My summer book list reading has been going very well so far. I've read five books on my list, am reading the sixth plus an extra one that I borrowed on my kindle app from the library. I've also read a bunch of cookbooks.
My son did not have a summer reading list, but I suspect that will change next year as he prepares to go to kindergarten in the Fall of 2013. We have still been visiting the library and I've borrowed a few books via my e-reader from the library as well. I recently cleaned up his bookshelf in his room to "discover" some books that were forgotten or older favorites. Lately he has been loving the Lego books that are based on the toys. Mainly, he likes the police and firefighter stories. They are a paperback series and some are even easy-reader books that he'll hopefully start to learn to read himself over the next year. He found a Lego sticker book at the bookstore recently and he really wanted it. It isn't exactly a storybook, but does have stickers to fill in to pages and involves matching. So far I've gotten away with not actually owning Lego sets yet, but I see that day coming soon.
The kiddo also recently received a new Octonauts book, which I love. The illustrations are so cute, and the book is well written. I've been pulling out the back to school books to to get ready for the inevitable occurring in about a month. There is a series of books based on a character called "Froggy" who has a silly outlook on life. We have a handful of the titles. I like them because my husband reads them to my son in a silly voice that just cracks the kid up. Apparently once at preschool the teacher read a Froggy book. My son's comment that day was that she didn't do the voices the same way as dad, so it wasn't as entertaining! Our recent Froggy addition is about Froggy going to school. It is very cute.
Last week's pickup from the CSA yielded TONS of lettuce. Four huge heads. I gave away one and washed the the other three to store in the fridge for this week's meals. We'll be eating lots of salads! I'm still a bit squeamish from all of the additional critters that come home with the lettuce. This week there was only one or two slugs and one large caterpillar. I have to wash the lettuce when I get home because of the bugs and because I just don't have enough room to store the whole heads of lettuce. I also picked up bunches of swiss chard, kale, garlic scapes, and a wee bit of strawberries. Chard and kale are new to me, so I also picked up a cookbook of recipes for CSA produce. From Asparagus to Zucchini was published by the Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition. It has multiple recipes for just about anything that could be picked up at a local farm. I'm looking forward to trying out new recipes and new produce!
I made chard for the first time Sunday night using a recipe found in the cookbook. I used an Asian-style recipe that used some soy sauce and garlic to a saute of chopped chard. We really enjoyed it! It is such a pretty vegetable, especially the red stemmed version. Menu Plan
Monday: grilled chicken caesar salad
Tuesday: Pork tenderloin, salad
Wednesday: Chicken stir fry with baby bok choy, brown rice
Thursday: Mom's night out, boys on their own! (I'll make them pasta and salad.)
After reading a few great books recently, I decided I needed to make a book list for myself for summer reading. I have several books in a pile that I want to read, but I'm always finding others that I add to me "to-read" list on Goodreads. So I don't have to buy any books this summer, I made a list of books that I either already own or that are available from the library.
In no particular order, here is my summer reading list:
I've already finished two books last week that I consider to be part of my summer reads. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay was a book that I couldn't put down. It was the tale of what occurred in France during the Holocaust and the Vel’ d’Hiv' roundup, the day when the French police rounded up all the French Jews, including over 4,000 French children, and sent them to their death in Auschwitz. It was horrifying, and I was surprised that with all of the books I've read over the years about the Holocaust that I had never heard of this tragedy. The other book I read last week was the book selection for the online book club through Great Thoughts. The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain was the story of three friends, one who mysteriously commits suicide, and the survivors search for why. Overall I really enjoyed this book, except the mystery was rather predictable. I definitely would read the other books this author has written.
I had the opportunity to participate in the BlogHer Book Club again, this time reading the book by Geneen Roth titled: Lost and Found: One Woman's Story of Losing Her Money and Finding Her Life. This book appealed to me in that it speaks about the way people in North America think about money, the power it has over us, and the way our society reacts to those with money and those without. The author, Geneen Roth, was a victim of Bernard Madoff, losing her life savings. She reveals her reaction to learning about her loss and how she was able to rethink how she views money in her life.
This story made me evaluate how I think about money and how my views have changed over the years as my life has evolved. When I was a graduate student and had no money, I had a wish list of things I wanted to buy once I had a real job. My list included things such as "good" scissors and a Coach bag. They were completely material items, but were things I felt that if I had them I would feel successful. I did eventually cross off the items on my wish list. At the time I suppose those things made me feel good, but now I can only remember two of those things. I still have the good scissors (important for a crafter!) and that Coach bag is packed in a box in the attic. Now that I am in another stage of my life, I have wishes for things that aren't as material: experiences with my family, savings for my son to go to college, and savings for retirement. While when I was younger I thought that having material items meant success. Now I find that experiencing life events with my family are much more important, as is planning for a successful future.
I am inspired to further explore my relationship with money after reading about Geneen Roth's experience. I also want to work on teaching my son about money and the value of it. At age four, his understanding of money is that if we need something we can just go to the bank to get money to buy it. He also plays with money in his toy cash register, coins that he swiped from his piggy bank! This summer I plan to take him to the US Mint in Philadelphia to tour it and see where money is made. I'll post more on those lessons with him later!
Check out the discussions about Lost and Found over on BlogHer to learn more about this book!
Disclosure: This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.
My son's been to the dentist twice now, most recently about two weeks ago. I really love his dentist. He's been in practice for a while and has a very kid-friendly office without being overdone. Recently he was even listed in Philly magazine on their best pediatric dentist list! My son has received a good bill of teeth twice now, which was very encouraging to me. For a while getting him to brush properly was a challenge and he was adamant that I could not help him brush. At his first dental appointment last summer the dentist told him he had to let me help him. That made a huge difference and he now lets me help, especially with those back teeth. This last visit was great with no problems. I really appreciate that his dentist, Dr. Lloyd, lets me stay in the exam room with my son, who prefers to sit on my lab for his exam. I know many pediatric dental offices do not allow parents to go into the exam rooms with their children, and I am not comfortable with that practice.
To prepare for going to the dentist, we read a Bearenstain book about going to the dentist. In it the bears talk about getting a cavity filled. The drill fascinates my son. I have told him that I hope he never had to experience the drill! My husband has PERFECT teeth and has never had a cavity. (I'm hoping our son's teeth take after dad!) I, on the other hand, have many filled teeth! I just found out last week that I may have yet another cavity and have to go back to my dentist next week to get it checked out further. Grr.
My son is excited that I get to have my tooth drilled. See, he saw this play-doh toy about teeth and playing dentist. He wanted it and talked about it constantly. I said no more toys for now, since we don't have room for the once we have! But mommy-guilt got to me. After realizing on Friday that my son's pink eye was the bacteria version, as opposed to the viral version that we thought it was all week, we had to go pick up a prescription for eye drops at Target. He was really upset about having to get eye drops. He asked if we could look at the toys and see if the play-doh dentist was there on the shelf. I was silently hoping that they didn't have it in stock. And then he found it, on sale. I gave in. He loved it and even cleaned it up all by himself and put it away in the play-doh storage bin we have in the toy closet. He is still talking about the drill. I'll rationalize the toy as part of his career training.
We had taken a break from our local library. Partly due to the growing stack of unread books I have here that needs to be tackled, partly due to the kiddo deciding he doesn't like going because he doesn't want to be quiet while there (!) and partly due to our library being closed due to heating issues. I had found a few books at Target a few weeks ago and resisted the urge to buy them all up! I actually remembered the name of one when I got home so I looked it up in the library system and put a request in for it. I finally got an email this past week that my book was in, so today we took a trip over to once again enjoy the library, which has reopened!
There are so many great things to discover at the library. The kiddo decided he wanted to go with me today so he could play Reader Rabbit on the computer in the children's department. Our library has redone the children's department in the past three years and it is just beautiful. Besides having so many great books to borrow, the main children's librarian is a man who really gets kids and how they think. He cracks my son up with his antics in the library and at storytime. Mr. Jim invited me to bring my son to storytime for babies when my son was only four months old. He couldn't even sit up yet, but I faithfully brought him because not only was it exposing him to books, but it was a way to get out of the house! Today we found not only some great picture books to borrow, but also season 2 of the Muppets on DVD. We also discovered that they added a play kitchen to the children's department. My son had fun there and I love that he enjoys reading so much. At bedtime tonight we read three of our library books and he really enjoyed them.
I did get the book I had requested, Moloka'i, which I'm excited to read. It is historical fiction about the leprosy colonies on the Hawaiian Island of Moloka'i. We also checked out a Dr. Suess book about money, and Easter themed book about a dinosaur who steps in for the bunny, a book about a nervous cement mixer, and a book I wanted to read, the Man in the Moon. It has beautiful illustrations as well as an inspirational story. It is a bit advanced for my four year old, but I'm hoping it piques his interest with the mentions of astronomy and the illustraions. I also found a book with knitting patterns for wild animals!
Read Across America is on March 2, the end of this week. While generally we read books every night at bedtime, my goal for this week is to incorporate reading into playtime every day this week too. I have a few new books put away, so I will bring one out this week, and I also would like to purchase the Lorax, as it wasn't on the library shelves. My son wants to see the movie, but I would prefer that he read the book first. As with so many books that become movies, I always find that the book is better than the movie. I want my son to have a frame of reference for the movie and to read it before seeing it! Target was sold out, so a trip to the bookstore will be on our schedule this week.
I'm linking this post to the bloghop happening over at Just Precious, where Julie will be posting all reading-related entries all week in celebration of Read Across America day. Check out all of the posts there!
Our book list tonight included Good Night Philadelphia in preparation for our trip into the city tomorrow to "surprise" visit daddy at his office. Due to the building's security it won't be an actual surprise, but the kiddo will think it is. He is very concerned that we do not have ID badges, but I'm hoping we get visitor passes that will satisfy him. He loves to pretend that he works in the Philadelphia building, like his daddy. Goodnight Philadelphia is a sweet story that shows different city landmarks.
A Year in a Castle is a fun and detailed book about what goes on in a castle, including an invasion. The kiddo loves it!
We read usually three books before bed each night to my son. Often he picks the books, sometimes I do, but they are always different each night. There was a time when he was tiny that he wanted the same book every night, but now that he is a "big boy" at age four, he likes variety. There are some books that are mommy-read books and some we save for daddy who does the funny voices.
One of our favorite authors right now is Mo Willems, of the pigeon and Knuffle bunny fame. My son received the Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late book for Christmas and it's quickly become a favorite. That pigeon cracks us up! Peanut is a sweet story about an old lady who finds a "dog" in the park and adopts him. She doesn't realize he is an elephant! I love the illustrations. The New York City book was a Christmas gift as well. My son would love to visit NYC where his daddy works sometimes. We are planning to take him for a day in the spring, and this book will come in handy for picking some destinations. It's sort of a journal where he can record what he sees on his visits.
The last book is A Day in the City. It is a very detailed and illustrated book that tells the story of a city and what occurs as the day goes on. There are different things to find on each page and there are funny stories going on within the pictures. The buildings are cut open so the reader can spy what happens inside.
There are several titles like this style of book and they have become one of my go-to gifts for kids. My kiddo loves them!