Practical Joke: FAIL

After many years of a strict “no practical joke” moratorium in our house, I lifted the ban recently, feeling they were mature enough and mostly for my entertainment.

Now, pulling off a good practical joke in this house is next to impossible. I do have teen boys, both of whom are quite savvy when it comes to research and whathaveyou, so anything I come up with has do be either super old school or deep in the recesses of the WWW.

Scrolling through Facebook one night, I came across a hilarious practical joke via Roo of Neon Fresh (formally Nice Girl Notes). The gist is to get a hold of someone’s smartphone, load a picture of a broken screen, and then set up some scenario in which a phone would have become broken. 

With an ideal, yet simple plan, and my intended target picked (oldest son and his newly acquired with his  own cash, iPod), I set out to pull off the perfect practical joke.

And then it all went wrong.

  • Waited patiently for him to leave the iPod unattended. 
  • Snatched it up, pulling in the youngest son as my accomplice, having him hold the ear buds and pretend he didn’t see anything. 
  • Snuck off to the laundry room to get the picture, only to realize I didn’t knew the passcode to unlock the iPod. 
  • Remembered I can get to the camera function without the passcode.
  • Formulating Plan B, retreated back to the living room to grab my iPhone. 
  • Decided the only way to ensure little to no interruption is to hide in the downstairs bath. 
  • Son One is now looking for his iPod, knowing for certain he left it in a particular place. I lie and tell him he said he took it to his room, knowing it would buy me a few more minutes. 
  • Hide out in the bathroom, unable to get the photo I need. Return to living room.
  • Get back on laptop to narrow down the problem, unable to find Roo’s feed on Facebook.

Fast forward several minutes…

iphonecracked

I used this photo. My hope was he would miss the odd placement of apps because of the cracks.

I finally find a picture that would do, take a picture off my phone with the iPod, then move around, like I “sat” on his iPod. I say, “Oh Son, I am so sorry. I found your iPod. I accidentally sat on it. GASP! Oh my! LOOK!”

He looks at me, almost with pity and says, “That’s not mine.”

In my shuffling around, had managed to pick up his brother’s. I never even noticed.

He looked at me one more time, shook is head slowly and walked out of the room.

Worse practical joke execution, ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of ismashphone.com 

5 Crafts You Can Make With Egg Cartons

Has anyone NOT made a caterpillar out of an egg carton? It’s an easy and fun craft that can be done with many different ages and however complicated you want it to be. Butterflies and bees are popular and fun too. Here are 5 other crafts you can make with egg cartons.

egg carton craft ideas from Mommy Needs a Break

Here’s an animal I would not have thought to use an egg carton for – a dragon. This video shows how to make a dragon puppet with an egg carton. I think kids would enjoy making it and playing with it.

 

How about an egg carton bus that they can put toys in and drive around?

 

Here’s a good classroom craft for the fall – egg carton apples:

 

Make your Christmas lights appropriate for spring by making these egg carton flower lights.

 

I’ve go to admit that this egg carton kitty is pretty cute.

 

Do you have a favorite egg carton craft? Is there one of these that you’d like to try?

5 Ways to Steal a Few Minutes for Yourself

I just want 5 minutes. 5 minutes where I can watch a snippet of the Real Housewives. Where I can go to the bathroom in peace without someone looking for me. Where I can take a moment and breathe. Is that too much to ask for? 

I’ve found a few ways I can steal 5, 10 even 30 minutes to myself. To throw on some music and tune out the kids. To watch Tamara & Vicki fight about Vicki’s new face on the RHOC. To take a shower without a kid banging on the door. Here are some of my tricks. ;)

5 Ways to Steal a Few Minutes for Yourself

1. Laundry. I save the laundry to do on Sundays. Sunday night, the Tivo is nice and full and I’m ready to watch, but the kids keep wanting to play video games at top sound level or scream or whatever kids do when they know you want alone time. My laundry trick has been working for years. I simply tell the kids they can play quietly by themselves, or they can help me fold and put away the clothes. They take one look at the massive pile and bolt to their rooms for lego creations and handheld video games and I’m left with at least a good hour of drama and catfights on the TV. Granted, I usually end up so engrossed in my reality TV shenanigans that it takes me twice as long to do the laundry I claimed I needed to do so badly, but hey, I’ll take it for some quiet time.

2. Benadryl. Okay, okay, I’m not really doping my kids to be quiet. The thought has crossed my mind. Instead, I get the kids nice and tired the old fashioned way. By making them walk the dog with me. We aren’t talking a quick around the block walk, but a 1.5-2 mile loop around our neighborhood at a semi fast pace. By the time we are done, they are ready to collapse and veg out and I can steal time to check facebook, write this post or read a bit of my book. 

3. I just want a 10 minute shower. Ten Minutes. I’ll be quick, I promise. For this I save the kids favorite TV show or movie. Want to watch the Regular Show? Not until I say so kids. How about Toy Story for the 569th time? You gotta wait. Finally when they just can’t take waiting anymore, I let them watch and I’m guaranteed to have at least until the first commercial break before their concentration breaks and they are whining again. Say what you want about TV as a babysitter, but in our house, it’s the best invention since, well, ever. 

4. Dog walks. If the kids aren’t with me, I wait for the hubby to be home, or have my 14 yr old babysit the younger 2 kids and I’m out the door with a puppy, leash and my iPod. I’ll listen to music, audiobooks, podcasts, anything that isn’t Spongebob or Adventure Time. My pooch loves the outside time and exercise and I love the fact that I get fresh air and a break. Even if it’s just a block up the road to get the mail. Sometimes any break is good, no matter how short.

5. Enlist help. Husbands/Spouse/Significant Other. Whatever you call it, get someone to watch the kids for you so you can have a break. Hell, invite the grandparents over for playtime if you have to. Trade babysitting with a neighbor or friend. Sell the kids to the gypsies. Getting some alone time is perfect to recharge your soul so you are better prepared to break up fights over toys or have your 803rd tea party. 

Never feel guilty about needing a break or alone time. Don’t forget about YOU. Mommies need breaks too. ;) 

Banana Day Facts And Fun

The third wednesday of April is Banana Day; and even though it was totally made up by college students we can still have fun with it. 

banana day

I’ve never tried these interesting banana tips so do so at your own risk. If you have tried one of these I’d love to hear about it in a comment – ’cause frankly I’ve never heard most of them…and it’s guys giving them so I’ve got to wonder.

On the serious side here are 10 Health Benefits of bananas:

 

On the totally fun side my kids and I love to laugh at the Minions from Despicable Me. In this short video we learned that they really love bananas:

 

And then we laugh at The Banana Song – every time we watch it. I had to share it with you.

Do you have any bananas at your house? Any way you want to celebrate Banana Day?

How to Talk to Your Children about Tragedy

Our hearts and prayers are with the families affected by the senseless tragedy in Boston. This act of terror is hard to imagine and with the age of iPhones and location of the acts to the media, the images have be graphic and horrifying. We at Mommy Needs a Break know it’s difficult to gauge what children are thinking and want to help you with tips on how to talk to your children during this tragic time.

Making sense of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon yesterday can be quite a challenge for adults, let alone children.

Children process these things differently.  They may be asking difficult questions and parents may need suggestions to help discuss what happened and address their concerns.

How to Talk to Your Kids about Tragedy

Fred Rogers from the long-running TV show, Mr. Rogers was quoted as saying, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” That is good advice from the wise Mrs. Rogers, but what if your children have questions and need more?

Below are some helpful tips from Child Psychologist Dr. Phyllis Ohr, for Press4Kids’ News-O-Matic, the first educational, news app for children 7 to 10 years old. Dr. Ohr is also the Director of the Child and Parent Psychological Services Clinic at Hofstra and the Assistant Director of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program. 

Here are some tips from Dr. Ohr for how parents can address news issues with children and what children can do to feel better: 

1.     When the event does not personally affect the child, reassure them that everything is okay with the people they love and that nothing has changed for them.

2.    Be sure to stress to children that if they do have questions to ask parents, teachers as well as friends. Other children having the same feelings may be comforting.

3.    Begin by giving the child a brief synopsis of what happened by using age appropriate language. Ask if there is something they want to know more about or if they need something explained further. If so, stick to pointedly answering their question or clarifying. Do not add on or digress.

4.    Do not assume the news will make children feel a certain way. Ask if they know how they feel, but stress that kids feel all different ways when they hear important news and sometimes do not know how they feel or do not feel anything which is okay. However, if children are affected by it, it is their own feeling. Reassure children that no matter what they are feeling, their feelings are okay.

5.    If they are upset but don’t want to talk, suggest a fun activity for distraction or help them use calming skills like playing, drawing a picture or writing a story. These activities help release any upset feelings and make children feel better.

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Information in this post provided by Child’s Play Communications. This is not a sponsored post. This is just information we thought would be helpful as our Country heals.

Date Night Flare #FashionFriday

I bought this dress. As soon as I saw it, I had to have it! When I ordered it I thought it was black/gold but when it arrived it’s actually navy/gold. Ah well, still looks amazing and I’m daring so I’ll still pair black & gold accessories with it. I like to live dangerously when it comes to fashion. ;) 

Date Night Flare

Dress / Christian Louboutin snake print heels / Leopard print tote / Rachel Reinhardt chain earring / Daniela Farah bangle bracelet / Disco jewelry

Siblings Of Kids With Autism

April is Autism Awareness Month. Unless you live with someone with autism you don’t realize how much it affects the whole family, including the siblings. These videos are from the unique angle of a brother or sister of an autistic child.

From a young boys perspective:

 
 

From a 18 year old view:
This video made me smile…and get teary eyed. He talks then plays a song and then he talks some more. If you don’t want to listen to the song make sure you skip through until he starts talking again. It blessed my heart.

 
 

From a grown ladies perspective: This one is sad, yet happy to watch. It’s sad because she tells the story of her grown brother that was locked away all of his life due to no one knowing how to deal with autism. It’s happy because she found him and visited him after 50 years. She rejoices in the advances that medical science and the public has made in this area.


I love the stories of how special people touch so many lives, and it starts with the family and siblings. Do you have a special person in your life?

Rainbow Day Celebrations

happy rainbow day

April 3rd is “Find A Rainbow Day.” Why did I not know about this day before!?! It certainly sounds like a fun day to celebrate. There are many, many ways you can celebrate rainbows.

First the scientific route and what makes a rainbow:

Now that we have the boring stuff out of the way… FOOD!

I didn’t realize how many foods you could make into a rainbow theme! YoYoMax12 on YouTube has a whole playlist of rainbow themed foods. If you click the word “Playlist” at the bottom left of this video widget you can see thumbnails of the different video and choose which one you want to watch. The videos include unicorn poop, panna cotta, as well as normal things like cakes, cookies, and bread in the colors of the rainbow.

 
We can’t leave out sports so here is how to do the rainbow in soccer:

 
Lastly, songs with “rainbow” in the title! Again – if you want to scroll through the playlist and pick a video to watch click the word “playlist” in the bottom left corner.

Just in case you don’t know the colors of the rainbow I’ll leave you with this final tip. If you remember Roy G. Biv you’ll always know the colors of the rainbow and the order they go in - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. It’s great for impressing your kids too.

Did you ever make rainbow themed food? Do you have any special rainbow memories you can share with us?