Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The 10 things my kids say all day (every day)

Well, it's 4th of July week and I'm guessing that most of you are off enjoying fireworks, BBQ, and sunshine.  In honor of that, I will keep my post short this week, since you have far more important things to do.

I thought it would be fun to do a round up of the most common phrases I hear all day...I suspect they are similar to what you hear in your own house.  Do me a favor, and tell me what are some things your kids say to you all day long too!

1.  Please Mom, can I have just one more chance?
2.  Please Mom, can't you wipe me just this once?  I'll do it next time, I promise! 
3.  Mom, can you find me the bug jar?  I found another roly-poly!
4.  Mommy, I'm hungry!  Can I have something to eat?
5.  Please Mom, I PROMISE I won't do it again!
6.  But Mom, he/she started it!
7.  But Mom, why????
8.  Can I play a game on your phone?
9.  Just one more minute?
10.  Mom, do I really have to take a rest today?
So, Happy 4th of July!  I hope you have some wonderful family time!  


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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Super Yummy Stuffed Zucchini

As you might have read, after 10 years of struggling in the kitchen, I have finally turned things around!  And here is one of my husband's favorites!


Stuffed Zucchini
2 or 3 Large Zucchini
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup chopped yellow onions
4 slices Turkey Bacon (or regular, your choice)
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

1.  Set oven to 400
2.  Cut zucchini in half and scoop out zucchini flesh.  I have tried this several ways.  I tried using a melon-baller.  I tried using a spoon.  The best and fastest way is to use a steak knife and carefully cut out the flesh.  Every other way is just too slow for me.
3.  Cook the bacon (I prefer microwave)
4.  Chop the flesh and place the shells into a 9x13 Pyrex, sprayed with Pam
5.  Melt the butter and add the zucchini.  Cook for 3-5 minutes and add onions.
6.  Continue cooking for another few minutes, until tender.
7.  Meanwhile, cut up the bacon and tomato
8.  Add the bacon and tomato to the pan and cook for 1 minute
9.  Pour all ingredients in a bowl, along with bread crumbs, cheese, and a dash of cayenne pepper for a little extra zing (we like things spicy)
10.  Fill zucchini shells and cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes

Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

Tip: You can prepare this early in the day and cover with foil until you are ready to cook.  I paired this with pork tenderloin and it was a great meal!




Totally unrelated to cooking, but here is my book!  It is written by both a Mom (me) and a Teacher, and we give lots of ideas on ways to stimulate your child's brain with easy, fun activities, which also free you up to do things you need to do, like cooking!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Terrible Twos? It Could be Gut Bacteria!


People never used to believe me when I told them that my son cried all the time, but he really did.  And I mean, All. The. Time.  One time he wanted to play with one of my shoes.  I politely took it away and he began throwing a fit.  And he proceeded to throw a fit for 65 minutes.  I know because I counted the minutes.  He followed me around the house, crying for an entire 65 minutes.  

Several months later we went on a trip and we didn't have access to a refrigerator and in an attempt to save money, I ordered water instead of milk for the kids for several meals.  All of a sudden, I noticed a different kid.  He didn't cry all the time.  He suddenly had normal, non-runny poops, and it began to occur to me that he might be lactose intolerant.  My husband thought I was crazy, but when I brought it up with my doctor, he immediately recommended we get him tested and voila!  We suddenly had to worry about Lactaid pills, butter-filled desserts, and pizza nights, but the great news was that life was so much better for our entire family!  My heart broke for him when I realized how uncomfortable he must have been those first two years of his life.  Along with taking away milk products, we started a daily Probiotic treatment and the combination made all the difference.

While lactose intolerance is pretty rare in kids, general stomach discomfort isn't.  Some new research just came out from Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science, that the microbiome of a toddler's gut may affect his temperament and behavior, particularly in boys.  The study carefully points out that there is a communication between bacteria in the gut and the brain, but also urges parents not to change diets just yet since they are continuing their research on the subject.  However, based on my experience, if your toddler is going through anything like the "Terrible Two's", I suggest that you strongly consider starting Probiotics.  It might make all the difference.  

Here is our favorite Probiotic Brand:










I hope you will consider checking out my book, The Happy Mommy Handbook: The Ultimate How-to Guide on Keeping Your Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy, Out of Trouble and Motivated to Learn.  I give lots of ideas on keeping your toddlers and preschoolers entertained and engaged, so that you can have a stronger bond and even get some work done around the house!


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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Confessions of a Mom at the Car Wash

It's not my fault that my car looks the way it does.  It really isn't.  For that, I place full blame on the tiny humans that live in the back of my car.

We pulled up to the car wash the other day and I decided to give it the full treatment.  I dragged out the incredibly powerful hose and began the grueling task that every Mom dreads: cleaning out the car.  As I did, I began to fully grasp the seriousness of the situation.  Crayons and popcorn were stuck in places that no one expected.  I found items long ago forgotten: the portable dog bowl we've been looking for since Christmas, the Easter tie from two years ago.  No matter how hard I tried, the dog hair just wouldn't budge.  The stickers stayed stuck to the carpet, and I realized what I really needed was a power-washer for the INSIDE of my car.

Then it happened.  I sucked up something and immediately I knew it was bad, just from the new sound coming from the hose, but the ear-piercing screaming is what really got my attention.  My daughter was acting like someone had poked a hot syringe in her eyeball.

"What's wrong?" I asked frantically.

"My mask!  You vacuumed up my Bat-Girl mask!!!"

The words sunk in and so many things came to my mind.  First of all, the vacuum is strong enough to suck up an entire mask?  Then why won't it get the rest of this stuff from my car?  Second of all, OH NO!!!  The beloved Bat-Girl Mask!  What does a desperate Mom do, especially when it is clearly her fault?

I ran to the man behind the curtain and begged him to help.  He began to dismantle the vacuum and we waited with baited breath.  After several tense minutes he produced a dirty, bedraggled Bat-Girl mask.  We were thrilled.  I could have kissed him (And probably would have, but he was in high school and I didn't want him to report me to his parents).



I began to ponder why I even bother cleaning my car, when I know that within a day it's going to look like a homeless person lives there, and then it hit me:  the indignity of a Mom in the car wash.  There are few things in life as humiliating as cleaning out my car, but it's really not my fault.  It's just life.  And honestly, my car wasn't that clean before I had kids, but it wasn't this bad.  I promise.




I hope you will consider buying my book!  It is full of ways to keep your kids busy, out of trouble, and motivated to learn.  The reviews on Amazon are great and I think you will love it!


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