Saturday, August 21, 2010

Days of Play--Gumdrops

As a mom, I really like to have fun.  But what I really like is fun I can eat! Ergo, gumdrop towers.

You'll need dry spaghetti noodles or toothpicks (better for school-aged children), a bag of gumdrops, and your imagination.

Using your supplies, build a tower with your child.  Try different contests to see who can make the tallest, the roundest, the sturdiest ....

When you are done, eat the gumdrops :)

(P.S.  Did I mention you should wash your hands BEFORE starting?)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Fashion--Fall Finds from Old Navy

I was just perusing Old Navy and here are some finds for fall that I'm kinda falling for ...


And Jenny over at jaydub photography asked me to put together some possible family photo shoot outfits (away with jeans and black shirts in family photos) so here's what I created (thus far ... I'll probably continue obsessing over this for a few weeks).  Want to know how to buy the pieces posted here?  Just click the item you are interested in and wa-la, buying info shall appear!

Purple and Gray

Neutral and Denim

Reds and Greens

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Things I Love--"Love your pants off!"

For as long as I can remember I've had an affinity for making up words (goof bumps, Mrs. Snickle Dippin' Sparkles was my "teaching" name).  This obsession got worse when I married Matt.  And the trouble compounded when we got our first "kid"--a Brussels Griffon named Griffin.

Griff was such a character and many Kaufman words came about because of him.  My favorite: Grumpus. That little dog had such mood swings and when they took a turn for the worse, we called it "grumpus."

Another Griffin favorite: Snugglepiggy.  Griff had a pink stuffed pig he liked to snuggle.  Still to this day Matt will say, "do you want to get snugglepiggy and watch a movie?'

M.E. gettin' snugglepiggy with BearBear.


Grumpus and snugglepiggy have even made there way into extended family.  Even tough old papas say them around our house!

The word making fun only continued with our first child.  We love the words she's come up with:
  • All my byself (all by myself)
  • Toast and turtle (toaster strudel)
  • Somthing to zert (something for dessert)
  • Mooches (kisses)
  • Oooh Ahhhs (hugs)
  • Hoostibill (hospital)
  • Big girl cheese (grilled cheese)
  • Ear Zachs (ear wax)
Suffice it to say we've had a laugh or two over words.  But here's the best.

I walk Matt to the door everyday when he leaves for work and M.E. and Pax naturally follow.  One day I said to Matt, "I love you and think you are handsome."  Two year old M.E. quickly yelled out, "Love your pants off!"
Love your pants off, Matt!

To this very day, this is now how we say "I love you."

I love funny words.

Do you have a fun family word you have to share?  Please do.  And remember, I love your pants off!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What I Think About--Getting Kids to Eat

Once again I'm linking my thoughts up with Shell from Things I Can't Say who hosts Pour Your Heart Out every Wednesday. Thanks, Shell!



A few weeks ago we went out to lunch with some friends. The gal and I were chatting and she was sharing how much she hated veggies.

I laughed and said Madisen prefers kale chips to potato chips and thinks beets are pretty much awesome (mostly because they make her poop and pee red but whatever).



My friend was a bit shocked and asked how I get my kids to eat such foods.  And I replied, "Easy.  I don't make it an option."  I continued by sharing that I actually tell my kids that as long as there are human beings eating the remains of leather tennis shoes from dumps, we will eat the food provided to us.  I almost fell out of my chair at her reply.

"Oh," she said, giving me a somewhat "shame on you" glance, "you used the 'starving kids' story."

How badly I wanted to say, "It's not a story--it is a reality!"


As a family we adopt children from Horizon International because we want our children to know and understand that not all people live in a land of plenty.  Not all kids complain that they don't like their beets.  In fact, many kids eat trash just to survive. 

Now I'm sure I'll be totally unpopular when I share some of my food thoughts and that's okay with me.  We can agree to disagree.

1.  I am not a short-order cook.  I make 3 meals a day and my kids have an option at each meal. They can take it or leave it.  If they leave it, they can eat again in a few hours.  Do I hate thinking about them being hungry?  You betcha!  Do I know my kids won't starve themselves?  Yep.
2.  You don't have to eat everything on your plate but you have to eat some of everything on your plate.  They are called "polite bites."  Does this hold true for adults?  Yep.  Matt hates beets.  Does he eat them? Yes.  I can't stand ham. Do I eat it when my mother-in-law makes it?  Sure do.
3.  You do not get dessert if you do not eat your dinner.  No junk goes in until health food does.  Period.  It's not a bribe.  It's not a plea. It's not a requirement to clean your plate.  But my kids know if they want a fruit pop after dinner, they are going to have to eat some of that spinach.
4.  My children can refuse to try any part of their meal.  However, they must be prepared to not eat anything else until they've tried the food.  Has my daughter gone to bed hungry only to have lemon-dill salmon and wild rice for breakfast?  Yes.

To be fair, I respect my kids' likes and dislikes.  Madisen can't stand mushrooms.  When I make chicken marsala, I don't give her any.  She's tried before and doesn't like them. No need to get into a power struggle.  On the other hand she love tomatoes so when we are having tomatoes, I give her more than I give myself.

In the end I just lean on this tidbit given to be by a friend--I can't control when or how much my kids eat but I can control what they eat.  And as long as I'm in charge of that, I will offer vitamin rich, organic fruits and veggies, lean cuts of meat, and a variety of colors and flavors to try.



What I think about getting my kids to eat is that with some clear, consistent food rules, it's a piece of cake!

Do you have food rules?  What are they?  Food battles?  Share?  Going to turn me into DFS?  Let me get you their number ....

To Do Tuesday--Plan a Girl's Night

I think time with the girls is SOOOO important.  Spend some time today organizing a girl's night event.  Send evites to your favorite ladies and spend some quality time chatting and celebrating womanhood.

Need some ideas?

Knit-Wits
Have everyone over to your house.  All ladies bring a snack to share and a craft to work on.  Craft, chat, eat, enjoy!

Dessert Divas
Make a chocolate fondue and have each lady bring a dipper (strawberries, pretzels, marshmallows, bananas, etc).  Visit while you enjoy dessert

Movie Night
Get the gals together and go see the latest chick-flick.  Your husband will probably be on board with this one!
Slumber party
Get four gals together, priceline a ritzy hotel (even in your same town) and go spend the night away from home.  Play games, sit in the hot tub, watch movies, laugh.  Sleep in!



Monday, August 16, 2010

Your Words--Engagement Story

In May of 2002 the new Star Wars (you know the romantic one when Amidala and Anakin get together) was released.  Matt promised to take me to opening night.  On May 15th we worked in my yard all day and he was suddenly too tired and didn't "feel" like going to the midnight showing.  So I did what any grown-up girl would do--I sulked and pouted and told him I didn't "feel" like having dinner with him.

Lucky for me all of my other charming moments made up for my bad attitude that day and he proposed that evening.

Around 9:00 pm he called and asked me to see if he left his wallet in my car.  Out on my deck there was a bunch of balloons and a clue that led me on a scavenger hunt.  I went to the scene of our first date, the place where he met my parents, and the location of our favorite date.  The clues led me back to my house where he had candles lit up everywhere, Unchained Melody playing, and The Matrix on TV.

I don't remember what he asked but I know what I said.  YES!

Last week you shared how you met your husband, now share your engagement story.  Was it movie-quality romantic?  Spur of the moment?  Did you ask him?  Was it a disaster with a happy ending?