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Saturday Book Review: The Essential Breastfeeding Log; Mommy Calls Me Monkeypants; Baby Nose to Baby Toes

February 14th, 2009

Book review on the fly:

I’m thinking, I remember nursing. It’s been a few years, but not so long that it’s slipped from my memory entirely. When exactly would you have time to update your “Essential Breastfeeding Log” (Sarah Bowen Shea & Suzanne Schlosberg, Ballentine, $15, 217 pages)?

Then I remembered more details. They swam into view, from a murky fog left over from those early maternal days. I had to keep a notebook, post-partum (with feedings, diapers, doc appointments, PAIN KILLER LOG following both c-sections, etc.). This is a handy little book, ladies. Thank you.

I know that sounds like a backhanded compliment but it so is not.

And… Shea and Schlosberg are from my neck of the woods! Shea is a Portland, Ore. writer and Schlosberg lives in Bend, Oregon. Hiii! (That’s me waving from North Portland.) (Not North Bend. That’s a different place entirely.)

“Mommy Calls Me Monkeypants” is a sweet little board book written by J.D. Lester, with illustrations by Hiroe Nakata (Random House, $8, unpaged). Well, it’s better than being called a monkey’s uncle, I suppose.

Monkey, peacock, horsey and ladybug babies play and cavort with their mommies. Your littles will love it.

Vicky Ceelen’s photos in “Baby Nose to Baby Toes” (Random House, $7, unpaged) are just arresting. Vivid, good movement, and you’re right — the top of that baby’s head really does look like the top of the fuzzy duckling’s head! Cute. How can you go wrong with puppies and babies, you just cannot.

But these pictures are a step above your typical board book pics of beach pails and smiley babies. Nice work — I’d love to see more of her stuff. Wait, here it is now!

Reviewed today:

Friday Night Book Reviews: “Write Before Your Eyes,” “Coraline” and “Baby’s First Year”

October 3rd, 2008

I like baby books, because they help make it so you (mostly) can’t remember all that goo. You just remember the goo-goo. “Baby’s First Year,” (Lydia Ricci, Random House, $19.95) a “milestone journal” that comes with its own nursery banner and stickers, is a lovely book. Compact, but not too compact. Precious, but not so precious that you’ll feel too intimidated to scribble in it. The pastel colors and backgrounds are unisex, and the book is accordion-pleated with space for photos, cards or whatever else you’d like to tuck in.

Now, on to something completely unlike all those pastels: “Coraline.” (Written by Neil Gaiman, with illustrations by Dave McKean.)

“Lunchtime, Coraline,” said the woman.
“Who are you?” asked Coraline.
“I’m your other mother,” said the woman. “Go and tell your other father that lunch is ready.”

That’s when my chills started. And the rats hadn’t even shown up yet to sing. The kids and I are looking forward to the movie coming out.

“Write Before Your Eyes” (by Lisa Williams Kline, Delacorte Press/Random House, $15.99) just came out. I knew I would love it the minute I read the opening quote, from “Half Magic,” by Edward Eager:

“If you have ever had magic powers descend on you suddenly out of the blue… You have to know just how much magic you have, and what the rules are for using it.”

Ain’t it the truth, Ruth.

Gracie Rawley picks up an old journal for a quarter at a yard sale. It has old, crackly pages, that are water-stained, with thin lines.

“Not that one! She mustn’t take that one!” a tiny old woman calls, as the woman’s son sells Gracie the journal anyway. Then what she writes in the book begins to come true — a kiss, a date, a Cheshire Cat… How is she going to deal with this one? Great for middle-school students.

Reviewed this evening:

Thursday Thirteen, Ed. #163: Killer dwarf frog, guppie babies and more!

September 17th, 2008

Hey — do you remember Thursday 13? I have had no time for months. I will make time. If you can make time to read, I can make time to write (smiles).

1) Yeah, the tranquility of fish tanks is all I can say. Tranquility, my foot. The frog is still on a rampage. The guppy had about 412 babies and guess what? They aren’t safe with her. If there was an aquatic child welfare department, mommy guppies would be getting home visits about twice a day.

2) They are bad mommies. (Ha! Someone on the blogs intimated that I am a “bad” parent for having my children at a “bad” school and not “rescuing” them. Honestly? Honestly. Seriously? Seriously. My kids are so damn happy. I’m an okay mom, thanks for asking.)

3) A few more things on which you need updating: The mommy kitty I rescued a while back? (My first week of work, I believe?) She is going to her new home this weekend, after a brief spay-n-shots trip to the vet. Her kittens? Also have been placed. Well, two of them have been placed. The other two have definite-maybe “forever homes,” as we like to say in the adoption world.

4) Work? Month two. Still haven’t found the coffeepot, but I did find the hot water so I can make myself a nice cuppa tea. (I bring my coffee from home in the morning.)

5) The students? They’re great. They are amazing. They are rock stars.

6) Me? I’m exhausted, thanks for asking!

7) All my blogger friends? I miss them and it makes my days off kilter.


9) I am finishing up Season Five of the Wire and I cannot tell you how much I have loved this show. Even with the violence, the blood, the guns, I have dealt with it. It is the best damn show I have ever, ever watched, and you are talking to a huge fan of The Sopranos, M*A*S*H, the Mary Tyler Moore Show, Six Feet Under, on and on. The Wire is king. Get it on DVD — all five seasons are out now. Watch some of the commentaries, too, so you can get all the players straight — on-camera and off. Such brilliant art.

10) Thanks, SB and MW, for turning me on to this show and insisting I watch it. You were right.

11) I love books. Now reading: “Dough,” a memoir by Mort Zachter about his bakery-owning family and his family’s hidden secrets; “Grace After Midnight,” Felicia “Snoop” Pearson’s memoir (Snoop on the Wire) — such candor and bravery — love and peace to you, girl, you deserve it; “Toy Dance Party,” by Emily Jenkins, with illustrations by Paul O. Zelinsky — funny and sweet, appropriate for older and younger kids alike.

12) What’s up with you? How’s life?

13) Happy Thursday!



QOTD: Outside of a dog…

August 15th, 2008

“Outside of a dog, a good book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”
— Groucho Marx

yeah, it’s like that

August 14th, 2008

I just logged back on to look something up on the Internet, something important, something that’s been bugging me All. Day. Long!!! and now I cannot remember what the heck it was. Instead I’m thinking, oooh, sparkly! Shiny! And my husband, looking over my shoulder, calls out, “You need a new look.” (For the blog, I think he means, not a “girly makeover” or some crap.)

Still. Can’t. Remember what the HECK I needed to find out???

You call that “webnesia.”

rants and raves

August 7th, 2008


* Road rage. Pool rage. Piano lesson rage. Political rage. Me, all week. Rage, rage, rage. Rage on.

* I don’t mind if you have a big truck. I do mind if you fucking don’t know how to drive it. Man up, would you?

* When I’m stopped for a pedestrian, don’t lay on your horn behind me, pissed that I didn’t run the pedestrian over instead of stopping. Show some compassion, would you? Don’t scream “Bitch!” at me, then get out of your car like you’re going to kick my ass. Don’t even attempt to kick my ass. Why don’t you go out on the street and practice falling down for awhile, first? For reals.

* You. Mom at the Pool. I hate you, lady, and here’s why. When you hovercraft, side of pool, it distracts the other kids in the lesson. It pisses them off. When you kick off your fancy sandals and step in the pool, you are looming over the little Angelfish. That pisses me off. You look huge, lady. Even though you’re one of those skinny wenches who prides herself on it. You look huge to them, looming. Then when you get your shorts all wet, because you’re wading in so far? That’s insane. Do a private lesson, and swim with the kid, why don’t you? Or take him to family play swim, or something. Anything.

* “Different parenting styles!!!” No duh.

* Then when you tell your kid, “Do it! Do it, honey! See? The other kids are doing Ring Around the Rosy, see? DO IT, HONEY!!!” at that point? You piss off the swim instructor, all the other parents, and the kids selling concessions and checking people in.

* I want to smack you upside the head, Mom at the Pool. Especially when you’re leaving, and you insist that your little lovey-wovey-dovey put on his flip-flops “Now, honey. DO IT, HONEY! No? OK, then, I’m leaving. I’M LEAVING. I am! Good-bye! Goodbye!” (Did you notice the way your kid was glaring at you? You’ve majorly, thoroughly, pissed him off, too.) (Did you notice the way he didn’t give a damn that you were leaving? That’s because he is not happy, your kid.) Then when you screamed, “GET OVER HERE! NOW!” from across the lobby? At that point, I am not the only one who wanted to push you in the pool, pretty sandals and all.

* I’m tired, Internets. Why won’t people behave?

Now, the raves:

* Yes. It’s The Bacon Show. (That one’s for Amalah.)

* And… isn’t summertime so bitchin’?

Oh. My God.

Now, three good books that landed on my desk this week that I’m sorry, but I am too toasted to post about (sorry, y’all, but at least you’re getting some linky love here):

Today’s books:

do you like to twitter?

June 19th, 2008

I kinda like Twitter. It’s faster than this.

My daughter she is getting braces next month. No more gum, no Laffy Taffy, no caramel apples. (Yay! says her mom.)

QOTD: Anatole France

June 5th, 2008

“The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.”

— Anatole France, novelist, essayist, Nobel laureate (1844-1924)

PS — whoops, our sites were down all night, apparently. They were tired! Up and running now, sorry for any inconveniences you may have experienced. Here’s a funny clip for you to make up for it.

yay yay YAY drive-in movies at the 99W

May 17th, 2008

The drive-in is open again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

reading, watching, listening

May 5th, 2008

Not reviewing, but reading:

Listening to:
X, Brooks & Dunn, Amy Winehouse, more X, Tom Petty, classical, jazz, Steve Winwood (Spencer Davis Group), Joe Cocker, anything to make me feel better.

We Own the Night, more Wire (season 2 still), Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Player, Bob Roberts, Michael Clayton, General Hospital, Dancing with the Stars, baby!

For dinner we had:
Homemade pizza people, with cheese for hair and olives for eyes, noses and mouths; fresh, organic asparagus roasted with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Chocolate brownie cake for dessert.

I’m looking at:
My kids playing, my husband’s smile, our cats playing, the flowers blooming outside.

To feel all better.

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