Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pet Rescue

I have a confession: My kids play a LOT of video games. As in, they play a number that I won't write on this site for fear of losing your respect. (Yikes. That must be a LOT, eh?) But no matter how much screen time they get, I WILL swear that I try to place the educational ones in front of them more often than not. Whether or not they respond to them or not isn't my point. My POINT (since you asked) is that I TRY.

One of the sites that I have raved about before is the Jumpstart site for younger children. Corinne LOVES it. I LOVE it. Can't say enough good stuff. Here, read my previous review... Check out their online site...

See? Good stuff.

I was absolutely tickled to have JumpStart contact me again, asking me to review their new game for the Nintendo Wii system, JumpStart, Pet Rescue. My family doesn't personally own a Wii, but my sister does! So Corinne and I headed on over to try out the new Wii game with my niece who is 4 years old. Here's Corinne's review of the game.....

Hmmm. She may have gotten a bit off-track there. Sorry! But she's just so dang cute, I couldn't resist! I love 3 year olds...

It has all of the good stuff that the online game had. Rated for Early Childhood by the ESRB, it focuses on the skills that are important to pre-schoolers and young learners, all within the context of an adorably sweet adventure-world.

For any of you lucky Wii owners who would like a chance to win a Pet Rescue game for yourself, head on over and enter! It's scary simple.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A book to read before you jump...

If I were looking for a book on skydiving, I would search for one written by someone who had actually, well, jumped out of a plane. Literature written by those who observe on the ground or even by the pilot would definitely have some interesting perspectives, but really? Can I REALLY understand what it is to ride up in that plane, stomach turning over in knots and wondering:

"Will I survive? Will I get injured? Is this REALLY a smart idea? Maybe someone else should jump!!"

Can a pilot who has never taken the leap into air honestly comprehend the emotions of someone free-falling for hundreds and hundreds of feet? Would his interpretations of that experience ever come close to first-hand knowledge?

That is the attitude I had when I began reading the book, Birth Day by Dr. Mark Sloan, a pediatrician and father. How can a MAN know enough about childbirth? How can someone without the proper reproductive parts even GUESS to know what childbirth is? Sure, he's attended hundreds, perhaps thousands, of births, including his own 2 children. Sure, he's cared for those babies and their parents for decades, guiding them through the typical new parent fears and questions. This definitely makes him qualified to answer questions about BABIES, but about pushing that infant out? I wasn't convinced.

After I got into the book, though, my opinion began to sway. Like a toy sailboat on the ocean, my thoughts bobbed every which way...

"Just because YOU had a male OB who wasn't sympathetic doesn't mean all male doctors are that way! Give the man a chance, self. Give him a chance..."

And because his knowledge and research is so vast, written in a style that even a non-medical mother such as myself could completely grasp all of the technical terms (without feeling talked down to), I admitted that I enjoyed this book.

I said it. I liked a book by a man doctor. What's next, military school for my boys?!?

Birth Day appealed to me not because it was about birthing babies. I KNOW about birthing babies. No, Birth Day kept me interested until the end because Dr. Sloan admitted to knowing nothing of what the mother really goes through. (I mean, we can all IMAGINE the pain of getting our legs crushed by a semi-truck, but we'll all admit that we have no IDEA of what it truly means, without having that experience first-hand.) He instead focused on everything that surrounds human childbirth and the reasons (both socially, economically and physically) that our methods of delivering our children have become what they are today. I now understand why the baby's entire body must turn mid-delivery, why feminism had an effect on medicated births, and why cesareans have risen so dramatically in the past generations. (I will also never call it a Cesarean Section, now that I know "Cesarean" actually MEANS "Section"...) He managed to educate me, his reader on topics I had never considered or understood. He also made me furious to hear that the US is one of the only developed countries that doesn't use Nitrous oxide as a pain management alternative. (Read Chapter 5. I really AM irked!)

But seriously, Birth Day was a lovely book. Dr. Sloan compiled a very thorough and honest book about childbirth and infancy that would be beneficial to any woman. Especially a woman who's wanting to jump out of a plane...

For other interpretations on Birth Day, check out the SVM Book Club discussions, going up this Wednesday on the Silicon Valley Moms Blog!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Wanna see my Mussel's?

Edited to add the winner!

My prayers were answered!! I asked for someone to send me something to review that I really, REALLY needed like FOOD, and the heavens opened and showered upon me great vats of delicious applesauce!!Well, not vats. That would be a bit much. But a BUNCH of applesauce. Like 6 packets of 4 individual servings! And Corinne and I have been having a blast trying them out. (It's pathetic, really, how much fun we have had eating applesauce. It may have something to do with our ongoing lack of a vehicle and method of escape from our home of family love...)

Musselman's new flavors and products of apple sauce arrived on my doorstep a week ago. Totally Fruit and Healthy Picks come in several flavors to keep the whole family satisfied. Strawberry, Raspberry Acai, Blueberry Pomegranate, Key Lime Cupuacu, (You don't even want to KNOW how badly I mangled that pronunciation...) Peach, and Traditional Apple. I have to say, my favorite is the Blueberry Pomegranate. DEEEE.LI.CIOUS. The Key Lime was very surprising. I tentatively placed a bite in my mouth (I mean, "Key Lime" and "Applesauce" just doesn't sound like it should go together, does it?) and found it to be a very mild applesauce with a slightly citrus tang. Quite tasty. The only flavor that didn't go over 100% for ME was the peach. For some reason the aroma just reminded me of baby food. I couldn't get past the olfactory memories to enjoy the taste, though Corinne still liked it.

And now, my friends, it thrills me to be able to offer this package of yummy goodness to one lucky reader! (Again, it REALLY thrills me. I honestly need to get out of this house!)

Way to Enter:

~ Comment below
~ Subscribe to my blogs
~ Twitter this post
~ Blog this post
~ Tell me your best memory involving applesauce. Keep it clean, folks. (But if you have a REALLY good one that actually ISN'T clean, can you email it to me?)

I'll pick the winner on Thursday, August 20!