Forks, Knives and Spoons [Leah DeCesare]

Many thanks to La Biblio de Caro for this review.

La Biblio de Caro

There are three kinds of guys: forks, knives, and spoons. That is the final lesson that Amy York’s father sends her off to college with, never suspecting just how far his daughter will take it. Clinging to the Utensil Classification System as her guide, Amy tries to convince her skeptical roommate, Veronica Warren, of its usefulness as they navigate the heartbreaks and soul mates of college and beyond. Beginning in 1988, their freshman year at Syracuse University, Amy and Veronica meet an assortment of guys—from slotted spoons and shrimp forks to butter knives and sporks—all while trying to learn if the UCS holds true. On the quest to find their perfect steak knives, they learn to believe in themselves—and not to settle in love or life.

My thoughts on the book: I had first requested the novel on NetGalley but wasn’t quick enough to download the file that was…

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Book Worm Wednesday: Naked Parenting by Leah DeCesare

So grateful to Giggle Giggle Toot Roar for this surprise review of Naked Parenting! Thank you!

Giggle Giggle Toot Roar

No this is not a book about how to parent while wearing less clothing. Sorry if that disappoints you! I’m not judging. Okay, I am judging, ya weirdo. Just kidding. Okay, not just kidding.

Anyway, this is a quick, easy read with some great advice on raising confident kids.

Here are my top ten favorite tidbits from the book.

Book Worm Wednesday: Naked Parenting: 7 Keys to Raising Kids with Confidence
by Leah DeCesare

1.) “Nothing you can do or say will make me stop loving you.”

I definitely want me children to know this throughout their lives! No matter how upset Mommy gets, no matter how naughty you act, nothing you can do will change how much I love you! Yes, there will be consequences to your actions, but they do not change my unconditional love for you.

“Make sure they know they are loved! “Douse them in kisses…

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Naked Parenting with Leah DeCesare

Thank you to Robin Kall for a fun interview on Naked Parenting! Listen in to hear more about the principles in the book – and some new ideas Robin has for future books!

Reading With Robin

I had a great time chatting with the author of Naked Parenting, Leah DeCesare. Leah’s approach combines experience, common sense and humor.


Naked Parenting is available on Amazon

You can take a look at her fabulous youtube video here

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Mother’s Day in the ER

It certainly wasn’t how we’d planned to spend a preciously sunny Mother’s Day, but it was a day that tested me to live what I believe, a day that reminded me that I already know the value of gratitude.

I was reading a book in the hammock, feeling the warmth on my skin, listening to the kids take their first splashes in the pool (we finally figured out that opening it early makes a difference to a short Rhode Island pool season). My husband was tinkering around as he kept an eye on the kids; to give them access to the towel hooks, he moved the grill three inches to the left.

Those three inches cost us eight hours in the emergency room. A heavy, cast iron grilling pan slipped off the side shelf and landed squarely on my husband’s right big toe. Though he hopped around swearing beneath his breath and blood dripped everywhere he hopped, we didn’t think it would be so dramatic.  At the advice of our nurse and doctor neighbors, we went to the hospital for a look and a tetanus shot.

The kids rallied, threw on cover ups, grabbed iPods (thank goodness) and off we headed, with my husband’s toe still bleeding all over. Huddled in the small room together, we learned that the damage was actually quite severe and it was good that we’d gone in, his toe was broken, he nail bed was smashed, he needed stitches and he was still bleeding.

The whole day, he kept apologizing and we kept laughing as people wished me a happy Mother’s Day, but really, it could’ve been so much worse. We were together. My three sweet kiddos, my dream-man-husband, hunkered down in waiting rooms, triage rooms and small ER rooms. We were together. Even though at times I was reading my book, the kids were entertaining themselves with technology, and my husband rested and watched some TV, we also shared little snuggles, kisses, told stories and colored. There were no words of bickering, there was not a single complaint, we were harmoniously, peacefully together and I just felt thankful.

There are so many people who don’t have what we have. So many people struggling, suffering, unhappy, and all I could think was that, while this isn’t how we’d envisioned our day together, we are so lucky, so blessed and really so happy. Looking at my family, the five of us all together, I smiled with gratitude. It was a Happy Mother’s Day after all.Image

Children’s Tough Questions


Ever been stumped by a question your child asked you? Yeah, me too!
Children are naturally inquisitive and down and dirty scientists. My son has explored critters under stones, built himself a zip line between two trees (it really works after multiple variations and attempts) and even sleuthed out what kind of animal skull he found in the woods. A question lurks and a kid asks it, there’s no editing or second guessing like an adult might do. 

I remember as a kid, I was impressed that whenever I was at my friend, Bene’s, house, if a question or disagreement arouse, the family went to the set of encyclopedia’s and immediately sought the answers. I loved that it didn’t float out there unanswered, I loved that we could hope to satisfy that curiosity. Kids want to know.

Today, the internet provides us an even greater tool to help give our children the accurate answers they crave immediately. As parents, we get to read and learn something new ourselves and then help to break it down and explain it to our children at an age-appropriate level. An inquiry by a kindergartener can be answered with pictures and simpler phrasing while a teen’s question can become an in-depth discussion or the spark for their next school project.

A question can also lead to activities and further exploration. That question about animal poop could become the catalyst for a nature hike to look for sample droppings (also called scat) and identifying them and figuring out where that animal may live. Perhaps the wondering how high a cookie could fly leads to building a flinging mechanism to experiment. As parents, these questions can be precious opportunities for teaching and learning. We’re not only learning more about the world around us, but learning about our children’s interests and affinities.  

Can you use those tricky questions to nurture your child’s love of learning and the joy of working toward getting an answer? We don’t need to have all the answers, but we can encourage our children to appreciate the process of discovery.  

The questions kids ask clearly teach us, too. Regularly, I need to hunt down answers, “Mom, how long can a tape worm grow?” “Mom, why do we eat cake for birthdays?”  “Mom, why does that bird keep flying into our window?” Sometimes, I really just don’t know!  I’m honest with my kids about that, and then we work together to find out and learn something new.  It’s kind of exciting to pause adult tasks and learn that tape worms average 6 – 10 feet and that the bird sees his own reflection and attacks to protect it’s territory (no matter what they say, the picture of the falcon in the window didn’t deter this guy, he was persistent).  I’ll leave you the fun of researching why we celebrate birthdays with cake!  

In your family, where have some tricky questions led you?