23 Bedtime Story Favorites

When people find out they are expecting, they begin looking forward to things they will enjoy with their little one. From my Facebook feed I assume most mothers expecting girls immediately start on their collection of headbands with flowers and bows bigger than the average infant head. Everyone has the stuff they get excited about. My husband and I did. After we got over the initial shock of the news, that is. He, like most dads, was excited about having a son to throw a ball around and go hiking with him. I, like most women, thought about all of the cute outfits I could put on him, because *Parent Perk* you get to pick out their clothes for the first couple years. The second thing I was excited about was sharing all the stories with him that I loved and cherished growing up.

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We’ve read some of the picture books, but keep in mind my son is six months old and our bedtime-story time right now is me reading while he scratches the pages and looks all around the room. Sometimes he likes to hold the books and look at the pages. I know he’s young, but it’s a good habit. It’s never too early to cultivate a desire for reading and learning in a child.

Here’ the list I’ve started. I haven’t read all of them with him yet, and we’re still working on adding them to our library, but we’ll get there. Most of them are picture books, stuff I can read to him while he’s a baby. Let me know if you have any favorites you are looking forward to or already have shared with your children.

  1. Dr. Seuss books
  2. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  3. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  5. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle
  6. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (personal favorite!)
  7. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  8. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
  9. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
  10. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst (while I’m here, can I just ask that we stop trying to make classic children’s books into movies? It doesn’t work. Includes #6 and #1, exception some #1 and #9)
  11. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
  12. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (If I can make it through without crying!)
  13. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
  14. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.  and John Archambault
  15. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
  16. Chrysanthemum by Kenvin Henkes
  17. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  18. Corduroy by Don Freeman
  19. How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
  20. On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
  21. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
  22. Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
  23. Dinosaur Roar! by Paul and Henrietta Stickman
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Two Months: Expectation vs. Reality

Henry is two months! It’s so hard to believe. We took him for his two month checkup  this week. It’s all good. He’s gotten bigger. He got his shots (I cried more than he did.) Even though it’s only been two months I have learned so much about being a mother.

Expectation: I’m totally gonna sleep train him right away. I googled it, so I pretty much know the gist of it.

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Reality: It’s a little early to sleep train right now, but I’m glad I never shared my unrealistic sleep training expectations with other mothers because I would have, without a doubt, been laughed at. Losing sleep is, from what I’ve heard, pretty much inevitable, and that’s okay. It does get better. Henry sleeps most nights now. I have my sanity and did not experience any of the crazy things that popped up when I googled prolonged sleep deprivation.

Expectation: I’m not going to baby him.

Reality: I baby him. I pick him up when he cries because his cries mean something. I don’t think he’s figured out that he can cry for attention yet. He has this one cry that just kills me:  He pouts and has this just cry that just sounds like sadness. I think he’s starting to figure out that I have a weakness for that specific cry. But, I do “baby” him, after all, he is a baby. Duh!

Expectation: I’m never going to talk “baby talk” to him.

IMG_0922Reality: Anyone who knows me that I HATE when people who are not babies speak in a baby voice to other non-babies. So, I never imagined any scenario that would involve me using that voice. Until recently. Henry just started smiling, and as you can imagine nothing makes me happier than to see his tiny, squinty-eyed grin. Consequently, I will do the craziest things and speak in the most obnoxious voices to get that little man to smile.

Expectation: I’m not going to be one of those cliché and over-protective first time mothers who makes people use hand sanitizer before holding their baby.

Reality: Okay, this one was actually pretty spot on. If you want to relieve me of baby holding duties and

1) I know you

2) I don’t think you’re going to run away with my child

and 3) you seem like a normal human being with good hygiene, then you can hold Henry. You can be sure I’m not going to pull Germ-X out of my purse. Plus, I still have no upper body strength, and he ways over ten pounds now, so if you want to help me out, just thank you.

I’ve learned a lot in two months. I can’t wait to see what else I learn as this little man gets older.

 

Why Was I Scared of Motherhood?

Needless to say, a lot has changed since my last post. I am now the mother of the most amazing little boy, Henry David.

I really never pictured myself as a mother, mostly because I’ve never been great with kids. Growing up, my friends all had that magic touch where they could walk into a room full of children, kneel to their level, speak to them in a voice that was an octave higher than normal and instantly connect with them. Not me. Nothing made me feel more awkward than trying to converse with a toddler. I was not much of a baby whisperer either, and that was something that made me anxious during my last trimester of my pregnancy. Actually, there was a couple of things that made me anxious as my due date grew closer.

1. Being sent home from the hospital because I wasn’t actually in labor:  I had read about this being common among first time mothers who don’t know what it’s like to be in labor. I was determined to not have this happen to me. So naturally, I was only sent home on two different occasions before Henry was born. It wasn’t that big of a deal, I technically was having contractions on both occasions, they just weren’t progressing fast enough to be admitted. One of those times was the night before Henry was born. The hospital couldn’t admit because, again, my contractions weren’t close enough. They sent me home to get some rest. Not that I could because I had contractions all night. Luckily, I had an appointment with my doctor the next morning. He confirmed that my contractions had grown stronger and closer together, and that my husband needed to get down to the hospital ASAP!

2. Labor (of course):  I don’t handle pain very well. I remember freaking myself out thinking about how painful it was going to be. Pretty sure I even lost sleep over it. Long story short, thanks to the marvels of modern medicine it was practically painless. I was able to spend those last few hours with my husband just talking and relaxing. I realize that route is not for everyone, and I have a definite respect for the all-natural birth mothers out there, but this was exactly what I needed.

3. Being a mother in general: I remember at one point wondering how I was supposed to know why my son was crying. How was I supposed to calm down a baby if I didn’t know why he was crying? We definitely were blessed with Henry because he’s not much of a crier, and when he does cry it’s pretty easy to tell when he’s hungry or tired. I was really concerned I was going to screw up as a mom and scar him forever some way. I still have a while to get this things settled though, since he isn’t going to remember anything for at least two years. So, I have until then to get some of this “mom stuff” figured out and  have answers to all sorts of weird questions.

So, in conclusion, I worried a lot about things that I didn’t need to worry about.. Everything worked out fine. Even if it hadn’t, the result was definitely worth it.

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