Sunday, July 10, 2011

Photo Card

Initially Boy Baby Announcements
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Moms, the Movers and Shakers of the world

I am currently reading the book, recently published by the daughter of famed feminist, Gloria Allred.   I HIGHLY recommend it for anyone raising a daughter.  The background on feminism is extreamly interesting and it really makes me think twice about what my grandmother and even my mother has gone through, that I take for granted.  

Women are obviously very important people in our society and we should celebrate this role and the advances that we have made and continue to make. 

Research shows that the people who are forming the minds and hearts of the world are Moms.  This information is not surprising to me, living the roles of the mother and teacher.   We have the greatest impact on our children, more than any other factor.  In the past, research showed that socio-economic factors played the greatest role in "student success."  Now were are learning that the single greatest factor in student success in school is the Mother's background, including education level.

As I am only a chapter into the book, I will update this post with more thoughts as I venture onward.  

On that thought....   Anyone who buys the book, share your thoughts on it....  I would love to discuss it!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Passing on your Passions

While listening to an interview on Oprah today (sob, that she is wrapping up her show!  I am a huge fan), Rob Lowe talked about his family.  I was pleased to hear a great conversation about Rob's greatest passion, reading and writing.   His family talked about how his interest for words has been instilled in his children.  His son said, that the time that he enjoys spending with his father are the times that they are spending together reading or working on writing.
As parents we hope that our children pick-up on our positive passions. As I type my daughter sits across the dining room table (partly just to be nearby me) and is coloring, narrating about her colors, counting her markers and periodically drumming with them.  These are all interests that she has picked up from her mom and dad, since we have modeled these behaviors with her.  As parents we must use our position as a parent and role model to both pass on positive ideals and avoid the negative.  

Too often, while working with parents in the position of a teacher, they have told me that their young child, maybe as young as first grade, will be bad at math and hate it, simply because they, themselves, hate and do poorly with math.   This simple, yet common example sends a message to their children.   The message is clear, it is ok to fail at this even before you have tried.  Is it ok, to make excuses for your children to help them avoid something that may not be very pleasant?   This is just my thought for the day.  

What are some ways that you can share your passions with your children?
  • Model a positive attitude towards their activities
  • Share your interests with them and make them kid friendly
  • Get excited about their interests and nurture them

What does our family do, to share our passions with our daughter?
  • We have nightly rituals of reading and sharing books.   We also take "special trips" to the book store and library to find new ones.
  • We find out what interests her and get her involved (today it was the cute little pots o fseeds at Home Depot that caught her eye, while I was searching for my spring veggies.  She has checked out the seeds in the window at least 3 times today.  Instead of telling her that she is silly, I get excited too, and we look to see if there have been any changes.  I have, however, reminded her that it will be a few days until we see sprouts!)
  • We give her opportunities to learn about new activities.   If she finds it difficult, we encourage her to keep trying, since it will get easier with practice.  We also help her to understand the value of learning something new and the other  things that can be gained from the activity, be it exercise or meeting new friends.
    What have you done with your children to show excitement about learning something new??

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kind Kindle

I am SO very excited to share a list of FREE books from Amazon that you can upload for free (even if you do not have a Kindle, there are many ways that you can still upload them to a digital device)

I have found several mom/ parenting/ kid friendly options! 

This is not a book review, like many of my posts are, these are just free books!  (Maybe in a few DAYS these books will be reviewed!)


WHO doesn't love food!? OH, I LOVE food!
While, I do not LOVE cooking, it is great to have cookbooks around!  : )

Well the topic of this BLOG is FREE after all, so how about fugal, that is almost the same, right!?? These sounds kinda old fashioned but maybe still interesting.  Maybe it will provide an insight into why are mothers and grandmother are/were who there were.  MAYBE it will just help us appreciate modern luxuries! 

How about a  little fiction reading about parenting?

Fun to read TO your kids:

I KNOW I have a little POST baby weight to lose!  : )

Is it interesting to read the other side of parenting too:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Communicating with Preschoolers

While reviewing YET another resource for parenting preschoolers, I watched the DVD, Happiest Toddler on the Block, I found another great set of tools for communicating with my toddler. 

As always, I LOVE sharing my ideas with you, so here it is!  It is appropriate for parents of a one year old, through 4 years old.  

What parenting books, DVDs and sources do you rely on?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Emotional Epiphany

Sitting in the auditorium filled with equal numbers of children ranging in ages from 2-6 and their parents, I watched as my daughter's bright blue eyes widened and her smile grew.  She was watching the approach of a musician that she has watched hundreds of times on YouTube and a handful of times on Noggin', playfully slink up to the front of the stage.  It was hard to miss this lanky, tall man that seems to be about 7 feet tall with his crazy gray hair that stands on end.  Dan Zanes was wearing his trademark orange suit and carrying his guitar.   As his first song stared, one that we have loudly belted out together many times in our car, her jaw dropped and my eyes welled, up and that is about all that I saw of my daughter for the next five minutes. 

OK, I will admit it, I am the type of female that enthusiastically shares my feelings.  I emote, like a ripe zit.  You KNOW when I am happy/ mad/ sad/ angry.  I will also admit that I am full of the extra potent, 35 weeks pregnant hormones. 

I had one of THOSE moments today. It was one of those instances when I remember why I am a parent.  When I bought those tickets nearly 10 months ago, I knew our family would have fun.  I didn't realize how influential today would be on my child. 

Up until her bed time, she had not stopped talking about the time that the two of us danced in front of the stage, during the song "Catch that Train".  As we cha-cha-cha'ed by, she waved to him and he waved back.

House PartyShe also can't stop talking about the moment she met him.  After the show she said she wanted to say good-bye to him.  The smart entertainer that he his, his whole band stood in the lobby of the Mondavi Center, and greeted, signed autographs and took pictures with their fans.  Of course my phone decided to go crazy right before the show as i was turning it off, so I did not have my camera on my phone available.  I am not worried, though as she will have that moment where she approached him and said, "Bye-bye!  Thank you!"  and he said, "Wanna high-five?"  She joyously slapped his hand.

What a great day!

My first blog on this page, about a month ago, reminded us to think, "What is our goal as a parent?"   Today was just another reminder that I can help my child create positive memories of most exciting events, as well as the most simple of events.  Today just happened to be a very exciting day.  I was the happiest making her so happy.

Musical Moods

Our family is in the mood for music.   Actually we are always listening to music, but today will be a little different!  After a few days of feeling cooped up in the house from the drenching rain, we are heading out to the Mondavi Center (in Davis, CA) to watch one of our favorite performers for kids, Dan Zanes.  There are a few favorite musicians that everyone in our family enjoys, so I thought I would make today's Blog a review of our favorite kids' music that my husband and I can tolerate too!  If you have a kid under the age of 10, you should get to know Zanes!   He does a lot of cover music, which the parents will be familiar with (think musicals of the past, such as Annie and Music Man).   He is a lot of fun, and the whole family will enjoy his music.  Search for dan zanes

My personal overall favorite is probably The Laurie Berkner Band. Maybe it is a feminine thing, though.    The music is fun, fast and the lyrics are original and witty.   Our family's favorite song is probably the Dinosaur song, but Victor Vito is probably a close second!  Search for the laurie berkner band

As a teacher of literacy, I closely examine music that also has connections to literacy for my children.   It is important that children are sent to school with a common background knowledge of fairy tales and nursery rhymes.  The teacher will rely in this background knowledge to teach other skills.   For this reason, I have to endorse the Wee Sings music series. As a family we only have a few of these, but I really love them for their content.  They are presented in a story format and include classic childern's songs that you and your kid will love!  Search for wee sing