Book Review: Waiting For Birdy

Grade: A+

I read a lot of books during my first pregnancy and shortly after giving birth to my son – but I found it was the handful of memoir-style books that appealed to me the most – real stories in all their imperfection helped me cope and deal and plan much moreso than the technical tombs like What To Expect…, etc. When I got pregnant a second time last fall, I began searching out similar books but based on a second or third pregnancy, etc. I already know what babies are like and how to go about raising them, for the most part – what I was looking for was a book about learning how to “stretch your love” so to speak – the feelings of this pregnancy are different than they were with a first pregnancy. You know the basics and understand why your body is changing, but the idea of a new baby coming into the world and competing for love and affection with your current brood can be daunting. Am I making the right decision? Will I be a good mother of more than one? Am I completely crazy?? (That last one usually gets asked when I find myself in the middle of not dealing terribly well with something my 2 year old is doing.)

There isn’t much out there – at least not much that I’ve found – so I lucked out that the one that I found – Waiting For Birdy by Catherine Newman – was perfect and exactly what I was looking for. Not only is she pregnant with her second child and raising a just turned three year old boy (dealing with potty training and typical toddler turned preschool mayhem) she is hesitant. Constantly – “Am I doing the right thing?” comes up a lot. Which for me is a godsend, because an entire book of, “I’m so happy and together,” probably would have driven me insane. Now I feel slightly better prepared – armed – she was just as scared silly and just as normal and she made it through okay – she loved her new baby and eventually her son came around and decided to like the new baby okay, too.

This book was filled with relate-able humor and I found myself laughing a lot. It was real – I found myself worrying a lot, too, but everything worked itself out in her life which makes me feel like maybe everything will work itself out in mine. Life is full of the occasionally seemingly insurmountable odds, but it’s full of laughter and kindness, too, depending on where you look. You’ll find all of that here. And Newman is a terrific writer – this book was originally a weekly column at called “Bringing Up Ben and Birdy” – learning this made me laugh hard, because I read all the time – heck I map my pregnancy by it, thoroughly week by week, as my regular readers well know. So this is also kind of pretty cool proof that this blogging thing can be more than just a hobby, can be real and fulfilling and for some of the lucky, can lead to bigger things.

In short, I loved this sweet, funny memoir on second time pregnancy and recommend it to any mother, new or old.

Aloha Friday: I Want Your BEST Potty Training Tips

It’s time for another Aloha Friday, the day that you take it easy and look forward to the weekend, in Hawaii and blogland anyway. As you should know by now, over at An Island Life, Kailani decided that on Fridays she would take it easy on posting and ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link at An Island Life’s blog. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

So this week, I want to know…

Do you have any advice for beginning to potty train? What is the best tip you’ve ever been given on the subject? For any non-parents or not yet potty training parents reading this, if you were going to make up advice on the fly, what would you say on the subject of potty training? Bonus points for silliness.

Monday Morning With The Sick Kid

It’s time for another Monday Morning Meme, which is brought to you by Karen @ Write From Karen. This week’s questions are:

1. What’s your mood today? Why do you feel this way? Would you consider yourself to be a moody person overall? When has your “moodiness” gotten you into trouble? Tell us about that incident. Today I’m mostly just siiiiick. In fact, pretty much the whole family is. We woke up yesterday with this lingering suck just sucky enough to make us whine about it, but controlled enough that we kept on trucking, getting our errands done. Do you know how hard it is to pick out fabric for a quilt when you’d rather be hiding under the already made covers? Oh well. This morning I’m doing laundry and being sick. I don’t really have time for an actual mood, I’m just trying to keep it together, you know? I am definitely prone to moody – I have ups and downs and they are usually well defined. I don’t know of any story of my moodiness getting me into trouble but maybe I’m just too sick to think about it?

2. How do you feel about the dentist? On a scale of 1 (terrified) to 10 (he’s like a brother to you). And, if it’s a low number … is there a reason behind your fear / loathing? Tell us a dentist story (we all have them!) The dentist is pretty much a 3 in my book – to be avoided at all cost. I’m not afraid of him, just untrusting and wary. I know I’ll have to get over that pretty soon. But when you combine a lack of dental insurance with a sketchy at best dental history, I think it’s understandable. I’ve had a lot of cavities, a few too many root canals, and I’ve even had to have a tooth pulled because of a lack of communication between the dentist and my father (when I was too young to be the person told) about needing a permanent filling added at a later date. Oh and the root canal where the doctor drilled too deep. That was fun. I probably have all my details mixed up but seriously, I just don’t like them. My last dentist was completely unaware of how to properly use Novocaine and to add to that, he was also the opposite of gentle and kind of a jerk – even the dental hygienists didn’t like him and complained about him behind his back. There is a supposedly really good children’s dentist in the next town (Dr. Tony – read about him here) over and I’m planning to take my son there when the time comes (and I think it’s coming soon) because I’ve heard rave reviews.

3. If you could interview anyone, who would you interview, and what would the first question be? I’d interview John Mayer and my first question would be, “Don’t you read my blog?” My next question would be, “Why haven’t you called Natalie Portman yet?” or “Are you really dating Jennifer Aniston again, because I’m skeptical of the media at this point.”

4. What did you do over the weekend? Let’s see, we had “game night” if you can call it that, and ate lots of yummy pizza, artichoke dip, pumpkin bread & cookies. I bought some fabric and a cutting board, etc. so I can learn to quilt – that should be fun. I hope. I’m not the world’s craftiest person but I’m gonna try! We also bought my son Big Kid Underpants because I’m planning to start POTTY TRAINING this week. More on that later.

A New Viewers Guide : 14 Posts Worth Reading

After reading a post by Karen over @ Write From Karen about keeping negativity out of our lives, out in the real world and in our blogging world, I was a wee bit curious about how my blog would be rated as far as negativity goes – and I have to say with the exception of a lot of self deprecating humor (I can’t help it, it’s like my favorite kind of funny) I think it’s fairly positive in mood – not saying I never complain, but really for the most part, I don’t, at least not very much on my blog – I guess I vent enough of my complaints out loud? haha, poor poor husband; anyway, here’s what I did find out about myself, my blogging, and all:

First off, man do I ever love a good meme – even when I talk about paring down my posts, I still post at least one meme a day and often get sucked into 5 or more posts a day, but you know I don’t really mind. I love doing it, and that’s the point – this blog isn’t my waist line so I really don’t care how big it gets.

One thing I did notice though was some pretty stellar posts (in my humble opinion) that may or may not have ever been read, as they were from my pre-meme-ing days, when I got like 2 or 3 visitors a day – those people rocked! Anyhow, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite posts on this blog (from then AND now) – consider it a new viewers guide if you will – a way of saying, “If you read just one post on this blog, make it one of these”:

  • march 14, 2008 – the invisible woman – about the joys of motherhood in reality, where we are not the most important thing in the world – it’s really a plug for a much better article, but I liked what I wrote as well.
  • march 14, 2008 – eww!! germy mcgerm germs!! – one of my early product reviews, this one still cracks me up every time I read it, and still embarrasses me a little to think, “Yeah, I did that…”
  • april 7, 2008 – gift wrap on my mind – after my son’s 2nd birthday I got to thinking about the cost both monetarily and environmentally of gift wrap, and what I wanted to do about it…
  • june 8, 2008 – babywearing is so chic – back before my blog got a lot of hits, this post did really awfully well for my purposes – I have been planning which kind of baby carriers to use for the next baby (you know that one that we’re still actually trying to conceive) and I actually got some great tips and advice on this post – sweet!
  • june 16, 2008 – oh the thinks you can think: seussical: the musical – My father was in a play this year for the first time in his life – on Father’s Day – this was my post up of both a review of the play (it was awesome!!!) and just the incredible experience of getting to see my father try his hand at something he’d always wanted to do and how great he is in general
  • june 19, 2008 – thank god for books thursday: or things my son likes to wear on his head – oh the infamous my son got his head stuck in a toilet seat post – and thanks to blogging this moment will live forever in cyberspace. Awesome.
  • june 24, 2008 – why I [don’t] Write [much these days] – the woes of calling oneself a writer with very little proof of such a statement…
  • july 2, 2008 – how to: create chocolate chip perfection – I think the only recipe I have ever and likely will ever post on this blog, it was hilarious to write and my husband and I still joke about this post to this day
  • july 2, 2008 – what it means to be a woman – this is one of my favorite posts, personally – it’s something I talk to my husband about a lot, but rarely feel like I’ve articulated well. I’m proud. Nuff said. It’s also a book review. Big surprise, right?
  • july 22, 2008 – dreaming big: planning forever – In which I actually manage to sum up most of my life’s goals in three bullet points – the only thing missing is the obvious – things I want to do as a family – but those things WILL be done – the things on this post are just the big dream kind of goals
  • july 25, 2008 – pizza angels don’t protect against punches – I got to post about my love of Veggie Tales and how I feel about teaching kids what to do and not do in regards to violence, bullies and self defense – It took a lot of guts for me to post this entry, worried about potential controversy and whatnot, and then I’m not sure many people ever read it at all anyway…
  • july 30, 2008 – the anti-robbers: they’re out there – okay maybe this post was only funny to me, but I thought it was really, really, really funny – ahahahaha ::laughing at myself::
  • july 31, 2008 – why blog? – I was told by some other smarter bloggers that this was the best post of mine they’d read this far – so I’m thinking it must have been good and therefore aught to be listed as a must read – it’s pretty obviously about why I blog and I will admit I was fairly proud of it even before the compliments started coming in.
  • and finally, posted today august 12, 2008 – post of the day #2, in which momma whines, begs, & plugs other entries to her blog – no, not this entry – but another fabulous entry I wrote today about how ugly my blog looks – seriously, check it out yo, it’s almost fugly (almost because to be fair the world’s cutest toddler is shown in three different great pictures, but still… not the prettiest blog on the block, let’s be honest). And I made it mah-self (well the header anyway and it’s the only part of the blog I’m complaining about really)…

So there you have it folks – the offical “new readers guide” for momma blogs a lot – a way of weeding through the memes and silliness of the past 5-6 months or so and reading the very best this blog might have to offer – but don’t take my word for it – read ALL my posts and see for yourself. ::wink::

Things My Son Likes To Wear on His Head

So this morning I decided on the whim to take my son to the library, because I was craving something new to dive into after I finish Jane Austen in Scarsdale ( hopefully soon ::crosses fingers:: ). This post isn’t really about the library though – what I’m about to tell you happened in the library parking lot, on the way home after checking out The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray and The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot (because this growned ass woman has an obsession with young adult novels – deal with it).

We’d gotten ourselves into the car with little issue – he even climbed in himself for the first time like a big kid or something. I’d literally just turned the key when he began hooting and howling like a banshee. I turned around to see if he’d dropped his beloved toy of the moment and found to my surprise that he had somehow gotten his head stuck in a toilet. Or rather a Toilet Training Seat we bought a month or so back to keep in the car when we actually begin potty training – you know, a quick fix for pottying on the go when your tush is too small to prevent falling in.

Since my adorable two year old’s tush has not yet met this cute little seat, we haven’t forced him to stop playing with it when we’re taking a drive somewhere – I figure if he wants to make friends, for now, it won’t hurt him. Apparently I was wrong. There he was in all his glory, with an original potty hat, that he couldn’t get off. And he was not happy!

I struggled for quite some time, trying to angle it so it might slide off without hurting him (which he not too happily informed me I was failing at), hoping desperately that we wouldn’t have to drive to the ER and explain our situation to strangers (although truth be told I was also considering driving down the street to my husband’s office so he could share in the moment – and I might have except I didn’t really want to drive around with a toilet on my son’s head – it just didn’t seem like a safe idea in the event we got into an accident… yeah…).

Well by the grace of god I managed to get the darned thing off his head without ripping his scalp off and all was well. Except when I then took the seat away for the drive he was LIVID. The crazy loon still wanted to play with his beloved potty even after all that and could not be convinced as to why it wasn’t okay! Seriously?

So that’s my story – I must say if I hadn’t gotten two fun new books to read out of this situation it would have been a pretty miserable waste of an outing, so, thank god for books, if I do say so myself. And I do.

So, About That Next Baby Thing…

So DH and I have been talking for awhile now about “the next baby” and when we should have our next wee little one (and how she should be a girl, unless he’s a boy, and what will he or she be like and where should we all go on vacation next year and…). Lately we are liking the idea of an early summer birth (with fall as a plan b) for several reasons:

1) I would get to be big and pregnant during the winter, when all that extra body weight could be put to use, making me warmer in our cold apartment!

2) The months of May and June are relatively calm for us so far, so having a birth and then birthdays then would be better than say April or July and August.

3) Warmer temperatures – nice for the wee little one and their little body temperature, etc. Not quite as severe bundling needed (which might mean pretty summer dresses and rompers – did I mention I’m secretly hoping for a little girl?). Also, more chances to take the kids to the playground instead of being cooped indoors.

4) NEXT fall we may be able to put MLM in preschool which would be nice for everyone I think. (If this doesn’t happen though, it’s not a big deal)

I really don’t want to wait too long – I’d like them relatively close in age, and MLM will be three by then. That seems pretty decent. He’s already starting to be a “little helper” and I’m sure by next year that will be even better. I may even be able to potty train him by then which would be sweet. I also know DH will be wanting some father / son bonding time soon, so then I’d also have another child to occupy my time while they are doing boring guy stuff like camping and forts and stuff. And I can enjoy infancy again while DH has a little tyke around to amuse him.

I know it won’t all be sunshine and roses like that, but there are TWO of us and only one MLM at the moment. I also know that MLM can get pretty shy in some social situations (don’t let him fool you!) and might REALLY like to have a built in friendship – something I never got to have growing up and really want for him. Plus, in three years he’ll be starting kindergarten, so this way he gets two years of time with said sibling before going off to bigger things.

Hmm so yes, the timing feels right. We’ll surely keep thinking about it until the end of August or so, at which point we will likely start “trying.” Wish us luck!