Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Book Review:
When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead Jerry is making a concerted effort to read more often purely for pleasure. He picked up this short chapter book in our local library's Newberry section, and then after reading a few pages of it, asked me to take a look at it to explain something in it to him. Although I was in the middle of two other books already, I got hooked on this one and couldn't read anything else until I'd finished it!
A mixture of light science fiction (time travel) with coming-of-age themes and characters who are heart-breakingly realistic and fun. I loved this book. There is one description of violence that left me a little sick feeling, so I am not sure how I feel about recommending it for pre-teen...but anybody older than that, make sure to add it to your lists and enjoy!

Restaurant Review:
The dentist suggested Jerry eat only liquids and soft foods for a couple days (root canal--poor Jerry). So we treated ourselves to trying the newish McDonald's triple thick milkshakes. I hadn't had a McDonald's milkshake in years, and only remember them as sickly syrupy concoctions that were about as thick as my spit. Yeah, not so good. Well, the new ones (part of the McCafe lineup) are totally worth their price tag of two-something dollars. We shared a strawberry one the first time we went, and then a few days later could not resist going back to share a chocolate one. The strawberry seemed more authentic, though I'm usually a die-hard chocolate lover. So I'd recommend going fruity if you want to try these milkshakes.

Event Review:
Winter Carnival (City of Painesville)

Single-digit weather made for a chilly walk around the park when we first arrived at this "winter carnival." It seemed deserted--less than twenty people total, including the lone man carving an ice sculpture and one teenage girl spray-painting a knee-high snow fort she appeared to have just created moments earlier. We also noticed moments after arrival that Lo's shoe had fallen off and he had been walking around in icy mud puddles with nothing but his SOCK on his frozen toes. No wonder he seemed fussy...Anyway, we headed back to the car thinking it was a bust.

Until a newspaper photographer asked us to get out of the car to pose for a photo. We reluctantly complied.

Then the newspaper man mentioned the chili eating contest across the street. We trudged our way through the snow to get to it, and sure enough, THERE was the carnival! All free events (yay!) included caricature artists, winter crafts, chili sampling (I ate enough to amount to two regular sized bowls--very full), and useful freeby handouts like car window scrapers. We spent about two hours there and enjoyed ourselves. Jerry especially settled into the chili sampling, because he truly has the heart of a chef and likes trying to guess ingredients in new foods. One of the chilis had chocolate in it (I voted for this one), another had venison (we voted for this one also, because it was made by a girl scout troop and we wanted to see them win), and one had Black Mamba, which was an ingredient Jerry guessed right away and the restauranters who made the chili confirmed he was correct. There were both professional (restaurant) and amateur categories. Who knows, maybe next year we'll enter our own batch of chili!

Thanks Painesville for the worthwhile family event. We'll be back in a couple months for their Easter Egg Hunt.

Product Review:
Monkey Do Cloth Diapers

I've wanted to try cloth diapering ever since before that Lo was born. Finally, for Christmas a month ago Santa gave me a small starter set from this cute home-based business. Since it is headed by my awesome college friend Morgan, she gave me a good deal on the diapers and soakers, as well as customized my order (made sure the measurements would fit that Lo's chunky legs & tummy).

Still haven't used them enough to determine my full opinion, but here are some pros and cons.
Hooray: adorable, quickly repay themselves when used for just a matter of weeks (I've been getting so sick of buying disposables especially since Lo got to the bigger sizes that give less diapers in a pack), give Lo more immediate notification he has gone potty (should help with the imminent potty training days), adjustible for smaller babies with the comfortable cord lock system (I'll definitely be re-using these with future Tam babies).
Bummer: takes a bit more work to get them strapped on that Lo because of the lack of elastic (it is crucial for him to be centered on the diaper or it won't fit comfortably), and as he is in the wiggliest phase right now, I've sometimes given up using a cloth diaper at one time or another just because it was quicker to snap a disposable on his squirmy bum! Also, poopy toddler diapers are pretty much the worst thing ever. The first time I had to deal with him pooping in the cloth, I wished so much I could just throw away the soaker pad. But I swished it in the toilet, then threw it in the washer, and it came out perfectly clean so no harm done. Still, horrible, nasty, worst thing ever to me as I'm the type of person who tosses whole outfits in the trash if Lo has a blowout.

Movie Review:
The Business of Being Born

No secret to anybody who knows me: I have a passion for advocating "beautiful" births. Even though I personally found natural birth to be the ideal for me, I have gradually come to accept that for some people, their most beautiful "ideal" birth would be highly medicalized. I'm okay with the fact that I'm more eccentric than mainstream America. But I do wish more women would explore the evidence (or lack of evidence, i.e. tradition) behind what their doctors are doing to them.
At first this movie seemed like one that would make me nod my head a lot in agreement, but I was somewhat disappointed as I found myself cringing at the profanity, negativity, and emotionally charged angles (I suppose all documentaries have their agendas to promote)...though most of all, I just wished there had been more showing of moms in labor having peaceful, emotional control. Because the peacefulness is what I appreciate most about Hypnobabies. I wasn't perfect, but can say Jerry and I stayed a totally united team, where I would have ordinarily been inclined to get snappy with him. In future births, I hope to also show more of the Hypnobabies ideal of being peaceful with my midwife as well, since I said a few rude things to her that I regret now.
But I digress. Back to the movie at hand. I recommend anyone with even a moderate interest in birth give the movie consideration, because it will probably be eye-opening to anybody, including those who already think they know a lot about natural births. For example, I was surprised to learn homebirths comprise less than 1% of total births in the United States. I know so many women who have done homebirths, that it feels more common to me in my head. And I actually did not fully realize the horrors of "the twilight sleep era" until seeing the visual portrayals. Ugh. So glad I did not live in the 1920's...!
This movie has been out for more than a year now, but I just finally watched it a couple days ago because we got a Netflix subscription for Jerry to have films to entertain him while he runs on the treadmill.
**and after this blog has been posted for a whole day, it dawned on me some people might not like to watch graphic births, so I should retract my recommendation of this film to any who fall into that category! Sorry; it isn't obscene nudity, but there is plenty of nudity.


Becca said...

On the cloth diapers...look up a diaper sprayer. You can make one by hooking a hose up to either your tub or your toilet so you don't have to swish the soaker in the toilet. Also, they do sell disposable cloth diaper liners so that you can just flush it with the poopy diaper. I have friends that use them and I will try and get the info for you.
We did try cloth diapers...but alas, my love for cloth diapering did not beat out my loathing for laundry. And since with couponing, I was able to stock up before G was born for enough diapers for 18 months, and wipes, for under $ was not any more economical. But the eco-friendly part of me still longs for cloth.

Morgan said...

Thanks for the reviews! Especially the cloth diapers one (heehee!). I keep hoping to get around to setting myself up with a diaper sprayer like Becca was talking about, but in the meantime, I just loosen the cord locks before I take the diaper off so the diaper will lay flat and then I toss the whole thing in the tub and use our detachable shower head to send it all down the drain. Maybe that grosses some people out (it would my mom), but at least I don't have to TOUCH anything!

Jocelyn said...

I am so wanting to do cloth diapers for my next baby {although I think I will want disposable for nightly wear, but we will see} I would also like my "changing station" to be in the bathroom just for cloth diapering purposes! {again we will see} as for birthing I would Love to do a water birth/ home birth but also have that fear of something going terribly wrong. I guess I will just wait and see for the next pregnancy brings.
Also way cute diaper cake! love it we have a couple preggo mom's in the ward so I plan on doing a few more son!