Book Reviews, Books, Exercise, Parenting

Bumps, Bubs, and Books

January is nearly over – how quickly it’s gone!  This has been such a great month, one where I’ve felt more settled and at home after all of our gallivanting.


I’ve been going to an hour-long evening prenatal fitness class once weekly.  I’ve also enrolled Joe in the local gym’s creche and hopefully will be able to bring him with me when I work out there twice weekly.  I’m continuing to do an at-home fitness DVD (Erin O’Brien’s Prenatal Fitness Fix) on days when I don’t have class or am not going to the gym.  It’s a good DVD, though the sound quality leaves a little to be desired, and I like that you don’t need any special equipment.  As with any workout, you get out what you put in, so I try to make the most of those 40 minutes on the days that I use it.

There are days when I don’t feel like exercising at all, but I try to push through those feelings and get in a work out.  I keep reminding myself that doing at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise is one of several things that I can do during pregnancy to help ensure a healthy baby, complication-free labor & delivery, minimize aches and pains, and to help me bounce back postnatal.  I did a lot of running and walking right up to the time that I delivered Joe, but I felt like I could have done more.

I’m working 1-2 evenings a week, depending on Chris’ schedule and availability.  I’ve been thinking about what my work schedule will be when we return to the States.  Chris is supportive of whatever I want to do, but we’ll play it by ear for starters.  It’s always a little hectic when Chris starts a new job and is working on lectures and lesson plans.  I think that once he’s settled and we’ve gotten a house and vehicle sorted, then I’ll look at work for myself.  I was happy to see that there’s a charity clinic in our new town and another charity clinic just outside of town.  Both operate with volunteer staffing so, in the meantime, I may inquire about volunteering at one of those two places.  I’m also wondering if ER nursing is the place for me to stay, or if perhaps I ought to consider another discipline.


Joe is keeping me busy and is a joy to be around.  Here’s a short video of him laughing uproariously because I was saying the word “so” in a funny way.  He loves to mimic!

Not only does he love to mimic and parrot what we say, but he’s full of questions.  He points at any old thing and asks, “Dis?” or “Dat?” (“This?” or “That?”).  He wants to know the words and names behind everything.  Curious boy!  His vocabulary has been rapidly expanding over the last month and a half and I love getting an even better view into what he’s thinking and feeling.  I can tell that there are times when he’s frustrated with communication, but he’s trying and learning every single day.


I’ve just finished reading a book about mothers and sons.  It’s aptly entitled Mothers Raising Sons and is written by New Zealander Nigel Latta (Kiwis interested in purchasing the book should click here, or search it out in your local library).

It had me giggling and laughing at several parts and, overall, I enjoyed it to the point where I would read sections of it aloud to Chris (he enjoyed it as well – he asked “Where’s the ‘Dads Raising Sons’ book?”).  I appreciated the author’s candor and transparency.  As with any book, there were some things that I didn’t agree with him about, and other areas where I was nodding my head.  I thought that this was a good “preventative” book with a lot of common sense advice, but perhaps not a great book for a mother who’s mid-crisis.  While the author doesn’t have a “Fathers Raising Sons” book, he does offer a “Fathers Raising Daughters” one (Kiwis click here to purchase) that has been highly recommended to me, along with several other volumes (Kiwis click here for a list).

I’ve also re-started to read Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years (click here for the Kindle edition, Kiwis click here) by father and son team Jim Fay and Charles Fay.

This book was recommended to me by an experienced mum who said that she found it useful to the point where she would highlight sections and then give them to her husband to read.  She was going to let me borrow her copy, but then realized that she needed to re-read a few sections herself.  I figured if it was that good, I would just buy it.  At the time, I was asking for books about ways to discipline children.  Joe was about 14 months old and was starting to test EVERYTHING.  I was often frustrated, both with him and myself.  I would quickly lose patience, yell at Joe, and then feel like a great big grouch of a mother.  I remember thinking at the time, “This is not what parenting should feel like, I should enjoy being around my son more than I am right now” and so began to seek out suggestions.

The “Love and Logic” book was a big help, at least to us.  I was worried that it would only apply to older children, but it had plenty of helpful advice and practical suggestions for parents with infants and toddlers.  I started reading it the month before we left for the UK and almost immediately began to put some of those suggestions into practice, talking it over with Chris and making sure that we were in agreement.  I noticed a change in Joe’s behaviour within a few days and in my own attitude almost immediately.  I felt like I had a plan and a starting-off point.  I don’t expect parenting to be fun all of the time, but I do expect it to be enjoyable most of the time.  That doesn’t mean that Joe and I laugh and play all day long or that we don’t have bad days, but we do laugh and smile and giggle and have a good time for most of the days of the week.

I mentioned the book to a sister-in-law when they were visiting us in Oxford, and as soon as I said the title, she began to nod her head and said that this is the book that they recommend to parents (she has her MS in Counseling Psychology and works with families of at-risk children).  It turns out that another family member uses this book’s techniques with their kids, too.  How did I not know about it?

Anyway, I read through most of it before leaving for the UK but was so excited to try some of the suggestions (and kind of desperate, to be honest) that I didn’t finish it.  I’m going to go back, re-read some parts and finish the last few chapters.  I may even suggest that Chris read a few of the chapters as well.  As with the “Mothers Raising Sons” book, there were some parts of “Love and Logic” where I didn’t see eye-to-eye with the authors, but I agreed with their overall approach and it was helpful to have guidelines.

Whew – I feel like that’s enough information for one post.  I hope that you’re all doing well and enjoying your week!

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2 thoughts on “Bumps, Bubs, and Books

  1. Thanks for the book suggestions! Ezra’s at the stage where we’re starting to wonder about discipline (especially when he’s piercing our eardrums with his shrieks, or biting my nose), so this is good.

  2. Aw what a great video! his laughter is infectious, made my day 🙂 this looks like the fun part of the “terrible twos” stage when they can start talking & communicating more 🙂

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