What I’m Into: November 2012

babywearing ergoSo I’m totally ripping off people like Megan from SortaCrunchy in starting up a monthly “What I’m Into” series. And it’s not even the beginning/end of the month. But I love to get updates on what my favourite bloggers are reading/watching/listening to; so I thought I’d share some of my own recent faves.  In case you’re interested. I want to work one in each month. It’ll be fun!


Like a good White Person, I’ve begun to feverishly read Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables in anticipation of the movie next month. Can you believe I have a Master’s degree in English literature and I’ve never read Les Mis? (My excuse is that it’s not originally an English work.) I’ve never even seen the musical or any other film adaptation, so I’m coming to the story as a complete newbie. I’m only a few chapters into it but I’m already totally sucked in. (Oh Cosette; poor little Cosette!)

I’m also re-reading Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three, since Lydia’s just entering the phase of life when Montessorians really start to stress practical life activities (i.e. 15 months). I have mixed feelings about the Montessori approach in general, or at least these authors’ interpretation of it; but I’m totally in favour of the whole Practical Life thing. It just really resonates with me.

As a consequence, Ben and I are trying to creatively arrange our home so Lydia can do more things for herself, from washing her hands to changing her clothes.

My book club is still reading When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself, which is challenging me in all sorts of wonderful ways. An excellent resource for folks who want desperately to help people  in need but who are concerned about doing more harm than good.

And I am LOVING the current edition of Conspire Magazine, with its focus on power and empowerment. But I always love Conspire.


We don’t have normal TV in our house, so we can’t ever sit down and just flip through channels. But Ben and I are regular viewers of The Office, New Girl, and Big Bang Theory, which we watch on sketchy websites with troubling pop-ups. (You might not know this about me, but I’m a huge comedy fan. I like to laugh. And oh my goodness, Schmidt, Nick and Jess. They make me howl.)

Thanks to Sarah Bessey, who kept talking it up, Ben and I have also recently gotten hooked on BBC’s Sherlock (via Netflix). We’ve just finished the first season (which is only three mind-blowing episodes), and it took all my willpower to sit down and write tonight rather than go start up season two.


First, I’ll begin by saying what I’m NOT listening to: CHRISTMAS MUSIC. There is not enough good Christmas music out there to merit two full months of hearing it. Instead, we’ll probably start turning on the jingly bells after December 1st, which is when the tree will go up. One month of Christmas festivities strikes me as reasonable. No more than that.

Otherwise, there’s not much to report in terms of music. I’ve kind of forgotten that it exists, to be honest. Like the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, I’m loving the new Mumford and Sons album, but that’s so unoriginal that it hardly feels worth mentioning.


I’ve mentioned her before, but I just want to re-emphasize how much I’m loving Dr. Markham at AhaParenting. I LOVE her parenting advice. Her writing is so accessible, but so full of wisdom. A recent post that I found superb was The Cure for Whining. So practical; such a beautiful and loving way to deal with such a dreadful problem.

I also really appreciated Michele’s recent post on babywearing, where she offers incredibly detailed stories and tips from her personal experiences. I am now so pumped to try a woven wrap with my next baby.


Haven’t seen anything worth mentioning lately. But I am crazy-excited about The Hobbit next month (who isn’t?); and I think I’m crazy-excited about Les Miserables, too (decision on feelings pending the completion of the book. I’m scared it’s going to be too sad and I’m just going to bawl through the whole thing. It’s called The Miserable Ones, for goodness sake.)

Well, that’s it for now!

How about you? What are you into this month? And can anyone please tell me whether Les Mis is going to be one big cry-fest, or can I look forward to some joy? Be aware that you’re talking to the girl who sobbed during the last scene of The Little Mermaid when she was five, and threw The Mill on the Floss  across the room at its conclusion because it was too sad.)

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  1. I’m loving the new Mumford and Sons too, but my husband can’t stand them! Also can’t stop listening to Relient K’s Forget and Not Slow Down album which Karl is infinitely more okay with!

    Really need a good book to read, but am overwhelmed at the prospect of finding a worthwhile one… I tend to regret reading any fiction written in the last 20 years! Except for The Hunger Games which was engrossing enough for me to overlook some of the writing flaws. And I’m so tired of non fiction for the moment.

    I’ve never heard of Conspire. Sounds intriguing!

    On the subject of books… have you heard of “The C.S. Lewis Bible”? The name itself throws me for a loop! Might as well be called “The Bible According to C.S. Lewis”. I think C.S. Lewis is an amazing man and writer, but even he himself said he was not a theologian. I understand this Bible is merely supposed to be a devotional Bible, but I’m very conflicted about the idea and especially the title! Maybe I’m over thinking it….?

    Movie wise I greatly enjoyed Wreck-It Ralph which we took my brother-in-law to see for his 13th birthday! Hated Brave with a passion. I am counting the seconds til The Hobbit comes out (oh my goodness! I can’t believe I’m priviledged to be alive for it!!!). And will probably see Les Mis but will stand by the version with Clair Danes and Liam Neeson!

    Last but not least…
    One word….
    Get on that second season and then weep with the rest of us over having to wait til next year for season 3!

    • Forget and Not Slow Down is one of my favourite albums of all time. I sang along with it a lot when I was pregnant with Lydia, so I like to think she was a Relient K fan before she was born.

      The C. S. Lewis Bible. Hmmm. Yeah, I can’t see Lewis having approved of that. And just imagine Tolkein’s reaction, if he were alive today! I think he would have had an aneurism! Lewis is my favourite writer and thinker of all time, but even I hesitate at that one, too.

      You hated Brave? You’re the first one I’ve heard that from! I haven’t seen it yet, but I was assuming I’d love it.

      Oh no! Season 2 is that much of a cliffhanger, huh? Great. Like I need more angst in my life. :)

  2. I’ve been loving all your thought provoking posts! Especially Babies: Born to Be Good! But I never find the time to successfully formulate my thoughts and then type them up. Thanks for a less weighty and really fun post for me to comment on! ;)

  3. Les Mis is a cry fest -not everyone has a horrible ending, but yeah expect tears. I’m so excited about the Hobbit too!

    I’d love to know more of your thoughts on the Montessori method – I’m an “enthusiast” at best and just glean the bits and pieces I want from the entire practice. I will say it’s easy to run into people using the method to try and create mini-adults as quickly as possible and why I can’t see myself using the method completely as I’d worry it’d detract from the simple joys of childhood (of course I’m not a huge fan of Waldorf for the opposite reason – a focus on prolonging childhood).
    Molly recently posted..Acclaimed AudiblesMy Profile

    • Oh dear. I was really hoping to hear more cheerful reviews of Les Mis.

      I can’t really speak to the method in general, since I’ve only really read this one book, but one of my main concerns with this particular book is how it relies on children to develop at a typical rate. There’s no room for variation — it’s all, “When your baby is walking, at twelve months, it’s time to start doing X.” My baby didn’t start walking until fourteen months, and still doesn’t speak; so what then? It sets you up for feelings of failure, since you’ve failed before you’ve even started.

      But with the right amount of flexibility, I think it offers a lot of wonderful ideas for encouraging satisfying life experiences for everyone involved.

  4. Aww! Glad you found my posts on Babywearing helpful. Perhaps it was a bit over-detailed, I’m a rather detail oriented person…

    I hope your second baby comes along a bit more easily than the first :) Woven wraps are amazing!

    I don’t know anything about Les Mis, and this month I’ve been reading your blog, The Yummy Life (love this post on homemade scented cleaners), Domestic Felicity, and Diaper Free
    Michele recently posted..Motherhood Reality – Babywearing Part 2My Profile

  5. Les Mis is really sad for the most part though I expect they will cheer it up a bit for the movie (especially because it’s based on the musical not the book). The book at least is sad in the sentimental 19th century way, not the bleak 20th century way, which does tend to increase crying but reduce overall negative feelings (as in, you don’t feel depressed after finishing). I didn’t think the actual book had that much in common with the musical/other film versions, because so much of it is taken up with historical interludes, philosophical digressions and the like.

    I am excited to read your posts (hopefully?) on rearranging your house for Lydia. I am really interested in doing this as well, but don’t know where to start. Do you recommend reading the Montessori book you mention (I dislike several things about Montessori as well, but also like the practical aspect).
    Grace recently posted..Toddler FriendshipsMy Profile

    • I recommend the book with a few caveats: the authors take everything REALLY seriously, and if you can read it with less seriousness, it offers a lot of interesting ideas about how to encourage independence in young children. It actually kind of stressed me out the first time I read it. There are probably better books out there (perhaps Molly, above, could suggest them?), but this is what my library had.

      I’ll definitely think about doing a post on making our home more Montessori-friendly. Thanks for the suggestion!

  6. Music in our house has been all Christmas all the time sine the beginning of November! There are so many beautiful hymns and songs written for this time of year and I want to hear/sing them as much as possible!
    I read a lot of Dr. Suess lately, but for myself I’ve been enjoying A Wrinkle In Time. I can’t believe I’ve never read it before! I’ve owned it for a few years but I just never got around to it. I tried reading Les Mis when I was about 12, but it was a bit much and I haven’t ever picked it back up.
    As for TV, Andrew and I enjoy all the shows you mentioned plus we recently discovered SPY on Hulu. So. Funny. I die laughing each episode. Then we watch Parenthood and I sob my eyes out each episode.
    Bekah recently posted..Parenting humbles me.My Profile

  7. It says in the NIV Bible (God’s Word) in the book of Psalms 139
    13For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
    15My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

    * 16Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be. *

    17How precious to me are your thoughts,a God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
    18Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.
    I believe we see hardship and sadness in our lives because we live in a sin-filled world and we are all sinners. There are consequences to sin; but also sadness (like infertility and the such) not because of anything we have done wrong but because we are in an imperfect and fallen world. God is perfect and someday we will experience a perfect world when we go to heaven and when the new world is created but until then we will experience hardships of this world and also experience blessing from God as he gives us a taste of what Heaven is like. We can never understand the Will of God for he is supernatural (he is the creator of nature, he is outside and beyond nature).
    We are so blessed for each breath we take and for each breath a new baby takes! :)

    When we believe that Jesus is the son of God (is God) and that He TOOK our Sins (punishable of eternal death), and died on the cross (taking the punishment) so that we wouldn’t have to be punished, and then when we believe that he overcame death itself and rose again and then ascended back into heaven. When we believe that Truth then our sins, past and future, will be washed away (forgiven) so we may have Eternal Life with God in Heaven! That awesome truth gives us AWESOME comfort for anytime but also for when we start our families because we know that God loves each and every life that is conceived!
    I love how God’s awesome power, glory and love is shown in the conception and birth of every human being.

    References to look up in the Holy Bible:
    Romans 6:23
    John 3:16
    Ephesians 2:8

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