stroller. If I had had the travel system I could simply have snapped him out of the car seat without pulling him out of the seat and he could continue sleeping peacefully.

Establish a Nap and Feeding Routine Before Returning to Work

I put my baby in daycare at 8 weeks. Granted it was only two days a week, but it was still much earlier than I would have liked. I was in my last semester of grad school, and the only conceivable option for finishing was to put him in daycare. At this age the importance of establishing a routine with napping and feeding is so vital. It took him a very long time to sleep through the night, and I attribute this to not getting a daytime routine set at an early age.

Get the Epidiural

My baby was a week overdue, and thus I had to be induced. I first received cervadil, to soften the cervix. The contractions became so painful I began shaking uncontrollably. After the first six or eight hours of labor I chose to get the epidural. It was effective in managing the pain, however my legs were paralyzed and heavy, which lead me to panic. I requested the epidural off and thus felt everything while I was pushing for two and half hours out a 10 lb 2oz baby. Needless to say, the feeling of paralysis and heavy legs would have been much preferred.

Don’t Use Dr. Brown’s Bottles

I don’t know who Dr. Brown is, but he must be a rich man. When reading online about baby products I was told these bottles were the best and they prevented colic and gas. I would buy anything that promised that my baby wouldn’t cry. Honestly these bottles are overpriced and not that useful and a pain to clean. There are 5 different parts to these bottles you have to assemble and disassemble to clean. By the time he was using a bottle, it was past the stage of colic anyway.

 

The Same

Take Excessive Numbers of Pictures

The time does really fly by, and honestly I look back at the baby pictures and barely recall that time and remember him looking that way. It’s so amazing to look at the transformations and special moments.

Use the Crib Early

We started putting the baby in the crib at six or seven weeks in his own room. It was a little bit of a difficult transition, but man was it worth it. He sleeps really well in his own crib in his own room now. He puts himself down for naps in his crib easily, and never sleeps in our bed.

Putting Good Books to Read on Kindle or Iphone

During the months of overnight breastfeeding sessions I would end up in the rocker with my baby in my arms. I would often be there for 30-45 minutes, and during this time I would read on my iphone. I had several good books, which made the time fly by. I also would not have to turn on any lights or disturb anyone while reading.

 Get Dressed Up and Go Out

 After being cooped up at home with spit up breastmilk on me for a month, I was anxious to get out of the house. My husband and I left my son with family just three weeks after having given birth and went to a wedding. I had been pumping at this time and left milk for him. It was nice to put on a dress and make-up and feel like a human being for a small amount of time.

Pump Early

Although I was told in my breastfeeding class not to pump until 5 or six weeks, I did not follow this and started pumping at about 1-2 weeks. This was a good decision, because it left me a supply if I ever left the house for a few hours my husband could feed him. It allowed me some freedom, and it also boosted my supply. I also started freezing milk early, which I used when he started daycare.

Do Jillian Michaels Work Out Videos

I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy, and was eager to lose it fast. Unfortunately having a newborn is not conducive to going to the gym or workouts. I discovered the Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred , which was a lifesaver. It’s a 3 level 20 minute work out video that does cardio, strength and abs.  20 minutes is just the amount of heart rate elevation needed to start fat burning, and it’s perfect amount of time to squeeze in a workout when the baby is taking a nap.

Stop Pacifier Use Early

We started using a pacifier at 3 or four weeks, mostly for getting our baby to sleep. I was warned, by a dentist to wean off the pacifier before teething. We stopped at 3 or 4 months, and now he never uses one or needs it.

 

That is all I can think of. What would you do different/the same?



Sleep is golden

10/14/15
You always hear that becoming a parent changes everything. Yes, I feel that becoming a parent has changed my perspective on great number things, and my lifestyle of course is centered around family and being a mom. The most significant change for me is my value of sleep. Everyone warned me about the horrific lack of sleep when a baby comes along. I did heed the warnings, however I had been no stranger to sleep deprivation so I thought these people were being a bit dramatic. How bad could it be? Sleep deprivation has well-documented effects on mental and physical health. Chronic sleep deprivation takes years off your life, is linked to obesity, depression, and heart disease to name a few. Shift-work disorder is now a documented illness. Knowing these facts, I spent most of my twenties on as little sleep as humanly possible to function. I put the important things first, like going out with my friends and drinking to the wee hours of morning and then turning around a going to my work in the morning sick and tired only to do it all over again. When in college I would stay up cramming memorizing whatever I should have learned over the entire semester into an all night study session time and time again. After finishing nursing school my first job was a graveyard position 7pm to 7 am. Even while I worked the noc shift I would get an hour or two of sleep after my shift and go to my grad school class. There were times I would go out with friends after working twelve hours overnight, just so I could feel like I wasn't missing out. Once or twice I got on a plane after working or drove to Vegas. This type of behavior came to screeching halt after the birth of my son. While all this time in my twenties I voluntarily deprived myself of sleep, when you have no choice in the matter my perspective on sleep soon changed. My dear sweet son kept us awake for a solid 8 months before he started sleeping through th night. When I say "sleeping through the night" he still will wake up at 6:00 am ready to play. What I miss most about my life before a baby is simply being able to have a good rest. Sure I miss going out and socializing, but now the idea of going out to a club seems like a form of torture. I could never see the inside of a club again and it would be too soon. I only stay up past 10:00 pm on days I work. I love sleep! After most days of work or being with my son all day I crash onto my sleep number bed into a deeper sleep than Michael Jackson after his propofol drip. Transitioning into motherhood with no sleep is tough. The good thing that came out of it was I now treat my body right and give myself the sleep I deserve! How do you new parents deal with sleep deprivation?

The modern mom

9/28/15
The new mom comes in all ages, forms and settings. Gone are the days of the stay at home suburban housewife, for better or for worse. I myself, had never saw myself as a stay at home mom for whatever reason. Growing up my mother was fortunate enough to have stayed at home with my brothers and I for seven some years, while intermittently teaching community college and working on her doctorate dissertation.  When I did decide to have children I never really saw staying at home as an option. For one, I always wanted to have my own money and my own career. Another reason is I worked damn hard to get an education and fully planned on using it. Though I never wanted to stay at home I never really thought about childcare or what that would look like. Even after I got pregnant I really didn't give it too much thought. It wasn't until halfway into my pregnancy when it sunk in how expensive and scary the childcare situation was. Many of my coworkers had ready-made nannies with there mother, in-laws or grandparents. My husband and I had none of that to rely on, so I had to figure out a situation. Unfortunately I was still in grad school at this time, and was determined to finish before I had to go back to work. This meant I needed childcare on the days I had school all day starting when my baby was eight weeks old. After a lot of research we found a daycare close to our house that we could afford, did not have a wait list and felt safe. I felt so guilty leaving him there. I was interning that semester and I never mentioned to anyone at my clinical site that I had just had a baby and was still waking up 3 times a nigh to breastfeed, due to the feeling I would be judged for being a bad mom. It was so hard to take him to daycare at that age due to the interruptions in his schedule, the interruptions in breastfeeding, as well as the constant stress of getting him there, labeling bottles and pumping to make sure I had enough milk to leave him with the next day.


I went back to work full-time when my son was four months. I was working 12 hour shifts in an ER. I would try to pump on my 15 minute breaks, but getting that time was not guaranteed and having to find a space to pump was not always easy. I had to drop my son off at daycare when the doors opened so I could get to work on time. He was always the first to be dropped off, which made me feel so guilty as well. I would come home and he would be asleep and I would have to pump and get ready to prep everything to go to daycare. Things are easier now. I work two days a week. He is more
self-sufficient and sleeps and eats well.
Daycare is a great socializing experience for my son, and he likes his teachers and classmates. Unfortunately this country does not make it easy on working moms. There are few employers with on-site daycare, and many states do not offer paid maternity or paternity leave. Why we are so behind other developing nations with making it easier on the working moms, I don't know. I do know that it is possible to do both. You may be a zombie and hate your life at times. I never regret being a working mom. I love my time off  with my son, and I love challenging myself and earning my own paycheck. I think everyone's situation is different, and if you want and can stay at home with your kids it can be a beneficial experience.  I do know that you should not sacrifice a career over a family or a family over a career.

808s and Heartbreaks

9/26/15
So last night my husband and I went and saw Kanye West perform at the Hollywood Bowl. I know what you're thinking....You are so lucky to have seen Kanye before he becomes our next president and no longer performs! Kidding aside, I was very excited to see Kanye perform. Although he has long since established himself as a loose cannon and a douche bag, he is one artist that has been on my bucket list to see live. The tour "808s and heartbreaks" was also exciting for me, as I am a huge fan of this album, which he had never toured since its 2008 release. This album, filled with string arrangements, autotune and melancholy heart-felt lyrics, was a step away from his previous hip-hop albums. I was also excited to see him at my first visit to the Hollywood Bowl, an outdoor venue which is known for hosting jazz festivals and classical artists.


On the ride to the concert, we were debating what song Kanye open with... would it be "Amazing?" or "Run Away" Would he have any guest appearance? I was hoping for a long-shot of Paul McCartney who he most recently collaborated with . The energy level among my husband, brother-in-law and friends was high in anticipation. Needless to say  I was let down when he came out to "Say You Will." Not that it's not a good song, it's just not a high-energy opener. He then proceeded to go one by one through each track of 808s and hearbreaks without so much as a new or throw-back song in between. Yes, I understand the tour is for this particular album, but if I wanted to hear the album in it's entirety I would have put the CD on and saved myself the $100 some bucks for the concert. The show production itself was lackluster.  There were a few special effects or visual stimulation. There were fireworks here and there in the opener and scattered throughout. Fake snow fell on the audience during "The Coldest Winter." There was what seemed to be a choir of black men in white pants and "white face" standing still on the stage. The background dancers were dressed in Kanye's drab "derelique" looking fashion pieces. At one point in the back of the arena a light emanated from a still ghost-like woman. The end of the show Kanye put a damn bag over his head, probably to hide his shame for such a crappy show.  Most of the artists featured on 808s and heartbreaks did show up: Young Jeezy, Kid Cudi and actually that was about it.


What was most disappointing about this performance, however, was Kanye's lack of respect or interest in his audience. I have been to many live shows, and I have never once seen them deny the audience an encore, which Kanye did at this concert. Furthermore, he did little to no interaction with the audience during the show. At one point during "Amazing" he restarted after a glitch happened, and then addressed the audience saying "This is the best dress rehearsal" Seriously?? You didn't do a f#cking sound check before Kanye? We did not pay our money to be here to be your "dress rehearsal" for your next show! Sadly, I think Kanye confirmed for me what most people think of him already.

Summer Book Report

9/18/15

Summer is officially at an end. I had an eventful summer, including a move, a new job and celebrating my son turning 1! I had little time to enjoy my favorite summer pastime and my primary reason for living in Southern California, laying out next to a pool, ocean or any tranquil body of water reading. I did manage to squeeze in a few books, although I did not get the pleasure of enjoying them by the pool or on the beach.

So... starting from the one that is most fresh in my mind A Piece of Cake: A Memoir

Loved it! I'd give this gem 9 stars out of 10. My favorite literary genres are autobiographies, memoirs and bibliographies. I think true life stories are more fascinating than anything fictional. I also love the stories of overcoming adversity and internal struggles often in autobiographies. I've read so
many ranging from Kurt Cobain, President Obama, Steve Jobs, Maya Angalou and Amy Tan. This memoir is the story of Cupcake Brown, a now practicing attorney who after losing her mother at age 11 was thrown into the foster care system and subsequently endures one hardship after the next. Really, your jaw will drop at the amount of trauma and shit this woman went through. However the amount of shocking events that happen in this book, Ms. Brown does not paint herself a victim, and the horrors she endures are almost understated. She becomes hooked on drugs at alcohol at a young age, and her addiction and behavior is often comical, although extremely tragic. Her transformation and ability to make peace with her past is the most powerful part of this book, naturally. I read on Her website that a motion picture is in the works based on her book with the screenwriter of American Psycho. I am not sure how I feel about all that, but I definitely recommend you read this before the movie is made so you are not tainted. My plan was to finish "Wild" before I saw the motion picture so I wouldn't think of Reese Witherspoon as the main character. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish the book because her time on the PCT just was dragging on too long for me, so I will probably just watch the movie. Has anyone read Wild and then saw the movie? What were your thoughts? Is anyone who has read "Piece of Cake" planning on seeing the movie?