Press Release: ChromaGen lenses life changing aid for students with reading problems

This post is brought to you by our friends at ChromaGen.  I’m sharing it because I think these lenses could help a lot of children and that’s always a good thing.

30% Of Returning Student Population Suffer From Vision Related Learning Disabilities That Could Be Aided By The Use Of FDA Cleared ChromaGen Lenses

chromaGen

Photo Credit: ChromaGen

Studies show that many students  suffer from vision related learning disabilities such as dyslexia, binocular vision issues and light sensitivity issues.Chromagen has  developed a simple ten-minute screening process that can help identify these students that need further evaluation and fitting with
life-changing ChromaGen lenses.

Kennett Square, PA (Aug. 29, 2013) – Words that move from left to right or up and down, words that are blurry or come in and out of focus or words that appear to float on the page, seeing double words or double sentences, re-reading the same lines – these are a few of the reading difficulties that up to 30 percent of the student population will face as they return to school this month. These symptoms can cause headaches, nausea, and fatigue, loss of concentration and even avoidance of reading all together. Now there is hope with the new, patented and FDA cleared ChromaGen lenses. These lenses are a life-changing aid for people with dyslexia and other reading disorders including  binocular vision and light sensitivity issues.

The ChromaGen lenses were developed by Dr. David Harris, who has concluded after years of studying dyslexia,that the majority of people who have dyslexia see words that appear to be moving on the page in some way.

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Photo Credit: Chromagen

“Approximately 90 percent of these people who see words moving will benefit fromChromaGen lenses,” said Harris, who has a PhD in Neurological Implications and Assistance for Reading Disability from Marylebone University in London. “Individuals that useChromaGen lenses will experience instantaneous symptom relief. The patient will see an immediate improvement in reading speed, comprehension and even an improvement in handwriting.”

ChromaGen lenses have also have been shown to be effective in treating binocular vision issues and light sensitivity issues. Binocular vision issues can be described as “how the eyes work together” (or more importantly what happens when they don’t work together) and can have a negative impact on a student’s ability to read effectively.

Light sensitivity issues refer to the eye discomfort, that occurs when viewing repetitive striped patterns such as the printed page. Light sensitivity manifests as eyestrain, headaches, or the illusion of colors, shapes and motion on the printed page or computer monitor.

chromagen-lenses-girl

Photo Credit: ChromaGen

ChromaGen technology is an optical treatment option that employs sixteen different filtered lenses. The lenses modify light’s wavelength as it passes into each eye, which dynamically balances the speed of the information traveling along the neurological pathways to the brain. The result is that people are now seeing words and text that are clear and in focus and enjoy reading free of headaches, nausea and fatigue.

Dr. Edward Huggett, D.O. and Chief Optometric Advisor for ChromaGen Vision, LLC says, “I am prescribing the ChromaGen technology because it provides relief for those patients who have experienced ‘word movement’ while reading for so long that they have lost hope. Now these chronic sufferers have options.”

Huggett, who specializes in the treatment of low vision and binocular vision, is the founder and director of the Low Vision Clinic at St. Luke’s Cataract & Laser Institute in Tarpon Springs, Florida and the Children’s Specialty Vision Clinic in Dunedin, Florida.

ChromaGen lenses are available through a nationwide network of specially trained optometrists or ophthalmologists. Each eye is tested separately to find the best combination of lenses for the patient. The results are instantaneous and the patients will know immediately before leaving the doctor’s office if ChromaGen is an effective solution for them. ChromaGen lenses come with a 100 percent money back guarantee.

Available as eyeglasses, contact lenses and clip-ons, ChromaGen has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are patented. To learn more aboutChromaGen or find a Doctor in your area, visit www.IReadBetterNow.com.  For media or news information, visit www.ChromaGenPressKit.com.

Hectic Schedule? Some tips to stay organized #GetFresh

This is a sponsored post about tips to stay organized with a hectic schedule.  I will receive promotional items to thank me for sharing. So we’re back to school.  We’re almost fully started with all activities.  Almost.  Boy Scouts sign up is next week, my Brownies won’t start meeting until October, and preschool soccer is not yet decided on a start date.  Soccer is 1 night and 1 weekend day/week for my 3rd grader…Gymnastics after school one day, dance following that for another kid.  I’m a Sunday School teacher (shared position thankfully) at church, and fall soccer will start soon for my 1st grader (maybe 1 night plus a weekend game, maybe just a weekend game).  This, and we’re remodeling our breezeway, which is kind of like a mudroom.  I know that for many this may not seem like a lot but for us it’s a LOT and it’s hectic.

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Here are some tips to stay organized with a hectic schedule- it might help you to keep from feeling overwhelmed like it’s helping me.

1. Have a calendar and use it.  I have a nice big desk calendar I’ve started- each kid has their own COLOR and activities and specials for school and activities are written for them in that color.  Appointments, parties, playdates also.

2. Delegate.  My kids are 8, 6 and 4.  Not so big, but not so little.  They are fully able to chip in and help me to keep this house running smoothly.  One kid opens the curtains each morning, and closes them each night.  The other 2 either feed the dog or the kittens before breakfast and before dinner.  Maybe not a huge thing, but that’s 3 tasks I don’t have to worry about.

3. Shared tasks.  Laundry takes time. It’s something we all have to do.  My littlest one is a really great napkin (we use all cloth)  and kitchen towel folder.  My 6 and 8 year olds are really great at sorting folded laundry into piles for each family member. (They are also able to earn money if they help to put everyone’s laundry away where it belongs).  Often, the kids are upstairs sorting laundry while I’m making dinner.  They are helping, contributing to the family, but they are also helping to keep the sanity level where it needs to be in the house.

4. Plan your meals in advance.  Even better? Cook once, eat twice (or thrice!)

Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t mind cooking, nor do I mind shopping for the food to DO the cooking.  But the planning of the meals to cook and shop for? HATE it.

I do.  Confessions of a meal plan hater.

Except I don’t hate meal planning. Or planners. I just hate having to DO the planning.

I’ve also seen all kinds of meal planning sites and programs but none really ever jumped out at me.  Then I discovered the Fresh20.

Something felt different, and I wanted to know more.

Now, I’m not going to tell you that I love every single recipe. I don’t.  I’m quite frankly too picky to like any full meal plan.  But what I am finding is that even if I don’t like PART of a recipe, almost everything is something I can modify to my family taste or we can simply figure out our own meal for a night or two.

I’m in love.

This is a meal plan that works for my family.  Or rather, with my family. It’s pretty straightforward for preparation and cooking- no fancy skills needed, and I don’t need to hit eleven stores to get all ingredients.

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Classic, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Kosher, For One, Lunch and Dairy Free menu plans are all available on the Fresh20.  This is something else that makes this so appealing- we have friends who are Gluten free (and some quite recent, so it’s a big adjustment in their family for meals and shopping.  Having this resource can help them with shopping lists and meal ideas). We also have friends who are dairy free- some due to allergies in their home, but some friends are nursing moms who can’t have dairy right now.  The membership includes all of the menu options, so if you are temporarily dairy free, or have guests coming to visit who are dairy free, meal planning is still easy-peasy.

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How to Get Your Kids to Share What’s Good #ShareWhatsGood

I participated in a campaign for Share What’s Good on behalf of Mom Central Consultingfor Welch’s. I received product samples to facilitate my review, a gift code to giveaway, and a promotional item as a thank you for participating. 

My kids are back to school.  That means they are spending hours and hours away from me, and I don’t know a lot of what goes on during their days.  But I WANT them to talk to me, to share what’s good- and even what’s bad. So at dinnertime, I work hard to get information from my mini-Martins.  Which isn’t always easy.  I mean, sometimes, they talk my ear off, or all three talk my ear off, but never actually say much about what happened.  I WANT to hear about their days.

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She shared her excitement about her award from school

Something I learned long ago when I was earning my Bachelor’s degree- don’t ask kids yes or no questions.  Don’t ask questions that can be answered with “fine.”

So today, I thought I’d share with you some of MY questions I ask to try to get my kids to talk – even just a little- to share what’s good (and bad) about their days. If your kids are older, you’ll want to adjust your wording for them.  Maybe add a few “like” and LOL’s in there?!

Use these basic question ideas to get information

Who – Who did you sit with at lunch? Who did you play with/swing with/jump rope with at recess? Who said something kind to you?

What – What kind of story did the teacher read this morning?  What did you do in (math) class today? What was the funniest thing that happened this afternoon?

Where- Where did you sit for lunch? Where did you go at recess?

When- When did you feel happy today? When did you do/see/feel/hear something special? When did you laugh today?

Why- Why do you think that math is so much fun?  What is it about art that you like so much? Why did you laugh today

share-whats-good-chocolate

My little one had a really crummy day- some family time at the park and an ice cream (guess what flavor!) turned her frown upside down

This can easily be adjusted for home, camp, sports activities.  Honestly, my husband isn’t a big talker (which is probably good with me the chatterbox for a wife, and 2 little girls who are trying their best to make me look like a quiet girl) and sometimes I feel like I need to ask him some of this to find out about his day!

There are also other times, especially after we’ve done something special,  that we play “My favorite” to share what’s good in our lives.  I will pick a name and say ” What was your favorite thing we did today?”  Sometimes, especially if we’re grumpy or the kids aren’t getting along, we all say three nice things about each other.  We’ll all take turns saying 3 things we like about mommy, daddy, brother, and both of the girls.  Usually by the time we get to the last person, we’re saying silly stuff and everyone is giggling.

Finding ways to share what’s good doesn’t have to be hard, or serious. It’s something important to me because I feel like if my kids are learning to share what’s good with me, they’ll also learn to share what’s bad with me when that happens too.  Sharing life’s little joys can really teach all of us to appreciate so many of the gifts we are given each and every day, you know?

welchs-share-whats-good

Welch’s believes in the magic of “kitchen table” moments, and has been helping families enjoy them for generations. In the time it takes to drink a glass of juice or share a sandwich, a special moment can happen. That’s why Welch’s has just launched a new movement called “Share what’s good™” It’s all about sharing those special moments that occur each day with family, friends and loved ones – whether it’s at home or on the go. At Sharewhatsgood.com you’ll find a variety of great content from fun family ideas to delicious recipes. You can share photos of your every-day moments and see how others are doing the same. Just use the hashtag #Sharewhatsgood on Twitter or Instagram and it will show up in the feed. Keep in touch by bookmarking the site – there will always be something fun to learn from Welch’s, or other people in the community.

Welch’s Facebook page:www.facebook.com/welchsgrapes

Follow Welch’s on Twitter: @Welchs

Follow Welch’s on Instagram: @Welchs

How do YOU Share What’s Good in your house?

1 lucky winner will receive a $50 photo gift card towards a popular Online Photo Service where you can share your own moment through Photo Books, Cards & Stationery, Prints, Calendars, Photo Gifts and more!

 

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Welch’s. I received product samples to facilitate my review, a gift code to giveaway, and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

5 Tips for choosing the right baby crib

This is a sponsored post about tips for choosing the right baby crib.  Opinions are my own. Hey, congrats! You are expecting a little bundle of joy to arrive in your home!  Now what? Well, you’re going to need lots of things for baby, and it can be really hard to figure out what you need and what to buy.  There are countless lists and books and recommendations in stores and online, although most merchants will clearly recommend the products they make and/or sell, so how do you know that’s truly what you need or will work best in your family home?

sleeping-baby-on-me

Photo Credit: Bunnell Photography

You are going to need a place for baby to sleep.  I think it’s safe to say that the vast majority of parents have a crib in their home.  But with so so so many choices for a crib, how do you narrow it down?  Safety standards are really strict so when buying a crib what do you look for? I have tried to narrow things down to 5 basic things to look for to help make this process a little bit easier for you.
fisher-price-crib
Photo Credit: Fisher Price
Style- There are so many different kinds of cribs available now.  From color to design to shape, even, there are options sure to fit with any design scheme. Obviously you don’t want an ultra sleek, modern crib if your home is decorated in country style.  That round crib may look adorable in the store but will it work with your decor scheme?   Maybe you do want it to stand out and make a statement.  It’s kind of fun that
Color- Black, white, brown, natural, there are many color options available.
Size- Most of us are able to use a traditional crib size in our home.  If you are, you’ll probably find there are countless more options available than in other sizes. If you are a city dweller, you may not want nor have space for a full sized crib.  There are many options available- once you know the color and style you prefer, you can start looking for what size crib will work.
Budget- This is the big one.  You want your little one(s) safe where they sleep.  That goes without saying.  But you also don’t want to go into debt to buy a top of the line crib because of the brand name- you want to get a crib that your family can afford.  Safety standards on baby gear and furniture are strict and you can feel confident that any pieces you purchase here in the US are going to meet those standards, or they’d not be on store shelves.  So figure out what you can afford BEFORE you go to make that purchase.
Functionality- How long do you plan to use the crib for?  Will you be like us and use the same crib for all of your children?  Or are you wanting to have a crib that can transition with your child as they get older into a toddler bed, and then down the road, into a day bed or regular bed?  Once you know what kind of crib you want (“just” a crib,
**Even families who cosleep that I have met use a crib, bassinet or Moses basket for baby to nap at times, like during the day when no adults are in bed with them. I haven’t yet met a family that hasn’t had a dedicated spot for a baby to sleep!
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Fisher Price is helping to ease the mom-and-dad-to-be’s worries by showing her/him that Fisher-Price is there to help ready the “nest” with quality products as s/he counts down the days until baby comes home.

Fisher-Price Convertible Cribs are a delightful addition to any nursery. Each crib works is incredibly versatile and the sturdy design easily transitions to a toddler bed and daybed. With a variety of styles a colors, you can find the perfect fit for your new little one.

 

What was YOUR biggest deciding factor when selecting a baby crib?

 

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Lunchbox. All opinions are my own.

Making beds is not fun. Not until now. #KickStarter #sponsored

One of my least favorite things to do is change sheets on beds.  If you know me at all, you know that when the kids were in the crib, I layered a mattress pad, then sheet, mattress pad, sheet, about 7 or 8 times.  That way, if there was a spitup or diaper leak, or just time to change the sheets, I could just pull the top layer off and not have to change the mattress.  Changing regular beds isn’t any more appealing to me.  When I learned that StayMade was looking for bloggers to write sponsored posts in order to help them to secure KickStarter funding to launch their product that helps make making beds easier, I had to jump at the chance.  I mean, there has to be a billion folks across the world who are as lazy about  hate making beds as much as I do, right?  So why not tell them about a new way to make beds that is easier?!

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The StayMade is truly the world’s most functional, remarkable, and lovable bedding solution for kids. The best way to describe it is like an old-school sleeping bag that fits onto a child’s bed. The fitted sheet, the top sheet, and the comforter are all connected by thick, high-quality zippers. The comforter is made to hang over the zipper so that when everything is completely zipped up, it looks like a well-made bed.  You can check out video footage to see how it works and learn about the product more. I would like this for all 3 of my kids’ beds!  My oldest sleeps on a top bunk and my son is in a loft bed.  Neither is fun to make.  Ever.  Also, they never have a top sheet.  They kick it to the foot of their bed and then wake me up asking where it is.  Sounds fun, right?  Thankfully, they “find” the sheets magically each morning when they grudgingly make their beds neat before the day begins.

 

Of course, this product isn’t just for making beds easier. It also helps keep the covers where they need to be.  For us, living in New England in a small rural town, most of the areas here have above ground utility poles.  That means when storms hit (and it’s been big storms Labor Day and then again before Halloween) and knock power out, we’re out for days on end, sometimes a week or more.  It’s hard to feel confident when the nights are cold that my kids are going to be warm enough when we don’t have heat in the house, so StayMade would at least reassure us that the kids had a sheet and blanket on them.  I would imagine on super cold nights, a blanket tucked between the sheet and comforter would stay put as well.  Take that, Superstorm Sandy!  We lose power a lot. It may not seem like a big thing to some but living in an area where we’ve had snow in October, losing power for a week in that time frame can be kind of uncomfortable.

This product makes it super easy for kids of all ages to make their bed in the morning and have it look amazing.  One zip, that’s it!  The fit of the sheets is loose and comfortable. Getting into the bed is as easy for kids as unzipping the blankets and climbing into bed.

EasyForKids-staymade-making-beds-easier

The StayMade also helps parents have peace of mind during cold nights when their kids often kick off the blankets or sheets as they sleep. With the StayMade, the blankets and sheets stay comfortably on children, all night long, keeping them warm and keeping Mom and Dad worry-free. (I would officially like to add this to my holiday wish list for ME- because, like so many couples, there seems to be a constant battle over covers in this house and once in a while, I’d like to actually have  at least a sheet to cover up with when it’s the middle of winter!! King size, please!

The different layers of the bed can be zipped off completely so that you can mix and match different comforters with sheets, or zip in a thicker sheet during the wintertime, or a thinner comforter during the summer time.

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The StayMade will be sold as a kit, with one fitted sheet, zipped to one top sheet, zipped to one comforter. It will be available in twin and full size, at least for now.  

The first accessory for the StayMade is called the PeaPod. To use it, simply zip out the top sheet and zip in the PeaPod. The PeaPod is like a giant pillowcase that a kid climbs into to sleep. (I can’t even believe we are actually out of the stage in life where we need a PeaPod but I think my kids would have loved this.  Especially my youngest- she really likes to be tucked in really well and I think the pod would make her feel tucked all night long…and would have saved us many “MOM! I not tucked” shouts a 2, 3, 4 and 5 am)

This accessory is designed for children who are going through a phase of wetting the bed. The PeaPod is made of special material that is fully breathable and comfortable, but is also 100% waterproof. To clean up an accident, the parent can simply unzip the PeaPod and throw it into the washer, without the mattress or any of the other sheets being affected by the accident.

The PeaPod is sold in a two-pack so that when the soiled one gets zipped out and put into the washer, the second one can be zipped in and the child (and parent) can quickly and easily go back to sleep.

screenshot-kickstarter-support-staymade

PLEASE NOTE: StayMade will be offering the product as a pre-sale on KickStarter for $85 (regular retail is $130).  By pre-ordering, you are also helping to ensure that this product reaches consumers by backing it.  I just backed them- will you?  I’m putting my money where my mouth is, because I really think this product is amazing. I was asked to share about the StayMade product and the KickStarter campaign for this post- my decision to back this product was mine and mine alone.  (I hope they let me order blue, though, because I didn’t see a place to request which color and this will be in my son’s room).

So, what do you think? Do you agree this is an awesome product?  Would you order?  Did you go support the KickStarter campaign yet?

6 Tips for Managing the Busy Back to School Season

This is a sponsored post about managing the back to school season. We’re still over a week out from school starting here but I’m already sort of cringing a little bit inside at what is yet to come.  I’m a Brownie leader, apparently also now a Sunday School teacher (although I’m sharing this with 2 other moms), I have 3 kids who will be playing soccer, a son who’s going to start Boy Scouts, a daughter in gymnastics and a daughter in dance.  Trying to sort this whole new routine out is a little daunting, but I’m making a list of things to help stay organized and on top of things.

6-tips-for-managing-back-to-school

1. Calendar.  Have a calendar on the wall that has a color for each kid.  That way, even the kids who can’t read can know that they have “something” on the day they see their color.  I need to find an enormous calendar so I can put things like stickers for gym days, dance shoes for dance…that kind of thing. Or I need to get separate calendars for each kid.

Not just for kids, but include meal ideas on the calendar.  Even if you have a family “meeting” of sorts on Sundays to decide what you will eat for the week, it leaves the person who has to prepare dinner with a plan and ideas.  It also makes shopping for groceries easier since you know what you will prepare- and save time in making lists.

2. Organization board.  Wouldn’t you just know that we’re in the middle of gutting our breezeway but I have this decent-sized cork board and I’m going to make it into organization/calendar central.  This is where we can keep papers for each kid, things that have to be signed or saved, their weekly schedules, etc., keep track of library books due.  That kind of thing.

With the beginning of the school year comes all of the papers to fill out and be signed.  Parents, you know what I’m talking about.  Eleventy billion pieces of paper…multiplied by how many kids you have.  It’s a LOT to keep track of, and not always something that we can sit down and complete in one sitting.  That’s why each kid will have a folder on that board- clearly labelled- so we can all keep track of who’s paper is what. I actually filled out my son’s paperwork in triplicate last year before realizing what I’d done so not only did I waste all that time, cover my pinky in ink (I’m a lefty) and get a cramp in my hand, I had to humbly ask for 2 more sets of papers from the school and fill them all out AGAIN for each of the girls.  Don’t be like the Brett of the 2012-2013 school year.

I am going to have a meal plan section for this too so I can get all of our favorite meal ideas up and hopefully help simplify my dreaded what do I make for dinner times.  Being organized with meal and menu plans will also help ME to get dinner prepped and cooked on the days when we have after school activities and I won’t be able to cook after school, but will need to cook midday.  (My actual organization board/station is a work in progress since that room is under construction but when it’s done, I”ll update this with a photo).  Being organized saves a LOT of time and makes that hectic back to school season a little less hectic.

3. Routine. We need to get into a routine.  Routines are great for all families. Figuring this out BEFORE school starts is key- so, starting today?  We’re getting up, making beds, cleaning out backpacks, and doing extra journaling.  Bedtime isn’t whenever anymore, it’s 7:30 sharp.  Baths or showers after dinner…you know.  Whatever our school routine is going to be, that’s what we’ll be practicing.

4. Delegate.  No matter how old or young your kids are, even toddlers can help with household tasks.  All 3 of my kids fed the dog and/or cat before they were 2.  Scoop of food into dish.  Voila.  My kids also clear their own dishes from the table.  Life is going to be busy, and hectic, but for example- my oldest is 8 and wants to have money of her own.  So she’ll be able to earn $1 each time she sorts the laundry baskets full of laundry into each family members’ piles.  Putting away the laundry can earn her more money.  She’s learning reponsibility and I have effectively delegated a task.  Win- win, right?

There’s a lot that kids can help with- it also teaches them responsibility at the same time. We keep the kids’ dishes in a drawer next to the dishwasher- that’s so they can access whenever they want. It also means that from a young age, all 3 kids have been able to help unload the dishwasher.  They are able to help and it’s a little less for me to do.

5. SYNC.  This just may be the most important one for we parents.  Sync those calendars.  The schedules. Routines.  If the soccer coach emails one parent the practice and game schedules, forward the email to your spouse.  I can’t tell you enough how much having a calendar feature on my phone that is synched to my email account has saved me and made me more organized.  There’s many many reasons I love this amazing and wonderful and glorious calendar feature on my phone, but

  1. I can set reminder alerts for whenever I want.
  2. I can see if we’ve already got other things going on that day and NOT overbook myself
  3. Did I mention the reminder alerts?  I can have email and pop up alerts to my heart’s content.
  4. We can share a calendar.  By we I mean my husband and me.  So even if he forgets to tell me he’ll be wicked late because he has a work meeting, I can see it. Or if we’re not going to be home until super late because there’s a game in a neighboring town, he can see that too.

Seriously. I can’t even explain how much I love having a calendar for family activities that is accessible to me almost 24/7.  It’s saved me and helped me be more organized. It might be my favorite tech thing ever.  It’s a beautiful thing!

Help your family manage the back to school season with Sprint’s limited time Buy One, Get One FREE offer on the brand new HTC One. Got a kid heading back to school?  Get one for them, and one for you!  Or get one for you and one for your spouse. I won’t judge. Of course, if one of you wanted to get the HTC One but didn’t have someone to give it to, I would gladly help you out. I’m hearing really great things about this phone and would love to try it!  (Kidding. Mostly).

 

 

sprint logo

 

Sprint, the Only National Carrier to Guarantee Unlimited Talk, Text and Data for Life.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Sprint via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sprint

Superman Bacon and Eggs (and more!)

One of the best ways to build a bond, before they are old enough for sports and hobbies, for dads and sons is to create a bond and theme that they can enjoy together.  The theme can last throughout their lifetime and create even more bonding activities like riding rollercoasters and even going to the movies.  They’ll love remembering when they started their first bond and every time they go do something with the same theme they’ll re-fall in love with it and grow closer together.  One possible theme you can use is Superman and you can start it well before they are old enough for sports or amusement parks.

superman-robe

Photo Credit: Crazy4Bargains

The first thing to do when everyone is waking up is to replace is to replace their old favorite pajamas with Superman ones and even possibly have kids robes with Superman theme on it.  The nice thing about is it that there are matching sets for both your son and Father.

Waking up and having your little one discover his Dad has the same robe or a matching Superman pajama set to his Superman pajamas is the perfect way to start the day.  The next step is to make a super breakfast full of proteins and carbs to help energize them for a day of super fun.

superman-bacon-and-eggs

Photo Credit: ApronsShop.com

Making Superman bacon and eggs. 

To make a set of Superman bacon and eggs you’ll need 1 pound of bacon and 6 eggs.  Take the bacon and either cook it in the microwave or place it on a pan and make sure you get straight crisp strips.  Take the bacon strips out of the pan and now cook your eggs.  The easy and quick solution is to scramble them.  The trickier way is to go sunnyside up (but eating raw or undercooked foods can be dangerous).  Now lay the eggs down on the plate in the shape of a diamond.  Outline the diamond or place the bacon in the shape of the diamond over the top.  Now fill in the rest of the space if you are using scrambled eggs and break the yolks so the yellow fills in the inside of the holes in the diamond.  Now take rest of the bacon and break it into pieces and create an S to complete the emblem.  If you like Ketchup or Hot Sauce, you could also outline the red bacon with it.

Now that the food is ready, quickly clean up the kitchen and get ready to enjoy it while watching your favorite episodes of Superman.

Superman videos become reality. 

Before your big day of super heroism, have Dad watch a couple of episodes of Superman with your son.  Find ones where Superman has to run, jump and swim or perform specific tasks.  The two of them can then enjoy watching these episodes together while finishing their superman breakfasts and once the shows over get ready for some exercise.

Because dad knew which videos you were going to watch, he now has two or three obstacles and courses set up around the yard that relate to the episodes.  Here are three super hero styled games and activities that are easy to do, fun for both of them and something that can help further their bond.

Waterballoons and Kryptonite.

The first thing to do is to have Dad be Lex and the son be Superman.  The two of them will play water balloon tag and your son will have red balloons and dad will have kryptonite grenade balloons.  The two of them will hide, Superman gets an extra 1 minute head start to plant balloons across the yard and find a perfect space.  Dad will then have 30 seconds to do the same once Superman is finished.  Over the next 30 minutes to one hour, Dad has to get Superman with 5 green balloons.  Superman needs to get Lex with 3.  Whenever time runs out, the person closest to their target number wins.  If one person successfully gets their number, then they win the game and it is now over.  One other option if you think water balloons are too dangerous is to use sponge balls and cover them in machine washable colored water or even just plain water.  This does create a huge mess and everyone will need extra protection like safety googles and something to protect their mouths so nothing get eaten like a hockey mask with a plastic shield and no balloon pieces get in their eyes.  You can also more accurately measure the hits if the water is colored and who wins.

Target practice. 

The two of them are going to be worn out from running and hiding for the last hour so now they need some come down time.  The two of them can go inside and watch some more tv while Mom goes out into the yard and sets up the next game.  Lay down an old blanket or sheet and have a very large cardboard box behind it against a wall.  Now, take about 20 printouts of Lex, 20 Supermen and 20 Cilivilians.  Hang 15 of each randomly throughout the wall and make your superhero and villain stand about 20 or 30 feet away.  They each get 10 throws and have to hit their main target.  They get 1 point for hitting their goal and then Mom will have random printouts on cardboard so they stay forward with 5 lexs, 5 supermans and 5 civilians.  She’ll throw three randomly 5 times during the game and if they hit a civilian, they lose 5 points, hit themselves, they lose 3 and hit their target they win 5.  Hitting your target means you miss a throw at a static board, but it could also mean winning the game.  The way to measure this is to soak the foam balls in a colored water and the water should leave a stain on the image.  That is also why you don’t want to use a new sheet or something when protecting your grass or pavement.

Making dessert. 

This is the easiest one of the day.  Take sugar cookies and buy a diamond shaped, a bat shaped and a circle shaped cookie cutter.  Cut out the shapes and have Dad and Superman cut out the cookies and then decorate them with black and yellow sprinkles for Batman, Red, Yellow and Blue food frosting for Superman and green food coloring and candy pearls for the Green Lantern or any other heroes they love.  Now let them settle so the frosting can set and after dinner when they get ready to watch anything from a new Superman movie to the old cartoons that have a million characters, Mom can come in wearing a Wonder Woman robe and everyone can enjoy the cookies for dessert.

Creating an entire day of Superman themed activities from sports and agility to learning practical skills like cooking, and even helping to open their minds with art by decorating cookies is an excellent way for some Dads, Moms and sons to be able to bond.  If you are from a split family, Mom can be one of the female villains and also be Super girl.  If you have a daughter instead of a son and still want to try this, you could always do Supergirl for the daughter and Superman for the Dad.  There are a ton of ways to mix and combine them to make it work for your family.  You could also take turns throwing the random cards with the second game.  Regardless of how you do it, it could create a bond around a theme that will help to solidify your relationship and make things like the Superman Rollercoaster at a popular theme park become something you have to ride instead of something cool to look at.  It’ll give you things to collect together and whenever a new movie comes out, you’ll always have someone to see it with and enjoy talking about it with after.

 

Thanks to Adam from Crazy4Bargains for sharing this SUPER guest post!

On Parenting: Dear Fellow Parents, I have something to say.

Dear Fellow Parents,

I have something to say.

Your child isn’t perfect.  Your child never will be perfect.  (For the record, none of my children are perfect. They never have been and they never will be).

Please stop insisting that your child is perfect.  Humans, by nature, are not perfect.

Also, your child will never be the very best at every single thing they do all of the time.

AND THAT IS 100000% OK.

your-child-is-not-perfect-parenting

It really is. I promise.

Please, I beg of you, accept that your children are human beings with flaws.  Embrace them and love them for the individuals they are.  Teach them to accept losing gracefully and how to learn from failure.  Because you know what?  They will fail.  They will lose.  Maybe it’s not today, and maybe it’s not tomorrow, but one day, they’ll fail.  Or they’ll lose.  And if you’ve spent all of these years building them up on some pedestal of perfection, their whole world is going to come crashing down around them. (My children have flaws.  It’s part of what makes them who they are.  I’d not have them any other way).

You can’t choose your child’s teachers (unless you homeschool).  Let your child’s school staff make those choices.  They know what they are doing.  They really can handle things.  Let it go. That goes for locker assignments, where they sit in class, etc.

You really, truly, honest to goodness do not need to ensure that your child has a best friend  in every single activity they do.  It’s actually a healthy thing for children to learn how to cope in new situations and they might actually make some NEW friends.

Not every player on a team is going to be the best.  The kids know it, I promise. They know who’s got the talent.  We have to teach them to be gracious if they are that star player but we also have to teach them to be gracious and happy FOR the star player if it isn’t them.  My nephew spent 15? years playing hockey, all through school.  He got a trophy at an awards banquet in high school for most valuable defenseman (or something similar, I don’t remember the title of it)….and when he got home he said to his mom ” I finally got a trophy that means something, mom!”  His comment has stuck with me for years.  All of those years playing, he got trophies.  But he knew they didn’t hold a lot of meaning- that one trophy really meant something to him.  It’s still on his bookcase in his room.  I smile when I see it.

Please, please.  Think about this.  For all of us who call the teachers to insist your child should have a better grade- are you going to call their employers and insist they get a raise?  Do you think they should get a raise because they tried really hard? Just because your child wants to start the game for the team doesn’t mean the coaches feel that’s best for the team.

We are our children’s parents, my friends.  It’s our job to help to prepare them to be adults who are able to be contributing members of society.  Are we really doing them favors by always insisting they are right…or that they are always best????

We need to teach our children that when you say you are going to be some place, you get there.  On time.

We need to teach our children that WHEN they screw up in life, they have to figure out how to pick up the pieces and move on.  If they don’t learn from mistakes now, as children, when we parents can guide them along so they can LEARN how to do it, how are they to learn what to do as adults?

We need to teach our children how to deal with failure and disappointment.  They aren’t going to be praised and promoted at work just for showing up and sitting at their desk all day….that’s now how the real world works.  How are they to learn all of this if we’re not helping them to learn it as children?

Our job as parents is absolutely, unequivocally, to first and foremost love our children.  But part of loving our children is giving them the tools and resources they will need to live  as an adult in the real world. I feel like many of us have lost sight of that ultimate goal- and we need to find our way back.

A very wise mom once said to me that when her last child left home to go to college, she knew she’d worked herself right out of a job.  She raised four children- each left home, went to school, found work, and has been able to navigate the real world.  That’s my goal as a parent…to work myself right out of a job.

Listen, I’m not saying we need to not love our kids, or encourage them. I absolutely believe we need to.  But I think we need a reality check, collectively, as parents.  We’re NOT all parenting superhumans- it’s just not possible.  So maybe we need to take a step back, look at the amazing individuals our children are WITH their flaws and imperfections, and enjoy our time with them while we can- but also remember that these wonderful, imperfect little beings are going to grow up and be imperfect adults who have to go out into the real world at some point.  Isn’t it better to help guide them through disappointment and failure now, while they are young?

Also, I know there are exceptions. But those are exceptions. Not the norm.

What do you think? Are we helping our children by being over involved and giving a sense of perfection?

This post has been brewing in my head for a while.  The Daddy Complex’s post about the CTFD Method just kicked me into gear to write it (there’s language in his link but it’s spot on – worth the read!!)

 

Tips for Getting ready for Back to School

This post about getting ready for back to school : health is part of a partnership with Glam Media and This coming August, Glam is L’il Critters vitamins. We have just under a month left here before it’s time to go back to school.  Even before we’re back in school, things are starting to gear up for school.  Getting ready for back to school isn’t just about backpacks, shoes, school supplies and new clothing.  For us, it’s more about getting our bodies ready for back to school! 

tips-to-get-ready-for-back-to-school

We’re working on getting the kids back into a bedtime routine– an earlier bedtime routine- having to get up by a certain time in the morning means that we need to make sure they get to bed and to sleep at a time that leaves them plenty of hours for sleeping.  Without a good night sleep, kids won’t have the ability to concentrate at school nor to fight off the germs they’ll be around once the doors to school open for the year.

Checkups– maybe this is just my kids because they have summer birthdays but we always have our back to school physicals so we know that things are all in proper working order and that the kids’ bodies are developing as they should be.  Routine health care visits are crucial. Before bed, everyone must brush and rinse and say a prayer.  Even if you aren’t religious, it is good for everyone to take a moment and reflect upon something or someone that they are thankful for or thinking about.  We brush, rinse, pray and read a book in our house- the kids love the snuggle time and we love sharing the stories and adventures with them.

Move to the beat– any beat!  Kids need to exercise.  They need to M-O-V-E.  Most kids are running around, swimming, going to camp, playing sports all summer….when school starts, they are back to sitting at a desk for several hours a day.  Make sure to incorporate time daily for some physical exercise.  Even if you make up silly games to get some movement in right before dinner- right in your kitchen- just get them moving.  I’m planning to move right along with them.  Can’t get outside?  Improvise.  Jog in place.  See who can do it longest.  Jump rope.  Hop.  Skip.  Do silly stretching.  Try yoga!  Whatever that beat- slow, steady, fast, sporadic- move to it.  Find something no one hates and make it part of the daily routine. for a program all about happy and healthy kids!

lil-critters-vitamins-back-to-school

Take your vitamins: With school comes all of the germs that everyone else brings with them- taking vitamins helps to make sure that kids’ bodies are getting all of the vitamins and minerals they need so they can fight those germs! L’il Critters are parents #1 multi-vitamin choice; their lovable gummy bear shape and their variety of kid-friendly flavors and nutrient rich formulas make taking vitamins a positive experience for little ones!

L’il Critters™ are the #1 child gummy vitamin. We are the better tasting gummy vitamin that is preferred by Kids and trusted by Moms. “We Make Nutrition Taste Good.”

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Church & Dwight via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Church & Dwight.

 

 

True Blood, Sad Things and Life Insurance.

This post about life insurance is brought to you by our friends at Genworth. Opinions are my own. I  What do True Blood, sad things and life insurance have to do with one another?  Well, they all sparked this particular post, for one.  Plus, on  the latest episode of True Blood…Terry Bellefleur took out a life insurance policy just days before his untimely death.   Yes, I’ve managed to weave a television show about vampires into a really serious and heavy topic that none of us wants to think about. But hear me out.  Terry wanted to be sure that his wife and children were taken care of financially.  Sure, he’s fictitious and he hangs around with fairies and vampires, but he wanted to do what we all want- to make sure that we’re not adding any extra burdens and stress onto those we’re leaving behind.

terry-bellefleur-life-insurance-trueblood

Photo Credit: HBO.com

My wonderful husband has had life insurance for many years. I’ve had some myself for a while. But we took a long hard look at things and realized that we were paying an awful lot for not very much coverage.  I mean, I’m home full time with the kids.  If the unthinkable happened, and we know that it could, there’s enough in place that the kids and I would be ok for a while.  That said, if that unthinkable were to happen to me, my husband would still have to go to work.  But we’d have no childcare. I AM the childcare.  That, and my income would be gone.  Poof.  That’s not a great scenario, right?  We don’t have enough life insurance to cover ourselves if the worst thing were to happen. Not a great feeling.  (Please note, this is already in motion to be corrected).

And…I hate to even type these words, but you probably know by now that I will say the hard to say and bring up the awkward on here…if the unimaginably unthinkable were to happen (yes, that’s a phrase, and maybe I did make it up) and something were to happen to one of our little ones, we’re going to now have coverage so that expenses relating to that omg-its-hard-to-breathe-even-thinking-about-it-situation were to happen wouldn’t put us under huge financial stress. I mean, if something happened to one of our children, I’m confident that would be ENOUGH stress and adding financial stressors would only make it worse.

the kids who made me mama

See, that’s the thing. We’ve never thought things all the way through before.  But the fact is, and maybe it’s sad if you don’t believe in God or maybe it’s happy if you DO believe in God, but we all die. Hopefully not until we’ve had a long, fulfilling life with some happiness in it.  But recent events in our very own country prove that bad things happen.  I have friends who have lost a spouse.  I have friends who have lost their child.  I’ve watched people close to my heart and family live through those horrors and it kind of opened our eyes, like it has so many others.

Do you want something to happen that you’d need life insurance? NO.  Never.  No one does.  But it can happen to us. To you. To me. We need to educate ourselves and protect ourselves.  Even we stay home parents need to take a long hard look at why (men and) women are not buying enough life insurance. (That’s a pretty informative article, by the way).

I’m going to close with this: If the Martin family is taking a look at True Blood, sad things AND life insurance, maybe it’s worth you taking a second look too. At least at the life insurance part.  Take a second look, get the sad stuff overwith, and enjoy something fun with your loved ones.
Do you have life insurance? AND do you watch True Blood?