Small Dumper

Small Dumper

 So - the other day we were at the mall and we stopped into Playmobil with the kids.  The Playmobil store is always a great place to stop because 1) they have toys out for the kids to play with 2) after you have schlepped all over the mall they have a place for tired mommies like me to sit down and 3) if your kids beg you for a toy and you are a big sucker like me you can usually find something for less than $5.  While the kids were playing, my husband and I were looking at the wall of “extra” pieces you can buy for their massive sets, as they have some neat and unusual pieces there.  This particular one caught my eye.  I thought wow - what attention to detail.  Those wacky Germans (Playmobil is a German company and yes - I can rag on my own people if I want to) even thought to put a port-a-potty on their construction site playset.  Then, I burst into hysterics.  I mean it.  I was laughing like hell.  I could barely even tell my husband what I was laughing at.  I said, “Honey, look.  They have a port-a-potty for the construction site and they called it a ‘Small Dumper’.”  That is when he started laughing.  Look at the picture closely.  He said, “I think that is what the truck is called.  The port-a-potty is called a “Portable Bathroom”.  Classic!

Doesn’t your child’s playset need a Dumper or a Portable Bathroom?  You know you want one.  C’mon.  It’s funny.  Admit it.  You are laughing with me.  Right?  Check them out in our Shop!

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The Heat is On - Indoor Fun

It has been brutally hot here in NJ for several weeks now with no reprieve in sight.  My boys don’t even want to go outside into the kiddie pool or the slip ‘n slide.  The Destroyer takes one step outside and whines, “Mama, too hot out here!”  So - we’ve been spending A LOT of time indoors.  Thankfully, we live right next to a park, so as soon as it hits 7:00 pm and the sun begins to set, we go outside for our fresh air of the day.  Here are some of the activities we’ve been doing indoors to keep busy:

  1. Crafts - I love some of the inexpensive sets they sell at Oriental Trading.  Generally, when we make crafts we like to give one to Oma, Grandma, Great-Grandma, Aunt Kristen, Aunt Lisa - so it is good for us that the sets usually come in 6 or 12′s.  Just this week, we made these Sun Magnets.
  2. Board Games - My boys like board games and we’re making our way through our stack, though, much to my dismay, Cootie seems to have become the favorite.  Cute game - takes WAY too long!
  3. Play the Wii - The Wii provides both fun and exercise.  And if you have a few kids, they can all play together.
  4. Take your spare change to the bank - Our local TD bank has one of those change counting machines and the boys love to use it.  If they don’t have a ton of change, I let them keep their money to buy something on our next shopping trip.  But, if it is over $10, it goes into their bank account.  They also like that they can guess how much money they have and possibly win a prize from the bank.  The last time, we won a mini ball puzzle for coming within $2 of our actual amount.  Our bank is also only a few blocks away, so we often walk over, even on a hot day.
  5. Make a Slurpee or Slushie run.  I like to call this $5 FUN.  A simple run to 7-11 for Slurpees makes my boys very happy - especially when they have the flavors they want!
  6. Storytime - Our local library has been having many free events for the kids, so we’ve been cycling through our books pretty fast this summer.  In order to get the books back in a few days for the next event, we’ve been having afternoon and bedtime storytime.
  7. Mooch off of a friend who has a pool - I’m ashamed to admit this, but yes I do it.  My good friend, who is a teacher, and I don’t get together often during the school year since we are so busy.  So when summer comes around, she knows I’m looking for swim dates and since we have time to get together, this works out perfectly.  I bring lunch and/or snacks and a fun day is had by all!
  8. Storytime at the Book Stores/Craft time at the Craft Stores - Our local Barnes & Noble and Borders stores have storytimes.  Afterwards, I treat the kids to a cookie in the cafe and we browse the kids’ section and add to our Christmas lists.  Our local AC Moore runs a weekly free craft on Wednesday and we love to hit these.
  9. Super Cheap Movies/Free Bowling - Take advantage of all of the summer freebies/discounts.  Various Movie Theatres offer $1 or very low cost kids movies in the mornings.  AMF has a free bowling program for kids during the summer (shoe rental required).
  10. Hit the Mall - our local mall has a free, indoor play area, as well as a low-cost carousel and train ride - all in the comfort of air conditioning.
  11. The Toaster Oven- Do not underestimate your toaster oven (who wants to heat up the house by turning on the oven?! Not me!).  It can be used to make your own pizzas, make store-bought cookie dough (in mommy friendly portions!), make homemade cookies in small batches.
  12. Smoothies - Fruit + Ice + Your Blender = Fun, Tasty, Healthy Treats for the Whole Family.
  13. Ice Cream Machine - Make Your Own Ice Cream.  Try one of our favorite, simple ice cream recipes.
  14. Check out your local pet shop - you can see lots of interesting little creatures!
  15. Burger King or McDonalds’ Play Place - you don’t have to buy lunch, you can do ice cream cones!  And technically, you don’t have to buy anything!

All in all, we are trying to keep summer fun (and not too hot!) for the kids, while still operating on a tight budget.

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You know your kid is tired when……..

he puts himself to bed.  2 nights ago, CheezWaster fell asleep on the living room floor.  We took him upstairs and when we came back downstairs, The Destroyer asked where CheezWaster went.  We told him that we put CheezWaster to bed.  I then changed The Destroyer into his pajamas and left him laying on the sofa.  I went into another room to get something and when I cam back he was gone.  I asked my husband if he put him to bed and he said no.  I then went upstairs only to find the Destroyer tucked safely into his bed snuggling his blanket and Gloworm - all of his own freewill!

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A Monster Ass-Kicking Book

I preface this post with the fact that you won’t see many adult book reviews on this site, due to the fact that I have 2 kids and a part-time job AND all good books get made into movies eventually anyway.  HOWEVER, my buddy Matt wrote a kick-ass book called Ancient Awakening (holy crap - where do fathers of 2 with full time jobs find the time??? Kudos to you.  I’m happy to get a shower and the dishwasher emptied while the kids are awake!).  Not only is it humorous (the Bruce Campbell in Army of Darkness kind), it is suspenseful and full of action.  Not to mention, it is set in New Jersey, our home state (NJ Kicks Ass!).  If you are looking for an easy read that will keep you engaged and wanting more, then check this book out.  If you like werewolves, vampires, and a good ass kicking, check this book out.  If you like horror, check this book out.  Have I mentioned you should check this book out???  Rumor has it that the 2nd book in the trilogy is slated for a Fall release!  Our house is eagerly awaiting it!

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Summer Playground Safety

Yesterday I took my kids to a park and we were all but unable to play.  Everything was so hot from the sun, I was afraid the kids were going to hurt.  After checking out a few shadier parks, only to find that the slides there were also very hot from the sun peeking in between the trees, we headed to the Burger King playplace (as did many other parents - it was packed!).  Here are some summer tips to keep your kids safe at the playground:

  • Sun Protection - Sunscreen and Hats.  Reapply sunscreens to avoid becoming the shade darker than broil that I currently am.  And try to avoid mid-day sun when it is at its strongest.
  • Plastic and Metal Burns - It takes just a short time before playground slides, swings and ride-ons get dangerously hot.  Test both metal and plastic play toys before allowing your kids play to avoid burns.
  • Hydrate - Keep your kids hydrated when they are at play in the heat.  I like to make ice cubes out of fruit juice and put them in a big jug of water for my kids.  They keep the water cool and it gets the kids the water they need with a splash of flavor - without a ton of sugar.
  • AGH! Mosquitoes - Those pesky little buggers find me no matter where I am and no matter what time of day it is.  I’ve tried the bug bands and the natural repellents and still I get bit.  Now, I’m sticking with DEET.  Though - use caution with DEET. 
  • Splinters - Make sure your kids’ feet are protected when playing in playgrounds with wood chips.  I always put my kids in sneakers for wood chip parks.  I’ve had my fair share of wood chips sticking out of the skin or in a nail bed while wearing sandals.

Maybe it is because my kids are so accident prone, but I always have in my bag/car: a mini first aid kit, a mini burn kit (both found at the Target dollar spot for $1), those smack and go ice packs, extra water and snacks, and a wet washcloth in a bag.  My grandma used to carry a wet washcloth in a bag.  I always thought it was kind of stupid until I was scratched down the face by a cat.  Now, I carry one, too.  It can help refresh on a hot day, wipe away tears after a fall, cleanse a wound.  You never know what you might need it for, but I sure was glad my grandma had one the day that infamous cat crossed my path.


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