All Aboard: Thomas the Train is coming to metro Detroit, and I’m giving away FOUR tickets!

Four years ago, the hubs and I took the kid to see Thomas the Train at Greenfield Village, here in metro Detroit. Well, Thomas is back this year, larger than life, to give local kiddos the ride of their life. I’m so excited, because even though the kid doesn’t remember it (he was only 2.5), we all had an awesome time, and I can’t wait to go back!

Day out with Thomas

The Hubs and Kid in 2009

The Deets

Thomas The Tank Engine® Pulls into Greenfield Village on April 27. He’ll be there April 28, May 4 – 5 and May 11-12.

The Day out with Thomas: The Go Go Thomas Tour 2013 provides kiddos the opportunity to climb aboard and take a ride with Thomas as well as participate in Thomas & Friends themed activities.

For three back-to-back weekends, little engineers and their families are invited to take a 25 minute ride around Greenfield Village on their favorite engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt®, Controller of the Railway and enjoy a day of Thomas & Friends themed activities including arts & crafts, storytelling and more.

Thomas the Tank Engine rides depart every 30 minutes, rain or shine. Departure times begin at 9:30 am through 5:00 pm each day of the event. Tickets for the Day out with Thomas: The Go Go Thomas Tour 2013 are $11.75 for members, age 1 year and older and includes free admission to Greenfield Village. Ticket prices for non-member children age 1-4 is $11.75, youth age 5-12 is $27.75, adults age 13-61 is $33.75 and seniors age 62 and up is $32.75.

Tickets are on sale now by calling The Henry Ford at 313-982-6001 or visiting www.thehenryford.org.

The event, is now in its 18th year, and is presented by HIT Entertainment and sponsored by MEGA Brands and Hard Rock Hotels.

The Giveaway

Before you head over to the website to buy tickets, you should know I’m giving away four tickets to the event! So, be sure to enter the giveaway below!
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Thomas the Train has always been a favorite around the Glenn household. For more information, please visit them online or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Looking for another chance to win? Bargains to Bounty is also hosting a Day out with Thomas ticket giveaway

 

Disclaimer: I was provided passes to the Day out with Thomas, in exchange for hosting this giveaway. However, all opinions are my own.

Feminist Boymom

Mommy and The KidStereotypically speaking, feminists are normally portrayed as being anti-marriage, anti-family and anti-baby. Personally, I disagree. I’m sure there are some who don’t want marriage and kids, but the same could be said for every type of woman.

You see, I’m a feminist.

You’re not? That’s OK. Mind if I ask you why?

I mean, the definition of a feminist is someone who “advocates for social, political, legal and economic rights for women equal to those of men.”

And, how could anyone not want that?

As a feminist, and a boymom, I feel I have a responsibility to teach him:

  • that little girls can do anything he can do. I mean, they may do it differently, but they (we) can most certainly get it done.
  • that as a boy, he is no better (or no worse) than his girl counterparts.
  • to treat them with respect, and expect to be treated the same in return.

This is something I work hard at, every day. I want to make sure I’m drivnig the message home.

What about you? Are you a feminist boymom? How do you make sure your boy(s) embrace an “equality for women” mindset?

 

Somewhat related – Mocha Dad recently wrote a post, that I think every boydad should read: Fathers Must Teach Their Sons That Rape is Unacceptable.  It’s in response to incredibly skewed, victim-blaming media coverage of the Steubenville rape trial. 

The one where I bare my (mommy) soul.

frustration

I am at my wits end. No. Scratch that. I passed the ‘wits end’ stage a long time ago. I just don’t know what to do with this boy. I know he knows the right thing to do. What I don’t know is if he doesn’t do it because his mind just won’t let him, or if he just doesn’t give a crap. He’s just six-years-old. Should he really be at the “I don’t give a crap” stage in life, yet?

I don’t know. But, what I do know is that his horrible behavior is putting a strain on everything and everyone around him. He’s like a poison. Toxic. I should feel bad, even thinking these things. But, I don’t. And, they’re true.  From the time he wakes up, to the time he goes to sleep, he’s in full-on terror mode.

I know it’s probably our fault, that he’s the way he is. It’s always the parents’ fault, right? But, I can’t fathom what we could’ve done to cause him to behave so badly. According to reports, from our families, both my husband and I were fairly mild-mannered children.

It seems, that with him, things get worse, the older he gets. I thought kids were supposed to grow out of this stuff?

And, nothing we seem to do – in the way of discipline – seems to work. Timeouts, spankings, yelling, talking, punishments, etc. You name it, and we’ve tried it – to no avail. And, we HATE yelling, or any other form of aggressive discipline. But, they’re only so many ineffective timeouts we can take.

We’re running out of options, here. I’m not sure if it’s an attentional thing like ADD, or what. But, something’s got to give.

A while back, Legacy Publishing Company reached out to me, to review their Total Transformation Program. I, of course, jumped at the chance. Because you know… we’re desperate over here. But, when it came in the mail, the kid was in a good place, behavior-wise. So, I kind of forgot about it.

But, now that things have gone to complete and utter poo – again –  I’m diving in head first.

You know, for the first time – in a long time – I’m feeling kind of optimistic. It feels good to be proactive – instead of reactive.

I’ll be posting updates, regularly, to let you know how it’s working.

photo source

 

The Death of Disco

On this day, one year ago, I introduced you all to “Werewolf” and “Nanni,” the kid’s new gold fish. Sadly, Werewolf didn’t make it through the first night. Nanni, however, did make it. He also a new name – Disco (named after his aunt’s recently deceased dog).

Two days ago, as we prepared for Disco’s one year anniversary celebration, the unthinkable happened… Yep, you guessed it… Disco went belly-up. Dead. Mort. Muertos. Morti. Disco is no more.

I was worried about how the kid was going to react. He actually took it very well. Thank goodness!  He now wants a turtle. We’ll see how that goes.

We had a funeral for him in the bathroom – a la the Cosby Show. Only, we did it in our pajamas. :)

 

LEGO® KidsFest is coming to #Michigan Oct. 12-14 and I’m giving away a pair of tickets!

The LEGO® KidsFest Michigan will be taking place Oct. 12– 14 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

I am so stoked. I loved playing with LEGO® bricks when I was younger, and the kid loves playing with them now. Since he’s old enough to keep them out of his mouth, he’s just recently moved up to the regular LEGO® bricks, from the larger LEGO DUPLO® bricks.

He loves making things out of them, and playing with the little people that come with the sets. The hubs and I haven’t yet told him that we’re taking him to the LEGO® KidsFest. I think we’ll just surprise him when we get there. I can’t wait to see the look on this face.

 

From the LEGO® KidsFest website:

The LEGO® KidsFest is a giant traveling LEGO expo coming to the Suburban Collection Showplace, a mere 30 minutes from downtown Detroit, October 12 – 14, 2012.  This hands-on, educational, all-ages LEGO extravaganza features millions of LEGO bricks not to mention lots of construction zones, dozens of life-sized LEGO models and displays, LEGO Ninjago and LEGO Games, group builds such as Creation Nation, live LEGO Master Builders, and so much more covering three acres of space.

Here are some of the awesome things you’ll find at LEGO® KidsFest:

  • LEGO Model Gallery: 40 life-sized models made entirely from LEGO bricks
  • LEGO Master Builders: live demonstrations and activities from the crew who get paid to play
  • Creation Nation: build your own creation to add to a custom map of the U.S.
  • Race Ramps: build your own custom car, then race it down the ramp against friends and family
  • LEGO Games Arena: roll the dice to play LEGO board games
  • Construction Zones: creative free build, play and display areas
  • LEGO DUPLO®: younger visitors can explore imagination through building
  • LEGO Retail and KidsFest Marketplace: purchase LEGO merchandise and official KidsFest tour goods
  • Brick Pile: a gigantic pile full of LEGO bricks for creative play and enjoyment
  • Monochromatic Builds: bricks of a single color to foster group creativity
  • Brickscapes: fantastic displays that combine lots of LEGO and DUPLO sets

As I mentioned earlier, the LEGO® KidsFest Michigan will be taking place Oct. 12– 14 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.  

Five identical sessions will be available:

Friday, October 12

4 pm – 8:30 pm

Saturday, October 13

Session I: 9 am – 1:30 pm

Session II: 3 pm – 7:30 pm

Sunday, October 14

Session I: 9 am – 1:30 pm

Session II: 3 pm – 7:30 pm

Tickets are $18 for kids and $20 for adults. BUT, for one of my lucky Michigan-based readers, you and a guest could attend for free. That’s right… FREE! Yep, you guessed it – I’m giving a pair of tickets away to LEGO® KidsFest Michigan for Friday, Oct 12, 4:00 – 8:30 p.m.

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Good luck!

 

For more information and to purchase tickets, log on to www.LEGOKidsFest.com

 

All images provided by LEGO® KidsFest.

 

Who’s in first? The kid’s first day of first grade {with video}.

Even though he and I weren’t “scheduled to wake up until 7 a.m., the kid woke up at 6 a.m. (with the hub’s alarm) and would not go to back to sleep. Seriously, every time I would doze off, he’d start in with the “is it time to get up yet” routine.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he was so excited to start school (although, I’m positive it had more to do with wearing the new clothes he’s been trying to get into for a month, then it did actually going to school) but darn it, I needed that extra hour of sleep. You see, I was up with him the night before, because he was to excited to fall asleep at a reasonable hour.

Anywho, I digress… three meltdowns, one-half a waffle, one sausage link, two costume changes (him, not me), one migraine (me, not him) later and I finally got the kid out of the house and to school, for his first day of first grade.

 

Sigh, the kid’s douchebaggery (What? It’s true.) continued… this was my sixth (out of seven) attempt at a video. I swear, he was messing them up on purpose. Finally, I just decided to just go with the best one. I swear, if he wasn’t so stinkin’ cute…

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How’d your kids’ first day of school go? Leave me funny stories in the comments section. I could use a laugh.

Super-easy school lunch ideas that your kids will love!

It’s no secret that the kid is a picky eater. So, when it comes to making healthy school lunches he’ll enjoy, I have to have a bunch of ideas at my fingertips so I’m not scrambling around trying to pull things together.

 I’ve put together a few ideas the kid loves. I’d bet your kids will as well!

Sandwich Roll Ups I make these by spreading thin slices of lunch meat and cheese on a piece of flat pita bread, with a little miracle whip, mayo or mustard. I then wrap it up and add a pickle spear and chips, just like they do at a restaurant. The kid really gets a kick out of that.

Mini-subs – Instead of buying actual sub buns, I just take a hotdog bun, and add all kinds of deli meats, cheeses, shredded lettuce, etc. I also pack a small container of dressing for him to pour on top, when it’s time for him to eat.

Sandwich Shapes  To break up the monotony of the “plain old sandwich,” I use cookie cutters to make them into fun shapes. If you use small cookie cutters, you can make them bite sized.

Hot Foods in a Thermos – When I was younger, my mom would put leftover chili and/or soup in a thermos for my dad to take to lunch. How wonderful would it be for your son or daughter to open their lunchbox and have a hot lunch waiting for them? Throw in some crackers and celery/carrot sticks and you have a wonderfully filling lunch! And, don’t forget about macaroni & cheese!

I hope these ideas provide you some inspiration for your kid’s school lunches!

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Got any ideas to add? Include them in the comments section below.

Simple Back-to-School Organization Tips

It’s that time of year again… Summer is ending and the kids are going back to school. Those three little words, “back to school,” introduce a whole new set of organization and scheduling woes for parents – me and the hubs included.

I decided to put together a post with some ideas to tackle the most prevalent organization and scheduling issues we have.

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When I said, “I love to shop,” this is not what I had in mind.

Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to be painful. All it takes is a little preparation to make it a much easier task.

Clothes: We just went back-to-school shopping for the kid, last weekend. I treated it like any other shopping trip (mainly grocery). Before we left, I took inventory of what he had. We had him try on everything, then put the things he couldn’t fit in a pile to be donated and the grimy, holey clothes in the trash.  Then, we sat down and wrote out a list of the things he’d need throughout the school year. We’re talking pants, shirts, underwear, socks, etc. The only thing we didn’t get was his winter gear. We’re not sure if he’ll be able to fit what he has, so we’ll wait until the season is closer.

School Supplies: We’re lucky, because the school district gives parents a list of what to get the kids. The list for the kid was only eight items – yep, eight. So, that was pretty easy to get together. Of course, I check to see what we had on-hand already. That brought the list to purchase down to five!

Once we get the clothes and supplies home, the clothes get washed and put up, the school supplies get labeled and put in the backpack.

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Early, busy, CRAZY mornings!

I don’t know about you, but between getting ourselves and the kid dressed – to getting breakfasts and lunches prepared – to making sure we all have what we need for the day – to getting out of the door on time, I mornings at our house are incredibly stressful. Add to all that a cranky kid, who is definitely NOT a morning person, and I’m surprised I make it out of the house, without pulling out all my hair!

Over the past year, I’ve come to realize that when I make preparations the night before, things go a lot more smoothly; you know: ironing the clothes, making the lunches, getting bags together, bathing the kid, etc. Also, because he’s is so hard to get up and going in the mornings, we’ve been trying to get the kid in bed at his “school year bedtime,” for the past few days. We want to make sure he’s somewhat acclimated to it, when school starts next week.

How do school mornings go your house? Are they hectic and stressful like mine, or are they peaceful and productive. If it’s the latter, let me know how you do it!

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What the heck do I do, with all these darn papers?!

Another problem we have is homework, handout and project storage. I swear the kid brought home more stuff from kindergarten, than I did my whole entire college career!

Right now, we have it all stored in a cardboard box, labeled “Kindergarten.” It works, and I could see us doing this for each year of school, but it’s not very attractive.  I’d really like to get a better (read: more aesthetically pleasing) system for this.

In my research for this post, I found a couple of ideas I like. Let me know what you think.

School Paperwork Storage – IHeart Organizing

Using crates for organizing school papers – I’m an Organizing Junkie

Organizing Children’s School Papers – Delightful Order

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I swear, the kids’ calendar has more is busier than mine!

Since the kid is an only child (and just 6-years-old), you’d think we didn’t have a lot of after school activities to worry about. And, you’re right – for the most part. Mainly, it’s just his karate classes. But, then you add field trips and birthday parties to the mix, and it can become a bit dicey. That’s why we keep a family calendar. We not only put his after school stuff on there, we put our after work items as well. That way we know if one of us won’t be able to pick him up, cook dinner, etc. I love the concept of our family calendar. I just have to get much better about putting everything on it.

We keep ours in the kitchen, where everyone goes – at least three times a day.

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I’d love to hear from you! How do you stay organized during the back-to-school rush and the months that follow? Leave your tips in the comments section below.

 

photo source

Guess whose starting first grade next week?

A week from today, the kid will be starting first grade.

Seriously? I can’t even begin to wrap my head around that. When the heck did I become the mom of a frigging first grader? I can’t believe my baby (don’t tell him I called him that, he’s a ‘big boy’) is starting actual grade school. I swear, I’m going to turn around, and he’ll be starting his first day of college (let’s just hope he doesn’t pull a Theo Huxtable and forget to send in the check for his housing).

It seems like yesterday that he was this size. Now, he’s 6-years-old and starting grade school.

We have an open house at his school tomorrow. We’ll get to meet his new teacher and see his classroom. The weird thing is even though we did the same thing last year, before he started kindergarten; this year seems more “real.”

Come back next Wednesday, for pictures and a recap of his first day. Maybe he’ll actually participate in a video and not act all shy like he did last year.

The Best Darn Heelys Review Ever!

According to the kid, this is the “best review ever.” Of course, he’s probably biased, since the product at hand is a pair of Heelys – from their new fall/winter 2012 line – which he gets to try out. He’s been bugging the hubster and me for a pair for the longest. I consider it serendipitous that Heelys reached out to me to do the review – and that they arrived just four days before the kid’s birthday.

One of the things I really like about Heelys is that they offer two types of shoe. There’s the standard “one wheel in each shoe” line, and there’s the HX2 line that has 2 wheels in each shoe – a much better choice for the kid.

By having two wheels, kids can learn how to use the shoe, before graduating to the one-wheeled version.

And since the kid loves all things car, I chose the Spin for him.

Aren’t they cute? They light up – which the kid loves, are patent leather – easy to clean, and have Velcro straps – to make putting on and taking off easy peasy.

 

Guess what else is easy? Putting the wheels in and taking them out. You’d think that’d be hard, but they include this really cool shoe horn-type thing that makes it easy.

This morning, I got him to do a video review (since recording him using them was an epic fail). The video turned out a little low in volume – at least his part. I include a transcript below the video.

Enjoy!

 

 

THE MOM: Good morning, Dylan.
THE KID: Good morning.
THE MOM: I’m just going to ask you a few questions about the Heelys you got, and I want you to answer them, OK?
THE KID: OK.
THE MOM: OK, now did you like the Heelys?
THE KID: Nods head yes.
THE MOM: Yeah, so you think they’re cool?
THE KID: Nods head yes.
THE MOM: So what did you like about the Heelys.
THE KID: They light up and have wheels on the bottom.
THE MOM: Is that all? What else do you like?
THE KID: That they have Velcro straps and a tongue that sticks out.
THE MOM: You like that?
THE KID: Nods head yes.
THE MOM: What about the color, did you like the color?
THE KID: Nods head yes.
THE MOM: OK. Do you want to get another pair when you grow out of those?
THE KID: Shakes head no.
THE MOM: No? You want to keep those? Forever and forever?
THE KID: Yes.
THE MOM: OK. Say goodbye.
THE KID: Goodbye.

 

To learn more about Heelys, check out their Facebook and Twitter pages. And, if you’re in a video type of mood, their YouTube page has tons.