Art (4) baby (5) blogs (3) cleaning (4) Dear Mom (5) educational (13) entertainment (11) Free Stuff (3) fun (8) Grrumbles (4) humor (14) issues (10) lunch (3) Medical (9) My Family (13) pregnancy (1) Preschoolers (5) Products (3) reading (1) safety (4) solutions (19) Teens (1) Toddlers (5) Tweens (3)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Little White Lies

We went to dinner tonight instead of me cooking because I had a pretty severe headache. Marisa was in a fine mood of "not eating," so it was a bit stressful. Trying to keep an antsy 3 yr old from driving the other diners insane is sometimes a difficult task. (sigh)

After dinner, we went to the park to let the girls run off a bit of excess energy. The weather is so pleasant these days that getting out to play is much easier for me. The girls discovered a part of the playground where they could climb up really high. I think they revel in this climbing because it allows them to be adventurous without having any real danger. (That doesn't stop my heart from skipping a beat...)

Well - when we were ready to leave, Marisa spotted a tiny little white butterfly. She commenced to chasing the butterfly around the parking lot while Kira got in the car. I could tell that dragging her away from her prize would result in one of her classic mood swings.

When Marisa lost sight of the butterfly, I told her it had flown into the car. She chased 'the butterfly' right into her carseat. She did look around for the butterfly, but never really figured out that she had just been finagled into doing what I wanted her to do...

(Score one point for Mommy.)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Traveling With Your Baby

You may recall that I'm planning an Epic Road Trip. Well, as a part of my preparations I am doing a bit of research on how to make that trip easier for me and the girls. Three months is a long time to be on the road, so the more I prepare now - the better off we will all be.

While I was playing around this morning searching for tips and ideas, I came across the neatest website - Baby Travel. They have tons of information about how to make traveling with a small child easier and safer. One section has safety tips for traveling with your baby based on the age of the child. They even have a list of hotels that are baby friendly.

When I go on my trip, the girls will be much older than the baby range, but it occurred to me that I probably have a few readers who still have babies and would appreciate the information.

On a slightly related note, if you happen to be planning a long distance trip - or a long distance move - here is an article I wrote that provides information that might be useful.

I have to return to my random wanderings around the web now. I'm in total research mode again and must take advantage of that while it lasts.

If you have any tips for traveling with children, be sure to share them by leaving a comment. I love comments - and tips - from my readers.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Let's Start a Conversation...

I want to chat with my readers today. I would love an answer to the following questions.

1) What is your greatest strength as a parent?

2) What is your biggest weakness as a parent?

3) What is the one lesson that you hope your child will learn as she grows up?

4) If you could make one significant change in your parenting, what would you change?

Let's chat today...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Smart Toy Box

LearningRx sent me their recent newsletter with some really great information. One of the articles, Smart Mom's Toy Box, is really quite interesting. I highly recommend that you read it.

In the article, the author addresses ways to build a brain-active toy box for your child to help improve their cognitive skills. Here's a small excerpt from the article that indicates what you need to consider when creating you child's "Smart Toy Box." Be sure to visit the link to read the entire article. LearningRx specializes in finding and correcting the root of learning problems. If you think (or know) that your child has certain learning difficulties, you might find some useful information to help you improve your child's learning.

Things to Keep in Mind

* A smart toy box will focus on all major learning skills
* Parents can help their kids get smarter at any age
* Brain research shows the brain continues to grow throughout life
* Parents should help prepare a good learner for school by developing learning skills
* Parents should take 30 minutes, 3 times a week to work on developing these skills
* The best way to strengthen learning skills is to use fun, game-like activities
* Studies show that reading problems can be prevented.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bedtime Picnics

Once in a while, do something crazy that makes your child wonder if you've lost your mind.

Follow your normal routine for getting the kids in bed. Get them all snuggled in as though you were headed off to bed yourself.

Go to the kitchen and gather a few snacks and drinks.

Go back to their bedroom and declare BEDTIME PICNIC. If you have more than one child, have them congregate in the same bed for the picnic event. Sit with them and enjoy the giggles and conversation that will surely come with the picnic.

Don't do this too often, about once every few weeks or so is gracious plenty. You want this to continue to be a special treat.

Edited to Add:
Be sure to come back and tell me how your kids react when you surprise them with a Bedtime Picnic. I can't wait to hear all your stories.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Amazing Parents

Being a parent often requires a lot of creative problem solving.

Today I would like for you to tell me what kinds of creative solutions you've developed to solve you issues.

What have you learned to do with one hand while you console a crying baby with the other?

How do you keep your cool when everybody around you is melting down?

What's the craziest thing you've ever done to make your parenting job easier, better, or just more fun?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Control Your Children - DA** IT!!!

Pardon me for a moment while I rant and rave. If I had overheard any of the names of the adults involved, I would gladly print them in full. Unfortunately, that information did not come to light.

I like to eat out. I enjoy taking my children out to restaurants and spending time with the family while somebody else does the cooking and cleaning.

I expect a certain level of behavior from my children. I do not allow them to sprawl across their seats. I do not allow them to throw food or scream or pitch fits, even when it takes FOREVER for our food to arrive.

I would like to think that other parents are capable of maintaining some level of control over their children when they bring said children into public. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

So.... here is what I have determined.

If you allow your TEN YEAR OLD CHILD to sprawl across the booth that is between my table and yours, putting his feet in the vicinity of my table where my FIVE YEAR OLD CHILD is sitting quietly trying to eat her food, then I will not react if my darling angel decides to poke her fork into YOUR child's leg because he is invading her space with his DIRTY, NASTY feet.

In fact, I may even encourage my child to poke her fork into your child's leg, because HIS FEET DON'T BELONG ANYWHERE NEAR MY CHILD, AND CERTAINLY NOT NEAR MY TABLE.

Now, I will grant you that IHOP is a fairly relaxed atmosphere where certain protocols can be overlooked. This still does not give you and/or your child to behave so blatantly obnoxious as to be spreading clear across the booth where his feet are over on my side of the world. Seriously, have you no shame. And when you did finally notice that your child was sprawled across the booth, could you have at least acknowledged his rudeness and apologized to us for invading our space?

Mind you, I did think strongly about encouraging my child to poke those feet that were encroaching on our space more and more by the second. I only decided not to do this because I didn't have a clean fork on the table that could replace the one she was using. I really did not relish the thought of having to wait for a new fork to find its way to my table. This is the only thing that saved your child's legs today.

Sitting her now, though, I wish it had occurred to me to have her "spill" a bit of her ooey gooey syrup onto the booth beside her. No matter that his legs were right there in the way and would certainly fall prey to the sticky goo. Lucky for you --- I didn't think of that at the restaurant because believe me when I say ... I WOULD DEFINITELY HAVE SUGGESTED THAT.... or perhaps I would have accidentally knocked her tea over onto his legs. If only the thought had come to me before... SIGH!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mommyhood Unscripted

Check out Mommyhood... Unscripted. It's another parenting blog that you will probably enjoy.

Be sure to leave her a comment or two. We all love getting comments.

Come to think of it, feel free to leave ME a comment or two. I love comments, too.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mom Caught Robbing Grocery Stores

This just in...

Local grocery stores have reported that Mom has been seen robbing all the stores in the area. It is even reported that store managers have been observed assisting Mom with the delivery of robbed goodies by carrying them to her car.

What is going on in Mom's world?

For more information, or to report any Robbing Mom sightings, click here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Fragrance Collection by Glade

I love this candle. I just had to tell you.

I don't usually burn candles because the fragrance is often far too intense for me. Because I don't burn them, I tend not to buy them.

Well - I had all these coupons for $3.00 off of any one candle from The Fragrance Collection by Glade. When I visited my local Publix - which I rob regularly - I found that they had these 4.9 oz Glade candles on sell for $2.99.


Really, how does one walk away from that kind of a deal? So I bought every single one of them. Yep - I had 9 coupons and there were exactly 9 candles sitting on the shelf. Now there are 9 of these candles sitting on my counter. One of them was lucky enough to get lit.

I stole (ahem -bought) these candles for the purpose of gifting them to people that I know who will enjoy them, but I decided to try one of them for myself. The one I chose to light is the Earthly Awakening scent. I was pleasantly surprised. I actually forgot that the candle was burning because it just wasn't that strong. I would occasionally catch a whiff of fragrance as I walked through the kitchen, but my head wasn't hurting from the overpowering aroma like happens with most candles I've used.

Randall seemed to like this candle, too, because it isn't too girly. It's really nice. I might even steal some more next week.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

So Small by Carrie Underwood

You NEED to watch this video.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Geo Trax by Fisher Price

When I went out to get my coupons this morning, I ran into another avid couponing lady. We chatted for a moment and she told me about this cool website called Hip to Save. I had to make a visit to see the site and I couldn't have picked a better time to visit.

Fisher Price is giving away a FREE Geo Trax DVD. They do this periodically when they are releasing a new series, but I never remember to check their site for new freebies. I'm grateful that somebody else out there keeps track of these things for me. I like getting new DVDs for the girls, especially since we don't have any other kind of television here - only whatever I buy (or get for free...) for them to watch.

I ordered my free copy. You can order yours, too, by going to this link.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Band-Aid Bandit

"I am stuck on Band-Aid 'cause Band-Aid's stuck on me."

I've been singing this jingle all day long. See, last night my house was visited by...

The Band-Aid Bandit.
(be sure to listen to the dramatics rolled into that last phrase... You know - camp fire story style...)

We were sitting in the living room, enjoying an evening of cartoons and computer time, when from the bedroom came the unmistakable sound of Band-Aids being RIPPED OPEN. We looked around at each other wondering what might be going on in the other room. Then we noticed...

Somebody was MISSING from our group of four. Our smallest member had disappeared from our midst without even a clue as to WHO or WHAT might have taken her. Where, oh where, could my precious baby be?

Then we heard it again - RRRIIIIPPPP - followed by the ominous sound of low giggling.

We ventured slowly into the bedroom to investigate the noise, (Imagine me hiding behind my big, strong husband here....) and THIS is what we found.

(Okay - the pictures weren't taken IN the bedroom, but work with me here...okay...)


The Band-Aid Bandit had invaded our house and whisked away our little Marisa in order to cover her with Band-Aids. (Thankfully, this particular box of Band-Aids were free with the clever use of coupons... so the cost of this particular was nil.)

Marisa - appearing to be unscathed, but covered in Band-Aids - made a trip upstairs to see Nurse Grandma.

After a thorough examination and x-rays...



... Nurse Grandma declared that Marisa has a clean bill of health and would not need to visit the hospital to deal with any possible injuries that might have been hiding under all those Band-Aids.

Marisa was very pleased with this diagnosis.

Mommy has learned that there is no place that is safe from the

Band-Aid Bandit.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Spoonful of Sugar

Have you ever tried to convince your sick child that the disgusting medicine in your hand is exactly what they need in order to make them feel better? (Have you ever tasted that stuff just to convince your little one that it really isn't all that bad?)

Well, I've discovered a clever solution to making medicine time easier for everybody.

Actually, I can't claim this discovery as my own. Mary Poppins sang songs about it. We've heard it for ages. It just never dawned on me that it was a useful technique. Kira, however, came up with the greatest suggestion of all in order to make her medicine taking experience better.

Yesterday, when we were trying to find some sort of cough medicine that would make her stop hacking, Kira suggested adding a bit of ice cream to her medicine so she wouldn't have to taste the yucky medicine.

Lucky for Kira, her Grandma Janet had vanilla ice cream in her freezer. Janet promptly added a small spoonful of the ice cream to the medicine cup. After the ice cream had melted just a bit, Kira had her very own cough medicine float that she guzzled down without even a little complaint.

Next time you need to get your kids to take their medicine, add a bit of ice cream. It really does work wonders.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kira Is Five Years Old Today

b-day glitters

Even though my little bug is sick as can be, she woke up asking about her party and asking to have her birthday song. When I asked her how old she is, she proudly held up FIVE fingers. She's been counting the days for a while now...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fevers In Children

NEVER let your child drink milk when she's had a fever. No matter how much she begs for milk because it's the only thing that feels good on her throat...


Saturday, September 5, 2009

CSN Stores

Remember this post where I told you I would be doing a review of a CSN Stores product?

Well, my order was placed on August 24th and arrived two days later. I was very excited to get that box.

I had to wait a couple of days to open the box because we are giving this to Kira for her birthday. I needed to open it up when neither of the girls were around to see what was going on. They tend to be very nosy.

If you'll recall, I chose to receive this school pack to review.

The very first thing I noticed when I pulled the back pack out is that the material is NOT flimsy. I really expected to find something similar to what you find in the local stores. I was pleasantly surprised to realize that this back pack is made to withstand a lot of abuse.

The pencil case is also very sturdy. It has a collection of colored pencils that are already sharpened and ready to go. There's a sharpener included for when the pencils become worn. The quality just amazed me.

My first thought had been than the price tag for this set was just way too steep. I tend to be cheap about these things. Now that I have the set in my hands, I can see that spending the money would be worth it because this set seems like it will last.

I will be giving this to Kira for her birthday soon. When I do, I'll post some pictures of her opening it up and checking it out. I know she will love, love, love it just because it is covered in horses. We haven't decided when her party will be just yet because Grandma Shari is out of town for a while. When Grandma gets back home we will be having the birthday party. This gift is for the party.

One more point that I should note: This is a gender neutral set. The packs are red with the orange reflective strips and the horses are good for either a boy or a girl. There's nothing particularly "cutesy" about the set that would make it a bad choice for a boy.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thermometer Batteries Die

Did you know that those digital thermometers are powered by batteries?

Did you know that those batteries die?

Did you know that they often die in the middle of the night when you really, really need to know just how high the three year old's fever is?

Yeah --- well trust me when I say --- THEY DO!!!

To avoid a middle of the night crisis where somebody (not me) has to rush out to the store in order to purchase a new thermometer to get an accurate temperature of an ailing child, I have a bit of a recommendation.

Now - not that this would ever happen in Mom's house --- And it certainly DID NOT happen LAST NIGHT --- but the thought occurred to me today that these things COULD happen if one were not properly prepared.

My tip for the day is this:

Buy a new thermometer or new batteries for your existing thermometer. Keep it handy just in case you ever happen to need it in the middle of the night.

Your husband will thank you for not having to get up and get dressed at 2:30 in the morning to go out to the nearest 24 hour store to find a new thermometer. (not that we've had that problem here, you know...)

On a side note: Marisa is doing just fine. The doctor assures me that she only has a cold. The doctor also assures me that sleeping all day is quite normal after being up all night with a fever of an undetermined severity due to the inability to locate a working thermometer...