Sunday, May 27, 2012

Owen, by Kevin Henkes

This is a book about a mouse named Owen. Owen has a yellow blanket that goes everywhere he goes. 

Owen loves his blanket so much. 

Taking it on walks was completely necessary.
And the busy-body next door, Mrs. Tweezers can just keep her opinion to herself. YOU CAN STAY A BABY FOREVER! Don't listen to that crazy mouse next door.

We Have Two Year Old!!!

While his birthday was over a week ago, I wanted to share some birthday pictures
I'm really two! Todd came home early from work so we could all go swimming before the big birthday celebration.
to keep with tradition we made an "O" pizza
Ice cream chocolate cake
with a "2" on top. Owen carried his "2" around for a few days and showed it to everyone we met.
dig in!

Can I please have more ice cream?
When you're two you need a lot of rest because you play so hard, and eat ice cream cake, and swim, and jump off the bottom stair, and watch for buses and dump trucks, dogs and bikes. You throw balls, and chase your sister, and like to swing higher on the big swing, and sing loud songs and growl like a lion. Whew its a lot of work to be two!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Come on Summer get here already!

I'm so ready for Summer to get here! I don't want to pack another lunch box, or wake up Owen from his nap to do preschool pick up... or that's what I think. I have been thinking a lot about "lasts" lately and I feel a bit split by it all. I don't want preschool to be over, I know I just said I do, but I want to return to preschool next year. I don't want preschool to end, its so fun and simple, no homework, its short, there are lots of snacks, crafts, and playing. Preschool, a good preschool, is not about school, its about learning how to work together in a community. It about learning how to make friends, and how to wait for your turn to be first in line, the door holder, snack set-er-up-er, or the star of the week, taking turns. Its learning how to be happy for others when they figure something out, how to tie their shoes, zip their jacket, whistle, blow a bubble, or do the monkey bars backwards (even though they are only four feet off the ground).

We are preparing for Kindergarten though, so be watching for upcoming posts, on how to prepare your child and yourself for Kindergarten. Notes from my teacher friends ready to help us out!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Summer Reading

I love Summer camp, I went to Summer camps as a girl. Girl Scout Camp, Church Camp, Horseback Riding Camp, Kanakuk. In college I worked at two different North Eastern camps, Camp Walden (yes the one where Parent Trap was filmed ) and Camp MerriMac in North Carolina. I loved my Summers there. In fact I love Summer camp so much I used to want to live at a camp and be some sort of year round director. At the very least when Marin is ready for camp Todd is going to have a hard time keeping me home that week.  So with Summer around the corner I started doing a little planning. I want to do a few things each week that make the days feel a bit "campy". The above books are awesome!


The Daring Book for Girls: byMariam Peskowits and Andrea J. Buchanan. This is a great book for learning how to tie knots, row a canoe and tie die a shirt, and a ton of other things girls need to know. 
The Kids' Summer Handbook: by Jane Drake and Anne Love. 
This is a great book to take with you to the beach, camping and also to remember things like how to swing a bucket upside down and keep water from falling on your head!
Make These Toys: by Heather Swain. She and Todd actually grew up in the same town. Its a fun book for making different things from junk you have around the house. 
Let's Go Outside: by Jennifer Ward. This book is full of outdoor group games. The official rules to Kick-the-can, tag, and other play in the yard until the sun goes down games. 

Summer is just around the corner, I'm having a hard time taking Marin to school. I just want to be home making things, digging in the dirt and collecting bugs. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Death of A Wild Thing

Today I want to make a post in honor of one of our favorite authors. Maurice Sendak has died today at 83.
What a joy to have been a child listening to my mother read his books and now be a mother reading them to my children. And not just his books but all the ones he illustrated too.
One of our all time favorite illustrated Sendak books is Little Bear, by Elise Holmeund Minarik. Reading those sweet stories about Little Bear and loving them not just because of the words, but because of how sweet he looks in each picture. The images of Mother Bear holding Little Bear or Father Bear looking at Little Bear are so tender and wonderful.  Owen has been obsessed with Lions and so Pierre: a cautionary tale has been read over and over, along with Chicken Soup with Rice which is almost memorized and the pages keep falling out. No one can forget all the adventures of Rosie, or the funny little people learning all sorts of definitions in A Hole Is To Dig.  And while we love and adore and really only know Sendak from his books, he was much more of an artist than just in the world of children's books. NPR has a great story that I encourage you to read here.  What a joy to have been a part of receiving his works. Thank you Maurice for valuing childhood and sharing your imagination with my kids and all kids.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Little Readers

I'm not a big "early reader" mom. I don't think that we as parents need to push push push our kids to do things earlier and earlier. I love school, my daughter started preschool at 3 years old. But we did preschool for the purpose of learning to play in community. But Marin is ready to read, she's sounding out words everywhere we go. So I started a few little things around the house to help her out.

I learned this little trick when I worked at preschools. Labels! I made labels for lots of things in our home. Everything in the bathroom, living room, kitchen, bedrooms, hall, doors, floors, rugs, mirrors, colors... everything got named two weeks ago.

I would help Marin sound out the words, and then put the tape on it and she would run off and label the item.

A few have started coming down over time, like when milk got spilled on the "Table" or when Owen got mad and ripped "door" off and threw it in the toilet (next item on the list, better anger management for toddler). I found our writing card stock labels at the Dollar Tree. They have great learning supplies and they have a package of these with 50 in it or something. Kids love seeing words and this is a way to help them connect a word to what it belongs to. She was writing something the other day and ran around the house looking for words so she could write them without having to ask me how to spell it. "Mom how do you spell 'milk' oh wait... never mind I know." Having these words available to her gives her a lot of self confidence in being able to figure it out herself.