Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Preschool Ballet~ Wordless Wednesday


I can't resist this one. Sorry.

What do you get when you give a group of 3-4 year old little girls Wings?



Do you get Fairies and Butterflies?



NOPE.



Bats.

Friday, March 26, 2010

My how things change

Oh how things change once you have kids. Today was one of those days where you realize how much life has changed and what's most important in your life.

Puddin Pop and I took a little trip to Target. The tax refund showed up in our account this morning. I'm not a big shopper but every once in a while it's nice to just go look and be able to pick up some things just on a whim.

Before kids, tax refund day would find me with a couple girl friends picking up some Davidoff cigars, or other varieties, and heading to our favorite Sushi restaurant for dinner and drinks. Then they stopped letting us smoke cigars, but that's a different story.

Today I went to Target in the hopes of splurging on myself with a new pair of khaki pants...for work. I never found a pair. I did manage to spend $250 and for myself purchased 2 bottles of wine ($10 each) and a box of Swifter pads. Extravagant, right? The kids each got a game, for the Wii (for Boog) and PP got a new game for her Leapster. They were on sale. I bought a couple of rainy day projects for Spring break, and then got the kids new PJ's, socks, flip-flops, and some new shirts. I also picked up two movies for Movie Night that were only $5.

While I don't enjoy shopping for myself, shopping for the kids and getting little surprises is a blast. Who knew?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What are You Thinking, Freddie?


Dear Freddie,


My precious 3 year old daughter is in L O V E with you. She told me so. She had a dream last week and came down in the morning to inform me that you kissed her. I asked her why you would do this and she said it's because you like her. She also let me know how much she enjoyed the kiss. Did I mention she was 3?

My concern is the conversation we had on the way to her ballet class on Tuesday. She started by reminding me about the kiss from last week. She then proceeded to ask me if I would buy her a wedding dress so she could marry you. I must have missed you asking but she was pretty determined that she was going to have you for her own. I think she said "I'm never going to let him go."

At some point she must have remembered another dream. One that didn't turn out so well for her. Then the tears came. I asked what was wrong and she explained that in another dream you wouldn't kiss her. I asked her why and with tears in her eyes she said "He broke up with me."


Keep in mind that all this information was given to me in a 20 minute drive to her ballet class. She went from super excited to super sad in the matter of minutes and I would like to know how you could break her heart like this? I'm sure it won't be her last heart break but it is definitely her first. What do you have to say for yourself?


A concerned Mom


PS~I was a little shocked to find out that you are 17. Are you using arcona? I'm pretty sure her father is going to put an end to this when he finds out how old you really are

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Squeakquel Soundtrack ~ I Gotta Feeling You're Gonna LOVE It



We received a copy of Alvin and the Chipmunks The Squeakquel Soundtrack as part of the #WBWord team. The kids were so excited when we found out we'd be getting it. We haven't seen the movie yet but it's on our list for Friday Night Movie Night. They loved the first one and were singing the songs for days so I knew this soundtrack would be a BIG hit.

It arrived on Friday. Friday was such a beautiful day. As soon as Boog got home from school we opened the package and threw it in the cd player. Puddin Pop was dancing all around the living room and demanded there wasn't enough room for her brother to dance with her. I guess the girl needs space. No Problem. I mentioned it was a beautiful day, right?. I grabbed the surround sound speakers and put one in each opened window and Boog and I went out and danced in the front yard. Music blaring, dancing in the yard...it was Friday. We had so much fun Puddin Pop couldn't resist coming out and joining us. It was like taking adipex without prescription. All that dancing is great exercise. Gets the heart pumping and really just makes you feel good all over.
There was plenty of room for everyone in the front yard. Boog even called over his friend from down the street. They wanted to see how far they could get from the house and still hear the music. No neighbors complained.

I love to dance around with the kids and I usually make them listen to 80's music so they were thrilled to have music of their own, sung by chipmunks, to dance around to. The soundtrack covers all favorites...

1. You Really Got Me - The Chipmunks (feat. Honor Society)

2. Hot N Cold - The Chipettes

3. So What - The Chipettes

4. You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) - The Chipmunks

5. Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) - The Chipettes

6. Bring It On - The Chipmunks

7. Stayin' Alive - The Chipmunks

8. Song - The Chipettes (feat. Queensberry)

9. It's OK - The Chipmunks

10. Shake Your Groove Thing - The Chipmunks

11. Put Your Records on - The Chipettes

12. I Want To Know What Love Is - The Chipmunks

13. We Are Family - The Chipettes & The Chipmunks

14. No One - The Chipettes (feat. Charice)

15. I Gotta Feeling - The Chipettes & The Chipmunks

This is one I highly recommend if your children like music and you're tired of the "kiddie" songs. No one can resist the sound of singing chipmunks. It's infectious. I think I'll put it in now for a little morning pick-me-up. It's that good. You can get your own copy here.

We received the soundtrack and other compensation to facilitate this review. The opinions and dancing are 100% mine.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Teaching Responsibility~ Baby Steps

I had a lot of responsibility put on me as a child and I think that adds to my lack of "wanting" to do these things now. I know some people who take pleasure in keeping an immaculate house and doing the laundry perfectly. That's not me. I do the laundry, I do the cleaning, but immaculate has never and probably will never be my goal. I also never "want" to do it.

My children do not have chores. They are expected to pick up their toys when they finish playing with them and they are good at clearing their plates from the table when we're done eating. That's about it...for now. I think a lot of the reason they aren't required to do more is because, not enjoying it myself, I don't want to take the time to re-do it after they "try". We'll get there.


Right now the kids are asking for a new puppy. I'm solely responsible for the dog we have. Partly because I'm the only one who let's her out and feeds her and partly because she won't let anyone else do these things for her. She will literally stay next to my bed until I get up to let her out and feed her. I'm 99% of the time the first one up, but on the rare occasion that I want to sleep in, the dog is right there nagging me to let her out, even though everyone else is downstairs and has already put food in her bowl. Yep. I created this monster and would NOT like to do it again with a new puppy. So....


We're practicing responsibility with plants. I love the Dollar section at Target. I bought these plants just before Valentine's Day and PP and I planted them in their cute little pots. There are two different kind of flowers and the one barely growing is supposed to be strawberries. Twice a day the kids are responsible to water them (baby steps). A week ago they looked like this...


plants,target dollar section,kids projects

Then I went away for 4 days and Boog was left in charge. Today they look like this...



growing things, kids and plants, teaching kids responsibility

Not too shabby, right? He did an excellent job in making sure they got watered. I think teaching responsibility with something that is fun and interesting is a good place to start. Sure. We need to teach them about all the not-so-fun things that need to be done, but why can't they get the hang of responsibility with something that will keep their interest? Then when it's time to make the bed every morning we can remind them of how well they did growing the plants and that inner pride will motivate them for the less-than-fun parts of life.

We'll replant them outside in a couple weeks when the weather is going to stay nice. Boog asked about plant vitamins to make them grow big and strong. I had flash-backs of the prenatal vitamins I took to get him to grow "big and strong". I think this lesson in responsibility was a good choice. Here's hoping we get flowers by Summer...and a puppy shortly after.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tropicana Juicy Rewards ~Great for Spring Activities

It's officially SPRING!

Things I like about Spring...

Having the windows open. Hearing the door chime with neighborhood kids coming to take my kids outside, hearing the birds chirp in the morning, flowers blooming and leaves growing back on trees. A cup of coffee on the porch before anyone gets up. I love everything coming back to life and getting outside to enjoy it. We love to go to the Zoo, the Living Museum, and Blue Bird Gap Farm to feed the animals.

Tropicana OJ has put together a program to help us save on things we already enjoy doing. You buy their products, get a reward code under the cap, plug them in at the Juicy Rewards site , and you can redeem the points for things-to-do in your area as well as discounts on different popular retailers such as Adidas and Coleman. The site is easy to navigate and is broken down into categories such as Health and Sports, Theme Parks and Zoos, and Fun for Everyone, and more. You just plug in your zip code, determine how far from home you want to travel, and if gives you a list of discounts in your area with the amount of points needed to redeem. We plan on using a free kids ticket to the Zoo this upcoming week with the weather being so nice. The coupons are only good (at least for the Zoo) for 15 days from printing so I would suggest printing them the day of to ensure getting your rewards. Printing them in advance and then getting rain on the day of the planned trip would spoil the fun.

If you already buy Tropicana for your family I would strongly encourage you to spend 5 minutes to sign up for their rewards program. If you are buying some other type of juice, it may be time to switch. I like to purchase from companies that give back and Tropicana also offers an option of using your points to protect the Rainforest. 3 points donated will save 100 square feet of Rainforest. To date, over 4.5 million square feet have been rescued through The Juicy Rewards Program ..and the juice is good.


I wrote this review while participating in the Tropicana Juicy Insiders Ambassador program by Mom Central on behalf of Tropicana. I received 12 free Juicy Rewards points and a $50 Visa gift card to use in redemption of the points and to facilitate my review. The opinions are 100% mine.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Finally Home

After 3 long days in Raleigh looking after my little brother, Puddin Pop and I are finally home. Why is travelling with a pre-schooler so exhausting? I used to enjoy road trips...by myself. When I first moved to Virginia it seemed like every couple months I was making the 12+ hour drive home to Michigan. It was a breeze. I was single. Now I go less than 200 miles to Raleigh and it feels like I've been travelling for days.

I actually left early knowing she'd fall back asleep in the car on the way down. I should have done the same on the way back. She needed to pee. She was hungry. She needed a milkshake. She needed something cold to drink that wasn't her milkshake or bottled juice. She was bored. She was hot. She talked non-stop. She fell asleep 10 minutes before we got home. I enjoyed the quiet for almost 2 whole minutes before my phone rang. I'm I the only one with this kind of luck? I'm not a huge fan of talking while driving either but it was my dad and I knew he was checking to see if I made it home okay, so I answered.

Raleigh was a little tough being cooped up in an apartment. We did get out a couple times and PP got to get her picture taken with the Easter Bunny. I'm always amazed with all the ideas they come up with to get you to buy the photos. I thought about getting custom mouse pads for the grandparents but then thought that everyone is moving to laptops with built in mouse pads so I thought they'd be useless. I did splurge on a key chain and snow globe. The snow globe was only $8 (of course I had to buy a sheet of wallets to have the pics to put in it)and it's plexi-glass so I don't have to freak when she walks around the house with it. Look...



How cute is that? And of course with the snow...


I think it was a great $8 spent and will last longer than a mouse pad. We got a mouse pad with our house on it when me bought our home (from the realtor). It's disgustingly (it's a word) dirty but I can't seem to part with it even though we no longer have a use for it.

I'm glad my brother is doing better. I'm glad Hubster has support to help him with Boogie. I'm glad my best gal took the trip with me. I'll be thrilled when she can sit back, relax, enjoy some music on the radio and take in the view...quietly.

Monday, March 15, 2010

RTT~ Scars, Lung-age, and the High Jump

Got up at 5am yesterday morning and drove to Raleigh. Day Light Savings sucks. My brother's surgery was postponed from last week to this week and he feels like dirt. To repair two herniated discs in his neck they went through the front. They had to move all the parts in the middle out of the way to get to his spine. Not sure how that makes it easier but it does make for a pretty cool scar.

(warning: gross picture coming up)



I haven't seen a cut like that since a boy I knew skated over the throat of another boy I knew. Makes him look tough, right? That's what I keep telling him.

Hubster is losing his mind, literally. He can't remember anything lately and I hope the doctor's get it figured out 'cuz he's about to make me go mad.

Doctor's can now use a spirometer to quickly check the "lung age" of their patients who smoke. Really? As if getting old isn't enough you now want us to know the age of our internal organs? I'll pass.


We always pre-mix our salads for Girls Night In. Why does it taste so much better that way? I can't eat my salads any other way now.

Both kids had some sort of stomach virus on Friday night. It lasted long enough to keep us parents up but had no lingering affects on them. They were up and ready to play at 6:30. It left me contemplating anything I put into my mouth. Imagining it coming back. I ate very little.

When I was in Junior High (We didn't have middle school.) Someone (I have no idea who) made me believe it would be a good idea to high jump. I sucked. One girl on the track team was REALLY good and no one else wanted to do it. I said "sure". While I was awful at the sport, I assure you I never did this.




randomtuesday

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Proudest Mommy Moment

"I'm going to cry."

That was one of my status messages on Facebook yesterday. I didn't actually cry...but could of. I think, no, I know. I witnessed my proudest Mommy moment to date.

Boogie is participating in jump rope for Heart with his school. He and the neighbor were going door-to-door in the cul de sac to get the neighbors to sponsor him. She had gotten sponsors the day before. He was so excited that that he was raising money for the Heart Association since his Papa has a bad heart. He was also excited about the prizes he would get. He's 6.

As the two older kids were going door-to-door, Puddin Pop came and asked me for some money. I had a good idea what she wanted it for but just explained that I didn't have any cash in my purse. She headed upstairs. The next part is why I wanted to cry. She's 3. She has no concept of money amounts. She went to her bank and took out two bills and took them to her brother. He gladly accepted. She said "I want to support you too" and handed him $20.

I'm so proud of this sweet little girl for emptying (almost) her bank to give to her brother. We'll replace the money when no one is looking. I'm also proud of my son who is, for the first time, taking steps to help others. Most of his past donations have been from us and his grandparents. Now he's taking an active roll in soliciting donations.

I remember as a kid going door-to-door (which they're really not supposed to do now. Good thinking we know all our neighbors) every year to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy. My brothers and I would walk for hours collecting change in a coffee can. Our parents would then take us to the local TV station to drop off the money during the telethon. I love that both kids got into collecting donations. Makes a Mommy Proud.


***********************************************************

Speaking of donations. I registered for Relay for Life yesterday and we need ideas for fundraising at the site. We thought about making something (we haven't decided what yet) to sell. We thought food would be a good idea, I'm just not sure how hard it would be to get the permit. Last night I thought about a chocolate dip bar. We could do fruit kabobs and set up a chocolate fountain. Do you think people would pay a couple dollars for some fruit dipped in chocolate on an all night walk? Suggestions are welcome.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Positive Reinforcement with My Job Chart

Getting the kids to pitch in and help is sometimes an issue at our house. They never want to help when asked but ALWAYS want to help when I don't ask (or want it). If I'm in a hurry to get the dishes done and dinner on the table you can bet they will be right the begging to help. If I ask them to set the table they either ignore me of politely decline "No thanks". I'm doing this all wrong.

We were having some issues with Boog getting his work done in school. It's not too hard for him, he just was too busy talking and prohibiting others from doing their work. He got moved to a desk by himself. We also gave the teacher permission to have him do his classwork at recess time, while the other kids were playing. It only took a couple days for him to get back on track. He had to spend a month at a table by himself as a consequence for disrupting others.

During this ordeal we came up with a reward chart. It hadn't worked in the past, maybe due to age, but he totally bought into it this time. He received one star for each day he completed classwork, stayed on green (their behavior system) and completed homework without hassle. After 10 stars he got a trip to the dollar store. It took him 2 weeks due to illness and a yellow day, but he was really into it and would come straight home, do his homework and mark his star. I think this is going to be a good tool to start giving him more responsibilities.

My Job Chart is the simplest tool I have found to create such charts. I can even assign tasks to Hubster (just don't mark him as parent). From tasks as simple as making beds, brushing teeth and combing hair. This tool makes it quick to assign daily and weekly tasks for young and older kids (and husbands) to tackle. You can set up tasks and award a point value to each one. You can use the tasks they have already listed as well as add your own. For Hubster you could put tasks such as "Pick up tuxedo for friends wedding." You then set a goal and a reward for achieving it. For busy working moms with older children, you can even get e-mails and/or texts when each job is completed. I love the thought of future trips to the grocery store, alone, and getting a text that says "Dinner is started." Or "Laundry is put away." Isn't that every Mother's dream?

I've always believed in positive reinforcement and feel this tool will keep me focused on just that. With clear expectations, everyone wins. No more asking 100 times. Progress will be rewarded. Simple as that.


I am being compensated for my review of My Job Chart. The opinions are not based on that compensation. The thoughts are 100% mine.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Giving Children a Head Start


GerberLife Grow-up Plan


I do not have life insurance.

Hubster does, through his current job but we are unclear as to whether the new job (when he gets one) will carry this same benefit.

Both kids have the Gerber Grow-Up Plan. Have since birth. If my parents had done this for me, I'd have insurance now too.

We have the 3x policy for both kids. For $112 each year (each) they have a policy worth $5000. For that same $112, the policy will be worth $50,000 when they turn 21 and at the age of 28 the policy will be worth $150,000. I can not think of a better gift to give my children when they become adults. To know they will have these policies for life and the rates will be inexpensive enough for them to maintain makes me feel like I've done something that will benefit their future families. My grandchildren.

For the money and feeling of security you can't beat it. We insure our homes and our vehicles and use sites like goodsamers.com to insure our recreational vehicles. Why not Child Whole Life Plans with GerberLife? It's worth every penny just in Peace of mind.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Return of Rainbow Brite


We're you a Rainbow Brite Fan? Unfortunately I was a little old for their first run but I have friends that are huge fans. Now, having a daughter, we can share the experience together. Hallmark has put together Rainbowbrite.com where you can meet Rainbow and all her friends, watch videos and play games.

The characters are so colorful and fun. My daughter and I spent some time on the site and with the cd we were sent. At 3, she really loved the videos but found most the games to be too difficult. I think she had just as much fun watching me play though. With a variety of memory, and skill games, the ultimate goal is to Help Rainbow Brite and friends return the color back to Rainbow Land.

I'm not sure why in matching games kids always want to flip the cards they've already flipped. I remember trying to teach my son to flip new cards while playing memory and playing the game on the computer with PP was the same thing.


The new Rainbow Brite Fashion Doll and accessories are now available at Target and Toys R Us and are sure to please young girls and their Mommies. Puddin Pop has already requested one for her birthday next month.


I was sent CD's for my daughter and to give out to friends courtesy of Mom Select and Hallmark. The opinions are mine
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