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Let’s Panic About Babies!

Don’t know what to give that special friend or relative who just found out she’s pregnant? Or the one who thinks she might be pregnant, but isn’t really sure? Or the knocked-up coworker two cubicles down with the really nice dieffenbachia plant? You know the one. The unassuming waif who is decidedly in a state of panic over the news. The one consumed by a myriad of irrational fears revolving around the hideous changes her body is currently experiencing. The one who will drive you fairly berserk in her quest to fire inane pregnancy questions at you till doomsday—which, apparently, came and went.

At any rate, you need to purchase a slightly perfect gift for the baby shower that will inevitably occur in the coming months. Let’s Panic About Babies! (a rollicking, unabashed tome about the wonderment of being with child) is, indeed, that perfect gift. That said, it offers sage advice (translation: it offers none), intriguing accounts from the field (translation: practically everything chronicled in the book is made-up) and compelling data (translation: the statistics contained within are completely fabricated and anyone who quotes them is a moron). Plus, it provides hours and hours of blissful entertainment as it relates to the misery that is pregnancy (translation: that part is entirely true as it is a sinfully delicious read and likely to cause you to choke on your Skittles and whatnot).

Furthermore, this book, which was written by the insanely talented duo of Alice Bradley (aka Finslippy) and Eden M. Kennedy (aka Mrs. Kennedy), is equally valuable to those who’ve already had children and happen to be pregnant—again. Oh the horror! The seasoned-woman-with-child will certainly appreciate every syllable upon its 262 gloriously illustrated pages, praising its irreverence throughout all three trimesters—and beyond. There’s even a chapter that speaks to men!

In sum, Let’s Panic is a priceless body of work that reminds us how important it is not to take ourselves too seriously as parents and parents-to-be. Pick up a copy today. You know you want to.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live (remembering well the days of being as big as a house). Visit me there at www.facebook.com/NotesfromPlanetMom.com where I implore you to share your in-the-trenches-parenting-moments.

Copyright 2011 Melinda L. Wentzel

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It’s All Relative

Tomorrow is Reconciliation Day–a special square on the calendar set aside to celebrate the fine art of patching up relationships. A day to make amends and to rekindle the bonds we share with family and friends.

So it’s only fitting that you march to your local book store and pick up a copy of Wade Rouse’s latest memoir, It’s All Relative, a brazenly amusing collection of essays cleverly arranged around 34 holidays (some of which border on the bizarre) and, of course, family (which, for most of us, is DECIDEDLY bizarre). Indeed, an inspiring read just in time for this strange and wonderful holiday.

That said, Rouse has an uncanny knack for sharing that-which-is-obscenely-funny, deeply personal and refreshingly genuine all in the same breath. Time and again, he embraces irreverence, pokes fun at his beloved clan and sprinkles a wealth of self-deprecating humor on nearly every page.

I, for one, will never view Secretary’s Day in the same way, having read the 16-page romp in which Rouse masterfully recounts his very first JOB FROM HELL. Nor will I wander the aisles of Home Depot on or around Arbor Day without conjuring an image of the priceless tree-drama he described so well. Furthermore, I’m quite certain that I will develop a debilitating obsession with Pez dispensers in the very near future. Oy.

But woven deep within the fabric of his tales lies something far greater than his patented wit and delicious delivery–a profound and inordinately palpable sense of his humanness, his hopes and fears, loves and losses, joys and regrets. It’s all there in black and white, catching us unawares on the fringe of literary brilliance. Perhaps most notably, Rouse not only makes us laugh uproariously, he also tackles topics that are far-from-neat-and-tidy. Ones that break our hearts and make us think about what matters most–family.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live (enjoying It’s All Relative once more).

Copyright 2011 Melinda L. Wentzel

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