Sticky Tech Trends for 2013

Longtime followers know I’m an avid fan of name stickers…much to my children’s growing dismay. Who knew there would come a day when my little sweethearts might feel they were “too old” for such obsessive labeling? So, when I recently received a full-on eye roll at the mention of a name sticker, I realized we might be growing out of those cute little camp labels and into something far better…um, yeah, I have a plan B!

Introducing: keycals!

kidecalsThe latest and greatest in tech trendy and the perfect balance between “too old for name labels” and “mom has issues with adhesive decor.” This product comes in a variety of styles and colors…AND was recently featured on the Today Show!

A great way to spruce up and personalize an otherwise ordinary keyboard!

Now, I”d like to say I’m going to ease up on the adhesion of names to clothing, water bottles, bikes, toys, camping chairs (yes, I said camping chairs – it’s a problem)…but, with all the adorable options this company has to offer, I’d say that is highly unlikely. Besides, my six-year-old has yet to protest…

I’m thinking pink mustaches.
mustachespartiesfeaturedimages-500x500

Check out these and other creative products at Kidecals.com. Looking for a unique gift idea? They have that! One on my list: chalkboard stickers for the kitchen! (and you thought camping chairs were bad). The ideas are endless, and you may never lose another item again. (or when you do, you will kindly point out to your neighbor that they are in fact sitting in *your* camping chair…as per the name sticker on the bottom. lol!) #labelitdon’tloseit

From Our Home to Yours

ChristmasSilly

I warned them that if they were going to act like that, I’d just take the picture and post it.
So it didn’t go to print, but I think the screen shot (including design view, ha) is possibly embarrassing enough to get them to behave – like children that don’t actually exist at my house – for just a few minutes so I can capture a completely unrealistic Christmas photo!

Holiday Blessings!

Modern-Day Digital Phonebooth to Spark a Revolution?

Wise words by Christine Lagarde on the topic of career and motherhood resonated loudly with me recently. She explained, in a too often overlooked simplicity, the retort o’ day la touché of the ongoing – and ridiculous – debate of Working Mom vs. SAHM. Ms. Lagarde said, [brace yourselves]…

“We can’t have it all · ALL AT ONCE.”

It was the qualifier that really got me. We all know and somewhat understand the concept – we weigh opportunity costs daily, but to hear a successful, powerful, strong career woman AND MOM explain this profound notion so nonchalantly left me pondering. It’s kinda like Clark Kent and a phonebooth. Now…where can I find a phonebooth these days?

We live our lives knowing that if we spend our days googling at drooly, wide eyed chubby faces, that, no, we probably aren’t going to be engineering the newest design nor actively developing that thing for which we will vigilantly implement to save our planet…ummmmm, YET!

No, we (and I’m including dads here) aren’t defined by what we do in the moment! It’s the big picture that really counts, thank goodness, because I’m most positive that we all fall short sometimes – probably most of the time…AND I’m just thinkn’ that no one plan is the best for everyone. So, we do what we can with what we have and make the best of each situation. AND  *no, we can’t do everything we want* all at once. {though I do admit to trying most of the time #stubbornweakness}

So, as I make my transition back into the career world (school included) I have to admit, this is both trying and exciting. You’ve heard the expression “helicopter mom,” right? I try not to be one. Yet, letting go is a challenge for me at times – and the thought of moving my “office” from a living room to a professional work space, away from my children for hours at a time, well, that’s when I have to face the truth: enroll me now…Helicopter Moms Anonymous.

In my search for comfort in transition, a brilliant solution came my way…no, couldn’t find a superhero phone booth on Craigslist, darn. I did, however, find my modern-day phonebooth…mobile phone app actually. Not shopping the Internet tho – this came to me via Facebook. Yes, I spend an inordinate amount of time with technology these days, but this wasn’t just the digital realm talking…friends of mine from college (techie dads) developed a mobile technology that just happened to fit the very need this self-proclaimed helicopter mom was having.

A way to continually monitor my children while I’m at work!

The digital app is called KidReports. It’s a real time report available from my desktop and mobile phone. This means that I can check my child’s status update, provided by the care facility, the way some people (dads) check the score while in church. So, while I can’t be there every minute, I won’t miss out on the little things I want to know about my children’s day.

The phonebooth is synonymous with Superman the way that mobile phone app is synonymous with KidReports.

I might be a mommy superhero after all, ha. Or…maybe I’ll eventually learn to let go…and maybe I’ll send my children to college with KidReports. We shall see!

With the changing seasons of life and young children growing up far too fast, I’m beginning to accept the fact that I can’t have it all…same time/same place that is. There’s nothing wrong with cheating just a little, right!? (Thank you KidReports!) Ok, now to contact Christine Lagarde for her thoughts on the superhero paradigm change made possible by modern mobile technology, wink! Continue reading

A Guide to Raising Well-Behaved Children

I recently made a most amazing discovery – a treasure, if you will – hidden deep in the suburban basement of a neighbor’s home. No, I wasn’t in search of a valuable find…it was just random luck as I helped good friends in the clearing of cobwebs in preparation for their summer company. The unexpected find was a serendipitous bonus.

“Manners are the way we communicate good intentions.”

Wise words from another friend of mine, spoken to our children. Being that this particular friend was from another country and English was a second language made it all the more interesting. I began to ponder the vast importance of this politeness stuff…making translation unnecessary.

It was pristine, untouched, recklessly abandoned beneath tattered copies of Harry Potter and the latest Lucado…Emily Post’s Etiquette book. So, it wasn’t an original, first edition – but it was a 75th Anniversary, 16th Edition, revised and updated by Emily’s great-grand-daughter-in-law, Peggy Post. I had been searching for this book for years (um, ok, so I could have gone to a bit more trouble in accessing a copy…but lets not take away from the moment.). I believe my friend’s response to that admission was something of the, “You’re so weird!” sort, but I suppose that much is true. (And with that, I was confident that she had *not* read the book, ha!)

Etiquette, according to Wikipedia, is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class or group. Let me paraphrase here: RuLEs FoR NorMaLCy. Oh, and this stuff can be hysterically funny too!

Food For Thought…

“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” Emily Post

“Nothing is less important than which fork you use. Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is honor.” Emily Post

“A compliment is baloney sliced so thin that it is delectable. Flattery is baloney sliced so thick that it is indigestible.” Archbishiop Fulton Sheen via Emily Post

Continued Wisdom…

“When it comes to general conversation, the old adage ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” is good advice.” Emily Post

“Suitability should be a factor in choosing your stationery, just as it is in choosing your wardrobe.” Emily
Post

“Graceful standing and walking posture includes the following components: shoulders back, chin in and slightly
up, abdomen and stomach in, back straight and knees relaxed.” Emily Post

“There is little you can do about the annoying speech mannerisms of others, but there is a lot you can do about your own.” Emily Post

So, yes, some of this stuff is seriously funny…BUT

Laughter aside, rules for appropriate behavior according to social norms are great ways to help our children excel in their world, and there is now information on internet etiquette in the updated edition…a concept called “netiquette.” Read, laugh, enjoy, giggle…but in the end, you might have a few extra insights that could come in handy – personally and professionally.

Take it from me… and my proven success in raising well-behaved children. Etiquette, manners and the way in which we conduct ourselves speaks volumes about our good intentions and the person we hope to be.

“Women frequently ask whether they should call an unzipped fly to the wearer’s attention. Unless you are total strangers, do.” Emily Post

READ MORE AT MILE HIGH MAMAS

Loving Our Children as Christ Loves Us

“Jesus is the only Lord who, if you receive him, will fulfill you completely, and, if you fail him, will forgive you eternally.” ~Tim Keller

How do we raise strong, confident children, preparing them with the tools and values to achieve God’s will in their own lives? Simply by loving them as Christ loves us. To accept, love and reassure our children for exactly who they are – not for who we wish them to be – is at the essence of healthy of parenting. Forgiveness, grace and abundant love.

Concepts from Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel:

Sometimes our love is incomplete because…
Our children feel they have to COMPETE for it.
Or they feel they have to EARN it.

Making love secure…
We can ACCEPT our children for who they are.
Provide them with AFFILIATION with a loving and honoring family (without an idealistic view of what that must look like).
Give them regular, generous amounts of AFFECTION (from both parents/all family members – pretty much until they’re 120 yrs-old!).

It’s not always easy to accept the quirks and rebellions of our children, but a biblical view of right and wrong tempered with graceful lessons in repentance and freedom from guilt will allow our children the power to confront the challenges of a sinful human nature. It’s all too easy to be tempted to punish harshly for innocent annoyances (especially when overdrawn and underslept) but it’s vital to the success of our children’s personal/spiritual growth that we allow them to be the silly, sometimes obnoxious individuals they were made to be…and one day, all that crazy energy will be alloted to the very purpose they were sent here to serve. So, as you attempt to prepare a healthy meal to the beat of wooden spoons on metal pots and pans – paper airplanes whizzing past your head in a near miss to the hot burner and boiling water – just remember that your little musician and your future pilot will thank you for loving them as Christ has loved you.

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. ~Frederick Douglass

Repurpose Your TP Roll, Not Kidding ;)

Ok, so it sounds like I’m really reaching this time – taking my green initiative to a whole new level by suggesting that saving this small amount of rather *necessary* cardboard might prove beneficial. While it alone might not save the planet, it could be the very tool needed to spruce up that outdated decor…and every effort counts, right!?

Toilet Paper Roll Decorating

I know what you’re thinking – yes, my eyes are still swirling from the subliminal messages found hidden in the deeps of The Lorax, but I have to say, I did sorta love that flick AND if this catches on, yes, a tree or two could be saved. Just one problem – you’ll have to get over the fact that this beautiful art was created by several trips to the restroom! Sounds classy, I know…but as an avid fan of modern wall art and a huge heart for saving our planet, I’m thinking this could be the new solution to that hard-to-decorate space in your home. Simple, low-cost, beautiful, earth-friendly and with unlimited creative potential. LOVE IT!

Photos and full article @MileHighMamas: Toilet Paper Roll Decor #Green-n-Classy

 

Of Life’s Great Mysteries #14 …the Wallflower

Why do Bath & Body Work’s Wallflowers defy the well-known rule of “righty-tighty/lefty-loosy”?

 

Babysitting Co-op “How-To”

Ever wish you had a place to take your kiddos for just a couple of hours – safe, enjoyable, near by…and inexpensive? What if you could exchange funny money for hours of babysitting from a completely over-qualified sitter (certified mom)…AND what if you could call on someone at a moment’s notice!? Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not…let me tell ya how ;)

Read more at Mile High Mamas: “How to Start a Babysitting Co-op”

Surviving the Wake of the Holiday Season with MomPower

Fruitcake and Antidepressants. They were two of the top “trending now” items on my Yahoo mail page this morning – along with Matthew McConaughey and Mitt Romney. I’m not really sure why this caught my eye but it did.
 
It’s one of the most sought out Christmas gifts in our culture…TecHNoLoGY…and yet with the many gadgets and gadgets received this holiday season, the millions of web surfers, the infinite number of topics to spark our curiosity and all we can come up with is fruitcake and antidepressants – with a little Matt and Mitt in the mix?
 
We’re still vacuuming pine needles and recycling Christmas wrap and these are the things we’re obsessing about…strange eats, fab abs, politics and holiday blues.
 
I don’t know about all of you but I want something more – for my family, for our country and for the entire human population. I want for the billions of dollars spent on megabytes, gigabytes, 4Gs and whatever else is fueling this Internet searching to be an investment toward powerful ideas and knowledge that leads to astounding results. I wish to find my children Googling healthy, helpful topics on ways they can improve, help others and do the most good with they have been given.  I certainly don’t want my family – or anyone – feeling depressed. 
  
I believe that BIG changes happen in small ways and I suppose that’s my hope with this little article. I think moms are some of the most influential people in the entire world and always have been. Just one of us can make a monumental impact…and all together we can most certainly change the world. So what can we do to help our families survive the wake of the holiday season? We can start with a healthy example: take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others.
 
We can use our MomPower to tip the scales on happiness, joy, fulfillment and encouragement in our country. Our hugs, baked goods, handwritten notes and forehead kisses can and will be the spark that ignites amazingly influential people. Next year…MomPower top trend.
 
 
 
How do you keep yourself and your family healthy this time of year?
 
 photo: lovedetouradvice
 

Simple Tips for Fabulous Holiday Décor…Quick Tip #3

Clear the Clutter (and fast)

One simple way I’ve found to minimize clutter during the holiday decorating process is by storing the normal décor in the empty Christmas bins until the holiday is over (obvious but sometimes overlooked). I just empty the Christmas items, refill with the normal décor and place boxes back into storage until after Christmas. Another fun idea that a friend suggested is taking the extra clutter (particularly if company is arriving on short notice) and boxing it up – this makes me laugh….*wrap the box* in lovely paper and place it under the tree! LOVE IT! Just don’t get too excited when it comes time to open gifts, ha.

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