July 28, 2016

A Look at Our Library: 18-Months-Old


Side note: I really want to be able to sneak a y'all or two into natural conversation. I just love it. Am I qualified now that we have lived in Tennessee for almost three years? Almost?...Sort of?...Not really even a little bit close to being qualified? Oh well. I will keep trying anyways.

End side note.

My daughter loves books.

I mean, she absolutely adores them. As bookworms ourselves, nothing makes my husband or me happier. That being said, there are some truly awful kids books out there. Am I right? The kind that make you want to rip your hair out if you have to read recite them one more time.

When all your kiddo does all day is back her cute, little booty right into your lap to read, you really need to up your library game. I am constantly on the hunt for something new and unique to add to her collection, and I am excited to share our current favorites with you today!

1. Gaston | Adorable illustrations and storyline about the true meaning of family love. A fellow blogger I admire pointed out long after I had already fallen in love with this book that it is perfect for adoptive families. 
2. Stick and Stone | The clever and rhyming shenanigans of two unlikely friends makes me smile every time. A subtle anti-bullying message is an added bonus for little ones. 
3. Plant a Kiss | My husband's current favorite. A simple but sweet lesson in the joy of giving to others. My daughter loves to feel the texture of the sparkling kiss as it blossoms too. 
4. Each Peach Pear Plum | Classic, rhyming storybook characters are hidden on each page for little eyes to find. At 18-months-old, my daughter already finds excitement in spotting them all herself. 
5. Waiting | Five toys sit and wait at the windowsill for something amazing to happen. Reminds me a little bit of Toy Story. The ending is so unexpected and made me laugh out loud the first time I read it.
6. Hedgehugs | My sister gifted this to us for Valentine's Day, so I have to give her all the brilliant credit. Horace and Hattie the hedgehogs are best friends, but they cannot hug. The solution to their prickly problem is ridiculously cute. There is a sequel coming out this Christmas, and I can't wait to snatch it up for our library. 
7. Napping House | A personal nostalgic classic. My mom read this to me often growing up, so of course I am loving reading it to my daughter. She thinks the illustrations are just as divine as I do. 
8. Cloudette | Being small doesn't mean you can't make a difference in a big way. This book is full of clever details to keep adults laughing too.
9. Where Does Love Come From? | The text in this one is just mediocre in my opinion. But my mom checked it out at library storytime while we were in Italy and taught our daughter to identify the shape of a heart. Now she exclaims, "HEART!" every time she sees one, including a million times in the card section at Target as I hunted for an anniversary card for friends. Obviously, we had to own our own copy. 
10. Hello in There!: A Big Sister's Book of Waiting | The absolute perfect lift-the-flap book for teaching big sisters about the wonder of the new baby growing in mommy's belly. 
11. Always | Sweet message about a parent's love for their little one through the good and the bad. I think the metallic illustration accents in all of Emma Dodd's books make them extra special. 
12. The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear | Another favorite from my childhood that I am enjoying passing on to a new generation. The illustrations revealing mouse's journey to protect his just-picked, perfect strawberry are so vivid and heart warming. 
13. Beautiful Oops! | A must-have for all blossoming perfectionists like my own (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, folks). I have been loving the unique way this book teaches through flaps, tears, smudges, crinkles, etc. that not only are mistakes okay, but that they can be a grand adventure in creating something beautiful. 

There is not too much I can guarantee in life, but these books will make you smile. That is a fact. I hope they bring you as much joy as they bring to us daily. 

Let's swap notes! I am antsy to pick up a few of the books that bring both you and your little loves happiness as you read together. What are your favorites?

July 24, 2016

Bumpin' | 13 Weeks

In the very last hours of Sunday, May 15, those beautiful two pink lines told us we had another little Witt wonder on the way! After a long drive returning from our friends' wedding in Michigan, I decided on a whim to take a pregnancy test. We had just gotten Eloise to bed, unloaded luggage, and Brad was upstairs cleaning the litter boxes and refilling food dishes for hungry felines. Glamorous, I know. 

I had not been experiencing any pregnancy symptoms, so I was hopeful but not expecting big news. My heart raced as I set the first test, immediately and very boldly positive, aside and reached for another. For so many months I had taken test after test that turned up negative. I had spent too many mornings squinting at strips, trying to convince myself there was a faint second line there. When it, too, came up quickly positive, I scooped up both tests and bolted upstairs. 

In our dimly lit storage room as Brad was mid-poop scoop, I ran into his arms, beaming. He seemed initially annoyed I was interrupting the final chore standing between him and sleep, until I showed him what I had in my hand. There were happy tears shed as Oliver and Lola purred at our feet. In hindsight, I have to laugh at how I told him compared to how I told Brad the first time. I suppose it is just the beginning of the first born receiving special treatment because everything was brand new! 

The entire first trimester was a whirlwind of weddings, vacations (more to come on our trips to Disney and Italy), and a lot of nausea and naps. Getting around to starting bump pictures was honestly a dark cloud hovering overhead. By the end of my first pregnancy I absolutely dreaded taking and designing them. But, with that being said, I am beyond thankful I documented my growing bump so thoroughly. It is crazy how quickly you forget what it feels like to carry your little one around for nine months. I know I'll be glad to have these memories, so here we go, starting with 13 weeks. Better late than never, right?

How far along? 13 weeks
How big is baby? Jalepeno pepper, about 3 inches
Milestones? Baby already has tiny fingerprints and fingernails
Maternity clothes? I just brought the box down this week! Best decision ever. I am much more comfortable. 
Sleep? So. Much. Sleep. I'm usually zonked out on the couch by 8 pm every night, and I've been sleeping so hard that my dreams have been crazy and very vivid. 
Symptoms? Awful morning sickness and fatigue
Food cravings? Pickles! Also in earlier weeks, french onion chip dip and watermelon
Food aversions? Nothing specific, but I opened the pantry one morning and the combination of odd smells made me immediately throw up in the kitchen sink. The nausea of this pregnancy has been a totally new experience compared to my first pregnancy. 
Gender? Brad and I both think it's a girl. I have always pictured him with a gaggle of Witt girlies. Because my pregnancies have been so different, nearly everyone else thinks it's a boy, but we are not convinced.
Labor signs? Obviously, no
Belly button in or out? In. My belly button actually never popped out with Eloise. 
What I miss? A nice, big deli meat sandwich
What am I looking forward to? The second trimester energy burst, and finding out the baby's gender at the beginning of August. Also cooler temperatures and all things fall just around the corner.
Best moment this week? We took Eloise to her first big girl movie in the theater. We saw Finding Dory, and she was happy, quiet, and focused through the entire thing (probably partly thanks to the steady stream of popcorn we supplied)! She even laughed at appropriate times and shouted "MO!" ("Nemo" in Eloise language) when Nemo came on screen. We loved every minute of it. 

And just for kicks, the entire series of bump pictures with Eloise! Have a happy week, everyone.