What We’re Reading

Dear Kristen,

Procrastination looks good on Little Mister!  I loved his costume! Simple. Clever. And unique!

We weren’t so clever or unique – but simple was the name of the game.  Batman and Tweak.

Costume Recipes:

Batman: pajamas with a homemade cape attached with safety pins to the shirt. Perfect for Little Man.

Tweak: Found it on the internet, bought it, and it arrived at our doorstep.  It doesn’t get much easier than that!  What do you do when your daughter insists she wants to be a green bunny engineer from her favorite TV show (Octonauts)?  Well, you don’t try to make a light green sweatsuit with bunny ears, that’s for sure!

So people thought she was the Easter Bunny or weren’t sure what to think.  But she was happy.

And reading is making her happy, too, so I thought I’d share what we’ve been reading of recent.  Munchkin is entering the world of reading all on her own (little squeal of delight!) and so we’ve been working to have fresh, exciting library books available and fun things to explore!

Munckin’s Recent Reads

  1. Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems.  51olbjkb2bel-_sx363_bo1204203200_I think I’ve mentioned these before – but there are a variety of them and she can make out many of the words all on her own.  She also has a quick memory, so she can usually recite it after the second reading…so then I’m not positive how much reading is being done….
  2. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.  51o8luyt2il-_sx378_bo1204203200_Silliness and rhyming out the wazoo – all good things!
  3. Hop on Pop by Dr. Suess.  51clhaltlfl-_sx355_bo1204203200_We got this as a listening book at the library.  God bless audio books!  But seriously, if I had to read Hop on Pop as often as she listened to it, I might go slightly nuts.
  4. The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson.  51gthz-af4l-_sx385_bo1204203200_Another audio book, but since Halloween is over, Christmas books can come out!  And her brother likes this, too.

Little Man’s Recent Reads

  1. Little Blue Truck (any of them) by Schertle and McElmurry. 51m07baimtl-_sy448_bo1204203200_“Boo Truck!” is how he asks and its adorable.
  2. Frankenstein by Adams and Oliver. 519fcmyv-ll-_sy498_bo1204203200_“Monster!”
  3. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Martin and Archambault. 51hsu2qlyhl-_sx378_bo1204203200_“Boom! Booooommmm!”  He likes singing the alphabet song at the end, which is awesome with his gibberish.
  4. Anything his sister is reading……which makes for epic fallouts….. Is it better that they are fighting over books?

So there you have it!  Reading with the 5 and 2 year olds is bringing delight and smiles.  Today, I’m giving thanks for those moments of joy. (And for coffee.  I’m giving thanks for that, too.)

Summertime Adventures – The Library

Dear Kristen,

I love the socks. When I saw the picture I immediately thought, Rainbow Brite! YES! But poor Little Mister! Sheep can be SO intimidating. Stick with soundless animals in the future like…the stuffed variety.

When we were children, I loved going to the library. The lower shelves to mark the kids section; the hidden away corner of paperbacks that you had to read or wanted to read (depending on your nerd quotient) in middle and high school; the smell – all of it was wonderful.

Here in Virginia, I still love the library – the books, the slightly out of trend movie selection, the classical music piped outside as you walk in, the ability to have anything in the system just waiting for you to pick it up. And it’s free. It’s the best!

Before kids, I used the hold shelf devotedly. Get in, get the ones with my name in it and get out.

Now that I am in the PK-era (post kids), the trip is not so smooth. Or short.

I rarely get myself a book – that’s the purpose of Kindles and e-books. I usually have no idea WHAT to get and the prospect of leaving the Munchkin in the kids’ area to peruse the fiction selection terrifies me…so unless I have it on hold, I don’t get one. (I also fall asleep as soon as I hit the pillow, so what’s the point of a book anyways?)

No, the focus of the library trip is to get new books for the Munchkin, books that hopefully bring us both enjoyment and peak her interest in my efforts to fend off boredom chaos anarchy whining. It’s a trial and error adventure.

Here’s how it goes:

Munchkin insists on pushing all the handicap entrance buttons and we walk in. We return the books we borrowed the week before – Munchkin insists on placing them in the bin that she can’t see into. Its like she’s engaging in shoulder press exercises, just to return the books.   If I have something on hold for either her or myself, we go get it and then head to the kids’ area. She heads to the toys using her “whisper voice” which is improving every week. Week one was the decibel level of a Pontiac Trans Am; we’re now hovering around a stage whisper.

I’ve come armed with a list of books that have popped up on my Pinterest account and look…well, pinteresting. Double points if they look pretty. I go searching for them, since the catalog says they are there.   But they’re not. Or SOMETIMES they’re there.  Sometimes the catalog indicates that the books are in the “Easy Reader” section. They’re not. They’re in the Picture Book section. No big deal – I’ll go searching there! But since it’s a kid’s section, and there are people of short stature running around using “whisper voices” pulling titles willy-nilly…and then putting them back with the same hap-hazard mentality…things are not quite in order.  It really is an adventure searching for the titles.  I feel for those librarians.

I track down 4-5 titles that I’m cool with, like these:

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I collect Munchkin from the toy area. (I’ve been able to see her the whole time. Short stacks, remember?) And I say she can pick out a couple of books to take home, too. She uses her “whisper voice” and pulls titles willy-nilly from the stacks and puts them in the bag. Almost always there is a Christmas title – and then a weird assortment of books, like these:

IMG_2452

I usually hate her choices.

And then she gets to pick a movie, which usually doesn’t play in our DVD player. Too scratched.

Oh, I should mention, I’m carrying Little Man the whole time in his carrier. Him + Munchkin’s books = heavy.

Then we go home and read them! Its awesome! Pinterest has provided some absolute gems – ones that I’d never have found otherwise. Our latest score has been my favorite combination, and Munchkin is eating it up.

  • Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor and Jean Jullien – HILARIOUS. And I read it in a funny, slightly Hispanic/Russian voice for dramatic effect. We’ve read it 8 times in 24 hours. (Little Mister – there is a sheep in the book. Beware!)
  • Monty’s Magnificent Mane by Gemma O’Neill – Beautiful illustrations, and a pretty story as well.
  • Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle – our first foray into wordless picture books. It does NOT disappoint. Its beautiful and different. This is Munchkin’s favorite. She also has a thing for penguins…
  • Bear has a Story to Tell by Philip and Erin Stead – Erin Stead is the illustrator and her drawings are always wonderful, but the story is sweet too.

Read them. It makes for a great summertime (or anytime, really) adventure.