Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day 2010!

Daddy & Aurora 

First Cuddle

First Bath

Working Hard

Resting Hard

Milk & Daddy...doesn't get any better than this.

Daddies are good at making funky hair-dos...

...and giving big smooches!

We all need a Daddy to lean on.


Go Cubs!

Just Chillin'

Daddy showing me appreciation for nature's beauty.


Out & About with Daddy

Discovering the World

Having Good times!
(Laughing right after the horse tried to eat Lil A's hair)


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Betrayal of the Children's Dept at the Library

I feel the need to bewail, lament, complain and otherwise grieve (I love synonyms!) over a painful subject with someone and since almost all of you are far away or far enough that I don't see you in person regularly and since I don't like the phone very much either, this is my best option.

The serious and most painful subject that I wish to bring up is: The local library in our new town has only a handful of children's board books and the few titles they do have are not of high quality. The feeling I felt when I saw this small selection and then later looked online to see if a large quantity or the quality board books were just checked out (they weren't, they just don't have them), was one of betrayal.

Melodramatic? Maybe.

But here is the rationale behind my feelings of betrayal.

First, for there to be a betrayal there must be deep roots of loyalty and love:
The library is my place of refuge, a place that brings peace and happiness to my heart. The place, that for years I have visited religiously at least once a week, if not more. On those visits I have always spent some time in the children's section even before I had a child to take there. But now that I do have a child I consider the visits to the children's department and the time reading books to my daughter there and at home as some of my best moments as a mother. The library is the place where I am surrounded by shelves and shelves of friends for myself, my husband and my daughter. And like all good friendships, it’s free.

Secondly, for there to be a betrayal I believe there also must be a "need" that must be fulfilled to give opportunity for the betrayal:
I am absolutely thrilled that my daughter already loves books, loves to be read to, loves to turn the pages, and loves to look at the pictures by herself. If she is in mid-cry and I hand her a book, she is immediately soothed. If she has been wriggling and squirming around so much that I can't put a diaper on her, I hand her a book and she stops. If she is determined to type her own message on Momma's blog, I hand her book so I can finish up. The list goes on and on of the situations where a book is my most valued and trusted mother's aide.

So my need is for books.

But not just any type or kind of book; for we do own a nice-sized collection of board books but I am so very tired of our titles right now. And it can get expensive rather quickly to buy books weekly instead of checking them out from the library weekly. We do get tired of our new purchased books pretty quickly because we read so much (again most valued and trusted mother's aide in my household). It is important to read books that you can enjoy too because that’s part of the process of how the love of books and reading is transmitted.

So my need is for a variety of free books of enjoyable quality.

I acknowledge this library has a very large selection of picture books (larger than any of the branches in Lexington) that will fit our needs wonderfully and magnificently when Aurora is 3 or so. But what do I do now and over the next year or two? Despite that Aurora loves books; most books do not love Aurora back. At least not at this stage, not yet. Only board books can withstand the love of a 13 month old.

Every now and then I do try reading a more fragile children's book to her but it doesn't work. Reading is supposed to be a hands-on experience for a child her age. I refuse to interrupt our story times with stressful outbursts of "Let Momma turn the page!" "Be careful!" "Don't rip it!" "NO!" "Books are friends, not food!"

So my need is for a variety of free board books of enjoyable quality now. (Not later child development stages).

Are you beginning to see why I feel betrayed?
Am I asking for too much?
Or am I just being  picky, greedy and melodramatic?

One more thing, to add salt to injury. I've always participated in summer reading programs at libraries, as a kid and as an adult. I'm not really sure why I love them but I do. I signed Aurora up last summer and I would just write down the titles and authors of the books that I read to her on an official summer reading card and turn it in for prizes.
It usually doesn't matter if the book is your own purchased book, or borrowed from your great aunt's twice removed cousin's neighbor, or checked out from the library-- you can just read any ole book. For the program here, the book has to be a library book to count towards the summer reading program. You check out the library books and then you return them to a librarian at a special station who checks the books back in and denotes how many points each book is worth on your summer reading card. If you accrue enough points then you can get a prize or be eligible for one of the cool big prizes. (They really do have cool prizes here…the best I’ve ever seen). But because of the lack of selection in board books Aurora and I won't be participating in the program much this year since we can’t turn in all the books we read from our own collection.

I feel sad.
I feel betrayed.

Melodramatic? Yes, thank you.

Aurora reading a book with her friend Andrew

Aurora looking at books on her own.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Definitely One Year Older, Possibly One Year Wiser Too...

For my 29th birthday I received:
  • Some great birthday cards. I'm not sure why I feel more emotionally attached to my b-day cards this year than usual, but I do. I love them, I keep them next to my bed and they make me smile and lift me up when I see them.
  • The best present ever from Aurora! She let me sleep in until a little after was amazing and pure bliss.
  • A birthday serenade on my voicemail from my parents.
  • A birthday package that arrived on my birthday. What's better than receiving a fun package in the mail from a dear friend? And it contained my favorite things: Books!
  • Oreos, Snickers Ice Cream, and Strawberry Trifle. Birthdays don't get much better than that.
  • Lots of texts and FB comments wishing me Happy Birthday.
  • Time with family, including my brothers. One of the nice things about living close to family.
  • A Wii. Finally! We have been planning and saving to buy one for over 2 years now but when it came down to actually purchasing it, we always talked ourselves out of it because there was always something else that was more of a "need" and practical that we should spend our money on. So it went back on the "wants" list and "to save for" list for the next holiday, birthday, special occasion just to be passed up again. But no more will it be returned to The Lists because Jared spontaneously bought it! Can't talk yourself or a spouse out of it if it's spontaneous. And I was surprised because Jared told me that our new home was my b-day present. I'm glad we waited and postpone buying it previously but it was time for this purchase to bring balance to The Lists.
Once again, relatively simple, rather quiet but just how I love it!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Moving: A How To by Aurora

First, you need the boxes:

Then some tape:
Why is it always so difficult to find the end on these things?

Seriously, some spit helps it to stick better

Of course, always have a Grandma near by to do all the real work.
Although I loosened the end of the tape for her so she could find it.

Mission accomplished.
I don't know what you were complaining about Mom.

Now on to
Disassembling the Furniture

Do we have the crib?

Do we have Daddy as your assistant and grunt man?

Do we have the "tool of power" aka a wrench?

Do we have choice words prepared to scream if things don't go as they should?
Once again Mom, I don't know what you were complaining about.
This was fun!

Oh yeah, I also assigned Daisy to be the overseer in your bedroom since I can't be everywhere at once.

That's the key to success, Mom:
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate.

Aurora's 1st Birthday

"Nobody can be un-cheered with a balloon."
-from the ever-wise and ever silly old bear, Winnie the Pooh

Originally I was a little hesitant to throw a Winnie the Pooh birthday party for Aurora. I knew in the years to come she would possibly want "commericalized" birthday parties such as Dora, Disney Princesses etc...
Which is fine but I was thinking of taking advantage of this opportunity where she doesn't really care and go uncommericalized but the girl really does love Pooh Bear, so Pooh Bear it was (with balloons and flowers added in).

I had a lot of fun with the decorations.
The bear himself:

The invitations that I handmade:

We asked that everyone bring children's books to be donated to the children at the women's shelter where Momma A stayed when she was pregnant with Aurora in lieu of gifts.

Aurora woke up lethargic and clingy that day. She is never lethargic and clingy. I took her temperature before the was normal. She didn't nap very well before the party and although she did pretty well throughout she just wasn't herself. After the party I took her temperature again and this time it was 103. This was her first time to ever have a temperature. She never had one with her shots, with teething, she only had one cold so far and no temperature. I found it a little ironic that she would be sick on her birthday.

This is probably the best pic we got of her all day.

Playing with some of the party guests.

I had all the party guests make water globes using Pooh figurines and baby food jars. I got the idea from here and tweaked it some.  They were easy and a lot of fun!

We gave Aurora this "adventure tent" for her birthday.  She loves it! 
A couple days previous to the party:



Friends enjoying it at the party:

Here is a video of Aurora and her birthday cake. 
(Sorry it wouldn't post). 
For more pics of her cake, go to my food blog.

The cake aftermath: You can tell she just didn't feel too good.

Group picture:

This is her the next day in her Sunday birthday dress.  She was feeling a lot better after a nice bath, a good night's rest, lots of liquids and some medicine.
(After taking this pic, Jared said that I make my "crazy" face too often. Pfffttt to him :)

All in all it was a nice birthday and a fun time!
Happy 1st Birthday Baby Girl!