Friday, May 16, 2014

I Got it Free! Coppertone Clearly Sheer

Allow me to disclose: I received Coppertone Clearly Sheer Sunscreen free to try and offer my opinion as a member of a BzzAgent campaign, the product may be free, but the opinions, they are all mine.

I cannot be the only one....who loves freebies! I am talking about the samples at Costco, mini perfume bottles at the makeup counter, and now, from BzzAgent, Coppertone Clearly Sheer For Sunny Days Sunscreen Lotion.

Who wouldn't love a box full of sunscreen?
I walked to my mailbox, like any other hum drum day of the week yesterday, and was pleasantly surprised to find a box that was full of Coppertone Sunscreen products.  It is already hotter than hot here in Southern California, so sunscreen is a necessary part of our daily routine. But, like many other daily must-do's, Sonny Boy is resistant to sitting still while I attempt to blend in his usual paste-like sunscreen, and that makes getting ready for the outdoors a pain in the...well, you know. This is where the Coppertone Clearly Sheer Sunscreen samples come in to save our sunny day, it's consistency is more like a daily moisturizing lotion, that means it's much easier to put on, and so my boy-o is protected from the sun without raging a battle against his good old mom.

The Coppertone Clearly Sheer sunscreen is super easy to apply, it goes on easy breezy, has a light fresh scent, and is SPF 30. We love this Coppertone Sunscreen!

Thanks BzzAgent for giving us a chance to try this Coppertone product for free and giving me coupons to pass along to my friends!

Friday, May 9, 2014

The First Field Trip

I cannot be the only one…who was filled with dread after they glanced ahead at their child’s school calendar and saw the words “Kindergarten Field Trip to The Zoo” printed on the page.  I immediately envisioned Sonny Boy, tears streaming down his chubby little six year old cheeks, crying in a little alcove outside the gorilla exhibit, lonely and lost at the zoo on his first field trip.  My heart started racing and I knew I had to find out all the particulars of this field trip before I could sign my John Hancock on any sort of permission slip.

When the field trip paperwork was sent home in the homework packet, I sat down and studied the information, I mean studied the info, you could have tested me on the details later in the day and I would have aced that test. With all the knowledge about the field trip laid out in front of me, I painfully decided, that even with my reservations about the trip, I would sign my child’s safety off to the school and hope for the best.

The mysterious swollen ear.
I know your thinking, “Geez, cut the cord woman,” but my field trip fears are based on more than just an overprotective Mama standpoint; the school and Sonny Boy’s teacher have given me pause about their commitment to our little learners on more than one occasion.  There was the time that Sonny Boy shared with me the adventure of taking the attendance forms to the office, only to return to the Kindergarten yard to find the gate locked, and after standing around for a few minutes (who knows what a few minutes in a six year old life is, it could have been three or twenty), unsure of what to do, he and his classmate decided to return to the office to ask for help.

Another time Sonny Boy’s ear swelled up to three times it’s natural size in class, it was red, angry, and sticking out funny from the side of his head (you know, funnier than usual, that is). When I asked his teacher if Sonny Boy had complained or was preoccupied by the irritated ear she replied, “I didn’t even know it was red, but Wow look at it.” Yes, “Wow look at it,” was her response.

With these and a few other, “Huh,” experiences under my belt, I think it goes without saying that I was fearful of the schools ability to take my child on a bus, away from our city, get him inside the gates of the zoo, and keep watch over him. Thankfully, a few of my Mama friends were able to get time off of work to volunteer as chaperones on this zoo excursion and promised me that they would keep a watchful eye over Sonny Boy with the same kind of scrutiny as they do watching their own children.

The day of the field trip I was pretty nervous, after I dropped Sonny Boy off at school I kept my eye on the time, trying to imagine what those junior scholars were up to at the zoo. At ten o’clock I imagined them having a snack, at noon that gaggle of kindergartners could be eating their lunch, one o’clock Sonny Boy was being rescued from his fall into the lion habitat, and at two o’clock their little tired legs would be boarding that big yellow school bus.

The boy is READY to go!
Picking Sonny Boy up after school that day was the best, seeing his dirty rosy checked face was such a welcome relief.  I was so happy to see him in one piece, with no claw or ravaging wild animal tooth marks. Later, when getting the low down from the chaperoning Mamas, I was not too shocked to hear that in fact one of Sonny Boy’s classmates did manage to wander off for a moment, but was found and returned to the class quickly and efficiently (all thanks to the Zoo security, who I guess is trained and ready for the wandering child scenario).

All in all, we made it past this first field trip and are already looking forward to more…well, Sonny Boy is, I am still a nervous nelly…

Friday, May 2, 2014

Summer Camp Essentials

I cannot be the only one...who has mixed feelings about summer.  Those days of carefree hours in the sun or staying up late in the warm evenings are no more. Now my summer consist of scrambling to create a schedule for my six year old that will keep him occupied, well supervised, and allow me to keep my already very part-time, part-time job. All of this combined makes it difficult to love summer as much as I used to.

The best choice for our little family of three is summer camp.  While it can be costly, it seems to be a necessary cost, and in such cases it's best to try not to think about the money and think about the peace of mind summer camp offers.
Love Bull Frog (photo credit:

With the days of summer quickly approaching it is time for me to start stocking up on our Summer Camp Essentials, starting with these:

1. Sunscreen and/or Sunblock
The summer camp Sonny Boy attends has a mandatory sunblock applying time written right into the daily schedule.  Last year I thought the spray can sunblock would be easier for my then five year old to apply, but was proved wrong when I picked him up from camp and was unable to keep a grip on his over sun protected greasy arms...this year we are going old school pasty white rub on lotion.

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2. Hat...any style will do, just bring a HAT.
Outside all day is a great way to take in all that summer camps have to offer, but squinting in the sun can put a serious damper on your camper's ability to have a good time.  My boy tends to go for a baseball cap, while this all fine and dandy for shading his eyes from the sun, a baseball cap is usually made of a thick twill which causes serious sweaty head issues.  This year I am opting for a more weather friendly version of the good old hat with lots of mesh to help relive a little of that sweat.

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3. Backpack
Not only do your kids need sunblock and a hat, they will need a multitude of things to survive the summer camp lifestyle, and a sturdy backpack will help them carry their goods to and fro.  We made the mistake of buying a backpack with a zipper that wasn't made for shoving everything into the pack and then squeezing it shut while trying to zip it closed last year, and unfortunately that backpack didn't survive the summer.  This sturdy digital camo-pack with handy water bottle holder will be our backpack of choice this year.

4.  Labels...labels...labels
I cannot stress to you the importance of labeling everything...EVERYTHING. The inside of their shoes, their socks, their under-roos, their...the list goes on and on, but for good reason. Every bright and sunny morning at drop off time at the summer camp the counselors place a table piled to the sky with every misplaced item the campers left behind from the days before.  Considering most of us parents shop at pretty much the same three stores (Target, Wal-Mart, and A Children's Place) it becomes real hard to distinguish between your boy-o's stuff and my boy-o's stuff.

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5. Kid sized beach towels.
Watching my four-foot-tall boy dragging his six-foot-long wet beach towel across the lawn, sandbox, and dirt of the camp yard on a daily basis was too much for me.  Washing towels every couple of days because the kiddo couldn't manage such a large towel commodity was an issue I had to nip in the bud.  Purchasing beach towels that compliments their vertically challenged frame is an easy way to help with the carrying of the towel, the packing of the towel, and the usage of said yourself the favor, find a perfect sized towel for your mini-camper.

These are my top five Summer Camp Essentials, all the items shown are available on Amazon (with the exception of the labels, which you can get from Mabel's Labels) if you want more info, and I hope this list helps you get your family ready for those dog days of summer.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Comment

I cannot be the only one…who has logged into their blog on any random day only to be blindsided by a less-than-friendly comment left by a reader.  After reading the aggressively negative comment I find myself going through a range of emotions: First, I feel defensive, thinking to myself, “What did I do or say that caused such animosity,” secondly, I feel defeated, “Maybe I shouldn’t write anymore,” and lastly, I remind myself, “What I write is not for everyone…and obviously this particular post was not for the comment leaver.” 

I blog about a touchy subject, Parenting, with so many parents in the world, all with diverse parenting styles, it’s easy to understand how a parenting experience that I blogged about (that was so simple to me) could potentially cause negative feelings in another parent.  With this understanding in mind, I decided to create personal guidelines of how I want to deal with the negativity when it comes
The prickly feeling of an angry comment.
knocking on my blog’s doorstep, and here are my thoughts:

1.     ALWAYS respond.
I respond to the opposing comment by acknowledging their point and hopefully clarifying my point further.  If the person insulted me directly, well…I don’t step into that arena, mud slinging based on the opinion of others simply isn’t my thing, I am not that type of person, nor do I want to be.

If your choice of response is to really give it back to the commenter feel free, BUT know that when you put your opinion and thoughts out into the ether you are welcoming others opinions and thoughts back to you as well.  That is where the idea of an online “community” comes into play. Think of it this way, you couldn’t proclaim I hate pizza and not expect at least one person to think that you were crazy for doing so, and then proceed to explain to you why they think you are nuts.

2.     Let it GO!
I am not one for grudges, how terribly heavy it is to hold onto disappointment, annoyance, or anger, so when you receive a comment that is less than complimentary face it and let it go.  I don’t allow the negative comment to become the entire theme of my post by discussing it with other readers.  If another reader brings up the offending comment in their comments, address it calmly, and move on.

3.     Do NOT delete the comment.
Sure, I have the power to obliterate the comment, but I don’t. I leave the comment, respond to it, and make it known that I believe in what I have written, as well as, that I am open to discussing other points of views. 

I do have one caveat to this decision of to delete-or-not to delete and that is if the comment includes hateful or seriously dirty words, defined as, any words that I, myself, would not use in a post on my blog. If any of those Whoa-Mama type of words are included in a reader’s post, it would give me cause to delete the it.  With the deletion of the adverse comment I would submit a comment of my own explaining why I deleted the post, acknowledging that the comment was received and read, but I can’t, in good taste, allow certain words to be included in my daily rays of sunshine (aka: my blog).

4.     Feel GOOD that something I wrote moved someone (even if was in anger).
I began writing my blog because I was surprised how many of my thoughts on parenting were not reflected in the other mother’s around me.  I took to the Internet and was thrilled to find other honest, smart, and brilliant Mama’s who felt similarly, but I am not naive enough to think we are the only ones out there.  If my thought on a particular subject sparks something in someone, enough to have them comment with such passion, then I think it’s healthy for me to read it and try to see their angle, and hopefully I can get a different perspective.

These are just a few of the guidelines I have put in place for myself and my blog, these little rules make me feel better when faced with a challenging comment, and help me keep on track (instead of crying to the heavens, “Why….why?”).

Do you have any personal rules for dealing with a comment that is unflattering to yourself or your blog? If so, please share them with the rest of us, that way when we get those “kind” of comments we react with our level heads instead of our emotional ones.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sonny Boy's Library Picks

I cannot be the only one...who realizes that they sway even the most simplest of their child's decisions, whether it be making a healthier snack choice, "Not the cookies, what about the carrots?" or while scrutinizing the latest Lego sets at the toy store, "Why not look at the smaller sets of Lego's, then you can get more for your money?" But once we send our precious tykes off to the salt mill, otherwise known as elementary school, they are given opportunities to make choices minus our best efforts to lead them in a good direction, and their freedom of choice gives us the opportunity to see reflections of our lessons of making good choices and their budding personalities all rolled into one.

This has been the case with Sonny Boy's trips to the school library, where the kids are allowed to choose a book they are interested in, some of his classmates choose picture books or comic books, but Sonny Boy has developed a theme....and it is alright with me.

Dinosaur: DK Eyewitness Books
This was such a great choice!  The pictures are so detailed and the information is presented in a way that holds my kindergartner's attention (not always easy to do, I've lost him on much more kid-friendly books in the past).

This book covers the dinosaurs from scaly head to lengthy tail, it discusses who coined the term dinosaur, what environmental conditions the dinosaurs thrived in, the theories about what happened to the dinosaurs, and of course fossils.

The DK Dinosaur book is the kind of book that you and your kids will return to over and over again, while still finding something new to read and learn about those enormous extinct creatures that were the dinosaurs.

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Other recent choices hand picked by Sonny Boy

Tigers by Helen Frost 
This books was another good choice.  The pictures of these big cats are fantastic and the author gives the little ones a chance to understand where tigers live and what they do (hunt, take care of their babies, and swim of know, the usual).
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Ladybugs (Creepy Creatures) by Monica Hughes
Bugs...bugs...bugs. Not my choice of a little light reading, as I have a slightly huge fear of most creepy crawly critters, but still interesting all the same.  In this book, all about ladybugs, we learned about these little beauties hard and soft wings, how ladybugs eat other insects (later, aphids), and where baby ladybugs come from (don't get any big ideas about not having to breech this question again in the future...where ladybug babies come from is not similar enough to where human babies come from, sorry). 
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That is a small glimpse into the literary world in our home thanks to the elementary school library's great selection of books for our young readers. For more information on any of the books on Sonny Boy's Library Picks list click the covers and you'll be linked to

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Character Not Awarded

I cannot be the only one…who has found their child's first year of public Kindergarten trying at the best of times and down right frustrating the rest of the time. I’ve discussed my dismay at the entirely satisfactory report card (literally, all satisfactory marks) and the abundance of fundraising being pushed on us monthly, but my latest annoyance is in response to the Character Awards.

The Character Awards are a school wide ceremony held on the playground in the morning before the kids head off to their classrooms. Each teacher chooses four students from their class to acknowledge with an award, such as most improved, good sportsmanship, etc., and then the award is presented to the students by the school principal.

Sure, this all sounds friendly and inane enough, but the way the school goes about the award
This boy's character is boundless!
ceremony and the reasons Sonny Boy’s teacher doles out the awards is where my issues comes into play.

First, only the parents of the children receiving an award are alerted of the ceremony. The rest of us parents find out the morning of the ceremony when the parking lot is overflowing and well-dressed families are flooding onto the playground with cameras hanging from their necks. Why not let all the parents know about the award ceremony?

Secondly, some of the awards that have been issued to Sonny Boy’s classmates have been to children with behavioral problems who receive the “Shows Improvement” award, or the student with the broken arm during the first semester who was awarded “Good Sportsmanship” (I guess he had to sit on the bench while the other children played, which constitutes good sportsmanship).  These awards have been based on extraneous circumstances, how could another child compete for good sportsmanship unless he had a broken arm to NOT complain about, or how could they show improvement unless their frequent visits to the principals office have decreased recently?

Thirdly, the children who have not received an award, but watched politely and cheered for their peers while they were being recognized and awarded, are confused about what it takes to become one of those special kids.  Sonny Boy actually said to me after the most recent Character Awards ceremony, “I have to start trying a lot harder if I am ever going to get one of those awards.” Obviously, breaking my heart and forcing me to make up for his feelings of inadequacy with an impromptu trip to the frozen yogurt shop (and letting him load on his own toppings, an expensive way to show that I think he has character).

I know not everyone can win an award, I don’t necessarily agree with the handing out of trophies just for participating, and I do think having our children learn to be graceful losers is an important life lesson, but at school it would be nice to level the playing field a little when acknowledging our little scholars for their displays of character.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Kids Love Camping & The Gear

I cannot be the only one...whose child is fond of accessories, the backpack, a pencil case, and when it comes to camping, forget it, he doesn't even know where to start with all the fun stuff. During our Spring Break we popped up the tent and camped for three days, giving Sonny Boy a chance to put all his camping accoutrements to use (he may have liked playing with the accessories more than he did roasting marshmallows or sleeping in a tent). Here is a list of a few of his favorite camping must haves:
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The Lantern: I mean, obviously the lantern is a necessity; a dark tent, stumbling around for pajama's, and making sure that stuffed rabbit that your kiddo just can't sleep without is somewhere in sight, are all reasons a lantern is a tent must have.

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The Sleeping Bag: Sleeping away from home is one thing, but sleeping in a nylon walled tent is another, and maximum comfort makes sleeping while camping a little easier.  A good, warm, and of course fun sleeping bag makes for a good siesta under the stars

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The Headlamp: It doesn't matter that you just took a trip down to the restroom before you zipped your family back up into the tent, that one last bathroom call will happen, and a headlamp is a cool hands free way to find your way back and forth from the bathroom once the stars are in the sky.

These are just a few of the items that made our family pilgrimage out into the wild (okay, so it wasn't so wild in the heart of San Diego) a smidgen more comfortable and fun.  Before you head out on your next camping trip double check your accessories (or gear, as my boys prefer call it) and make sure you have those little comforts that make for a happy trip.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Law of Spring Break

I cannot be the only one....who has been with a group of people when your child decides to show a less than polite side of their personality, leaving you laying down the law in a little tougher of fashion than usual, much to your chagrin.  This is exactly what happened while we were on our big family Spring Breakin' vacation.

The tent popped-up for three.
Allow me to set the stage for you, camping in San Diego, our little family of three hunkered down in a tent staked out next to the Grandparents RV. A noisy street and a flock of cawing crows making it difficult to sleep past four am, if there was any sleeping happening up to that point anyways, for three consecutive nights.  Tack no sleep up with sore backs from laying on air mattresses, the derailment from any semblance of our usual routine, and you get grumpy adults towing around a feisty kid.  

We took this lovely combo, of over tired adults and off kilter child, and decided to take a trip to the USS Midway Museum. The air craft carrier turned museum entails small spaces, narrow stairwells, and a few unfortunate mannequins, all of which caused Sonny Boy to decide he was finished with the museum and he didn't care who knew it. Sonny Boy stopped on the massive air craft carrier in an under sea level hallway, and told me, "I am done with this tour and I want out of here!" I looked ahead of us and saw no daylight breaking through anytime soon, I looked behind us and saw a long line of brightly dressed tourist holding cameras and audio tour devices, and I bent down to eye level with Sonny Boy and said, in my best impersonation of a mother not on the brink, "To bad, because you are finishing this tour."  This didn't go over well, Sonny Boy dug his heels in against the tide of well-traveled visitors to the USS Midway, making it clear he had no plans of moving, his visit was done, and that was it for him.
USS Midway...and a tourist.

As a Mama stuck between museum goers breathing down my neck and a stubborn six year old, I knew I had to put an end to this situation and do it fast.  I looked into Sonny Boys baby blue eyes and told him quietly, but sternly, that he would be moving his feet, he would stop being stubborn, and that people (including ourselves) had paid money to walk around inside this metal wonder docked off the coast of San Diego and he would NOT be ruining it for anyone, so buck up and start walking.

Surprisingly, it worked.  We kept the flow of tourism moving and eventually made it back to the flight deck and the glorious, glorious sunshine, at which point the Sonny Boy's interest was renewed with the wonder of the enormous ship and we lived the rest of the tour happily ever after.

I know there is a lot of parenting talk about not shaming or yelling at our children, but there are times when I have to shut down the behavior before it gets into full swing terror mode.  I don't like being "that" parent, I'd prefer to be fair, even tempered, and handle childhood with a fashionable flair, but sometimes sleep deprived, at the end of her patience, not-so tolerant-Mama has to step in and get the job done.

Sonny Boy back in the tour game.
I think there are times for rationalizing and making lemonade life lessons out of our children's lemon behavior, but I have to admit there are other times that "Because I say so" is the best way to handle my little person in the making.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's Still Relevant...

I cannot be the only one...who is off Spring Breakin' this week! We've packed every belonging that would fit in the back of the Hubs car and are hitting the road for some sunshine, lots of are we there yets, and plenty of over priced souvenirs.  I'll be taking notes and return with a few "I cannot be the only one" moments: vacation edition.

While I am off slathering on the SPF, I offer you a post from a couple of months ago that is about a common occurrence in our house, the decision of whether or not we should eat the meal that I prepared because of...well, you'll see.

So, enjoy the post, leave me your "should we eat this" moments in the comments, and enjoy your week!

Click here for post: Should We Eat This?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Anthropologie Style Inspirations

I cannot be the only one...who is in enamored with the styling of the store Anthropologie, but disappointed when I look at the price tags of their fabulous wares. Then I started seeing a trend on my social networks of Anthropologie inspired crafty projects and thought, "Once again, I know I am not alone." Other Mama's love the panache of this mall anchored store and are also put off by the expensive costs, so they decided to DIY it, and do a fantastic job at it.

Here are my favorite Anthropologie inspired crafts, please visit these artistic geniuses and dress yourself and home in dazzling style for less:

DIY Rope Bracelets (Anthropologie inspired) by Made in a Day
These rope bracelets are so simple with so much style.  What a great way to add interest to an outfit, not to mention that conversation piece accessories are always a personal favorite. Check out this DIY Rope Bracelets craft and tons of other inspiring ideas at: Made in a Day.
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Atom Art Bowls (Anthropologie inspired) by Lolly Jane
I am a fan of festive bowls, bowls with character, and I love these hand decorated bowls by Lolly Jane. Imagine how much more cheerful your next scoop of chocolate ice cream will be when you are spooning it out of one of these lovely bowls.  For all the down-low on these bowls, please visit Lolly Jane.
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Inventors Bell Jar Lamp (Anthropologie inspired) by Made in Crafts
This is no joke, this industrial style lamp looks so cool, and the how-to tutorial is very comprehensive, even I may give this a try.  I think this lamp would great on a side table next to a plant, what an awesome juxtaposition of nature and industry.  Check out all (and I mean all the instructions) at Made in Crafts.

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We are officially off on Spring Break...maybe I'll give one of these Anthropologie inspired crafts a try during our mini vacation...please be sure to visit one or all of these artisan bloggers and save yourself a buck by crafting your own style.

Until next time....

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

5 Things Kids Do Too Long

I cannot be the only one...who has suffered through one day too many of their child's whining and began to wonder, how long is this whining phase going to last? Some of the things my six year old does seem to never change, perpetuating for what feels like forever.  With this in mind, I decided to list the 5 changes Sonny Boy has been reluctant to make, and, in the name optimism, the changes that happened so fast, I missed them while they were happening.  I am sure you will be able to relate, so here we go:

5 Things Kids Do Too Long

1. Throwing tantrums. 
Do I really need to say anything about the horror of the extended shelf life of tantrums? Sure, the tantrum changes from laying on the floor, kicking their feet, and screaming, to outright refusal to comply, snarky attitude or sulking, but no matter how the tantrum manifest itself, it's really all the same.

2. Picky eating.
The pure look of disgust on Sonny Boy's face when I bring anything to the table, with the exception of Dino-nuggets or grilled cheese sandwiches, has been happening since the day the highchair hit the donation center. I keep waiting for his taste to mature a little, I am not talking reduction wine sauces, but at least a cheeseburger would be change in the right direction.

3. Wiping of the nose on the back of the hand or sleeve.
What is this disgusting habit? This is not a habit learned by watching the parents (at least I hope not). I keep tissue at the ready at all times, but there is something about that back of the hand or sleeve that is just to tempting to resist for our youngsters.

4. Babbling to them self.
Half the time I am not sure if Sonny Boy is even talking to me, and if he is talking to me, is he speaking a different language? The constant noise making that comes out of my child's mouth is exhausting, and the babbling has not changed since the blessed day of my child's birth.

5. Needing Mama to do everything for them.
Changing diapers and feeding your little bundle if joy is completely understandable, but there comes a point when your kindergartner is still calling to you from the bathroom in need of bottom wiping, that something has got to give.

In honor of being the type of Mama that likes to say the juice box is half full, I now offer you the following: 

5 Changes Our Kids Make Too Soon

1. No longer calling you Mama or Mommy.
The sad day comes, ready or not, that your sweet baby will start referring to you as Mom in place of the endearing Mommy or Mama you've grown so fond of hearing.  Sometimes the "Mom" will be in the form of a whine, others it will be a frustrated grump, but either way it's not the Mama you've loved hearing.

 Laughter, I just stubbed my toe.
2. Stop thinking your funny.
Those days when crossing your eyes and puffing up your cheeks is all it took to elicit unsurpassed laughter, quickly come to an end sadly. It becomes harder to get that kiddo to squirt milk through their nose, and, if by some chance you do get a hearty laugh out of Junior, well, it will most likely be at your expense (you trip, spill something, or say a bad word under your breath after stubbing your toe will always crack a kid up).

3. Hugging and kissing you goodbye are no more.
The days when your darling clung to your leg and kept you coming back for one more smooch goodbye, those days that you would wonder how long am I going to have pry these sweaty hands off my pant leg, come to end faster than you will like. Dropping off at kindergarten was a stressful event for the first month, the goodbyes were overflowing and endless, now I am lucky if Sonny Boy even remembers to wave to me as he follows his classmates into their classroom.

4. Taking naps go the way of the dodo.
The one luxury of motherhood is nap time. That hour, half an hour, heck even just ten minutes, whatever the length, that peaceful time when your head hits the cool pillowcase, you close your hot and heavy eyelids, and fall into a peaceful midday nap is glorious. This beautiful rest time is a short lived indulgence. Nap time stops becoming guaranteed daily and eventually peters out to a maybe, if your lucky, sort of thing. Naps stop happening too soon!

5. Stop needing Mama for everything.
One day you offer to pour the sweet child a juice and they tell you, "I can do it." They can do it? This is just the beginning, the next thing you know they can magically wash their own hair and pick out their own clothes (and not just stripped shorts in the middle of winter or a hockey jersey in the dog days of summer), their sweet dimpled faces stop needing you for everything and that is a bitter sweet day for Mama.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Science, Cookies, and Songs

I cannot be the only one...whose past week was even more overwhelming than usual, although, I possibly think that about every week.  I was informed that my kindergartner would be participating in a Science Fair, we had multiple t-ball practices, and a bout of insomnia, all making for a joyous household. 

To escape my disgruntled state of mind, I took to the world wide web and found a little science, answers to my sweet tooth, and songs to help take the edge off. I offer you my favorite shares from this past week:

Simple Science for Kids by Kids by Mess for Less
After finding many kid friendly experiments that take an abundance of ingredients, could possibly blow up my house, or make a mess like I've never seen, I stumbled upon this Balloon experiment on the blog, Mess for Less, and was ready to tackle the Science Fair with Sonny Boy.  Please visit Mess for Less for even more great kids activities.
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The Ultimate Girl Scout Cookie Inspired Recipe Round Up by Create Craft Love
Considering the week I've been having, I am in need of a little sweetness, and when that sweetness is delivered in the form of cookies, it is not just needed, it becomes necessary.  These recipes, inspired by our favorite Girl Scout cookies, are a great place to gather some cookie inspiration. Visit Create Craft Love to acquire all the sweet details for these cookies.

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8 Spring Songs for Kids by Let's Play Music
I don't know about you, but in our house when things get a little tense, music usually lightens the mood.  We sing at bedtime, in the tub, in the car...yup, we are singing fools.  These 8 Spring Songs for Kids are fun and educational, check them out at Let's Play Music.

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This past week has been crazier then the craziest of weeks, trying to hold down the fort while adjusting to the new t-ball schedule and planning our upcoming science fair has shortened my patience (and probably my life by an hour or two, but whose counting). Please stop by these blogs to grab some science, sweets, songs, and possibly what's left of your sanity. 

Until next week...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Great T-Ball Argument

I cannot be the only one…who has been mid-argument only to stop and realize that the argument isn’t really about what the bickering is focused on, but rather something else all together.  This was the case when the Hubs and I were arguing about the Sonny Boy’s upcoming T-ball schedule.

The Sonny Boy is ready, but I am stressed.
The Hubs wants Sonny Boy to play T-ball, he needs Sonny Boy to play T-ball, he has enough enthusiasm for all three of us when it comes to T-ball, so he took the plunge and signed Sonny Boy up with the local little league.  I let my Hubs know that I was glad to help out with the scheduling, but because of my many other obligations (college classes, work, and keeping them from starving to death) I couldn’t be responsible for taking the aspiring T-Baller to all the required practices. The Hubs was understanding and ready to take on the T-ball season, letting me know that he had the whole thing under control.

Well, if by under control the Hubs meant he would fall back on me for ninety-nine percent of the T-ball obligations, sure, he had it under control.  After returning from the first little league team meeting, the Hubs avoided giving me the low down on what the league scheduling was like. He kept himself busy in the garage sweeping up an unrivaled dust cloud and suspiciously feeling the need to do a load of laundry for the next hour or so, until he finally came into the house with a look on his face like the cat that swallowed the canary. 

Opening day (only 8am-12pm on Sat).
When he decided to face the music and let me know the particulars of Sonny Boy’s upcoming triumph on the little league field, I was dismayed to hear of the amount of commitment he had signed ME up for.  After many interruptions by him while I tried to run through the laundry list of all the responsibilities I was going to have move around to make this T-ball career a reality, I realized what was really getting under my skin about the argument. 

I wasn’t upset about the rough road of reorganizing our lives to make the T-Ball playing possible, but that the Hubs has the ability to make a plan without knowing all the particulars because he has a big, reliable, and dependable safety net securely placed under his life, in the shape of me.  I took a minute to imagine what that life must be like knowing someone has always got your back, someone’s always there to pick up the pieces, and that someone’s going to support you regardless of their other obligations, and thought how freeing that must feel. That is a freedom I definitely don't have.

The Sonny Boy is playing T-ball and I am sure when he makes the winning run at one of his future games he will thank his Dad for signing him up to play, while I smile and bite my tongue.

Friday, March 7, 2014

New Kicks, Quinoa, and Rainbows: Just Another Week

I cannot be the only one....who loves sharing their latest finds and I've got some great ones to share this week. Last week I stumbled upon a list of Rainbow Crafts to help decrease my Sonny Boy's boredom, a new Quinoa recipe, and of course a little something-something for us Mamas.  These are my favorite posts from last week that I shared on Google+ and Twitter, please visit these blogs and gather a bit of inspiration for your meal plans, kid wrangling, and closet updating.

7 Rainbow Crafts...and Learning Activities by Buggy and Buddy
Cotton balls, an old CD paired with a flash light, rainbow lanterns, and homemade kazoos- what else could you possibly need to keep grumpy boredom away?  These rainbow crafts are inventive and easy to manage, I love that. Please visit Buggy and Buddy to get the details on all 7 of the rainbow crafts.

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Quinoa Salad Recipe with Radish: Easy on-the-go Lunch Recipe by Our Family World
While I am a lover of Quinoa, I have no skills what-so-ever when it comes to creating a dish with it, so I could use all the Quinoa recipes I can get. Also, I feel like the radish is highly underrated, it's a cute root with some kick, what more do you want people? Please visit the Our Family World website for all the Quinoa details.
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Mizuno Hitogami Running Shoes by Parksdale
I am a runner, and as any runner knows when you find a good pair of running shoes you try like crazy to keep them for as long as possible, but that fateful day always comes when it's time to throw in the towel (or in this case shoes) and get a new pair.  These Mizuno Hitogami running shoes WILL be my new pair.  I also love running shoes because you can go as bright as you like and they never make your feet look big (unlike some leggings and my bottom).  Check these kicks out at
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This is it for me this week, I shared my dislike of school fundraisers (5 Reasons I Loathe School Fundraisers) and my favorite post, not so bad for a overwhelmed Mama with a demanding six year old. Please visit these websites and get inspired to craft, cook, and get in some calisthenics.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Five Reasons I Loathe School Fundraising

The "Fun Run" t-shirt.

I cannot be the only one…who completely understands the need for school fundraising, but hates it just the same.  During our first year enrolled in a public school there has been a fundraiser of one sort or another happening every month, whether our children are being asked to peddle wares from a catalog or participate in a hoola-hoop marathon, there has been no lack of fundraising activities.

This list consist of my top 5 reasons I loathe school fundraising, they are in no particular order, I am annoyed by one reason just as much as I am by the next reason. 

1.     School Fundraising Pledge and Donation forms are deceiving.           
Our latest version of school fundraising was the “Fun Run,” in which people could pledge a dollar amount per lap your child runs, with the run consisting of 36 laps. Problem was on the pledge form the only donation amounts listed were: $1, $5, or $10 per lap.  We didn’t participate in this “Fun Run” fundraiser because the Sonny Boy was unable to get anyone to pledge a minimum of $36, of course when all was said and done, other families told me that they crossed out the dollar amounts and wrote in what they were comfortable with, fifty-cents a lap or a flat donation amount. Sorry school, but because we followed the rules of the pledge form, we didn't raise any funds.

2.     The products the kids are asked to sell are EXPENSIVE.
One catalog the Sonny Boy had jammed into his backpack was glossy and full of professionally crafted photographs of many things a person will most likely never need.  We took the catalogue to Grandma’s house, she sat down and browsed through the ten-dollar motivational plaques and twelve-dollar coffee mugs with finches on them, and when she got to the last page she decided she could maybe use a spoon rest with a whimsy squirrel painted on it, for the not-so-fair price of eight dollars and ninety-five cents.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t guilt anyone else into placing an order for a twenty-dollar set of pot holders that feature a spring flower montage, even with the Sonny Boy’s perfected sad puppy dog eye look.

3.     School fundraising is really just one more chore for Mama to do.
You cannot convince me that the school expects our children to go door to door in their neighborhood, with their trusty pooch at their side pulling a wagon, and ask the friendly-faced neighbors to buy whatever it is the fundraiser is selling, in the world we living in today.  It’s the parents driving their kiddos from place to place or making the phone calls to the Grandparents and in-laws (what a joy), so the kids can hem and haw over exactly what the fundraiser is about and what they are selling. Not to mention, it’s the Mamas and Daddys managing and collecting the money, what kind of maniac would expect a kindergartner to be responsible for the money they raised? Not this maniac, that’s for sure.

4.     The so-called prizes the children receive for their fundraising efforts are cheap and awful.
Sonny Boy is blinded, just as any six year old would be, by a stuffed raccoon key chain he would be awarded when he makes his first sale or receives a pledge. I know the idea is to motivate the children into wanting to participate in the school’s fundraising efforts, but when you dangle something shiny in front of a kid as an incentive to sell, the entire philanthropic motivation is lost.

5.     The people in our family network all have their own fundraising kids, significantly shrinking our begging pool.
My family is well stocked with kids, with all the grandkids, nieces, and nephews, there is no shortage of pint sized Willy Lomans hitting the adults up for money to support their school, t-ball, or soccer team.  Every member of our family has at least two (sometimes three) kids with a fundraiser happening at all times, we completely understand when our cause get’s turned down in favor of their own child’s current cause, but we’ve run out of people to ask, so once again, I issue an apology to the school.
The lap count from the "Fun Run."

Let me finish up this numbered rant by saying one more time, I understand the need for fundraising, but I wish there were better ways.  I know that traditional bake sales are no longer viable because of the peanut allergy revolution and that most households are made up of two income earners, which makes gathering volunteers to help create fundraising events difficult, but there must be a better way….