The best books for 6-18 months

Best books for 6-18 months

Since becoming a mom 18 months ago, I have read only book for my own entertainment but I have read countless board books with my son, Hezekiah. He loves books and reading together has been such a special time for us. The local library is a great resource for finding new books and many of them offer story time for babies and toddlers. This list contains the books that my son loves best and that I also enjoy reading to him.

Best books for 6-18 months

 

Best Books for 6-18 months

Books featuring photos of babies

Babies love to look at books featuring photos of babies. We first started looking for these books after reading this post on Eco Novice suggesting baby face books for potty time. They were an instant hit so I looked for these books whenever we went to the library.
Baby Talk! This is our favorite and it has been great for encouraging my son’s speech.
Baby Faces by Margaret Miller This book focuses on babies faces and their emotions.

The Global Fund for Children books

We discovered each of these books at the library. I love how they show a variety of babies from all over the world.

Global Babies (also available in a bilingual Spanish edition) Each page in this book features a baby from a different country. The message is that babies all over the world are loved and bring joy.
Global Baby Girls For awhile, this was my son’s favorite book. This book follows the same format as Global Babies and has a message that little girls from all countries can change the world.
Global Baby Boys
American Babies
This book is similar to the others except that are of the babies are from the U.S. Like the other books, the babies have a variety of skin tones and are in different environments.

Animals

Animal books are very popular with children. I have had so much fun teaching Hezekiah animal sounds even though he makes one sound for most of the animals which sounds like a combination of a cow, sheep and horse.

I Would Tuck You In by Sarah Asper-Smith and Mitchell Watley I first read this book while interning for Alaska Airlines Magazine several years ago. I fell in love with this cute book. All of the animals featured in the book live in the Pacific Northwest (including Alaska).

Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown I chose this book for Hezekiah because I love JJ Heller’s “The Boat Song” which is based on this book. Lori Sutherland who teaches my Mom’s class at church described Runaway Bunny as “a beautiful story of the balance of high love and high control in mothering… And a picture of God’s love for us as expressed in Psalm 139.” I love that perspective of this classic book.

Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman This is a classic book that I remember from my childhood. After the baby bird is hatched, he goes on an adventure to find his mother. On the way he meets several animals.

Wherever You Are My Love will Find You by Nancy Tillman I love this book by the best selling author of On The Night You Were Born. I used to read this book to my son every night before he went to bed. It didn’t take long for me to memorize which I didn’t mind because the words are beautiful. Tillman’s illustrations are also a delight.

My Favorite Pets (Little Scholastic) This book is great for babies because it allows them to feel the animals. My son’s favorite was the dog.

Waddle! by Rufus Butler Seder I picked up this book at the thrift store before going on a road trip when Hezekiah was a few months old. This book is unique in that is uses scanimation to make each of the animals move as you turn the page. It is great for little ones who are too young for TV especially on road trips.

Woolly the Sheep (Usborne books) I have been a sheep lover for a long time (they’re so cute) and I have passed this sheep love on to my son. This is a cute (and short) book about a sheep who wanders out of his pen.


A Kissing Hand for Chester Raccoon by Audrey Penn A beautiful story of a mother showing favor and affection to her child. The mother in this book really considers her little raccoon’s feelings and helps him through a difficult situation.

Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day To be honest, this isn’t my favorite book but my son loves it. Some of his first words were, “good dog”. There is only one sentence on the first page and the rest are just pictures but there is a story and it forces you to be creative.

Where do I Sleep? A Pacific Northwest Lullaby By Jennifer Blomgren This is a book we checked out from the library. It was fun to read about animals that live nearby and that we have seen at the zoo.

Books that teach life skills

Books have been really helpful in teaching my son and giving him an opportunity to practice his words and signs.
Can You Say Please? This book teaches children to use phrases such as “please” and “let’s share”. My son enjoyed looking at the photos of the children.
Bye Bye Time by Elizabeth Verdick This book was very instrumental in helping my son say goodbye when I would leave him with somebody else for a couple of hours. Before leaving, I would repeat the words and actions of the book and he seemed to understand that I would be back.

Books that feature vehicles

Baby Touch and Feel Trucks This fun book features several different kinds of vehicles and has a texture for each one.

Little Blue Truck One of our favorite books about a little truck that helps a bigger truck with the help of his animal friends. This is a great book for teaching little ones animal sounds.

What is your favorite book for babies?

 

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Why I use a meal planner

Meal planning, healthy meals

Why I use a meal planner

Meal planning is one of the many things that have simplified my life since I became a mom. Having a plan ensures that I don’t resort to last minute searching the cupboards and making some random box meal (why do I even have that in my cupboard?)

Meals are a lot less stressful now that I have a plan. This plan guides my grocery shopping and makes it easier to make a weekly shopping trip for the things I need that week. Grocery shopping was taking up too much time because I would go almost everyday. I have been using a meal planner for almost two months and I am eating healthier and saving lots of time and money.

Orignally, I was just using a notepad that had all the days listed out to write each day’s meals. That was better than nothing but I now use the printable from Elegance and Enchantment. I love that it includes a shopping list. I recently discovered that it is easiest to color code the meal with the items for the meal. Or maybe that is just me because I love color.

Meal planning, healthy meals

First, I made a general plan of what I wanted to make on a regular basis. This makes it easier to decide what to make each week. For example:

Monday: pasta (link to board on Pinterest)

Tuesday: Mexican (a lot of our food has a Mexican theme)

Wednesday: soup (fairly easy and really helathy) (link to board on Pinterest)

Thursday: slow cooker meal (I have to make sure this is a day that I am available to start in the morning/ early afternoon) (link to board on Pinterest)

Crockpot meals

Friday: Stir Fry/ Asian (this is a good way to use up all your extra vegetables from the week) (link to board on Pinterest)

Saturday: Pinterest (one my recent pins to my food board)

Sunday: Pizza (this is something I started making in college and have done on a weekly basis since I got married)

Most of my recipes are found on Pinterest. Each week, on Sunday afternoon before I go grocery shopping I make my plan and look at the recipes to see what ingredients I need to buy. Since Sunday’s meal is usually the same that is the easiest day to go shopping. Every morning I have overnight oats which makes my mornings so much easier and there are hundreds of different combinations of things to put in them.

Meal plan for this week

Sunday: pizza with turkey sausage, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions. The only thing I needed to buy was the meat because I already had the veggies, sauce and dough. I buy premade balls of dough which I have found at Trader Joe’s, Safeway, and Winco.

Monday: Creamy Chicken and Asparagus pasta  from Cookingclassy.com

This was creamy but a warning: use fresh asparagus and not canned like I did.

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Tuesday: Restaurant style nachos from The Pinning Mama

I used fajita flavored ground beef instead of chicken because we use chicken more than beef and had both in the freezer. We loved this dinner and it was perfect for my 16 mont old who loves black beans, cheese and ground beef.

Wednesday: Anything you have coconut curry soup from Pinch of Yum (one of my favorite food blogs)

Coconut milk is a staple at our house and we love curry so this should be good and I love the name.

Thursday: Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen

Sounds yummy. I just bought quinoa in bulk at Costco.

Friday: Indian food! Curry, to be more precise.

Last time I was at Winco, I randomly bought a few “Indian Essentials” seasoning mixes in case I needed a last minute meal. This was perfect. The only ingredient I needed was tomatoes.

Saturday: Lemon and Rosemary Chicken

This sounds yummy and kinda fancy.

How do you save time planning meals?