Meeting my Nemesis: Caillou

As a parent, we do things for our kids that we normally wouldn’t do for any other human being.

For me, that means taking my kids to meet Caillou.

If you know anything about me, you know I have a love/hate relationship with the little bald-headed poopy head. Truth be told, it’s mostly a hate relationship on my end. I’m sure if Caillou ever sat down for a coffee with me, he would love me.

Although I can’t stand the little whiney kid, my girls tend to love him. Watching him before bed is a ritual. So, when I heard there was going to be a free meet and greet at my local mall, I put aside my feelings and decided to take them. I’m still waiting for my Mother of the Year Award.

caillou meet2

The boy, the myth, the legend!

I expected there to be other kids, but I guess I underestimated Caillou’s popularity. There were tons of kids! The line wrapped around the lower level of the mall. When my kids saw the line they were a little discouraged. When I told them we didn’t necessarily have to wait for a personal meet and greet, they weren’t buying it. We were committed to this line and to the meet and greet. It didn’t matter how long we had to wait.

caillou meet1

OMG! It’s Caillou!


Of course, things would have gone a lot faster if Caillou didn’t need to take a nap after only thirty minutes at work. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. He does always complain and whine over every paper cut. Standing to meet fans was perhaps a little tiring for him. On the inside I was telling him to just suck it up.

So we waited. And waited. During what felt like eternity, I realized my phone/camera only had 20% battery left. OMG! If my battery ran out before we got to the main event I’m sure my Mother of the Year Award would have been taken away. What an epic fail!

Thankfully, a few crying and traumatized kids who freaked when they actually got to the front of the line made the whole thing move along much faster.

As we inched closer, I could feel the excitement build. We were in the presence of toddler greatness. To say my kids were excited would be an understatement. Let me tell you, it was the equivalent of me meeting Adam Levine.

caillou meet3

Dreams do come true! LOL!


When Caillou’s handler (yes he had a handler) motioned for us to come on down, my girls ran right up and gave him a hug. It actually warmed my Caillou hating heart even though it took nearly an hour and a half for a ten second picture and a high five. A woman offered to take a picture of me with him too. No way. I need to draw the line somewhere.

So I left the mall with two girls Caillou crazed kids who couldn’t wait to tell everyone who they met. Deep (deep) down it made me feel good that I did something to make my kids happy, even if it did involve Caillou.







Are Your Kids in Activity Overload?

Soccer practice. Dancing. Gymnastics. Piano. How many activities are your kids involved in? More importantly, how many different practices and games are you rushing off to each and every week? Just thinking about it probably makes your head spin.

Have you ever thought of “slow parenting”? Have you actually ever heard of “slow parenting”? I can tell you I hadn’t until I read a recent Boston Globe article. Basically slow parenting means not overscheduling your kids so they and you are not running around like you’re on fire. It means letting them (and you) have time to just hang out. It means spending time playing outside, going to the beach, and doing loads of other things that don’t require practices and recitals.

Crazy, I know.

But, in this case crazy is good. At least I think so.

I’ve heard so many parents lately complaining, or possible even bragging about, how many different activities they’re bouncing to and from seven days a week. Soccer, dancing, gymnastics, softball, piano…you name it and they’re kid is into it.

Or are they really?

Are we forcing our kids to get into everything?

I’m all for letting kids try things out to figure out where their true passions lie. But, I think as parents we need to draw the line for them and for our own sanity. We don’t need to spend our weekends running from activity to activity. It’s okay to have some down time.

My five-year-old daughter already comes home from school with fliers for all kinds of activities. Of course, she wants to do them all. But, I was the “mean” Mom who told her to pick two.

So, we settled on soccer and Girl Scouts. Soccer only has one practice and one game a week. So, that’s only a two-hour commitment. Girl Scouts is once a week which equals one hour. All in all, we’re only committed to activities three hours a week. That still leaves plenty of time for play and for Mommy to take a breath.

I know as my younger daughter gets older juggling both girls’ activities is going to be more challenging. But, I’m going to try to stick with the “two rule”. They can change their two activities each season if need be. But, I don’t think my wallet or my sanity can handle much more.

When it comes to activities it should be quality over quantity. There’s nothing wrong with letting your child try new things. But, once they find a couple of activities they truly enjoy, let them excel in those rather then have them dipping into five others.






Sponsored Post: Great Learning Tools for Kids from Kadho

Meet Mochu. He’s an animated penguin who takes his job very seriously.

Meet Mochu! Courtesy: Kadho, Inc.

Meet Mochu!
Courtesy: Kadho, Inc.

He wants to help your babies and toddlers develop and learn sounds. He’s all about great games and eBooks designed to entertain and engage your children and develop their brains.

Kadho has developed Mochu along with a new generation of resources aimed at taking all of those “goo-goo gaga” sounds to the next level. Scientists and early childhood educators have teamed up to create a line of products aimed at making the most out of sound and language. Research shows paying attention to and distinguishing between sounds plays a pivotal role in how children learn as they get older.

If you’re a little shy about using technology to help teach children, don’t be. It’s all around us and it’s not going anywhere. So why not use it to our advantage? In moderation, screen time can actually help a child, if monitored and used correctly.

Take the Mochu Pop game for example. This game lets kids have the fun of popping balloons while hearing sounds that make up languages like English, Spanish, and Italian…just to name a few.  While kids think they are just playing a game, they’re actually learning language skills that may otherwise be hard to teach. The game is geared for ages five and under. So, if you have more than one little person at home, you can experience different levels.

Although the game is top notch, I have to admit, my favorite is the eBook, “Mochu Says Goodnight.” I love it for kids for several reasons. Let’s start with the storyline. Poor little Mochu can’t fall asleep. I’m sure many parents and children can relate to that problem all too well! So, he goes on a little journey to say goodnight to all his friends as he tries to fall asleep.

Then comes the all-important words on the bottom of the screen. I find these helpful for toddlers learning words. They can see them as they are being read and match the sounds they are hearing at the same time. If that weren’t enough, they are hearing different words in different languages.

You can monitor the sounds your child can recognize through Kadho’s parental dashboard. This allows you to keep track of what sounds from what languages your child actually knows. This way you know what you need to work on. It’s a great tool to keep your child’s learning organized and moving in the right direction.

When it comes to teaching our kids, I think we need to be open to everything. Products like Mochu Pop and various eBooks are useful and unique tools that can only help your child succeed.

*This is a sponsored post.


Why I Don’t Want Any Gifts for Mother’s Day

We all know Mother’s Day is coming up faster than you can say flowers and jewelry. You just have to look in an ad or go in a store if you weren’t sure.

“Look it’s _____ ,the perfect gift for Mom this Mother’s Day.” You can fill in the blank with the Mother’s Day typical gifts…flowers, perfume, jewelry, gift card, etc. Choose whichever one you think is going to make the Hallmark holiday one Mom will never, ever forget.

Ugh. Spare me.

I think I’ll pass on the one-day Mom lovefest.

Although I’ve written posts before about what I really wanted for Mother’s Day (peace, quiet, spa day, etc.), I’ve changed my mind this year.

I don’t want any gifts for Mother’s Day.

Now before you strip me of my Mommy crown, hear me out.

Sure, I love to get gifts and get pampered just as much as the next momma. Do I deserve gifts? Sure, why not. But, why do we have to guilt our kids and significant others to buy us something special, take us out to eat, and let us put our feet up on just one day?

Are they doing it out of the kindness of their hearts or because they feel like it’s the “right” thing to do?


Flowers for Mother's Day? No thanks! How about on Tuesday?

Flowers for Mother’s Day?
No thanks!
How about on Tuesday?

I would much rather like a bouquet of flowers just because it’s Tuesday, rather than because it’s Mother’s Day.

Why? First of all, I wouldn’t be expecting it if it was just Tuesday. I would know that there was an actual thought behind it. It wasn’t an automated response to a day on the calendar.

How about some jewelry? No thanks!

How about some jewelry?
No thanks!

If I have to wait until the second Sunday in May for my kids to be nice to me or my husband to give me a break and let me just chill out, then I must be doing something wrong the other 364 days of the year. My kids should be nice to me everyday, okay, at least every other day. The same goes for the hubs. He shouldn’t have to wait until Mother’s Day to realize I don’t yearn to clean up after everyone 24/7.

Now, I know there are women out there who really enjoy and look forward to getting showered with gifts, cards, and flowers on Mother’s Day. They look forward to not having to cook and clean for one entire day.

That’s great.

I don’t mean to poop on your lovely bouquet of roses and day of relaxation, really I don’t. But, just think about what happens the other days of the year.

We all know being a mother is more than just getting props for one day.

My 5-year-old daughter asked me the other day what I wanted for Mother’s Day. When I answered, “nothing”, she looked at me as if I just told her Caillou was dead (now that would be a REAL gift).

I went on to tell her that Mommy doesn’t need any gifts and that she and her sister were my gifts. I know it may sound cheesy, but it’s the truth Ruth.

As much as they drive me nuts and make me scream in octaves I thought only opera singers could reach, they are my little booger-nosed, “mommy wipe my butt”, “can I have another cookie?”, filled treasures.

Although I won’t be looking for gifts, I will take all the hugs and kisses I can get when my kids and husband wish me a Happy Mother’s Day.

So, what are you looking forward to this Mother’s Day?