Whole30/Elimination Diet Recap - Week 1

Well we survived the first week! Actually, it wasn't too bad at all. I knew when we started all this that I was going to be keeping it pretty simply. Mostly I went through my list of our regular family favorite recipes and found ones that were already gluten free/dairy free for the kids and easily adaptable for Whole30 for me.

Breakfast: We normally eat either eggs and toast or oatmeal on weekdays served with fruit.  I'm replacing the toast with hashbrowns or spiralized sweet potatoes and I let kids have rice krispies or cheerios with coconut milk instead of potatoes some days - after they've eaten their eggs. Dry cereal is a pretty rare treat around here so they like this option a lot! If they have oatmeal, I still have eggs.

On the weekends we often to pancakes or french toast or something fancier and I knew the kids would be sad without that so one day I made banana/egg pancakes (mush 1 banana per person, mix in 2 eggs per banana and a sprinkle of cinnamon, cook like a regular pancake). The kids loved these! I also did some leftover sausage sauteed with spinach with an egg on top one day for myself. But we're used to fairly routine breakfasts so this meal is easy. I'll probably be bringing in more sausage and bacon to excite them a bit more as well.


This is our hard area as we are typically eating PB&J sandwiches 90% of the time. I bought these containers and have done a lot of bento box style lunches with rolled up turkey, pickles/olives (I didn't realize Lucy loved olives. Nobody else does but she devours them!), apple slices with peanut butter(kids)/cashew butter (me) as a dip, hardboiled/deviled eggs, carrot sticks, fermented dilly green beans and sometimes trail mix with nuts and sunflower seeds. This worked well for the three days we had picnic lunches and camped. I normally had a big salad with many of the same ingredients, topped with a basic vinaigrette.

We also did some leftovers and tuna salad on apple slices (kids) and as a salad (me). I'm going to be looking for a few more interesting recipes to try for the kids.

Dinner: I made my whole month's menu of dinners before we started this with almost all tried and true recipes which takes a lot of the stress out of this whole thing but because its mostly meat and fresh veggies and not pantry goods, I can easily switch out recipes later on in the month if we need to mix it up a bit and add in new recipes.

Roast chicken with roast veggies and potatoes and salad - no change!

Leftover chicken as chicken noodle soup - replace noodles with zoodles (spiralized zuchini). I was planning on taking mine out and adding zoodles just to mine and brown rice noodles into the rest but the kids wanted to try the zoodles. They didn't actually eat much of them thought so next time I think I'll add brown rice noodles to theirs anyway. Served with salad/veggies

Lemon pepper Salmon, roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli - no change! This is one of my kids favorites, especially Lucy.

Korean Beef Bowls - I used this recipe which is only slightly different from my regular recipe as that one has molasses but its similar and kids didn't notice. I made cauliflower rice for me and brown rice for everyone else and stir fried several veggies separated with a bit of sesame oil added for flavor (julianned carrots, brocolli, zuchini, spinach) plus kimchi all out in little bowls on the table so they could pick what they wanted - after they tried a tiny bit of each one. I normally do this as wraps with them filling lettuce but did it in bowls mixed together this time and kids ended up eating a lot more. This one was a bit hit!

Camping - Whole30 Approved Chicken Apple sausage for me, all beef hotdogs for kids, lots of fruit (grapes, strawberries, apples) and potato chips. The potato chips didn't have any non-Whole30 ingredients but kinda break the spirit of the thing for most people. As I'm doing it for more elimination reasons, rarely have potato chips and had very little time to plan these meals for camping, I don't care if that makes me a Whole30 cheat.

Super Nachos - Tortilla chips topped with seasoned ground beef, salsa, tomatoes, corn, lettuce and guacamole. I had mine as a salad without corn or tortilla chips. I don't normally put salad dressing on our nachos but without cheese and sour cream I thought we might miss it so I went through the trouble of making a creamy avocado cilantro dressing only to have the kids reject it in favor of straight guacamole. Whatever kids, it was good!

Thai Coconut Fish Sticks - This was the big hit of the week. The recipe is from this cookbook I reviewed a while back and my kids love fish but for some reason I got scared off by the red curry included even though my kids like curry and I already had red curry paste in my fridge. I don't know why but the curry flavor is mild but yummy. They ate these up! I served with roasted potatoes and veggies. And it wasn't nearly as involved or complicated as I thought it would be. We will definitely be making these again.

Pasta with Meat added to sauce and brocolli - Aldi organic spaghetti sauce is Whole30 and budget approved and we normally do brown rice pasta so other than leaving off parmesean cheese, no change for kids. I had mine with zoodles instead of pasta. I don't normally like zuchinni but am finding I like the zoodles because they don't have the same squishy/slimy texture zuchini can in other meals.

Snacks: Another hard area for kids especially. We eat lunch early (~11am) and they have a larger snack around 2pm after quiet time. I've done canned fruit with nuts on the side or apple/pb if they didn't have that for lunch but I need to come up with some other ideas. I normally have a snack as soon as they go down for quiet time - a cup of tea and some chocolate with my bible study time. I was super worried about not having my chocolate but luckily I'm used to my tea without any milk or sweetner so that can continue as normal. I've replaced my chocolate with a small handful of sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are not chocolate, let me tell you! But at least I have something to put in my mouth as I read so I'm not sitting there thinking about chocolate.

The other issue we had was donut time at church so I made rice krispie treats with coconut oil and Aldi brand rice krispies (which are gluten free, regular ones are not I believe) and took them along in baggies for the kids. I, of course, abstained. They didn't complain although Lucy did mention later on that they weren't quite as good as donuts.

We'll be having a lot of the same meals this month so the rest of my recaps probably won't be so long. I'll just highlight any favorite recipes we stumble upon and talk about how I'm doing. And how am I doing? Pretty good! The Whole30 website has a timeline of general responses and the only one that really applied with day 6 and 7, I was really tired. It could be the diet - or it could have been carry over from camping on day 5 when I shared a sleeping bag with Norah after midnight and didn't really get any sleep after that point. Hard to tell ;-) I'm actually really surprised how easy this has been for me. No crazy cravings which was my worry because sweets are my downfall. I did bring homemade lara balls along on our camp trip but I haven't really needed those the last few days either. It's more work, especially at lunch time and I need to make sure I eat enough at my meals because its a lot harder to fill up at snack time without cheese or milk at my disposal but otherwise, no real issues with my body. Now I just got to keep it up for 3 more weeks!


Classic Challenge: Oliver Twist

Knocking out a Classic Challenge book (my 19th Century Classic) AND doing some pre-reading for the kid's future school - yes please! Although the idea of any of my kids being old enough to read it someday is still a bit much. Shouldn't Lucy still be obsessed with Knufflebunny? I think so. But actually, her favorite book right now is Pilgrim's Progress so my heart needs to keep up with her growing mind and body.  Jonah loves his fairy tale and folk story picture books but has moved to an obsession with The Wizard of Oz. How did this happen? Luckily Norah still clings to her Gyo Fujikawa Babies and Baby Animal board books or my heart would be breaking right now. Let there always be someone in my life that loves pictures books. But back to Oliver Twist...

This is the third year I tackled a Dickens and he's growing on me. I liked Bleak House last year but this was the first book that I picked up in the evening because I genuinely wanted to read it and find out what happened - at least before I reached the second half. Dicken's isn't ever going to be my favorite author. He's too Victorian (even for me!) -  too preachy, people more caricature than multi-faceted character, etc but I'm definitely coming to appreciate him and the ideas he's trying to get across, especially when I think about the times he lived in.  He's worth reading and I do plan on keeping up with my "One Dickens Novel a Year" Plan for as long as I can.

Oliver Twist itself was quite fast paced and I was well enough acquainted with the musical and disneyfied version to recognize the characters and beginning plot (Sidenote: Despite it's lackluster drawings, Oliver and Company was probably one of my favorite disney movies growing up) but I was still on the edge of my seat for much of it. Dickens does know how to keep one engaged.

And because I picked on his characters a bit, I have to admit I had a certain fondness for a few of the ones in this book. I loved Oliver and really appreciated that despite all his hard times, he was able to maintain his innocence and tender heart. For personal reasons right now, that ideas is even nearer and dearer to my heart that it usually would be and while I know its not realistic to think that most kids can be Olivers and not Dodgers given those circumstances, it doesn't mean I can't enjoy it, right? I'm an optimistic. I also really liked Nancy. Her story is much more tragic than Oliver's and probably more realistic but also more nuanced than I feel like a lot of his characters are and I liked that.

I recently read a discussion about Dickens in which people were saying it was darker than they expected. But I had the opposite impression. I mean, it has its dark moments but coming after Bleak House, it seemed even chipper at times! I think he did a good job taking us back and forth between the light and the dark which highlighted the issues because of the contrast instead of just making the world he created seem overall dark and heavy as in did in Bleak House. There were times in Bleak House where it felt like his big message was just that the world was an awful place. I don't think that is what he was trying to say but it was so bleak that it felt like it and I lost sight of the point in the middle a bit. Where as with Oliver Twist, I felt like I could more clearly see the issues at play and why things were  happening. Not that either is better than the other as I really did like Bleak House too, its just different and I think a good choice for a younger student like I plan to use it with. And the more lighthearted sections certainly helped me get through it a bit faster! And fast I was, three classics down, 9 more to go!

Oliver Twist is my 19th Century Classic for the Back to the Classic Challenge over at Books and Chocolate


Whole30/Elimination Diet Recap - Background

So as I mentioned earlier, the kids and I are all on modified diets right now. But let me back up first. If you haven't been around the blog too long, you might not know this but I have Hashimotos, a auto-immune condition that wrecks havoc on my thyroid as well as other things.

 Overall, I'm actually doing really well with my health. I went and saw an endocrinologist two weeks ago and she said that she'd rate me as asymptomic for hashimotos/hypothroidism! I'm still on daily Armour but my labs look good, my thyroid itself looks good (I've got some nodules they are monitoring but nothing that's an issue as of now) and most importantly, I don't have real symptoms. Anyone with an auto-immune condition will tell you that's the real test because lab numbers lie but achy joints, brain fog and fatigue don't! So why do I want to do an elimination diet now?

Well, I've still got some lingering hormone issues which is closely related to my thyroid.  I'm taking bio-identical progesterone and it works well to keep both my numbers and symptoms in check and I have no worries about its safety or any side effects so in theory I could continue to take it until I 'm ready for menopause but I'm still trying to figure out if there is a root cause behind why my body doesn't seem to want to produce hormones on its own. Plus, I don't like needles and shots are painful.
So right now, when I feel pretty darn good, even dare I say, totally normal (!), seems like a good time to tackle something like this. Yet, it is ironic. When I really needed to, I didn't have the mental stamina to plan it, but now that I'm doing good, I can.

After looking at different options like SCD, GAPS and the AIP diet, I went with Whole30. I honestly think AIP (Auto-immune protocol diet) would be the best fit but I'm currently nursing a toddler and I couldn't imagine giving up eggs and nightshades along with everything else. So I went with Whole30 because I liked its clear cut guidelines and limited length. After the 30 days, I'll slowly reintroduce foods and document how my body handles everything. All that's to say that I'm don't think I'm the typical Whole30 users, at least those who blog about it. I'm not trying to lose weight, change my attitude about food or even really eat "healthier" except the cutting out processed sugar part. But I thought I'd document my journey.


Classic Challenge: The Thirty-Nine Steps

This wasn't my intended novel for the Classic with a Number in the Title category and I'm not normally a bit fan of the thriller, on-the-run, spy type adventure novel. But it was mentioned somewhere (a Circe podcast I believe but don't quote me on that) and I realized I had it on my kindle already. So off I went. I do still hope to read Fahrenheit 451 which was my original selection for this category. 

Now, here is where I feel a bit guilty because this really is a classic. It's well written and included on lots of Top 1000 Books or the 118 English Novels you should read before you die type of lists. But it was sooo boring! I don't like spy novels. Mysteries yes, but spy novels, no. The main reason for this is because I like the mental challenge of figuring out the crime but I don't like suspense. But this didn't really have too much suspense for me. In fact, it didn't have enough. The main guy, I can't remember his name and don't want to bother looking it up, was on the run, a lot. People wanted to kill him. Specifically a creepy man with hooded eyelids. You'd think I would have cared more. I wasn't on the edge of my seat but rather the edge of my pillow because I had to fight to keep the kindle in front my face and not fall asleep.

 And it's a bit ridiculous. I'm willing to overlook a bit of a coincidence or some lucky situations. As a fan of mysteries, you have to be, but this was really pushing the limits. Maybe if you're a fan of Jack Reacher or that sort of adventure/spy novel, this would be interesting to you, both for its own sake and for its importance as one of the beginnings of its genre. But it was not my cup of tea. At least it was short.

The Thirty-Nine Steps was my Classic with a Number in the Title Selection for Karen's Back to the Classics Challenge over at Books and Chocolate. 


February Field Trip

We love to camp but last summer had a bit of rough luck in our attempts, several stormy days and a tummy bug mid-trip really put a damper on our fun.  But not the kid's enthusiasm as for the last few months, both Lucy and Jonah have been asking when its camping time.  We would try to remind them that it was WINTER still but then they'd just ask again. So when we saw the weather report had a whole week of 60-70 forecasted, we figured, why not go camping in February?!

We had planned it for later in the week then we realized we had made a mistake in calculating Craig's day off so Sunday night we decided to go camping on Monday! And we are in the middle of a fairly intense elimination diet for me as well as a gluten-free/dairy free trial for Jonah (with everyone else tagging along because I am not about to fight a 4 year old with every meal because he can't eat the same thing as his sisters). But I quickly made a meal plan, we threw stuff in the car in the morning and off we went. 

And surprisingly, we did pretty well. In answer to my question "Why not go camping in February?" Well, for one thing, the parks don't have firewood for sale - oops! Don't worry, we made it work and marshmallows were toasted and enjoyed by all (but me). And we had to use the dreaded VT instead of the nice bathrooms with running water. The plus side is that by the time the kids were desperate enough to give in and try them, we were the only family left at the park so I could leave the door open and let some extra fresh air in so Jonah didn't have to keep holding his breath. I was pretty sure he would have passed out if I didn't. It was only afterwards I realized that he was a boy and since the park was empty, technically that whole experience was unnecessary for him. Apparently I'm more of a girl mom than a boy mom still! And if Lucy has to give up gluten and dairy for him, then he gets to use a yucky bathroom same as she does. Fair is fair! Just kidding, after that I let him pee in the bushes.

You can see an empty campground around us although right about the time we brought out the marshmallows, another couple did show up so we weren't totally alone. But the kid's loved having free run of the playground and scootering all around the loop without having to worry about cars. And we've generally had good experiences at our state parks with neighbors being respectful, it certainly was a bit more peaceful than usual around the campfire -at least after the kids went to bed.

Everytime we go camping, I tell myself to take more pictures. The pictures above is the only pictures I had on my phone when I got back! That's really a good thing because I feel like our camping times are some of easiest times for me to just focus on being present with the kids.  I played with them on the playground, I read a bit while they scootered around me, Craig and I both did some reading aloud around the fire once everyone get into their jammies. It was nice, even if I don't have photographic documentation. I did manage to scavenge a few from Craig's phone of our big hike from Monday, some of which I did take.

And I got this video of Norah after she figured out how to climb up the bars and slide down herself. She was really proud of both new skills and repeated it about 20 times. 

She had already hiked a pretty good amount (for a 1 year old) earlier that afternoon before moving to my back and by the end of the sliding time she could barely lift her legs to the next rung but she didn't want to stop. All that moving made bedtime pretty easy. And I've figured out podcasts on my phone so the big kids got to listen to their regular kay ray reads to you podcast at bedtime as usual and we had a lot less of the "He's kicking me!" incidents of the previous years. Our camping as a family skills are definely improving - although I still can't ever remember to bring a potholder! We really need to work on a master camping list because apparently, we sometimes go camping at the last minute! 


A Mother's Daybook

Oops.  Wrote this last week and thought I had clicked publish but I guess not. Life with a Norah-toddler does not leave a lot of time for blogging but I'm hoping I'll get back to a regular schedule with it sometime soon. Or at least by the time she graduates high school ;-)

Listening - To fun stuff with my brand new wireless earbuds. I'm too cheap to buy a fancy pair but so far I'm really loving these SoundPEATS. (That's not an affiliate link just a hey, I thought you too might like decent cheap headphones link) So now I can finally listen to podcasts and librovox recordings while doing chores around the house. I still need to get better at using them to pause and play instead of going back to my phone because its often in another room and I have to just miss a bit while the kids are talking to me but I'll still take it!

Recovering - From the In-laws visit. Don't get the wrong idea, the visit itself was lovely but the kids always need a bit of a detox after family leaves as we adjust to our regular routine again and it always seems to hit one kid the hardest. Which kid varies but one kid each time which I suppose is better than all three at once. This time it was Lucy. I tried to give her some grace because I knew she was upset about them leaving but my limit was eventually reached today. But Norah needed an extra nap today as part of her recovery which kinda made up for Lucy.

Enjoying - My new clean garage. Craig and his dad spent Tuesday loading up a bagster full of stuff while his mom watched the kids play out in the amazingly gorgeous weather and I swept and sorted smaller stuff. I don't think the garage has looked so nice since we moved in. It was a project we had hoped to get to later this spring but it feels so good to have it done early. Don't worry, we did have fun with them too. Low key fun things - small Superbowl party, shopping, lunch out at Cheesecake factory (with a carryout dessert), a Carousel ride, lots of books read and new lego sets assembled.

Watching - The Wizard of Oz. The newest installment of our "Read the book then watch the movie." So far, I'm not sure the kids are impressed. Jonah's a bit frightened and Lucy keeps pointing out all the things the movie is doing wrong. In fact, at one point she told me that "If you hadn't told me that this was The Wizard of Oz, I don't think I would have known. It's really nothing the same." That was before Dorothy got to Oz. I think its gotten a little more accurate since but the Munchkin are not all blue and I guess they are supposed to be. I haven't read the books myself (the kids listened to the first two via librovox during quiet time) but I already know Jonah's favorite part about the Oz being a humbug is missing from the movie so tomorrow we'll watch the rest and see if the kids forgive me for suggesting it or not.


Classics Challenge

This is the cover I wish I had. 

My first Challenge book completed - and it was a good one! I'd been warned not to start Rebecca unless I could devote a significant amount of time in the next few days to finishing it. This turned out to be good advice. I'm reading a number of books slowly but I didn't manage to do that with this one.

It's a classic Gothic novel - dark landscapes, intriguing mysteries, dreams, a "weak" heroine in need of rescuing. Check. Check. Check. Check.

This is the I have. Blech!

I would say that Gothic novels aren't my thing but Jane Eyre is one of my all time favorite books and I had a love to hate it (or maybe a hated to love it) relationship with Villette when I read it last year so maybe I like them when I read them but just don't read many. I wasn't really sure how I'd do with this one but having heard it be compared to Jane Eyre in several places, I felt compelled to try.

Well, it is very intriguing and sucks you right into the story. I'm not one to fawn over prose but the language here is quite compelling. She sets the scenes well. Plot wise, I see where the similarities are but I think Rebecca manages to keep its own secrets fairly well. I saw some twists coming, others not at all and some I thought I had figured out but didn't quite get it right so the plot itself was great. And I finished it all in about 48 hrs because I just couldn't put it down.

But what is lacks it the strong character of Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre was weak socially and it that has a lot in common with the unnamed main character of Rebecca. But"Main Character" is also weak minded. Or maybe a better way to put it is weak willed. This is where much of the plot comes from and I didn't have an issue with her while reading the book as I felt she was also believable as that character (no eye rolling or exasperated sighs coming from me as several other goodread readers seem to have experienced) but she doesn't have the same strength of character that Jane Eyre had and it is that strength that drew me into the former and left me pondering it for days and admiring Jane as a character.

So it's not nearly at the same level as Jane Eyre. But then, Jane Eyre is a true classic for a reason and there is a lot of room below a Bronte sister and above twaddle and it's definitely a fun choice if your looking for a gothic novel or just a well written book to keep your mind occupied on a winter's weekend when you just want to snuggle up on the couch with a nice cup of tea.


Okay, I talked about the main heroine but now let's talk about "hero." He leaves even more to be desired that Mr. Rochester! Now I'm no Mr. Rochester fan. I've seen him pop up on more than one Top 10 literary lists in terms of romantic couples and heros and I'm always left scratching my head as to why. I love the book Jane Eyre and I do want him to end up with Jane Eyre but only because she wants him, not because I particularly care about his getting his own happy ending. But man, Mr. Du Mauerier, he's takes Gothic "Hero" to a whole new level. And yet - I still found myself routing for them. I disliked doing it but I couldn't really help it. It's written that way. You want them to get away with it all. They are a lot of gray areas in this book. And some really really dark charcoal grey ones. So much so that it had to be re-written when Hitchcock converted it into a screenplay. But she writes it so well that you don't notice it until the end then you step back from the story that's draw you in, think about it and are a bit horrified. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. Certainly gives one something to think about.

Rebecca is my Back to the Classics Challenge Gothic Romance Selection. See more at Books and Chocolate. 


The First One Hundred!

Lucy's completed her First One Hundred Books! I don't even know when we started it. I said on Instagram two years but I'm thinking now it might be closer to three. It's been so much fun the last few months as each book, she'd ask "How many more?"

I thought it would be fun to look at her progression through that time. Don't worry, I won't write down every single book she read, that would require me being able to read my handwriting in those tiny boxes. But these are the highlights (i.e. the ones I want to remember when Jonah and Norah get to that point. If I can't rely on my brain, I use my blog!)

1-21 (then intermixed with the others) Bob books.

 These make up large portion of the first 100 because that I used Brandy's website as my main teaching method (with a bit of Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading once we finished as she seemed to need a bit more explicit phonics for a while. We've dropped that for now (again) but I might bring it back if she seems to be struggling with harder phonics later on).

22. Cat the Cat, Who is That? by Mo Williams.

53. Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy E. Shaw

54. See Me Run by Paul Meisel

59. (And 62, 68, 78, 86 ) Mole Sisters Series by Roslyn Schwartz - These are a bit quirky but Lucy really loved them. I think we read every title our library system had.

68. See Me Dig - Sequel to See Me Run but be forewarned, its a tad creepier with some pirate ghosts. Didn't bother me kids but it did me.

70. First Steps. When she finished the Bob Books Series, we alternated between two primers/readers for school time. This one is a bit more sight word based but very sweet. We have the whole series and my hope is that once Lucy is happy to read other books on her own, we'll keep practicing reading aloud with these and the other reader series we use.

83. Tom Thumb by Margaret Hillert - I can't find a link to this one because its pretty old but Margaret Hillert seems to have decent easy readers, the folk stories more so than the dear dragon ones.

84. Waiting is Hard by Mo Williams. No, it's not, as any parenting that is waiting for a child to sound out a word she just read of the previous page not more than a minute ago! But Mo Williams isn't bas listening material. She's also read lots of other Mo Williams but I only counted ones for her chart that I hadn't previously read to her.

87. The Treadwell Primer - The second of the two readers I mentioned. It's delightful. She got half way through the Treadwell First Grade book but fell in love with Arnold Lobel and we've been sidetracked by him lately. We will probably go back to the first reader eventually. It's much easier to just stick with a reader for a few weeks than to make sure we have shorter books constantly at the ready.

90. The Foot Book. Ah,  can't have a beginner reading list without a little Dr. Seuss can we?

92. The Cat in the Hat.

93. Hop on Pop...Apparently, this was our Dr. Seuss phase.

98. Frog and Toad Together...now we getting to the good stuff!

99. Owl at Home. "Mom, my brain is kinda tired of reading but it's so funny, I can't stop reading!"

100. The King's Wish. Cute with fun colors. A Christmas present that had her stopping Frog and Toad are Friend's half way finished. (And she did go back and finish Frog and Toad right after this one)

Extras: So apparently I was not a great trackers because I know that she also read at least one Little Bear and two Dr. Seuss books but they aren't on the chart. I might have left them off because I had previously read them to her - or it might just have been a mistake. But Little Bear is right up there with Arnold Lobel. It's when parent's breathe a sign of relief because finally the choices aren't dreadful to listen to as a parent.

She did spend quite a bit of time in the finished with Bob Books but not quite ready for the nice Frog and Toad/Little Bear books level. If you read the link I had up to Brandy's first one hundred post, she talks about that stage and how to avoid getting stuck there. Lucy definitely did.

She started reading really young so I knew that quite possible could happen. And anytime I started to care/worry about that, I turned to a fellow homeschooling mom or two to set me back on the calm collected "she's doing fine" path. So I continued to count the ones she read, even if not at a progressively harder level because she was working hard at what she read. That said, I didn't count books at an easier level than she could read or ones she quite possible could have had memorized from earlier. But a new book that required work on her part - yep!

You can tell right at the end of this list, just the past 2 months or so, she's passed that and is now reading much longer portions at a time so I think we'll easily be ready to move on to something like Jenny and the Cat Club or Billy and Blaze books once we've exhausted the Arnold Lobel section of our library.

The reward for reading a hundred books? A special date with daddy! Now because its been so long, she's changed her mind about what she wants to do with daddy a couple times. I think they've picked an afternoon at the botanical gardens together but he's trying to convince her bowling would be fun as well (and warmer ;-)