Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I love reading. I hope I am able to pass that on to Jameson and any other kids we may have, eventually. One of the hardest things about having a kid is that I don't have nearly as much time as I used to have. When I do have time I often don't have the mental energy to read. This is very upsetting to me, because reading was always my break from the world. There are so many books out there I want to read, but I can barely read one book in a month. I used to read a book a day. I go to the library and check out five books at a time and if I am lucky I will finish one before I have to return them, and this is so sad to me! Recently the books that I have been able to finish have to do with kids and they aren't fiction. Here are a few of the books I am reading or have read in the past month or two.

"Nurture Shock" by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman- This is a fun easy read that is divided into sections, meaning I could pick it up read a section and put it back down and not worry about it for a few days. I really enjoyed this book, especially the research that went into it and the ideas. I am familiar with a lot of what they talked about but here are the sections of the book.
1) The inverse power of praise
2) The Lost hour (as in an hour less sleep and its ramifications)
3) Why white parents don't talk about race
4) Why kids lie
5) The search for intelligent life in kindergarten
6) The sibling effect
7) The science of teen rebellion
8) Can self-control be taught?
9) Plays well with others
10) Why Hannah talks and Alyssa doesn't
Conclusion) Myth of the supertrait
Its not exactly a parenting book, but it is applicable to parents. I found a lot of what was said useful and interesting. Some of their research confirmed my ideas, such as lack of sleep in children today cause many problems. Overall I recommend this book, it was well worth my time and mental energy exertion.

"The Creative Family"
By Amanda Blake Soule- A waldorf-esqe book with lots of ideas about how to come together as a family and well, be creative. There are projects for children of all ages throughout the book. Also, there is a small resource guide at the end of the book. I really like the idea of my family being together in the evenings for parlor games, or creating art or doing a project together instead of being huddled around the TV. This is the kind of book that makes me want to throw out my TV, and break out my paints, or knitting. I have a vivid imagination (always have) and I can picture the loft in our house as being our creative space. I like the ideas she gives on keeping art supplies accessible, but also making sure they are good quality. I always wanted "real" art supplies when I was younger, but it wasn't until I was an adult that I got to put a brush to canvas. I really enjoy the quotes she picked out at the beginning of each chapter. Also, she does her own photography and the pictures are very fun to look at throughout the book. It makes me want to find a cabin in the rural Maine countryside, preferably by a lake where I can raise my kids. Which leads me to my next book...

"The Backyard Homestead" edited by Carleen Madigan- My go-to guide for all things veggie, fruit, nut or farm animal. I dream that one day we will have a big lot where I can grow our food. Yes, I want chickens and vegetables and fruit. When we live on our farm I want a cow, sheep and a goat or two. This is a Storey compilation. The Storey publishing company has many of these guides. The Backyard Homestead tells me how I can harvest a years worth of food on 1/4 acre. That includes: 1,400 eggs, 50 pounds of wheat, 60 pounds of fruit, 2,000 pounds of vegetables, 280 pounds of pork and 75 pounds of nuts. It also tells me how to make cheese, yogurt, wines and vinegar, herb teas, jams, jellies and nut butters, beer, noodles, breads and sausage. Basically, I can look through this book everyday and find something new and interesting to read and learn how to do.

"Naturally Healthy Babies and Children" by Aviva Jill Romm- I love this book. I flip through it all the time and it helps me figure out how to treat a sniffle, bruise or runny nose. It takes a fairly complex subject: Homeopathy and makes it accessible for everyone.

"Green Cleaning" By Margaret Briggs and Vivian Head- I don't like using chemicals. This book has all the recipes to clean anything you can imagine with Vinegar, Lemons, Salt and Baking Soda. My cleaning supply bill just got a lot cheaper! From Costco my giant vinegar cost <$5 as did my 12 pound bag of baking soda and massive salt containers. My two big bottles of lemon juice cost about $7. I love how clean the lemon juice gets the grout, and baking soda cleans sinks and bathtubs better than any scrub I have used. Better still there is no chemical smell that makes me lightheaded. I keep a spray bottle of 4 parts water to one part vinegar with a few sprigs of lavender and a drop or two of the the lavender oil and use it everywhere. Mirrors, counters, stovetop, floors, etc. The vinegar smell is strong at first, but when it dries I am only left with the lavender smell. I add vinegar to all laundry loads, not only does it get rid of any smells, but it also acts as a fabric softener and static cling remover. I can even use baking soda fully in place of our laundry soap. I am excited to begin reading "Skeletons at the feast" By Chris Bojahlian- its a book situated in post world war II Germany. It is about a small group of people who are attempting to cross the remnants of the Third Reich, from the Russian front to the Rhine to reach the British and American lines.

Jameson has his favorite books too! At the moment he loves and makes me read at least once daily "Ten Little Fish" By Audrey Wood Illustrated by Bruce Wood. On each page Jameson has a motion or says something about what happens as each fish goes his/her own way. I love it.

"Barnyard Dance" By Sandra Boynton- A fun rhyming book that I can't help but create a tune to go with it. Jameson just laughs at me.


Bridget said...

I love Barnyard Dance. :)

I will have to check out some of these others...if my library has them, that is.

Amber said...

Aimee, I am totally feeling you about reading. I have not figured out how to work reading into my new schedule as a mom yet, which is a huge bummer because I LOVE reading. I used spend hours devouring books, and that hasn't really happened in a while. Some of the books you listed look interesting - I may have to check a few of those out. Thanks!

Aimee said...

Bridget- I am in total admiration about how many books you manage to read and also write reviews!

Amber- It took me months before I could pick up a book and not re-read the same paragraph over and over so heavy was my post-partum mental fog. Mommy-brain to the max! I did eventually emerge and enjoy reading while nursing, once Jameson was a bit older. I have also found that I am much more interested in subjects that relate directly to me, ie natural parenting books. :-)

Jennifer said...

I like the idea of lavender in your vinegar! I've been using vinegar to clean for a few months, but a nice smell would make it even better!

Aimee said...

Jenn- I also put a sprig of fresh rosemary in sometimes, especially in my "kitchen" spray bottle. Its a really yummy smell and a little stronger than lavender.

Patti said...

Great post, gave me some books to add to my ever growing list of things to read. It is SO hard for me to find time to read and when I do find the quiet time, often I lack the energy like you said. Hope you guys are doing well! :)

Alison said...

I should make Jameo a recommended reading list :) There's more fun books that I'm finding with my classes :)

Aimee said...

Alison- I fully expect a recommended reading list, you can start now. Let me have it!