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Thursday, September 30, 2021

Our Favorite Books for Halloween

October eve calls for a switch to all things Halloween, including all of our books on our bookshelves in lieu of our favorites for fall. We have each of the books below and I can highly recommend them all. Added bonus? They display so nicely and really serve as d├ęcor as well. Books, plus a few fun throw pillows, really change the boys' rooms and set the tone for the few months ahead.


1. Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories: I got this for Oskar this year and am so darn excited to read it with him. Roald Dahl plus spooky stories...yes yes YES.

2. The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt: A sweet story about a ghost who is a quilt instead of a sheet, teaching us that it's ok--and good!--to be different.

3: The Scariest Book Ever: A funny book narrated by a melodramatic ghost narrator, who is out to prove that this is, in fact, the SCARIEST book ever.

4. The Little Witch: I started reading this with Oskar and he loves it. Classics never die, as proven by this 60th anniversary edition of a lifelong favorite for many.

5. Creepy Carrots: Not to be outdone by it's sister book Creepy Pair of Underwear, both boys always reach for this quirky Caldecott Honor winning picture book.

6. Gilbert The Ghost:A perfect book on being shy, and finding the bravery to be yourself. I love this one for August.

7. The Dark: A story of overcoming a fear of the dark, written in an eerie yet beautiful way. 

8. Triangle: A pair of practical jokesters, leaving the reader wondering who started it. One of August's very favorites.

9. They All Saw a Cat: One of our very favorites for years and years. A Caldecott medalist for its vivid and creative illustrations showing the different ways animals view and see a cat.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Life Lately

Friends, I miss you, and I miss this space. Summer was such a full and busy few months and I stepped away from social media for good chunks of time, but I wanted to jot down what's been going on with all of us, because it really does feel like a lot!

1. Starting off a few months ago. August became an amazing, jump-off-the-diving-board, swim entire lengths of the pool swimmer, which was just in time for me to juggle 3:1 around the water. His proud half smiles are my very favorite and engrained in my mind forever.


2. My sister visited for an entire month in July, and we were able to do so many things. Kennywood and trampoline parks and professional picnics and birthday celebrations and a night of pure bachelorette party night debauchery on a floating tiki hut cruising down the rivers of Pittsburgh. Turns out I'm not 18 anymore.




3. We took the kids to Presque Isle for a weekend--a super easy drive for us, and their first time to a beach. They played in the sand and swam in the lake, and then we re-grouped at a pretty hotel overlooking the bay. The perfect mini get-away.



4. Matt and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary in Nantucket, which, as promised, was pure and utter magic. A blog post coming on all of my favorite things there, but if you have any questions before I get that put together, please let me know. The beaches and seals and food and lighthouses--it was all like out of a movie.




5. Everyone went back to school at the end of August, and I guess I didn't know how much stress and tension I had built up, but it all felt like a huge release once we were back on a schedule and I finally was able to focus on one thing at a time again. Maren is in full day daycare, where she is thriving (AND SLEEPING), August is in full day Kindergarten, where he's winning over teachers and new friends left and right, and Oskar is in 1st grade. A few stories about the boys.

August was nervous to start at a new school. I checked in with his teacher after a few days to see how he was doing, to which she said, "He's doing great. Participating, raising his hand. But, I just have to tell you, every time he talks he crosses his eyes at us." A trick he learned from his brother. Yep.

He has also gotten into a routine (a REALLY prolonged joke) of pretending to faint every time I pick him up from school. I then have to drag his corpse to the car in front of all of the other parents, because he does not break character no matter how much yelling through my gritted teeth I do.

Then there's Oskar. We found out at the end of the academic year last year that he was tested, and qualified, to skip a grade in math. In addition, he's in a small enrichment group for his advanced reading. So really, he's thriving and also so darn proud of himself. He has 2nd grade friends, and 1st grade friends, and friends from soccer, and friends from karate...it truly feels like going out on the town with the Mayor when we go anywhere because there is always, always somebody that he knows.


6. Maren is 18 months old now, an amazingly fun and also difficult age. So many opinions and already protesting for equal rights. She's talking so, so much and stringing 2 and even 3 words together. We all love her endlessly, though, and she really is everybody's baby. Her favorite thing is getting her brother off the bus, and squeals and screams when she sees it coming.


7. Fall is here, and so is soccer, with both boys playing with practices or games often at the very same time. Convenient. Oskar broke his wrist one week into the season and had to take a brief hiatus, but is back at it now that his pain has subsided. A right of passage in this house--first x-rays, first cast. We survived.



8. A commonly asked question--Maren still sleeps like garbage, with wake ups between 5:30-6am no matter what we try. Following in her brothers' footsteps, so its really nothing new for us. She's also a terrible napper when she's at home, but sleeps for 2 hours at school, no problem. This morning she woke up at 5:35 and tried out a new sentence on me: "Where's your robe". And, on the topic of sleep, the tooth-fairy has been a frequent visitor, with August losing a tooth and Oskar losing his 5th.

9. We're hoping to take the kids to Finland for Christmas but this COVID surge is putting a bit of a wrench in things and figuring out whether its truly safe to travel with a toddler. When this world will return to normal, I just don't know, but it's hard not to get frustrated and sad this many months out. Matt's hospital is now on a "Treatment Delay Advisory", both due to increased patient load AND staffing issues due to burn-out. 

10. And finally, some things Matt and I have really been enjoying lately. Long bike rides on a trail near by (whenever we have the chance), finishing Breaking Bad (I had never seen it), Peloton-ing, and concert going (Green Day/Weezer + Alanis Morissette). Life is busy, but it is good, and I really am trying to make this "The Year of YES" after hunkering down for so long. 




Hoping to be back soon with some of my favorite things lately--recipes and fall plans and tips and tricks for easier mornings. Thanks, as always, for reading along!



 
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