Sunday, August 29, 2010

How To Thank Your Mom

I read an interesting story today about a Mariners draftee that really touched my heart. Taijuan Walker, just barely 18, received an $800,000 signing bonus. What did he do with it? Well, this kid went and bought his mother a new car and a house. Life was always hard for the family and as soon as he found a break, he brought it home to Mom.

She must be a pretty amazing mother to deserve a treat like that from her son, but honestly, I hope we all become the mothers that raise our children to be kind and love family like that. I hope that I instill the values in my children that make them want to come home and take care of me when I'm old. I have ambitions for them to be giving and kind and extremely successful in everything we do.

Cheers to the 18 year old Taijuan Walker not only for being successful in life, but for thanking his mother as well.

Winners of the Mommy Rantings BrytonPick Sample Giveaway

I just wanted to put up a quick CONGRATULATIONS to the three people's names were picked out of a hat for some BrytonPick samples to try out. Let me know what you guys think when you get them! Linda Rogaki, Cindy Buccieri and Tami Qualls! Thanks for "entering". Keep coming back for more.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Beyond Milk: Keep Your Children's Bones Strong

As mothers, we know how imperative it is to encourage our children to take steps to support the growth of healthy bones. At 25 years of age, we can start losing more bone than our bodies build, which leads to thinner bones and, possibly, osteoporosis. For children, weaker bones contribute to the chance of breaking or fracturing their precious arms or legs.

I will stop my nagging here and say that I LOVE the fact that my children would prefer milk and yogurt over Kool-Aid and other particular snacks. Would you believe that they get upset if I tell them they cannot have milk? (I have mentioned many times how weird my children are). Have you ever heard the saying, "Too much of a good thing"?

Some Kids Hate Milk

Yes, I am one of the fortunate mothers that does not have to twist my kid's hands to drink milk. However I understand that there are children that throw a fit and act like you are pulling their teeth out when you tell them to drink their milk. (I was one of them.) Beyond milk, there are plenty of other bone-strengthening food products, so don't despair!


Child sized servings of poultry, fish, low-fat or fat-free-dairy foods, beans, nuts or seeds are all good protein sources. What does protein do for bones? Well, it assists in the production of those collagen fibers that support the bones.

Fruits and Veggies

Studies have revealed that these great snacks for kiddies actually decreases the calcium loss in bones. In addition, the vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants (that prevent and fight sickness) helps to fortify their young bones and maintain the growing muscles that support their bones. Magnesium, potassium, Vitamin C and K are all crucial nutrients for healthy bones and can be found in fruits and vegetables.


Keep your kids active. This will strengthen their muscles and their bones. Get them off of the couch and away from the computers (the battle of the century for me) and encourage them to obtain the daily exercise that is not only great for their bone development but also helps them sleep better (and we all love that!).

Lower Their Salt Intake

Did you know that salt is detrimental to bone health? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we're all ingesting far too much salt on a daily basis. They are not talking about table salt, either. Fast foods (the dreadful McDonald's), deli foods including smoked meats and canned veggies and frozen meals and many packaged meals contain an excessive amount of sodium.

Encouraging our children to eat healthy food choices is not just about "doing the right thing". We can help them establish the nutritional eating habits early in life in order to prevent them from suffering health issues when they are adults, including osteoporosis, obesity, and possibly even cancer.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chuck E. Cheese Birthday Party For Kids

My endearing, just-turned three-year-old hounded me for several months about celebrating his 3rd birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. I think he started his crusade in May...and his birthday is in August!

When I paid a visit to the website, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that a lot of things have drastically changed at Chuck E. Cheese since I was a kid. They have a ton of coupons and deals for anyone that is interested in taking their kids to have some fun.

Have The Birthday Party Catered, Tired Mom

Birthday parties are easy! As a mother that is used to orchestrating everything, it was nice to place an order on the internet and have the whole party organized and catered. I'll tell you a secret: book the party online and you will automatically receive 20 free tokens. We set the party up for Sunday, which also qualifies you for another 100 free tokens. The birthday child receives a blow-up crown with EVEN MORE tokens on it (I think there were 8 to 10) as well.  Each child receives 20 tokens each, 2 pieces of pizza and unlimited drinks. Another secret? Although it was early for a birthday party, we booked the 9:30 AM spot and had the whole place to ourselves! At 11:30, when we decided to end the party, the place was starting to get packed.

Have The Party Set Up For You, Too!

The Chuck E. Cheese staff sets the tables, the plates and cups and tablecloth...all of the little details that are part of a birthday party...are there for you, set up and ready to go. You can order the cake and ice cream through the website, too (as well as any other "optional" foods, including party platters). They even put the candles on the cake. How's that for a completely catered party?

The kids played and played and played, stopping for pizza once and the birthday cake a little while later. Chuck E. Cheese made his appearance when the cake came out, sang "Happy Birthday", and then we moved on to the best part...

The Ticket Blaster Experience

The highlight of the party at Chuck E. Cheese is the new Ticket Blaster. Have you ever seen one of those booths that shoots air inside of it, blowing money all over the place with someone inside of it trying to grab all of the money? That's the Ticket Blaster...only this booth blows tickets. The birthday child can choose someone to accompany them in the Ticket Blaster to help them grab all of the tickets that they can in thirty seconds. Because of this machine, all of my kids want to go to Chuck E. Cheese for their birthdays.

I Love Budget-Friendly!

For a family the size of mine, this was a very economical party with plenty of benefits. Everything that I mentioned cost about $70 for our family (keep in mind, we have 5 kids we had to pay for-the baby was free). We even walked out, after two hours of playing and fun, with at least 50 tokens still in hand for the next trip to Chuck E. Cheese!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Free Sample Bryton Pick Review And GiveAway!

Exciting news in my personal "freebies" endeavor: The Bryton Pick for flossing teeth. I have a cool review of a product for all the mommies out there that don't have all of the time in the world to stand in the mirror and primp anymore. Hey, where have those good ol' days gone? I barely look in the mirror now. I guess maybe I should to make sure I'm not running around with food between my teeth.

Onto the review: Recently, I was perusing another mommy blog that I am fond of when I saw an advertisement for mom bloggers to sign up to try a product for free and blog about it. I frantically signed up for these Bryton Picks-who doesn't love free stuff?-and went back to my busy life without a second thought. About two weeks later in the mail, this envelop came with a free sample package and pamphlets. The cool thing was: it actually had three samples inside. Not one...three!
It sat on my desk until later that day when my husband came home and asked, "Hey, what's this?" I tried to whisk my new freebies out of his hand, but he won. He was going to get to try the Bryton Pick first. Good thing there were three free samples, or he would be writing this blog right now.

The truth was: it was more than fine with me that he wanted to be the guinea pig with the Bryton Pick. At first sight, these tooth "flossers" appeared to be a completely uncomfortable item to slide between my teeth, let alone touch my gums. The stainless steel, rounded tip on the end that slides between the teeth looks knife-like and actually comes in contact with the gums. I was shocked, surprised and intrigued to see my husband's eyebrows raise and hear his comment, "Not bad" as he held up the small blade-looking utensil.

At that point, I decided to try one of these Bryton Picks myself. They are so much better than sticking miscellaneous items in between the teeth in the middle of the day to extract food items that are stuck. They're quite interesting to look at and they come in an array of colors. The packaging is the size of a credit card, so they fit perfectly into the wallet, making them extremely convenient for bringing them along during the day.

The Bryton Pick boasts a myriad of advantages, including preventing against tooth decay, gum inflammation, and gingivitis. I'm sure it also prevents the occasional embarrassment of having food stuck between the teeth at a dinner meeting as well.  I can imagine someone with braces (I remember those days!) would love this product, as it will fit in and out of the grooves and crevices so much better than floss. The Bryton Pick can be reused for 30 days, so the investment may outweigh the cost of tooth floss if you go through it like we do. (In my house, tooth floss is used for arts and crafts by the kids, rather than floss, so it doesn't last long.)

As a busy mom that loves convenience and ease of use, I find these little "flossers" to be a unique concept and they happen to definitely be cool tools. The price is about the only exception to the whole "cool" concept. I believe you can buy 3 of these Bryton Picks for about $9, so at three bucks a piece, I'm not sure if I'll be turning the tooth floss in forever. But, it really is a creative and innovative concept if you can get past the initial appearance.

By the way: here is a bonus for my "followers"...BrytonPick has contacted me to offer two of my visitors a free sample too! If you are interested in a free sample from BrytonPick, leave a comment on this post. I will throw names in a hat on August 26th a choose two lucky winners. You gotta try these!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Back To School Already? Some Great Tips For Moms

Summer always seems to fly by, but this summer in particular has come and gone like a sunset. School ended late in June and, before I knew it, my three oldest were taking their first plane trip to Houston to meet and visit family. It seems like they just came home and it time for school already?

I mentioned in my last blog that I have weird children. They love to go back to school! They are actually excited! Are there any mothers out there that are with me when I say that I dread the going back to school crunch?

Back to school shopping, back to school lists, back to school clothes, back to school physicals, back to school sales, back to school signs, back to school excitement. "Back to School", to me, means getting up earlier (and I'm already a bear in the morning), spending lots of money on crayons, notebooks, new backpacks (because they all have to have brand new backpacks each year), pencils, erasers, binders, calculators, clothing, shoes, socks, underwear...

And, this year, four of my children will be in school, so that means four times everything on the back to school list. Then, it never fails...about a week into school, they will all come home with a completely different list of school supplies they will need in addition to the already purchased hundred and fifty dollars worth of supplies.

There are shortcuts to this are some hints to make your and your child's back to school endeavor more organized and less stressful.

Only Buy The Items On The List

Many schools post the current school supply list for each grade level on their website. Print it out and only buy the school supplies that are on the list. If you cannot find the list on the website, go to the superintendent's office or the school's office; you should be able to get a list there. This will eliminate the chances of buying items that are not going to be needed, leaving more money for other clothing.

Establish A Budget For Clothing, Accessories, and "Wants"

Did I say clothing? Every child has to have a brand new wardrobe to start school in, or at least that is what my children would like me to think. Clothing, shirts, shoes, underwear, socks...girls may need more hair accessories and jewelry. Establishing a budget-and sticking to it-will ensure that the buying is not going overboard. These are growing kids and they will most likely be outgrowing the "back to school" clothes and acquiring more clothes throughout the year anyway.

Go through closets and drawers and evaluate the needs of the wardrobe. If there are already plenty of jeans, why buy more? Teaching your child to stick to a budget is a great life lesson; not only will it teach the children to choose only the most important items that they need (prioritizing), it will also teach them to do it within a certain amount of money (budgeting).

Get The Trusty Calendar Out Again

The school year routine is a lot more rigid in my house than the summer routine. No specific wake-up times, far less appointments and extracurricular activities. When the school year kicks in, that calendar will become your best friend. For moms that have more than one child in school, create a calendar cork board where several different schedules can be tacked up for quick accessibility.

Back To Bedtime 

Back up the bedtime two to three weeks ahead of time. After a summer of many late nights, I've already started to wake the kids earlier and get them to bed about 5 minutes earlier each night. Their bodies need to adjust to a new sleeping schedule, and we all know that well rested minds do better in school. Although I get the question: "Why do we have to go to bed so early? It's not dark yet.", but we've explained that their bodies need to get adjusted...and they can't disagree with that.

I could give more advice than this, but essentially, finding your own groove to help you get organized and back into the school routine is the best thing to do. Can you believe our kids are going into the next grade level? Time flies...enjoy your kids.
alt="YOUR TEXT HERE"rel="Facebook image"src="IMAGE URL HERE"style="display:none;">