kids books

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CityKids logoFor those of you in the Philadelphia area, South Philly’s CityKids Consignment Sale is tomorrow Saturday, September 13 from 10am-5pm and Sunday, September 14 from 10am-2pm. Many items will be 50% on Sunday, so come by early on Saturday to get all the really good stuff, and come back on Sunday to see what 50%-off steals you can find.

The non-consignor proceeds benefit the South Philly Parents Resource Center, so it all goes to a good cause. The SPPRC offers educational programming, new moms groups and other support to parents, and we recently received our 501(c)(3) paperwork. We are officially a non-profit organization! (And I’m Vice President!) This is only our second sale, but we are expecting over 6,500 quality, gently used toys, gear and clothes for your children, as well as some maternity clothes. The fall sale is appropriately dedicated to fall and winter clothes, Halloween costumes and other holiday items. Our spring sale is coming April, 2015.

The sale is free to enter and free to park! Thousands of name brands. Join us at Neumann Goretti High School on 11th St. between Moore and Morris.

SPPRC-kids-shirt_smAlso available for sale at this weekend’s CityKids Consignment Sale are the SPPRC fundraiser t-shirts designed by my talented husband Tim. The shirts come in three styles:

  • YO SOUTH PHILLY KID (toddler t-shirts – turquoise with black writing + onesies – black with silver writing)
  • YO SOUTH PHILLY MOM (dark gray with silver writing)
  • YO SOUTH PHILLY DAD (dark gray with silver writing)

The t-shirts will be on sale for $12 and the onesies are $15. We are running low on some sizes and will be making a new order soon. So, you may also sign up for a shirt you want and “pre-order” a sold-out size or size we didn’t order the first time around.

Check out Tim’s digital print designs on his etsy shop: Brothers Pannell

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My sister flew in from L.A. yesterday morning to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. It’s the first time she’s seen Adelaide in person since Easter. It’s strange to think that Adelaide wasn’t even crawling then, and now she’s walking all over the place, dancing and “talking.”

Gina brought a fun book called Big Words for Little People. I’m always skeptical of the trendy books authored by celebrities, but this one by Jamie Lee Curtis is really quite cute. It goes through some long or more difficult vocabulary words and explains the meaning in rhyme.

Persevere is to try and try, even though you might want to give up and cry. When doing a puzzle that puzzles your mind, you persevere till the right piece you find.”

Different means nobody’s ever the same. All bodies are different and so are all brains. Different is what makes this world so great. Different is never something to hate.”

But the part of the book that I like the best comes toward the end. As I heard my sister read it to Adelaide for the first time last night, it made me smile.

“But not all Big words are as long as the rest. There are three – though short – that I love the best.

Family is where we all belong, keeping us safe, making us strong. Family is yours, not matter — whatever! — we are about you forever and ever.

Respect is the way we all treat each other — mother to father, father to mother, brother to sister, sister to brother, and brother and sister and sister and brother…

Love is the biggest BIG word of all. Four little letters that help you walk tall. Love is your family, your siblings, your friends. Love is your ocean without any end.”

On this Thanksgiving Day, I’m so very grateful for my family. I often wish I could see them more often, and I feel sad that they don’t get to see Adelaide as often as I know they would like; but really I am so very blessed to have their support. Despite the miles that often separate us, I know Adelaide will grow up knowing how much she is loved. And I try to never take for granted the time we get to spend together.

Now, as I revel in the tradition of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, my sister naps on the couch next me (she’s still on west coast time), Tim is in the shower, and Adelaide is upstairs taking her morning nap. Tim’s brother and his wife will be over for dinner in just a few hours — a house filled with family, laughter and good eats. Happy Thanksgiving Day to you and yours, and may we all remember to count our blessings every day of the year.

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Story Time

Now that we’re into a bedtime routine, we read around three stories to Adelaide every night before bed. My sister worked at Gymboree Play & Music for years, so she’s familiar with some of the most popular books for infants and gave several to Adelaide for Christmas. We’ve been reading the same dozen or so board books over and over every night. I really like most of them, and thought I’d share them here. Right now we read mostly board books. We have some other non-board books that I look forward to getting out a little later. I’m also interested in what children’s books you love. As Adelaide gets older and her attention span can handle longer stories, I want to expand her library.

I also recently found this article about the 10 Worst Books for Toddlers.  I don’t know that I agree with all of their choices. What do you think?

But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
I love the sing-song rhyme of this story. It’s short so sometimes I just read it twice in a row.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox
The first time I read this out loud I cried. I teared up probably the next 20 times or so. I’m good now.


We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
This was a gift from Adelaide’s Aunt Adrienne and Uncle Ben, given to her with a stuffed black bear at her shower before she was born.


Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
This one came with the little bunny. Adelaide likes the little bunny more than the book at this point. There is a texture to the bottom of the bunny’s foot and she loves to chew on it. Mom and Dad like the rhythm of this simple story.


Rockin’ Babies by Dr. Jenn Berman and Cynthia Weil
This is very clever. I wish I had written it.


Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman
I remember this one from my childhood. It was one of our favorites.


The Night Night Book by Marianne Richmond
This one has grown on me. Again, it rhymes and the rhythm is almost like a lullaby.