Jul 222014
 

10 Perks of Being a Mom to All Boys

So you’re a mom to all boys? I’m sure you already know how awesome it is, but I want to share ten of the best perks of being a mom to all boys with you.

#1. No one to share with

As a mom of all boys, there is one major perk, you don’t have to share any of your girl items with your sons. Okay, maybe they will want to try on one or two girlie things from time to time, but for the most part everything is yours.

#2. Endless kisses

Of course any child will give you endless kisses, but there is a special bond between a mother and a son (or sons). Those kisses he gives you mean everything. Continue reading »

Jul 212014
 

6 Ways to Nix Sibling Fights This Summer

Has the bickering and fighting already started? If you don’t figure something out soon, you might not be able to keep your sanity this summer. Check out these ways you can nix the constant battling between the siblings.

#1. Getalong Shirt

You may have seen this “getalong” shirt floating around, but I’ve heard it actually works. When the kids start fighting, stick them in a huge shirt. This will make them find a way to get along or stay miserable for a long period of time. It might only take one or two times of being put in this shirt for them to get along.

#2. Summer Challenge

It can be hard to stress the importance of getting along as siblings. Natural fighting is going to occur, but you must put an end to summer bickering. You can do this by promoting a summer challenge in the family. This encourages no fighting, if you fight, you have to complete a task on the chore list. Moms have the power to make pretty long chore lists. Continue reading »

Jul 162014
 

Beach Essentials For Families

Now that the weather has warmed up, summer is in full swing and that means picnics, camping, cookouts and my personal favorite thing about summer - the beach! These are the activities that make it Summer, and make for great memories. Taking the kids to the beach can be so much fun, but if you aren’t properly prepared, it can end in sunburns and tears.

To get the most out of your day at the beach, and to keep everyone safe and happy, here is a comprehensive list of what you must have with you. Keep in mind that the list may vary depending on the ages of your children, but there are some things that will apply regardless of age:

  • Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. And hats. And protective clothing. Kid skin is delicate, especially if your children are fair-skinned. Come home from the beach with sea shells, and maybe some sand, but no sunburn!
  • More towels than you think you will need. Continue reading »
Jul 072014
 

5 Ways to Keep Kids Learning this Summer

It’s summertime, doesn’t this mean poolside relaxation? All adults wish that was the case, but you need to keep your kids learning this summer. Here are five ways you can keep your kids learning, but still have a few moments to yourself by the pool.

#1. Computer

You’re not a bad mom or dad if you use the computer to teach your kids a few learning skills. There are awesome websites out there that simply teach our kids better than we can. Starfall.com and ABCMouse.com are great websites for preschoolers. Your school might even have a few recommendations for ideal learning websites. If you think a computer might be too much, just set a timer and only allow the child to use the computer for that amount of time.

#2. Adventure

Taking your children to see people, places, and things this summer is one way to keep them learning. There are plenty of free places to visit, so don’t fret about money. Exposing your child to different learning environments will help them greatly in the long run. Visit zoos, children’s museums, parks, libraries, and the occasional water park for optimal learning opportunities. Continue reading »

Jun 232014
 

Summer Staycation Ideas

Need a getaway, but you can’t leave town? Take a staycation! A staycation is a vacation, except it doesn’t involve having to pack your bags and leave home. There are different variations of this. Some staycations are taken completely at home, and some involve multiple day trips to nearby areas, or even an overnight outing in a local area.

Just like a traditional vacation, a staycation is best when planned. Researching local activities, deciding on a budget and getting the family involved can help make your staycation a success.

The next time you have a few days off, but for whatever reason you can’t leave town, try a few of these summer staycation ideas for easy fun and relaxation! There are ideas for every budget, and many of them are free! Continue reading »

May 262014
 

summer scavenger hunt ideas

Summer vacation is always a much anticipated time for both kids and parents. No school, warm weather and sleeping in! Inevitably though, after a week or so the phrase “I’m bored” starts becoming a daily lament. Prevent boredom before it starts by having a “bag of tricks” up your sleeve. There are tons of activities that kids and parents alike can do to stave off summertime boredom. One such activity is a scavenger hunt. If you have never done one, you are missing out. Here are some summer scavenger hunt ideas that will keep your kids busy and engaged whether they are hanging out at home, on a long road trip, or at a park or other outdoor space. Continue reading »

May 072014
 

20 last minute teacher appreciation gifts

In case you weren’t aware of this, Teacher Appreciation Week is this week!   Don’t sweat it if you didn’t know about it or had a mommy brain moment and it slipped your mind.  Here are some great last minute creative and adorable gift ideas for your little star students to wow their teacher with!

Teacher Snack Gifts

Teacher Supply Holder And Bottle Cap Magnets

One In A Melon
Continue reading »

Apr 212014
 

My boys are experienced travelers. They have flown to Disney World every year since my oldest was five and the little guy was 21 months old (they are now nine and six). We always fly to Orlando out of Providence, RI, so it is a short flight for us (about two and a half hours or so), but this is the second year in a row that we have flown across the country to San Diego (which is where I am right now). That is about a six hour flight from Boston, so it’s almost double the amount of time on an airplane than what they are used to.

They are generally really good about entertaining themselves, but you never know when one of them is going to get bored, so for long flights, I always bring a carry on bag filled with things to keep them busy.

Back-pack-travel-entertainment-kids-books-electronics-snacks

As you can see it’s filled with puzzle books, Mad Libs, mazes, Where’s Waldo books and most importantly – snacks!  I also make sure I have sharpened pencils and a pencil sharpener so that they can actually do the Mad Libs, puzzles and mazes.  I make sure to charge their 3DS’s and Kindle Fires the night before so that they are fully charged before we leave and that way they should last for most of the time we are up in the air. Continue reading »

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 »