Hands-on Activities for Hanukkah

Every year families choose family traditions to celebrate the holidays. Here are a few gift ideas to celebrate Hanukkah. 

Hands-on Activities

Give your children gifts that allow experiences they can remember. Here are three of the best hands-on activities.

Hands-on Gifts for Hanukkah

Let’s start off with a family-fun puzzle. Learning and fun in one!

Hands-on Activities for Hanukkah

Atlas & Jigsaw Puzzle- The World

Have fun and learn with this 300 piece puzzle of the world. Discover animals and landmarks living in specific places around our globe. Learn even more from the 24 page World Atlas that accompanies this awesome puzzle.

Hands-on Activities for HanukkahChildren’s Cupcake Kit

This kit includes a 64-page recipe book, cupcake cases to make one recipe, and adorable cake toppers. If you have a child anything like mine, your child will love baking with you! Children love helping, baking, and of course eating their treasures at the end!

Hands-on Activities for Hanukkah

This kit will delight any young dinosaur lover. For ages 6 and up, children can use the excavation kit to discover dinosaur bones within a clump of clay. The kit includes goggles, a small hammer, and a small brush to dust off the clay. All that’s missing is the newspaper to line your table to make the clean-up easy. This is the hands-on activity this Hanukkah. Give your children something they will remember for years to come!

Hands-on Activities for Hanuhhak

Create your own Pizzeria

This is the perfect project for any young entrepreneur or pizzeria lover. Choose a name for the business, design your logo, decide on prices, uniforms for employees and many more! Cut and glue, then use the menu you’ve created to play in your new world Pizzeria.

Hands-on Activities for Hanukkah

Write and Draw Your Own Comics

Write and Draw Your Own Comics is a great introduction to writing comics. A few filled in panels accompany blank panels to start any child off right. Follow the prompts and ideas for speech bubbles and characters or create something completely on your own.

These are just a few of my favorite hands-on activities. Make this holiday season one you and your family with never forget!

Other Awesome Books

If you enjoyed this list, be sure to check out the perfect book for little hands, animal books, and many more!

That’s the Reading Scoop,




Usborne Non-Fiction for Early Readers

Usborne Non-Fiction

Let’s talk Usborne Non-Fiction

I have been to visit with several Elementary School Librarians and Reading Specialists. What are they most impressed with? Our nonfiction!


We’ll start with the Beginners. These hardback beauties are just $4.99! Filled with facts, text-features, and beautiful pictures, they delight children from preschooler to middle schooler. As a former Reading Teacher, I can’t get enough of these books. They contain not only interesting pictures, but a table of contents and index, along with headings and captions throughout.

Best of Usborne Non-FictionWeather is just one of the many topics. There are 40 titles to choose from, so there is definitely something for everyone! Here are half of the titles available below. These books are also Internet-Referenced, or IR books. That means you can use this website to enter the book and page you’d like to learn more about! The learning never ends! 

Best of Usborne Non-Fiction, Beginners Library CollectionRead with Usborne

We have a brand-new learning to read series and it’s a hit! I have a teacher friend that wants these in her literacy library! Great for early readers, these books have non-fiction, folktales, and fiction titles. These books come in Levels 1-4. “Bears”, “Elephants”, and  “Penguins” are three of the non-fiction titles.

The Best of Usborne Non-Fiction, Bears, Read with Usborne

These books are great for building confidence in early readers. With a variety of titles to choose from, readers can start with 1 and move on to 2, 3, and 4 as they progress.

At the end of the book, there are questions and puzzles you can do to finish up your reading. The perfect activity for home or school!

Pocket Books

These Books are actually Kane Miller books. I was unsure about these books before I saw them for myself. Every page is packed with fascinating information on the particular topic. Here’s a page out of Pocket Books: Cities of the World.

Usborne Non-Fiction, Kane Miller Pocket Books, Cities of the World

The Pocket Books Series include Birds, Insects, Cities of the World, Mammals, Natural Wonders, Predators, Reptiles, and Ocean Animals.

Usborne Non-Fiction, Kane Miller Pocket Books, Ocean Animals

These small and informative books are only $4.99 and one of  many books offered in Book Fairs and $5 Book Days!

These are just a few of my favorite Non-Fiction books.

Another great non-fiction category are the Lift-the Flap Books. Read more about the Peek Inside, Look Inside, and See Inside Books here. 

That’s the Reading Scoop,



My Journey through Thankfulness- Week 1

My Journey Through Thankfulness

We shouldn’t need a reason to be thankful. Thankfulness is something that often gets forgotten in the busyness of life. Here’s my journey this November through thankfulness.

Day 1

The Houston Astros. I’m so happy the Astros won the World Series. This was their year.

I’m a Cardinals fan that lives in Houston, Texas. I became a Cardinals Fan through my older brother. Several years ago, the Cardinals and Astros are playing each other in Houston my brother and I went to the game. I remember borrowing his gear and getting all jazzed up to get to game.  Although we lost that game, I will never forget the excitement of a playoff game.

I wanted the Astros to win for the city.  This city after Hurricane Harvey has come together in a way I’ve never seen before and I wanted for the fans for the city for the players to have something thrilling to be a part of something to celebrate.

I didn’t buy a World Series Champion shirt because the Astros are not my team. But I couldn’t be happier for all the fans, band-wagoners and true lifers alike.

My Journey through Thankfulness, Week 1, Baseball
Day 2

I’m thankful for the ability to nurse my baby Justin. It was a definite rough start to our nursing journey when Justin couldn’t latch correctly and later had his lip/tongue tie revised.

Nursing allows a bond like no other. When that sweet baby looks up at me and smiles in the middle of nursing, it completely melts my heart.

I don’t know how long I’ll nurse, but as this will probably be my last baby, I’m


going to enjoy all the moments I can.

My Journey through Thankfulness, Week 1

Day 3

I’m thankful for Mom’s Club and more specifically play groups. Today, due to a last-minute conflict, I offered to host Bumblees, my son, Brandon’s playgroup.

Hosting last minute of course meant I ran around like crazy this morning picking up toys, socks (where do all these socks come from?), more toys, and shoes from the floor.

A mom, a new member of Mom’s Club happened to be the only one this morning. It was awesome getting to meet her, hang out with her, and share stories for the next two hours. From marriage, to children, and our faith, we covered it all in our first “date.”

Day 4

I’m thankful for Netflix. I love the ability to rewatch shows like How I Met Your Mother (even though it had a horrible ending). With my busy life and the fact the we don’t have a DVR or cable, I stick mostly to binge-watching or rewatching old shows.

Watching Netflix is a great way to destress after days like today when you got poor sleep, it’s too hot, and your toddler runs away for the fifth time in a week.

Day 5

I’m thankful for new experiences and trying new things, no matter how much I may dislike the idea of it. I am a creature of habit wherever I go. I order the same food at the same restaurant and am often scared to go out of my comfort zone.

Tonight my husband and I went to I-Fly in Houston. There you get an indoor skydiving experience. Because it was a small group meant for 12, we each got to go twice into the wind tunnel for 2 minutes each.

Whoa! Chin up. Hold Still. Relax. Legs straight. Stretch your arms out. Don’t forget to smile. These are just a few things the instructor is trying to tell you through sign language since talking in the wind tunnel is pointless.

My Journey Through Thankfulness, Week 1

Week 2 coming soon!

That’s the Reading Scoop,


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This or That? Animal Books for All Ages

Animal books are so popular and some of my favorites! With over 2,000 Usborne Books & More titles to choose from, it’s often hard to decipher which books will work best for which ages.

Here are just a few of the many animal books we offer. To browse all of our books, be sure to shop here.

Look through the ages and choose the option best for the child you’re searching for…

Babies (Baby Babies 0-9 months)

This or That? Animal Books for your brand new baby!

Usborne Fold-Out Books are essential for tummy time. The fold-out pages stand up-right so your baby can look and learning while building strong stomach muscles.


Baby’s very first touchy-feely animals book is an adorable first book with textures of various animals. This was actually the first book I received for my little one!

Babies and 1-year-olds(6 months-24months)

This or That? 1 year old babies will adore these animal books. The “That’s not my” books are some of the most popular children’s books. Each page has a different texture to explore and with over 30 titles, there is definitely a book for every interest! My latest love is That’s not my Pony!


How to Feed Your Cheeky Monkey is a cute board book in a series of board books about everyday activities. Your baby can grow with this playful rhyming story about everyday routines.


This or That? Animals Books for a 2-year-old. Jungle Sounds delights any young child with vibrant pictures and gorgeous sounds. And it pleases many parents with an on/off switch! The realistic sounds and sturdy book will grow with your little one.


The Zoo Talkabout Board Book . I LOVE this book. Questions appear on each page to guide great discussion with your child. From, “How many animals do you see” to “How many babies are there?” this book is a keeper! There are so many new things to learn every time you pick this one up!


This or That? Animals Books for a 3-year-old.

Peek Inside the Zoo and find what’s hiding behind every corner. Learn from the pictures and hidden facts, while peeking through the adorable flaps. Perfect for any 3-year-old!


Lift and Look Dinosaurs is a simple story perfect for introducing dinosaurs to your little one. Plus, find the hidden purple dinosaur on each page!


This or That? Animal Books for 4-year-olds.Big Books are one of my favorites! Each Big Book comes with 4 giant fold-out pages which just emphasizes even more the gigantic size of the animals, bugs, or trucks featured as the title subject. Big Book of Big Animals does not disappoint!


Muddle and Match books combine split pages to mix together for silly pictures and beautiful vocabulary in a cute story. Give a jaguar a monkey’s tail and learn new words along the way!Check out Muddle and Match: Jungle Animals or the newest addition: Fairly Tales!


This or That? Animal Books for a 5 Year-oldLift-the-flap Sharks is a great introduction to Sharks for your little one. With realistic pictures, learn simple facts and keep their attention with this quick read.


    Discover the Secrets of Animal Camouflage using a flashlight. Find the hidden pictures when you shine a light behind each page. Read these books in the dark to make the pictures appear even clearer! From The Human Body to The Space Station, find your favorite Shine-A-Light Book!


This or That? Animal Books for a 6-year-oldCreate dinosaurs with Build your own Dinosaurs Sticker Book.   Match the skeletons with the corresponding body parts and see a dinosaur come to life!


Build up your knowledge of animals with Questions and Answers about Animals. Lift the flaps to find the answers to so many questions. This book, divided by types of questions, will delight any young mind. With colorful facts and pictures, your child will sit and read this book again and again!


This or That? Animal Books for All Ages!Nibbles, the book monster, has done it again! Nibbles loves to eat books, but this time he ends up in a dinosaur book!  Filled with fun dinosaur facts, this adorable follow-up to Nibbles: The Book Monster, will entertain everyone that picks it up!


1000 Animals divided animals into categories like: black and white, night animals, birds, etc. Check out the beautiful pictures and not so easy-to-say names of all 1000 animals!


This or That? Animal Books for All Ages!Definitely, try out the Dinosaur Adventure Excavation Kid Kit- Stegosaurus! This kit comes with  with the lump of clay that has the “dinosaur fossil” hidden within, goggles for eye safety, a small hammer that also has a screwdriver in the handle, and a small brush to brush off all the dust and small pieces of dirt. Great, hands-on learning!


Deadly Animals. Beginners are my favorite non-fiction books! These hardback book are perfect for learning at home or at school. Using vibrant pictures and text features, these books answer all kinds of questions. Search over 30 Beginners to find your perfect fit!


This or That? Animal Books for All Ages!Answer awesome questions like, “What sixth sense turns a shark into a deadly hunter?” or ” Why does snow sometimes turn red?” using this awesome book,  Mysteries and Marvels of Nature. Unlock these secrets and many more using this book and the recommended websites included.


Finds hours of fun in The Great Animal Search. Every double page shows a different location with tons of animals to find. Enjoy a map showing various habitats and learn tons of facts throughout the book. This is definitely a book you can enjoy as a family!

Let me know how these books work out for your family! I’d love to hear from you.

Let’s stay connected. Join my VIP Group on Facebook where all the good info on books comes out first! http://facebook.com/groups/cristinasvirs

That’s the Reading Scoop,












Bless Families Hit by Hurricane Harvey

Families all over the Houston area have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. My Family  was  fortunate and only lost our use of sewage for a few weeks.

I know families personally that were greatly affected. Whether they lost it all or ended up knee-deep in mold and drywall, these families could use some love. I’ve been thinking about a fun and different way to help out some local families.

Free Book Rewards

Being in the book business with Christmas just around the corner, I thought getting some new books to these families would be a great way to bless them.

Throughout the month of October, when you purchase books, all the free book rewards will be given to local families hit by Hurricane Harvey. For every $1 you spend on books, $.50 will go towards books for these families and their littles.

For example, say you spend $50 on books. $25 will then go to a family in need. My goal is to raise $200 in FREE Books. This would allow $50 for 4 different families local to the Houston area.

I hope these books would ease the burden of Christmas gifts coming up or just lighten the mood a tiny bit.

How can I help?

  1. Buy some books for your family this holiday season. Any purchase using this link will help support local families in the greater Houston area.  Make sure to get the books shipped to you, unless you’re local and you will pick up the books at my house. Choose “Ship with organization” if you’d like the books shipped to my house.

Purchase for a Purpose, Bless Families hit by Hurricane Harvey 2. Also, you can nominate a local family in need by emailing me @ thereadingscoop@gmail.com

I hope to get as many families books as possible. I will do a raffle from all the entries  and each family will get to choose $50 worth of books for their children.

Bless Families Hit by Hurricane Harvey

3. Lastly, Share! Share! Share! You never know who might want to purchase books for a purpose OR may know a family to nominate!

Thank you for your support! I can’t wait to share how many families you helped this fall!

That’s the Reading Scoop,

Read Cristina





How teaching Reading prepared me for Usborne Books & More 

I spent my first 7 years after college teaching in a public school. During six of those years, I taught Third Grade Reading with a year of First Grade mixed in the middle.

I absolutely LOVED teaching Third Grade. I loved reading to my students and inspiring them through books, new vocabulary, and amazing text features.

After having my firstborn son in February of 2015, I never went back to teaching. Do I miss parts of teaching? Definitely! But I wouldn’t change my life for the world. I love staying at home with my boys and I’m so grateful for this time.

I’m even more blessed because I get to use so many of my favorite parts of being a Reading Teacher in my new job with Usborne Books & More.

Here are three ways working with Usborne Books & More reminds me of teaching:

1. I love Storytime!

I could have read to my students ALL DAY LONG! Now, I host Storytime at my house once every couple of months. I have lots of fun Storytime themes coming soon! I use my teacher voice to compliment the children sitting nicely and even give prizes at the end!

2. I Frequently use Reading Levels

I speak DRA. As a Third Grade Reading Teacher, I tested my students on their Developmental Reading Level, basically what level the child could read on their own and what level they could read with help. I used that knowledge to recommend books whether in the classroom or in the library. We filled out charts to show growth in reading levels and build confidence at the same time.

Now, when a parent or Grandparent tells me their child’s DRA, or other reading level, I use that knowledge to recommend great Usborne and Kane Miller books. I point out text features and vocabulary. My passion for books and education fits perfectly in my job with Usborne Books & More.

3. I Sell Books

In the classroom, I sold books to my students. Knowing my students’ reading level and interests, I matched my students with the perfect books!

I get to do this now, too. Through Usborne Books & More Educational Services, I work with schools and libraries. I conduct Book Fairs and $5 Book Days. During these Book events, I recommend great books to students. Last year at a local Houston school, while working a book fair a child came up to me and said, “I started reading the book you told me to get yesterday. I love it!”

Just like in the classroom, when I heard, “I’m a great reader because of you, Mrs. Mejia,” I know I am making a difference. I’m making an impact.

Will I ever go back to the classroom? Only time will tell, but, for now, I know I’m so happy doing what I do. I love spreading literacy! And I love staying home with my boys!

Work with Schools Alongside Me

There are many other ways being a Reading Teacher prepared me to work with Usborne Books & More. Educational Services is opening up to new consultants in a few months, allowing consultants to become Educational Service Representatives to work with Schools and Libraries.

I’ve found a passion that fills me to my core and for that I’m truly grateful. There are so many schools throughout the Houston area, let alone throughout our entire nation, that would be greatly helped by the many programs available through Usborne Books & More Educational Services.

If the possibility of working with schools and libraries interests you, contact me for more information.

How Teaching Reading Prepared me for Usborne Books & More


My thoughts after Hurricane Harvey

I’ve been debating what to say the past few days. My family and I are safe and some of the fortunate few in the city of Houston and surrounding areas.

The past week seems like it has lasted a lifetime. I’ve seen friends lose it all and a good portion of our city is still underwater. From Kingwood to Deer Park and Katy to Beaumont, Texas was and is still affected.

I’ve been hooked to the news, crying while watching the various stories and wondering how my help can ever be enough.

Minor Inconveniences

My family will only be inconvenienced with different routes and local closings after the storm ends.  Our local library and favorite Play place, Funky Monkey, closed for an indefinite amount of time due to extreme flooding. Most recently, we found out we need to stop using our water to shower, do laundry, and wash dishes. Again, these are minor inconveniences.

Others have lost their homes, belongings, family, schools, and some their hope of a safe and happy future here. Some may not go back for weeks or months.

The struggle here is real and for many has just begun.

It’s strange, because while my family and I are in this bubble of the fortunate, we are still seeing the effects of this storm daily, whether on Facebook, down the street, or on the news.

Meanwhile, the rest of the country has moved on.

I find it odd to read Hollywood gossip or see all the Facebook posts that have absolutely nothing to do with this Hurricane. 

I’m sure this is how I’ve acted with past disasters not in my immediate area.

I’m sure I have posted, “Thoughts and Prayers” and moved on.

It hurts to see how unaware some people are and I didn’t even flood.

Learn from This

In the weeks and months to come, volunteers will go back to work. People will pick up their old habits and move on with life.

Others won’t be able to and will never be the same again.

I hope and pray we learn from this. I hope and pray this horrible catastrophe changes not only this state but this country. I hope we remember how well we can work together. I hope we solve disagreements while still recognizing our shared humanity.

Growing Up

I didn’t grow up in Texas. I will tell anyone I grew up in Arkansas and I will always call Fayetteville my hometown. Even though I love Fayetteville, I will always hold a special place in my heart for Texas.

I lived here when I was what, three or four? I don’t remember much outside of the comb our neighbor wore in her hair. We lived in Keller, outside of Dallas, and moved afterwards to Memphis and then finally to Arkansas.

Growing up, we would always travel to Texas for holidays. My parents, both from Dallas, had family in Dallas and Houston. My Momma and Daddy were and still are “those Texans” you hear of that are so full of pride, they boast about Texas everywhere they go, although they loved many other states they resided in as well.

I remember my friends mocking me in high school for our Texas-themed basement with  a Texas mural showing the skyline of Dallas  with a Texas flag on the ceiling and a cowboy welcoming you downstairs with a “Howdy, y’all” sign.

My Thoughts After Hurricane Harvey, Houston Texas, Book Drive for Needy Houston Schools after Harvey

My Love Runs Deep

I’ve always been a “go against the grain” kind of person. I read Harry Potter 10 years after all my friends, was more liberal at Texas A&M, didn’t get an Aggie Ring when everyone else did, but got one a year after college. I will never say “I was never born here but I got here as fast as I can” but I will always have a deep deep love for Texas.

I met my love here. I had my precious children here. Most of my family is here.

This next few months will be hard for many. I’m so grateful for my moms’ groups which will allow me to actively support those who need it most directly in my area.

My Passion for Literacy

With my background in teaching and my passion in literacy and learning, I’m going to focus on helping schools in the next few months. If you’d like to contribute to my book drive to help rebuild local school libraries, you can donate to my youcaring fund. Or, you can buy books for your family, and your contribution will be matched 50% to get books in the hands of needy schools.





Work with Schools and Libraries

Work with Schools and Libraries

If you just joined Usborne Books & More, you might be wondering what it takes to work with schools and libraries.

Educational Service Representatives

Educational Service Representatives, formerly known as Educational Consultants, work their book business just like other consultants through home parties and Facebook parties. In addition to these parties, Educational Service Representatives (ESRs) can work with schools and libraries to promote literacy even more!

As a former reading teacher, working with schools and libraries is one of my favorite parts of this job. From Book Fairs and $5 Book Days to grant programs and fundraisers, there are so many options to work your Usborne Books & More business through schools and libraries.

How to Become an Educational Consultant

I was one of the lucky few that got to work with schools and libraries right when I joined 2 years ago. As a former Reading Teacher, I love working with schools and libraries. Through Usborne Books & More Educational Services, I have conducted book fairs, $5 Book Days, and helped schools use grant money to get more books for FREE!

During Convention this past June, Home Office revealed a thrilling announcement!!

The School and Library certification will be back this fall 2017!

Get Certified Soon

Current Educational Consultants will begin the re certification process September 12 with the School and Library Division fully open to new consultants October 3.

This is great news to all those new consultants that joined from the June Special! Because fall is the best time of year for Usborne Books & More,  this announcement couldn’t come at a better time!

Work with Schools & Libraries, Usborne Books & More Educational Services, Education, Books, Libaries, Schools

In addition, Home Office has also hired new people in the School and Library Sector and there will be new trainings available to all Educational Service Representatives as well.

More Information

There is certainly more news to come. Home Office is sending weekly emails until the certification process begins.

Be on the lookout for more information. Follow me on social media @ReadCristina and I will update as I am able. Find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

If you’d like more information, be sure to contact me.

For now, that’s the Reading Scoop,

Read Cristina







Remember the Holocaust… Again

Pretty much every Sunday morning, I watch all of the news shows to get caught up on the week’s events.

Today I saw images and videos from the Charlottesville Protests.

I saw people shouting, “I won’t be replaced. Jews will not replace me.” This saddens me to the core.

These are just words and if you don’t actually think of them, you can go about your day not worrying about growing racism and white supremacy. On the other hand, if you truly think about them, it’s easy to see the sickness around these two phrases.

I have always been interested in learning about the Holocaust. I’ve had many experiences in my life that cemented this interest in such a horrifying time in our world’s history.


In 11th grade I sang in a Holocaust operetta based on the poems in I Never Saw Another Butterfly.

I played a mischievous little boy who died at the hands of the Nazis. I sang about playing with a mouse I found at home before my sad day came and I, as the little boy, died.

When I got the part in the operetta, I brought my research paper from Mrs. McNair’s AP English class about the effects of the Holocaust on the third generation of Holocaust survivors.

My parents watched the operetta held in a Unitarian church. As my parents watched the operetta about the Holocaust, the lady next to them commented about the Nazis she saw coming through the entrance of the church. “Oh, they’re Nazis, but we must be open-minded,” the lady stated.

Soon the woman learned these Nazis were part of the play and not actual White Supremacists.

I’m sure she later regretted her “open-minded comment” and went on to watch the play.

Anne Frank House

Years later, I went to Amsterdam with my husband. We saw the house Anne Frank grew up in. After reading book after book about the Holocaust while growing up, seeing Anne Frank’s house, was one of the most surreal events I have ever experienced.

Remember the Holocaust, Anne Frank Museum
I remember walking in and seeing an encased book the names of people killed.

Right then and there I started bawling.

I went through the rest of the tour with blurry and teary eyes. As I walked up the steps, I imagined Anne Frank walking the same steps with her family. I looked out the same window she looked out and wondered how many days she would have left in this world.

Discover Anne Frank, Remember the Holocaust
Can you imagine what Anne Frank would think of all the events in the United States right now?

What about Winston Churchill and FDR? All the people that fought against the Nazis so many years ago? Now, white supremacists feel they have a voice?

United Front

As a United front, we must have a louder, stronger voice of love and tolerance rather than hate and supremacy. We need to not only remember the Holocaust but make sure we speak out against hatred. As privileged Americans, we happen to let a little hate slide now and then. Then these hate groups take our silence for acceptance. Therefore, these groups grow larger and larger.

Remember the Holocaust Again, Holocaust Rememberance, Anne Frank

As a mom, I want my two young boys to grow up in a peaceful, loving society. Be the society you want to see in the world. We can’t afford to be silent. We need to be the louder, more tolerant, more reasonable, voice in the world.

And please please remember the Holocaust… again.

That’s the Reading Scoop,




Back to School: Mother’s Day Out Edition

We’re two weeks away from Brandon’s first day at Mother’s Day Out. My two and a half-year old boy will now be in school two days out of the week. I know Mother’s Day Out is very different from school, but in this momma’s teary eyes, all  I imagine is my baby boy walking away from me, waving good-bye.

Mixed Emotions

Oh boy, do I have mixed emotions. I run the gamut of emotions as a mom including extreme joy, sadness, and guilt. I feel guilty that I want Brandon to start something away from me. I’ll have time for myself, some time with Brandon’s baby brother, and more time to devote to my business.

One side of me is SO excited for Brandon! Last year in Mops, he loved the two hours playing with other children his age in the childcare program, Moppets. Brandon even asked about Moppets over the summer. One Monday (our usualy Mops/Moppets day) at breakfast he asked, “Mommy, Moppets?” So, obviously, I know he will love Mother’s Day Out just as much. After all, he is going to Mother’s Day Out at the same place that he attended Moppets.

The other side of me, though, is so incredibly sad my baby boy is growing up so fast. First, Mother’s Day Out. Next, high school. Yes that’s dramatic, but gosh, how does time go so fast?

Mother's Day Out, Emotional, Mom, Motherhood

Tears and Cheers

I’m so glad my Mom’s group is doing a Tears and Cheers celebration so we can all celebrate and commiserate together. This is such a special time in our lives when our little ones go to Mother’s Day Out, Preschool, or Kindergarten for the first time. It’s awesome to have local moms that understand mom emotions.

My Precious Brandon

Brandon is so precious to me and I know his Mother’s Day Out teacher will love and adore him, too. I can’t wait for the notes that will come home to describe Brandon’s activities and all the ways he participated. I know he’ll be bursting with stories and want to show me his new creations and art projects. I can hear his little voice, “Mommy, I’ll show you, k?”

I’m so thrilled to hear about the new friends in his class and all the new things he’s learning. I can’t wait to sing new songs with him and hear stories after stories of his new friends.

Mother's Day Out, Back to School, Mom Emotions

While He’s Out

I hope to really make the most of the 9:30-2 hours he’s gone Tuesdays and Thursdays. I know the time will go fast. I hope to get caught up on housework, spend some quality time with Justin, my four-month-old, fit in my book business, and occasionally meet my family for lunch.

I’m looking forward to some bonding time with Justin without Brandon trying to tackle me from any direction. I’ll be able to focus a little bit more on Justin’s tongue exercises since his lip and tongue-tie revisions. Precious baby moments go by so fast. From the first laugh to the first crawl, I need to soak in as many of these moments as I can.

Mother's Day Out, Baby Bonding

So Many Questions

I’m not actually sure how much things will change in the coming weeks. Yes, my daily schedule will change to match with Brandon’s. But will he take a nap after his short nap at Mother’s Day Out? Will he Nap there at all when he’s so used to his cozy crib here? Will Brandon want to potty-train when he sees so many children not in diapers? Will he request to switch to his big boy bed sooner because of Mother’s Day Out?

So many things are about to change in three weeks time. How much will things change? Your guess is as good as mine.

Follow my journey through motherhood and my book business and be sure to follow me on social media @ReadCristina.

That’s the Reading Scoop,