Archive for December, 2010

Consider for your next vacation: A Modern Family Road Trip!

The Grand Canyon is amazing but it was nerve wracking! I was so afraid somebody was going over the edge!

The Grand Canyon is amazing but it was nerve wracking! I was so afraid somebody was going over the edge!

Heading west into Arkansas for the night. I wish we had more time in Memphis. I would have like to have seen the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorriane Motel.

Heading west into Arkansas for the night. I wish we had more time in Memphis. I would have like to have seen the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. Also I demand that all farmers post what they are growing. Can't tell you how many conversations we had about "what do you think he's growing?"

With the new year upon us, I know many families will start thinking about their next summer vacation. I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage families to consider exploring America on an old-fashioned family road trip with a few modern twists!

Last summer we decide to drive across the country instead of taking our regular beach trip. It is one of the best, most memorable trips we ever made — or will make I am sure! At ages 9, 7, and 3 the kids were perfect ages to drive across the country. The 3-year-old was potty trained and fairly patient because we stopped a …

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Consider for your next vacation: A Modern Family Road Trip! (Photos!)

I want to encourage families to take an old-fashioned family road trip with of course some new technology — your smartphone is a wonderful traveling companion. These are photos from our cross-country trip this summer. For road-trip tips click here!

Graceland was actually closed when we arrived. This was one time I wished we had done a little bit more research ahead of time.

Graceland was actually closed when we arrived. This was one time I wished we had done a little bit more research ahead of time.

We were amazed by the Mighty Mississippi River. We had lots of discussion about how pioneers traveled across it and why the river was so important to the development of our nation. What a teachable moment!

We were amazed by the Mighty Mississippi River. We had lots of discussion about how pioneers traveled across it and why the river was so important to the development of our nation. What a teachable moment!

Beale Street is like a mini New Orleans. It was super for the kids. I forget if it was Rose or Walsh who said "Beale Street smells like Athens on game day." I'm not sure if they were referring to the urine smell, the liquor smell or both.

Beale Street is like a mini New Orleans. It was NOT super for the kids. I forget if it was Rose or Walsh who said "Beale Street smells like Athens on game day." I'm not sure if they were referring to the urine smell, the liquor smell or both.

Heading west into Arkansas for the night. I wish we had more time in Memphis. I would have like to have seen the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorriane Motel.

Heading west into Arkansas for the night. I wish we had more time in Memphis. I wanted to see the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. Also I …

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Top 10 reasons this lady hates your kids: Do you hate other people’s kids?

A quick item before I run to the gym! My friend posted this on her FAcebook page last night. It’s a blog from a mom on The Stir about basically why she hates other people’s kids. She identifies herself at the top of the blog as Scary Mommy – which helps explain the topic.

Click here to read the full list but here are a few of her items:

They spread illness.

They teach bad habits and are a bad influence.

They are filthy.

Loud.

Incomprehensible.

I think kids can be all these things, but I don’t hate them. I don’t even dislike them. They are just kids. I am wondering if other parents dislike other people’s kids as much as this lady?

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New Nintendo 3DS hazardous for kids under 6?

PCmag.com is reporting that Nintendo is warning parents against buying its new Nintendo 3DS for kids under 6.

From PCmag.com:

“Those thinking about buying the upcoming Nintendo 3DS for your pre-schooler might want to wait a few years. In advance of its Nintendo World 2011 demo, Nintendo posted a warning that suggests children under the age of six should not use its 3D functions.”

” ‘Vision of children under the age of six has been said [to be in the] developmental stage,’ according to a note posted to Nintendo’s Japanese site. 3D content, including the 3DS, ‘delivers 3D images with different left and right eye images, [which] has a potential impact on the growth of children’s eyes.’ ”

“Nintendo recommended the use of parental controls to only allow younger gamers to play in 2D. There is ‘enough for everyone to enjoy,’ ” Nintendo said.

The company recommended that players of all ages take breaks from 3D content every 30 minutes – or if they feel sick.

It is launching in Japan

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Kids sick? Easy cold remedies that actually work

Many of my friends’ children have spent their winter break sick so far. So I noticed this slide show of cold remedies that supposedly really work and I thought it would good information to share. (Especially since many cold remedies for children have been removed from drug stores.)

If you don’t want to click through the slides, here are a few of the recommended steps from Huffington Post.com:

1.       Drink lots of water or O.J.

2.       Gargle salt water. This is such an old-school remedy but it helps in many ways according to the article. It reduces inflammation in the throat. It clears away the mucus plus it can help wash away the germs.

3.       Use nasal spray and warm hot showers.

4.       Acetaminophen and Zyrtec (Benadryl, Claritin) are good.

5.       Treat coughing and sore throats with honey.

6.       Sleep.

7.       Drink some more water.

8.       Light exercise can help boost your immune system.

9.       Protein, whole-grains and veggies can help too.

The big push …

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Do you offer marriage advice?

My husband is not the friendliest or most talkative man. However, he found himself doing a little impromptu marriage counseling the other day. He went in for a haircut and the young barber apparently needed to talk to someone and he chose my husband.

He told my husband he was 27 and has been married 2 years with an 11-month old baby. He said he thought about leaving all the time. He said they argued constantly.

That day he was in particular trouble. It was his wife’s birthday and he hadn’t planned to do anything for her.

Michael  told him bunches of things not necessarily in this order . He told him he needed to stop trying to change her. He told him he was just extending the fight by not backing down. He told him at the very least to apologize that she was feeling upset if he didn’t honestly think he had done anything wrong. He told him that especially after just having a baby his wife just wanted to feel special and that he needed to make an effort to do that. He told him it …

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Post-Christmas Clean Up: Getting the house back into shape!

I adore Christmas but hate how messy the house gets with all the new stuff floating around.

My mother used to let us keep our little treasure piles under the tree for 24 to 48 hours before eventually moving it to our rooms or the appropriate location. But Michael is ready for an initial clean up by Christmas afternoon.

Wrapping paper is put into recycled shopping bags as they open presents (the giant Toys ‘R’ Us bags are good for this).  By afternoon boxes were put in the recycling bin and by nightfall marching orders were given for everything to be taken to their rooms.

I might let the piles of gifts stay a little bit longer under the tree but the clutter was definitely (and still is on table tops) making me crazy. (Legos are all over my dining table as are tiny latex Princess outfits for Polly Pocket-size dolls. Better there than on the floor I guess.)

Getting the new stuff always makes me want to clean out the old stuff. I feel a need to clean out toys not being played with …

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Should kids go to midnight church services?

Many churches offer very moving midnight services for Christmas Eve. We often went to Midnight Mass when my brother and I were teenagers but never as little kids. I have several friends who take their elementary age-kids to midnight services. They usually sleep through the service. I have many questions about taking small children to midnight services:

A.      How do you get your Santa Claus business done if you’re at church from 11:30 to 1:30 or 2 including travel time?

B.      Aren’t you afraid that if they sleep during the service they will wake up heading home and then won’t go back to sleep?

C.      If they are sleeping during the service does that defeat the purpose? (Lilina, who had a cold, slept during church last week and it helped me concentrate so much more!)

We usually take our kids to the early afternoon family Mass. The only problem there is it’s often packed – with kids! So it’s tough to get anything super-spiritual out of it. Plus, I got yelled at one time for …

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Another royal wedding? What to do when family announces wedding, births near your date?

I am baffled as to why Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Phillips would announce her engagement less than a month after her cousin Prince William announces his very high profile nuptials!

Zara’s not going to get any attention with her cousin’s giant wedding taking up all the spotlight.

According to the story they already have a house together. Why would he ask her now? Why compete?

She could have a perfectly lovely royal wedding later. Why propose/announce it now?

New York magazine’s fashion section is already comparing Zara’s and Kate’s engagement rings and engagement photos. Why beg the comparison?

What do you think of Zara getting engaged and announcing so close to her cousin’s wedding announcement?

Have you ever had a sibling or cousin step on your wedding announcement or birth announcement? How did you handle?

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What are you cooking for the holidays? Some family-friendly menu ideas and recipes

I spent two days planning menus for the two holiday weeks and spent four hours at three grocery stores getting all the ingredients so I didn’t have to go anywhere during the holidays. I wanted to share with you some of my menu plans hoping they might help you fill in your calendar.  I am including links to all but two recipes.

Sunday- Quick Chicken and Dumplings – This turned out so well and the kids just loved it. Great cold-weather meal and I’m sure you could double the whole recipe for a crowd. I think next time I will make more dumplings. The kids loved them. Also a great way to get some veggies in them.

Monday Flat iron steaks with wine sauce – Used flat-iron steaks, which are very inexpensive yet tender. Cooked very quickly and the sauce was fast and lovely. Served with mashed potatoes and salad and everybody was happy.

Tuesday – I am too cheap to buy a real Honeybaked Ham but I do like this Copycat glazed ham recipe. It’s clearly not exactly the same but it does make …

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