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by Lori Ann

I learn by reading, so when I knew I was going to become a Mama, I started scouring the library shelves. Virtually, anyway (we don’t have public libraries here nor books in English): I asked Mamas I knew and Mamas online what resources were most useful to them. When we returned to the U.S. for Tigger’s homebirth, I had a list of my “most wanted” books and found several of them at used bookstores. The others, I used my swagbucks-earned Amazon giftcards to buy as ebooks. A few are still on my wishlist :)

So which books won out as my absolute favorites? Well, Tigger’s just over 9 months, so over time that remains to be seen. But for this first year so far, the following 10 (click “more” to see) are my top picks for parents everywhere. I have this list on Amazon’s listmania as well, so you can always see the updated version (I’ll switch in & out books as I find new favorites) at this link.

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by Lori Ann

Question: “If you were in a movie right now, what music would be playing?”

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by Lori Ann


Baba and I were married during Advent four years ago, and we’ve always loved the season of preparation and expectation before Christmas. The excitement builds each week as we bake cookies (year’s first batch is in the oven right now), play music, burn cinnamon and vanilla-scented candles, set up the nativity scene (just a few pieces per week!), and read Bible stories each night. This year, our first Christmas as a family of three, we’re adding a new tradition: Advent bedtime stories!

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by Lori Ann
Newly mobile babies and stone tile don’t go together real well, so we took a trip to the supermarket for Tigger’s new playroom! She’s enjoying it already.

went shopping to build a playroom! new "playroom"

Mama & Tigger in new "playroom" Waiting for our new matress' delivery!

My agenda for the day read:
1. Pay water and cable bills.
2. Go grocery shopping to restock cupboards that resemble Old Mother Hubbard’s. 
3. Don’t forget diapers.
4. Drop off mail at post office.
5. Pack for the boys’ weekend at Nana and Papi’s.

What I actually did today:

1. Let the boys run around the Chick-fil-a playground to run off steam. 
2. Watch the car get dinged and scratched by inconsiderate parker, but be unable to get out of said vehicle to confront the woman because the car is schtoopid.
3. Get a grand total of two 2-liter sodas before giving up on the boys behaving.
4. Forget diapers.
5. Aquire hugigantical migraine.

Lesson learned? To-do lists are just wish lists in disguise.

Kat from KatManDew Designs is giving away a Turquoise Mama Nursing Necklace to one lucky MamaWit reader at the end of September!

Find out how to enter all throughout the month.

by Lori Ann

Filling Mama's big shoes...

Kathleen’s comment on the September Giveaway post this morning reminded me… it’s time for my promised review of a KatManDew Designs nursing necklace I’ve been using with Tigger over the past month! I thought it would be fun to style my review in a way many moms can connect with; simple, clear, and to-the point: the ABCs.

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Kat from KatManDew Designs is giving away this Turquoise Mama Nursing Necklace to one lucky MamaWit reader at the end of September! Find out how to enter all throughout the month.

How to Enter

There are two ways to enter… and you can do so over and over all month long!

  1. Comment with something relevant on any other MamaWit post, any day this month (September 2010). So that I can contact the winner, you have to type in your e-mail address when you leave your comment. Don’t worry, other readers can’t see it.
  2. Link to any September MamaWit post on your blog or in a tweet. If it doesn’t automatically send a “pingback” (which would show up with the comments), comment on THIS POST with the link. You can do this as many times as you would like, as long as all the links are different.

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by Lori Ann

2010-07-01clearly, not my photo (I’m out of town and couldn’t get my own cabinet!)
photo by Robot B on flickr

We’ve never been great at keeping up with meal planning. We’ll write a week’s menu, only to forget it two days in. More often, we don’t get to the menu-writing at all.

Part of our (my) problem is not being great at cooking “on the fly.” It’s complicated to figure out which recipes share ingredients, but I’ve never cooked without recipes.

To remedy this problem, I just finished reading How to Cook Without a Book. I’m implementing the first step right now, keeping an ongoing list of food to stock in the house. She acknowledges that everyone’s will be different based on their tastes, so here’s ours:

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by LoriAnn

Rivertribe Album

On Saruskabeth‘s suggestion, I’m trying out white noise to help Tigger sleep through tractors, delivery trucks, roosters, dogs, and the other loudnesses of China (I currently hear a rock concert outside, but it’s just the grand re-opening of the furniture a block of way). We generally play Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble? by Rivertribe while she naps (the same music she was born to), the only problem being that the volume is inconsistent, so it might get quiet right when the dogs outside really get into it.

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by LoriAnn

I’ve never thought of myself as much of a “loves-to-shop” kind of girl; I especially dislike clothes shopping. I DO, however, really enjoy shopping consignment and thrift stores, used book stores, and yard sales. Something about getting a really good deal, and interacting with small business owners, makes shopping suddenly okay.

Sadly, I have yet to find a consignment, thrift, or used book store, and have only been to one yard sale, in China. The good news is that my town is FULL of small shops, run by individuals and families, which is a lot of fun. Snack, craft, and stationary shopping are my favorites. But when I have extra spending (i.e. birthday!) money and CAN’T buy something here, I turn to the internet.

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