Tag Archives: kids

9 Free Activities to Do With Kids in Italy

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Venice

Travel: it costs money. Sometimes a lot of money. Scratch that, travel pretty much all the time costs a bucket load of money. Unfortunately for our pocketbook, my husband and I have developed an obsessive love for traveling, and we have successfully infected our kids with the obsession as well!

Today, over at ParentSociety.com,  as a result of a trip to Italy in November, I am sharing nine of our favorite free (or practically free) activities to do with kids in Italy (believe, if you are planning a trip to Italy – with or without your kids – you are gonna need it!). Go here!

9 Free Activities to Do With Kids in Italy

Other Sweet Spot posts about Italy.

A Boy’s Eye View of Italy

Just ‘Cause It’s Friday

For more Sweet Spot Travels posts Go Here!

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Pay Attention in School, You May Win the Lottery Someday

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winning the lottery

Powerball-mania!!  Do you or your kids have it?  Well then, I suggest you share with your kids a cautionary tale I wrote about on ParentSociety!

Do your kids complain about school? At times, do they just not want to go, do the work, be bothered with it, get out of bed in the morning, pay attention, apply, learn, concentrate, etc.? I mean, what kid doesn’t have those days (or weeks, months, or even years)?

But, every once in a while, a real life story comes along that plays right into the little parental hands. I love these moments. And even though my kids probably secretly hate them, this particular cautionary tale about why they should always pay attention and stay in school was pretty hard to deny!

OK, so here is the  story…

What?  You didn’t think I would put it here.  No, you will have to go to ParentSociety.com to get the whole story.  It is a good one, I promise!

Go here

A Tricky Way to Get Your Kids to Pay Attention in School.

The Day I Killed the Vacuum

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I hate vacuums.  I can’t even express how much I dislike all vacuums. Vacuums have been a plague on my life (no drama at my house).    No matter how many vacuums I purchase, or how much money I pay for them, it is always the same story.  They don’t pick up what they should, like dirt and animal hair. But oh yes, they love to pick up what they shouldn’t, like the carpet corners and their own chords.   And speaking of the chord, is it my fault that my vacuum chord always ends up a mass of black electrical tape to fix the places where the vacuum has continually sucked up its own appendage and stripped it clean?  Shouldn’t a self-respecting vacuum be more discerning?  Eventually, my vacuums always end up spitting more dust than they pick up. And don’t even get me started on the new and improved “bagless” vacuum. Because changing a bag every once in a while was so much more inconvenient than having to manually dump the disgusting contents from the canister into the trash (as dust flies everywhere) on a regular basis!

Anyway, on the day in question, my current vacuum/bane-of-my-existence clearly crossed the line.  Now, it is only fair to point out this was not my first indiscretion where machines are concerned.  There was the time with the smoke alarm (Woman vs. Machine).  However, trust me, this time the machine really had it coming.

Last week, I was up to my neck in a heinous vacuum job involving the eradication of a summer’s worth of dead and live, scurrying spiders. It was near the end of the job when the vacuum chose to jump (ok, it might have fallen) off the step it was perched on, thus dislodging the nearly full “bagless vacuum” canister and spilling contents all over the floor.  In that instant, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt the vacuum’s time had come.  And, ok, I will admit it…I was a tad peeved, and maybe a little pms, and possibly temporarily off my rocker.

Whatever the case,  the annihilation began as I kicked the offending machine…several times.  Lacking the desired results, I then proceeded to take the vacuum apart piece by piece and throw each piece violently out the back door onto the concrete driveway.  I swear I heard the sweet sound of cracking plastic and dislodging mechanisms.  The attack was only complete when the main vacuum unit was sent skittering across the driveway to its final resting place, lodged partially under a parked car.

Around this time, my sons, hearing the ensuing brawl, came to investigate.

Teen: “Uh, Mom, what are you doing?”

Me:  “Killing the vacuum.”

Preteen:  “Need any help with that?”

Me: “No thanks, I think I’ve got it covered.”

Then, I shed tears – not for the vacuum now lying scattered all over the driveway like the Scarecrow after the Flying Monkeys had their fun – but for the dusty, bug infested mess left in its wake that had to now be manually cleaned up and just out of good old frustration.  And that my friends, was the end of the vacuum, or so I thought.

For you see, sometime later that day, I looked outside to see Preteen collecting up all the scattered vacuum parts. And when next I looked out the window, there sat my vacuum on the back porch fully reassembled (and I am completely sure it was snickering at me).

I left it sitting on the back porch hoping it was reflecting on its bad behavior and fairly certain of its demise as a result of the onslaught.  However, the time came when pet hair in the house began to clump and blow in front of me like tumbleweeds in the Nevada desert.  Dreading the thought of facing yet another new vacuum purchase, to the porch I went to drag the vacuum back in the house, hoping it could, albeit inadequately, still to do its job.

That afternoon, when Preteen came home from school…

Me:  “By the way, I tried using the vacuum today and, guess what? It worked!”

Preteen:  “Really?  That is amazing!”

Me: “No Preteen, actually, you are amazing.”

Preteen smiled and then we both laughed.

As parents, it is our job to pick up our kids when they are down and put things back together for them.

But sometimes, it works the other way, too.

Are You One of “Those” Parents?

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Yes, it is that time of the week, again.  Time to stroll on over to ParentSociety.com and check out my latest article “I Just Don’t Need My Kids to be Phenomenal” (if you would be so kind).  You might say it is a continuation, or short conclusion to my last venture “6 Kinds of Sports Parent: Which are you?”.  Ok, ok, here is the teaser…

Why must our kids be phenomenal?

Don’t get me wrong: My kids are amazing! From the moment they made their first spit bubble, everything they did, said, accomplished, or pooped out was remarkable … to me. And this, in my opinion, is exactly as it should be.

But sometimes…

Go here to read the rest.  Did I mention it is short? I just had to get in the last word.  That is so like me…

What Kind of Sports Parent Are You?

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Do you have kids in sports.  Do you know parents who have kids in sports?  Do you plan to someday have kids in sports? Or, do you just like to laugh at parents who have kids in sports?

Well then, you should read my latest article on ParentSociety.com,  called “6 Kinds of Sports Parents. Which are you?
and take my Sports Parent Quiz.

Now, some of you may be familiar with the post I wrote  at the start of my kids’ baseball season “Bulldogs Don’t Wear Lipstick” where I vowed to be a good better Sport Mom. But recently, I have had the desire to really examine the sports parent phenomenon – what makes a good sports parent, and what makes a nightmare one.

The article starts with the study that initially intrigued me:

I read a study recently where hundreds of college athletes, over 30 years time, were polled with the question: “What is your worst memory from playing youth and high school sports?”

The overwhelming answer was: “The ride home from the games with my parents.”

Those same college athletes were also asked what gave them joy and made them feel good during or after a game. The most common answer was their parents saying…

Ha – cliffhanger!  You will  have to go  HERE to find out the answer and hopefully, take my quiz.

Are you scared?  Don’t worry.  It will be fun.  I have always found it is good to laugh at yourself…this way, the people laughing at you have company.

Oh, and be sure to come back here and tell me how you scored! Pretty please with sugar,  chocolate and peanut butter on top?

Today’s Best Moment: Tuesday, March 13

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**Cheese Alert**

My 10 year old son had said his goodbyes and headed out the door to go to a friends house.

Five minutes later he comes running into the room where I am working, with the most beautiful bunch of fresh picked flowers, in a vase with water.  A hug and an “I love you, Mom” later, back out the door he goes to the friends house.  Leaving me choked up, happy, feeling loved and hoping the neighbors don’t mind…

What is life without a little cheese.