Aug 3, 2015

Why I'm Sending My Three Year Old To Pre-K

My child is three. No way did I think this whole back-to-school thing would hit me so soon.


After encouragement from two school directors, I have decided to let Ollie start Pre-K.

You would too if your not even three-and-a-half year old came to you and said:

"We live on the planet Earth. It's in the Universe. Mommy, can you tell me about the Universe?"

Seriously. The kid said that to me.

I was speechless. Partly because that's the last thing I expected to hear come out of his mouth, and partly because I had no idea how to answer!

This was the turning point for me. There's no denying, my kid is smart. Very smart. And officially on his way to Pre-K.
Thanks to the generosity of Personalization Mall, Ollie was able to pick out a personalized backpack with matching lunch box and pencil/Hot Wheel bag

He's learning at a pace I can't keep up with. I need someone qualified to answers my kid's questions. I know I sure can't! Well, son, the Universe... Hold on, let me download something from NatGeo Kids for you...  

Jul 30, 2015

Reclaim The Heart Of Your Home In 15 Minutes... #15MinReno

**This review was made possible by iConnect and Mr. Clean. I was provided the featured product and compensations to facilitate this post, but all opinions are 100% mine.

I don't know about you, but the heart of my home, is the Kitchen. Everything that comes out of the kitchen is full of love, thought and hopefully, nourishment. Unfortunately, in order to pump out constant love and nourishment for my family, one big mess must be made. 

Especially when I have help from the wild-child toddler, or my husband. While FTD is a brilliant cook, he's not so great at cleaning up.

Being that I have a busy, demanding schedule, sometimes, I decide that the kitchen is clean enough when the sink is clear of dishes and the counters are wiped of. Needless to say, it's not. So, I have a weekly routine that I do to reclaim the heart of my home, in about fifteen minutes! 

Since buying our house a year-ago, I have drawn up grand designs for a major kitchen renovation. I mean knocking out walls, putting in a door to the backyard, new appliances... 

Oh, yes, my dreams are very big. But until that day beautiful day comes, I do my best to keep my little kitchen clean, and as functional as possible. 

A big part of my weekly routine, is deep cleaning the stove (the true heart) and cabinets.

I know, when I hear the words, "deep clean," I think of getting dirty making things clean, too. Well, not in this case, thanks to the help of my favorite house helper, Mr. Clean!

Seriously, what did moms do before Magic Erasers? The number of times those miracle little pads have removed toddler mayhem from the walls, floors and TVs, is INSANE! 

Sorry, I digress. I JUST LOVE THEM!

My stove... It's old, but very unique. It also is very large, and being that it's white, not only does it get dirty easily, it shows it! My cabinets are 1970 classics and show grime in the grossest way!

I know I say it all the time when I talk about my Kitchen reno, BUT!, who puts a vent in front of a stove?!  Talk about a pasta steam facial!

So once a week, I fill the sink with a squeeze of Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle 2x and hot water. The soap is this super cool neon green. Something about the color just screams, GRIME I'M GONNA GET YOU!


Check out my sparkly stove after a good wipe down with Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle 2x and Magic Eraser Extra Power Sponge...


Can you believe how great it works on the grime hiding under the burners??? (I cleaned all of the gunk off the burner, but I wanted you to see how insane the cleaning power is in just that one spot!)  

As if that's not enough awesomeness, it shines the chrome on my stove too! ALL IN ONE WIPE!  

I love that bald man. 

I really cannot recommend a good cabinet wash down weekly, or at least monthly. Even though it's easy to look past the grime, especially on forgiving cabinet finishes, the bacteria breeding ground is still there. Lurking... 

FYI: Here is a close up of a small squirt of the Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle 2x, allowed to penetrate for a minute, and then BOOM! one wipe with a clean Magic Eraser Extra Power, and my stove looks 1970's brand new to match my 1970's brand new cabinets!

Already thinking about your hidden grime, and how you've neglected it?  It's OK, we all do it.

TIP: Getting into a weekly routine will help make "deep" cleaning a breeze!

Want some more awesome #15MinReno ideas?  Join the Mr. Clean #15MINRENO Twitter Party with Celebrity guest, Johnathan Scott of HGTV Property Brothers!  You can win some awesome prizes too!  

Twitter Party Details:

Date: August 5th at 8pmCST 
Hashtag: #15MinReno
Celebrity Guest: Johnathan Scott of HGTV Property Brothers
Prizes: 4 Renovation Kits including multi-use screwdriver, tape measure, various Mr. Clean product and a piece of decor. 
Grand Prize: $400 GC to a Home Improvement Store

Now your turn, how has the Magic Eraser made your life easier and #15MinReno a breeze? Do you have plans for a home reno project?  Or do you need some inspiration?  Connect with Mr. Clean on Facebook and Twitter!

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Jul 29, 2015

Night Time Potty Training: Top Tips To Help You Survive With All Your Marbles

Now that my toddler (3.5 yrs old) has been potty trained for about six months, I'm starting to wonder about night training; when to start, how to do it, can I do it...

Of course, FTD, a firm believer in, "piss or get off the pot," says, "Screw the nappy, just let him piss himself a few times. He'll eventually figure it out." 

As much as I want to say, Fine! then you clean the sheets every night!, I know from prior potty training mistakes, pushing can cause HUGE issues. 

My original plan for night time potty training was to do nothing until Ollie showed signs of being ready.Which, according to everything I have read, two weeks of waking up with dry diapers.

While I have no desire to follow FTD's method of letting him free-ball the night away and hope for the best, I do think it's time that I look further into night time potty training to see if there are any top tips to get us moving in the right direction...

Pretty much every resource agreed on five things:

1. The child HAS TO BE READY- Night time potty training is more a Physiological Developmental Milestone than a learned skill. Wait until at least a week of waking with dry diapers happens before even thinking about beginning night time training.

2. Get a waterproof mattress pad, and a few disposable puppy pee pads for under the top sheet to make changing the sheets in the middle of the night less painful.  One tip recommended layering the sheets and pee pads to make multiple night accidents easy to change.

3. Limit liquids before bed.

4. Have child use the potty right before going to bed. 

5. Never shame the child for accidents. Scolding will only cause regression. And no one wants that!  

One "mom tip" I kept seeing was, "Before going to bed, wake your child up and take him/her to the potty.  Do this for 2-weeks straight, and your child will learn to do it on their own."

I'd try it, but I'm afraid I'll never get him back to sleep. The kid is as chatty as me!

Still, as much as FTD says let him pee, I say no way. The plan is to be more diligent about limiting liquids, making him pee before bed, and paying close attention to him when he wakes up. Possibly even try to check him for a dry diaper right before he wakes up. 

Sure, I'm WAY over buying diapers, but I'd much rather pee nappies than constant pee sheets!  

What's your night time potty training plan?

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Jul 28, 2015

10 Ways Toddlers And Politicians Are Alike

Between the mud-slinging, name calling, lies and full-on diarrhea mouth spewing from both sides of the presidential election, I feel like I'm watching toddlers playing together. The similarities just kept mounting. I always try to avoid talking politics, but in this case, I couldn't help myself. Below are 10 ways toddlers and politicians are alike, especially around election time...

1. They don't play well with others.

2. They like telling on people.

3. They depend on other people to clean up their messes and teach them how to behave.

4. They want to be just like mommy and daddy when they grow up.

5. They like being the center of attention.

6. They like getting dirty.

7. They're shameless.

8. They throw tantrums when they don't get their way.

9. They are constantly changing their mind.

10. You're always left wondering how much of the story to believe.

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10 Timeless Toys That Will Take You Back To Your Happy Place

*I would like to thank Tin Toy Arcade for partnering with me to create this post on timeless toys. I did receive compensation, but all opinions and toy favorites are my own!

The other day I was talking with a couple of parents about how the toys our children love, are the same ones we loved.  From My Little Pony, To Slip 'N Slides, To Cabage Patch Kids, and every other toy we buy our children that we think, If only I still had MY Strawberry Shortcake and Rainbow Bright... 

Then we started talking about the true toy classics. The toys that have spanned three and four generations, that our children still love today.
I just had to share how amazing it is that those same toys our parents and grandparents loved are in our homes today!  

Without further ado, I dedicate this Top Ten Tuesday to, 10 Timeless Toys That Will Take You Back To Your Happy Place. (Complete with history lesson about each toy's origin!)

My dad had them, my brother had them, and now my son has them. Rockem Sockem Robots were introduced by Marx Toys in the 1960's.

Seventeenth century Flemish painters show children blowing bubbles with clay pipes, which played into Generations of 18th and 19th century mothers gave their children their leftover washing soap to blow bubbles. At the beginning of the 20th century, street peddlers and pitchmen were among the first to sell bubbles as a toy. There's no denying, children for many many many more years to come will be blowing bubbles. 

One of the earliest documented jack-in-the-boxes was made by a German clock maker in the early 1500s. It was a gift for the son of a local Prince on the boy's fifth birthday. A plain wooden box with metal edges and a crank handle, it played a simple tune and the 'jack' was a comical devil with a 'leering smile'--according to a pamphlet published by the Nuremburg Toy Museum. When other nobles requested a "Devil-in-a box" for their own children, a trend took off that continues to this day. I prefer the cute monkey over the freaky clown myself.


The first flip book appeared in September, 1868, when it was patented by John Barnes Linnett under the name kineograph("moving picture"). I just colored one with my son last month. Now that's staying power! 

The iconic sock monkeys made from red-heeled socks, known today as the Rockford Red Heel, emerged at the earliest in 1932, the year the Nelson Knitting Company added the trademarked red heel to its product. FYI: The red heel of the sock, it the Monkey's Mouth!

Rubber Ducky

Talk about staying power, this little guy has been around for nearly 75-years!
Sculptor Peter Ganine created a sculpture of a duck in the 1940s, then patented it and reproduced it as a floating toy, of which over 50,000,000 were sold!


An early 1990's favorite, The Stop Rocket was invented by Fred Ramirez, President of D&L Company. Hard to believe that's 25 years ago! My Brother LOVED his, and today, Ollie is CONSTANTLY getting the rockets stuck in our trees. Thankfully a good wind or rain comes along to knock it loose!


Paul K. Guillow, a World War I U. S. Navy Aviator, took his love for flying and turned it into a timeless toy, the Balsa wood airplane!  After Charles Lindbergh's famous solo transatlantic flight in 1927, Guillow capitalized on the aeronautical craze sweeping the nation with his line line of balsa wood model kits. The first line of Guillow balsa shelf model kits consisted of twelve different World War I biplane fighters with 6 inch wing spans that retailed for 10¢ each! 

 In 1940 Richard James invented this "precompressed helical spring" toy. Seventy-Five years later, there is not a household that hasn't had one thrown down the stairs. 

And last, my personal favorite, and my son's too...


Invented in the 1970's the Fisher Price Children's music recorder, complete with five double sided records, playing children's song's 100-years old, is by far my favorite, and brings back so many wonderful memories!
Needless to say, I had to get one for my child...

All of these timeless toys, and many more can be found at the Tin Toy Arcade, enter FIRST15 to get 15% off your purchase! To shop now, click here 

How many of these do you have in your home? What is you favorite timeless classic?

*I would like to that Tin Toy Arcade for partnering with me to create this post on timeless toys. I did receive compensation, but all opinions and toy favorites are my own!
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Jul 27, 2015

'Terrible Threes' Or Not, The Kid Has LOST HIS MIND!

There is kind of this behavioral 'Ebb and Flow' with my todller. He goes through super naughty phases, then calms down a little, then loses his mind with naughtiness again, only to calm back down to angel-child status.

I've come to realize the calm down phase should only be seen as sort of an intermission before his next ridiculous Act.

You would think by now, nothing would surprise me. I do, after all, have an evil genius for a toddler.

Clearly pondering "What's the worst that could happen if I pull the plug on this place."

This kid is crazy, and enjoys kicking things up an extra notch for extra fun....

Me: Oliver! Don't you dare throw that toy down the stairs!

Oliver: **Chucks toy down the stairs** **Laughs hysterically at me** ** Continues to laugh like a crazy person all the way to time out**
Me: Ollie! Get down from that fence!

Oliver: **Climbs to the top** **Laughs hysterically at me** ** Continues to laugh like a crazy person all the way to time out**

Me: Come on, buddy, it's bath time.

Oliver: **Takes off running.**

Me: **I give chase**

Oliver: *Laughs hysterically at me** ** Continues to laugh like a crazy person even after being caught**


It's really the craziest thing. The naughtier he is, the harder he laughs. It's almost like he thinks if he/we laugh, then all will be OK.


So, being that we are on week three of this mad scientist laughter, I reached out to my sister (Mother of two boys, 8 & 9).

Me: (After Ollie is naughty and laughs at me) DID YOU SEE THAT???? The little psycho laughs at me when he does naughty things!

Sister:  Um, Yeah? Hello, 'Terrible Threes'.

Me: What? THAT is normal?

Sister: Yes. Both of my boys went through this phase. It's just another test and way to express his independence.

Me: The kid and nature never cease to amaze me. When does it end?

Sister: Just like with every other toddler test, when he gets tired of getting in trouble. Stay consistent with time outs. Eventually, he will get bored and find a new way to drive you crazy.

Me: I thought it was partly because his parents are nuts and laugh way more at his antics than we should.

So here we are.  The kid is nuts, laughing in my face after he is naughty, and in some sick way, I find solace in knowing I'm not the only mom being laughed at by an evil genius.

I keep reminding myself that staying on him now, will keep me from a lifetime of naughty spoiled shitty-kid behavior... It better, or I will end up in a padded room before his 10th birthday.

What about you? Is your toddler laughing in your face?

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