Another Book Review and Giveaway! (No, really! It’s a whole different book!)*

So I think I mentioned a little herniated disc issue I had a while back that enabled me to actually do nothing but read for a few days? It was absolutely heavenly to slowly make my way through the stack on my bedside table!


Except for the agonizing lower back pain, that is.


Nevertheless, one of the lovely little books that was waiting patiently for me to finally pick it up was Expecting: Praying for Your Child’s Development–Body and Soul by the delightful Marla Taviano.


Can I just say? This book is a gem. An absolute delight. I fear I cannot say enough things about how sweet it is.


For starters, it’s a really nice size. I have a silly fondness for cute little hand-sized books, and this one is just so. It’s perfect for the bedside table, not obscenely large and demanding lots of attention (unlike the pregnant women it has been written for). It is demure and polite as it waits for you to pick it up.



And you will want to pick it up, and frequently! Because EPFYCDBAS, as I shall refer to it from here-on, is so much more than a book. It is a personal journal through every stage of pregnancy, including the days before you’re even certain that a baby is on the horizon.


Each week of pregnancy has some suggested prayers, information about what’s going on in both the baby and the mother’s development, and a place to record thoughts, hopes, and dreams for the future. Each week has gentle advice from Marla, herself a mama to three precious little girls, about how to prepare for the arrival of the wee one.


Scattered throughout EPFYCDBAS are perfectly timed Bible verses and quotes ranging from humorous to profound. As an unapologetic quote-hound, I was consistently delighted by this touch!


At the end of 40 weeks, the expectant mommy goes from expectant to gratified and has not only a beautiful little baby to snuggle, but a keepsake journal to give the snugglee at some point in his/her future, perhaps when parenthood becomes a reality for them as well. I only wish I’d had a stash of copies some 22 years ago!


This book would be so perfect for anyone who is pregnant, plans to be pregnant, knows anyone who is pregnant, or is otherwise a member of the human race. Seriously, it would be an excellent gift for that special woman who has just gotten the elusive two pink lines on the pee stick. Is that lady you? Then I offer my congratulations. AND a chance to win this little jewel.


Just leave me a comment letting me know what brand of pregnancy test you believe is the best, and you’ll be entered to win. Do you prefer EPT’s? Generic? Killing a bunny? I’ll pick a winner via on Sunday and get a copy on its way to you. Not my copy, however. I’m still hoping to use it someday myself.


*just in case you’re using a feed reader and thought this was the same post as before

Book Review and Giveaway!

So the amazing Mary at Owlhaven asked me approximately eleventy-million years ago if I would review her book, The Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family, and I cheerfully said “Sure! I’ll take your book and hold onto it for a zillion years before having a herniated disc that forces me to bed, unable to do anything but read through the giant pile of books on my bedside table, at which point I will love it and write a review!”


I like to be completely upfront and honest with people. I think it’s the right thing to do.


In any case, Mary sent me a copy of her book back in, uh. Uh. March? And I finally read it, thanks to the aforementioned lumbar constraints which I suspect were a thinly disguised kick in the arse from the Man Upstairs.


In a nutshell, I loved the book, just like I knew I would. For one thing, the cover is awfully cute. Which has nothing to do with anything, but I thought I’d mention it.




More importantly, the book is solid. Solid advice. Solid balance. Solid practicality. Solid reassurance.


Mary totally made me believe I could truly raise a large family!!


Which is a relief, when you get right down to it.


Although I’m not 100% sure about the “sane” part. I think you (and I mean this in the most complimentary way possible) really have to have a little bit of the insane in you to consider raising a family larger than the norm these days. That is, if “insane” can be defined as the audacity to go against the flow, live contrary to popular culture, challenge suppositions, and embrace your inner rebel.


But you know, it’s all semantics in the end.


Mary’s book, or ASWGTRALF, as I’ll refer to it from here-on, addresses the very real issues of space and money and time in the context of hoards of children, but also delves into deeper issues of being emotionally available for both children and spouse, as well as the Myth of the Supermom (oh how I loathe that one!) and how to encourage sibling friendships.


I found so much sensible and soothing about this book; it was like settling down with a cup of tea and some really good chocolate (referenced multiple times as one of Mary’s secret weapons for coping, by the way) and having a lengthy chat with a close, level-headed friend after a particularly tiring day. It refreshed my spirit and strengthed my resolve to do the very best job humanly possible with this parenting gig.


Which subsequently made me wish quite longingly that I lived next door to Mary, not surprisingly. 


Even if you are done growing your family and it isn’t considered large by the world’s definition, this book has so many practical hints on how to save money, make time for your children, foster family fun, and remember that guy you said your vows to, that I would bet just about any woman with any number of children would glean something worthwhile from the reading.


In celebration of the fact that I Read An Actual Book With Actual Pages, I am giving away, via Mary, a copy of ASWGTRALF today! Just leave me a comment with your personal opinion of just how many children constitutes a “large family” and you’ll be entered. I’ll pick a winner via on Saturday!


And please, remember, if you don’t win, buy yourself a copy of ASWGTRALF, or one for a friend (or, hey! both!) anyway. Then we can all get together and start a Want-To-Live-Next-To-Mary Club.