Today I feel incredibly grateful. I’m happy about that because I can’t say I have felt that way all week. Like I mentioned in my post last week, we have been dealing with tantrums and toddlerhood (coupled with separation anxiety with AJ going off to childcare and sleeping in her own room again). It’s been rough around these parts, but I am so glad that today I am seeing the light. I’ve been reading up on all sorts of resources related to Addison’s developmental stages and emotions. I’ve always believed the best way to be an amazing and intentional, purposeful and impactful parent is to arm yourself with resources. It’s so important to me that I continue to educate myself about how to be a better parent so I feel more confident in my choices. This week’s Reads & Things Sunday post involves lots of our favorite stuff right now, including resources that have been making us feel like we are totally rocking parenthood (amidst the tears and frustrations, of course).
Reads & 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.
- Be A Star Wonder Woman! by Michael Dahl. Because sweet Addison has been having some trouble feeling brave going off to school on her own (and because she absolutely loves this book) we have been reading it almost every night. It’s funny because I always tell parents that it’s important to choose books they love reading over and over again – it’s even better when these favorite books address some super important values for your family. In this case, I am happy to read this book again and again because it addresses topics like: facing fears and female empowerment. Plus, my super-hero loving little girl can’t get enough of the Wonder Woman references!
- We finally received our furniture all the way from California and Japan (yay!!) which means of course…we have been reunited with all of our books from our #intentionalbookshelf. Although we don’t have a proper storage or reading space yet (though we are going to try to use at least some of the ideas from this post about reading spaces) we have been sifting through all the books and reading a few of them. We are really excited to have our Little Blue Truck series by Alice Schertle back! Those books teach such valuable lessons and also provide just enough intrigue (through pop ups or lights) to keep your children paying attention for the good stuff.
- Tootle by Gertrude Crampton. I love getting to pair a book with an activity. One of AJ’s favorite toys arrived – her Minnie Mouse Choo Choo Train! This toy is amazing, by the way. You can set up tracks and it *literally* moves itself along them, or you can put it into “manual” mode and use your feet to move. It’s awesome and so much fun for little toddlers. We like to read the book Tootle when we play with the train, it’s fun to point out the similarities between the little locomotives in the book and the one Addison is riding on.
- The Whole Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Bryson. As I mentioned, it’s really important to me to create my own library of resources to help me be a better parent – that means parenting books that align with our parenting style and also explain my child in a way I understand. As an engineer and lover of science, I appreciate the way this book discusses the way the brain triggers and controls the actions and emotions of your child. I’m still in the beginning chapters of the book, but so far I feel like I already have a better understanding of why Addison acts the way she does in certain situations (and a better idea of what’s “normal” behavior and what should be corrected).
- My awesome dad surprised my family (courtesy of “Amazon Prime Day” of course) with a pair of Echo Dots for our house. If you don’t know what these are, they are basically little hubs that connect with Amazon’s AI “Alexa”. She can play songs for you, order things from Amazon, connect to your phone, all sorts of awesome high tech things. Seriously, it’s like you’re living in the future (we are – by the way). Anyway, the Echo Dots are one version of Alexa’s hub. We keep one downstairs and one up in AJ’s room. The reason we have one in her room is because it can play music or playlists – it can even read books! Every night we set the playlist to “Kid’s lullaby songs by Rockabye baby”. This music is not traditional lullabies. It’s epic, classic rock songs transformed into baby lullabies. It’s the best thing ever, here’s their website to learn more. Rockabye Baby has songs like Stairway to Heaven, Bohemian Rapsody, and Viva La Vida. It’s so good, I even catch myself listening to it! What I think is really cool is she’ll have song recognition when we play the real versions of those songs. Absolutely love it – and we can enjoy it courtesy of the Amazon Dot.
- We are big fans of Melissa and Doug products in general, and one we have really been loving is this Chalkboard / Dry Erase Board. One side is a chalkboard, the other is a dry erase board and it comes with magnetic letters and numbers to practice spelling and counting. We have this gold plated coffee table from The World Market and the magnetic pieces cling to it, making it the perfect place to play. We like this because it’s a quiet time activity that has enough going on to be intriguing for longer than 5 minutes.
- I’m a total type-A planner person. Since moving I have lost touch with that side of myself and I am totally craving structure and routine. Now that AJ is off to childcare regularly and my husband will be back to work soon, it’s been important for me to systematize things. A huge desk calendar was the perfect investment for this. I got mine at Target, but Amazon has some pretty great ones too. I love that they start in July 2017 and go until June 2018 (academic year, I suppose) because that means I don’t have to buy a traditional calendar and rip out 8 months to be able to start today.