Thank you to Silk Fruit & Protein beverage for sponsoring my post on how to wake up your breakfast routine!
Thank you to Silk Fruit & Protein beverage for sponsoring my post on how to wake up your breakfast routine!
Recently I was give the chance to review the Farfaria iPad storytelling app. http://www.farfaria.com/. My kids were instantly addicted. And it’s an addiction I totally support. Who doesn’t want their kids to read more? I love how the app encourages them to read books by exploring different worlds. Plus as they explore they are learning classification of literary styles. Sneaky Farfaria, very sneaky!
Some of the things I, as a parent, love about the app:
-There are no purchase prompts so my kids aren’t frustrated by a dead end and I am not hit up for extra costs
-The map layout makes it easy to explore and allows my kids to take charge (and yes, gives me more free time!)
-Exclusive content means that my kids aren’t seeing the same old, same old… instead there are tons of new books to explore
-All stories can be read in offline mode. We’re Luddites with our wifi only iPad so this feature is SUPER important, especially when we’re using the iPad as a babysitter at doctor appointment, dinners out, or (cough) business meetings (hey a mom has got to do what a mom has got to do)
Looking for an out of the box gift option? A FarFaria Subscription e-gift card is something you know will get used and not tossed aside in a day or two. A 6-Month Gift Subscription is $21.99 and a 12- Month Gift Subscription is $39.99.
Buy Here: http://bit.ly/WCUphA
You can also download the app and get a free 15 day trial to check it out!
Want to know more?
Well, I have finally emerged from my post-Valentine’s Day hangover. Unfortunately, this hangover did not involve any champagne. No, instead I was reeling from the sugar rush of food color/HFCS laden candy and the shame of not-crafty motherhood. I ask you, when did Valentine’s Day morph from a day for disappointed lovers and smug flower receivers to a mini celebration for kids?
I know I am not alone in this sentiment. Uber mommy blogger and internet friend Jill of BabyRabies responded to the critics via her blog post It Goes Both Ways. And I get it, I totally do. Childhood is fun and only happens once. And while I don’t resent moms like Jill for their effort (side note: I do resent her for her mad writing skills and ability to look adorable at all times), I am tired of the massive celebration that every special day seems to entail.
Because my kids had just recovered from their Christmas sugar haze when February rolled around. It doesn’t help that their birthday is the week before Valentine’s Day. So with their birthday party, school celebrations, and dream trip they were feted for four straight days.
I knew they were getting a bit entitled when they woke up yesterday and demanded a present and a cupcake.
But who can blame them? After all, Valentine’s night found me not snuggled on the couch with my husband staring into his eyes while we sipped red wine. Instead, I was cleaning fun dip sugar off the floor while muttering to myself over indulgent parents and their love of mass produced candy. Don’t they know I am an aspiring hippie who only allows organic candy into my house? (Sarcasm alert)
Seriously though, can’t we dial it down a notch? Do our kids really need mini packages of gifts and candy taped to cards? Do they need the stickers, the tattoos, the endless amounts of Valentine candy? This morning as I sat on the bed eating fun-size candies and forlornly tooting a mini pink whistle, because of course it’s a four day weekend and the girls want nothing to do with me, I thought about the pumped up Valentine’s Day my girls had experienced. And thought: enough!
So I am pledging: next year there will be no goody bags, no presents, no balloons. Instead I will be happy with the store-bought fold-over valentines that my kids may have or may have not scribbled their name on. If they want to write their friends name on a heart and call it a day, I will be cool with that. I will not try and forge their name with crayons.
Now I just need to get the rest of you overachieving parents on board.
Today my girls turned six. I cried a little when I looked at the picture retrospective yesterday. Especially at this picture…
I mean look at those tiny things. I could almost hold both of them in one hand. Those first years were tough, really tough. I didn’t sleep for more than a few hours at a time for months and months. We moved three times before they were three (twice across the country.) And almost everything (breast feeding, sleeping, solid foods, talking, potty training) seemed out of my control. So when they entered Kindergarten this year, I breathed a sigh of relief… finally some control.
Shall we have a slight pause for your laughter?
But really, I did everything I could. We researched all sorts of schools; sang a happy tune when we got lottery spots at the “best” (whatever that means) public school in our area; anguished over the decision to send them there; had numerous IEP meetings, etc. etc. I immediately joined the PTA, volunteer in each of their classrooms once a week, show up to every school event, walk them in every day and pick them up instead of putting them on the bus. Basically I do everything I can to make sure they have a positive school experience.
And with twins that can be challenging. Since we weren’t having a party this year, it was especially important to me that their birthday go well at school. This included special birthday outfits this morning, special lunches, minute by minute specific plans on how I would hit both classrooms, and four dozen homemade kitty cat cupcakes.
Then as I was putting the final touches on my licorice whiskers, the dreaded call came.
Desmonda Drama had lice.
This is the third or fourth time we have gotten this call this school year. The four classrooms that make up their unit seem to be on a never ending cycle of lice. And I get it, I truly do. Those suckers are hard to get rid of. And I am an expert now. We’ve got the best lice comb and a no-nonsense system of bag, vacuum, wash EVERYTHING while dousing our kids’ heads in toxic chemicals. Then I go crazy with the scissors, cutting out those nits like I am Edwards Scissorhands. And I try to remember to spray my girls’ heads with lice defender spray every morning. So yeah, I get it.
But school? GET RID OF THE FRACKING LICE.
Every night at dinner we ask the girls to tell us about their day. Usually we don’t get much out out of them but still we try. The key is asking very pointed questions…
Did you like your lunch?
What did you make in art class?
Who did you play with at recess?
Today that last question prompted a candid and open, in the way only a five year old can be, telling of how Calamity Jane had told Desmonda Drama she didn’t want to play with her. And how she had told Desmonda to go away. This was all from Calamity Jane be the way. Desmonda looked sad and said it hurt her feelings.
I wanted to punch Calamity Jane and hug Desmonda Drama. I wanted to circle Calamity Jane in my arms and coach her on a better way to say things. I wanted to shake Desmonda Drama and tell her to stand up for herself. It’s a constant battle of the twin mom. You want to be soft and strong all at the same time. And you want that to happen simultaneously for both kids.
Though I did spend a few minutes varying between soft (“oh honey, that’s not nice!”) and strong (“Your sister is your best friend and you always need to be there for her. It’s okay not to want to play with her but it’s not okay to tell her to get away from you and your friends”, in the end I managed to pull it together and strike a balance between the two. With a lot of help from my husband, I should add.
What do you do, veteran parents, when you want to be soft and strong all at once? Or do you pick one and go with it?
If you’re a picker, add what you go with here on Charmin’s Soft or Strong poll.
About the Charmin 2012 Election:
Charmin launches a campaign of its own this election year by asking fans across the country to
vote for their favorite Charmin. In honor of National Toilet Paper Day, the Charmin 2012 Election
kicked off in Flushing, Queens and will live on Facebook until October 20th. Every vote counts!
Visit facebook.com/Charmin to learn more about the Ultra Soft and Ultra Strong.
“Today was a tough day, tomorrow will be better.”
This quote from Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse is said often in our household. As the girls get older, their behavior is starting to be less influenced by their special needs and more influenced by their personality. Which is of course lovely and heartwarming and incredibly gratifying. And also frustrating. Because it turns out that their personalities are one third sassy, one third, stubborn, and one third mischievousness.
Oh those two.
We love them madly, we just don’t want to be driven mad by them.
This had led to a huge pile of books on both of our bedside tables. These books have titles like Chaos to Calm, What to do When Time Out Doesn’t Work, Raising the Spirited Child. I must say that I much prefer mysteries. Allthough these are a lot better at putting me to sleep.
The reading had led to another kind of disagreement. But this time between me and The Hubs. We are having a hard time deciding on which style of discipline we want to use. The issue is that while we both want to commit to positive parenting, we are disagreeing on the level of positivity. At our worst moments, we have accused each other of wanting to be their best friends and (me) and treating them like they are both in military school instead. We also can’t seem to agree on the level of rambunctiousness that is expected of five (times two.)
But we do know that we have to be on the same page. So we have been turing to outside sources to find the best methods for taming the beasts (or at least getting them to stop responding to everything we say with but, I mean again they are five not fifteen!) Enter the neutral third party, the internet.
For help with positive parenting, I have been turning to the KidPointz website. In addition to feedback and support, they also have tips from child behavior experts which if nothing else, reassures me that all of this is completely normal.
Reading it has also convinced me that an essential part of our positive parenting should be some kind of reward system. I feel it will motivate them and keep us from only focusing on the negative. I don’t want them to always hear the word no from us. But what is the best way to reward? Should we do points? Stickers? Charts? And what do we reward? Expected things like saying please and thank you or only above and beyond moments like sharing a favorite toy? And what should the rewards be? Treats? Or non-material things like an extra story?
One thing I do know, is we will be utilizing the KidPointz app. You can read a full review here. My favorite part? That we can utilize it on the go. It is important to us that we be consistent with the system!
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post and it also enters me into the Next KidPointz Blogger contest.
Flashback Fridays incorporate posts from my original “mommy blog” They Are So Cute When They Are Sleeping… It’s Only When They Are Awake That I Want to Kill Them. I thought this one was especially appropriate since I am away from my girls today while at BlogHer.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2009
I Will Miss Them (but not too much!)
So tomorrow the husband and I leave on a trip to LA and Hawaii, thanks to Marriott. I am in that pre-trip frenzy state where I am not only trying to get the last minute things together (finally going to sign those wills!) but also embarking on the all the unfinished projects I have around the house that I always, for some crazy reason, try to finish before I leave on a trip.
But really there isn’t much left to be done. The house is unusually clean but will be cleaner when I get home since my pathologically clean MIL is coming to sit the girls. I already packed my suitcase (did it last Sunday, because who doesn’t like packing for a trip to Hawaii) and the girls and I did a run to the grocery store this morning to stock up on their breakfast and lunch basics. The only thing left to do it hit the library.
We need to load up on the picture books because the girls, who have always been top notch at being sat, have been exhibiting a lot of separation anxiety lately. Of course they would, how better to make even a mean mommy like me feel guilty as she lays on the sand and drinks blue lavas. They really are clever, those two. Not going is not even in the realm of possibility so I am picking up Llama Llama Misses Mama and The Kissing Hand and calling it a day.
But just in case I start feeling bad between my massage and gourmet dinners (best contest win ever) I decided to make a list of all the things I will not miss.
Things I Will Not Miss:
Yep, I will miss their cute little faces but isn’t that what pictures are for?
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2009
Mom malaise infected me today in Kindermusik where Calamity Jane turned into a creature from the fifth dimension. First overcome by a shyness that knew no bounds, she clung to me like a monkey and I was forced to dance around the room with her clinging to my neck while I held the hand of Desmonda Drama (who in typical dramatic fashion had one arm shadowing her eye and face). We were a clumsy six legged beast. I do not think the Kindermusik moms were impressed. Little did they know that the worst was yet to come.
About halfway through the class, Calamity Jane seemed to warm up to the idea that I was paying an outrageous sum for her to be amused. So I turned her around on my knee and we proceeded to sing, which song I can’t remember. Which it was a pity because it is obviously the trigger for Calamity Jane’s subconscious baby terrorist. I would really hate for her to start throwing knives, fashioned from board books of course, at me as we dutifully listen to the Kindermusik CD in the car.
She didn’t quite throw knives this morning but she did start screaming and hitting me, then kicked her sister in the head, then leaned over and bit me on the shoulder. I promptly picked both girls up like barrels (Desmonda was screaming indignantly; she does not like being kicked in the head) and set them outside the classroom. As the Kindermusik moms stared at me in horror, I retrieved my shoes and slinked out the door.
After our unfortunate exit, mom malaise was in overdrive. I questioned why I had signed up for the class since my children were obviously not fit for the public sphere. I despaired of their chances of ever getting invited to a birthday party by any of the Kindermusik kids, not to mention my own chance to discuss organic egg souffles (being earnestly and enthusiastically covered as I walked into class.)
This was all sobbed on the phone to my sister. Which I am sure she appreciated since she is pregnant; wouldn’t that make you look forward to motherhood? I managed to pull myself together to meet the husband for our Wednesday lunch, where I started crying again. He stitched me back together enough for me to get home and get the terror twins to bed for the blessed nap. But the malaise loves a quiet house and I couldn’t stomach any of the usual cures: glass of wine (I do try to wait until four), phone call to a friend (I like to put on a brave front), or mindless TV (why oh why did I watch Rachel Zoe yesterday?!.)
So I fretted my way through the afternoon working myself into a frenzy until the girls woke up (for once I didn’t mind a short nap.) I half read books to them and fed them snacks and meandered around the house before coming up with the idea of heading outside. I spread a quilt out and covered it with books, including a frothy novel for me. And we sat out there for an hour reading and eating pretend food and rolling around on the ground. Mom malaise vanquished, at least for today.
Sometimes it really is the simple things.