Friday, November 26, 2010

EZ Sox Review and GIVEAWAY!

This gieveaway is now closed !
Socks are always a headache at our house. First of all, I'm about to start gluing them to my 3 year old'ss feet. It seems that every time I turn around she's sock less and just when I was starting to wonder where they all were....I found then in the oven of her toy kitchen.
Thankfully, there is one pair that she will wear ALL day and even better...she can put them on herself! The makers of EZ Sox sent me a pair of their adorable bunny socks for her to try. I was telling my sister-in-law about them at Thanksgiving...
EZ SOX are fun learning socks for children and a helpful teaching tool for parents. It helps build the confidence that pre-schoolers need as they learn to dress themselves.
When I asked her to put them on,she fought me for a second because after all, up until this point she hasn't been able to do it herself without a ton of frustration. With a little encouragement she slipped them right on using their handy loop handles. The face on the socks helps kids figure out which side is up...genius but I'm sure what the makers didn't count on was the fact that my child will wear little bunny face socks ALL day long....hooray! They also have non-skid bottoms which definitely protect her from falls on are hard wood floors. I'm planning on buying a pair of EZ SOx Cat socks for her Christmas stocking!

Here's your chance to wind a pair! Visit the EZ sox website and let me know which pair you'd like to win in a comment below...that's it! EZ to put on....EZ to win! I will announce 2 contest winners on Dec. 1!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Yesterday, I had a happy accident when I meant to google mapquest but traded the "m" for an "n". Napquest. Yeah, I'm googling that all day today. I'm searching for any time that I might be able to lay why weary head down.

I am not going to be efficient. I am not going to use nap time to put laundry away, wash dishes, or do anything even slightly productive. I'm going on a napquest!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Think Thanksgiving

Here are a couple of cute Thanksgiving crafts to try at home. I can't lay any claim to the ideas and I'd gladly credit the original if I could only think of where I found them.....

Step 1: Paint your kids hand to make a turkey body. I used brown, red, and yellow.
Step 2: Print the hand on construction paper. You can see that I pre-printed a Bible verse that I hope to help my kids learn this week.
Step 3: Using construction paper, cut a head (tear drop), nose (triangle), and whatever that red thing is called (...I should really know this by now). Glue the pieces to the dried hand print. You can either cut eyes or use google kids can't get enough of the google eyes.

Okay, so truth be will end up making these hats if your kids are under the age of 6, but trust me, they will never look more adorable and it is totally worth the effort!

The pilgrim boy hat is, I think, fairly self explanatory. You cut the shapes, glue them together, and then attach them to a long strip of paper to make a sweat band like hat. The girl pilgrim hat takes a bit more ingenuity.

Step 1: Use a 12"x18" construction paper. Fold back one of the 18" sides to make a 1" crease.

Step 2: On the opposite side make two 5" slits.

Step 3: Make a hole punch next to the 1" crease on each side. Attach string to tie the hat under the girl's chin.

Step 4: Fold and staple the cut flaps to create a bonnet. And let it be said that I am no hand, do I need to lotion!

Happy craft time pilgrims!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

I need to step it up in the craft department. I have 2 kids who LOVE crafts and truth be told, the other night they snuck down to the basement to "craft". Their version of crafting included watercolors, old business letter head paper, and glitter...handfuls of glitter! So, after I de-glitterized the basement and banned them from all paint, I thought that maybe I should offer a few more mommy lead crafts so that they don't have to sneak off to get their fix.

So, here's some fun that we're working on at our house. If you're not a big fan of this book, copy the idea and use it with any book that your kids love. I'm happy to report that it promotes literacy,(you can use that line to impress other moms, pediatricians, and teachers) and your kids can actually play with it and re-tell the story when they're done.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt is a classic children's book. The repetition of the text makes it an easy read for early readers! Here's what we did:

I stapled together 6 pages of construction paper, 1 for the title page and then 1 page for each of the "oh no" adventures....grass, river, mud, forest, snowstorm, and cave.

For my 3 year old, I made the backgrounds and for my 6 year old, I helped. Then, using a paper trimmer, make a slit in each background. Be sure to leave a margin so you do not cut the paper all the way to the edges.

Color people shaped popsicle sticks to use as bear hunting characters. You can also glue on a paper person to a regular popsicle stick.

Have your kids draw or sticker in details to the pages. We plan to add flowers to the grass page, foot prints to the mud page, forest animals to the forest page, fish to the river page, and a bear, of course, to our cave page.

Kids can re-tell the story using their own book! Help them slide their characters through the slot on each page of the bear hunt. Encourage them to use the pattern, "Oh no! ________ We can't go over it. We can't go under it. Oh no, we have to go through it!"

Happy bear hunting!

This post is a part of Things I Love Thursday.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's Like Nails on a Chalkboard

I used this phrase on my kids but realized, as soon as it left my lips, that it had lost it's meaning. I guess I missed the obituary and was a no-show at the funeral. Isn't that sad... a whole phrase has lost it's meaning.

My son is in 1st grade and has whiteboards in his class which will surely be updated into some sort of techie super thin plasma touch screen. He has never experienced a moment when the chalk twists and screeches out in a teachers hand. He's never had a classmate, determined to inflict pain on the rest of the class, raise his hand, bare his fingernails, and slide them down the board with a cruel grin. All this to explain that I have to come up with another descriptive phrase to explain why he should stop the noise he's making.

And, oh what a noise. How can one small person make so much noise? I guess I don't fully realize the volume that our family lives at until we're out in public. In public, my ears are hyper-attune. In that moment of noise, I'm slightly embarrassed and frustrated but when I reflect back on it I'm thankful for kids who live so lively and loudly.

So, I'm trying to stuff down the type A personality bits of me and embrace the noise, the fingerprints, the wiggles of today. I'm trying not to be aggravated and just hear the symphony of chaos that it is.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happily Late

Sometimes I think that somehow our family was just programmed to be late. Any combination of 1 to 3 of us can be on time to an event but throw that 4th family member into the mix and we're late. Last night, Michigan, along with a few other wacky states even gained an hour and we were still late to church.

So, we made a new commitment. You would think that it's to be on time but nooooo, that would be to logical. Instead, we've committed to be happily late. Before our newfound commitment, my husband and I felt like drill sergeants. Our sole purpose was to round up the troops, feed them, clothe them, and march them to the car. And all for what? To teach them how fun and enjoyable Sunday mornings and going to church as a family is? Yeah, that's probably not the lesson they were picking up on.

It's not that we're opposed to being on time. Certainly, punctuality is an upstanding trait. It's the realization that if you're going to be late you might as well be happy, remain calm, and carry on.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Opposite R.I.P.

Just when you thought this blog was R.I.P...

Well, if you didn't I did. I was stuck. I promised myself that if I was going to have a blog that tied in with the funny stories and helpful hints that I, the author, would bare myself. I would not hide the ugly truths, the painful bits, or the mundane and boring pieces of life.

Somehow though, when I shared the bittersweet truth about my sight I became stuck. I wasn't sure how to move from something so life changing, so brutal, so honest and then go back to talking about the little celebrations of parenting. Truthfully, I'm struggling at knitting myself and my non-driving status into this blog. Even more truthfully, I'm having a hard time allowing something that has been a bitter journey to not affect the sweetness of my life.

What lead me to this ah-ha moment was one of my favorite author's, Shauna Nequist. Shauna's new book Bittersweet (yeah, I didn't coin the phrase folks) speaks straight to my heart when she wrote, "When life is sweet say thank-you and celebrate and when life is bitter say thank-you and grow." I'm still learning what that looks like. This season of change has been hard on me and hard on my family...and maybe it's even been hard on Parenting in Blue Jeans. In the last few days, it seems I've been granted permission to come back and write. I'm can't say that I'm done with this time of loss...but I've learned how to celebrate the sweet spots that are scattered through it.