Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy List

If you have little ones, know someone with children, or were once a kid yourself.. you should read out loud to little ears. It makes you happy. It really does. Here’s my current happy list (many books included)
  • socks that match
  • dark chocolate cake
  • root beer
  • extra hugs
  • question quotas
  • Diego’s missing baby jaguar
  • "have a good day" morning goodbyes
  • complicated secret handshakes
  • Star Wars gun equipped highchairs
  • 3 am baby smiles
  • a pigeon who finds a hot dog
  • a 3-year-old who says "I’m the man"
  • hands on head silly dances
  • reading Corduroy by memory
  • coffee
  • more coffee
  • third mug of coffee
  • mac and cheese (sang to the tune of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony)
  • early morning frost
  • cupcake sprinkles
  • Rusty Trusty tractors
  • rocking 30 minutes past baby shut-eye

The time of my life displayed above. Many stories included.

Wishing you good bedtime stories tonight!


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

November brings 30 Days!

Hello last days of October!

Next month brings some good reads in the farm blogging world. Starting November 1st, Prairie Farmer blogger, Holly Spangler will write every day with a "30 days" of agricultural "something" theme. Catch up on previous year "30 days" posts here.  Bloggers throughout the Midwest will join Holly with their own "30 day" themes. I will grab a cup of coffee and enjoy a daily good read. I can’t wait!

I joined the blogging party last year, and you can catch up here on my 30 days of Farm Kid Stories. Although this blogging event inspires me to write more often in November, I’m passing this year on the true 30 day commitment…. for many reasons (a new baby, my real-world job, my pneumonia… ugh pneumonia. I won’t be speaking the P word again in this blog. I’ve already typed it two words too many.)

So join me this year in reading the posts of others by clicking on the links in Holly’s posts. Be sure to send these "30 day" bloggers some encouragement with a note on their blog page. Better yet: become an all-year follower of their writing.

Good luck out there reading and don’t forget to read to your little one also!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tell a story

We stopped reading books. 

Somewhere in between the birth of our sweet baby girl, and trying to nab reading time in the evening… G shakes his head at every book offer. 

Me: “What about Leonardo the Terrrrrrrrible Monster?”

G: “No.”  

Me: “How about a David story?”

G shrugs his shoulders. 

Hmmmm.   Wait, I know what he wants.

Me: “Let’s tell a story about G.”

G’s eyes shine and mouth smiles.

If you are wondering what happened since the last blog post, let’s reverse to what I like to call my “pregnancy coma.” 

In my quest to maximize my own sleep, G and I had a book routine going:

Take a bath early. Brush our teeth.  Sit down and read a minimum of three books.  Shut off light.  Make up a story about G in the dark.  Night night.  (Lights off being my favorite moment)

It worked great.  However, making time to write a blog post was only happening in my dreams.   

I’m back though! 

Life with an almost-3-year-old and a newborn is…. wonderful.  Here’s why:

  • It’s pleasantly quiet in the wee hours of the morning when baby girl C and I are up.  No ambulance toy car sirens.  No dining room chair being pushed across the room…. Silence.
  • I’m starting to really enjoy decaf coffee. Bonus:  I can drink it all the time and if I get the chance, snooze at any moment.
  • Story time with G and baby girl C… proves amusing.  Grant now has an audience and a bookshelf of reads he knows some of the words to.   He puts on a show, and little C gives the eyes-wide-open, blank look that I remember so well.
  • Two words: Maternity leave.  I truly appreciate the time away from my job, to transition into this big change of being a mommy of two.   And having a moment or two spanned across 3 weeks, to create an artwork wall… is an added bonus if the day goes well.

To be “real” here, it’s hard at times.  My oldest screamed for an hour at bedtime the first night we were all home together.   And it’s common to hear me tell (or yell) “G,  DO NOT shine that flashlight at your sister.”     

 *Sigh…* Where did he even get the flashlight
Back to the books here. 
In reality we haven’t stopped reading entirely.  We just tell stories instead of read them.  It’s works.
Life with 4 has its moments, but they are mostly SUPER moments.   

Here’s to our new life of telling stories to two little ones!


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Story time encore

After reading three books last night, G says , “One more book mommy. One more.”

If I can round up enough brain cells … I realize G is asking for a story time encore.

It’s 8 p.m. and I’m ready for sweet sleep.  My eyes feel foggy. My mouth feels slack.  All hopes for clear pronunciation are gone.  When I get to the Garfield book from the 1980s… I am flat out making up a storyline to go along with the pictures.

But little guy rubbing his own eyes… wants me to read another story? 

Bedtime stories have become a ritual (doing something for three weeks.. counts, right?)  Somewhere in the past 4 months G displays an attention span.  We lay in his bed, book raised above us…  and we read a story without distraction. I ask questions.  He answers.  G wants to turn the page to hear what happens next.    

I gather all my non-caffeinated energy… and grab our third book for the night: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

Monsters and a little boy who tells them to “BE STILL.”  G repeats this demand back to me, when I reach this page.   To be honest, I like this book because of the minimal text and interesting illustrations.  It’s a “keep it short” story. 

And since we just finished our third read for the night, it’s time to turn off the lights.  Night Night!


Friday, March 15, 2013

Moment of Truth

G grabs a magazine from the coffee table recently and tells me: “Book.  Read.”

I follow the request and open a glossy Pottery Barn catalogue and conjure a tale of a mother inside her stylish home.   Ten consecutive pages of lovely bathrooms leave me searching for a good story line.

“Mommy grabs three green bath towels from the bench and takes them to the closet…   ……And then mommy goes to the next bathroom with two mirrors and brushes her teeth.”

“G, do you really want me to read this?  How about your digger book over…..”   G interrupts and says: “No momma.  Read.”

Ok, it’s a moment of truth.  We haven’t been reading every night.  Actually, the last four months are a blur.   A sleepy, all-day sickness I’d like to forget.

Segue to the announcement portion of today’s blog:   G will become a big brother in late summer!  Hooray!


I can produce a million excuses why we haven’t kept up with reading this winter.  The truth is simple:  I haven’t made the time.   Folks, I barely mailed out my Happy New Year cards before Valentine’s Day this year.

But do I think the mother of two little ones, whose husband just deployed overseas for the next year… has more time than me? 

Or the mother of a special needs child?

Or the stay at home mother of four children?

Absolutely not!  

Tonight as I grab G’s favorite excavation book (and also a box of Tagalongs) we begin a pursuit of catching up. No excuses.  If the Girl Scout cookies run out then I move on to a ham salad sandwich and some sweet corn.

Happy Reading!


P.S.    Dear readers forgive me for not posting lately.  I may be leaning towards more memory keeping and less book reviewing time in my blog life.   I thank you for following so far and hope you continue.