Wee Rascals : Clothing Inspired By Historical Heroes {#Giveaway}

 

This is a sponsored giveaway on behalf of Wee Rascals. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

*****

 
CONGRATULATIONS, E.S. GRIFFIN! YOUR NAME WAS SELECTED! PLEASE CONTACT ME AT CRITTERSANDCRAYONS(AT)GMAIL(DOT)COM TO CONFIRM YOUR STATUS AS THE OFFICIAL WINNER!
 

THANKS FOR USING THE EVENT’S OFFICIAL HASHTAG!

#WeeRascalsRaglan

 

The Wee Rascals Raglan Giveaway On Critters And Crayons!

 

I am thrilled to let parents know about a brilliant new clothing company run by two cool &  innovative moms, Kylie and Liz!

They set out to build a brand that breaks from the common Princess & Super Hero themes we see on store racks.

Wee Rascals is a “Made In The USA” Company that features historical heroes on high quality shirts made for children.

We received the Wee Rascals Raglan shirts featuring Isaac Newton and The Founding Fathers and completely love them!

Wee Rascals Giveaway Critters And Crayons-2

The smart designs and soft texture of the Wee Rascals shirts are a real hit with the kids.

Our son is picky about how a shirt should feel, and the softer the better for him.  He gives his full “softness endorsement”!

And, the images of literary and historical figures do spark conversation and learning.

Our son and daughter  have spent some time deliberating about which Presidents are actually on our daughter’s Founding Fathers shirt ( after they asked why Ronald Reagan and President Obama weren’t on it).

Plus, you can see in the photos that the shirts move quite nicely with active boys and girls!

Wee Rascals Giveaway Critters And Crayons-5

The great news is that you can win one of these beautiful Wee Rascals shirts, too!

 

The Wee Rascals Giveaway starts on Monday, April 7th, 2014 at Noon (CST)

and ends on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 at Noon (CST)

The entry is free and open to U.S. Residents over 18 in the continental United States!

*Further Details Can Be Found In The Entry Form…

 
 

ENTER THE WEE RASCALS GIVEAWAY HERE!

 

SHARE The Giveaway Using The Following Mobile-Friendly Link:

 

http://tinyurl.com/n3wf87s

 

Don’t Forget To Use The Official Event Hashtag When Sharing!

 

#WeeRascalsRaglan

 

(It helps us verify optional entries so we can find The Winner!)

 

The Wee Rascals Raglan Giveaway On Critters And Crayons!

 

Good Luck!

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Sponsored Post Disclaimer:    I only endorse products that I have experienced and/or tested, and often receive a product or service as compensation for conducting a sponsored post or giveaway.  In return for my labor and provision of this giveaway, I received two Wee Rascals raglan shirts for my children as compensation.   All opinions are always 100% my own, honest, and written in the style of the Critters And Crayons Blog. 

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Fortune Cookie Messages For Outnumbered Parents At Kite Festivals

These Are The Days We'll Remember...At The Laredo Kite Festival.  By Critters And Crayons.

At The Laredo Kite Festival

 

One of the festivals we absolutely love to attend each year in Laredo is the Kite Festival in March.

Today, we attended our fourth.

This means that we have attended since our children were in diapers, nursing, learning to crawl, learning to walk, learning to talk….all the way up to this year.

This year is the first year both children are past all of those milestones, but they can also both hold their own kites, fly their own kites, and be genuinely interested in holding and flying their own kites.  

They can do these things after getting just a little bit of help by Mom or Dad to catch the wind, of course.

I have to say, though, there is one truth that appears to be self-evident and inviolable.

If I had a fortune cookie message to foretell my future or offer sage advice about taking more than one child to any Kite Festival alone, it would read:

 

“Winds Favor The Wise Parent Who Is Not Outnumbered By Children Or Kites.”

 

Another possible fortune cookie message might bring a different perspective while delivering the same message:

 

“One Foolish Parent With Two Children At Kite Festival
 Will Be Entangled In The Strings Of Crashed Kites.”

 

Each year, we pile into the mini-van on a beautiful, but very hot day, with our newly selected kites.  We walk to the festival from our distant parking spots.  
 
We find a plot of land that is not completely marshy and that is not so packed with people that we might get one of our kites airborne.

 

But, the unspoken and unfair Law Of Wind Dynamics For Parents ALWAYS kicks in.

 

That law, in case you have not experienced it firsthand is:

 

“Your Child’s Kite Will Only Fly When Your Other Child’s Kite Crashes Into Some Unassuming Picnickers.”

 

And this Law is also supported by a couple of Theorums:

 

“The Vertical Height Of One Child’s Kite Is Directly Proportional To The Vertical Drop Of Your Other Child’s Kite.”

 

“If You Rescue One Child’s Kite By Gaining Wind Resistance By Running,

You Will Surely Run Through A Mudhole Where You Sink 3 Inches Before Kite Still Crashes Into Some Unassuming Picnickers.”

 

(Seriously, I cannot believe they didn’t move the first time.)

 

But, do you know what?

 

I’m certain we’ll be back, again, next year.

 

We may have muddy shoes and ankles, and some tangled kite string, and maybe even some occasionally frustrated children who haven’t completely grasped how to keep their kites in the air for longer than a few minutes, but, overall, we’re making some serious improvement.

 

Next year, we may be able to break that Law Of Wind Dynamics For Parents and its supporting Theorums.

 

Maybe, our Fortune Cookie Message, if we had a fortune cookie with a message about the Kite Festival, might read:

 

“Outnumbered Parent At Kite Festival Will See Two Kites In Air Simultaneously.”

 

or, maybe:

 

“You Will Not Trip On Tangled Kite Strings This Year.”

 

That would be cool.

 

But, maybe next year this fortune could really happen:

 

“You Will Remember To Wear Crappy Shoes To Places Where You Know You Will Run Through Mud.”

 

And, maybe, just maybe, some folks will get this fortune cookie message:

 

“Picnicker Who Moves After Kite Crashes Into Face Finishes Rest Of PB&J In Peace.”

 

But, I want to wish “Cheers” to all of the families out during the pretty Spring Days doing these kinds of activities.

 

There is humor in them, and sometimes, a little frustration.  
 
Yes.  Sometimes, you cave to the frustration after that Law Of Wind Dynamics For Parents kicks you in the teeth and ruins your shoes, again…when those imaginary fortune cookies foretold the future you should have predicted yourself.

 

For instance, I FINALLY cut the streamers completely off of one kite, and even sliced clean through the strings from the kite handle to regain the circulation to my legs after a near tourniquet had been formed by an errant kite with a very strong and determined child yanking on the other end.

 

I DID offer to pay the screaming child for the damage but she ran off to find her parents before I could give her any money.

 

(Um…..Really Sorry About That If It Belonged To Your Kid And You’re Reading This Now After Wondering Why Your Wailing Kid Brought Back A Kite Frame, But I Couldn’t Feel Anything Below My Ankle…..)

 

Seriously, though.

 

Days Like Today Are Never Boring. The Never-Boring Days Are The Real Memory-Makers.

 

THESE REALLY ARE THE DAYS WE ALL WILL REMEMBER.

 

HAVE YOU BEEN TO A KITE FESTIVAL?
 
STORIES!

 

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“Great Work! For a Girl!” A Conversation With My Daughter On International Women’s Day

 
 
 

 “Great Work! For a GIRL.”

 

These are words that I heard from my first grade daughter’s mouth this morning about her OWN work.

 

There was a major learning event in our home this morning, and it is fitting that it unexpectedly happened to happen on International Women’s Day 2014.

 

As our daughter worked on a very intricate Rainbow Loom rubber band bracelet, I heard her utter the words with pride and seriousness,

 

“Great Work! FOR A GIRL!!!”

 

Time Stopped.

 
It is not an exaggeration to say that I felt like my heart stopped a little.

 

What did she just say with such happiness?  How?  HOW????!!!

 

It was clearly time for a serious talk.

I asked where she’d heard that phrase and she said she heard it on Scooby Doo.

 

I explained to our daughter that it was a line meant to be an insult because whoever said it didn’t think that a girl could do great work in whatever situation they were working in.

 
Both our 5 year old son and our 6 and a half year old girl found this very confusing.

 
How was that an insult?  That was not an insult.  They said, “Great Work!” and it WAS “Great Work… For A Girl!”
 

Oh My. Oh My.  Oh My, My, My, My, My…….
 
 

There is work to be done in this home…

in this home where we celebrate women….

NO…

In this home where we celebrate PEOPLE

who work hard and achieve,

who do good things, and who make a difference.   

There is work to be done in this family of open-minded people,

from our ancestors,

to our extended family,

to the friends we laugh with,

to the teachers we honor,

and in the way we live,

where we recognize

and exalt and read about

THE PEOPLE WHO DO GREAT WORK….

 
 
The first answers to the questions I asked were a bit alarming from our little Pre-Schooler and First Grader.
 

  “Do you think girls can do the same great work boys can do?

‘Do you think girls can be just as strong or fast as boys?”

“Do you think girls are as smart as boys?”

“Do you think boys can be just as good as girls at art, or cooking, or fashion as girls?”

 

(*I used those fashion & cooking examples because they are traditionally ascribed to stereotypically “girly” pastimes and commercial toys-  like the color pink.  And, I know these are the activities my children associate with activities that GIRLS should be better at than BOYS).

 
 
And, then, I recalled a Super Hero episode I overheard recently where Batman and Superman ordered burgers and milkshakes and then cut Wonder Woman off as she ordered a salad and whole wheat toast.
 

“She’ll have the same! Make it 3!” Superman yelled.

“You’ll work it off later, Princess,” Batman responded.

Wonder Woman sat quietly and waited for her burger.

 
 

The Messages. Those Messages.

 

The Subliminal and The Overt.

 
 

They had already chipped away at the developing worldview of my perspective-vulnerable kids, and I had not seen it.

 

I remember watching an Independent Lens Documentary about the rise and fall of Wonder Woman.

 
She went from empowering icon to a female super hero who needed to be rescued herself as her own powers had devolved to be…Just….LESS THAN.
 

It was called “Wonder Women!  The Untold Story of American Super Heroines”
 

I watched that documentary because it happened to follow the other Independent Lens Documentaries I’d DVR’ed.

 
The Wonder Woman episode followed one about a man obsessed with Chinese Mail-Order Brides and another on the dwindling number of nomadic Mongolian tribes still bartering with precious strands of silk that had to be vigilantly protected from mold or rot to avoid complete destitution.
 

It was just a documentary between documentaries.
 

It was just a documentary because we really had moved forward and past that kind of thinking.

 

UNTIL TODAY.

 

TODAY, WONDER WOMAN LOOKED AT THE NEW LASSO OF HOPE

THAT SHE MADE HERSELF

ON THE UBIQUITOUSLY AVAILABLE AND AWARD-WINNING

TOY OF THE YEAR!”,

AND SHE EXCLAIMED,

“GREAT WORK! FOR A GIRL!”

 
 
And, it happened, of all days, TODAY, on International Women’s Day.
 

By the end of our talk, I feel like both of our kids understand why saying “Great Work! For A Girl…” is NOT a compliment.

 

“Great Work” Is Very Simply “GREAT WORK”.

 

EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US IS CAPABLE OF IT.

 

EVERY ONE.

 

AND “BAD WORK” is equally, and simply, “BAD WORK”….

 

For instance:

“BAD WORK” = Bad script writing where Wonder Woman isn’t capable of ordering her own lunch.

 

 

I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW, PARENTS….

IF YOU HEARD THOSE CRAZILY ANTIQUATED,

HEART-BREAKING,

AND SO INNOCENTLY UTTERED WORDS

COME FROM YOUR OWN AMAZING, CAPABLE, SMART, DEVELOPING CHILD’S MOUTH…..

  WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE SAID?

 

 

 

AFTER OUR TALK, I HAD BOTH OF MY KIDS YELL SOMETHING.

 

OUR BOY YELLED IT.

 

OUR GIRL YELLED IT.

 

I YELLED IT.

 

I HOPE YOU AND YOUR KIDS YELL IT, TOO.

 

"I WILL DO GREAT WORK!"  A post by Critters And Crayons On International Women's Day 2014.
“I WILL DO GREAT WORK!”

 
 

MAY EVERY SINGLE PERSON

ALL OVER THE WORLD

ORDER HIS OR HER OWN LUNCH,

AND BE GIVEN CREDIT FOR GREAT WORK

BECAUSE IT IS JUST, SIMPLY, GREAT.

 
 

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!

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Being A Practical Consumer Looks Like This

Being A Practical Consumer Looks Like This.  A Post By Critters And Crayons.

 

I haven’t been able to write as much as I’d like, recently.

In the last month, we have endured Strep Throat, Allergies, Asthma, Pink-Eye, and Houseguests.

Back in August, I wrote about how we were now committing ourselves to “Buying Only The Essential”.

 

I think teaching our kids to be “Practical Consumers” is a great life skill that will truly benefit them into their adult years.

 

Every year, we go through a “Stuff Audit” to donate or sell.

*  Clear out the clothes and shoes that don’t fit the kids anymore.

* Cull our closets for the stuff we haven’t worn in a year.

*  Edit the play area for toys the kids have outgrown, that are junky, redundant, dangerous or annoying.

 

SO, doesn’t it make sense that since writing that post where we bought the amazingly essential Alligator Toilet Paper Holder, that we have brought these things into The Household Fold?

My husband’s favorite, favorite, favorite Christmas Movie is “A Christmas Story”.

So, this was the perfect gift for him from us.

 

Being Practical Consumers Critters And Crayons-4

The Crooked Leg Lamp From A Christmas Story.

 

And, we all use Salt & Pepper, right?

What could be more PRACTICAL than buying a Salt & Pepper Shaker?

Salt & Pepper Shakers pretty much DEFINE “Practical”.

 

Being Practical Consumers Critters And Crayons-1

Our Alligator Salt & Pepper Shaker…

 

And, just this weekend, my husband took our visiting Sister-In-Law to some local pottery and metal-work venues to shop for unique items.

He came home with THIS.

 

Knight In Armor Statue Critters And Crayons-1

HUSBAND INCLUDED FOR SCALE.

 

I saw a segment on a morning talk show that discussed how to  “Test Compatibility” of married couples as part of The Valentines Day-themed topics.

There were marriage experts, book authors, digital quiz recommendations….but I think I’ve got the answer.

 

IF YOUR HUSBAND UNEXPECTEDLY BRINGS HOME A GIANT COPPER-COLORED KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR AS LIVING ROOM DECOR, YOU REACT:

 

a)  With Horror.  He better have kept the receipt!

 {PROBABLY INCOMPATIBLE}

 

b)  With Relief.  NOW, I don’t have to feel guilty about buying those shoes, after all.  

 {PROBABLY COMPATIBLE}

 

c)   With Approval And Admiration.  THAT IS FREAKING AWESOME!  HOW’D YOU FIT THAT IN THE MINI-VAN?  DO THEY HAVE MORE?

 {INDISPUTABLY MADE FOR EACH OTHER}   DING! DING! DING!

 

 

Knight In Armor Statue Critters And Crayons-2

My Answer To The Marriage Compatibility Quiz?
C.
I LOVE THIS THING!
I KNEW WE WERE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER!

 

And, to show that we are committed to this “Practical Purchasing” resolution, let me show you how useful and versatile that Alligator Toilet Paper Holder has proven to be!

Sadly, he fell over one day and one of his arms shattered.

He could no longer stylishly hold the toilet paper roll for which he’d been purchased!

 

BUT, the kids figured out a solution before we could grab the Super Glue!

 

Being Practical Consumers Critters And Crayons-3

Versatile. Innovative. Above All, A Very Practical Purchase.

Just as we were feeling good about that crocodilian TP-holder back in August, I definitely feel like our kids are being imbued with a real appreciation for “Practical Material Consumption”.

 

The Leg Lamp?  
It provides light.

 

The Gator Salt & Pepper Shakers?  
They provide seasoning.

 

The 7-Foot Tall Knight In Our Living Room?    
He is an excellent conversation starter.

 

The Alligator Toilet Paper Holder?  Did you LOOK at the photos?  
Totally pragmatic.

 

SO…..

HAVE YOU MADE ANY PRACTICAL INTERESTING PURCHASES LATELY THAT YOU JUST LOVE?

 

WHAT’S YOUR ANSWER TO THE COMPATIBILITY QUIZ ABOVE?

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The Valentines Day Giveaway From Knotty Origami And La Cookie Company!

This is a sponsored post giveaway written by me on behalf of Knotty Origami And La Cookie Company.  

 
 

All Opinions Are 100% Mine.   

 
 

Valentines Day Giveaway Knotty Origami La Cookie Company

 
 

 A Beautiful Valentines Day Giveaway

From Knotty Origami And La Cookie Company Is Here!

 
 

ENTER HERE TO WIN

 
 
 

A Winner Will Be Selected Via Random Drawing

at Noon (CST) on February 12th, 2014. 

 
 

*Must by 18+ Years Old & Resident of the Continental U.S. To Enter*

 
 

You can win the following pretty gifts!

 
 

The Penny Knot Necklace & Fancy Kusudama Flower

 
 

Both of these items are hand-crafted and can be found in the Knotty Origami Etsy Store!  

 
 

A Box of La Cookie Company Hojarasca Cookies

 
 

These cookies are so delicate, flaky, and sweet that you could find yourself eating them like popcorn!

They have become a dessert staple in our home.

My family cannot get enough of them….And they make very pretty party treats!

 
 

la cookie company-2-6

 

 La Cookie Company

And a few other sweet gift items to fill the lovely prize basket that you can read about when you

 
 

ENTER HERE….

 
 

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY GIVEAWAY!

 
 

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How To Find Laredo Family & Kid Events!

Ever Wonder What's Happening In Laredo For My Kids?

See Below For Links To The Laredo Community Round-Up!


 

 

The New Critters And Crayons Laredo Community Round-Up Is HERE!

Now, you can find out about events and activities in Laredo, Texas

for families and kids MUCH MORE EASILY

and across the social media platforms you use most!

 

The Laredo Round-Up is no longer a long list of flyers!

 

The New Critters And Crayons Laredo Community Round-Up

is a set of Social Media tools that span

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube

to help you find Laredo Family & Kid Events much more quickly!

 

 

To learn more about

HOW TO NOT MISS AN EVENT IN LAREDO,

 

 

Check Out The Infographic Below

and head over to The New Laredo Community Round-Up Page! 

 
 

The Critters And Crayons Laredo Community Round-Up

 

 

SUBSCRIBE TO THE LAREDO COMMUNITY ROUND-UP INTEREST LIST ON FACEBOOK!

 

 SUBSCRIBE TO THE LAREDO NEWS & EVENTS LIST ON TWITTER!

 

 

 

FOLLOW THE CRITTERS AND CRAYONS LAREDO COMMUNITY ROUND-UP PINTEREST BOARD!

 

 

ENJOY LAREDO!

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Making Molecules With Kids!

I woke up yesterday morning to quite a surprise.

Back in November, I posted THIS to The Critters And Crayons Facebook Page.

Santa was going to be bringing the kids a cool Molecule Building Kit.

He totally did.

But, the kids thought it was more like a set of tinker toys and they built car shapes, and crocodiles, flowers and other things out of the contents immediately.
 

BUT YESTERDAY Our daughter said,

I made the particles on the back of that box Santa brought us.

 

PARTICLES?

I promise I have never used the word “particle” with my child.  Where did she learn that word?

She says she learned it when Batman was talking about splitting up something called “Particles”.   Go figure.

She didn’t know what she had made, but it was a real joy to  RELEARN all of the molecules I hadn’t looked at since 11th grade Chemistry class!

Water Molecule (H20) From Critters And Crayons "Making Molecules With Kids!"

Water Molecule (H2O). Two Hydrogen Atoms Linked To One Oxygen Atom!

 

Our 6-year old was fascinated to learn that the water we drink and that comes flowing from our faucets looks like the model she’d made in its tiniest, tiniest building block form!

She had also formed the molecule below  without knowing exactly what she had made while following the diagrams on the back of the kit box…..

 

Hydrogen Peroxide Molecule From Critters And Crayons Post "Making Molecules With Kids!"

The Hydrogen Peroxide Molecule (H2O2).

 

I explained that the stuff we use to clean her ears and earrings looks just like the model she made if we were able to see it in its smallest form-  Lots and lots and lots of these make up what we use in that brown bottle!

WHOAH.

And, then we had fun looking up the rest that she had constructed so quietly in the play area….

 

Molecules From Critters And Crayons Post "Making Molecules With Kids!"

 

Can you guess what they all are?

Don’t worry.  I had to look them all up, too!

Top Left:   Diatomic Nitrogen Molecule (N2) 

Top Right:  Hydrogen Peroxide Molecule (H2O2)

Middle Left:  Diatomic Oxygen Molecule (O2)

Middle Right:  Water Molecule (H2O)

Lower Left:  Methane Molecule (CH4)

 

What I love about this molecule kit is that it invites kids to play and learn without even realizing it.

There is a lot to build upon from this very beginning point of building the molecules according to the diagrams and explaining what each of the molecules actually IS to a first grader.

We can keep these models up, or break them down again- but, as the years progress, we will be able to delve into more complex concepts like the differences between Diatomic Molecules, Ionic Bonds, Covalent Bonds, Organic Compounds, and other things I’m going to have to get smart on, all over again.

I found our kit at a local craft store, but you can find them online, too!

I am so glad I happened across this “Making Molecules” activity for kids.

 

The FloraCraft Molecule Kit

 

I need to remember to thank Santa next year for the awesome toy.  And, I think I may have him throw in a “Chemistry For Dummies” book for me, too.  :)

Speaking of Chemistry…..

 

I came across some amazing ideas centered on Chemistry and Molecules….

 

Hostess With The Mostess did a round-up of Clever & Creative Mad Scientist Party Ideas For Girls

Lightbulb Books Made Molecules Using Straws And Play Doh

High Hill Homeschool’s Marshmallow And Toothpick Molecules

Kids Activities Blog Atoms & Molecules:  10 Fun Ways To Learn!

 

So, do you remember anything from your 11th grade chemistry class?

 

Oh, Good.  I thought I was alone. 

 

HAPPY SCIENCE LEARNING!

 

 

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Parenting Is Like Sledding. Sled Optional.

My kids often surprise us with the unspeakably comical things that they say.

They also make us pause when their questions require an honest and thoughtful answer.

We’re coming off of a holiday trip that bore some of the typical challenges of traveling during an already busy season.

Sometimes, reality didn’t match the idyllic scenes in a Hallmark Movie for the various tugs and pulls of life, and family, and obligations.

Essentially, it was a normal holiday season- one that many might relate to, and one that might lead a child to ask a simple, but very thought-provoking question of her parents like our six-year old daughter did tonight on the way back from a drugstore where we bought vitamins for immunity support to stave off any more festive seasonal illness-on-the-go.

 

“Mom?  Is It Easy Having Kids?”

 

I could have answered her quickly with a fleeting and dishonest, “YES! It’s Super Easy!”, but I’ve got a sort of rule about not lying about that kind of stuff. 

I don’t want to be the Army Recruiter who promises someone a job in a highly marketable computer field who then lands him in a basement working with dot matrix printers circa 1985.  That’s just bad Mommy PR.  So, I told her the truth.

 

“No.  Having Kids Is Not Easy.”

 

Our First Grader looked concerned so I elaborated,

 

“But….It IS Awesome!”

 

Our daughter was confused.

 

“How can something be hard and awesome at the same time, Mommy?”

 

I didn’t have any concrete examples to give in that second.

 

But, I told her that most things that are completely awesome

in our lives are usually not that easy.  

BUT, THEY ARE USUALLY WORTH IT.

 

I may have blanked on examples but our daughter threw one out.  She said,

 

“You mean like if we’re sledding

and we have to walk all the way up

to the top of the hill in the freezing cold

so that we can sled down super fast

and have all that fun

spinning all the way down?”

 

I didn’t think I could put it any better myself so I told her that was pretty much exactly right.

Really, that is about the best metaphor I could think of that I didn’t think of at all.

Maybe, to complete the parallel, I could have added a few crash-and-burns at the bottom of the hill, some broken sleds, or a dud slope or two to round out the analogy, but I felt pretty good she now understood that something can be TOTALLY NOT EASY while still being simultaneously TOTALLY AWESOME.

That’s Us.

We Parents.

 

We’re all trudging up a slope,

looking for a safe route,

eyes on the peak,

moving forward when it hurts,

striving upward when we fall,

willing onward when we’re cold,

and getting to the end

as honestly and happily as we can

so that the long and arduous trip

might all be worth it

for one magnificent launch,

followed by a brief 

and validating

soar to the bottom,

on a cheap, round sled

that spins you like a top

until you crash,

or fall,

or coast to a stop,

Hoping For The Coast,

Always Hoping For The Coast,

so that we might trudge back up

to do it all over,

Again.

 

That’s Us.

That’s Parenting.

It’s Not Easy Having Kids.  But, It IS Freaking Awesome.

 

It’s Like That.

 

 IT’S ALSO LIKE THIS.

 

Parenting.  We Got This. From Critters And Crayons.

 

Trusting Clutches, Giant Smiles, And Closed Eyes

 

 Astride Quiet Screams And Immense Hopes

 

 That You Will Coast,

 

Coast Without Crashing,

 

 Still Smiling, Still Laughing,

 

Without Breaking Anything,

 

After That Fervent And Amazing Ride

 

Hoping You Didn’t Lose Your Sled On The Way…

 

But Even If You Had,

 

It Would Have Been Worth

 

Every

 

Terrifying

 

 Moment. 

 

So, to wrap it all up in a nice, pithy little phrase:

 

Parenting Is Like Sledding.  Sled Optional.

 It’s  Easy  AWESOME!

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Teaching Kids About Culture With The Elf On A Shelf

We have a very Curious Elf On A Shelf.

 

Teaching Kids About Culture With The Elf On A Shelf

 

Time is scarce so our elf, is very thankfully, not too into mischief and messes.

He IS a very curious Elf, though.

Each morning, the kids find him on top of something that came from a different place in the world.

And, each evening, we sit down at the computer together and they excited ask questions about whatever it is that they found the Elf sitting on or in or under that morning.

We simply Google Away together.

And, each image or map or costume they see triggers another question and another search.

An example of what our curious Elf On The Shelf taught the kids this morning when they found him on the Mongolian String Instrument was that it was not simply a “HORSEY BANJO”, which is what they called it when they found Snowflower Flaky Sassypants sitting on top of the traditional horse-handle like a rocking horse.

It’s called a “MATOUQUIN“.

 

It is from MONGOLIA.

 

MONGOLIA is in ASIA.

 

 The MATOUQUIN is shaped like a TRAPEZOID.

 

 

The kids now know that Snowflower The Elf is NOT simply  sitting on a Horsey Banjo.

So far, we’ve explored Mexico, Afghanistan, and Mongolia alongside our very globally curious Elf On A Shelf.

I wonder where she’ll take us tomorrow?

 

HOW DOES THE ELF ON THE SHELF BEHAVE IN YOUR HOME?

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Mom, What Is College? Do They Let You Go To Recess Every Day?

mom whats college 2

 

These days, the kids have been on a roll when it comes to verbal communication.

This morning, our 4-year old son informed me that I was “spectacled”.

I don’t wear glasses so he was using that term properly, but in a more unorthodox way.  His knowledge of that term comes from his obsession with crocodilian species, and the spectacled caiman is one that is spotted.

He was referring to my freckled face.

I can’t complain, though.

When my daughter realized I had freckles, she mistakenly called them “pickles”, and explained that they were, “You Know!  The Dots All Over Your Face!” as she poked the air like she was popping balloons with a needle.

 

Then, there was a HILARIOUS circular conversation between my son, my daughter and me the other day about his puffy coat.

He didn’t want to wear it.  There was a reason for it.     It was an astonishingly funny and unexpected series of accidental insults and miscommunications.  To read that one, go HERE.

 

Fast forward to tonight.

As I was putting the kids to bed, our 4 year old boy piped up with the statement that he didn’t want to go to college.   He’d been told that college wasn’t fun so he had decided he didn’t want to go.

I explained that he didn’t know what college was just yet, so he asked,

 

“Well, Mom, What IS College?”

 

So, I tried to put it in the simplest terms.

 

“Son, you are in pre-school, and your sister was in kinder last year.  

You’ll start kindergarten next year.  

Then you go to first grade.  

Then second.

Then third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh,

eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh,and twelfth grades!  

Then, you go off to college!  

It is great fun!  

Your daddy and I loved it so much we went to college even after college!”

 

The kids looked very surprised.

And, then the real questions started.  It was tough to keep a straight face- but I did, because the kids were earnest with their genuine questions about college now.

 

Our daughter asked,

 

“Mom?  Do they let you go to recess every day?”

 

I told her that they normally did.

 

And, our son asked, “

“Do they let you bring your toys to school?”

 

I told him that they did, but I never knew anyone who wanted to bring their toys to class.

 

And, then our daughter asked,

 

“Can you sit anywhere you want to at lunch? I mean, can you sit with anyone you want to sit with?”

 

So, I told her that was one of the best parts of college!

 

I also explained that many kids couldn’t wait to go to college because they could live in a big building with all of their friends!  Everyone has their own room.  So,our daughter’s best friend could live across the hall, or our son’s best friend could have a room next door!

 

The kids looked horrified.

 

They both yelled, “NOOOOOOO!!!!    I want to live with you and daddy! “

 

I told them they might change their minds one day.

Then, as I was turning out the light and tucking them in, our daughter whispered something to me,

 

“Mom.   I WILL probably get my own apartment when I go to college.  

BUT, you can come and visit me anytime.  

You can bring anything you want if you want to stay with me.  And, you can stay with me anytime.”

 

I’m not sure how binding that is without credible witnesses.

Her brother doesn’t count as one because he still believes in imaginary creatures and his signature is too shaky to hold up on any affidavits, especially since most of his letters are still backward.

 

She gave me a big hug and a kiss.

 

And, I whispered back,

 

“Thank you, Honey. I will!   And, and if you want, I can also be a recess monitor!”

 

She beamed.

 

“REALLY, MOM???!!!   THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!!!!  

COLLEGE IS GOING TO BE SO FUN!!!”

 

 

I’m optimistic that she might still feel this way in 12 years.

It could happen, right?

:)

HAVE YOU HAD ANY FUNNY CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR KIDS LATELY?

 

PLEASE SHARE!

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