5 Tips for Ending the Chore Wars

“I’m tired; I need to lay down.” That’s what we hear every time we ask the girls to make their bed, clean their room, pick up their toys, etc. So I was thrilled when Gregg Murset, CEO of MyJobChart.com offered to share some chore tips. My husband and I have been talking about trying allowance to chores as their “jobs” so these are perfect for us.
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Adventures : Chucktober

I can see you shaking your head now… “ChuckECheese? Really Kate?” Yes, really. Though I remain annoyed by the weird gambling like ticket dispensing games, I can’t help but love a place that lets my kids make silly picture after silly picture of themselves for a token apiece. So when they sent us a pass to go for ChuckECheese to celebrate Chucktober we gathered up a few friends, donned our costumes and headed over for some dinner fun.

Halloween Chuck E Cheese

The entire month of October is “Chucktober” and kids who visit Chuck E. Cheese’s wearing their Halloween costume will automatically win 50 free tickets. Plus post your pics on Instagram or Twitter to @chuckecheese tagged with #Chucktober2014 for a chance to win awesome prizes including gift cards to Target, Best Buy, and Toys R’ Us!

Read on about our fun at Chuck E Cheese and a way to win a Chucktober prize!
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To All the Unstoppable Women I Know

I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour for The Motherhood on behalf of the makers of Children’s MOTRIN® and received compensation to thank me for taking the time to participate. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Unstoppable Moms

This morning I spent a half hour shifting through the discards of a clothing swap I couldn’t make. There was the thrill of finding hidden treasures but what made it really pleasant was a chance to
I tell all the new parents I know that the most important thing in their new life won’t be anything you can register for. The best resource and tool in parenting is the other parents you know. Like many moms, I would say the one thing that has been the biggest part of my life since having kids are my mom friends.
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Please Join Us for the Miracle Marathon

Why The Miracle Marathon
Rarely have I felt as strongly about a blogging project as I do about the one I am embarking on with the girls next week. Being a lead blogger for the Miracle Marathon isn’t just about numbers or awareness or charity for me. It’s about thanking the people who helped my daughter through surgery and continue to help her. Having a Children’s Hospital in town can make all the difference in not only the experience but also your child’s health.

I firmly believe that the innovations and support system Miracle Network hospitals are able to offer make a huge different in the well being of the children in their community. And the Miracle Marathon is such an appropriate way to raise money because it’s about improving your own health by getting active every day while you raise money for a great cause.

And what does this money go towards? Look at some of the things my daughter experienced while being treated at MU…
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Integrating Technology Into Family Life With the Intel AIO

#spon: I am in a partnership with Intel. Through this partnership I gain access to content, product, or other forms of value.

With the girls starting school this week, we are resetting routines and thinking about how we can have a successful school year. We’ve made the biggest change by switching schools but we also want to make changes at home.

One of these is changing the way we all use tech. There have been too many moments this summer where we have all been in different rooms on different devices. That’s why out kitchen counter now looks like this…

IntelAIO

I can see you thinking, really another screen? But stay with me here.
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Giving Back During Back to School

During back to school, it’s easy to give back. Thank you to Champions for Kids and The Motherhood for involving me in this awesome program!

Yesterday I finally conquered my sudden bout of homebodiness and took the girls to shop for school supplies and then to their back to school night. This translates to I went to the grocery store with the texted list from a friend of what she had bought her child and threw two of everything into a cart while the terror twins careened around the store looking for things to put on their never ending wish list. They have yet to cotton on to the fact that they never get anything from their wish list and yet it stops them from begging for things in the stores. So obviously I consider this one of my biggest parenting wins.

After successfully gathering all needed school supplies, I took the girls up to back to school night. Without telling anyone we totally switched their school. Well we told them obviously, but for everyone else it was a pleasant (I hope) surprise when we showed up at our neighborhood school. I felt like it was a huge success… for me. Everyone hugged me and none of the teachers knew anything about the girls so they actually welcomed in into the classrooms with happy, unknowing smiles.

The girls, on the other hand, were less impressed. They literally RAN AND KID UNDER A TABLE when a kid they knew said hi to them. When I asked why they said they KNEW HIM. The horror. Evidently they thought that by new school we meant we had populated our tiny city with people they had never seen. Which would be some amazing parenting.

So my feelings about the new school year are a mite bit mixed. In a throwback to the childhood I never had (I went to small Catholic schools and knew everyone, even in college, in Austin), I have been having nervous stomachaches all week. But even with the stomachache and hiding under tables, I consider us very lucky.

You know that hashtag #YourPrivilegeIsShowing? I kind of want to print it out and hand it out while back to school shopping. Because so many kids have to worry about things like going to school hungry. This hit home for me when my girls started public preschool at the ripe age of three. AS I chatted with the office one day about my precious darlings and their special snowflake needs, I noticed a pile of backpacks. I found out they were filled with food for kids who might not eat over the weekend.

One of the organizations that seeks to fill the needs of kids like those is Champions for Kids. Champions for Kids makes it simple to give children in local communities the resources they need to thrive. We can’t all make big gestures but helping others does not have to come in large doses. Champions for Kids seeks to help by fostering a ‘habit of giving’ among youth and parents in America.

SIMPLE Giving

Did you know that 16 million kids live in poverty? For kids in need, finding nutritious snacks can be a challenge. Children who eat healthy foods are better equipped to succeed academically. SIMPLE Giving is a Champions for Kids program that makes it simple for you to help kids in your community. To ensure children have access to nutritious snacks, Champions for Kids is teaming up with Dole, Emerald, Kellogg Company and Walmart for a SIMPLE Giving program.

You can participate by simply purchasing and donating snack food items at your local participating Walmart from August 1-18. If your Walmart store is participating, simply purchase breakfast foods and place them in the purple donation bins at the front of the store after checkout. To see a list of participating stores, click here.

All of the donations go to children in the school district where the Walmart store is located! the girls and I will doing this as part of our back to school day Monday. I hope you will join us this weekend by buying a few snacks yourself and donating.

I Gave My Seven Year Old an iPhone

While I was at BlogHer last week, as part of the US Cellular blogger brigade, I attended a lunch focused on kids and smart phones. Some interesting facts like the following were shared:

Though the above and some of the other thoughts shared gave me a lot of food for thought, the talk also reconfirmed my decision to give the #terrortwins a mobile phone. As the moderators said, it really is a case of responsibiloity and need, not age. And with two girls with such different needs, it makes sense for our family for them to have a way to contact us when they can not be with us and a phone to use at home. I feel better knowing we have a phone on the U.S. Cellular’s 4G LTE network to use in the case of emergency (it works GREAT in our city!) at home and that will share us where they are when they have it (we installed the Life360 app on it to help us keep track of their goings and to find them easily should we get separated.)

And yes, my seven year old has a nicer phone than I do.
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My Extraordinary Kid

Lazy summer, where are you? It’s been a long week with both the girls being ill. Desmonda Drama even had to miss the entire week of summer school because of two different infections. And then on top of that, she had a morning of testing that we couldn’t cancel. Of course, I am in tatters but she is still tearing around the house with a smile on her face.

IMAG3845-MIX

That kid. She is something else.
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Cooking With Books, Fictional Recipes Are Yummy

One of my goals is to cook more with my kids. I grew up watching my mom cook and turned into an awesome one myself (#humblebrag.) She didn’t actually cook that much with me so I could just take my chances that the terror twins learn by osmosis like me. But that would defeat my goal of turning them into domestic servants by eight. So cooking with kids it is.

Cooking With Kids

Up first, Tiana Mac and Cheese!
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#BeautyIs Determination

-This post is sponsored by Global Influence-

I confess that sometimes it’s easier fun to say yes than no. Desmonda Drama has been dissolving into a a crying, whiny mess every evening. And I am pretty sure it is due to her summer schedule. Summer school is open to every kid in our school district, so she has been attending that, then swimming at our swim club, and then on top of that attending adapted swim lessons every evening.

desmonda drama dove beautyis

So when she woke up this morning and said how about I stay home today and go to school tomorrow. I couldn’t help but say yes. Even though tomorrow is Saturday. well played, Desmonda Drama. Well played.
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