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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: Spring Fling

When you hear the word ‘Spring,’ what comes to mind? Do you think of kids home for spring break and the extra noise, mess, fighting? Do you think of spring-cleaning? Do you think of Easter and your plans? Or do you dream of sunshine and flowers in bloom?

I wanted to take a minute to encourage each of you to spend a little time this spring doing a little ‘spring fling’. I think of it as a time to cast off a few of your inhibitions and get in touch with your inner child. We’ve all been cooped up indoors for an extra-long winter and everyone needs to get out and shake off cabin fever. Why not use that time to really engage with your child(ren)? Take 20-30 minutes and go to the park, fly a kite, blow bubbles, write with sidewalk chalk or just run in the sunshine.

When I hear my 3 year old ask me to help chalk a flower, I realize the 12 year old doesn’t even play with sidewalk chalk anymore…and he’d rather walk on hot coals than be seen with me ‘helping’ him in public. So I urge you to take these moments now and enjoy them with gusto. Take hold of that little hand while you can and have some springtime fun together.

My prayer for each of you is that when your children are older, you’ll hear them tell their friends how much fun they had doing something with you instead of hearing that my mom always kept the baseboards dusted. There will always be cooking and cleaning to do, but your children will only be young once.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Look What I Won

 had planned to post what I won each quarter, but I've won so many things in the past few weeks that I will have to get up to date and just try to keep current. For those who don't know, I have been entering blog giveaways. I started doing this right around Christmastime. Through this little pastime, I've been winning a lot of great gifts for my family and some fun stuff for me.

I won a copy of the book, "Black Tie Affair" at Three Little Ones.

Boost Kid Essentials Choc 237M
Not even a week later, I was blessed with a BOOST Kid Essentials Drink Multipack from 2 Monsters and a Princess.

I've been entering a lot of giveaways over at The Life of a Coast Guard Wife. I've recently hit a hot streak at her blog, but it all started with winning a Shushabye Book and CD. Those came in time to go into Rebekah's Easter basket.

I also won--just in time for Easter--the DVD, "Iron Man

Armored Adventures, Volume 2". This gem came from a MOPS friend at Reviews from the Crib.

I'll post more wins soon, so keep an eye out. Also, since you read to the end of the post, be on the lookout for some giveaways and your chance to win here at Coolestmommy's Coolest Thoughts!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Casino Night

In case you haven't noticed the theme this month, it just so happens that April is Autism Awareness month. This means that all kinds of groups do fundraisers and host events to promote Autism Awareness.

A local nursing college put on a Casino Night last year as a fundraiser for the Autism Society. It was great fun and raised over $1,300 for the Autism Society. I happened to see the info when I was in the building and we decided to go. That's how we found out about--and hooked up with--the Autism Society.

The same group decided to do the same fundraiser again this year. It was a lot of fun!

Nathan and his friend play Battleship. Andrew & Sean spent the evening at the Texas Hold 'Em table.

Rebekah hung out mainly in the kids game room, making new friends. She'd pop in to find Dad or Mom and then go play. She joined me for some Bingo...but I think it was because she could eat the markers (M&M's).
At the end, she convinced a few people to play Duck, Duck, Goose with her.
Andrew used his poker winnings to buy raffle tickets. He ended up winning me a carpet cleaning. I get two rooms cleaned for free. Sweet! He was so excited to be a winner and I'm so excited that someone will try to get some of those spots out of the carpet.
Another successful evening. I haven't heard the tally on the amount raised, but the families that were there all had a good time.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Blog with a $50 CSN Gift Card Giveaway, Ends 5/7

Mom's Own Words is having a $50 gift card giveaway to CSN online stores. Check it out here:

$50 Gift Card Giveaway for CSN Stores

Good luck!

Autism Society heads to the Ball Park

The Autism Society arranged for us to go to a baseball game. Since it's Autism Awareness month, we had a table set up to give out information before the game.

It was family day as well, so there was a clown making balloon animals. Rebekah & Nathan helped make their creations.

Rebekah wanted a monkey. We didn't realize it's a monkey in a tree with bananas. Wow!

Nathan wanted a frog.

The Autism Society has good friends in the Storm Troopers! The troopers came to pass out information for the Autism Society. It generated a lot of interest in our table and we are grateful to them. Rebekah (at first) was scared and didn't want to go near them. She wouldn't go close to R2D2, but then decided she liked the Storm Troopers.

At this point, she wanted a photo--all by myself--with each one.

Pretty cool.

Here we are before the game started. Forgot to get Sean's photo (not that he really cares).

We knew we can all roll our tongues, but I didn't remember that Andrew can do the clover leaf.

We got the kids into the Kid Fun Zone and Andrew had fun on the bouncers.

Nathan & Rebekah had fun hitting the ball.

Sadly, the rally caps (he's wearing 3) did not help our team win the game.

Rebekah talked about the peanut through the whole game. He was finally by our section at the end of the game. She took right off to get a photo with him.

When the game was over, the kids could go run the bases. Here they are after crossing home plate.

A tiring day. Rebekah conked out almost immediately after leaving the parking lot.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: Allergy Season is Here

It's that time of the year. I don't know about you, but my seasonal allergies have been worse this year than most years. I've been doing a little research to find ways to help take the bite out of seasonal allergies without all the medications.

I want to say up front that I'm not against medications and we do take allergy medicine as needed by each member of our family. My problem is I fight blood pressure issues and it severely limits my options. I have to try other home-remedies as my first line of defense.

I discovered some things that are pretty easy to do in trying to alleviate symptoms. Hopefully, this information will help some of you as well.

Outdoor Ideas:

  • Wear clothes that protect you. Items such as a hat, gloves, glasses and long sleeves will help reduce exposure to pollen when you are working outdoors.
  • Avoid using wood chips or mulch that can remain wet and invite mold to grow.
  • Ask a family member who doesn't have allergies (or hire the neighbor kid) to mow the lawn and keep the grass cut below 2 inches.
  • Keep windows closed during and immediately after mowing.
  • Limit gardening time to cool or cloudy days in the afternoon or evenings when pollen counts are lower.
  • Remove dead leaves from your yard or gutters.
  • Shower after being outside in high pollen times. It washes the pollen residue off your skin.
  • Change clothing after time spent outside.
  • Indoor Ideas:
    • Pet dander, dust mites, and scented sprays can be common allergy triggers indoors.
    • Put mattresses and pillows in airtight covers and wash all bedding in hot (at least130°F) water each week. (I didn't to the airtight covers, but we've purchased allergy reducing pillow covers and mattress covers.)
    • Cover air vents with layers of cheesecloth to filter large-size trigger particles.
    • Limit use of perfumes and room sprays.
    • Limit use of window fans.
    For children:

    • Store toys and games in plastic bins.
    • Wash stuffed animals once a week in hot water.

    General advice to help manage symptoms:

    • Sore throat caused by postnasal drip: Gargle with warm salt water to help ease throat soreness.
    • Itching or hives: Avoid further contact with whatever you think is causing the hives.
    • Sinus pressure: Using a humidifier at night can help keep sinus passages open and moist to alleviate pressure.
    • Saline Spray or Nasal Irrigation (Neti Pot) can help relieve congestion and sinus pressure.
    • Itchy eyes can be helped with over the counter eye drops.
    • Drink water. Keeping your body properly hydrated helps your body fight off some of the effects of seasonal allergies and helps keep your nasal passages from drying out as quickly.
    Good luck managing symptoms this year. I hope each one of us finds a little allergy relief this year.

    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    Crazy Hair Day

    We recently had Spirit Week at Elementary School. This round, I didn't take photos of most days because they were fun, but nothing super exciting on film.

    I could not let Crazy Hair Day go unphotographed. Check out Nathan and his extra crazy hair!

    Hair cut: $10.00
    Shampoo the night before: $1.00
    Hair gel: $2.00
    Seeing your son's face light up on Crazy Hair Day: Priceless

    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    Easter Egg-stravaganza

    Some friends of the Autism Society hosted an Easter Egg Hunt for children with special needs and their families. We decided to go and check it out. The Easter Bunny was there taking photos. Rebekah wasn't sure about the bunny at first. We put her up there and snapped these photos fast. She hopped down and ran off right away.

    It's hard to wait for an egg hunt to begin. So before you know it, all 3 of my kids have their buckets on their heads like hats. Looking good!

    At the starting line...Andrew wanted to be in NO photos. Nathan wanted to go stand by friends, so I got pictures of Rebekah.

    After the egg hunt, they brought out the parachute. The kids played with this for almost an hour. Lots of colorful fun.

    Once Rebekah realized the Easter Bunny came under the parachute, she became his shadow. Wherever he went, she was there with him.

    She even followed him as he was trying to make his escape.

    A little more parachute fun before we had to leave.
    It was a beautiful, sunny day and warm. We had such a nice time and got great information on other events these friends host. We're hoping to go fishing with them this summer.

    As we were heading to the car, these ducks waddled across our path.

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