Friday Five and a Personal Note

Hello all, this is a little bit more of a personal post than I normally do.  I usually mention my girls, but don’t give away too many details about their little lives.  However, this week, I am going to share about my oldest and some big stuff that is coming up.  So here are the five reasons I am making it through this week without losing my mind.

 Five Reasons I am Making it Through this week

  1.  My husband is literally the most amazing person I know, he keeps me laughing as well as sane
  2.  My girls bring insane amounts of joy and love into my life
  3.  I have an amazing support system in my friends and family
  4.  I try really hard to make lists, even if sometimes I add things I’ve already done, just so I can cross them off
  5.  Not going to sugar coat this one, caffeine, lots of caffeine

Alright here goes…I have shared in the past that my 5 year old has epilepsy.  She was diagnosed when she was 4 years old.  She has had many different tests and one hospital stay in the past year.   She has been on a few different meds and we found one that was working, in fact so much so that we hadn’t seen a single seizure in 8 months.  However, that all changed as we were boarding a plane to Disneyland in December and she had a seizure.  Her seizures, started happening again on a more regular basis and started to really impact her.

Having a petite that has a medical condition like epilepsy can be completely devastating, and maybe not for the reasons you might think.  Of course, the obvious, it isn’t fair, but because sometimes it can rob her of experiences or change her experiences and that is a tough pill to swallow.  Sometimes it is hard, because you want to keep your petites safe and you can’t, you can only do your best, and sometimes that isn’t good enough.  Other times, it is that you see everyone else with their perfectly healthy children and you get a little jealous.  But, that’s not helpful.  Sometimes it is the guilt you feel that somehow you caused it, maybe it was the coffee you drank or the stress when you were pregnant or just faulty genetics – again not helpful.  At times it is when people say I don’t know how you do it, or when I have a bad day I just think about you and I feel better, not realizing that what they are really saying is you’re my it could be worse person.  Sometimes it is just that you feel helpless. Sometimes, the hardest times, are when the worrying and fears of it all get to you and you feel like crying.

With all that said, there are some things that I have learned over the past year.  As parent’s we do the best we can.  My husband is my strongest support and I am lucky to be in the foxhole with him.  We fight and advocate and rally around our petites fiercely.  We sometimes need to vent and finding someone who will listen and not try to solve the problem is invaluable.  Having a support system is critical, whether it’s a group on a Facebook page or a circle of friends.  Sometimes it is just trying to let it go and know that tomorrow will be another day that you made it through this one.  The most important thing that I have learned through all of this is that my daughter is an amazing little girl, who is incredibly brave, compassionate, empathetic and smart; that epilepsy is something she has, but is not who she is.

Our petite is going into the hospital for a seven night admission.  I am trying desperately to get everything organized and ready so that it is as smooth as possible.  I will write more about the planning for such a long hospital stay soon.

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The Sweetapolita Bakebook…oh my sweet tooth

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The Sweetapolita Bakebook: 75 Fanciful Cakes, Cookies & More to Make & Decorate by Rosie Alyea is one delicious tome!  Literally, there is not one recipe in the entire book that doesn’t look delectable.  Each recipe is introduced with a backstory about it’s inception and why they made it into the book.  The recipes themselves are incredibly easy to follow even for the most complex of cakes.

The book would be perfect for anyone who likes to bake or wants to learn from more about baking exquisite cakes from an expert.  It is clear that Rosie Alyea is an incredibly talented baker one that inspires you to challenge yourself and one that is so passionate, I am sure you can even taste it.  What I love about this book is that my daughter came home from school and saw it and immediately sat down and poured over the pages, every few pages saying ooo mommy can we make this one?  

When she got to the section about cookies, she actually squeeled when she saw the water color cookies and the mask cookies.  What I do know, is that when her birthday comes she is going to once again pour over the pages of this book looking for her perfect birthday cake; and I know that whichever one she ends up deciding on I will be able to create because of the masterfully crafter recipes and instructions.

I was so inspired by the cover image I had to learn more, I had no idea that these awesome pens even existed before reading Rosie’s book, I think I need some of these to add to my repertoire.Gourmet Writer Food Decorator Pens, Assorted Colors, Set of 10.

One thing I feel compelled to mention is that the design of this book is spectacular.  It is incredibly visually pleasing, just like Rosie’s blog.  The little touches make this book absolute perfection: turquoise, pink and white polka dots, the design of the book is by Rae Ann Spitzenberger and let me tell you it is lovely.

If you like what you’ve seen in this post and haven’t had a chance to check out Rosie’s blog Sweetapolita, I recommend that be your next stop.  She has amazing things on her blog here is just a little sample of what you will find.  (Just like her bakebook, incredibly visually pleasing…are you smitten yet?)

Enjoy!

Bakebook Kit

Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  However, this book is AWESOME, and the opinions expressed are my own.

Mustache Baby Meets His Match is a hoot!

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Mustache Baby Meets His Match is a wonderful facial hair laden book that your petites will thoroughly enjoy.   Bridget Heos and Joy Ang have created two of the most hilarious books that I’ve had the pleasure of sharing with my girls.  These books are filled with hyperbolic delight and illustrations that just make you feel good.  Mustache Baby Meets His Match is the perfect way to start or end any given day.  Yesterday my petite had a tough day at school and came home just sobbing, we sat down with a snack and read this book and it instantly brought a smile to her face.  Priceless.

This is a story about two babies, Billy and Javier.  Javier is new in town and on his first play date.  During this play date Billy is trying to best Javier and make him his sidekick, however making Javier his sidekick is not going as planned.


Javier has a thing or two to show Billy.  The different challenges that they get into are hysterical and a delight for parents and children to read. The mustache and beard have a persona all their own in this story making it even more hilarious to watch how the facial hair changes over the course of the story.

This epic play date is only saved when mom steps in and puts these two in separate corners.  In the end the two work out their differences and learn a very important lesson.

…sometimes the most important race is being the first to say you’re sorry.

There are so many aspects to this book that I love, the references and subtle homage to famous people, whether it’s Einstein, Dali, van Gogh, Santa, Earhart or our favorite president Lincoln.  This book is brilliant in that the mustaches and beard turn from a “good-guy” into a “bad-guy” mustache.  We can certainly all relate to the feelings that these two petites are going through in this story.

Heos and Ang are a perfect pair for this book, the illustrations and story go perfectly together.  The petite said this is her new favorite book.  I am sure once you and your petites get your hands on it you will agree.

Their first book Mustache Baby is the predecessor to this fantastic read.

Mustache Baby

Teachers and parents…amazing ways to get you petites telling stories

Show Me a Story: 40 Craft Projects and Activities to Spark Children’s Storytelling by Emily K. Neuburger (2012) is one of those books that you will check out from the library and when you have a few bucks in fines, you will realize you probably should have just bought it in the first place.

What I think is pretty fun is that I’ve actually pinned a few of her amazing activities.  Let’s talk about this book is broken into four sections: story starters, story evolution, story activities and story play.  Initially I was drawn to this book as a resource for my daughter who loves to tell stories and recently has been working very diligently on her Field Journal. (look for future posts on the Petites Field Journal).

I thought it would be really fun to make story rocks.  Have you seen these?  They are awesome.  Basically, they are just what they sound like.  Rocks that have different elements of a story on them and then you use these rocks to create different stories.  You can get the images onto the rocks in a few different ways, you can use acrylic paint to paint them on, or you can use Mod Podge with fabric, stickers or paper, etc.  Another way you could do this with older petites is with sharpie pens.

Then when you have chosen your stones and the story you want to tell you would use the stones much as you would use a doll in a doll house, or any other dramatic play item.  Another wonderful suggestion in the book is for ELL students, preschoolers the stones could be used to teach vocabulary as well.  Essentially, these stones are just really fun tactile ways to get petites talking about stories and using their imaginations.

Some of the other projects that are in this book that have now become items on our project to do list are the following:

Story Disks these are adorable and maybe a little more feasible for the classroom.  I was thinking this would be a great writers workshop/art lesson where partners could come up with a plan and make these story disks and then share them with their classmates during writers workshop.

Another piece to this that I love, is that Emily gives you an idea of how best to use these items.  It’s really fun to make them but sometimes putting them to their intended use can be challenging; but she takes the guess work right out of it and gives you ideas for how to use each project.

There are so many fantastic projects that would be hours of fun and entertainment for petites with minimal set up and cost.  I love that.  Not to mention, finding the perfect rocks for the story rocks is entertainment in itself.  This is a really great book with 40 craft projects and activities that build story telling habits in kids.

I intend to use this book for some up coming projects, as well as this summer to make sure that my petite doesn’t forget any of her learnings from this school year.  I strongly encourage you to check out this book.  If you like what you’ve seen here in this post you will love the book.  In the meantime while you’re waiting to get your hands on Emily’s book you can check out her website where there are tons of fun activities.

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Tinkerlab a hands on guide for little inventors

 

A Logophiles Dream Picture Book

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The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus is a stunning work of art and even better yet, it is a true logophiles dream.   Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet have given new life to Peter Roget who wonderfully crafted thesaurus.  Growing up I remember have a dictionary and a red Roget’s Thesaurus in my desk at all times.  This same thesaurus traveled with me to college and then to my own classroom where the spine was broken and a rubber band held it together.  In all those times that I used this book, I never knew the story of its maker Peter Roget.

With this incredible book, I now get to share my love of words with my petites.  The book is beautifully illustrated, much as you would assume Roget’s lists and how he would have outlined them in a notebook.  I love the illustrations, there is a depth to them that both my girls noticed right away as they ran their little hands over the pages trying to see if in fact pieces were glued to the pages, as you would do with a scrapbook.

This is a beautiful story about Peter Roget, who moves a lot as a child and is rather shy.  Peter finds comfort in books and knows that books will never leave him.  That words have power and that everyone should have access to these words.

In 1852, Roget published his Thesaurus, a words that means “treasure house” in Greek.   People snatched it from the shelves like a new kind of candy.  The first thousand copies sold out quickly.  Peter was suddenly a popular author.  But this did not change him at all.  Instead, he went right back to his desk and made new lists…so that today, whenever you need it, you can still find the right word.

 

Here is a link to the book trailer, which is as stunning as this lovely book.  You will clearly see why this book is a 2015 Caldecott Honor Book, 2015 Sibert Medal Winner and a 2015 Orbis Pictus Honor Book.

For the classroom:  This book would be perfect to use as part of a writers workshop.  It is always fun to challenge kids to try out using new words especially when it comes to their writing and not just for different ways to say said.  This book would be perfect to introduce the concept of bolstering vocabulary in writing.  This book would be perfect for kids in kindergarten through third grade.

Added bonus: both my girls are very interested in how books smell, and often times even my 20 month old will smell books (to my absolute delight) after choosing this book for story time the other night my oldest declared that “this book has the best smell ever”.