Archive for the 'Books' Category

Reading is Fundamental

Friday, May 25th, 2007

SomethingAwful.com has some children’s books that I would love to read to Hank (right up until he was old enough to start asking questions).

What The?

- Zac

Nightline on Hipster Parenting

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

On Tuesday’s Nightline, they had a segment on so-called “hipster parents,” wherein they visit a Sippy Cups concert and interview Neal “Alternadad” Pollack. Check it out:


Sunday, February 11th, 2007

Comedy cutie Sarah Silverman was on Leno and she referenced the Mouse in Goodnight Moon as a recurring character.

Is the mouse in Goodnight Moon really supposed to be a “Where’s Waldo” kind of character? Does anyone else suspect that she was referring to Goldbug from the Richard Scarry books?

While we’re on the subject, has anyone else read “My World” by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd (the team behind Goodnight Moon)?

Man, is it crappy. Like Wise Brown read a Dr. Seuss book and said “Hmmph, I can say totally crazy shit that rhymes” and then barfed out a book.

You can have itSample prose:

My spoon.

Daddy’s spoon.

The moon belongs

To the man in the moon.

Am I just not getting it? Is this the David Lynch Film of children’s books and it’s just going way over my head?

- Zac

Slice Slice Baby

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

It’sBook Cover been pretty well established that we’re fans of Neal Pollack around here, so it should come as no surprise that today’s release of his first parenting memoir has been highly anticipated. One of the chapters I’ve long heard about and have most looked forward to has been excerpted on Salon today. It’s about the unexpected battle Pollack and his wife faced against his parents regarding the circumcision of their son.

The excerpt itself is totally worth reading, but you really owe it to yourself to stick around and read the user comments which have quickly reached a fever pitch as everyone rabidly and unwaveringly takes a side on the issue. Of course, the funny part about that is the fact that the underlying theme of the chapter is that people on both ends of the spectrum have a habit of blowing the circumcision thing out of proportion, so the commenters do a fine job of hammering Pollack’s point home.

For the record, Zac and I each have a son, and one of us chose to snip and the other chose not to. If we can get along, perhaps there’s hope for the Sunnis and Shi’ites afterall.

- Matt

The Plan Keeps Coming Up Again

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Urban Planning PJ and I have been trying a scheduling system with the kid that we think is working really well. It is from the (unfortunately named) “Baby Whisperer” book by Tracey Hogg and is called E.A.S.Y which stands for Eat, Activity, Sleep and “You Time” and involves rolling through all four of these steps in order all day.

A lot of the stuff in the book is too totalitarian for me, and I have this image of a really stern woman like the woman at the Ayn Rand School for Tots on The Simpsons:

Teacher: “Do you know what a baby is saying when she reaches for a bottle?”
Marge: “Ba-ba?”
Teacher: “She’s saying, ‘I am a leech’! Our aim here is to develop the ‘bottle within’.”

…but the schema for keeping a kid on a decent schedule is sound. Basically the way it works is to have your newborn on a regular feeling routine and napping plan, and while the kid is nappping you get to be a grown up.

It pretty much boiled down like this:

7:00 AM – Feed 5 oz.
7:45 – Diaper Change and Playing
8:15 – Nap
8:30 – Parents Nap
10:00 – Feed 5 oz.
10:45 – Diaper Change & Activity
11:15 – Nap
11:30 – Get shit done
1:00 PM – Feed 5 oz.
1:45 – Diaper & Activity
2:15 – Nap
2:30 – Parents Relax
4:00 – Feed 5 oz.
4:45 – Diaper & Activity
5:15 – Nap
5:30 – Parents Relax
6:00 – “Cluster Feed #1″ 5 oz.
7:00 – Bath/Story/Change into pajamas if necessary
7:30 – Catnap
7:30 – Parents Dinner
8:00 – “Cluster Feed #2″ 5 oz.
8:30 – Baby Sleeps
10:00/11:00 – “Dream Feed” 6 oz.

The “Cluster Feed” idea just means that you feed the kid at intervals closer together to “tank him up” for overnight.

The “Dream Feed” is done in the dark in a quiet place with the baby still asleep if possible, and we always gave him an extra ounce to try to keep him loaded up overnight.

He still needed to eat overnight as a newborn (twice overnight when he was really little and once a night now that he is almost 3 months old), and we would just let him wake us up for those overnight feedings.

Like I said, we are not marking these off on a clipboard or anything, and if he ends up sleeping an extra half-hour, we let him snooze, but for the most part he crashes out at the same times during the day and wakes himself up to eat when it is time.

The “changing diapers four times a day” concept is a joke (our kid is a whiz machine) and changing a kid from a sleeper into pajamas at night is sort of retarded, but we really like the fact that we have a sliver of an idea as to when he is going to be awake and when we can get some of our own stuff done.

I am Zac Johnson and I approve this message.

- Zac

Wild Things

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

NPR had a really good interview with the brilliant Maurice Sendak yesterday. It would behoove you to go take a listen.

I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t realize he was still alive. Truth is, he’s alive and still writing. His first pop-up book is out now.

- Matt