February 2014 archive

Clara’s Top 5 Book Picks @ 14-Months

Little Miss Clara has started showing preferential treatment for the items on her bookshelf … BIG TIME. Pick something other than one of her favorites for a nighttime reading and she flails, stiffens, slides off your lap and toddles over to her bookshelf to fish out the proper one. She can recognize them by simply the spine. All of this at 14 months. Girlfriend has opinions! We are in for it. :)

Here’s a look at Clara’s top 5 book pics at 14-months. Enjoy!

Ringing it at #5 is the fabulously interactive Birds of a Feather
by Bernadette Gervais and Francesco Pittau. This lovely, over sized book is too large for Clara’s bookshelf so is stored on top alongside a couple of other over sized tomes. Clara will reach up over her head, look through them all, and then pull this one down and bring it to Mom or Dad for a tour. I say tour because at her age, this book is much more about an experience than it is a read. Every page includes fun flaps and realistic illustrations of all sorts of birds from around the world. Clara especially loves the page where lifting egg-shaped flaps reveals the bird that laid them. The language of the book is simple but scientific. I imagine she will enjoy this book for literally years. Coincidence that one of her first words was bird? Maybe not.

Coming up just behind at #4 is Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book) by Dorothy Kunhardt. Yes, good ole Pat the Bunny which was originally published in 1940. My girl, like her mother, thinks a good classic never goes out of style. Clara actually owns 2 copies of this little gem but the first we set her loose on is already so tattered and torn that we’ve retired it and we’re on to the second copy. She interacts with every. single. page. My favorite is when she presses her nose against the mirror, leaving a little cloud of condensation behind. Adorable.

Sliding into our countdown list at #3 is the new classic, Llama Llama Red Pajama written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney. This delightful book, with it’s rhythmic rhyme, is a joy for both parents and kiddos. In fact I’m rather fond of quoting it when Clara demonstrates a flair for the dramatic; “Please stop all this llama drama and be patient for your mama.” It’s interesting to watch her expressions as we read this one. I can see her start to tense up when baby llama gets really wound up and start to relax again when mama llama reminds baby of her love. It’s a real page-turner for the one-year-old set in that way.

Garnering deep love at #2 in our top 5 list is Margaret Wise Brown’s The Fish With the Deep Sea Smile. This book has a similar rhythmic rhyme to LLRP (above) and has been updated with fabulous modern illustrations. Clara likes to read this book all the way through once and then go through it again, this time turning the pages herself and pointing to the fantastical fishes that grace each page. Sidenote: did you know that Margaret Wise Brown wrote hundreds of children’s books (not just Runaway Bunny and Goodnight Moon)? What a fun lady.

And topping our charts is Lots of Lambs by Laura Numeroff and Lynn Munsinger. Clara absolutely adores this book. We read it practically every night. It’s chock full of fun interactive content like flaps to lift, textures to feel, and wheels to turn. The illustrations are light-hearted and clever and it’s got that rhythmic rhyme that makes my gal all giddy. Tonight I had to pull out the packing tape and do a little repair on this fan favorite to make sure it’s part of our bookshelf for many months more. I have books that I remember from my childhood and something tells me this will be one of Clara’s. Memories in the making, folks!


Ladies, Take Your Power Seats

Take The Lead ChallengeWell hello! Sorry for the blogging hiatus. I’ve got a good reason. Details on that forthcoming.

Working women of the Interwebs, I’ve got your “Lean In” opportunity for the day, week, month! Tomorrow night, February 19th, there is a free webinar featuring, among others, Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook and author of the best-selling book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. So those kids to bed, get yourself a glass of vino, and settle in with your computer for an evening that will inspire!

The event is happening at Arizona State University but anyone with a computer and Internet connection can tune in at 8pm EST / 7pm CST/ 6pm MST / 5pm PST. I myself am hosting a bunch of ambitious young ladies from my company at my home for the evening. Should be fun!

Here’s a summary of the agenda. More detail can be found here:

  • Welcomes from a variety of Take the Lead and Arizona State peeps
  • Tools for Success: The Power of Authenticity by Carla Harris, Morgan Stanley Managing Director
  • Panel Discussion: See It, Be It: Impact of Media on Women’s Leadership by 6 impressive women from the media sector
  • Sheryl Sandberg’s Keynote Speech and Q&A
  • Call to Action: Take the Lead Challenge and Presentation of Takeaway Gift by Gloria Felt

Online attendees get the takeaway gift as well so be sure to register to attend so your email address is on file.

If you can’t make the webinar tomorrow night, the Take the Lead organization sounds like an interesting one to follow. Their mission is to “prepare, develop, inspire and propel women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025″. This webinar is their big launch event but they seem to have lots of community and mentoring opportunities in the works, the likes of which will surely be touted at the end of the webinar tomorrow night.

If you tune in, let me know your thoughts!