Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Goodnight iPad

As I passed the adult section in the library, about to let the boys check out their umpteen books, I stopped and giggled.  Oh,  I am soooo bringing this home.
(click on the book above to watch the story)

If your household is anything like mine, there are enough electronics to start a small Mac army.  And at least one copy of Goodnight, Moon, which frankly I don't particularly enjoy, but the kids do.  So if you have read about the lady whispering hush, the comb and the bowl full of mush to the point you want to huck the bowl full of mush at her, try Goodnight iPad by Ann Droyd.  Note the author's name.

There is no longer a woman whispering hush.

There is no bowl of mush. (why would you say good night to it anyway?????)

Just a frustrated woman telling all the people in her family to shut off the thousands of electronic devices and go to bed.

I would put this adult children's parody in a category with Go the F to Sleep, just without the Samuel L. Jackson, umm, quality. 

For a laugh, get the book for yourself or for a friend, or at least an electronic-obsessed coworker.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

South County Balloon Festival

After years of missing the South County Balloon Festival, due to conflicting vacations, we finally made it last night.

 Located at the URI Athletic Field in Kingston, RI, the Balloon Festival plays host to concerts, vendors, and of course a bunch of hot air balloons.  The other bonuses include the BBQ competition which is taking place on Sunday.  Three of the major competitors at least sold their variety of pulled pork and brisket yummy deliciousness towards the back of the park.  I love BBQ, so this was the other reason I wanted to go.
Besides the gas money, it costs $25 for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kiddos) to go.  There are amusement rides (which we didn't do) and games for a cost.  But there are some 'freebies' too.  Bwana Jim held a couple of shows and we were able to see a turkey vulture and other vermin.  There was a free catch and release tank.  But neither of the boys caught anything because the fish were well-fed from a day of children releasing bait into the tank.
And of course, the Cannon Lady.
You can even walk inside a partially inflated balloon.
It was the dusk lifting of the hot air balloons that was the beautiful.  Though it got a little windy and they were not sure if they would lift off, eventually the 8 or so balloons expanded their nylon to give the peole what they wanted.  A sight.  And it was....

So if you have no idea what to do today, head down route 138 towards URI for the last day of the South County Balloon Festival.  Bring a camera, some cash and an appetite, and hopefully you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Disney for Dummies

So this past June, I finally talked the hubby into going to Disney with the boys.  And crossed my fingers that we would have a good time.  We didn't.
We had a great time!
But here is why...
1. The family suite.  If you can afford it and you have more than one child, get a family suite.  Even in the value resort like we stayed in, it provided a separate area for the kids and parents.  We had the ability to shut the door.  Read.  Watch tv other than cartoons.

2. Go when it rains.  Ok, let me specify.  Go when there is a freakin' tropical storm sitting on top of the Walt Disney World Resort for your entire trip.  Though soaked to the bone, our kids didn't mind.  And therefore we didn't mind.  The lines were minimal, 15-20 minutes tops.  And for those that were too long (60+ minutes) the Fast Pass took care of it.  Remember, you have to grab your Fast Pass early in the day because they run out.  Go to Job Lot before you leave, purchase $1 ponchos, or in Mudge's case, use a garbage bag.
3. Go Meal Plan.  We did the Quick Service meal plan that gave 1 snack and 2 meals each day per person staying in the room.  It included a drink, entree and dessert.  But be weary that you need to know what places are quick service versus a sit down dining place.
4. Pack a food bag.  We had one bag dedicated to cereal, granola bars, bagels and peanut butter.  That way we didn't have to worry about using the meal plan for breakfast.
5. Get the refillable mug.  Use your mug at meal time and stow away the bottled drinks that come with the meal for when you go to the theme parks.
6. Dessert does not meal chocolate cake.  They have apple slices with caramel and other things that aren't as calorically challenging.
7. Buy a waterproof camera (or case).  See #2.
8. Accept that your child may not want to meet the characters.  Booger had a breakdown in the Muppets 3D movie adventurer when one of the characters comes out into the audience.  He couldn't grasp/believe that "they were real" and that "they are not supposed to be real, mommy!"  With tears streaming down his face, we had the talk.  For the logical/spirited child, its ok that you tell them that it is special effects.  Plus it saves the hours you could spend in line to meet the characters.
9. Know ahead of time, the height limits.  It can save a lot of aggravation and tears if you bypass the things you cannot ride. A crazy overwhelming place of which you will not see every detail and hope that you can go back again another day when the children are all above 48" tall.
 10.  Go back for a nap or quiet time.  Almost everyday, we went back to the hotel after lunch, rested, then went back on the bus to a different theme park.  Worked beautifully for our kiddos who are 6 and under.

Boon Bag-a-polooza

I am sure you are all aware of the children's story song, "Ten in the Bed".  I am quite confident that if I were to redo the story, it would more accurately reflect the "Fifty-four in the Bed" that Mudge has.  In fact, he has so many that they take up close to three quarters of the surface of the "sleeping" space.  Luckily he is so short that it doesn't matter too much.  But frankly, when sheet-cleaning-Saturday comes, I grumble under my breath.

But today, oh glorious today, my saving grace arrived.  The Boog Animal Bag.  It doesn't look like much, but it is a brilliant little addition to each of the boys' rooms.  The Boon Bag is a stuffed animal storage bag rated for 18 months and up. It is a 100% polyester, machine washable container that 'when full' is 24" x 22" x 12".  It doesn't seem like much, but behold the glory!


 Mudge fit 50+ animals in.  I lost count.
"These things are the best things evvvvaaa!"
Boog fit 40+.

And now, instead of their beds being the stuffed animal zoo, the Boon Animal Bag is the special place where the stuffed animals belong.   Not only that, it turns the plethora of cozy creatures into a chill out spot for the boys to read or watch tv.

Retail, it goes for $48.  However, being a saving junky at times, I found them on Kohls.com for much less.  And bonus, if you have a Kohls charge, you can always search for coupon codes.  I managed to these bad boys for $30 with free shipping. 

So if you suffer from the overwhelming need to burn the stuffed animals, wait.  Get one of these or its cousin the Boon Bag Otto (around $85) or the Boon Trio (around $100).  And you can always tell the kids whatever doesn't fit goes to charity.