27 March 2008

This blog has a new home!

As you can see from the title, I have moved this blog to a new home--I got my own domain and am now hosting the blog myself. Here's the new link:

Mad About Kids

If you are one of my subscribers, you will need to sign up with the new RSS feed and/or email subscription. You can visit the new blog to do so, or simply click below:

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This will be my last post at this blog address, so I hope you will come join me at my new home!

:) Michelle

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10 March 2008

Picky blogger here...

My blog has moved! Please look for this and other posts here:
Mad About Kids. Thanks for reading!

See the picture over there? That pretty much sums up how I feel about this blog right now. I keep changing things and moving things around...and I'm still not satisfied.

I guess I'm just picky. But I keep searching and hunting the internet, looking for new widgets or tools or hacks that will make my blog look or function better. Sometimes I get lucky and find one...most of the time I end up disappointed and grumpy that I wasted so much time looking and didn't find anything.

I've also been giving some thought to switching away from Blogger (mainly because there are some really cool widgets that are not available for Blogger). But, as someone who is really new to the blogging world, I don't know if this is such a great idea for me--after all, it might end up being a pretty complicated thing, switching a blog from one host to another.

Anyway, the bottom line is this: you will likely be seeing a lot of little changes here and there throughout my blog. Don't be surprised if, say, the colors change or the columns are in a different order. Until I really get a look that I love, I'll keep working on it.

Oh--if anyone reading this has any comments/suggestions on how to make my blog look or function better, I'm all ears. Or, if you have switched away from Blogger, tell me about your experience. I would love to hear about it!

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09 March 2008

Sunday Spotlight -- Johnson's Buddies Easy-Grip Sudzing Bar

My blog has moved! Please look for this and other posts here:
Mad About Kids. Thanks for reading!

Sunday Spotlight is a feature of my blog--each week, I highlight one product that I really like. This week, that product is Johnson's Buddies Easy-Grip Sudzing Bar.

What's so great about this soap? Well, I think it is just perfect for my boys because they can use it to wash themselves--and they can do a good, thorough job with it. Other soap bars are slippery or they don't lather well enough. And let's face it--young kids just aren't very well coordinated, so liquid soaps and bodywashes really aren't good options.

Johnson's Buddies Easy-Grip Sudzing Bar is like a regular bar of soap, with one big difference--the bar is encased in a netted pouch. The pouch is very similar in material to the shower poufs that many women use in the shower, so it is very gentle on the skin. Because the soap bar is trapped inside the pouch, it is extremely simple to get a really big lather. And, with normal use, the pouch is not likely to rip or tear (and by 'normal use', I mean regular bathtime use, such as keeping the soap pouch out of the mouth and away from sharp objects).

The soap itself has a light scent, perfect for either boys or girls. And since it is made by Johnson's, you can trust that it has been allergy tested. It is a very gentle soap.

How do I use it with my boys? I have two bars in our bathtub, one for Damien and one for Xander (they know which one is whose). When it is bathtime or showertime, each boy grabs his own sudzing bar and washes himself up all over, everywhere he can reach. Then I use the bar to wash his back. See how simple that is? It is so much less work for me--and it gives the boys their independence, letting them take care of themselves (at ages 5 and 6, this is still a big deal).

You can usually find this product near the baby products in most drugstores and mass merchandiser stores. The best part? It costs around $1--and, you can often find coupons in your local newspaper for $1 off of any Johnson's product. So, you can sometimes end up getting these soap bars for FREE! Well, you may have to pay tax, but that is still an awesome deal, isn't it?

Even if you have to pay full price, though, Johnson's Buddies Easy-Grip Sudzing Bars are well-worth the $1 price tag. Try them out with your young kids and you will agree.

Disclaimer: Sunday Spotlight products are chosen simply because I like the product. The opinions expressed here are my own.

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08 March 2008

Inside voices, please!!

My blog has moved! Please look for this and other posts here:
Mad About Kids. Thanks for reading!

I have been around a lot of kids, both in my past career as a preschool teacher and as a mother, and I have come to a conclusion about households. I believe there are two types of households--regular ones, and loud ones. And by loud, I mean LOUD!

I think that some people are just naturally loud speakers, and, therefore, their households tend to be full of loud talkers. I'm sure you have met some loud talkers before, haven't you? People whose voices are just a lot louder than most? People who aren't quite shouting or yelling, but who aren't exactly talking in inside voices? Well, just think about how these people are at home...they tend to talk loud at home, too--and, therefore, so do their kids.

Now, I'm not saying that loud talkers are bad--I know a lot of great people who happen to be loud talkers. But, when two of my kids' best friends come from a loud household, and these kids come over to spend the night rather regularly...well, I'm sure you can imagine what that might be like.

We had one of the loud kids over for the night last night. He's a pretty nice kid--but, for some reason, whenever he is here, he turns my youngest son into a loud talker. Well, that's not exactly right--he turns my youngest son into a yeller. I think Xander decides that he needs to compete with his friend's loud voice, and he tries to win the competition by getting even louder--by yelling. Loudly. Constantly.

So, even when the kids are getting along, it sounds like they are arguing. And my husband and I spend a lot of our time telling the boys to use their inside voices. Does it work? No. Well, maybe for a minute or two. But then soon they are back at it--the friend using his loud voice and Xander yelling.

Is there anything we can really do about this? I doubt it, unless we decide to stop inviting the loud-talking kids over. But that isn't likely, because my husband and I are friends with their parents. So, I guess we are stuck with it. Unless someone else has an idea?

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07 March 2008

Friday Faves -- New Weekly Feature

My blog has moved! Please look for this and other posts here:
Mad About Kids. Thanks for reading!

I decided to start a new feature on my blog, called "Friday Faves". In these posts, I will talk about a couple of parenting-related blogs or websites that I have visited throughout the week that I think are worthy of some attention. They might be small, lesser-known blogs--or they could be popular and highly-recognizable websites. Regardless, they will have one thing in common--these "Friday Faves" are all sites you should take the time to visit.

I have two blogs to start off my "Friday Faves" feature. The first one is A Mom Speaks, which is written by a stay-at-home Mom (like me) who has two young children (a boy, 3 years old, whom she calls Superboy; and a one-year-old girl whom she calls Princess). This Mom writes about everyday life in an amusing and interesting way. What really made her blog stick out from all of the other Mom-type blogs was her twist on a blog contest. Because she is getting ready to move, she decided to go through and get rid of some of her books--and, she is doing so by giving them away to her blog readers! Isn't that a cool blog giveaway? I thought so...so I just had to write about it.

This next blog I found through Entrecard. Not familiar with Entrecard? Check it out here. Anyway, the blog is Contests 4 Moms, and it is exactly what the title says. This site lists all kinds of blog contests, explaining requirements and deadlines for entry. Many of these contests have multiple winners. Entering can be a lot of fun, and who knows? You might just win one someday!

I'll have more "Friday Faves" next week. If you would like me to consider your site for this spot, make sure I see it. If you comment on one of my posts, fave me on Technorati, or drop an Entrecard here, I will follow and do the same--so, those are all good ways to make sure I see your site.

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05 March 2008

Sick, Sick, Sick -- the flu this time

My blog has moved! Please look for this and other posts here:
Mad About Kids. Thanks for reading!

I took my parents to the doctor one day last week, and I just casually mentioned the flu shot. I asked him if the flu shot hadn't been as effective this year. He said that yes, the flu shots that were given this year were only about 40% effective, which isn't as good as they have been in years past (though he also remarked that it is amazing that they are effective at all since they are really formulated as guesses as to what forms of virus will be infectious).

Why does this stick in my mind so well? Probably because it was only a few days later that my entire household came down with the flu. Well, we didn't immediately realize it was the flu--at first we thought it was that pesky cold the kids had a couple of weeks ago returning for a second try. But when my husband and I began to feel more and more miserable, and when we all started having more and more symptoms, we knew it was the flu.

All I want to do is crawl into bed and sleep, but I can't even sleep well because of my sore throat. Not that I could do that anyway with my kids around, anyway. But you know what the worst thing to deal with is? Not the coughing or the sneezing or the body aches...it's my husband.

He is the biggest baby when he is sick! Moaning and groaning every few minutes, sighing and complaining all the time. Sure, he knows that I'm sick, too, but he seems to think that his symptoms are always worse. I know I'm not the only woman whose husband acts this way, too...

The kids are mostly better now, but me and my husband are still sick. But which one of us has been getting up to take care of the kids' meals? Me. And who has been dealing with homework? That would be me. It is just so unfair...and I wanna whine about it!

Misery loves company, you know...so tell me if your husband acts like a baby when he is sick. Tell me how your man drives you nuts when he is ill--or when you are. It would make me feel tons better to read about the ridiculous behavior of other men.

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