Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon – a review and a contest

Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon

October is Vegetarian Awareness Month, and while it is only Oct. 5, I’m happy to say I have not had any meat yet this month. It honestly hasn’t been hard for me, but then again, I don’t eat meat all that often to begin with. Anyway, the reason I mention veggie month is because my next review and contest is all about a vegetarian dragon! :)

I received a copy of the book “Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon” from Barefoot Books and was immediately impressed by the beautiful and vibrant illustrations. The book is about a dragon named Herb who tends to a nice vegetable garden in the forest and is a vegetarian, unlike the rest of the carnivorous dragons in the forest, lead by Meathook, who enjoy raiding the castle for amusement (and tasty eats). The knights of the castle set forth to rid the forest of the meat-eating dragons, but the meat-eaters hear of their plan and hide out in a cave. Meanwhile Herb is the only dragon left in the forest. The knights find him, assume he is a meat-eater as well and capture him. Herb is about to meet his fate at the mouths of hungry alligators when an unlikely hero emerges and saves the day.

Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon is a story about diversity, acceptance and living together in harmony. I do want to note that it’s recommended for ages 4-10 and I have to agree that the content is a bit more mature than toddler-level. When the book first arrived in the mail, I read it to Ava (3) before I had read it for myself or realized it was meant for older children. (Oops.) While she expressed some concern about Herb’s safety and other parts of the book, I explained it to her well and she did OK with it. We have since read the book a few times and she knows how it ends which I think reassures her that Herb will be OK even when the knights are tying him up.

Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon would make a great addition to any child’s library. The illustrations are gorgeous and the book teaches some valuable lessons about life.

Barefoot Books – founded by two moms in 1993 – “offers products that are thoughtfully written, beautifully designed and illustrated, and have high educational value.” If Herb isn’t your cup of tea, check out the rest of the site. There’s a huge variety of books available – many of which celebrate other cultures. I love that their books are free of media, toy or candy references, and are unique and meaningful children’s literature. Most of the paperback books sell for $6.99 and the hardcover books sell for between $16.99-19.99. I suggest keeping Barefoot Books in mind for birthdays and holiday shopping for the kids this year.

Win it!

If you’d like to win your own copy of Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon, please leave me a COMMENT below STATING WHAT BOOK YOU LIKE BEST FROM BAREFOOT BOOKS. Make sure to include a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. The deadline to enter is Tuesday, Oct. 16. The winner will be chosen at random (using random.org) and announced on Oct. 17. It’s not required, but please feel free to post about this contest on your blog if you’d like to share the love. :)

Deep thoughts

The kids and I went to our monthly API meeting this morning, then met up with Jody (since he works only a couple blocks from where our meetings are held) to go to lunch.

While we were driving I said to Jody half-jokingly, “I need a haircut. I don’t like myself right now.” To which he replied, “It sounds like you also need some counseling.” :oP

As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I thought, “What am I saying? What kind of statement is that to make in front of my kids?” Yes, it’s true that I am frustrated with my hair lately, but to say I don’t like myself because of it? That’s not the kind of message I want to send.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the things that come out of my mouth in front of the kids lately, mostly because I’m starting to hear a lot of it coming back at me from the little sponge AKA Ava. She may only be 3 years old, but she’s very perceptive and picks up on just about everything. As the saying goes, “Little pitchers have big ears.” I need to be more aware of the words I speak and my tone as well.

Ava is such a sweet, empathic girl and I’d hate to see her outlook on life become warped somehow because of me. We as parents have so much influence in our children’s worlds. It’s almost frightening.

I’m not sure what I need to do to fix this, though I have some ideas. Jody’s statement about me needing counseling was actually quite accurate.

A few weeks ago, my sister picked up a book for me called “The ACOA’s Guide to Raising Healthy Children: A Parenting Handbook for the Adult Children of Alcoholics.” I thumbed through the pages a day or two after she dropped it off and as I read a bit here and a bit there, I became overwhelmed. The personal accounts I read from other ACOAs really hit home for me.

I began to realize that while I tried my best to ignore and forget many things from my childhood, they are still there. I began to realize that they are reemerging in my life now that I have children. I began to realize that these things are keeping me from being the kind of parent I want to be. And then I began to cry. Tears of anger and tears of relief.

I know I have a long road ahead of me, but it feels good to know that by accepting that I have problems and I need help that I’ve at least taken the first step.

You know, for kids

Breastmilk makes my tummy yummy

Today, Aug. 7, marks the last “official” day of World Breastfeeding Week. However, because there is still quite a bit on the subject that I’d like to write about, I plan to blog more about breastfeeding throughout the month of August.

If you are a breastfeeding mama, you might want to consider adding some children’s books about breastfeeding to your library. They are fun to read with your nurslings (kids love reading about one of their favorite things – mama’s milk!), and also come in handy to read to slightly older siblings when a new baby joins the family. The good news is there are several great books out there to choose from.

We have I’m Made of Mama’s Milk by Mary Olsen and Breastmilk Makes My Tummy Yummy by Cecilia Moen and I like them both a lot. I wish I’m Made of Mama’s Milk had better quality pictures in it, but the story and rhyming are fun nonetheless. Breastmilk Makes My Tummy Yummy also has some cute rhymes in it, and includes drawings of children of different ethnicities breastfeeding, as well as toddlers nursing and tandem nursing. Both books have been favorite bedtime stories in this house with Ava, and I’m sure they will continue to be appreciated by Julian as well.

Another breastfeeding book that we will be adding to our library soon is Near Mama’s Heart by Colleen Newman. I won this book from the Attachment Parenting International online auction, and am excited to get it. Near Mama’s Heart, with colorful photos of nursing babies and their families, describes the power of breastfeeding from a child’s perspective.” (It is also available in Spanish.)


Here are some more books about breastfeeding for kids:

Mama’s Milk by Michael Elsohn Ross

The Best Gifts by Marsha Skrypuch

We Like to Nurse by Chia Martin

and

Michele: The Nursing Toddler – A Story about Sharing Love by Jane M. Pinczuk (I’m especially interested in learning more about this one since it’s specifically about a nursing toddler. Might have to buy a copy.)

Another book I found while browsing Amazon that’s not specifically about breastfeeding, but is all about baby wearing is A Ride on Mother’s Back: A Day of Baby Carrying around the World by Emery Bernhard. It looks like a great book to add to any AP-friendly children’s library.

I’d be happy to add more children’s books about breastfeeding to the list if anyone knows of more. Thanks!

Here are the rest of my posts about breastfeeding from the past week:

Lastly, thank you to everyone who sent in your breastfeeding pictures for the collage. I will be sharing it later in the week. :)

Edited to add: Elizabeth at The Whole Family is giving away a set of 10 breastfeeding encouragement cards in honor of WBW.
The cards say:
“I just wanted to pass along this little note to let you know how much I appreciate seeing you, a fellow mother, nursing your child in public. You are setting a wonderful example for other mothers and future mothers and showing our children how normal yet beautiful breastfeeding is.”
Want to win? Go check out her giveaway.

Cute and cool stuff abounds

I know I’ve talked about the *Attachment Parenting International online auction fund-raiser before, but here I go again. This time, with pictures! ;)

As I type this, 28% of the items on the auction (of over 200 total items) have yet to be bid on. Which means there’s a WHOLE lot of stuff to be had for well under retail value.

Now to further tempt you to click over and start bidding, I want to take a few minutes to show off some of the cute and cool items currently open for bidding.

First off, there are these two adorable dresses that my mom made…

Citrus dress 2T Flower dress 4T

These two “pillow case” dresses were made by my mom specifically for the auction. The citrus one is a size 2T and the flowered one is a 4T. Ava has three of these dresses made by grandma and she gets compliments on them wherever we go. They are adorable and are truly one-of-a-kind. Click the pics above to bid on them at the auction. My mom also made a couple of “taggies” toys/blankets (like this one) that are listed in the “Children” section.

And now I’d like to feature a few more items (as well as their generous donors) that I helped round up…

Strawberry dress

This super cute strawberry circle dress with matching shorts is a size 12-18 months and was donated by Baby Bonkin. It currently has no bids on it, and bidding starts at $7, so you could get this dress for well below retail value. Click on the picture to place your bid now. Baby Bonkin also has a few other cute clothing items open for bidding on the auction.

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Primrose Path Signature Smock Set

This adorable Signature Smock Set is size 12-18 month and beyond. The set includes matching handmade smock dress and drawstring pants made from modern fabric in a fun pink and floral print. It was donated by Urban Baby Runway, and is currently sitting at well below retail value. Click the picture to place a bid.

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Rosie Toesies

It’s not just cutesie little girl clothes though. These Rosie Toesies are beautiful handmade slippers (for women) and will keep you feeling cute & comfy all day long. Great for the spa or lounging around the house. Donated by BellaBella Designs. Bidding has yet to get started (and starts at only $11!) on these slippers, which would make a great gift. Click the picture to bid.

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Blessed Nest Nesting Pillow

The all Organic Nesting pillow is a wonderful nursing pillow and is very comfortable for both Momma and baby. The pillow is also great for pregnant mamas to use to sleep with before baby is born. It was donated by Blessed Nest. This pillow retails for $84, and is currently sitting at only $35, so you could potentially get it for well below retail value! Click the picture to place a bid.

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No-Cry Discipline Solution

Elizabeth Pantley generously donated two signed copies of each of her “No-Cry…Solution” books. API is offering all 6 books in one set, and the other books each separately. Click the picture above to bid on all 6 signed books. I’m currently reading “The No-Cry Discipline Solution” myself and have found a lot of useful techniques in it.

In addition, there is a set of 11 signed books from the Dr. Sears library in the book category (as well as many other books) open for bidding.

There are 49 books and/or magazine subscriptions (!) available for bidding in the auction. Several are signed by the author.

And this one, Mama Knows Breast, donated by author Andi Silverman, too!

Mama Knows Breast

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Eesti Ring Sling

There are currently 25 items in the baby wearing category – slings, mei tais, Moby wraps, pouches and Ergos all included, and even some children’s size carriers. This beautiful espresso brown ring sling above was donated by Eesti Slings. Click the picture to bid on it.

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Imagine Peace onesie

This cute “imagine peace” onesie is size 6-12 months and was donated by Sassy Onesies. Click the picture to place your bid.

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Peek-a-boo B nursing cover

Four Peek-a-Boo B Nursing Covers were donated by Peek-a-boo B Covers. The cover allows you to nurse your baby discreetly anywhere, if you choose to nurse away from prying eyes. Made of baby-soft lightweight and breathable poly knit, mom and baby stay cool and comfy. Click the picture to place your bid. 4 different colors are listed on the auction.

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Newborn hat booties

Hand knit by Dawn, this beautiful newborn to 3mo hat and booties set is perfect for a baby girl. This set was made in very, very soft 100% pure wool, shades of pink and lavender yarn. The booties feature ties at the ankles to help keep them on wiggly feet. The hat features a picot edge and pretty eyelets. Click the picture to be the first to bid on this adorable set!

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And now, just to help display how diverse the items in this auction are (it really isn’t all AP-related items), here are some other things open for bidding.

Lil speedy bike

This is a twelve inch wheeled beginner bike with training wheels and was donated by Trail Kids. It is Royal Blue with hand print graphics to add color and style. It is recommended for children ages 2-4 and fits a 15-18″ inseam. Click the picture to place your bid.

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Orlando vacation

This auction is for a 2 BR, 4 night/5 day stay at the Orlando International Resort Club, a RCI Gold Crown Resort, from 8/11-8/15/07. Accommodations include 2 bedrooms (much like a well-equipped furnished apartment/condo), equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, wireless Internet and more. Fun! Click the picture to place your bid.

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Blue man group

The winning bidder receives 6 FRONT ROW TICKETS to see the incomparable Blue Man Group in Nashville, Tennessee at the Nashville Arena, along with backstage passes to the post-show meet & greet all happening on Friday, Nov. 16, 2007! You’ll also receive Blue Man Group Gift Packs. Click the picture to place your bid.

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Sawyer Brown

You are bidding on a autographed photo of Sawyer Brown, a Sawyer Brown “The Hits Live in Concert” DVD, and a Sawyer Brown t-shirt (cream, size large). Bid by clicking on the picture.

In addition to all of the cool stuff above, there are also collectibles, health/beauty products, jewelry, cloth diapers, art, yoga sessions, a photography session, and much, much more. Go check it out. The API auction closes on July 21, so there’s just one week left to bid on all of your favorite items. Happy bidding. :)

Thank you to all of the generous donors and to you all for bidding and helping to support Attachment Parenting International. :)

*Attachment Parenting International (API) is a not for profit organization that works to protect the parent-child connection.

Random stuff

Ava was trying to tell me about something the other day in the car. I couldn’t figure out what one of the words was that she was saying, so I kept guessing – incorrectly. After repeating herself about 8 times and me incorrectly guessing 8 times she said exasperated, “Mom, you are driving me crazy.”
Ha! Just you wait sweet girl. ;)
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Julian’s first tooth came through on Tuesday (6/12/07). I never even knew he was teething. Guess that’s a good thing unless it means I was too busy to notice. Seriously though, he’s been a nonstop drooling machine for months (his nickname around here is “droolian”) and didn’t give any other clues. He’s such a happy baby. This, of course, means his days of gnawing on daddy’s nose and mommy’s chin are numbered. ————————————————————————————————–
I was recently contacted by author Elizabeth Pantley to review her newest book – “The No-Cry Discipline Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Good Behavior Without Whining, Tantrums, and Tears” – on my blog. The (personalized and autographed *grin*) book arrived in the mail yesterday and I eagerly dove in. It looks like it will be a good read and will definitely have practical application. :) More to come at a later date.
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We had our upstairs shower redone last week. No more hole in the wall! Woohoo! Maybe now I won’t be embarrassed to take pictures of my kids in the bathtub. Although we have to add some texture to parts of the walls and repaint a little bit, it looks quite nice and is a huge improvement.

Ina May speaks about childbirth, etc.

OMG, OMG, OMG! I just found out Ina May Gaskin will be having a talk here LOCALLY in May. I just sent an email to get more information. I am SOOOOO there! :)

“Ina May will spend the evening talking with parents and public about childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting.

Who is Ina May Gaskin?

Author – Well known for the seminal work, Spiritual Midwifery, her new book, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, is now available. It inspires women to take back the fear of childbirth by regaining confidence in their bodies and assuring them – your body still works!
Activist – Ina May transformed her observation of increasing maternal mortality in the U.S. into The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project, a national effort to honor those women who have died of pregnancy-related causes during the past twenty years and to draw public attention to the unchanging maternal death rate in this country.
Innovator – Ina May developed the Gaskin Maneuver. The first obstetrical maneuver to be named after a midwife, it embodies the essence of midwifery by using simple body movements to facilitate a difficult birth. Recently selected as a Visiting Fellow at Morse College of Yale University, Ina May continues to delight listeners by
infusing her sharp command of birth research and statistics with a touch of the wry humor that punctuates her writing.”

I think I’ve turned into a birth junkie. ;) I’m so excited about this opportunity!