Friday, March 19, 2010

Feed Me Books Friday: Harry and his Bucketful of Dinosaurs

A co-worker found these books and they are so cute! Harry finds dinosaurs in his grandmother's attic and decides they would rather live in a bucket than a box.  He carries them in his bucket throughout many adventures and books by Ian Whybrow. 

I was charmed by Harry and his bucketful of dinosaurs and equally charmed when Harry went to the museum with his family and bucket in tow.  Harry's sister is looking for their ancestors, the Romans, and Harry finds his dinosaurs ancestors too!

Annabelle is a fan of these books too.  Last night we were reading about Harry and at the back of one of the books were pictures of the dinosaurs and their names with pronunciation.  I was pointing to each and saying, "Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus," etc. She points to one and says, "What's that saurus?"  Oh she is such a hoot! I love the conversations we have while reading. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dollar Store Baby Doll

Annabelle's favorite baby doll is from the Dollar Store. 

She has a baby doll that says, "Mama" and makes sucking noises when a pacifier is placed in her mouth.

She has another one that is worn and well-loved but it is still only second best.

A baby doll from the Dollar Store.  One dollar! That's all it took for her to find true love.

She loved that baby doll so much it's head fell off.  Twice.  I caught her eating the stuffing out of one and hid it for awhile.  Then Santa brought her a new one.  Last week the head was coming off of this one as well. 

What's a Mom to do?

Annabelle really wanted to take the Dollar Store baby to daycare with her.  The baby doll's head was barely on and I had visions of it popping off at naptime and Annabelle having a complete meltdown. 

"No, let's leave her at home," I said and directed her to Second Best Baby Doll to take with her.

She carefully placed Dollar Store Baby Doll on the stairs and gently kissed her.

"Bye bye baby.  You'll be okay."

She just about broke my heart.

"Okay, you can take her in the car."

There we are in the car on the way to daycare with Annabelle holding Dollar Store Baby Doll in one arm and Second Best Baby Doll in the other.

"Annabelle. Mommy will take your baby to the doctor's today, Okay?"

"Okay, Mommy. But she doesn't need a shot!"

"Right. No shot."

This Mommy had a plan.  A plan to replace Dollar Store Baby Doll with as little tears as possible. 

I dropped the kiddos off at daycare, Annabelle with Second Best Baby Doll waiting for naptime. I headed to work and snuck out to the Dollar Store.  I carefully examined all the Baby Dolls to find one that had purple eyebrows and blue eyes and a limited chance of their heads popping off in the near future. 

Don't let the picture fool you. These baby dolls aren't cute. 

I left with four.  Four replacements.  Because chances are this baby doll wouldn't last either. 

I made the switch in the car and threw the Nearly Headless baby doll in the trash outside work. 

I picked Annabelle up from daycare and handing her the new Dollar Store Baby Doll.  As I passed her back to Annabelle I noticed something I hadn't before. 

I hadn't noticed the dent in the baby's head. 

I sat in the front seat wondering how this would go. Wondering if my very observant daughter would notice a head dent and wondering if a little lie ever hurt anyone.

"Mommy. Look! What happened?"

"Oh. She got a little bump on her head at the doctor's.  During the operation.  She's fine.  She was such a good girl at the doctor's.  And look I got her a new dress!"

"Because she was good at the doctor's?"

"Yes. Because she was such a good girl."

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday Stories and a Craft: St. Patrick's Day

Annabelle and I made a a quick project this past week.  I had printed off some four leaf clovers and got out green tissue paper.  She used the glue stick and stuck the tissue paper to decorate the clover. 

When it comes to art projects these days I'm trying to keep in mind, both personally and professionally, that there is no "wrong" or "right" way to do an art project with kids.  I heard this at a training this week and I truly believe it. 

I also think that when doing art projects with kids it is more about the process than the finished project.  I heard this somewhere too and think it is so true.  Make a mess! That's what its all about!

I am not a big fan of St. Patrick's Day books! Do you have any favorites?

I do like the Irish folktales by Tomie De Paolo.  This is my favorite and is best for older kids.  It is the story of Fin and his wife and how they trick another giant who wants to fight Fin. 

My grandmother immigrated from Ireland when she was nine years old.  She's not really my grandmother so technically I don't have any Irish blood in me but she's pretty close to being my grandmother so I suppose it has rubbed off a little.  And now that I'm a redheaded I'm often mistaken for Irish. 

I would love some of her Irish Soda Bread this week! And some of her stories about the "old country."

Friday, March 12, 2010

Feed Me Books Friday: Favorite Baby Books

I've written before about the frustrations I've had with reading to Dashiell.  The boy just won't sit.  When Annabelle was his age, she would sit for the longest time.  I remember the toys not being touched some evenings but the books would be a mess!

Dashiell is a different story altogether.

He is always on the move and he just won't sit still for a book.  During the day I will let him just crawl around while I read, thinking that atleast I'm reading to him right?

At night I try to read atleast one but by the time we have both of them in their pajamas, he is ready to pass out. I pick up a book and he once nothing to do with it.

I've found that the books with lift the flaps keep his attention the best.  And books with pictures of babies. Bonus if it has both!

The other night he literally pulled a book out of my hand and threw it on the floor.  So whatever it was, was not keeping his attention. 

I will keep at it and just steal moments when I can. 

Here are some I will be trying this week!

I love the DK Peekaboo Series.  It has both lift the flaps and pictures of babies. Woo Hoo! Dashiell loves playing with these books.

Karen Katz writes wonderful books for babies.  They are beautiful and tactile and many have flaps.  Here are a few we have at home that Dashiell will sit still for.

Dashiell really likes this one too.  It has great rhythm which I think he enjoys.  No flaps but pictures of babies. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Epossumondas is probably the hardest charcter name I have ever had to say.  In reading these books, I said them a lot! In Epossumondas (and hard to type, geesh!) by Coleen Salley, Epossumondas, takes his mother's instructions much too literally.  Think Amelia Bedelia only this is a cute little possum.  He travels from his aunts house to home and each time is given some present.  A piece of cake, a puppy. When he returns home his mother instructs him on the correct way of carrying home what he is given.  So he follows those same instructions with the next gift with hilarious results.  The ending  is my favorite.  

In Epossumondas Plays Possum, Epossumondas goes into the swamp alone and plays possum to a host of swam creatures.  He again doesn't follow his mother's instructions correctly. 

These are delightful noodlehead tales but I am always fearful of reading these types of stories aloud.  The children I've read Amelia Bedelia too don't always get why they are funny. 

Annabelle loves Amelia Bedelia and she loved these ones too.  She enjoyed them and to hear her say Epossumondas was worth it!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday Stories and a Craft: Rain

This week my Saturday Storytime has been replaced with the Library's annual Chess Tournament.  I already have a headache! Ugh! I will be sharing some rain stories this month and found a nice rain project online here.

Isn't that adorable.  Follow the link, find the "cloud drops" link on the left side bar, download and print out the shapes.  I am going to try to do this with Annabelle this weekend.  We haven't done many projects these days and I am in love with these raindrops.

A favorite rhyme of mine:

Rain on the green grass
Rain on the tree
Rain on the rooftop
But not on me!

And my two favorite rain books:

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ready for Spring!

I made this Spring wreath over the weekend.  I love the Dollar Store and my hot glue gun! This took me about 5 minutes to make and I love it.  I probably should have used those five minutes to clean the windows! Do you see how dirty they are!
So the wreath came from the dollar store, the flowers and the ribbon are from Oriental Trading.  I glued the flowers on and wrapped the ribbon on and glued it together and now I have a beautiful wreath. 
I'm not putting it on my door until the snow melts though! It will be a little celebration!

The sun has been shining here the last couple of days and the snow is starting to melt but there is still a lot of snow on the ground.  Annabelle this morning said, "Mommy I walked on the grass!" We haven't seen grass in I don't know how long.

This has been a hard winter.  All the snow and the kids being sick.  I believe February was the snowiest month in Pittsburgh's recorded history. 

Dashiell had tubes put in his ears in the middle of January.  Annabelle was sick that same week so I was off with them both that week. 
Then a few weeks later I was off again with all the snow and the three of us were sick with a stomach virus. 

Now that the sun is shining and the snow is melting I'm really looking forward to spring.

There are so many things I'm looking forward to showing Dashiell: bubbles in the backyard, the swings at the park.  He'll probably be walking soon so it will be fun to see him toddling around in the grass and I know he's going to love bubbles and swings.  I remember Annabelle's first real summer.  She used to carry bubbles around everywhere she went! And I mean everywhere! She had them double fisted in the car, in the grocery cart, everywhere for weeks.

We have Easter coming up and then their birthdays.  So much to look forward to...

So my little wreath celebration will be the beginning of a new season and all the things it represents.

I can't wait!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

What My Child is Reading: New Favorites

Annabelle loves loves loves being read to.  My mom is always amazed when she comes to our house and sees the stacks of library books.  I bring home a lot of new books from work and when I take Annabelle to the library I scour the library's New Book shelves for new books I may not have seen.  Here are a few of my favorites that we discovered in the past several months that we have both loved.

Something to Do by David Lucas
A little bear goes for a walk with his parent and discovers a stick.  They use the stick to draw a ladder to the moon! The illustrations are sparse line drawings that I think are done with crayon or pastels. 

Firefighter Ted by Andrea Beaty
This is a follow up to Doctor Ted.  Ted likes to become someone else.  First a Doctor and then a Firefighter.  His misadventures are hilarious.  We kept this book far too long from the library.  We loved it!

The Birthday Pet by Ellen Javernick
All Danny wants is a turtle but his family thinks he should choose a different pet.  The rhymes in this book are quite refreshing and Danny's steadfast determination to get the pet he wants is admirable.  We read this a lot!

Meeow and the Big Box by Sebastien Braun
Meeow turns a box into to something great! Would make a great companion with Not a Box by Antoinette Portis. 

Dog Biscuit by Helen Cooper
A little girl eats a dog biscuit and is fearful she has turned into a dog.  We have also been eating Chocolatina by Erik Kraft and I'm afraid Annabelle might be taken the phrase "you are what you eat" literallly!