Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wishin' and Hopin'...a Novel by Wally Lamb

When you read an author for the first time and you fall in love, you feel as if you hit the author jackpot. Well, if you're anything like me you do. There are so many authors out there today and when I find one whose name I remember I know that they must be good.

That describes Wally Lamb to me. An author who can wrap me into his words, his stories, his pages. The first novel that I read by him was She's Come Undone. It was fabulous and I still remember it to this day--I can't tell you how many years ago that I read this book, but for me to remember it today? That is saying something about Wally Lamb as an author.

I am now reading Wally Lamb's novel Wishin' and Hopin'. This book sucked me in from the moment I started reading the first chapter titled Flight.  Love, love, love it! He has an amazing way with words. Such an amazing way that you are drawn in to the book. I have no doubt that I will have the book finished by next week.

Wishin' and Hopin' is about a fifth grade boy growing up in 1964. Ten year old Felix is trying his best to navigate himself through the fifth grade which he finds somewhat hard to do considering that he gets nightmares from scary movies and he bears a striking resemblance to a certain adorable cartoon boy. There are, however, things that young Felix can depend on: the birds and bees are as puzzling as ever, television is magical, and this will be one Christmas that he will never forget.

In the beginning the book starts out by being narrated from the adult Felix. He tells of how in the fifth grade he is the reason for Sister Dymphna's nervous breakdown. I started laughing at his description of her melt down and how she had been mopey since morning prayer. Maybe it's the Catholic in me, but it made laugh even imagining!

I highly recommend this book if you are wanting something festive to get you in the Christmas spirit and if you ever sit and reminisce about holidays from your past. You know the ones you remember--the one where you got that beloved toy, the one where you got a bike, the one where you had strep throat. I think that that is one part of why Christmas is so magical to me, just being able to sit and soak in all of the memories.

If you do decide to check out Wishin' and Hopin' I don't think you will be disappointed one bit. Let me know if you decide to check it out!

Wally Lamb is also the author of many successful novels such as She's Come Undone and I Know This Much is True, both of which made it to the New York Time's bestsellers list and Oprah picked them both for her Book Club. He resides in Connecticut with his family.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Teething Relief...

My poor, poor Madelyn has been teething and teething lately. I swear, it's almost as if every time I turn around and look in her mouth there is another tooth working its way through and making my babe miserable. Teething wasn't a problem for Maddie until her molars started coming int.

Since then we've had crying, lots of sleepless nights, bleeding gums and all around just not feeling good. It breaks my heart that I can't just take away her pain and I find myself hoping that the next tooth will make it's way through and have her feeling like her normal, chipper self.

I felt out of sorts at first, not knowing what I could do. So many products out there failed in comforting her. Until I tried Annable Karmel's Fill & Freeze Puree Pops. Serious genius! I had a feeling that these would work for a couple of reasons, the first being that they're frozen. Coldness on sore, teething gums? I had a feeling that it would be a perfect answer to my girl's teething woes. The second reason I thought this would work was that she would be eating something yummy therefore (hopefully) her mind would be taken off how miserable her mouth felt.

I visited her site and browsed for a yummy and healthy recipe. She has such a variety of recipes to choose from! I highly recommend that you check some of them out. I found a recipe for Traffic Light Ice Lollies. Instead of the honey I used 100% fruit juice (we didn't have any honey on hand!). They turned out wonderfully! Madelyn loved them--and I loved them that they were a nutritious and soothing special treat for my girl.

So my advice for teething (if your little one is older)? Get the Fill & Freeze Puree Pops from Annabel Karmel--it will make your life a lot easier and make your little one a happy little camper while getting relief from those painful gums!

I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for Infantino and have received various Infantino products as part of my participation.

When You Decide to Make Your Baby's Food...

When I gave birth to Isabella I felt flustered a lot of the time. There seemed to be an abundance of this or that scenarios. Breastfeed or bottle feed? Cloth or disposable diapers? Scented baby products or organic, all natural products? Buy baby food or purchase it? For a first time mom I almost felt over my head!

Then came Madelyn almost two years later. While I knew ahead of time what worked best for my family and for me, I still struggled on the baby food aspect. Sure, I would love to make my own baby food, but would I be able to do it with Isabella here, too?

In the end I decided to make Madelyn some of the foods that she ate. Whether it was mashed bananas, pureed fruit, or pureed vegetables that she refused to eat if purchased already pureed. Lucky for me I worked in dietary nutrition when I was in the Air Force--so foods at different textures came so easy to me!

Now with baby number three due to make their debut in May I am more sure than ever to try and make as many of their foods that I can. What makes it even easier? I have discovered Annabel Karmel's fabulous line of all things to making your own baby food even easier! When they arrived in the mail I couldn't believe it--there were so many amazing products that I fell in love with.

One of my favorites is the Mash & Serve Bowl. Do you know how much time I spent mashing up potatoes, bananas, green beans, etc with a fork? I had the bowl sliding around and it wasn't exactly the quickest approach possible.

The Mash & Serve Bowl makes mashing up your little one's foods a snap! It comes with a bowl and a handy masher--all you have to do is place whatever food you want to mash up in the bowl and start mashing away. No more crummy fork method for this momma--I can't wait to show Leo this, I'm pretty sure he's going to love it, too.

I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for Infantino and have received various Infantino products as part of my participation.