Thursday, April 18, 2013

Book Review: Catching Fire

(as usual, everything is from Amazon)


Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.


Well, like with The Hunger Games, I'm a little late in reading this. And as with the first book, the thing that got me to pick it up was the movie trailer.

I think I liked this book more than the first one. I like political intrigue and sometimes I wish we could have seen more of that in this book. It looks like the movie will show us more of that so I'm excited to see it.

I found Katniss even more believable in this book than the first one. She's still in survival mode and now she's even more torn between Peeta and Gale, as well as torn between whether or not she should be in love with anyone at all. It's nice too see a love triangle like this where the girl isn't always consumed with lovey dovey thoughts.

I'm also impressed with the characterization of the other side characters. They're fleshed out nicely and I hope we get to see more of them in Mockingjay.

Oddly enough, Catching Fire has drawn me in more than The Hunger Games did. So I'll be reading Mockingjay soon. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Potty Training & Advice

NOTE: I apologize to any of my readers who aren't parents or who just don't care about this kind of stuff. You can always check out The Writing Blog. :)

We have made a great big step in potty training this week. William is consistently pooping in the potty and hasn't had any accidents of any kind in almost a week. Trust me, a week is a long time in Potty Training Land.

When I started potty training (and I say the rest of this as someone who's still in the thick of it, this stuff ain't over by any means) I did a ton of research about when to know your child is ready and how to go about it and all that jazz. And the one thing I saw repeated over and over is to trust your instincts.

There are some other basics to getting started. Like:

A. Be sure your child can communicate well. There's a lot of explaining that needs to be done. Your child should be able to understand you and vise-versa.

B. Persistence  Once you start, don't give up. Take breaks if you need to, if you or your toddler is just too stressed out by the whole thing. But don't give up.

C. And as I said, trust your instincts. You know your child better than anyone else. You'll know when they're ready and you'll know what strategy will work best to help them learn.

The strategy we've used for Will has been pretty straight forward. In the beginning I had (still have) a potty seat in the living room and I'd make him sit on it ever half hour or so. Every 15 minutes kind of drove me crazy. We also spent a few days running around commando so he didn't have the security of going in his pants.

Once he went in the potty properly we celebrated and rewarded him with cookies. Will loves cookies. After a while he began to understand that going potty=cookies and began to go as often as possible.

Learning to poop took a little longer. We began using a chart to mark when he went potty and when he had accidents. I think that was more for me than him, but he likes getting stars. And then I began not letting him do anything in the morning until he pooped in the potty. Again he went pantless. Will loves his TV time in the morning and was willing to do whatever it took to get his TV.

It did not take long. Within a day he got the idea and being rewarded with TWO cookies after pooping is the best!

So now, my next step is to get the potty seat from the living room to the bathroom. Will's going to miss being able to watch shows and potty at the same time, but that's what books are for!

In other kid news, Jacob now has two teeth and is this close to walking on his own. I'm kind of freaking out about having two little ones walking around. Things were easier when Jacob couldn't move much.

And that's what my life has been consumed with lately.

Thanks for reading! Happy Thursday!