SMILE of a Child

Flipping through my stations one day, I came upon SMILE of a child network. It is a Catholic based station and has many shows. Some shows are corny or too silly. While others are right on and capture Dinosaur’s attention. Three shows that we both like are…

Paws and Tales reminds me of Little House on the Prairie and I LOVE that. It intertwines biblical lessons and how kids can apply them to everyday life. The animations are top notch and the stories are fun while being spiritual and educational.

Hermie and Friends is about a caterpillar who is small but knows talking to God will solve problems. Hermie knows that God made him and God loves him. At the end of the episode the creator of the series summarizes the episode for children and reminds them of God’s love for them. Anthony gets such a kick out of this show. He listens very closely when God talks to Hermie and when the creator talks at the end.

Grandfather Reads is a soothing but educational and inspiring shows. It features a gentle but wise grandfather and parrot. Grandfather reads books and teaches important life lessons, while Pedro shows educational videos as he figures out Grandfather’s message. It makes reading books and learning cool.

We also found this movie, Barnyard. I love this movie for Anthony because it has a wonderful message. The cow, father figure, fights off the evil coyotes even though he knows he will lose. He tries to teach his son how to protect the animals on the farm, but Otis is resistant. In the end, he realizes he has his father’s strength and courage and does the right thing for the farm. There are sad parts and funny parts. He loves when they are all singing and dancing and “Wild Mike”.

He also loves the following song and sings it all the time. The father cow would play his guitar and sing and it immediately caught Dinosaur’s attention.

 http://youtu.be/ohEHbgZ4mks

Has any of these shows/movie/songs calmed down Anthony????? NOPE! He’s wild as ever, but I wouldn’t have him any other way. I can’t wait to see how he uses his power for God and Good.

Will he EVER be calm?

He never stops moving, never stops to take a breath. He even moves in his sleep.

Sorry the video is a little dark, but you can still see him running into the wall and falling down OVER AND OVER. Yes, he was only pretending, but the craziness is still there. If I didn’t tempt him with the mall, he would have kept going. I love my boy, but he is CRAZY.

Here is an old video of Dinosaur dancing on an empty pizza box. Notice the purple band-aid on the corner wall…that is from when he ran full force into the corner. Five gray hairs grew in that moment, I called my friend Kit (when I lived right next to her) over fearing he cracked his skull open. The bump was horrific (right next to his inner right eyebrow), but luckily it went down after an hour-thanks to my over icing his head.

Anyway he is dancing and singing away, until he notices Daddy watching him. I had to stop taping from laughing so hard.

Sweet and Silly Dinosaur

As wild as Dinosaur can be, he has a sweet and happy soul.

Despite getting frustrated with the Legos not standing up how he wanted them to on the couch (I gave up trying to reason with him) he posed for a picture. He loves making silly faces and tries to crack me up.

He was so proud of his double-decker Lego car, he couldn’t stop smiling and pretending he was driving it all around.

After eating his Happy Meal, he stuck the box on his head…where else would you put an empty Happy Meal box?

Other times he insists that his dinosaurs and cars need to play in the food containers. So what does he do??? He empties out the cabinet and uses EVERY single container. Of course he wants a picture taken of him, look how proud he is. Even though he initially says “NO.”, he helps me put everything back. He LOVES to help clean up.

He quietly sits on the carousel looking at all that is going on, enjoying the moment and quiet, after a hard day walking around the mall.

 I am so blessed to have this loving and sweet boy in my life. While he drives me mad at times, he brings me so much joy and reminds me why life is wonderful. During those wonderful times, I just sit back and laugh, how boring and bleak life would be without him.

No, Dinosaur!

It’s Wednesday and time for My Life With a Dinosaur, but this time we are joining in on the
We recently did a review on Mother Daughter Book Reviews for the book Funny Farm, but Dinosaur also loves the book
I found the book and knew it was perfect for my son. Since we read books all the time, he loves to read to me now.
Sit here mommy.” Dinosaur points to the seat next to him on the couch.
I happily sit next to him as he reads to me, remembering the words on each page. I take pride, knowing that books are as important to him as they are are to me. I love that not only reads the book, but comments on the each page.At the end of the book, Dinosaur and I hug and say we love each other, just like David and his mommy.
“See mommy, I can read it too.” Dinosaur grins at me
His smile is so infectious.
“Yes my love, you read it so well. I am so proud of you.” I smile down at him and kiss his face.
He smiles again, hugs me and rubs my face. For such a wild boy,  he can be so pure and gentle.
“Okay, we play hide and seek now,” he grins at me and jumps off the couch and runs into his room.
What book(s) do you love to read with your kids? Do they read to you?

only child stigma

I have Google alerts on a few topics. It helps me find information that I write about on my blog. One alert is “only child”.  I found two articles that evoked strong emotions in me and I had to address them.

First let me begin with…

My decision to raise Dinosaur as an only was based on infertility and financial issues. It took me a long time to terms with this. It wasn’t until I spoke to a cousin on my hubby’s side of the family. She is a single mom who used a donor to become pregnant and have a beautiful daughter. She is confident in her decision to raise an only. She explained that she did not want to spend more money trying to have another child when that money could go towards her daughter. Her words got through to me and helped me come to terms with being a family of three. Before that moment I was not satisfied or was holding out for more and not able to see what I ALREADY had.

We struggled with infertility for six years, there were mornings I wish I hadn’t woken up, because the pain and loss was unbearable. Our marriage was suffering because of it, but then it was put to the test even more with IVF. I kept it a secret form EVERYONE except my two dear friends. They would only give me the most positive and the most positive and diva-like support. Besides too many people knowing would only add more pressure and stress. Mixing hormones, injecting myself, and having hubby inject me was already crazy enough, but having everyone ask about it…NO WAY.

I am very proud of our decision to do IVF and bring our child into the world. I am confident I would not be a happy person nor would our marriage have survived if I couldn’t be a mother. As much as I hated to play God, I knew I would have died inside without my miracle child. I know IVF is often a subject up for moral debate, but I am bringing it up to explain how we were able to become parents. IVF was our only option. I would NOT have survived the adoption process or the money we would need to spend on it. Hubby’s health care paid 90% of the cost for two IVFs.

Even if we had the money to try again (that ten percent and the cost of another baby) I don’t know if I could handle knowing this was our last shot. If this didn’t work we could NEVER try again. If it didn’t work it could break me. Then there is the chance I could develop preeclampsia again and go through another NICU trauma. I couldn’t handle that again.

So when I look at Dinosaur and see what a happy guy he is, it gives me peaces to know it will be okay. He doesn’t need siblings to be happy, he just needs a loving home. Besides for every adult who is unhappy about being an only child, there is another adult that does not talk to their five siblings. While blood connections are important, family is more than just blood, it is community, friends, and faith.
My son is NOT spoiled, well he is spoiled with love and family. I will never spoil him with objects that he won’t remember when he an adult. Movies, expensive toys, name-brand clothes and shoes, or jewelry won’t replace our family’s love. He won’t look back on life and reminiscence about all his cool toys, but he will remember the wonderful moments he shared with us.

We have this “only,” this quaking bias against households with one kid, and I know it comes from deep in our genetic guts as organically fashioned baby-makers, and I understand that people say “Oh, just one?” when they just want to say Children = Joy

In response to the author, I feel for you. I wonder if one day my son will ask why he is an only. I will respond with the truth, that life did not work out the way I had planned it to, but God blessed us with you. There are many families being forced to have only one child for a multitude of reasons. I hope and pray they can find the peace in their child that we have. Though, I do have my emotional moments. When I see a pregnant mom or a newborn, I wish I could enjoy those wonderful moments again. I don’t want to have another child to make others’ happy. I don’t want to have another child for a playmate for my son. I don’t want to have another child just so I don’t have to hear parents make remarks that I have it easier being a parent to an only.  Parents of two plus kids, good for you, your family works for you and that is great. My family works for me and that is okay too. My son will only see being an only child a bad thing IF society tells him it’s bad, I am teaching him tolerance and acceptance of others. This stigma is created by people who have nothing better to do than judge others and probably the same people who conducted the study below.

“Scientists have pinpointed a potential risk factor for overweight and obesity early in life — and it has to do with how many siblings a child has.”  

In response to the article on only children having more obesity…Well my hubby and I each have one sibling and we are chunky. I know MANY adults who are overweight and have more than one sibling. I know MANY only children who are fit and healthy. Being an only has NOTHING to do with it with weight and health. It really is sad when money is wasted on studies like this that only cause parents more worry and grief.

Just to note…the article said that only children come from less educated homes, have TVs in every room, hardly played outside, AND the study was done in Europe. I am a highly educated, professional, my husband is quite smart, and my son is always running around and getting exercise. I know families with more than two kids who have TVs, iPads, iPods, and wii’s in EVERY ROOM, but it’s just the only children that are the overweight ones, right?

I normally ignore articles about this, but my heart wanted me to respond and write and I am glad I did.

How many children do you have? Do you wish you could have more or are you happy with the number? Do you think number of kids really affects obesity?

Keeing a Dinosaur Busy

Keeping an energetic and determined dinosaur busy is hard work. He keeps moving ALL THE TIME, he even moves in his sleep. He tries me out, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My friend, Cathy once said something that stuck with me and still does to this day. You were meant to be a mom boy. You’d be a great mom to a girl too, but you let your son be who he is and don’t try to change him. Of course I’m probably changing a few words, but her words got to me and made me love my crazy little dinosaur even more.

Though, I still need to keep him busy, while still keeping my sanity. Here are some SUPER cheap ways I do that.

1. “HULK HANDS” Letting him put on his hulk hands a gift from Aunt Janet and Uncle Phil. He will run around and pretend he’s a monster dinosaur. Sometimes he’ll even punch the couch to release extra energy or scream into pillows to release energy too.

2. “PAINTING BOXES” Letting him paint old boxes we had lying around. Well, that lasted a minute, I should have realized that would not keep him busy long. He prefers to paint on paper instead and was incredibly focused. He told stories ones that I could barely understand, but were really for him anyway. I wasn’t allowed to interrupt. I love when he gets into that creative mode, it’s a joy to watch.

3. “PAINTING TABLES” I made sure I had water and wet rags to clean Dinosaur within an arms reach, mommy dinosaurs need to be prepared for ANYTHING…and I’m glad I was. He decided to stick his fingers in the tops of the paint bottles and color all over the table. I did not get a picture of that, I was too busy running after him to make sure he didn’t paint the garage or porch. Lots of hot water cleaned up that mess.

4. “MIKE THE KNIGHT” He has been into sticks lately, running around pretending he is “Mike the Knight” destroying dragons. He runs around the yard and driveway looking for any and all sticks. Everyone once in while he stops to inspect stains and bugs on the ground.

5. “STICK CLEAN UP” Then it is always fun to throw sticks back onto the grass. He just can’t clean up the yard calmly, he has to throw the sticks back with as much force as he can muster. He’s really good at throwing, he can’t catch, but he’s a great pitcher. I think it’s because he gets to use his whole body to throw and it feels good to move all your muscles.

6. “FINGER PAINTING LEAVES” I saw this on Forgetful Momma and knew Anthony would love it and he did. He got messy and after a few trees mushed all the paint together and made hand prints. He had a great time. The best part was I now have a great background I can use for photos. OR BETTER YET. Doing the same thing only with a Christmas tree and finger painting on ornaments, then using that as a background for Christmas photo!

 

The Naptime Review

Raising a Good Man

While out at dinner recently it was suggested that I baby or coddle my son too much. While I find that ridiculous, I also feel bad for their kids-were they given ENOUGH attention? I can NEVER give my son enough hugs or kisses. I will never stop explaining things to my son or teaching him. There is nothing wrong with preparing him for something that I know will scare him. Giving him expectations and support will help him grow into a respectful, loving husband and father. In the past I would have been snarky back, now I just smile, thank them for their opinion and continue as I am.

He may be a wild, energetic, determined dinosaur, but he is also loving and sweet. He cares about others’ feelings and always tells us how much he loves us. I know extra hugs and kisses will lead him in that right direction.

Here he is playing with his dinosaurs in the kitchen because he wanted to watch me make breakfast. Then he proceeded to tell me…

Dino: “I’m gonna be big like daddy, with tattoos all over my body.” (Daddy only has two NY Yankee tattoos on his upper arms.)
Mommy: Oh really. I bet you will look so cool, but you have to wait till your eighteen and use your own money for the tattoos.
Dino: Okay, I be big like daddy with tattoos

Yes, I would totally let him get tattoos once he is eighteen, though I would try to persuade him to wait till he’s thirty. So much changes from eighteen to thirty and he may feel differently about a tattoo on his body, but then again he may love what he has. Hopefully, I will have taught him to be happy and love himself, and make good choices. Never judge a book by it’s cover. Never judge a person by what they look like, believe or who they love.

I NEVER want him to value opinions that come from people with evil or hurtful intentions. I want him to value the opinions of those people who have his best intentions at heart and love him. I can honestly say there are just a handful of people whose opinions I value. While I may not always agree with them, I value them because they are important to me and my soul. They know who they are and YES, Dinosaur is one of them. I will listen to others as they may have great advice too, but don’t rely on them as I do my special people. These people are my confidants and supporters; and understand who I really am.

You know who your true supporters are…when you are at your lowest, they embrace and love you…not complain, judge, offer advice or tell their stories. They are just there for you.

The other day is a perfect example of what I am teaching Dinosaur. I walked him up to the park, right near our home. It was empty now that kids are in school. He was having a blast playing with mommy and showing off all his skills. Then a mom, and her personal trainer I guess, came over with her son. The boy, I will call Peter, came running over to play too. His mother and personal trainer stayed near the picnic tables about twenty feet away and exercised while I was left to watch her son.

This is the face of a HAPPY and LOVING boy.

My sweet boy was having a blast, but Peter was bossy and loud. He kept telling my son which steering wheel to use and when to go down the slide. Dinosaur, just having fun, went along with it. After only two minutes, the mother came over and said he had to leave, obviously for more exercises in the next place they had to walk to. She pleaded with her son and begged him, but he refused to move. He wanted to have fun for a while, not just for two minutes.

So she gave in to him, without a thank you to me for watching her son, and went off for more exercises. I continued to watch as Peter got my son to call me a stinky monster (and not in a cute way, in a bratty way) and then started to push him. My son gently pushed Peter’s hands away and continue to play.

But when he did it again I nicely, but firmly told him “No pushing.”
Peter looked at me and stuck his tongue at me.
I sternly looked at him and said, “Do not stick your tongue out at me.”
He looked shocked that someone told him what to do. But he listened and stopped touching my son, but the stinky monster insults continued. 

After another twenty minutes his mother came back over, and pleaded with him to leave and he just ignored her. Dinosaur was in shock, now I know he is NOT perfect, but he knows when mommy means business. She threatened to go up and get him about ten times, but they were empty threats and he knew it. I thought I would help her out and told Dino to say goodbye to the boy. My sweet guy kissed and hugged him goodbye. The boy was taken aback, but still did not listen.

Then Dinosaur started acting out and ran past me, I gently held onto him and looked into his eyes. He listened to my calm, but strict words. I told him that I am his mommy and he needs to listen to me. If he can’t listen, then I would take him out of the playground. He nodded and listened, I could see the mom just staring at us wishing her son would listen. As my guy walked to the swings, Peter went down the slide and his mom caught him.

Dinosaur said “Goodbye. See you later.”
Peter responded with “Goodbye stinky boy.” and some other mean words. His mother barely reprimanded him in a rush to get to her next destination. She walked off letting her son know it was okay to insult someone.
My sweet son, said “Okay, bye boy, See you tomorrow.”

I think I am doing a great job as a mom, hugs and kisses only make him a
better boy and one day a better man.
The type of man that will sit next to his child and prepare them for the large fire that will appear as the chef cooks food. He will reassure his child that he/she is safe and nothing will happen to them, but it’s okay to be scared. The type of man that will always tell his child how proud he is of them when they do the right thing in a bad situation or just for being a great kid. The type of man that will model for his child how to be a good person. The type of man that will be the same person the other six days when he is not at church.

Favorite Shows and BACKPACK GIVEAWAY

I don’t let Dinosaur sit in front of the TV all day, but he has his favorite shows that he watches over and over again. Some I LOVE,
some I like and some I think are WASTES OF TIME. Sometimes I put on the shows I can’t stand just to be able to do computer work
or make meals.
Little Bill
Mommy LOVES
because they are a loving family with friends from all walks of life. Little Bill is NOT whiny, just a typical kid that Dinosaur can relate to. Everyone is different and that is normal. They all love each other and are respectful and kind. There is a spiritual foundation to the show as well, that I am grateful for.
Dinosaur likes because Little Bill is just like him, a happy kid with a loving family and lots of friends.
Little Bear:
Mommy LOVES
because he is an only child, like Dinosaur, and has lots of different friends and loving grandparents. Everyone is different and that is normal. They all love each other and are respectful and kind. It is okay to not to have a large family and being an only kid is perfectly normal for their family.
Dinosaur likes because Little Bear is a happy guy, who loves his friends and family, and uses his imagination.
Dora the Explorer:
Mommy likes
because Dora is interactive and gets Dinosaur to use his thinking skills.
Dinosaur likes because Dora always needs his help and thanks him for helping
Mike the Knight:
Mommy DOES NOT like
because Mike is selfish and soiled, he never learns from his mistakes or listens to his friends.
Dinosaur likes because Mike IS a knight and has knightly adventures
Wow Wow Wubzy:
Mommy DOES NOT Like
because while they do share and show friendship, it’s MINDLESS waste of time.

Dinosaur likes because it’s funny, noisy, and fast moving
 Caillou:
Mommy DOES NOT Like because he is whiny and soiled child that is so self-centered
Dinosaur likes because it’s bright and funny
 Max and Ruby:|
Mommy DOES NOT Like because there are no guardians living with them, Ruby is too bossy and Max needs adult supervision
Dinosaur likes it’s funny and bright, and Max is always right.
What shows do your kid(s) watch, if any? Do you like them? Or do you want to throw your shoe at the TV like I do?
http://naptimeshopper.blogspot.com

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The summer is slowly dying and the school season, is yet again, knocking at our doors. With our little toddlers also heading on over to day care and preschool, we need to make sure they have all the right gear and tools to be rightly equipped. Starting with the most important item: the backpack. I hence had the idea of spoiling the little monsters out there with a fun S.O.S. Mom giveaway. I have the pleasure of offering you the chance to win a toddler backpack, with your choice of design, handmade by the generous sponsor Little Fawn Designs.

Fun with LaLa and PopPop

This is the second Monday I have NOT posted about saving money. I will get back to that starting next week. I have been saving, just forgetting to keep the receipts and take pictures. I really like to stick to my schedule. Do most of you have a blogging schedule? Or do you just post what you want?

Dinosaur is lucky to have still have two sets of grandparents.  He is making wonderful memories and getting lots of love. LaLa and PopPop are my parents; and Dinosaur is there only grandchild, so he is spoiled with lots of love. Dinosaur got to spend two days with his LaLa and PopPop. My father wanted to be called PopPop, and LaLa was called that by her niece and nephew and it just stuck when they had their kids. So when Dino was born, it was only natural that she was his LaLa too.

On Saturday we went to Sillverman’s Farm in Easton Connecticut. It’s a great little orchard and farm, but there were too many bees; so eating outside was NOT fun. Any suggestions on products that block bees so we can eat outside and enjoy the nice weather? They have a HUGE playground area with an awesome maze.

Being an only child, dinosaur got attention from four adults while running around and playing. He truly is a lucky guy to have so many loving people in his life. What more could ANY kid wish for?

Though he worried me a bit, seems like he has a preference for blond girls. He was following around three of them on the playground!!! The girl he he clings to at daycare is also blond. Already three and he has his preferences, I’m in trouble. Though I never really talk to him about girls, I usually just say when you grow up, get married and have kids. I don’t want him to feel like we won’t accept him and want him to know that no matter who he loves; we will always love him. Maybe I’m crazy to think about this when he is only thee but I want him to know and my vocabulary to be consistent. After getting stickers on our car symbolizing our family, he is always repeating the members of our family. I tell him that some families have one mom, or one dad, or two moms or dads, or aunts and uncles, or grandparents. As long as you are loved, that’s your family.

Okay, now back to the post at hand, I sometimes get sidetracked with my thoughts.

Dinosaur posing like a big man next to “Thomas the Train”

One of the many cool trucks in the playground area.

On Sunday we spent the day at their house. Hubby had to umpire two games near their house, so it made sense to spend the day there. pent all day there. Dinosaur loves it there, because LaLa and PopPop have designated their back room to Dinosaur. He walks around like the big man on campus. He loves to sit at the back table, play with his cars, and eat his food.

Dinosaur telling to hurry up and take the picture, my bossy little man.

My mother didn’t want her picture taken, she’s so silly. My dad was being funny and was pretending to flex his muscles.

Tomorrow I will post about Dinosaur’s day with Grandpa Tony and Grandma Lorraine (hubby’s parents).

 vintage-cleaning.jpg
Daily:
run washing machine if full
put away dried clothes
clean up disaster areas from Hurricane Dinosaur
Monday:
plan shopping list (from yesterday)
change sheets and towels
3rd
catch up day
check batteries in fire alarms (from yesterday)
What’s your cleaning agenda today? 
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Tried it and Liked it

So after seeing this post 10 Must Do Activities for Little Ones from Chirping Moms. ….
I had to try the two of the activitie

1.  Shaving Cream and Cars: Dinosaur LOVED IT! He spent an hour outside playing and singing. In the end he was soaked but truly happy. This will be a popular activity for us in the winter. I can see putting Dinosaur in the kitchen with the table (as long as I am not cooking).

sorry the videos are sideways, though it’s going to be fun imagining all of you tilting your
heads to watch, LOL

3.  Mess Free Painting: Well, Dinosaur ripped the bag off the window and ran around the apartment. I was terrified that he would rip it open and spread it all over. I had to rip it out of his hands and give him a cookie. Not my best mom moment, but I needed to contain the mess, LOL

Then I had to give him another outdoor activity, just to keep him busy. I drew a large intertwining road on our driveway. I included a gas station, and two houses for the cars to sleep. He played for a bit, but got bored. Why? Because it wasn’t messy! Such a boy, but I love it.

What fun activities do you have in your “mommy toolkit” for your kids?

vintage-cleaning.jpg
Daily:
run washing machine if full
put away dried clothes
clean up disaster areas from Hurricane Dinosaur
Sunday:
plan shopping list
wipe down bathroom
2nd
clean out car
check batteries in fire alarms
What’s your cleaning agenda today? 
 You can find me on  pinterest   facebook   twitter