Thursday, May 27, 2010

"The Moral Life of Babies"

A recent New York Times article shared research that is being done at Yale about whether babies can differentiate between right and wrong. To see the 5-minute video summary, which shows footage of the experiments they did (with some truly adorable babies), click here. Fascinating!
(Image by Nicholas Nixon for the New York Times.)

Prescription: Laziness

I am sitting on the futon, feet propped up, being lazy as directed by my doctor. No, really, she said, "My prescription for you is laziness." I've had some swelling (mostly in my feet/ankles) and higher blood pressure lately, and this morning I woke up with a puffy face and puffy fingers, so I called my ob/gyn and she told me I was to stay off my feet as much as possible until my next appointment on Wednesday and to watch out for any other symptoms of preeclampsia. Already I am itching to get to the dishes and the laundry and the clutter and everything else that I've been neglecting around the house (due to being too tired from work, childbirth classes, AquaMoms classes, etc.), but if it's in Evan's best interest to sit around watching TV and reading all day, I guess I'll have to sacrifice!

The good news is, my doctor gave me permission to attend my cousin LynnAnn's wedding on Saturday as long as I sit a lot. I assured her that it's a Baptist wedding -- there won't be any dancing. (Will there, LynnAnn? If there is, I don't mind -- I'm a Presbyterian now -- but I won't be participating.) :o)

Speaking of Evan, his heartbeat is good and he is exactly the right size. I will have an ultrasound on Wednesday to check on his position. In the meantime, I am going to be lying around monitoring my blood pressure. Feel free to call!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Great Baby Gifts

This isn't a hint (honest!) -- I own many of these books already. But for any other baby showers you may be attending in the near future, here are some gift recommendations!

Wee Little Bunny, Wee Little Lamb, and Wee Little Chick by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by John Butler. For any little animal lover.

All of Baby, Nose to Toes by Victoria Adler, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata. A delightful exploration of baby anatomy!

Hello Baby by Mem Fox, illustrated by Steve Jenkins. Mem Fox is an Australian writer whose picture books are almost always nearly perfect, and Steve Jenkins does amazing, realistic cut-paper illustrations of the animals and their babies.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. I told you Mem Fox can do no wrong! In this one she explains how babies all over the world (beautifully depicted by Helen Oxenbury) are essentially the same.

Here's a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry collected by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, illustrated byPolly Dunbar. A collection of more than 60 poems about a toddler's world.

Global Babies from the Global Fund for Children. A beautiful board book with photographs of baby faces from around the world.

And, finally, The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Jago. The illustrations in this one aren't my favorite (though they are, admittedly, kid-friendly), but it is the best children's Bible I've ever read. The way Lloyd-Jones shows how every story -- from the Old Testament to the New -- is about salvation is beautiful. The first time I read this, I learned some new theology myself! You can buy the book alone, or in a special "deluxe edition" that includes the entire book on 3 CDs. Mike and I have been taking turns reading it to Evan at night.
Do you have any favorite books to give as baby gifts?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ghosts in the Library

There are always rumors floating around that Martha Baldwin's (friendly) ghost haunts Baldwin. But check out the ghosts that recently visited the New York Public Library by watching this hilarious video. And don't miss the explanation of how they pulled it off.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hiccups and Showers

Have I mentioned that Evan has been getting a lot of hiccups lately? It feels so funny! Even Mike has been able to feel them.

34 weeks today. I am feeling bigger every day but am still going to put on a bathing suit for my AquaMoms class tonight. (No cape, though.)

I had my first baby shower on Saturday night! It was a complete surprise! Mike was supposed to take me to my boss Connie's house, where all my Youth Services co-workers would be waiting, at 6:30 on Saturday for a surprise couples shower, complete with dinner. He put an "X" in his Blackberry to remind himself...well, he forgot what the "X" meant! I got home from work about 6 on Saturday, and he had made dinner, so we ate together and then I was getting ready for an evening with my (swollen) feet up when he suddenly decided we should go get a special dessert "surprise." (He had gotten a phone call while I was in the bathroom!) Thankfully I at least insisted on brushing my teeth before we went! It was past 8 when we pulled up in front of Connie's house, me with my eyes closed (at Mike's insistence), thinking, "This better be some really special dessert, and are the other customers looking at us like we're crazy?" Anyway, it was a lovely shower, with yummy food, delicious cake, fun games, good company, and a great gift -- the jogging stroller we registered for. (Not that I jog, but we do plan to take brisk walks!) And it was definitely a surprise. Thanks, ladies!!!

Oh, and I packed my hospital bag this morning, just in case! Anything I absolutely need to take with me that I might not think of? Comment away!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Reading Recommendations

Every year, the Bank Street College of Education's Children's Book Committee reviews over 6000 (!) titles for their publication "Best Children's Books of the Year." In honor of their 100th anniversary, they are making the lists available for the first time online -- for free! There are lists of recommendations by age as well as by genre, so you're bound to find something that sounds interesting. Click here or on the picture to go to the website and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Book Banning

I've been a librarian in both a school and a public library, so I've thought about censorship quite a bit. In fact, I learned in graduate school how every library needs to have a selection policy and a formal procedure in place in case of book challenges. It always makes me cringe when a "Christian" or "conservative" group gets (negative) media attention for attempting to have books removed from library shelves. I'm all for parents having a say in what their children read. I spoke up a few years ago when my sister's school was requiring students to read a book I believed was inappropriate for the grade. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be on library shelves for older students -- or students whose parents disagree with me -- to read.

Thankfully, Shannon Hale, an author whose work I love, has expressed an opinion I can point to and say, "I agree with her!" In case you're interested in the issue, click here for her blog post on the subject.

And, if you could care less, take this opportunity to check out Goose Girl, my favorite of her books.