Thursday, April 5, 2012

Proving you can be a mother and a leader...

A wonderful site that helps encourage participation in the global community called More Than Me Global posted this great photo of an Italian MEP bringing her newborn daughter to a voting session for the European Parliament to draw attention to women's rights.  Follow this link to see the pics and read more. It's such an inspiration!

More than Me Global: Awesome!

And while you're at it, cruise around the More Than Me Global site. Sometimes it seems like we couldn't possibly have a spare minute in our day to think about anything other than our own families, but it is so important to be a member of the global community and offer help where we can (sorry for the guilt trip, as if we don't have enough mommy guilt already!).

Favorite Easter Books

This will be Pooka's third Easter. As such, we have several Easter books that we bust out around this time of year. Starting with our youngest book, we read Karen Katz's Where are Baby's Easter Eggs?. You would think these books would get old (since she also has similar books about jackolanterns, Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, etc.) and yet somehow they still seem to delight her. As an infant it was the excitement of lifting the flaps. Now she likes to "read along" and tell me what is behind each flap before we lift it, which probably means the Little Man will never know the joy of discovery for himself since she will always be blurting out what's behind the flap before he opens it!

Last year we added Jan Brett's The Easter Egg. This sweet book is about a bunny who wants to make the most fantastic egg so he will be chosen to help the Easter Bunny deliver his eggs on Easter morning. We love Jan Brett, having both The Mitten and The Hat, so this book did not fail to disappoint. In fact I think it is my favorite of the books of hers that we own. We also bought a beautifully illustrated book called Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes. I have considered cutting out the illustrations and framing them for Pooka's walls more than once. It is a sweet story about a rabbit using it's imagination, which Henkes then brings to life in his illustrations.

This year we are considering three new books to add to the repertoire. The first is a classic by Dubose Heyward called The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes. Despite being written in 1940 the tale of the country bunny working hard and persevering to be chosen as the Easter Bunny is an enduring story that should be shared with all little ones.

On a lighter note, Pooka adores all her Olivier Dunrea books (which have all been thoughtful birthday gifts over the last few years). Any of his board books would suffice for Easter because they are based on goslings (which scream springtime to me), but we don't yet have Ollie's Easter Eggs. These books are great for the younger set and are still read regularly as bedtime books at age three. Pooka even wears "bright red boots" like Gertie, and shouts out "follow me" to the Little Man so I guess Gossie (Olivier Dunrea's main character) has really captivated her.

Finally, I'm a sucker for any book with a big ole' Caldecott Medal stuck to the front and Marshmallow by Clare Turlay Newberry is no exception. It's a story of a rabbit that moves into a house with a not so excited cat and how they become friends. This seems like the perfect topic for any preschooler, especially one that may have a new sibling in their life! And the illustrations are simple and lovely!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Easter Bunny is coming!

Watch out bloggo-sphere, Pooka's Mama is making a comeback. May it be long-lived and fruitful! In the time that has passed, I've been a busy lady. Pooka will be three at the end of the month, complete with all the trials and tribulations that go along with having an almost three year old (it's a ride, to be sure). The Little Man, who was still in my belly at the last post, is thriving and just passed his one year mark a few weeks ago. And finally, finally, I feel like I have my head above water and have the time to sit and share some of my favorites with readers new and old.

The biggest change for me may be my new addiction to Pinterest. You can find and follow me at "Pooka's Mama." I add new things daily, and you'll find boards on all things kiddo, as well as mama style, home life and travel. Basically, it's me in a nutshell (or at least the glossy, pretend me if i had all the time and money in the world). So stop by and if you like what you see go ahead and follow. I'm sure there is a way to link the blog to my page, but until I figure that out you'll just have to click the link above.

So, Easter is coming (or for some it may be Passover, but I'm pretty sure there aren't any Passover baskets, so for now we will focus on Easter gifts and treats). With two baskets to fill this year the options are endless, but I'll share what's going in Pooka and Little Man's baskets and hope it offers some inspiration.

The baskets are actually cute pails I picked up at Target for $5 each. Some day I'll probably do those fancy baskets with their names on them from Pottery Barn Kids or a beautifully handmade basket from this Etsy site, but for now they seem a little spendy. As for gifts, Pooka is getting a cuddly little Steiff Happel Bunny, and at only 5 inches it won't clutter our already full abodes. It is also great because it will fit into a reusable papier-mâché egg, and Pooka loves any type of storage item (bags, boxes, etc.). If you have a little more room to spare or your wee one's bedroom isn't already overflowing with stuffed objects I'm a huge fan of Steiff's Linda Lamb for something a little different than your average bunny. She is also getting this cute book that reminded me of spring called 999 Tadpoles by Ken Kimura that I found at Anthropologie (they strangely have fab kids books there). She was also supposed to get these fun Melissa and Doug Happy Giddy Binoculars because she is obsessed with the eye-spy game since she learned it at school. Unfortunately, the morning after I bought them Pooka came bursting into our bedroom to show Mommy the new spy-glasses (her term) that she had found. Oops! I guess I had left them on the kitchen table the night before and Daddy didn't know they were for Easter. So instead, Pooka will be receiving the Wave and Learn Magic Spelling Wand from the PBS Kids show Super Why. I don't usually go in for these types of cheesy electronics, but she will love it and if she learns a thing or two from it the money was well spent. And besides, in the realm of princess toys and shows you can't really go wrong with Princess Presto who's magic powers are all related to spelling and phonics.

The Little Man will also be getting three things in his basket. In place of a bunny, he is getting this sweet Dario the Dinosaur Blanket Pal that I found at Giggle.
He is also getting Melissa and Doug Farm Sound Blocks. When you match up the front half of the animal to the back half of the animal the blocks reward your little one by making the sound of that animal. I'm sure Pooka will have lots of fun showing the Little Man how to use these! Finally, he is also getting a nice board book using onomatopeia to describe the sounds that different types of trains make that I found at Anthropologie (I don't have it in front of me so I will have to update the name and author at a later time, sorry!).

As for eggs, I'll be using Eco-Eggs for coloring our eggs again this year. They make beautiful, subtly shaded eggs and can be found at Whole Foods. And I don't have to worry about my kids eating any crazy dyes when we eat the hardboiled eggs. For treats, the Little Man's basket will have some of Mama's homemade sugar cookies ( I use the recipe from the At Home with Magnolia Cookbook), while Pooka's will have cookies, plus Annie's Organic Bunny Fruits and some Organic Surf Sweet Jelly Beans.

For more Easter ideas, check my tweets or my Pinterest boards. I have posted several other cute bunnies and gift ideas. Hope the bunny is good to you this year!