The Library is the Thing

Hello all!! How is summer? Hope you’re all enjoying yourselves and spending lots of time with your family and friends. I know we are!!

So you all know we bought our first home in May after months of looking and searching for the perfect place.

Now we’ve landed in the beautiful town of Okemos, just east of E. Lansing and Michigan State. As we slowly transform this house into our own forever home (you can see more pics and follow the progress on my new blog:     2 Sisters 2 Houses) we are also exploring our new neighborhood and all it has to offer.

One of the biggest selling points to this girl? We are just down the street from the local Capital Area District Libraries Okemos branch!!!

I know, right? We live down the street from the library?! How perfect and awesome is that?

The CADL library system is incredible. It boasts a whopping 13 branches throughout Ingham County and hosts nearly a dozen programs throughout the system every single day.

We frequently visited the Downtown branch when we lived at our old place, but were excited to check out our local branch just shortly after moving in. So the whole family strapped on sneakers and we took a walk to the Okemos Library.

Right when you walk into the library you are greeted by the circulation desk and children’s area. Talk about making kids feel welcome! The girls ran right into the place and made themselves at home on the block table.

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And our timing was impeccable (which rarely happens) as we arrived just in time for the Kids Reading to Dogs program. This was one of Cedella’s favorite activities last summer at my old library in Hazel Park (or Grandma’s Library as the girls call it), so I was so happy to know that our local library offered a similar program. There were several therapy dogs and a crowd of kids waiting to read to them. It was so great to see such a well-attended program!! We even ran into some friends from Holt that had come just to read to the dogs.

Sadly, Cedella was a little bit shy, and it takes her a while to warm up to new places. So she opted out of reading to the dogs in order to play and read with her Dad and Izzie.

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But the most exciting part of the trip? Cedella chose to get her first library card! That’s right. 4 years old and she insisted on getting her own card so she could check out her own Rainbow Fairy books. She even ‘signed’ her name on the form. So. Cute.

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And though we’ve been driving over an hour each way to go to the Hazel Park library to assist Grandma Linda with her Summer Reading Program every Tuesday, we can’t wait to start spending more time at the Okemos library.

But in order to keep our incredible CADL system open and able to offer such great programs they need our help. Tomorrow, Tuesday August 5th, is the primary election vote. It also happens to have a couple of very important ballot initiatives that require turn-out and positive support. CADL needs your help. Please consider voting YES to renew their millage. More information can be learned HERE.

The CADL system is 90% funded by a local tax millage. This means that state and federal dollars count for very little of what makes CADL great. What makes our libraries so fantastic is local dollars and support.

Even better? The millage rate is not set to increase, it’s merely a renewal on the same millage rate that has been in place since 2006. In a time when all prices and taxes seem to be rising, isn’t it refreshing to know that the CADL system can operate on the same amount they have since 2006?! Knowing how hard it is to balance a library budget from seeing my co-workers have to make tough financial decisions, I give the CADL director a lot of credit in this department.

A lot of people think that by voting ‘no’ to renew this millage they are somehow ‘saving’ on their taxes. And perhaps they’re right. Perhaps they will save a few hundred dollars a year on their taxes. But what does that money equate to?

At $300 in millage dollars per resident per year?

$24.95/new hardcover book = 12 new books

$17.95/new children’s book = 16 new books

$19.95/new DVD movie = 15 new movies

$34.95/new digital audiobook  = 9 new audiobooks

OR…

$300/year for UNLIMITED NEW EVERYTHING!!

That’s right. Unlimited. You can read as much as you want. You can watch as many movies as you like. You will never tire of reading the same story to your kids every night, because you can always have exciting new stories. For purely the access to new and up-to-date materials, the millage is worth passing.

But for all the other resources available at the libraries? Your dollar goes so much further.

It is a safe and quiet place for kids and teens to read, do homework and hang out.

There are hundreds of resources for job seekers, resume writers and the unemployed.

Need something to do? Attend a concert, a movie or a storytime. For FREE!

Internet service gone down or need a higher speed WIFI connection? They’ve got your back.

I can’t stress enough how invaluable our libraries are. They are more than just stacks of antiquated books and paper. They are living breathing community centers full of information, resources and activities.

If you haven’t considered voting or always forget, please let this serve as a reminder to do so. Voting at a local level is so important and really does effect and change your town for better or worse.

So vote YES tomorrow to renew the CADL millage!! Pretty please with sugar on top!!

Wordful Wednesday: The Biz at 18 Months

My blog has suffered under Extreme Busyness Syndrome. So much so that monthly updates for my sweet Isora Rose have been all but non existent. (*To Isora – Sorry sweet girl. I really would have liked to write more about you over the past 18 months but keeping up with you and how quickly you learn everything is pretty time consuming. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I love you and your Wiggle Worm ways so no complaints that I loved your sister more, m’kay?)

So I figured I’d take this Wednesday to gush show off brag discuss my sweet baby girl.

This is Isora Rose. 18 months old but just told me the other day that “I 3 year old Mama”.  Ummmm, no, you’re not. But cute that she repeats every. single. thing. her sister says, right? And yes, she talks. A lot. All day. All night. She says words that sound funny coming out of a 18 month old mouth. Like ‘remember’ and ‘medicine’. She nearly always says ‘thank you’ often says ‘please’ and her newest fav is “No. I do it.” SMH. WAY too early for that statement if you ask me. She says all her ABC’s and “1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,14,Zoomi” (cause she knows it makes us laugh). She sings along to all our songs in the car. She loves when I sing Alouette and My Favorite Things and 1 2 3. And she loves Bob Marley. Of course 😉

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This little lady has always been sweet and chill but as she’s grown she has blossomed into the most good-natured, smiling and happy child I’ve ever known. She rarely cries (though the closer we come to 2 the more she fake-cries) and if she does get a boo-boo it’s easy to make her smile again. The song ‘Alouette’ used to be her stop-crying song. Now you just say “Boo Teta”. I know. It’s silly. Cedella said it to her once when she was crying and it stuck. They both crack up. Every. Time.

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There’s something else you must know about Iz. She is completely obsessed with her sister. Whatever Ella is doing or saying, Izzie is copying. It’s adorable and funny, as short-lived as it may be. Because one day they will fight over toys or clothes or boys or life but for now they’re pretty inseparable. And that’s cool with me.

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Despite their closeness they are very different children. And that’s the coolest thing to see. All the things that Iz loves that El gets easily bored by. All the subtle little differences.

For example…this kid loves to brush her teeth. It makes her whole day. She’ll say “brush teeth” until I go into the bathroom with her and put toothpaste on her Dora brush.

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She is a Weirdo. With a capital W. In our home Weirdos are just silly people who are different and unique. Weird is a positive. She has Weird in spades. She wore this one snow boot around for hours. Hours. And would freak if I tried to put the other shoe on her. Weirdo.

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And man is she funny. She is constantly thinking of new ways to make us laugh. She’s a natural Goof Ball. I kinda wish I could roam around the house mostly nude with a basket on my head too. Sadly she’s the only one that can get away with it, she’s a trailblazer of physical comedy.

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Like the Corn-Holio. She does this one a lot. Actually she takes off her shirt a lot. When her tummy is free she’ll rub on it like she’s rubbing a Good Luck Buddha and say “Tummy”. Makes us laugh every. single. time.

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And this…her fake pouty face. She’s got you fooled, huh? Keep in mind this face was directly followed by

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a big old grin.

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Did I mention Izzie can and will sleep just about anywhere at any time? No really. Anywhere. Remember this? A booth in a busy restaurant in Chicago.

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And at the Zoo. Even at her favorite place she sleeps.

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Another thing to know about this little lady: she loves to eat. Loves. Anything and everything. The only thing she seems to have an aversion towards is fish (which is weird cause we eat a lot of fish) but she loves everything else. Current obsession? Hummus, PB&J, Turkey and Yogurt. And cupcakes. Anything with frosting is cool with her.

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Always fruit. Off the tree, don’t care. She was digging on that pear. The cuteness of her eating this pear fresh off her Jiddo’s tree just kills me. I love it so.

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She is a book lover just like her Mama and her sis. Current favs include ‘Pajama Time’ ‘Duck on a Bike’ and the Little Critter book ‘I Was So Mad’. And anything that has baby faces for her to kiss. She’s really into kissing right now.

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Though she loves to hang out at Play. she really comes alive at the zoo. On this visit she woke up just in time to chase the peacocks . It never gets old.

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She is a very intense and avid colorer. Have you ever seen a more serious coloring face? She’s doing business here.

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And she has entered the Momma and Baby phase. The second we get to Play. she goes right for the babies. At home she carries around three at a time.

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She even wears her babies while she’s watching her favorite shows (Currently: Daniel Tiger, Super Why, Team Umizoomi and Dora).

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Though she loves taking care of her babies she is still very much Mama’s Girl. I can’t get enough kisses and hugs from this kid. She’s positively delicious. She makes every single cell in my body vibrate with happiness even on the rainiest and grayest days.

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I catch myself sometimes just staring at her. Just in awe of some new thing she’s taught herself or something funny that she’s done. Watching that sweet grin spread over her face is like medicine for a stressed out soul. I love to watch her play and explore and try and persevere.

But seriously, where did I get this blonde haired green eyed child from? Another unique and beautiful thing about this sweet girl.

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But whatever you do. Don’t take this girl’s babies or food….cause she’s a tough girl. She’ll get ya.

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See? Told you she was funny.

Do you have a hilarious child of your own? I’d love to here about what makes your kid an awesome Weirdo!! Please share stories!!

Linking up with Amanda at Dude Mom and Angie at Seven Clown Circus. Go check out their gorgeous families now. Just do it.

Happy Wednesday!!

Books? What are Those?

It’s Thursday and that means linking up with Adventuroo’s Capture the Everyday! This week’s topic? What are you Reading?

It seems like I went from reading 20 books at a time to barely finishing whatever my book club was reading each month and that’s it. And that more often than not has been an audiobook while driving the hour and a half to and from Detroit every ten days or so.

But I have been more inspired to read lately. I miss it. I crave it. But why does it seem like everything I pick up kind of sucks?

There were many much anticipated YA novels (cause usually I really adore them). I Am Number Four, Across the Universe, Matched. They all left me less than impressed. I call it The Hunger Games Effect.

I compare everything, especially series, to The Hunger Games and continually feel disappointed. Seriously. If you haven’t read it you should. It’s our May book club selection.

So when I went down to my old library for book club last night I picked up several books. And not a single YA. Cause maybe I’m disappointed cause I just can’t even remotely relate to vampire teens, fairy tweens or space-traveling young adults. Here’s what I ended up with:

First up? A travel guide to Arizona & The Grand Canyon!! Cause we are leaving for our trip in six days!!! Nuff said.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Our April book club selection. Cult classic and one I’ve wanted to read for years. I’ve heard it’s disturbing and depressing. No spoilers please.

A Walk with Jane Austen. Cause just about anything having anything to do with Jane Austen makes me happy. The tagline is “A journey into adventure, love and faith” following the life and lore of Jane Austen through England. The author created the blog ‘Jane Austen Quote of the Day’.

And while we’re talking about bloggers…The Pioneer Woman wrote a book?! And it’s a love story?! Whuck?! This is my absolute dream. That my blog leads to a book deal and allows me to do all the things I love in life. Write, rant, takes pictures, brag about my kids and live life on my terms. I am really excited to read this, because she has such a unique voice and a clever way of telling stories.

And then there’s the bin of books for Miss Reading Rainbow in her library bin. And one baking cookbook called Baked for me, cause it has the funniest title ever. Just sayin’.

To be fair. The Glee DVD is for me too ::wink wink::

So…what are you reading? To take a look at other people’s selections or to link up your post click on the Adventuroo button below!

Happy Reading!

 

Capture the Everyday from Adventuroo