If the title of this book doesn’t spike your curiosity the tag line on the front cover certainly will “9 Kids, 3 Continents, 2 Parents, 1 Family”.
No Biking in the House Without a Helmet by Melissa Fay Greene is a memoir of an extraordinary family. A narrative on what makes a family, a family. A reflection on how their family came to be and what makes it great. Melissa does a wonderful job of capturing the essence of their family and all the parts (people) that make it up. The Greene family is 11 strong including Mom and Dad, 4 biological children, and 5 adopted children. Their story makes you giggle and smile, it warms you heart and it reminds you that there are still really good people in this world.
From the very beginning of the book when Melissa describes what it is like to be back in the elementary school setting with her adopted children after having been through it already with her biological children to the very end where she describes the similarities and differences of all her children, common genetics or not I enjoyed getting to know this family. I enjoyed learning how each of the adopted children came to be part of the Greene family. Melissa did a wonderful job of sharing the stories of each of the children, both her biological children and those she and her husband adopted from overseas. I felt, at the end of the book, they a knew each one of the kids and how they fit into this extraordinary family unit.
The sign of a good book, for me, is when I get to end but I’m not quite ready to be done with the characters (be them real, as in this case, or fictional). That is how I felt at the end of No Biking in the House Without a Helmet. I wanted to know more about these exceptional kids and this fun-loving family. I wanted to know more about the back stories of each of the adopted siblings. I wasn’t quite ready to be done with them.
No Biking in the House Without a Helmet is full of heartwarming, funny, confessional stories that give you a glimpse into this family. With each new sibling you can see, through Melissa’s words, how the family unit changed and shifted to make room for and accommodate the new addition. The family isn’t without its bumps in the road and Melissa wasn’t afraid to share some of their struggles along the way. She didn’t sugarcoat their story and make it seem like it is all rainbows and butterflies every day. I enjoyed getting to know the Greene family and would definitely recommend this book.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not compensated for this review and the opinions are my own.
If you are interested in giving your child a very colorful, personalized space to call their own this just might be the book for you. Paint Can! Children’s Rooms has project ideas for everything from a baby’s nursery to rooms that work for your blossoming young teen. All you need is some paint and a little creativity!
The book is filled with very colorful photos depicting both what the room will look like when it is done and step by step photos of some of the more intricate details. Each room guide provides a list of the paint colors featured in the room, the painting techniques used, and step-by-step guides for creating the room. Many of the rooms can be adapted for a boy or a girl by changing the paint color selections a little (the book gives some great mix and match ideas).
When your child is old enough consider allowing them to help with the redecorating project. Imagine the pride they will have knowing they helped create their cool new bedroom! You can even let them pick out the room they most like in the book.
I would definitely recommend this book for any parent considering a child’s room paint project, especially if you are looking to create a room with a lot of cute little details. When my daughter is older and ready for an update to her room I will definitely try a few of the ideas in this book.
The Great Expectation book series is growing with the addition of their latest book, Great Expectations: Best Baby Gear. Sandy Jones and Marcie Jones have added to their growing collections of pregnancy and parenting books with this book all about baby gear, “the latest, safest and best-quality products for your baby”.
I’ve read and enjoyed one of their previous books, in fact I just gave a copy of it to my brother and his girlfriend who are expecting their first baby, Great Expectations: Baby’s First Year.
This new edition to the series is similar to the others in that it is laid out well, easy to read, and full of pretty useful information. The book covers everything from cribs, to carseats, to baby toys, to breast pumps and much more. Each chapter is dedicated to a different baby product and provides details about the product, what to look for, when to buy the product (ie before baby is born or wait until after), and examples of a few of the “best” products on the market. The “best” products reviewed in each chapter include the price, the pros/cons of the product, and some product details (including pictures).
I’m currently in the market for a convertible carseat so I enjoyed the chapter on carseats. I found the checklist helpful as well as the product details on the “best” carseats chosen for this book. I did think some quotes from real moms would have been helpful in each section. It is always nice to not only hear what the authors think but also what moms are thinking too.
If you’re wondering, like I was, where the information came from for this book, according to their press release they included their own hands-on experience, written reviews from 1,000 parents, consumer safety reports, and findings from medical studies.
Overall, it is a good book. I think it would make a great gift for new parents, maybe a shower gift or a “congrats your expecting” gift. A lot of the information contained in the book can be found by doing your own research on the internet, however, sometimes it is nice to have all the work done for you.
Elizabeth Pantley is a mother, wife, author and parent educator. She and her husband are raising their four children in Washington. Elizabeth has authored 8 parenting books with the 9th due to be released early next year. Her approach is one of gentle parenting. She has created and written about “No-Cry” solutions for everything from sleep to potty training to discipline. For more about Elizabeth Pantley visit her website, www.pantley.com/elizabeth.
Elizabeth Pantley was kind enough to grant us here at Let’s Talk Babies an interview. For those of you who are struggling with sleep problems with your little ones hopefully Ms. Pantley’s answers will provide a little help.
How many books have you written?
My 9th parenting book will be released in February!
What inspired you come up with the “No-Cry” solutions?
My fourth baby was not a good sleeper, yet I was never able to let any of my babies cry themselves to sleep. I think children deserve to have their feelings respected, and crying tells parents that something is wrong. While I was struggling with my little Coleton’s frequent night waking and lack of naps I was determined not to let him cry – yet I knew there must be a way to help him sleep without that. So “The No-Cry Sleep Solution” was created! I worked with a group of 60 other mothers who were all in my boat – they tried out my ideas and we all achieved much better sleep – with no crying!
Read more about this here: http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth/books/0071381392.php?nid=386&isbn=0071381392
What do you think makes the “No-Cry” solutions work?
No parent wants to make their child cry – and many are willing to learn new ideas to help teach their children sleep better. The ideas are not complicated, and they work, and every improvement in sleep is celebrated!
What is different about the “no-cry” sleep solution other than the obvious, haha?
Prior to this book there were basically two options when your baby didn’t sleep well: live with it or have your baby cry it out. The No-Cry Sleep Solution is the third option – how to help your baby sleep – so you can sleep, too – but achieving this in a gentle, respectful way that enhances your relationship with your child.
The book provides logs and charts to help you identify your baby’s sleep issues and a format for making a personalized plan from the hundreds of ideas that are offered in the book. Since babies are unique, and so are parents, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but there are common solutions that can be put together for a custom sleep plan for your baby.
Do you think “no-cry” sleep solutions work for every child and parent? If not, what type of parent/child does it seem to work best for?
I’ve found that No-Cry solutions work for almost all parents who want them to work. Gentle ideas can take more effort and finesse than putting your baby in the crib and letting him cry to sleep, but parents who are looking for that scenario are usually effective in bringing about good results.
What question do you get most often from parents?
Many parents write when they first get the book with lots of questions that are actually answered in the book – I’ve found that sleep deprived parents get desperate and wish for quick answers. But, just like anything else in parenting, and actually, anything in life worth having, takes thought and time.
The most common problems are night-waking, all-night nursing, non-napping and babies who can’t sleep alone
What piece of advice do you find yourself giving most often?
Trust yourself. You know your baby more than anyone – including me! Research, read and learn but stop listening to everyone else’s opinions and advice about what exactly you should do and listen to your baby and your heart.
If a parent is having sleep problems with their little one and they don’t want to try the cry-it-out methods what would you recommend?
Start by analyzing your baby’s sleep patterns and habits. I have logs on my website for this (www.pantley.com/elizabeth). Once you have a clear picture of how your baby is sleeping now, then you can make a plan for changes. Try a few ideas that make sense for you and stick with them for a couple of weeks. Don’t expect one day changes!
If a parent opts to try the “no-cry” sleep solution what can they expect?
First, you’ll realize that you and your baby are more normal than you thought! Most sleep problems are common to almost all babies. Then you’ll understand that it takes a deep breath and a thoughtful plan to make changes happen. But when you hit on the right solutions and your baby starts sleeping better you’ll feel proud of the way you handled your baby’s sleep issues, and you’ll feel that you’ve protected and cherished your relationship by using no-cry gentle methods.
What is the best piece of parenting advice you ever received?
Relax more and stress less….Oh, my! The millions of little things I’ve stressed about over the past twenty years raising my four children! Messy rooms, dirty faces, lost toys, peas not eaten. Not a single one of these things means a gosh darn thing today. Those insignificant, trivial details certainly make up a large part of life, but when they cause a disproportionate amount of angst they conceal the many little joys that children bring into our lives. View the little things for what they are – little things – and don’t let them get the way of taking pleasure out of every single day of family life. This goes for sleep issues, too. While you are in the midst of them they seem huge and overwhelming, but in the big picture of life this stage is very short and fleeting.
Thanks again to Elizabeth Pantley for taking the time to grant us this interview.