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The Potty Training Answer Book, by Karen Deerwester.

My two older boys were potty trained around the age of three - give or take a few months - using the Toilet Training in Less Than A Day method (works great as long as you don't actually expect it to take only one day). So imagine my surprise when, and the age of 19 months, my third son developed an intense interest in using the potty. He started out wanting to read Once Upon a Potty over, and over, and over, again; then when I got out the little potty seat, wanted to sit on it. Maybe it is the fact that he is the first child to wear cloth diapers in our family, but he has already made the mental connection between what he feels in his body and the pee pee coming out. He has limited bladder control, meaning he can wait just a few seconds, time enough to get to the potty and for me to get his diaper off. I wasn't quite prepared to do the full-scale training just yet, so I'm not pushing it hard at this point.

The Potty Training Answer Book really does answer practically every question one might have on the subject. It doesn't espouse any particular method, but does discuss different approaches to training (or "potty learning", as some prefer to call it). Therefore, it is a good companion to "method" books like Less Than A Day, or as a reference guide if you want to develop a "Personal Potty Plan". The most helpful parts of the book were the discussion on child temperaments, and how training approaches should be customized for each temperament; and the list of resources in the back such as books, videos, games, songs, websites, and products.

It's also the sort of book that you can read all the way through, or turn to a particular section. The beginning of each chapter lists all the "questions" answered in that chapter, which make the answers easy to find. On a completely coincidental note, the author, Karen Deerwester, is the parenting expert for, a website started by Maria T. Bailey whose book, Marketing to Moms, I just read and reviewed.

The Twenty-One Balloons, by William Pene du Bois.

This was one of my favorite childhood books and, upon re-reading it, I find it is just as witty and interesting as I remembered. It tells the story of Professor William Waterman Sherman who, after spending forty years teaching arithmetic at a boys school in San Francisco, is more than ready for some alone time. He designs and builds a house balloon, and sets off across the Pacific Ocean, intending to spend a whole year completely alone and unavailable. Three weeks later, he is picked up in the Atlantic Ocean, clinging to the wreckage of a twenty-balloon platform. How he came to be in the wrong ocean, with too many balloons, wearing a dinner jacket and diamond cuff links, is a story he will only tell in the auditorium of the Western American Explorers' Club, of which he is an honorary member... and in the pages of this book, should you care to read it.

Marketing to Moms: Getting Your Share of the Trillion-Dollar Market, by Maria T. Bailey.

The mother in the family controls 80 percent of all household spending - a staggering $1.6 trillion. Is your company doing enough to attract your share of this mom market?
The answer, for many businesses, is "no". This book explores the secrets of reaching moms, including utilizing traditional means such as radio, television, print advertising, direct mail and websites; special events; marketing to kids; public relations and customer service. It discusses the tricky job of marketing to certain categories of moms without alienating others (i.e. working vs. stay-at-home moms). One of the most overlooked ideas is that moms are also employees and business owners, and will tend to use products at home which serve them well at work.

While this book at times seems most relevant for medium-sized businesses which are implementing or refining their marketing strategy, there were many ideas for small business and large corporations. I took over four pages of notes for my home-based business. It's also and interesting read, full of examples and case studies.

Angela at Breastfeeding 123 has issued a challenge to Breastfeeding and Mothering bloggers to participate with her in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). The idea is that you commit to write one blog post per day, for the entire month of November. Why do this? Cause, uh, you started a blog to make yourself write more often?

Anyhow, I'm in! If you haven't noticed, I am currently posting maybe every week or two. It's not that there's a lack of important things going which need to be blogged about, either. On the contrary; sometimes I feel overwhelmed by bad news and the amount of cruddy stuff still going on in the world.

I'm qualifying my participation by saying that since I have three blogs, I only plan to post to one of the three each day. Wish me luck!

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