Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Each Berenstain Bear book has a message that teaches something valuable. There are tons of them, and it is fun to follow the family as they learn and grow together. These are the kind of books that help parents and kids have conversations about things that might be a problem. Having a reliable and trusted storybook character that the child can relate to helps teach correct behavior without using discouraging discipline in the heat of a situation.
And finally, I have come to LOVE Sandra Boynton. Her board books are perfect for little people. These are the ones that I started reading to my oldest when she was an infant and we are still reading them together now that she is four. They have cute illustrations and almost always implement some form of humor that the children love--and we do too!
Here is a video of me and my daughter reading one of our favorite books. It is a song--I'm not really sure how the tune is supposed to go, but the way we sing it is the way I have been singing it for years now...
A few more Sandra Boynton books to check out are:
What are your "oldie-but-goodie" favorites? What books have you found to be the best teaching tools?
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Rows of books in every case.
Fat books, thin books,
These books are just silly.
Scott E Franson
There are no words, just pictures so you make your own story. It is one we will probably buy someday.
"What if instead of an umbrella you had an UN-brella? Imagine that when this unbrella was opened it suddenly made the world around you change in exciting ways. Open up this book to find out how one little girl’s unbrella changes her world." The Foggy Foggy Forest
"What can this be in the foggy, foggy forest?" That's the question on every spread of this clever book, each depicting the black-and-white silhouette of a fairy-tale figure or scene. Readers may take a guess and turn the page to see if they’re right — the answering image appears in full color (often sporting a funny twist). A unicorn playing a horn? An ogre doing yoga? They're just two of the characters lurking in The Foggy, Foggy Forest, a clear winner for curious kids."
So I encourage you all to find your local library and see what they have. They are AWESOME!
Here is the link to ours www.kcls.org
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
OK, so we have some favorite books that cleverly tell a story or teach a lesson through verses of rhyme and perfect poetic rhythm. I think it helps pre-readers start to recognize words because they can guess what the rhyming word is at the end of the sentence. Some don't tell a story OR teach a lesson, but they're simply silly and fun with made up words, like this one:
Other favorites ar our house are:
(how to be creative with what you have)
("Rule number one is don't be disgusting" and when the horse says "botheration!" are favorite parts of this one)
(Non-veggie-loving kids will have fun with this one.)
(Sometimes it's the one that's different than all the rest that's the best one in the end.)
(It's OK to not be able to do everything perfectly.)
We're always on the lookout for more rhyme-o-rama action. What are some of your favorites?
Hope you have a great day!
Monday, May 24, 2010
This book, Brundibar by Maurice Sendak and Tony Kushner, was given to me by a friend for my 26th birthday, a year and a half before my first child was born. I have loved it since then, and have loved sharing this story with my kids when they came along. It's based on the opera of the same name, written by Jewish Czech composer Hans Krasa and performed by children in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, where Krasa was also being held, in 1943. The children in the story are on a mission to get milk for their ill mother, but they have to navigate the world of grown-ups and defeat a bully - but not without the help of their friends! There's a little surprise twist at the very end that I love every single time, and always starts a conversation about not ever giving up. I'm not a student of the opera, but the way this book is written just feels operatic to me, and yet the language is exactly suited for children - I have no doubt that this story was just waiting for Tony Kushner to come along and transform it into a form more accessible to modern children. Maurice Sendak, of course, works his magic with the illustrations. I don't know of any other children's books by Kushner, but here are some of our other Sendak favorites: Chicken Soup With Rice, Alligators All Around, One Was Johnny, and In the Night Kitchen.
Of course, there are many many many other stories that my children and I love to read together, I could seriously go on and on and on ... But that conversation about monsters rekindled something, I think, and I will definitely be on the lookout for other great modern fairy tales. Any suggestions?
Saturday, May 22, 2010
A few years ago I found a salon and a hair stylist that I really love. I love knowing that I'll get a great cut every time I go. I love seeing the familiar and welcoming face of my stylist. I love the refreshing adult conversations we have. I love walking out confidently with a fresh new look. But just a few days ago, I found one more reason to love it all...
It was Tuesday and I was so excited. It was the first time I have braved the whole salon experience alone with both kids in-tow. Usually my younger sister comes and we take turns getting our hair cut and tending my two girls. But this time she had to work, so I brought plenty of snacks, a handful of toys, and my youngest daughter's booster seat to strap her down. Both Sophia and I were getting our hair done. Soph was going in for a new layered style--which, makes her look very sophisticated for a four year old--and I was going shorter and sassier than ever.
I was trying to be confident--the mom who can be stylish and take care of her kids with finesse under any circumstance, right? Well, everything went well while Sophia got her hair cut. Naomi was happy to sit on my lap and snack and play and watch what was going on. But after I strapped her into her seat for my haircut, and the snacks and toys began to be scattered in a radius expanding out from my salon chair, I began to feel like I had turned this nice salon into what appeared more like a day-care facility. Anxious to be done and pick up our mess before anymore clients came in, Naomi began to fuss and cry.
Sophia tried to help, and I did what I could from my chair, but as soon as my stylist began blow drying and styling my hair, I let Naomi sit on my lap to try and soothe her cries and give my nerves some relief.
She was warm--too warm. And her crying began to include small phrases of "Owie. Owie, Mommy, Owie." This was not good. Not good at all.
Suddenly her cries grew silent, and then came the sound of a splatter. Before I could look down, I felt it--the warm, slimy reality of grape juice, fruit snacks and peanuts swimming in my daughter's vomit--smelly and unwelcome, but absolutely unstoppable and absolutely all over the two of us. We were all in a moment of shock before I started the mad dash to clean up as best I could and get out of there as fast as I could.
But I didn't have to rush. No body seemed grossed-out or upset. My stylist brought me towels and then took Sophia to play with the receptionist while she helped me gather my things. She wouldn't let me clean up the floor, but insisted that she would take care of it. And that is one more reason I love our salon and stylist. And I still love getting my hair cut there. I think if it were any other place or any other people, I may have never gone back from sheer embarrassment. But it's guaranteed--I will be a customer there for life!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
The first time I donated was right after I graduated high school in 2003. That was the longest donation with 12 inches. I donated again in 2005,then again in 2007. I am about due for another donation. All together I have donated a little over 32 inches. That is almost 3 feet!
So you don't have 10 inches but still want to donate it to a good cause. How about Beautiful Lengths. Your hair goes to make real hair wigs for women fighting cancer. Especially those fighting Breast Cancer. You only need 8 inches of hair for this cause.
So you just want a trim. That is all you can do, well how about this one, Matter of Trust. The hair they receive goes to create booms to collect oil from oil spills, especially the one in the Gulf Coast. All they need is your hair, any length. This is what their website says, "Why should millions of pounds of absorbent, natural, renewable fiber go to waste every day? We shampoo because hair collects oil."
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
1. Trim sides and back. Use a #2 extention on the clippers and cut from the bottom of his head to the top. Always cut in the opposite direction than the hair grows. And, no my little guy isn't protecting his identity...he just hates hair in his face.
2. Trim top and front. Switch to a #3 extension on the clippers, just so it's not too too short. Buzz off what's left on top and the front.
My little guy has a swirly cow lick on the back of his head, so I just move the clippers all around it, always making sure to cut against the hair growth.
3. Clean up the sides. I use scissors to trim around his ears like so. Look how still he's sitting - such a good boy.
4. Clean up the back. Use the bare clippers without an extension, and turn them around so the blades are perpendicular to his neck. Gently scrape downward in small motions along the bottom to make a straight line trim.
Monday, May 17, 2010
(I'm trying to put pomade in my son's hair for our annual family photo shoot. In case you were wondering.)
I sort of can't believe I'm about to announce this to the world ... but for six months, from last October until recently, I did not use shampoo on my hair.
Not that I didn't wash my hair, I just didn't do it with store-bought shampoo.
When I first heard of the anti-shampoo movement over at Simple Mom, my curiosity was definitely piqued, eventually enough to try it myself. And I have to say, the whole experience was surprisingly ... normal. About once a week, I'd mix up some baking soda and water in one of those water bottles with the squirt top, and then every few days I'd wash my hair with it. I noticed a few differences in the way my hair behaved: it was a bit more flyaway than usual, and it actually felt less oily; nothing that anybody except me would have noticed.
I went back to using shampoo a couple weeks ago, mostly because store-bought shampoo is easier, and I can find great deals on organics at our local Grocery Outlet. But once in a while, I'll still get the itch to go homemade on my hair, so here are a few simple recipes in case you want to try it too!
Egg and Honey Shampoo:
Mix two egg yolks with some honey. Apply to hair and rinse with cool water.
Mix one part liquid castille soap with one part water.
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse:
Mix one part apple cider vinegar with five parts water. Apply to ends of hair and rinse after a minute or two.
For deep conditioning: avocado mixed with mayonnaise or coconut milk.
What are your favorite kitchen ingredients for your hair?