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.

photo credit:

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.

photo credit:

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.

photo credit:

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.