Ahhh, October. This month was a billion kajillion times better than last month.
Lydia’s sleep has been consistently beautiful since we night-weaned her at the beginning of the month. I can’t say whether night-weaning caused her to sleep better, but I’m sure there’s a correlation between the two. Anyway, she’s actually been sleeping in her own room for the last two weeks, and the transition was completely natural and stress-free. She usually joins us in our bed in the early morning to sleep for an hour or two, and those cuddles are just precious.
Thank you, Jesus, for restful nights.
We had our annual hog-harvest earlier this month, and I’m still dragging piles of produce home from my parents’ garden every time I stop by there. Lydia and I have had some lovely autumn walks, picking wild grapes along the old railroad track by our house. So it’s been good.
And here’s what I’ve been into:
First of all, I had the great pleasure of editing a friend’s book for publication. My good friend Susie Boldt wrote a page-turner of a YA paranormal novel, entitled Meet Me at the Killing Tree, which she is preparing for self-publication. Not only was the story thrilling and the plot compelling, but I was reminded how very much I enjoy copy-editing. (I LOVE taking an early draft of someone else’s work and combing through it for typos and punctuation errors, making it spotless. I really need to get into that line of work, I think.)
Otherwise, it was mostly parenting books. I promise that after this month I will move on to a wider range of topics.
- The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers by Elizabeth Pantley
I mentioned this book in my night-weaning post, but I had to highlight it again. This book was instrumental in helping Lydia sleep better. It’s a lovely book, full of wonderful, gentle ideas to help everyone get some rest.
I want to point out that the title is somewhat misleading: it doesn’t offer a single solution for sleep problems. Instead, it offers a grand selection of solutions, tips, and ideas for improving sleep. That’s one of the things I loved about this book.
Moreover, Pantley is warm and understanding and full of experience, so I found her so encouraging and instantly trustworthy.
- Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting by Dr. Laura Markham
I’ve been a fan of Dr. Markham and her Aha! Parenting website for a while, so I just had to check out her new book when I spotted it at our library. It totally lived up to my high expectations.
I don’t know Markham’s religious background, but her teachings are just SO JESUS. Her main lessons? Always choose love. Work on yourself before trying to work on your child. Recognize that you are part of the problem. And my favourite: You can make the world a better place by learning to regulate yourself — by cultivating patience, kindness, compassion, etc. Doesn’t that sound like our Lord?
This book is intensely practical. While Alfie Kohn’s Unconditional Parenting first opened my eyes to the idea non-punitive parenting, Markham helps you put that into practice by offering tips and game plans. (Lots of bullet-point lists. That may or may not be your thing.) Definitely a book for my personal library.
You guys: AUDIO BOOKS!! They’re the answer to everything!!
I wrote last month about raising a low-media toddler. We still aren’t doing TV or movies for Lydia, but found a fantastic compromise when I decided to try some book-and-CD combos from the library. BIG HIT!! I can still get some of that precious alone time here and there that TV offers without the troubling impact of screens on such a young, developing brain.
In the above photo she’s enjoying Bear Snores On (Karma Wilson), which is a charming story with beautiful illustrations and fabulously lyrical words. Lydia can recite the entire thing by heart. Love it.
She has also really enjoyed Curious George Takes a Job (H. A. Rey), which is cute and fun and a whole 15 minutes long. The only problem is that Lydia gets really upset and cries out every time they get to the part where George breaks his leg (Oh 1950s children’s lit). She gets over it though.
We spontaneously decided to re-watch Beauty and the Beast as a family one night. What a FABULOUS MOVIE. Such a moving story. The characters, the music. GASTON. (“I’m especially good at expectorating…”). So much to love. Just goes to show that you don’t need fancy technology and special effects to tell a memorable story. Twenty-one years later, this is still one of the loveliest movies ever.
We also rented Oblivion (yes, on DVD, from a movie-rental store) one evening when my mom offered to take Lydia. Interesting premise, lots of surprises, nifty plot twists, impressive special effects. But it still felt kind of hollow and I felt mostly sad at the end. I don’t think I was supposed to.
Still enjoying Parks and Rec.
And I don’t know what it is, but we’re finding this season of Big Bang Theory to be one of the funniest yet. Every episode is full of laughs. I just LOVE Stuart and get excited every time he gets included in a scene. Anyone else with me?
In the Kitchen
So I went a little overboard making kombucha. I just love the stuff so much and I was eager to try so many different flavours. I’ve now figured out that about 1 1/2 gallons a week is plenty (not three), and my favourite flavour is raspberry-ginger. (I’m hoping to write a post on how I make kombucha, BTW).
My parents’ garden still has piles of jalepenos on the plants, so I took the opportunity to make jalapeno poppers: just halve and seed; fill with cream cheese; top with crispy bacon; and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Holy yum.
I’ve also been making lots of this roasted eggplant spread with the last of the eggplants from the garden. So simple and absolutely delicious. We use it on toasty baguette slices.
Thanks for listening! What have YOU been into this month?
Linking up with Leigh Kramer.
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