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!) 

May 16, 2013


So, friends, I'm dusting off the ol' blog today after a truly awful day. I know, probably the worst way to blog. Nobody wants to read downer posts and I so hate the social media trend of using facebook and posts to just rant and I will not mention my day. I mentioned it on facebook instead. HA!

Instead, I'll take this time I usually get to spend with my husband ( the after the kids go to bed time) that is now my "alone" time since he's started night shifts for the forseeable future to write this post. I've had a lot floating around that I wanted to post but I was either lazy or busy and it didn't happen..usually a combo of both ;-)

So instead of a nice, well written post, here are some barely coherent thoughts:

I heard this Kutless song on the radio the other day and its kind of stuck with me:


One of the things I'm learning from writing out the girls story all at once, is that I crave feedback. Almost every time I sit down to write I end up wanting to send it to someone to read. Apparently I have been blogging too long and now I want to not only get things off my chest, but I also want validation from another person. Uh-oh. I feel like Greg Kinnear's character in You've Got Mail who's always wanting people to read his work out loud or asking for feedback. So, anyway, other than a friend of mine who's a pretty awesome editor, I havent sent it out to anyone and I don't think even Brett has read it. So this is good. Growth.


Brett and I have been following a pretty close budget the last two months thanks to an iphone app toshl finance. It has cutesy  little monster animation to try to distract you from the fact that you're spending tons of money. It feeds my OCD nature and I looove looking at my little money chart. That being said I already went over my "spending money" budget for the month because I had to buy some summer clothes that fit ( thanks extra 30 pounds pregnancy!! Way to over stay your welcome!!! )....and then as awful luck would have it, I found this purse that I really really wanted:

Its a gorgeous Tailor and Stylist bag.
It has now become clear that I just might be the one that spends money not Brett spending it on coffee. ( to be far, he DOES spend lots of money on just doesnt cost $50 a pop. sigh) 
Since my current purse double as a diaper bag, its just as well that I can't buy this one...but someone else should buy it because look how cute it is!! Don't let this go to waste!


Last week I watched Good Will Hunting on Netflix because I was in the mood. Did you realize that movie is like 15 years old?!?! I'm not even kidding. I remember when Matt and Ben won the Oscar for best screen play like it was yesterday. Wow.


So, Tabitha is 4 months old and she has yet to laugh. She has learned to screech with glee, on the other hand. So, yeah, not sure what to think about that. I'm wondering if I'm just not very funny (?)


I have officially entered the period of time that happens every time I move ( or in the case of Georgia when all my friends moved away all at once.) where I feel incredibly lonely and I think that I will never ever have any friends ever again. This time, however, I had the added bonus of also having two of whom I'd ALSO like to have friends and the other who I'd like to have friends one day when she starts to laugh at things. I had no idea having kids was going to add this heartbreaking element. Or maybe I did know and I just blocked it out, or I thought it wouldn't come so soon. Watching Ransom at the park watching other kids play literally BROKE MY HEART the other day. Nevermind that he's always been more comfortable watching in big groups. It just reinforced in my mind that I really miss his little friends: Emmy, Elizabeth, Kilsyth...dude. He needs some boy friends.


May 05, 2013

To Rest

We spent the last week with family ( or at least the kids and I did, Brett drove up on Sunday after work) taking advantage of our last "4 days off" for Brett's work before the summer surge hits. It was good. I'm boiling it all up to the celebration of life. My niece turned 3 with a fairy princess party. We honored my good friend Jennifer's twins ( and she surprised us by honoring OUR twins too!) at the March of Dimes
walk. And Brett and I spread Priscilla's ashes...
It's weird, I know, that I say celebrate life when some of what we did was deal with death, but that's the thing... As Brett and I walked with our baby girls ashes the thing that popped into my head was a line from the song In Christ Alone :

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

We had sung this song on Sunday in church, but I know it came to my mind as a comforting reminder in those moments. There is nothing like facing the finality of death to help one realize how miraculous Life can be! Whether one admits it or not, He is the one who controls our destinies. He is the one who knows us better than we know ourselves. As for my baby girl? As for my niece, my friends, their children, my very own life- they are all in His Hand! 

I am grateful for this constant reminder of the miracles-both big and small- that The Lord gives us on a daily basis.

If you are interested, you can read the letter I read out loud to Priscilla when we spread her ashes here.