Monday, January 31, 2011


Life has been pretty crazy around here the past few days.  With all three of us getting sick, a doctor's appointment, a wedding, and the normal everyday hustle and bustle, I have barely had time to hear myself think (thus blogging was clearly out of the question).   Things are looking like they will be a little bit quieter this week.  Hopefully that means I will be able to get around to reviewing both The Happiness Project and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.  Here are a couple of photos from the past week (sadly, there are none from the wedding since I neglected to bring my camera).

When I reached for my camera, Little Ish was standing up holding onto the edge of his book bin; by the time I was able to snap a photo, he had reached for a book all the way across the bin.  The end result? Flying baby!

Proof that he does actually stand! (As opposed to flying...)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Meet Gilbert

Gilbert is a stuffed goose who gets a lot of playtime around here.  Little Ish has found several uses for Gilbert.

Gilbert is good for patting.

He is even better for snacking on.

And of course, he is wonderful for snuggling.

Gilbert was a Christmas gift. The only place I know of to purchase one of these adorable geese is at Twelve Chairs, a shop and design studio in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Camera Fun

Up until a few weeks ago, I had been using a point-and-shoot camera that I got as a gift from my mother when I graduated from high school [in 2003]. This camera has served me well, and I would continue to use it, but I wanted to move from a point-and-shoot to a DSLR.  At the beginning of the month, I purchased a Canon Rebel XS, and I am in love.  I have yet to take it out of auto-focus, but I will be working on that after I finish reading the manual.  I will gladly take any recommendations for books/blogs/etc. on photography.  Now a few updated photos of my munchkin...

1/26: In Defense of Food

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”  This grammatical atrocity is the sage advice of Michael Pollan; it also is the thesis of his bestselling book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.  Although I had never considered food to be in need of defending, Pollan, a talented journalist and academic, has convinced me that the defense of food is direly necessary.In Defense of Food captured my attention long before I ever considered reading it.  I was seeing it quoted in so many places that I was beginning to realize that Pollan’s manifesto was becoming required reading. 
    Despite being interested in what he had to say, I was not particularly looking forward to reading this book.  I expected it to be rather dry and envisioned myself trying to sludge through it—How delightfully wrong I was!  On many occasions I actually found myself laughing out loud (practically in hysterics).  Pollan managed not only to inform me about the deceit being put forth by both food manufacturers and the government but to keep me actively engaged as well.
     This book has helped to precipitate major dietary changes for my family. The knowledge that Pollan dispenses put Ish and me on a much faster track to kicking processed food out of our diets.  To many, this probably sounds like a complicated, stress-inducing task, but for us, it has worked to simplify our lives.  I, for one, have been freed from the bonds of intense couponing and from feeling the need to stockpile—it is hard (read: almost impossible) to stockpile most whole foods.
    One of the pieces of advice that Pollan gives is to pretend you are grocery shopping with your great grandmother.  If she wouldn’t recognize what you are buying as food, then it is probably safe to assume that you shouldn’t be buying it.  This gem has helped us to really look at the ingredients in some of the foods we had been buying.  Thank you Michael Pollan for enlightening me and helping me to eat real food.
   I do not have a single negative thing to say about this book.  For those of you who know me well, you know that this is an extreme oddity.  Not only do I recommend In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, I strongly urge you to read it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

1/52: Pushed by Jennifer Block

Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care    For my first book of 2011, I decided to just finish the book I had been reading since sometime this autumn—Pushed:The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block.  Block, a journalist by trade, takes an in-depth look at the state of maternity care in the United States and the factors precipitating the mess that she found it in.
    As a big proponent of natural [read: physiological] childbirth, I was not at all surprised by Block’s findings—childbirth in America is unnecessarily over-medicalized [in high contrast to the rest of the developed world].  Regardless of my previous acquaintance with the subject, I found that the book greatly augmented my knowledge.  This does not, however, mean that the book was a dry presentation of scientific research.  The author seamlessly integrates the results of medical studies with both historical facts and personal interviews.
    One of the best parts of this book is that it does not require the reader to be a scientist.  Block makes sense of the medical terminology and research in such a way that I never found myself struggling to understand what she was writing about—a characteristic that receives major points from this B.A. in English!  I do believe my basic knowledge of physiological childbirth also contributed to my ease in understanding.
   I do have one major beef with this book.  For the majority of her book Block does a fantastic job in making maternity care choices a woman’s issue with out trying to limit it to a specific political view.  In the last chapter, Block rips back the curtain to reveal her own incredibly pro-abortion agenda.  She actually argues that the only way a woman can demand less medicalized maternity care is to also demand abortion rights.  This proposal is not only logically unsound, but it could also be detrimental to the birthing choice movement.  Being vehemently pro-life myself, I know that is very possible to support birthing choice and unborn children.  Sorry, Ms. Block, but you missed the boat with your last chapter.
   Would I recommend this book? Yes, even with the faulty logic at the end of it.  The subject of birth choice is important and Pushed contains a wealth of invaluable information.  If you are pregnant (or TTC), I would put this book on the must-read list.  

Up Next:In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

52 in 52

Almost every year I make a resolution to read more.  This never seems to work out very well.  Recently I realized that I do much better with quantified goals, and I have decided to try to read a book per week in 2011.  I will attempt to review each of the books when I finish them.  If nothing else, I will add an ongoing list to the sidebar.  Happy reading!

6 + 10

Since we spent a large portion of December in Massachusetts with my family, I failed to post a 6 months milestone update.

Aside from rolling like a pro, Little Ish has been trying really hard to scoot.  Aside from a couple of successful scoots backwards, he mostly just looks like he is trying to swim on land.  He loves to grab at everything--especially hair and glasses.  He also reaches for cups and latches onto the rim (I assume it feels good on his gums since he has been teething up a storm).

 Little Ish has definitely developed a sense of humor, and he is quick to smile and laugh.  He has started to really play with toys and other household objects.  Bathtime has quickly turned into playtime.  A partially water-filled bottle [sans cap] creates a lot of laughs from both Baby Ish and from Momma and Daddy--he likes to throw the water in his face!