Thursday, October 16, 2014

Kids Library Books

Now that my daughter visits the school library with her class I have little say in what she brings home, all I can hope for is that she is happy with her choice.  Sometimes I wonder how she ends up with the books she brings home... was it purely based on the cover picture... did the mom helping out that day ask her about her interests... are they only allowed to choose from a limited selection?  (Keep in mind she is 5yrs old.)

She's allowed to bring home 3 books every week, and with enthusiasm we read one per night, then revert back to our home collection for the other 4 night time stories a week.  Unfortunately, often, the books don't send the message I hoped.  I'm not looking for profound child philosophy, but more so a nice simple way to explain life to my child.  I noticed this last year at her Dutch school, and thought maybe the problem was my Dutch language skills, that I was picking the wrong books.  But I'm seeing the same problem at her new English speaking school.

Let me give you an example.  (I only chose these because she recently checked them out.)
The Trouble with Dogs - the book starts out great, the family has a naughty dog and they want to do something about it.  They hire someone to come in and teach the dog standard commands, and he is fairly successful.  The family then thinks these rules have sucked the fun out of the dog and decide to quit with the lessons.  Now what exactly is this teaching my child?  To give up?  That animals don't need to be trained?  That's not how things work in our house.
Eat Your Peas - ah, finally book to help my daughter realize how important it is to eat her vegetables.  Oh, not quite.  After multiple tantrums and endless unneeded promises/rewards from the parent the child turns the table and suggests that the mom eats her brussels sprouts.  How did it end?  Neither one ate their vegetables!  What is this teaching my child?  Bribes are an option?  Back talk is o.k.?  That if you flip out long enough mom will give up?

I'm not putting down the authors, I find writing children's book to be quite difficult.  It has to be simple, light hearted, and yet still send a good message, and hopefully a laugh along the way.  I'm more so just wondering why they ended the way they did.  I feel in life, if you don't like it, don't subject yourself to it.  (This goes way beyond books.)  But see, like I said, I don't have a choice in the books she happily brings home.  At least they opened up a good conversation, about how things work different in every home, and how things work in our home.

It wasn't just these books.... last year I remember checking out a book to help her get through nightmares.  What happens?  The tough kid gets scared, the book is full of scary drawings, and inevitably just upset her more.  There was also the book about feeling left out and making friends, in the end it offered no real solution a child could relate to.  I checked out a book about bullying, and again there was no real message by the end of the book.  It makes me wish I could write my own children's books, but like I mentioned, it's harder than you think.

Maybe I'm wishing she brought home fables... maybe I should pre-screen the books better... or maybe authors should think about the end result.  Again, I'm not bashing anyone, just raising awareness.  Any of you run into these issues?

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Monday, October 13, 2014

Polyvore - Outfits #2

Last time I mentioned Polyvore I focused on one particular member and the great outfit combos she pumps out, but this time I just want to focus on Fall.  And outfits that I can actually recreate thanks to similar items in my closet... and a couple pieces that I would like to see in my closet.

The 1st Fall outfit is centered around the wrap/poncho.  I absolutely love the grey poncho!!!  I have one at home with a mix of pinks, blues, & beiges but a solid color seems to be easier to dress up and down. I also like how she has mixed the grey and brown, never thought of doing this.  If you want to see more of her ideas you can find her via this link.

The 2nd Fall outfit is simple, and can be worn everywhere.  It looks so easy, just wrap up in a warm cardigan, slip on some ballerina flats, toss on a scarf to tie it all together and you're gone.  I could see myself wearing this many places.  And what's even better, it can all be found at H&M.  More of her outfit combos can be found here.

The 3rd Fall outfit I like only for the awesome print and color combos of the cardigan.  The boots aren't my style, I prefer ankle boots.  But the cardigan, wow!  I might actually have to find something similar and add it to my closet.  A friend of mine has one in wool, which isn't my favorite fabric but there is hope of finding one here in The Netherlands.  For more of her outfit combos look here.

The 4th Fall outfit isn't from Polyvore but it still caught my eye.  (Found all of these outfits through Pinterest, btw.)  This outfit is nearly straight out of my closet, and I was happy to see this combo.  Makes me think I am occasionally on the right track!  But I must admit, I'm not into backpack purses, even though it looks convenient.  For more follow this link.

Now with these outfits in mind, I'm ready for the cooler weather and an excuse to wrap up in cozy thick cardigans!  Do you have any outfits you're excited to get back in to this Fall?

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Liebster Award

After 3 years of blogging I have finally been nominated for The Liebster Award, thanks Sara over at Nine and Ninety Nine!

Now that I have been nominated, what does it even mean, ha-ha?  I have seen it on many other blogs but I never read the details.  It means somebody out there recognizes I have a semi-decent blog and some how still have less than 200 followers.  (This is most likely because my blog is random in every way... no set topics, no set schedule, I can't even promise to post weekly - but I do write these posts hoping to help others, I get points for that, right?)

So, here are the rules :
1)  Link the person's blog to your blog entry that nominated you
2)  Answer the 11 questions below
3)  Find 11 blogs with less than 200 followers and nominate them
4)  Come up with 11 questions for these bloggers

These are the questions Sara came up with :

1)  What things can you not live without?
          Besides the obvious, my family, food & shelter, I'd say - an internet connection :)
2)  If you could go anywhere, where would you go?

          If it doesn't have to be real then, Pandora.
3)  What is your favorite book and season?

          Book - a baby name book, I love names & meanings, weird right?  Season - spring, it's when everything comes to life.
4)  What are three goals you want to achieve in your life time?

         Shed the baby weight from 5 yrs ago & keep it off, ha-ha!  Visit at least 3 countries in Asia.  And touch as many lives as I can even if it's just a smile.
5)  What is your favorite food?

         Most anything Indian (hope that's PC, have been overseas for a while)!
6)  What do you miss most about home?

          Besides my family & close friends of course, the cheap shopping.
7)  What surprises you most about living abroad?

          That being a "foreigner" has so many classifications & levels.
8)  How do you balance conflicting areas in your life?

          Ha, is that possible, I just keep juggling I guess.
9)  What's in your bag/ backpack/ purse?

          Everything, my purse is the size of a "carry-on".
10)  What are you most proud of?

          My daughter & my husband, they amaze me.
11)  What things do you love and hate about being an expat?

          Love - experiencing other cultures.  Hate - getting stared at so often.

Here are the blogs I am nominating, some I follow and some I found, it's always nice to find new blogs no matter the reason.

1)  Adventures in Juggling
2)  American Mom in Bordeaux
3)  Bees, Birds, Berries, & Blooms
4)  Beyond My Picket Fence
5)  Everything Susan
6)  Expat Life with a Double Buggy
7)  Hip Healthy Chick
8)  Nearly Irish
9)  Running with Swans
10)  Super Chic Mom
11)  The Blog of the Fictionaut

And since I am completely pressed for time these days (in a good way ,thanks to volunteering at school).  I'm going to borrow questions that turned up after a Google search.  (Thanks, Psychology Today!)

1)  Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
2)  Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3)  Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you're going to say? Why?
4)  When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
5)  If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
6)  If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?
7)  Is there something that you've dreamt of doing for a long time? Why haven't you done it?
8)  What does friendship mean to you?
9)  When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
10)  Would you be willing to have horrible nightmares for a year if you would be rewarded with extraordinary wealth?
11)  Complete this sentence "I wish I had someone with whom I could share..."

Good luck to those I nominated, hope you decide to pass on the award and help bloggers keep getting to know each other and helping their small portion of the blogging world grow.  Thanks again Sara!

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica