the beach, burning questions, and books galore

08 April 2017

1. Simon's brother and his wife (they have names: Andrew and Becca) came to visit last weekend and we had such a fun time. They brought their dog Truman so we decided to take the dogs with us to a dog-friendly beach ...


... Diego loves baths and if a shower door is left open he does NOT hesitate to waltz right in but I don't think he was quite prepared for the ocean water he leapt into with reckless abandon. Luckily, Andrew was right there to help him doggy paddle to shore (he stayed out of the water for the rest of the trip) but I can't look at this photo without letting out a cackle because I just hear his internal, "wtf wtf wtf wtf" like the crazy furmom that I think I am.

Moscow muling it up on the porch with Truman ...


Phoebe and Sebastian didn't understand why they couldn't have "just a little" vodka to call their own. On Saturday morning Simon and Andrew took all the kids on a bike ride (4 kids split among two trailers and Bosco in a bike seat and the older kids bikes strapped to the trailers for trail riding later) and rode to a park downtown. Will Simon always be the fun parent? ALWAYS.

Now you can rest easy knowing the nitty gritty of our weekend.

2. I'm still reading America's First Daughter and am really, really enjoying it. I've (very happily) taken to napping when the little kids nap in the early afternoons so my reading time has taken a big hit but I've been staying up a little bit later than I should to read, "just one more chapter" - you know how that goes. Also! The Magic of Motherhood came in the mail this week and it's such a good one to have around/gift to all your mom friends etc. I love that it's hardcover and has a built in bookmark - so smart, those moms!

3. You all always have the best book recs and have to ask since this is new territory for me but was hoping you could steer me in the direction of chapter books for Julia. Bonus if they hold the attention of any of the other kids because she prefers to read them out loud to anyone that will listen.

4. I've spent too much time thinking and Googling up a storm about this but our four bar stools (ours are turquoise) in the kitchen are super crowded and don't totally fit because of a curve in the counter which always leave one kid sitting at an odd angle so I'm hoping to find a slimmer design (smaller than 17 inches wide) and so far it looks like these are my best bet or these wooden ones and I love the idea of these but know that the practicality level of those is pretty much zero - maybe less. Maybe you've found these magical stools? Nothing that swivels is pretty much the only other requirement.

5. I have no idea if baseball tees are past their prime (or on their way back? I definitely rocked one for yearS in high school and thinking the 3/4 length sleeves were so edgy like the coolia that I was) but these are more than 1/2 off and I kind of love the lavender.

6. 50% off sale styles right on over here. I wish this dress was included but I know it will go on super sale eventually - that's just how LOFT rolls. I know you know. It's a good time to take advantage of the Gap/Old Navy site wide (no exclusions) 40% off sale because a lot of things are already on sale so you can double dip and you score some Old Navy/Gap cash in the process. Win/win/win. I'm curious to know how these flares compare to my favorite Madewell pair.

7. And finally - crossposted from the Sale Rack but Target's shoes are buy one get one 50% off for the whole family at the moment. I got these for Theo at the last minute for Emily's wedding when I realized his dress shoes were too small and was pleasantly surprised that they slip on and he can put them on himself. Also - these wedges are super cute and I can walk in them and they are on clearance (clearance items are included in the promo :)).

As Theo would say with a sigh, "alRIGHT ... " have a great remainder of your weekend!


Linking up with Kelly!

36 comments:

  1. Chapter book recommendations...
    My Father's Dragon (trilogy)

    Mercy Watson / Leroy Ninker / Bink & Gollie - all awesome early chapter books by Kate DiCamillo (who also wrote Because of Winn Dixie and my ALL TIME FAVORITE book The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane but those are probably parent read alouds for now)

    Magic Treehouse - not really super amazing literary writing, but there are a million of them and she will learn TONS of history and science

    Nate the Great - my favorite of the zillion young reader mystery series out there; so classic

    The Princess in Black if she's into princesses and/or superheroes

    I have more but I'll stop there for now...

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  2. These books might be a bit too hard right now for Julia but I LOVED the Magic Tree House books and American Girl Doll books. The former incorporate mystery and history...with kids going back in time to save something or someone. And the American Girl Doll books all focus on a different time period and a heroic female lead!

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  3. I actually still have a baseball T from urban outfitters that I bought circa 99 and still wear! (For what it's worth 😊)

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  4. We love the Princess in Black series.

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  5. Grace has been enjoying a few old American Girl books, some Critter Club ones, and I know Puppy Place books are super popular with her and her little classmates at school.

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  6. Narnia? Little house? Secret garden/little princess? (I can't read the last one because I SOB.) Boxcar children? Depending on the day, I've had good results with these (sometimes read-alouds on overdrive/library app if they like the story but I don't have the voice to read it myself and the 7 year old doesn't want to read more than a page). Also? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a great read together!

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  7. In addition to some of the great titles and authors mentioned above: the Anna Hibiscus series, Pippi Longstocking, Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, The Mouse and the Motorcycle and other Beverly Cleary books, Little House in the Big Woods. I think that bike trip definitely qualifies Simon for SuperDad status - my knees are creaking just thinking about pedaling that load...

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    1. Little House in the Big Woods was going to be my suggestion too! I loved that book, I think it might've been my first chapter book. I buy a copy for all the little girls in my life. I can also recommend The Boxcar Children, especially the first three. Great stories that totally hold up. I love reading other people's suggestions, so fun!

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  8. You must get the Betsy-Tacy books for Julia to read. They grow with her (start when she is five and follow through her first year of marriage), feature a delightfully bossy older sister named Julia, and are just magically charming. I may have written my MA thesis about them. Author is Maud Hart Lovelace.

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    1. Best book series in the history of little girls. I would love to read your thesis (nerd alert)!

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  9. I agree with princess in black. Owl diaries are super cute too.

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  10. My daughter is obsessed with Geronimo Stilton books (main character is a hilarious mouse!). They have tons of them in the series too -- an added bonus since she seems to choose a new one each time that we head to the library.

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  11. My 5-year-old absolutely loves the Nancy Clancy books. They're the chapter book version of Fancy Nancy, and follow in the same vein of vocabulary development, as far as education is concerned.

    She also enjoys Junie B Jones, which I remember from my own childhood :)

    || https://secondgenhomeschooler.wordpress.com ||

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  12. I put together a big old list of chapter books a couple of months ago - lots of our favorites! And great as read alouds 😊 http://rosie-ablogformymom.blogspot.com/2017/02/chapter-books-for-young-readers.html

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  13. Humphrey the Hamster has been a huge hit! My son's kindergarten teacher tipped me off and Humphrey has not disappointed - we started off with the books on tape and all my kiddos were all entertained with those so my guess is it would work for a peanut gallery of munchkins at your house too.

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  14. We love the Clementine series, mercy Watson, franny k stein, ivy and bean, choose your own adventure...

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  15. I put together a big old list of chapter books a couple of months ago - lots of our favorites! And great as read alouds 😊 http://rosie-ablogformymom.blogspot.com/2017/02/chapter-books-for-young-readers.html

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  16. American Girls, Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew (they have a series where the girls are in 3rd grade), Ramona, anything by EB White. My daughter also loves Junie B Jones but I happen to find her (JBJ, not my daughter) particularly annoying. ☺️

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  17. There is a wonderful website/blog called Read Aloud Revival. She has a great booklist for first chapter books and for picture books for the little ones. She also comes out with monthly lists for books to read that fit with the season. I just print her lists and hit up the library. They never fail to be great. ��

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  18. I am a second grade teacher and my students are loving the Cam Jansen mystery series as well as the aforementioned Magic Tree House.

    I would stay away from Junie B. Jones as I personally think it's too tricky for young learning readers to understand that she's speaking incorrectly as a cute quip. Reading should be a way for children to learn correct spelling and grammar. (Just my opinion!)

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  19. Mercy Watson, Princess in Black, Cam Jansen, Magic Tree House...Good luck!! PS for what it's worth, I enjoy listening/reading these books. ;)

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  20. Apologies if it's already been mentioned but if you google "Read aloud revival" (I believe the website is amongstlovelythings) you can get a free booklist that I have LOVED as a resource for kids books!! Check it out! One I read that I liked offhand was "The Hundred Dresses" by Eleanor Estes

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  21. Apologies if it's already been mentioned but if you google "Read aloud revival" (I believe the website is amongstlovelythings) you can get a free booklist that I have LOVED as a resource for kids books!! Check it out! One I read that I liked offhand was "The Hundred Dresses" by Eleanor Estes

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  22. If Julia likes animals we adore the Sophie the Mouse series. I think there are ten books now--so cute! We read some at the library and bought some on Amazon as well.

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  23. Ella and Julia are similar ages, so she might like some of these ones: http://everyday-reading.com/20-favorite-book-series-for-elementary/

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  24. My daughter (6) is obsessed with all the Rainbow Magic books. There are a bunch of series all about different fairies. At first I kept trying to steer her away from these and toward books I consider more worthy, but she can't get enough, and they keep her reading for hours. My 4yo also loves looking at the pictures/ pretending to read these.

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  25. If you are looking for great books for her to read aloud, we love the Elephant and Piggy books by Mo Willems (and also the Duckling/Pigeon books by the same author).
    I agree with all the other chapter books people have mentioned above and we also really enjoyed a series called the Magic Animal Adoption Agency :) (think easier, much more basic Harry Potter)

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  26. 'The Faraway Tree' and 'Milly Molly Mandy' are great starters for readers years 6 - 8.

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  27. Former first grade teacher (now in the land of upper grade) and my kiddos were obsessed with Magic Tree House books, which are fairly simple chapter books but as a previous poster commented, your kids will learn a lot.
    Rainbow Magic are books about fairies- another favorite in my class.
    Cam Jansen are good mysteries.
    Henry and Mudge is a series I bet your whole crew would be interested in.
    Other favorite series include Flat Stanley, Geronimo Stilton, and My Weird School.

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  28. Anything by Cynthia Rylant!
    Cobble Street Cousins
    Annie and Snowball
    Henry and Mudge
    Mr Putter and Tabby- out of all of her books Mr Putter is our very favorite. There are about 15 or so. Especially good for beginning chapter book readers. So sweet, funny and heart warming.

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  29. Mine like Dory Fatasmagory a lot.

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  30. Anything by MO Willems. He's a genuis

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  31. I'm probably echoing most of the recommendations up here, so I'm just confirming. Definitely Magic Treehouse - try to read as much in order as possible because there is a recurring theme. Henry and Mudge, Junie B. Jones is hilarious, Anything Beverly Cleary, the Little House books. There's a terrific series called Hank Zipzer, but it's very "boy" oriented - all my boys loved it, though (so when Sebastian starts reading!)

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