Who says being pregnant isn't fun? I get to review more things when I'm pregnant! Anyway, I came across the details on this book  in a press release and tried my luck in requesting for an opportunity to review it even though the title suggests that it's for fathers-to-be. I mean, hey, this book is written by a woman and I want to know whether there are anything being left out or anything that my husband should be aware of this time round! (Not that he's not prepared during our 1st birth but it doesn't hurt to learn more, right?) So here is my review of this educational book from Elaine Atwood Adler entitled: "A Concise Guide to Labor and Delivery for Fathers-to-Be".

Author: Elaine Atwood Adler
Publisher:  CreateSpace (June 27, 2010)
ISBN-13: 978-1453611647
Hardcover: 104 pages

Description from the product page:

"You’re expecting a baby! Congratulations! This is a very exciting time in your life – one that will be filled with more joy than you could ever imagine! Maybe you’re not the father, but a supportive friend helping the new mother through her pregnancy. Either way, having a baby is not only a monumental task for the mother, but for you as well! The new Mom needs you to be there with her and for her not only during the pregnancy, but especially during labor and delivery.

Many men are reluctant to be present during the birth of a child. Some might feel they’re too squeamish to witness the actual birth. Others are afraid they won’t be able to effectively provide support to their partners. Most of the time, the hesitation these men feel stems from the fact that they are basically clueless when it comes to the miracle of childbirth."

I got interested in this book as I read the list of what you will learn from this book, such as:

# What happens when you get to the hospital?
# What a woman needs most during labor.
# What labor contractions feel like - if you dare!
# What happens during the three stages of labor.
# What you can do to help alleviate her pain.
# What you absolutely must NOT do while your lady is in labor.
# Your role in the delivery or birthing room.
# Suggested items for your "Labor Tool Kit".
# What to do if you believe that some hospital procedures seem not medically necessary.
# What's a spinal block? An epidural? An episiotomy?

As I read through each chapters in the book, I start comparing with how my husband fared when I gave birth to Ben 2 years ago and I realised he did most of the things from the book (thank God!) but there's one thing which was not mentioned in the book when it comes to pain relief methods. Maybe it's not popular or recommended anymore in overseas, but I thank God that my husband realised AND remembered that we could use Enthonox (laughing gas) as a pain relief method. While I was busy trying to remember and focus on my breathing exercises (which was also reminded by my husband!), my husband happened to see the gas mask hanging right above my labor bed and asked our gynae whether I could use it and the moment our gynae said 'SURE! GO AHEAD!' I was hanging onto the mask as if it was my lifeline!

I find the great thing about this book is that the author mentioned about the dangers of pain medication where it mentioned: "pain medications, once administered, cannot be rescinded and you may need another drug or procedure to remedy the ill effects. These in turn, introduce their own risks". (taken from page 42)

I also like the points listed on what makes a great birthing partner where the author mentioned some things that the father-to-be can do (or not do) just to provide support and encouragement for their birth partner.

From this book, I learned something new on the reason why mum-to-be normally get started on an IV drip. Maybe it's just me, but I really don't know why (I thought it's to provide some sort of nutrition or feeding for energy and strength) until I read this book which mentioned that it is done as a preventive measure in the event that medications must be administered later.

What would be great for the book is if it also comes with illustrations or pictures to accompany the points in the book.

 Do get a copy of this book if you want to know more on what to expect and to be more prepared during labor & delivery.

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a  softcopy of the book (which looks great as I read it on my iPad) by Jim from the publishing company in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine. And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"

Using iPad as a Teaching Tool?

~ Posted on Monday, May 2, 2011 at 8:57 AM ~

With all the recent hype about iPad2 hitting the stores lately, I decided to write a post about using iPad as a teaching tool.

(Image taken from Google search)

I recently purchased the 1st generation iPad (after moments of panic at the last minute when I realised Apple is phasing them out to make way for iPad2) and by the time I placed my order online, there's only 1 type left for the iPad without 3G (I don't need the 3G option) which is the one with the 64GB storage (but then, that would be what I wanted anyway, the max storage hehehe...)

Anyway, it took me quite a while to decide on this purchase as I've been looking to get a gadget where I could read my ebooks (for my book review purposes and also  for my personal reading pleasure) and after ruling out Kindle (not available / supported in Malaysia) and some other ebook readers, I also have to factor in that I could use the iPad as a teaching tool with Ben.

So, I got myself the iPad and started downloading and trying out the appropriate applications and games for my 25 months old boy. I chose those with free version (most of these came with a few samples or activities for you to try on before you decide to buy the whole application) and so far has purchased about 4 applications for Ben. They are:

#1: Elmo Loves ABCs

Ben playing with the app...

At USD4.99, this application is by far the most expensive I've paid but I don't regret the purchase as we (yes WE!) really love it! This app teaches you the alphabets from A to Z, you learned to trace each letters (uppercase & lowercase) and after successfully writing out the respective letters, you get to choose 3 different objects that start with that letter and you get to see a short video clip on that object. You can also do coloring activities, enjoy the letter games and listen to 4 versions of the alphabet song including a new silly Elmo song. Love it!

#2: ABCs & Animals

(Image taken from iTune store)

At USD1.99, I am glad I decided to purchase this app. Actually, even the free version is enough as it covers all the A-Z alphabets, just that I thought maybe getting the additional animal version would be great as well, and indeed it is! Whenever I opened up this app for Ben, you could see him furiously tapping the iPad screen as this app allows interactive playing and learning. For example with the letter B for Bird, you can see a flash image of 3 birds and as you tapped on each bird, it flew away by itself while making chirping sounds and you will move on to the next letter. What a fun and creative activity!

#3: Kid Genius: 13 in 1

(Image taken from iTune store)

At USD0.99,this app is a steal! I came across this app after checking out a blogger's website. She commented in one of my recent post and I visited her blog (as my usual courtesy to thank my blog visitors/readers for commenting on my posts) and I saw her posting about iPhone and iPad app and she recommended this app to try on. There are over 600 flash cards in this app, you get to learn Math, ABCs, Counting and Words, and many other objects such as musical instruments, objects in the house, farm, zoo and so on... Great app!

#4: Matching Jobs

According to the app page, "The Matching Jobs app is an educational game that helps little boys and girls learn the names of three different jobs and the vehicles each profession uses." I had only tried this app about twice with Ben before he surprised me on the 3rd time by getting all the 5 jobs (free version) correctly! I decided to spend the USD0.99 to get the full version, which has an additional 11 jobs to be played with. Another no regrets purchase!

Just look at the video clip below taken on Ben's 4th time playing with the app (before I decided to purchase the full version)

So yeah, these few apps are the ones I've puchased since I got the iPad and it's working out pretty good so far. Of course, I do still teach Ben other stuff without relying on the iPad but I feel using iPad as a teaching tool is fun and an interactive method too, provided you get the appropriate and correct age type of applications to work with.

If you have any feedback or recommendations on other apps I could try with Ben, please do share with me! Thanks!

Music Review - Laura Warshauer's "To Will and Kate, Meet Me at Exit 109"

~ Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 at 9:09 AM ~

OK, I know the song title is a bit mouthful but do take a listen to this latest single from Laura Warshauer entitled "To Will and Kate, Meet Me at Exit 109". And while we are on this topic, I would like to congratulate the happy royal couple and wish them the best of happiness in their journey together!

(Image taken from Google search)

Anyway, back to this review... I received the press release on this upcoming single and decided to take a listen to it and found that it is quite a catchy song and her voice is sultry and throaty and dreamy at the same time, nice voice!

More info from the press release I received:

"New Jersey songstress Laura Warshauer will be releasing her tribute single dedicated to the royal couple, Will and Kate.   Laura met her classmates Will and Kate during her freshman year at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.  Inspired by her experiences there, and while reflecting on her lifelong journey as a singer-songwriter growing up in New Jersey, she felt compelled to write this moving song. 

Laura elaborated, “When I heard the amazing news of Will and Kate’s engagement, I remembered those Sunday night lasagna dinners we all had freshman year at [St. Salvator’s Hall] and was looking through photos [and] scrapbooks from that year. The memories inspired this song.”  The song will be featured in the upcoming PEOPLE Magazine and website.

Produced by Thom Panunzio (Stevie Nicks, Bruce Springsteen), “To Will and Kate, Meet Me at Exit 109” will be available on iTunes in digital format and CD format by the end of April 2011.  The song will also serve as a bonus track featured on her upcoming full-length indie debut, The Pink Chariot Mixtape (Spring/Summer 2011).

Armed with an empowered musical style reminiscent of Stevie Nicks, Laura is poised to become a defining voice in the next wave of independent singer-songwriters/female rockers.  Stay tuned for more details regarding The Pink Chariot Mixtape and tour dates."

Like I mentioned earlier in the first paragraph, I find that this is quite a catchy song and Laura's voice is sultry and throaty and dreamy at the same time and I find myself keep repeating the song! It is just so so catchy!

You can watch the video below which includes photos of the royal couple that Laura took when she was a fellow student with them at St. Andrews College in Scotland! It's a touching story from when they first met and see if you don't agree with what I think of the song:

**Note: Laura Warshauer - "To Will and Kate, Meet Me at Exit 109" performance/photo montage from Scott Ross on Vimeo.

You can browse through her songs in Amazon website.

I would like to give a note of thanks to Gemma from The Musebox for this wonderful opportunity to review this great single! Also, I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with the link to listen to the single to assist with my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.