For the past couple months, I’ve told myself that at the end of the month, I want to do a brief round up post about new things we’ve tried, found, enjoyed, etc. I’m not going to promise these every month because… life. And, I’m not going to promise pretty pictures because… life. However, eventually we want to have baby #2, and my brain is already mush, so I can look back at these posts and remember what was successful with Ezra. Plus, I’d love to pass along activities that I found useful or fun or books I found enjoyable. Pinterest can be awesome or a dark, overwhelming pit. Sometimes I just want to grab an idea or two from someone. And, I hope you’ll drop some suggestions in the comments about what you are enjoying.
Let’s start with books. First on my list is Unsupermommy by Maggie Combs. If you have a little under 2 years old, you should get this book. For sure. Even if you have kids older than that, you might enjoy a copy. And, if you know someone having a baby, get her a copy. This book is about keeping your parenting focus gospel-centered. As I read, I felt like Maggie was the mom I could type to on Facebook at midnight to confess what a horrible parenting job I was doing, and she could offer empathy and new perspective. Usually when I’m done reading a book I really enjoy, I tuck it away in the basement in case I want to get back to it someday. This book gets to stay on an easily accessible shelf because I plan reread it if we have a second baby. It’s the perfect book to keep nearby during late-night nursing sessions or mornings that are too early. Here’s one of my favorite quotes: “They’re [babies] are trying so hard to adapt to this wild new world around them. and we have so many expectation for their behavior. Don’t let your relationship with your baby begin with your disappointment. Create a place where imperfection is met with unconditional love. Your response to your baby’s failures is their first glimpse of the grace God lavishes on us.”
Next on my book list is the Aunt Dimity series by Nancy Atherton. Even though I absolutely positively do not need any more books for myself, I drift toward the mystery section at book sales and try to grab at least one book by an author I’ve never read before. That’s how I stumbled across Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin. If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries, you might want to check out this author. I keep browsing at the thrift store and book sales for more of these books. They are a bit elusive.
And, on the kid’s book front, I’ve been enjoying Sandra Boynton’s simple little board books. The Going to Bed Book is one we read over and over because when Ezra spotted the animals brushing their teeth, he would use his finger to brush his, and it was just too darn cute to not read the book a bunch of times. We also enjoyed Boynton’s CD, Blue Moo: 17 Jukebox Hit from Way Back Never. Artists including Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys and B. B. King sang the tunes, so the quality was better than many, many kid’s music. I was bummed MP3 downloads of the individual songs were not available on Amazon. I guess we’ll just check this out again from the local library.
Speaking of the local library, I also found the gem The Uglified Ducky in the midst of checking out books on CD for Ezra. I was laughing aloud in the car while I listened to the book. Do yourself a favor and let the author Willy Claflin read the story to you on YouTube.
I’m going to end on some other YouTube finds. I’d love to leave you with some activities; I checked out books about activities but haven’t actually read the books about activities… Please tell me you know how that goes.
I have started to try to put together a playlist of action songs to sing with Ezra. Right now, he doesn’t engage in the motions, but he is starting to recognize some of the songs and enjoy them. I think he’ll be ready to act out the songs soon. In the meantime, I promise that if you put together a little action song playlist and dance like a fool in your living room for 20 minutes, you CAN fit in that workout that you’ve been promising yourself. Ezra starts smiling when I start singing Driving in My Car. It’s a fun way to teach to the concepts of fast and slow, and you can make up motions even if you have 0% imagination. I’ve also enjoyed Boom Chicka Boom because it’s upbeat and silly. Walking in the Jungle isn’t my favorite as far as action songs go because the rhythm is a little odd, but Ezra enjoys the animal sounds and storytelling pace of this one. And, he LOVES What Do You Hear? If you can get over the ridiculously bad cat sound in the video, it is fun to see the puppets and clips of live animals.
Alright, I’m going to end that little round up here. I went to a bag sale at the library the other day. I frantically pawed through books and came away with 3 bags of books, but I haven’t had time to sort and savor them yet, so I’m off to do that. In the meantime, what are you reading, watching, loving right now? You get bonus points if you point me toward some awesome mom blogs, Podcasts, or parenting YouTube channels. And, you also get bonus points if you tell me about any kid-geared educational videos on YouTube that involve trucks because Ezra is obsessed with trucks right now.