Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rotters review

Joey Crouch knows his mother has raised him in a sort of bubble and though he doesn't exactly know why, he's actually ok with it. Having never left Chicago, he has spent most of his life in a small apartment, with only one good friend to talk to, but knowing only that life is what really gets him through the days. He's, at the very least, content.

When his mother dies unexpectedly, Joey is sent to Iowa to live with a father he has never met and knows absolutely nothing about. What he finds is an incredibly strange man...a social pariah who quite obviously wants nothing to do with Joey and outwardly expresses his disgust at being saddled with a kid he doesn't want. Combine that with the torture Joey begins to endure at his new school, both at the hands of his peers and even a teacher, and this kid's life really is pure horror. 

The secrets his dad guards closely are soon uncovered and the Joey is sucked into an unimaginable lifestyle. He learns unconventional lessons from his father in a manner that is both completely off-putting and totally exhilarating. A completely unique method of father-son bonding for sure, wrapped up in a detailed, smartly-written package.

I was more than grossed out while reading this book! I squirmed in my chair and made sure not to eat while reading, yet I could not put it down. I had to know what happened to Joey and his father, but it was a whole lot more than that. I learned more about dead people than I ever thought possible from a YA fiction story and I found myself running to the computer to look up tidbits to see whether or not they were true.    

It's not a book for everyone. I chose this for my YA Book Club for Adults selection this month and one member flat-out hated it and I can totally understand why. You have to have a really open mind to read a story as gruesome as this one in order to appreciate the truly fantastic writing style. The details are impressive, but those very details could also turn certain readers away. 

The bullying is extreme and I often had to take reading breaks during those portions, because it was just horrifying.  I sincerely hope no child ever experiences the things that Joey must go through. I really wanted to reach in the book and take him away from those terrible people, even though it was necessary to the plot line!

For me, it was a 5-star book. I had to suspend my disbelief for a lot of it, but the author did such an amazing job at creating the characters and the society their lives revolved around, along with the elements of description and unique setting, that I just loved it. Well...loved it as much as one can love a book about dead bodies, extreme bullying, and unloving parents. :)

I would only hand this to older teens or adults for subject matter reasons.

Daniel Kraus
464 pages
Young Adult
Delacorte Press
April 2011
Library copy

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Things I Like (1)

One of my favorite posts that I see on blogs all over the place is a Things I Like/Things I Love/Things I Want post. I love seeing what bloggers use in their daily lives or shopping sites they like to browse, makeup products they recommend, baby stuff they can't live without, etc. I've ended up purchasing quite a few things based on these recommendations, shopping new-to-me Etsy shops, and finding tips for baby products. I joined Birchbox based on one of these posts from a blog, in fact.

I'll probably have my own take on this week showing an Etsy shop I love, the next a product I use and love, the next something I'm really wanting. I'm keeping it casual, but fun :) This is yet another post that isn't necessarily book related, but as I've mentioned this blog is evolving into something more than just book reviews and I'm loving it that way!

First up? My dedicated lip color.

I'm not a lipstick fan at all. It looks funny on me, like I'm trying too hard or something. I also can't stand tasting it and lip gloss is not for someone almost 30, so I've always just worn plain Burt's Bees lip balm.  Someone gave me a tube of this in a stocking for Christmas and I've never looked back. Teeny hint of color, all natural products, not sticky. I love it! 

I really can't say enough good things about Burt's Bees in general, so maybe I should have just dedicated this entire post to the company! We use their lotion, their lip balm, their baby shampoo/lotion, face wipes, etc. Lots of excellent products. 

Sarah over at YA Librarian Tales also does a Things I Like post. She was my main source of inspiration, so check out her blog too :)

*No one is paying me to talk about these products. All opinions are my own!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In Honor review

After her brother dies fighting in Iraq, Honor isn't quite sure how to deal with it. She's angry at him, hurt, brokenhearted and completely confused as to why this has happened to her brother. When a letter shows up in, written by Finn before he died, complete with tickets for Honor to see her favorite singer's last concert, she decides it's almost like Finn's last request before his death and she has to go. 

Taking a road trip across the country is the last thing Honor feels like doing...especially when Finn's best friend shows up, drunk, and insists he's going with her and knowing that college starts in just a few days. Rusty does prove to be problematic with his spitfire attitude and love for annoying her, but he's also incredibly resourceful, especially when the car breaks down and Honor starts to feel like she's about to break down as well. 

The dynamic between Rusty and Honor was believable and I enjoyed how their relationship progressed. It wasn't an overnight change from drunk, annoying boy to someone she could really like, which is pretty much how life goes. Things take time and the author made the progression realistic. 

I loved the secondary characters the pair met along the way...especially Wyatt! I wanted more Wyatt! And now, the idea of scuba diving to see the stars is something on my new bucket list :)

What happens is more than a road trip, it's a journey together, learning about each other and doing things that Finn would have wanted them to do together. Funny, super sweet, with a great emotional punch. It's another great road trip book to add to the list for your summer reading!

In Honor
Jessi Kirby
240 pages
Young Adult
Simon and Schuster
May 2012
Review copy provided by publisher

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Elliott is SIX months old!

Instead of my usual Week in Review post, I wanted to do an Elliott update, since my little guy is SIX MONTHS OLD. I can't believe how fast this time has gone by! I know all moms say that, but it really feels like just a couple of months ago we were still in the hospital and our tiny little man was just 3lbs. We aren't sure exactly what he weighs (appt on Wednesday), but I know it's over 12lbs. Crazy!

Some fun facts about Elliott:

-He rolls front-to-back now, right on schedule for being 2 months behind.

-He loves The Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton. Something about that "bee-bo" that has him giggling.

-He gives us belly laughs when he's tickled and thinks his dad is hysterical.

-He loves bath time and kicks his feet to splash himself. I see swim "lessons" in the near future. His Nonni just bought him his first baby pool :)

-If he's upset, all Dad needs to do is sing "Piano Man" and the tears stop.

-He sleeps through the night in 11 hour stretches and takes 2-3 naps a day. It's awesome...other moms, be jealous.

-He tries to hold his bottle, loves to chew on his toes, and thinks getting undressed is the silliest thing.

-I think teething is in full-swing, despite the lack of teeth.

-He LOVES being outside. Another instant soother.

-He makes the BEST facial expressions. Everyone says how expressive he is and what an easy-going personality he has. 

-He is a fantastic snuggler, loves his dogs, and is honestly the greatest gift I've ever received.

Our sweet boy charms everyone that meets him and his smile lights up a room. I'm so blessed to have him and can't wait to see what the next six months bring.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fitness Friday

I'm starting to feel successful. Each week since I began this log, I've lost weight...whether it be .2lbs or 2lbs, it's always gone down. I can run further without stopping than I have since high school. My diet has changed and I've become accustomed to my new routine when it comes to meals and snacks. Even though I wasn't eating "bad food" before, I was eating larger portions than I should and my sweet tooth always got the best of me. 

I've found new blogs to follow, new goals to reach, and new foods I love in the past few months and I'm proud of myself. I have not quit. My clothes are fitting better, my energy level is higher, I'm getting stronger, and I've taken on a great mindset about myself and this new me.

This journey is far from's a new lifestyle and I have a long way to go to reach the goals I've set, but I can't wait to see where I am in a few months!

Since I started the Biggest Loser challenge with some family and friends, I've lost 7.6lbs. Hooray!

I would love to make new blog friends via this journey, as well, so if you're on your own "get healthy" path, I'd love to chat! Send me an email, leave a comment, chat with me on Twitter!

Image found via Pinterest. Links back to this tumblr.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I have a new favorite need this one in your kitchen!

I love cookbooks. I love looking at them and browsing them, even if I never end up making anything from them. Unfortunately, my shelf space for cookbooks is miniscule, so I had to pare down my collection to just a few and now whenever I see a new one I want, I have to weigh whether or not it will be valuable to me. Is it pretty? Is it functional? Will I make more than one recipe from it? Would I buy it as a gift for someone else?

The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila gets a resounding YES to all of those questions. It's both pretty and functional (meaning it has useful qualities besides just recipes), I'll make multiple recipes from it, and I already have several people that will be getting copies of it for Christmas this year. I LOVED this book.

The layout of the book is fantastic. Each and every recipe is introduced with a small, one-page story as to how the author came up with the recipe and why she wanted to make a homemade version of that particular item. Family tidbits are included, which I loved, and she never comes off as "preachy" about using store bought items, rather than making everything. If you want to buy buttermilk, rather than making it, then go for it! 

Each recipe is also accompanied by a beautiful photo, displaying the recipe in all its glory. I really appreciate the extra time/money/effort that comes from a cookbook that includes a photo for each recipe. It's so much easier to make something that is visually calling to you! The entire book feels like something Chernila put together herself, in her kitchen, rather than being commercial in a "fake" kitchen.

I, unfortunately, had to return it to the library before I made anything from the book, but next time payday comes around, you can bet I'm buying it for myself. I have quite a few recipes from it that I already want to try:

-Instant oatmeal (Aaron eats the most natural kind I can find at work almost every day, but I would love to send a mason jar of homemade with him)

-Vanilla extract



It's definitely my new favorite book and I'm highly recommending you all heading out and picking one up for yourselves. 

The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Making and Start Buying
Alana Chernila
288 pages
Crown Publishing
April 2012
Library copy

Monday, May 21, 2012

Non-Fiction Monday: Who doesn't love baby animals?

 I may only have 1 year left in my 20's, but I still act like a 6-year-old every time I see a baby animal. These two books definitely had me oohing and ahhing like a little kid over the adorable photographs of baby cheetahs and gorillas. Both Cheetah and Gorilla, by Suzi Eszterhas, follow the lives of the baby animals, giving information about them, while entertaining us with super cute pictures!

In Gorilla, we start with meeting the baby gorilla's large family in the mountains of Africa and then move on to how the baby spends the first few years of his life, from what he eats (mom's milk) to how he learns to play. We end with a page of gorilla facts.  

In Cheetah, we follow several cheetah cubs as they learn how to socialize, hunt, and play in the African plains. The cubs roughhouse with each other, which teaches them how to defend themselves against predators. The reader also learns how the cubs keep cool in the hot African sun and what they they will eventually hunt for, ending with a page on cheetah facts. 

These are fantastic books for a first step into reading non-fiction. The photos are awesome, taking up most of the pages, with just a small amount of text. Perfect for beginners!

This series also includes Lion and Brown Bear, available this summer!

Received for review

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Devotional review

It's Sunday, so I figured it would be a great time to share my thoughts on the devotional I'm currently using. I've had a couple of interested readers asking what I like to use as a daily devotional and though I change it up often, lately I've been using Daily Gifts of Grace by Women of Faith. It was sent to me for review several months ago and I've been using it as my daily addition to Bible study each morning. 

It's a lovely book to look at, beautifully packaged with a bright cover, complete with a magnetic flap that opens the book, really making it feel like a gift book should. The content is simple and nicely written, each page starting with a Bible verse and going on to include a short devotion from one of the Women of Faith members. I do wish each entry was longer, allowing for a more in-depth learning experience, but overall I've enjoyed reading each message. 

I don't necessarily follow the dates at the top of the page, as the book runs from January to December, but I skip around and just randomly pick a devotion for the day. Sometimes that leads me to reading a specific chapter in the Bible or I'll use my study Bible to search for verses that pertain to what the writer of the devotion was expressing. 

It's always hard for me to find exactly what I'm looking for in a daily devotional, which is why I skip around a lot, but for now, I'm sticking with this one. 

Daily Gifts of Grace: Devotions for Each Day of the Year
Women of Faith
384 pages
Christian Non-Fiction
January 2012
Review copy from BookSneeze

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Second Chance Summer review

Up until 5 years ago, Taylor and her family went to their house on Lake Phoenix every single summer. That's where Taylor met her best friend Lucy and her first boyfriend, Henry and had a wonderful couple of months at the beach. But, 5 years ago, everything changed and Taylor ran away, not returning to Lake Phoenix until this year. This year, everything has once again changed and she's back at the beach, scared of what's before her.  

Taylor's dad is sick and his request was for the family to spend one last summer together at their lake house. Taylor knows her dad just wants a normal summer for them, but knowing she'll run into Henry and Lucy, she's terrified about returning and once she gets there, learns she has a right to be scared. What happens that summer teaches Taylor what second chances really mean.

I LOVE MORGAN MATSON. that I've gotten that out of the way, let me just tell you that this book broke my heart in all the right ways. I loved each and every character... from smaller characters like Elliot and the screenwriter neighbors to Henry, Taylor, her dad, Warren, etc. Each one was written perfectly and added to the story in such a fantastic way, that you'll end up caring about what happens to each of them, not just the main character. 

It's the perfect book to prep for your own summer vacation or if you're like me and sticking around home this year, you can live vicariously through Taylor and imagine movies on the beach, ice cream every day, and warm weather. Ooh...but, bring your tissue box, you'll need it. 

A great book for fans of Jenny Han's "Summer" series. 

Second Chance Summer
Morgan Matson
480 pages
Young Adult
May 2012
Review copy

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Releases (2)

New Releases is a feature I've started to showcase some of the awesome books I've been sent by publishers that I am incredibly excited about, but haven't yet had a chance to get to.

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. Hooray!! I know a lot of you have been waiting for this one too and I can't wait to read it. Just too many books on the pile right now. I've decided I'm never going to sleep again...too many good books are out.

Thank you to the awesome people at Simon & Schuster for sending me a copy!

Buy from IndieBound

I am an affiliate of both IndieBound and Powells and will receive a small percentage of the purchase price.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Week in Review: Birchbox, Mother's Day, and an Anniversary

Happy Mother's Day to all of the amazing, wonderful, hardworking mothers out there that are raising/have raised children. I'm so proud to be celebrating myself today! 

This week brought a lot of fun, some work, and then more fun as the week wore down. I got my first Birchbox in the mail towards the end of the week, which was incredibly exciting. Christmas, except I'm paying 10 bucks a month for it. A box filled with makeup goodies, picked for me? Yes, please! 

This month's box was Gossip Girl themed and I got a bunch of sparkly stuff. 

-A pretty metallic gold nail polish...totally out of my comfort zone, but it's growing on me. I had a friend paint my nails with it yesterday in preparation for my date night and though it feels a tad on the young side, but again, it's growing on me. It's a fun, "once in awhile" nail polish. 

-A Stila sparkle waterproof liquid eyeliner that appears to be full-size. Maybe it's not, but there's a lot in there. I've never worn liquid eyeliner and I would probably never choose blue sparkle, but this one was super easy to apply in its pen-form, and it definitely made my eyes bluer. I just used a tiny bit. 

-Dr. Jart + Waterfuse BB Cream. Love this stuff! My sample really only had about 2 drops in it, so I wasn't completely thrilled with that, but I liked it enough that I would probably buy the full-size anyways. It's a four-in-one moisturizer, serum, sunscreen, and tiny. 

-Kerastase Cristalliste Lumiere Liquide. A serum to make my hair shiny. Haven't tried it yet, but since I don't highlight my hair or anything, I always want it to not appear "dishwater blonde," meaning, the shinier, the better!

I also got a few extras: Kerastaste shampoo and conditioner and a cute notecard. 

I had decided to just try Birchbox out for a month or two to see how I liked it and if it was worth the $10 a month and it definitely is. If you have a little extra money for yourself, I would highly recommend signing up for this service. It's a great little once-a-month treat!

There's a Birchbox for guys too, which Aaron would totally love, but it's $20 a month. We're going to wait awhile on that one.

Aaron and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary on Saturday. Love that guy! We had 6 of our friends over to stain our deck, which was the best gift we could ask for. We have a huge screened-in porch, staircase, and fence that needed doing and they knocked it out in 6 hours. Thanks guys!

We were able to leave E with a friend and sneak away for dinner. We ate at Magnolias at the Mill, a 40 minute drive from our house, but worth it. Aaron and I come from the "country" and this looked just like home.

Mother's Day was awesome, as I expected it to be. A few little gifts, church with my boys, lunch, and lots of hanging out at home. We took a walk, got some yard work done, and didn't really "relax," but it was a perfect day for us. Plus, I now have this guy:

Best Mother's Day EVER. How could you not want to squish that face??

I did do some blogging this week:

A review of my Mizuno shoes on Fitness Friday.

I talked about The Coffins of Little Hope.

I drooled over Talking with My Mouth Full.

Hope you all had a great week, as well!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fitness Friday: Mizuno Running Shoes review

It's been a great week weight-loss wise. I'm always been someone that loses weight very slowly...usually no more than a pound a week, but this week I got 1.9lbs off this body. So excited about that! I'm only 2lbs away from my pre-Elliott weight and 10lbs away from pre-Jacob weight. Again, this whole "getting healthier" thing isn't just about losing some pounds, but rather getting stronger and in shape, but I DO have weight to lose, so I'll take the pounds going away too. 

As for workouts, it's been really nice outside, so Elliott and I have been logging our miles in the morning and I've been occasionally running at night, after he's in bed. I've been craving some husband time though, so the runs haven't been as consistent. I don't get to see him nearly enough during the week and that's that. 

On another note, I've finally broken in my new shoes and have worn them for several runs and all the miles E and I walk/jog, so I figured I should give my raving review, because I'm totally in love with the shoes. 

First of all, the Mizuno website is awesome. I went through a 10 step process to find the perfect fit shoe and it really did the job. It took about 20 minutes to complete all the steps, but the end result really is the perfect fit for my foot, so I would definitely do it again. I don't know if those things change, but when I'm ready for my next pair you can bet I'm doing the steps again! It's probably much more cost effective this way, rather than going into a store and doing this and then buying $120 shoes. 

I'm wearing the Mizuno Wave Creation 12, which apparently is an older "model," but works well. I needed a ton of support for a wide foot and these seem to do the trick. 

I've been complaining about shin splints for months and within a week of wearing these shoes, they are completely GONE. Guess a new pair of shoes really is worth the money. The mesh top took a bit of getting used to and the high laces also were a bit uncomfortable at first, but I got used to them and never got a single blister anywhere.

Huge fan of Mizunos over here...I'll be singing their praises for awhile. No one paid me for this review. Just my own thoughts!

Biggest Loser weigh-in: -1.9lbs since last week. Yay!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Coffins of Little Hope review

When a young girl goes missing in Little Hope, a tiny town populated mainly with the elderly, the entire town is effected in various ways. Most notably, Essie, the town's obituary writer. We follow Essie as she, and the rest of the town, become caught up in the kidnapping and the life of the little girl's mother. Questions begin popping up as to whether the kidnapping was completely made up...the ultimate hoax and Essie tries to figure out what it would mean to the town--and to herself-- if the girl was simply a figment of imagination. 

A totally quirky read! I kept saying to myself how strange the story was and how I didn't have any idea what was going on, but it didn't matter. I wanted to keep reading and reading and I was determined to figure out what was truly happening in Little Hope. 

Essie was a fantastic character, one that was strong-minded and quick to state her opinion, yet incredibly witty. I loved the inclusion of the young adult series of novels that keep everyone in the town reading (though they too were pretty strange) and wanting more books, and the concept of small town life was spot-on. 

I would have to think about who to hand this book to. Definitely not someone looking for a clear-cut story, but rather a reader that likes to think and linger in the pages of their books. It's a great book for discussion, as my book club found out...we chatted for quite awhile about how quirky it was. 

The Coffins of Little Hope
Timothy Schaffert
272 pages
Adult fiction
Unbridled Books
April 2012 (paperback)
Purchased copy

Monday, May 7, 2012

Talking with My Mouth Full review

Gail Simmons is an accomplished chef, television show host, food critic, food judge, and magazine editor. She's gets to do everything she loves: eat, travel, write, and cook. It wasn't an easy road to where she is now and in her memoir, she shows us readers that you really do have to work from the bottom up. Even those famous people you see on tv now, had to start as dishwashers, line cooks, or interns. 

I've been a huge fan of Top Chef since the very first season, so I knew I had to grab this book when I saw it at the library. Simmons' writes in a very down-to-earth manner and includes a bunch of the recipes she raves about in the chapters. I probably won't actually make any of the recipes, but I was glad they were there in case I was feeling adventurous! 

I really enjoy getting a glimpse into a celebrity's life, if it's done in a tasteful and informative way. I'm not one to just pick up an autobiography or a biography of any celeb around, but memoirs, I really like. Gail Simmons has convinced me to continue watching her on Top Chef and Top Chef: Just Desserts. I may never be able to cook any of those things the contestants create, but it sure is fun to watch!

Talking with My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater
Gail Simmons
288 pages
Adult Fiction
February 2012
Library copy

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fitness Friday

So, I thought I'd stray from the norm this week and talk a bit about what I've been eating. A lot of food bloggers and fitness bloggers participate in "What I Ate Wednesday" (not sure where it originated or I'd give credit) and I figured I could do a little play on that.

My days during the week are pretty typical for food and on the weekend I tend to splurge a little, because we go out. I'm pretty good at figuring out calories in restaurant meals, but not perfect, so I don't really count on weekends, I just order carefully and eat normally while I'm at home. 

This was my day of meals on Thursday:

-Green smoothie. I eat the same thing for breakfast almost every morning now. I love our Blendtec and will never chastise my husband for spending a crazy amount of money on it again. I use 1 frozen banana, 1 1/2 cups baby spinach, 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and 1 scoop of chia seeds. Sometimes I'll use peanut butter instead of the Greek yogurt.

-Soup. This week I made a delicious 5 ingredient soup that I saw on Pinterest. It's a Sweet Potato Cauliflower soup and it's SO good. Aaron won't touch anything with sweet potatoes OR cauliflower, so I just eat my way through the pot of soup through the week.

-On Thursdays we meet with our small group and we all share dinner. We rotate whether we bring the main course, side, dessert, etc. This week we had tacos in honor of Cinco de Mayo...I loaded my plate with chicken, homemade guacamole (just avocado, lime, salt, cilantro), and lots of other veggie toppings. I had a few tortilla chips and salsa and no tortilla with my "taco."

-It was our turn for dessert this week and I made these Oatmeal Fudge Bars. They were fabulous, as everything from The Brown Eyed Baker.

I also had about 3 cups of coffee throughout the day, as well as a small margarita at dinner.'s in celebration of Cinco de Mayo!

My calorie count usually comes out to about 1500 calories. I went for a run once we got home and since my legs felt like lead for some reason (probably the margarita), I probably only burned about 150 calories or so.

Biggest loser weigh-in: -0.5 lbs

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Beyond the Sling review

For the past few years, the only time Mayim Bialik's name popped into the news was because people were criticizing some of her parenting choices. I never paid much attention, but when she was added to the cast on The Big Bang Theory and more and more people started noticing her and choosing to judge her choices, I started listening a bit closer, especially now being a mom myself. 

Beyond the Sling is Bialik's explanation of what attachment parenting is and why she and her husband choose to practice it. The book is informative, covering everything from the science of their choices to their own deductive reasoning (as one would assume would be included from a neuroscientist). It's written in a down-to-earth, yet matter-of-fact tone. Though she knows her choices are not necessarily conventional and may even be controversial (no vaccines, no antibiotics, no medications), she doesn't apologize at all and I totally appreciated that. 

Though our family doesn't/won't practice a lot of what is talked about, I respect the decisions this family has made and they've been explained in a manner that convinces me of their choices. I understand why they're doing certain things, even if they aren't right for our my own family. 

For example:

Family beds: It was discussed long before a child actually came into our home that our bed would not have a child sleeping in it. My husband was adamant, I was fine with his reasons. The times that Elliott needed comfort or his mama close by, we moved to a chair in the living room and I'm sure that's what we'll continue to do. Works for us. 

Elimination communication: It's not happening. My kid is wearing diapers, end of story. 

Medication: Their children have never had a single antibiotic or any form of medication, even over-the-counter. They don't vaccinate and they don't go to the doctor unless absolutely necessary. They all had H1N1 and didn't go to the doctor! I'm a worrier and we'll probably be at the doctor a lot over the next few years, but I'm also rational. I don't want unnecessary medication and I won't run to the doctor for every cold or bruise (we already successfully battled E's first cold ourselves). We have chosen to vaccinate and again, that works for us. 

Breastfeeding: I wanted this to work SO BADLY, but it just didn't. After having 2 babies and struggling to pump any amount of milk at all for months with my first, I was finally diagnosed with a duct disorder after having Elliott and working with a lactation consultant 3 hours a day for 3 weeks. I can make milk, but it doesn't come out. Frustrating, but not my fault.

My biggest disagreement with Bialik...and one that actually produced multiple eye rolls...had to do with play. She doesn't believe we should "teach" our children anything before age 5. Meaning, no ABC song, no counting, no colors. Most books they read do not have pictures. She wants them to enjoy being kids, figuring things out on their own.  I think it's taking away a whole lot of fun and imagination time from them, especially with the books! Elliott is 5 months old and LOVES when I sing the ABC's to him! Oh and she doesn't teach sharing either...that's just one other issue. 

I did love her explanation of why they chose to wear their babies and we do that a lot around here too. Elliott loves his sling and his Moby wrap and isn't so fond of "structured" carriers, like our Chicco one. He wants to be curled up and close and that's great! The wraps are more comfortable anyways. 

I'm also into the "less is more" philosophy when it comes to toys and things. He doesn't need a lot to play with, he needs us, books, and a couple of toys. The less plastic, the better, in my opinion. We're already planning his first birthday party to include a "donation" to Toys for Tots instead of birthday gifts. With it being so close to the holidays, what a great way to still let people bring a gift, but not have it stay in my house :)

We also won't be letting Elliott watch television until he's much older, though we won't be total freaks about it and whip his head away if he so much as glances at it. Just our personal choices.

Overall, I enjoyed the tone of the book and that no apologies were given for their beliefs. I may disagree with some things and I may not practice most of them, but I did enjoy reading about another family's way of parenting their children. It not only inspires ideas, but helps to solidify what I'm doing right!

Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way
Mayim Bialik, PhD
272 pages
Adult Non-Fiction
March 2012
Library copy

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New Releases

I've been reading a tad slower these days, having this child in the house, so I haven't been able to tell you about all of the great books I've been getting. These are both available now and I can't wait to read them myself.

Spiral by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

This series is fantastic for kids that love long, exciting reads. Definitely page turners! I'm not sure if this is the last installment of the series or not, but either way, I'm really looking forward to opening it.

Buy from IndieBound

The Sisters Grimm: The Council of Mirrors by Michael Buckley

I LOVE the Sisters Grimm series and have sold them to many kids over the past couple of years. The latest (and last in the series, I believe) was published last Tuesday.

Buy from IndieBound

I am an affiliate of both IndieBound and Powells and will receive a small percentage of the purchase price.