Thursday, June 28, 2012

summer bucket lists: surprise edition

seems like everyone these days is doing the summer bucket list thing. there are good reasons to pick up on the trend. for one thing, the kids love it. summer also is a special time where, even amid pesky work obligations and juggling the new schedules, there's a feeling of giddy nostalgia. school's out! i'm free! well, sort of. to wit, i'm on board with Dumb Mom who finds that having a plan is definitely better than no plan (which, as she puts it, is a sure-fire way to drive a person "bat-crap crazy").

there are several ways to approach the summer bucket list. you could simply make a list, and check it off as you go. you could do the same thing, but use an actual bucket. you could invoke your inner Kinko's and create fancy labels. you could come up with a bucket for each member of the family and do it crafty style. you can color-code by the length of time an activity takes or by the type of activity, a popular method. or take things to a whole new level and make it a game.

me, i'm a procrastinator. i'm also of the "good enough" parenting philosophy. do the kids get a kick out of it? then why go to the extra effort of making it an ode to Martha Stewart? bleck. so with no further ado, here's our version: the summer bucket surprise! (we actually don't call it that. but this is a blog. and blogs give things names. so there we are.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

this week's silly book recommendation: Dinosaur Bob and his Adventures with the Family Lazardo

"he's Me-so-zo-ic and he-ro-ic, and he's real-ly green." it's baseball season, so this week's selection takes a stretch and smacks that theme with green gusto.
Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures with the Family Lazardo (Reading Rainbow Book), by William Joyce (1995, HarperCollins)
parenting young children requires a certain level of willing suspension of disbelief. reality is a flexible thing, and thank God for that. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

word of the month: forlorn

background from schnitzgeli1
my drama queen needs this word. kids get tired and cranky (oh wait, parents do too). and it's easier to handle with a bit of gentle joshing. "oh, sweetie, are you forlorn?" only in print, it's more like, "ohhhhh, sweeeeetieeee, are you for-lorrrrrrrn?" with a look of concern that has that carefully balanced quality, equal parts sincerity and silliness.
for·lorn adj \fər-ˈlȯrn, fȯr-\ 
1 a: bereft, forsaken <left quite forlorn of hope>
   b: sad and lonely because of isolation or desertion : desolate <a forlorn landscape>

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Capt. Obvious vs. Super Sillypants

"The superhero in me
is tired" by Brett Jordan
"what are you doing, Mom?" she asks.

i am putting Mickey Mouse chicken nuggets in the microwave to cook for lunch. again. by this point, it should be pretty apparent what Mom is doing – to the 1 1/2-year-old much less the 5-year-old asking the question. in previous days, i would answer her with the same. but today, with an "you've got to be kidding me" pause before slapping the microwave door shut, i decide i'm tired of playing Capt. Obvious to Ms. Rhetorical Q. Princess.

"i'm making cardboard."

there's a pause while she searches my face to see if i'm for real. then her face lights up with the joke. "hee hee hee! that's silly, Mom." yes, yes it is. and so was your question, Obvious Girl!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

this week's silly book recommendation: Yuck!

this is a fun one. it's perfect for the tiny tot set, but goofy enough to get giggles from the poop-jokes set. they did another print run last year, too, and so it's now widely available – and cheap, to boot.
Yuck!, by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom (Frances Lincoln, 2005)
Manning and Granstrom are partners and live in the Scottish Borders; they have four sons. their books have won several awards overseas. this one was a regional winner of the Highland Book Awards in 2006. the book also apparently is featured in an award-winning 2008 British film about an optimistic preschool teacher, "Happy-Go-Lucky."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

this week's silly book recommendation: Pajama Time!

pajammy down with your flannel self as you ditch the fight and instead have some goofy fun getting the kiddos ready for bed. this is our latest favorite book for bedtime. anything by Sandra Boynton, the queen of silly pantses everywhere, is a sure thing. and this is near the top of the list of our Boynton faves.
Pajama Time! by Sandra Boynton (2000, Workman Publishing)
many of Boynton's works are actually songs. we have not heard this song except for a clip. but we like our version better, with more of a hip-hop than a doo-wop beat.

fine print: this post contains Amazon affiliate links. learn more here.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

the best kind of book

you don't need to have kids to relive the best parts of your own childhood, but it just might help. for example, i don't think i would have come across 'Andrew Henry's Meadow,' a 1965 book by the late author-illustrator Doris Burn, and the avalanche of sentiment that followed if not for having the excuse of a young book-loving daughter to buy it for.

we were on a trip in the San Juans with family and popped into Island Studios. the book's iconic green cover with hand-drawn illustration caught my eye. i opened the book and then just stood there, planted in spot, reading it cover to cover – i just couldn't help myself. i knew from page 1 that i was going to buy it (and, by the way, at $12.95 for a hardcover book of this quality? – it's still a no-brainer!).

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

this week's silly book recommendation: Princess Zelda and the Frog

in the back flap of this playful retelling of a classic fairy tale, author and bulldog-lover Carol Gardner says: 'I think we should learn to laugh at ourselves and realize that in life's ups and downs, we are never alone.' the statement cemented this newer book as this week's silly selection.
Princess Zelda and the Frog, by Carol Gardner, photographs by Shane Young (2011, Feiwel and Friends)