15 Kids Books about Ballet

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15 Ballet Picture Books

I believed my daughter when she told me she wanted to take gymnastics instead of ballet. I don’t think I should have.

She is a ballerina.

Once she stopped ballet, her level of obsession with it only rose. She insisted on checking book after book about ballet out from the library. I am pretty sure we’ve read most of them now! Here are our favorites.

Our newest favorites are the Tallulah books by Marilyn Singer. Tallulah is adorable and realistic – she thinks she’s much older than she is, she thinks she’s an amazing ballerina, and she doesn’t understand why she can’t have a tutu RIGHTNOW. So, you know, a lot like Libbie. We’re all in love with Tallulah and Singer’s four books about her: Tallulah’s Tutu, Tallulah’s Toe Shoes, Tallulah’s Solo, and Tallulah’s Nutcracker.

Rachel Isadora has several beautiful ballet books, including Lili On Stage and On Your Toes: A Ballet ABC. There are three Lili books, but this one is Libbie’s favorite, because Lili is in a performance of The Nutcracker. The watercolor illustrations are dreamy, and Isadora really shows what it is like to be a child in a professional ballet performance. Isadora also wrote Bea at Ballet, which is better for your 2-to-4-year-old crowd of tiny dancers.

Brontorina just wants to be a ballerina. So what if she can’t fit in the studio? So what if she doesn’t have the right shoes? She WILL overcome and learn to dance! This one is good for giggles and a lesson in overcoming obstacles.

And for some more paleontological fun, read T. Rex at Swan Lake by Lisa Carrier. This T. Rex is tired of being examined by museum visitors and decides to visit the ballet … but can’t stop herself from getting on stage, donning a tutu, and dancing.

Miss Lina’s Ballerinas by Grace Maccarone is Madeline for ballet. Miss Lina’s eight ballerinas do everything in pairs, and everything goes topsy-turvy when number 9 is added to their school.

In Tanya and the Magic Wardrobe by Patricia Lee Gauch, Tanya, an impish little ballerina, is going to see Coppélia with her mother and sister. When they show up too early for the show, Tanya’s curiosity takes her back to the wardrobing room and she has an adventure before she even sees the ballet!

This is actually a series, but we’ve only read this one and Presenting Tanya, the Ugly Duckling.

Others worth a mention:

What books about ballet do you and your kids love?

Saturday Linky Love

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Saturday Linky Love button

 

Happy Easter weekend, friends! I’m writing this tonight in hopes that I can stay off the computer tomorrow and work on cooking and cleaning and loving on my kiddos. Libbie and Joshua were both running a fever today, so I’m thinking there may be a lot of cuddling and book-reading going on tomorrow. Seriously hoping they are better in the morning, though, because I desperately want to go to church Sunday morning!

Here’s what I read that was great this week!

Reading offline: Finishing up Cress by Marissa Meyer.

So, what did you read that was great this week? Link up here. You can grab the code for the button in the sidebar, if you want. Please link back here and add the PERMALINK to your post, not your home page.

Bye Bye Breastfeeding …

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Bye Bye Breastfeeding
source: Tara Faul via Flickr Creative Commons

Until Friday, I had been breastfeeding or pregnant for all but six months since February 2008. For a few months when I got pregnant with Joshua, I was even both!

I’d been ready to wean Joshua for awhile, honestly. You might think that’s strange since I nursed David until he was 20 months old. And really, I think David just gave up because I was pregnant and there wasn’t much there. He is my most dependent child. And that’s OK! We were mutually OK with nursing.

Joshua is a fierce biter when it comes to nursing. I’ve tried every trick and tool in the arsenal to get him to realize that this isn’t allowed. Nothing works. He might stop for a little while – a few weeks, maybe – and then as soon as he is teething again it’s back with a vengeance. This has been going on since he was about 9 months old. At 10 months, though, he was rather feisty and refused to take a bottle, which hampered any weaning. At 11 months, we were better with the bottle … and then he got the flu. He wouldn’t eat or drink except for nursing. So that’s what we did.

For the last six to eight weeks, I’ve only nursed him once or twice a day. And he hasn’t done much chomping down, but he thinks a little gnawing isn’t too bad. I beg to differ.

Baby monkey nursing
source: George Estreich via Flickr Creative Commons

Friday he pretty much demanded to nurse (it’s amazing how insistent a nonverbal person can be, isn’t it?) and then didn’t actually drink anything, just tried to chew. He likes to do this with his bottles – drink some, then chew on the nipples and walk around with the bottle hanging from his mouth. It’s cute when it’s the bottle. Not cute when it’s my body.

After repeating this twice, I gave up. And decided that was that. We were done.

We’ve now gone four days with no nursing. He hasn’t asked, either, so that helps. I thought I would be jubilant. In a way, I am. I will be glad to have my body back. I am sincerely hoping my chest will deflate a little.

But then I saw my Boppy. Someone had tucked it away in the linen closet. It made my heart sink. Because I am guessing Joshua is probably our last baby. I am not 100% sure, but it’s probable. And I do love nursing. I love that connection. I am mourning the fact that I didn’t have one last sweet nursing time with my Joshy. (Not that I remember any “last times” with the other two.) I’m sad that it might be the end of this part of mothering for me.

Like every phase in parenting, I think, there are many times you wish it to be over. And then it is. And you mourn, deep down, soul-sinking kind of sadness. Just one more time, you think.

One more toothless smile.

One more time that he sleeps in your arms.

One more bang on the high chair.

One more glittery shoe.

You wanted her to eat solids, him to sleep through the night, to get rid of that high chair, to stop seeing glitter all over the carpet each day.

But then those pieces of parenting are gone. And you miss them.

Four days without, and I miss the nuzzle of a baby at my breast already. The feeling of accomplishment, that my body nourishes my baby, it does what it’s supposed to do. The sweet wisps of baby hair on my hand as I rub his precious head. Tiny hand beating me like a drum, happy at his milky time.

Please excuse me. I’m going to go sob now.

Donations

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This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

Donating a Photo via Johnson & Johnson
source: Mark Pilgrim via Flickr Creative Commons

I’ve donated a lot of stuff. Especially in the last few months since I finished the 7 Bible study, we’ve tried to clear out closets and trinkets. We still have a long way to go. But we’ve watched books, items of clothes, household goods, toys, anything and everything go out the door to find a new home. This past weekend we even donated our old couch and dining-room table to a family who needed it.

I have a dream that one day I’ll actually be a minimalist. I may have to boycott Target to get there. (I love you, Target. But your orange stickers are too tempting.)

You know what I’ve never donated, though? A picture. Because really, who would want my old photographs of 7th grade summer camp or the last day of 11th grade? I’m sure they’d get a laugh over my hair and braces … but I’m not sure those pictures would sell at the thrift store.

jjdonateaphotoprogram

But Johnson & Johnson is doing a neat thing to help you donate to good causes with just a picture. Through their new Donate a Photo app,  you can choose to “donate” one photo every day to add to their galleries (never to be used in ads). For each photo you donate, they will donate $1 to a charity of your choice – places like Shot@Life, Operation Smile, Save the Children, and the American Heart Association.

Through this program, J&J wants to connect you with causes, and help you bring awareness to needs in the world. And I think that’s pretty awesome! You can get the app for i-stuff or Androids.

_____

Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson also has a whole bunch of printable coupons for products like Neutrogena sunscreen, Johnson’s baby lotion, and Visine through their Healthy Essentials site. You can save up to $55 on these essentials. We can just consider it a donation to your pocket. I’m sure your child, like mine, goes through Band-Aids like they’re water.

 Would you consider donating a photo?

Crumby Banana Muffins

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banana muffins

I’m trying to start the morning out right. I’ve done my Bible study, savoring the last week of A Woman’s Heart during this Holy Week. I’ve thrown a load of laundry in the washer, started the coffee, and shoved in my contacts, thrown on yoga pants. (It’s an at-home day. I’ll change later … this afternoon.)

I know the first words out of their mouths every morning – “Mommy, I’m hungry! Can I have somefing to eat?” If I’m lucky, I’ll have ‘somefing’ ready before Libbie starts looting in the pantry and decides she will eat pretzels for breakfast.

Before they even woke this morning (albeit wiped out from travel, they slept a little late … and by that I mean until 7:20), I started muffins. Trying to beat them at their own game. Trying to be Mother.

I’ve had a kind of abysmal parenting day so far. But at least I gave them muffins. And they were good.

Crumby Banana Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Crumby Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking power
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Crumb Topping
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 T cold butter

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 400F. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.

Make streusel topping in a bowl. With a fork mix together 1/4 c. flour, 1/4 c. brown sugar, and cinnamon until well-combined. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until it is coarse crumbs. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk egg, milk, and butter together; add banana and mash together.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.

Divide among 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with about 1 T of streusel.

Bake about 20-22 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

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