Tag Archives: books

Blogher Book Club Review: Lunch Wars

Posted by: Maggie

When I heard that Amy Kalafa’s Lunch Wars was next up in the BlogHer Book Club*, I was thrilled.  The food we feed our kids is such a big deal for me. Since Eleanor was born, I’ve read a number of books and watched a bunch of documentaries about health, nutrition and the food industry in this country. But, aside from watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution series on ABC,  I haven’t heard much about the state of food in our schools.

Kalafa explores the state of school lunches today and tells her readers exactly what they can do about it.  Lunch Wars give a brief but compelling overview of the harmfulness of the foods available to our children at school and the very real health consequences associated with that food. Kalafa follows by explaining step-by-step what a passionate parent can do to make a change in their community.

Each chapter ends with a list of action steps you can take to make a difference in your children’s school. The book is filled with stories of parents, chefs, nutritionists, writers, and others who have worked to change the school food in their communities. Many of the stories are disheartening. It’s sad to hear about the challenges these individuals have faced when they try to make food healthier for children. But so many of the stories are incredibly inspiring. It’s amazing to hear some of the success stories, where food has not only become healthy, delicious, and sustainable, but many of the programs have become financially profitable for the schools.

The book made me worried for the day when Eleanor starts school, but also prepared and excited to start my own Lunch War when the time comes.

Head over to the Blogher Book Club to join the discussion and read what other bloggers are saying about Amy Kalafa’s Lunch Wars.

*This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

The Stuff I Love

Posted by: Maggie

Okay, I’m finally back to blogging after being out sick most of the week. I promised this post a couple days ago and here it finally is!

In general I’m not attached to stuff. I like furniture and decor because of how they make a room feel rather than my particular attachment to any one piece. I don’t go hunting for the perfect anything. I’m a lazy shopper. I’m broke. I prefer people to things. All of these are perfectly good reasons why I don’t care all that much about my things. BUT there are a very few exceptions to this rule. Only 3 that I could think of. If I think of more, I’ll blog about them another time. But for now here are the 3 things I love. (Although none enough to save from a burning building).

1. Eleanor’s Baby Clothes.

We recently went through our six big plastic bins full of Eleanor clothes that we had been amassing to decide what we wanted to keep and what we wanted to give away or sell. We ended up with a little more than one full bin of clothes that either Josh or I felt attached to because we had memories of what was happening when she wore them, or because they were just too adorable to get rid of. I think because she was our first child I put a lot of my heart into choosing some of those outfits she wore in her first year and I really like just knowing they are here if I want to see them again. Sorry I don’t have pictures. I didn’t take any when we went through the clothes and I didn’t want to pull the bin out again. But if you go through the archives of the blog, you’ll probably see a lot of our favorite outfits on her.

2. My Books.

I will admit that literature is as close to a religion as I’ll ever have. I worship books. I adore them. I hate to get rid of any book, even textbooks, although, we did get rid of most of our textbooks last time we moved, because Josh insisted. I love my collection of books. They stand in four bookcases in my living room and in various other piles around the house.

I won’t check books out of the library because I want to own every book I’ve ever read, even the bad ones. Although, I’m generally picky about what I’ll read and have varied tastes so I very rarely read something I don’t love. I won’t loan books, unless it’s someone that I completely trust will return the book to me.

I also have other odd quirks about books. I hate when people write in them. It make my skin crawl. It feels sacrilegious.

3. My Helmet

I wrote about my disability awhile ago. In case you missed it, I’ll give you the short version again:

I have Arthrogryposis. Arthrogryposis is a term used to describe rare congenital conditions characterized by multiple joint contractures (have you ever noticed that my arms don’t extend fully? they are at permanent 90 and 120 degree angles, I try to avoid it in pictures by folding my arms, putting them on my hips or behind my back) and can include muscle weakness and growth retardation (why I’m only 4′11”). They think the muscular conditions occur because the nerves have failed to tell the muscles how to behave properly. It mostly affects the joints. In some people it affects all joints, and in me it affects my elbows, hips, knees, ankles, and toes. I had a bunch of surgeries when I was a baby to fix the joint contractures in my legs and another surgery on my feet and ankles when I was 14.

I can’t complain too much though. A lot of people with Arthrogryposis can’t walk and I walk just fine, just not long distances or up more than one flight of stairs at a time. I can’t run though and I have very low muscle tone which I can’t really improve much or very easily. What it really means is that I’m somewhat physically limited and I live with a fair amount of joint pain on a regular basis.

Anyways, it’s not a huge deal. I’m used to it.

But when I was little, it took a long time for me to learn to walk and then when I did I didn’t do it so well. I fell down. A lot. It was especially difficult because I wore braces on my ankles, which made my balance more difficult. Everyone was concerned I was going to break my head open so I had to wear this helmet from about 3 through 6. I’m glad I’ve kept it (my mom still has my tiny feet braces). It’s a good reminder of my weaknesses and accomplishments and it’s pretty funny to get to show people my awesome little helmet.

Talking to my mom about all this. She says that maybe there is a change that happens when you have kids. You stop keeping things of your own and start just saving their things. That sounds about right to me.

Buy Josh This for his Birthday on April 29

Posted by: Josh

Dear family and adjacent people in my life who for whatever reason feel obligated to do me SOMETHING for my birthday, whether that obligation derive from a genuine liking-ness of me or a dull persistent nagging guilt stemming from an immediate blood relationship: these are your options.

  1. iPod Touch (I’ll take the cheapest one (8GB) and I’ll LOVE it. But please do NOT buy me a nano or a shuffle or a classic. It’s Touch or no iPod.) iPod Checklist
  2. Books (i.e. gift cards to fine Booking establishments).
  3. Dates. Mostly with my wife. You can facilitate this with the following goods & services: Movie gift certificates (Regal Cinema (Edwards) only please), Restaurant gift certificates (Maru or Sisley please, both within drunken stumbling distance of afore-mentioned movie house).
  4. Cash money.

Note: your avid consumption of photographs of my baby does not in any way obligate you to celebrate my birth with gifts. Please continue your guilt-free enjoyment of my baby. Also, don’t tell Maggie I was here asking for iPods. Thanks love you bye!

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