Monday, August 15, 2016


This year, instead of our annual family beach trip with the majority of Ish's siblings and their families, we went on a mountain trip (cue excitement from this momma who hates the stress of caring for young children at the beach).  The trip provides lots of playtime for all the cousins during the day and plenty of board games for the adults once the kids are in bed.   We all take turns preparing meals for the huge group of us.

Because the trip happened to begin on Little Ish's birthday, we celebrated with ice cream sundaes per his request.  Somehow I managed to not realize when the candles and singing were about to start and didn't manage to get a single photo of him as I was holding Zélie.  I am hoping someone else in our crowd managed to get a photo or two.

Some of the highlights of the trip were visiting a waterfall in a nearby state park and taking a trip to a drive in movie theater to see Finding Dory.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Last Week's Library Haul Vol. 3

Continuing with our trend from previous weeks, we decided to check out yet another library branch.  The children's section in this branch is exceptional.  There are lots of opportunities for frww play as well as a large and varied book selection.  Because of all of the interesting play opportunities, both Lily and Atticus asked me to find them books.  I did ask Lily to approve each of my choices for her so as to prevent a meltdown when we got home if she decided she didn't like the choices. 

Little Ish checked out:

Shakespeare for Kids: His Life and Times by Colleen Aagesen and Margie Blumberg
Little Ish has taken a sort of superficial interest in Shakespeare since his 7 yearold cousin keeps telling him that Shakespear is his favorite writer.  Little Ish found this in the biography section, but didn't bother to preview it before checking it out.  Although he did look at it a bit during the week, he said it wasn't what he expected and it wasn't actually what he was looking for.  From my brief perusal of it, it looks like it could accompany a children's Shakespeare study quite nicely.

Calling All Master Builders! by David Fentiman
Little Ish really loves the DK Readers.  This one was slightly below his reading level, but he said it was interesting all the same.  This one is based on The Lego Movie .

How to Draw Dragons by Jim Hansen and John Burns
Little Ish has a few instructional books for how to draw that he has really enjoyed, so when he saw this, he assumed it would be like those.  He has decided that this one is a little bit above his skill set, but he had fun looking at and reading it.

You Can Draw: Marvel Characters  by Dan Jurgens
Like the dragon drawing book, this one was also beyond Little Ish's skill set, but he spent a ton of time looking at it.  He says he may borrow it again after we purchase some tracing paper.

Little Ish still loves all things pirates, and he also has enjoyed Dragonology (another of the books in the ologies series).  He spent a lot of time poring over this book all week and also a lot of time trying to keep it out of Atticus's reach as it has lots of delicate pieces.

Avengers the Finale Vol. 6 End of the Cosmos
Little Ish discovered the DVD section in the Children's Room.  Oh boy, was he excited!  I had to convince him only to take out one DVD since they are only a 7 day loan and he wouldn't be able to finish all of the episodes if he borrowed more than one.  He really enjoyed having something special to watch this week.

Lily checked out:
Mud is Cake by Pam Muñoz Ryan
This book is very sweet but not excellent, and I don't think that Lily actually read it a single time this week.  Little Ish declared it an awful book.  When I asked him why it was awful, he said that it wasn't very interesting and that the illustrations creeped him out--fair enough!

Puss in Boots by Charles Perrault Illustrated by Fred Marcellino
We just didn't get around to reading this one.  The illustrations, however, are gorgeous.

Chicken Bedtime is Really Early by Erica S. Perl Illustrated by George Bates
This book was hands down the favorite of the books checked out this week.  It imagines what [very personified] animals' bedtime routines are like.  It is funny, the illustrations are good, and it appeals to a wide variety of ages.

Atticus checked out:
Super Chicken! by Rebecca Purcell
Little Ish thought Atticus would enjoy this book, and he did.  It is, however, nothing to write home about.  It is just another book in the pile of really poorly conceptualized and written board books.

Swim, Little Wombat, Swim! by Charles Fuge
I chose this book for Atticus because he really likes the book Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball 
which also features Little Wombat.  Although it pales in comparison, it is still a fun book and the ending had all of us laughing. 

10 Little Hot Dogs by John Himmelman
Atticus just really likes counting books right now and this one looked cute.  He enjoyed it for the counting and all the different sounds the dogs made.  Lily especially enjoyed this book as well.

The family checked out:
Baby Beluga by Raffi
We really enjoyed this CD.  The kids all especially liked Raffi's version of This Old Man which is way more fun than the other one they know.  

Shakespeare for Children: A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Taming of the Shrew by Jim Weiss
You can probably guess by now, but we are a huge fan of Jim Weiss's story telling.  The kids really enjoyed A Midsummer Night's Dream, but weren't nearly as captivated by The Taming of the Shrew.

I checked out:
Nothing!  I am still working my way through RavensbruckIt is a wonderful and captivating book, but it is also horrifying so I often have to put it down.  Also, it is 784 pages long, so it may take me a bit of time to finishI would love some suggestions for some lighter reading to balance out the gravity of this book.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

East Hill Farm 2016

This year we did a bit of a reverse summer trip and went to visit my family before our annual trip to East Hill Farm.  As per usual, it was an excellent trip.  We stayed in the Hideaway again this year which is especially fun for me as it is where I stayed for many years on childhood vacations to the farm.  This year, Little Ish was far less interested in the animals than in previous years, but they still were a big draw for Lily and Atticus.  Zélie, being so young, really didn't care.  Both Lily and Little Ish really liked the activities available to them--especially arts and crafts.  A bit of a sign as to how much the children love our trip is that their favorite game to play nearly 2 months post trip is what they call the East Hill Farm game.