150 Secrets to a Happy Wife Book Review

Normally I don’t get my husband involved in reviews, especially a book review.  He is not a very big book reader, but this book fit for both of us.  Author Joe Gumm and his family had many similarities to us.  Joe is the only man in a household consisting of a wife and four daughters, like my husband.

What really attracted both of us to the book was not only was it a self help relationship book, but he came at writing it in a humorous way when most books are often filled with psychobabble that often loses the readers interest.  Working on your relationship shouldn’t have to be dull and involve words you would need a dictionary to understand.  Joe’s opening line “A burrito coming at my mouth at around fifty-five miles per hour doesn’t taste nearly as good as just putting it into my mouth with my hands does.”  This line immediately drew us into the book.  We knew that not only would Joe give us tips on keeping our marriage happy, but have us laughing the whole way.

The book features an amazing dedication to Joe’s wife “To the smartest, most creative, most loving and caring person in our household: my wife.  I won’

t ever understand how you can have four unmedicated childbirths, with a baby as big as a basketball coming our of an area as big as a golf ball, and still be afraid of a roach crawling around on the kitchen floor, but that’s okay.  That’s what makes you a great wife, mother and friend.  You’re unique and special, and I love dearly.” Joe opens with an introduction that draws you in right away with his sense of humor and his belief that when your wife is happy, everyone else is happy.  Following the introduction is thirteen chapters of witty, funny and often charming ways to keep one’s wife happy.  Stuff the every day man knows, but doesn’t always do and what us wives want to see.

Chapter List
1.  Required Reading for Future Son-in-Laws
2.  Small Brains, Big Mouths
3.  “I’m Not Fat; I’m Just Big Boned.” Nope, You’re Fat.
4.  HELP! My Husband Looks Like Shrek
5.  How to Marry out of Your League
6.  How to Talk with One Foot in Your Mouth
7.  Lazy Is as Lazy Does
8.  Pretty Major Stuff
9.  Quit Acting like You’re “The Man” and Actually Be “The Man”
10. After You’re Done, Do More
11. Father or Friend?
12. Do You Still Like Me? Yes ( ) No ( ) Check One
13. Things to Say to Your Wife If You Want to Die Immediately

In this book you will not find some doctor trying to explain what is wrong with your marriage, what should be done to fix it or trying to live the marriage for you when he himself has never been married.  Joe relates to “The Average Joe” and puts it all into terms for even the most uneducated husband to understand.  Even if you or your husband don’t fully agree with some of Joe’s secrets you will still enjoy reading each and every one of them.

I would highly suggest 150 Secrets to a Happy Wife to all my married friends, or those preparing to get married.  Heck being the joker I am it might be the perfect gift for the newlyweds. I think if you come into reading the book and take in everything you will see not only the humor, but Joe’s genuine understanding of who his wife is, his love for her and how to keep her happy.

I received the product/s mentioned above for this review. No monetary compensation was received by me. This is my honest opinion.

Preparing your taxes or filing for an extension is easy on your own!

Since I entered the workforce roughly 15 years ago my mom has always prepared my taxes for me.  I worried I would do something wrong and have the IRS calling me.  This year I decided to take the leap and prepare our taxes.  I was really nervous in the beginning, but I knew I had to do it because my mom wasn’t always going to be there to do them for us and financially we can not afford to have someone do them for us. 

I decided to use TurboTax to file our taxes.  Everyone has told me how easy it was and it is how my mom has filed our taxes in the past.  On top of our current taxes my husband had two years he needed to file as well due a mix up with his social security number.  We were not aware we could have filed for an extension and I really wished I had found Moolanomy with a
step by step guide to filing for an extension.  We could also have used TurboTax to use the 2009 tax extension form to file his extension after reading how easy it really was.  It would really have been good to know that we were going about filing correctly and being notified that our extension was received.  Luckily in none of the three returns I filed we owed the IRS, but were actually due a refund.  For future reference I am grateful to have come across these websites should we find ourselves in a position of needing an extension.  Don’t be worried to file your own taxes or your own extension because there are websites there to help.

Could my daughter be autistic?

My greatest fear was hearing four words “you daughter is autisic.” I am not afraid that I would love any of my girls any less, but I fear how we would cope as a family.  How would we juggle life of as parents to an autistic child, while still meeting all the needs of our other children.  For about a year now I have been asking myself the question all the time.

Khloe is an amazing child.  She has been advanced since birth, even doctors have said it.  She is like a sponge soaking everything up that she hears or sees and can recite full commercials or scenes from a movie.  She was a loving, cuddling child, who listened when asked to do something and didn’t need to be told something several times.  We didn’t always plan not to vaccinate, but began researching the options and came to the decision shortly after Khloe received her 2 year vaccines not to continue with them. 

Over the last couple years I have noticed many odd quirks and behavioral issues with Khloe.  She began throwing tantrums and sometimes hit herself.  Never hard enough to hurt herself, but would punch the air or her legs.  I originally thought it was typical terrible twos and that she would eventually out grow it.  While the hitting has stopped I noticed now she can go from having a screaming fit and kicking walls so hard stuff falls off shelves to playing like nothing happened in a matter of seconds.  She doesn’t take well to being told no or asked to do something and if she is a massive tantrum follows.

When it comes to learning Khloe used to love to sit with me and have me show her how to do a puzzle, write her alphabet or numbers.  She was eager for knowledge and loved for me to show her how to do stuff.  She followed directions with ease and 2 years ago if you asked me I would have told you she would be reading now.  While her love of learning is still there, I have noticed she no longer wants to follow directions and becomes impatient and mad when I take time to explain something.  For instance the other day I printed out a worksheet and tried to explain to her that she needed to circle all the letter As and items beginning with A.  She ripped the sheet from my hand and just began circling everything.  I also notice when asking her to bring me something she looks all over and can not find it.  I will clearly point to the item and explain where it is and she still wont find it and it could be right next to her or even standing on it.

Hearing and ear problems has always been a worry of ours due to my husband having bad ear problems and some hearing loss.  Some days Khloe acts like she is deaf.  I will call her several time with no reply and eventually have to get right in front of her so she can visually see me.  I have also noticed she often goes off into her own little world and doesn’t hear anything I am saying to her.

Sure any of the above can easily have other causes or reasons for happening.  She could easily be feeling my stress level and acting out on it or just choses to ignore me.  She could just be going through a phase and all of this might blow over in a few years, but it still concerns us.  We have decided to monitor her behavior and symptoms for a little longer before seeking further advice.  I want to be sure there is something that warrants more investigating and studies.  Right now she still seems to be a mostly happy child, loving and learning, even if it is at a slower pace than before.  Either way I have come to the conclusion that whatever the outcome or possible diagnosis we will get through it and take it day by day.

Artism: The Art of Autism

I heard autistic children and adults called many horrible names, some of which I refuse to repeat.  More often I hear they are unloving, uncaring and violent from people that have not lived or experienced autism first hand, but these are all not true.  Many suffering with autism are in fact loving, caring and peaceful, but often can not express these emotions, but Artism: The Art of Autism allows you to glimpse into the inner beauty of some of these individuals.

The book features not only beautiful artwork by 54 artists from around the world, but their stories as well.  Each individual work of art also includes a little biography of the artist.  I really loved to learn a little bit about the artist, to better understand their life and see their inner beauty expressed within their artwork.

I love that this book showcases how beautiful these individuals are.  How amazing they are to share their artwork and stories with the world.  Had someone shared this book with me without allowing me to see the title or read any of the artist’s information I would never have guessed the artists are on the the autism spectrum.  I myself could never create something as beautiful as wonderful artists.  They truly are artists, to every meaning of the word and their stunning works of art need to be shared with the world.

You can learn more about the book visit http://artismtoday.com. On the website you can learn details of the book, view some of the artwork and even read a chapter. The book costs $34.95 and is 144 pages, 12 x 9 inches with 218 full-color illustrations and 4 essays by experts in the field.  You can also keep up to date by follow The Art of Autism on Facebook.  Whether you are interested in the book for yourself or to purchase it as a gift it will be loved.

I received the product/s mentioned above for this review. No monetary compensation was received by me. This is my honest opinion.

Cutting-Edge Therapies for Autism 2011-2012

What do you think of when you hear the word autism? I think of a child, unable to be who they really are. Confined to a body that no longer lets them express their true selves. Fighting to be who they want and need to be, but cannot for some reason unknown. In the past autism was hidden, misunderstood and often children were given up or placed into asylums. Just because many of these children cannot express emotion, to simply walk over and give a loved one a hug and kiss doesn’t mean they do not need love. Today there is more awareness of autism, but not enough. There are still dark areas, no clear diagnosis why seemingly average children suddenly regress or why some are born autistic. Many people still do not realize just how unaware the world is of autism. Research still needs to be done, studies organized, genetics looked into and clinical tests done. Years ago HIV/AIDS was basically a death sentence and today people are living longer and even having children after being diagnosed without them contracting the disease. With hope autism too can be better understood so that children can begin living as close as possible to the average child, grow into adulthood and show no signs or symptoms of autism to the naked eye.
Ken Siri and Tony Lyons have compiled an amazing book, Cutting-Edge Therapies for Autism 2011-2012. Talking to friends, relatives and care givers over the years I have come to see that many are unaware that with help autism can be managed and a routine can be found to work for your child, yourself and the rest of your family. Most I have talked to say “I fear it. I will not be able to handle a child with autism.” as well as “my life is over because I will not be able to take my child outside in public anymore.” Like most not affected by autism they think their life is over. No one is aware that there are therapies that can help their child stop regression help manage and maintain behavior and daily activities or perhaps even reverse the effects of autism. Ken and Tony have compiled more than 70 therapies into this edition, including therapies of the future and they truly are on the cutting edge. 

The book is written in chapters with an easy to follow contents allowing you to quickly find each particular therapy without having to thumb through the entire book. On top of the amazing therapies the book includes a foreword by Rita Shreffer, the Executive Director of the National Autism Association. Following the foreword is a preface written by Ken and Tony, which moved, sparked fear and stunned me all at once. Some of the statistics given have me severely worried about the future of our children and grandchildren. Just before reaching the therapies there is an introduction by Mark Freilich, M.D. who explains the best way to navigate the Autism Superhighway. It is amazing how much knowledge these first sections of the book gave me and even got me to wondering about my own children.

I found that it is best to have a plan of attack with this book rather than reading chapter to chapter or randomly flipping the pages. For someone reading to learn about various therapies to help their child it is best to glimpse over the contents, rule out therapies you might have tried and look into those that you feel may fit your child. After reading meet with your team (doctors, therapists, caregivers) and discuss together how to incorporate these therapies, and if they are right for your child. While some therapies may work well with one child, it might not work or be appropriate for another. Just like children not suffering with autism you might find that coloring a picture might calm one, while singing calms another.

After reaching the end of the therapies chapters you come to the afterword by Teri Arranga, director of AutismOne, vice president of the Global Autism Collaboration, and the secretary of Strategic Autism Initiative. Teri’s afterword is beautifully written and you can feel her love and passion for those with suffering with autism. After Teri’s afterword there is a very nicely listed reference section, followed by the amazing sections Autism Organizations and Schools for Person with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Both these sections have lists by location for organizations and schools specializing in autism all organized for you to easily find one within your region. Closing out the book is an amazing index so you can easily and quickly find anything within the book. Whether you are a book lover and intend to the read it in its entirety or want to open it and just read several areas of interest to you, you can do so with this book.

Editors Note: Ken and I both have children on the autism spectrum. We do not have any financial connection to any organization, doctor, or therapist included in this book. We conceived of the book as a way to learn more ourselves in order to help our children. We are happy to be able to present what we have learned regarding the resources and treatments currently available and those which are emerging. Our team of contributors is impressive. It includes leading doctors, therapists, teachers, scientists, educators, social workers, and parents. 
  Tony Lyons

Autism Awareness Month

As some of you may know this month is Autism Awareness Month.  Personally I have had little experience with Autism, but we have wondered if some relatives are autistic.   I have a cousin who displayed many of the symptoms you commonly see, but his father did not want to look further into so we never learned what was wrong with him.  I also have several friends with autistic children, though I have not yet met their children. 

Several years ago if you asked me what I thought autism is I would have mentioned classic symptoms that are portrayed in movies and on tv, but wouldn’t be able to go into further detail.  Today I do understand it a little better due in part to research, but like autism itself there is still so much to learn and discover.  Awareness needs to be raised to help fund research so that earlier diagnosis and possible preventative measures can be found. 

Many children and adults with autism are misunderstood.  Often called names or thought to not posses any skill or understand what they are taught, but many are just the opposite.  No one autistic child is the same as another.  Some are higher functioning and at first glance and even speaking to them you would never know, while others are non-verbal and become scared or violent when forced to deviate from their normal routine.

During my book review of Ken Siri and Tony Lyons Cutting-Edge Therapies for Autism 2011-2012 there was a section of the preface that hit me like a ton of bricks.  Below is an excerpt from the book;
Dr. Insel admits that when he was in training as a psychiatrist he “never saw a child with autism.” He says that he wanted to see kids with autism, but he simply couldn’t find any.  Now, Insel says, “I wouldn’t have to go any further than the block where I live to see kids with autism.”  This is an epidemic.  We’ve come from a time when 1 in 10,000 babies born in the United States exhibited symptoms of autism to a time when the statistics are roughly 1 in 100.  Think about that for a moment, 1% of kids born in this country become autistic.  And those statistics, which come from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), are based on data collected four years ago, so that the current rate is estimated to be 1 in 91.

If you were to take the 57% increase in the incidence of autism between 2002 and 2006, as calculated by the CDC (which the CDC itself says it cannot be explained away by a shift in diagnostic criteria) and extrapolate forward, then at least half of all children born in the United States will be autistic by 2046.  And these statistics fail to differentiate between classic autism, which is characterized by a child sitting in a corner rocking back and forth with little interest in social interaction, and regressive autism, where a normally developing child suddenly loses speech, interest in social interaction with peers and develops various biomedical symptoms.  Tens years ago no one talked or wrote about regressive autism and now this is the fastest growing segment of the autistic population.  What if this is just a different disorder.  What if it’s a disorder that has gone from 1 in 200 million to 1 in 200 in a 10 year period?  Then, certainly, we’re looking at a medical disaster of unprecedented proportions that is here, now and warrants a response at least as dramatic as the CDCs response to swine flu or the AIDS epidemic.  We could well be at the tipping point of a crisis that will soon consume our future.

I don’t know about you, but those numbers are alarming.  Could it be possible that in just 35 years over half our child population could be autistic?  How can there not be more resources and funding to research autism?  Genetic mapping and other studies can be done to possibly in the future determine if your child is predisposed, genetically to develop autism, the funds for the these studies and research are not there.  Something needs to be done, and fast or else we might very well be looking at the end of our world as we know it.  We see movies about zombie apocalypse, alien invasion and deadly viruses wiping out the human race, but could it very well be something staring us right in the face?  Something we can possibly stop before it happens?

Even if you have not been touched by autism, doesn’t mean you wont.  Autism has no prejudice.  It does not care about social class, financial status or if your dear aunt Sally just passed away.  Autism can strike any child, at any time and we don’t know why.  Become aware, spread the word and help stomp out autism, find treatments and therapies for autism.

Pink Princess Review

When planning the Drama Queens birthday we wanted to have some adorable dresses for them to wear, that matched, but didn’t need to be the same colors.  In my search for something adorable I stumbled upon Pink Princess and fell in love.  I instantly fell in love with not only their amazing selection of Pettiskirts & Tutus and Flower Girl Dresses as well as how beautiful all of their products are.  When it came time to making a decision on what to review it took me days to make my selection.  I went over all of the products several times with many tabs opened to my favorites and began to slowly eliminate (which was very hard to do) and finally settled on the Polka Dot Embroidered Taffeta w/ Sleeves for Keira.

When the dress arrived I was in love with it even more than when I saw it on their website.  Keira wanted to put it right on, but I told her she needed to wait because I was so afraid that she would spill something on it before she had the chance to wear it to her party.  I wasn’t sure what to expect because I have had some taffeta clothing in the past and I found it a little stiff and itchy, but I was shocked at how soft this dress really was.  When Keira got the chance to try it on for the first time she didn’t complain at all about the material and actually refused to take it off.

Pink Princess offers a great selection of formal and special occasion dresses.  Whether you are looking for the perfect birthday dress or a beautiful holiday dress they have it all.  They even have Flower Girl Accessories, that will finish off your little princesses perfect look for whatever occasion.  Not only do they have a great special occasion selection, but they also have Christening Gowns and First Communion Dresses to make your little one look beautiful on their special day.  With their amazing selection I can easily suggest them to my friends for whatever event they are looking for a dress.

{Buy It}
You can buy the beautiful dress like I received as well as many other dresses and formal wear on their website.
I received the product/s mentioned above for this review. No monetary compensation was received by me. This is my honest opinion.