Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Upcoming Events!

Disney On Ice: 100 Years of Magic

Onsale to General Public
Start: Sat, 03/03/12 10:00 AM MST

Show Dates (AZ): April 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th

Price Range: $22-$70

*23 Month and Younger Free on Lap


Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

Onsale to General Public
Start: Sat, 05/05/12 10:00 AM MST

Show Dates (AZ): June 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th & July 1st & 2nd

Price Range: $23-$105

*23 Months and younger Free on Lap


Imagination Movers

Coming to Arizona in October...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Products You'll Love-"First Meals"

"First Meals" (the expanded edition) By Annabel Karmel

I have been absolutely drooling over this book since the moment I got it. Its a part of DK books which already says a lot, but it is a wonderful book filled with pretty healthy & creative recipes for every age level (6m to meals the whole family can enjoy). Some of the bonus material aside from the actual recipes is advice on various things like how to wean your baby, weekly meal plans already made up for you (down to even snacks & desserts), what is involved in creating the "ideal" balanced diet for toddlers, & so forth. After a week of enjoying a ton of these visually appealing & tasty meals, this book not only gets a thumbs up from my husband & I, but from all 3 of my lil' kiddos as well!!! I definitely recommend investing in this book. :) She also has some other great books you might enjoy!

-M&M Momma

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pregnancy Update

We are approaching the tail end of the pregnancy. Its definitely had some interesting twists & turns, ups & downs, but I would not trade it for anything because I know what a beautiful miracle I get at the end. :)

I have to mention that J has definitely been a trooper through this journey. After seriously being pregnant for 4 years straight, I don't even think my husband remembers what the "normal" me is like. The crazy things that transpire as a result of hormones from 4 straight pregnancies even makes me have to laugh sometimes...or cry lol. But I would not trade this for anything. Pregnancy & kids are truly the best gift in life!

My lil' ladies have definitely enjoyed this pregnancy-listening to the heartbeat, talking to her through the bellybutton (or the "doorbell" as they like to refer to it), getting kicked in the face more than once by a foot or hand here & there, & even getting to experience seeing her in an ultrasound once.

At 1 point I told Aidann how the baby is in water in my belly. That really sent her lil' mind in a whirl. Aidann had to then stop to think for a moment before asking me, "Is she swimming naked in there & is her swim teacher in there too?!". Oh my gosh, I love how lil' kids minds work. They will forever keep you rolling.

Well, as everything winds down I want to be sure & take the time to thank everyone for their support through the ups & downs this pregnancy presented whether it was cooking a meal, dropping by for a quick visit, or just sending some kind words my way. I love you all!!!

-M&M Momma

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February is Dental Health Month

February is almost over, but its not to late to talk with your kids about keeping their teeth healthy & having a lil' fun at the same time!

"A tooth fell out, and left a space
So big my tongue could touch my face.
And every time I smile, I show
a space where something used to grow.
I miss my tooth as you can guess
But then, I have to brush one less!"

-Author Unknown

All the Dental Information You Need to Know:

Brushing and Flossing Demo:

Healthy Teeth- Hands-On Science Activities:

Brief Description: These experiments illustrate the importance of brushing teeth.

Materials Needed:
Note: The following materials represent those required to complete all the experiments below. See each experiment for individual requirements.
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • soft drink, such as cola or root beer
  • dried chicken bones
  • vinegar
  • water and sugar solutions
  • water and salt solutions
  • fluoride (from a local dentist, or a dental supply store or pharmacy)
Lesson Plan

This lesson offers a handful of experiments designed to demonstrate the potential effects of sweets and other foods on healthy teeth. Students might work in small groups to perform the experiments.

Experiment 1
For this simple experiment for primary grade students, fill one container with water and another with a brown soft drink -- cola or root beer, for example. Place a hard-boiled egg into each container. (You might give each student an egg to place in the soft-drink container.) Leave the eggs in the soft drink overnight. Pour out the liquid the next day and examine the eggs. Have students compare the eggs left in the soda to the egg left in the water. How are the eggs different? Why? Students should be able to draw the conclusion that it is important to brush each night to keep their teeth clean and white.

Experiment 2
Before doing this experiment, collect chicken bones and set them aside to dry for a few days. (You might ask students a week in advance to collect chicken bones at home and bring them into school.) Provide each student or small group of students with 2 or more bones. Have student(s) place one of the bones in a plastic cup; then pour vinegar in the cup to cover the bone. Leave the other bone exposed to the air. Let the bones sit for several days, and then have students compare the two bones. What has happened? Why? (The bones soaked in vinegar will be noticeably softer. Vinegar is an acid. It has eaten away some of the bones' calcium.) Students should conclude from this activity that brushing and flossing teeth removes harmful food particles from teeth. Food left between teeth eventually turns to a kind of acid that can decay teeth.

Experiment 3
If you are able to collect extracted teeth from a local dentist, you can adapt Experiment 2 in the following way: Have students brush nail polish onto half of a tooth and let it dry. Put the teeth in a variety of solutions -- including water, water with sugar, a soft drink, water with salt, and vinegar -- to see what effects those solutions have on the teeth. Compare the effects and draw conclusions about tooth care.

Lost Tooth Pillow:

Make Toothbrush Bracelets:
This craft is for older kids, but it is super fun and cute.

A Special Place to Keep a Tooth:

Tooth Fairy Box

Tooth Puppet:

Toothy Puppet Craft

A Healthy Dental Craft & Snack:

Make a Smile Collage:

Brief Description-
A collage of smiles is sure to spread happiness.
  • mural paper
  • magazines, newspapers, and other sources of advertisements/images of smiling people
  • glue, tape, or staples

Lesson Plan-
Before the Lesson...
Draw on a large sheet of mural paper an outline of a big smile. Include lips and teeth on the outline. Students might paint the lips red or cut red construction paper to conform to the outline of the lips.
Then have students collect from magazines, newspapers, and other sources pictures of smiling people. Cut out those pictures and glue, paste, or staple them to the lips of the smile mural to create a smile collage.

Online Games:

Book List:

Fun Dental Health Books for Kids -A Visit to the DentistA Visit to the Dentist (Little Bill)
by Eleanor Fremont, Andy Mastrocinque (Illustrator)
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids - Brush Your Teeth PleaseBrush Your Teeth Please
by Leslie McGuire, Jean Pidgeon (Illustrator)
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids -Dear Tooth FairyDear Tooth Fairy
by Alan Durant, Vanessa Cabban (Illustrator)
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids - How Many Teeth?How Many Teeth? (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1)
by Paul Showers, True Kelley (Illustrator)
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids -Little Rabbit's Loose ToothLittle Rabbit's Loose Tooth
by Lucy Bate
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids - Open Wide - Tooth School InsideOpen Wide : Tooth School Inside
by Laurie Keller
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids -The Night Before the Tooth FairyThe Night Before the Tooth Fairy (Reading Railroad Books)
by Natasha Wing, Barbara Johansen Newman (Illustrator)
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids -The Story of the Tooth FairyThe Story of the Tooth Fairy
by Tom Paxton, Robert Sauber
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids -Throw Your Tooth on the RoofThrow Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World
by Selby Beeler, G. Brian Karas (Illustrator)
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids -What Do the Fairies Do With All Those Teeth?What Do the Fairies Do With All Those Teeth?
by Michel Luppens, Phillipe Beha (Illustrator)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Showing Them U R SPECIAL!

It is 1 thing to TELL your children that they are special and important, but it is a whole new thing when you actually SHOW them. The words we say mean a lot, but actions mean a whole lot more. Words can really help drive home a concept for children & help them to truly understand, but it is when those words are consistently accompanied by actions, that the child can truly believe and internalize those words. A great time to start celebrating a child's differences, individuality, and God-given uniqueness is pretty much right away, it is never too soon!

I think the first thing to establish is that while we should let our children know how beautiful or handsome they are, looks should definitely not be our primary focus when it comes to letting our children know how special they are. Not only is "beauty in the eye of the beholder", but looks are external and superficial, only a small piece of their make up. Looks will only get a person so far in life. Besides, as parents, we must be conscious of the fact that outward focus can be detrimental to inward development. I will say though, if your child has some unique feature about them that some people, later on in life, might choose to try to turn into something negative, it is a good idea to build up their security in that particular area right away. For example, I am quite short & have freckles. While growing up my parents would always "pump up" how cool & unique it was that I got blessed with something as special as my freckles and that my freckles gave my face personality. They also let me know that my short statue was also "a plus" for me because that is the way God made me and it actually allowed me to do some activities longer than most kids. Later on, when I ran into people who tried to turn these features into negative points about me, it carried very lil' weight because I had already learned early on to embrace and celebrate the uniqueness of these aspects of my external self.

Now, on to how to build up a child on the inside. Celebrating what a child is good at (skills & talents) and continually voicing these things to them is so important, "You are such a great artist. I love how you made that tree big & purple, so creative!". Each child is different & will excel in different areas & that is a good thing! We should cultivate those interests & talents the best way that we can. We should try not to put limits on them, but let them dream BIG in the directions that they tend to favor, why not? Letting them know they are capable is a big step towards them realizing they are special just the way they are.

Another thing we need to keep at the forefront of our minds is the fact that children (even toddlers) are A LOT more insightful than we might think. We can tell our children they are special & important all we want, but they are going to recognize when we are constantly prioritizing the cellphone ahead of them, watching television, cleaning constantly, and/or doing stuff on the computer. A child will equate priority with importance. These actions are going to speak volumes louder to them than your words. Sometimes you might even be forced to somewhat "ground" yourself from these things by making yourself put them away or turn them off until nap time or until after the kids get to bed. You definitely don't have to play with your kids & talk to them 24/7, otherwise they will become completely dependent on you, but usually the problem lies with us not spending enough time rather than spending too much time playing with them. And when we give those other activities priority over our child, we are sending them a clear message about what is more important.

Taking the time to really talk with (and listen to) your kids plays another huge part in making them realize just how special/important they are. Asking them how their day went, caring how something made them feel, asking about what interests them & so on, will not only let them know that you care, but it will also help them develop excellent communication skills. Getting down on their level as they talk to you (at eye level) & giving them your full, undivided focus and complete eye contact is key. And later on, you can really "knock their socks off" by referring back to that conversation you had with them. Developing this rapport with your child, not only builds the parent/child relatonship and opens up essential lines of communication, but by repeating & referring back to what they say to you helps solidify for them the fact that you were really listening & cared about what they had to say.

One-on-one quality time is SO important to kids. You might have to be really creative in making it happen if you have more than 1 kid, but you can do it. Just taking that 1 child into the store by themselves or letting them stay up just a lil' bit later than the other sibilings 1 night so you can play a board game with them will speak volumes. If you play close attention then you will realize that the kids that fall between your oldest & youngest crave your special attention the most. The oldest already tends to get to do stuff 1st & the youngest is usually extra babied. 1 awesome thing you can do for 1 on 1 time is try to incorporate activites that you know that child has a special interest in. For example, my two year old daughter, Asher, loves to build things, so for a special project I would try to find something aimed in that direction for her.

This last point, I would really like to strongly emphasize, and that is, as hard as it may be to not do, do your very best to refrain from EVER comparing your children to each other. They will already have a tendency to compare themselves on their own. Never say "like him" or "like her". This can send the child a message of self inadequacy and/or that "him" or ""her" is better than they are and/or the better way to be. So just try your best to let each child know that they are special just the way they are & just work through their different challenges that come along, 1 step at a time. Each & every child is going to be different & that is a good thing!

-M&M Momma

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


New recipes added to "2 Feed a Toddler" page. Thanks, April! Also, added activities to "Fun 4 Lil' Ones"

-M&M Momma

I'm a Big Kid NOW!

So, in preparing for this new lil' bun in the oven, it was finally time to start getting serious & make decisions on some needed renovations to the girls' room. Its true that we could simpily split the girls down the middle & put 2 in one room & then 2 in the other, but I honestly have had no serious problems with the 3 of the sharing a room so far. Its actually quite the opposite. They have really bonded & seem to be less focused on themselves rather than the needs of their sisters. People ask me about how on earth I get them to sleep through the night if 1 is crying & so forth, but honestly they just learn to sleep through. Plus, with all 3 of them being so close, it would be hard to just tear 1 of them from the mix to be with the new baby. So, as of right now all the lovely ladies will be sharing a room.

I definitely did not realize how hard it was going to be on me to say "bye" to those toddler beds. We went browsing for new bed possibilities, not expecting to buy, & the next thing I knew we had a brand new boxed up bunk bed w/ trundle lying on our living room floor & I was being "forced" to tell my girls to enjoy because it was going to be their last night in their toddler beds. I seriously wanted to cry, part horomones I am sure. They were so excited they wanted to seriously just sleep on the box that night! Please, slow down. So, I took like a zillion pictures of them with their toddler beds & videotaped & the next day the remodeling began...

They were SO excited when they saw their big girl bed for the 1st time. We had to drop by the store to pick up a few things (oh yeah, moved to semi-bed rest now!) & Aidann started shouting to random strangers about how now she had a "real" big girl bed. Lol. Well, their 1st night actually went off without a hitch, like they had been sleeping in that thing for years & I guess I am going to be okay with this big change. I have to. The girls even beg to go to sleep now?!?!

Next big step, moving Austin out of the crib. I am SO not ready to even start thinking about that 1 yet. Lol...

-M&M Momma

The end of a chapter...tear

Trying to sleep on their new bed...
Well, the boxes anyway lol ;)

A lot of pictures, but invaluable later on!

1st time seeing new bed all put together!

Princesses & ponies, we'll have to sneak on the real
comforter later lol
Girls & their pink!

And the next day bunk beds
became a tent!