Sunday, October 26, 2008

Alternative Vaccine Schedules

Hello all!   I've had so many people asking for alternative vaccination schedules, so I'm posting a couple of them.   These are both pretty "middle of the road" - not mainstream, but not drastically different, either.   

I would personally lean toward Dr. Cave's version (since that's what Tom's doc in Florida recommended), over Dr. Sears', but either one is more sensible than the AAP one.

Click here for Dr. Robert Sears' recommended schedule.

I know, I know... it's that crazy mom again - but there is plenty of real science questioning the safety of our vaccine schedule (despite what Amanda Peet says!) and really, except for the inconvenience, there's no harm.   They still get vaccinated by school age.

If your child is on an alternative vaccine schedule, or if you're not vaccinating until the child is older, you may need the exemption/waiver form for preschools, day cares or elementary schools.  Public schools are required to accept the waivers, and I've submitted these to three different private schools and no one's ever even mentioned it to me.

Here's the link: Vaccine Exemption Form .    See how easy that is?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fruit of the Spirit Fun!

My boys love to listen to those "Hide 'Em In Your Heart" songs by Steve Green, and one of their favorites is the "Fruits of the Spirit" song.    It's become one of their great party tricks - naming all 9 fruits of the Spirit.    Impressive!   

But as I listened to them belt out the song, I realized they pretty much didn't have a clue what they were talking about.  

Hmm... sort of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

So I got to work.  I have this awesome software program we used with Tom called Boardmaker, which is an amazing picture symbol program used to teach language to children with autism.  We (thankfully) don't have to use it much any more, but I thought it would be a GREAT way to explain what the fruits of the Spirit actually mean!

We talked about how, when we have Jesus on our heart, we show the fruits of the Spirit in our words and actions.   

We bought a tree from the teacher supply store, taped it to their bedroom door, and each week we're putting a new apple on the tree and focusing on that fruit of the spirit in their behavior with each other.  It seems to be sinking in.   

I even considered doing some kind of token system whenever they showed that week's behavior, or even writing the "fruitful" acts on individual leaves and filling up the tree with them, but alas, I'm a half-done Polly!  

Anyway, I thought I'd share it with y'all in case you wanted to do it with your kiddos!

I saved the 3 pages as pdf files, which can be downloaded here:

Print, cut them out, and get started!

Monday, October 6, 2008


A really neat quote from a friend at CR:

Humility is not 
thinking less of ourselves, 
thinking of ourselves less.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Make Way for Ducklings

I just returned from a fabulous trip to Boston to see my good friend Elisabeth. Although it rained the entire weekend, we still had such fun catching up, walking, shopping, eating (lots) and, most of all, obsessing over the book, Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey. I am sure my hip, single-with-no-kids friend thought I was the biggest nerd ever, but I had more fun wandering around her neighborhood finding all the places Mrs. Mallard and her family are in the book. 

Now- I want everyone to get their copy of Make Way for Ducklings out right now....I can wait...if you do not have one, go buy one immediately because everyone should have one of their very own in hardback! 

Now that you have your copy in hand, turn to the second page where they are flying over the Public Garden. Other than the trees getting bigger on the island, things have not changed a bit!
OK- it is raining, so it is hard to see...but the lamp posts on the bridge are exactly the same. (That huge bushy part is the Mallard's island.)

Now turn a few pages to where Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are over the Charles River. The bridge and island are still there...

Again, hard to see in the rain...but trust me, it is there. (By the way, the locals call this the "Salt & Pepper" bridge because the columns look like salt & pepper shakers.) Turn forward to the page where Mrs. Mallard has the ducks swimming in a line and you can see why they call it that! Here is a close up:

Now turn to where the ducks are walking from Mt. Vernon Street past the "Corner Book Shop" onto Charles Street. What was once the "Corner Book Shop" is now a 7-11.

Now turn to the page where they are lined up and marching "right into the Public Garden." The now famous bronze statues are headed in this same direction in the park today.

What fun it was to follow the footsteps of Mrs. Mallard. I was just so sad that I did not get a ride on a swan time I will pray for no rain. 

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Great Blog

OK- I just happened upon this blog. (I am sure all you regular blog readers out there already know about it.) It was such fun to rediscover some old favorites in the way of classic children's books. She also has some from the 1970's that I remember but have not seen in years.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

AACK! Flu Shot Fever!

Okay, so here goes the crazy mom again.   Give me a second to hop up on my soap box.


My (not) favorite person, Julie Geberding, CDC Director, was quoted as saying she "has a smile on her face this year because we are looking at a wonderful supply of flu vaccine this year."

I just read that the CDC is recommending not just one (mercury and aluminum-laden) flu shot for babies, but TWO flu shots, only one month apart, for the youngest children.

The CDC states that 86 children died from the flu last year.  That is a tragedy.

There are approximately 1.5 million children in the U.S. with autism.  That is a national crisis.

If you feel you MUST get a flu shot this year, for you or your child, please request the Thimerosal free version.   This is the one without the mercury, though it still contains aluminum, another known neurotoxin.

And if you are pregnant, please please please - choose the Thimerosal free version.  Wish I had.  I'm not saying the flu shot in my first trimester caused Big T's autism, but it certainly can't help.   Plus, when there's an option, why take the risk?

Okay, off my soapbox now.  By the way, if you have a chance to read Jenny McCarthy's new book Warrior Mothers, you'll be glad you did.  It's filled with autism recovery stories!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Muffin-Tin Munchies - with Book themes!

This is such a cute idea!   The Sycamore Stirrings blog does a weekly Muffin Tin Mondays theme, and one of the themes was children's literature!   Such a clever idea for an after-school snack - sort of an ode to the bento box craze - plus, you read a book together while they eat, and our picky kiddos might actually try a new food or two!  Here are a couple of my favorites from the books "Mouse Mess" and "Pinkalicious":

Check all the others out here.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Simple Fun

OK- I was feeling like I needed to contribute something more practical than that previous is an activity that is a huge hit at our house. It involves those cardboard fans on a stick that they hand out at the 4th of July Parade and balloons (not helium). My kids will spend all morning playing "tennis" with these things. If you don't have any fans, just blow up a balloon and play "volleyball" with it. You will be amazed at how long it will keep their attention! You can see my kids in action (still in our pajamas, as you can see) loving every minute of it!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Yearbook Yourself

OK- this is my first time to finally you would think I could come up with something a bit more maternal or wise than this...but...I am having so much fun with this website I just discovered! 
You can upload a picture of yourself or someone you know and it will morph it with an old yearbook pic from the 50's, 60's, 70's or 80's. Here are the ones I made of me and my sweet husband...his is hilarious!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Just to Make You Feel Better

I loved this article by Nancy Wilson. She talks about how being over-organized is maybe a bit over-rated. Music to my ears!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gardasil - Risky Business

Haven't posted a lot lately... the summer's been crazy!   I'm actually glad school will be starting for my little one next week and we'll all be back to our routines.

For now, I wanted to share with y'all that none other than the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine came out with an article criticizing the lack of safety and efficacy research on Gardasil, which the American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends for young girls.   Sad that the NEJM is more concerned than the AAP.

"Despite great expectations and promising results of clinical trials, we still lack sufficient evidence of an effective vaccine against cervical cancer. Several strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer, and two vaccines directed against the currently most important oncogenic strains (i.e., the HPV-16 and HPV-18 serotypes) have been developed. That is the good news. The bad news is that the overall effect of the vaccines on cervical cancer remains unknown. 

How will the vaccine affect preadolescent girls, given that the only trials conducted in this cohort have been on the immune response?  

Vaccinated women may feel protected from cervical cancer and may be less likely than unvaccinated women to pursue screening.

How will the vaccine affect other oncogenic strains of HPV? If HPV-16 and HPV-18 are effectively suppressed, will there be selective pressure on the remaining strains of HPV? Other strains may emerge as significant oncogenic serotypes." 

For the full text of the article in the NEJM, click here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Feeling excited and overwhelmed!

I spent the morning at TCA's Orientation for Peyton! I had a mix of feelings as it was almost surreal sitting in the auditorium . . . it took me back to when I was a student and I could literally remember how I felt sitting there 20+ years ago! I'm so excited for Peyton as she will start half-day Kindergarten on Wednesday. I'm also feeling overwhelmed . . . overwhelmed with how many volunteer opportunities there are, overwhelmed with how I'm going to manage getting her to school and picking her up everyday, overwhelmed with managing a new school year for two little ones as well as taking care of two babies! BUT, I am thankful for our group (as always) for preparing me for such tasks . . . and for the encouragement I will receive from you all during our meetings. This is a fun time . . . yes a little sad as one chapter of Peyton's life is coming to a close, but there are so many wonderful times ahead! And, she is excited and ready . . . ready for the adventure! So, here we go . . .

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Some random tid-bits

I can't believe I'm doing this . . . but I had to join in the fun and offer some info (hopefully helpful)!

1. Story-time at the library with Miss Katy was AWESOME! I'm embarrassed to say how amazed I was at the downtown library (it's been ions since I've been there). What a treasure it truly is! They have SO many incredible children's books - I was blown away. I could have spent hours just looking through books! I would encourage all of you to try it out.

2. Jason's Deli . . . what a deal for kids! Their kids meals are $1.99 and healthy for the most part. AND, they have free ice cream. I was able to eat there with the girls for about $11 and I love their "healthy" approach to all of their meals - no trans fat, etc. - so much better than your typical fast-food place.

3. My new favorite drink (and I created it on my own). Mix decaf iced-tea with Ocean Spray's White Cran-Peach juice. It's refreshing, peachy and the best part is that it doesn't have any high-fructose corn syrup!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Paper Source at NorthPark

Paper Source... LOVE this store & it just opened in NorthPark (near the Gap).  Grand Opening was yesterday.  I think it's the first Texas location although they have stores all over the US.   Their tag line is "Do Something Creative Everyday."   How cute is that?  They offer fun, creative classes (paper flower making, book binding, calligraphy, stamp making, wrapping, etc.)  along with their neat inventory of stuff (paper + other unique things.)   One of the workshops might make for a fun girls night out.  Anyhow... visit their website and plan to check out their new store!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Inspiring Words...

As I perused a site called Grace Gems today, I came across this excerpt from "Home-Making" by J.R. Miller from 1882. It inspired me, so I thought I'd share it.

Four walls do not make a home

Four walls do not make a home—though it is a palace filled with all the elegances which wealth can buy! The home-life itself is more important than the house and its adornments. By the home-life, is meant the happy art of living together in tender love. We enter some homes, and they are full of sweetness—as fields of summer flowers are full of fragrance. All is order, beauty, gentleness and peace. We enter other homes, where we find jarring, selfishness, harshness and disorder. This difference is not accidental. They are influences at work in each home, which yield just the result we see in each. No home-life can ever be better than the life of those who make it.

Homes are the real schools in which men and women are trained—and fathers and mothers are the real teachers and builders of life! Sadly, the goal which most parents have for their home—is to have as good and showy a house as they can afford, furnished in as rich a style as their means will warrant, and then to live in it as comfortably as they are able, without too much exertion or self-denial.

But the true idea of a Christian home, is that it is a place for spiritual growth. It is a place for the parents themselves to grow—to grow into beauty of character, to grow in spiritual refinement, in knowledge, in strength, in wisdom, in patience, gentleness, kindliness, and all the Christian graces and virtues. It is a place for children to grow—to grow into physical vigor and health, and to be trained in all that shall make them true and noble men and women.

A true home is set up and all its life ordered—for the definite purpose of training, building up and sending our human lives fashioned into Christlike symmetry, filled with lofty impulses and aspirations, governed by principles of rectitude and honor, and fitted to enter upon the duties and struggles of life with spiritual wisdom and strength.

Pioneer Woman Cooks

Okay, so, I really don't cook much.   Shh.... don't tell the other Creative Homemakers!   Really what I do these days is "prepare" or "assemble."  Yes, again, I'm mother of the year.

Anyway, there's a website I'm semi-obsessed with, called The Pioneer Woman.   She has this incredible love story all chronicled on her website, but today we're going to talk about her cooking.    She's a really talented photographer AND cook, so the combo is, shall we say, delicious.

While I must confess I've never made anything on this website, it looks simple, beautiful and delicious, so maybe it'll be inspiring to all of you GOOD mommies!

There are photos of all of them and it's just the kind of cooking I'd do if I cooked more!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Check this out:. It tells you how to simplify text messages with something called Jott. I have to say that no one ever texts me. Is that a generational thing or am I just not very popular? Anyway, this is fascinating!

Stacking Toys

Finding out that a classic toy benefits my child makes my day! This post from Conscious Play tells how a stacking toy helps children from a motor perspective. Interesting!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hooray for Home Depot!

I know you all think I've gone off the deep end, but this is really important!

As I posted earlier, I'm a little worried about all those compact fluorescent light bulbs, because they contain mercury - a potent neurotoxin - which means if these bulbs break, in our homes or in the trash, you have to go through a big ordeal evacuating the house, etc.   Plus, if they're thrown in the trash, they'll certainly end up breaking and the mercury will spill into our water, soil and air.

I'm thrilled to hear that Home Depot has just announced that that every single one of their stores will be recycling old CFL bulbs!    Just bring any unbroken CFL bulb to the returns desk, and voila!   Hooray!  

FYI - the new energy-efficient halogen lightbulbs by Phillips don't contain mercury and are much safer.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kold Sore

My eighteen month old baby boy suffers from a chronic diaper rash. Dr. Smith's, the magic ointment that always did the trick for my older child didn't do a thing. We've been through tube after tube of the special prescription cream that our pediatrician has prescribed. It works a little bit, but not great and not for long. Supposedly, one of the best things you can do for diaper rash is to let them go au natural a lot to dry it out. We did that and still, that persistent rash. Finally, I knew we had to try something else. So, I called Dr. Park. He is an acupuncturist and wholistic doctor here in Dallas. He is the doctor who gave me the herbs to help me get pregnant and they worked! Anyway, he said he had something he thought would help the diaper rash. It's called Kold Sore. At $15 a bottle, I was at his office that morning with the cure. It's a miracle. My little guy's diaper rash is so much better--almost completely gone! It's all natural--drug free. Today, his office called to see how the baby was doing--yes, that's how wonderful these people are. I told them how I was amazed. They said that Kold Sore works on all kinds of skin irritations--cold sores (the name might give that one away), mouth ulcers, cuts, and scrapes, etc. I love it when a problem is finally solved! And just think how happy my baby is!

Friday, July 11, 2008

My favorite purchase from NYC

I just got back from a FUN visit to New York!    I'm still in re-entry mode, so for now, I'll just leave you with a photo of my favorite purchase from NYC...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Detox: the series begins

I am the proud mama of two sweet little boys.   My older son, we'll call him "Big T", has autism.

So many people ask me what I think causes autism, so I'll give you my opinions here on "A Mama Told Me" from time to time.     Keep in mind these are my opinions, based on my research and consultations with doctors and experts (and a bunch of other people WAY smarter than I am) - but if this was all cut and dry simple, we'd have figured it out by now.  So here goes:   

Genetic predisposition + environmental insult = Autism.

I believe some children are less able to detoxify all the gunk we put in our bodies.  So when the are exposed to outside toxins, their bodies can't filter and excrete the gunk out as fast as it's coming in, and they get pushed past their "toxic tipping point", and descend into autism.

Kind of like someone born with a deadly peanut allergy.    Genetics, plus the toxic insult (in this case, peanuts) causes a terrible reaction.

And I agree with a lot of the newer research that says that the autism spectrum is really a long line - with ADHD/allergies/asthma at one end, and full-syndrome, non-verbal autism at the other.     So maybe a child who would have just been "ADHD" would be pushed down into autism after a toxic exposure, and perhaps a completely healthy child is pushed into ADHD or allergies and asthma.

I know, I know, I sound like a nut.   This, coming from the chick who's always preferred the indoors, welcomed all chemicals, and loves air conditioning.   I never even used to wash my produce.   (Except when I had company, of course.)

But I believe this is very real, and our children are the canaries in the coal mine.

But don't freak out - all we need to do is to try to be better than we were before.   In the coming weeks, I'll post about ideas for reducing our toxic loads that even lazy moms like me can do. 

For now, if you're totally antsy to learn more, visit for lots of info.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Don't Laugh! The "Ped Egg"

Okay, so maybe I don't get out much.    At least, not to hip cool night spots.   But I have been wearing these cute Tory Burch flip-flops almost every day this summer, and I've really started to notice my "you're not so young and dewy anymore" rough feet.

It was time to take action.   I was in Target (where I can be found at least several times a week) and I saw this:   the Ped Egg

  It's the best!    It is easy to use, it totally works, and it even contains all the "dust" (let's just call it that so we can avoid being gross) inside the egg, so it doesn't make a mess!

My feet are smooth again!   All is well.  ;)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

ML's Pineapple Casserole

Rocks in My Dryer is having a Five-Ingredient-or-Less Entry Day for Works-for-Me-Wednesday. Here is a super easy crowd pleaser. Our friend ML gave us this one. You can serve it as a dessert, but it's meant to be a sidedish.

Pineapple Casserole
30 oz. can pineapple chunks (or tidbits)
1 stick butter
2 cups sugar
4 beaten eggs
4 slices of white bread (cubed; no crust)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Let butter soften. Drain pineapple. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, bread, and pineapple. Pour into greased casserole dish and bake for 45-60 minutes at 325 degrees.


Monday, June 30, 2008

Jammy Rides

How fun does this concept sound??!! I want to try it with my boys tonight!!!

Precious vases!

I'm in love with these place card holders... aren't they so cute?  They're $9 for 6 of them, and they include the bases, tubes for flowers and placecards.   I'm thinking they could be so cute in a line down a table for a centerpiece!

They're from a company called BlumeBox, and they make all different shapes and sizes of these little cardboard box vases for flower arrangements.   They're very inexpensive and WAY cute!    They're even doing these darling ribbons now!

It makes me want to throw a party!   (Now, if only I'd recover those ugly maroon loveseats...)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Free Audio Books!

I was reading about this on Money Saving Mom today, and I looked into it. Really neat! This site has a list of books that you can download onto your computer..even onto your itunes and then make a CD of them--ALL FOR FREE! Librivox is the place. I found some Thornton Burgess and some Beatrix Potter. There are tons!

This reminded me that there is something else like this called Lit2Go where you can download books for free. If memory serves me, they also have a nice selection of nursery rhymes.

For us, audio books are a great way to pass time driving in the car, to make rest time fun for my five year old, or to make sure to get a little reading into an otherwise full day.

I better get to shopping for some more titles!

Yummy Fish Recipe!

Here is a GREAT summer recipe and our whole family loved this. I have made it with both orange roughy and halibut, although I think the kids liked the orange roughy better. I hope you enjoy!,1717,154188-246192,00.html

25 Free (or Cheap!) Things to Do with the Kids This Summer!

Check out this post at for 25 free (or inexpensive) things to do with our kiddos in the Dallas area this summer!

A couple of my favorite new ideas:

Free workshops for kids ages 5-12 beginning at 9am until noon, the first Saturday of the month at all area Home Depot Stores!   Next up, is July 5th, where the children can make FREE birdhouses!

My Kind of Mom calls it a "hidden sanctuary" in West Plano, with:  " amazing 200-acre park, with a large playground, over 4 miles of paved hiking/biking paths, large pavilions, a creek, and even an observation tower. Take your kids with a list of “evidence” to search for (a particular plant, a type of tree, etc.) and have them collect it in a picture, a drawing, or even the object itself. A list is available here, you can check out “Are You an Outdoor Kid” for other nature trail ideas, or you cold make a list of your own."

Check out the rest of her list - there are ideas for super-cheap movies (for really hot days), and lots of other really interesting things to do around the area!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

THE eyelash curler

Shu Uemura Friends & Family Discount...

This is supposed to be THE eyelash curler...the best one! So, here's a coupon for 20 percent off...wouldn't this be a fun gift for a sister or mom. Click here for the skinny.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Developing Small Motor Skills

I have a child who is getting ready to go to kindergarten. I know that learning to print is just around the corner, so I'm always looking for good ideas for developing my child's hand muscles. Conscious Play is a wonderful blog that is always full of good ideas for just this kind of thing. Develop the Small Muscles of Your Child's Hands is her latest post. Take a looksee.

What's the Deal with Acai?

A lot of talk about Acai....I knew it was good for you, but now it's being touted as the number one super food. I've bought a package of acai at Central Market. It was in the frozen food section and was packaged in 6 individual mini packets. We put it in smoothies and it was tasty. I googled it today, and here's what I came up thinks I should go get some more of this magic wonder juice.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The MOTHER LODE for crafts!

Okay, so I know I'm the over-poster today, but I couldn't end the day without sharing this CUTE website with lots and lots of simple activities and crafts for kids.  

You.  Must.  Visit.  This.  Site.  Today.  GO!  NOW!

Family chore system!

These charts and schedules are sooooo cute and functional!  The creator's name is Angela, and would you believe she has a blog called The Creative Homemaker!    (Bet you'll never guess how I came upon her website!)   

Anyway, this clever gal has come up with something she calls her "Summer System."  You've just GOT to visit her blog and check it all out.    This tiny picture just doesn't do it justice.   She's actually beginning to customize and sell these - you can see "buy" links on the right side of the page.

While you're there, she's got another post about a wheel she uses to assign rules for her "Family Home Evening" - which, incidentally is a pretty neat Mormon tradition.  (She's LDS) 

I googled "Family Home Evening" and found tons and tons of great ideas for Bible stories,  crafts, visuals, etc. that could easily be used for our own families.     Like this site - when you click on "Obedience 1", there are some ideas about Jonah and how to discuss obedience.    So many of them don't even mention the Book of Mormon,  and simply use the Bible.

We've been intending to do a little family night for a while now, where we could read a Bible story and discuss as a family... but I'm the queen of "do as I say and not as I do."   Maybe this will get us started!

These Plates are SO Cute!

I've always wanted to have a "You are Special"  or "Happy Birthday" plate to use at the dinner table to celebrate big achievements, birthdays, milestones, etc.

These are too cute - albeit a little pricey at $20 each.   But if you were going to give a fun birthday present - a set of preppy monogrammed plates would be so FUN to give... and receive!

They're melamine (dishwasher safe!) and about as cute and preppy as it gets.   Love 'em!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Inspiring Words...

Read this wonderful list from Proverbs 31 called "10 Ways to Make Your Home a Haven"
by Mary E. DeMuth. It is precious. What a great website that is.

Those new CFLs.... (compact fluorescent light bulbs)

In case you haven't heard, fluorescent light bulbs are filled with mercury vapor.   Both the long tubes, as well as the new energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Mercury is neurotoxic - especially for children and pregnant mommies, so be careful never to break one!    They are considered hazardous waste, and have to be taken to a special recycling center to be disposed - not put in the regular trash.

This is worth watching - it's funny and very informative, and lasts 5 minutes.   It's Congressman Ted Poe addressing this issue.

The best kids' multi ever!

I don't know about you, but my picky kiddos don't always eat all their fruits and veggies.

Okay, so run right out and get these for your kiddos - Nordic Berries.  They're chock full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants - this is no Flintstones vitamin - but they are DELICIOUS!   They look like little gumdrops (kiddos take 4 per day), and they're chewy and taste like orange/berries.

They're pectin-based, with no artificial colorings, flavorings or preservatives.    And my 3 year old begs for his "fruit chewies" every morning!

You can either order off the website, or buy them at Roy's at Preston and Royal in Dallas.  

P.S.  Roy's is closed on Saturdays and open Sundays.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Do Not Miss

This is showing now at the Dallas Children's Theater. Here is what Anne had to say:

"We went to see "A Year with Frog and Toad" at Dallas Children's Theater, and it was just precious. I just thought I'd pass along that it is playing there for another month or so. I do not think that it is sold out. I am not saying that the story has any deep meaning of any kind, but it was just a sweet and fun story to go and see with your children on a hot summer day. Frog and Toad are such sweet friends to each other!"

Anne's word is good enough for me!

Cherries with Caramel Dip

For a couple of anniversaries, my husband and I spent the night at the ever-so-swanky W Hotel in Dallas. For a special anniversary treat, the hotel sent us a bottle of champagne along with a beautifully presented tray of cherries surrounding a bowl of caramel dip. That was such a summery and delicious treat. I've copied them before but had forgotten about it until just yesterday. It's so easy to duplicate. You can purchase caramel dip in the produce section of most grocery stores. Put it in a pretty bowl, set that on a tray, and surround it with fresh cherries. Be sure to provide something where the seeds and stems can be discarded. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Going Bonkers! A great place to go when your kids are going bonkers....

So we've probably been swimming about a third of our waking hours for the last two weeks.   Well, maybe not a third, but at some point, on these hot days, there's got to be something else to do with the kiddos when they're crawling the walls and it's 150 degrees outside.

Enter:  Going Bonkers!     
This is some serious fun.    It's totally safe, with netted-in climbing platforms made out of a material that reminds me of seat belts.   They're big about how clean and sanitized the structures are, and there's a separate 3 and under play area that my 3 year old loves.  Plus, the word is, it was designed by a physical therapist.

It's 16,000 square feet of open-air climbing and sliding fun, and toddlers all the way to young teens love it.    Oh, and it's pretty dang cheap.    Adults  are $1,  Kids 3-18 $5.   Under 3, $2.50.

What's great:  
  • There a a whole bunch of booths situated right in the middle (I'm sitting in one now actually) that give you good line of sight to pretty much anywhere in the play center except the arcade upstairs.  (More on that later)
  • There's free wireless internet, so you can bring your laptop and check email, catch up on other moms' blogs, and keep yourself entertained.    That, or you can bring a magazine.
  • There's pretty cheap food, or you can bring your own in.    Huge cheese pizza, $15, feeds about 25 people.    OK, maybe not 25, but 4 at least.    They even had salads (which of course I didn't try) and several variations on kids' meals for $3 to $5.
Some tips:
  • Be sure and dress your kid(s) in a really bright, and ideally striped shirt.   It makes it wayyyy easier to keep up w/ your wigglers.   Except not pink, since every little girl in here has on a pink shirt.   Seriously.
  • Saturdays are REALLY busy.   If you're okay with that, or forget (like I did today), it's still fine, but a little harder to keep watch.     Weekdays are usually best, and they're open most days until early evening.
  • Meet a buddy here - it's like a grown-up version of Tots Towne, for all of you who remember that.  Easy to chat and still watch your kids.
  • When you get here, tell you kiddos they're not allowed to go upstairs to the arcade.    It's just easier.    It's the only area you can't see (without actually getting up and walking upstairs) and who knows who's lurking up there.    I know, I'm paranoid, but it's a crazy world these days.
To get there:   head up I-35 past the Bush, and you'll see Vista Ridge mall on your left.  I think it's called "Round Grove Road".    Go west on Round Grove over the highway, then make a left on MacArthur.   Watch for Going Bonkers on your left.

So, that's about it!    More than you ever wanted to know about Going Bonkers. 

Friday, June 20, 2008

Pancakes, Pancakes here's my idea for the weekend. This is what I'm going to do. My husband is going to help me..he doesn't know it yet, but he is! I'm going to buy the ingredients for some super healthy whole grain pancakes. Then I'm (code--we;re) going to start cooking. We have a griddle that is a hand-me-down from my dad. We're going to cook stacks and stacks of pancakes. Then, I'm going to freeze them in baggies--four per bag--two per child. This way, breakfast will be a breeze and oh, so much cheaper than buying a box of frozen Aunt Jemimas.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Monogrammed Twin Bed for $299?

Oh my goodness!     So it's 10:34 am, and since our field trip to the berry patch got rained out this morning, I'm working on potty-training my (very resistant) 3 year old.    Translation = I'm still in my pajamas surfing the net and running in there every 15 minutes or so for a pee/poop check.   Ahhh... the glamourous life of a stay-at-home-mom!

Anywho, I was on the DominoMag blog, and eureka!   I found this DARLING bed!   

Seriously - isn't this the cutest bed ever?    The whole thing, monogrammed is $299!
I wish I hadn't already bought the boys the Cargo Kids wooden bunk beds on CraigsList, because I'd be all over these!