Thursday, September 30, 2010

Three Thinkingest Thursday Thoughts

Why do we spend all year teaching our children to "be comfortable being yourself" and then spend an entire month helping them plan a costume so they can show the world they are someone else entirely? I have to confess, I never really "got" Halloween. But my kids love it so much, and since I love them...

Beauty and the Beast is coming out on BluRay! I don't have a BluRay player (sigh, one day!) but just having the commercials on the TV is exciting. I love that movie! Something about scarred or monstrous man, tamed by a strong woman's love is inspiring.

Bogey played his first round of golf from the regulation tee boxes yesterday. A course he'd never seen before, from distances ranging 150 yards to 300 yards per hole, and shot 66 over 12 holes (they stopped early, b/c he's still just a little guy!). That's comparable to the winning score turned in by this year's Junior Champion (who is several years older) for our state. Yay Bogey, if he keeps it up, I may have to start calling him Birdie instead!

Fisher Price Recalls tons of toys!

I normally don't like to post anything negative or "downer" in nature, because that's not the tone I want for this blog. However, since most of us are parents, and I don't know of ANY parents who don't own dozens of Fisher Price toys, I feel like it's important to make sure the word gets out.

Most recalls seem to be for silly issues (you didn't know you shouldn't leave baby sitting in a foam seat with no safety straps on your kitchen counter, really?) sometimes the safety issues are so universal that everyone needs to know about them as soon as possible. Choking hazards, sharp points that cut, etc, these are all serious concerns. I am impressed (as usual) with Fisher Price's reasonable and responsible handling of this latest recall.

I know I'll be searching through our toy room this morning, and hope you'll take the time to do so as well.

ABC Coverage of Recall

The above news story includes a list of toys affected by the recall.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Implicit Trust

I took Keep and Dare with me to the Apple store the other day to hand off my macbook (it's fixed now and waiting for me to pick it up tomorrow, yay!) and we had to take the interstate and several other high-volume streets to get there. At one point, while doing 65 on the interstate, a semi truck pulling a lquid trailer (gas, I'm assuming based on the logo) swerved into my lane enough to scared the peewiddle out of me. I immediately braked our vehicle and checked the lane beside me for clearance before swiftly abandoning my lane for the one next over.

My hands trembled, cold prickly sweat beaded in my armpits, and my breath began to rasp in and out of my chest in hard adreneline filled gasps. Although our vehicle is no mini-cooper, it's definitely not armored enough to withstand being bulldozed by an 18 wheeler. Seconds passed as we throttled along the interstate in our new lane.

In the backseat, Dare continued to babble his toddler language. Keep, her head buried in the book she's currently devouring (She's deep into this year's Golden Sower nominees) was oblivious to the near miss. I cast my gaze into the rearview and found myself even more shaken than before. My precious children, 2 of my 3, so close to catastrophe and they didn't even realize it.

Our children trust us with their lives a hundred thousand times over the course of their childhood. Without hesitation they believe we will protect them from any and all harm. It's a heavy obligation, and definitely one I never contemplated before I became a mother. I worried about plenty of things back then, but it never hit me so hard as it did the other day just how awesome of a duty we have as mothers (and fathers!).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Three Thinkingest Thursday Thoughts

Having my macbook in the shop is making me crazy. I'm spending endless amounts of time (which I can't afford to spare) sitting on the apple homepage browsing products I think I need to get to replace my macbook, even though it's still under warranty and getting great care.

I wish Dinosaur Train on PBS (which is Dare's favorite show) had more songs. I'd love to get a PBS kid's songs cd for in the car with all the tunes he loves.

Christmas is something like 100 days away and I have purchased only 2 presents. This is so completely unacceptable it's not funny. I need ideas and advice for great gifts this year!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Computer woes!

Both of my computers have been down this past week, so I've been unable to post. Just getting the work done for clients has taken longer than it should because I've been forced to use the kid's antiquated desktop (wow, perhaps it's time to upgrade them this Christmas!).

I've an appointment at the Genius Bar Wednesday though, so I should be back up and running pronto. Hopefully in time for some adorable Wordless Wednesday pics I had planned!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Three Thinkingest Thursday Thoughts

Why is the size of the temper so dramatically opposite than the size of the child? Dare is the most ornery and determined little cuss I've ever been around!

Parents who come to restaurants and expect their children to be entertained by the waitress are morons. Further, those who demand the waitress read their minds in order to divine what the child sitting next to its parent wants are beyond morons, they are offensive ingrates who don't deserve to dine out.

I wonder if people in other industries have the same problems as attorneys. Everyone has "this problem" that they want your free initial consult on. Then, when it's time to pony up that retainer, they have a million and one reasons to delay. Look, either you want my representation, or you don't. Either way, my kids gotta eat. So either step up to the plate or get outta the batter's box, cuz I gotta keep this hot streak going! Does that happen to doctors? People suddenly feel less frantic to be seen once the doctor confirms it's poison oak and not rabid skin eating infectious staph after being accosted in the bike helmet aisle at the Supertarget?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Golf dominates my house.

Between my husband's round-the-clock all golf all the time personality, and Bogey's developing passion, I'm drowning in golf! Today, Bogey spend his after school time trying to teach Dare how to hold a club "properly." Best he got for his efforts was a welt on his jaw from Dare belting him with a plastic ball.

Last year for Christmas, Bogey got his first set of true "golfer's golf clubs." A junior's set of Nike Tiger Woods clubs. The set (TW Black) came with a stand bag, a driver, a 5, 7, and 9 iron, a sand wedge, and a putter. The set even included a small box of Nike juniors balls.

We ordered a set that we thought would be a little long for Bogey, but we wanted something for him to grow into, and these clubs fit the bill. Even better, he'd been swinging Keep's Calloway driver whenever he could sneak it out of her bag, and we knew he liked to swing with an exaggerated over extension,  much like you would see from a John Daly style power driver.

When Bogey opened the box, he immediately began to strap the backpack style straps of the stand bag over each shoulder and march around the room in pride. Come Spring, all he wanted to do was hit the range.

Hitting an iron at the range

Teeing it up with a Nationwide Tour Player at Kid's Day.

He even won the 3 hole junior championship at the club where he played junior golf this summer! Golf was an addiction over the summer for Bogey, he'd beg to practice in the 100 degree heat. We had to push him to come inside for hydration and relief from the sun!

These clubs are definitely made for kids who are serious about golfing, but they're also a great "first set." Bogey's had various clubs since his first plastic toy set as a toddler. He's even had several individual Nike clubs of the variety sold by mass retailers. The Tour Blacks though, feature the technology and capabilities of the adults version, only on a scale that fits the young golfer. They are well balanced and definitely not simply cut-down versions of adult clubs. They do have the attention to detail we have come to expect from Nike clubs though!

Bogey hit these all summer long, on average 5 days a week, and they are still in excellent condition. They resisted scratches and nicks, held their straight shafts, and the grips are still in great shape. Best of all? They are a hundred dollars cheaper than they were last year! The price is so good I'm considering buying the smallest set for Dare now, so he'll have them in 2 years when he's ready for his first set of preschool clubs.

The Golf Warehouse is where we order our junior golf gear, and it's where I've found the set on super-sale this season. Christmas shopping for your little athlete? Think golf, the sport of gentlemen!

(This post is not a Sponsored review. I have no affiliation with Nike or TGW. These are just my opinions and experience).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Three Thinkest Thursday Thoughts

If cats learn instinctively to use a single litter box to do their business, why can my dogs not master the ability to do theirs in the whole of the backyard, rather than on my kitchen floor?

Netflix through the wii is changing my life. Constantly having movies, shows, and series programs available whenever I want them (and on my mac too!) is just about as awesome as it gets.

"Billable hours" and "reality hours" are two completely separate realities. Either way ya look at it though, I'm working way too many of both!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Class Mom, Esquire (Classroom Party Planning)

When I first started law school, one of my biggest concerns was that I couldn’t allow the rigors of my courses (plus all the work of internships, externships, club leadership, and networking!) deprive my kids of their mom. Fortunately, I have a great husband who is very involved in the day-to-day work of child raising, but I didn’t want to become a sidelines mom.

One thing that I was determined to continue was being an active part of my kid’s school. To that end, I’ve always been one of the first parents contacted to plan holiday classroom parties. I’m going to brag a little, and tell you that my parties, especially the Fall Halloween parties, are awesome.

When planning a classroom Halloween party, I believe in choosing a theme that’s not got a ghosts and goblins feel to it, because lots of kids come from families that don’t permit that stuff. Instead, we’ve done a Pirate Plunder party, a Rockstar Gala, and most recently, a Mad Scientist party.

For the Mad Scientist party, instead of playing games and doing crafts (2 of the features of the “guidebook” given by our school to help plan), we did wacky experiments. Here’s my list of Experiments, in case you’re thinking of planning one like ours!

1, Make Oobleck! Simply by mixing cornstarch and water, kids can create a messy sticky concoction that is a solid when poked, yet a liquid when held. If you hit up a restaurant supply store for “to go ramekins” as a donation, you can send each kiddo home with some Oobleck of their own!*

2, Design Lavalamps. We saved empty water bottles for a few weeks so each child would have their own. On the day of the party, each child filled their bottle with water, 1 cup vegetable oil, a couple drops of food coloring, and 2 Alka-Seltzer tablets. The fizzing of the tablets in the water causes the heavier oil to move and glob much like a lavalamp, and the coloring sticks to the oil, rather than mixing with the water.

3, The legendary Mentos Fountain! Use a 2 liter of Diet Coke, a roll of mint flavored mentos, and let ‘er rip! We explored whether we got a better fountain if we used a loose paper funnel to get the candy in the bottle faster, if we could get a second eruption by capping and shaking the bottle, and what the soda tasted like afterwards. This is an experiment to take them outdoors for!

4, The magic of Tribolumenescence. For this, you’ll need to bring a couple heavy blankets to create some darkness. Allow 3 kids at a time to cover up with the blanket. When it’s their turn, the child should put a piece of Wint-O-Green Lifesaver into his or her mouth and bit down with strength. If they perform the bite without getting a whole lot of spit on the candy first, the friction of their teeth against the candy will emit a burst of green light. A spark from candy!

5, Pop-Rock exploration. We gave each kiddo a packet of pop rocks to explore the sounds, texture, and sensation. Did they pop louder with an open mouth, or tight-lips? What happens if you chew them? Put them under your tongue? Etc.

A lot of the experiments could be done using ingredients bought in bulk at Sam’s Club, and some you can ask for as donations from restaurants or restaurant supply companies. Our final activity was to decorate sugar cookies in the shape of beakers, as well as to send them home with treat bags filled with wacky candy donated by parents who couldn’t attend to help. In all, a successful party that had kids from all the other classes talking, and parents pleased that all the kids could participate!

Now I just have to come up with a theme for this year to top last year! This post is linked up to the Back to School Blog Tour! For more information, or to join in, check out Living My Moment or The Work at Home Woman.

* To go ramekins are those little plastic cups with a lid that you will get a serving of sauce in when you're getting a doggie bag at a restaurant. IE, a to go side of ranch dressing. Hope that clarifies!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Holiday Planning and Advice Request

This year has been filled with setting up a law firm, working as much as possible on law-related projects and cases, as well as working this part-time gig as a waitress. Because of all the expenses of becoming a business owner, I'm looking for ways to save on Christmas gifts for the kids. All 3 of them still believe in Santa, so I know I need to sock away enough of the green stuff to find great Santa gifts. And of course, it'd be nice to give them each a nice gift from mom and dad!

One thing I've perfected over the years is making delicious homemade gifts for friends and extended family. We make tons of cookies, candy, and even chocolate truffles and meltaways. This year will be no different, and I'm already scouting out what gifts we'll be making. In addition, last year we realized how much we could save by filling stockings with toiletries and stuff the kids need anyway. They enjoyed getting special/fun bathroom supplies, and we knocked out two needs (stockings and soaps) in one shot!

With that said, I'm interested in hearing any tips you all have for earning the rebates and giftcards that can help reduce the cost of the Holiday gift buying for kids season. How do YOU earn extra rewards and giftcards? Where do you find great low-entry contests for older kids toys and clothes?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Three Thinkingest Thursday Thoughts

When you're an uptight diner who is condescending to your waitress, and you head out to the parking lot to find a parking ticket, your karma has been well earned.

Schools that have fundraisers every 2 or 3 weeks are making me crazy. While I place a high value on all the extras our school has, I'm up to my eyeballs in cookie dough! Not that I'm complaining, per se, but my waistline is!

There's a special place in the afterlife for designers of adorable fancy socks. Especially those who design argyle ones. Because I love argyle. Seriously. Love argyle.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Courtesy Flush and Our Education System.

We send our kids to school to learn reading and writing and....

Courtesy Flushes?

Yup. That's what Bogey came home from school today talking about. So now, in addition to a crossing guard who won't let us enter a room from a hallway without having her there to approve the safety, we've got the toilet police.

Remind me again why I thought motherhood was so glamorous?