A Hodge Podge

by jessicaturner on September 7, 2008

This weekend has flown by, but it has been good. I have gotten almost caught up on laundry, which has become a lot harder to keep up with now that I am back to work. Brownie cookies are currently in the oven to take to Elias’s sweet caregivers tomorrow. I have done more scrapbooking and plan to get caught up on my thank you cards today. We have been blown away by all the sweet gifts we have received for Elias. It is so fun to go to the mail every day and find a card or a gift.

Favorite Children’s Books
My parents read to my sister and me every day when we were little. I ended up being quite to voracious reader because of this. So, now that I have a baby, I am already reading to him and buying lots of books. (I think I have blogged about this before.) Well, a cool program they have in Tennessee is Dolly Parton’s Imagination library, where kids from birth to age five receive a free book every month! How cool is that? We got Elias’s first book yesterday – The Little Engine that Could. It took me right back to my childhood. I read it to Elias right away.

What are your favorite children’s books?

Online Scrapbooking Class
I am thinking about taking this class from Big Picture Scrapbooking: Product Playground Two: The Albums. About every six months or so I go on a “scrapbooking fast,” where I try NOT to buy any new products and instead, use up the items in my stash. This class is perfect for me because one of the focuses is using what you HAVE and not going out and buying a bunch of stuff. If you have never checked out Big Picture Scrapbooking, you should. They offer dozens of great classes for all levels of scrapbooking. I love the owners Stacy and Paula. They really GET it when it comes to scrapbooking and their wonderful company reflects their awesome philosophy.

New Carpet
We are getting ready to get new carpet installed in our condo. We REALLY need new carpet, so I am super excited about this. We met with Empire yesterday, and I am going to set up appointments with Home Depot and Costco to make sure we are getting the best price. We hope to have it installed by the end of the month, which will be so nice. Did I mention how excited I am about this!?! It is going to make such a difference in our condo and will be so nice and soft for Elias as he learns to crawl.

Cookies
Well, my oven is beeping – time to go pull out the cookies. I hope I will be able to get them cooled and boxed up without eating too many. :)

Here’s the super easy recipe – perfect for busy moms!
Box of brownie mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

Mix about 50 strokes. Plop on baking sheet. Cook for 8-10 minutes at 350.

Enjoy!

***Be sure to check out the videos we made for Elias’s grandparents below! :)



{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel September 7, 2008 at 1:05 pm

That is pretty cool about Dolly Parton’s library. She is one celeb who really does put her money where her mouth is! Glad you all are enjoying your copy of The Little Engine That Could!

I teach elementary school and thought I’d share three of me “new” favorite authors with you. These men all write great books, and they end up making me laugh, along with my students! Ian Falconer (his books are all about a pig named Olivia), Mo Williems (Knuffle Bunny is my favorite!), and David Shannon.

Happy reading :)

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K.E.P. September 7, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Wow, that’s neat about the library, I wish all libraries could do that! :) I am a nanny for an infant and she loves “Goodnight Moon” (of course) and anything with black and white pictures. My personal fav is “God Gave Us You.”

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Tami September 7, 2008 at 1:54 pm

HI Jessica!

I have been following your blog through Angie’s. I love to see what’s going on at your place. You guys remind me of myself and our family (I have THREE boys!). Anyhow, I haven’t commented until now, but I couldn’t resist adding my two cents about the books…

We have LOTS of favorites around here, but I think it is seriously important for every boy to have a Curious George collection. My boys have loved George from the day they were born. They have even had pet fish that they have named George. So there ya’ go… ENJOY!

Tami Gray

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Simone September 7, 2008 at 6:42 pm

1. You guys are soooo creative! (And not that it’s a contest, but I think the rap video’s better than the other one…mainly because Elias is doin’ the moves himself. But still both are very cute. )

2. Thanks for the recipe–I was going to ask you to post it, so I’m glad you anticipated that one!

3. Oh my…favorite children’s books? SO many! I have a couple of bibliophiles with generous relatives, so we have hundreds. But I know some of their early favorites were Owl Babies, Love You Forever, Very Hungry Caterpillar, Snuggle Puppy, David Shannon books, etc. (Basically visually engaging board books with a lot of repetition.) Then we moved onto the Dr. Suess’s, Curious George, etc.

And, am my the only one creeped out by Goodnight Moon? I know it’s a classic and all, but Sheesh! Now that my 17mo asks me to read it 30 times a day, I’ve realized how *weird* it is. The old lady? Who’s there sometimes but not others? Food and a phone in the bedroom? A fireplace? In one illustration the baby bunny is hunkered down on top of the covers like he’s scared to move. I dunno…it’s all very Flowers in the Attic to me. (Sorry to those of you who love it…including my little guy!)

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the parental unit September 7, 2008 at 8:08 pm

My kids loved all the Eric Carle books, especially “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See?” and “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?” They had them memorized by the time they went to Kindergarten and thought they were ‘cool beans’ when they could “read” to the class! The illustrations that he makes for the books are fabulous too! “Why Noah Chose the Dove” is wonderful too!
Happy Reading!!
Lyne :)

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rebecca September 7, 2008 at 10:07 pm

Thanks for the info on how to make the brownie cookies Jessica! We were without power for 14 hours yesterday due to the effects of Hurricane Hanna, so my little ones and I made your brownie cookies today for Mom Mom and Pop Pop in honor of Grandparent’s Day. They turned out great and my mom took one look at them and announced that she had just ruined her diet. LOL! Thanks again. :)

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Anonymous September 8, 2008 at 1:54 am

I am a toddler teacher and I just have to comment about the BEST books…Where the Wild Things Are is a must for all little guys! My son loved all the Sandra Boyton books when he was young like Elias
Moo, baa, laa laa laa, Barnyard Dance, etc. I think it is something about the rhyming that draws them! Also a new and adorable favorite is Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney..it is just precious! Have fun reading with your little guy :)

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Sara September 8, 2008 at 2:00 am

I was doing so well not eating sweets today until your brownie recipe creeped into my head. :)

I’m sending good thoughts your way on the spokesperson gig. I think if you can somehow put Elias in the mix there’s no way they could turn you down. His pop up videos would be great in flight entertainment!!!

sara
http://gitzengirl.blogspot.com

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Katie September 8, 2008 at 2:57 am

Okay, seriously hilarious and adorable videos! How did you put the little comments in?? I love it!! I am also a huge children’s book fanatic. I teach first grade and have been collecting books for my son even before I was married and knew I’d have a son one day. A few favorites are “Love You Forever,” “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” and any of the McDuff the dog books by Rosemary Wells. And I think all little boys need my brother’s childhood favorite, “Mike Mulligan’s Steam Shovel.” I have it memorized frontwards and back after reading it with him as a kid. =o) Enjoy! It is so great you are reading to him already. You can never start too early! All my 17 month old does right now is chew on them and occasionally point to a picture before throwing it, but at least he’s hearing the words and seeing the process.

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Katrina September 8, 2008 at 3:33 am

What a cool library program! 60 books by the time he’s 5! I don’t really remember my favorite children’s books by the story itself, but I DO remember all the nights my parents read to me. They tell me even today how it’s one of their favorite memories of when I was little. I’m sure it’ll bless you as much as it does Elias!

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Kelli September 8, 2008 at 2:12 pm

I love all the Gruffalo books, Llama Llama, and anything by Mo Willems (those are my modern faves)

old favorites:

Little Bear
Mouse Soup
Foot Book (Dr. Suess)
Tiki Tiki Tembo

and when you need a BIG BOY book :)

Narnia Series
Charlotte’s Web
Paddington Bear
Chocolate Fever

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The Couch Family September 9, 2008 at 12:43 am

HEY JESSICA!
TOTALLY RANDOM AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS POST. BUT I WAS THINKING ABOUT HOW ELIAS WAS SICK AND YOU WERE ASKING FOR TIPS. I DID THIS WITH MADISON ESPECIALLY WHEN SHE HAD A BELLY ACHE AND NOTHING SEEMED TO WORK. I WOULD HOLD HER AND SIT ON ONE OF THOSE BIG BOUNCY EXERCISE BALLS AND BOUNCE. CRAZY, I KNOW. BUT IT REALLY WORKED EVERYTIME!!

MADISON IS REALLY GETTING INTO THE READING THING. SHE IS 15 MONTHS AND LEARNING EAR, EYES, NOSE, MOUTH ETC. AND IT IS REALLY EXCITING WHEN I ASK HER WHERE SOMETHING IS IN A BOOK AND SHE KNOWS.

WELL, HOPE LITTLE ELIAS IS FEELING BETTER AND HOPE ALL IS GOING WELL!!

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Christi September 9, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Okay, I have to tell you that my favorite book for my little boy that he loves is by Dr. Suess – The Shape of Me and Other Stuff. The end says “Horray for the shapes we’re in” and I’d lift his arms up for that. Now he does that on his own and it’s so cute! He’ll even lift his arms this throughout the reading of the book, just anticipating the end.

Also, the ABC book by Dr. Suess is good too. Of course, being 16 months we’ve got these books for him in board books – I highly recommend getting lots of board books when they are little and toddlers. Besides being easier for them to turn the pages, they take a beating – when they get chewed on and ripped at. I keep his other books out of reach right now or he bends the covers and rips the pages.

Regarding the scrapbooking class, would you recommend that one you are considering for a beginner type scrapbooker? I’m getting back into scrapbooking after 6 or so years, and of course I never used to do anything close to as fancy as the really cool minibooks and such I’m seeing. The class looks really neat – just wondering if it would be over my head or really open up and show me how to dive headfirst back into scrapbooking? :) I did think it would be a great way to get mini-books put together I could give as gifts to family.

Also, what classes do you recommend for beginners? Ones that you took that really got your creativity going and helped you learn the techniques (and best tools) of scrapbooking. Thanks for your previous scrapbooking book recommendations. I’m looking at getting some soon.

Let us know if you do decide to take the class.

Thanks!
Christi, Orlando, FL

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Sarah September 9, 2008 at 4:36 pm

Hey, so just a word of caution…we had new carpet installed shortly after my son was born (he is 6 mths old now) and it gets a little bit more ruined every day! Once he started eating baby food, he would eat and everything and then like an hour later as he was crawling he would spit up the brightly colored baby food. All that to say, I highly recommend rugs to preserve your new carpet :)

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Joy September 9, 2008 at 4:38 pm

Hmmm… Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Goodnight Moon are DEFINITE musts in our home library. I also find amazing books at the dollar stores (board books)!

One book that makes me cry every single time is “Love You Forever”. *BAWL*

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