The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

Tot Time Thursday #4: What We’ve Been Up To Lately July 31, 2014

“Tot Time Thursday” is a bi-weekly event hosted by Punk & Bug, here, on The Whimsical Mama. They showcase some of their favourite children’s books. This week’s book is: not actually a book! HA!

 

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve not posted much the last two weeks. Last week was because I was doing all the things before Punk’s very belated birthday party. This week. Well. That’s the point of this post! My mom and her boyfriend, David, got the kiddos a subscription to Little Passports: World Edition as part of Punk’s birthday present. OMG. I’m so excited. They still don’t know about it. (: I’m waiting to surprise them! In anticipation of that, my old obsession with sewing and quiet books kicked up again! I’ve made a few quiet book pages for the kiddos in the past few years. I’ve just never gotten around to finishing it. That’s changing now! If you have kiddos &/have kiddos in your family and you like to sew, you simply MUST check out Imagine Our Life. Stephanie is brilliant. Cause I’m in the middle of a million and one projects, I’m going to use her images to show you what I’m making/going to make! (The images are the property of Stephanie. I’ve linked back to her original posts, just click on the picture!)

 

First up is the mailbox.  Punk and Bug get a book each month from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library so they love mail as it is. Now that they’ll be getting letters with their Little Passports subscription, I wanted something to make it even more special that it’s JUST for THEM. I remembered that Stephanie had done a Valentine’s Day mail set. That started project one! I only did the mailbox, but here’s a look at what the full set would look like based off of Stephanie’s!

Amazing isn’t it? Our mail box is tan. Once it was finished and showed it to the kiddos, Bug clapped and Punk kept asking if he had mail yet. So. If anyone would like to write them letters, email me and I’ll get you our address! You will get original works of art back! (:

 

The second part is extremely ambitious and I haven’t started it yet because I don’t have enough felt. Hubby laughs, but seriously. Just like books, I don’t have enough felt. Anyway. Since they’re expecting the World Edition of Little Passports, I remembered Stephanie also did a world quiet book. YES! Now. I have to say. I’m currently planning on only doing the continents. I’m not sure I’m gutsy enough to attempt the animals and landmarks. We’ll see how well my current project turns out! Without further ado: The first thing they’ll get from Little Passports is an adventure set with a world map. So, to start, I’m going to work on an interactive map like Stephanie’s. (Hopefully) it will look something like this:

Like I said, HOPEFULLY. I should be running ALL THE ERRANDS tomorrow, so I’m hoping I can get started on the map this weekend. I’m super excited. The kiddos are excited about all the projects I have going right now too. Once I get the map underway and they get their first Little Passports mail, they get a letter with a clue about the first country they’ll get. Being the sneaky mama I am, I’ve fully investigated the Little Passports site, and know they’ll be getting Brazil first. So, I’ll be working on South America as I work on the full map!

Look at that detail! I’m not half bad at sewing, but I’m really having to work up the guts to attempt the critters.

 

If you follow me on Instagram, (no offense to anyone, but I accept very few requests as I post pictures of my kiddos and we like our privacy!) you’ll have seen a few of the pages I’ve completed this week. It’s been an audiobook and sewing like mad kind of week! I’m planning on starting to work with the kiddos a bit on their alphabet and such (at Punk’s request and I’m printing a duplicate set so Bug can “participate”) and I’m using a sort of curriculum I found on 1+1+1=1. I had thought about maybe homeschooling the kiddos cause I HATE COMMON CORE. My mom is a teacher, so yes, I have direct exposure to changes in education. I’ve done hours upon hours of research and stumbled across Carisa’s site. Back when I discovered it, Punk fell under her Tot School level. Now he’s basically preschool level. I’ve worked with him without actively working with him and he’s very smart. I’m going to do a mix of her Tot School and her Raising Rockstars Preschool programs. To go with the alphabet and theme packs, Stephanie has some quiet book pages that fit great! Here’s a look at the ones I’ve finished or have in progress currently: (again, Stephanie’s pictures, not mine. 1. I’m lazy and don’t want to hook up my phone to get the pictures. 2. Stephanie’s are brilliant and you can see what they should look like!)

Mine is not turning out anywhere near as good as I was hoping. But then again, looking at Stephanie’s I will always feel sub par! I’m currently working on this page set, so it’s strewn across my coffee table. Hoping I can get it done today!

 

This is proof I need more felt. I have ALL THE PIECES except the red of the actual firetruck cut out. Go figure, right? My two pieces of red had both been partially used. *sigh* Punk is super excited about his fire station set. Bug is excited about the Dalmatian! She growls every time she sees it. This is only part of an independent set. I plan on making the whole thing for the kiddos. This will go with our F is for Firefighter theme I’m gonna do! (:

 

 

Even though Punk knows this is a Stegosaurus, he calls it a Peekaboosaurus. He’s a goof! He’s excited for our D is for Dinosaur theme. Dinosaur Train and his plastic dinosaurs are a huge hit at our house currently! I knocked out this page in an afternoon. He’s asking for buttons on his dinosaur, so it may not be done!

It’s hard to say who is more excited for this page! They both are excited about it. Punk loves to help me in the kitchen so he thinks he’s big stuff “making” his own cookies. Bug delights in pulling them off the buttons. They were so pleased I let them pick the order the buttons went in on the cookie sheet. (: They love being mama’s helpers!

 

So this is a glimpse into what the Tots and I have been into lately and why I’ve been a bit quiet. I didn’t stay ahead of schedule like I hoped. August is a new month though! (: I have several other pages in progress, but figured this post was getting long enough. If you check out Stephanie’s quiet book section on her website, you can see what I’m planning on doing. I’ve finished several of her pages already and have a few more I’m planning on doing. I showed Bug the doll house set she has and Bug clapped her hands and said “DIS DIS DIS!” so I’m thinking I’ll be working on it for her for Christmas! (: Hope you’ve been having a great summer! (: Punk and Bug will be back “reviewing” their books in two weeks!

 

 

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(Late) Weekly Reading Review #3 July 29, 2013

So, this week’s review is late. This weekend got busy and escaped me and I realised last night as I was falling asleep that I forgot my review! I did a bit of reading for me, but I haven’t finished any of my books yet. The bulk of the reading was for the kiddos. I don’t mind though. It makes me extremely happy that they are already showing an immense love for books!

Our library has story time three times a week. At the main branch it’s on Monday and Tuesday and at the smaller branch on Wednesdays. I had meant to get in the habit of going this summer, but with our kitchen flooding and taking all summer to be remodeled, it hasn’t happened. I’m determined to get in the habit though! Last Monday, I saw on Facebook that the main branch was having a train enthusiast come and speak about trains. I immediately knew that I must take the kiddos with the way my son loves trains. I was shocked that out of the about 20 kids who were there, my son was the only one who knew who Thomas the Train is. Wow. The speaker was a bit dull for kids, in my opinion, but my son seemed to enjoy it a teeny bit. I think he enjoyed the colouring page and our usual routine of him playing at the train table while I pick out books more, though. At our library, kids cannot get their own library card until their sixth birthday. So, that means the kids and I share my card. (I really need to get hubby to get a card for when Ladybug starts wanting books of her own too!) Each card is allowed to get 20 items at a time. You can see how this can be a potential problem when a mama has to share her items with two kids. Kids’ books aren’t terribly long and we read several a day for the most part. This results in a usual 10 books for the kiddos per trip and we have been going twice a week to rotate books. Sometimes they get more if I’m waiting on books to come in or am slowing down for a bit of a break after a reading marathon.

We didn’t make it to story time today, hopefully we’ll be up and ready to go tomorrow. May be a bit more difficult since story time is earlier on Tuesday than Monday! It’s not a complete loss though, Punk spent the weekend with my step-dad and we didn’t read any of the library books, so they aren’t ready to return anyway!

Another big day in our house is when the kids’ books arrive from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. If you’re in TN and have kids under the age of five, PLEASE enroll them in this wonderful program. If you aren’t in TN, you can still check it out and see if it is in your area. She’s slowly expanding it. My children have both been enrolled since birth. I’ve made a big deal about Book Day from the get-go. We always sit down and unwrap the book and look through it when it arrives. Then we read it that night for our bedtime story. Right now, the kids are on separate mailing dates, so the books arrive at different times throughout the month. I hope it stays this way so it stays a bit more exciting!

I guess to blame for the lack of a Friday post could be blamed on an over hour long Twitter conversation with Mary, Alex, and author Jodi Meadows. We had so much fun! #EvilAuthorsAreEvil! I’m so excited for the chance to meet her in person one day! Our conversations are always hysterical!

Completed:

Read to the kiddos:
Stop, Train, Stop! by Wilbert Awdry. 3 stars.
Dancing with Degas by Julie Merberg. 4 stars. I LOVED the use of the Degas paintings. Of course I’m biased because I loved Degas going into this. Yes, I’m hoping my kiddos love his work as much as I do!
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle. 4 stars. C’mon, it’s Eric Carle. I love him, too!
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood. 3 stars. It would be 4 or 5 stars if my son was rating this. He giggled the whole way through!
Dinosaur Opposites by Paul Strickland. 3 stars.
Duck to the Rescue by Jez Alborough. 3 stars.
The Little Red Caboose by Marian Potter. 3 stars. My son would also rate this one a 4 or 5. We read this one several times this week! He is gaga for trains!
Misty Island Rescue by Wilbert Awdry. 3 stars.
Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones by Bryon Barton. 3 stars.
Dot the Fire Dog by Lisa Desimini. 3 stars.
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss. 4 stars. (read at our church’s preschool playgroup)
Winnie the Pooh’s Opposites by AA Milne. 3 stars. (Bug’s Dolly book)
Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora. 3 stars. (Bug’s Dolly book)
Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan. 3 stars. (Punk’s Dolly book)

Currently reading:
Reached by Ally Condie. I will admit that I’ve had to take a step back from this book at the moment. It’s just slow reading for me.

A Million Suns by Beth Revis. I guess technically I’m not still reading it as I haven’t read anymore in over a week. I’ll probably re-start it once I finish a few other books.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Oh, wow. I’m breezing through this book. I LOVE it. I’m planning on doing a review when I finish, so hopefully that will be out later this week!

New to my shelf:
Stardust by Neil Gaiman, via library. I loved the movie and have wanted to read the book ever since!
Shades of Earth by Beth Revis, via library. I guess a reason I’ve been at a standstill on A Million Suns was because Mary told me to have 2 and 3 in my hands for immediate read through.
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. This was given to me by the wonderful Mary (: She’s the best!
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I decided to treat myself to two books and this was one of them!
Grave Mercy by RL LaFevers. This was the second book I ordered.

I guess I should also include my new Kindle reads each week too! They are new to my virtual shelf!
Hollowland by Amanda Hawking
Entangled by Nikki Jefford
The Light Tamer by Devyn Dawson

For now, I’m going to pass on listing the new to the kids’ shelf unless it’s one we buy. I may change my mind later, but for now, I’ll just list them as we read them.

Have any of you heard of Thomas the Train before? I thought he was still much more popular than he seems to be… or maybe the kids were just shy and not wanting to show off. I know how that is!

 

 
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