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?

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?

Magic Tricks To Impress Your Kids [Video]

March 29 is Smoke and Mirrors Day. That made me think of magic tricks and how much fun it is to play them on my kids. It’s also good to have some up your sleeve for times when you have an unexpected wait; you can distract the kids and make the wait time go much faster.

smoke and mirrors day

Here’s some easy sleight of hand tricks that don’t need special equipment and could be done just about anywhere.

All you need is a penny or small coin for this old, but good one. Make a coin disappear:

 

I think this one is clever yet so simple. He uses pencils, but mentions that you could use French fries or some other small objects. Crazy pencil trick:

 

This one might need a little practice with a rubber band, but looks like fun. Rubber band through thumb:

 

I’ve found that it’s fun to awe my kids with what I can do, then after they beg a little bit I show them how to do it. Then they spend a while practicing it themselves. And that’s one of the ways I distract my children or nieces & nephews when we have to wait for something and there’s nothing fun to do.

How about you? Any tricks to distract kids? Any magic tricks you like to do?

The Expectation: Easter Edition

 Many years ago, before blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, and other visual reminders of holiday offerings, I fell into the trap. Every year, I’d vow this would be the last. And approximately eleven months later, I’d find myself in a wave of other harried mothers (and some fathers*), under some unflattering light, fighting over 99 cent plastic eggs and purple basket grass.

easter-cartoon

Yes, that trap is what I like to call, The Holiday Expectation.

Easter has been my least favorite holiday since having kids:

  • Coloring eggs that can’t be put on display. Or if we do put them on display, we can’t eat them. Either way, WASTE. 
  • Filling a cheap basket with grass, all for the sole purpose of giving the illusion of MORE. Plus it takes nearly a year to find every last lost strand. 
  • Finding that balance of just enough stuff, but not so much to overshadow other holidays or heaven-help-us, raise The Expectation. 
  • Locating the perfect chocolate bunny that is the right kind of chocolate and not broken. (Hint: they are all broken.)

Further, we no more get a break from Christmas when things start happening. It begins in early February with Son One’s birthday. March is our wedding anniversary as well as my husband’s birthday. Daughter and Son Two’s birthdays are in April.

Somewhere in there, usually on someone’s birthday, is Easter.

I fully admit to allowing The Expectation to happen. I swore I’d find a way to reel it in and tone it down, but it never seemed to be the right time.

Then, all of a sudden, it came to a screeching halt.

- -

While the official words hadn’t been spoken, it was clear: No one expected an over-sized rodent wearing a jaunty bow-tie and fabulous vest to hop in and drop off a basket of springtime goodness.

Last year, with a little bit of sadness, we transitioned over. I went to Target, bought a fantastic basket to be filled with goodies for the whole family to enjoy together. I felt pangs of jealousy as the other moms (and a dad!) decided which goodies to purchase for their little chicks.

This past weekend, my husband casually mentions we should probably get stuff together for The Basket. As we are walking into a certain big box store, there was a rather large display of candies touting everyday low prices. In 4.3 seconds, I had a little bit to please everyone’s palate. Brushing my hands dramatically, I declared, “Done. Ready for Easter.”

“Oh. Wow. Really? You’re not even going to get them a chocolate bunny? They’ll be crushed.” My husband said, as we walked away.

“Wait. What? Why? Didn’t we realize we were done with this last year?” I’m blushing as a couple of women tsk-tsk me.

 “Well, yeah, but you were so sad, remember? ‘They’re growing up to fast.'”

 And there, in the main aisle, between the checkout stands and poorly made-clothes in a variety of neon colors, I realized it would never be over.

Just when I found my out, the end of the trap, of trying to fulfill The Holiday Expectation, I’d turned my husband into one of them. Sure, he didn’t care much about coloring eggs or bunny-themed sidewalk chalks, but he wanted his yearly allotment of jelly beans, Cadbury’s Robin Eggs, and most of all, a chocolate bunny. 

It’s too late for me, but hurry; save yourself. Cut them off while there’s time. 

*photo courtesy of The Cagle Post

 *Special shout-out to the dads. I’ve got mad respect for the men out in the aisles, willing to risk life, limb, or <ahem> to fill an Easter basket. Because moms on a mission? We can throw down.

Raising Boys: Teen Years

When I was pregnant with my second child, I knew, without a doubt, I was a having another girl. Well, I was probably 92% positive. After an extra-long pregnancy and even longer labor, at 4:22 a.m., the doctor announced, “It’s a boy,” and my life changed forever.

At the time, I knew only one thing about boys and that knowledge is how I ended up a mother. Clearly, I was going to need some additional info –  maybe a pamphlet or something?! 

Fast-forward through another birth (“It’s a BOY!”) and fourteen years, and I’ve learned a lot about being a mother to boys. Especially of the teen set. Because in hindsight? The elementary years were gravy, a warm-up to the Olympics of Parenting, if you will- The Teen Years.

Here are some tips for raising boys:

1. Step away from the AXE.
Boys smell. Period. While cologne (along with showers and good deodorant) helps alleviate the issue, we tried AXE and it seemed to only exacerbate the problem. Fortunately for us, my boys happen to like the same thing my husband wears from Bath and Body Works. Teaching them “less is more” is taking more time, but at least the paint isn’t peeling off the walls anymore. 

A boy's best friend is his mother. 2. Talk their language. 
My boys aren’t big on general chit-chat or proclamations of love. And those lunch box notes? Waste of time. Texting has been a huge break-thru for us. And since I am trying to keep the lines of communication open, I even refrain from correcting their grammar. If that doesn’t say love, I don’t know what else does. 

3. Learn about [insert hobby here].
I know more about Mindcraft, Call of Duty, military weaponry, Star Wars, and other testosterone-driven subjects than I ever thought possible. And really, it’s not half-bad. 

4. Drink a lot of coffee. And Diet Coke.
Boys. Girls. It doesn’t matter. Raising kids is the hardest job one can do and it takes fuel to keep going. Plus all the working I do to earn the extra grocery money to fill the bottomless stomachs of two teenage boys; all of that takes an obscene amount of caffeine. Because seriously? THEY ARE ALWAYS HUNGRY. I thought that was a myth; it’s not. 

5. Remember: Some day they will be someone’s spouse.
I have no qualms about asking my boys’ opinions on certain things: how an outfit looks; a choice between two nail polishes; what to have for dinner. Very few topics are off limits. I value their opinions and insights just like I do my husband’s. I figure it will be less of a culture shock once they set up housekeeping with someone I hope to like but doubt will meet my standards.

If you are past the teen years, what would you add to the list?  

 

 

Chickens And Poultry Day

poultry day

There are many serious ways to celebrate Poultry Day.

  • You could look up what “poultry” actually is: “Poultry meat is domestic or wild fowl that is grown or harvested for human consumption.” from ehow.com
  • You could read about the best ways to raise ducks, geese, chicken, or turkeys; and maybe even emu, ostriches, and peacocks.
  • You could find new recipes for ways to cook poultry.
  • You could find out that there is a Poultry festival in Versailles, Ohio, that is celebrated in June – not March.
  • You could even learn that Poultry Day is the same as National Chocolate Caramel Day so it should be easy to plan a main course and dessert for March 19.

Instead of being serious you could celebrate Poultry Day by being silly.

If you like jazz –  sing along with Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens:

 

Fan of the Muppets? Watch The Swedish Chef prepare Spring Chicken – emphasis on the spring:

And don’t forget to do the chicken dance on Poultry Day. Although I don’t think I would have wanted to get all dressed up for a wedding and dance like a chicken – these people had fun with it:

How are you going to celebrate Poultry Day? Do you like to do the chicken dance?

Always Leave Them Laughing – Parenting with Humor

My seven year old and I are often rushed in the morning. I let him sleep as long as possible because, well… I enjoy the peace and quiet. Plus, I’m not a morning person. So we take every extra minute of sleep we can get.

Sometimes the rush makes him crabby. He’s only a first grader so I do a lot of repeating about putting on the shoes, brushing the teeth, putting on the coat, turning off the tv, you get the idea.  Just call me a broken record.

The one thing I’ve started every morning is give him a reason to smile when he’s grumpy and rushed. Apparently my sleep deprived, half hung over, make up smeared face isn’t enough, so I’m telling jokes. This way when he gets on the bus he’s not taking his grouchiness with him to school. Instead he’s giggling all the way to the bus. I know he’s repeating the jokes to the bus driver because she looks out the window and is smiling and waving (and I can see him stopping to talk to her on his way to his seat).

Last week’s jokes were“school” themed. I’m not an expert joke teller so I’ve been using my iPhone to look up jokes online while we wait for the bus and I have a page of school jokes bookmarked. This week I’m moving to farm jokes.

laughter is the best medicine

Here are some the jokes I’ve told so far:

Q. What do you do if a teacher rolls her eyes at you?

A. Pick them up and roll them back!

Q. Why didn’t the skeleton go to the school dance?

A. He didn’t have any BODY to take!

Q. Why did the boy throw the clock out the window?

A. He wanted to see time FLY!

Q. What do you call the boy with the dictionary in his pocket?

A. A smartie pants!

The goal in this is to start even our rushed and grumpy days on the lighter side and with giggles to go.

What are some of your favorite kid jokes?

Funny Valentine’s Quotes

In honor of this most serious and romantic day, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite humorous Valentine’s quotes to brighten your special day!

being married

I love being married. It’s so great to find one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. ~Rita Rudner

roses are red

Roses are red, violets, are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you. But the roses are wilting, the violets are dead, the sugar bowl’s empty, and so is your head. by Will and Guy in Washington Post

tied up Valentine's Day

I wanted to make it really special on Valentine’s day, so I tied my boyfriend up. And for three solid hours I watched whatever I wanted on TV.

 you take my breath away

My love, you take my breath away. What have you stepped in to smell this way? by Will and Guy in Washington Post.

your life movie

If somebody made a movie about your life…I’d rent it.

indiana jones treasure

And lastly a mostly sweet saying:

I feel like an Indiana Jones, because you are the treasure I am looking for.