Archive for December, 2011

New Year’s Cookies

Saturday, December 31st, 2011 by by
I had originally planned to make some Christmas cookies with the girls, but we had so many goodies and sweets given to us by family and friends that the last thing we needed were more cookies.  So the plans changed, and we decided to make cookies to celebrate the New Year.
Supplies you will need:
  • Ingredients to make your favorite sugar cookies, or you can cheat like me and use a mix.
  • Numbered cookie cutters (specifically numbers 2, 1, and 0)
  • Toppings of your choice for cookies
  • Eager helpers

The girls were very excited to help with the cookie making.   (more…)


The Potty Watch: My New Favorite Item

Friday, December 30th, 2011 by by

I’ll be honest, I was not looking forward to potty training. I mean, honestly changing diapers was FINE with me…but I knew we needed to do it eventually.

Last summer (2010) while in Hawaii, E was showing interest in the potty (at 21 months), so we bought her a potty when we got home and just set it up for her with no pressure. We got all excited and talked about going in the potty, etc. Eventually, she started going in the potty…once in a while. This continued for several months. Then, for Christmas last year, we also got her Karen Katz’ A Potty For Me!, and started reading it often.

Long story short: She just wasn’t that into the potty.

Fast forward to several weeks ago, when we realized that she was going to be turning three soon, so I decided we needed to buckle down and get it done. So we picked a weekend, started it and….

She got pneumonia. We were like, “SERIOUSLY?”  So we had to put the potty training on hold for a couple weeks. Then, a couple weeks ago, I asked my husband to find this thing I had heard about, a “Potty Watch.” We could try that, because our E was not going to pee in the potty just to make us happy ;)

So he picked it up (we got this one, to the left,  from Potty Time Inc ), and E came home and excitedly showed me the watch (that she had made daddy open right away). We immediately put her in underwear, set the watch to alarm every 30 minutes, and..

BAM! The girl was peeing in the potty! And she was excited about it!

We used the potty watch for two weeks, and now my daughter is day-potty trained (pee only). We paired the watch with a sticker chart I made her…She got one sticker for trying, two for actually going, and three for going potty on her own without the watch alarming. We made her try every 30 minutes for a little over a week, and then after that when it alarmed, I would just ask her, “Do you need to go potty?” She would say yes or no. After about a week of that, we just turned it off.

The Potty Watch+Sticker chart=FINALLY POTTY TRAINED! This week, we are going to start enforcing number two on the potty. She is still in diapers at night and naps, but that is FINE for now.

So, if you have a toddler or preschooler who you think is ready but is still resistant, I highly recommend the potty watch. And no, I am not receiving anything from the potty watch people for recommending their product nor did we get it for free. I just wanted to share how we finally got our daughter to potty train ;)


Why I killed Santa Claus

Friday, December 30th, 2011 by by

This year, I got asked a few times, ‘Do your kids still believe in Santa?’ and received quite a few shocked looks to my answer. ‘They never believed.’  What? Why are you stealing the magic of Christmas? What about the wonder and joy of the season? What do you have against Santa?

I’m quite fond of Santa. Here’s how I explained it to my kids: he’s a fun figure who has evolved in our cultural and literary history. He embodies generosity toward children and encourages good behavior. He’s like Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder.

Believe in fairies and dragons and magic. I do with my heart and enjoy suspending reality for a time. Hear the silent bell ring on the polar express and believe. Enjoy the thought of elves making toys and the stories and lessons you can glean from them like we do from Mother Goose rhymes and other fables.

Then, mindful of the phone calls I’d get from parents if they spilled the beans in pre-school, I strongly encouraged them to go along with it. They were in on the secret, but they shouldn’t tell the other children or it would hurt their feelings.

Rob and I are far too logical, and chances were (and have since proven) our kids would be too. So I had a hard time justifying a ‘bait and switch’ for the season. Here’s how the coming out conversation would have gone. (more…)

Thrifty Thursday – After Christmas Sales

Thursday, December 29th, 2011 by by
Image: Salvatore Vuono /

If you know me, you know I love a deal.  I try to rarely purchase items unless they are on sale.  When can you find some of the biggest sales of the year? Well, if you are shopping for Christmas merchandise, then the best time to do it is after Christmas.

Stores are anxious to unload this year’s Christmas decor, and this is where you can benefit greatly.  But you don’t even have to wait until after Christmas to get the bargains.  Saturday (1 week before Christmas Eve), we went to a home improvement store and saw all their Christmas decor was 50% off. There was still plenty of time to enjoy the items.  We bought another strand of Christmas lights that we needed, some ornaments, and some decorations for our balcony.  Even the live Christmas trees were 50% off, so if you hadn’t bought a tree yet, you could get quite the deal.

I usually find great deals on gift wrap at post-Christmas sales.  I have never actually purchased gift wrap the same year we have used it.  We always use gift wrap from last year’s clearance sales.  Luckily no one notices that our gift wrap is so 2010! (more…)


We have news!

Thursday, December 29th, 2011 by by

Pregnancy number 5 has begun! Once again, I’ll do a Q&A style blog again. If there’s anything I’ve left out that you want to know, feel free to ask.

When did you find out? We found out a week ago today.

How far along are you? 6 weeks 1 day today

When are you due? August 19, 2012

How big is the baby currently? Baby is a size of a lentil. :)

How are you feeling? Tired! I can’t get enough sleep. I’ve had some nausea but nothing too awful.

What was your first symptoms? Fatigue and a “cold.” I have gotten a “cold” with every pregnancy.

Have you been to the doctor? Just for blood work. Tomorrow is my third lab appointment.

Were you trying? Not really. We weren’t preventing either.

How did you tell? When I first saw the test, I called Chris at work and just said “Congrats Daddy” when he answered.

For my family, my niece helped me make a shirt that she wore on Christmas morning. It said “I’m gonna be a BIG cousin!!” It took a few minutes for them to read it, but once they did, they were ecstatic and bawling. :)

For his family, we used cookies. We used sugar cookies to write out “C + A = 3″ and “8-19-12″ below that. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law got it pretty quickly. His dad needed a little help.

Are you excited, scared, or both?
Very excited. A little scared. I’m mostly excited but waves of fear definitely surface!

A Man, A Plan

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 by by

“Hey, Mama? I’m making a plan for 2012.”

“What’s your plan?”

“I’m going to learn to do back flips in the water at swim class.”

“Good one.”

“And I want to have lots of play-dates and do gymnastics.”


“I also think we need to go on lots of vacations.”

“I like the way you think, Rosenberg.”

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent!

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 by by

I know, I know… Most of my posts involve children’s activities, but once in a while I will slip in some totally random posts, because that’s how I roll.

And you can actually use the following as a learning activity!! Think Measuring, mixing, following directions….

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Yup, you read that correctly. I make my own laundry detergent. I started doing it a few months ago, and I doubt we will ever go back to using regular detergent. I got the idea from some friends of mine when we were discussing the little things we do to save money. And believe me, making your own detergent will save you a TON.

What you will need:

  • Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (NOT Baking Soda!! They are different!)
  • Borax 20 Mule Team
  • Ivory Bar Soap or Fels Naptha Bar Soap (I use Ivory)
  • 1 cup measuring cup
  • Cheese Grater
  • Plastic Storage Container
  • Food processor or Blender (optional)



Sprinkle some Love – Popcorn Kernel Review

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 by by

Good afternoon! Today I’m coming to you with an awesome review on something that I use more than once a week! You should definitely check it out when you can!

Yes! Kernel Season’s, Popcorn Seasoning! I eat my popcorn at least once a week. One day, while I was tweeting with Kernel Season’s, they were talking about a new “Seasoning” that was coming out, and I was telling them that I loved them and had popcorn weekly. So they said they would send it to me and I could do a review on it if I wish! Bam! Like 5 days later, here they were on my door step.

So that was it, I tried them and, of course, I loved them. Let me tell you, I am NOT a fan of one of the items, but on popcorn, wow, it just tastes soooo good. Check out the new flavors:

How brilliant are they?! They have over 10 seasonings to begin with, and now they added these two. (more…)

Single Mommyhood……

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 by by

eing a parent is hard, but being a single parent is twice as hard. Not having those extra pair of eyes and hands to help help with everyday things. No one to turn to and say, “I’ve had enough today, you take over for a while.” No one to vent to anytime you just need to let it all out. What’s even harder as a single parent is finding people who understand what you’re going through. People who get it. So when I stumbled upon the site Single Mommyhood, I was thrilled! They’re site is full of great advice from real single parents going through pretty much the same thing as I am, and I need that. I’m the only single parent in my group of friends, so they have no idea what I deal with on a daily basis.

If you’re a single parent, Mom or Dad, you should head over…….


Handmade Salt Dough Ornaments

Sunday, December 25th, 2011 by by

We made our first batch of salt dough ornaments this week. It was a real trial and error event, but it was fun nonetheless. The kids had a blast, and they never noticed mommy’s gritted teeth or silent cursing.

The dough was easy to make:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1-1/2 cups warm water.

The consistency was fine, I thought. However, as I tried to work with it, I realized it needed WAY MORE flour, so I added it as we went along. I put flour on the wax paper, and The Older was able to work pretty well with that. (more…)