Family of N

Books Read March-April

Posted in Just for Fun by Laura on May 1, 2010

By the Shores of Silver Lake
The Long Winter
Little Town on the Prairie
These Happy Golden Years
The First Four Years
The Magician’s Nephew
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Twig by Elizabeth Orton Jones.

Twig was such a lucky find — I picked it up for $3 on half price day at a used book sale, after everything had already been picked over. I don’t know how all the dealers who came the days before could have overlooked it. Anyway, it was one of the most charming children’s novels I’ve ever read. If you can get your hands on a copy, I can’t recommend it highly enough. My only reservation is that one of the characters, appearing in something like 4 illustrations, wears a fairly immodest spaghetti-strap dress. It’s not bad enough for me to throw out the book, but I imagine I will want to have particular conversations with my children when we read it.)

And yes, I am a series junkie. As a child I collected Babysitter’s Club Little Sister books, and later Saddle Club and Thoroughbred books. I’m afraid I read far more of these than I did of classic children’s literature — hence the catching up I’m doing. But I am hoping to get away from that a little, maybe alternating the C.S. Lewis ones with stand-alones for a time.


Books Read January – February

Posted in Education, Just for Fun by Laura on March 1, 2010

On the Banks of Plum Creek
Honey for a Child’s Heart (just the first half, which reads like a book — the rest is for reference)
A Bear Called Paddington
Farmer Boy
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain
The Courage of Sarah Noble

I was surprised to find that I much preferred “Hemlock Mountain” to Dalgliesh’s more popular, award-winning “Sarah Noble.” The latter did have a lovely story, but it seemed to flit from scene to scene too quickly and without much description, so that by the end of it I felt like I had missed most of the story, as if I had read only one sentence from every paragraph. In “Hemlock Mountain,” Dalgliesh only sets out to describe one or two days’ happenings, and as a result this story is a much more satisfying read.

Farmer Boy was a fun one for me… at first I didn’t think I liked it as much as the other Little House books I’d read, but now I would almost say it’s my favorite. I still chuckle about how hungry that book made me, though. I think there is one chapter in the entire book that lacks some description of Almonzo eating — and most of them rather dwell on his gnawing hunger and describe every succulent dish set before him.

Books Read 2009

Posted in Homeschooling, Just for Fun by Laura on December 31, 2009

I’ve not been much of a reader since sometime around middle school, but I’m trying to start back… with children’s books. Please don’t laugh. I think of it like Debt Snowballing. I’m a slow reader, and it’s encouraging to finish a book every now and then.

It’s with a little embarrassment that I share my humble list for this year. I know for many people this would be a month’s worth of reading. I think I actually read all of these in the last six months, but I’m well aware that that’s still not very impressive.

  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins
  • The Hundred Dresses
  • Little House in the Big Woods
  • Understood Betsy
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • Little House on the Prairie

All I can say is, I’ve had to fight to find the time to read even this many! Savannah is so taken with books that we have had to turn her bookshelf to face the wall, because she used to make a beeline for it any time the door to her room was open, and would proceed to unload the shelves if she got there before one of us did. She loves fanning through the pages of a real paper book, although we rarely give one to her because, um, pages get ripped out.

So needless to say, when I get a book out to read of my own accord, Savannah is soon at my side whining and reaching for the book — pointing at it, running her fingers over the pages, and ultimately gesturing that she wants to hold it. At this point, of course, the book goes away rather than into her hands, and I resign myself to trying another time.

So I’d say six is good progress.

And I continue to thank God that Savannah is our first child, rather than being at this can’t-be-trusted-near-books stage while we’re trying to homeschool another child.

Savannah’s Words

Posted in Family, Just for Fun by Laura on December 28, 2009

Update 12/29: added Sock, Congo, and All Done.

Since most of my regular readers are family members, I’m going to risk boring my other readers to death and list all the words Savannah uses right now.

I figure after a few kids (or even a few months) it’s all going to run together and we’ll never know which child said what when. And since the baby book only runs through 12 months, the Internet is going to have to stand in as the record from now on.

Indisputable, Clear Words:

Mommy-Knows-What-I’m-Saying Words:
Ball (“Bah”)
Nose (“Noh”)
Ear (“Eeh”)
Diaper (“…-pah” — first syllable varies, if it’s even present)
Bread (“Beah”)
Potty (“Pahy”)
Sock (“Yah” — she also uses this for shoe)
Congo (“Goh-go” — this is the name of my parents’ bird)

Signs Savannah Does:
Please (claps her hands rather than rubbing them together)
All done (holds hands out to show they’re empty)

Attachment Babying

Posted in Family, Just for Fun, Parenting by Laura on December 10, 2008
Image by Laura

Guest Post by Savannah:

Parents are fragile creatures. We first babies have so much influence over their formative years as parents, and it’s our responsibility to raise them in a way that will produce a well-adjusted, happy parent. Attachment Babying (AB) is a philosophy of responding gently to the parent’s needs and guiding them through subtle actions.

Parent Wearing
As an Attachment Baby, I see my parents as an extension of myself. Sucking on Mama or Daddy’s fingers like they’re an accessory helps me not only to feel connected to them, but it also offers me a chance to participate in their various activities by tasting the garlic Mama chopped while I was napping or leaving a raw spot that will remind Daddy of me while he’s teaching.

Parents need to be shown that nighttime is an active part of the day. Those of us who practice AB prefer to do this using gentle techniques, such as Making Cute Noises While Mama and Daddy are Trying to Sleep (MCNWMDTS) or Extended Breastfeeding (EB), where an hour per feeding is a great goal. I have found the first technique to be especially rewarding for beginners, but with a little patience, you can have success with the second. The trick is not to get discouraged if Mama falls asleep while you’re eating.

Elimination Dedication
Parents are always looking for ways to express their love in meaningful ways, and you owe it to your parents to give them such opportunities. Elimination Dedicated Babies (EDB) believe that nothing says “I love you” like changing four diapers in an hour. Elimination Dedication also gives your parents valuable experience at important diapering skills, and as a result, they’ll be more confident in their parenting. Not to mention they’ll feel great that they got their money’s worth out of that changing table.

Go Organic!
Grown-ups these days really like it when things are organic. Organic clothes, furniture, and food can be expensive for your parents, though, and they may feel sad that they cannot afford very many organic things, especially in this economy. As a sympathetic baby, you naturally want to help, but maybe you don’t think there’s anything you can do.

If that describes you, then you couldn’t be more wrong. You have the very things your parents want right inside of you! That’s right — your spit-up is organic! Your parents may not be able to buy a sofa made of organic materials, but with just a little effort, you can increase the percentage of organic matter in the one they already have.