Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Blog Tour: A Mom's Ulitimate Book of Lists (Review & Interview)

Looking for a comprehensive parenting resource that doesn’t involve an online search engine? Need a source of practical, useful information in an easy-to-read format? Starting (or new to) the “mom” journey?

If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, then Michelle LaRowe may have the solution for you.

LaRowe, a career nanny with more than 15 years of experience, has turned her experience into A Mom’s Ultimate Book of Lists: 100+ Lists to Save You Time, Money and Sanity.

The one-stop resource is a collection of practical information, formatted in easy to navigate lists. In fact, LaRowe calls it her “version of an encyclopedia for moms, or as I call it, a ‘Momopedia.’”

“Today there is so much information accessible to parents, sometimes the information they are getting isn’t the best, most current or most reliable,” LaRowe said. “Many parents spend endless hours looking up information online or sorting through magazine articles and doctor’s handouts trying to locate a key piece of information. It’s my hope they’ll find it easily in my book.”

The book grew out of the “family binders” LaRowe would compile for past employers. Those binders would include everything from eating, sleeping and vaccination recommendations and guidelines to easy meal ideas and lists of clothing size charts for different clothing stores.

“When I became pregnant with my own daughter and started compiling my own binder, I thought, ‘Wow, this would be a great resource in book form for moms and moms to be. They’ll get the best and most updated information and I’m already doing the research!” she said. “I really covered a lot of ground in this book. It’s 300 plus pages of pure pregnancy and parenting vital information.”

LaRowe believes the book’s style – lots and lots of lists – helps give it a structured format.

“I’ve always used lists to organize information for my work and knew that busy moms would appreciate the list format,” LaRowe continued. “In A Mom’s Ultimate Book of Lists there are lists for do’s, lists for don’t, lists for things you need, lists for things you don’t and lists that simply outline information or provide step by step instructions for things like taming a temper tantrum.” 

As a mom of a toddler - and expecting her second child – LaRowe said she often refers to the book, herself.

“It’s been helpful to be reassured by my own research,” she said. “I think the lists that cover when to call the doctor, how much your baby should be eating, how much your toddler should be sleeping  and the lists of developmental milestones tend to be my favorite. I like knowing what I can expect at different stages of development.”

LaRowe decided which lists to include through her experience as both a mother and nanny.

“I tried to include the key information that has helped save my past employers and I time, money and sanity,” she explained, adding the book is most beneficial for expectant moms and those with children through age five.

“It’s my hope that readers take away a feeling of reassurance from the book,” LaRowe said. “Nothing in here is rocket science or ground breaking news.

“It’s really a compilation of information and tried and true tips that many parents may know but have difficulty applying. It’s my hope that the material sparks something in them that says ‘I knew I was on the right track!’”

Who is LaRowe
LaRowe describes herself as a “Jesus loving, husband loving, child loving work from home mom who really enjoys life.”

“ I enjoy being active in my church and I truly love my work,” she continued. “I have lots of energy and think, talk and type really (often too) fast.”

Statistically, LaRowe said, she should be a “parenting failure.”

“I come from a family of divorce, and I myself, had a marriage annulled,” she said. “God can take who the world would throw away and lift them up.  He can make you who He desires you to be and equip you to do what He desires you to do.

“Many people find it interesting that my first three parenting books were released before I ever had children of my own.”

LaRowe said she truly feels as if she’s living in a season of miracles.

“I suffer from PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), severe insulin resistance and thyroid issues,” she said. “I was told I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant, but the first night of our honeymoon, we got pregnant with my first daughter and we are now expecting a son. God is good, faithful and more than enough!”

She said she often draws encouragement from Proverbs 31.

“God understands the life of a busy mom,” LaRowe said. “God gets what we are going through and we can trust Him with our lives and our families.”

What I Thought
I thought this book would be a great resource for new or expectant moms. It's quite comprehensive in the types of lists LaRowe has included in the book.

As a Children's pastor, I found some of her lists - including how to teach your preschooler to pray - and selecting a family-friendly church were quite interesting. (Almost an affirmation for things I've been saying for a while!)

I also liked the list on creating "family fun" traditions.

Honestly, I think this book will go in a pile of current books that I often hand off to parents I work with saying "I think you might like this."

It's definitely a "refer to often" book - and would make a great expectant mom gift.

Sample of Lists
Preparing for Baby
o    What’s safe and not safe during pregnancy?
o    What to include in your birthing plan
o    Key components to include in your maternity-leave proposal

The First Year
o    Introducing solid foods
o    Top toys for baby’s first year
o    Sleep training your baby

The Toddler Years
o    Guilt-free DVDs for your toddler
o    10 life lessons to teach your toddler
o    The best bedtime routine

The Preschool Years
o    6 steps to a successful preschool playdate
o    Teaching children to share, step-by-step
o    The preschooler’s library

Family Life
o    10 house rules for every home
o    Age-appropriate chores for young children
o    Feeding a picky eater

Health and Safety Information
o    When to call the doctor
o    The top 12 safety mistakes parents make
o    Hidden household poisons

Saving Time, Money & Sanity
o    10 time-management tips for moms
o    Common children’s clothing size guidelines
o    A week’s worth of quick, family-friendly meals

Want to Know More?
Click here to read an on-line excerpt!

More about Michelle LaRowe
Michelle LaRowe is the 2004 International Nanny Association Nanny of the Year. A career nanny specializing in caring for twins, Michelle has over a decade of professional childcare experience.

Although she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and a certificate in pastoral studies, she enjoys her work as a professional nanny, freelance writer and as a parenting consultant.

LaRowe is an active member of the nanny community and has served on the board of directors and as vice president of the International Nanny Association. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the association.

LaRowe is called on by the media as a parenting expert and has appeared on local, national and international television and radio and has been featured in print. She is also a national speaker, bringing a message of hope and empowerment to moms groups across the nation.

LaRowe is the author of the Nanny to the Rescue! parenting series, Working Mom's 411 and A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists. She and her husband Jeff, reside on Cape Cod with their daughter Abigail. They are expecting a son this spring. You can read more about her by visiting her website:

More about Revell
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life.  They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

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