December 29, 2013


This morning while Tabitha was taking her morning cat nap and Ransom was busy pouring dry pinto beans into a toy garbage truck, I wrote "Prayer Matters" at the top of my blue and white card, right underneath "2014" and got started on my prayer list for the coming year. 

It was double meaning as in, "matters of prayer" but also the obvious "Prayer does matter" and sometimes I need reminding of that. 

For my birthday Brett got me a really awesome "journaling bible" which basically means really wide margins that are lined so you can write next to verses that stick out to you. I'm guessing it was meant for bible study in the more academic sense, but for me it has revitalized my prayer life. Sometime that has faulted a lot in the last year. Make that two. Basically ever since Ransom could pick up a pencil and scribble in my prayer journal. I'm not blaming anyone but me, but let's just say...its hard to put a prayer together, much less a basic full sentence without interruption with babies and toddlers sucking your life force (oops that was a bit dramatic)! But now that I've got a place to write again, and as my bible reading guides my prayers, I write them down ( usually just a few sentences) that way when I'm interrupted I know exactly where I's written right in front of me! 

But then another Mommy Brain area needed addressing. I've got tons of things that I'm praying for at any given time, but my Mommy Brain has assured me that I can't keep them all straight. 

So entered the prayer card. It's a list of the Big Prayers.  For me that means I don't put "hope I can make it to and from the grocery store in one piece today!" on the prayer list. No, that prayer is just going to happen...but we're talking praying for the Mom of a friend who passed away this year, or the friend who's marriage is rocky with a chance of avalanche. We're talking prayers like "10 people from our neighborhood find Jesus this year." or "That Ransom finds a good friend his own age." "That our friend will be healed of his life threatening illness"
The prayers that may take a while, the ones that I need to return to day after day. 

Basically it's like a Prayer version of New Years Resolutions except that I know I can't do the things on my list! In fact, the fact that I can't do them makes them all the cooler. Because I know that Jesus can. 

One of the cool editions to the prayer list this year is that right at the top I always put Brett, Ransom and Tabitha's name..not that I'll ever forget to pray for them...but this year I flipped the card over and wrote something new: 

This year I got the idea from a friend to pray through the Fruits of the Spirit for my husband and children. And not just "May they have love, amen" but basically anything and everything I can think of in regards to each word. 
For instance joy: May ____ have joy even when times are rough. May ____ be joyful in the middle of the night when ___ has a nightmare. May _____ find Joy in giving to others. etc etc. 
Hopefully it'll give me a lot of new "material" in praying for them! Especially for my children. I feel like I spend so much time praying for our present season that I forget or loose sight of praying for big things. Salvation, schooling, friends, spouses there are allllll sorts of things I want to be praying for on a regular basis. 

Right underneath my families names are the names of seven people who I've got BIG THINGS to pray for them about. These are the lost, the downtrodden, the sick, the broken hearted in my life. I love them and it just so happens that when I asked God who to put on my list he gave me 7 names!! COOL! Because now I get to pray for one of them every day of the week!! 

There are of course other things on my card too.  The dreams, the worries, the goals. And I also made room for some blank space for the BIG prayers that I know will cross our path in 2014. Because that's what life is stock full of things that we can decidedly not handle alone. They too will be going on the Prayer Matters Card. 

May we all go into 2014 with our eyes upon Jesus the Author and Perfecter. He is Worthy and I wish each of us a growing relationship with Him this year! 

December 15, 2013

I guest posted today...

Hey friends! Today I'm honored to share that I'm guest blogging over at my friend Renee's blog. I met Renee and her son Apollo ( as well as one of her other daughters, Tilly) while we were staying at the Ronald McDonald House last year. I was first drawn to them because her son had GORGEOUS golden ringlets and seemed to be about the same age as Ransom. Oh, and they were running around outside with short sleeves on and it was, like, 60 degrees ( CLEARLY they weren't from Texas! hahaha!). Sure enough, they were in Houston all the way from Washington state for a surgery for Apollo. I since learned what an interesting lady Renee and her whole family truly was and have enjoyed keeping up with them on her blog. ( 14 children! homeschooling! adoption! child with health problems! mission trips! Crafts! Recipes! ALL THINGS I'm TOTALLY into reading about!)

As with many of the children that we met at the Ronald McDonald House, Apollo's health problems are ongoing and he remains one of those kids that remains a permanent fixture on my  prayer list. How thankful I am for that time at the RM House for so many reasons! But the children I met there have forever changed me. And I am honored to keep praying for them even now.

I must also mention that Renee asked me to guest post for her today because she's in New Zealand! JEALOUSLY!!! I hope she gives a shout out to my alma mater while she's there.

So head on over, give Renee's blog a peruse and read my post about my Christmas Great Expectations.  

December 10, 2013

What's for Christmas....Ransom

I'm posting this as part of my little Christmas series on gifts for my kiddos. You can view the first post, if you missed it, here.

While it was a little hard to stick to my 4 presents rule for Tabitha, it was MUCH harder for Ransom, and I'm glad we're starting this rule early in their lives. I know that as the years go on it will be that much harder to combat the "geemies" on both sides of the board.

That being said, here are the winners and runners up for Ransom's presents this year:

Ransom ( age 3 and a half):

Read: This was hard. It always is. There are so many books I want for Ransom, but I'm gonna be honest with you, this year, because he already has so many beautiful books and I know he's just going to get more, I went with the cheap route. And I also went with the route of "Lets learn some lessons". Thus "The Berenstain Bears: Kindness Counts" and "The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving"


Ransom LOVES the Berenstain Bear books. He inherited all of mine from when I was a little girl, and I love how they are a good teaching tool for various lessons we face on a daily basis ( can you guess our current "learning" issues!?! hahah).

I have a running list of back up books for Ransom at all times, but here's one that should be on any little boys Christmas list: "Steam Train, Dream Train"  Isn't it gorgeous?


I decided to go with something a little fun for Ransom's "wear" category...afterall, it is Christmas! I'm pretty darn excited about this present and I can't wait to see him wearing them! However, *REAL TALK* I haven't actually purchased this gift yet...yeah, I've got to make a trip to my local boot barn and it just hasn't happened yet.  But don't you think Ransom's gonna be ADORABLE tromping around in something like this?! 

My runner up was in a close race. But the boots ended up winning out by just a little. You'll see why...
Yeah, I was such a tough call! I can totally seeing him running around with these boots on for days on end, especially since he loves playing fireman. But, in the end I decided I would rather not have to fight the battle of not letting him wear his rain boots to school every day....You can purchase this set for your little fireman for just $19.99 on Zulily right now if you act fast! 


This is always the hard category when it comes to Christmas gifts, you don't want your kid getting new pencils ( unless they are really awesome pencils) for Christmas, so I went with something that I feel like Ransom does need, but that he might also have a little fun with. And, there's a little story behind this one, so buckle up. Ransom only has one real board game. We won it at a white elephant a few years ago, and it's Candyland. Not the best little boy boardgame and so I don't have to tell you that he doesn't really like it that much and when he does want to play with it, he definitely doesn't want to play by the rules. That being said, I think he needs to start learning how to wait your turn and follow rules and learn how to loose well, all things that playing games teach you. So, I thought back to when I was little and one of my favorite board games was Memory. 
Now, I went through all the current Memory boardgames and I didn't like the pictures very much. And, well, the pictures are kind of important in Memory! SO I went on ebay and I found the exact Memory game that I had when I was a little girl, still in the wrapper for $15 bucks. I was SO EXCITED! ( it says ages 5-7 on the box...that's ridiculous!)

Now, after I purchased my totally awesome Memory game that I CANNOT WAIT TO PLAY ( wait, who's Christmas present is this again!?! haha!) I saw this incredibly cool memory game on Kelle Hampton's blog. I'm still tempted to buy this one for someone else, because its GORGEOUS. You get to actually upload you're own pictures for the set! Isn't it lovely?! 

Oooooh, so hard! Especially for a very active little 3 year old who could have fun with just about anything! But, in the end I went with something I really think he's going to enjoy: Legos!!
I ended up finding this set at Sam's Club for $10 less than Amazon or Toys R Us, so SCORE! Of course, I'm sure those annoying Black Friday People got this for like $5 or something, but I can't handle that kind of pressure. 

Of course, the present that I went back and forth and back and forth with the Legos over is similar and yet fact, I'm still not sure I made the right decision ( it DOES say "4+" on the Lego box after all!! EEK!) However, a few months ago, my parents gave Ransom some little lego candies that are the same size as little lego blocks and you can even build with them! Added bonus they are pure sugar ( thanks Grandparents!)! I was surprised at how Ransom sat and made little towers with those candies, even though they didn't always fit together well ( candy, afterall)....Ok, so I went with Legos, but every little boy needs a good set of wooden blocks too! So maybe in the future he'll unwrap a set of Wooden Blocks like these : 

So, there you have it! What Ransom will be unwrapping from his parents this year! Of course, I have a lot of other fun finds on my Amazon Wish List for Ransom that you can check out if you'd like some ideas for the 3 year old boy on your list or if you're just curious. (I think the "I dressed myself" pin might be handy in the coming months ;-) ) 

December 08, 2013

What's for Christmas....Tabitha

I thought I'd do a little Christmas presents series for fun, basically two different posts one for Ransom one for Tabitha....

This year to make sure I kept our kids Christmas ( and our bank account) in check, we're sticking to the READ, WEAR, WANT, NEED categories.
I got this idea off of pinterest and I think it was one of the best things to come from the hours of mindless scrolling that Pinterest inevitably brings about. *double sigh*
Basically each of our children will receive one item from each of these categories and that is it. Done. No more presents.

P.S. this is actually much harder to do than I thought! Gosh, I love getting christmas presents for people!! So, that being said this blog post will help me out. I will not only tell you what I decided to get my kids of Christmas, but also what I thought about getting them. You know, the runners up gifts. So, at least in my mind, those back up gifts will get the credit they so deserve.

First off, Tabitha ( my almost 1 year old)

Read: I got her Peek-a-moo, we had a similar book in the series "Peek-a-zoo" for Ransom but it was a used copy and sadly didn't make it to Tabitha. I think she's gonna love it as much as Ransom did his book.

The runner up for my book choice for Tabitha was Sense and Sensibility: A Babylit Opposites Primer. I've told you about other favorite from this author "Pride and Prejudice: A Babylit Counting Book" in another post. I think this one looks like its going to be just as good! Maybe I'll get it for Tabitha's birthday!

So, just to go ahead and spread the love just a little bit and show you that I have other addictions....I got my next present for Tabitha from my OTHER favorite website/drug: Zulily  ( if you aren't already a member ( its free) go click on that link, and if you then purchase something I'll get $15 bucks. So that'd be cool!)...They have revolving deals on this site and the things I've purchased have been babyleggings,  high quality toys, like Melissa and Doug toys, Manhattan Toys-all for ridiculously good deals. The addictive quality about this site?! Well, shipping is a basic $5 shipping...and after you buy ONE item and pay your five dollar shipping...ALL YOUR OTHER ORDERS THAT DAY ARE FREE SHIPPING. Whaaaat!?!? And that's the story about how Abigail ordered tons of stuff in a feverish fit at 11:45pm and then woke up the next morning wondering what in the world I'd done....true story. I had to cut myself off for a while. *sigh* 
Ok, so back to the point: I got Tabitha this rockin' little hat and gloves set on Zulily .....sadly as I mentioned the sales over there are revolving and its no longer available. Here's a teeny tiny picture so you can be sad that you missed out: 

The runner up in the "Wear" category was this totally awesome bib and I ended up not getting it because it just didn't seem as fun as the hat and gloves as far as Christmas presents go...but it's still super cute and I LOVE these "smock" type bibs. I have one from IKEA that I got for Ransom ( so its boy colors) and she has to wear it all the time, the bib below however came in SO MANY adorable patterns that it was hard to pick my favorite. Bird cages? Win. Especially now that it's winter-its the only thing that protects ALL OF HER PERSON from her ANIMALISTIC eating habits is this : 

Need: OK, lets be honest...this is the category that has to be a little bit "flimsy" when it comes to Christmas presents. You don't want your kids opening underwear on Christmas morning. So please notice that this isn't a need per say...

This is another Zulily purchase that I got a month or so ago so sadly I don't have a link for you. But I have something similar for Ransom and I wanted Tabitha to have her own: It's a dinner plate that has her name on it. Ransom has one that has a Hippopotamus on it that he loves, and Tabitha's has a tree made out of butterflies. 

 Let me just say though, personalized items are always a fun gift for kids. 

My runner up for Need for Tabitha was kicked out of the running almost immediately. Mostly because it was for me. Not her. Haha! Though she IS in a major "take everything out of the basket" phase so I suppose she would have liked it: 

Bottom line is that up until now Tabitha's toys have been relatively little and nonintrusive. Buuuut they are now starting to make their presence known and I'm in need of more storage around the house. I love these brown baskets because I can stick them almost anywhere! 

Want: Best category for sure!! And definitely the most fun to buy! Lucky for me, Tabitha's birthday is on January 5th so anything that's left on my list for her, I can always carry over to her birthday! YAY!

I'm so excited about this present, her very first Baby Doll! After extensive research I went with the Stella Doll. I loved that she was completely soft, that her paci was a magnet rather than some weird hole left behind in her mouth when it wasn't in. I loved that she had "beans" in her limbs and body to create some comforting weight. I also loved the accessories for future presents. Isn't she cute?! 

One of the many runner-ups to the Doll was this adorable little shopping basket set. Tabitha is SO into taking things out and putting things in, that I figured she'd enjoy something like this. It also had the added benefit of hopefully growing with her and becoming a good imagination game in the future. But, in the end, I went with the doll because, lets face it, I wanted to be the one to get her her first doll. How I love to be a Mommy to a little girl!!

Does anyone else love Amazon Wish Lists as much as I do?!?!  I'm a HUGE fan and I have them going all year for each of my kids as well as for myself. Its not all fun and games ( presents etc.) sometimes its things like socks or the kind of magical spot cleaner that I can only find on amazon-but I keep it all on my wishlists for easy access. Anyway, if your interested to see other things that I put on Tabitha's wish list that didn't make the cut or will end up being presents from Grandparents etc, then feel free to take a look

I don't know why Amazon isn't paying me. I'm basically their minion at this point. *sigh * 

December 07, 2013

Blanket time

Note to the reader: If you do not believe in spankings ( as in a swat on the behind with a wooden spoon or a quick spank on the hand, done not in anger but in Love, then please feel free to skip this post and come back later when I post my "what I got my kids of Christmas post which is coming in a little while...) I do not feel like arguing with you about it. So thanks and see you soon!

Yesterday was a doozy in the Wilson Household. I don't know how many 3-year-old-spankings took place but there were a lot along with an equal number of timeouts and there was probably even more crying and whining. It was out. of. control.

Which brought us to the evening. Around 6pm I was donezo. So, I was really happy that we'd reached the part of the day when we will often do "Blanket Time" with Ransom. We like to do it after dinner because that's often a restless and whiney time for Ransom anyway and its often a time when we need to get a few things done ( usually dinner dishes etc). And lets be honest, Brett and I have usually had a long day of childrearing and armyworking and we could all use a little bitty break. And so Blanket Time was implemented.

In our house its actually "rug" time, but it started before we actually owned the rug we now do it on, so it started out on an actual blanket. Basically you just need something that has "boundaries". And with my 2 year old ( when this started he was still 2) I also wanted him to not be in a gated area or a playpen, but in something that he could technically get out of, and therefore he'd have to learn some discipline/rule following too! WIN.

Now, I know a bunch of people that do this with there MUCH younger children ( as in under 1). And if you'd like info on that I'd be happy to pass on the details. However, I think to do it with a younger child you have to be pretty disciplined about doing it every single day and turns out I'm not that disciplined and so we got out of practice and didn't really start doing it until Ransom was older and we could teach him about blanket time and then do it when it was needed ( often every day, often not...) .

So with that being said this is the short course of how we taught Ransom- age 2- to do blanket time.

1. We told Ransom the rules well before hand. "We're going to be doing this fun thing called blanket time after dinner!! You get to get any toys you want on your blanket, and then you have to stay on the blanket to play with them! There is no talking to Mommy and Daddy or playing with Mommy and Daddy during blanket time! You just get to play by yourself! And THEN at the end the duck will quack on Mommies phone and blanket time will be over! ( for us, a duck quacking was reward enough, but feel free to add something like a sticker or a stamp for a reward of a job well done, if you'd like.)

2. We discussed the rules SEVERAL more times.

3. We get out the blanket, and help him pick out his toys and transfer them to the blanket, make sure he has plenty so that he won't have the chance of being the least bit bored. Remind of the rules AGAIN.

4. The hard part is doing blanket time the first couple of times. Your child will inevitably, leave the blanket, talk to you, ask you to play with them etc. etc. each time you will have to put them back on the blanket, tell them not to talk to you during blanket time, remind them of the rules again and again.
After a while ( you will know when!) you will know that your child KNOWS the rules and is just breaking them.

5. When Ransom fully knew the rules and just chose to break them we started giving him hand spankings when he would break the blanket rules. We felt like full blown "go to your room spankings" defeated and overblew the whole point of blanket time. These little hand spankings were enough discipline for us to show Ransom that we meant business and that he needed to do blanket time correctly. There were tantrums. We persevered.

6. It took about a week of blanket time every single day ( 15 minutes of time) before we had a non-cry blanket time. As in a whole blanket time without any discipline taking place. I honestly doubted if it was going to EVER be worth the trouble...

7. BUT once Ransom got it down, realized he had to follow the rules and stay in the boundaries he started to really LOVE blanket time! He would actually ASK for it! He will often stay on his blanket for 45 minutes ( usually we just do 30)!

* other things to consider*
We do blanket time in a place that Ransom can see us. Its right in the middle of our living area so that he doesn't feel "alone" necessarily even though he's suppose to be playing alone.

Once Ransom really got use to blanket time I wouldn't even set my timer ( sneaky sneaky) and would just have Ransom play until I could tell he was getting restless ( or he'd even ask if the duck had quacked yet) and then if it had been a goodly amount of time then I'd just set the timer for 1 minute and have it quack on demand. Haha!

I know a lot of people that, once they've taught their child "blanket time" they'll take the blanket with them to bible studies or coffee times with friends and put down their blanket and PRESTO! their child is happily quiet and contained until said time is complete!

*There are obviously variations to blanket time and I've seen it done many different ways with many different age kids- I'm interested to hear your positive input on the matter!
A view from the kitchen of Ransom doing blanket time, and a little sister watching. 

November 04, 2013

The state of the Union

Since the inception of this blog, I have never once gone a whole month without blogging. Not ever.
Until now. October 2013...who's to know what happened during that month?! Because I did not write on this blog, we'll never really know.

But in all seriousness. Apparently parenting two children, Brett working nightshifts, and writing a "book thing" ( which I think is an appropriate name for it at this point, because its neither a book or a thing..but together I think its fitting), oh and lets be real I also really like me some fall TV, blogging came in dead last. So did my kitchen floor. Its never been so dirty. I wrote about it being dirty last month and it turns out it only got dirtier. I mean, it got a little cleaner a few times...but turns out we all insist on using our feet in that kitchen sooo...

But this post is not about my kitchen floor.

It's about the state of things. I was thinking last night that one of the things that has kept me blogging over the years is how very much I enjoy being able to look back over my life and remember things I ordinarily would not remember. Its helpful.
It's like being a parent of two children. With the second one you tend to be less stressed because you remember that with the first these things didn't really last forever ( which is why I'm overdue in writing a letter to my future self about 3 year olds and how they probably won't be the death of me...but they'll sure try). In the past I've had tons of patterns reveal themselves on my blog, like how every time we move I have a breakdown around month two into our new home where I bemoan not having friends ( then I usually make friends in month 3). Or how I tend to find all things bleaker early in the morning and late at night but that half way through writing about it I usually can find a glimmer of hope. And the times that I can't find that glimmer of hope, I best stop writing and start praying immediately. 

So, if you'll indulge me, I will now sip my coffee and give the state of the union November 2013.

I'm currently sipping coffee while Tabitha crawls after a balloon on the floor. Balloons are good crawling exercises because they tend to stay just out of reach of those pudgy hands. She really doesn't need practice though more like motivation. My daughter is incredibly laid back ( bless her) and I think the only thing stopping her from crawling a month ago was the drive to want to do it. Once she found something far away that she wanted more than what was in front of her then off she went. I love being her Mommy. She's just so easy. And sure I've had to stop her from destroying something twice in writing this paragraph but such is the state of this un-childproofed room.

Ransom is sitting on the couch across from me throughly enjoying extra morning ipad time. Neither Brett or I is a morning person and sometimes ( at least twice a week is just "sometimes" right?) we break the rules just a little bit and let him watch an extra half hour of Daniel Tiger so that we can continue to wake up. And wake up we must because Ransom is going to be a FULL TIME JOB from the moment that ipad closes ( and usually before) until he hits the bed again that night. People told me 3 years old was worse than 2...which I thought was just RUDE to say! But since 2 wasn't that bad, I figured people were just exaggerating...WRONG. We had our first public display of tantrum last week. I got to be that person leaving the store in the middle of a shopping trip that people shake their heads when they see. I took pictures so that  future Ransom would know what we had beat out of him and could thank us later on ( only partly kidding here). I then sent those pictures to my sister and was like. "HOLY TARGET TRIP BATMAN!! PLEASE TELL ME YOUR 3 YEAR OLD IS TERRIBLE TOO!"  And of course, her three year old IS terrible too...which only made me feel a tiny bit better.

I'm turning 30 this month which I'm totally excited about. I feel like 30 gives me a tiny bit of legitimacy as an adult like maybe I'm not just pretending that I know some things and maybe I'm comfortable with the person I am and have at least half way figured out the person I want to be and how I can hopefully become that person. I will say that I'm a little disappointed that I am not quite as fabulous as I wanted to be at 30. The last 15 (!!!) pounds of pregnancy weight have yet to leave-which I blame more on the fact that I have a pretty awful case of Plantars Fasciitis in my right foot that enables me from doing any walking/running and lets be real-with two kids those are my GO TO exercises-and I blame it less on the fact that I have a raging sweet tooth that I seem incapable of reigning in. Incidentally I did also figure out that those 15 pounds are almost CERTAINLY linked to the fact that a TALL Pumpkin Spiced Latte from Starbucks is 300 calories! WHAAAAAT?!?! Back when I was stuck in the hospital on bed rest for a month I had one of those babies almost every oops.
I'm also a little sad that after 30 years on this earth I'm not just a little bit more disciplined. But I'll let 40 year old me have that one.

Brett and I are enjoying his current work schedule and I have learned that these things tend to ebb and flow. We've experienced EXTREME pressure in the work department and now we're experiencing the lack of such pressure and it turns out they both have their issues to work through. I'd say that the lack of pressure is waaaay nicer, but that's just me. ;-) Sure, we have no stable work schedule ( sometimes Brett works weekends and has a day or two off in the middle of the week, sometimes we have no days off for two weeks, and then five days off in a row...sometimes all that changes and he works nights or mornings or late afternoons/ never really know.) but the fact that I see my husband getting to relax and actually enjoy life from time to time and see his kids and spend time with them while not being ridiculously tired. Well, that is worth my weight in gold ( which lets not forget is pretty substantial! ha!).

When we came to San Antonio we knew that we would once again be stretched and grown when it came to our relationship with the Lord. I knew that ministry would once again look drastically different. And those things are all very true. Of course, what I thought different and hard would look like is not it at all ( of course.). And from day to day I realize how little I know. How much I must depend on the grace and mercy of the Lord and how easily I forget what a BIG and MIRACULOUS God He is.

Which is why I'm writing that Book Thing. Every time I sit down to write I realize more of how miraculous things that happened to us really were. I also realize that sometimes miraculous things are incredibly hard. Last month my little friend KJ went to be with Jesus. He was 12. His parents who lost their only child, I pray for them daily. It does not seem miraculous At. All. for a sweet and kind beyond his years twelve years, little boy who loved starwars and corny jokes to die. What is miraculous are his parents, the fact that they continue on, they strive to go each day without their sweet boy. It is miraculous that KJ knows things now that the rest of us struggle to grasp. These are all things I'm trying to figure out. These are the thing that writing the Book Thing are helping me with. I'm also learning that in my limited ablilities writing a Book Thing are basically writing a really really really long blog post. So, if you don't like my blog posts than you best put the Book Thing out of your mind, because its gonna be awful when it's done. Which, since it's taken longer than Ransom's 30 minutes allotment of Daniel Tiger ( he's now watching The Lion King which he found all on his own...thanks Apple products for being so intuitive) to write this post, it may never be finished.

And so, that is where we stand on this November morning in 2013.

September 26, 2013

One of my favorite things: Preschool Prep

So, its Thursday and this week has been a bust. My bathrooms, my kitchen floor...all diiiirty. Like Miley Cyrus dirty. But I'm not cleaning them right now, because my sicky little 3 year old does not want me out of eye-sight and he's busy watching Sight Words on the couch. Day 3 of constant videos and ipad time because this fever will just NOT GO AWAY.

Instead, I will continue to go with the theme that this blog has slowly evolved into this year ( its interesting how I can't seem to share deep stuff in two places at once! Its currently all pouring into my you get this stuff instead!) and share yet another of my favorite things with you....Incidentally, before we get started let me just say that I chatted with my mom a few weeks ago about how Mommy Blogs that review stuff have the tendency to head down this really awful road of becoming a written infomercial. Some pull this off better than others. A blog I use to really like I had to literally block from all forms of communication because it became so incredibly annoying with its "look what cool freebies I'm getting" and all her reviews even though she'd always tell you she was getting free stuff to review the product, were inevitably positive. Not ONE negative review? I doubt it.

Annnnyways, I know others who have found the happy medium of doing reviews for companies that send them free things and yet keeping a level of authenticity that I appreciate and I totally love that they have that opportunity and that I get to benefit from their thoughts on various products...However, I'm just too lazy and unmotivated to figure out how to get on this particular train. And therefore I will just continue to share the things that I love, give you links to those products and probably never really get much in return, except my favorite thing which is that all my friends get to share it the stuff I love! Just the way I like it!*

So, today, I'm going to share with you the secret to how my 3 year old knows his letters, letter sounds**, numbers to twenty, his shapes, his colors and about 15 or so sight words: Preschool Prep.
I promise it was not me being an awesome attentive, creative mom. Nope, it was me catching 5 more minutes of ZZs, feeding Tabitha or me blogging doing housework while Ransom watches twenty minutes of one of these videos.
I've now given these to many friends as gifts and I've yet to meet a kid who hasn't learned at least their letters from these uber-repeative, mindblowingly boring videos. See, these are not your pixar movies or your veggie tales, or even your sesame street, that has built in parent enjoyment. Nope. You will NOT enjoy these videos ( minus maybe the first time)....but your child will AND the repetition will be just enough and their enjoyment will be just enough that they will learn all sorts of good stuff!  Win! Win!

* Except the awesome lady who sales those cool teething necklaces, did let me have some free necklaces for sharing my experience after the fact! So sweet!

** Just kidding, the phonics videos are my least favorite. Ransom did not like them for some reason, they were maybe too advanced because they tried to teach every variation all at once. So I liked Leap Frog: Letter Factory for that particular skill.

September 01, 2013

Second baby things

Lately a lot of Mommy friends out there have been asking me to recommend "second baby" items. You know, those things that you needed to purchase after already purchasing a million and one things for that FIRST baby....So, I've given it a ponder and here's what I've come up with....

 Sanity....Gosh, I wish they sold THAT on Amazon Prime with free two day shipping because I'd be buying it in bulk. Subscribe and Save all the way. ( but seriously, do you know about Amazon Mom? It gets you free shipping on Prime items (that's pretty much everything if you look hard enough)...just the free shipping alone saves me TONS of money , you get Amazon Instant video where your first kid can watch episodes of Mister Rogers Neighborhood for hours *cough* I mean a few minutes!) plus all kinds of movies and other shows that you can watch while you're doing those middle of the night feedings , if you do choose to do Subscribe and Save on things like diapers and wipes, it'll get ya an EXTRA 20% off!! Friends. Jump on this band wagon if you haven't already! Its a yearly fee that, if you're make back in just a months worth of free shipping! Promise!
( And if you'd like to join, click on this link here and I'll get money back on my next order! And I'll love you forever...Amazon Mom

Ok, so other things that are "extras" that I've loved having around with the second baby:

I finally tossed my Baby Bjorn that I'd inherited from a friend with my first baby and I splurged on the Ergo. Honestly, I feel SO STUPID! Why had I been suffering with back and neck pain for years using that silly thing?!?! THIS ERGO IS HEAVEN!! It was worth every single cent, and considering I feel like I carry my second baby around in it even more than my first, I'm never looking back! Grocery shopping, house cleaning, chasing your other child in the park....its a breeze!

I'm not going to post a link to the Ergo, because you just need to start stalking the popular mommy sites like Zulily and Woot and you'll probably find a sale in under a week. I got mine for about 40% off in cherry red ( loooove).

So, of course, I got myself a double stroller too...because sometimes you don't just want to have your baby locked in place, but you want that fully mobile first kid properly stowed....Now, there are TONS of options when it comes to double strollers. I'll just let you know that whichever way you look at it, they are HUGE and really only worth it at the Zoo, at the park and when you're running/exercising...basically wide open spaces. So, this is why I went for a jogging stroller and just use my infant carrier and my umbrella stroller for other trips like to the Mall or the grocery store.

Now, for something that is purely frivolous but that I am really loving having around with baby #2:
I bought myself jewelry. But not just any jewelry. A teething necklace that *I* wear. So not only do I look stylish ( It goes so well with my yoga pants, nursing top and dirty hair look), BUT Tabitha loves slobbering ALL over this thing. I'm thinking it feels pretty awesome on her teeth! The score here is that it's one less toy for me to keep track of when we hit the road ( this is a MUST for any airplane travel!)...I just throw it on and I've got myself a toy for my tiny tot.

There are all sorts of these available, but can I just say, if you can order them from this ebay store. First of all, they were a great price, they had tons of color options AND on top of all that- I was stupid and had three of these shipped to my old address in Georgia ( NOOOOOOOOOO!!!)- I explained my stupidity to the seller and even explained that they were gifts and they shipped me new ones immediately- at no extra charge!! SO COOL! Seriously, I will be using her again and I may even buy myself another one ( the red is super cute).

Next, is something that I found at Wal-Mart. Well, to be more specific, I found the cheapest one of these at Wal-Mart, its the Carter's Child of Mine brand "Wet Bag"...that has a cute clothe outside and a plastic, water proof inside with a wonderful zipper to close it all up. For a lovely $5.99. Sadly you can only find them in stores but get thee over to your local Wal-Mart and pick up BOTH styles ( it comes it two different prints) because you're gonna want these babies. They are big enough for me to stick some diapers and wipes plus an extra onesie for Tabitha in one and then in the other one I stick a change of clothes for Ransom. This is easy on several levels. If your diaper bag is as giant as mine its SO much nicer to just pull out the little diaper bag when you need it OR lets say the glorious day occurs where your husband is nice enough to watch one of your darling children, you can just pull out the unneeded wet bag and leave it behind. Ahhhhh! A lighter diaper bag! I also have one that I use for Tabitha's baby food. Because its water proof its spill proof too! I can stick dirty spoons and empty baby food containers in there and when I come home I just throw it in the wash! No more wasting tons of ziplocs every time you go out! Here's what you're looking for:

So what about you? Whether you're a first time mom or a 5th time mom...or just like buying awesome presents...what's your favorite baby "make life easier" supplies? 

August 30, 2013

Children's Books: Favorite Books ( 2-3 yr olds)

So, here we are moving into the next age of books. Pretty soon Ransom will be up for CHAPTER BOOKS! And I'm soooo  excited!!! But until then we'll work our way up to that by giving you some of the books that Ransom is currently loving. When a child's attention span/ability to comprehend more info starts expanding so does the wonderful world of books....Friends its only going to get better... Once again I'm dividing this age into two parts. "Favorite Authors" and "Favorite Books"....with the authors, obviously you've got a whole BUNCH of books at your disposal and that's pretty awesome for library trips when you can just head to the author's letter and start picking up books ( Post coming soon)....but then there are those wonderful little delights that I will share with you here, that could quite possibly get lost in the mix:

First comes a book that was given to me at a baby shower for Ransom. ( Thanks McClure Family!!) And a few months ago Ransom seemed to discover it for the first time, and surprisingly its one of Brett's favorite books to read to Ransom. Well, really NOT surprisingly because it really is wonderful! It's got good lyrical writing ( important for reading out loud), beautiful drawings and a really sweet moral at the end. This book is perfect for both boys and girls and seriously...its a diamond in the rough. Go get this book immediately.

This next book makes me extra happy because we're currently reading it to Ransom from my torn and tattered paperback copy from when I was a little girl! I have many happy memories of my Mama reading this book out loud to me, and I even find myself reading it exactly the same way that she read it...getting slower and quieter and LOUDER and FASTER in the appropriate parts.  This book is FULL of repetition which can be hard for us adults, but boy do those little tots love it!But I say if you're going to have repetition at least have it be with animal noises....

This next book was given to us by the wonderful Tabitha the Elder or as Ransom randomly said today on the way to the grocery store ( where's Bigger Tabitha right now?!) haha! Anyway, Tabitha discovered this book a year or so ago and gifted it to us, and then low and beyond it started to win all sorts of well deserved awards! Yay! I love it when good books get the glory they so deserve! If anything I hope it means that more people will discover them. However, if you aren't one of the people who have already discovered"A Sick Day for Amos McGee" then rectify it immediately! This book not only has a beautifully sweet story about a Zoo Keeper and his animal friends, but the pictures are GORGEOUS. On each page you really HAVE to look for the little mouse who often shows up...

So this next book was also a gift. Ransom got this wonderful book for Christmas this last year and it has fed nicely into one of his favorite things. Construction vehicles. In fact, that's what his teacher wrote on first week of Preschool report "Really likes Construction trucks."...hahaha! Ummmm yes. We know. Anyway, this book is my FAVORITE of the construction trucks books ( some of them are SO BORING)....the pictures are cute and the wonderful rhyming text is all about each construction vehicle getting ready for bed. Pretty much perfect. I'm not so sure girls would dig it (ha!) as much, but if you've got a little boy in your life....this book is wonderful.

Now this last one was truly a surprise. Ransom got to pick out a free book at the library for completing their summer reading program. ( UMMMM....seriously having 15 books read out loud all summer?!?! We did it in two days. Come on people! Step up the game!) Anyway. So I didn't have very high expectation for this book because Ransom just randomly grabbed it off the "Pick a book" shelf  of prizes. But we went home and read it and it was fantastic! The pictures are fun, but the story is hilarious! This is one of those "two teared" level is for the parents the other is for the kids. So Ransom and I BOTH end up enjoying this book! Bonus is that Ransom is also really into pretending he's a doctor too so that has added a new level of authenticity to his playing. But, whatever your kid is into...if you'd like to encourage their "imaginative play" and also get a good laugh yourself....get this book.....  OH MY GOODNESS! When I went to look this book up on Amazon come to find out it IS a series! FANTASTIC! So, I guess it should technically go in my Favorite Authors post, but to remain true to myself I'll keep it here....but you better believe we'll be checking out the other Ted books at the library soon!

So, on that note....I'll hopefully share some MORE of my favorite books or ages 2-3 in another post coming soon, because believe me it is SO HARD to narrow down which ones I'm going to talk about. Sigh. Hard problems. 

August 24, 2013

Children's Books: Books that I love (1 year olds)-golden book love

I feel like in a lot of ways the books that Ransom liked when he was one were a mixture of his board books and then many that we had to "alter" as in, paraphrase the story to fit his attention, these books he now loves as a two year old and will sit through every word. ( Point being, don't let a book being a little bit over your child's head stop you from reading it to them!! ) However, there were definitely some books that I will soundly fit into the "one year old little boys love them" category...and here are a few that I love too. ( because you KNOW there are some that Ransom loves that I hate. Whhhhhy do some books have to be so boring?!?! And whhhhhy do children still love them!? )

I have this book memorized. It is why we had a "fire engine" themed second birthday. But its also an easy and painless book for Mommies and Daddies too. Points for Golden Books! 
And while we're on the subject...

This book has a certain "rhythm" in its writing that is not quite rhyme but does add just enough interest to the little listening ear. Ransom really liked it and still does. Bonus, I kind of dig the 1960s vibe.  And to be royally sexist, apparently there is a Nurse Nancy book out there that I refuse to purchase ( You'd be proud Amy King). 

Another one of my favorite Golden Books has to be: 

The Happy Man and His Dump Truck

This is a gorgeously happy book ( see title) and it includes tons of things that make it a winner: repetition, animal sounds, and if you're a little boy...dump trunks. I really love this book. So does Ransom. 

August 22, 2013


You know what's hard? Blogging. Or should I say writing a post on your blog when you're also trying to write a book and single-parent your two children under 3 while their Daddy is off doing "special work" ( as we so aptly named it so that Ransom could distinguish it from his usual every-day work). At the end of the day I'd have such big plans but lets be honest no matter what my plans were,  I'd crawl into bed with some chocolate and watch episodes of Suits instead. Day after day.

That being said, the Hubs is officially home and in the 3 days he's been home I've taken a nap (!) and gotten on Pinterest (!!) twice ( incidentally I found this sinful desert called Hot Fudge Pie...and it was amazing) which means that I'm back within my capacity and I have a few brain cells left to function at the level that I need to write this post. So here we are.

Let's back track to the part where I said I was writing a book ( its up at the top in case you missed it). Yup. I'm admitting it. It's embarrassing really because if you go to a bookstore lately its crazy what gets published (twilight?! really?!)  and then I think about all the stuff that doesn't get published and I've got to be real with myself and admit that what I'm writing will probably not see the light of day and so up till now was just calling it a "story"...and it is. It is our story.  But now that I've gotten several chapters in I feel like its only fair to call it a book. And no one ever said you had to publish said book for it to be a book.  So there it is.

And secretly I will be trying to figure out how you do publish books...because that seems kind of cool.

But speaking of our story, this week will be one year since I had emergency surgery in the hopes of saving our girls. One. Year. It blows my mind going back to those memories, remembering how we felt  -what we didn't know then. So, today as I sit here next two a super chubby 7 month old who's watching Praise Baby for the first time ( she's more interested on eating my grocery receipt sitting next to her), I am in awe of how perfect Tabitha is....its worth saying over and over again like a broken record because miracles, in fact, don't happen to me every day...and sometimes I need to remember the ones that have happened.  Tabitha is a miracle. I've got proof.
I've been reading through the beginning of the old testament the last few months and I like how God's always telling the Children of Israel to put stones various places and name them certain things so that their children will look at that big rock over there and ask, "Hey, what's that big rock doing right there?" and then they'll get to tell their children what great thing God has done. I think that's how I feel right now. I want my children to know what the Lord has done, and for me to do a good enough job explaining it that they will really be able to comprehend its greatness.

For now I'll just give my baby kisses and thank God for her every single day.

P.S. My goal is to be done with my "book" by Tabitha's first know, first draft...but we'll see how it goes.

July 05, 2013

The Hot House

Our air conditioner isn't working. It runs and runs its little heart out all day long leaving the house a current balmy 84 degrees at 7:30pm ( it dropped a degree, woo!) and then it leaves us with a lovely little present of an electricity bill of $300 at the end of June. *gulp*

Our landlords are currently "unwilling to address this nonissue" ( ok, that's not an actual quote...but the nutshell) and we've been around and around for going on 3 months, but that's not the point of this post. I've been complaining about it on Facebook for a while now, enjoying all the sympathetic responses of my fb friends...but tonight I felt I needed to say a few things that I haven't said on Facebook.

Lesson one: I have learned through this process that I'm not a particularly nice person sometimes. Especially when I feel like things are unfair. When this issue started my immediate response was outrage and a really amazing email that would make someone cry with just my words. However. The housing manager and I had spoken before. She knew I was a Christian. And so instead I wrote super nice emails and we had super nice conversations on the phone where I was above and beyond patient. I could run for president with my social skillz these past few weeks. Of course, it has done zero good...and we're still sitting around sweating in our underwear. Mostly, Ransom but you get the idea. But, I felt and I still feel that maintaining my Christian witness was more important. But what about all those other times?!?  What about all those Starbucks baristas that got my order wrong? What about that waiter that brought out the wrong food and the restaurant that was incredibly slow when I had an impatient 3 year old waiting for dinner ( *ahem and me ahem*) ? What about that person who cut me off in traffic? Or the post office worker who is ignoring the long line of people waiting to be helped and taking his 15 minutes? These people don't know I'm a Christian and they definitely wouldn't be able to tell from my actions and words. Sometimes my sense of justice outweighs my sense of kindness  and I want to do a better job.
So to be honest, I'm happy about our current living situation in the hotness of our house....because I feel like I've done what was right and kind and sometimes that matters more.

Lesson two: This is more of a reminder but still....I love our house. Did I tell you that I drove by the house that we almost rented before we found this one? It was on this awful zero plotline street with tons of traffic and no grass...Who even knows about the inside. All I know is that this house is not only everything we wanted ( close to Brett's work, room for entertaining and biblestudies etc) it also had things I didn't even know I wanted like sidewalks on the street so Ransom can safely ride his bike. Out of the way location that makes it seem like we live in the country when we live in the middle of a city. A back yard with rose bushes. A SCREENED IN BACK PORCH ( This has been on my dream house for years). A Starbucks with a drivethru a mile a way ( this is new, but worth mentioning because God knows ALL THINGS). And so I say all this to say that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this house was the one that God picked out for us. He wants us here. And I am so grateful for the kindnesses this home has offered us. That said, I'm currently uncomfortable, hot and sticky and reevaluating my monthly budget to try and include a giant bill. However, if I can trust the Lord to think of things like sidewalks and close Starbucks then He also knows that we're hot. He will take care of this. This is His fight. And while I will do things like consider getting my own air conditioner quotes and send daily reports of the temperature and unit activity to my house manager, I will do my best to not get a hothead about it ( pun intended).
Wish me luck. I'm still learning.

June 28, 2013


So, on Friday evenings Brett leads an outreach bible study. And Friday's are always bad. Coincidence? I think not!! And I don't think I fully realized that until this evening when I caught myself thinking, "Man, it would be cool if Brett just forgot that he had bible study tonight so that I could get a break from these children."

You know, these children that I love. The one who has discovered that awful word, "Why?" which he says any time anyone asks him to do anything. Or that other one, the one who seems to have some sort of stomach issue going on. Who literally was happy only when being held a certain way and who didn't want to sleep at all....

Anyway, it is not accident that I'm not such a great of a person on Fridays. Kind of like when I was younger and I was always particularly terrible on Sunday mornings, the mornings that my Papa spent preparing his lessons for Church, and then one day my Mom or someone mentioned that maybe I was being used as an attack on those precious morning preparation times, and I was all like, "NU-UH am I gonna let the devil us ME!" So I tried to be good on Sunday mornings. ( tried being the operative word).

Anyway, so back to Fridays. So, when I caught myself thinking such an awfully selfish thought, I made a turn for the better and while my son continued to ask me "Why?" up until I turned the light off at 8pm. And while I did have to hold my crying baby girl several more times during the evening, I decided to end my night writing.

And not just any writing....I was going to write in the Priscilla Tabitha Story. And we're up to the part where we loose Priscilla which, as you can imagine, I basically have stalled on for quite some time.
But, I did it, I sat down and I wrote it.

I listened to Natalie Grant's song Held on repeat and I wrote it. And the cool thing was, that in the end I think the Lord gave me insight into some new cool thoughts. Which is why I love writing. Sometimes as I write a new thought just pours out of me as though I'd thought it before and like it was what I was going to write all along, when, in reality, it just came to me in that moment of fingers to keys. Those are some of the best moments and it is why writing is my therapy.

So I am grateful to a happy end to this day.

June 13, 2013

Children's Books: Favorite Authors Edition (1 yr olds)

Thanks for all of you who mentioned some of your favorite books....some of you even mentioned some nonboard books that I'd lined up for future posts ( different categories, you know! hehehe!) That being said I've currently got FOUR MORE blog posts in the works, but its SO HARD not to just over run you with a million books...especially since there are a MILLION good books! But that's a good problem to have! If you haven't read my Board Book recommendations, you can do that....and stay tuned for "Books that I love ( 1-2yr olds)",  "Favorite authors for 2-3 yr olds" and "Books that I love 2-3 yr olds."....and probably several more...hehe.

So, now I'm in to a section of books that is a little bit more complicated-every child is different, has different interests, will sit through different books, different lengths of books etc. etc.
And since I've only had ONE child so far,  I have limited knowledge. But, limited knowledge has never ever stopped me from blogging before, now has it?!?! NOPE! hahaha! But seriously, I'm confident in my recommendations here....if you or your kid doesn't like these books then I'm wondering...can we really be friends?! ( kidding).

So without further ado! The books Ransom and I have liked over the last year or so have been varied and many so this will be in several posts. Tonight, for matter of simplicity I'm just going to list three authors who we love a LOT of their books. Kind of like Sandra Boynton I feel you cannot go wrong when you see one in the bookstore.

Mo Willems was introduced to me by my friend Miranda and I love love LOVE his books! Many of them are perfect for 1 year olds because they are pretty great on the words to pictures ratio for those with shorter attention spans. And the humor is good for both adults and children. Ransom's favorite is:

There are 3 Knuffle Bunny books, and beware. When I read the third one....standing in the children's section of Barnes and Nobles, I actually cried.  As in tears.  So don't let anyone tell you that you can't have actual heart in a picture book, because you can.  These books are WONDERFUL. 
My other favorite Mo books are probably the Pigeon Books and we check these out from the library pretty regularly: 

Another favorite author of mind is Peter Spier. Many of his books are just pictures, which is great for all your non-readers but big-imagination children. I remember looking at several of his picture books for hours as a kid, coming up with my own stories. The thing is, that doesn't just happen. I think as parents we give our kids a head start in the imagination department by sitting down with them and showing them how its done. Which is what we've done with Spier's book, Rain: 

And this book, Circus, while not entirely pictures- is still so rich in detail on every page that it might as well be! We hardly read what is actually written ( or at least not yet) its very technical, but Ransom loves looking at it and will often play "circus" throughout the day. 

What I do NOT recommend is, "Noah's Ark". While we actually own a copy and Ransom will ask us to read it periodically, I do not think it is fitting for young children. Let's just say that Spier is maybe a little too good at being accurate in his pictures, and while Ransom loves pointing out all the piles of poop on the ark ( very good point, there Spier) , he also wonders what is going to happen to all those animals with water up around their necks that didn't make it on the boat....not a convo I'm wanting to have with my 2 year old!

Another great author that everyone probably already knows, is Richard Scarry. 

My mom read this book every single night to Ransom when he was staying with her this past year. It was so soundly intrenched in his bedtime routine, I actually worried what we would do when he left! While I didn't go so far as to get my own copy ( this book is definitely a book that Spicy reads) we do have our own selection of Scarry's books that we love. Ransom's favorite of our collection is probably: 

It's definitely a "boy" book, but it has enough other interesting things on every page to make it pretty enjoyable for girls too! ( Like looking for little goldbug on every page. totally fun). And if you're interested, the more story focused rather than picture focused of Scarry's books my favorite is probably, The Great Pie Robbery its pretty hilarious. : 

And what about you? What are your favorite authors who just can't seem to go wrong when it comes to the tot books?! I'd love to hear your favs! 

May 31, 2013

Children's Books: Board Books

One of the hundreds of reasons that I'm more of a "toddler/kid" person than a "baby" person is that I love to read to children.  Watch You've Got Mail when Meg Ryan goes to Fox books and ends up telling some other customer what book she's looking for......this has happened to me numerous times. Probably because I'm just LOOKING for someone to half-whisper to themselves, "What to get for a 12 year old girl?" or "I wonder what my 3 year old nephew would like?" and I'm ALL OVER IT.

I should have been a children's librarian or a bookstore owner or something. But instead I'm a Mom, which allows me to pour all my love of books into my children. And let's just say that children's books are coming out of our ears.
We made these shelves for Ransom's room and I'm starting to think we should have made more. So not only does Tabitha have books in her room ( mostly of the board book variety) but Ransom has a book case plus the super cool rain-gutter shelves...

That being said, I think I'm going to do a little book series on my blog of my favorite books/Ransom's favorite books. And I suppose its best for me to start with Board Books for the under a year lot since it makes sense to go sequentially.

Many people don't think its important to read to your children when they are very young, but take it from me...its SO important. Ransom was probably about 8 months old when he first laughed at a book....and I think it teaches them so much, even if its just to sit still in your lap for a few minutes.

Here are our favorites. By the way, minor little rabbit trail rant, I HATE IT when publishers will publish a book that is for a WAY older audience in board book form just because they can! Then people end up getting a book for a child that is way over their head and they don't enjoy it and the just end up giving up....noooo gooooood! Board books should be for the tikes who still have the propensity to stick a book in their mouths or tear pages...We've got quite a few so called board books that I'm JUST NOW pulling out for Ransom because they weren't age appropriate till now. This fact confuses me.....Annnnnnnyway, there are SO many perfectly wonderful and age appropriate board books out there and after compiling my list, I realized that almost ALL these books were given to us as gifts! Thanks friends for sharing your awesome books with us, because this was definitely a category that I knew nothing about until I had a kid of my own!)

First tip: Buy ANYTHING by Sandra Boynton. I discovered her during Ransom's first year and I'm addicted. I pretty much have a girl crush on this woman because anyone who's ever had to read to a baby knows that repetition is the name of the game, and if I have to read something over and over it better be clever and extra points if its down right funny, and that is exactly what her books are!
( Follow her on twitter  , she's hilarous) 
 So if I had to pick favorites of her books ( which is hard) I'd probably go with :

( you can click on any of the book's pictures to take you straight to where they can be purchased)

I'd also have to say that this one is also great (Thanks Tabitha for giving us this book) :

This one I found long after Ransom had pretty much outgrown board books but its so beautifully designed and its got such a funny surprise ending that I bought it anyway, besides the obvious reason that everybody, boy or girl, must read Austen from a young age: 

Here's another classic. Bonus: Ransom is not afraid of thunder because in the book it says, "Boom Boom Boom, Mr Brown is a wonder, Boom Boom Boom, Mr. Brown makes thunder." And so that is what Ransom says when he hears it outside. ( Thanks Miranda for giving us this book!)

The next book is part of a whole series that is fantastic in the "touch and feel" category...which babies loooooove, here's one of our favorites ( Thanks Anna for giving us this book) but there is also a train one and a monkey one, a bunny, a dinosaur...pretty much anything your kid is in to:

This next book is cool because its pretty little and is perfect for slipping into your bag for an outing at the doctors or at a restaurant. And what kid doesn't like opening little flaps to see different animals?!  ( Thank you Amber for this book!) 

And last but not least, this book has taken residence in Tabitha's room because its a board book-but Ransom will continually get it out while I'm feeding his sister and have me read it to him. He's a fan. So am I ( Thanks Leila for this book!)  : 

Obviously there are MANY wonderful board books out there! So share with me some of your favorites! I'd love to broaden my horizons with Tabitha ( the thought of having to read some of them another hundred thousand times to her definitely gives me pause! hahaha!)