Friday, July 15, 2016

Book Review: Bebe Day by Day

Today I've got a book review! Which is sort of shocking because it's been forever since I've managed to get through an entire book in a reasonable amount of time. However, now that we're settled, my husband and I have decided we want to make a real effort to read more at least most nights of the week. 

So, we've been trying to unplug 30 or so minutes before bed and read actual, paper books(!) instead of mindlessly scrolling or gaming on our phones. It's already paid off in better sleep for me, which is a big deal. 

A few nights ago, I finished Bebe Day by Day in one sitting. I'd been wanting to read the book it's based on, Bringing Up Bebe, since it came out, but mom life. This is basically the highlights version of the original and it was an interesting, light read. 

I'm always intrigued by parenting philosophies, mostly because I hope someone has the secret to keeping our toddler happy and the "tween" drama to a minimum. Bebe Day by Day highlights the major tenets of modern French parenting. I like that Druckerman doesn't offer judgments or commentary on how it's superior or inferior, but rather just shares how French parents are generally more laid back and have kids who eat real food and sleep through the night. 

Druckerman points out that many of the points in the book are either starting to be supported by the latest research, or align with much of the "common sense" American style from 30+ years ago. I have seen some of this supported in my own research over the past few years, and a lot of it is very similar to how my parents raised me (and were raised themselves).

My favorite tidbits:
- Give kids real food! If they're given more than chicken nuggets and Macaroni, they will learn to eat AND enjoy other things. 
- Life is not a race to college! Yes, parents want their kids to have fulfilling and successful adult lives, but we don't need to start them on that path and sign them up for classes/lessons as soon as they exit the womb. 
- Focus on teaching kids empathy, compassion, and social skills in their early years! These are probably the skills they'll use most in life, and mastering them early might even make parenting a little easier. 

Overall, I suggest this book to parents and parents-to-be! These 100 tenets are not the only answer to raising children, but reading these lessons at least won't do you any harm. Plus, it's short enough that you could actually get through it in a decent amount of time, even after chasing wild little ones all day. Check it out, and let's discuss if you do!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

$500 for two military families!

Military friends! Could you use $500? (Answer: Yes!) is celebrating their 12th anniversary by giving away two $500 Visa gift cards! The winners will be chosen TOMORROW, 14 July, at 3pm Eastern time.

- Must be a military member or dependent
- Must have a (free) account
- Share the contest via one of the options on the site

That's it! Please share with all of the military folks you know, and good luck!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Heavy days

In case you've been living under a rock, or are somehow blissfully unaware of the news, things--generally speaking--are not great at the moment. The collective, global "we" are in such a bad place. Like a REALLY dark place. Often it seems impossible to ever recover. 

My heart is so heavy, and feels stretched to the breaking point with sympathy pouring out for so many people in so many places. I am thankful that my toddler can't understand the news, and that Big Girl returned from her grandparents' before the peak violence of these past few days--so we didn't have to find the words to try to explain it. 

My heart is also weighted down with guilt, because I get to worry about how to explain terrible things without having to live them. I get to tuck my kids into their beds every night and not think about living in a war zone. I can let Big Girl bike down the street and back, alone, and not worry about what might happen to her because of her skin color or wardrobe choices. I can be in the car when my husband gets pulled over for a minor infraction, and never once worry that the situation will end in anything more than a citation we can simply pay and forget ever happened. 

It's so frustrating to feel so helpless. It's frustrating to not have enough words, or the right ones, to right the wrongs in the world. I will sit in the discomfort of my privilege and open my ears, mind, and heart to those who are hurting. I will keep searching for the ways I can be the change, ways we can teach our girls to be the good. No act of kindness or compassion is ever too small, and it's the very least we can offer to this suffering world. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Currently | July 2016

Joining up with Anne for the Currently link-up today.

toasting America, mostly. ;) We had a lovely Independence Day weekend, and Hubs didn't get called into work on the fourth, so it was extra great. 

 crazy trying to figure out where to put the contents of the last of our boxed items. Unpacking and organizing a new house is one of my least favorite things to do ever. Ugh.

 sunscreen and a lot of smoke from BBQs. Summer is in full swing, and now that we're back in a place with real winter again, I am trying to soak it up as much as possible.

 shorts and skirts and dresses! Two years into nursing and I've worn a dress twice--because most are really impossible in which to feed a baby. But I bought two nursing-friendly dresses, that are cute enough to wear once this period is over, and I'm excited it's been warm enough to actually break them out lately.

 home decor items like nobody's business! I just ordered a number of wall decals for a few rooms, and I'm excited to get those up on the walls. Painting on-base housing is more hassle than I want to deal with, so vinyl wall decals have come to our rescue. I'm also shopping for some new prints, and planning to get a bunch of canvases made of our most recent family pictures as well as a couple of Bug's newborn shots (yes, two years later, oops!). 

sunshine on lavender via photopin (license)

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day, American friends! I hope you have had a lovely holiday weekend with people and food you enjoy, and get to watch some fireworks today if you haven't yet. 

Happy birthday, America!
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