Thursday, August 27, 2009

My daughter has been asking for a pet for the last two Christmases and birthdays. I've been putting it off because of the added responsibilities not only for the kids, but for me.

This year, I decided if my daughter asked for a pet for her birthday that it was finally time to oblige her. Of course, she did in fact ask for a pet again.

She wanted a snake.

We used to have a 5-foot long, red-tailed boa-so it wasn't a huge surprise. And although I absolutely enjoyed owning a snake, I wasn't thrilled with the idea of taking care of another one.

About a month ago, my kids were staying with my cousins one weekend and it just so happens they were taking care of a puppy in need of a home. The kids adored him and carried the puppy everywhere. It seemed that it was meant to be for us to have this puppy. I agreed to take the puppy and give him a try.

Well, the first few days were interesting...

I have company staying with me and they have a chihuahua. Unbeknownst to me, lil "Ay" is in heat. So day one of owning our first puppy became a lesson in the birds and the bees for my kiddos. The lesson came in the form of the mutt and the chihuahua. My son and daughter wanted to know what the dogs were doing. I explained that they were trying to make babies.

Remember- It's never too early to talk to your kids about sex...

The lesson continued Day Two-though this was one lesson no one wants to learn. Before I could break up the two doggies from their folly, they literally became stuck together. Now, I've owned dogs before, but I've never seen anything like this-much less know how to end it! I was informed by my friend to "water hose them down!" My first thought was "really?"

It was quite tricky to carry the two dogs outside by the hose. I was a little frightened they might not have let me touch them. The look on their faces told me otherwise. They looked so helpless and pitiful-maybe even a bit embarrassed. I managed to carry the two outdoors and sprayed the "stuck" portion down with the water hose. The dogs didn't like it, but neither moved. Within a few minutes the dogs were free of each other. I'm glad to report that the "lessons" have ceased (at least for now)!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Texas Roadhouse -not just a good place to eat...

When I think about a place to go out to eat, I've never thought to have dinner at a Texas Roadhouse. I've only eaten there three times and each time I was invited with a group while attending a conference for work. I've always thought the food was very tasty and reasonably priced, but just never think of going there.

Recently, my daughter attended a tour of a local Texas Roadhouse with her summer day care center. I couldn't understand why the center would choose a restaurant for a field trip. Silly me! My daughter was so excited to tell me all about her tour of the Texas Roadhouse. She handed me a certificate of participation and a letter that read:
"It has been a pleasure to have your child come visit us for a fun learning experience at Texas Roadhouse, Friendswood. We've enjoyed feeding your child and showing him/her the 'ins and outs' of how a restaurant works at no charge to you. It's our desire to reach out to the community in any way we can. We hope you will come back with your child and visit us again.
Have a lengendary day!"

Now granted, the restaurant is surely trying to get more business, but what a great way to do so. My daughter is still asking me when we're going to go eat at the Roadhouse. She has always liked to help out in the kitchen and now more than ever. I think the field trip was a wonderful learning experience for her. My daughter said her favorite part of the trip was helping make the homemade rolls-which each child received 4 rolls to take home. Oh, and are they good!

Here's info on the field trip as described by the Texas Roadhouse website:

Texas Roadhouse Tours!
Looking for a fun and exciting field trip idea for your school or day care? How about Texas Roadhouse! Bring your group in for an exciting learning experience with their teachers for a fun-filled field trip. The children tour the restaurant, learning the different aspects of how a restaurant works, learn to line dance, and “pound” some of our dough to make our delicious dinner rolls! They are also treated to lunch and are sent home with Official Roadhouse Roadies Certificates, a bag of peanuts, some of the rolls they helped make, and a free kid’s meal pass for their next visit with Mom and Dad!

I think I'll be eating at the Roadhouse soon...and Kid's Night is every Tuesday-kids 12 and under eat free with purchase of adult meal.
(NOTICE: this is a true roadhouse and peanut shells cover the floor-beware if your child has peanut allergies)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday, August 20, 2009

EARTH911.COM has a simple message:




and REACT!

8 Ways to Green Childhood

by Michelle Talsma Everson
This story is part of Earth911’s “Green Eight” series, where we showcase eight ways to green your life in various areas.
So, you’ve embraced the green lifestyle and may even be a champion of it. Now you’re ready to share your new-found eco-knowledge with the world. What better place to start than at home, with your own children?
After all, your kids are part of the next environmentally conscious generation, so why not get them started off on a green foot? No matter what age your youngsters are, it’s never too early (or too late!) to show them the green ropes and encourage an eco-friendly childhood.

1. Use Fewer Diapers
If your child isn’t potty trained, help save the environment one diaper at a time by using fewer disposable diapers. You can do this the old-fashioned way by solely using cloth diapers, which can be washed and reused, or you can use fewer disposable diapers in general by implementing Elimination Communication (EC).
Also known as infant or baby potty training, EC involves training your baby to communicate with you when they need to go, so you can take them to the real toilet every now and then, thus reducing their dependency on disposable diapers. You’ll still use diapers – but you’ll use them less frequently.

2. Encourage (and Practice) Green Eating Habits
Reduce the amount of packaging waste from pre-made foods by making meals at home, and turn family dinners into a chance to cook your favorite organic or fresh food recipes. If possible, make your baby food from scratch – it’s healthier for baby and saves on excess waste from cardboard, glass, plastic and more. And if you’re really ambitious, consider starting a family garden. No matter its size, it will encourage your kids to appreciate their food and the earth it comes from.

3. Use “Green Bucks”
For older children, the concept of “Green Bucks” helps teach them about two types of green: money and the environment. Similar to an allowance, Green Bucks are given to kids as a reward, but instead of being used on the latest toy, they represent a set amount of money that is donated in their name to an environmentally-friendly charity of their choice.

4. Explore The Great Outdoors
To help them learn to appreciate nature, give your kids a chance to really explore it. Do some quick research to find out more about the environmental treasures in your local community, and take advantage of the chance to spend time as a family.

5. Recycle Together
Recycling is one of the most basic green living concepts. But you aren’t born knowing the ins and outs of this eco-habit, and the best place to learn it is at home. Make recycling a family project and get your kids involved. By making it fun using games and activities, your children will not only learn how and what to recycle, but it will become a lifelong habit. Check out the EPA’s Environmental Kids’ Club for recycling ideas, games and activities.

6. Buy Green Toys
One of the best things about being a kid is, of course, toys! You know you’re going to give them a treat every now and then anyways, so why not buy your children environmentally friendly toys? Green toys come in all shapes and sizes, but without chemicals or additives. One place to start your hunt for the latest eco-friendly plaything is Eco Toy Town. Many department stores are also beginning to sell eco-friendly toys and organic baby products for even the littlest member of the family.

7. Earth-Friendly Reads
Just like you read up about the latest eco-topics, it’s never too early to start reading green kids books to your young ones. Not only does it help develop their reading skills, but it can foster early awareness of the environment. For older kids, pass along your favorite green articles or Web sites – it will give you a lot to discuss and provide an opportunity to learn together as well.

8. Set an Example
Perhaps the most important tip for green parents is to teach by example. If you want your kids to learn to be good stewards of Mother Nature, let them see your green efforts in action! And, don’t forget to tell them when you’re being green – pointing out your own efforts will help remind them to be mindful of even the simplest eco-steps, from turning off lights to unplugging electronics when bed time rolls around.