Huggies MomInspired $15,000 Grant for Entrepreneurs

Just wanted to pass along this cool opportunity to my readers!  Do any of you have one of those great ideas for an innovative business or product, that just needs a little starter money?   Huggies will be selecting up to 12 people to be awarded a $15,000 grant, to use towards pursuing their idea which will "make parents lives easier".   I love this! Note that this program is NOT limited to moms, or even women.  Here are the details on how to apply, and to those who do...  GREAT JOB!  I wish you all the best! *o*     *o*     *o* Huggies MomInspired Grant Program is conducting their annual search for Best New Products Inspired by Parents and Babies. Is your little bundle of joy your greatest source of inspiration? Huggies is encouraging innovative parents to apply for the Huggies® MomInspired® Grant Program. The Huggies MomInspired Grant Program – now in its fourth year – is here to help turn those dreams into a reality. Applications are being accepted at … [Read more...]

Exasperating Conversations With My 2nd Grader

So I picked my 2nd grader up from the school the other day, and this is the conversation we had on the way home... *o*     *o*     *o* Daughter (accusingly):  Mom, why didn't you name me "Sage"? Me:  Because it wasn't my favorite name, at the time.  It's a pretty name, though. Daughter:  So why couldn't you have just named me "Sage"? Me:  Because I never even thought of the name "Sage" when I was picking baby names.  There's a lot of good girl names out there. Daughter:  But I love the name "Sage"! Me:  We have some friends in South Dakota who named their baby girl "Sage". Daughter:  (She is neither impressed, nor deterred, by my little anecdote)  Why didn't you name me "Sage"? Me:  How could I possibly know, when you were born 8 years ago, that one day when you were in the 2nd grade, you'd hear the name "Sage" and decide that's what you wanted to be called? Daughter:  (Processes this logic.  It actually sinks in.  Moves on to another angle.)  Well, can you … [Read more...]

Taylor Swift’s RED ~ Mom Approved Music

As I paid for my pound of espresso beans at the Starbucks store counter, one of the four "these are the current cool CD's" albums propped up by the cash register caught my eye. Lo and behold, the very next day I had that very same CD in my mailbox - sent by a little PR birdie at Big Machine Records (which is apparently Taylor's record label company).   What a delightful coincidence.  Curiosity soon to be satisfied, I popped it right in and gave it a listen. Now, County Music isn't my first choice, but I'm sure you all realize Taylor Swift has crossed over to the Pop genre as well.  A light-hearted album that's pleasant and easy to listen to, I liked it right away.  But that's not why I love it. Taylor Swift RED ~ Mom Approved, No Censoring Needed What I love about the Taylor Swift RED album, is that it's clean and innocent enough for my young, music loving daughter to take into her room, put on her CD player, and dance and sing away to her little heart's content.  In a day and … [Read more...]

Traveling Without Your Kids

With our impending 10th Wedding Anniversary just around the corner, I've been in full travel dreaming-and-planning mode.  As part of our celebration, my husband and I plan to take advantage of my parents offer to stay with our two kids, ages 2 and 7, and take our first trip sans-kiddos, since having kids. Traveling Without Kids - Should You Feel Guilty? We have friends who have traveled without their kids starting when the children were quite young, who appear to do so regularly, effortlessly, and seemingly without guilt or any second thoughts whatsoever.   In the spirit of brutal blogging honesty, I will tell you that I find myself judging them for this, just a bit. But when I dig a little deeper... I know that it's primarily stemming from my own jealousy.  Partial jealousy of their circumstances which enable them to do so, but also jealousy that they can pull this off emotionally. Because of my own excessive, typically daily guilt which I feel as a grown mom and wife (I … [Read more...]

Mom Needs a Getaway – Or Does She?

My kids are 2 and 7, and although the center of my world, and as delightful as they both are ... I get pushed to the point of needing a break from them. I see stay at home moms with four children, who keep it together seamlessly day after day with a sane, satisfied smile on their face.  I'm not that mom. Perhaps it's because I spent over a decade living alone and being an independent single girl with access to lots of quiet time.  Or perhaps it's simply because my nerves aren't always resilient enough to withstand the incessant take-take-take, gimme-gimme-gimme, I want-I want-I want which two little ones can generate.  Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom very much.  It's just a really big job. So when I recently had a frivolous opportunity to visit my best friend in Texas, alone - I took it.  It would be a fleeting, two night trip... but I hadn't seen her in 6 years, and the chance to do some mommy-free girl bonding was irresistable. This means I'd be traveling solo.  … [Read more...]

Little Brother to the Rescue

Brushing my 7 year old daughter’s long, fine, naturally curly hair each morning is easily the worst moment of the day. For us both. Add the rush of getting ready for school, and it only increases the adrenaline and adds an additional layer of stress (and therefore drama) to the scene. She prefers me to comb it out, versus her father. I remember the days of knots at the base of my neck, and how painful it can be to comb out long, tangled hair. So I douse her with de-tangle spray, and try to take my time. But tug too firmly just once, and she correspondingly kicks the drama up a notch and really starts to holler. There was even a stray tear out of her right eye on this particular morning. As her protests increased in intensity and volume, even her baby brother toddled in to the bathroom to investigate the ruckus. Natural empathy and an inborn tendency to imitate his older sibling combined in him, and he aligned himself next to this poor, tortured sister. He scrunched his … [Read more...]

Imagination Library ~ Free Monthly Book for Preschoolers

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library offers to help your preschooler start off on the right foot with a love of reading.  How?  By providing them with their own personal library, at no cost to you. Started in 1996, initially to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee, USA, Dolly's vision was to foster a love of reading in young kids and their families.  Her idea was to mail a gift - a specially selected, high quality and age appropriate book - to kids once per month.   Her hope was that this would foster excitement about books.  She wanted every child to able to own their very own library, regardless of their family's income. Both of my children have benefited from the Imagination Library, and I can't say enough good things about this wonderful program!  I believe that a love for books and reading is a beautiful gift to pass on to our kids, and is something that will serve them well in life. The program has been a huge success, and has now spread throughout the … [Read more...]

Airplane Travel With Toddlers ~ My Best Tips & Tricks

Recently returned from a nearly coast-to-coast journey with my wild 20 month old son, I thought I would share some of the lessons we've learned from airplane travel with toddlers. One of our flights was a long, 4+ hour leg.  Since our toddler is so active, I'll admit I spent a few anticipatory sleepless nights pondering:  How would we all survive this journey? I'm happy to report that he did great.  Here are a few of the tips that helped, which I plan to use again on our future journeys. Airplane Travel ~ Toddler Tip #1:  Choose the Lowest Number of Flight Connections This is always a debate in my mind:  Do I select the itinerary with 3 shorter flights (to break it up), or 2 flights (one of which may seem frighteningly long)? We've tried both a few times now, and my vote is to knock it out of the park with the "fewest-but-including-a-long-flight" option.  It seemed to go much smoother for our family with an active baby/toddler on that type of travel itinerary.  Finding and … [Read more...]

Skin Cancer Is Not My Friend

Raised on the sparkling blue waters of Lake Oahe in South Dakota, and being somewhat on the fair end of the spectrum, I received countless sunburns on my unprotected skin while growing up.  Most of it semi-deliberate, as a teen and 20 something. By age 27, I was diagnosed with Basil Cell Carcinoma on my forehead.  In the words of my doctor, "This is the type of cancer I see 80 year old farmers in here with.  It's 100% caused by sun damage.  Shame on you." It's that wonderful time of year again, when we all want to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.  This is my cautionary tale of woe. I Know What Skin Cancer Looks Like, Don't I? At least I thought I did.  It's when a mole or coloration on your skin changes in shape, size, or color.  Right? For just over a year, I had a shiny red circle on my forehead, close to my hairline, with three bumps in it.  I actually had a friend tell me, "You should probably get that looked at". My exact response?  "Why?  It's not like it's skin … [Read more...]

Moms Guide to Wearing Baby On a Hike

I am a firm believer in "Baby in a Backpack".  Babies and toddlers are generally very content when they are outside and in motion. Plus it gives mom the opportunity to release a little stress and get some beneficial, and oftentimes much needed, exercise.  Great combination, wouldn't you agree? When I was pregnant with my first child, I was thrilled to find a used child carrier backpack at a second hand store.  To this day, I don't know what brand it was.  But it was, by far, the best spent $30 baby gear purchase I ever made. If you'd like more information on child carriers, check out my post Hiking With Babies and Toddlers - Child Carrier Tips.  But here I'd like to talk about the business of mom hiking alone with a child carrier. Mom Hiking Alone With a Child Carrier - My Best Tips When my daughter was a baby (my first and only child at the time) - I was a stay at home mom, and frequently took her on hikes alone.  There were some challenges to this, for which I'd be happy … [Read more...]