monday morning catch ups.

/1/ About a week and half ago, I asked Anna's kindergarten teacher for recommendation on age-appropriate chapter books. She emailed me the list, but also ended up lending us a couple. We finished reading Flat Stanley: His Original Adventure the other day. Both Luke and I thought this book wasn't bad, but the problem with reading chapter books is that while Anna can comprehend it, sometimes Will can't follow the we are still trying to figure it out. Do we just read to Anna and read picture books to Will separately? One good thing about Flat Stanley is that it is gender-neutral -- it kept Will interested and Anna, who's more tomboy than girly, liked it too. We will probably read this one next.
In case you are interested, here is the teacher's list of recommendations:

- Ramona the Pest (Cleary) and other books by Beverly Cleary
- Ivy & Bean (Barrows)
- Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (Dahl)
- Charlotte's Web
- Flat Stanley
- Mr. Poppers Penguins
- Pippi Longstocking

The following are series:
- Junie B Jones - these have a particular sense of humor which you must approve
- Cam Jansen
- Henry & Mudge
- Nate the Great
- Amelia Bedelia
- Judy Moody - these are older, 3rd grader

/2/ I love that Anna is no longer doing ballet and that it frees up our weekend. In the past, after all her activities (ballet & piano), it was hard to plan anything else on Saturday. Now that ballet is out of the picture, she has piano from 9-9:30a and that's it. SO NICE. I have to admit that I was very happy when she voluntarily said she didn't want to do ballet anymore. I know I was the one who signed her up, but then a couple months into it, I didn't really see the point of it anymore. Sure, she was having fun, learning to follow instructions, getting exercise, blah blah...but in the end, I would much rather have our family time back.
/3/ Over the weekend, we took a really quick trip into DC and visited the National Museum of Natural History. The highlight of the trip included Will accidentally hugging a stranger, showing the kids that rocks are not all made equal, and that giant walking leaf (I thought it was a real leaf!).

/4/ Summer camp is on my mind and I am trying to plan out Anna's summer. Will is easy because he will just continue on with the summer session at his school, but now that Anna is in public school, we are entering a new territory. I have found out that majority of summer camps do not actually operate for 8 hours a day. Think 9-4p, or something even crazier like 9-3p. Those kind of hours just don't work for us working parents! Either way, we will have two weeks of vacation again this summer. I know one week will be reserved for Williamsburg, but since we are saving up for a bigger trip (potentially) later this year, I am thinking a staycation for the other week. Luke suggests both weeks in Williamsburg, but we will see.

Are you thinking about your summer vacation in February like I am? 


  1. We love Amelia Bedelia and Charlotte's Web! The museum trip looks like fun; the hugging a stranger part was funny. My kids have held strangers' hands thinking it was us, then they realize it's a stranger and they freak. They were just so engrossed in whatever they're looking at.
    We've been thinking about Spring Break. Spring Break camps registration are underway. The ones I like are far from work. We want to save our PTO for a vacation later on, so we're not sure yet.

    1. I loved Amelia Bedelia when I was a kid! We read (mostly my husband) to the kids and they don't get the humor yet. My husband also can't stand Amelia Bedelia's antics so this series is a miss with us, unfortunately.

      It's definitely a balancing act when it comes to school breaks and being a working parent.

  2. How old is Anna. My son is a huge fan of the Tree House books.

    1. Anna will be 6 next month. We also tried the Magic Treehouse before. It's a good series...need to get back to it!

  3. I'll have to bookmark this list of book recs for kindergarteners. We haven't ventured into chapter books because like you, we read to 2 different aged-groups.

    Since J is at before/after care now, and the place offers summer camp, we're going to continue there for the summer and continue with one drop-off/pick-up location. Much easier on our time-management. Maybe when O is 3 years old, we'll venture out into "real camp" like being outdoors and all that stuff.

    1. Yes, convenience is important. I am already looking forward to next summer when the kids will be able to go to the same camps. Right now, Will is too young to attend the ones I have in mind for Anna. But next year, he will be old enough and Anna will still be "young" enough. It's complicated!

  4. I have enjoyed reading all the books on your teacher's list!! These are classics!


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