Merry Christmas, Little Hoo : My own review!

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(Wow. That’s a scary big picture of me. Sorry!) So I have this book coming out in a few days…. It’s called Merry Christmas, Little Hoo! I’m not a huge fan of Christmas (too much clutter!) but this book was actually really fun for me to work on and I think you’ll like it.

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This is probably way too much of a sneak peek but I figure why not! I’m feeling the sharing love.  I dedicated this book to all the munchkins in my life instead of the usual ode to Bug. I’ve got a lot of kids in my life and I call them munchkins. Just ask my nieces. So I thought it would be fun for them. Especially for my boyfriend’s little girl who has been loyally watching me make this book from over my shoulder.

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Basically this book is a typical Little Hoo story. As you probably already know, Little Hoo is the scardiest, scardy-pants, little timid owl ever. He is afraid of EVERYTHING (even the beach but that book is coming out in summer). I started this series with Bug’s anxiety in mind when she was a toddler as a way to work through some of her fears.

Of course some could (and will) say that these books have turned into little horror books for toddlers as they introduce all kinds of new things to be afraid of but I think it’s still fun. If anything, it’s a way to go THROUGH the fear instead of pretending it doesn’t exist.  The dark is scary and going to bed on Christmas even can be incredibly difficult for angst-ridden children who feel like they have no control over their little brains that go a mile a minute.

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Little Hoo hears noises in the night but instead of being scared, he thinks it’s Santa coming and he’s stayed awake long enough to get in on the Christmas action with his wild imagination.

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Snow crunching, jingling bells, scuffling in the kitchen… is it elves? How can little owls go to sleep with so much noise going on in the night?

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Of course half the time it turns out to be boring things like Mama Hoo putting away leftovers… I had a lot of fun illustrating Mama Hoo who is very tired. She’s so over Christmas already. She was over it at Halloween.

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And reindeer without teeth? Not sure what I was thinking there…

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This is my favorite page though. Papa Hoo has been caught eating cookies. Bad Papa Hoo! And bad Little Hoo! Go to bed Little Hoo!

Maybe I scold too much in my books. Some of my critics have gone to town on my Time to Eat Bunny book for that.  I guess I’m kind of a scolding type of parent but I try to say it all affectionately with a smile in my eyes.

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Like here! What does this picture say? It says, Buy my books for Christmas presents this year, OR ELSE!

Or else what?

I’ll tickle you to death?  Yeah, something like that.

By the way, the print edition is not available yet but it will be very soon and I will put the links here when it is. Or maybe I’ll write another whole post and get Bug to read it to you or something. That would be fun.

The ebook edition is available here for pre-order if you’re looking to load up a kindle as a Christmas present or something cool like that.

Print version available here! Ebook version available here!

If you have a blog that gets a lot of hits, I might even be persuaded to give out some free copies for reviewing so email me! I don’t have a lot of free copies though because just like you, I have to buy them and unlike you, I am cheap! (Can’t you see I can only afford a manicure for one hand?!!  Just kidding. I was trying out Bug’s new glow-in-the-dark polish {which totally works and is awesome, buy it at Target} and I’m right-handed, yo. I can’t paint with my left!)

Meanwhile on Instagram

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What a crazy beginning of September it’s been! Back to school (third grade!). Soccer practice TWICE a week. Bug taught herself how to ride a bike…. I think her brain is exploding.

It’s been brutal. I don’t know what we’d do if she added music lessons or fashion camp or robotics classes to her schedule, along with her once-a-week gymnastics training. I was feeling pretty sorry for her and her lack of a day off until Toby informed me that that’s how all kids do it these days and if she wants to compete with them in the future job market she has to get used to the rat race sooner or later. Sigh…I just want to go back in time. I’m glad she had a long boring summer now.

I’m sad to say her anxiety has come back but she’s handling it as best she can.  Which is really all we can do.  That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned through this journey.  I have to let her find answers and solutions. I can help but I can’t do it for her which of course is impossible for this helicopter mom.  I’ve been meaning to write a post on all our tips and tricks (and $600 bill to a therapist!! So not worth it.) but I haven’t quite gotten to that yet. Hopefully soon.

Lately she’s been sleep-talking and crying which breaks my heart. Has anyone dealt with that? It’s not really about her phobias and fears, more like just creepy nightmares that kind of scare me when she refuses to wake up. It’s like I’m part of a horror movie and she’s turned into a zombie looking all over the dark room at things I can’t see. When I ask her about them in the morning she can’t remember a thing. I’m thinking it’s just the way brains deal with scary stuff but it worries me.

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Soccer! Soccer, soccer, soccer. What a huge learning curve for Bug and I. She finally got assigned to a team and everyone is bigger and more experienced than her. Seriously, she’s playing with nine and ten year-olds. That’s what I get for daring to ask the commissioner if she could be on an under-eight team because she’s little. I guess they don’t take personal requests seriously. I can understand that. I’m sure they get tons.

It’s Bug’s first year playing so most of the time she stands like a tree in the field while everyone else runs around her. Thankfully, she has a really patient coach who believes in her and is very encouraging.  I think she’ll get it soon. They did win their first game which was super exciting.

I’m taking to soccer-momming quite well. I should have a blog on field-side drink recipes and fashionable shade receptacles coming along soon…maybe one on snack ideas since I am the designated snack mom on the 20th. Just kidding. I don’t have any such thing. I’m completely clueless. What do I make? Rice Crispie treats in the shape of soccer balls? Kababs? Frozen grapes? The first mom who handed out snacks had a three course meal stuffed in a princess party swag bag. I’m kinda worried.

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Outside of new school stress, crazy nightmares and overall soccer exhaustion, Bug is up to all her old tricks. She has always been a funny kid who makes people laugh but lately she gets me rolling. She’s a little comedienne. Super Girl costume with bra headpiece? Check. Take Your Stuffed Animal to Work Day, complete with mini paper laptops?  Check. She’s always up to something. I love this stage because she’s so much more self motivated. If I don’t pay attention, she completely messes up the house with one grand plan or another.

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Like looking for the tape (that she used up) in my desk drawer and completely upending it all over on the floor.  Oh boy. Who says toddlers make bigger messes? It doesn’t stop! Just because they are bigger and more coordinated? No.

This block of photos is a bit random because it also pictures a t-shirt craft Bug dreamt up all by herself while I worked on another t-shirt craft (coming soon) for Alphamom. Isn’t it cool? We got into a big argument over the puffy paint. I hate puffy paint like I used to hate sororities in college.  Maybe because sororities always made those puffy paint posters that drove my inner artist crazy. I don’t know. Anyway, in the end I scripted the word team on it for her but I fully expect it to be peeled off by the end of the day (she wore it to school today).

Also pictured is my good friend Tamie in the play, Little Mermaid. We went to see her this last weekend and it was a blast. (Yes, I am singing Little Mermaid songs on repeat in my head now. At least it’s not Frozen!) Tamie has always been in drama and watching her belt out Ursula songs was like being back in time for me.

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Also seen on instagram: cats. What? Isn’t that what phone cameras were invented for?

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And failed latte art! A few friends have asked me if I have an endorsement for lattes from some coffee company or something. No. I wish!  I’ve got no coffee gigs. I’m just stubborn and I refuse to give up trying to create latte art even though it clearly seems like I’m never going to get the hang of it. There are just a whole lot of variables! And now that I’m making them during my morning rush to school, things seem to have taken an even further step backwards. Oh well. It makes life more interesting. Never a dull moment around here.

Coming soon: Talk Like A Pirate Day, Anxiety Tips and (insert drum roll here) Dishtowels from Daiso! I know you are dying to get the low down.

Anything else you’d like me to blog? Bueller?