Thursday, February 21, 2013

You Ate Cereal Today!

Today, you dragged the crock pot
to the patio!
I am happy to say I filled out a baby book for Liam. It's not complete, but I did my best to write on most every page. There's one child who won't need therapy! Baby #2 is another story. I'm the second born and I remember the day I found my sister's baby book. I found a second book right under it and started thumbing through, excited to read what my parents wrote about my first months of life. Alas... the book was for the dog.

I'm not bitter though...

I have always struggled with journaling on a consistent basis, so I knew that any kind of record-keeping for my children would probably face the same fate. Then I heard of a neat idea. A way to "journal" some of the special moments in a 21st century kind-of-way. Create an email account for your child and email him or her when you want to share something special. Then on a particular birthday, you give them the username and password. They get to peruse the emails you've been sending them over the years and laugh, cry or blush. I know, I know. Who knows if that particular email provider will be around in say, 16 years when you give your child this "gift" but it's worth a shot, right?

I love this because, thanks to my phone, I can email Liam at a moment's notice with a special thought or message of love. It also makes me send him more "minor" things and I think those emails are the ones that will really mean something special. He won't just know when he got his first tooth or what his first few words were, he'll also know, for example, that on February 20th, 2013 he ate cereal with milk for the first time! He's eaten dry cereal before, but this was the first bowl, spoon, cereal & milk event. It was Honey Nut Cheerios (yes, I should have opted for regular Cheerios) and he got to drink the milk afterwards too. He LOVED the milk! I love that I will be able to share how I'm feeling about his special moments, too. Anxiety over his first day of school or excitement in the lead up to his First Holy Communion. It's a great way to share how God is leading you in your parenting. You can even share what prayers you've said over the years.

If your child is already 7 or 10 or 15 years old, start this anyway. It will mean something to them. I guarantee it!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Observing Lent with the Kiddos

I'm still alive! These past two weeks have been hectic, so the Mom Squad Blog has taken a back seat. I wish I could have posted about Lent last week at this time, but alas, better late than never, right?

Our kids are so bombarded with eggs, bunnies, chickies, candy and a regurgitation of pastels on Easter that it can feel like we're fighting a losing battle to preserve this holiest of holy days as an actual holy day! We have a secret weapon though- LENT!  We have 40 days to prepare their little hearts and minds for what we are really celebrating on that glorious Sunday.

Here are a ton of ideas on how to make Lent more interactive for the kids. Again, I wish I would've posted these a week ago. I hate starting a few days in. It makes it feel like cheating, BUT when Easter rolls around, the blessings and graces will surely be the same, even if we missed a couple of days.

My favorite ideas from

The Lenten Countdown Calendar - It's like a Christian Candy Land!
Stations of the Cross Eggs - The Stations of the Cross have always been one of my favorite parts of Lent. So beautiful!
Almsgiving Craft - A good way for the kids to save up $4.00 to give to the poor.

And if you're not Catholic, don't sweat it! These activities are perfect for any Christian family that wants to make this season of Lent 40 days of drawing closer to Jesus.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Did you FF?

The DVR is one of my favorite pieces of modern technology. I love recording shows and skipping commercials or flipping away for a few minutes and being able to rewind when I come back late. Neither my husband nor I had a vested interest in either team in last night's game, so we watched mostly for the commercials. Some of them were pretty clever and some were, in my opinion, a waste of big dollars. Here and there though, was a commercial that I'd be red-faced to watch in front of my parents.

The first ones that come to mind are the GoDaddy make-out commercial, and for once, instead of a half-dressed woman, we saw a Calvin Klein ad with a lot of man without a lot of clothing.

Then came the half-time show. I'm not gonna lie, I'll sing along with Single Ladies till I'm outta breath, but why did Beyonce have to be nearly-bare from the waist down? I know that's kinda her thing, but can we not reach an agreement socially that when it's a "family event" that we raise the taste level a notch?

On a bright note, Jennifer Hudson looked the best she ever has and sang beautifully.

Did you fast-forward through any commercials or the half-time show (or wish you could have)? And more importantly, what kinds of comments did you get from your kids if they saw those ads?

The truth is, we want to see the commercials. We want to know what people are talking about the next day. So how do we not hide our eyes from these pop culture moments, but still have the right answers when our kids ask, "Mom, where are her pants?" Budget cuts?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Quittin' Time!

I was a thumb-sucker. Big time. I didn't quit the habit until I was 12'ish. I can't really recall what made me finally "just say no". I'm pretty sure I just grew out of it (took long enough). I remember being at slumber parties and working some strategy to lay at the end of the row of sleeping bags so I could be hidden. If I was between two friends, I had no protection!

I saw this silly "Thumb Sucker" and, while it's not being marketing as a tool to curb thumb-sucking, it got me thinking about all the things my parents tried on me. Tabasco, vanilla, band-aids... threats of me having to get a part-time job to pay for braces (praise the Lord for child-labor laws!).

What worked for you and your kids?