Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I'm going as a tightwad for Halloween

I've never been one to spend a lot of money on Halloween. Actually, no matter what the occasion, I'm always looking for ways to cut costs and save moolah. I'm the mom who cut holes in a sheet for her child to be a ghost, and then patched them up with pieces from an old pillowcase after Halloween.

Here are some more ways that I save money:

* buy discounted white sweatsuits and then dye them to match their costume choice.
* Use lots and lots of cardboard--cover it with foil and it's a sword, cut it out and paint it and it's a shield.
* Save odds and ends in a dress-up box. They can always pull something out of that.
* Go to Target or Wal-Mart the day after Halloween and stock up on 1/2 price costumes.
* Always ask myself, "How can I make this?"

But now that Halloween is tomorrow, I would love to hear how some of you genius moms are saving money this year. I'm planning on compiling a list of your awesome ideas and use them next year to help other moms...So, bring thm on!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween Costume Chaos

I tell my kids well in advance to let me know what they want to be for Halloween so that I will have time to make the costumes. But does that change the fact that they ALWAYS change their mind at the last minute? No sirree! There are always a few that go back and forth. Just this past week here's how the rundown went for one of my sons:

Wednesday: He was going to be Sora from the video game, "Kingdom Hearts."
Friday: Chris Angel, the magician. Definitely!
Saturday morning: Trip to Wal-Mart to pick up some cheap bling and a black buttoned shirt that I could tear up to look ratty.
Saturday afternoon: A bodygaurd (Did I mention my son weighs 67 lbs?).
Sunday morning: A fairy (the transition from bodygaurd still has me perplexed)
Sunday (today): Now he wants to be the main character's assistant on the sequel to "National Treasure."

I've given up.

I guess I'll just make his costume before we head out the door. Hopefully, I have everything I need because I am not going to make another trip to Wal-Mart!

What about your kids? What are they going to be for Halloween? Did any of them have a hard time deciding?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

hyper kids!!

A mom wrote in recently about her five-year-old boy who simply cannot sit still! She has tried to get him involved in activities to burn off the energy, but the instructors end up getting frustrated with him.

I'm just wondering how she happened upon a five-year-old boy who is exactly like my five-year-old boy. Today at lunch, I walked in and he is running in place on the bench seat while eating his veggie burger!! Korben never sits still. Sometimes, I'm envious of him, especially on those days when I can't pry my butt off the sofa.

My advice to her is to give him room to run! All children have a different way of approaching the world, and our boys happen to be a bit more "gung ho" than "gandhi." It gets frustrating, especially when it comes to learning. I am very fortunate that we homeschool because I can adapt the curriculum to fit his learning style. Instead of sitting and matching letters in workbooks, he would much rather jump from letter to letter!

Another piece of advice to to carefully watch his diet. Chemicals, such as artificial colors and flavors, that may not normally affect children can have adverse effects on our little dynamos. Excessive sugar also needs to be avoided (duh!). When I do cook with sugar, I use sucanat (natural sugar cane--it still contains the minerals and nutrients in the sugar cane that help it digest properly).

Last piece of advice is to NEVER label your child. When you say your child is "hyperactive" or a "problem," then that is exactly what he will be. Use affirming and encouraging words and phrases. And don't ever allow anyone else to do otherwise.

Do any of you have hyper kids? How do you handle it? How do they handle organized activities? Let me know!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Moms Crank That Soulja Boy

I have never quite grown up when it comes to pop culture. I remember riding in the car with my parents as a teenager. They always had (as we referred to it) "old fart" music playing and I abhorred it!

I always expected to one day find myself in the driver's seat of the sedan, reminiscing about the good old days to my own tunes while my kids griped in the backseat. But, for some reason, I still love today's music. Okay, I realize that it may be pretty embarrassing for my kids that their mom knows every lyric to every song in High School Musical (1 and 2), and sings "Umbrella, ella, ella" at the top of her lungs, and especially when I crank that Soulja Boy (Check the vid... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boRcs161ZPo)

Some parents may think this is a bit odd, but I love it. We sing together, dance together, and as an added benefit, if a explicit song comes on, I know it and I censor it! That's one thing my parents definitely didn't do when I was a teenager. I just listened to whatever I wanted in my room...and, trust me, Prince left little to the imagination.

I want to be a very real, very active part of my children's lives. And if their faces turn red when I scream along with them at the Jonas Brothers concert, who cares? At least I know what they're screaming about.

What do you think? Can you be too integrated in your children's lives? When do you need to act like a grownup in pop culture? And, do any other moms out there crank that soulja boy? And, come on, admit it...how many of you know HSM by heart?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

TV Deprived Kids

I'm pretty strict about television viewing in my home. The kids are usually allowed about 30 minutes to an hour a day (yes, collectively). And they only get that about three times a week. On most days, we don't watch TV at all. I do, however, slack up on the weekends and let the kids watch the Disney channel or cartoons in the morning. However, this past weekend it was such nice weather that I sent them all outside to play.

To my utter amazement, my two youngest girls had found a box and pulled it up to the front steps. They sat on the bottom step and were "pretending" to watch TV. They were laughing about all of Spongebob's funny antics when I stepped outside to check their foreheads for a temperature. I couldn't believe it! A beautiful day, woods full of adventure, and my girls were watching a cardboard box!!

But I decided--heck, they're using their imagination. I may as well pop some popcorn!!

What about you? Am I just an odd bird? (Actually, I already know that answer). How much is too much? And can there be too little? Do you sometimes use TV as a babysitter? I'll be the first one to profess that I do. Those few days during the week that they get to watch TV are always when things are a whirlwind around the house and I'm trying to get a meal on the table. So, share your thoughts. I'd love to hear.