Friday, July 27, 2007

Feeling Guilty? Learn to let it go...

A friend of mine is feeling guilty these days because she lost her temper with her 9-month-old son and raised her voice and wanted a break. I don't know one mom who hasn't raised her voice at one time or a mom who hasn't felt the need for a break. For her, I'd like to share an older post-

You're Not A Bad Mom If...

(abbreviated list-it could go on for days) didn't have a natural, drug-free birth didn't/don't have/had postpartum depression don't cook a homemade meal every night. (Did you know spaghetti O's don't have preservatives? Pair with a salad if it makes you feel better)'re just too tired to read a book to your child tonight. (Your child might want 2 books the next night when you have the energy) can't afford a trip to DisneyWorld raised your need a break from your kid(s)

....your house isn't spotless and free of toy-debris

....your child throws a tantrum. (for most kids, it's the best way they know how to communicate their feelings)

Being a mom shouldn't mean living with the guilt of not living up to the title of "perfect parent."You're not supermom. You can't always do everything you or your kids want.You're human, you're going to make mistakes and you learn from them.I know it's difficult not to feel guilt or inadequacy. But, remember those feelings come from judgments of how you think things should be based on the perceptions of the world. In other words, you feel that way because you think you're supposed to.

As parents, we're constantly judged by others. I have strangers walk up to me in the grocery store and tell me with an appalled tone to put socks on my son. "Aren't you worried his feet are getting cold?" I just ignore them. I know I do worry about my son, but he keeps taking off his socks and throwing them on the ground. I think he'll survive while we purchase some diapers and milk. While we were out running errands another time, strangers remarked about my daughter having a dirty face. Yes, I would prefer my daughter have a clean face too. But, I'm not going to fight or bribe her if she doesn't want to clean her face-especially since the main reason to clean her face is the thought of how others are going to perceive her and me. Since then, she's learned on her own to clean her face.It's the same scenario as when a kid throws a tantrum in public. We're so worried about what on-lookers are thinking, we change our parenting. We should stay our parenting course. It shouldn't matter what others think.Always remember, YOU'RE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN and YOU'RE A GREAT MOM!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I'LL BUY THAT FOR A DOLLAR and throw a birthday party

If you're on a budget or just frugal (or both like me), you know the expenses of a child's birthday party can really add up. But, parties can still be fun and inexpensive thanks to the dollar store. If you have a fear of the dollar store selling only cheap crap, you'd be surprized what kinds of quality items are available. If you still have an aversion-many mega-stores such as Target, Wal-Mart and even the sports store Academy have $1 aisles or areas in order to compete with dollar stores.

My daughter recently turned 5-years-old. Being that it was such a milestone, I asked her where she'd like to have her party. To my surprize, she simply requested a party at home. I'm thinking easier and cheaper-great! I then asked my daughter what theme she wanted for her party and she replied, "fish." Um, fish, interesting-how was I going to pull this one off? So I came up with Birthday Bash By the Bay. For the main activity, I set up two baby pools and a fun rope-type sprinkler.
The games included balloon toss and Fishin'. (I wrote the name of the prizes on small, floating foam rings that I placed face-down in the baby pool. I used a kid fishing rod with a hook I made from a large paper clip. The kids then fished for the foam rings-which ever ring they caught was the prize they won. The littler kids were allowed to use a butterfly net to catch their prize rings).
Fish of all kinds, lighthouses, sailboats, etc adorned the food tables on serving trays my mom loaned to me and even the napkins (which I found cheap at WalMart). I had small, beach-themed tumblers full of goldfish crackers and goldfish pretzels. As for the cake, it was a fish too! I highly recommend cupcake-cakes. They are awesome -whether you make it yourself or buy at the store. It's simply several cupcakes placed and iced all together forming what looks like a traditional cake-but without having to cut it up! I happened to be blessed with good birthday party karma the night before the party and found this cake at Signature Kroger's (for $14.95!!):
Party Favor Bags...

Construction Paper I drew several fish shapes on the entire pad of construction paper and my daughter and her friends helped me cut them out. The kids enjoyed the craft project and I ended up with cute fish decorations. They were so proud of their creations hanging up during the party too.
Streamers party decor
Balloons party decor
Water balloons party game (TIP: For toddlers, fill regular balloons with water since they don't pop as easily as the thinner, smaller water balloons)
Plastic forks, spoons & knives

Spiderman & Scooby Doo water bottles
300 page activity books
Disney Princess Markers (the dollar store has TONS of Disney items!)
Disney pom-poms
Disney Princess brush set
Mini flashlights (batteries included)
Balloon launcher
Water Guns (6 per bag)
Bag of misc sea shells
Sponge Bob temporary tattoos

from TARGET'S Dollar Area
Baseball caps (with a fish embroidered on it!)
Bubbles (actually 6 for $2.25)
Mini Straw Beach bags (2 for $1)
Transformers pencil bags (2 for $1)
from WAL-MART's Dollar Area
Goggles (6 per bag)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

KIDS EAT FREE, really!!

I take advantage of FREE whenever I can. I was surprised how many restaurants have "Kids Eat Free" nights. There are even several kid-oriented activity places that offer free fun on certain days-like the Children's Museum in Houston is free for the entire family on Thursday evenings.

Recently, I took the kids to Sonic for free Root Beer Floats.
(here's a list of restaurants found throughout the U.S.-some may be only in Texas)
*Golden Corral (kids 3 & under)
*Joe's Crab Shack(after 4pm)
*Golden Corral (kids 3 & under)
*James Coney Island (after 4pm)
*Rain Forest Cafe (99 cents after 6pm)
*Luby's (after 4pm)
*Sonic (Wacky Pack Wednesday $1.99-good deal though not free)
*Golden Corral (kids 3 & under)
*Golden Corral (kids 3 & under)
*Golden Corral (kids 3 & under)
*Luby's (all day)
*Golden Corral (kids 3 & under)
*Golden Corral (kids 3 & under)
*AMC Theatres Movie Camp (FREE movies from June 27 – August 15*
Shows starting at 10:00 a.m. every Wednesday
Great field trip opportunities – groups can reserve FREE tickets one week in advance at the box office at participating theatres)
*Barnes & Nobel Book Sellers Children's Story Time
*Cinemark Theatres Movie Clubhouse (10 movies for $5 in advance or $1 each at box office)
*The Home Depot offers free "how to" classes for kids aged 5 to 12 every 1st Saturday of the month at 10am
Check out your local library, museum district and symphony for other fun, free kid activities. You can find something free for the kids every day of the week!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

You Might Be A Redneck Mother If...

...You've ever used the phrase "hug my neck."

...You've ever gone grocery shopping in the middle of the night, in your PJ's. (sometimes you're so excited about shopping by yourself-you forget what you're wearing!)

...You've ever called a grocery cart a "buggy."

...You've ever taken your kid to the store who's wearing nothing but a too-big t-shirt and full britches.

...You use the word "Britches" in place of diaper.

...You're children always answer to elders with "Yes, Ma'am" or "Yes, Sir."

...You've ever gone to fill up your gas tank in the middle of the night, barefoot.

...You've ever used the word "whoopin"

...You're children play in the front yard naked and you pretend you didn't notice.

...You're kids love to eat "beans and weenies."

...The local cops call you the "wagon lady." (hey, radio fliers are cheaper than those fancy jogger-strollers and I'm getting my exercise!)