Monthly Archives: May 2016

What we’ve read so far, week 30ish

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Did you know you can check out stuffed animals and puppets from the library? (And a bunch of other stuff too, but right now baby’s into puppets.) We’re borrowing this little speckled pig right now, just to top off our pile of books. Thanks to BKZ for recommending All of Baby Nose to Toes and Miss Emily at the library for Jazzmatazz!

Recently I was asked for some of my favorite books for infants (really! someone asked!) so I thought I would improve upon my off-the-cuff answer with a more complete list. (Though I’m sure the moment I publish this I’ll think of at least twenty-seven more. Did I omit one of your favorites? Leave a comment!)

Board books

  • Black on White and White on Black by Tana Hoban (these high-contrast, word-free picture books supposedly fascinate infants. Not my infant, but other ones.)
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear by Emily Gravett
  • Happy Hippo, Angry Duck by Sandra Boynton
  • Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton
  • Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees

Board Books for Bedtime

  • Goodnight, Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  • I Love You As Big As the World by David Van Buren
  • I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Shustak
  • You Are My I Love You by Maryann Love
  • Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
  • I’m Not Sleepy by Jonathan Allen (pictured above)

Poems and Rhymes

  • Anything by Dr. Seuss (my personal favorite is One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, but that’s kind of long for babies. His ABC book is excellent and comes as a little board book.)
  • Anything by Shel Silverstein (my favorite is Where the Sidewalk Ends)
  • The Random House Book of Poetry for Children has a nice mix of classic/old-fashioned and contemporary, long and short, funny and serious poems, organized around themes (e.g. seasons, animals). It contains the excellent “The Adventures of Isabel,” which is strangely easy to memorize despite its length.

Picture Books

  • Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood
  • Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham
  • Bark, George! by Julies Feiffer
  • I Don’t Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty
  • Owen by Kevin Henkes
  • Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman
  • The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
  • Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  • See “There is a LION in the LIBRARY” for a big batch of suggestions, including books by Jon Klassen & Mac Barnett, Emily Gravett, Aaron Becker, Davie Wiesner, and more. For more on favorite picture books, and the importance of reading to and with children, see “The Pleasure of Picture Books.”

I also have to mention Mo Willems’ There Is A Bird On Your Head!, an “easy reader” book for older kids to read on their own, because it’s a fantastic read-aloud and just might make your baby laugh if you really throw yourself into the performance.

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Seven months and crawling

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Enjoying her doorway jumper (thanks, J & H!). This may be the one photo we have of her in it that isn’t blurry.

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Before forward crawling came unintentional backward scootching.

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Playing with her stacking rings.

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Delighting in the dog.

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Happy on her tummy (and still kicking those feet).

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Curious about everything.

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Unfazed by rain (even helps hold the umbrella!)…

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…but sunshine is okay too. (And looks darn cute in a sunhat from great-grandpa!)

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“‘Sup?” Borrowing Dad’s baseball hat on a post-daycare, pre-bedtime visit to see Mama at the library.

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Pleased.

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Onward!

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The garden is in

The garden is in! All the big stuff is done (cleaning out last year’s pots, getting dirt and plants, planting) so now it’s just watering and tinkering with placement.

The seedlings are doing very well: the nasturtiums are in a hanging basket and a rectangular container on the back porch, and the sweet peas are in buckets in the back and a rectangular container in front, with – I hope – enough climbing material to keep them happy.

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Above, left to right: sweet peas, tomatoes (“chocolate sprinkles” hybrid cherry and Patio a.k.a. “the container tomato”), rosemary, and – new this year – lavender.

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Nasturtium, calibrochoa (“yellow slice”), narcissus (from bulbs stored in the basement during the winter). Not pictured, recently added: celosia (that paintbrush-looking one).

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Chives, rosemary, and sage. We do a lot of cooking and garnishing with these.

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Thyme, parsley (flat and curly), strawberries. There are little green berries already!

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This is in the front. Real pots would look nicer than Home Depot buckets, but I used what I had. The tomatoes don’t mind! This year I got one plant each of five varieties, and planted basil in with two of them (from left to right: grape “Tami G” hybrid tomato; yellow cherry “sun gold” hybrid; husky cherry red hybrid). I also got nicer soil this year, Coast of Maine potting soil and lobster compost. We’ll see how they do.

 

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Now We Are Six (Months)

We have a very active six-month-old! She loves bouncing (and more bouncing) in her stationary jumper, doorway jumper, or on someone’s lap. She loves going for walks in a front-facing carrier (even better if someone will hold their hands under her feet so she can bounce at the same time. Do we sense a theme?).

Baby wearing sun hat, in front-facing carrier with dad

Tummy time has become rolling, planking, getting on all fours, “creeping” (a sort of army-crawl thing), accidentally going backward, and occasionally crawling or flopping forward. She is on the go!

Baby pushing up on hands, looking up and to the right, big smile

She is very social and smiley, showing off her two teeth, which came in at nearly the same time, around five months if I remember right, with very little fanfare. She can use them, terrifyingly, to gnaw off pieces of apple, so that’s the end of apple slices as chew toys. She has tasted a number of other real foods, including yogurt, sweet potato, avocado, mango, pickle, lemon, peanut butter, cinnamon, and oat cereal.

Baby outside on picnic blanket wearing pink sun hat

We’re hearing new sounds, including consonants (babababa mamamama dadadada etc.) and spitting, raspberry-ish sounds. Now when she wakes up in the morning or from a nap, she babbles for a while before crying to be picked up.

Stack of books, spine out

What we’ve been reading

And of course, we are still reading a lot! Though she is as determined to chew on the books as I am to read them. (The “indestructibles” are great for this, although I can’t just hand her one to chew on while I read from another – she’s wise to that game.) There Is A Bird On Your Head! is still a favorite, as is I Don’t Want to Be A Frog, and we picked up But Not the Hippopotamus on Independent Bookstore Day. We’ve added poetry to the mix with The Random House Book of Poetry for Children and Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends and Falling Up. Toast to Counting was a gift, and though I would not eat toast with eggs and butter and peanut butter and jelly on it, Lyra thinks the board book tastes just fine.

Baby and greyhound

“Are you sure this thing is safe to ride?”

 

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Spring seedlings

The seeds are coming up! Not the basil – I think last year’s seeds plus a late snow equals no basil plants from seed this year – but the sweet pea and nasturtiums are. The squirrels didn’t get ’em all! And the nasturtiums are supposed to repel deer. Not that we have deer on our little back porch. Nor will we!

Small nasturtium leaf

Sweet pea shoots coming up in orange bucket

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