Friday, March 2, 2012

Oh The Places You'll Go

"My name is Cat. I don't like hats.  I once saw a bat.  It wasn't fat.  Imagine that? A not fat bat.  It was thin.  I named him slim."

O.K. My attempt to Dr. Seuss it up was pretty lame - I'm obviously no Dr. Seuss. 
Green Eggs, Ham, and Cinnamon Rolls.  And a three year old hand trying to nab my dessert.
We celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday with a dinner that consisted of green (scrambled) eggs, ham, and cinnamon rolls.   While the eggs looked oldy moldy - they were pretty yummy (and incredibly easy) to make:

Mix your scrambled eggs up like you normally do.  (I use eggs, milk, salt, and pepper).  Brayden put the food coloring in - we used the gel kind and we mixed it all together.  I wanted really green eggs so we used a lot of the food coloring.  Cook em as you normally would and bon appetite!  Your green eggs are served! 

Now, it took some coaxing to get my husband to attempt to eat the "green" eggs but he eventually did and didn't complain about the color.  My three year old gobbled them up and asked for seconds.   My one year old just flat out refused the eggs but did enjoy the ham.  I was with B on the yummy factor.

After dinner, "The Foot Book", "Green Eggs and Ham", and "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" were our books of choice for the after dinner reading show.  My kids see these books as funny and whimsical with a new rhyme at every turn.  I, as a parent see these books as a learning tool - teaching them important lessons, even though they might not know it at the time.  The whole point of "Green Eggs and Ham" is - "try it, you might like it" - something I say a million times a day. 

My favorite Dr. Seuss book by far, is "Oh, the Places You'll Go!".  I received my copy of this book as a gift on my high school graduation day - way back in 2002.  The book starts out simple enough:

"You have brains in your head. 
You have feet in your shoes. 
You can steer yourself any direction you choose." 

Most parents can relate to.  We all want our kids to be able to make good decisions and steer themselves in the right directions. Even though it's not always easy:

"You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. but mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?"

We are all in charge of our actions.  Life is full of ups and downs and then back ups and back downs.  There will be amazingly bright and brilliant moments followed by some of the darkest times in a person's life.   Your entire life is indeed a balancing act:

"You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go. 
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
A Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left."

"And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)"

Stay balanced, stay focused, if you get knocked down - get back up, if you travel the wrong road - get back on the right road - you will succeed, 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.

Reading has been important to me since I was little.  I remember going to the library every week and getting to pick out ten books. (10 was the max.)  As I grew, my love for reading did also.  I still carry my love for reading with me as an adult.  There is nothing more relaxing (other than two simultaneous glasses of wine) than getting lost in a great book. 

My kids are well on their way to having their own library.  We bought books for them before they were born.  I passed down books that were kept from when I was little.  "Good Night Moon" and "Big Red Barn" were instant favorites.  Emma goes to bed every night with her "Barney: Alphabet Soup" and "Barney: Opposites" books.  There are many nights I can hear her in her room trying so hard to repeat the words that were read to her just an hour before.  Many nights, Brayden will sit quietly in his room, flipping through pages of dozens of books.  He loves everything from his sisters "baby" books to books about the Presidents and the First Ladies - or the "President's Girls" as he calls them.    I take pride in the fact that they each have their own library cards and have seemed to already develop an early love of reading and story telling.  They have an entire world of imagination at their fingertips - those books and stories can take them anywhere.

Unfortunately, not all kids are so lucky to have books at their fingertips.  I would strongly encourage everyone reading this to seek out local organizations that encourage literacy and donate - donate new books, donate your time reading to elementary kids, or donate money to purchase books.  It really can take something as small as donating a book to make an enormous difference in a life.


  1. Loved the dinner idea. Sounds like super fun for the kids, even if E didn't really take to the fowl-looking eggs. (ha! get it? LOL)

    I got to guest read in Connor's class yesterday after for Read Across America week. All week the kids have been encouraged to do their independent reading from the Seuss collection. I chose to bring/read The Butter Battle Book. It's always been my favorite. It teaches the kids a great lesson about being tolerant of other people's opinions and life choices, and that not every disagreement is something worth fighting/arguing about. I had a blast sharing with them and Connor said I even "did a good job on the voices." Ahh, that little man makes me smile. :)

  2. We are big fans of Dr. Seuss at our house. Love the creativity! I am your newest follower. I would love it if you checked out my blog.

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