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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Tot Time Thursday #3: Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses July 17, 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:

Pub date: 1 October 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s
Genre:Children’s book, picture book
Format: ebook, personal copy

Summary:

Pete the Cat is back in New York Times bestselling artist James Dean’s picture book Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses, written by Kimberly Dean. Pete the Cat wakes up feeling grumpy—nothing seems to be going his way. But with the help of some magic sunglasses, Pete learns that a good mood has been inside him all along. Fans of Pete the Cat will love watching him take his positive outlook and transform a grumpy day into an awesome day!

 

Mama’s questions & Kids’ thoughts (Punk – red, Bug – purple):

Have you ever been grumpy?

No! I be happy mama!

*shakes head*

 

Do your sunglasses make you happy?

Yeah, sunglasses make me happy!

*digs in diaper bag for sunglasses*

 

What do you do when you’re sad?

I’m not sad! I HAPPY!

*claps hands*

 

What do you do when no one wants to play?

I play!

*goes and gets a toy*

 

What makes you happy?

Pete make me happy! Big books!

*hugs mama’s leg*

 

Who are you friends?

Sissy! The boys!

*pats Sheldon*

 

This week’s Pete is one of my favourites. I love the drawings in the book. I also think this is one of the better lessons to be taught. You can always find something good in a bad day. (:

 

Feature & Follow Friday: Featured Blogger! July 10, 2014

featuredblogger

I am so honoured to be a featured blogger for Feature & Follow! I was featured almost a year ago, just after I started blogging. I always forget to participate, so hopefully being featured again will help me kick it back in gear! If you decide to follow me, let me know and I will follow you back! (: While you’re here, I hope you’ll check out the giveaways I have going on! I have an ebook of The Prince or The Guard both by Kiera Cass up for grabs here. (For every 100 entries another winner will be added!) An ARC of Infinite by Jodi Meadows up for grabs here. And as of now, a young adult book of your choice from Book Depository here. After 300 entries on the last giveaway, I’ll reveal another prize! Thanks for stopping by!

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When did you start blogging?
I started blogging in 2011, but didn’t start book blogging until July 2013. Crazy that it’s been a year now! (I have a blogoversary celebration giveaway going on if you’d like to check it out!)

What is your favorite part of book blogging?
My favourite thing about book blogging has been building some great relationships with authors and readers from all over! I’ve made some great friends this year and look forward to making more!

What type of books do you mainly blog about?

I focus mainly on young adult books. I have featured the occasional adult or middle grade novel. I also have a feature called Tot Time Thursday where my kiddos help feature some of their current favourites.

What is your favorite book(s)?

Ack! This is still such a hard question. Harry Potter still holds a special place in my heart. Especially now that my son has asked to listen to the audiobooks/have me read them to him. Since I started blogging, I would have to say a few favourites have been Infinite by Jodi Meadows, Waterfell by Amalie Howard, and The Falconer by Elizabeth May. There are plenty of others, these are just off the top of my head. (: My kiddos’ current favourites are the Pete the Cat and Ladybug Girl books!

What has been the best thing that has happened to you because of book blogging?

I would have to say having lunch with Jodi Meadows for my birthday! Okay, it wasn’t exactly FOR my birthday, it just happened to work out that way. Haha. My in-laws live in Northern VA and I happened to have the chance to meet up with Jodi and have lunch. It was such a great experience! If it hadn’t been for book blogging, I would’ve never connected with her or had the chance to meet her!

 

***This week’s question is: If you had a time machine (i.e. a TARDIS) where would you go? ***

 

Hmmm. There are so many things that I would love to see! I am a GIANT history nerd. No, really. A GIANT history nerd. One of my smaller bookcases is nothing but history books. Mostly Elizabeth I. No shame. (: I wouldn’t dare interfere with anything in history though. I don’t think I’m going to be able to pick just one thing so here are some of the things I would love to see off the top of my head.

1. Ancient Rome when the Coliseum was in its prime.

2. The Last Supper.

3. Elizabeth I facing down the Spanish Armada.

4. Robert Kennedy give a speech.

5. Watch the Berlin Wall fall.

6. The Miracle on Ice game.

7. Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane.

8. Ancient Athens (I was SO disappointed with modern Athens)

9. Ancient Alexandria during Cleoptara’s reign. (Library, DUH)

10. Battle of Bosworth Field 1485.

Yup. Those are the top ten off the top of my head. Ask me tomorrow and my answers will probably be different! haha

 

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Again, thanks for dropping by! (: Thanks for the opportunity to be a featured blogger again! (: However you choose to follow is great.

 

Tot Time Thursday #2: Pete the Cat Pete’s Big Lunch by James Dean July 3, 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:

Pub date: 26 February 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s
Genre:Children’s book, picture book
Format: hardcover, via public library

Summary:

In this hilarious ‘I Can Read’ tale, Pete makes a sandwich so big that he has to share.

Mama’s questions & Kids’ thoughts (Punk – red, Bug – purple):

What do you like to eat?

Uhhh… CHICKIE! Nana bread! Nana!

Nana nana nana nana pease!

 

What’s your favourite sandwhich?

TELLA! (Nutella)

Tuh tuh tuh! (Nutella)

 

If you could eat anything, what would it be?

Popcorn!

Nana!

 

Do you like to share?

Uhhh….. nnnnn-yes?

*chatters and hands me a toy*

 

What does Pete say about sharing?

Share with friends!

*claps*

 

Would you eat Pete’s sandwich?

No! Silly Pete! I eat popcorn *munch munch munch*

*shakes her head*

 

 

Hello June, Goodbye May! June 1, 2014

I am really struggling with how quickly this year is flying by! I got a ridiculous amount of reading done last month. It kinda amazes me just how much I got accomplished. I’m not sure I will be that lucky this month with hubby at a class and me pulling single mama duty. My mom & stepdad are both on summer vacation now from school so I know the kiddos will be pleading to spend more time at Grammy’s & Skipper’s! We’re also planning on spending some time with at my in-laws’ while hubby is gone. My sis-in-law and nephews are coming in from Germany for the summer so cousin time is a must! Some of my best memories growing up are with my cousins and I hope my kiddos are the same.

Books I read in May (in order of completion)

Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore (ARC)

17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen (ARC)

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (audiobook)

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch (ARC)

The Selection, The Prince, The Elite, The Guard, and The One by Kiera Cass

The Bane Chronicles: The Midnight Heir, Rise of the Hotel of Dumort, Saving Raphael Santiago, Fall of the Hotel Dumort, What to But the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything, Last Stand of the New York Institute, The Course of True Love by Cassandra Clare

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare

 

Books with the kiddos: (I mostly kept track!)

Doc McStuffins A Knight in Sticky Armor by Andrea Posner-Sanchez 

All the Ways I Love You by Dorothea DePrisco

Pete the Cat Play Ball! by James Dean

Pete the Cat Pete’s Big Lunch by James Dean

Pete the Cat Pete at the Beach by James Dean

Pete the Cat Too Cool For School by James Dean

Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by James Dean

 

Coming up in June
Hubby’s military class

Dark Metropolis Blog Tour

Punk’s birthday

My mom’s birthday

Sis-in-law & nephews coming in from Germany

Trip to VA

 

Goals for June
Work on commenting and visiting other blogs

Read more with the kiddos

Stay ahead of schedule 

 

 

June releases I’m excited for:

Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

June TBR:
As You Turn Away by Molli Moran

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry 

Mind Games by Kiersten White

Taken by Erin Bowman

 

Challenge Update:

I’m involved with four challenges officially.

Edelweiss & Netgalley challenge: 12/25 (Dark Metropolis, 17 First Kisses, Snow Like Ashes)

TBR Pile challenge: 38/11-20 {I can and most likely WILL be increasing my level on this. I’m also not including ARCs in this unless I complete them after the book is released} (Pandemonium,The Selection, The Prince, The Elite, The Guard, The One, The Bane Chronicles)

Series challenge: 11/4-6 {I can and most likely will increase my level on this as well} (The Selection, The Bane Chronicles)

Real” Book challenge: 26/21-30 (Dark Metropolis, 17 First Kisses, The Selection, The Elite, The One, The Selection Stories – The Prince & The Guard, City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls)

How was your May? What’s up for June?

 

Tot Time Thursday #1: Ladybug Girl Feels Happy by David Soman and Jacky Davis May 15, 2014

“Tot Time Thursday” is a 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:

 

Pub date: 6 September 2012
Publisher: Dial
Genre:Children’s book, picture book
Format: hardcover, via public library

Summary:

New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl explores the concept of emotions in this adorable board book

Ladybug Girl feels all different kinds of things–happiness when playing with Bingo, fear when there is loud thunder, and excitement when Grandma comes to visit. This concept board book for the youngest Ladybug Girl fans explores these emotions and more with Lulu and Bingo.

Mama’s questions & Kids’ thoughts (Punk – red, Bug – purple):

Do you feel happy when you play with Sheldon (Grammy’s dog) & Maggie (our dog)?

YES! Throw the ball to Sheldon!

*claps and squeals* SHEL SHEL SHEL!

 

What makes booboos better?

Mama kiss it better! I have a booboo on my leg too!

*blows kisses*

 

Do you love when your grandparents visit? What do you like to do with them?

Yes! Grammy – play with Sheldon. Papaw – go for rides. Skipper – Go fishing! Grandma & Pa – play cars!

*runs to door and gets upset grandparents aren’t here*

 

What do you do when you’re scared?

I scared of thunder. I stay in bed. I eat goldfish. Sissy go to bed!

*hides her face*

 

Do you like playing with sissy?

YES! We play soccer ball. I read to sissy. I love sissy.

*grins*

 

What do you like most about reading?

Read dogs! (Go, Dog, Go!) Go to “libary!” We go “libary” now?

*claps and squeals* *brings another book*

 

Introducing Our New Feature: Tot Time Thursday! May 8, 2014

Today, I’m introducing a new feature that is going to be starting soon on The Whimsical Mama. It’s Tot Time Thursday!  Now, what is Tot Time Thursday, you ask? Tot Time Thursday is where I will read a children’s books with my kiddos, ask them questions about it, and share it here. I know I focus mainly on YA books, but with as many children’s books as I read, I wanted to showcase some of our favourites. Some of them will be advance reader copies, but most will be personal copies or from the library. Right now, it will be up every other week. If it goes well and we get some reviews stockpiled, it may go to every week. We’re excited to get started! Now to introduce the Tots!

Punk is the oldest. He’s my charming, always into mischief, almost three year old. He loves all things Thomas the Train, superheroes, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Pete the Cat. He’s a big helper and loves to look out for his little sister. He constantly begs to go to the “libary” and loves audiobooks. He’s already a Harry Potter fan! He loves the movies and picked out Sorcerer’s Stone as our car audiobook. He wants to be a superhero, a fire fighter, or a pirate when he grows up. But for now, he’s “just a boy.” (He’ll be giving the vocal answers!) His responses will be in red.

Ladybug/Bug is the youngest. She’s my impish, sweet, one year old. She loves all things Thomas the Train, princesses, stuffed animals, Pete the Cat, and Ladybug Girl. She’s big into climbing and getting into sticky situations. (Mainly getting stuck when she climbs) She loves trying to do what big brother does. She loves library day and tries to bring all the books home. Most of her answers will be in smiles, laughs, and claps. She’s not sure what she wants to be when she grows up, but she’s thinking being a Disney Princess sounds nice! Her responses will be in purple.

I’m hoping our first review will be up next week! If we get enough interest, we’ll probably have some giveaways, too! Here are a few books that will be up soon! (:

Do you have any words of advice, encouragement, etc. for the two newest bloggers on The Whimsical Mama? They would love to hear from you!

 

 
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