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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: The Autism Sisterhood Review

For this week's Tips on Tuesday, I am reviewing a book that I received. It had a lot of great information and ideas (Tips) that would apply for non-autistic children as well as those on the spectrum.

Book Name: The Autism Sisterhood
Author: Michele C. Brooke
Price: $9.95.
Available at

This book is subtitled "A (brief) Manual" and it is just what it says it is. It's a small book that fits into my big purse easily. Each chapter is short (1-2 pages) and gives another piece of instruction or information that gets to the heart of things that women in 'the sisterhood' go through.

As a mother of a child on the Autism Spectrum, I have tried some of her ideas and jotted notes of other ideas. I appreciated her theory on who makes up the Autism Sisterhood. She includes not just mothers of Autistic children, but fathers, teachers, therapists, doctors and friends who can be a sounding board or give insight or just celebrate the little things with you. I agree, the sooner you find people in your corner, the better off you are.

I appreciated the variety of Michelle Brooke's ideas. She mentions in passing some of the more obvious things like Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy. Most of her chapters were devoted to things that are easy for you to do at home or when out and about. She covers a wide range of topics from cooking to electronics to vocabulary/reading to shopping trips and plastic bananas. 

The book is meant to be read in short bursts. It can be read during one 45 minute speech therapy session (I read it the first time from cover to cover in that amount of time), but it's designed to read when you have just a few minutes here and there. It's a fast read and contains wonderful information and insight. Michelle Brooke mentions that this book is meant to be a quick read that you can keep in your purse because then you will have it to pass along to another person who could use it.

I enjoyed her book and found great information. I will point out that there's not rolling emotions or personal stories which worked well for the format given. I just want to make readers aware that it's more factual information than the feelings behind the diagnosis. For those who are used to books that take you through the emotional ringer, you won't find it here. These are facts and ideas for you to take and use. 

I hope you'll pass the word about this book to others who could use the information contained within.

Disclosure: This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by Michele C. Brooke for this review.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

CLOSED: Brilliant Lenses Cleaner Review and Giveaway Ends 12/12

From the manufacturer:
Brilliant Lenses Cleaner and optical microfiber cloth. A premium eyeglass cleaner with SR-8 that adds a protective barrier to lenses to resist scratches and soiling from water, sweat, dust and dirt. For ALL types of lenses.
My Review:
Love it! I'm always trying to find a 'soft cloth' to clean my glasses with...and generally end up using my shirt. Brilliant Lenses was a terrific product for me. My cleaner kit came with two vials of spray (I leave one at home in the kitchen), a cloth to use on your glasses and a draw string pouch. I put the second vial of cleaner and cloth into the pouch and slipped it into my purse. Now I can safely clean my glasses wherever I am at.

Brilliant Lenses is available online for purchase. It also has a scratch resistant coating in the spray. Honestly, I've only been using the product for a couple weeks. It's hard to say whether the scratch resistant coating is working or not. I already have an anti-scratch coating on my glasses, but my theory is it can't hurt, can only help.

Would you like a Brilliant Lenses starter kit of your own?

**Mandatory Entry**
Visit and tell me another cleaning product you would like to try.
PLEASE NOTE: You do not have to be a blogger to enter this contest, but you must leave a way for me to contact you. Use the anonymous comment form to enter and leave an email.
*You MUST do the mandatory entry! All bonus entries will be deleted if it's not done first!*

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. Tweet about this giveaway {can be done once per day} {1 entry per tweet} You can use this:
@Coolestmommy has a #giveaway of a Brilliant Lenses cleaner prize you can #win. Ends 12/12

•Giveaway ends Sunday, December 12, 2010
•Winner will be chosen via Random.Org. and contacted by email
•Winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email or another winner will be chosen
• Open to addresses in the United States (no P.O. Boxes)

Disclosure: I received the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.Sponsored by

Friday, November 26, 2010

Veggie Tales Live

Rebekah and I had the opportunity to go see Veggie Tales Live. We went to the matinee show while the boys were still in school. It was nice because it wasn't very full. The kids could dance in the aisles and go up front to make a "baby mosh pit."

Rebekah & I did a self portrait photo before the show.

In the opening sequence, we see Bob....

and Larry right away. 

One of my personal favorites, The Cheeseburger Song.

After intermission, they did "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" and during the song there were bubble machines going off in the front. Rebekah and her friend from MOPS (who we ran into at the show) went up front to pop bubbles. They ended up remaining in the front through the entire second act. They had a great view and they are short enough that they didn't block the folks sitting in the front.

Rebekah is in the Bob shirt (red) on the right. Her friend from MOPS also had two pony tails in that day. It was the pony girls in the front.

Larger than life vegetables.
(For those who don't know, it's Bob the Tomato, Larry the cucumber, Jimmy Gourd and Junior Asparagus)

Loving the Veggies.

We had a fantastic Mother/Daughter time. We went to lunch at Rebekah's pick of the day--the grocery store. Yup, she wanted me to get a Chinese Buffet so she could eat my rice while she had pizza. We sat at the table of her choice, then went and got a cookie while driving a car cart around the store. Then we went to the Veggie Tales show. She was pooped when it was over. I was so impressed that she stayed awake for about 20 of our 25 minute car ride home. It was a fun filled day of memory making. (Thanks, Sean, for doing my carpool runs so I could go!)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Winner: Preggers Compression Hose

Congratulations to #11, Debijot, who won because she follows Preggers on Facebook. Congratulations Debijot---I hope you enjoy your hose!

Sponsored by

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: Giving Thanks

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Will you be cooking and hosting or will you go somewhere to spend time with family and/or friends? I'm splitting the cooking this year with my mom, but we're having everyone here for the meal.

No matter what you do for your Thanksgiving Day, I hope you will take time to reflect on the blessings of your life. Lets all take time to be grateful for the bounty and the blessings that God has provided for us.

This year, I am grateful for my loving husband, my three beautiful children and our extended family. We may not see them nearly enough for me, but whenever we are together, there is love and laughter. I'm thankful for food on our table, a roof over our head and Sean's job--and that he enjoys his work. Most of all, I'm thankful for a loving God who sent a savior for us.

I hope you'll take time this Thanksgiving week to adopt an attitude of gratitude.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Husker Heroes

Our family was so blessed to be able to participate in the first ever Husker Heroes event. We travelled to Lincoln for this event which was held on the practice field next to Memorial Stadium.

This event was for children with disabilities and their families. I thought the point of the event was for the kids to meet their heroes. When we arrived, I realized that the Heroes were our kids with disabilities. The Husker players from every team imaginable came out to celebrate our kids. I cried when I realized that Nathan was the hero for the evening.

Just arriving and figuring out all there was to see and do.

This cheerleader offered her pom poms to Rebekah to hold and Rebekah thought she wanted a hug. Rebekah stepped in to hug the cheerleader and you can see all the other girls saying, "Awwww!" It was very sweet.

Here are the kids with the cheerleaders. After the photo, Rebekah tried to walk away with the pom poms. Too funny! This photo made Nathan a hero in his classroom. His desk buddy told us a few days before we went that, "The cheerleaders are HOT!" Yes, an 8 year old told us the girls are hot. UGH!

Here are the kids with Little Red.

The baseball players had a pitching area. All three kids threw. Nathan hit close to the catchers mitt and Andrew nailed it all three times. Rebekah just likes throwing balls.

Andrew's so fast at throwing that I can't get the ball in action.

Rebekah tripped on the hurdles that the football players had set up.

Andrew running the football obstacle course.

Andrew took out the tackling pylon with everything he had in him. Way to go!!

The kids with some of the football players. Nice pose, Rebekah.

Hut, hut, hike!

Rebekah & Nathan threw footballs to a receiver. Nathan managed to make it on his own, but Rebekah got a helping hand from one of the football players. Way to put your weight training to good use.

Rebekah got a tattoo from one of the Rifle Team members. She had to show it off for the camera.

The bowling team had a roll the ball course. Nathan vs. Andrew & Rebekah.

A highlight was at the end of the night when we realized Johnny Rodgers was at the event with his Heisman Trophy. Imagine my heart failure when the kids go around the table to stand by him and he says to Rebekah, "Here darling, sit on this trophy." I'm panicking thinking, "Don't break the Heisman, don't break the Heisman!"

Thank you, Lord, we didn't break the Heisman. Rebekah tells everyone, "I sat on the big trophy."

Before we left, Andrew wanted a photo on the N at the 50 yard line. He got down for a photo and his brother and sister thought he needed to be tackled. Nice.

Finally, Andrew on the N

Nathan giving his Heisman pose on the N

There were 200 student athletes who took time out of their lives to come and celebrate our children. It was a magical evening filled with lots of smiles and laughter. I can't tell you how much Nathan beamed when I told him that the event was to celebrate him. Nathan was the hero. I told him the athletes know that things that come easily for them are things Nathan has to work hard for. The athletes want to encourage him to keep going with vision therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy (he interrupts to tell me he does a LOT of therapy!).

I emailed a few photos to his teacher and she put them up on the big screen in their room and he got to tell all about his night. She said he was smiling from ear to ear and the whole class was excited for him. They are hoping to make this an annual event and I hope they can. It was so thrilling and we were honored to be able to attend.

 Here's a link to a newspaper article about the event.

Here's a link to a news report. We are not featured in it, but if you watch the boy hula-hooping, you will see our whole family in the background.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Indoor Water Park

This past week has been jam-packed with fun and adventures. It started last weekend with a trip to the indoor water park. We don't get many photos there because we're in the water. But it was a lot of fun. Exhausting, but fun.

He's hard to see, but this is Nathan in the Lazy River. He loves the lazy river. He'll float for almost an hour at a time, then get out and run around the play structure, fire some water cannons, then back to the river. If you don't know where Nathan is, watch the river.

Andrew & Rebekah liked playing in the water fountains. They would stand on them and figured out how to aim the water at each other.

Sean snapped one of me sitting at our table. I was pooped so I watched Rebekah on the slide in the kiddy pool from our table.

Rebekah went down the slide over and over and over again. She probably went down these slides a hundred times in the day. She had a blast.

Happy, wet Rebekah.

It was a fun family day and I'm glad we got to take them for the day.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: Popular Christmas Toys Part 2

In last week's Tips on Tuesday posting, I shared my thoughts on some of this year's "hottest" toys. I've looked through a lot of lists showing what are supposed to be the hottest toys of this year's Christmas season. I've picked some of the highest ranked toys and I'm giving you my mom thoughts and letting you know what I'm hearing from the kids about each toy.

I think it's important that you know my measuring stick goes beyond popularity to longevity. Is this a toy that will be played with past Christmas break? If not, I won't purchase it for my own kids--no matter how cool it is.

This week, I'm looking at:
Paper Jamz
Loopz and/or Kaponk (two games but they both slide in and out of top toy lists)
Lego Games and Toys
Toy Story 3 toys

PAPER JAMZ: Here's a toy that took my by surprise. I had never heard of it until I started researching this article. The same day I learned of this toy, the boys in the carpools started talking about it. It's going to be a hot toy!

First thing you need to know is that (contrary to the name) it is NOT made of paper. It's a plastic toy that is very thin. There are guitars and drums and accessories and amps. The instruments have some songs loaded in that you can play with. There's also a freestyle where you do your own song and a karaoke mode as well.

I think girls who want to drum or play guitar will love this, but it is aimed at the boy market. It's my thinking that the Paper Jamz company thinks this toy will be popular in a wider market than I think it will be.

MY AGE RECOMMENDATIONS: Elementary school children. I think it would be best to wait until you have a second grader (age 7) or higher. Younger than that and it's hard to get enough fine motor coordination to do well with this toy. I don't think a middle school child would really love this gift. It would be a short play item. There's not enough variety for an older child to enjoy--they would rather have the real deal instead.

LOOPZ: The next generation of the game Simon. Remember how we had four colors and a monotone beep? Well, say hello to the next generation of memory games. It's Loopz. It has 7 different games for 1-4 players. You have to copy the patterns of light and music as it increases speed. Three misses and you're out.

I haven't heard this one requested yet by my tweens and teens, but I think it would be something they would play with for quite a while with their friends.

MY RECOMMENDED AGES: Here's one for the tween/teen crowd! I wouldn't recommend this for the younger children as it gets moving too fast and becomes too frustrating for them.

CUPONK:  This one really peaked in popularity this summer. My teen was begging for one. His best friend got one and they have spent hours upon hours making up crazy courses. The object of the game is to get the ping pong ball into the cup. (Yes, this could be done with a plastic cup from a fast food restaurant and a ping pong ball---but the kids won't use that...they have to have the expensive one. Sigh!) It does come with idea cards and you can try to recreate the course shown on the card and try to get a Cuponk. When you do get the ball into the cup, it cheers for you.

MY AGE RECOMMENDATIONS:  Middle school and possibly a fourth and fifth grader. I also think this would be very attractive to high schoolers as well.

LEGO GAMES AND TOYS: This year Lego is really coming out with some interesting new toys and games. They have moved beyond the original building blocks to video games and board games. I would still recommend legos (the original building blocks) for elementary and middle school. Beyond that, any Wii game or Playstation or Xbox game with the Lego brand will certainly be a hit. The Star Wars Lego video games are still popular four years later. I'm interested in checking out the board games. I think some of them look like it would make a terrific family game night.

MY AGE RECOMMENDATIONS:  Elementary and middle school. Both boys and girls love these things, but they are geared towards boys more than girls.

TOY STORY 3 TOYS AND GAMES:  There are Toy Story toys of every shape and size. Depending on the item, you can find something for every age on your list. The characters have dolls and action figures. There are talking toys, silent toys and toys with remotes (like the RC Car). There are Potato Heads and Barbies (and Kens) and plush toys and more. And for the older ones, there are video games--and don't forget the actual video!

I think the Toy Story phenomena is happening for the third time. It will be the hottest thing until Cars 2 comes out. If you have a Toy Story fan in your house, you can find a gift that they will like.

MY AGE RECOMMENDATIONS: There's something for every age! From plush toys for the littlest ones all the way through the video games for the oldest ones--including some adults (such as yours truly).

A few final thoughts on the tough to buy for teen/tween crowd. Let's face it, they all want money. Whether it's cash or a gift card, they are happy to have it. I am a firm believer in books so I do try to add books under the tree. I try to find books in topics they are very interested in. I'd highly recommend the "Landon Snow" series of books for the tweens and the "Knights of Arrethtrae" series for the teens. I've read both series and loved them. Girls who enjoy fantasy as well as most boys will love both series of books.

Never underestimate the power of family time. I know things are lean for a lot of folks this year. Consider a membership to a place where the whole family can go. We love museums and have two museum passes right now. We will most likely add a third pass in time for Christmas. Then we can go over Christmas break and still have an entire year to go and enjoy the museum again and again. For our family of five, it only takes about 2.5 visits for us to start 'making' money on a membership. We love to drop in for short visits and leave when we get hungry or tired.

Whatever you end up purchasing, I hope you and your family will have a blessed Christmas and that you'll remember the reason for the season.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Preggers Review and Giveaway

Thank you to Preggers by Therafirm for allowing me the opportunity to review and give away some of their products. They have compression hose (in both knee high and full hose) designed for pregnancy. Since I'm not pregnant, I asked a dear friend Mrs. B. from MOPS to wear these and let me know how it went. So I want to thank Mrs. B. for her great assistance in bringing you this review.

From the company:
Preggers is a unique line of maternity support hose and compression products developed by future moms for future moms. We invited moms-to-be to try our products and provide opinions on styles, colors, and fit. Our “Preggers Mommas” team was an integral part of our product and brand development to ensure a full line of healthy products that will benefit you during and post-preggers. With Preggers there is no more stigma of the old, “yucky” compression that is available in only a few styles, off-trend colors, is uncomfortable, hard to get on, and expensive. We believe you can wear compression and get the benefits it provides and still be fashionable. We want to you to feel AND look great! A light compression helps to energize tired and achy legs and what busy mom couldn’t use a little extra energy, improved circulation, and shaping support? For more information about Preggers, please visit us online at

Mrs. B. was given a pair of Trouser Socks to wear as well as a pair of nylons. She wore the trouser socks first and had a couple issues with them---but she LOVED the nylons.

The trouser socks felt terrific when I first put them on, but they were already slouching/creeping down within 2 hours. I double checked the sizes and according to the size chart I did have the correct size, they go by shoe size, I don't think ordering a smaller size would have helped though. They were still initially very comfortable, but within the first couple of hours were bunching at the ankles.
I really liked the thickness of the trouser socks and that they had a bit of a design on them (not just solid black) and they were initially very comfortable and had a snug fit.

After this initial response, I was worried about the nylons. What a relief to get the following information about the nylons.

So much happier with the nylons!!!! They were comfortable, didn't sag, and actually seemed to help with support. I wore them only twice so far, but will wear them again this week yet. They didn't seem to stretch out throughout the wear time either. It didn't seem to matter how many times I used the restroom and pulled them up and down, they still were snug, comfortable and non-saggy. :) These are a huge thumbs-up for me and I would recommend them with no problem.

Preggers is offering one of Coolestmommy's readers the opportunity to win a prize package of products from them.

**Mandatory Entry**

Visit Preggers and tell me which product you would most like to try.
PLEASE NOTE: You do not have to be a blogger to enter this contest, but you must leave a way for me to contact you. Use the anonymous comment form to enter and leave an email.
*You MUST do the mandatory entry! All bonus entries will be deleted if it's not done first!*

**Bonus Entries**
{Leave separate comments for each entry}
1. Follow me publicly on Google Friend Connect (current followers, too) {1 entry}
2. Subscribe to my blog {1 entry}
3. Follow me on Twitter {1 entry}
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5. Follow Preggers on Facebook {1 entry}
6. Add my blog to your blog roll/sidebar {1 entry}
7. Email three friends with the link to this giveaway inviting them to enter. Remember to cc me at coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com {2 entries}
8. Tweet about this giveaway {can be done once per day} {1 entry per tweet} You can use this:

@Coolestmommy has a #giveaway of a Preggers prize pack you can #win. Ends 11/28

•Giveaway ends Sunday, November 28, 2010
•Winner will be chosen via Random.Org. and contacted by email
•Winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email or another winner will be chosen
• Open to addresses in the United States

[Product review & giveaway disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."]

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