Friday, April 5, 2013

Favorite Children's Books

I'm linking up with Kelly today at Kelly's Korner for Show Us Your Life.  Since I am a children's school librarian...or was up until a few months ago, I've got all kinds of opinions about children's books.  I'm going to share a few of my favorites with you today.

by Ian Falconer


Hands down, my most favorite book of all time is Olivia by Ian Falconer.   It is about a precocious little pig who, I am quite certain, was based off of me as a child rather than the author's niece Olivia.  Olivia is imaginative, helpful, bossy, creative, and even a little bit sweet.  I highly recommend this book.  It has several companion books that go with, so if your child falls in love with Olivia, you have many more books to share with them.

Chester's Way
by Kevin Henkes

Chester's Way is one of Kevin Henkes best mouse books in my opinion, although they are all quite spectacular.  Chester and Wilson are BFFs who do EVERYTHING the same.  They are absolutely inseparable and to the adult reader seem to be old soul soulmates.  Their friendship is perfectly precious and the two are quite content...until Lilly (of Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse) comes along.  In addition to Chester's Way, I also highly recommend Julius, the Baby of the World; Chrysanthemum; and Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse amongst others.

Officer Buckle and Gloria
by Peggy Rathmann

Officer Buckle is a policeman that goes out to schools and gives safety tips to the kids. Officer Buckle, bless his heart, is actually quite boring and the kids never seem to pay much attention until Gloria, the department's new police dog, begins to accompany him on his visits. While the story never talks much about what Gloria does on those visits, the pictures show us without even needing words.  This story is just plain fun!

The Hallo-Wiener
by Dav Pilkey

 Aptly named Oscar has a hard time fitting in with the other dogs at school. Oscar is a sweet and svelte dachshund and his classmates are just a bunch of mutts. Regardless of that fact, they feel the need to poke fun at Oscar any chance they get for his "unusual shape and size." Things just get worse when Oscar's mother makes him a hot dog costume for Halloween. Kind dog that Oscar is, he saves the day when they find themselves in trouble on Halloween night.

The Rhyme Bible Storybook
by Linda Sattgast

This is an absolutely wonderful children's Bible, set as a book of rhyming stories rather than the traditional book, chapter, and verse Bible.  We found this to be an awesome Bible to read to our young daughter at bedtime.  Not only are the stories told succinctly and interestingly to children, but the pictures are beautiful as well. 

I have so many more books that I would love to recommend, but simply don't have the time!  Here are a few more titles/authors listed below.  All of these books are for pre-school/early elementary children.  

Old Bear/Kevin Henkes
Brown Bear, Brown Bear/Bill Martin Jr.
I Want My Hat Back/Jon Klassen (Funny!  Probably more for elementary aged kids.)
Knuffle Bunny/Mo Willems
Scaredy Squirrel/Melanie Watt
A Bad Case of Stripes/David Shannon
Skippyjon Jones/Judy Schachner
George and Martha/James Marshall

If you are the parent of a young child, consider checking out the list of Texas 2x2 books.  These are the best books selected each year by Texas librarians for children ages two through second grade. 

Boy or Girl?

In my blog hiatus, I have missed blogging about most of the pregnancy thus far!  It is so different being a second time mommy because you're so busy with the first baby that you don't have time to document what's going on with the second one.  Fortunately, this pregnancy has been almost an exact replica of my pregnancy with Emily, so if I want to remember what was going on with this one, I just need to look at the documentation from the first one.

Everything has been going great!  As I said in my last post, I was absolutely exhausted all the way up to 16 weeks, which is certainly longer than I felt exhausted with Emily.  This is a whole different kind of tired.  How do you rest when you're chasing a toddler around all day?  I'll tell you how.  You don't. 

Typially our doctor can tell the baby's gender at 16 weeks, so we were expecting to find out about this little one over a month ago.  Unfortunately, baby wasn't cooperating and the doctor guessed boy from that she could see.  We went back a week later to confirm, and this time the doctor was pretty sure it was a girl, but still not 100% sure.  We were a little frustrated because we were planning a gender reveal party while Lucas' parents were in town, but we decided it was better to wait until we knew for sure before we told people.

At our 20 week appointment, we met with the sonographer who specializes in 20 week ultrasounds.  This is the big ultrasound where they take extensive shots to measure everything and make sure everything is growing and developing right.  And fortunately, our little one looked perfect.  We are so thankful to God for the health of our growing little one.  Not only that, but we were also able to finally find out our little one's gender.  See the pics below from our little party to find out!

 Emily getting ready for the party!

 Our little family of three...for a few more months!

 What do you think?  Boy or girl?

 Almost everyone voted boy!

It's a GIRL!  Ashlynn Kate is on her way and Emily is getting a little sister!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

18th and 19th months

What can I say?  I guess I'm a bad mom to have completely missed her 18 month update and to be a couple weeks late on the 19 month update.  Either a bad mom or a ridiculously busy and pregnant mom.  I'm going to go with the latter.  I hardly got any pictures of the 18th month and only a few of 19.  I felt like a zombie for the first 16 weeks of the pregnancy and have only emerged back to the land of the living the past month or so.  Fortunately I wasn't sick, just very VERY exhausted.  These days, I'm just tired.  So, here we go on an attempt to chronicle the past couple of months.

Basically, Emily is no longer a baby.  At 18 months, she could say quite a few words and make lots of animal noises.  At 19 months, I feel like she's basically a talker.  About every third word is clear and understandable and she communicates really well.  She loves animals and making their noises and talks to us constantly.  Every day she learns more words.  I can't even begin to write down all the words she knows.  I know every parent thinks their child is smart, and we are no different.  She's basically a genius.  Emily finally enjoys going to school and also loves Kindermusik.  Her favorite foods are pizza, pasta, yogurt, carrots, blueberries, bananas, strawberries, fruit snacks, and anything not good for her.  She doesn't like meat and has gone back and forth between loving and hating green beans.  She knows most of her body parts and can say the names and point to them both on herself and on others.  She loves to watch Backyardigans, Bubble Guppies, and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.  Emily still has a bit of separation anxiety when I leave her at church and sometimes at Jazzercise childcare, but it's pretty random.  She loves her great-grandparents and has shortened the names "Grandma" and "Grandpa" to "Ma" and "Pa."  Pretty cute.  She loves to color and has so many toys that she just kind of runs back and forth between them.  She doesn't seem to have a clear favorite, although she loves her baby dolls.  Emily is OBSESSED with beds.  She is constantly wanting to get on any bed she sees.  I think it makes her feel like a big girl.  We are slowly weaning her off the pacifier and now she only uses it to sleep- we no longer take it with us when we go places where we have to leave her, with the exception of school (for naptime.)  Ever since she learned to run, she rarely walks, and her main goal in life is to get to and up the stairs without us seeing her.  Her fits are less frequent now that she can communicate better, but she still has her moments.  Recently, if she isn't getting her way (mostly when we are trying to steer her in the opposite direction she wants to go,) she just throws herself on the floor...especially in public.  She likes to read, but still doesn't LOVE it.  She has particular books she really likes and wants those same ones read over and over again.  She is sleeping great (as usual) and hasn't really woken up at night for the past couple months.  Blowing bubbles and playing outside is her own personal Heaven.  She loves to drink milk and water, but isn't interested in juice.  She loves to look at picture albums and point out who the people are that she sees.  She can't say "love" so instead of saying "I love mommy," she just says "I...mommy!"  "I...daddy!"  Puppies and kitties (meows) are her favorite animals and she has recently begun to really love our dogs.  We think she's about to cut her two year molars, but they haven't broken through yet.  She is off the charts big.  At 18 months, she was 35 inches (way off the percentile charts) and 27 pounds, around 80th percentile.  Her head was around 90th percentile, which basically makes her very proportionate, but TALL. 

Emily is the love of our lives and we can't imagine life without this amazing little girl.

 Why store books in the basket when you can store a baby?

 Lunchtime with mommy.

 Ready for school!

 Baby planking

 A little light reading

 Tummy bug baby

 First time to eat Rice Krispies

 Using mommy's bra as a fashion accessory

 Fascinated by Daddy

 Favorite way to sit

 At BFF David's ("Day") birthday party

 Look at that tongue!

 Blowing bubbles in the house.  Coolest parents EVER.

 Valentine's treats for school friends

 Happy Valentine's Day!

 Time for a haircut!

Lemon eating baby...or baby eating lemon

 So healthy!

 Little mama

 Bringing mommy some treasures found in the yard

 Playing with Grandpa (Pa)

 Planting herbs with Grandma (Ma)

 Popping bubbles with Maggie

 Beautiful angel

 Look at her on her tiptoes!  Precious!

My two loves