Apr 162014
 

easter-basket-ideas-for-boys

Traditionally, Easter baskets are filled with candy treats like chocolate bunnies, jelly beans , Peeps and chocolate-marshmallow eggs.  Oh, and that Easter basket grass that gets everywhere and kills your vacuum cleaner.

If you are wanting to celebrate the arrival of the Easter Bunny sans the trip to the dentist, than there are plenty of options that are just as fun for the kids. If you have little boys like I do and aren’t sure what to put in their basket this year besides candy, here is a list of suggestions to get you inspired:

  • One of the easiest routes to go with is his interests. Does he love cars and trucks? How about a Hot Wheels themed Easter basket?
  • Lots of boys are enamored with creepy-crawly bugs, snakes and the like. If you have a bug-catcher on your hands, then why not fill his basket with a butterfly net, a container for specimens and a book all about insects that can help him identify the local neighborhood bugs? Throw some fun stickers in the basket and voila! Continue reading »
Apr 032014
 

Have you ever wondered what the going rate for a babysitter is?  I have.

Back in my day when I used to babysit, I think I cleared $3 or $4 and hour and if anyone offered me more than that – it was like I had hit the lottery.  I remember babysitting one New Years Eve for nice couple that had three kids under the age of five.   The kids were all asleep by the time I got there, so all I had to do was sit there and hang out with Dick Clark.  When they got home around 1 am (a little more than a little tipsy) and the mother handed me a $50 bill as my payment, I’m pretty sure I cried a few tears of joy.

When my kids were younger, I always had family (either my mother or my sister) babysit.  I mean, it doesn’t get much better than free, right?  But now my sister is married & living north of Boston with her new husband and mother is in failing health & can’t handle them like she used to, so I have been starting to explore my options.

I truly had no idea how much a sitter would cost these days, so I did a little crowdsourcing and polled some people on my Facebook page. Continue reading »

Aug 292013
 

I don’t understand something.

Sometimes, when I’m in a hurry, I will grab the boys their dinner at McDonald’s.  Usually, since I’m in a hurry, we just go through the drive through and take their food with us – whether it be that we bring it home or the kids eat it on the go.

I think we all know that McDonald’s is notorious for messing up orders.  It’s happened to me so many times that I always check the bag (s) before I drive away to make sure that my order is correct and/or that nothing is missing.  Once I make sure we have everything and that it’s correct, we’re off.

With that being said, I realize that the kids working at the drive through window at McDonald’s probably don’t have kids of their own yet, so I’d like to let this serve as s public service announcement:

When you have two Happy Meals (or more) going out on one order – please give everyone in the party the same prize.

The fight it causes is almost NOT worth the hassle of going there in the first place.  We were there the other day and they got Smurfs in their Happy Meals. I was thinking to myself that this time it wasn’t so bad because they could play with them together.  Wrong.  The little man wanted the one with the horn and the big guy wouldn’t trade.  It was a nightmare…over a dumb little toy.  It happens all the time, too.  You think I’d check the prizes before I drove away like I do with the food.

mcdonalds-smurf-prizes

My order at McDonald’s is always the same: Continue reading »

Aug 042013
 

The other day, I was sitting here thinking about how sometimes I feel bad for my eight year old.  His little brother wants to do everything he does, which doesn’t always work out so well because of the three year age difference.   Most of the time, anything that my oldest picks up to do, the little guy isn’t very far behind.  Because they are at different levels developmentally, it seems like I am always saying something like this to my oldest:  “Let it go…you’re brother just isn’t old enough to do that”. Since I’m the oldest of three (my sister is 4 years younger and my brother is 6.5 years younger), I really can relate.  I do have higher expectations of my older son.  Like my parents always said to me “you know better” and it’s true.  Since I remember so clearly, I completely understand what he must be feeling to hear me say that to him.

So, since my wheels were turning, I made up this  list of pros/cons of being the oldest.

Pros:

  1. I never, ever had to wear hand-me-downs.  HA!
  2. More privileges (higher allowance, later bedtime, etc). Continue reading »
Jul 292013
 

Today I’m heading to the beach.  For those of you who know me in real life, you probably already know how much I love the beach, but in case  you didn’t know – now you do.

If you’re a parent, going to the beach with the kids involves dragging along so much stuff. I remember the good old days like they were yesterday - you know, when it was just me.  I’d have one bag with all my stuff, so I could just grab it and go.  With kids, it’s a whole different story.  There are several bags and coolers that contain a whole slew of things I never would have thought to drag with me to the beach pre-children.

Here are some things that I think are essential for a great day at the beach with the kids.

1.  Sunblock.  This one is kind of a no-brainer, but I always bring two bottles with me.  The last place I would want to run out of it is while I’m at the place I need it the most.  I use the spray sunblock, which in my opinion, is much easier to apply on squirmy kids, but it’s not always easy to tell when it’s running low, so I bring the second bottle just in case.

2. Beach towels.  I bring two per person.  If you have kids, you know why – they’re messy and one towel is never enough. Continue reading »

Jul 252013
 

I was in Target the other day and they already had their back to school stuff out, so of course the kids wanted to go over and pick out new back packs and stuff.  We don’t go back for over a month, but I suppose it’s never too early to start preparing, right?

For the first year since my boys have been in public schools (my oldest is going into 4th grade), we have to buy our own school supplies.  In previous years, we just gave the PTA a check for $25 and they purchased everything.  I have to admit, it was nice.  Really nice.  Especially since most teachers have a specific list of things that they want the kids to have, it was one less thing that I had to worry about.  But, sadly, there have been some major issues in our school PTA over the past six months, so they have decided to discontinue the school supply program.  Sigh.  And that means I have to buy the stuff myself.

When we were in Target, I didn’t have the list (because I thought the school supplies wouldn’t be out for another couple of weeks), but I remembered the bulk of it, so I bought what I could remember and will grab the rest the next time I go.

I’m already done for the summer, so I can not wait for the kids to go back to school this year.  We have been doing all sorts of fun things this summer, but I am already ready to get back into a routine.
Continue reading »

Dec 102011
 

I had an opportunity to attend an informative winter warm-up event in Boston!  The event featured somet of the latest gadgets from Vicks to help aid in cold and flu prevention.  I was really excited when the email showed up in my inbox last week because I’ve been using Vicks products since I was a kid and it’s a brand that I trust.

Dr. Meg Meeker was the guest speaker and she was just phenomenal.  She gave us some great tips on how to stay healthy this upcoming cold and flu season.  I learned so much from her and I am excited to share some of her great advice with you.

Continue reading »

Nov 182011
 

Ever since my family got back from our Disney World vacation, I’ve been struggling to get everything done.  It never even dawned on me until one day towards the end of last week that Thanksgiving is next week.  Holy crap!  I’m hosting dinner for 12 people and I have absolutely nothing ready.  No food, the house is a mess and I’ve been busy playing catch-up from my week away, so a trip to the grocery store just isn’t in the schedule right now.  Jeez – I hope they have some turkeys left by the time I get my butt in gear and head out to buy one.

Continue reading »

Nov 162011
 

Mommy, I’m tired.  Mommy, I’m hungry.  Mommy, I’m thirsty.  Mommy, my feet hurt.  Mommy, I’m hot.  Mommy, I’m cold.  Mommy, I want ice cream.  Mommy, I have to pee.  Mommy I want this.  Mommy I want that.  Mommy, can we go there.  Mommy, I don’t want to do that.  Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!!!

Sound familiar?

Continue reading »

Oct 052011
 

My boys are still much too young for cell phones of their own, but even at their ages (four and seven), they know what it means to text and eventually, they will start asking for their own phones.  My 14 year old stepson does have a cell phone and he basically has his freedom with it.  He’s a really, really good kid and never gets into any trouble, but it got me thinking about the what if’s.  He’s in high school now and I’m not naive about what goes on in teenagers heads.  Even though it was quite a while ago now, I still remember what it was like – the only difference now is that there is all of this technology at their fingertips and they can stay in constant contact about god knows what.  

Continue reading »

Oct 042011
 

I love going out to eat.  I wish I could say it was because I liked to try new things, but that’s not always the case…I just like to go out and not having to cook for a change.  I’m pretty lucky in so far as that my two boys go with their dad at least one night a week, so I get a chance to go out with my husband alone sometimes, which is pretty nice I have to admit.  I love my kids, but taking them out to eat can sometimes be a challenge and there is definitley some planning involved when they come out to restaurants with us.

Here are five things I do to help ensure things go well while we’re eating out at a restaurant with the kids:

Continue reading »

Sep 302011
 

Before I became a mom…….

1.  I never had to pick anyone else’s nose.

2.  I actually fit very nicely into size 8 jeans and had no idea how much things would sag change after I had kids (and how little I would actually care about it).

3. I had never been pooped on, peed on, spit on, puked on, drooled on, sneezed on or had boogers wiped on me.

Continue reading »

Sep 282011
 

The other night I went to pick up the pizza that I had ordered for dinner.  I ran to pick it up and as I was inside waiting in line to pay for it, I couldn’t help but notice a mom & dad sitting in a couple of chairs towards the back reading magazines - while their two little kids were tearing up the place.  I’m not positive, but I would guesstimate that the kids were maybe 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 year old.  They were running all over the place wreaking pure havoc and the parents did absolutely nothing to stop them.  The kids seemed to be playing some sort of game in which they were tripping each other, leaving a path of destruction in their wake.

Continue reading »

Sep 192011
 

This past Saturday morning, my family and I had an opportunity to give back to our community and it’s really a great feeling. 

I found out last week, thanks to my buddy (and fellow townie),Mark, about a group in town that met up once a month to pick up trash/litter at various spots around town that are in need of some cleaning up.  Great cause, right?  Littering is one of my biggest pet peeves, so when I found out about the group, I immediately knew I wanted to help out and get my kids involved.   My house is located on a fairly high traffic road and we’re apparently upwind of all the stores, gas stations & the Burger King up at the end of my street, which means that all sorts of trash blows into my yard and it drives me CRAZY!  I’m not sure why people can’t be bothered to put their trash into a trash barrel where it belongs, but clearly there are a lot of lazy people in the world.

Continue reading »

Sep 072011
 

Today is the best day of the year as far as I’m concerned – it’s the day my kids go back to school.  We had a blast traveling, going on day trips and doing all sorts of fun things over the summer, but the time has come to get back into a routine.  Now that the new school year is upon us, so are some big changes to routines and schedules.

Aside from practicing our skills over the summer (reading for my seven year old and alphabet & numbers with my four year old), here are a few things I do to help the transition from summer fun to back to school go smoothly.

Continue reading »

Sep 012011
 

My little man is heading back for his second year of preschool next week and I’m curious to see how he handles it.  Last year he went two days a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays), but in preperation of kindergarten next year, he’ll be attending three days a week this coming year (M/W/F).  Drop-offs last year weren’t always smooth for him and he had a really hard time seperating from me.  I’ve been home with him since the day he was born and he’s a real “mamas boy” (and I mean that in a good way – I love it).

Continue reading »

Aug 252011
 

I’m fortunate that both of my boys were both born in August, so I can get their well visits done in one fell swoop.   For me personally, I think it’s easier to get them both done and over with at one time, although I’m sure not everyone would agree with that.  

Although I absolutely love my boys pediatrician, it’s still quite a bit of “work” taking them for a double visit like that.  I usually try to prepare myself and the kids in advance for the visit, which I’ve found tends to make the visit go a bit smoother.   I just took my boys for their visits on Tuesday and even though my four year old needed shots, the visit went really smoothly.

Continue reading »

Jul 212011
 

The other day I brought my three year old to the dentist for the first time.  My older son, who’s now six, also went for his first visit at age three. I know some people start taking their kids at a younger age, but three is what my pediatrician recommended, so I did what I was told.   As for me, I hate, hate, hate going to the dentist – with a passion.  Of course my kids don’t know that, and I always talk about the dentist with a smile on my face, but being the good mommy that I am, I wanted to do everything possible to ensure that both of my kids had positive first experiences at the dentist.

Continue reading »

Jul 132011
 

Hide them in their food.

No joke.  I buy baby food because I am too lazy to puree vegetables my self (plus I don’t even own a food processor).  It’s so easy to do & the kids literally don’t even know their eating something that’s actually good for them.

My kids are like so many others – they wouldn’t eat veggies if their life depended on it.  Then  one day I was watching Rachael Ray and her guest was Jessica Seinfeld, who talked about a book she wrote called Deceptively Delicious and it was filled with amazing recipes that included, well, you guessed it – pureed vegetables.  Genious.

Continue reading »