The Good, The Bad, and The Hilarious of Parenting

Hoping For A Snow Day? 5 Snow Day Magic Tricks To Make It Happen.

Come read about it on my new site: www.whatsupyournose.com

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American Girl Doll Party At The Local Library

Come read about it at my new site: www.whatsupyournose.com

Thanks for your support.

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Moved To Self-Hosting Site — whatsupyournose.com

I have had an amazing time learning how to blog at wordpress and have decided to continue with my blog but on a self-hosted site which will give me more control.  I do hope that you will visit my parenting blog at whatsupyournose.com

I would love your continued support, comments, ideas, and suggestions.  See you there!


Summer Bucket List Update #3

A few weeks back I created a Summer Bucket List.  My hope was to slow down and enjoy this amazing time of year.  I wanted to give you an update —

Well, I tackled #3. Get My Faith Tattoo — I have a tattoo for the birth of my oldest daughter and now it is time for my to get one for my youngest daughter! And here it is: Tattoo on wrist done in black with Hebrew 11:1, the infinity sign, and the word faith.

This also ties in with #8. Make Sure To Do Something Just For Me — Right now I am leaning towards getting a pedi and also, hanging out by the pool without anyone around to watch! I have been wanting this tat for a while so it fits #8.

So far this summer I have completed #3 Get My Faith Tattoo, #6 Have A Cookout, #7 Make Something (kind of — I am just not very good at making things.  I do have another project in the works), #8 Make Sure To Do Something Just For Me, and #9 Eat Outside As Much As Possible.  Not bad!

Let me know how you are enjoying your summer!

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1 Step To Prevent Allergies

Allergies are no joke.  That beautiful green grass, those lush fragrant flowers, and not to mention a half dozen other triggers that send you into a tornado of sneezing, puffy eyes, and runny nose are easily enjoyed by other, but millions of people suffer from allergies.  I suffer horribly from allergies including headaches, scratchy and swollen eyes, runny nose, and just plain miserable feeling.  My allergies usually trigger my asthma as well.  I have done the shots and that helped a lot, but now I rely mainly on avoiding triggers and benadryl.

Just like my grape juice preventive, my step to prevent allergies has not been proven through peer-reviewed scientific studies, and I am not a doctor.  However, there is anecdotal evidence that suggest if you eat 1 tablespoon of local honey a day to battle allergies you can decrease the severity and frequency of allergic episodes.  That’s it!

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local honey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is thought that it works like a vaccine.  The idea is by eating a tablespoon of local honey a day gradually vaccinates the bodies against allergens.  This is a process called immunotherapy.   The honey has to be LOCAL!!  When I say local, I mean within a few miles of your house.  The closer the better because you will share the same type of plants.  It would be useless to try and treat your allergies in Maryland with honey from Mississippi.  By introducing the pollen spores from local plants into the body in small amounts by eating honey, the body  should become accustomed to the spores presence and decrease the chance of an immune system response.

It is important to note that bees don’t use all of the items that cause allergies.  Trees, grass, and weeds are not covered by this honey theory.  Also, honey itself can cause problems.  NEVER GIVE HONEY TO A CHILD YOUNGER THAN 2 because it can cause botulism which can be very serious.  Also, people do have allergies to honey, and finally, remember that honey has bacteria in it as well. 

So, weigh your options and decide if using honey to prevent allergies is a good option for you.


1 Step To Prevent The Stomach Bug

Cleaning puke has to be the worst task a mother has to do.  Well, maybe there are a few others, but cleaning puke ranks right up there at the top.  However, the other day as I trolled the internet I read that drinking a glass of 100% grape juice a day can prevent the stomach bug!  Key word here — PREVENTIVE.  If you give it to someone who already has the stomach bug, you will be cleaning up purple puke!

So, your 1 step to preventing the stomach bug is GRAPE JUICE!

Now let’s explore this idea a bit more. 

  1. I am not a doctor, and I have not been able to find any science to actually back this up, but I have read several testimonies by “real” moms (opposed to the fake moms) that says it works.  I also read that it is the acidic level that prevents the stomach bug from surviving in the digestive tract. 
  2. The grape juice has to be 100% not a juice cocktail.  There was some mention of cranberry juice working too which is also great for those pesky UTIs.  It is recommend Welch’s 100% grape juice not the essiential or the calcuim fortified or the light or the white —  just straight grape juice!  I guess this could be a marketing ploy by Welch’s, but hey, if it works, I am all for it. 
  3. The recommendation is one glass daily until you start to hear the rumor that the stomach bug is going around and then up it to three glasses a day.  DO NOT GIVE IT TO SOMEONE THAT HAS THE STOMACH BUG ALREADY!
  4. Yes, grape juice has a lot of calories in it.  However, if you drink one glass a day at breakfast, it is a great way to start the day and you can find other places to cut a few calories.  I recommend eating a cup of yogurt each day too since it has probiotics which are also good for the gut and cutting out that cheeseburger for lunch.   Just a suggestion.

Well, I hope this tip works for you and your family and you remain bug free!!


Summer Bucket List Update #2

A few weeks back I created a Summer Bucket List.  My hope was to slow down and enjoy this amazing time of year.  I wanted to give you an update —

I have been moving a bit slower on tackling my summer bucket list, but I am still making progress and enjoying it.  This week I focused on #8. Make Sure To Do Something Just For Me — Right now I am leaning towards getting a pedi and also, hanging out by the pool without anyone around to watch!  

I did get that pedi with my oldest daughter, K, who just recently returned from a trip to Italy and Greece.  However, my biggest accomplishment towards tackling #8 is in the picture below:

 Do you see that?  A beautiful slice of Chocolate Silk Cake and my new hardwood floors (Thanks Terry) and my new TV with Netflix waiting for me to select any show I want.  Of course, you see that — it is what you don’t see that matters!!  No kids or husband.  No one yelling for a bite of my delicious cake that I bought all for me.  No one fussing about what to watch on the tv!!  Listen!  Do you hear it?  That is right — NOTHING!!  It was just me, myself, and I — I ate that entire slice of cake and watched some trashy movie that I don’t even remember the name of, and I enjoyed every minute of it!  GOOD FOR ME!!
You should try a little peace and quiet and some self-indulgence.  You might just like it!

The Chore Tub — End The Trail Of Toys Left Around the House!

If I find one more Barbie, baby doll, game, book, coloring book, etc left laying around the house, it becomes mine until they earn it back.  No more yelling, screaming, kicking the cat, or pulling my hair out.  What a great idea.  Get a tub or basket and let the kiddos (and husband) know that if they leave their toys around the house that you put them in the tub until they complete a chore to earn it back.  If after a month, they haven’t earned their toy back I donate it to a local charity.  Problem solved:  kids (husband) learn a little bit of responsibility; I get some payback, and life is good.  Give it a try!


“AHHH Mom! No TV! What Will I Do Now?” — 10 Things To Do Besides Watch TV

In a past post about  the movie Gifted Hands, I discussed how much Ben Carsons’ mother, Sonya Carson, inspired me.  She set very clear boundaries for her two boys, and she held them to the highest standards.  Of course, the children didn’t like it at the time; however, it paid off because one became the world’s best neurosurgion and the other became an engineer.  Their mother’s determination and focus played a major role in their success.

One of her rules only allowed her boys to watch 2 pre-selected TV shows a week.  Their free time was filled with reading!  I have compiled a list of 10 activities we can have our kids do other than watch tv.

1) READ — You knew this had to be number one on the least for several reasons.  1) I am an English teacher. 2) Sonya Carson made her boys read. 3) Reading is an amazing skill that will impact you in numerous ways.  Want to find ways to encourage your children to read?  Check out this post.

2) GET CREATIVE — Encourage your children’s imagination with some great activities such as puppet shows, scrapbooking, or play dough.  This is a great opportunity to find activities that interest your child and maybe discover a new talent.  And yes, this means you have to get off the TV and computers too!  Remember lead by example!

3) GET ACTIVE — Burn some energy and develop some muscle!  This is another great opportunity to share a sport that you love or develop talents of your child.  You can do something as simple as go for a walk or a bike ride or something more complicated as get a neighborhood kickball game going.  Whatever you do make it fun!

4) VOLUNTEER – I deeply regret that I didn’t get my oldest daughter more involved with volunteer opportunities when she was younger.  Volunteering is not only a terrific way for kids to get out, but it also teaches them about service and helping others as well. There are lots of agencies that would be happy to have children volunteer, provided an adult comes along too. Suggestions include Meals on Wheels, local nursing homes, local library, and I know there are many others.

5) TAKE A FIELD TRIP — I am sure there are some amazing places for you to visit with your children right in your town.  A local park, a museum, or a local garden/farm are great suggestions.  This summer I plan to take Fa to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  The exposure helps young people broaden their horizons and see life from different perspectives.

6) CELEBRATE — I think we should celebrate more!  Celebrate what you say?  Well, how about the “UNbirthday” party?  Or have a party because it is Tuesday?  Or celebrate the fact that it is July?  I don’t know — just party like it is 1999.  Turn on some music dance, play party games, and eat cake (that you baked together of course)!

7) PLAY A GAME — There are a million games to play, and there are so many skills that children learn when playing games, and they don’t even know they are learning something!  Play “I Spy”, hide and go seek, charades, Simon Says, flashlight tag, and don’t forget the countless board games and card games you probably have tucked away in the closest.  My two oldest children still laugh about a game we played one time at the beach, and I acted like a pirate!  Obviously, I was a very funny pirate because they fall on the floor laughing each time someone brings it up!

8) BUILD SOMETHING — Building something is on my Summer Bucket List!  Creating something develops the very important skill of problem-solving!  You can make it as simple as building a fort in the living room or as complicated as building a tree house!  Whatever it is do it together and have fun!

9) LEARN SOMETHING NEW — “You never know until you try it.”  Let your children try new things.  Teach them how to bake, to identify the stars, or to make origami.  Who knows what you may discover.

10) BE STILL — Sound strange in this day and age when everyone is go, go, go!  Some of my favorite times were sitting under the mimosa tree with my grandparents.  We didn’t talk.  We just sat.  We were still!  It quiets the soul and is a skill that most of our children have not mastered.  Help them learn the beauty of being still.

Enjoy life!!!  Live life!!!  Don’t just watch it!!

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8 Free or Nearly Free Activities To Do With Your Kids This Summer!

Summer Session logo.

Summer Session logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What are you going to do this summer with the kids?  Gas is about $4 a gallon; theme park tickets are running about $75; Just to go to the movies can cost you about $60.  I don’t know about you, but I just don’t have that kind of money to spend on entertainment.  However, to me summer is a magical time of the year almost like Christmas.  Everybody seems to have more energy and is more excited about the potential that exist in a summer day.  I know I spend a good deal of time in May planning my summer because I want to milk each day for all it is worth!!  I even made a Summer Bucket List this year, and I have even made a little progress on it.  To help you enjoy your summer and not have to take out a loan, I have compiled a list of ideas that you maybe able to take advantage of with your kids this summer that will be easy on your pockets and still make you look like a super hero!

  •  KIDS BOWL FOR FREE ALL SUMMER LONG: Your kids can bowl for FREE all summer long. Sign your kids up to get two FREE tickets per day to your local participating bowling alley, thru the Kid’s Bowl Free Program. Tickets will not be loaded into your account until the Summer Session starts. You will get an email on Sunday each week, with all of your tickets for the week.
  • FREE BOOKS FOR KIDS AT BARNES AND NOBLES: Kids in Grades 1 thru 6, can earn a free book from Barnes & Noble . You’ll need to read any 8 books and record them in the Reading Journal. Take your completed Reading Journal  to your local B&N store and choose a free book from the selection on the Reading Journal list at the store. Some locations also have a regularly scheduled story time to participate in. This program started May 22 and ends September 4.
  • SEE MOVIES FOR FREE OR NEARLY FREE: Every summer numerous movie theathers offer a  series of kid friendly movies for cheap or free–  perfect for hot summer days. Most are in the late morning and twice a week.  A few that offer such movies are Cinemark, Regal CinemasMovieland(Bowtie) – just check your local theater’s website for information when available.
  • HOME DEPOT FREE KIDS WORKSHOPS: On the 1st Saturday of every month, the Home Depot has a workshop all set up for your kiddos to build something fun.  Visit their site to see what they have in planned.  It could be a cool organizer for your hairbows. 


  • LOWES FREE BUILD AND GROW KIDS WORKSHOP:  Every other weekend Lowe’s has a project for the kids too.  Some are held on Sundays as well as Saturdays, all the details on their website. It could be a cool Monkey Powered Plane. 
  • Free Museum and Zoo Days – Every Summer museums and zoos around the world host free days – check with your local venues and mark your calendar.  Also, several coorporations sponsor days at certain museums and zoos; members of those coorporations can get in for next to nothing.  One such coorporation is Bank of America.  Check it out!
  • MICAHAEL’S CRAFT’S:  Michael’s Crafts has a different calender every month for various craft days with the kiddos.  Some have a supply fee, some don’t.  Check with your local Michael’s.
  • Summer Reading Program crowd

    Summer Reading Program crowd (Photo credit: circulating)

    VISIT YOU LOCAL LIBRARY: Most public libraries offer a summer reading program that includes events such as story times, puppet shows, and crafts.  Sign you child up for the reading program and enjoy some free entertainments.  Not to forget that public libraries have changed drastically.  Most now offer a play area for kids, dvd checkouts, mp3 players loaded with stories, free ebooks, internet, and much more.  Don’t miss out!  We visit our library once a week at least!  And you know I had to give a plug to reading!

These are just a few ideas, but take a look at what is available in your area.  Also, fire stations and police stations welcome kids if they are notified in advance. Just act as if you are a tourist in your own town, look for special days in your area – and then mark your calender.  

Summer will be gone before you know it!

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