Monday, November 30, 2015

Hot Holiday Gifts To AVOID AT ALL COSTS!

So did any of you brave the stores over Thanksgiving weekend to start your Christmas shopping. I know I did not. It is practically tradition for me to wait until the last 2 weeks and completely stress over holiday shopping.

This year my kids lists are as long as ever. I swear they just watch a few shows on Nickelodeon and just write down every dang commercial that comes on. Here are a few items on their lists that I will be avoiding at all costs....

Kinetic Sand in Metallic: This combine 2 things I hate for my kids to play with in my house, sand and glitter. No matter what the box looks like or what the commercial says this stuff will be all over your table and floor and will impossible to clean it all up. You will find glitter ans sand all over everything, including yourself for months.

 This is a top toy this year as if I take myself back to 11 year old me I can see why. But with a $40.00 price tag for what I can guarantee will be a one time thing. Much like the cake=pop maker my kids begged for one year this is the kind of toy that your kids will open and use one time. Or until the cookie making kits it comes with are done. For $7.00 a refill pack you will most likely never buy them. Plus real girl scout cookie season is right around the corner and you will be able to grab a whole box of cookies outside your local grocery store for $5. And those cookies will not disappoint in taste.

Okay my little one really wanted these. And for a second I thought about having a box of these under the tree Christmas morning.

Until I started seeing pictures like this on social media.... 
Not my kid, but very easily could have been! 
Aww hell no! My kid is constantly rolling around on the floor and she never every cleans up her crap. This is a recipe for disaster. 

Are there any toys on your kids list this year that are a definate NO? 

Friday, November 27, 2015

I stand with the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement!

Today is Black Friday and the hype to shop is crazier than ever. I've never been a big shopper on this day, but today, I woke up and felt renewed about my conviction to steer clear from consumerism. On the radio I heard about a large boycott in the largest sector of retail in Minneapolis.

Why boycott? 

To shut down the economic backbone of a town that still experiences division by race. What freaking year is this? Sadly, black lives continue to be suppressed by violence and oppression, especially from law enforcement. Now, not all law enforcement officers of course, but you can't deny the countless accounts via video footage surfacing time and time again where a Black American is being violently attacked, or even, killed at the hands of a white police officer. 
All situations tell their own unique story, but that so many stories are being told is alarming and a clear indicator that justice evades us.  We have an epidemic in this country and I am proud to boycott Black Friday sales and instead stand with the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement.

Additionally, I will continue to stand for any movement that demands equality and peace, vote accordingly at the polls, and speak up against continued racial oppression. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thank you for the memories, Facebook.

The new memory feature on Facebook is warming my heart everyday. I am one of those chronic posters who chronicals everything about mine and my children's lives. To me, social media was always my scrapbook and now that scrapbook is completely song what it's meant do by showing me memories of previous posts.

I appreciate that Facebook has created a practical feature that allows users to enjoy what we've posted through the years. Now, I wish we could simply save all of these video files back on personal clouds. I am surely keeping old photos that are no longer exist in my digital library.

Plus, the memory feature is the best entertainer for children. My kiddos have thoroughly enjoyed watching videos of them 4-5 years ago. Now let's flash forward... my hope is this feature will last for many years because I can only imagine the joyfulness memories will evoke decades from now.

Thank you for the memories, Facebook! I am digging this new and improved functionality. And on that note, when do we finally get our "unlike" button? 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving is just a few days away. It is almost time to cook or even deep fry the bird and eat your weight in mashed potatoes. Many families have different traditions when it comes to Thanksgiving...

  • My family take turns hosting the whole family for the big meal. It is the job of the host to cook the turkey. 
  • Because a lot of people go back home for the holidays the guys from my high school still get together on Thanksgiving morning to play some football. This has been a tradition since 1991. 
  • Many families like to go around the table and say what they are thankful for. 
  • Breaking the wishbone is also a tradition that many families do. Sure it's a little gross but cute. 
  • Many people like to start Thanksgiving day cuddled on the couch in pj's watching all the balloons on the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. 
What are some of your Thanksgiving traditions? 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Santa Claus: Bursting the Bubble for Kids

I just had the big talk with my 9 year old, 4th grader about Santa's existence. I took a moment of natural conversation that organically involved into the big reveal. He took it so well until his dad got pretty intimidating about keeping the secret for his siblings. Then, there was tears.

Here's what the conversation taught me:

1. Let the moment come up naturally and stay casual yet sensitive. Kids sense our feelings, so I came across calmly with a positive attitude about how fun it's been to keep up such a giving tradition for his entire childhood.

2. Let them feel disappointment and sadness. Don't try to avoid it. This part might have you feeling as though you should have never dooped your child, let alone shared the news now, but just think how cruel it is to find out from a bratty, teasing classmate (how I found out).

3. Remind your children of the joy they've experienced believing in this tradition and others (this only applies when they understand there's no easter bunny or toothfairy). Accordingly, they shouldn't ruin the magic for others (classmates and siblings). This part is important and teaches our children to express empathy for others.

4. Get reinforcements if you feel your child may really take it hard (books, online articles, etc.). If they take it harder than you thought, assure them they can still enjoy the tradition. Assure them the love and excitement they've felt doesn't go away.

5. Share lots of comforting hugs and kisses, and before you know it, your child will be just fine with the news. Soon after the reveal, my kid began referring to me as "mom, I mean, Santa." This went on for an hour with a bunch of delirious laughter in between.

In your opinion, when's the best time to have the big convo. with kids??

Friday, November 20, 2015

Can We All Agree to Get Off Black Friday?

This picture is from my local Best Buy and it is from this last Monday. Yup November 16th. That is not a homeless person's tent. That, my friends, is a person camped out for Black Friday sales. Yes a full 11 days early. This woman (and yes she did this last year) is going to spend the next 11 days camping out waiting to get a good deal on a television.

I mentioned to my husband that the same lady for last year was already camped out and he let out a big sigh. He really believes that things like this ruin the holidays. Instead of enjoying the holiday season with her family this women is spending it on the sidewalk. It kind of defeats the real purpose of the holiday season. Instead of being with family and friends spending the day bonding, they are pouring over sales ads and gearing up for an all-night shop-a-thon. Not to mention all the people who work in retail that are forced to start work at 6pm on Thanksgiving day so that they can have their store open at midnight.

Here is the problem, unless all the big major stores agree to end the madness that is Black Friday, it will continue. Because Wal-Mart is not going to lose a huge amount of sales to Target and vice-versa. Unless everyone agrees to open at a reasonable time on Friday, Black Friday sales are going to get earlier and earlier. I will not be shocked to hear about Black Friday sales starting on 5pm on Thursday.