I’m the “Meanest Mom in the World” and Proud of it!

THM-MeanestMomInTheWorld-Kids“You’re the meanest mom in the world!”

There once was a time when hearing that phrase from one of my kidlets would have had tears streaming down my cheeks. I would doubt my parenting decision and had to convince myself that I wasn’t doing some sort of psychological harm to my kids.

But now that I’ve got about nine years of parenting under my belt, I take that phrase as a compliment.

Yes, I said a compliment. A compliment of the highest order in fact.

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Kid Lit: Not Your Typical Princesses

Every little girl wants to be a princess, or at least it seems that way to me.  For some little girls – like my own tomboyish six-year-old daughter – it was a very short phase, but there are others, who take the whole princess fantasy to whole a new level!

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Now, I have nothing against being a princess (there are even times that I wish I were one!), but it’s my hope that all girls would want to be smart, courageous, humorous, strong-willed, kind, determined, ambitious rather than rely on becoming royal.

So for this month’s Kid Lit column I’m focusing on books about princesses, but these aren’t your typical damsels in distress who get “saved” or swept off their feet by a prince. All these gals have lives and agendas of their very own and who know how to make things happen for themselves!

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Kid Lit: Bunny Books

With Easter just around the corner, this edition of Kid Lit is devoted to books about those cute cotton-tailed creatures – bunnies.

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Kid Lit: Books About Friendship

This month’s Kid Lit column is dedicated to books about friendship, aimed at elementary school aged children.

Friendships aren’t always easy for adults to navigate, let alone children. For some children, friendship skills come naturally, but for others who are shy and timid, it can take a bit more practice. A great way to help children grasp the dynamics and importance of friendship is by reading books about being a good friend. Children’s books about friendship can offer powerful lessons about communicating, sharing, appreciating differences and just plain getting along.

Here are some of my favorites:

THM-KidLit-Friendship-BigFriendsBig Friends
By Linda Sarah and illustrated by Benji Davies (Henry Holt and Co.)

Birt and Etho climb up Sudden Hill and sit in cardboard boxes every day. Sometimes they’re kings, soldiers, and astronauts, but they are always big friends. When Shu, another boy with a box shows up one day, Etho welcomes him, but Birt is wary. Birt who loves the “two-by-two” rhythm that he and Etho have, becomes upset because he feels like he’s losing his friend, so he smashing the cardboard box and hides out in his house, avoiding the two boys. But what do friends do? They don’t give up, and Etho and Shu are determined to play with Birt again and make him the most amazing monster-creature box thing. Can the two friends become three?

This book is recommended for children aged 4-8 years old.

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Back to the Drawing Board

As my moniker says I’m “The Harried Mom,” so helping this gal out today is The Hubs aka Tyler.  He’s taking over the blog with a fun post talking about our young son’s love of drawing and how he’s trying to become a better artist.

Take it away Tyler…

THM-Drawing-DragonEver since he was old enough to hold a crayon, my son has loved to spend time drawing!

We have a big plastic bin that is filled with just about everything he’s ever doodled, from his first blocky dinosaurs to his latest intricately detailed dragons like you see here.

It’s clear he’s got talent, but  sometimes his mom and I can see that he gets a little frustrated with his drawing skills and abilities.Continue reading ⇒

Kid Lit: Potty Humor

This month’s Kid Lit column is all about kid humor AKA potty humor.   If your children are like mine, they love to laugh and have an innate sense of humor. Stories with poop, farts, burps, stink, stank or a description of some other weird bodily function is mentioned are always sure favorites with children and are guaranteed to bring on the giggles.

Now potty humor books might not be a parent’s first choice when it comes to reading material for young children, but it usually is a sure bet when children are picking out their own books to read. Some parents may snub their nose at this month’s column and some libraries have even banned some of these books, but personally I think these books are good, clean and clever fun aimed at getting children to enjoy to read and isn’t that the whole purpose of books – to actually enjoy reading?

So without any further toilet paper unraveling, here’s my list of what I like to call “poop fiction” for the pre-to elementary school set….Continue reading ⇒

5 Things You Need To Know About…..Preventing Sunburn {New Weekly Series}

Today’s post kicks off a new weekly series called 5 Things You Need To Know About…. Each week’s post will highlight a different topic that I’ll investigate and, along with the help of experts and professional sources, cull together five tips that will hopefully serve up some fresh ideas, facts and angles on topics you want to know about!

THM-5-Things-Know-About-Preventing-SunburnI thought a great way to kick off this series would be to talk about preventing sunburn, since it is that time of year.

Summer is fun, but sunburn is definitely not! Who wants to look as red as a boiled lobster? It’s not pretty to look at, and for the person who has it, it’s pretty painful.

Sunburn is not always immediately apparent. Symptoms usually start about 4 hours after sun exposure, can worsen within 24–36 hours.  Sometimes it can take up to 3-5 days to resolve itself.  Typical symptoms include red, tender and swollen skin, and more severe cases can have blistering, headache, fever, chills, nausea, fainting and fatigue.

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It’s All Happening At the Zoo This Summer – #NYisWild

Someone told me it’s all happening at the zoo! Do you remember that song from Simon & Garfunkel? Well here in the NYC area we’d have to change the lyric from zoo to zoos because we have five fabulous (and famous) ones — Bronx Zoo, the New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo & Queens Zoo.

THM-WCS-NY-Is-Wild-Photo-Safari-Red-PandaAll of these great city zoos are run by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year. To celebrate, the WCS is turning the concrete jungle of NYC into a social media safari this summer with its #NYisWild” campaign.

Now thru September 7, participants can register at NYisWild.com and embark on a city-wide adventure by tagging qualifying photos of the “120 ways NY is wild” with the corresponding number and the hashtag #NYisWild to enter to win a number of prizes.

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What It Was Like When I Was A Child….

In a lot of ways, my kidlets have it a lot better today than I did growing up. They’ve got more opportunities for education, better fashion as well as a multitude of technology, information, communication and entertainment options available instantly at their fingertips. But is all this advancement at the expense of igniting the creative spark within our children?

10376276_10153109189569595_4284187600267633178_nAccording to a 2010 study by the College of William and Mary of about 300,000 creativity tests going all the way back to the 1970s found that creativity has decreased among American children in recent years. Since 1990, children have become less able to produce unique and unusual ideas. They are also less humorous, less imaginative and less able to elaborate on ideas.

To me, my kidlets have short attention spans and tend to bore easily. Sometimes they have a hard time inventing their own play. Though they have rooms full of toys, games, art supplies and books, they still come and ask “what can I do/play?” I used to think they didn’t have enough options, but now I’m thinking they might actually have too much to choose from and don’t know what would actually satisfy them….

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Lovable Labels The Ultimate Camp Pack #Giveaway

THM-Lovable-Labels-Ultimate-Camp-Pack-Kids-CanoeMy son’s been going to summer day camp for the past few years and it’s something he looks forward to. I mean, who can blame him, he’s not in school and his days are filled with carefree fun!

Every night during the months of July and August he comes home and excitedly tells us all about his adventures in swimming, sports, cookouts, woodworking, ceramics, photography and go carts. His little sister is always a captive audience. She listens intently, with wide eyes and then sadly laments, “I wish I was old enough for camp!”

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