Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rereading - Harry Potter (Again)

It has been at least a year since the last time I read the Harry Potter series - again.   It's time to pick it up again and share the story with my dd. My sweet dd is starting kindergarten in just a few weeks- maybe it is the start of something big that causing me to daydream about the wizarding world - or maybe it was the reminder from my wonderful friend Michelle- she is reading the series to her boys...either way tonight I am cracking open our much loved copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
(Really, why couldn't we in the US have the title Philosophers Stone- really we are not all that dumb that we would have been turned off by the title.) 

When I was pregnant with our son, as my belly grew, my ability to fall asleep shrunk. It could have been the hormones, the night hiccuping of my growing little boy, or whatever- but I just couldn't fall asleep. One night, my husband picked up the copy of Harry Potter that had been sitting on the nightstand and began reading to me. That simple act of sharing his love of reading - awakened a thirst for great books I didn't even know I had. Night after night he would read to me.  After our son was born we actually used to fight over who got to read.  

Bedtime reading is one of my most treasured time with my munchkins. The quiet time at the end of a day right before they fall asleep, where all of the craziness of living stops and all focus shifts to a new world, a new adventure, and someone else's story. As my children get older and there want and need of my company diminishes- I hope we never stop reading together! 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tenzin’s Deer

We just recieved the new Barefoot Books catalog (which is amazing) and after flipping through it my ds asked for a copy of Tenzin’s Deer. I knew we had a copy somewhere in the house and spent the day looking for it.  

My ds had a pretty hard time learning to read, and only this past year in third grade, did he really get the hang of it. As such anytime he is remotely interested in a book I do my best to get it for him, or borrow it from the library. But today we were in luck, since the book he wanted was already in our collection.

Like so many of our books it was still in a box in the garage from when we moved (almost two years ago).  On our way to swim class today my ds sat quietly in the back of the car reading Tenzin’s Deer.   Getting out of the car he said, “Mom, that is a great book.” It had been a long time since I read Tenzin’s Deer but remembered how powerful the message of the book was. What struck me was that all  I remember feeling sad about the loss Tenzin felt, and what my ds seemed to feel empowered by the kindness the boy showed to the animals around him.  One true sign of a great book is that you feel changed by having read it and Tenzin’s Deer is one of those great books.

Tenzin's Deer

A Tibetan Tale

Meet Tenzin, a kindhearted boy who discovers a wounded musk deer high up in the hills. In this Tibetan tale, Tenzin nurses the deer back to health, and must learn the most important lesson of all: how to love enough to let go.
Ages 5 to 10 years
Written By: Barbara Soros
Illustrated By: Danuta Mayer

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (Favorite Places)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shopping with Dad (New Format)

One of my favorite books is now available in paperback! Shopping with Dad  by Matt Harvey is super fun to read aloud perfect for preschoolers and elementary school age children. This lovely book is brilliantly illustrated by Miriam Latimer who's playful style and bright colors are sure to capture your little cuties attention.  

This is a great book to give as a gift or keep for your personal collection!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Late Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Magic of Chinese Delivery

The story begins with
(One little miss with a cold
+One mama that was not feeling much better
+ One son just getting over a cold)
- One daddy at work late
= Chinese Take Out!

To be completely honest it doesn't take that much for me to be convinced that it is a Chinese Take Out night, (proof of this is that the person that answers the phone at our favorite delivery place knows my voice) but today was an exceptional example of the absolute need for me like many other moms to have a Chinese delivery place close by at all times.

Back to the story, last Wednesday (also known as little Miss's birthday) when my sweet son came down with a nasty cold. Mr. Sweet shared his cold with me and by Friday I was feeling miserable. The weekend was spend with bouts of sneezing, mild fevers, and many attempts to nap.

Fact: The worst part of a weekend with a sick mom is that all those errands that are left 'till the weekend inevitably are left undone.

Which brings us to Monday...when little miss woke up and came in to my bed to snuggle with a a mild fever and very stuffy nose. So Monday brought with it an empty fridge, a still under the weather mother, a sick little miss, and a beloved Chinese restaurant that delivers!

Thank you China Wok without you this day would not have been possible!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Walking

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Picky Kid's Syndrome

Ok, I am not a bad cook more like a reluctant one. It would seem that when homemaking skills were given out or taught in school, I must have been absent. I wish some of the time that I was one of those mom's that got excited about grocery shopping and cooking for my family, but honestly, I just don't. In part this is due to what I like to call the Picky Kid's Syndrome. Now I bet you are wondering; what is Picky Kid's Syndrome?

Symptoms of Picky Kid's Syndrome
*Have you found yourself in the grocery store and are unable to remember what you are there to buy?
*Have you had the experience of after returning from the grocery store you are unpacking and putting the groceries away and realize that you have spent way too much and have no actual meals?
*You and your spouse are grocery shopping and they ask (passive aggressively) "So it looks like we have a lot of "snacks" and not a lot of meals"? In response to their inquiry you want to pull out your hair and cry.
*Do you find yourself eating cold left over french fries and fish sticks (or chicken nuggets) for dinner?

Signs of Picky Kid's Syndrome
-Tired mom
-Hungry frustrated mom
-A lack of desire to cook
-Grocery shopping seems like a new form of punishment designed to make you remember what a snotty teenager you were.
-A willingness to eat out almost anywhere just so you don't have to do the never ending amount of dishes that magically appear in your sink.

If you answered yes to any of the above you too might be suffering from Picky Kid's Syndrome.

Seriously, I used to like to make dinner and try out the occasional new recipe, but since my DH is often working late (at an awesome company that feeds him) and my children in most cases won't even try something I have cooked, I just gave up trying. DD will try things but often won't like them enough to take more than one bite. DS won't even try something new, nor will he eat a banana or any other fruit if it is bruised even in the slightest. Some might think that this is silly and they should just eat what ever I make or not eat, but that just isn't the kind of mom I am. I have two wonderful children and I respect that they might not enjoy what I do so I end up making them the few things that they are willing to eat. Unfortunately, that means that either I make two meals, one for them, and one for me (since DH's work has catered dinner, which I will touch on at some time soon, along with the magic notepad and pen) or I eat what they eat .
In practice what happens more often than not is that I make the kids food, work some while they eat, realize I am starving and eat the cold left overs. (Rather pitiful, huh?)

It is my goal to reawaken the inner cook in myself and find some new inspiration for cooking for my family and myself. So, I am ordering some interesting cookbooks including Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights: Recipes for Every Season, Mood, and Appetite & Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients. My next step is to actually write down a meal plan and try to stick with it.
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - S.F. Love

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Paper Hearts

I guess it is just that time of year when everyone is included. As a mom having a cold is just not allowed. Working from home and being a mom is really, really, not allowed. So what does this mom due when she is feeling ucky and would like nothing more than to curl up in bed...well, for starters try to keep her very inquisitive almost 5 yr old DD busy so that she doesn't make gigantic messes. In an effort to keep little Miss.Mess Maker entertained I discovered that she didn't know how to make a paper heart.
Here are some pictures of the fun DD had while I tried to get some work done.

Just in case you forgot how to make a paper heart here is what you will need;

Paper and Crayons
Oops, almost forgot you will also need scissors to cut out your heart (no pun intended).
Next you will want to fold a single sheet of paper in half.
Draw your half heart on the side of the paper that is folded (not the side with the edges of the paper). We found that using a dark crayon made it easier to see when you the lines when you cut it out.
First heart! Not bad at all.

The second heart came out a bit better. DD found it easier when I drew the heart and she cut it out.
Lots of great hearts! DD made one into a card for a friend at school.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Week in Pictures

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why anchor your efforts in social media with a blog.

Now that we know what social media is and why it is important let’s move on to some best practices. While we are all out on the web posting updates on Twitter, reviews of restaurants and such on Foursquare, pictures and articles on Facebook, it can quickly become over whelming (or a waste of your efforts) if you do not have a place to anchor it all, like a blog.

To have a conversation in person you have two or more people (two or more identities) engaging one another. The same is true for conversations on-line; to create an on-line identity you need to designate a space to where that identity lives. A blog or some other similar space holder is essential to the creation of your identity or on-line persona.

If you are a business it is important to maintain a business persona along with a personal voice. A blog or even a Facebook Fan page can act as a place holder for a company’s on-line persona. Having one or a few people in the company acting as the company’s on-line voice can be a great way to promote and communicate with your customer base, find partnerships, and grow brand awareness through viral marketing.

Once you have a persona, an online voice, taking the next step in pushing content, creating community and having conversations will be a natural next step.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Social Media Part 1 of many

It is an amazing world we live in. Technology has made the world smaller than it ever was before by connecting people all over the world through social media. So what is social media really? Well, let's break it up into the two terms that we use to define it: social & media. I think social is fairly easy to understand that it is how we in engage with others (or at least I am going to define it that way…). Media we will think of as information that way we are not limited by a classical understanding by which one would limit the channels to which the information could and would come from. You could ignore my definition and opt for the Wikipedia definition and I think you will still be able to derive the same conclusions that I have in the following posts.

Types of social media include things like e-mails, chat rooms, message boards, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and I would venture to say that most things that you can find on-line would have some component of social media that they participate in.

Why is social media important? To answer that we need to consider what makes human being, well, human beings. I think at the heart of it is that we are by nature social beings and as we create, invent, and dream up technology we inherently look for ways to connect with others. These new and old technologies have made it possible for us to connect or “socialize” in ways we that were not possible in the old world before computers and telephones before that. Communities are no longer bound by geography and can be based on a simple love of rocks, trees, comic books, skateboards, art, music, pain - sorrows, tribulations, motherhood, fatherhood; it really is limitless in complexity and simplicity. These artificial communities exist not only in the abstract sense but they also have a firm foot in the here and now.

What does this translate to in “real life”? Marketers (like me) and businesses look to these communities as a way to market or hand sell to their consumers. We want to meet and speak to our customers and target market when, where, and however we can, on-line communities offer that possibility in a unique way.

Social media has become the heart and blood of how many companies find and sell to their customers. So the importance of social media is not only to the media, marketers, businesses, and sales people, but also to the consumer who can and do frame how they are marketed to. Consumers have a new voice and a new power for change.

We have seen various examples of this recently:

Toyota, Southwest, Tiger Woods, Sigg, and many more companies/celebrities have found out what happens when consumers have a voice and a viral voice at that.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dreamy Voyage

Written By: James Mayhew
Illustrated By: Jackie Morris

Starlight Sailor is a new favorite of mine. I love the moody blue and gold that linger throughout this fantastic book. One of my all time favorite poems from when I was a child are combined with new life and versus. The red dragon, unicorn, and humpback whales make the the voyage of the paper boat only that much more special for the reader.

I would recommend this as a great gift for a special child in your life!

*I am an employee of Barefoot Books.