Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sleeping Babies

I love the US. On most days of the year I'm happy to be a US citizen. Having traveled to several places around the world, I have an appreciation for all the freedoms and opportunities we have here. BUT, there are days when I have to question why we all think it's so great here. I found this article from the A Cup of Jo blog on babies sleeping in strollers outside in Denmark fascinating in many ways. Evidently it's common practice in many Scandinavian countries to leave the baby sleeping in the stroller outside rather than bring them in to the cafe, restaurant, shop or wherever you're going. I mean, this would never, ever be able to happen in the US, and in fact it is illegal. We have great freedoms here and the opportunity to do just about anything, but it is also darn unsafe in most places in the US and you have to be on the defensive alot. I'm not saying I'd be able to leave my baby sleeping in a stroller outside the cafe while I drank coffee, but it would be nice to live in an area where that was a safe option I guess. It's interesting to think about anyways.

See more photos and read the article at A Cup of Jo here

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chalkboard Quote Wednesdays

I haven't done Chalkboard Quote Wednesdays in a while, mostly because our big kitchen chalkboard is filled with too much important stuff for me to erase it all and then write it again. But fortunately we have more than one chalkboard in our house, and I'm not sure why I hadn't thought to use one of them before now! This is a vintage chalkboard I got on Etsy that's in our downstairs playroom. I love this chalkboard, and I love this quote, and of course I've always been the #1 fan of Dr. Seuss.
Speaking of reading, I joined a mom's book club in my town which met for the first time last week. The first book we read was A Dog's Purpose, by W.Bruce Cameron. I really liked it, it's an easy read and a light subject. The next one is The Wrong Mother, by Sophie Hannah. Supposedly it's a suspense novel that's good for Halloween month. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Celebrity!!

I'm not one for naming names of people I may know in Hollywood, except for sometimes when they get nominated for Oscars and cool things like that (ha). This week I feel like I want to brag a little about my sister's very talented boyfriend. He's featured in the October issue of Vogue, now out in the news stands - check it out and see more pics online here. And if you haven't seen the movie Winter's Bone yet, definitely see it and check out the story behind it here (be sure to click on the DVD commentary transcript). John's next movie Martha Marcy May Marlene is due out in theaters in December. But I'm not one to brag or anything!!

Fashion Gone Rougue
 Fashion Gone Rougue

Monday, September 26, 2011

T is for Toddler

I'm constantly amazed at how quickly Bean is learning to recognize letters and numbers at two and a half years old. Especially letters, and especially the ones in her name. Everywhere we go she points out E's and As, the first and last letter of her name. On billboards, in stores in the aisles, on cereal boxes, on every one of the 10 chalkboards we have in our house, and in every book we read (which means reading books takes a lot longer these days). She gets so excited when she recognizes them. If there's two E's in a word, she'll shriek "Mommy look TWO E's!!!" As a former teacher, this whole phase of her grasping the concept of printed sounds is awesome.  My inner teacher is kicking in and I want to have print all over the house for her to soak in with everything she does. Not that I care about her being a child genius or anything like that. I just fully believe that reading and writing skills are two of the BEST skills ever. Math and science are definitely important too, but if you can't read efficiently and you can't express your thoughts in writing, then your math and science skills won't matter as much. That's why I'm so big on all of the chalkboards in our house, and all the books scattered around making a complete mess of the place. Children need to see print everywhere long before they begin to grasp the idea that those sounds we make are represented by something on paper, but especially once they grasp the concept. Anyways, there are all kinds of great ideas out there for alphabet activities for toddlers and preschool kids. Here's a few I found that I really like:
 Alphabet Box from Play Talk Learn.
These ideas from Disney Family Fun-hands-on alphabet and shape-up. 
 This alphabet wall from Fowl Single File
This alphabet sorting game from Pinterest
This alphabet art project also from Pinterest, original source unknown
You could use the same pictures from this artwork to make this book, from Disney Family Fun
This easy alphabet book from Education.com

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Colors of Fall

A couple weeks ago I posted this post, about a local nature photographer, Anisha Palmer. She inspired me to take these pictures, thank you Anisha!! We have an awesome farm stand across the street from our house. It's one of my favorite parts of living out here in suburbia. I love taking Bean across the street to the farm stand in her little red wagon to pick out apples, strawberries, and other fresh fruits and vegetables that, as my dad always says, are so good because they "don't have stickers on them." Today was not a very fall like day, it was about 80 degrees and humid. But I can tell that fall is around the corner, because the farm stand is full of the bright colors of fall. Bean and I took the camera over today and took some shots, and then visited the pumpkin patch in the backyard. When we got home we ate about three different kinds of apples and then uploaded the pictures and talked all about the different veggies and colors. Such a simple, sweet early fall day. 

The farm stand across the street, Meadowbrook Farms
 Orange pumpkins, tons of them!!
 Beige squashes
 Gray "ugly veggies" as Bean called them.
Green pumpkins
 Red apples, bushels full of them

 Red and yellow tomatos
 Orange and green carrots
 Bright red radishes
 Orange mini pumpkins
Out in the pumpkin patch behind Meadowbrook where the pumpkins are just now beginning to fill in.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

74 Lime Lane Blog

I've been a big fan of the 74 Lime Lane blog for a while now. They are so creative and have links to great ideas and tons of freebies. They're worth a look for sure, but beware, you could spend hours scrolling through all of their posts! Here's a few of my recent favorites:

This post on finding some quiet time during the day and on the weekends, with a link to this blog
These cool scrabble pillowcases from Etsy shop Counter Couture Design.
 This cool little toy cottage free printable from Digitprop
This awesome project from Share Some Candy
These cool free printable Thank You cards from this post

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Testing the Limits

I found this poem today on Pinterest, via the Oak Ridge Revival blog. Being the parent of a "spirited" toddler, I think I need to print this out or write it on the chalkboard in my kitchen, or even print a small version to keep in my pocket at all times. Parents always say that kids will "test you to your limits," but it's hard to know what that really means until you're in the middle of it. This week has been particularly tough. Bean has missed a couple of naps and has woken up a few times in the middle of the night for no apparant reason. I'm sure there's some reason, but it's not the obvious illness or teething thing this time where we can "solve" it with baby Tylenol or Advil. She's exhausted and I'm exhausted, which means we're both operating on overdrive and snap easily. The whole "testing to the limits" concept for me this week is my ability to stay calm and not break down in a crying fit during one of Bean's tantrums despite having about a third of the sleep I need for the week. That is so incredibly hard to do. All I want to do is curl up in my bed and sleep for 15 hours, but instead I have a screaming, crying, kicking, fighting toddler who doesn't yet know how to calm herself and really needs me there to help her. I know this tantrum thing is just a stage that is usually more traumatizing for parents than it is for the kids, but wow it's a tough one. I apologize to my mom a thousand times over for being a tough toddler, and I give high fives to all parents of spirited kids who came out on the other side of it alive!!
http://oakridgerevival.blogspot.com/2011/05/thrifty-thursday_25.html


Monday, September 19, 2011

Photo of the Day - Sunset from De Cordova Museum

The sunset taken from the rooftop deck at the De Cordova Sculpture Park and Museum

What We Did This Weekend

Ballet class with BFF

A gallery opening for Nunnie (my mom) and her group of close friends the "Confetti Girls."

A 25th Anniversary party for our adoption agency, with lots of fun and games including a parachute
Learning the Macarena dance

Bean's first big horse ride, she only wanted the big horse, all by herself.
And of course lots of smiles with our great friends through our adoption community.
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