A Few Thoughts

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

It's Tuesday morning. The rush of Monday chores (laundry and grocery shopping) are complete for another week. I won't write my letter to my mom until tomorrow. In a rare and unusual occurrence it's 7:00am and my baby toddler is still sleeping. I need to go to the DMV today and need to finish up printing a 2x2 photo for a passport application. At 10:00am we're meeting friends for story time at one of our neighborhood libraries, but not the one across the street. At Noon I'll watch another little girl for a few hours and with luck both babes will overlap their nap for at least one hour. I see a day of rushing and waiting ahead of me.

The other day my sister asked if I still liked being at home with my daughter. And if I just blog all day. The answer, to which I readily responded, was an emphatic no. But the truth, like most things, is  more complicated. Saying no sounds heartless and completely ungrateful. Although saying yes wouldn't exactly be accurate. I will say that yesterday I sent off AJ's enrollment form for pre-school, which hit home the reality that in a few short months I'll get a regular respite. At least twice a week. For three solid hours. I won't belabor the point about motherhood. About staying home full-time and caring for the needs of others. It's hard. Everyone agrees on that point. Lately however I have become more aware of my need for self-care.

A couple weeks ago I took a vacation. For two nights. Just me. And I'd love to be able to do that quarterly. I'm also working on some other health issues, which seems like an indulgence, but is absolutely vital to my physical and mental well-being. Another trick I've started incorporating into my weekly routine is making time to create. Nothing elaborate, mainly simple things like homemade bread, an instagram photo shoot, handmade cards, or a bouquet of flowers. And it helps. Making something creative sparks my sprit and takes me out of autopilot.

I have a lot of things I'd like to write about, but it sounds like I need to greet my offspring. Until next time.

Photo credit Amy Rau Photography. 

Currently | 2.2.2016

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

READING: After reading this article I'm thinking I need to up my reading game. Which means I'm trying to read more than one book at a time. This is the book I read before bed and this parenting book I'm currently reading with a friend.

WATCHING: Still working our way through The West Wing (so good for a DC fix) and looking forward to when this comes in at the library.

EATING: We eat out a lot less these days, but the other night I had tacos that I'm still thinking about. Also, have you tried the Theo 70% dark coconut chocolate? Talk about a rich taste bud experience.

DRINKING: Herbal tea before bed.

ENJOYING: Writing a letter to my mom once a week—I call the series Wednesdays with Wendy.

LISTENING TO: New songs from NPR music.

MAKING: Valentine's the old fashioned way, with paper, paint, and paste. And cute face planters that I could seriously make all day.

FEELING: Like I can hardly keep track of all the words Amelia now has. Some of my favorites include: helicopter, help me (which sounds more like hammy), swan, all done, boobs (ha!), library, geese and armadillo. Words she uses that I wish she didn't: mine! and no.

REMEMBERING: The other night when Ken and I pulled off a little mirror action a la Lucy and Harpo resulting in a much needed belly laugh.

EXCITED FOR: Galentine's brunch with my gals this coming weekend. Also, summer.

Mural located in St. Louis, MO 

9 Valentine Books We Love

Monday, February 1, 2016

If I were stuck on a deserted island and only allowed to celebrate ONE holiday I'd be hard pressed to choose between Valentine's Day and Easter. Because picking a favorite holiday is hard! My affection for Valentine's Day runs long and deep. Add chocolate, homemade cards, and flowers and what you have is one charming holiday, however "made-up" it may be.

In the spirit of all things Valentine these are some of the books we've been reading at our house lately. Maybe next year we'll do a 14 day countdown to Valentine's starting on February 1st. Wouldn't that be fun? Until then here are some pink, white, and red recommendations to get you started.
  1. Ruby Valentine Saves the Day by Laurie Friedman - With a last name like Valentine of course Ruby is hosting a grand celebration for the heart-filled holiday. Together with her parrot, Lovebird, the two plan the perfect valentine party until they wake up to find snow has thwarted their plan. Undaunted, Ruby takes the party to the village and realizes that it isn't the decorations that make a perfect party. (For fun try counting how many hearts are in this book.)
  2. One Zillion Valentines by Frank Modell - This is one of those books that I immediately wanted to add to our personal collection and probably would have loved as a child. Milton and Marvin are on a mission: to make enough valentines for each person in their neighborhood. The illustrations remind me of a classic comic strip and make the story that much more endearing. 
  3. A Crankenstein Valentine by Samantha Berger - Not everyone loves heart shaped sandwiches and lovey-dovey card, especially an elementary school-aged boy. But finding a comrade to commiserate with? Well that might make valentine's day a little more tolerable. 
  4. The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond - Enterprising Cornelia Augusta knows exactly what to do when unique hearts start pouring out of the sky—make custom valentines for each of her friends of course. The whimsical illustrations in this book are perfect for children of all ages.  
  5. Hug Me by Simona Ciraolo - I admit that I picked up this book for the fact that the cover is covered in cacti. Although it's not exactly a valentine book, the sentiment of finding comfort through friendship (and hugs!) is appropriate for February 14. Follow Felipe as he finds out it's okay to be the touchy-feely sort.
  6. Here Comes Valentine Cat by Deborah Underwood - In the tradition of Easter Cat and Santa Cat, the familiar feline is back and is decidedly NOT excited about Valentine's Day. With a little nudging we find out about Cat's new neighbor, Dog, and how Cat is conspiring against him. In a witty twist, Cat discovers that maybe Dog really just wanted to be friends all along. 
  7. A Village Full of Valentines by James Stevenson - This compilation of seven short stories is not only funny in some of the character conversations, it turns into a heartwarming tale of an entire neighborhood giving to the beloved village tailor. Another one I'd definitely add to our personal collection. 
  8. The Great Valentines Day Balloon Race by Adrienne Adams - Easter rabbit siblings, who need a break from egg decorating, decide to make a balloon to enter the Valentine's Day balloon race, hoping to reach the target heart before the other racers. This picture book is a little wordy, but still cute in its story. 
  9. Zero Kisses for Me by Manuela Monari - When an independent-minded child decides to take a stance against excessive (or any) kissing, he soon finds out that maybe a kiss before bed isn't so bad. While this isn't exactly a valentine book, it still fits nicely into the celebration of love and affection. 
See more children's book recommendations here

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