Archive for June, 2009

TOP 10 Cheap Father’s Day Gifts!

For putting together telescopes in the dark, Dad deserves a good Father's Day present. (The kids are looking the wrong way!)

For putting together telescopes in the dark, Dad deserves a good Father's Day present.

Father’s Day is Sunday and at this point in the week, I have no big plan other than maybe a cookout. Not good!

I asked my husband to write for us his list of Top 10 Cheap Father’s Day Gifts to help you and me figure out a great present to show Dad we really love and appreciate him! (And by the way the plaster of Paris cast of the kids’ hands – he doesn’t want that.)

So without further ado, here are Michael’s Top 10 Cheap Father’s Day Gift ideas, written by Michael:

1) BREAKFAST OF GLUTTONS: I’m usually a healthy eater, but on special occasions, I, like most dads, enjoy pigging out on good food. Most working dads don’t have time for a big breakfast. But on Father’s Day it would be great to sleep in (go to church late or even on Saturday, if necessary) and gorge on eggs, bacon, pancakes, waffles and all the other great foods we usually avoid. Put the whole family to work and make more than he …

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Rear-facing car seats until 4? 5-pt.-harnesses up to 80 lbs.?

There seem to be two new movements in the world of car seats:

A. A new study suggests that your 2, 3, and 4-year-olds should actually be facing the rear for their safety.

B. Community activism that higher weight and older kids should stay in 5-point harnesses and not move to boosters for their safety.

A new study in The British Medical Journal has found that children under 4 fare much better in accidents when they are rear-facing rather than facing front. Children are generally turned around at 1 years old AND 20 pounds. (The AND is often read as OR and that is wrong. Drives me crazy!)

Reuters reports:

“For example, there are data that many fatalities in young forward-facing riders could have been averted with a rear-facing seat. An analysis of US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data of 870 children involved in crashes from 1998 to 2003 found that through 23 months of age, better protection from all crash types was provided with rear-facing seats.”

“In terms of …

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10 tips to make date night hotter!

A few weeks ago we were talking about divorced couples dating, and we had multiple requests for ways to rev up date nights for married couples.  We can talk about fun places to go on date nights, but I thought you would be more interested in this fantastic article I found in “Women’s Health” magazine:

“Little Moves, Big Pleasures:  These 101 sex boosters will keep you busy (and satisfied) all summer long.”

The story by Colleen Oakley is in its June edition, but it is not online so I can’t link to it in its entirety. However, I am pulling, will full credit to “Women’s Health” and Colleen Oakley, 10 of her cleanest tips. You will have to buy the magazine for the 91 others – many of them much more explicit than what I’m writing here!

(Be sure to check out the “Women’s Health” site for lots of interesting sex tips. They have a quiz about your partner’s equipment, which I scored very poorly on! Need to study up. As well as some diagrams you’ll want to see – enough said!)

Without …

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Enter 3 great contests for moms and families!

We have several great contests for families that you can enter!

Passes to Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta

The first contest offers families four free passes to Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta.  When my two oldest children were little we had a membership and met our friends there all the time.  It was safe, relaxing, engaging and it had air conditioning! (A huge bonus for a mom playing with kids in the summer time!)

They both loved playing in the sand that isn’t messy (also a mom favorite). They loved loading boxes onto the delivery truck and then pretending to drive off. They loved playing in the water although they never wore the provided rain coats. They also liked the trains, the dancing area and studying the ball-pulley system. We would spend hours. I haven’t taken Lilina yet and need to go. But sadly I’m not eligible to win tickets!

Here’s the link to win a family pass to Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta.

Make it a Mom’s Night Out …

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Are the 3D effects in kids’ movies worth $3 more a person?

"Up" was an adorable movie but were the 3D effects worth $3 more a person?

"Up" was an adorable movie, but were the 3D effects worth $3 more a person? (Disney Pixar)

We went with our whole family, including my parents, to see the new Pixar movie “Up” over the weekend.  While the film was touching, funny, beautiful and scary, I am wondering how it would have been if we hadn’t paid the $3 extra a person to see it in 3D? Would we have lost any of the storytelling elements not shelling out the extra dough?

I am aggravated by this summer’s big trend of making EVERY kids’ movie a 3D extravaganza demanding more of your money.

I hate paying an extra $12 on top of the approximately $32 we’re already paying to get in. (At this point Lilina still gets in for free.) They don’t give you the option to bring your 3D glasses from home and not pay the $3 again!

Plus the baby doesn’t want to leave on the 3D glasses so she’s either watching a blurry screen or is left home out of the fun.

Bob is really cute but did 3D make him that much cuter?

Bob is really cute but did 3D make him that much cuter? (DreamWorks)

Yes, you can …

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How much ice cream should one kid eat in a day?

I know it’s summer but my kids are completely out of control wanting to snack all day long – particularly on ice cream!

The baby literally asked me for ice cream for breakfast last week. I walk downstairs to find Walsh trying to hide brown cows, sherbet cones and nutty buddies that he’s pilfered from the freezer at different times during the day.

Don’t get me wrong, they are eating reasonably healthy meals and lots of fruit and water all day too. But they want ice cream like three to four times a day.  What makes this even more amazing is we’re not even home all day, and they are still managing to do it.

My girlfriend told me last week that her kids are doing exactly the same thing. She said she had to run several times to the grocery store to buy more food. Her children are particularly liking cups of pudding.

I don’t want to not buy it, I just want them to eat a reasonable amount during a day. Short of locking up my freezer, I’m not sure how to keep them from helping …

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Star Wars Weekends at Disney Hollywood Studios Rock!

We stumbled into a Star Wars Weekend at Disney Hollywood Studios during our visit to Disney World on Memorial Day weekend, and it was awesome! Our 6-year-old son was in absolute heaven and our 8-year-old daughter spent much of her time hiding from Darth Maul, who I have to say was super creepy!

Chewbacca, R2-D2, Darth Vader were all walking around the park! Storm Troopers marched everywhere! All the Bounty Hunters were skulking about and that Darth Maul kept popping up! Poor Rose!

They had a Star Wars parade around lunch time. We missed it because we were in The Little Mermaid puppet show. Michael was really bummed out! But he found footage of the parade on You Tube, so that video is on top. (This one is even longer than mine!)

They have a Jedi Training Academy, that I actually think they do year-round, where they choose little guys and girls from the audience to come up and learn how to be Jedis. They put them in little Jedi robes, give them light sabers and then teach them …

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Disney World: Top strategies for a great family trip!

We will wait in line for Mickey but not for any old character!

We will wait in line for Mickey but not for any old character!

Our family took a quickie trip to Disney World during the Memorial Day Weekend. We figured a lot of schools wouldn’t be out yet, and we hoped to avoid some of the long lines. Plus it wasn’t as hot as later in the summer. (I think our theories worked out pretty well. The longest line we waited in was 45 minutes and the heat wasn’t bad.)

We agreed to listen to a song and dance from a large Vacation Club (essentially a time share) in Orlando and as our reward we got to stay at a very nice hotel inside the Disney park for only $99 for three nights! It was worth listening to their sales pitch for such a great deal, and I will share on a later post how they try to sell you the time share so you can be prepared.

We also got a great deal on our tickets into the park through Michael’s father! Michael’s father retired from the U.S. Army after 29 years of service. Disney World is currently offering active duty soldiers and …

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Divorce: Who finds dates/sex easier — Moms or Dads?

Editor’s Note: You guys voted on our new topic yesterday and sex and the divorcee won. Disney tips and quiz will be later this week!

With 40 to 50 percent of couples divorcing in the U.S. (depending on which stat you believe), you’re bound to know friends or acquaintances who have ended up splitting. And every time I hear about another divorce, I start to think about that couple dating – and eventually sleeping with — other people.

Based on what I have observed and how I think I would react if I got divorced, I’m going to theorize that it’s easier for men to get dates and have sex after getting divorced.

Here’s my reasoning:

A. I think in most cases (and I don’t have an official stat on this) women end up being the custodial parent — meaning they have the children more nights a week than their husbands. Just like it’s hard to go on a date when you’re married, it’s hard to date if you have the kids and are divorced. I think men would have more opportunity to go out on dates …

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Spouse capable of kidnap, rape? Would you know?

The most popular news story yesterday on AJC.com was about how the wife of a Snellville man accused of kidnapping and raping another woman is shocked by these accusations.

What do you want to talk about tomorrow? (We’ll still use the losing topic just not tomorrow!)

  • Sex and the divorcee? (58%, 23 Votes)
  • Disney quiz with tips, strategies and photos? (42%, 17 Votes)

Total Voters: 40

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Here are some excerpts from the AJC story:

“No one is more shocked about the rape and kidnapping charges pending against Snellville businessman David Jansen than his wife of 24 years.”

” ‘She said this was not the husband and father that she had known,’ divorce attorney Margaret Washburn said Monday of her client, Christy Lynn Jansen. ‘They have known each other for 33 years. This was totally unexpected.’ ”

“Christy Jansen thought her husband was away on a business trip until an Atlanta Police officer showed up on her doorstep last week, Washburn said.”

“That’s when Christy …

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