October 30, 2014

Teaching to Give

Last week I was a little worried. As we move from Halloween into Thanksgiving, Christmas and A's birthday. It is the season of holidays. The season of family. And often - the season of gifts. I absolutely love how generous my family and friends are, they are so thoughtful and giving. I want A to be the same way. 

So I started thinking about ways to get him into liking giving as much as receiving gitfs! We baked cookies for our neighbors, I solicited suggestions on how to get him to care more about giving, and worried about how to get him to be more caring. I worried. 

Today A came home from school and was so excited about his Halloween loot. Mommy fail admission here - I didn't know I was supposed to bring candy and toys to share! A was telling me about how nice everyone was. He was so animated about wanting to call Madeline to thank her. To tell her how nice it was to give him a spider (the nicest spider in the world). And he so sweetly asked me if he could please bring his own toys to share with his class. 

Tears came to my eyes I guess I don't need to worry so much. I think he's doing fine. He is a sweet, thoughtful, generous three year old. So his face lights up when he gets gifts, his face also lights up when he gives them too. He loves to say thank you and gives me little bits of paper with such love. He makes me bowls of pretend soup and sings me happy birthday on a daily basis :) He always gives me the biggest piece of the (pretend) pie.

I am so lucky to have the little (bigger) guy in my life. 

This post was inspired by The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith, memoir about how random acts of kindness transformed her family’s bereavement and grief during the holidays. Join From Left to Write on October 28th as we discuss The 13th Gift. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

October 8, 2014

I love statistics, but...

I took a statistics course for the first time in college. The professor had a stunningly monotone voice (though a great australian accent), the book was dense, the lectures long...but I loved it. It clicked right away, the numbers made sense, the data was fascinating. 

I took another few classes in grad school - I loved the late nights at the computer lab trying to figure out what the data was saying. When I could tell a story with the data. A good story, one that made sense. My first job after grad school - lots of data, lots of statistics. What I discovered however? It made everyone mad.

Yep, mad. People hate being part of a data set. 

Everyone is unique. Everyone defies statistics. You can't categorize people, or work places, or families, or groups, or anything, because that takes our individuality off the table. Everyone who is part of your data set, will swear up and down that they are unique can't be explained by statistics, don't fit for a long line of reasons.

Yet, the data is there - there are always outliers, everyone, everything has it's quirks, but the data tell fascinating tales. Just don't take it too personally. See the trends, enjoy the puzzle pieces, listen to the stories. You'll find fascinating tales. 

This post was inspired by Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) by OKCupid co-founder Christian Rudder, where he analyzes online data to find out that people who prefer beer are more likely to have sex on a first date. Join From Left to Write on October 9th as we discuss Dataclysm. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

September 16, 2014

First Matching Outfits ~ Very Hungry Caterpillar PJs!

I had no idea how irresistible it would be to succumb to matching outfits. Granted I started with pajamas - but how much fun is it to dress up your boys alike? One itty bitty outfit and one adorable 3 year old???

Of course, the catalyst was seeing the line of Eric Carle sleepwear and playwear at Gymboree. Mr. A LOVES brown bear. He can recite the whole book!

Not only is he adorable (am I biased?) but so is his new little brother! I have always loved the Very Hungry Caterpillar and the incredible illustrations - so of course I had to buy them the adorable Caterpillar PJs.

I love that my son loves Brown Bear and the Very Hungry Caterpillar too - they were some of his first books. I had an entire conversation with his pre-school teacher about how great the artwork are for little kids imaginations.

The smallest size, 6-12 month is still too big for Baby Brother, but I had to try it on him anyway. He'll grow into it! I can't wait until the can both wear them together. They come in both girl and boy sizes 6 - 12 months, 12 – 18 months, 18 – 24 months, and 2 - 6T. I'm still debating buying the brown bear playwear for A.

In case my adorable pictures of my sons in their PJs aren't enough - feel free to enter your own photos in the photo contest inspired by Eric Carle’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See, from 9/2-9/30.  The contest is to encourage parents to help little ones take a picture of what they see. Submit a photovia Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or via a designated direct photo upload site, using the hashtag, #WhatDoYouSee.

Entrants of the #WhatDoYouSee contest will have the chance of winning one of ten Eric Carle gift baskets including: A House for Hermit Crab book, a signed copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar book, figurines, stickers, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sippy Cup, Chunky Colored Pencils, Match and Munch Game, Place Mats Book, and Stage & Play (Approximate Retail Value $144.99).

The winners will be announced on 9/30/14. For even more fun, download the iPhone app so you and your little one can add some Eric Carle fun to your photos and play a caterpillar game!

The partnership between Gymboree and the World of Eric Carle brings two iconic, parent-trusted brands together and builds on Gymboree’s rich heritage in colorful, quality clothing that parents love and children never want to stop wearing.

This is a sponsored blog post. I received compensation from Gymboree. The opinions and text are all mine.


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