Sunday, August 31, 2008

Free, Fun Activities - Check Out Your Local Library

Maddie and I went to the library the other day. Maddie adores books. And I adore the fact that you can check out DVDs there. Maddie and I usually watch a DVD every other night before going to bed. So it saves a lot of money to check them out at the library - that way you get to watch them, but not pay for them (yes, I'm cheap like that - not really cheap, just resourceful!)

So Friday we went to the library. While checking out, the lady behind the counter told me that Taco The Clown would be putting on a program Saturday at 2:00. I'm so glad she told me because there wasn't a sign anywhere that I could see. I then asked about their story time. Turns out it's not just story time - they get to color or sing songs or do other activities either before or after the story. We'll definitely be checking that out this coming Wednesday.

So we go to see Taco the Clown yesterday, and Maddie loved it. I wish I had taken pictures of her watching him. There was a look of pure joy on her face. I loved it. He put on a show for about an hour. While Maddie got a little fidgety at the end, overall it was great.

So if you get a chance, ask your local library if they have any programs or activities available for your child's age group. You'll be glad you did.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

There's A Potty Goin' On 'Round Here

I've been going through old pictures. I found this picture of me (one on the left) sitting on my potty in the hallway of my grandparents' house. Since I now live in that same house, I thought it would be neat to take a picture of Shorty sitting on her potty in the same spot.


Don't you love my upside down laundry basket potty? Guess that was all the rage back in '74 or '75.

Things I Love Thursday - Episode 1


Over at The Diaper Diaries, they have a deal called Things I Love Thursday. And by deal, I think it's called maybe a meme or something like that. Sorry. I've been blogging for over a year now, but still not sure what everything is called.

Anyway, here's one of the many, many, many, many, many things I love.

This is Maddie's kitchen that my in-laws got her for her birthday last year. They bought it at Target. She absolutely adores it. And if it makes her happy, it makes me very happy.

Tattoos With A Purpose

I've put temporary tattoos on Maddie just for fun a couple of times. I don't know why, but I don't like putting them on her. They're kind of hard to get off - even with the baby oil. When I saw these over on The Munchkin Patch, I thought what a great idea.

They're temporary tattoos from Temporary Tattoos With A Purpose.

There's lots of different styles to choose from.



Go check them out. They even have one for people suffering the effects of Alzheimer's. Or for kids with allergies.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Shorty's Two-Year-Old Checkup

**I posted this about a year ago on my other blog - Shorty will be 3 the end of October.)

I'm getting nervous because today is Shorty's 2-year-old checkup. I'm nervous because I hate it when they give her shots. Every checkup we've been to since she was born, except for one, they gave her, like, five shots. I checked online to see if I could find any info out about it, and everything I've read said that she might could get a Hepatitis A shot. One website said this: (the doctor will) give your toddler another round of immunizations (if she didn't get vaccines for DPT or DTaP, polio, or chicken pox at her 12-month checkup, she'll get immunized for them now). She's gotten all her immunizations since she was born. So I call the doctor's office to see if I should give her Tylenol an hour before her appointment, which is what they recommend you do if she's going to have shots, and they said, at the 2-year checkup, they generally do get shots.

Here's a link to the Recommended Immunization Schedulefor Persons Aged 0–18 Years—UNITED STATES • 2007 - It's kind of confusing if you ask me.

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/downloads/child/2007/child-schedule-bw-print.pdf

Shelley's Snippets: Shorty's Two-Year-Old Checkup

Squid Soap - Good Idea, Poor Execution


Shorty does not like this at all. She did at first, now the squid part scares her. She might be a little too young for this

Squid Soap: good idea, poor execution: Parent Hacks



Shelley's Snippets: Squid Soap: good idea, poor execution: Parent Hacks

What Love Is

'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.'

Rebecca- age 8
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'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'

Billy - age 4
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'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.'

Karl - age 5
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'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.'

Chrissy - age 6
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'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.'

Terri - age 4
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'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.'

Danny - age 7
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'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss'

Emily - age 8
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'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.'

Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)
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'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,'

Nikka - age 6 (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)
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'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.'

Noelle - age 7
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'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.'

Tommy - age 6
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'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.'

Cindy - age 8
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'My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.'

Clare - age 6
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'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.'

Elaine-age 5
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'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.'

Chris - age 7
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'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.'

Mary Ann - age 4
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'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'

Lauren - age 4
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'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' (what an image)

Karen - age 7
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'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.'

Mark - age 6
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'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.'

Jessica - age 8
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And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.

The winner was a four-year-old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, 'Nothing, I just helped him cry.'

Thanks, Mom

Are Boys An Endangered Species?

Why half as many boys as girls are being born in places around the world.

Half as many boys as girls are being born in some places around the world—and pollution is the prime suspect.

Among the Chippewas of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation community living on the shores of the St. Clair River outside Sarnia, Ontario, tribal leaders were puzzling over a variety of health problems—from asthma to cancer to miscarriages—plaguing their families. The Aamjiwnaang—the name means “at the spawning stream”—were shaken when they realized that there was a dramatic disproportion of girls to boys among them.

Jim Brophy, director of the Occupational Health Clinic for Ontario Workers’ Sarnia branch, remembers the look of shock on their faces when they suddenly made the connection. “It was like a deep family secret getting out,” Brophy recalls. “They had enough girls for three baseball teams, but not enough boys for even one boy team.”

The Full Story Here: Are Boys An Endangered Species? - Page 1 - MSN Health & Fitness - Pregnancy & Kids

Via: Linkfilter

Crescent Mummy Dogs


Crescent Mummy Dogs
Prep Time: 30 min ; Start to Finish: 50 min
Makes: 10 sandwiches Nutrition Information

Hot dogs are all wrapped up in a classic recipe for Halloween...or anytime a chuckle is in order.
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls (8 count)
2 1/2 slices (2.5 oz) American cheese slices, quartered
10 large hot dogs
Cooking spray
Mustard or ketchup, if desired

1 . Heat oven to 375°F. Unroll dough; separate at perforations creating 4 rectangles; press perforations to seal. With knife or kitchen scissors, cut each rectangle lengthwise into 10 pieces, making a total of 40 pieces of dough. Slice cheese slices into quarters (1/2 slice cheese, cut in half).
2 . Wrap 4 pieces of dough around each hot dog and 1/4 slice of cheese to look like "bandages," stretching dough slightly to completely cover hot dog. About 1/2 inch from one end of each hot dog, separate "bandages" so hot dog shows through for "face." On ungreased large cookie sheet, place wrapped hot dogs (cheese side down); spray dough lightly with cooking spray.
3 . Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until dough is light golden brown and hot dogs are hot. With mustard, draw features on "face."

Pillsbury.com: Crescent Mummy Dogs

Thanks, Martha

How To Make A Paper F-16

This is for you, Big Daddy Rooster.

How To Made Paper F-16 - The most popular videos are a click away
Maybe it's me, but I got lost at the end.

Via: Attuworld

Max & Ruby

I don't know if you can tell by the Amazon link up there, but I absolutely adore Max & Ruby. I could watch this show all day long. Shorty loves it too. That's a hint for anybody that's coming to her birthday party weekend after next.

Fun with Max & Ruby

Max & Ruby Pint & Play Activities | Online Games | Recipes | E-Cards | Nick Jr

N O G G I N: Max & Ruby

Max and Ruby Merchandise Store - Max & Ruby Gifts & Products

Max & Ruby


Picky Eaters? They Get It From You

The New York Times says: A WEEK’S worth of dinners for young Fiona Jacobson looks like this: Noodles. Noodles. Noodles. Noodles. French fries. Noodles. On the seventh day, the 5-year-old from Forest Hills, Queens, might indulge in a piece of pizza crust, with no sauce or cheese.

Over in New Jersey, the Bakers changed their November family vacation to accommodate Sasha, an 11-year-old so averse to fruits and vegetables that the smell of orange juice once made him faint. Instead of flying to Prague, Sasha’s parents decided to go to Barcelona, where they hope the food will be more to his liking.

And at the Useloff household, young Ethan’s tastes are so narrow that their home in Westfield, N.J., works something like a diner.

“I do the terrible mommy thing and make everyone separate dinners,” Jennifer Useloff said.

All three families share a common problem. Their children are not only picky eaters, prone to reject foods they once seemed to love, but they are also neophobic, which means they fear new food.

But for parents who worry that their children will never eat anything but chocolate milk, Gummi vitamins and the occasional grape, a new study offers some relief. Researchers examined the eating habits of 5,390 pairs of twins between 8 and 11 years old and found children’s aversions to trying new foods are mostly inherited.

The message to parents: It’s not your cooking, it’s your genes.

More Here: Picky Eaters? They Get It From You - New York Times

The Best Dish Towels

From RealSimple:
Two dozen cotton towels (just as absorbent as linen but less expensive) were put to a test based on recommendations from the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists: Wash, measure shrinkage, soak, time, remove, measure remaining water.

The Best Dish Towels | Cleaning : RealSimple.com

Ten Best Foods You Aren't Eating

1. Beets
2. Cabbage
3. Guava
4. Swiss Chard
5. Cinnamon
6. Purslane
7. Pomegranate Juice
8. Goji Berries
9. Dried Plums
10. Pumpkin Seeds

The only one I eat on this list is cinnamon - in cinnamon rolls. If you count sauerkraut as cabbage, then I eat that too, with weenies. Weenies and sauerkraut, red beans and cornbread, and fried potatoes=my favorite meal in the whole wide world.

The10BestFoodsYouAren'tEating - MensHealth Magazine

Personal Moon


Some Russian designers made this oversized "personal moon" lamp. I think this could be a great idea for a child's treehouse, and would make a good DIY remake. - [via] Link.

MAKE: Blog: Personal moon

Baby Crazy - Because We Know You're Crazy About Your Baby


I absolutely adore this store. They have some of the neatest baby stuff that you can't find anywhere else.

Shop Online

Kids "Construction" Utensil Set


This "constructive" kids utensil set is comprised of a bulldozer pusher (commanding the mac & cheese), fork lift fork (under the green beans), and front loader spoon (picking up a load of mashed potatoes).

catching fireflies

(Wow! This store is AWESOME, as Shorty would say. You have to go check it out.)

Via: Rare Bird Finds

Bubble Scrubbers


Why shouldn’t washing the dishes be fun? If you work all day and spend time making dinner, why not let the kid in you come out to do the dishes?

The bubble scrubber works just like any old kitchen brush but it has a secret. There is a bubble want hidden right inside the bristles. And, as everybody knows: bubble wand + dish soap + water = FUN!

Hey, maybe you can even get the kids to do the dishes! Price: $6.50

catching fireflies

Top 10 Free E-Card Sites

simplehuman | blog: top 10 free e-card sites

Stay-At-Home Mom

A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog.

Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall.

In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.

In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened.

He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.

As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel.

She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?"

She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world did I do today?

"Yes," was his incredulous reply.

She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."

Via: Miss Cellania

Momma Bear

Baby Bear goes downstairs and sits in his small chair at the table, he looks into his small bowl. It is empty. "Who's been eating my porridge?" he squeaks.

Papa Bear arrives at the big table and sits in his big chair. He looks into his big bowl, and it is also empty. "Who's been eating my Porridge?" he roars.

Momma Bear puts her head through the serving hatch from the kitchen and yells, "For Christ's sake, how many times do we have to go through this with you idiots?

It was Momma Bear who got up first,

it was Momma Bear who woke everyone in the house,

It was Momma Bear who made the coffee,

It was Momma Bear who unloaded the dishwasher from last night, and put everything away,

It was Momma Bear who went out in the cold early
morning air to fetch the newspaper,

It was Momma Bear who set the damn table,

It was Momma Bear who put the friggin cat out, cleaned the litter box, and filled the cat's water and food dish, and, now that you've decided to drag your sorry bear-asses downstairs, and grace Momma Bear's kitchen with your grumpy presence, listen good, cause I'm only going to say this one more time:

"I HAVEN'T MADE THE F****** PORRIDGE YET"!

Mommy Test

I was out walking with my 4 year old daughter. She picked up something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth. I took the item away from her and I asked her not to do that.

"Why?" my daughter asked.

"Because it's been on the ground, you don't know where it's been, it's dirty and probably has germs" I replied.

At this point, my daughter looked at me with total admiration and asked, "Mommy, how do you know all this stuff? You are so smart."

I was thinking quickly. "All moms know this stuff. It's on the Mommy Test. You have to know it, or they don't let you be a Mommy."

We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, but she was evidently pondering this new information.

"OH...I get it!" she beamed, "So if you don't pass the test, you have to be the daddy."

"Exactly", I replied back with a big smile on my face.


Via: OuthouseRag: Joke of the Day: Mommy Test

How To Make Monster Halloween Cupcakes


If only I had a kitchen bigger than most people's closets...oh, yeah, I guess I would need some gumption too.

HOWTO Make monster Hallowe'en cupcakes - Boing Boing

Speaking of Cheap Kids' Clothes...

I have to say I was a little skeptic when I ordered Shorty Rooster a "special occasion" dress and an outfit from this place because, frankly, their website is not the greatest. I ordered this dress off their website for $24.95.



Here's how it's pictured on their website:

This picture does not do this dress justice.

I also ordered an outfit for $2.88 - pants and a long-sleeved shirt. The brand is Simply Basic which I think is like K-Mart or Wal-Mart or something, but for $2.88, it's more than worth it.

I received a phone call from Magic Kids USA the day after I made my order. It seems I forgot to put the size I wanted to order in the outfit.

So for cheap, good-quality clothes, and great customer service and fast shipping, visit Magic Kids USA.
Magic Kids USA Online Store Cart, The Magic of buying quality kids clothing

Got Crocs? Be Careful On The Escalator

According to reports appearing across the United States and as far away as Singapore and Japan, entrapments occur because of two of the biggest selling points of shoes like Crocs: their flexibility and grip. Some report the shoes get caught in the "teeth" at the bottom or top of the escalator, or in the crack between the steps and the side of the escalator.

More Here: Got Crocs? Be careful on the escalator - Yahoo! News

Monday, August 25, 2008

Custom Keds For Kids or Ladies



You know Zazzle, the place where you can create custom magnets or cards or mugs or whatever, well now you can create custom Keds.

From the Zazzle website:

Zazzle's custom shoes are the first shoes that you can design from the soles up! Our proprietary technology allows you to create the highest quality footwear with your photos, designs, text and more, ensuring a pair of shoes unique as you. Choose from 5 different Keds shoe styles for women and kids to make your perfect custom shoe today! Delivered in one to two weeks, depending on shipping method.

Available in lace-up or slip-on.

Pretty hefty price tag - $50 a pair.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Birth Survey

Via Crunchy Domestic Goddess:

If you’ve given birth in the United States in the past three years, you are eligible to participate in The Birth Survey. Thanks to The Birth Survey: Transparency in Maternity Care, “women can now give consumer reviews of doctors, midwives, hospitals, and birth centers, learn about the choices and birth experiences of others, and view data on hospital and birth center standard practices and intervention rates.” If enough women take this survey, it could have a serious impact on maternity care in the U.S.

The survey was developed by The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services or the CIMS. “Our goal is to give women a mechanism that can be used to share information about maternity care practices in their community while at the same time providing practitioners and institutions feedback for quality of care improvement efforts.”


I just took the survey and it took me about 15 minutes to complete it. I then searched for my doctor to see if anyone else had completed the survey, and the search said "no results found". I then did a search for providers in Fort Worth, TX and again it said "no results found". More people need to fill out this survey. It will be a great tool for expectant mothers to use if enough people fill it out.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

How To Make Stroller Handle Extensions


Since I am 5'8" and Big Daddy is 6'2", we both have a hard time pushing Shortey Rooster in her stroller. I was trying to think of a way to bend the handles back or something, but I came across this. I'm sure we'll come up with some other way to extend the handles. Big Daddy is good at rigging stuff up.


Stroller Handle Extensions - Instructables Make Cool How To and DIY [category: home]

Dresser Knob Cozies


If you know how to knit, this is a cute idea.

Dresser Knob Cozies - Instructables Make Cool How To and DIY [category: home]

Cut Kid Clutter

Here's a Good Housekeeping reader tip on how to cut kid clutter. (This lady must know what she's talking about because she's from Fort Worth...well, maybe.) Anyway, she says:

"Cut clutter by telling your kids that anything they don't put away during the week will be placed in the "Saturday Box" - meaning they don't get back a toy left out on Monday until Saturday. (To defeat rescue attempts, she keeps the box in the trunk of her car.) Usually the kids are so eager to hold on to their stuff, they put it away in 15 minutes."

I say give them about two seconds to put their toy up or it goes in the "Fort Worth City Trash" cart. I'm just kidding. I really think this lady has a pretty good idea.

Chair Made From Toy Plush Pandas

Moss's limited edition "Banquete Chair with Pandas" costs so much they won't even list the price.

Can you say DIY? I know I can.

Chair made from toy plush pandas - Boing Boing

Romping Animals


Romping Animals

Cardboard Puzzle Piece Missing?

VIA: Cardboard Puzzle Piece Missing?
I acquired a puzzle that had one piece missing. I scanned the picture on the puzzle box and enlarged the area of the missing piece, printed it out and glued it to cardboard (thickness of puzzle), cut to shape of missing piece.

Great whether you are saving the picture or passing it along to someone else!

Syd's 2 cents

Free Toddler To Teen Party Planner

Not the greatest unless you think your four-year-old is a toddler.


Toddler to Teen Party Planner - Good Housekeeping

Free Downloadable Educational Material From Texas Parks & Wildlife

Lots of neat stuff here.

Children's Symptom Guide

You can click on your child's main symptom to find out what could be causing their discomfort.

Baby Symptom Guide (0-12 months)
Toddler Symptom Guide (12-24 months)
Preschooler Symptom Guide (2-4 years)
Big Kid Symptom Guide (5-8 years)

(Just one of the many tools offered by Babycenter.com)

Cheapest Days To Buy Certain Items

Via Smartmoney.com:

Another day, another deal.

Thanks to online coupons, price-comparison search engines and reward memberships, savvy shoppers can pay less than full price on any day that ends in "y." But depending on what you're planning to buy, some days of the week may yield better bargains than others.

We talked to the experts, and narrowed down the best days of the week to buy certain items.

Airplane Tickets
When to Buy: Wednesday morning.
Why: "Most airfare sales are thrown out there on the weekend," says travel expert Peter Greenberg, a.k.a. The Travel Detective. Other airlines then jump into the game, discounting their own fares and prompting further changes by the first airline. The fares reach their lowest prices late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

Books
When to Buy: Thursday.
Why: Price compare between major chains Borders and Barnes & Noble. The former releases its weekly sales and coupons on every Thursday; the latter, every Tuesday.

Cars
When to Buy: Monday.
Why: "Car dealers live for the weekend, which is when they make most of their sales," says Phil Reed, consumer advice editor for Edmunds.com. "On Mondays, the low foot traffic makes it seem like the weekend will never come." That dealer desperation, paired with fewer consumers on the lot, give you more negotiating power.

Clothing
When to Buy: Thursday evening.
Why: That's the day when stores stock their shelves for the weekend, and when many retailers — including Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and Express — start their weekend promotions, says Kathryn Finney, author of "How to Be a Budget Fashionista." You'll find great prices and the best selection. "It's an effort to get people to shop in the middle of the week," she says.

Department-Store Wares
When to Buy: Saturday evening.
Why: Department stores have a lot to mark down for their Sunday circulars, so they frequently start the process on Saturday evenings before store closing, says Finney. "They're preparing for the big rush," she says. Bonus: Even if the markdowns haven't been made, many employees will honor the sale price if you ask. Print out the circular preview from the store's web site, and bring it with you when you head to the mall.

Dinner Out
When to Buy: Tuesday.
Why: Most restaurants do not receive food deliveries over the weekend. "Sunday is the garbage-can day of the week," says Kate Krader, senior editor at Food & Wine magazine. "No doubt, they're cleaning out their fridges. Tuesdays, they're starting fresh." Dining out on that day offers the best odds you'll get a meal worth paying for, no matter your price point, she says.

Entertainment
When to Buy: Wednesday.
Why: Plenty of movie theaters, amusement parks and museums offer extra discounts to consumers who visit midweek. Six Flags theme parks offer a $12 discount to AAA members — three times its usual discount of $4. AMC Theatres offers members in its free AMC Movie Watcher reward program a free small popcorn on Wednesdays. (This summer, it's also the day select theaters offer free Summer Movie Camp screenings.)

Gas
When to Buy: Thursday, before 10 a.m.
Why: The price of oil isn't the only factor influencing costs at your local pump. Consumer usage plays a role, too — and weekend demand is high, says Jason Toews, co-founder of GasBuddy.com, a price-monitoring site. Prices usually swing upward on Thursdays as travelers fuel up to head out the following day. By hitting the pump before 10 a.m. (when many station owners change their prices), you'll beat the rush and the price jump.

Groceries
When to Buy: Sunday — or Tuesday.
Why: Maximize savings by combining store sales, which run from Wednesday to Tuesday, with the latest round of coupons from your Sunday paper, says Mary Hunt, publisher of Debt-Proof Living, a money-saving newsletter. "It's a smart idea to wait until you have those in hand to match up with the week's sale items," she says.

To snag savings on items you don't need just yet, shop on Tuesday, advises Hunt. Chances are, the store will have run out of the sale items. "That means you can pick up rain checks, which allow you to buy those items later when you need them, and at the sale price," she says.

Hotel Rooms
When to Buy: Sunday.
Why: There are two kinds of hotel managers, and the kind that won't give you a discount on your room rate has Sundays off, says Greenberg. Call the hotel directly, and ask to speak with the manager on duty or the director of sales. These employees are open to negotiation, he says. They'd rather have a booked room at a discounted rate than an empty room. (The rest of the week, your call would get you a so-called revenue manager, who monitors profits — and is rarely willing to lower rates.)

Make Your Own Orange Julius

There are three different versions of this recipe at the link below, but here's one of them:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 can frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 c. cold milk
  • 1 c. cold water
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 cap full vanilla
  • 10-12 ice cubes (crushed)

Directions:

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

More Here

Water Bottle Nipple Adapter


From Strange New Products:

What's strange about this product is that no one has thought of it yet. At least, that's what the inventor of the product says anyways.

The nipple adapts to just about any plastic water bottle and turns it into a baby-bottle. From the looks of it, it'll probably attach to plastic soda bottles too.

It's now selling at 7-Eleven and Circle-K stores for $1.95 each.

The idea is that you could stop the car at a convenience store, buy a bottle of water, along with a nipple adapter, and silence a crying baby on the spot.

The nipple adapter was created by Tommy Habeeb, former host of the reality-TV show "CHEATERS", and who is now hosting, "STAG: Last Night of Freedom". Tommy says...
"I was surprised that this product did not exist already. All of the retailers that I have met tell me it's a no-brainer that this product will sell."

VIA

Rainbow Maker


I thought I would go back through some old posts of mine over on Shelley's Snippets and find posts that dealt with things that kids might like. So here's the first of many:

Now you can have rainbows in your home and you don’t need rain…just sunlight! Simply stick the RainbowMaker to a window that receives direct sun and point the solar panel in the direction of the sun. The genuine Swarovski crystal will rotate and refract sunlight to create dazzling rainbows that move around the room. Perfect Feng Shui tool to bring good Chi into your home and enliven a room’s energy. Attaches to window with a suction cup. Measures 5 ¾”H x 2”W x 1 1/3”D. This is a delicate instrument so please treat the solar panel with care.
Price: $24.00

Rainbow Maker: The Spoon Sisters - Great Gifts Opening Everywhere

Friday, August 22, 2008

Butterfly Tent @ Target

I just went to Target. My sole purpose for going was to buy this butterfly tent for $25.49. I just about did back flips when I saw it was on clearance for $12.74. SCORE!





(Notice the pink potty in this picture. That's about all it's used for - a stool)


It's awesome and Shorty loves it. The big butterfly that velcro's on the side of the tent has elastic on it, so Shorty put it on and she keeps repeating, I'm a butterfly. It's got a little butterfly suspended on the inside of it that she keeps batting around like she's a cat!


They also have these shark tents on clearance for $12.74.

ABC Buttons


I read about these over at MightyJunior.

They're nine-hole buttons. You can use them to make letters. The only place I can find them is Contor Design - which is in another language.

Cool idea. Maybe they'll become available here in the US pretty soon - or you can try to make some yourself. I have no idea how because I'm not crafty like that!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Free Printable Mini Books For Children

I found this website a couple of years ago. It's called DLTK's Crafts for Kids.

DLTK's Crafts for Kids features a variety of fun, printable children's crafts, coloring pages and more including projects for holidays, educational themes and some of our children's favorite cartoon characters.

My favorite part of this website is the printable books section.

My New Favorite Big-Kid Cup


I bought a two-pack of these yesterday at Walmart (my home away from home). Kind of sad on my part to call Walmart my home away from home. It would probably make me feel better if my home away from home was, say, Neiman's or something like that. But you've got to play with the cards you are dealt, and I was dealt Walmart cards - heh! That sounds so bad, doesn't it? I think I'm happier being dealt Walmart cards - makes me more humble.

So let me get off that soapbox a minute and step onto this other one. These cups are three pieces: the lid, the cup, and the valve. The valve is very easy to insert and very, very easy to remove. The cup seems large. I don't have to fill Shorty's cup as much as I normally do. Seems to keep the liquid inside pretty cold. I think I paid close to $7 to for a package of two. And, hey, they're BPA free. What more could you ask for?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cracked's 20 Baby Products Great For Traumatizing Infants


First off, I'm floored that Ohdeedoh actually posted something about this. I don't know why. I guess because Ohdeedoh is normally all about artsy-fartsy stuff and not so much funny stuff.

Anyway, go to Cracked.com and check these out. They're hilarious.

Swimming neck ring? What in the world were they thinking?

Gerber Lil' Snackin' Bowl


Along the same line as the bowl listed below, here is the Gerber Lil' Snackin' Bowl. While I haven't ever tried the Loopa Bowl, I have tried these.

These seem to work pretty good. But somehow or another, Shorty managed to get some of whatever was inside the bowl onto the floor or table or whatever.


$3.99 for a 2-pack at Diapers.com

Loopa Spill-Resistant Bowl



I read about this over at Ohdeedoh.

It's the Loopa Spill-Resistant Bowl.

From Bed Bath & Beyond:
Spill-resistant bowl keeps your little one's dry foods and snacks in the bowl where they belong. With revolutionary spill-resistant technology, inner bowls rotate to keep food in place and off your floors. Dishwasher safe.

You can get it at Bed Bath & Beyond for $7.99 or One Step Ahead for $8.95.

Potty Monkey


I read about this over on Presurfer.

From the Stupid.com website:
Potty Monkey begins with an adorable, 15" stuffed monkey in a diaper and underwear. But inside this cuddly exterior, lurks sophisticated technology designed to teach children how to use the toilet.

A timer of some sort is built into the Potty Monkey. Every 30 minutes (or 90 minutes, if you choose), the Monkey will say, "I need to go potty. Let's go potty." When you do the right thing and place him on his plastic toilet, the Monkey will say all sorts of things. For instance, he might say, "I feel proud of myself when I pee-pee and poo-poo on the potty." Or, "I really like to let the pee-pee out of my tummy. It feels so much better now." Our favorite is when he sings a silly song based on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star -- "Tinkle, tinkle, and poo-poo. I feel better how 'bout you?"

But let's back up and suppose you DON'T put him on the potty when he asks. The longer you ignore him, the more he pleads. "I really need to go potty! Let's go potty!!" And if you are callous enough to ignore him again, he says, "Hey, take me to the potty now or I'll have an accident!" And if you wait much longer, "Oh no! I had an accident! Please take me to the potty next time."

This product sounds too cool. If Shorty wasn't already potty trained, I'd have already ordered one. They're $29.99 at Stupid.com. Woah, just found him for $25.00 over at PottyMD.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Weight, Weight, Go Away

I guess if you read my other blog, Shelley's Snippets, you'll know that I posted a link to a website called WeightView. Has anyone tried that yet? I haven't. I am going to though - just as soon as I get my courage up to look at a full-length picture of myself.

I've never been Miss Fitness, but most of my life I've been somewhat in shape. That is until after I had our daughter - and that was, what? Almost three years ago. Ha! I always thought it was crazy when a woman would say, I've got to lose all this baby fat and their kid was, like, 10 years old. Of course that was pre-kid thinking on my part.

I think my problem is I got fired when I was five months' pregnant with Shorty - fired for no reason whatsoever other than the fact I was pregnant. I filed a lawsuit against my former employer and we settled out of court. But anyway I was so, so, so depressed after getting fired. I ate and ate and ate. I think I gained 50 pounds or so. I know - completely insane. But it's been nearly three years now and I have no excuses.

I went to the grocery store last week and I bought all low-fat stuff. I tried to find things to cook that everyone would like. I knew Shorty wouldn't like any of it and Big Daddy is so very picky. So I cooked baked chicken and frozen green beans and carrots last night. It was gross. Big Daddy says, "You're killing me with this low-fat business." First off, I burnt the chicken. Let's face it folks, I'm not used to cooking yard bird. The green beans were totally gross and the carrots - well, I just don't like carrots that much.

There's lots of frozen dinners that are low-fat, but I don't want to feed my family TV dinners every night. Does anyone know of any great low fat recipes that picky people will eat and actually like? I guess I should say that Big Daddy and I both will absolutely not eat chicken off the bone. Yeah, we're weird like that. And there's lots of other things that we don't like. We're not big vegetable eaters.

If you've got any good low-fat recipes, shoot me an email and let me know. Me and my waistline would appreciate it.

iamnachomama@gmail.com

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Review: Sippy Cups

Sippy cups come in all shapes and sizes. I think I've tried them all. You've got some that have two pieces: the cup and the lid. Then you've got some with three pieces: the cup, the lid, and some kind of plastic that makes the cup spill proof. You got some that have four or five pieces: the cup, the lid, the plastic spill proof thing, the straw, the other straw, etc.

I've bought a couple at Wal-Mart before that have a cup and a lid and the straw is built into the cup. Don't buy these. They're only like $1 a piece, but they're not worth it. For some odd reason, whatever liquid is in the cup will "spit" out the straw. You could fill this halfway up with water and sit it on a table and leave it alone and you'll come back to the cup sitting in a huge puddle of water.






Then you've got The First Years insulated cups. These are the kind of cups that just come with the cup and the lid. I think Shorty has about 4 of these. These are nice because they're only two pieces. And no matter what you do with them, they don't leak at all. I have to say, I've tried these before (tried to drink out of them) and I promise you, I thought my eyeballs were going to pop out because it was sooooo hard to suck the juice out of it. Also, the cup doesn't hold a lot of liquid.






Then you've got the Playtex The Insulator Spill-Proof cup. These are three pieces: the cup, the lid and the plastic thingy that makes it spill proof. These cups I think hold more liquid that The First Years, but they're definitely easier to drink from.








I have to say that out of the three options I've listed above (I've got them all in my cabinets), in the morning when I go to pour Shorty's juice, I always grab the Playtex Insulator cups; that is, if they're clean.

Do you know of any other bigger toddler cups that I should try? Send me an email and let me know and I'll give it a shot.

iamnachomama@gmail.com

Review: Boon Potty Bench
















First off, let me start off by saying I actually did not purchase this potty bench. I won it from the wonderful guys over at DadLabs. And, boy, am I glad I did.

My daughter, Maddie (aka Shorty), started off potty training on this:

















It's the Summer Infant All-In-One Potty Seat & Step Stool. I bought it at Amazon for $12.99.

The pink potty serves its purpose, I guess. That is if your kid's hiney doesn't look like a hose. Those are Shorty's words, not mine. My husband (aka Big Daddy) thought something was wrong with Shorty because her tee-tee went shooting out in front of the potty.

In steps the Boon Potty Bench. Oh, Lord, thank you for Boon and their wonderful "deflector" on their potty bench. Big Daddy calls it "the potato". I have no idea why other than the fact he thinks it looks like a potato. But it does its job and deflects tee-tee right and left and straight on in the middle and sideways and up and down and all around.

I'll give you a breakdown of positives and negatives of the Boon Potty Bench and the Pink Potty as I call it:

Boon Potty Bench
Positives:
* Deflector, deflector, deflector - I love me some deflector
* Larger capacity bowl drawer, pee-pee, shoo-wee holder thingy (less splashing of the pee-pee)
* Two compartments - one to store toilet paper and one to store whatever. You might think it's crazy to let a toddler have their own toilet paper holder, but all you've got to do is just give them part of a roll. I've had no problems with Shorty and her toilet paper use - not yet anyway.

This can't really be considered a negative, but thought I'd include this: the bench is kind of heavy. Too heavy for your toddler to move around. That could be a positive thing.

Pink Potty
Positives:
* Cheap
* Your toddler can easily move it around and use it as a step stool

Negatives
* Your toddler can easily move it around and use it as a step stool (notice the catch-22 there or whatever you call it?)
* You have to lift the seat up to get the bowl to dump it. My daughter has pinched her finger between the seat and bottom of the potty before.


My suggestion:
Spend the extra money on the Boon Potty Bench. And also buy your kid a cheap step stool that they can easily move around. I don't know why they combine potties and step stools anyway.

Welcome To I Am Nacho Mama

Hi y'all. You might know me as Shelley or Half-Redneck from Shelley's Snippets. I thought I'd try my hand at a new blog that focuses on products for kids and weary mothers and/or weary fathers. I know, I know there's 50,000 million other blogs out there that focus on the same thing. How will mine be different? I have no idea, but I'm going to give it a shot.

I'll be writing honest reviews about some products I've tried since our daughter was born back in October of 2005. These are all products we've purchased (unless someone wants to send me something to try and write a review about - hint, hint). I'm also going to try to focus on fun things to do with your little shorties, link to neat websites, cool products - you get my drift.

So strap yourself down and hold on, it's going to be a heckuva ride.