Last month it was British books. The month before, young adult titles. Notice anything these books have in common? Anything?
Simplicity Parenting, by Kim John Payne (no relation!). I heard that if you only read one parenting book, this should be it. Payne, a long-time child psychiatrist, has seen a rise in children diagnosed with ADHD, ADD, OCD, all kinds of "Ds" - and that in most cases, medicine isn't the answer. This book teaches parents how to reduce the amount of sensory input in a child's life in order to allow them more room to grow and flourish. I especially loved the chapter on environment - how fewer toys and possessions actually make happier, more creative kids. The thing that struck me as I read this book is that while I get that it's meant for parents to help their children, there's a lot of information in here that could be beneficial to adults as well. This will be a definite keeper and resource. 5/5 stars.
Sh*tty Mom, by Kilmartin, Moline, Ybarbo, and Zoellner. So this is really more of a humor book than an actual parenting book (as if the title didn't give that away). And while some of it's really funny - the chapter on zoo animals had me nearly crying with laughter - a lot of it's kind of negative. Yeah, it's humorous at times, but...I don't want to be a shitty mom. 3/5 stars.
Bringing Up Bebe, by Pamela Druckerman. When we lived in France, at one point I looked at Brian and said, "I wish we could have babies and raise them here." I WASN'T WRONG. My Francophile and mama instincts were firing on all cylinders when I said that, and this book proves it. Studies show French kids are better behaved and balanced than American kids, and Druckerman gives suggestions on how to follow the French way of child-rearing. And you better believe that we'll be following just about every damn suggestion in this book. Now if only we could live in Tours again... 5/5 stars.
French Kids Eat Everything, by Karen Le Billon. This book is similar to Druckerman's (above), but instead of focusing on the behavior of French children, Le Billon narrows down her focus to eating. Her kids, notoriously picky eaters, struggled when the family moved to France. Le Billon recounts how her girls (and she!) learned to navigate French dining and the accompanying social rules. This is important to us because B and I both eat, well, basically everything, and we want our kids to do the same. So I really enjoyed this. 4/5 stars.
So what's the theme? You guessed it - we're expecting!
olive + yew is going to have a little sprout in April! We have a healthy, kicking baby BOY joining our family next spring, and I couldn't be more grateful. It has been a long journey - longer than I ever expected it would take - so we are over-the-moon excited.
Because you've followed along so diligently through our many, many adventures, we wanted to share with you our newest, biggest, much-prayed-for and long-awaited adventure. Thank you all for being such avid readers and dear friends. We love you!
Brian, Emily, big (furry) sister Luna, and sweet baby boy :)
this month's re-reads
Since I'm going to have a child, I'm indulging my inner child with my favorite children's books :) Plus, the HP books are best when they're read in the fall.