Friday, May 14, 2010

Come Out Wishing Star

Ok, I am back. I know you all were waiting on the edge of your seats for the continuation of my bed time story entry.

I'm totally kidding.

There's A Monster at the End of This Book - by Jon Stone. It's incredibly cute. And it makes my youngest laugh from cover to cover. Poor Grover is so scared because he heard that there's a monster at the end of the book. And he "yells" at you ever time you turn the page because every time you turn the page you're bringing him CLOSER to the MONSTER.

The Velveteen Rabbit - by Margery Williams. I think we've all at least heard of this one. The little Velveteen Rabbit doesn't get much play time for a while. So he sits in the nursery talking to the rocking horse about what it means to be Real. Then the little boy he was given to loses the toy he usually sleeps with so his nanny runs into the nursery and grabs the Velveteen Rabbit. The little bunny learns that sometimes being loved can be painful. Sometimes it rubs your fur off and leaves you worn and ragged. And that sometimes you have to let go of the ones that you love.

There is also a series called The Land of Pleasant Dreams. Again, one of my favorites to listen to/read when I was a child. All the types of book with a "the moral of the story is..." type of ending, although I guess that can be said for most childrens' stories. I don't know the specific author, because from what I can see there were several. But they were absolutely adorable. With titles like Bear-ly There At All which was about a little bear who (if I remember correctly) wanted to be bigger, so he/she put on this humungous heavy coat that ended up shrinking him/her, or Is It Soup Yet: Too Many Cooks Spoil The Broth.

Last but not least... there are the good old standins like Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes. Or anything by Hans Christian Andersen. Or the Brothers Grimm. A lot of the Little Golden Books too.

Anyways, just wanted to help out if you were tired of reading the same old thing to your kids every night at bed time. If you're looking for anything for yourself to read, I'll be posting my own reading list later. Much longer, but without all the explanations so it doesn't take so long to get through them. :-)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Good Night Moon

I have never actually read that book. To myself or my children.

And I'm not one of those mom's that can just pull a 30 minute faerie tale out of my butt to tell to my kids at bedtime either. Try as I may. So alas, I am left searching for the perfect bedtime story among the library that are my kiddos' books.

Has anyone else struggled with the story end of the bedtime routine? I, personally, get tired of reading the same stories over and over again. After a while, I don't care if it's Pinkie Pies birthday party. Or that Sleeping Beauty has to find the perfect wedding dress.

So I figured, just incase someone is stuck in the same unfortunate situation as I, that I would post a list of bedtime stories that I've either read my kids, or that I was read as a child... just to give you guys some ideas. And by the way, I kind of suck at reviews so some of them are going to be from Amazon if I can find them.

The first, unfortunately, I can't find. Anywhere... so if any of you CAN please please PLEASE tell me. It was one that was read to me at bedtime by my older brother who is no longer with us, and it, probably for that reason, is one of my favorites. It's call God is in the Night. But I don't know who it's by. :-(

The second, The Snow Child. It's by Harriet Ziefert. It's about an old couple who were sad that they had no children. So, wanting a little boy or girl built one out of snow. When the old woman kissed the snow child, she came to life. They were all happy for a while until Spring came and it got to warm for the Snow Child to stay. She had to go where it was cold. The old couple was sad again. But the Snow Child came back the next winter.

The next is actually a great number of stories/books, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald and a few other authors on different stories. I'm just going to post the review from Amazon for these. "Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has been wildly popular with children and adults for over 50 years. Children adore her because she understands them--and because her upside-down house is always filled with the smell of freshly baked cookies, and her backyard with buried treasure. Grownups love her because her magical common sense solutions to children's problems succeed when their own cajoling and yelling don't. For the child who refuses to bathe, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle recommends letting her be. Wait until the dirt on her body has accumulated to half an inch, then scatter radish seeds on her arms and head. When the plants start sprouting, the nonbather is guaranteed to change her mind about that bath."

Number four is another where there are multiple books. It's Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish, Herman Parish, and Lynn Sweat. That's another group of books that I read when I was younger. Again, another snippet from Amazon, "Amelia Bedelia draws the drapes with a pencil and sketchpad. She makes sponge cake with a real sponge. She recruits a train conductor to lead an orchestra. And when she's driving toward a fork in the road, she's also on the lookout for a spoon."

Selection number five is Rotten Ralph. The books are written by Jack Gantos and Illustrated by Nicole Rubel. These were a favorite of my little brother way back when. Ralph is a rotten cat (really?) but despite his attitude and his nastiness, his owner loves him anyway. Does Ralph finally see the error of his ways?

Number six, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day written by Judith Viorst. "I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there's gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day." Another favorite of mine and my brother's when we were younger.

That's all I have for right now. I have to go jump in the shower and then run to the store, but I will post more as I either find them or remember them later.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

If I Want Advice, I'll Ask For It

Have you ever noticed that pregnant women tend to become community property whether they like it or not? People see pregnant women and have no qualms walking right up to her and rubbing her belly. Or talking baby talk to it. Or telling her horror stories about their births. Or telling her that she's going to need to do this for her child. Or "You're not going to eat that are you? You're pregnant." No really? If you hadn't told me I would not have known.

I don't know what it is about the human race and pregnant women. If I see a pregnant lady, part of me wishes I was in her shoes. I miss being pregnant. But am I going to rush up to her and drool all over her belly? No. That would be weird. And I'd probably get arrested.

But a lot of women that I see.... don't like to tell people when they're stepping over the line. The "PLEASE DON'T TOUCH ME I DON'T KNOW YOU YOU'RE BREAKING MY PERSONAL SPACE BUBBLE" line. Me personally, unless someone is being outright vicious to me, I've found I have a hard time telling them "STEP OFF". But in a nicer way of course.

I've seen so many ladies grind their teeth and bear it when someone is telling them "This is what you do when they do this. And you can't eat this or this will happen. When I was a mother we never did...." blahblahblah. Ladies... you don't have to listen to it. It's ok to politely tell them to mind their own business.

The same goes for when you HAVE your children. When they're throwing tantrums in the middle of the store. Or when they ask you for something.

I'll never forget.

Alanna was 3 years old and pitching an outright FIT in the shampoo aisle of walmart. I watched a lady leave her kids who couldn't have been more than 6 and 7 in the aisle where I was and turn the corner to go look at whatever was on the other side. I heard her say (and I'm... nicing it down because the lady was a witch) "She needs to take that brat home and put her to bed." Meanwhile, I'm watching her children sniffing shampoo, taking every bottle off the shelves and literally trying to jam the little hole the shampoo comes out up their noses. Yeah... thanks for the advice lady.

Sometimes people just have no filters. And they think because you're pregnant or you have children it means that they are entitled to comment on what you're eating, saying, doing, feeling, wearing, writing... WHATEVER.

You ARE NOT community property. Just because someone is being nice while they're basically rounding first base with your stomach doesn't mean that you need to let them continue. If you don't want to listen to "you should do this, this, and this," you don't have to. People can tell you how to discipline your kids all they want, doesn't mean you have to pay ANY attention to what they're saying.

If you ask for advice... that's one thing. Great. Pick out things that seem helpful and implement them. If you don't ask for advice, you don't need to hear it. Believe me. I know how frustrating it is to have people expect you to sit back and listen to everything they've ever done with their children because they've been doing it longer than you.

Don't sit back and be miserable. :-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fairly Odd Parent

As a rule, you won't find me reading books about anyone who actually exists. Either exists now or has existed at some point in the history of the universe (except of course, for the Creator of the Universe... I can read about Him all day). Like... was actually a real human being. And I say "as a rule" because there IS a book I'm interested in checking out called "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". The man was real, but the persona is fantasy. Which is nifty.

I'm not in biographies or autobiographies of political leaders. I don't care to read self improvement books (because really, who can improve on perfection (I'm totally kidding)). I don't (generally) read romance novels (there are a few that are of the fantasy genre, so I'll take a gander at 'em). I don't have any "How To..." books. And aside from Baby Name books when I was pregnant, and certain magazines, I've never read a book on parenting.

Maybe that makes me weird. I don't know.

What I DO read are fantasy novels. One thing I hope my kids "inherit" is my love for fantasy. For dragons, elves, wizards, unicorns etc. I've had a lot of people tell me my kids shouldn't be into that sort of thing. Because they won't know the difference between that and what's real.

My children (ok, so Lydia's only 2, so she still doesn't know any better) are extremely bright. Alanna can watch Harry Potter or dream about being a mermaid princess... but she knows that it's make believe. She knows that when the movie is off or the book is closed then she's back in the real world. She's not looking for Dumbledore to show up at her school. She's not searching for faeries who fly around outside in the yard. It's all about how you teach them.

If you don't TEACH them truth from fantasy then no, they won't know the difference. I'm sure everyone has heard stories about kids who thought they could do the things they see in movies and end up hurting themselves or other people. But if you teach them where the line is... where's the harm in reading the books? Or watching the movies? Heck, sometimes I wish I'd see faeries flying around in my yard. Or that unicorns really existed. Or that I had a best friend who was secretly a werewolf and was madly in love with me. :-)

As a precursor to what I'm about to show you, because I'm so enamored with everything that is fantasy, I encourage you all to read the book Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I found this review at and figured I'd post it because I'm not usually good with words when it comes to "reviews".

Grace, 17, loves the peace and tranquility of the woods behind her home. It is here during the cold winter months that she gets to see her wolf—the one with the yellow eyes. Grace is sure that he saved her from an attack by other wolves when she was nine. Over the ensuing years he has returned each season, watching her with those haunting eyes as if longing for something to happen. When a teen is killed by wolves, a hunting party decides to retaliate. Grace races through the woods and discovers a wounded boy shivering on her back porch. One look at his yellow eyes and she knows that this is her wolf in human form. Fate has finally brought Sam and Grace together, and as their love grows and intensifies, so does the reality of what awaits them. It is only a matter of time before the winter cold changes him back into a wolf, and this time he might stay that way forever. Told from alternating points of view, the narrative takes a classic Romeo & Juliet plot and transforms it into a paranormal romance that is beautiful and moving. Readers will easily identify with the strong, dynamic characters. The mythology surrounding the wolf pack is clever and so well written that it seems perfectly normal for the creatures to exist in today's world. A must-have that will give Bella and Edward a run for their money.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY END

Shiver is actually book number one. What I'm about to show you is for book number two. Linger. Maggie is incredibly talented and it's awesome to watch. You guys should check out her blog too when you get a chance The World According to Maggie.

For your listening/viewing pleasure.... here's the trailer for Linger.