Book Report – Emma Dodd’s Love You Books

A few months ago, I discovered the children’s author Emma Dodd at a local boutique and kids’ playspace. I was drawn to the fuschia and gold book cover, featuring an adorable parent and baby monkey.
I love the artistry of the book “More and More” (hello, gold foil as a design element!), but also its message – that, as parents, we love our children no matter their mood or antics.

So, for Christmas, I requested another of her books, “Together.”

First, a few years back, my mom made otters our thing, and since then, whenever she gives me something otter-related, I feel deeply loved by and connected to her. She recently gave my daughter a miniature otter statue that lives on her bookshelf, and I figured we’d continue to extend the tradition with this book.

As with “More and More,” “Together” is so sweet and beautifully designed (silver foil, this time!). I love its message that a day spent together, simply enjoying one another’s company, is a great day indeed. While my toddler knows exactly how to push my buttons, I love our time together, and she is truly my little buddy, and so I really enjoy reading this book to her to communicate this bond.

I absolutely want to collect all of these books; Ms. Dodd conveys the relationship between parent and child in a beautiful way – both in illustration and words, and I can’t wait to read what’s next with my kiddo.

Gift Idea – For the Budding Engineer

I first started mentally drafting this post as a gift idea for a little girl, but then I remembered this sage advice from the Huffington Post:

Gift Guide

So, boys can play with dolls and anything pink. Girls can play with trucks, trains, dinos, etc.

Now I can step off my soapbox and share a cool gift idea with you.

My toddler has an inquisitiveness I’m eager to foster. She just loves to look at things to see how they work: toys, watches, remotes (seriously, kid, WHERE IS THE APPLE TV REMOTE???). She can be whatever she wants when she grows up, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up in a field like engineering.

To that end, one of her favorite books is Rosie Revere, Engineer. She loves to point to Rosie and Great-Great-Aunt-Rose, their airplanes and helicopters (“hekkicoppers”). It’s a great book for boys and girls alike, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to appreciating its girl power message. In all, though, it’s about never giving up, and believing in your gifts. What’s not to love about that?

Anyway, I think this book, plus these awesome Boon Pipes, would make for a really fun gift for any little one in your life. Ever since I installed the brightly-colored pipes in her bath, bathtime has her undivided attention. I scrub her hair while she quietly investigates how the water moves through each pipe (“my pipes!”). It’s pretty soothing for us both.

Then, we get her in her jammies, curl up, and read about Rosie, and talk about following our dreams.


Book Report: Oh Crap! Potty Training

I got my steps in this weekend by sprinting after a naked toddler, who was running laps around our house while cupping her bottom with her tiny hand. Thanks, potty training!

Boy, teaching a human to put his/her excrement in a mini loo is all sorts of something, but we did it (well, we’re doing it…).

I felt all the feels in four days, in no particular order:

  • anxiety (constantly)
  • fear
  • elation
  • pride (a fair amount of this one, especially toward the end)
  • joy
  • terror
  • exhaustion (lots of this one)
  • empathy
  • etc.

If you draw an EKG mixed with clockwise and counter-clockwise cycles, and you have a good picture of my mental state.

Anyway, thanks to Lucie’s List (seriously the best pregnancy/parenting site EVER), I learned about “Oh Crap! Potty Training,” which is now my pee and poo bible. I clung to this paperback like flotsam in a very rocky sea, and I will tell you right now, Jamie Glowacki is the guru of sh*t.

I followed her instructions, took solace in her empathetic guidance, and we rocked the potty training. I am so proud of my kid. We had some dark moments this weekend, but by the end of day two, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and trust that it wasn’t an oncoming choo choo.

When I dropped her off at school this morning, I walked into class singing “guess who’s potty trained?!” and her teachers just stared at me in amazement and slack-jawed disbelief (although, in fairness, one of them said she knew the little one would take to the potty easily).

I mean, look – we have a long road ahead of us; I know this. We’re not done. I’m not counting my chickens before they hatch, and I will be at peace if my toddler comes home today in the fifth of five outfits I packed for her*. But for anyone out there struggling with potty training, or dreading going through this, do yourself a massive favor and get this book. You, your toddler, and everyone in your life can thank me later.

Other Helpful Items

A good book for your toddler

A safe place to put pee and poo

A safe place to put pee and poo on the go

A way to drown your feelings or cheers your accomplishments

A device to track those toddler-chasing steps


*Update – she had ONE accident her first day back at school. ONE. And it was the #2 kind. Poop is still scary, but man, I am so excited for this new chapter!

Book Report: Beekle

I’m baaaaaaaack!

I make absolutely no promises regarding posting frequency, but I would love to share the occasional update. A lot (a lot a lot a lot) has changed in the past few years, but one thing remains: my devotion to and obsession with reading. I now share this passion and nightly ritual with the most brilliant and hilarious toddler. We snuggle up each evening and select a few books to read together, and she takes my breath away as she grows and learns.

Unsurprisingly, I have strong opinions about children’s books, so we only read the good stuff. I figured this site was a good avenue for sharing our favorite finds!

To start, I’m sharing the current most-loved book: The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend. The story is so sweet (about an imaginary being’s quest to find his friend). There’s a lot going on on each page, so we both find something new at every reading. We’re also learning new words, like “panda” and “octopus.” Really, this is a home run if you’re looking for a great gift, or if you’re just WORN THE HECK OUT from all the other books in rotation.

Plus, it is so stinking cute to hear a toddler say “Beekle.”