.main-outer { max-width: 1000px; margin: 0 auto; }


Great Gift for Ages 2-8: Learning Resources Cash Register

My kids have enjoyed this cash register from ages 2-8.  Both Boys and Girls!  It really is great!  It's the Learning Resources Teaching Cash Register!  I think the obsession for my two year old is that you can put change in the slot and it comes back out.  That and the colors, working buttons and drawer.  We see cash registers every where we go it seems- and this is the one he ALWAYS zeros in on!  My older kids like to use the credit card and make change.  It really is great!


Flying with children

I recently flew on 4 flights in one week with my husband and two small children (ages 4 and 11 months). Now, when flying with children you expect people to groan to themselves, roll their eyes when they see you coming and then run from you as they get off the plane. But at the end of our 4th flight we were waiting for our gate checked items and FOUR different passengers came up to me to tell me how great my kids were! So, while I am not an expert- I figure I should share what worked for us...

1. Come up with a snack that you know they love. For us it was pretzel rods. I don't know why but my children love these and my 11 month old is very content while holding this and feeding himself!

2. New toys! I let my 4 year old pack his own carry on bag the night before we left, but after he went to sleep I added a few new things- card games, crayons, stress balls and activity books. He was so excited that just looking at the stuff got us through the first flight. For my 11 month old I bought a few toys that made noise and had them in my bag.

3. The Star System. You remember the little stars you earned as a kid. My 4 year old had a fire truck that he REALLY wanted before we left. We told him that he needed to earn 15 stars while we were gone to get the fire truck. He could both earn and lose stars as the trip went on (we were gone for 9 days).

If you aren't sure what will motivate your child- go to the toy store the day before you leave and explain to them they can earn it. Keep in mind this will not work with a really young child.

4. Accept the fact that you are going to be working the entire flight to keep your kids occupied. At the first sign that their moods are taking a turn- change up the activity, snack or pace of what you are doing. With my 11 month old we would pass him back and forth, hold him up to the air that blows, give him a pretzel rod, give him a bottle, let him play peek-a-boo with the people behind us, hold him upside down (my child loves this) and let him play with the cups our drinks came in - this actually ended up being his favorite toy on the plane.

Just go into it with an open mind. Try your best to keep your kids in an up beat mood- and if they start to scream and lose it- then order a glass of wine (or two).



OK- this post really should be called "My husband's great idea"!  I have an almost 4 year old (really not a 3 year old anymore) who is FINALLLLLLLLLLLLLLY potty trained, but still wets the bed- he gave up pull ups and night time diapers on the same day- Impressive?  YES!  But not when you are 3 1/2!  Before April (he turns 4 in September)- he would NOT use the potty!  People would tell me, "he won't go to kindergarten in diapers" and I would tell them, "you're right, but he might go wearing Depends!"  I was seriously worried!

SO- he decided one day that he no longer wore diapers (yes, this really happens- when you have given up hope, they do what you wanted)- but he no longer wanted to wear them at night either!  I mean, I should just be grateful that he wants no diapers right?  BUT- then came the bedwetting!

SO- here is where my husband is brilliant!  When bedtime comes- and he doesn't want to go to bed or go potty- we tell him, OK, if you go potty then you can stay up for 5 more minutes.   Now, I have added the step that we tell him it's bedtime about 20 minutes early because this extra bedtime step can add to bedtime!  But I'm telling you the "5 more minutes" plan has saved us about 95 loads of laundry so far!

AND believe me I have read every potty training book and website trying to potty train this child- this method is SOOOOOO much better than sleeping on the floor next to your child and waking them every few hours to potty!



So, bedtime in our house (and I'm hoping in someone elses) can be hard.  The kids don't want to go to bed, the parents barely have the energy to argue at this point and we are all just going through the motions.

BUT- I have come up with a new way to think about the bedtime- when your kids just want one more story or for you to lay with them, or one more whatever...  {This really works for me}-  I picture myself 20 years from now, when no one wants me to put them to bed, no one wants me to read them a story and no one wants me to lay down with them (well-hopefully my husband will :)).  I picture myself wishing that I had taken more time putting the kids to bed and appreciate the fact that they really just wanted me to read them a story and give them a kiss- then I come back to where I am and realize how grateful I am that I am living the the life I live and that I have 3 wonderful kids that want me to put them to bed EVERY night!

There really will come a day when I am a little sad that my kids aren't little anymore and that they don't need me to help them fall asleep- SO- before that day can make me sad- I'll just be happy.


Easier than a Tie Dye!

If you are looking for something fun and simple to do with the kids, but don't want to be quite as messy as a tie-dye- try this!

We took solid color shirts, made designs on them with painters tape and then sprayed them with Clorox!  It was simple, not to messy and the kids had a great time!

We let them sit out in the sun after spraying for about two hours (while we went geocaching- I was obviously feeling very ambitious this day) and then came back, removed the tape and washed them one time- the kids loved them!


Fun things to do with the kids: Geocaching!

WOW- I don't even know how I stumbled upon this, but talk about something that my kids loved today- GEOCACHING! I have a 7 year old, almost 4 year old, 5 month old and 9 year old neighbor- and today we found our first geocache! I'm pretty sure they are going to dream tonight about our great treasure hunt/trip to the North Pole- I mean really- I might as well have taken them on a Pirate escapade and run through the North Pole they were so excited!

Basically you go to www.geocaching.com and/or download the app to your phone and go!  The app on your phone will show you a dot on a map where the cache is and you go find it.  The one we found was a tupperware box filled with little trinkets.  You take a trinket and replace it with something else- and then sign the log.  Apparently there are three caches within 1/2 mile of my house that I didn't know about!  There are caches on every continent.  It is a really fun and cool thing to do with your kids- and I'm pretty sure if you did it a lot it would be great for the diet- there is a lot of walking, running and looking around involved.  Check out the site!


Workout Playlist

So- I'm trying to figure out some way to find time to work out with 3 kids.  I haven't quite found the time, but am working on a playlist for my ipod.  A friend of mine sent me this list and I thought I would share these ideas for good workout songs.  Please let me know what your favorite songs for working out are!

In da Club:       50 Cent
Bust A Move:  Young MC
Stronger:     Kayne West
Hey Ya!:     OutKast
Peacock:      Katy Perry
California Girls:   Katy Perry
Teenage Dream:  Katy Perry
Dani California:   Red Hot Chili Peppers
Get the Party Started:  Pink
You Can't Touch This:  MC Hammer
Mo Money Mo Problems:  Puff Daddy
How Low:   Ludacris
Psycho:  50 Cent
Amazing:  Kanye West & Young Jeezy


Design and print your own fabric!

Wow- have you ever wanted to design your own fabric?  Now you can at Spoon Flower!!!!  I'm so excited- I haven't tried this out yet, but can't wait to give it a whirl!  The price varies from $18-$32/yard.  Imagine being able to design your own curtain fabrics or fabrics for a special craft project. I'm so excited to have found this site!  Oh and if you aren't feeling to creative today you can buy other people's designs.

If you have tried this site, please let me know if it was a good experience!  Here are a few fun ones I saw:

Barnacle Net - Coral Colorway


Getting Boys Interested in Reading!

I have a 7 year old son and one of my biggest struggles with him has been getting him to pick up a book without it being a chore! I recently went to a book fair clearance event and stumbled upon the Ball Park Mysteries Series- needless to say that he finished his first chapter book in just 1 week! I would recommend this series to all you boy moms out there!


Cookie Monster Birthday Party

My "baby" recently turned 2... crazy how fast they grow and how I can't remember not having him here!  We did a cookie monster party.  He wore his cookie monster t-shirt and I got cookie monster cupcakes from the grocery store and made a cookie monster cake with my giant cupcake pan...  Not perfect, but pretty easy to make:

Warning:  This will turn your child blue!!!  It's fun though...


Great Kids Book

If you are looking for a great kids book- check out "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie"!  It is a great book that is so much fun to read with young children.  This book is funny and wears out the little boy inside it.  My oldest son and I used to read this book ALLLL the time!  If you are looking for a fun book you will both like- try "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie".



All kids have fears- the dark, new situations, getting in trouble... the list goes on and on!  Well, now there are shirts that you can dress your little ones in to help them beat those childhood fears- Nanniboos- "Monsters on a Mission".

The Be Brave hoodie fleece with Eyevan the monster is one of our favorites:

What was that sound?  
Did it give you a fright?  
Eyevan will protect you day and night.  
He can see in the dark, he's not afraid of a thing, 
he is strong and fierce but he can't really sing.

If you have a little one who is having a hard time with some normal childhood fears- check out Nanniboos!