Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A New Favorite...Skippyjon Jones

I wish I had more to offer in opinions, about products that is, but my son’s newfound hero is Skippyjon Jones and this book is the newest thing we got going on around here.  I had seen this Siamese cat wearing a mask and a cape in my least favorite section of the bookstore, the area where they display the over priced toys that I have to argue with my son about how he will NOT be getting a toy in the bookstore, but I was unaware of this small feline’s love of literature and adventure.  Junior got a sample of a Skippyjon Jones book in his cubby at preschool, a very clever idea by scholastic books by the way, and after the request to read the four page book on a nightly basis I though purchasing our own full length version would be a good addition to our library.  We choose Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble, because as I have mentioned before my son is a lover of anything slightly scary, and the book did not disappoint.  The author, Judy Schachner, uses clever word play, has a writing style with good rhythm, and voices Skippyjon Jones in a form of “spanglish” that is very fun to read (and recite later at the dinner table).  Skippyjon Jones’ takes a trip to the “under mundo” where he visits a mummy and gets “wrapped” up in his attempt to retrieve “peas” for his dog pack pals, you really have to read it for yourself, is a very exciting and amusing read.

Photo credit: You can find this book at

Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble would be a great addition to any kids library and moms you will not be bored to tears reading this one over and over and over…you get the point.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Household Referee

I cannot be the only one…who is the household referee.  My four-year old son and thirty five year old husband can argue like nobody’s business.  My head volleys back and forth between the two of them, like the lowest paid tennis referee in the circuit, as they argue just about everything.  Example one, my son wants to play “smack-ball” my husband suggest something else, of course the suggestion is not up to par of the original “smack-ball” plan and thus begins the verbal sparring. Example two, my husbands starts off on a rant telling my son to pick up his dirty dishes, my son will deny any part of leaving the dishes out, and it continues back and forth with no resolution in sight.  I wait out the extent of the bickering until I’ve heard all I can and I can’t hear no more and step in the middle.  Oh the middle, the most uncomfortable place to be, Jan Brady had it right. I attempt to pacify both the men in my life but the truth is my husband is arguing with a four year old that is holding his own in the disagreement. Instead of cutting it off at the starting line my husband engages and I wonder what will he get out winning this battle, a bottle of our son’s tears? Not exactly the reward I would want.

This is my life, I try to remain in Swiss territory within our condo, stepping around land mines, and waving a white flag.  The victor of these petty arguments will gain no more territory than they had prior to the instigation of the battle but they each will continue to push against the other until one believes they have gained an ounce of terra firma.  I love my boys but sometimes they drive me crazy…I cannot be the only one who feels this way, right?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kid Friendly Halloween Books and a Movie

My son is a Halloween fanatic. Really, he may just be Halloween’s biggest fan.  In our house the begging to put up spooky decorations starts mid August and the favorite Halloween related movies and books make their way into rotation.  So here are a few of our suggestions from our little house of horrors…

Phineas and Ferb and the Haunted Hayride
By: Scott Peterson
If you have a child in the age range of about three all the way to about thirty five years old (my husband loves P & F too) you must spend plenty of time watching Phineas and Ferb on the Disney Channel.  Personally I like the show because the creators have successfully snuck in good vocabulary, awesome examples of irony, and kooky family relationships.  The Haunted Hayride is a medium length tale of a not too scary ride built by Phineas and Ferb through a corn maze.  The shows other favorite characters are dressed up for Halloween as well, with Candace, Perry, and Dr. Doofenshmirtz.  We have only read it fifty times since the beginning of October so I feel confident in saying it is great Halloween themed books pick.

The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
By: Charles M. Schulz
Now, I have to say right off the bat that I am not sure who filled Linus’ head with the story of the Great Pumpkin rising out the pumpkin patch that is the most sincere and showering the children with toys, but I am a firm believer that you cannot go wrong with a good Snoopy book (or movie).  This book has trick-or-treating, the World War I flying ace, and Lucy grossed out by dog lips.  Of course the downtrodden Charlie Brown does his best to fit in with the rest of the Peanuts gang, although he never seems to succeed.  Overall, a medium length read with lots of Halloween Spirit.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (DVD)
By: Tim Burton
Okay, admittedly the first time I watched this movie with my son I thought to myself, “Oops, this is why good parents preview movies first.”  But if you are a parent of a child who can handle something with a bit more edge, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a winner.  It is just scary enough, full of monsters that are not looking to harm anyone, and has great songs. We are not only watchers of this film we are year round listeners of the soundtrack.  So, if you are not sure if your child is going to wonder if Oogie Boogie is hiding in the closet, maybe wait on this one, but if your kid is like mine and gets a thrill from a little scare, The Nightmare Before Christmas will be a winner.

I hope you get a chance to enjoy a few of these with your little goblins and ghouls!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I cannot be the only one…who fears evening dinners as though I have a deep-rooted phobia of the sounds of forks clinking on plates.  As I am working away in the kitchen, doing my best to make sure every bite of chicken is small enough that my son won’t make the face as though he just bit into a dirty sock, I am outlining my game plan incase the shortest member of my family decides he is now a vegetarian.  I think to myself, if he makes it half way through dinner he may get enough to eat, this way I will not have to return to the kitchen and make an entirely different meal for one half sized child.  I daringly put the plates on the table and call Junior to dinner all the while I am crossing my fingers that tonight will be the night it all changes and he decides to be one of those children that I hear about that eat their parents “out of house and home”.

I reminisce about the days when a plastic bowl with a suction cup on the bottom full of strange pureed baby food and a bright plastic spoon was all it took to be sure my boy was full of nutrients.  Yes, the smell was not always the most pleasant from those little baby food jars and cleaning up the smeared baby face and high chair tabletop was no easy task, but I knew he ate an actual meal. Those days are behind us and now I sit down at our small round dinner table, facing my most formidable opponent, a four-year-old with a quick gag-reflex. I cheer him on when he takes good bites and I bite my tongue when he spits out my carefully crafted fine meal of chicken burritos.

I know that one day I’ll look back at all my plotting and planning over something as natural as eating and think that I wasted a lot of time on such nonsense, but for now the mayhem over dinner is real and I am only trying to cushion the blows.  I will continue on my mission to make my child an eater, at least of something other than pizza and dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets.  I know I cannot be the only one that feels this way…right?