Kids Corner: Christmas for Miss L


She does NOT look six here!!


So, Miss L has always been an exceedingly difficult child to buy for, simply because she’s SO easy going. Trying to get that child to admit there’s anything she really, really wants (that’s Christmas gift worthy) in the past has been like pulling teeth.

She absolutely goes nuts over everything she gets, which lead  to a hilarious situation when my mom and aunt came up to celebrate Christmas with her on the 19th. The whole family sent up their gifts for her ((we live hours away, and due to Toxoplasmosis being a serious threat in the Ohio Valley (It killed my uncle, almost killed my cousin.) I can’t take her down there.) ) and she happily tore into them.

She gets to this toy microphone one of my uncles got her.  We get the expected “OH ITS JUST WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED!!” squeal, followed immediately thereafter by a quieter “…what is it?” When we told her what it was (after we’d got done laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes)… “OH I’VE ALWAYS WANTED ONE OF THESE!”

The child does gratitude and easy-to-please in an epic fashion. What can I say?


Her Christmas List last year was (if I remember correctly):

  • Ice cream
  • Cuddles
  • Sleep in mommy’s bed that night

This year, she gained access to a toy catalog, and went on a circling “I want that spree” (Thanks, grandparents. -.-). On the downside, I had to break it to her that there was no way she was getting everything she circled. On the plus side, I was able to use the list to narrow it down and figure out some things she actually really would like to have.

L’s Christmas List this year:

  • Easy Bake Oven (Yeah, its okay if you get me the black one ’cause it costs less monies. (Yes, she was looking over my shoulder while I was on Amazon))
  • Light Sabre (Blue, please!)
  • Gift Card to Half-Price Books (So I can pick out my own books, please, Mommy. )

So, obviously (thank you, Black Friday/ Cyber Monday, 3 paychecks in December!) I managed to get the 3 big things on her list, and a few extra things.

One of the extra things I got her was this:

Its the Kinex 70 model build set (if you click on the picture, it links you to the amazon page for it.) It includes enough pieces that we were able to build out like 3 of the things that were listed in the model suggestions all at once without having to break any down. It is AWESOME and I highly recommend it. Hell, I think I had more fun with it than she did, truth be told! LMAO!

(I might have liked it so much that I immediately got back online and ordered us some additional pieces just so we could do an epic build. Of course as soon as I hit checkout now, I realized it wouldn’t get here until Jan 4. GRRR.)


She got to open one gift a day starting on the 19th, and each day it was massive hugs and “Oh, mommy, I love what you buy me. You’re so awesome!!” Seriously, my child is a grade A sweetheart.

She also got some pretty awesome toys from Grandma and Grandpa that she loved. (The chair is one of them 🙂 )






A Review of Birds of a Feather by Vanita Oelschlager

What’s it about?

Birds of a Feather introduces children to the concept of idioms in the simplest, cutest way possible. Pictures illustrate what the idioms portray, but just turn the book upside down and the kids get to read what the sayings really mean.

My Review of Birds of a Feather

From the first illustration to the last one, my six year old giggled like mad. She couldn’t quite grasp the concept of idioms, so we went slowly over each page, asking her to try to guess what it meant, and providing practical examples. When we got to the end, she insisted we go over it again. So its safe to say from a kid’s point of view, this book rates very highly.

I thought the concept of a way to get a child to understand idioms was great, the illustrations were awesome, and the kid appeal cannot be under-estimated. I did not like how small the print was when you flipped the book to read what the idiom really meant, and feel like some of the explanation on idioms that you find at the back of the book could have been better spaced throughout or at the front of the book.

Even after we went over the pages twice, my child still hadn’t comprehended what an idiom really was, so I feel like it while it was definitely cute, the educational aspect wasn’t as well done as it could have been.

However, I’m a fan of education kids books that make a child laugh, and Vanita Oelschlager does great work overall, so I can’t say that I’m too disappointed in this one.

4 Star Rating

Click here to find Birds of a Feather now on

Title: Birds of a Feather | Author: Vanita Oelschlager (site) |Illustrator: Robin Hegan (site) | Publisher: Vanita Books (site) | Publication Date: 2009-4-1 | Pages: 32 | ISBN: 0980016282 | Genre: Childrens | Language: English | Triggers: None | Date Read: 2015-10-25 | Source: Received a copy from Netgalley free in exchange for an honest review.

Reblogged: Here Are Some Creative Ways To Encourage Your Child To Read

I know its not Saturday, which is when I generally post kids-related reading things, but I came across the post and wanted to immediately share it.

Kids literacy is SO important. Our children now are our leaders tomorrow. Studies have shown how darned important literacy is. So, read this. I hope it helps!

(Click on the pic to be taken to the original post.)

Source: Here Are Some Creative Ways To Encourage Your Child To Read

Miss L Reviews “Cooper and the Big Apple” by Camille Cohn

Miss L is feeling much better now – completely over her strep throat – and wanted to review this book for everyone.

Miss L says:

Cooper is a kitty cat whose mommy takes him to the Big Apple to see lots of stuff. He gets confused a lot. My favorite parts were when Cooper thought they were going to climb on a real lady’s head, and they climbed the Statue of Liberty. Oh, and I thought it was hilarious when Cooper got confused about Subway – it not being an eating place!

I liked that nothing was boring! I would definitely like to read more about Cooper and visit New York City. I would go to the Katz Deli. I would like Cooper to come visit Columbus (Ohio). I would recommend it to other kids, and I liked the illustrations because Cooper’s heart looked like a nose!

Adult Notes:
While Cooper and the Big Apple was a little simple for my mini-reviewer, she definitely enjoyed it. It was cute, easy to read, with fun watercolor-like illustrations. It would be a great read to psych a child up for a trip to the Big Apple.

It gave me an opportunity to have a learning experience with my child, and we looked up some of the places/things mentioned in the book (such as Monet’s WaterLillies painting, and Times Square).

I would recommend this book for 4-6 year olds, and hope that there are more Cooper books out there, or soon to come!

5 Star Rating

Click here to find Cooper and the Big Apple now on

Title: Cooper and the Big Apple | Author: Camille Cohn | Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press | Pub. Date: 2015-10-13 | Pages: 40 | ISBN: 1626342202 | Genre: Children’s | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Source: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Kids Corner: Miss L tells off the Tooth Fairy

Its a well-known fact about our household that we perpetuate only ONE myth to Miss L. That would be basically because I slipped up and accidentally said yes to it, then didn’t realize it for like a day. So, the myth that we perpetuate is… The Tooth Fairy.

Well, this last time L lost a tooth, I was  really  glad to have The Tooth Fairy to blame something on, because I screwed the pooch. Twice.

Here we go…

She was sitting at the table, eating baked beans, when the tooth that had been forever loose finally came out. She looked up at me with apprehension, picking it up off her spoon.  Aww, heck, I had about ten seconds to redirect her before the Drama Llama was going to appear in all it’s magnificent glory.

“It doesn’t hurt!” I firmly said. “It just feels funny because that tooth is no longer there. Your gum is Sensitive, that’s all.”  Tears started to well in her eyes. “Nope. Nu-uh. No drama-queening this. You’re good. You’re fine. No blood! Did you see any blood? I didn’t see any blood!”  The excess water in her eyes disappeared when she realized I was right, and instead she gave me a gap-toothed look of amazement.

Phewww…crisis averted. Unfortunately, for this tale, that’s pretty much the last thing I did correctly.

Fast forward a couple hours, and she requests her tooth from my safe-keeping, saying she was going to put it in a container to make sure she didn’t lose it and put it where the tooth fairy would find it. After giving her a gentle admonishment to be careful what she did with it, I pushed it to the back of my mind. Soon enough it was bedtime, and as it an ‘other’ day, she was tucked into the Master Bedroom for sleep. (Every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday she gets to sleep with us.)  I gave my usual hugs, kisses, 20 minutes of story time, and turned on her Johnny Cash CD, then slipped downstairs to finish a book I was reading for review.

I forgot about the tooth.

The next morning, I hear little feet pound excitedly from the master bedroom into her bedroom, and suddenly I remembered the tooth. I gulped.  Within seconds, those feet are herd of elephants coming down the stairs, and I hear Miss L just cursing the Tooth Fairy up one side and down the other.

“I – put – it – under – my – pillow – and – SHE – DIDN’T – TAKE – IT! SHE DIDN’T TAKE THE TOOTH!” She’s grumbling and growling variations of this as she comes into the front room, where I’m trying not to cower on the couch.

“Uhm… Maybe she didn’t see it?” I offer up weakly, as I’m mentally repeating the word CRAP! over and over again. How was I going to dig us out of this one?

L practically hisses “IT WAS IN THE CONTAINER!” at me.

What container, honey?” I’m blatantly stalling for time as I attempt to come up with an explanation. Luckily, at her age, she doesn’t cotton on to stalling tactics quickly.

“THE – GREEN – ONE!” Oooh, she’s fired up. I – I mean the Tooth Fairy – am in for it.

“Uhm, why don’t you go get the container and bring it down here to show me?” I ask slowly.

She scowls at me, but agrees, and stomps off up the stairs to retrieve the tupperware container. After a minute, she brings it to me, and thankyousweetbabyjesus I have an idea! I can see a way out of the hole that I’ve dug.

“Ohhhhhhh…well, its because you put it in tupperware! you KNOW the Tooth Fairy is little bitty, so she can fit under your pillow. You can’t expect her to open tupperware! I bet that’s what happened! She couldn’t get it open!” I’m all proud of myself for coming up with this one, and luckily L falls for it hook, line, and stinker. “So, go get me the note you wrote her last night, and the tape. I’ll tape the tooth to the note, so she’ll just be able to take that tooth easy as can be tonight.”

L agrees, and soon the deed is done, and the tooth is stowed under her pillow.

All is good, right?

Wrong. Everything would have been good. If I hadn’t forgotten about the tooth for the SECOND night in a row. This time, it doesn’t occur to me until after she’d already came downstairs. She hadn’t huffed and puffed about it this time, so…

Anyways, as soon as I realize, I ask to speak to her daddy in the other room, beg a fiver, and run upstairs to hide it under her pillow. When I come back downstairs, smooth as could be, I ask L if she’d checked under her pillow to see if the tooth fairy had come.  Pleasesaynopleasesaynopleasesayno.

“Yeah, I did, and you know? The – tooth – fairy – didn’t – come – AGAIN! AGAIN! She -FORGOT – my – TOOTH- again. I DON’T KNOW WHATS WRONG WITH HER!!” Well, we went back and forth, but I eventually convinced her that she should go upstairs again and check – just in case.

She’s giving me the stink-eye, absolutely convinced she’s right, but she goes upstairs and checks. Seconds later, she’s comes galloping down the stairs, waving the five dollar bill over her head, and saying “I don’t get it! I checked! I checked THREE times. I checked under EVERY PILLOW this morning.”

Now, some parents might say what I did next was terrible and some might slow-clap in appreciation. Quite frankly, I’m surprised I had the figurative balls to do it at all.

Straight-faced, with a firm voice, I sighed and said “L, how many times have I told you that you need to pay attention when you look for things? You  miss things that are right in front of you all the time, honey. You need to be more careful when you look!” (She really does.)

She sighed and solemnly replied “Yeah, mom, I know.”

Yeahhhhhh, I’m probably horrible, but I successfully saved the Tooth Fairy’s butt!

Reblogged: Ban This!

Fantastically well-written piece on banned books, reading too soon, and the importance of letting kids explore the literary world. Highly recommend you go check it out! (Just click on the pic below.)

Source: Ban This!

Fanciful Fridays: Ticked Off Tot

The Ticked Off Tot

The Ticked Off Tot

…actually, she’s not mad. She was happily participating in taking pictures, and obeying me. So when I told her to cross her arms and lean forward, she did so. Then I told her to put her lips together (she’s a mouth breather) and this is what I got.

I love it!

Miss L Reviews “Ghostly Thief of Time”

Stuart, Violet, and Brian (the Emu Club) find another mystery to solve. This time it’s…”Why does time run so slowly in some places?” Well, they got an answer, but it certainly was not what they were expecting!  One thing leads to another, and they end up saving the world with the help of Ferdinand, the Robot Dog.

Ghostly Thief of Time Review

Ghostly Thief Of Time Review

I mostly liked the book. It was a little long, though. I liked the pictures in the story. They’re better than the Batman pictures! I really liked it when they were switching around different times (periods), and when Violet told them to do the right thing. But, I didn’t like it  when Bradley Ketchum was calling Stuart “Baloney”. That was mean. You shouldn’t call other people names. If I could be any character, I would like to be Violet. (Adult: I voted for Ferdinand the Robot Dog.) Because she had a pretty pink shirt on.

I guess I would recommend this to other kids my age. I’d be okay with reading more.

What book is better? Ghostly Thief of Time or Bad Kitty? Bad Kitty! Definitely!

Adult Notes: Ghostly Thief of Time was an excellent story to read with my 6 year old.  She was able to follow right along with it, and loved the randomly included pictures and silly opinions interjected by the boys.

There are some stories that are hard to read with your child, but thankfully Ghostly Thief of Time was not one of them. My child is easily amused, but we both liked the book because the unique format of ‘hand-written’ notes with the pictures that were actually part of the story instead of being just illustrations. This made it easy to keep the kiddo involved with what we were reading, and I could count on a picture every few pages to draw her attention back to it if she started to wonder.

Plus, it tackles one of life’s great mysteries! Just why in the world DOES time go so slow in certain places? Now, unlike the Scooby Gang, the EMU club finds an unusual explanation, but that’s all part of the fun. Every little kid, I think, wants to save the world, and Ghostly Thief of Time definitely gives children that experience on an easy-to-understand scale.

I highly recommend this cute, fun EMU Club adventure book to any parents out there.

4 Star Rated Ghostly Thief of Time Review

Click here to find Ghostly Thief of Time: An EMU Club Adventure now on

Title: Ghostly Thief of TIme | Series: Emu Club Adventures | Author: Ruben Bolling | Publisher: Andrew McMeel Publishing | Publication Date: Nov 2015 | Pages: 144 | Genre: Children’s Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source:  Received a copy from Netgalley free in exchange for an honest review.

Reblogged – Book(s) Review: Nightmares!

One thing I didn’t plan on when I first started this blog was to have quite as much emphasis on children’s books as I’m ending up with. However, kid’s books are SO important. Yes, a person can become a reader even as an adult, but if we can get them interested while they’re young… Its undeniably so much better for them in general. So yes, kids books feature in regularly, and they will continue to do so.

I can’t see that as a bad thing, can you?

With that being said, here’s a wonderful look at a series for younger kids for when they’ve blown through Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, etc. (Click on the picture to be taken to the original review.)

Source: Book Friday: Nightmares!

“Reblogged”: How To Talk To Kids About…

Click here for the full Huffpost article by Dr. Phil.

I was browsing Huffington Post, and came across this piece by Dr. Phil. It is obviously directed towards talking to your children about school shootings and other tragedies that are publicized frequently now. Initially I just skimmed through the article. Then I slowed down, went back up to the top, and re-read it. It had some decent advice in it, which for some reason surprised me. Definitely look at it if you’re having trouble explaining to your kids some of the crap that’s going down around us almost every day now. However, I’m going to focus on one specific piece, and take it in a different direction.

The one piece of advice that stood out to me was:

“• When you talk about something scary, talk to your child in a normal voice. Don’t use euphemisms. Tell him or her straight. But don’t tell it in a whispery voice. That just makes it more scary.”

You could put this quote in article on how to talk to your kid about just about anything scary that’s going on. It holds true pretty much across the board.

This, for example, is how I address my daughter’s questions about her illness. I’m straight-forward and honest with her. I try to answer her question as best I can in a way that’s appropriate for her age level. (Some questions, though, like “Will I have to have a transplant?” are difficult at any age, I think.) I don’t pretend everything’s okay. I don’t try to distract her or re-direct her. I don’t talk to her like she’s a baby. I talk to her like she’s a little adult. The transplant question got: “Probably, yes. HOWEVER, hopefully it’ll be years and years before that has to happen, and in the meantime, they’re discovering new treatments constantly, so maybe you won’t. We just have to wait and see. Don’t worry about it right now though. You’re doing good now.”

She deserves that. She deserves to know that I respect her enough to address her concerns in a straight-forward fashion. I do it with her health, and with every other scary thing we encounter. I truly believe that if I handle things in a no-nonsense fashion, it takes away some of the fear because Mommy’s not scared. Mommy’s not acting differently about something.

Regardless of your parenting style, or what you think of Dr. Phil, I think you need to at least read that quoted piece a few times, and consider how you interact with your children about scary things.

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