Reading List Summary, October 2013

Mom's List
Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love & Karaoke (Rob Sheffield)
Iggie's House (Judy Blume)
Self-Inflicted Wounds (Aisha Tyler)

Jack's List
Kidnapped: The Abduction (Gordon Korman)
What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World (Henry Clark)
National Geographic Kids National Parks Guide U.S.A. (Sarah Wassner Flynn)
Iggie's House (Judy Blume)
Hideout (Gordon Korman)
Kidnapped: The Search (Gordon Korman)
The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns (Chris Colfer)

EJ's List
The High-Rise Private Eyes: The Case of the Puzzling Possum (Cynthia Rylant)
The High-Rise Private Eyes: The Case of the Baffled Bear (Cynthia Rylant)
Mr. Putter & Tabby Spin the Yarn (Cynthia Rylant)
Nate the Great and the Musical Note (Marjorie Weinman Sharmat)
Lucy's Quiet Book (Angela Shelf Medearis)
Henry and Mudge in the Sparkle Days (Cynthia Rylant)
Freddie's Dog Walking Service (Johnathan Rand)
Katie Woo: No Valentines for Katie (Fran Manushkin)
Mr. Putter and Tabby Pick the Pears (Cynthia Rylant)
Mr. Putter & Tabby Write the Book (Cynthia Rylant)
Penny and Her Marble (Kevin Henkes)
Penny and Her Song (Kevin Henkes)
Grasshopper on the Road (Arnold Lobel)
The Day-Off Machine (John Himmelman)
Henry and Mudge and the Big Sleepover (Cynthia Rylant)
Mr. Putter & Tabby Toot the Horn (Cynthia Rylant)
Track Attack (Betty Hicks)
The Big Box Fort (Johnathan Rand)
Keeping Clean (Honor Head)
Amy and the Missing Puppy (Callie Barkley)
A Haunting We Will Go (Johnathan Rand)
The Bald Bandit (Ron Roy)
We Need Veterinarians (Lola M. Schaefer)
Florence Nightingale (Carol Alexander)
Laura Ingalls Wilder (Wil Mara)
All About Ellie (Callie Barkley)
Rachel Carson (Justine and Ron Fontes)
Veterinarians (Dee Ready)

Olivia's List
Silly Sally (Betsy Franco)
Shapes for Lunch (Deborah Schecter)
Shadows (Deanna Calvert)
Bubbles! (Deborah Schecter)
A New Roof (Cari Meister)
What Can I See? (Deborah Schecter)
Please, Wind? (Carol Greene)
What Shines? (Deborah Schecter)
Chilly Charlie (Dana Meachen Rau)
Birthday Surprise (Deborah Schecter)
Addition Annie (David Gisler)
Hide and Seek (Deborah Schecter)
Luna the Wake-up Cat (Charnan Simon)
Look What I Found! (Deborah Schecter)
Dad's Van (Mick Gowar)
When Night Comes (Deborah Schecter)
Bad Luck, Lucy! (Sue Graves)
Cold Rose (Deborah Schecter)
A Cake for Dinner (Sue Graves)
Hi, Clouds (Carol Greene)
Fun at the Playground (Deborah Schecter)
Big Cat (Pippa Goodhart)
I Can Draw! (Deborah Schecter)
Feet (Dana Meachen Rau)
I Like Stripes (Deborah Schecter)
Look for Ladybugs (Dana Meachen Rau)
Sweet Treat (Deborah Schecter)
Where is Max? (Mary E. Pearson)
Hurry Up! Hurry Up! (Deborah Schecter)
Splat! (Mary Margaret Perez-Mercado)
Class Pets (Deborah Schecter)
Almost Spring (Deborah Schecter)
Sam and the Bag (Alison Jeffries)
What Is Red? (Deborah Schecter)
What Is for Supper? (Deborah Schecter)
When I Grow Up (Jo S. Kittinger)
Fun With Mud (Deborah Schecter)
Cat Traps (Molly Coxe)
Slower Than a Slug (Larry Dane Brimner)
Quiet Wyatt (Larry Dane Brimmer)
What Do I Need? (Deborah Schecter)
A Tooth Is Loose (Lisa Trumbauer)
A Bit Is a Bite (Larry Dane Brimmer)
Hats, Hats, Hats (Deborah Schecter)
Sleepover Mouse (Mary Packard)
I'm Taller Than You! (A.H. Benjamin)
I Can Do It All (Mary E. Pearson)
Aggie and Will (Larry Dane Brimmer)
Cat in the Bag (Sara Swan Miller)
Pumpkin Fever (Charnan Simon)
Rick Is Sick (David McPhail)
Just Like Me (Barbara J. Neasi)
Olive and the Big Secret (Tor Freeman)
Circle City (Dana Meachen Rau)
Listen to Me (Barbara J. Neasi)
The New Puppy (Lynn Maslen Kertell)
I Love Trees (Cari Meister)

Read-aloud List
Henry and Ribsy (Beverly Cleary)
Henry and the Paper Route (Beverly Cleary)
Count the Monkeys (Mac Barnett)
It's Not Fairy (Ros Asquith)
What Floats in a Moat? (Lynne Berry)
One Gorilla (Anthony Browne)
Mr. King's Things (Genevieve Cote)
Crabs: Animals Without Bones (Jason Cooper)
My Lucky Birthday (Keiko Kasza)
Orioles: Backyard Birds (Lynn Stone)
As Fast As Words Could Fly (Pamela M. Tuck)
I am Cat (Jackie Morris)
Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite (Nick Bromley)
Peanut & Fifi Have a Ball (Randall de Seve)
Tea Rex (Molly Idle)
Llama Llama Time to Share (Anna Dewdney)
Just Like My Papa (Toni Buzzeo)
Boom! Big, Big Thunder & One Small Dog (Mary Lyn Ray)
Henry's Map (David Elliot)
Elecopter (Michael Slack)
Bridget Fidget and the Most Perfect Pet (Joe Berger)
The Popcorn Book (Tomie de Paola)
This is Our House (Hyewon Yum)
Poindexter Makes a Friend (Mike Twohy)

The good and the bad of It

Good: I'm working on a bunch of fun crochet projects for the kids and gifts and stuff.  It's a good variety of mindless work (no counting, same stitch) and more complicated stuff, so I'm staying with it and just changing projects based on what else is going on or how I'm feeling.
Bad: What is with the new tv shows this season?  I've got time to be watching and none of the new sitcoms are really any good.  Even Parenthood seems off so far.  I am loving The Good Wife, but what else is out there?  Anyone watching anything fabulous?

Good: Everyone has been reading up a storm lately and so I've been at the library every other day.
Bad: I am not getting to read myself much.  In fact I was so desperate for a new book, that I grabbed the newest David Sedaris is the only format the library had...large print.  This should be interesting!

Good: We are on soccer hiatus right now which means a lot less shuttling to practice and a lot more family/homework/life time.  We even went out to dinner last night.
Bad: It only took two months, but today our crazy morning schedule fell apart and I left a kid stuck between two schools on the opposite end of town than the one I was in.  He walked, I sucked!

Good: Candy and treats are everywhere in this house
Bad: My stomach!

Good: We're starting to plan out where Christmas will be this year (and it looks like I'm not hosting this time around...yay).  The girls are circling gift ideas in catalogs and I'm starting gift idea planning.
Bad: We're planning for Christmas!  How can we be that close to the snow already?  And the cold?  And the ice?  And the early darkness?  UGH!

Good: This it and teach it!
Bad: That is took me WAY too long to get the things in the article above.  It's written to teach a 10-year-old daughter, not a 40-year-old crazy lady!

I kid you not...I just forgot that it was an early schedule day and was late to pick the kid up to take him back to the first school (I hate early schedule, band day, dance class, no nap for Livie day)!!!!
Good: I have wine.
Bad: It's 9am.  Guess I'll have to settle for yoga and focus on this...

Halloween Weekend

I know it's not officially Halloween yet, but we had a three day weekend and Trick-or-Treating so we went all out for Halloween.  Liv and I put together goodie bags and we spent out Thursday night out "booing" some friends (basically Halloween ding dong ditch).  The kids had so much fun doing it (although EJ did wipe out on some leaves at one point) and were pretty much unseen.  The girls got Halloween nails (black with copper glitter) and all of the kids spent Friday morning baking some goodies to share with Grandma S for her birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom!).

This kids carved pumpkins with Matt on Saturday.  EJ did a tiger and Liv made a cat...shocking, I know!  Then we had soccer and finally...trick or treat!  Olivia was so excited!  She didn't remember trick-or-treating in the past and could not wait to get started.

I talked the kids into putting on their costumes during the day for a few pics (with daylight and without all the layers to stay warm).  This year was another simple one and super easy to bundle everyone up for the cold weather.  EJ was her favorite detective, Nate the Great (she was not happy about the fact that grown-ups don't read kids books and therefore, no one knew who she was).  Jack was a basketball hoop and Livie was a fire chief (or as she likes to say, a fire lady).  Jack still has his costume parade and party this week at school and I'm a little concerned as he came very close to hitting me in the face with his backboard several times while trick-or-treating.  He has a wide turning radius in this get-up.  Luckily, it's just foam-core, so we're talking minimal damage.

Finished Projects

I finished the blanket for Uncle Neil!  It was a great project to keep me cozy while I was working on it (pattern for baby blanket size is here).  I made it to be throw-length, but it ended up kind of odd-sized (probably about 35 x 55").  I had Matt test it and it would still work for a man while seated or even lying down (it just wasn't twin-bed size).  It was so warm though that Matt did not want to give it up.  And neither did Olivia!  She didn't even complain about modeling it outside on a cold day because it kept her super warm.  I hope Uncle Neil likes it as much as they did!

Speaking of the cold weather, it has been getting me moving on some project that I hadn't planned on making.  I started with this hat for Jack.  The pattern was on my list for an everyday hat for Jack, but I realized that it has been getting cold outside and that Jack has a few more weeks of outdoor soccer.  So, I made him this hat (pattern here) in his team colors (thank you yarn stash) to keep him warm.  It looked awesome and it made it super easy to find him on the field as well.

I spent my Saturday night making this hat.  I froze so badly during Jack's Saturday game that I knew there was no way I would make it on Sunday without more warmth!  It was a quick pattern to make up and it really did keep me warm.  I may have to make some more of these babies!

After Sunday, I decided I needed a cowl as well.  I also realized that I needed to mix in some color amongst the grey/black of most of my coats and my new hat.  I whipped up this chunky cowl (I made it half-size) while EJ did her reading.  But then I realized that the chunky yarn I had in my stash was wool and wool itches me like nobody's business, so this little cowl is up for grabs.  Any takers?  I think I'm going to make this pattern (I've gifted it before but never kept one) in red.  And after I do that, I'll be taking a more flattering photo than the one above...or I'm not posting it!

Telling Stories

I wouldn't say that we're exactly in a "kid crying wolf" scenario, but we do have a child who likes to tell stories.  Unfortunately for the parents in this scenario, we've believed her (because the stories are never crazy far-fetched) and then looked like idiots when talking to teachers and parents about things we thought had happened, but did not.  And on the flip side, I didn't believe when I was told a friend was moving away.  I didn't reach out to the family at all, because I was sure it was a story.  And then...they moved!  But over time, we thought things were better.

Well, the stories are back.  And now they seem to be going both ways with tall tales being told to siblings, parents, and teachers.  Again, nothing crazy or hurtful, but we've explained how something innocent can effect others opinions, both of the people's actions in the story and of her when they find out the story is not true.  We've talked about all the true and fun things going on that she could share instead of stories.  I also suggested "writing it out" as a work of fiction instead of telling it as fact.  If you think of a not-true idea, turn it into a fun story?  I feel like we've talked it to death and I'm not sure if we're getting through to her.

So, I need to ask for assistance here.  Anyone been through a similar situation with their kids?  Any advice on how to change the behavior.  Also, she seems to respond well when she sees a behavior in someone else.  Her empathy seems to help her see the downsides to behavior.  Any recommendations for books about not always telling the truth and how that can backfire?

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 37

I went to the yarn store this week and started a bunch more projects!  What spurred me was having the kids try on winter clothes this weekend.  Surprisingly I did not have to buy much this year...snow pants for Jack and boots for Liv (of course, they probably just grew while I typed that).  But they do need new hats!  So, I got yarn for a hat for each of them (and if Jack's works out, I'll make him a second from stash yarn).  The start is for a double pom pom hat for Livie.

This yarn is for a secret holiday gift project and I hope it turns out half as cool as I'm envisioning (can you tell that there was a good sale going on?).  More on this later...

As far as projects I'm actually hooking, I've been plugging away on Uncle Neil's blanket as the girls read to me.  It's a little over half done.  Measures about 36' long now.  I feel like the width shortened up on me though.  I was planning it at 40" and it measured about 35" this morning.  So, I might go a little shorter than planned on the length...we'll see I guess.  I'm also working on timing a gift project that I will need to make multiples of.  I'm at one hour and if I can complete it in two, I think I've found my pattern!

Pumpkin Time

This weekend was conferences and passport renewals and soccer and more soccer and cleaning and shopping and homework, but...we also spent the morning at the farm.  Our city mice had a blast picking out their pumpkins and also picking lots of Honey Crisp apples (yum)!  This year we went to the farm we get our strawberries and peas from during the summer (and skipped the hoopla and crowds of our normal spots).  It was perfect and awesome (and a little chilly and muddy...hence the boots and hats above).

I let Jack pick a super big pumpkin while Matt was busy talking to some friends we ran into at the patch, so I didn't get a photo.  But I can tell you it is bigger than the one Liv is trying to lift here.

I am so excited for fresh from the orchard apples...and there are a bunch of pears in this crisper drawer as well.  They are so sweet and juicy.  I'll be eating even more fruit than usual for awhile.

We wrapped up the day with a family dinner at our favorite place, but I have to say that my favorite time of the weekend was out at the farm.

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 36

Remember this little project?  The artichoke, as my friend Julie calls it?  Well, I finally finished the front side of the pillow.  It's the Blooming Flower pattern from Attic 24, but I think I'm going to follow a different pattern for the back side.  I guess we'll see.  It took me forever to finish it because I kept getting bored and packing it away.  I pulled it out yesterday and forced myself to get the front done...finally!

My other WIP (and one I'm loving working on) is this chunky blanket.  I'm following this baby blanket pattern from Aesthetic Nest, but making it much bigger.  I'm thinking it will end up being about 40x60"...not too crazy big, but a nice solid throw blanket (as you can see above, it's made with three strands of yarn at once).  EJ picked the colors (it's super soft, but easily washable yarn) specifically for our Uncle who is going through cancer treatment right now.  There isn't much we can do, but I thought a snuggly blanket might be nice.  Now I just have to wait to get the rest of the yarn in the mail (the store is completely out of our colors...ugh!) to finish it up.  It's the perfect pattern to work on in this crazy house though.  Simple and easy to do while girls are reading to me or people are catching me up on their day.  No counting needed!