It is the weekend again which always gives me a chance to take a breath, relax and observe what makes me most happy in my life and in my parenting journey. I talked last week about how we finally made it to South Carolina, and it has been so fun living in our home and exploring this new place as a family. Truth be told, we have had some challenging parenting moments this week that have really taken me back to thinking about: what are our core family values? what type of person are we molding our daughter to be? how can we be better, more present parents? As I think about these things – coming first from a place of gratitude is my favorite way to tackle these tricky situations (read: tantrums). In this week’s Reads & Things Sunday post I’ll share different things that I’m grateful for, along with challenges we have faced and things we’ve loved that are helping us through them.
Reads and Things Sunday
What we’ve been reading and loving this week. Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase anything through my link I will receive a small commission, but at no extra cost to you.
- One of our first missions when we arrived in South Carolina was to find our local Barnes & Noble store (because we absolutely love the company, we’re members and enjoy spending family nights out shopping there and exploring the bookshelves). While we were there, we picked up 4 new books that speak to our intentional bookshelf and the topics we are focusing on right now (because after all, our bookshelf is ever changing!). The book that really excited me was Be A Star Wonder Woman by Michael Dahl – the story of the awesome super hero is mirrored with a young girl’s challenges in school. Because of our recent bad book experience (which sparked this post about bad children’s books) I had to make sure to find books that emphasized female empowerment and this was a great choice!
- Potty by Leslie Patricelli is quickly becoming a favorite book around our home because we are totally in the season and stage of potty training. Addison is just getting familiar with what it means to go potty, so this book really helps us explain some of the common items associated with the process (toilets, diapers, undies) and also makes the process really light hearted and fun. We’ve had some challenging moments with tantrums and other toddler debacles this week so we are focusing more on bringing a jovial spirit to any and all activities. Potty training has to happen of course – but it doesn’t have to be a big pressure filled journey. (PS we bought her this potty and she loves flushing it!)
- I am nearly done with the book Into the Water by Paula Hawkins and I have to say I am truly enjoying the way the author uses so many different voices and perspectives to tell the story. Just when you think you’re about to find something out, it switches perspectives and you’re back a couple paces. My husband also read a book I recommended called Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris and though he didn’t love the beginning and how slow it started, he read the second half of the book quickly and thoroughly enjoyed it. I love reading the same books because we have so much to talk about together – and both of us always love a spirited debate!
- As I mentioned above, we’ve been having some difficult with Addison in these trying times of toddlerhood. I know and respect that temper tantrums and emotional outbursts are totally a part of her emotional development. One resource that helps me feel a little more normal about tantrums and also understand the science behind her outbursts is Shannon MacFarlane who hosts a group called Brainy Parents with Heart. Knowing you’re not alone is half the battle, I think?
- Another thing, other than simply learning everything I can about tantrums, mindful parenting and the like is providing her an outlet. Addison has an amazing wealth of energy, she’s a spitfire and I love her active self. However, I’ve noticed when she starts getting upset, it only makes things worse if she’s engaged in an overly stimulating activity. So, we’ve started buying her some quiet time activities. She really enjoys sticker books, so the Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Sets are really fun (and don’t permanently stick on my furniture or floor). We also enjoy anything by Crayola ColorWonder (she gets the chance to be creative and calm, and I don’t have to worry about a giant mess).
- We are still anxiously awaiting our furniture to arrive from our last home, but we have made some purchases for things we know are definitely not on the way. The latest of which has been my awesome desk from The World Market!! We are huge fans of this store and all of the eclectic goods you can find there, so grabbing my awesome mix & match desk was a no-brainer. You can choose your own top and bottoms to make it 100% customizable. So. Freaking. Cool.
- A bonus! We bought this HP printer and there’s thing amazing service they provide where they send you ink in the mail for a super low cost (seriously, if you print a decent amount each month you’re saving not only the time to go get the ink, but you save a ton of cash having them ship it to you). If you sign up for their service using my link, we both get a free month’s worth of ink!