Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Can You Feel the Love?

Melody over at Slurping Life (who for the record is one of my favorite virtual friends) is sharing lots of love with Parker (of Praying for Parker) and because of her example, so are a lot of other people in Blogville.

I urge you to go visit Love for Parker and be prepared to be inspired by a courageous little boy and his family! And take your checkbook.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Snappy Kids

Do you have a little shutterbug living under your roof? If the answer is a resounding yes, like it is at my house, come get the scoop on A Little Perspective, the Kid's Photo Contest I'm hosting over at Picture This with the help of my partners in contest crime Sheri of The Little Zygote that Could and Susan of The Snapshot Chronicles.

It's going to be lots of fun. I hope you join us as we learn a little something from our kids.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Noah and His Animals Pals

Considering there isn't a day that passes that at least a few members of our family are not engaged in playing a very important game of "animals"of one type or the next, when the chance arose to check out the latest Caboodle! Collectible Toy (of the animal kind),I knew my youngest would be all over it. I had a hunch too when I heard about Noah's Pals that my oldest might want in on the action. When the delivery came and we caught a glimpse of these wonderfully packaged hand painted animals (that come in pairs...hence the hint Noah) each couple in their own boxes, it was my oldest who indeed seemed most interested. Second to me that is.

The animals themselves are delightfully detailed and each one has it's own name. My favorite is the tiny and totally adorable Derek and Delilah Dove, Universal symbols of love and peace (you can't take the hippie out of the girl). The dove pair came with an ID card (like very nifty membership card) as does each of the Noah's Pals pair. The cards are full of educational info like the animals habitat, stats, scientific name, etc. My kids love that kind of thing. And what adds to the fun is that each card has an ID code that you can plug in online at the Noah's Pet's website so you can keep track of what you have collected and what's left to collect. That's one more feature I really like about them. And that they are toys that I feel good about giving. Collecting things is cool. It gives the toys more perceived value somehow and I think helps kids take batter care of them. Or is that just me?

And speaking of...if you think Noah's Pals are something your child would like to start collecting (like mine have) they are offering a discount when you buy the whole set now (think gifts worth giving for the next year--or two). Visit amazon.com for those details. And when you do collect them all, you get a prize. Not too shabby.

Read more about Noah's Pals and what other Parent Bloggers have to say about them at the Parent Bloggers Network.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Kaboom! Kaboom!

I am not a mom who takes pride in how clean her home is, just so you know. Yes, I try to have it look nice and tidy, but really clean? Um, not really. Unless we're having company over and then, I'll clean it. So, as soon as I heard that some cleaning product called Kaboom Neverscrub was up for review at The Parent Blogger Network, you had better believe I was trying it. Although, I was skeptical.

To my delight, I have literally only had to scrub my toilet twice since installing the little miracle cleaner over 2 months ago. I know it's called Neverscrub but when you live with 2 young children and a husband...well...things happen. I won't pretend I was 100% comfortable "installing" the little doohickey in the toilet at first. I was going to save the job for my hubby BUT I decided to be a real woman about it and empower myself (yes, conquering something as silly as this makes me feel empowered--say what you will) and it really was easy to do. My favorite part about Kaboom Neverscrub is the fresh scent it gives the bathroom after every flush. No, I'm not kidding. My office is right off the main bathroom of the house so I will tell you , I appreciate the fresh smell. I really do! And I only have to replace this baby every few months which is only makes me love Neverscrub more. I kinda thought the refills might be expensive but no way. Like 6 bucks a refill (they last 3 months). Hello clean toilets!!

I got a bottle of the Kaboom Shower, Tub & Tile cleaner too and find that equally as effective. Since I'm not hip on deep cleaning, we shower with water stains at our feet. I know. Eeew. SO, I thought "what better a test for this purple bottle of Kaboom than my shower floor." I tried it once, waited a few minutes and wiped it off. It lifted the stains a bit. But since they have been there since we moved in practically (which was over years ago--double eeew) I gave it one more spray and a little elbow grease (only a little) and KABOOM! It worked. My shower floor looks as good as new! And I wasn't all dizzy and sick from the toxic stench like those other miracle cleaners because there isn't one. Another big plus. In other words, I'm pretty much sold on Kaboom now and from what I've heard around The Parent Blogger Network reviews, you might be too.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Dream Weaving

My oldest daughter has always been an avid reader. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly she can devour the latest “chapter book” (that what kids call the books the graduate into after the early readers). And she’s big on books in a series. She goes from start to finish of each one and then begins a whole new group. It's awesome to watch her fly through the pages. I am impressed with her enthusiasm as I was never one of those loved to read kids. It was excruciating for me to sit still long enough to get through a chapter, let alone and entire chapter book. I’m not proud of that, and I do like to read more now but I will admit I still have some issues with sitting down for any extended period of time. But, this isn’t about me. Not today’s post anyway.

When The Parent Blogger Network put the call out to parents with kids in the tween category (9-12), I was thrilled to give my 5th grader a chance to crack Nick Ruth’s mysterious tale, The Dark Dreamweaver. This one in particular seemed right up her alley. With a name like that, any tween would be intrigued. And it’s the first offering of The Remin Chronicles which makes it that much more appealing. Anything with the word Chronicles sounds good to me. So, I was snagged on the title alone.

As I expected my daughter jumped in as soon as she got a hold of the paperback, which proudly dons the “Mom’s Choice Award” seal on the front cover. I probed her as she read asking her about the story line, the characters, the main gist of this magical adventure chock full of wizardry, suspense, a little spook factor, and endearing players like David the main character who is a child living in the present day and the caterpillar wizard Houdin who although is little is in some “big trouble”. “It’s great mom, I love it, it’s cool,” She offers as she peeks her eyes up over the cover briefly, in more like a “leave me alone and let me read” tone than the book review I was hoping for. But, I think it speaks volumes (is that a pun or what?) when your kid doesn’t want to put the book down to chit-chat.

From what I can tell, The Dark Dreamweaver is a classic tale between good and evil, reality and fantasy, truth and imagination. What’s not to love? My daughter really enjoyed the book and is certainly looking forward to the next Chronicle (Book 2- The Breezes of Inspire—sweet title!). As a mom, what I appreciate most about The Dark Dreamweaver is that this “normal” kid David is challenged to dig deep, rely on his inner powers (courage, strength, determination, wisdom, imagination, and compassion) to help not only his caterpillar friend but the whole state of the world. And he travels into the unknown to do it. Totally awesome! And after doing what he set out to do, he gets plopped back into his regular life where he recognizes that he his indeed extraordinary. Isn’t that what every parent wants their child to know?

The Parent Blogger Network is giving away copies of both The Dark Dreamweaver and The Breezes of Inspire via a random drawing. All you have to do is comment on this post to be entered in the drawing. Free books for summer reading is good thing!

edited to add....
To enter the drawing you must comment at the post that is on the Parent Blogger Network. I realize my last paragraph explanation was misleading. So sorry!!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

All Pharmacist, All the Time

I eagerly awaited my copy of The 24-Hour Pharmacist in anticipation for a reference book for all those crazy kid ailments that go bump in the night. See, when you have children, you just assume that everything ever written has a kid slant. I’m thinking, cool, I need another book for those sleepless nights of fevers and rashes. Was I surprised when I browsed the table of contents and saw chapters like, Overcoming Fatigue, Monthly Madness, and the most intriguing, …Really Icky, Weird Stuff. Forget the kids, this book was for ME! And in many cases felt like it was written directly to me which made me embrace it even more.

I dove headlong into the PMS (a la Monthly Madness) chapter first because well, it’s not surprise to anyone who knows me, I suffer from it (as does everyone that crosses my path) and to my delight, I took vigilant notes and have committed myself to the idea (not the asylum) of giving the advice of Suzy Cohen, Pharmacist Extraordinaire a go. I’ve got nothing to lose and something tells me, this gal knows what she is talking about. I was a little skeptical when she broke the explanations of our hormones down into American Idol terms but since I think I might be the only one on the planet who loathes the show, I’ll ignore it and admit that her pop culture comparisons did make me understand the relationships between all those crazy hormones a little bit better.

The 24-Hour Pharmacist is one of those books that you can’t help but want to read, even when the topics don’t really apply. It’s like you’re just dying to know what the real story is with this western medicine shtick we subscribe to and how someone who works in the industry is in her own way bucking the system. Or at least trying to tell the truth for goodness sakes. Suzy is my kind of girl.

If you are anything like me and you have been vowing for months to kick yourself in the ass and get a little healthier, you should pick up a copy of the book. If nothing else it sheds a whole lot of light and gives a boat load of practical info about some of the medical issues we grapple with everyday and offers ways to get a big healthy grip on them.

This review was written for The Parent Bloggers Network—who is always giving me something to talk about.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Fashion Statement

Sometimes it just has to be made.