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For The Kids Toys

Top 4 Ways To Get Work Done At Home

Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball backboard selfie

Working at Home

Ok, I’ll admit it, there are enough times when I have to get things done and the kids are around where I just need that few extra minutes or so to make it all happen. Finding some quiet time to get things done is not always the easiest thing in the world to accomplish. Most of the time, I have to do it all while the kids need to be entertained. There are constant wants, needs, spills, fights, homework, accidents, and who knows what else?? The list of issues to tend to can seem endless and those 5PM deadlines can seem like an unattainable dream. Mix that in with typical housework and maintenance, and you have yourself a jam-packed work-at-home life that leaves little room for error. Help is always welcome.

The kid that is by far the most active and in need of entertainment these days is my 5 year old boy, Caleb. He is a bundle of energy and excitement, all-day, every day. Non-stop. No really, there’s nothing that stops him. There is no tired, no nap time, no downtime. He is ready, willing and able to go at all times of the day and night. He needs action and he needs to be entertained, and Little Tikes is there to help me out!!

Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball one-on-one

Parenting Made Easier

Having a good quality toy that’s beloved by your child(ren) is pretty much priceless. It’s a great thing for them to run, play, imagine, and have a good time. It’s what childhood is all about anyway, right? If you can help that along with some awesome classic toys, then why wouldn’t you? While having great toys is really nice for the kids, it’s also not such a bad thing for the parent either, right?? With that in mind, here are some of the best ways I can think of to get your work done with kids at home!

Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball brothers playing

Top 4 Ways to Get Work Done at Home with Kids Around

  1. Having a seemingly constant and unending supply of tasty snacks your kids will love to eat. Yes, kids love snacks, even more than eating actual meals. I stock up on it all! The healthy, like fruit, nuts, and yogurt is the best bet. Sometimes, I have to bring out the heavy artillery, though, so the cookies and ice cream make an appearance. A man has to do what he has to do.
  2. Make them do chores. This is fairly new for us, and it does not come with out protest, but when the kids are old enough, get them to help you out around the house. It keeps them busy, builds up their responsibility, and makes them feel a little bit older. Plus, it can tick a few things off or your ever expanding To-Do list.
  3. Get homework done ASAP. My kids do their homework when they come home to get it out of the way. They do it by themselves but then ask me whenever they need help. I have them gather up all of their questions and we hit them all at one time. It gives me some more time when they come home and shows them how to organize themselves better.
  4. Have plenty of things to occupy their time. From toys to games to puzzles, it’s all about giving them things to occupy their time and stimulate their minds and bodies. No options are wasted and no time is empty unless they really want it to be!! From video games and board games when the night is winding down to awesome Little Tikes toys for when it’s time to get outside and have fun, we have it all. It’s what they like and what they need. Hey, you’re only kids once, right?

Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball hoop

Putting Away Your Toys Then Bringing Them Back

I think at some point, we all realize we are not little tikes any more. When that happens, say when we are teenagers, we are mostly all pretty excited that we aren’t kids any longer. We are becoming grown ups. As time passes by and as we age, we get more and more removed from those easy days. All the things we used to do, love, say, and be seem to go away. Then, many of us have children of our own.

That was a life-changing event for me like nothing ever was or ever could be. Seriously big time things happen when you have a little one of your own to care for. It’s at that point when you start to remember a little bit of that past and reminisce about how good it really was. The classic toys, the food, the everything really. I think more than anything, though, it’s the toys that seem to stick out. I know when I had a child (I have three now), I was all about having them play with the same toys I did!!! That’s why I am so pleased to be working with Little Tikes to talk about how my kids are playing with their Little Tikes Hall of Fame toys just like I used to!!

Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball 5 year old playing

Hoops Time

Speaking of needing toys to keep the kids occupied…Little Tikes to the rescue!! Caleb loves cars, he loves sports, and he just loves running and jumping. One of his favorite toys of all-time, hands down, has to be the Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Set. Just like dad, he loves shooting some hoops. It makes him feel big and he gets so much joy from sinking a basket over and over again. He also loves to play with his older border, Liam, be it on his hoop with Liam or next to Liam (while he plays on a full-size hoop). It’s all perfect for Caleb, and that gives me so much valuable time to get things done for work and around the house. It’s priceless, but it’s also great for Caleb to run around and have fun. 

I love that the Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Set is super easy to put together. It literally takes minutes and doesn’t require any screws, bolts, and tools. Just snap and go! The adjustable height is great, too! It keeps growing along with Caleb. It really lasts and takes a pounding, all while being made of plastic that won’t hurt Caleb if he gets too excited and runs into the hoop!! Not that that would happen. ;o) It’s a toy that takes it all and keeps on going, kind of like Caleb (and Liam before that).

Made In The USA

I love when things are made at home in the USA. I just feel good about it and try to support that whenever possible. The quality and craftsmanship is always worth it. Here’s a list of all the toys that Little Tikes makes in the USA!

Remind Yourself of the Little Tikes Awesome

If you want to get things done, have your kids have fun, and be number one (ok, it rhymed) then you need to check out Little Tikes and relive all those childhood memories!! Get your kids the great toys they deserve to play with…and you deserve to have some free-er time with!! Little Tikes is all over the internet, check it out here:

  1. LittleTikes.com
  2. Facebook.com/LittleTikes
  3. Instagram.com/officiallittletikes/
  4. Twitter.com/littletikes
  5. Pinterest.com/littletikes/
  6. Youtube.com/littletikes
  7. Search #littletikes, #imaginationsinmotion, #activeplay, #playfuldiscovery, & #together 

This is a sponsored post created in partnership with CafeMom and Little Tikes. All opinions are my own.

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Categories
Fatherhood & Family

How to Create a Family Fun Weekend Tradition and Savor Childhood

It’s important that you take the time to bond with family. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Your kids won’t be around forever and soon will venture out into the real world to create their own version of happiness. They will go away to school and maybe stay there. Take my neighbor. 4 kids, all came home after college. In the span of a year, one more to New Orleans, one to Boston, and one to Brooklyn. There’s one left, and who knows what will happen next. My daughter is 11…she will be in college in 6 years. I can’t even think about it. It’s some scary stuff, really. It’s literally life changing, just as much as that first day you took your first baby home. As you start to watch your kids grow older, it may dawn on you that you have little time left to create a family fun weekend tradition. It’s time today to think about how you can create a family fun weekend tradition so that maybe, just maybe, these kids will return each weekend as adults to have this type of fun forever.

Start to discuss the idea of having a new tradition that your family does on the weekend. Perhaps you don’t do this EVERY single weekend, but plan it for the second weekend of every month, at least. It’s not about how often you partake in this family fun weekend tradition but more about how it’s planned and consistently implemented. Figure out what types of things your kids enjoy doing and find that common ground in which you can work with your partner to plan a family fun weekend tradition.

Research the ideas your kids like and do with them. Let them have fun but also see what goes into it all. Research your budget and create a plan of attack. Let them know that things aren’t free, and take planning. It will show them about life and it will give them an idea that this is really important. It should give it all more meaning, at least we can hope.

It’s important to bond as a family unit. Traditions, regardless of what they are, tend to be the easiest and most perfect way to start reconnecting as a family unit. Even if your kids are now teens, it’s important to keep this family running strong before they venture out into adulthood.

Once you have determined the budget, what type of family fun weekend tradition you will create, it’s time to sit down and put this into action. Have a family meeting, where even the youngsters are involved, to plan out your weekend tradition itinerary. Let each kid have something you will do together be important to them, those little ones may just want to do a craft or read a book, that’s okay! You don’t have to go broke and you don’t have to travel anywhere to start planning a family fun weekend tradition.

Now, what are you waiting for? Get started in creating these magical memories with a family fun weekend tradition today! Enjoy your time together as much as you can! Time is a fleeting and very fickle thing.

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Categories
Baby

Take The Time To Enjoy Each Of The Big (and little) Milestones In Your Child’s Lives


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This post has been sponsored by Baby Orajel™, however all opinions are my own.

If you have kids or if you are around any kids, you know how fast they grow. From day to day and week to week you can see changes, forget about as the years pass. It’s pretty incredible. With all of this head spinning (and sometimes sadness inducing) growth comes many milestones to celebrate and cherish. Some happen every year, like a birthday, and some happen only once, like baptisms or their first tooth coming in.

While we are all trying to prepare and celebrate, it’s even more important to just take it all in. You only get to live these moments one time and sometimes we forget that. It’s your job as a parent to not only celebrate it but to really enjoy it and understand it for what it is. It’s life progressing, as it should, whether we are really ready for it or not. We are all so busy all of the time it seems that we forget to actually stop and enjoy the ride. Like my kids who are planning their next playdate at their current playdate, we always seem to be looking ahead. While this is important, it’s not everything. Stop and take a breath. Take it all in, remember it’s fleeting and that whatever else you had on your mind can wait a little bit more.

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There are just so many great moments to cherish…the birth of your children, their first steps, their first words, their first teeth. From there you move onto school, sports, and who knows what else. Having three kids is even better, you get to do it all over and over and you get to do new and different things with each child. It’s what life is all about, right?

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With each new step and phase of life comes growing pains. It’s inevitable, as much as we hate to see it. We shield them from as much as we can, but kids will fall, they will cry, and they will get boo-boos. One of the most painful and relatively long lasting pains for my kids had to be teething. It can last for weeks and it just never seems to be easy. If my children ever felt discomfort, I simply used Baby Orajel™ Homeopathic Teething Gel to soothe their pain.

I loved the fact that it uses the soothing power of Chamomilla (commonly known as Chamomile) for a safe, effective, homeopathic solution for irritability, to provide some relief. This Homeopathic formula is Benzocaine-free, Belladonna-free, and Paraben-free!!! Then, when baby’s teeth are in and they are munching on all the goodies they can, there’s also Baby Orajel™ Tooth & Gum Cleansers available. They all loved it so much, it was a pleasure to brush their teeth..if you can believe it.

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What do I love the most…it’s a toss up. Talking, walking, becoming a little person? There’s so much I’ve seen and enjoyed in the 11 years I’ve been a parent, it’s almost impossible to choose. I do have a soft spot for the 2-3 year old stage. So cute, so fun, so full of life and love. Caleb is nose-deep in this right now, and he really lights up the house. Everyone is happier and having most fun with him around. It’s tough to think of a more fun time…but having my 11 and (almost) 9 year old is a joy, too. They are really becoming their own people and it’s amazing to see. They way they all play with each other never, ever gets old. I have a lot of be thankful for.

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What’s ahead? So much more and I’m looking forward to all of it! But I’m not going to worry about looking up dates and ranges because I know it will happen when it happens. Take my advice and live in the moment with your baby. Embrace every second because as they grow, the more independent they will be. The more they will hang with their friends and the less they will depend on you. Of course, they will always depend on you…but it’s different. It’s not complete and total like with the little ones. I will always have babies, even when they are old and out of the house. I just know that I can’t fully let it all go. I look forward to doing my best to take it all in (I know it’s tough) and enjoying it all. Then, before I know it…it will be time for some grandbabies to take care of, God willing. There’s a lot worse things to be looking forward to, no?

From baby’s first tooth to cleaning and caring for little teeth and gums, learning to brush, to first fluoride, Baby Orajel™ will be there with education, support and safe and effective oral care products, featuring fun characters that kids love! #1 Pediatrician recommended products for teething and training toothpaste.

To find out more about Baby Orajel™, please check out: Orajel.com/Child-Oral-Care.

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Categories
Fatherhood & Family

The Beauty of the Mess

We have a lot going on. We are lucky. Most days you forget and you think it’s annoying, but it’s not. We have to get over it. We get sent product to review, we get nice stuff, we have three kids, we work from home. It’s never going to be perfect, but we try. We’ve been much better at it the last few months, and sometimes the kids even act like they give a crap (sometimes). There is a need to be orderly, neat, clean. To have a nice house that looks and feels like a civilized human group inhabits it. I get it and I’m all in.

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But sometimes, there just has to be an acceptance of mess. Kids are playing, working is being done, and there’s a mess. So what? Will you die? Will the kids die? Will Architectural Digest decide to pop in on you that day and poke around? I’d say we’re all pretty safe. So maybe, when things are a little crazy, and you just need a break…and need to relax. Just let the mess be. Let it live, let the kids enjoy. Let it envelope the house. Who cares? There’s always tonight (I hate going to be with a mess) or even tomorrow to get it right.

C’mon now, sing it…”clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere…”

Just let it be. Enjoy the mess. It won’t be there forever, and not even all that long. Again, the days get shorter and the time moves faster. Revel in babydom and kiddom. You’re only a parent of a baby or kid for so long. Maybe you’ll even kind of like it (for a little at least).

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Fatherhood & Family

Life Is Good Because Of The Ups and Downs

You and I know very well that there are days, and more than a few, where you just get to crazed and frustrated with your children’s behavior that you literally do not know what to do with your self. You try yoga, meditation, praying to God, booze..nothing seems to quench the rage you are feeling. It’s maddening, it’s insanity, it’s near-stroke inducing. You cope as best you can and try to look on the bright side. You know that they are young and aren’t going to be forever, but that doesn’t help the hear and now.

Then, thankfully like some miracle, so have a great day, the kids are happy and fun, they are playing with each other nicely and showing love toward each other. The birds begin to sing, the clouds part and rainbows appear. Is that a pixie riding a unicorn? It may very well be. Then, on those days, you realize that you have it pretty good and that things could be a whole lot worse. That maybe you expect too much and can’t accept their childishness the way you should. You realize that these are your babies, and they always will be. And that you are better off and your life it better overall despite the ups and downs. Ups and downs are part of life, and it’s something that makes it unique, interesting, and human. You know that God is looking down at you and laughing a lot, but giving you a lot, too. You appreciate the good much more when you have the bad to compare it to. I know it’s tough sometimes…oh I know…but try your best to “let it go” and see what you really have.

Things could be worse, but life is pretty darn special if you let it be.

Dave and Busters 2015

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Thoughts

The 2014/15 Winter Is Coming To An End…and So Are The Memories

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Well, I don’t want to jinx it, you know like the entire Northeast of America did in December 2014 when we all kept saying how nice and mild the winter has been, but it seems like this latest kick-butt winter is coming to a blessed end. The winter in the NE started out pretty good, but then mid January, something changed. God and Mother Nature got together and said people were a little too content and there needed to be some good, old fashioned, down and dirty winter weather. And we got it…and then some. I don’t recall a winter where the snow was on the ground continuously for about 2 mos straight. Yes, I do like the snow…playing in it, having it brighten up winter nights. It’s a nice thing to see, until it turns to ice and becomes brown/black. The first snow it still on the ground, much like Minnesota (though that is about Sept to April or May), is still on the ground. But it’s melting, and so is all the ice.

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The coats are getting a little lighter, the wool hats (this is the first winter I’ve worn a hat in decades) have been put in the closet for now. All things seem to be getting back to the normal 40-50 degree temps we typically see. People are out, short sleeves and shorts are even making an appearance for some. People feel good and it shows. But in defense of the cold, it’s a great reason to stay in with the family, spend some time with some hot chocolate and a roaring fire. You snuggle a bit more and don’t run out of the house quite as quickly. Maybe along with the Earth, this is the way that people tend to renew things in their lives. Maybe we don’t realize it, but perhaps we get a little closer, even if it’s just a little bit. One good snowball fight or snowman making session goes a long way. People bond more when they have a common enemy to gripe about. For these little, background reasons, maybe I’ll miss the nasty winter just a little bit…but I sure as heck can’t wait for no coats and driving with the windows down…and the fond memories from the rear view (kind of like when your newborn keeps waking you up at all hours) of the winter that was when the kids were still little enough to enjoy it.

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