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)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Edible Arrangements


I'm flipping through a magazine that I confiscated from my friend's recycle box (and she really should just save them all for me instead of trying to ditch them like that because I love flipping through magazines but can't spare the extra cash to throw away on buying them...). I just came across this picture of these gorgeous flowers made from pineapples and cantaloupe.

See this picture --- this is what I am looking at in this fitness magazine...


This gorgeous display of deliciosity comes from Edible Arrangements.

Twice in my life I have had the sheer pleasure of receiving an arrangement of this nature. I can't remember the exact arrangement that I was so blessed to receive, but they both had strawberries in them. (divine divine divine - only thing missing was the chocolate ) 

The first gift I received was from a friend whom I had spent a few months with, teaching her how to cook. When we were "all done" with our lessons, she sent me one of these arrangements as a "Thank you." gift. Have no doubt that I started lobbying hard for the next round of whatever lessons she might need to undertake. Those arrangements are G-O-O-D!!! 

The second time I received a bouquet from Edible Arrangements was when Randall was in the hospital last January. I remember sitting in the lobby area on the floor talking with my mother-in-law and soon to be sister-in-law when the delivery man walked through the elevator with two of those bouquets of deliciosity in hand. I told him he didn't need to go any further, that one of those was for me. He laughed. I laughed. He went on his merry way. (For some reason he just didn't believe me...)  

When I returned to my husband's room, there sat one of those coveted bouquets - sent to us from the same friend who had sent the one before. She knew how much I had enjoyed that particular gift and knew that I would not be taking much time to feed myself properly being stuck in the hospital and staying relatively close to Randall's side. I was tickled to find that one of those bouquets really had been for me. I rushed back to the lobby and gushed to my family that they needed to come share in the deliciousness of fresh fruit that was also very pretty to look at. 

What surprises me most about this particular gift is that it isn't that much different in price from what you would spend to purchase a decent bouquet of flowers. That picture up there ... the one I'm currently staring at ... It's only $52.00 plus the delivery fees. Really, you would spend that on a good size bouquet of flowers - and the recipient can't eat the flowers. 

Now, I know my dear husband reads these posts. It just so happens that there is a store not too far from where we live. 

Imagine that!

**Maybe I need to rethink this whole "no need to bother with Valentine's Day." state of mind...  Think after 11 years of ignoring V-Day he could be retrained?**

(deliciosity: deliciousness that is so amazing and wonderful that Mom had to make up her very own word in order to adequately describe how wonderful this fruit tastes)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Had to be There...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Magazines for the Younger Set

I'm hoping to subscribe to a magazine for Kira and one for Marisa soon because I know getting their own magazine will excite them and motivate them both towards extra reading. In my research, I have discovered something that I once thought was possible, but never bothered to check on before.

You know all those discount magazine offers? Yeah - well - not necessarily a discount. It pays to do a bit of shopping around before you place your order.


Your Big Back Yard

Order from NWF and pay $19.95 for 10 issues.
Order from here and pay $24.00 for 10 issues. (I could pay $20 for 24 issues...)
Order from here and pay $9.49 for 12 issues.

National Geographic Little Kids

Order from NG and pay $15.00 for 10 issues.
Order from here and pay $53.95 for 22 issues. (I could pay $45 and get 30 issues from NG...)
Order from here and pay $24.95 for 6 issues.


Order from Zoobooks and pay $29.95 for 6 issues. (I could get 12 issues for $30...)
Order from here and pay $25.95 for 6 issues.
Order from here and pay $15.75 for 6 issues.

So if you happen to be in the market for childrens magazines, be sure to do a bit of shopping around the web before you place your order. You may just be surprised to learn that what you thought was the best deal ... wasn't.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


What she says: "I'm hungry."

What she means: "I don't want to go to bed."

What she says: "I'm tired."

What she means: "I want my pacifier even though it isn't bedtime and I think if I tell you that I'm tired you will let me have what I want."

What she says: "I don't like macaroni and cheese."

What she means: "I wanted the OTHER macaroni and cheese that is better than THIS one."

What she says: "I can't do it."

What she means: "It's hard and I don't feel like working at it right now."

What she says: "I want my Daddy."

What she means: "Maybe I can convince him to give me an ice cream sandwich before you tell him that you already gave me one."

What she says: "I'm not tired."

What she means: "I don't want to go to sleep because I know you're going to do something special without me or eat something that you don't want to share as soon as I crash."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Haiti Earthquake

After spending a bit of time reading articles and viewing the horrendous photos from Haiti, I must say that my heart is broken. The death and destruction is too much for anybody to comprehend.

Today, I will hug my children and be thankful that they are hear to pester me and irritate me with their constant noise and constant need.

Today, I will be grateful that I still have my children.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

How Dad Became a Hero...

It was a cold and dreary night in Atlanta. The kids were restless and bored. There was nothing to do. Mom wasn't feeling well and spent most of the evening sleeping, so the kids entertained themselves with movies and other assorted things that children like to do. As kids will do, they quickly tired of all the normal stuff and found themselves lost in the realm of boredom with no end in sight.

Until Dad came to the rescue... 

Pulling out the coloring books and color pencils, Dad took the boredom by the horns and wrestled it away with swift and sturdy movements. He planted himself in the middle of the room and became surrounded by two enchanted little girls. As Dad began to color in the books, coloring became the activity of the evening. Indeed, the children were amazed at the focus and skill with which Dad conquered the blank pages of the coloring book.

Hour by hour, they sat in the floor and watched as Dad colored picture after picture. Both girls joined in with their own coloring books because if Dad was coloring then coloring must be cool.

Coloring had taken on a new allure.

And Dad had become a Hero.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bicker Bicker Bicker

This past week has been somewhat difficult for everybody in the house. For some reason, Kira and Marisa are in a state of constant turmoil. The level of bickering and sniping has accelerated continually throughout the week. I'm not certain if the cause is the cold weather and being at home, or if they just don't feel well. We've managed to get out of the house over the last few days, but the bickering still goes on. In fact, even when we are out and about at the favorite local play places, the girls still bicker. At McDonald's - they argued over who was taking up the most space at the table. At DACs - they argued over who got more toys out of the machine. In the car - they argue about EVERYTHING.

I managed to employ the Grandma's in my efforts to cure the bicker bug. Grandma Janet took Kira one day so that Marisa would be alone with Mommy. Grandma Shari took Marisa one day so Kira would be at home by herself. In the absence of the other sibling, each child was nothing less than a perfect angel. Unfortunately, even two days of separation have not been enough to quell their rivalry.

Today, I am waging war on the bicker bug by doing some much needed research. My current methods are not working too well, so I need some new ideas. (Feel free to share your suggestions...)

Here is what I have found so far.

1) Don't get involved unless there is potential for harm. As the parent, it is important to force the children to work out their own differences without parental intervention.  (Mom Note: I'm not so sure I agree with this. Part of raising children is teaching them how to be respectful and civilized, even when they are unhappy.)

2) If they are fighting over an object, the best solution is to remove the object. Parental possession of said object will end the argument. (Mom Note: This has become a highly popular method around here. Unfortunately, my selection of "possessed" objects is growing much faster than I would like to admit. The kids just move on to arguing over the next object of desire.)

3) Send them to their room. (Mom Note: I actually read somewhere a solution that I believe may come in handy in the future. Sentence the brawlers to their room - even if it is a shared room - for the remainder of the day. Serve them their meals in their room. Force them to be together. If you've ever seen the original Parent Trap movie, you will recall that the two rivals of the movie were sentenced to isolation - TOGETHER - where they learned how to get along. At 5 and 3, I think the girls are a bit young for a measure this extreme. However, in a couple of years there is no doubt I will use this technique.)

One last thing - though I did not find this in any of my research. When all else fails, apply liberal amounts of love and chocolate. After all, chocolate cures all ills (and so does a bit of extra TLC.)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Okay - EEWWW

You NEED to watch this video.

I'm sorry. You will have to visit their site, as I am unable to embed the video.

Could Your New Clothes Make You Sick?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It is way too cold.

The temperature here today 24 degrees (F). It's horribly, bitterly cold. Even inside the house, there is a bit of a chill in the air. The kids are getting restless. Sadly, there is no heat in sight. In fact, the forecast is calling for snow here on Thursday. The temperature has been incredibly cold for the past two weeks, so whatever falls on Thursday is guaranteed to stick around for awhile. The temperature isn't expected to rise above freezing for several days, either, so hopefully the girls will have a good opportunity to play outside in a bit of the cold, white stuff. We rarely get good snow here, and when we do get good snow it doesn't generally hang around for very long.

In honor of our pending snowfall, I've decided to provide a few tips for helping children enjoy the cold safely.

1) Dress in layers.
2) Wear a hat.
3) Drink warm liquids and soups to help avoid dehydration and retain body heat.
4) Get plenty of rest along with all that play.

This is also a good time to do a few special things for you children that you might not really have an opportunity to do in other weather.

1) Make hot chocolate. The mix is fine, but use milk instead of water. Be sure to get the kind with marshmallows. It's also a good idea to have a bag of mini marshmallows on hand to add lots of extra marshmallows to the hot chocolate if your kids are particularly fond of them. (What kid isn't?)

2) Build a fire if you have a fire place. A toasty warm fire can be quite soothing to everybody in the house. The glow of light and the warmth that emanates from the fire has an amazing calming affect. (Unfortunately, we do not have a fire place.)

3) Try to find ways to entertain the kids inside. This is a good time to build a tent or pull out some special activities that might normally be off limits. Perhaps you could let the kids play dress up with the dresses out of your closet. Giving them access to your jewelry box, with supervision, can turn a dull and boring day into a special adventure. After all, it isn't every day that Mommy lets the kids play with her jewelery, now is it?

4) Fix a special lunch for the kids. This is a good time to provide them with a bit of extra entertainment at lunch. Create a fun lunch by using icing to decorate their sandwiches or creating a funny face out of their food. The possibilities are endless. (Lunch Ideas for Kids of All Ages)

5) Snuggle up!!! My girls love to snuggle. With the air being a bit chill, this is a perfect time for piling up on the couch with a stack of books and snuggling with them. They think they are getting a bit of extra special treatment while I'm getting a bit of extra special snuggle time. (Added bonus: Little girls make wonderful heating blankets.)

6) Practice patience. Everybody gets stir crazy when the weather makes being out and about unpleasant. Try to be patient and understanding when the kids start to get cranky. The best treatment for crankiness is a change of activity. When the "crankies" set in, that is your signal to bring out one of those special activities.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome to 2010

I hope everybody had a wonderful and safe holiday.

I'm enjoying my evening thoroughly because I have all 4 of my kids home with me for the next few days. I even get to spend time with my grandson - who will be a one full year old tomorrow. (How did that happen?)