Have You Used a Baby Sling?

Walking around the store this morning, I saw several moms with large toddlers in baby sling carriers. I was kind of surprised, because I thought they were for small infants. Granted it's been 16 years since my youngest was a baby, but I never used one. I had one of those front-pack things that you stick their legs through, but I didn't like it that much. I remember my kids' legs not cooperating as I tried to wiggle them into the pack. The baby slings and wraps that I've seen recently are so pretty and look so comfortable to the mom and the baby. I don't remember my own kids being very comfortable in the front-pack. Have you used a baby sling or a front-pack? I saw one dad with a baby backpack and it was so funny because the baby had spit up all over his shoulder the dad was totally unaware of it. Of course I didn't say anything to him either. I think I remember that most of the time I transported mine, it was in a baby carrier seat or a stroller. Honestly, I didn't like to go many places with my kids as newborns because I hated strangers fawning all over them. I always worried about germs. Once they were older, I shopped places that had carts with child seats in them. Now there are even cute little seats that fit inside shopping carts. There are so many options out there for parents nowadays. I guess that's a good thing though, so that parents can make the right choice for their family. Parents today are probably also a lot more mobile than I was 20 years ago. I can hardly believe my daughter is going to be 21 years old this year. I'm betting that within a few years, I'll be looking at baby stuff again (not for me though, for my kids' kids)! What is your preference?

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Free Online Curriculum Spelling and Vocabulary

This post brought to you by BigIQkids. All opinions are 100% mine.

Big IQ Kids is a great website! The Free Spelling & Vocabulary Program is for grades 3 and up. As a preschool teacher I was very excited to learn they also have a SPELLING JUNIOR program for younger kids K-2nd Grade. I can create my own simple word lists in the program. After a quick registration, I set up a word list with "at" words (sat, cat, pat, mat) and the online Spelling test program made sentences out of my words. It is a very easy program to learn and use. This award winning program is totally free to register and use for teachers, parents and students. The Spelling and Vocabulary Program is a virtual tutor that presents quizzes, spelling & vocabulary bees, spelling & vocabulary tests, and fun spelling & vocabulary games all customized to each child’s word list. The games section is pretty extensive and I found lots of interesting things that would appeal to kids of all ages. Big IQ Kids provides so many different opportunities to challenge children's knowledge. It would be a wonderful application for homeschoolers or even just some extra practice for children in school. After all, if your kids are going to sit at the computer anyway, wouldn't you rather they be doing something that makes them smarter? Check it out!

It Gets Better - Straight Talk

This post brought to you by Straight Talk. All opinions are 100% mine.

It seems this economy just keeps getting worse. I don't even hardly watch the news anymore because it's so depressing. It sure makes good deals look even better though! Straight Talk can cut your cell phone bill in half. That's a lot of money you can save. Could you use some extra month every month? I really like that Straight Talk uses the trusted phone manufacturers like LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia and Samsung. Have you heard of The power of Android? With Straight Talk, you can get a smart phone with a smart plan, and as always, no contract. You'll have all the apps and games you need, plus the power of Android phones, at only $45/month for unlimited use. Feel Richer with Android and imagine what you could buy with the money you save! Straight Talk has monthly plans with no activation, reactivation, or termination fees. The Unlimited Monthly service is only $45, and includes calls, text, picture messaging, and web. That is just amazing to me. I've had some cell phone bills in the past that topped $500 for a single month. With Straight Talk you get unlimited calls, text, picture messaging and web for a whole year, for only $499. What a contrast. I encourage you to look into it today!

The Straight Talk Image... by LittleBard95

Big Keyboard Fun from CP Toys - Review

Did you know that Constructive Playthings has changed their name to CP Toys? They have not changed their fabulous line of educational toys, though! My preschoolers and I were so excited to get the Big Keyboard Fun to try. Ever since the movie "Big" came out, I've wanted to try one of these.
We took off our shoes and lined them up along the wall. I took a moment to talk about "largest to smallest" and together we ordered our shoes. Remember, every moment can be a learning moment for young children!
Once in our sock feet, we set up some basic rules. Each child's first turn would be alone, then the second turn would be with a friend. We would use walking feet instead of running feet. And pushing friends is not okay.
I seldom purchase toys that require batteries, but this toy is just as much fun as you might think it's going to be. It has so many different options for changing the instrument sound - piano, xylophone, saxophone, guitar, etc. There is a volume button for easily annoyed parents and even a record/play back option for highly creative geniuses.
This kids' toy has so many developmental benefits for children! They are practicing their large motor skills every time they use it by walking, jumping, and dancing. They are strengthening their listening skills and developing creatively through music. They are using social skills while waiting turns and working together.
It is recommended for ages 3 and up but since I supervise everything my preschoolers do, my two year olds were allowed to play too. Music is a wonderful tool for enhancing children's learning. CP Toys has so many unique children's educational toys and the Big Keyboard Fun is a top notch toy made of quality materials! I expect we will get many years of use from it.
It's already one of the children's favorite toys. I decided the only way to really review this toy for you was to videotape the kids playing with it. After you check out this video, head on over to their website to see all the wonderful educational toys for kids. Be sure to connect with them on Facebook and Twitter too, so you can learn about special promotions!

Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.


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Fall Fashionista Winner Announcement

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Thank you to all my wonderful readers who entered.

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Easy Halloween Footprint Ghosts

I did this with 8 young kids, one at a time. The key to success is pre-organization. Put white paint on a tray on newspaper on the kitchen floor. Spread the paint out fairly thin with a paintbrush. Have black paper on the floor so the child can step from the paint tray to the paper. HOLD THEIR HANDS - the paint is slippery in the tray. Then lift the child off the paper and set the child on the kitchen counter with their feet in the sink. Wash and dry the child's feet. If you are doing another child's footprints, spread the paint again with the brush to erase any previous footprint marks that might transfer to the second paper. Let paint dry. Help child draw eyes and mouth on their ghost (upside down footprints).

Win a Chiquita Prize Pack!

I love bananas! Thanks to the lovely folks at Klout.com, I received a prize pack from Chiquita and here is your chance to win it! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below by midnight est, 10/23/11 and you could be the winner of a Chiquita branded tshirt, sport pack, green grocery bag, water bottle, two temp tattoos, pencil, lip balm and free product coupon! Good luck!

USA Basketball at UNLV

Here are some of the photos taken during my trip to Las Vegas. On Sunday morning, a handful of the people who sponsor USA basketball took a van to UNLV to shoot hoops with a handful of champions. I got to play basketball with Clyde Drexler, Dominique Wilkins, and Spencer Haywood. Under the direction of these Hall of Famers and Olympic medalists, as well as the direction of famed Coach Lenny Wilkens, I got to warm up, run drills and play a little six on six (final score 21 to 21). It was truly a once in a lifetime experience and is one of the best memories of the entire trip!


Healthy Food Fight / #SSFoodFight @shespeaksup

SheSpeaks.com has teamed up with AETNA to promote the Healthy Food Fight! The purpose of this campaign is to promote healthy living and eating in America. Even though the submission period has passed for submitting to the recipe contest, you can still vote for the entrants and enter the sweepstakes! You could win a fabulous set of Circulon® gourmet cookware.


The AETNA Healthy Food Fight website is full of great information like cooking tips, recipes, basic nutritional tips, healthy living and tasty foods. Be sure to check out the Test Kitchen too!

AETNA is one of the nation's leading providers of health care, dental, pharmacy, group life, disability insurance and employee benefits. They work hard to provide their members with information and resources to help them make informed decisions about their health and through the Healthy Food Fight you can benefit too. Good luck in the sweepstakes!

FREEBIE Digital Scrapbooking Designer Pack Download

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And if you'd like to purchase their entire software program,
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Best Dollar Spent This Month

I spent one dollar on a bag of 24 witch fingers and
my preschoolers absolutely love playing with them!

My Children's Books are Featured at Beck Valley Books

I'm honored and humbled to have my books featured on Beck Valley Books by Sharon Martin. I hope you will take a minute and visit her blog. Click HERE to see the article. Thank you Sharon!


Top Ten Preschooler Complaints

Here are the top ten preschooler complaints, compiled from 25 years of teaching young children.

#10 - I can't snap my own pants!

#9 - She just cut my hair off!

#8 - This toy just broke in my hands but I didn't do it!

#7 - Someone peed on the floor in here!

#6 - The paper towels clogged the sink again!

#5 - She said I can't come to her party!

#4 - He's copying me!

#3 - The paint spilled again!

#2 - He spilled his drink again!

#1 - I thought it was going to be just a fart!


My Home Decor for Fall

Shopping yesterday got me in the mood for fall decorations, even though it's still 90 degrees here. I found my orange tub of decorations and dusted off my home decor for fall. I tend to buy just a couple of items each year, so that I don't overdo it.
This is the shelf to the right of my staircase. I love the harvest bowl in the middle. I got it at a garage sale for $3 and filled it with pine cones and a little fake pumpkin and squash.
Here's my fireplace area and I did a close-up of the left side and the right side below. I got the pumpkin candle below from one of my daycare kids last year and the heart jar with fall colors was a $1 purchase at a garage sale. I had a candle in the kitchen drawer.
The pumpkin sign next to the scarecrow that says "Happy Fall Y'all" is one of my favorite decorations EVER. Pine cones are a super cheap, super easy decorating idea. We picked up a bunch of them in the Bastrop forest a few years ago.
The candle thing below is one of a set of two. I got it at a craft fair. It's just a little glass jar stuffed with potpourri, then a tea light candleholder sitting on top of it with a candle inside. I have one on each side of my family room tv.
The two photos below are in my entryway, one inside and one outside. I usually rotate them weekly to keep things changing. Since I have a home daycare, lots of people knock on my door daily. I have to keep my decorations non-scary so as not to terrify my preschoolers. The daycare kids take most of their Halloween projects home, but I hang a few around our classroom for decoration.
I also try to get home decor that will cover both Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays, to keep decorating costs down to a minimum. We have to stay in that budget you know. I love the colors of fall and sometimes miss the changing of the leaves. Here is Texas it goes from summer to winter pretty quick. Of course my idea of winter is 40 degrees. Happy Fall Y'all!

Three Questions About Your Kids

My son is collecting data for a statistics project. Please reply by Monday October 17, 2011 (no later than 8:00 p.m. CST). If you prefer not to share the information online, please email your answers to me at [email protected]. Thank you for helping with his homework!
  • Q1 - How many children do you have?
  • Q2 - How many of your children are boys?
  • Q3 - How many of your children are girls?

ENTER NOW $100 Cash Giveaway

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