Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Book Time!

It's Wednesday again and you know what that means! Book recommendation time, once again. This week's book recommendation is Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. It's the story of a young medical student in the early part of the Great Depression. When his parents die, he literally takes off and joins the traveling circus life. It's got some seriously great humor in it, and it's a hard one to put down.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Harvest Barn

If you live in southern Iowa, take your kids to Harvest Barn this fall. For four or five bucks a person, your kiddos can run through a corn maze, feed pigs and roosters, pet goats and sheep, pick out a pumpkin, play games, etc. Nova had a blast. Is it my idea of a grand time? Not so much. But who cares because she LOVED it and loved "talking" to the animals.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Twinkle, Twinkle

The coolest thing happened tonight. Nova is starting to get more communicative, as most of you know. She's now starting to sing twinkle, twinkle little star...

Tonight she was singing. Her rendition goes...

tinkle, tinkle lilllllll tar
how i budder budder are

then she kind of lalalala

but tonight, she ended with next time won't you sing...

she combined twinkle, twinkle with the alphabet song (which are the same song, and the same as baa baa black sheep)

it was too cute that she figured that out. i laughed for ten minutes.

2 great giveaways at momdot.com

Head over to momdot.com and enter to win a toddler tee or a blanket. they're both adorable!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wednesday's Book Recommendation

Ok, fellow book nerds, listen up. This week's book recommendation is actually a trilogy. It's by Nora Roberts (who I admit, I love). It's about three women who are *gasp* witches. Nell Channing, Ripley Todd and Mia Devlin have to break the pattern set by their foremothers, or the island on which they live will sink.

Someone recommended these to me, and I gotta tell ya...I thought to myself, "Witches? Ummm, don't think so." I wasn't into it at all. But then she gave me one. And I began the book. And. I. Loved. It. They're witches, sure. But modern woman witches which makes them cool. Try them, they're super awesome to read. And you can pick them up super cheap if you look...I found them in the dollar section of Half Price Books.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Head on over to Tanya's and check out her giveaway for 2 Walgreen's gift cards. She is participating in an autism walk and needs support.

Here's the link: http://tanyabyer.blogspot.com/2008/09/walgreens-gift-card-giveaway.html

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Jenny's Book

Jenny McCarthy's book, Louder than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism is the reason my daughter is doing well today. I read the book because a couple of people had read excerpts in magazines and brought them to me. I'd been worried about a couple of things with Nova but could never really pinpoint it. A few days after reading it, I made the appointment in Iowa City to have her "tested" for autism.

While it was one of the worst days of my life (I mean, let's be real. No one WANTS this for their kid), I'm so happy that I read the book because I knew what questions to ask. Being an educator didn't hurt either. I honestly think I was and am taken more seriously when it comes to my daughter because I am an educator. Jenny's book really steered me in the right direction.

Now, Nova's behind in communication but we're on the right track. Everywhere you look, it will tell you that EARLY DETECTION is the key. I'm so happy that we did this when Nova was two, because now at three (we just had her diagnosed in February), she's in preschool, socializing much better, and learning new vocabulary every day. I know in my heart of hearts that while it won't be an easy road, that Nova will be okay.

Thank you, Jenny McCarthy for giving us direction by writing in an open, frank way.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Doing for Others Thursday

It's almost Friday! That means it's time to do something nice for somebody! This week is very simple. If you have children, I'd like you to write a note to someone who does something good for your child: it can be a grandparent, teacher, neighbor, babysitter--heck it can be for the bus driver for getting your child to school safely.

A little thank you will really brighten some one's day!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wednesday means get a good book!

Thanks again to everyone who is sending books to my student book club. I really appreciate every one's generosity.

This week's book recommendation is The Saving Graces by Patricia Gaffney. It is a truly amazing story of the friendship between four women. It leads us through the perspectives of each of the women, so we see all sides of the story. We're taken through divorce, love, infertility, and many other issues. It's an easy read, to boot!

This one's worth reading, folks. It's one of my favorite books and I've read it several times.

Please feel free to keep spreading the word about my student book club and thanks again to everyone who has been so great in helping us out!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Great Day at Preschool (for Mom)

Today I decided to go to work a little late and take Nova to preschool. My husband always does this. I wanted to see how things were. After all, it's my baby we're talking about. As a parent of an autistic child, my biggest worry is that Nova won't have friends. It's a fear that tears at my gut and brings me to sobbing fits when I think about it too much. I know many things about being on the spectrum could make other children wary of Nova. She doesn't always understand directions, she doesn't always understand that something isn't hers, she doesn't communicate well, etc.

Today though...man was I happy. We got there a bit early (20 minutes, and I'm pretty sure the teacher wasn't happy). Nova went to her hook to put her backpack and jacket. What??? She already has that down? I was elated.

Then it got better. She "signed in." She went to her picture on the wall and found her daily schedule. She took the first picture from the schedule and knew it meant for her to go to a certain center. She went there and did the activity. My baby??!!

I was so flippin' proud. She was following directions and totally getting communication. The activity was a hands on puzzle type of activity, which she loves, and she was totally engrossed. She got done and looked at everyone like, "Aren't you going to tell me how well I did?" It was SO GREAT!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Great Giveaway

In honor of Maternity Week at An Ordinary Life I am trying to win a gorgeous Elliott Lucca Limited Edition handbag. It's not your ordinary purse either, this bag also can function as a diaper bag! Maternity Week starts September 13th and there will be tons of great prizes. (Including another big surprise!)
Elliott Lucca bag is valued at $368.00 and is Limited Edition ONLY! Giveaway ends Sept. 24th

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Student Book Club in Need of Help

Something great happened today. We had our first book club meeting at school. Based on the past two years, I ordered books with the money I was allocated for 15 kids. Ummmm. I had 32 kids show up. :) This is awesome!

Unfortunately, I don't have nearly enough books. Please PLEASE folks, check your bookshelves. If you have any of the following titles and are willing to ship them to me (I know, I'm asking a reallllllly big DO FOR OTHERS this Thursday), then let me know and I'll give you my school address to send them. Our community is very small, so our public library holds only one copy of a book, if they have it at all.

Thank you so much. You have no idea how great it is that this many kids are wanting to read FOR PLEASURE.

Titles we'll be reading:

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Fisher Staples
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt
At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks


This week, I'd like you to give Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin a try. It's nonfiction but reads like a novel. It's a true story and was very controvercial in its time. Griffin actually changed his skin color and lived life as a black man to see how he was treated differently. It was first published in 1961 and it's amazing--truly changed how I saw some things.