Hello out there! Wow, that was a longer break than I expected to take — my longest break from blogging ever. I read an article in New York magazine recently about the use of the term "the new normal". While the story talked about the term used in a more negative way in pop culture dialogue, I relate to the phrase as a good descriptor for where I am in life now. Lately, I've been feeling like my new normal is learning to expect the unexpected and letting go of trying to master a formula for living since everything is so ever-changing and fluid, especially once a child enters your life. And the perfectionist in me, who loves to make lists and box problems with solutions, is slowly starting to embrace this new normal as a great life lesson, and hopefully one that's making me a stronger person. That being said, while I may not be as dependable of a blogger as I used to be, I can say I will always come back to this space. And I miss it when I can't blog as frequently.
Thank you to everyone who wrote in with suggestions and comments for some mama content I've been brainstorming — I really appreciate the input and I am planning to share my experiences on those topics as I dive back into blogging this fall. I also finally have party pics from Juniper's first birthday, so I'll be sharing those soon as well.
For now, I thought I would tiptoe back with something a little light — what books we're reading right now.
About two weeks ago, Juniper started to have clear favorites among her books, which are all stacked in crates along one wall in our living room. For a while, she's understood the word "book" and goes to get one when we ask her for a book to read. But now, it's obvious which ones are her favorites, which is so fun to see and reminds me how much of a little person with personality she is now (no longer a baby!).
+ The Honeybee and the Robber: Juniper got this book as a gift from her cousin Martha, who always finds the perfect things. I love Eric Carle's work, but I'd never heard of this book before. It's a tabbed book with moving butterflies, bees, and bears. And miraculously, most of the pages are still intact in this house. Juniper loves imitating the bear growl, as he goes to steal the honey. It's one of my favorites in our library, too.
+ MOO: One of our friends gave us an extra copy of this book, which fast became Juniper's daily must-read. Each page spread focuses on a different farm animal, with realistic photos, and textures to feel a wooly sheep and the silky mane of a horse. Juniper has been loving any book where she can practice her animal sounds, so this one is always a big hit.
+ Brown Bear, Brown Bear: This is one of those well-loved books that you often see given at showers, since so many people know about this favorite. Juniper just recently figured out how to move the tabs on her own, to reveal the photos of the animals. She's so proud she can do it all by herself — I'd love to find another book or two with this kind of design. And the illustrations are so pretty.
+ Lora Heller's Sign Language books: When Juniper was around 10 months old, I bought a few of Lora Heller's sign language board books and started signing some simple words with Juni — like milk, more, all done, and nap. I lost doing it for a while in the summer, but then I picked back up a month ago. And now, Juniper signs back to me. It's amazing, and I marvel every time we have a successful communication. Especially times when I wouldn't guess she's upset about something that she is. For example, I had put her down for a nap a week ago, and she was unusually fussy as she went down. She stood up in her crib and did the sign for milk. I went and got her a bottle, and sure enough, that was the problem. The books make it super easy to learn the signs, and it's definitely true that the more you use them, the faster your child will learn what they mean and sign back with you.
Are you loving any books in your family? I've also started reading this book to get some perspective on how to handle the toddler period and discipline going forward.
And a few links for you:
+ Juniper's Halloween costume just arrived. She's going to be a ladybug!
+ If I had the funds, I'd love to get this teepee.
+ Ditto, on this wood filing cabinet.
+ What a cool way to display favorite photographs.
+ And one of my new favorite blogs to read focuses on bringing a Montessori approach to learning at home. My brothers and I all went to Montessori for pre-school and kindergarten, and I'm a big fan of the Montessori philosophy on fostering your child's independence.
Top photos are favorites from my Instagram pics, from the end of the summer and start of fall.
Thanks for circling back with me. See you soon! xo Jen