Wednesday, August 12, 2015

My Three Favorite Book Quotes

To continue with the book theme this month (along with the Blogger Book Drive), here are my three Favorite Book Quotes.

Oh how I love this quote from "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." I wanted to frame it and put it next to my behavior chart in my classroom when I was teaching. It is so true in most instances. I think of our own journey. My own choices have shown, even to myself, who I really am. And the choices of those around us have shown their true colors as well.

Having been a preemie and having a preemie, this quote from "Horton Hears a Who" resonates with me so much. And now that Princess is growing, you still see the same personality and attitude she had when she was in the NICU. She was so "feisty." And even now, she's so stubborn and head strong.

Normally I wouldn't like a quote said by the villain in a story, but this quote by President Snow is SO true! Hope is the only thing stronger than fear. I have had to rely on hope so much sometimes and sometimes it was the only thing that would get me through the day. This is one I still live by. When my life becomes consumed by fear, I rely on hope and faith to get me through.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

My Seven Favorite Reading Rainbow Books

The other day, I wrote about Our Five Favorite Books. Well, that got me thinking about "Reading Rainbow." Yes, LeVar Burton launched a successful KickStarter campaign and now a whole new generation of kids get to experience "Reading Rainbow." But there's nothing quite like the original. Okay, just to make you all start singing along, here's the original theme song:

So now that are you singing along, here are my seven favorite "Reading Rainbow" books, in no particular order!

**NOTE: Cover photos link to Amazon. I get NOTHING from them!**

Also, I searched YouTube to find the reading of these stories from the show. No such luck. Thank you Reading Rainbow and PBS. The only one Reading Rainbow actually has on their site is "Abiyoyo".

1. Miss Nelson is Back by Harry G. Allard, Jr.

This is a favorite because, well, I taught for five years and substitute taught in between. Oh man, if I could pull off the whole "Miss Nelson is Missing--Miss Viola Swamp" thing, I would've! This is such a great book to read to kids, especially when they have a substitute teacher. Oh, and then you've got to have them write about it! What would Miss Nelson (or their teacher) be doing on their "day off.."

2. Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

Oh how I wish this was true! But I moved around a lot as a kid and this book/episode made me feel like I wasn't alone in it! Thanks LeVar!

3. Gregory the Terrible Eater by Mitchel Sharmat

An all time favorite of mine! Gregory, the goat wants to eat human food! But he really needs to eat "junk" that is goat food! What a wonderful twist on the picky eater. I just wish it taught my own picky eater to actually eat!

4. Arthur's Eyes by Marc Brown

All hail Marc Brown!!!!! I LOVED the Arthur series. I also had to wear glasses and when I was in fourth grade, hated it! I could SO understand Arthur in this book! And then PBS went on to make Arthur into his own SERIES! So much love here for Arthur and his family and friends!

5. The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble

Yes, this one was a favorite. I mean, come on, who brings his pet boa constrictor to the farm??? Oh the havoc that ensues! So much fun to read about!

6. How Much is a Million by David M. Schwartz

We actually just read this one not too long ago. Little Man has been obsessed with large numbers lately. This, of course is the PERFECT book for finding out about those HUGE numbers!

And just because:
7. The Bionic Bunny Show by Marc Brown

This one HAD to be on the list because, well, it was in the episode where LeVar Burton introduced his OTHER TV show at the time, "Star Trek: The Next Generation." So of course this HAD to be on the list. And because I can actually find SOMETHING of it on YouTube, here's one tiny segment about bloopers:

And then, LeVar Burton actually talking about when "Reading Rainbow" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" were on the same episode.

I always wanted to do one of those book talks as a kid. It always seemed like a cool thing. So those are my favorite "Reading Rainbow" books. I hope you like them. But, as LeVar always said, "You don't have to take my word for it!"

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Nephrology & Cardiology

The week after Ultrasound Day, we had our follow-up appointments. I was hoping that all the ultrasounds would be finalized and everyone would have what they needed, but that wasn't the case. None the less, the Monday after our trip to do ultrasounds, we were off to Dr. H, the nephrologist. I thought this was going to be a routine appointment. Boy was I wrong!

Yes, we had overcome our fear of docs and now Princess WANTED to do "squeeze it" (have her blood pressure taken) and didn't freak out when the doc listened to her or anything. So that all was good. What wasn't good was her blood pressure! It seemed like we were right back where we were two years ago. Diastolically (bottom number), she was right about where she should be, but systolically (top number), she was high. Like, WAY high. I was having visions of the NICU and PICU again. Dr. H thought it was because Princess was freaking out, but the nurse totally SAW how calm Princess was being. You couldn't get much more calm than her! So it wasn't that. Well, we agreed to increase her meds, do the labs and then see what Dr. K got the next day (because she went to him the very next day). Dr. H was convinced that he would get something better and he would send a text message about it.

The Doc is In!
The one thing I did find out is that apparently Dr. H and Dr. K actually KNEW each other back when they were both in Dallas, TX. How strangely wonderful!

So after labs, we headed home.

The next day we were in Dr. K's local clinic. So you know, he HATES his local clinic up here. Not because of the patients or anything, but because the hospital STILL uses paper! He is not the one to be walking around with a file folder in his hand. He'd rather have an iPad and his iPhone. I'm sure if he had the app for ultrasounds, he'd be doing them on his iPhone!

Well, Princess's blood pressure was "better" at Dr. K's office. Not great. Not wonderful, but better. So he wanted to see us again in two weeks to check and he'd text Dr. H. (He actually did that in front of me.)

Wait, two weeks? What happened to six months????? Yep, we're going backwards here!

So we went back in two weeks. Again, blood pressure wasn't perfect, but was better. Dr. K actually took her blood pressure IN the room with her and saw how calm this kid was. FINALLY a doctor sees all the work we have been doing overcoming our fear of the blood pressure machine! He texts Dr. H like just about in front of me. Like, if I wanted to, I probably could have read it! He says to come back in a month. Okay, that is a little better than two weeks! Moving forward again.

Awww...they do love each other!
In the month between seeing Dr. K, Princess has a paperwork appointment with Dr. M. God, I hate paperwork appointments, but it seems that Dr. M may have finally gotten all of Princess's records and is starting to get notes from the other docs because she actually fills out the form for Welfare for me without an issue! And while we're there, they check Princess's blood pressure. She comes out just about NORMAL! (Normal for her age is about 80s/40s....she was 82/58.) What?!?!?!?!?!?! This kid has NEVER had a normal blood pressure, like EVER! Even on the meds, she runs just a tad high, but Dr. H is fine as long as it's not "too high." Come to find out, they were using an "adult small" sized cuff on her. Um, have you seen her arms????? There is NO WAY she is even CLOSE to using an "adult small." Heck, she should probably still be using the "crawler" one, but they use the "child" size on her at both the cardiologist and the nephrologist's office.

Cardiology selfie!
Okay, so we'll chalk that "normal" blood pressure up to using the wrong sized cuff. We then were BACK at the cardiologist's office. And yet again, we were pulling about the same numbers: Low 100s/60s and even a few 90s/60s. Apparently Dr. H was okay with that. So we go back to Dr. K at the end of September and back to Dr. H at the end of August.

Oh, and about her ultrasounds: heart looked good and the kidneys I THINK look good. I'll know more at the end of the month.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Our Five Favorite Books + Two of Mom's

Pam at HodgePodge Moments teamed up with a couple of other bloggers to do a Blogger Book Drive. It's a great idea because every child deserves a book! I don't know what I'd do if we didn't have a library and a library card. My kids could LIVE there. They LOVE books. It's never a problem to get them to read. But they do have their favorites. Some of which I have memorized. So here are the kids' current favorite books (at least ones that you MAY have heard of).

Note: Images link to the Amazon listing of the book. I make NOTHING off of these links.

1. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker

This was the first book I actually memorized. It rhymes, so that helps. We initially checked it out from the library and I read it so much to Little Man that he got it for Christmas. Even though he's had this book for 4 years now, he still loves it and I still find him coming back and reading every so often. It's a great little bedtime story. Great for trying to get your construction loving boys to bed. Even the construction vehicles need to go to bed sometime! The author has written another book, Steam Train Dream Train which is another favorite, but we don't own it...yet.

2. The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey

This was another of Little Man's favorites. I read it so much that I would actually speed read it! And he memorized it! I found him sometimes sitting on his bed reading it! It's got so many words though even though the story repeats itself. But it's a great story for teaching that being poky isn't always the best thing.

3. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

Who doesn't love this book? We got it last year during the Summer Reading Program at the library. And since then it has been a favorite of Little Man. What a great story! The smallest engine can pull the train over the mountain. It's got a great theme for little kids, though some of the things the children on the other side of the mountain are waiting for are a little out dated. (Who's giving their kid a jack knife this year for Christmas?)

4. Hippos Go Berserk! by Sandra Boynton

Ah Sandra Boynton. This was the first book that Princess actually LOVED from the library. I read it so much I had to hide it in order to take it back. And then I made the mistake of getting it for her for Christmas! This is yet another book I have memorized, thanks to the rhyming. I've recited it to her at various times without the book present! This is a great little book about how a lonely hippo simply calls a couple friends and it becomes a full blown party! (Who hasn't done that?) But then when everyone finally leaves, what is that one hippo to do?

5. The Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton

Yet another Boynton favorite in our household! And look, more hippos! Do you know what hippos love? Their belly buttons! We've read this book so much that we now must refer to Princess's belly button as her "Beeboo." (The little hippo in the book calls it a "beebo.") Another rhyming adventure with a hippo and where do hippos go to show off their belly buttons? Why Belly Button Beach of course! So cute and so much fun!

So those are our current favorites in this household. But let me share a couple of my favorite children's books with you. These were actually my favorites growing up. (I'll do another post later of my Reading Rainbow favorites!)

Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

This interactive book for children was my very first favorite book. My mom remembers lying on the couch reciting it to me. I have bought it for my children. And, yes, I do have it memorized. It's definitely a favorite of ours!

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

As I grew, I LOVED these books. There's a whole series of them! They start when Ramona is 4 years old (Beezus and Ramona) and end when she is in fourth grade (Ramona's World). Granted, some of the words are a little outdated (arithmetic anyone?) but the general themes are there. Anyone in elementary school can relate to being sick at school or riding the bus for the first time. Cleary also wrote books about others in Ramona's world, like Beezus's friend Henry Huggins. And there were others as well, along with books about animals (Ralph S. Mouse and others). All in all a great series of books!

So there you have it! Our favorite books. I know my kids' favorites will change with time, but otherwise, it's nice to see them love reading and bug me to go to the library!
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