June 26, 2010

Down by the Sea

Grammy is headed to the beach, so you know what that means!  Yes, more PDub adventures! But it also means some good ole beach chair reading!  What is it about the salty sea air and breaking waves that makes reading so much easier? 

I already have two books packed and ready to read.  One is by my favorite author, Mary Alice Monroe.  I have read all of her books and love the way she tells a love story that incorporates the nature, history, and culture of the Low Country (that's what we call it in SC).  This summer I will be reading Last Light Over Carolina. Since this is about a couple who have been married for 33 years, it should be very personal for me.  Papallama and I will celebrate our 33rd anniversary in December.

If I had to choose a favorite Monroe title to date for you to read, it would probably be The Book Club.  I also adored The Beach House, but that may be because it was the first book of hers that I read. 

The other book in my beach bag is The Girl on Legare Street,  a ghost story set in Charleston and written by Karen White.  I don't believe in ghosts, but I do love to escape when I read and think about things that don't normally cross my mind.  Her books are believable and mysterious.  I read her first book, The House on Tradd Street last summer. When you finish one though, you are ready for the next.  Since she is producing a series of these, you will have something to look forward to reading.  By the way, I was visiting Charleston last week and jogged along Tradd Street several times.  I am happy to report that no hairs stood up on my arms as I ran along.  Of course, the heat and humidity probably made that highly unlikely, too.

I will also be reading to PDub, too, but we will spend most of our time in the surf and sand.  More about that AND his second birthday celebration when I return.  Until then...

Sit back, relax, and listen to the waves roll in and out. Ahhhhhh.....


June 21, 2010

Remember to Stop and Smell the Elephants

I am recuperating reporting today from my latest adventure with PDub and his Papallama.  They took me on a grand safari Saturday at the zoo!  This was our second journey with PDub to the zoo.  He went last fall after just turning one plus a few months, and at that age, he soaked it up with his eyes.  He couldn't tell us what he was seeing, of course.  But this weekend, Papallama and I had him to ourselves for the day, so Papallama decided a safari in 90+ degrees would be fun! 

With our little red safari wagon, Preston led the way up the path.  Lo and behold!  Something caught his attention, and Preston began to trot, no, run toward the African giant looming ahead! 

"ELEPHANT!"  he shrieked.  Oh the joy and amazement he shared with all in earshot.
"Hello, elephant!"  he shouted over and over to the two pachyderms.  He continued to gaze at them, announcing their presence to each new visitor that passed by, as if to say,
"People!  This is the mighty elephant!  Stop and give him the attention and adoration he deserves!"

I think we could have ended our safari right there.  After a long pause to give him lots of time to take it in, we had to literally pull him away from the exhibit with promises of more animals, just as grand.  Foolish Grammy and Papallama.  There were no such animals as grand as those elephants.  Oh, we saw snakes, spiders, birds, lions, giraffes, and even a baby orangutan who put on a comical act with a cardboard box.  But it was the elephants he returned to at the end of the day.  It was the elephants he recalled to his mama and daddy at law when he returned home.  It was the elephant that I will never see the same way again.  Thank you, PDub, for reminding me not to take God's creatures for granted. I see them now with new eyes.

So that brings me to the subject of today's read.  How did PDub know the elephant when he saw it?  Well, I believe it had to be in large part because of his picture book of words.  His animal book,My Big Animal Book (My Big Board Books)is one of his favorites. I have one for him at my house, too.  He has been able to do the point to the (fill in the blank) trick for while now, but here I saw firsthand the importance of equipping him with books AND experiences to build a solid foundation for the learning to come. 

He is rapidly adding words to his vocabulary right now on all fronts: reading, listening, speaking.  He repeats almost everything he hears. (Papallama asked him, "PDub, are you copying me? "Yes," grinned PDub.) Between now (He has a birthday coming up in two weeks!) and his next birthday, his vocabulary will grow to 1000 words or more perhaps.  And once he starts school, he will need to add 2000-3000 words a year just to keep up. 

How will that happen?  I believe strongly that books will provide the richest resource for that.  Experiences will make it real and meaningful.  It calls for a grand safari!

Don't miss the elephants!

June 17, 2010

Back on Track

Some special occasions have derailed Grammy's attention in the last week or so, but I am back on track in this blog with the latest books in Preston's reading depot. 
He is putting two and two together and understands that books relate to other parts of his life.
His favorite toy right now is probably his Thomas train.  He can 'choo choo' the engines around the track and enjoys watching them fly down the hill and off the edge of the table.  His morning ritual includes taking the engines with him in the car on the ride to daycare.  Mama at Law says he happily plays the whole way there.

Thomas & Friends: Blue Train, Green Train (Thomas and Friends) (Bright & Early Books(R))

There are some Thomas books great for his age.  Simple text, yet they convey one of many of Thomas's adventures.  Illustrations relate to objects children might see in real life, like the cow or the moon.  One book he enjoys attempts to teach colors, but PDub thinks it's all blue right now.  He can say the other colors, but it's pretty much guesswork on his part if you ask him the color of something.  Anyone know when toddlers get that straight?  Tell me, please.

The other book he enjoys is Winnie the Pooh, due to his *gasp* discovery of TV cartoons.  (I do not like television for young children...don't get me started.)  Aren't A.A. Milne's characters just the most lovable?  My family has noticed striking similarities between a few of them and members of our own family.  Uncle Jaybird is Tigger through and through. 

Winnie the Pooh 24" Jumbo Plush Tigger
In PDub's favorite Pooh book, preparations are underway for Friendship Day.  Christopher Robin has made paper hats.  I like to pretend I am picking one off the page and putting it on PDub's head.  He does it to me if I forget to do it first.  Sooo precious.

Preston loves the last page where all the friends are gathered around the table for Friendship Day and he can see them all together.

I love it when that happens, too. 

Choo! Choo!

June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday~Let's Give the Boys a Hand!



Daddy's Girls
Easter 1986



We love you, boys!

June 14, 2010

P Dub's Water Mis~Adventure

Mama at Law put down her phone and looked at P Dub with a twinkle in her eye.
  "Want to go put on your swimsuit, so you can play in the water today?!"
  "YES!" PDub exclaimed, as he scrambled upstairs to change out of his school clothes. And as he rode with Mama at Law in the car, he dreamed of this.

A Sailor's Life for Me
  "Boat!" He announced to Mama at Law, too excited to keep his thoughts to himself.
  "No," cautioned Mama, "we're not going on the boat today."

But that was okay because P Dub dreamed of this instead.

My New Beach Toys

What happened next came as a big shock to P Dub.  The car stopped here.


  "NOOOOO!" wailed PDub. 
  "It's Water Day!" explained his Mama. "Your teacher sent me a text to remind me this morning."
  "Nooooooo!" he protested.  And his heart sank as she walked him inside.

Later that day, he watched as the other children ran around in the sprinklers.  "Hmmph, no fun," he thought. "and no thanks, not for me."  But Ms. Teach had other ideas.  She scooped him up and soaked him!! What?!! He was drenched!!

"Woo hoo! This IS fun! Water! Water! Water!" he sang as he ran around in circles.  Until


He ran into the wall.  Uh oh,  better learn to wipe the water from out of your eyes, PDub!

And since adventures need a happy ending, here is how PDub spent the next day with his Mama at Law and Aunt Cat.

Meeting a New Friend
~No crabs were harmed in the making of this blog.~

Splish! Splash!


June 8, 2010

Let's Hear It for the Boys!

Father's Day is fast approaching and I wanted to cue you in on some great books about Dads.  I love my Dad to bits!  He's 85, still practices law, listens to me when I seek his advice, laughs at my jokes, cheers me and my family on, and never ceases to surprise me.  As we like to say in our family, "They don't make 'em like that anymore!"  And Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband, who set THE perfect example of a loving and supportive father for our two daughters.  He ROCKS!
Just Me and My Dad (Little Critter) (Look-Look)

Little Critter Books stay a child's favorite for a long time.  I can remember fourth graders who still craved them.  They are sweet and get the message across without needing much text. 

The Fathers Are Coming Home

The Fathers Are Coming Home is a new release and one of the best books about fathers out there right now.  Perfect for our time and our fathers in service.

I Love My Daddy

I Love My Daddy, by Sebastien Braun, gets wonderful reviews from parents and grandparents of toddlers.  I am seriously thinking about this one for a Father's Day gift since I already have The Fathers are Coming Home.

A Perfect Father's Day
This is a strong contender for my Father's Day gift, too, for my own father.  Seems the little girl in the book plans all the things her dad will love to do on Father's Day.  Even though, they are really her favorite things, Dad makes her feel like it is the best day ever.  My dad would do that. 

Thank you, Daddy


June 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Papallama!

Papallama is celebrating a big birthday this year!  One of those that ends in a big, fat ZERO!  We will celebrate by heading to the lake and letting him take it out on his jetski.  Last year I bought him an Old Guys Rule t-shirt that reads "Local Legend.  If you don't know me, you're not from around here."  That is so true.  He is the Tech Director for the local school district and everybody knows him.  He loves what he does.  He gets to play with all the newest gadgets and rescue people when they have technology issues, not that anyone EVER has an issue with technology!

PDub shares his middle name with the Llama. (Dub=W)  He's a lucky boy to have such a smart, yet sweet papa. 

I found a great activity book on a clearance rack that PDub has come to enjoy on his visits here.  My Grandpa's Briefcase,by P.H. Hanson, opens up to reveal all the goodies you might find in Grandpa's briefcase.  A notepad, a crossword puzzle, some coins, 11 socks, and much, much more. But it begins with the question that his grandpa always says, "Where are my glasses?"  Papallama has said that a few (thousand) times. I love the Grandpa-isms included in this book.

"My daddy always asks, 'What time is it?'  
'What's the big rush? 'says my grandpa. 'Take your time.'

Until his last visit when he was 21 months old, PDub seemed overwhelmed by all the pictures on the pages. On his last visit though, he would play along as we hunted for Papa's glasses on the pages.  It's fun to see that transition in his understanding of books.  He is finding meaning in what he sees and hears. 
Now, where ARE Papa's glasses? As a matter of fact, where are mine?

I'll be seeing you...if I find them.

June 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday~Chillin'

Just chillin' with the child