Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mini Marathonners

Running Shoes: Check
Running Shirt: Check
Running Hat: Check
Running Socks: Check

Yes, we had to make sure we had all of our special running things on, because this was serious business.  They were running in a race, just like Daddy.  By 8 am, we were ready and raring to go.  Both Booger and Mudget "raced" in the 5 and Under category at the Cox Rhodes Race Kids Marathon.  Accompanied by at least another 60 kids, they ran their little hears and feet out.  Surprisingly, Mudget even passed some of the older kids and never stopped to walk.  Like little Energizer Bunnies, he and Boog kept going and going.  In fact, Uncle Durty Feet and Uncle Snicklefritz accompanied them on a second run, just because they wanted to go again.  And Mudget refused a piggy back ride, only to give the thumbs up when asked if he were ok.

It was really a site to see all of the little ones so excited to do a race.  Like ours, I think many of them have parents in the Rhodes Race marathon tomorrow.  In fact, it inspired me to make sure I sign up for a 5K soon, because I don't want to be the only one without a number in my family....

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tickle Teeth, sneaky peeps and other parent-isms to make your kids do what you want

As time goes by with kids, I have found there is a significant correlation between kid reluctancy to complete tasks and parent creativity; as reluctancy increases, so do parent creativity.  Especially with boys, everything is better when there is a cool or disgusting name to it.  Though not all of these are purely original concoctions of our own (thanks to the Durty Feet family) they are all used on almost a daily basis.

Tickle Teeth: (noun) brushing one's teeth
Abre: (verb) opening one's mouth so they can be assisted with tickle teeth
Sneaky Peeps: (noun) the act of bladder emptying prior to bed, car rides, or any other task as needed.  synonym "Stinky Peeps"
Booger Vacuum: (noun) the nasal aspirator that sucks out the nasty stuff out of Mudget's head
Booger Spray: (noun) in conjunction with the booger vacuum, used to loosen up the nasty stuff in Mudget's head
Booger Rocks: (noun) hard, lumps of the the nasty stuff stuck up Booger's nose
Snot Rocket: (noun) blowing nose effectively
Alien heads: (noun) Brussel sprouts
Bows: (noun) stitches
Cleaning Potatoes: (verb) the act of cleaning the ears with Qtips

Now I would like you to try your new vocabulary in a sentence, for example: "Joey, it's time for tickle teeth."  or "Max, go get the Booger Spray. The Booger Rock is stuck and we need to use the Booger Vacuum."  Very Good!
Next time your kid is reluctant to try something or do something, be creative and you might be surprised...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Put on your "Super Fast" Shoes...

Looking for something to do this weekend with the kids? Sign them up for the kids marathon for the Cox Rhodes Race at Roger Williams Park on Saturday April 30. 

Cox Rhode Races has teamed up with Munroe Dairy, Shape Up RI and Roger Williams Park Zoo in an effort to get kids to exercise and live a healthy lifestyle through the Kids Marathon. 

After the scheduled 8:45 A.M. start for the run/walk, kids will have an opportunity to complete the “marathon” by taking part in a scavenger hunt at Roger Williams Park Zoo. The 25-point scavenger hunt will promote healthy lifestyles, proper nutrition, exercise and more.  There will be smaller races of varying distances for younger children as well. The race will start and finish in lot B at the Zoo.  Cool bonus for the kids is of course, their own racing tee shirt, a pass to the zoo and after race refreshments.  Booger, Mudget and I will be there bright and early with our "super fast" running shoes.  Booger has already stated that he "isn't worried about coming in last, because there will be plenty of kids smaller than [him]."  Good to know...

Dora and Diego will be there, too. I am just so excited! Can you sense the sarcasm? I know my kids are going to be way more thrilled than me to see the Nickelodeon gruesome two-some.  But regardless, this new event is part of the 2011 Cox Providence Rhode Races weekend, in which Kyle is racing. It helps promote health and well being for our kids.  Not only that, it promotes sleep that my kids will hopefully do Saturday night.

Check out for more details and to register online

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Run Jane, Run...

See Dick run. Run, Dick run.
See Spot run. Run, Spot, run.
See Jane sit on her ass.  Run, Jane, run.

I was never a runner.  Didn't like it.  Used to avoid.  Hated it when it came to the running part in gym class.
So why I have decided to pick it up now is a mystery.  Well, not really.

Almost a year ago, my almost 40 y.o. husband decided to run to stay in shape.  Now that he has been doing it legitimately for a quite some time and doing his first half marathon on Sunday, I felt obligated to try it, too.  So with the help of Running Daddy, I found an app called Couch to 5K.  For $2.99, it provides me with a no-think approach for getting my out of shape 31 year old body into a 5K-er in about 9 weeks.  It tells you when to warm up, walk, and jog, like Curves circuit training.  And I have to say, I actually enjoy it.  Minus the investment into new running shoes, which I totally recommend after getting the worst shin splints and hip pain after my first run in my 10 y.o. Sketchers, I have found it cheaper than joining a gym.  

My doctor told me after Mudget, that I would most likely be a diabetic within 10 years because I was an insulin gestational diabetic with both children.  So not only do I have benefit of being at my pre-preganancy weight and my jeans fitting better, but I have the added benefit of hopefully to veering off any chances of becoming a "Dia-becca" again...  Because I really did not enjoying stabbing myself everyday, two times daily.

So, if you are thinking about exercising and losing the muffin top, try running. And check out Rhode Runner in Providence if you are going to buy running shoes.  The staff was incredibly patient, helpful and knowledgable about picking the right shoes for me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

HA! Now it's stuck in your head, too

F is for frolicking through the forest, U is for you and me, N is for anywhere and anytime at all down here in the deep blue sea.

Oh sweet Jesus, I am doing it again. Do you ever find yourself singing kids songs when there isn’t anyone under the age of 6 around you? Well if you don't, you're lucky. If you do, join the oh- sweet- lord- all- I –listen- to –is- kids -music club.

I realized I was a member shortly after my father, as a Hanukkah gift, bought me a subscription to XM radio, a satellite radio system. Great, I thought, this will be cool. (because I didn’t think having my infant Booger listening to Korn or the Beastie Boys was appropriate yet). So I found channel 116 Kids Place Live now XM Kids. Kids music all day, all the time. Really all day all the time. I found myself listening to it in the car when the kids weren't there.

Finally my girlfriend since third grade did an “inter-friend-tion”  (thank you Sex in the City) simply stating "the kids aren't in the car why the hell are we listening to Laurie Berkner Band?". Good question. Why was I? It led to this deep existential question about my identity.

Am I only a mom? No dammit. I am a (at the time) 20 something who is a wife, a chick, a reader, a cook, an OT, a lover of grunge, alternative, and classic rock and the occasional country song. So why the hell am I listening to the Doodlebops? F this. I changed the channel proudly taking back my roots and identity, and rocked out to WAAF.  Of course I didn't have the swagger wagon yet so it didn’t look as funny. Moral of the story turn off the kids stuff every once in a while and regain your coolness. If not you will be sucked into the world of children looking like a zombie out of night of the living Barney. I love u, u love me ....

OT Soap Box- Autism, yup there's an app for that

When the iPad was first introduced the first thing I said to Kyle was "wow, if they could make an augmentative communication application it would be way cheaper than the Dynavox."  Dammit if I only knew how to make an app. I contacted Apple. I contacted a few other sites to no avail.  I swear within a few days, though, people read my mind and I came across quite a few apps that could make children with autism and other speech and language difficulties be able to "talk" to their family and friends.

Go to the app store on you iPad or iPhone or even iPod and just search autism.  Tons of things will come up. Some free some not.  But it is really amazing the variety of things out there that can help anyone from stroke victims to autism. Not only that, there are apps for schedule makers, first/then boards, timers, as well as items like Proloquo-to-go which are set up similarly to a picture exchange system.

Traditional systems like the Dynavox are still very good, but they are heavy and cumbersome.  I had little ones who were no bigger than my three year old, not really able to use it on a daily basis because it was too damn big and heavy.  They may be sturdier but they are anywhere from $7-10 thousand dollars.  If the family can advocate and get down insurance throats or get special grants, maybe they might get it covered.  But for $499 and up plus the cost of an app, and cover, it all of a sudden makes it that more accessible for the child to have a more accessible world.

Monday, April 25, 2011

OT Soap Box- Daily Pint Size Inspiration

I love my kids. Not just the ones I gave birth to but also the amazing ones with which I work. Many of the children I get to play with on a daily basis are those with exceptional needs, including many with autism. Most of these kids are under 6 years old. They don't speak. But they can make me smile doing some of the simplest things that many of us take for granted with our own "typically" developing kids. 

The first time they exchange a picture to request more swing time...The first time they squish play doh.... The first time they jump on a trampoloine without me having to bounce it with my foot.... The first time they look me straight on the eye and give me a high five.  

These children are just a few of the approximately 1:100 that are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. April is Autism Awareness month. So I figured I might step on the OT soapbox for a few blogs to talk about it.  These kids are still just kids trying to make sense of a world that is trying to make sense of them. 

Check out for kids' music inspired by children at the Celebrate Children School in Wharton, NJ.  Part of the proceeds of the his album "Love me for who I am" will go to Autism Speaks and the Celebrate Children School.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Golden Basket- what to do with all of the excess candy just calling your name

“Mom, can I have a treat from the Golden Basket?”  Huh? “The GOLDEN BASKET.  You know the special bowl up there with all the candy.”  And there it began. Booger created the best thing to get my kids to eat their supper- The Golden Basket.

Doesn’t it sound magnificent and magical? Well it is.  As many of you probably have one of these in your home, an antique bowl from your grandmother’s house just sitting and collecting dust or other odds and ends.  Ours was sitting in the cabinet and to prevent all of us from devouring Chrismakkah (I’ll get to that another blog), Easter, Halloween and Valentine’s candy, we just threw it in there.  Well, Booger finally noticed.  And now after he eats his supper, he gleefully asks to “pick a treat from the golden basket.”

Of course, Mudget, not to be left out will take one bite of his supper and ask for a treat as well. “No, you need to eat your supper first.”  Another bite.  “Not quite.”  And so this will go on for 15-20 minutes to get him to eat a reasonable amount of his meal, because truthfully he is a carboholic grazer and will eat one little niblet at a time. Then, when we decide it is ok, he will ask “Now can I have a treat from the Golden Basket?”  Yes, honey.  “YEAH!!!”

So if you are harboring old candy, old bowls, and picky eaters try creating a Golden Basket of your own.  You might get your kids to try new things, finish an activity, or even eat their supper.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nothing says Happy EasterOver like Matzoh and Bacon

In our family we celebrate everything, primarily because we come from different backgrounds.  I am Jewish and Kyle is Protestant.  And we send Booger to Catholic school, go figure.  This year Passover and Easter fall very close to each other, so tomorrow it is EasterOver.

Kyle’s family generally hosts the bountiful breakfast and the kids get to do their egg hunt at the Nana Papa Compound after finding what the Easter Bunny left for them at our house.  Those little buggers make out. 

When I was younger, my grandparents would drive down and we would host the Passover Seder.   We would search for the afikoman, the hidden matzo, to get a prize. We would have the Seder plate with all the things on it.  But generally my sister and I would just poke each other under the table till we could eat, and try to drink the Manischewitzwhen no one was looking.

I didn’t appreciate it my heritage until I had children.  When, I am sure much to the chagrin of my passed grandmother, we had Booger christened and named during a briss.  (The briss we will get to another day because that has scarred us all for like)  Mudget was christened, not named. Second child syndrome.  I wanted to help them understand the Jewish faith, but I had little clue.  I came from a hippie family who didn’t force us to go to synagogue or get our Bat Mitzvah.  We were the only Jewish family in our town.  So now we go with the flow. I read up on the internet and ask my grandfather about different holidays and celebrations and then share it with the kids when I think of it.  Maybe when they are older I will do a little more.  Hey, I never said I was perfect.  I like my bacon.

So this year, on this holy holiday of EasterOver, I think I will the bring the matzoh and Charoset to the Easter table, next to the bacon, ham, and French toast.  Hide the afikoman.  Find some Easter eggs. Drink a bottle of Maneschevitz. And say La Chaim.

And if you have never tried it- make some Charoset. Its awesome any time.

6 Gala Apples- shredded
1 cup walnuts
½ - ¾ cup Manischewitz or another tastey red wine (i used a great Blueberry wine last time)
1-3 tbsp cinnamon
1-3 tbsp honey

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Duck Quack- the amazing power of the iPhone timer

“Quack, Quack, Quack.  The duck has quacked, time to clean up.” OK, Mom.

Yes, in our house the Duck rules the roost.  Literally. 

Our iFamily includes two iPhones and an iPod touch.  We first discovered the power of the duck when just telling the kids it was time for whatever didn’t work.  So one day, fiddling around with the iPod we found it. The timer.  And not only that, but it had an array of possibilities for the tone.  And for whatever reason, my husband Kyle chose- the duck.  Now, it is the duck who ends activities.  It is the duck that ends a time out.  It is the duck that tells the Mudget when he can come downstairs if he wakes up too early.  It is even tells some of the kids I work with at my school, that our time is up.

Yes, this has bitten us in the butt a few times, but generally, that duck can do no wrong.  So if you are struggling to get kids to transition to your requests, which is exactly what you are asking them to do, stop what you are doing and do something else that may not be preferred, try using a timer.   Whether it is the duck, or a kitchen timer, or the timed timer (, using a timer can help your kids anticipate change and hopefully make the struggle less of one.

Did you remember to get Mother Earth a Present???

It's Earth Day.  Not like everyday we shouldn't be recycling, reducing and reusing. But today we specifically hunt out things to do to make the Earth a better place so it doesn't revolt and end up like a scene from the M. Night Shyamalan movie "The Happening".

What can you do with the kids? Put them to work!  Kids love being in nature, and as I look out the window this brisk but sunny day, I am thinking "Outside People!"  Try going to a local playground and picking up trash.   Or if you live by the coast, go to the beach.  Stop by one of the Audobon Society's many sites and take a hike (check out    Go bug hunting, a favorite of the kids.  Paint a picture of the world.  Do Something! Get out those crushed up Stop and Shop bags, some non-latex gloves, and the hand sanitizer and clean up the Earth.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Diary of the best mom ever, sort of...

So, do you ever start off your day with the brightest and best of all expectations, to see them roll down a hill, towards a cliff and plummet to a certain death?  Pleasant, I know, but as parents we do this on a daily basis.  I try to take it in stride, but inside my type-A half of me says, "Dammit, don't stray from the plan. No matter the cost, the crying, or the cramps."  While my lazidazical half says, "What? Oh, who cares, just go with the flow."  Now, most of the the time I would like to say that the latter half wins, but usually it is not the case.

For example, today I was accompanied by my 3 and 5 year old boys, that we shall call "Mudget" and "Booger" (because in fact those are their beloved nicknames), as well as my two nephews who are 8 and 11.  Today was Mudget's first dentist appointment that went amazingly smoothly, even though it ran late.  And I had planned and promised that we would go to the East Bay Bike Path to ride happily along a flat, winding trail to a Del's Lemonade stand and a playground.  Oh, what a good mommy and auntie I must be.  But Murphy stated in his laws that it shall not be.  So, I take of my bicycle, that I haven' ridden in a year off the racks I have never used, with help from a passer by watching me struggle.  Ok, that's done.  Kids bikes out of the back of the swagger wagon. Great. Trailer unfolded and hooked up.  Thanks hun for checking the tire pressure and adding air to the tires.  Helmets on. Check, let's go.  Kinda.

As I begin with my preliminary ride around the Shaw's parking lot, I notice how incredibly difficult it is even though I am in the lowest gear. So, I park it, with Mudget still clicked and in tow and the rest of the boys getting, well, restless.  WTH.  I poke and prod making it look like I have a clue of what the heck is wrong with this bike.  Thinking maybe someone will come by to help. But no.  And as I sit there pondering what I am going to do, BANG.  The frigging trailer tire EXPLODES. Like a gun shot, like my blood pressure.

Oh, this is good.  Here comes my Type A half sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear, "Getter Done or this day is gonna suck."  So I push the tire back on, tell the boys we are off to Rite Aide in hopes of me finding an Allen Wrench, which is the one thing I will add to my What-To-Carry-When-Biking-With-Kids list, that of course I didn't have.  And no they didn't have one. And neither did the gas station.  But at least a kind gentleman helped me finagle my brake problem enough to get me and the troops moving.  Of course we get a 1.5 miles in and the boys get tired, Mudget starts screaming and I say back to the car.  Totally worth the 40 minutes of travel x 2, 30 minutes of aggravation of malfunctions, and the hour of screaming and crying from an exhausted three year old who refused to take a nap.

So, yes.  Today's plan went off, but I wouldn't say without a hitch.  And if you are a parent, you know what I mean.  Now why did I do this to myself, you might ask.  Survival.  Having four boys with me is a test of energy.  I must keep them busy or they will fight, bleed, cry, etc. resulting in me doing the same.  But also, I am a firm believer in Play and Exercise (sorry the OT in me had to say it).  Kids need to be out and about using their minds and bodies in other ways than just with the electronic.  Don't get me wrong, all of them were playing their Nintendo DS during the dentist, a saving grace. But they got shut off after that.    And frankly, I love it when Booger tells me I am his best mom ever.