Moving and not having internet

I haven’t been online much lately.  We just moved into our new place, and we’ve decided to hold off on getting the Internet for a bit as we get settled.  Thank god for free wi-fi at the library.  :)
I’m here picking up a book for my daughter: Rosa’s Room.  I’ve been having trouble finding books about moving that fit our needs.  We didn’t move very far.  She didn’t change schools or lose friends.  She wasn’t at all reluctant to move, and most of the books dealing with kids moving are about losing friends, being the new kid at school, or reluctance.  I have yet to crack open Rosa’s Room, but I am hoping that the focus on decorating a new room will speak to my Ladybug.  We’ve been doing a lot of decorating lately, and I will definitely be posting about it.
In any case, we’ve been reading more about transitions in general with the hope that it will help with Ladybug’s transition to the new apartment.  One of her repeat requests is Sophie’s Big Bed.   It’s an adorable look at a toddler’s gradual decision to sleep in her new bed.  Ladybug likes to jump in with the repetitive phrases, and she seems quite triumphant at the end when Sophie chooses her new bed.  On the practical side, I like that the book is built with toddlers in mind.  We have a couple from this series, and both are small for lap sharing with thicker pages for toddlers ready to move on from board books but perhaps still a bit rough for regular books.
I’m off to check out Rosa’s Room.  Stay tuned for pictures of Ladybug’s room.
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ReTweeted Goodness

My Twitter feed is at the bottom of this blog, but the retweets don’t show up.  So here are a few of the great links you might have missed.  (Of course, you can always follow me on Twitter if you’re into that. :) )

One week later, 3.1 miles still feels like a marathon

Last week at this time, I’d already ran a marathon.  Or that’s the way it felt.  Really, it was the Highland Fest 5k, and I ran/walked it in 43 minutes.  I was absolutely thrilled with my time.  It may have “only” been 3.1 miles, but it was a huge step for me to even attempt such a thing, much less finish in under an hour.

To be honest, it still seems unreal that I ran a race.  I’ve never been much of an athlete.  I love to take walks, but they are generally more of the leisurely stroll sort of walk.  Not the get-in-shape type.  As a result, I’m not exactly what you’d call “in shape.”  However, I turned thirty this year, and I’m a mom now.  That changes things.

I strongly want my daughter to grow up in an active household.  I want her to see me walking/running/moving and to know that I value those things.  Maybe in a few years, she’ll be running the 1k Kids Fun Run after my 5k.    For now, though, we play at parks and take lots of walks.  And, of course, we read books.  One of our favorite “active” reads is a classic: Eric Carle’s From Head to Toe.  It really is the perfect toddler book.  It’s repetitive, colorful, and energetic.  We love it!

There are more great opportunities to bounce, dance, hop, etc with the books on my working list of active picture books.  It’s a great start to our new active lifestyle.

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Thrifty Family Fun

I know we could spend a lot of money on entertainment for our little one, but why?  In the past few months, we’ve hit up family days at the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  And last night we did community day at the Como Park Zoo and ComoTown.  We’ve been to the zoo dozens of times as it’s always an affordable option, but on Community Day all the rides at ComoTown were half off, which meant that Ladybug got to experience the thrill of an aumsement park, and we only put out $5.  That is so my price.

She loved it of course.  We started her off pretty easy on a slow moving train where I could ride with her, but by the time we got to the spinning tea cups, you’d think she’d been riding rides her whole (short) life.  My little thrillseeker! :)

But then there are also the outings that backfire on me.  Like when we went to the MIA, and she had no interest in anything but the Family Center–a playroom with books and toys.  I admit, I was glad that I hadn’t spent a lot on that seeing as how we have books and toys at home.  But even writing that makes me feel so curmugeonly, and if there is something I am trying to avoid becoming, it is a curmugeon.  I’ll just leave it at that.  :)

Reading with a two-year-old

“Where is my moonlet? Where is my little one?” sang my toddler to herself as she fell asleep this evening.  With those words she once again proves that she cannot be predicted. At least when it comes to books.

Rock-a-Baby Band Llama Llama Red PajamaUsually Ladybug goes for fun stuff. Past favorites have included Rock-A-baby Band and Llama Llama Red Pajama.  Pretty obvious choices.  But she can surprise.  I wasn’t expecting Pigs Love Potatoes to be a favorite, but I’m pretty sure that I could recite that one from memory at this point after all the Pigs Love Potatoestimes we’ve read it.  And why not?  It has a fun rhythm, a predictable pattern, and she always seems to find something exciting in the illustrations.  Everything a toddler could want in a book. :)

The most recent favorite, though, is A Lot of Otters by Barbara Helen Berger–an unusual pick for her.  It is a dreamy, mythical story that begins with the questions my Ladybug likes to repeat: “Where is my moonlet? Where is my little one?”  We follow a lost toddler as he (or she–it’s too ambiguous to say for certain) floats calmly in the sea surrounded by playful otters who help him back to his mother.  There is a rhythm to the text, but it is more poetic than some of Ladybug’s previous choices.    I will definitely be adding it to my list of bedtime booksA Lot of OttersWe need more calm options to keep beside her bed.

One of my favorite blogs for toddler titles is Kids Lit.  Tasha reviews books for toddlers through teens, but she posts lots of picture book reviews for the preschool set.  Whenever I want to try something new and interesting, I check Kids Lit.

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How I spent my Spring Break (missing my daughter)

Spring Break!

Spring Break is over.  It’s back to regular life.  I’m glad, I must admit.  I didn’t have off work, but I did have off parenting as Ladybug went on vacation to Gram and Grandpa’s house for a full seven days.  It was such a long time to be gone!  For her and us.  Towards the end of the week, she was saying, “I want to go back to MY house” to me on the phone.  She never got upset or cried, but she definitely knew what she wanted.

My absolute favorite visiting-grandparents picture book is probably not a surprise: The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster and illustrated by Chris Rashka.  How can you not love that combination?  The author of The Phantom Tollbooth with one of the most interesting children’s book illustrators in the biz?  Yes, please.  It’s just so exuberant.  I cannot resist the energy.  I actually have a page from the F&G tacked to the wall of my cubicle at Mackin.  The one where Poppy is yelling in capital letters out the window “HELLO WORLD!  WHAT HAVE YOU GOT FOR ME TODAY?”

I’m such a sucker for that kind of positive energy.  I just love it.

Not to mention, I love grandparents.  Not just for the fact that they willingly take my toddler for a week.  That’s awesome, but I really love stories and grandparents have them.  It doesn’t matter if they are young or old or rich or poor.   They have stories.  I hope when my daughter gets older, she listens to her grandparents’ stories.  I can’t imagine my mom being anything like the grandmother in Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis, but that’s what I have in my head for grandmothers now.

“My grandmother isn’t at all normal.  She doesn’t read mystery novels, or sing in a church choir, or knit, or sew.”

Mare, or Marey Lee Boylen, is the sort of grandmother who smokes, wears stiletto heels, and drives a sports car.  “Scary,” her granddaughter Octavia says, “Mostly because I never know what she’s going to do next.”  As it turns out, Mare is more than the idea that Octavia had of her,  and she takes her granddaughter more than just on a cross-country road trip.  I must admit that I was as caught up in Mare’s story as her granddaughers were, and I added Mare’s War to my list of fiction featuring extended family with my personal recommendation.

It sure what nice to have a break, but I’m glad that my little is back home at MY house.

ReTweets you may have missed…

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