6 of my favourite children’s books

We’ve come to the “Book Review” part of the blog challenge. Last night I realised it was a bit late for me to start reading a book to review (i.e. an actual fiction/non-fiction book written for adults). More so because I was falling asleep by like 7.30pm and that my brain could not get past the cover page.

So, instead, I’m going to share with you six of my favourite children’s books, as voted by Jacob who knows all the words.

1. There’s a House Inside My Mummy
Author: Giles Andreae
Illustrator: Vanessa Cabban
There's a House Inside My Mummy - Giles Andreae

When I first found out I was expecting again, I was really keen to get some books to explain the concept of a new baby to Jacob (who was just under 2 years old at the time). This book came highly recommended and it was really easy to read and used very simple comparisons, and I found it really helped Jacob relate to my pregnancy and to the baby in my tummy. There’s one page I found a bit unnecessary though (about Mummy’s door being rather “tight” – errr….) but other than that, a great book!

2. Peppa’s Car Ride
By Ladybird (doesn’t say the author’s names)
Peppa's Car Ride : Peppa Pig Series - Ladybird

I had to put a Peppa Pig one in, right? (Jacob is obsessed with Peppa Pig) I initially bought one for my nephew and then I found one in an op shop so I bought it for Jacob too. It actually has moving wheels which makes it all the more fun! Jacob loves reading the book and has put Peppa Pig stickers all over it as a sign of his approval. I also love that because the car was taken to Granddad Dog’s garage to be mended, Jacob now uses that word. If he breaks a toy, he says “Mummy, this toy needed to be mended.” Cuteee!

3. Toilet Time for Boys
By Dr Janet Hall
Toilet Time : A Training Kit for Boys - Dr Janet Hall

Okay, I had to add a toilet training book into the mix too! For the record, Jacob’s still not successfully toilet trained at the moment – we tried before Jared was born but he didn’t really take to the idea, or like he didn’t want it to be an ongoing thing (he told me “No more toilet, mum. Nappies please.”). But we do enjoy reading this book however – Jacob loves the whole idea of sitting on the toilet and it just presents the idea of toilet training in a simple and encouraging way. I only have the book but not the full activity pack, so I can’t comment on that, but fortunately we got a Huggies pull-ups pack which included a potty training resource and wall chart that has Lightning McQueen on it (and Jacob is absolutely SOLD! He loves Lightning McQueen) so we will start on that in due time!

4. I Love Mealtime
Author: Joy Berry
Illustrator: Dana Regan

My mum bought this book for Jacob, as well as another Joy Berry book called “I Love Bedtime”. He likes this one better – I’m not sure why, maybe because the main character is a boy and there’s a dog in it too? It’s also sorta ironic because he isn’t a fan of mealtime in real life haha! But this book is nice and clear – it explains why we have certain eating practices/etiquette and why (i.e. if you eat too many sweets, you get a tummy ache). I’m not sure that it has had any effect on Jacob’s table manners, but one can only hope!

5. Sunshine and Snowballs
Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator: Charlotte Cooke
19593965

I absolutely love this book! I’m not sure what it is but there was a certain emotion it evokes – the illustrations are just beautiful too. You might realise by now that I love books with rhymes/poetry because it just has a lovely ring to it (and I love to hear Jacob say the last word of each sentence).

The book starts out with “Summer, summer, in the sun” and it’s funny because there is a little girl at our church called Summer, and Jacob instantly thought the girl in the book was called Summer. It’s so hard to explain the concept of seasons to a little child! And he says that the boy in the book is Jared because Jared has a winter hat like the one the boy wears. So yes, it’s about Summer and Jared playing at different times of the year. I love that this book has helped Jacob make the connection with natural elements – he’ll talk to me about rain and thunderstorms, and the other day we had a foggy morning and he was so excited to experience the “grey, silent” fog. Definitely a favourite!

6. Pull-out “Jonah and the Big Fish”
Author: Josh Edwards
Illustrator: Chris Embleton-Hall

I love these pull-out books – some other stories in this series include David and Goliath, Noah’s Ark and the Christmas Story. Jacob loves David and Goliath the most because Goliath is huge and roars (Oh wait, no, that’s mummy roaring) but he also loves all the others too. I highly recommend these books because they’re interactive, easy to read and fun – and to prove that, here’s a video of Jacob actually reading this book with me (this was a good 4 months ago)!

Happy reading! 🙂

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Before the year is up…

Talk about a long hiatus. Yes, sorry, I know I have been AWOL but the last few months have been so jam packed that I thought it best to take a break and do justice to certain areas in my life. And now, most of the things have settled down so I’m thinking of getting back into writing!!!

As of yesterday, my little boy is already 16 months old! Can you believe it? I have a fully-fledged toddler (and a hyper one at that)!!!

So, I thought I’d do a little monthly update to show how far we’ve come so far.

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Little Mr here has 14 teeth and counting!

Height: 81cm

Weight: Almost 10kg, yippie!

Eating:
We initially struggled with his eating – he used to be very finnicky and naughty, throwing most of his meal on the floor. His weight plateaued for a while but since he started walking, things have started picking up and he is a pro right now! You should have seen him wolf down his pizza tonight! He also eats a lot of fruit, which I am quite happy about – and he loves a good fruit smoothie which we have plenty of since it’s summertime.

Favourites: Blueberries, Watermelon, Grapes, Pear, Cheese, Spring Rolls, Chicken, Peas, Corn on Cob, Any sort of Rice, Pasta, Yoghurt.

Sleep: Yes, sleep is a little patchy, and we struggles especially when he first learned to walk. He just LOVES to be awake to do things but he needs to rest for his own good. He is moving to his own room soon (we have finally moved furniture around so his cot can fit in the room) so things should improve from there, I hope! But he still looks adorable when he sleeps, doesn’t he?

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Mobility:
Jacob started walking just shy of 15 months. He had been standing for a while and trying to do stepping movements, but never really got past two steps. Then one day, at church, I think something must have just clicked. He just got up and walked right across the room, and hasn’t looked back since.

In the last few weeks, he’s really picked up speed and is relatively difficult to manage. He runs away from me in the shopping mall and climbs things like chairs, tables, bookcases, etc. No drawers or doors are safe from him so we are slowly child-locking everything. He is relatively clever at working out how things works so he opens tubes and bottles etc. He is loveable but so darn high maintenance at times!

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Words words words:
This little boy is talkative!!! I think his first word was “car” and he said “dada” around the same time. Some of his early words were mama, nana (banana), wawa (flower), star, nanny (his grandmother) and dua (dog). He also has some interesting words, like “murr” for bird, “aah” for a drink and “mannum/my-num” for dummy. And now he talks about books and balls and shoes and the moon. We are SOOO proud of him but we get pretty tired hearing the same words all day long.

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Favourite pastimes:
– Dancing/singing to songs and rhymes we know. He’s great at “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” (he sings the ‘star’ bit and does some actions) and also joins in with “Incy Wincy Spider”, “Pat a Cake”, “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” (he only gets as far as head as it’s a bit fast).
– Drawing – I think he’s going to be a budding artist. He goes through our stationery drawers to find pens and markers to use. And despite my giving him scrap paper to draw on, he always looks for important documents to draw on (failing which, he will draw on the wall or tiles).
– Playing with other kids especially his cousins. He recognises them and points them out in pictures – they usually have an awesome time playing together and it’s great that they’re all relatively close in age.

family photoWe took some awesome family photos the other day!
– Playing with water and swimming. He loves ANYTHING to do with water. When we’re outside, he goes straight to the dog bowl and puts his hands in it. Hence why I’m buying him a sand & water table for Christmas (shhh don’t tell him!)
– Playing with Skittles. He LOVES dogs and just goes right up to them and plays with them. Skittles has knocked him over a few times but I think they’re both getting more used to each other. My babies are so cute!!!

boy and dog

Only a few more sleeps to Christmas, and I know the time is going to fly by. I am praying that Jacob doesn’t destroy more ornaments on our Christmas tree – he’s already broken a few baubles and often redecorates when I’m not looking.

ornament

Just as a fond memory of mine, here’s Jacob being baby Jesus in last year’s nativity at Lobethal. How time flies! Merry Christmas everyone, and may you enjoy this time with friends and family!

jacob christmasHis first artwork from childcare

20141208_104050He doesn’t look too happy to see Santa. Oh well!

Babies, babies, babies…

I grew up an only child. My father was the youngest in his family hence I was one of the “younger” cousins. My parents had me 10 years after they were married, hence I was also one of the “younger” ones among their friends’ kids.

As a result, I didn’t have very much exposure to babies. I didn’t know what babies liked or what they involved. For that matter, I didn’t know what little kids liked, because I didn’t actually remember what it was like when I was a little kid myself. The truth is, I was probably scared of kids because they made so much noise and just ran around. And I was even more scared of babies because they seemed so tiny and fragile, and I was so sure I’d drop them and they’d break into pieces.

The first newborn baby I ever carried was my niece, Esther, and I thought she was the tiniest thing I had ever seen! I was so afraid I’d crush her when I carried her, but she survived my little cuddle and she didn’t cry. She was probably thinking:

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Okay, I admit I did take care of ONE baby in my life (whom I found out later was actually considered a toddler, not a baby). He was my second cousin and was half Malaysian, half American and he was ADORABLE! I think I played with him for a bit when he was little, but I myself was only about 10 years old and honestly I can’t remember how I did it.

Anyway, when I first found out I was expecting, one of my first thoughts was “Oh no, what am I going to do with my baby? I know nothing about babies!”. Other thoughts included “Soooo exciting and happy!” and “What am I going to tell my boss?” (I’d just started a new job). I was happy being pregnant, but I was also a bit detached and unsure of what to expect.

Would I know how to take care of my baby? Would I even like my baby (and would he like me back)? What would I do with him and how would I bring him up to be a good person?

When Jacob was born, he was perfect. I just looked at him and knew that I loved him. As he lay in his little bed beside me, I just watched him sleep, with his little gentle breaths, his chest heaving up and down. He was the most gorgeous baby I had ever seen.

And that’s where it began… my love of babies. It didn’t help that quite a few people I knew (my sister-in-law, close friends, acquaintances) were expecting babies too. While I’m usually happy to go to church in the first place, I’m now even more excited to go to see their babies!

ImageI’m really comfortable with babies now, even newborns (as I still remember what Jacob was like when he was that tiny)! But I’m still working out how to deal with toddlers and older kids – so please bear with me! I think I’ll probably learn first hand from Jacob, and soon will be an expert. 🙂

Speaking of babies, I’ve entered my little one into yet another contest! I reckon that’s the main reason I go to the annual Pregnancy & Baby Expo here in Adelaide – to join contests!

Anyway, this is Jacob’s photo – please click on the link and like it (and proud mummy will be more than happy!)

Enjoy the weekend folks! 🙂 Babies, babies, babies for me tomorrow.