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Friday, September 19, 2014

Sing A Long

     It is no secret I love music. Singing is something I do all the time. When you have a child there are even more reasons to sing. You can teach them songs, you can play games with them, you can entertain them and you can even soothe them, all with music.
      Lately, Xavier has been sleeping really hard during his nap times and wakes up very "out of it" and still half asleep. So I started to sit with him. After a while I started singing to him. When he could gesture he would gesture that he wanted me to sing. Then, once he started talking he would tell me to sing and what songs to sing. (We apparently have a repertoire). Now, one day as I started singing our first song, I heard a small back up voice singing with me. He knew majority of all the songs in our repertoire, he could now finally sing them.
       As much as there are days when I cannot wait for nap time to finally come. I am so glad I get to wake my son up with a sing-a-long together.

Check out our video of the end of the ABC's song (Xavier got camera shy and wouldn't sing in front of the camera).

I hope you all have a great weekend full of love, laughter and fun!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Two Bobbies


     Our first trip to the library was so special for many reasons. One of the best reasons was that Xavier and I accidentally picked out the most amazing book to read. As he was pulling books off the shelf one by one looking at them I tried to point him in a better direction, such as perhaps just one aisle. We looked in that area. We settled on a book that had a picture of a dog and cat on the cover. I glanced at it and made sure it was a children's book and took it and gave it to Xavier who was thrilled with the dog and cat on the cover. (He loves dogs and cats probably because we have two cats and a dog and he is always trying to get to know).

     It was not until I got home and we read him the book for bedtime did my husband and I realize how fantastically wonderful this book is. The book is called The Two Bobbies and is written by Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery. It is a true story of hurricane Katrina, the friendship of a dog and cat and survival.

       The book has such a beautiful story in it. It is about a dog and a cat that get lost during hurricane Katrina and stick together. When they finally are found by the animal shelter they refuse to be separated. The shelter volunteers quickly realize that the cat is blind. The cat was using the dog as a seeing eye dog and they managed through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina together.

      I will not spoil it, but the book has a happy ending with a picture of the real dog and cat. You can also look up the story online of the Two Bobbies. It was such a wonderfully sweet and inspiring story and I am so glad that Xavier picked it out as his first library book.

You can purchase your own copy of The Two Bobbies By Kirby Larson and Mary Netherly from Amazon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book Review: My First Book Series By Sophie Helenek

I wrote this post while participating in a campaign by Nursery Books and will receive a free sample of the products to review and to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced, nor reviewed, by the company prior to posting.

       If you have not guessed this week we are focusing on reading to our children and some great children's books. Feel free to check out the Reviews tab above for more reviews on books and learning material for children. To add to our children's book collection or if you are starting it for the first time, I highly recommend the books My First Book Series by Sophie Helenek. 
      The My First Books Series by Sophie Helenek is a series of four board books that are titled Fruits, Sky Wonders, Shapes and Musical Instruments. The books are simple board books directed at babies and toddlers. They are highly recommended for the infant stage as the words are minimal and the illustrations are in strong colors and contrasts that make infants really enjoy them. Infants tend to look at high-contrast edges and patterns which all these books have. The My First Book Series has won several awards including the Mom's Choice Award Gold Seal and the NAPPA Silver Winner Award. These are not just your ordinary picture board books or bedtime stories. They are more like activity books conceived to stimulate a baby's senses.  The series was specifically developed based on the ultra-complex and rapid development of newborns, babies and toddlers.

     I admit at first I was a little worried about testing these books out. Not that I thought that they were no good, but Xavier is two and is already into reading long stories with plots and twists I was not sure how well I could test out these board books without borrowing an infant. However, I was certainly wrong. As soon as I took them out and set them in Xavier's book area just to see what he would do. He picked them up right away and had me read them to him and go over all the colors of everything. He was already minimally speaking but these really helped him identify a lot more items. I really appreciated the Fruits book. Now Xavier knows what an apple looks like in a book and he can ask for it in real life. He knew most of the shapes and musical instruments already but he still loved learning and reading about them. He loved the patterns and would read and play with them for hours. I was so enamored at just how much interest he got out of them even though they were so young in writing compared to what he has been reading lately.

       I also took the liberty of testing these books out on a friends' infant and they were a hit there as well! I certainly applaud Sophie Helenek on her children's series as these are fantastic first books to give to someone you know! They will certainly be used many times. Next Generation Stay At Home Mom highly recommends My First Book Series by Sophie Helenek and gives it 5 stars!

Go get yourself a set for your child. If you do not have a toddler or younger in your life they make great gifts for any new parents! You can find out more about the books on Sophie Helenek's website and you can purchase the entire series of four books for only $24.00 or you can purchase each one separately!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Library


  When you are a parent you are always excited to be able to do different things for the first time with your child. You get to experience the childlike wonder and anticipation all at once. As silly as it sounds for this writer/avid reader and parent, taking my child to the library was one of my big things to do with Xavier when he was old enough. We have been reading together since birth and usually multiple times and books per day. If you do not have a reader at home check out my post 10 Tips To Help Your Child Become A Reader.
     Xavier finally got to the point where he knows inside voice and outside voice. He knows how to behave in stores and when we are out in public. We finally decided to take him to the library. I could not have been more excited and proud. As soon as I took him in the children's room he was all excited and of course I had to quiet him down but he understood. He loved looking at and reading the books with me. When it came time to choose one he took forever and pulled nearly every book off the shelf to see them all. I tried to point him in the right direction and we finally settled on a book about a cat and a dog.
       Xavier was in love with the book for the two weeks we borrowed it. My husband and I were afraid that he would not want to give it back and had found a copy on Amazon and was putting it on hold in case we would need to buy one and in case Xavier was not really ready for the library. However, a few days before we brought it back he was asking to read different books instead of that one. It was almost as if he knew he had to say good bye. It was really important to me to show him that he is borrowing the book. (The back up was only for a total meltdown and we never ended up purchasing it).
        We pulled up to the library and I let him drop it in the box outside. He did not have any problem at all. He even said good bye to the book. Then, he promptly went in and picked another selection. It was a children's reference book on Marsupials. Yes, my child has odd taste, but he picked it and liked it.

         We also found the library a great way to try out movies on Xavier. He is now getting to the point where he will watch the 45 minute movies he has. So we thought we would try some of the classics especially since it was free. His first movie was Toy Story. He loved it and watched a good majority of it sometimes playing in the room where it was. The great thing about the movie was he already had a lot of the toys in it such as a dinosaur, Mr. Potato Head and a small Woody and Buzz figurine that goes on his trains. I can see a much bigger Woody and Buzz may be needed in the future as it was a favorite.
       People always say libraries are a dying thing. However, they have been around for ages and have countless information, movies and even ebooks to keep themselves up to date on new information. I am so glad we have a wonderful library in our town that we can take advantage of as much as we like especially since we live so near to it. Now that I know how much Xavier likes it we will be definitely making this more of a habit so mommy has more variety to read to Xavier! Be sure to check out your local library with your kids you will be glad you did!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Big Toy Day


    How I love being the mom of a little boy so very much. I do not know why boys get such a bad representation. I have had nothing but joy raising Xavier and the things he comes up with and does never ceases to amaze me. I assume you have all read my post Construction Sites and Toddlers which talks about how much more fun waiting in traffic during construction is due to a toddler who is in total excitement at all the construction vehicles.
     Last weekend we went with some good friends of ours and their toddler son to Big Toy Day where the town got out all the firetrucks, police cars, ambulances, helicopters, planes and other emergency vehicles and parked them in a big field so kids can come with their families and climb in them, touch them, learn about them and have a blast. Of course, they had the bouncy house, funnel cakes and stuff as well.
          Xavier and his buddy had a blast exploring all the vehicles and watching the plans take off. He really seemed to like the helicopter! Even though it was rainy and muddy it was definitely a fun "boy" kind of day! I am so appreciative for the wonderful boys and men in my life. Check out the pictures of our fun day.

Special thanks to our good friend, Diana for taking all the great pictures. I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful weekend and have an even better week!
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