Archive | January, 2009

Books We Love: Carnival of the Animals

By Kay on Wed, Jan 28, 2009


Carnival of the AnimalsA bit about the book…
While we had listened to a few of the movements from Camille Saint-Saens’s “Carnival of the Animals” (specifically Yo Yo Ma’s performance of “The Swan”), Kate had never really appreciated it the way I wanted her to. So, when I saw this book was at our public library, I decided to check it out and see if it would help her to fall in love with this clever composition. From the moment we read the first pages and listened to the first accompanying piece, we were hooked! Kate couldn’t wait until our next ‘school day’ when we could listen to a few more of the movements and read along in this book.

What we loved…
Barrie Carson Turner has done a fabulous job of commentating and setting the tone for this entire work of Saint-Saens. The first few pages describe why Saint-Saens wrote the piece (although I’m not positive it’s historically accurate, it’s a very cute story) and then describes an orchestra, the different instrument families, and how they are all arranged during a concert. A perfect introduction to the orchestra! The illustrations, by Sue Williams, that accompany this are a great visual for kids to ‘see’ it all, too. Turner’s descriptions of each musical movement and it’s corresponding animal are incredibly written so that you can easily hear the subtle nuances of each piece without getting bogged down in too much verbiage.

Continue reading…

Commercials During Prime Time

By Kay on Sat, Jan 24, 2009


I’m NOT one of those moms.  I’m not big on exclaiming the evils of television for children.  I actually think there is some good, educational programming out there.  And, I’m sure that some moms wouldn’t even allow as much ‘screen time’ as I do. 

So, there’s my disclaimer before launching into the following rant…

What is up with commercials lately?!?!?  

The other night, my 5 year old daughter, Kate, and I were watching Superstars of Dance.  We were both excited to catch it on tv.  She was excited because she LOVES dancing of any kind.  She’s enthralled and entranced by all kinds of dancing – ballroom, ballet, hip hop, jazz – she really does love it all.  I was excited because I loved the idea of watching the different countries compete and then finding them on the globe – kind of a geography lesson rolled in with the fun of watching some dancing.

During one of the commercial breaks there was a trailer for an upcoming horror flick. Continue reading…


By Kay on Wed, Jan 21, 2009


It seems that, over the past five years, almost everyone I know has been pregnant and having babies, including myself. And we all know how welcome it is to have wonderful friends and family help out with meals during those first few weeks home with a newborn. But, sometimes, planning that rotation of meals can become quite challenging and time consuming. Plus, having to repeat yourself 15 times about, “no, we really don’t care for seafood and the older kids don’t need to eat anymore chicken nuggets, thanks.” gets pretty old.

Enter the digital era of meal planning!

Sample Meal Calendar

Sample Meal Calendar from MealBaby.com

MealBaby.com is a great place to combine all the different aspects of meal planning all in one place. You can sign up and create a ‘registry’ for yourself or for a friend. You create a schedule of when those meals need to happen and calendar those dates. There’s a place to specify food likes and dislikes, address, map, and contact information for the family in need. You can also specify near-by restaurants that folks can buy a gift card for if they aren’t able to provide a home-cooked meal. And that’s it! Enter the names and email addresses of the folks you want to ask to help provide the meals and the site takes care of the rest.

What’s perfect about this is the ability for ALL involved to see at a glance what meals are being provided and when. Everyone can see which dates are available and choose the one that works best for them.  Plus, the recipient family can see the same schedule, allowing them to plan their own in-between dates better, and know who to call if plans change at the last minute.  My personal favorite thing?  That you can see what other people have registered to bring so that you aren’t the one bringing spaghetti for the third night in a row!  🙂

So, the next time a friend of yours has a baby, or goes comes home from surgery, or just needs a little TLC from her friends, check out MealBaby.com

Books We Love: Jane and the Dragon

By Kay on Tue, Jan 6, 2009


Jane and the Dragon

A bit about the book…
We first were introduced to the characters of Jane and the Dragon during the tv show of the same name in the qubo block on NBC Saturday mornings.  Kate instantly fell in love with Jane, and the CGI by Weta workshops (think Lord of the Rings trilogy) was pretty cool, too.  We’ve since found the books and have enjoyed them even more.

What we loved…
Martin Baynton has found a fresh way to address character issues through this series.  In this book, the moral of the story is to follow your heart and do something unexpected.  By the end of the book, I was in tears as Jane, who was supposed to grow up to be a lady-in-waiting is able to finally become what she really wants to be – a knight.

Continue reading…

Holy cow!! Great use of visuals to help explain the proposed budget cuts and their actual impact on the overall budget.

You’ll never fold tshirts the same way again!

If you ever wanted to hear someone put a mommy’s day into a song, try this one! (I guarantee you’ll laugh your butt off.)

A little on the political side, but interesting nonetheless…

Children’s Books We’ve Read