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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Child Art/Crafts

I feel one of my great perks on having my son attend day care is all the cute little crafts that I get to bring home and show off on my refrigerator art wall. I have had beautiful scribbles on printed out apples, hand printed flowers and other holiday related crafts. All of them I cherish and perhaps its a first time Mom thing, but I think they are beautiful and true treasures.

I usually get a new piece of art once a week. I look forward to peeking in my child's folder to see what new thing I can add to the art area of the kitchen. However, yesterday I was not so thrilled with the outcome of my son's latest piece of art. It wasn't anything horrific or dirty, it just was not age appropriate and it was sort of gaudy (above the normal standard). The craft was a detailed picture of a human heart with labels of vena cava, aorta, left atrium, etc., Great biology project right? It would be if my son was 12 or 13, but he is not even two yet. Complete with this art picture were pieces of multi colored yarn glued all over it. So it basically resembled a shag rug with a human heart underlying it. It made no sense.

It isn't that I am not trying to educate my son. Obviously I want him to know his biology as well as a mess of other things. However, we are just trying to get him to know the areas outside of his body like where his butt is. The knowledge of the human heart at this age? Sort of ridiculous if you ask me and how yarn helps the craft is beyond me. Now if they had a bear or a dog with yarn on him and what a dog or bear "says" then that would be a very cute craft.

So as much as it pained me because I once said "I'm keeping everything", my husband and I both decided together that this would be one that we would not keep. In the trash it went. Bye bye weird heart and weird craft.

Have any of you got some weird crafts from day care or school that you thought were a little absurd or inappropriate in regards to your child's age?

Monday, March 30, 2009


In every household no matter if you're young, middle aged or old, we all have something in common, finances. Finances play a key role in our lives rather we buy a house, retire, buy a car, etc., Its an annoying and exhausting thing to think about but it plays into our every day lives. Headache as it may be, we all have to face it.

During this bad economic time, there are a lot of cut backs. Cut backs on eating out, going on lavish vacation, etc., My husband and I talked about how there was a record number of births in 2007 the other day. I believe that year holds the record for the most births in U.S. history. Then we thought that perhaps 2009 and 2010 will statistically show huge birth decreases.

I don't have any key suggestions you haven't heard about in what to do with your finances. I just say, pay down debt, save and watch where you spend. For me I spend a lot of money eating out. My plan to save money is stop the excess, eat out less and pay down a loan at a time by paying double the monthly loan amount and also put in the money I owe. In eight months time, I should be able to pay off a loan. Check with me in November. I hope to give you a good debt reduction report!

What is your financial tips? Goals?

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Mama

I had some other ideas about today's topic, and even though I sort of already touched on this subject several posts back, I have to talk about it again today. My mind just says "talk about it already", so I will. It is the state of my Mom's health.

For a cliff notes version of my last post A Sick Parent, basically the problem started with my Mom getting Lyme's Disease. Lyme's Disease is a very brutal illness. In my Mom's case it has messed with her heart and joints. Her joints are getting better. However, my Mom has had to undergo two oblation surgeries, a corrective surgery for her leg because of the oblation, a surgery for a pace maker and then an open heart procedure called the Maze procedure. Needless to say it has been a long three years of ups and downs.

Yesterday my Mom called me to tell me she went to see the Arrhythmia boys (that is what she calls her heart doctors). They informed her that despite of the current medication she is on and has been on that her resting heart rate is in the 140s, which causes her to get tired easily and her hands look a bit shaky. She can hold things but if she is sitting still you can see her hands shaking. That was a huge blow. They will try a heart monitor on her to see how she is doing next week and if her heart is still beating too fast they will try yet another medication. If that fails she will undergo another heart procedure. That is a major blow to the family and especially my Mom who is so sick of seeing doctors and the shear thought of going in for another procedure makes her quite panicky.

Then after watching Grey's Anatomy last night things started to really sink in. Obviously its not the top medical show that does everything correctly, but it still affected me. In the scene where old lady is dying that just wouldn't die for the past three years (she had several false alarms) and when she finally did die, the machines started acting as if her heart was beating. The false hope was only due to the pace maker trying to recharge her heart. Then McSteamy came in with a magnet tool that stopped the pace maker. The magnet tool very much resembles the same one that I used to put on my Mom's wrist for over the phone heart tests when taking care of her after her major heart surgery.

I went to bed in a somber mood last night and this morning I am way out of sorts. I keep thinking about my Mom, the trials, the problems she had. I fear that because of this disease, because of the way it has affected her heart, her life span has been cut shorter. That in itself pains me to no end. I can't imagine a world without my Mom. A woman that has sacrificed countless things for me. A woman that besides my husband is also my rock. A woman that knows my soul, my every being. She knows just by looking at my face exactly what I am thinking and how to act or not act upon it. Its the simple fact that she is MY MOMMY!

I in turn want to Mommy her. I wish I could shield her from this. I wish I could make everything work right. I wish that somehow my husband and I won a bunch of money so she and my Dad wouldn't have to work and could do things that she wanted to truly do like go traveling or tackle some crafts that she enjoys. I honestly wish I could go outside right now and scream.

I hope and I believe that she will live into a much older age. I am hoping my feisty Mom lives to be a hundred. She may, but its just the unknown that I am afraid of. The what ifs that haunt me and poke at my heart. I just want her to be okay. I just want her to not be scared. I just want her to plain and simple only worry about being a Mom, because that in itself is what truly makes my Mom feel the most joyous.

Pray for her.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kid Friendly Vacations

So it is that time of year again (at least in our household) in planning where in the world we are going to vacation to this year. My husband and I love to go to new places and experience new things. Sometimes we do repeat vacations to places we have grown to love, but this year we want to try something new. We just have not decided where yet. In any case, I decided to post some of our research that may help you out a bit on your vacation plans.

1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Area

From the Northern Virginia area, this is about a three hour trip. Perfect for extended weekend vacations or if you don't want to travel too far. There are tons of things to do in the area for very small children and older children. Here they are.

Sesame Place
This is a 30 minute commute from the city and is located in Langhorne, PA. I have seen special rates where you can buy a two day pass for the price of a one day pass. Tickets are $50.95 per person. Children under 2 are free! This park is geared to smaller children, but kids as young as two can enjoy some of the rides. Plus there is a water park! Be sure if you go to book either breakfast or lunch with some of your favorite Sesame Street characters!

Please Touch Museum
Now this looks like a great place for children to just have fun and play in an educational atmosphere. It is located right in Philadelphia. The price for admission is $15.00 per person.

Philadelphia Zoo
This year the Philadelphia Zoo is celebrating its 150th anniversary! The zoo really does look amazing with rare animal exhibits, train rides, camel rides, a petting zoo and more. Unfortunately it is not free like the D.C. Zoo. The admission cost is $18.00

Peddlers Village
This looks like a fun place to check out. It is located in Bucks county (thirty minutes from Philly) and has beautiful little shops, dining areas and a great kids fun zone.

Crayola Factory
This is a fun place where kids can see how crayons are made and get to also do some arts and crafts! It is about an hour and a half away from downtown Philadelphia. The price of admission for three and up is $9.98.

Downtown Philadelphia
This is a great historical place to visit. They have the Liberty Bell as well as many other historical places to visit.

Dutch Wonderland
This theme park is really beautiful (at least from the pictures) and looks fantastic for kids to have a full day of fun. The admission price per person is $30.95. It is about an hour and a half from downtown Philadelphia.

2. Cruise to the Bahamas

Instead of having to travel down to Florida to catch a cruise, you can take a seven day cruise by leaving from Baltimore. The Carnival Pride is a really fantastic cruise ship that provides a fantastic atmosphere, food, and fun in an all inclusive price. They even provide free child care if you and your spouse want to go to a quiet dinner or take some time for yourself. The price per person varies depending on the time of year you want to go.

3. Outer Banks, North Carolina (OBX)

I went to OBX last year with a few friends and had a fantastic time. It was the perfect vacation for my one year old because we could do things around his napping/sleep schedule. OBX does not have a whole lot of things to do like going bowling or going to movie theaters. Basically you spend your day at the beach, exploring a local light house, fish, etc., I highly recommend that if you do rent a house, then rent one with a pool. It was great for when you just did not want to go to the ocean and because I had a small child it was much easier to clean him off in the pool vs. the very cold showers that had a bit too much pressure for his liking.

4. Miami, Florida

Now you may want to raise your eyebrow on this one, but really it is a fun place to take your kids. There are a lot of things to do in the area such as going to the local beaches, visit the everglades and visit Jungle. Island. The price of Jungle Island for adults is $29.91 and for children (3-10)is $23.49. Be sure to visit their website for online discounts and coupons. Last time I was there my husband and I were able to hold a baby tiger and a baby orangutan. They also had a liger there as well. Not sure if it is still there, but that is pretty cool. Be sure to also visit Jaxson's to eat some great ice cream. If you are brave enough you can order the "kitchen sink".

5. Maine

I keep hearing from so many people that visiting Maine is just gorgeous and so laid back. The beaches are beautiful and Maine also has some great festivals during the year. I am still doing my research on this one!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Indian Guides/Adventure Guides

I wanted to write on something (after yesterday's post) about something true and dear about my childhood. It is about a program much like cub scouts, girl scouts, etc., but so much better. The program I am referring to, in which the YMCA sponsors, is called Adventure Guides. It is a program where daughter/Mom, son/Mom, daughter/Dad, daughter/Mom can join together. This was a enormous piece of my childhood and one way that I was able to really and truly connect with my Dad.

Adventure Guides once was called Indian Guides and more specifically for my group called Indian Princess (Dad/daughters). From what I have read, the name changed after a few AIM protesters thought it to be stereotyping and threatened to sue the YMCA. To be honest, I really have to disagree with it being at all undermining the Native Americans, as this group really did teach me Native American history,rituals, etc., that I just would not have learned any where else. We even met a few Native Americans on reservations to talk with them and see first hand their culture. It is unfortunate with the hyper sensitivity, but I will move on.

I was part of the Winston-Salem, North Carolina Chickasaw Tribe and was called Princess Firecracker (very suitable for the type of child I was). My Dad was Chief Thundercloud. Each month we would get together at one of our tribe members house for a meeting. From what I remember (this is a child's perspective here) we would proceed with the meeting by getting a talking stick in which one by one a Dad or a daughter would stand up without interruption by anyone else and tell a quick story or something they did since the last meeting. This gave us the opportunity to practice public speaking. I think afterward we would then decide on the next month's activity such as ice skating, bowling, horseback riding, etc., We always had an activity and a meeting once a month during the normal school year. After we completed the meeting we then would usually convene into the kitchen to do a craft such as make a picture frame with Popsicle sticks or decorate a wreath. At the end of each meeting, we would all stand in a circle and end the meeting with a little ritual that we would say. It went like this:

And now may the great spirits
of all the great spirits
Be with you here, now and forever more.

Twice a year we as a tribe would also get together with all the other tribes in the nation to go camping. I remember going camping at Camp Cheerio and Camp Hanes. It wasn't real camping so to speak as we all had cabins with bunk beds to stay in and food cooked for us by cafeteria workers. It was fantastic. We would go hiking, swimming, canoeing, fishing, etc., with just us and our Dads. We were truly able to bond because had our mothers been there, she would of intervened (as most Moms do) with telling us both what to do or planning out our day. This gave a chance for Dads and daughters to truly just be to do activities the way we thought was best and be able to talk without Mom guiding us along. I do have to say that I always came back dirty, full of mud and my hair was done the same way when I returned as when I left. I was lucky if I ran a comb through it when I was gone. That part was great. Yes it was sort of unhygienic, but twice a year of caked on dirt and messy hair wasn't going to hurt me.

This is a rare photo you will see of me on this website. This was my sister and I doing target practice with a rifle. Do you think my Mom would of been totally cool with this? Probably not. Dad let me try it though. My sister and I were both perfectly safe.

During our camping trips we would also have a relay race against the other tribes where Dads and Daughters would team up to run, shoot an arrow, canoe across a lake, shoot a basketball into a hoop and then perform in a pie eating contest. Again, it was another way for us to bond as daughter/Dad and also with our tribe members. We also would get together once a year to have a all inclusive tribes of the nations meeting. Prior to the meeting, the Chief of the Nations (a Dad that was selected from one of the tribes to be Chief for a year) would start the ceremony by canoeing across the the lake and shoot a flaming arrow into the lake to start the ceremony. My AWESOME Dad was once Chief of the Nation and I and my sister was able to canoe with him when he did this. It was a fantastic year as we were also Princesses of the Nation (we loved our power that we really didn't have). The Nations Tribal meeting would have skits performed by each tribe, awards would be presented (we won tribe of the year five years in a row) and we would talk about things coming up for the next year. We typically would also sing certain songs, but one that sticks out to me is about our motto "Friends Forever". The song went like this:

(Change the wording of “boys” and “dads” to match the makeup of your Circle. Sing to the tune of “Clementine.”)
Friends Forever, Friends Forever,
That’s our slogan, that’s our song;
Boys are stronger, dads feel younger
When they take the boys along;
Moms are for it, dads adore it,
And the boys all think it’s fine;
Friends Forever, Friends Forever,
As Adventure Guides we’ll have good times.
Through the days and through the years,
We will wander side by side,
Friends Forever, Friends Forever,
Our Creator is our guide.

Afterward we would all get ice cream at the mess hall. Then at the end of the camping trip the Princesses with their Dads were awarded badges for their vest. Primarily it was badges that said you went to the camping trip, performed in a certain area of the relay race, etc.,

My Dad and I when he was Chief of the Nation. I love this photo.

In all, my memories of this time in my life are so fond and I wish sometimes if I could relive certain moments of my childhood, that I would relive some of those moments with my Dad. I will say for one that if I ever have a daughter, I would want my husband to join with my daughter. Some times its hard for Dads to relate or really bond with their little girls and this is just an amazing, amazing opportunity to do just that. I am HIGHLY considering on doing this with my son. I also promise that if I do, he can go (if he wants) the entire week without combing his hair during our camping trips.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What To Choose

I have a tiny confession today, I told a white fib today. Actually, a Mom induced white fib because I weighed in for two seconds what was more important and obviously my kid prevailed.

I was asked to attend a meeting after my usual work hours today. It is a meeting that I could conference call into just like many other people would do(thank god for that), but I was asked if I could be present. Why I don't know. The meeting's agenda isn't something that really relates to my team. I think it is just so I could be another body in the room. I hate meetings like that. In any case, I quickly thought that of all days, today my son for the first time is having a parents assembly at his school where they are going to put on a show they have been practicing for weeks. I couldn't miss that and I wouldn't miss that. So quickly I put on my liars cap, my "I need to fib" Mom hat and told them that I could call in (the meeting would be the duration of my commute to the day care), but I have a scheduled appointment today that I can't reschedule any time soon. I did not say what for, so in part it is truth, just not probably what they are thinking of. So I got the free pass to call in and I got my way.

Looking back, I will never be sad I missed this meeting. A meeting that will mean zilch in about six months. My job is rocky at best with a rebid of the contract work up in the air. Even if it wasn't, do you actually think I will miss it? NOPE! Jobs these days come and go but families are number one. Obviously we all have to perform and be good employees to provide for our families, but in regards to a decision on what is more important in this matter, there is just no question.

I think I learned through some of my parents mistakes and some of their good doings on why my mind set is the way it is. My Mom always put my sister and I first. There was no question in our little heads on what she would choose. She is probably the least selfish human being in the world when it comes to that. I truly admire the sacrifices she made for my sister and I. I honestly think it helped shape the Mom I am today. I constantly try to be a better Mom every day and mirror what my Mom was to my sister and I.

My Dad on the other hand was more of the bread winner in the family, so he had to sacrifice some family time for his career. I have no qualms against that. He obviously had to do what he had to do. Usually it is like that where one parent has to focus more on their career while the other parent in some ways takes a back seat on their profession. How single parents do it, I don't know. Even so I honestly wonder if some times my Dad has regrets. He sacrificed so much for his career and was always traveling. However, at the end of twenty something years was let go due to a cut back and had to find a new job. It did not matter that he sacrificed hours upon hours of traveling, or late evenings at work and time away from his family. It just didn't mean two cents. I am not saying my Dad wasn't very active and present in my childhood. I can't say that I don't remember my Dad missing big events because he was always there. My Dad even was in Indian Princess (now called Adventure Guides) with both my sister and I. Despite all that, at the end of the day and maybe it is because my sister and I are girls, we are still closer to my Mom. We had that bond with her from spending so much time with her. We knew she was our rock and my Dad was the family's rock. It was just different that way.

I am not sure what I am getting at. I just think that if your kid has something special going on then at least one parent needs to be present to participate in that. I don't remember the material things in my childhood that my parents bought me so much as I remember the time they spent with me and all the wonderful outings we did together or playing games in the back yard as a family. Those things didn't cost anything. Will my son remember if I did not go to his assembly years down the road? Probably not. He is a bit too young to remember things. However, I will know I was there. I will remember the sweet smile on his face when he is proud that his Mom is there to give him a smile and hug just as the other parents are there with their kids. By being present at these little events that will eventually mean so much in a child's little world, my kid will know his Mom always will think of him as number one. There will be no doubt in his little mind that he will see his Mom walk through the door to cheer him on.

Great Find

Rating: A

I stumbled upon a great new website yesterday called Amazing Moms. It is a great website that shares craft ideas, birthday party ideas, family fun and recipes. It is a great website that promotes family time, and well I am all for that. I am also adding this to my side bar of favorite websites. Go on and take a look!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fun Favor Ideas for Birthday Parties

I am always thinking of new things that perhaps some of you can use to your advantage. I honestly had lots of ideas for this post, so I finally decided to put all my thoughts together on this one.

Toddlers (Unisex)
I decided to leave this section more unisex only because most of the toys at this age (with a few exceptions) are unisex for the most part.

1. Bucket and Pail
I used this favor idea for my son's first birthday party. I also had my Mom put letters on (we only had four toddlers) to personalize them. At first my Mom was going to paint them and then she decided to get stick on letters and then gloss the letters over with a finishing type of paint so they would stay on better. It was the summer and our theme was more of a summer theme so it worked out great!

2. Snack Containers/Tooth Brushes
Toddlers for the most party really do not care about getting birthday party favors. An idea my sister had was give away snack containers she bought as a pack (gave out singularly) with a small snack such single pack goldfish with a toddler tooth brush which also came in a pack but gave out singularly. It was a huge hit for the parents!
3. Themed Coloring Books/Crayons
This can be as easy as going to the dollar store for these and every toddler I know loves to color. Just make sure the crayons are in the parents hands!

4. Bubbles
What is there not to love about bubbles! You can even look for bubble containers that have your theme!

5. Board Books
You can also find some great deals with board books that come in packs. To give away. Depending on the number of kids you can give a few books out at a time.

Older Girls

1. Edible Jewelry
I honestly still remember getting a whole bag of edible jewelry (necklace/bracelet)with sticker earrings when I was about six.

2. Cute Coin Purses
You can find some really good deals in bulk in getting cute coin purses. Coin Purse Link

3. Jump Rope
This is a fantastic idea (if I do say so myself). It promotes fitness and you can really find these for really cheap. Finish it off with a cute hair bow that you can make from a roll of ribbon from Michaels and it turns into a great favor!

4. Rock Star Accessories
I think this is more in favor of those girls that are in the Hannah Montana stage, but perhaps a pretend microphone paired with rock star sun glasses and long beads would be lots of fun!

5. Dress Up
Every little girl wants to be a princess, so perhaps buy some inexpensive tiaras, fake jewelry and maybe even a wand!

6. Create Your Own Build A Bear
This could be both an activity and a party favor. Get a few cheap bears from Michaels or any other craft store with blank shirts that fit the bears (usually in the same aisle). Buy some bubble paint to write on the shirts and you have a great party favor and one that takes some time!

Older Boys
1. Toy Cars
Every little boy LOVES toy cars. You can buy packs of them at the dollar store. Either give the pack out as a whole or separate the packs into little favor bags and pair it with some candy.

2. Action Figures
Depending on the age and even theme you can get dinosaurs, army men, animals, etc., Finish it off with some related stickers or candy!

3. Daggers/Light Sabers
Now if you are a BRAVE parent, then you can attempt this if you are having a pirate theme birthday or a Stars Wars themed birthday. I highly recommend not letting the boys see this until they are going home. Light Sabers can also get very expensive so shop around! After Halloween specials are really great for this.

4. Plane Kit Set
This almost does not have to go with a theme to your party. I love the plane kit sets and it is so much fun AND it keeps the kids busy rather they are at your house or the parents house. It is pretty inexpensive too. Pair it with some stickers or candy to complete the favor.

5. Super Heros
This idea is for the crafty Mom. I am sure you can buy some capes online that are blank, but you could also make your own. This is also an activity that the boys can do. Buy some bubble paint (the type you write on clothing) and have them create their own super hero cape.

Unisex Favors for Older Children
1. Take Home Cups
This can really be used for any age group. You can use the cups while you are at the party and then send the kids home with them. I think it is pretty cool!

2. PlayDoh
This is always a hit. Every kid loves to play with this stuff. Pair two colors of playdoh and an inexpensive playdoh toy (playdoh cookie cutter)to complete the favor bag.

3. Lego Sets
Usually they are expensive, but you can find some great smaller sets online that you can divide a few pieces up and perhaps put a couple of little miniature lego people in the bags as well.

4. Card Games

5. Magic Tricks
I thought about putting this in the boy section, but then was like I loved to play with magic sets when I was little too and felt this could be more unisex.


When it comes to jewelry, for me it is non existent and I honestly wonder how many Moms are with me on this one. I am sure there are those wonderful Moms that have all the energy in the world and will dress beautifully, wear make up every day and have their pearl necklaces, tennis bracelets, earrings, rings, always on coordinating their outfit. God bless you for having the energy for that and taking care of everything else. I just am not one of them.

I was never hugely into coordinating jewelry with my outfits even before kids. I wore just silver color jewelry and on special occasions would wear pearls with my very few and rare dainty outfits. However, I always remembered my rings, always had a necklace on and would on occasion complete the outfit with some cute earrings. That life is no longer mine. I honestly forget some days to wear my wedding rings (yikes). It is NOT because it is a nuisance or anything like that, but I honestly forget to put them on in the mornings as I head out the door. I think perhaps Tommy Lee and Pam Anderson had a good idea when they tattooed their wedding bands on themselves. At least they never forgot them.

When I became a Mom, I stopped wearing earrings mainly because I hardly had any stud earrings. I always had the dangly kind that were cute and shiny. After having a baby, you QUICKLY learn that this is not a good thing to wear. Talk about OUCH when they pull on your earrings! Then I stopped changing my necklaces from every so often, to wearing the same one each day. The necklace was a small chain with a little pendant that my husband got for Christmas when I was pregnant. It lasted for a while, but after almost two years of tugging and pulling the little chain by my favorite little person, it finally gave way and now all I have is the little pendant. I need to get a new small silver chain...

So I just wanted to put the whole jewelry thing out there. Again, I am sure there are those of you that do wear it every day. I just am writing for those women that can raise their hand and say me too on this lack of jewelry scenario.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wish List

One great thing about technology is the convenience of it all. You can share pictures, stories, updates with just a click of a mouse. I have also found a new thing that I like to use, which is the Amazon wish list.

By going to the website, you can log on and make a wish list with basically for anything such as birthdays, Christmas, etc., Its also my way of keeping an idea list for later down the road just in case some of those purchases were not fulfilled or you have an idea for a present a few months before and event. I will personally forget about a totally great idea but if I just save it to my wish list then its so much easier to go back to and say "oh yeah". I also love that you can just email the link to any of your friends or family.

So check it out. To me its worth it. I don't always buy everything from because there are often better deals to be had for the same item. Doesn't hurt to use the website for a good purpose though!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Enough said...Barbie with a tattoo. Not that tattoos are horrible, wretched things, but not on a doll. Also what is the deal with having Ken's name? I thought they got a divorce!

Here is the article: New Barbie

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

So while I am not wearing green (please don't pinch me), I wanted to say Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone. I also wanted to know if you celebrated this day and if so what are your traditions?

I honestly used to just wear green on St. Patrick's Day as my own way of celebrating it, but I lack a green shirt (at least one that is clean). So I am living vicariously through my son in making him wear something green today. I am sure I'll also receive a cute St. Patrick's related craft to add to my beautiful art collection on my refrigerator. If not, I may do some print outs for the little man to color.

How will you celebrate this fun holiday?

Monday, March 16, 2009

One Week....and I am Back

Okay so I took a one week hiatus. Basically I was sick the beginning of the week again. I promise I am not turning into a hypochondriac. I really was sick. Then I found a new love of books and more specifically I have joined the Twilight series band wagon.

I haven't read in quite a while. Honestly with college text books, getting a full time job, getting married and having a kid put all my book reading to the back burner. I just didn't have time to read for enjoyment anymore. I have luckily found an old friend, my books.

I began with reading Darcy Takes a Wife. I am the biggest dork when it comes to reading anything Jane Austen. My husband has never picked up a Austen book, but he knows damn well who Mr. Darcy is and may even know who the wonderous Edward is. I guess I talk a little bit too adoringly about characters that come alive on the pages and whom (if possible) I would love to meet. I once heard of Angelina Jolie saying that she never acted out a character she didn't want to meet. I am by no means like her (I could do without meeting some of her characters), but I honestly would love to meet the characters I read in my books, which brings me to a new love.

I honestly thought I would never rank a book as high as Pride and Prejudice or my beloved book of the year in fifth grade called Shiloh, but I have. Although the books are very different then Austen's works, the new books are called affectionately the Twilight Series. I began with watching the movie. My sister groaned at the thought of me seeing the movie saying it did not compare to the book. I for one agree because what movie EVER is better than the original story line? There are just things you can't act out in a movie that you can express with words. I have honestly feel in love with Bella, Edward (he's making me mad right now), Jacob and Alice. It has been only a week since I have saw the movie, but I am already on book three of the series.

So I am on the band wagon and as a friend once told me, she knew someone was reading the Twilight series when she stopped hearing from them. So that is my excuse, I got entranced in the spell of my new favorite characters. I urge you to pick up a copy too. I don't think you will be at all sorry.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Easter Basket Ideas

Well Easter isn't for another month or so, but the planner in me started thinking about what I should put in my little guy's Easter Basket this year. Last year he received a little toy or book, but mostly it was items such as bibs that he really needed. This year it is a little different. He is a bit more aware. So I got my thinking cap on and this is what I thought of.

1. Peek a Blocks

My little guy has this toy, but it really is a great toy to have from when your babies are little all the way up to past toddler hood. I love the Alpha blocks as it has a image dedicated to each letter letter. Plus some of them rattle, move and rotate. Very cool and very worth it. I purchased my Alpha Peek a Boo blocks at Target, but they do not list it on their website.

2.No Spill Bubble Bucket

I have yet to try this one out, but it really is appealing to me with a little guy that wants to do try and take the bubble container away from me. This way I won't have bubbles all over me or him. Not sure how helpful this no spill bubbles thing is, but if its less then I am all for it. I provided the link in which you will have to add it to your wish list to find it where it is sold near you. For me, it was sold at the Target in my area.

3. Chocolate Bunny

This is pretty self explanatory. What Easter basket would be complete without one of these guys? For little ones (and possibly big ones if your kid was like me when they were little), strip them down before you let them get into the chocolate.

4. Bath Toys

This is usually a fun and inexpensive purchase to make. I gave a link of ideas such as crayons for the tub, rubber duckies, those sponge stick on things to the wall (they come off), etc.,

5. Bunny Ears
Bunny ears are fun for a huge range of age groups. My son loved messing with his last year and he was just a little baby.

6.Coloring Books (Religious and Non Religious)
This is a cheap but very fun gift for the kids. Plus after a while you can throw it out once the pages are all colored in. I also love to "help" my son color as well. I love coloring!

7. Mr. Potato Head Bunny
Who doesn't love Mr. Potato Head? I love putting pieces in and out of the different slots as a kid. Now you can have a Easter Bunny version. I think he is pretty cool.

8. Videos (Religious and Non Religious)

I love videos you can use year after year to help celebrate holidays. I am really interested in this Veggie Tales Easter Carol this year. I will let you know!

9. Easter Finger Puppets

This toy is a hit or miss. Some kids love them (I can name one off the top of my head) and other kids are not so interested in them.

10.Stuffed Animals
As a kid I remember getting these and I loved them. I would carry my little stuffed animal with me to church and proudly hold him (for some reason they were always hims) until I would fall asleep on the way home.

11. Easter Books

Books (at least in my house) are always a huge hit. I really enjoyed the Alpha Bug Book by David A. Carter that I bought a while back. I was really pleased to see that he made a spring time book as well.