Mar. 7th, 2013 01:03 pm
dancerjodi: (Geek)
I'm not sure why this week in particular I have been thinking more about how time just rushes by. It takes most of what we've got to get through a day and then another week is gone. I feel like generally we do a good job of time management and really enjoying and living our lives. Still, 'the grind' pushes it along quickly. I think I need to focus more on reducing the grind and really appreciating the little, more mundane things. Making the best out of my commute. Listening to great music while I'm running queries. That kind of thing.

Also, I need more exercise! The dance classes are a part of my regular schedule, but I need to fit other things in there too. The warmer weather will help with this a bit, but I need to stop using a New England winter as my excuse. I've been feeling more creaky and almost arthritic lately! WTF! I'm blaming my lack of regular exercise for it (when I do jump in to work out I think I may be pushing it too much, and putting strain in my knees). I have ballet class tonight assuming we don't get barraged with a ton of snow and it gets cancelled.

We watched the Happiest Toddler on the Block DVD http://www.amazon.com/Happiest-Toddler-Block-Cooperative-Four-Year-Old/dp/0553384422 last night (borrowed from the library). It was good to see that his suggested techniques are things that we are already doing for the most part; we just hadn't thought much about how or why they work, and we probably aren't doing them so mindfully, and thus we aren't being consistant about it. He suggests that toddlers are really little cavemen/neanderthals in their actions, emotions, movements and ability to communicate. What is most important to them is that they are heard and respected. The caregiver's job is to speak their language to them (toddlerease) when they are having a tantrum or things are escalating, using little words, repetition, and emotions/movements/facial cues that mimic them. This way, they can see that you understand what they are feeling, and you are acknowledging it. And THEN, move on to distract, redirect, remove or whatever. It was not as mind-blowing of an experience as much as the Happiest Baby Book and DVD was. I'm not sure if that's because Toddlers are less complicated or because we (for now) appear to have a good handle on ours.

I'm reading the Dr. Sears Discipline book also http://www.amazon.com/Discipline-Book-Better-Behaved-Child-Birth/dp/0316779032/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362679228&sr=1-1&keywords=dr.+sears+discipline+book. Thus far, it is interesting to get their perspective and tips, and similar to Happiest Toddler, nice to see that for the most part we have been going down this road without knowing the label for it. The jury is out as to whether or not I'll buy this book to keep as a reference for down the line. I'm not too far into it.

Soon http://www.amazon.com/MINIMALIST-PARENTING-Enjoy-Modern-Family/dp/1937134342/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362679245&sr=1-1&keywords=minimalist+parenting will show up on my Kindle, and I am excited to get into that one.

I seem to go through phases of all non-fiction all the time and all fiction all the time. I think the weather, the darkness is making me feel antsy, and that making some minor changes may go a long way with our ease and satisfaction in life.

Busy Week

Feb. 22nd, 2013 10:49 am
dancerjodi: (Geek)
Mina has been healthy, though I've been fighting a cold of my own. Last night she was up teething. Oh teeth! I know they are helpful, required, a milestone. But seeing your child so upset is just heartbreaking. She's been waking up early, but not so early that we've wanted to spend the time in her room getting her back into bed. Thus, we have a bit of a return to co-sleeping in the wee hours of the morning. She is so much bigger than when I was nursing her every couple of hours and she would easily curl up in the crook of my chest. Still, snuggling with a sleepy baby is the most comfortable thing. Evah!

We have more snow coming this weekend. A real New England Winter! Though we do have some plans I'm looking forward to spending more time around the house to really enjoy it, and get some things done. And maybe do some sewing. I have a project I cut out for my youngest nephew a while ago that has been sitting in a bag on our dining room table. And then there is the Ewok costume that is not going to make itself before Boston Comicon. I've pondered making myself a new Leia costume: either a better ANH Senatorial (mine is just buggy) or an Endor Leia to go with Mina's Ewok. Between the babe and work and dance classes though, I'm not sure I may have the time. It would be to the exclusion of the other things I like to do, like reading and watching various TV shows or movies. I'm debating commissioning something like this for the first time in my life, actually. On the one hand it makes me feel like a bit of a poseur, but on the other hand, I would rather spend the free time with my kid while she is awake (plus, a toddler isn't too conducive to me sitting and sewing).

I've started reading this lately http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Feeding-Healthy-Family-Eaters/dp/0967118921 which has been just excellent! A while ago when we were just starting out with giving Mina solid food I had watched a webinar at Isis http://www.isisparenting.com/page/onlineclasses (seriously, these are free and are amazing, so if you have kids you need to check these out) where this author was recommended. I like her simplistic view: the parent's job is to provide the time, place and food and the kid's is to eat and decide how much and what. She emphasizes the family meal, and deemphasizes the actual content (beyond trying to have a good healthy mix, and including a carb, fat and protein in each meal). Her argument is that folks get so hung up on the specifics or the current recommendations that they clam up, and develop anxious and negative attitudes toward food/eating or cooking. Makes sense to me! I'm trying to balance the "perfect" ideal of a meal for us with the reality of having 2 working parents, not infinite free time, and a budget.

Can you believe it is almost March! It is almost time to celebrate my Grandmother's birthday. I wish she could have been around to meet our Mina - they would have loved each other so.
dancerjodi: (Default)
I read this book around the time it was released http://www.patriotledger.com/topstories/x1925498954/MOVIE-REVIEW-Perks-of-Being-a-Wallflower-a-well-told-tale-of-teenage-angst . There was a lot of controversy at the time locally, as nearby Newton added it to its summer reading list for teens. A curious parent read the book before her child did, and started a campaign to have it banned. It was a more modern-day Catcher in the Rye, set to a fantastic soundtrack.

I was so excited to hear that it was being turned into a movie. Sounds from this review like they did it justice. Our movies mostly happen via Netflix or Hulu nowadays, but I'll surely need to add this to the list.

What is it about coming of age shows and movies? They always get me in the gut. It is why That 70's Show is one of my favorite TV series. It was such an influential time, even to this day. If only I appreciated it at the time for being that (though I guess, life would be quite different if I had).
dancerjodi: (Default)

This http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0553381466/ref=mp_s_a_1?qid=1327657148&sr=8-1 has been extremely helpful. Brian's coworker leant it. Best baby night here in a while. :)

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


Oct. 10th, 2011 11:14 am
dancerjodi: (Default)

Finished http://thedoulaguide.com/ today. Great and informative. The postpartum section and birth plan section I think will be most useful.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


Oct. 4th, 2011 01:23 pm
dancerjodi: (Default)
I've finished going through a couple of self-help books over the last few days. I had read of these online and there were some good nuggets of knowledge there. Both books were easy to read some parts of and skim others, to get the general ideas the authors were trying to share. Both had ideas I've read in other places, but they were still nice and inspiring reads.

I had found http://www.amazon.com/One-Bite-Time-Projects-ebook/dp/B005MZGZ84/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317748316&sr=8-1 on a blog recently and could identify with the list-making, organizing mentality of it. There were some good ideas in here and some I've already done. She provides 52 things that if you are able to master them, will simplify your life and make your time easier. Though her methods aren't what I would always do (like using a cash envelope system for some budgeting), there are good key concepts there. She mentiones that most are ideas from her blog, they are just better organized in this compact model.

I had caught this http://www.amazon.com/Selfish-Reasons-Have-More-ebook/dp/B004OA64Q6/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1317748527&sr=1-1-spell on another blog. Though I don't want to have more kids, the whole 'parents, you are stressing yourselves out' tagline seemed to be something worth investigating at this juncture. The author describes in detail various twin and adoption studies to illustrate that no matter what parents do or don't do, how their kids end up in the end is mainly driven by nature and not nurture (mind you, he acknowledges that extremes in either the nature or nurture area have profound effects). His argument is that parents create so much work for themselves in caring for their children that may not be necessary. Creating a pleasant/righ environment for them is important as far as how they feel in the current day (and what their memories of their childhoood may be), but it won't turn them into a rocket scientist, prevent them from getting arrested, or have an impact on the income they make as adults. This book was extremely repetetive, but it had some fun quotes related to parenting in it, and was very easy to skim.

All in all I am loving having an e-reader and am finding it easier to find time to use it, compared to paper books (though I still like having an actual book with me). Tracking what I've read via folders on the Kindle is a neat way to jog my memory on what I've been pondering and learning about.

I have a few pregnancy or birth related books that I've been sitting on that I'll switch to next. I don't want to be reading all babies all the time, but I think these particular ones will make my life easier come January. I don't want to keep putting off and putting off the reading, because the fall will be quite busy.
dancerjodi: (Default)
I saw this article http://www.wickedlocal.com/waltham/news/x462617247/Waltham-native-pens-novel-about-teenage-life-in-the-Watch-City#axzz1YVnf5Kss and wanted to grab the book. Another article about the story was found here http://www.wickedlocal.com/arlington/news/x1587957521/Q-A-with-John-Reed-Mean-streets-of-Paradise#axzz1YVnf5Kss

This reads much like a journal and less like a book. It is not very well written. The editing was very poor, but despite that I enjoyed reading it.

If you are from Waltham or the Waltham area, a kid of the late 70s/early 80s, into coming of age stories and that kind of thing, you may enjoy it. Though I went through Waltham High School almost a decade after the author, I recognized a lot of things in this book. It was a neat trip down memory lane.

You can find the book here http://www.amazon.com/Another-Lousy-Day-Paradise-ebook/dp/B005IBNHQK
dancerjodi: (Default)
A very interesting perspective! Romance novels aren't doing anything to help sexual health: http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2011/07/romance-novels-health/ .

Not being a reader of these I'm not invested in either viewpoint. Sometimes, I know you need to read some fluff. Since I know some of my friends are huge readers of romance books, what do you think?

168 Hours

May. 25th, 2011 03:28 pm
dancerjodi: (Default)
I read http://www.my168hours.com/main/ back in March when we were in NH snowshoeing. It was appropriate while we were in a somewhat relaxed, somewhat remote location away from our normal life to dig into how this author dissected her time to understand how she was using it.

Since then I've followed her blog, and from time to time think of charting my own days. She suggests you do this daily for two weeks (!) to really get a handle on how you spend your time during a given week. If you feel like you never have enough time in the day, you may find that you're not making the most of your time given this kind of look.

I brought a little notebook along with me today to jot down what I was working on. Not surprisingly, I was more productive than I've been in a while. Despite this I still had some buffer time to catch up on e-mails, go for a walk, eat my lunch, etc.

I can see that tracking in this way would be easy during the work week if I'm sitting at a desk for most of the day, but I'm unsure how it would work on a weekend (particularly if we're out and about). I may give this a try for a couple of weeks and see how it goes for me. Already, just for one not-complete day, I am learning a lot about myself.
dancerjodi: (Default)
I'm starting this book on the train to NYC - where the author lives. I didn't intend it this way, but it's appropriate. So far I'm loving it, and excited to finally get into it.
dancerjodi: (Default)
I finished http://www.amazon.com/Women-Food-God-Unexpected-Everything/dp/1416543074/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1280964958&sr=1-1 over the weekend and enjoyed it quite a bit. I think it would be a good book group type of thing - lots of things to share with other folks struggling with other ongoing issues.

Some notes I jotted down:


1. Continue behavior
2. Drastic change
3. Untangle the Meaning
4. Acceptance, focus on present moment

Her basic idea is that our issues around food are related to something deeper and bigger. If we can be more present with our food we can untie what is really going on with our food/drugs/booze/whatever negative overdone behavior or thing.

Her guidelines for eating to get there:
-Eat when you are hungry
-Eat sitting down in a calm environment, not including your car
-Eat without distraction (radio, phone, TV, paper, book, intense conversation or music)
-Eat what your body wants
-Eat until you are satisfied
dancerjodi: (Default)
An author was trying to find artwork for his book and through the wonders of the internet located my father. He was interested in putting something on the cover of a book to be published, titled HighPlains FarmBoy. My father's painting titled "Farm Boy" now graces the cover of this book http://www.amazon.com/HighPlains-FarmBoy-Childhood-Bear-Manor/dp/1448659264/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272386005&sr=8-1 . There's a brief description of the story here http://www.mmdnewswire.com/bear-manor-7156.html .

Over the months he and Bear Manor have spent a lot of time on the phone talking about things, including the funny way in which the world works. They plan to meet at some point in the real world, but until then they will share e-mails, telephone conversations and this creative endeavor.

Having read the foreword and a section in the back titled "Telling Stories", I am excited to jump into this book. Bear writes of how stories come about, how they are shared with an audience and how the audience goes on to impact and further spread the story. I think back to the few notebook pages of my grandmother's life story that we read in early March when celebrating her birthday. In the age of the internet blog, will we be better about getting things down for future generations to partake of? Brian mentions from time to time how exceptional parts of his childhood were, and I've suggested that he write about it while the memories are still there, to share with others as he sees fit. Which leads me to think of the stories that go through my own head. I've enjoyed keeping a journal because having the ability to look back at things for both myself and to share with others in my life has been many things: educational, inspirational and motivational.

Most of all, I am very happy to see my Dad's art http://marmontiart.com/ finding another venue again.
dancerjodi: (Default)
I started and finshed http://www.amazon.com/Gift-Sea-Anne-Morrow-Lindbergh/dp/0679406832 on a Peter Pan bus to New York last week. I have heard about this in the inspirational blog circuit, and picked it up with a Christmas gift card.

I am struck by the timelessness of the author's concerns: the stresses of daily life and the way that people go about doing things and interacting with each other. Morrow-Lindbergh uses different sea shell types to discuss the stages of life; there are some excerpts from the book on this page http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5232208 . She mentioned often that after her beach respite she will bring some of these shells home and place them on her desk, to remind herself of her experiences, her breakthroughs and her intentions.

It was a quick and inspiring read, and I wanted to share the link. I find myself thinking back on it, and wondering about the things I surround myself with much more. Are they adding to my life or making it unnecessarily complicated?
dancerjodi: (Default)
These were extremely popular amongst girls when I was growing up, but somehow I never managed to read them. Just like I never read Anne of Green Gables or The Secret Garden. What's wrong with me? I was really an avid reader. But I digress.

I have been meaning to read them at some point, easily found at the local library. This post just inspired me to check them out for another reason entirely, which I hadn't thought of before.
dancerjodi: (Default)
I finished http://www.velveteenprinciples.com/ last night, which I was able to get from the library. I've always loved this story, and Brian and I have our own little history about it. He bought me a velveteen rabbit stuffed animal in Harvard Square on a whim years back, and even illustrated a little story for me related to that for Valentine's Day one year. The bunny has taken quite a bit of abuse, and the insides have degraded over time, making all of the bead filling sit on one side of his butt and leaving him quite lopsided. I scanned the story and took pictures of the bun last night http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/3747416675/in/set-72157621785260470/

I enjoyed the Velveteen Principles book quite a bit - it was a light and easy read and very cute, and not too much of a beat you over the head self help thing. Here's the notes I jotted down while reading Read more )
dancerjodi: (Default)
I found a free download of http://www.audible.com/twithabits/ and had it playing today while I was working at the dining room table. I've been meaning to check this out for a while but I'm glad that I didn't purchase it, because though the concepts could be applied anywhere the tone of this book is very heavily 'business', and was extremely dry. Perhaps though, its because the last audio-book I experienced was Wil Wheaton's?

Covey Outlines his 7 habits in this way:
1. Proactive (choice, responsibility, influence)
2. Keeping the end in mind (actively working)
3. First things first (efficiency, schedule, what's most important)
4. Think win win (performance, agreement with others)
5. Understand and then be understood (listening, expectations)
6. Synergize (work together, understand/appreciate differences)
7. Sharpen the saw (maintain, build, refine - the most important of the 7)

Other emphasis on:
-Movement from dependence to independence to interdependence
-Character (timeless) and personality/technology (fad)
-Emotional 'bank accounts' with others, deposit and withdraw
-Give loyalty to those absent
-Patience and pervasiveness; do what is in your power to do (circle of influence)
-Create a mission statement for all groups/endeavors

He's extremely popular (what came first, the books or the planners?) but just not my cup of tea. Thus far the ones I've been most inspired by are still David Allen and Eckhart Tolle.
dancerjodi: (Default)
I finished http://www.fridaynightknittingclub.com/ last night. This has been on my Amazon wish list for a while, and Brian purchased it for me as a Christmas gift. The thing is truly worn - it took a beating in my bag during Arisia when it had a run-in with a leaky water bottle and then had to dry on our front hallway radiator for a few days, open in the middle - it is truly a worn thing of beauty.

Anyone who knits, or has a family-like group of friends, or has family or family issues, or has felt alone, or has struggled against adversity, or loves cities, or cares about where they come from, or just likes getting into the interesting characters of a book, living out their lives should enjoy this book. I will definitely be getting the sequel. I should warn you that it gets quite emotional in spots, and I did tear up at one such moment (which is rare for me with books).

I'd love to lend this out to someone, but if you borrow you have to promise to read and return in a reasonable amount of time so that I can pass it on to someone else. It seems that my most favorite books are the ones that get abandoned in people's houses, never to be seen again for some reason. :)
dancerjodi: (Default)
This year's Xmas self-help book from Dad was http://www.amazon.com/Love-Your-Life-Living-Healthy/dp/0743296931 . Dad is a fan of Joel Osteen http://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/Index.aspx and watches his show each Sunday (he gave us Joel's book a couple of years ago). Victoria is his wife, and released this - her first book - last year.

I enjoyed it a bit more than Joel's book due to the 'chatting with a girlfriend' tone, and it being a bit less heavy on the God stuff. There is more emphasis on relationships where Joel's book had a more external focus (I think the two read together at around the same time would be complementary).

If you're curious to flip through this, the end of each chapter has some conveniently placed key points in italics, making it easy to skim and gather the main ideas. It was a quick read due to the light nature of the material, large print and thin size.


Dec. 9th, 2008 01:17 pm
dancerjodi: (Default)
I just finished Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. The CEO at Brian's last company gave them out to everyone (I guess he had distributed The Tipping Point a year or so before that, prior to Brian worked there) and its been on our shelf since then. In making an effort to work through the books we already own or to utilize the library, I've been finding a lot of gems on our shelves.

The book is a bit repetitive (probably the author's way of reinforcing his points) but it does draw a bit on fundamentals of perception and psychology, and it was neat to revisit some of the stuff I haven't thought much about since undergraduate Psych at Simmons. The overall suggestion that our mind works very quick and behind the scenes (sometimes to our benefit and sometimes not) is a reasonable one, though he doesn't give many tips on how to perfect this art beyond practice, practice, practice.

Before picking up Blink I quickly got through Tea with Miss Rose, which the Tiggerette gave me for a birthday in the past. Its a nice picture of the Boston Brahmin 'Teacup Society' and was very reminiscent of a book I read at some point about Alba Vanderbilt (wrong time frame) and her efforts at political influence through entertainment. The book is part history, part personal memoir, part recipe book and reviews a bit of the practices followed in the tea culture of that time. Ironically enough, they mention a tea company that Miss Rose used to purchase hers from that's still in business today out in Concord, MA http://www.marktwendell.com/ (who I found some tins of in the Moody Street tea shop http://www.thetealeaf.us/ this past Saturday). This book definitely brings a lot of inspiration for both cooking and spending time with friends.

Other recent additions included http://walthamcookbook.org/Home_Page.html (which has some recipes submitted by my Aunt, though they spelled "Scafidi" incorrectly) and Tales of the Beedle Bard, which we picked up on Saturday at http://www.backpagesbooks.com/NASApp/store/IndexJsp . The first I've read already and the second will be a quick one. I'm thinking one of my New Year's projects will be to go through my bookshelves to conduct some more weeding out, and put aside the ones I have yet to read on a particular shelf.


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