Saturday, June 23, 2012

Just for Fun - Baby & Kids Books Summer Reading List

I have a great friend from childhood who always gives me the best recs for kid's books. And it occurred to me that I posted MY summer reading list, so I should post one for babies and kids too!

Goodnight Moon
Runaway Bunny
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Goodnight Gorilla
Time for Bed
Hush Little Ones
Brown Bear, Brown Bear
Bear and Kite
But Not the Hippopotamus
Miss Spider's Tea Party

I Love You Stinky Face
If I Build a Car
Down by the Sea with Mr. Magee
Where the Wild Things Are
Angelina Ballerina
McElligot's Pool
The Polar Express
Miss Spider's Listening Walk
Every Friday
Diary of a Worm
Diary of a Spider
Llama Llama Red Pajama
Pout-Pout Fish
If you Give a Mouse a Cookie
Cactus Hotel
The Kissing Hand
Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy
Cat in the Hat
Nate the Great series
Arthur series
Berenstain Bears (all of them!)

Let me know your favorite books, we are always looking for new reads!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Just for Fun - Our Easy Summer (Edible) Project

I love the website  There are some incredible craft projects and AMAZING treat recipes.  I came across these adorable "edible tea cups," when the photo popped up on my Facebook News Feed.  Click here for the Mommy Wisdom Facebook Page

My older son loves these treat projects, mainly because he likes to eat the ingredients while we are prepping.

Here us our rendition.  This is the outcome when you don't locate the directions first.  Not bad considering we did some improvising!

Tell me one of your favorite treat projects.  It is raining here today, so we need some new ideas!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Just for Fun - Kids and Outdoor Play

I received this terrific guide from our preschool director entitled "A Parent's Guide to Nature Play."  It says that American kids spend 27% of their time in front of media (video games, TV, computers and music.)  I am guessing it is higher in a lot of homes!

It also says that kids spend only 15 of their time in outdoor play - and get this - that includes structured outdoor play like a soccer or baseball game.  Unstructured outdoor play amounts to 1% a week!  

And I believe it.  I have to beg my 5-year old to go play outside.  What happened to roaming around the yard, digging in the dirt or making mud pies?

This guide is 17 pages long and talks about what happened to outdoor play, why it matters and what to do about it.

I'll sum it up.  We are more urbanized, kids have longer school days, there are more dangers, and of course media.

It matters because kids need activity/to be active, it is proven to help ADHD, it helps immune systems develop properly and it teaches conservation values.

The guide goes on for several pages about what you can do as a parent.  The three key ingredients to good, old-fashioned nature play that is UNSCRUCTURED are:

1. The right kind of place: the site must have ways to discovery nature: rocks, dirt, trees, bugs, rough patches of land, etc.

2. The right kind of play:  children should initiate the play themselves, there are no rules and they play with nature not just in nature.

3. The right kind of re-play: play in nature every day, again and again.

There are even more suggestions on exactly what you can do (or not do) to your backyard.  The guide says that having an untouched mound of dirt is a GREAT thing for kids to explore.  

For much, much more, including many specific (and creative) things to do to your backyard, request a guide.  Go to

Saturday, June 9, 2012

New Baby Advice - Making Baby Food

When my first son turned 6-months old, I enthusiastically read up on making baby food.  I tried using a blender, a hand mill, and a Cuisinart.  But none of those tools made it pureed enough.  My son had major texture issues and would not eat anything I made.  In hindsight, I wish I would have just continued until he ate it.  But I was a new mom and was such a rule follower!  So I quickly went out and purchased prepared baby food - which he loved.

Fast forward five years later, to today.  My second son is 6-months old and still won't eat cereal or avocados.  I really want him to start eating other foods besides breast milk because gosh, maybe it will help him sleep through the night?!  PLEASE!!?  

So once again, this morning, I researched some more baby food making techniques and now I anxiously await him waking up!

I have steamed carrots waiting to be pureed (now I own a Magic Bullet which I hope makes the food smoother than my food processor and blender.)

And I found this terrific web site with all kinds of recipes, so I got really ambitious and just baked homemade teething biscuits.  They ended up being super easy.  TIP: I used WAY more water than suggested (1/4 cup probably four times!)


This might be the first time that I am anxious for baby to wake up from his nap!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Just for Fun - My Fave App Part V

My newest fave app is The Weather Channel app.  It is very user friendly, nice looking and has all the pertinent information that I need.  You can choose an hourly forecast, a 36-hour forecast or a 10-day forecast.

It has also helped us tremendously with my son who is thunder-obsessed.  For the last three summers, we haven't slept through a single night because if there IS thunder, he runs in to our room frantically.  But even if there isn't thunder, he would still wake up anticipating it.  We had tried everything - positive reinforcement, taking things away, and maybe some yelling.  When his pediatrician suggested that we check the weather before bed, I decided to let him check it himself on my phone.  This was a big deal for him because he typically isn't allowed to play with my phone.

Ever since we started this ritual of checking the weather, his anxiety has been tamed.  For some reason, if he knows that it might happen (it usually says "30%" chance,) he can go to sleep peacefully.  And he knows that any time he hears thunder (or sees lightning,) he can come sleep in mommy and daddy's bed.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Toddler Advice - Potty Training Potty Kit

One of my friend's is in potty training H-E-L-L right now.  After giving her a pep talk because her little girl had 7 accidents on day one, I remembered that I carried a Potty Kit everywhere we went while my son was newly sans diapers.  I took it to Target, the art museum and on the airplane when we flew to California for a wedding.  It helped tremendously - and what I mean by that is it helped my son go the bathroom in public, and it helped me be at ease during this stressful period!

Potty kit:

Washable, water-resistant, lightweight bag. Our Envirosax bag worked perfectly. Its nice to keep all of the below items in a bag while traveling. Keep it separate from your diaper bag and especially when at an airport. I would put it in my carry-on, and then grab it, take my son to the bathroom and leave the carry-on with my husband.

plastic grocery store sack (for a dirty diaper, or wet wipes, etc.)
Change of clothes and undies
Diaper (just in case!!) and wipes
Diaper cloth or wash cloth (my son peed all over a sculpture garden outside.)
Hand sanitizer
Mini toilet ring stored in a Ziploc bag (it can get gross if you are using it all day on a trip or in an airport, so keep it in a gallon-sized ziploc.)
This is the one we had, it folds into a 1/4th of the size shown –