Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

We love Dr. Seuss books in our house.

I grew up reading Dr. Seuss and loved his books so much that I even wrote him a letter when I was in elementary school.  I’m sure I wrote him several pages about me and my exciting life in Wisconsin.  This is what I received in return:


Dr Seuss letter

My framed letter from Dr. Seuss, 1987-ish


I have to admit I was a bit underwhelmed with the short response.

Today I have a bit more perspective on how fan mail works, so I appreciate it more. The letter is no longer relegated to a plastic storage bin, instead, it sits on my son’s dresser in his bedroom.  He may not appreciate it as much as I do, but someday, maybe he will.

Keep on reading Dr. Seuss! Happy birthday to one creative, remarkable author!


Reading Machines – 1000 Books Before Kindergarten

“Read me a story,” my two year old says throughout the day in his sweet irresistible voice. I love that he and my four year old daughter are in love with reading together or can simply occupy themselves by paging through books (for awhile anyway).  It’s one go-to-activity that I pull out to calm everyone down.  Plus, when my daughter is too wound up to sleep, we can tell her to go to her room to look at books by herself, which she’ll gladly do.  Downstairs we’ll hear the occasional clunk as she finishes a book and drops it to the floor. These frequent reading requests and “clunks” are happy noises for parents.

We have some book loving, reading machines in our house.

Naturally our local library’s challenge – 1000 Books Before Kindergarten – was a good fit for me and my kids. It’s a nationwide program with MANY libraries participating. Check out their website to see if it’s offered near you.   It’s basically a program to record every book that is read to your children – at home, school, babysitter’s, storytime – whenever and however many times they hear it, so YES, if you read a story five times in a row, you can write down that same book five times.  The library makes it easy on parents to fill out the reading logs.  There are recommended authors and literacy tips to accompany the reading log and program materials.

1000 books before Kindergarten

Snapshot of my daughter’s reading log

Plus there are incentives at varying levels – bookmarks, book labels (“this book belongs to” sort of thing), and a few free books. Our library received a grant to give a free book after 300 stories are read in addition to other levels.

1000 books SOUNDS like a lot, but it breaks down to reading 3 books a day to your child to hit the 1000 mark in one year.

I’m a fan (if you can’t tell already). As an organized, overachiever type, I get satisfaction writing down the books read and filling up spaces on the log.  It’s a nice record of something small we accomplished that day and can help us remember our favorite stories and authors.

It’s a good program for libraries too, as it encourages more frequent visits to check out more books and obtain the next set of reading log pages.  No, they wisely do not handout all pages at once.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of my kids during storytime:

reading to our kids

Sometimes it’s fun to listen while in a storage ottoman!

Mama O. reading to a whole crowd on a play date.

Mama O. reading to a whole crowd on a play date.

Reading Car & Driver Magazine together

Daddy O. and Little Brother reading Car & Driver magazine. The headline is Corvette Goes Topless!

Some of our recent favorite reads typically involve trains, dinosaurs, princess stories, or animals. Here a few we’ve recently enjoyed:

Related Posts:

5 Favorite Kid’s Books – so Good You’ll Cry

Books Your Child Should Hear Before Kindergarten (1000 Books before Kindergarten site)

Book Lists from Turtle & Robot

What are your favorite children’s books?  What do you think about the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Program?


Old School Blogging

My blog friend Melissa over at Motherhood is an Art recently tagged me in a post that consists of lists of 5 things about myself. This is an easy, quick-hitting list to share a little bit more about each other. Below you will find my answers to these questions. Enjoy!

Five Things I Have a Passion for:

  1. My family
  2. Learning, growing, and trying to simply be a better mom, wife, friend, and all around person
  3. Reading & writing
  4. Cheese – specifically a 5 – 6 year old aged Cheddar
  5. Chocolate anything!

Five Things I Would Like To Do Before I Kick the Bucket:

  1. Hug a koala bear
  2. Eat sushi at Tsujiki Fish Market in Tokyo
  3. Learn a few basic ballroom dance moves with my hubs (so we can look cute as old people dancing together at weddings)
  4. Become a better baker (I’m currently more of a cook)
  5. Go on a Habitat for Humanity international service trip (or another vacation combining a service project)

Five Things I Say A Lot:

  1. No hitting. No wrestling. No running off.  (These rules are also repeated back to me, but are not always followed.)
  2. Be right back.
  3. Listening Ears on
  4. Use your inside voice please!
  5. I love you!

Five Things I Read Recently:

  1. Currently reading: Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
  2. Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Sweet
  3. Mad Women: The other side of life on Madison Avenue in the ’60′s and beyond by Jane Maas
  4. Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
  5. TOO many amazing blogs to count!

Five Favorite Movies:

  1. Dirty Dancing – such a classic!  “Nobody puts Baby in the corner!”
  2. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly – it’s a total tear-jerker, but so amazing. Very very brief synopsis: a man dictates his memoir by blinking to communicate!
  3. ARGO
  4. The Shawshank Redemption
  5. Run Lola Run (auf Deutsch: Lola Rennt)

Five Places I Would Love to Travel:

  1. Australia (see koala comment above)
  2. Alaska
  3. Peru
  4. Japan with Daddy O. – Tokyo, Kyoto, Takayama, Nikko
  5. Hawaii (do I really just have 5 lines…there are so many more places on my list – India, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Africa)

Five Bloggers I’m Tagging For This Thing:

  1. Ice scream mama
  2. Do Gooder Mama
  3. I will have my Cake
  4. Little Miss Wordy
  5. Breadwinning Mama

All you ladies need to do is get to answering and writing, so we can all learn a little more about you! (I know this is kind of chain letter-like, so if you don’t answer, I won’t hold it against you!) Have a great night!


5 Favorite Kid’s Books – so good you’ll cry

Reading with my children is THE BEST!  I love the quiet time, snuggled together, sharing so many wonderful books with both my 1 year old and 3 year old (and sometimes shedding happy tears in the process).  Here are 5 of our favorite books:

1. On the Night You Were Born  by Nancy Tillman. I first read this book when I was expecting, and I couldn’t get through it then without getting choked up. Since reading it more and more, I’m able to finish it tear-free sometimes, but it just reminds me how beautiful and unique each of my children are.  They are true gifts from above.

2. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. This is such a classic book. I often think as parents we are the tree, trying to do whatever we can to make our children happy and providing unconditional love. HOPEFULLY I can teach my children to be more giving in return than the boy in the book. Tears usually come closer to the end.

3. My Firstborn, There’s No One Like You  and My Youngest, There’s No One Like You by Dr. Kevin Leman & Kevin Leman II.  I received these books as gifts from my mom, and they are both sweet on reminding my firstborn and youngest how they are each special in his and her own way.  Again, I’ll be crying by the final pages.

4. Tonight You Are My Baby by Jeannine Q. Norris.  I received this book last year, and remember reading it to my daughter and baby boy last Christmas. This was around the time when I decided to become a SAHM for awhile.  It’s a sweet take on Mary’s view of Baby Jesus, repeating the line throughout the story, “Tomorrow you will be King, But tonight you are my baby.”

5. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch.  This is probably the biggest tear-jerker of them all!  I remember hearing this read and sung for Mother’s Day, and all of the moms (myself included) were crying.  I need to practice reading this one, or maybe let Daddy O. have a go at it!

Do you have any favorite children’s books that make you cry?  Let me know!  We’d love to check them out.

Be sure to check out the great resource that Jennifer at Turtle and Robot put together, including the list: My Top 20 Books for a Baby.  I just looked at it for Christmas gift ideas for my kiddos.