Monday’s Mommas: The Mama from “My Kid Doesn’t Poop Rainbows”

This week’s Monday’s Momma comes to us from Thailand. She’s a funny lady who tells us a little about things getting lost in translation.

Lost in Translation

I had IVF treatment, was pregnant and am raising a baby with my wife in Bangkok, Thailand, which is approximately a million light years from my little Scottish hometown. Oh, and my geography isn’t great.

I thought I had adjusted well, having been here for 3 years before I started on this journey.  I was wholly unprepared for the new cultural differences which would present themselves.

  1. Telling someone they’re fat is not taboo.

‘ Wow, you got your hair cut,’ carries similar weight to ‘Wow, you got fat.’ I knew this but was still surprised that when I was six months pregnant, complete strangers would stop me to point out how fat I was.

you're fat

          2.       Some Thai people assume foreigners are crazy.

My cleaner saw that we (when I was seven months pregnant, and she saw me every week) had installed a crib and decorated a nursery. Her response:

the dogs crib

       3.       Pregnant people are seen as very delicate.

I had to work really hard to convince my wife I wasn’t going to lose the baby if I lifted something or kneeled. Then I realized that I could have a nine month excuse not to clean the house, so I stopped trying.

pregnant docs appt


      4.       People have different ideas about health and safety.

This is not limited to Thai’s. Plenty of Westerners think it’s a great idea to have their first go on a moped in Thailand. Wearing shorts and t-shirts. With their kids. With no helmets.

family motorbike


5.   They have their own set of weird stuff they do to kids.

No cheek pinching or hair ruffling in Thailand, which are also pretty odd, if you think about it.

hom feet


6. School photo days could put ‘Toddlers in Tiaras’ to shame.

Who wouldn’t want to remember their 4 year old child wearing more make-up than a $10 stripper?

school photo

I think the biggest thing which I wasn’t prepared for is how bizarre some of our own cultural ideas and practices are, when seen through someone else’s eyes. Christening gowns (‘Boys wear this? Boys?’), the Easter Bunny (‘It’s a giant rabbit that lays chocolate eggs?’) and the tooth fairy (‘A creature sneaks into a child’s bedroom and buys their old teeth?’) have all, rightly raised an eyebrow here and there.

What are some odd cultural differences you have come across?

About the Author

high res head shot

The Mama from “My Kid Doesn’t Poop Rainbows” survives, sweatily, in Bangkok Thailand with the Mummy, the Baby and the Dog. The Mama is a part time amateur blogger, a part time teacher and a full time toilet humor enthusiast. She started writing “My Kid Doesn’t Poop Rainbows” as a way to share the funny which happens to her family on a regular basis and give other exhausted parents a laugh or two. She trained for a year as an illustrator in kindergarten and decided to put these hard earned skills to use with this blog. She loves connecting with people from all walks of life- be sure to stop by and say hi! You can also connect with the Mama on Twitter and Facebook: Poop Rain



Monday’s Mommas: Marina Vesela from Parental Journey

When it comes to deciding what to cook for the family, I’d rather poke my eyes out with a spork at times. That’s why it’s great to plan ahead.

This week’s Monday’s Momma, Marina Vesela from Parental Journey shares five great tips. Check them out!

5 Great Tips for Easiest Menu Planning

When you have kids, you have to be all about planning or you won’t make it. Without strict plan you will not be able to focus on anything. Having a plan helps me to remember all I have to do and to do more in my short day.

One thing that I find really useful is weekly menu planning, so I wanted to share my tips with you.

1. Every Monday, Thursday, Sunday or any other day that works for you sit down, take a piece of paper and a pencil and write down lunch ideas for every single day.

2. Try to include one new meal every week. You can find ideas for new meals on numerous food blogs that you can find on internet. It’s easier to do that if you decide that one day a week will be your “New Meal Day”. When I read food blogs, I bookmark all the recipes I like, so when it’s my New Meal Day, I just browse through my bookmarks and find something I like. If the meal is successful then I put it into my cookbook.

3. When you finish your menu plan, put it on your fridge, so you can’t forget about it. And then, when you go shopping for groceries, buy only what you need for that week planned meals. I guarantee you that you will spend less money and the less food will be wasted!

4. At the end of the week, when you have to write new menu plan, look into your fridge and see what groceries can you use for next week meals.

5. If you want to save more money, then look online what kind of sale does your supermarket has this week, so plan your meals in the way that you include things on sale. My favorite supermarket has sale on chicken, so I will definitely have chicken two times this week!

That’s it! Simple as that! And don’t say: “I will do it next week!”… Do it now!! Now is a perfect moment to start a new habit!

*This post originally appeared on The Parental Journey.

About this week’s Monday’s Momma:


Marina Vesela is from Croatia, born and raised, but planning to move soon, probably to UK, her favorite country in Europe. She has been blogging for 10+ years. Parental Journey is her new project where she wants to share interesting activities she does with her 2 year old girl. So, just another mommy blog 🙂 She is a work-at-home mom, ideation researcher, freelance writer and a journalist. Jack of all trades! Journalism was always her biggest love, but at the moment she is working in the marketing field. She loves new experiences and is always looking to try and do something new and exciting.

Monday’s Mommas: Nicole from Mommy Talk

We all know how hard it can be to keep things interesting when it comes to learning at home. Besides flash cards and worksheets, it’s always good to spice things up a bit.

This week, Nicole from Mommy Talk, shares a great idea to teach your kids addition.

Check out her Addition Bingo, in this week’s Monday’s Mommas segment!


Addition Bingo

My boys have been getting bored with their addition flash cards, so I asked a teacher friend if she had any ideas on how to make it more interesting and she suggested addition bingo!!

I tried it, and it was a hit!! So I thought I would share for any other parents out there looking for fun ideas to do with your kids to teach them addition (and really any kind of math for that matter.. this would work for subtraction, multiplication, division). But for today’s purposes we will talk about addition.

So what I did was make a Bingo sheet (not the fanciest or nicest bingo board out there but I wanted something quick and easy and this does the trick) 😉 On the board I put all the answers of the flash cards I already had made. When I held up the flash card, I read the problem out loud to them (so they are visually seeing it and also hearing it, which I like so that they are able to solve the problem either way in the future by looking at it or just by hearing it), they figure out the answer in their heads and then find that number on their board (which is good for quick number recognition as well).

Once they find the answer they can put a marker on that number. My boys wanted to use chocolate chips as their markers haha, so we made this an “after dinner” activity and they got to eat the chocolate chips as dessert when we were done 🙂 So basically who ever got the numbers in one row or column first won!! And you can play as many times as you want which makes it fun for the “competitive” type kids 🙂


nicole dellAbout the author: Nicole is a stay at home mommy of three sweet babies who loves to bargain shop, loves all things dessert, loves to write, loves to be with her kids and loves Christ. She and her husband Mike have been together for 15 years and married for almost 10 years. A lot has happened in her life the last few years, and through it she started writing again. Mostly on paper… sometimes just in her head or in the notes section of her phone… eventually she knew she wanted to take it a step farther so she started her blog as an outlet of sorts. A way to feel more in-tuned with herself, while also reaching others. Be sure to check out her blog!


Monday’s Mommas: Lorrin from Hello Sister Love

Who doesn’t love a perfect chocolate chip cookie?
This week’s Monday’s Momma, Lorrin from Hello Sister Love, has a super yummy recipe for a cookie I can’t wait to try.
Read on & learn more about Lorrin too!
The Perfect Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

A well known fact about me is that I am a terrible baker. I am just not good at it. I am (if I do say so myself) a pretty good cook, but when it comes to baking, I stink. That, of course, does NOT mean that I don’t like a baked good. I definitely have a sweet tooth, and that was clearly inherited by all four of my children. I love cake, and brownies, and cookies, but chocolate chip cookies are my all-time favorite. You can pretty much ask anyone that has ever seen me eat, and they’ll tell you that I love cream cheese. During one visit to my sister Amber’s house, they generously brought us panera bagels for breakfast complete with one large tub of cream cheese for all of us to share.  Stone-faced and as serious as I could be, I asked, “is that all the cream cheese? I mean, this is for all of us?” They teased me, but I was so serious. I like a little bagel with my cream cheese.  Needless to say, this is pretty much the perfect combination for me.

Since I stink at baking, I didn’t even know such a combination even existed. Then, at Christmas, Amber asked me to come and bake Christmas cookies (this means, I watch her bake and talk- a lot–  I like to talk… and then, I eat the cookies she made by herself). She only had time to make one kind of cookie before I headed home to pick up things 1 and 2. Lucky for me, they were cream cheese chocolate chip cookies, and they were insanely good– and completely devoured by myself, and things 3 and 4 before we even made it home.

I’ve been dreaming about them ever since.

On Saturday, despite my lack of baking skills, I decided to make my own batch. I modified a couple of recipes that I had seen to come up with this one. It is the perfect amount of chewy and cake-like. Chocolate chip cookies are hands down the most subjective cookies. Everyone has a different opinion of what makes a chocolate chip cookie the best. Amber and I actually have very different preferences in our chocolate chip cookies (with exception of the chocolate–we both like ‘em overloaded with semi-sweet goodness!). She likes hers fluffy and more cake-like, and I like mine kind of flat and chewy, with just the right amount of crunchiness.

These are PERFECT!!  Not too cake-like, not too flat, just a pinch of saltiness, so many chocolate chips, and just the right amount of cream cheese flavor (even if you aren’t as obsessed with it as I am!).  If I was able to bake these, anyone can make them!

So, here is the recipe..


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 cup of margarine

1/2 cup of cream cheese

3/4 cup granulated [white] sugar (i used splenda)

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

4 cups of semisweet chocolate chips (that’s 2- 12 ounce bags, and I used a bag of halloween chips- that’s why there were orange chips in there. Next time, I will use one bag of regular and one of mini chips. Obviously, how much you add is completely up to you.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Soften, but don’t melt, margarine and cream cheese. Beat margarine, cream cheese, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one, gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop batter by tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. I like to drop mine without rounding them, because I just like them to look “messy” and imperfect.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Take them out of the oven, and let them cool! Then, eat ‘em up!

About Lorrin: Lorrin is a wife and mama to 4 awesome, and exhausting kiddos.  She is a Baptist, a dreamer, a procrastinator, a planner, a cook, a hockey mom, a soccer mom, a dog lover, a Florida baby and Pennsylvanian, a flip-flop wearer, boot lovin’, business owner and photographer.  She’s loud, loves the beach and hates the snow.  Most nights, she falls into bed, and thanks God for the chance to sit down.  There isn’t a day that goes by though, that she doesn’t realize how blessed she is, and she wouldn’t change a thing.   Her blog, Hello Sister Love, is a place for Lorrin and her sister, Amber, to share mommy moments.  Lorrin & Amber “keep it real” with their heartfelt, genuine posts, and hopefully, make life a little more fun, and a little chaotic with easy-to-do crafts and recipes.  Hello Sister Love gives old, and new mommies alike, a place to go to laugh, learn, and, most importantly, remember they are not alone!

Monday’s Mommas: Nicolette Brink

Monday means one thing around here…time to meet the week’s Monday’s Momma.
I’m pleased to introduce Nicolette Brink from  Decisive. Empowered. Resilient.
Nicolette is a  success author, blogger, runner, martial artist, wife, and mother. She lives an active lifestyle of health and fitness and teaches life empowerment skills through her writing, martial arts and running. Along with writing about success, Nicolette also writes Beast Mode Motivators for athletes, inspiration for writers, articles on running and martial arts, and a bit of parenting humor. She is a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador and Top Mommy Blogger. You can follow Nicolette on Facebook or Twitter.
Today Nicolette shares a post about a topic that’s extremely important to me…Moms & Exercise.
Just like Nicolette, I think every mom needs that time not only for her physical, but also mental well being.
Motherhood & Exercise

It’s my Me time. There is no other definition. It is my kid free, chore free, work free, hubby free, friend free, society’s demands of me – free time. It is all about me. I need it. I crave it. I function throughout my day (and tasks and relationships) a completely different person than on the days I don’t get to exercise.

It is a choice to exercise. Yes it is so good and wonderful for my body and mind to be fit, strong, and healthy. But it goes beyond this. Each time I get to run or workout, it is a declaration of my worth, that I am more than just a wife, mother, chef, housekeeper, educator, entertainer, errand runner, scheduler etc. It is a declaration that I, just as I am, am worthy of time for myself, to be alone, with my body, with my thoughts, and with nature.

In this time I get to process what is going on in my life, and often am able to work through all the emotions attached. In this time, if I choose, I can forget about everything and everyone in my life and just be me. Free to explore in the depths of my mind who and what I can be. I can focus on my careers, my future, new ideas and avenues to pursue and explore. I can focus on what I am really feeling and thinking, which for every moment throughout the rest of my day, gets pushed to the far corners of my mind and heart, for my responsibilities have to come before me. But not here, not in my workout. My workout it is about me and being free to be who I am.

In this time I can push my body and mind beyond what I previously thought was capable. I can be in awe at just what my mind and body can do and accomplish. I can take pride in the strength, flexibility, and endurance of my body. I can feel my heartbeat pounding strong, which in turns gives me strength knowing I can handle so much more.

When I push myself hard enough and try new things, I am filled with such gratitude that I have been given this body that can do so much. It inspires me to continue, to keep testing my limits and the possibilities. It tugs at the strings of the natural leadership tendancies in me – to pursue that which can motivate others and set an example of how to make it happen.

My time given to exercise begins with that simple and complicated decision that I am worth it. Following through on this decision, just making it happen in this busy and wonderful life, is such an accomplishment in itself. When I complete a workout and have worked hard, I am empowered. When I find it in myself to do this daily, to deem myself worth it, and to make it happen, makes me resilient in life.

Because I have to fight so hard to make my work out time happen, fighting against the family schedule, the family’s health, the gym’s hours and it’s limited childcare, the weather, my to do list, the daily unexpected interruptions, the commute to and from the other gym, and so on, just showing up is half the battle.

Unlike so many other women who spend their time walking slowly and chatting nonstop, when I get there, it is my time to work. I vent my life through my workout. It is my therapy, my drug, my caffeine.

To run during the week, I utilize the gym daycare. The dear sweet young ladies that watch my children, if I could pay them extra rewards I would. They are so young and innocent and have no clue as to how appreciative I am that their low paying job not only helps burn my kids’ energy but gives me a sweet hour of relief from life, to be alone, to be me.

I long for my workouts to not end. I wish I could attempt to run ten miles every day, just to have that solace, that quiet time for me. But my runs end at the hour mark whether its three miles or five. Dinner beckons, and the kids dash out of the gym almost faster than I can keep up. Life resumes as soon as I turn off the music.

When I am lucky, and lucky indeed, I can venture the half hour drive into the city for boxing. The drive is filled with checking off that to do list, and sighing over what truly won’t get done this day or likely the next. A mother’s job is a cascading stack of plates and bowls always on the verge of tumbling to the floor and cracking into zillions of pieces – that you won’t find until you step on a few.

But when I enter this gym, it is all about getting fierce. It is about the pain and making my body work hard enough to feel pain. I want to crawl out of this gym on my hands and knees. If I give everything I have in me to this gym and this workout, my body will be thoroughly exhausted. In other words I will be so tired I will sleep well, unless one of the two kids or dogs decides not to. If I push myself past my previous abilities at this workout, my mind leaves knowing I am fully capable of handling anything life throws at me.

Unlike many others, I consider myself a true athlete. Workouts are necessary, daily, and more than once a day is a desired blessing. I tear myself apart, breathe, recoup and rebuild so that when I leave that workout, I am stronger, wiser, more determined and capable than I was when I began. It is my place to burn off stress.

It’s not just a workout. It’s a big part of what makes me who I am. It is about opportunity, possibilities, worth, believing and faith. Without it I am a mess. An overwhelmed, half functioning, grouchy mess. Exercise makes me alive, gives me great health, a better attitude and a happier, balanced mind and life.

It is not just about getting an hour to escape life and the demands of the roles I have chosen. Often it is simply a place of sweet fun. A time to enjoy nature when I get to run outside, a time to feel inspired watching others improving themselves. When you find a type of exercise that you find fun, boxing for me, it doesn’t feel difficult. And there is nothing like rocking it out to your favorite tunes, lip synching it out pretending to be your favorite rock star with a smile on your face.

Monday’s Mommas: 2 Moms on a Train

It’s Monday. You’re probably running around making sure all the lunches and homework are packed. You probably had to peel at least one child out of bed. Another probably can’t find matching shoes or socks…that is until you find them, right where you told them they would be!

Yep, just another morning of motherhood. This week’s Monday’s Mommas, Sara & Kim from 2 Moms on a Train, know all about it. Check out their guest post!

kim and sara copy

2 Moms on a Train, is a blog designed by 2 working moms, for all busy moms looking to read about everything they are thinking, but never want to admit. We also provide moms with usable information and expert advice that will help make their juggling lives that much easier, and more fun.  We call ourselves “2 MOMS ON A TRAIN” because we both spend a LOT of  time commuting to and from the office and hey, where else can you get uninterrupted, NO kids, alone time?!  It’s the perfect time to write;  which we both do, on iPhones, iPads, even a stray napkin or two  that’s been found in our pocketbooks! Check out our blog and our regular Train Mom Chat (#TMC) series where we interview celebrity and executive moms at and follow us @trainmoms on twitter.

Are you a “MOMGuyver”?

By Kim

So for those of you who remember the 1980’s (and sadly I do) you might remember a TV show called MacGyver.

In simplest terms MacGyver was a secret agent who would fight the “bad guys” using plain, everyday items.  For example, he’d make a gun using a pencil, a rubber band, and his shoelace.  Or he make a bomb to break down a door by using gum, a paper clip, and a can of soda… you get the picture, TOTALLY unrealistic, but he got the “bad guy” and saved the day, EVERY TIME!

Anyway,  the other day as I was packing up my bag to go to my son’s soccer practice, I realized that I myself am MacGyver…a “MOMGyver”!   No, not that I am exactly fighting off “bad guys”, BUT I am fully prepared to SAVE the day when needed. ( And most days I do!)

For example: I have band aids available for any cut, scrape, or gash that might occur, BUT did you know that very same band-air could be used as tape for when our team soccer sign starts to fall apart? (In case you were wondering stickers do the job nicely too; and YES I have those in my bag as well!)

And it’s not just for soccer days. I always wear hair ties around my wrist (at least two, if not more) But did you know that a hair tie can be used as a belt? Over the summer when my son had an accident and I had to buy him a pair of shorts on the spot (not that I didn’t have an extra pair on me, but we had already used those) the only shorts I could find were a size too big. SO, I gathered the extra material into a little nub, tied it up with my hair tie, and viola a perfect belt!

But in reality, I’m so much more than just a “MOMGyver” (though I’m truly digging my new cool title).

On a good day I’m:

  • Part super hero, with psychic abilities (how many times can you answer this questions without even letting them finish their sentence — “Mom have you seen my “INSERT OBJECT HERE”?)
  • Part Boy Scout (Isn’t their motto always be prepared?  Need a change of clothes, not to worry, I’ve got ‘ya covered! Extra Socks? YUP, got those too!)
  • Part Let’s Make a Deal contestant (Hey you never know when someone is going to walk up to you and say “I’ll give you a $100 if you pull a Mickey Mouse toy camera out of your bag” – no to worry, I’ve got that too)
  • AND part Mary Poppins (remember when she pulled a lamp out of her bag?! You should see some of the things I pull out of my bag, even before my kids ask for it!)

So until I can come up with some trendy acronym that will go “viral” and all moms will want to use, you can just call me a Super MOMGuyver”-scout-poppins!  Yeah, that will do for now!!



Monday’s Mommas: Megan Strickland

Monday means a lot of things to a lot of different people. Here, it means it’s time to meet this week’s Monday’s Momma.

megan pic

Megan Strickland from Frugal Finds During Naptime joins us. Megan is a frugal, couponing, stay-at-home mom to two girls {ages 5 and 1}. She started Frugal Finds During Naptime in January 2014 as a way to help others learn how to use coupons, save money, and live a more frugal lifestyle. She enjoys finding deals, and breaking it down to small, easy-to-do scenarios to help others learn how to save money.

Today, Megan talks about the craziness of trying to keep up with Pinterest around Valentine’s Day. I really love this post. Do you have your kids make valentines or do you buy them?

“Cutesy Cards and Craziness? Or Store Bought and Sanity?”

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. I see the “cutesy hearts” every time I go grocery shopping. Then, I get on Pinterest (my weakness) and I see SUPER cute Valentine’s Day Treat/Card Ideas. {You know the ones I’m talking about. The “I’m ‘toad-ally’ yours” and “You ‘blow’ me away” with cute treats and bubbles.}

I see them and think “I could ‘toad-ally’ do that!” So I do, then I overwhelm and stress myself out. I become irritable while trying to make the perfect Valentine’s Day treats. Towards the end of making treats, I’m gluing eyes, curling ribbons, and putting on tags thinking “they better ‘love’ these!”

It’s a little ironic, isn’t it?

I started evaluating why I continue to do little projects like this that stress me out, and I’ve come to the conclusion it’s because I feel like I need to “keep up with Pinterest moms”. I see what others are pinning and think they are actually making those things (when in reality how many of us actually make everything we pin?), and I feel like I have to “keep up”.

It’s crazy, and insane. Instead of keeping up with the Jones’, I’m keeping up with Pinterest. All it does is make me crazy and irritable. That’s not how I want my holidays spent is feeling irritable because of a Pinterest project.

Moms, it’s OK if your kids have store bought cards for holidays instead of hand made “cutesy” things from Pinterest. I would rather have my sanity with store bought cards, than the cutesy ones I made and be stressed.

In the end, your kids will remember how you spent the time with them during different holidays. Chances are, those late nights you put into those Pinterest gifts for your child’s friends, they aren’t going to remember it or care {What child says, “Thank you for staying up late and crafting this perfect, heart-shaped Valentine for me”?}. So, pin away, but don’t stress yourself out making everything. Buy some store bought cards, store bought cookies, let your kid scribble his/her name on them, and be done. Then you might have some time to work on that really big project you’ve been wanting to. . . or just spend time with those you love. After all, it’s “love day”.

Monday’s Mommas: Stefani Tower

Welcome Monday and welcome to another Monday’s Mommas feature! Each week, I have the pleasure of introducing you to a great blogger with a fabulous guest post.

 This week, Stefani Tower joins us! Stefani is a Certified Child Life Specialist and author of the blog Childlifeology. A mom of two girls, she is passionate about empowering and supporting children through challenging events such as chronic illness and hospitalization by providing them with tools that help them transform and master their experiences.
Stefani’s post “All Good Things” takes a look at how important it is for us to help our children find the good in each day. Check it out!
All Good Things

“I had a horrible day!” Ugh. Not those words again. My first grade daughter has been having the kind of days that made that one kid in that book want to move to Australia. Kids are bound to have bad days and goodness knows so are adults but this “horrible day” statement was happening more often than not. If this sounds familiar to you and you aren’t sure what to do, read on.

First things first, it’s important to always validate what your child is feeling. Empathic responses such as “Tell me about what made it horrible” lets the child know you are listening. Sometimes their response can be something that might seem trivial such as, “We had a substitute teacher” or “I had to sit next to (fill in the name) and I don’t like that kid” but that is big stuff in a child’s world. Resist the urge to make it seem like a trivial complaint. Instead respond with “I can see how that made you unhappy” or “It sounds like that was really hard for you.”

Once the child has had a chance to tell you all about what their day was like, ask them if there was anything that they can think of that was good about their day. This allows for a transition from thinking about all the bad that happened to the one good thing that did happen. Even if it’s a really small thing, something good happens everyday if we know how to look for it and that is why I started the “All Good Things” wall at my house.



The “All Good Things” wall consists of using a large roll of art paper or a few big pieces of poster board and taping it to a wall. Ask your child to think of one good thing that happened that day and have them write it on the paper. The whole family can contribute to the wall and it’s fun to see what constitutes a good day for someone. Some examples of some of the good things on our wall include, “I had my favorite sandwich at lunch today”, “I got a row to myself on the train to work this morning”, “I got to see my family when I came home from school” and “We had ice cream for dessert tonight.”

If you have a child who is going through a tough time or who might benefit from looking for the brighter side of things, give this a try. This can be modified to use in hospital settings as well, where it may seem like everyday is a bad day for a child. Again, its looking for the little things, such as “I got to make a fun art project” or “I had my favorite nurse today” or “My sister got to come visit me in the hospital.”

After the first day we put up the wall my first grader told me on the way to the school bus the next morning that she couldn’t wait to come home and write something good on the wall. So here’s to hoping she stops wanting to move to Australia!

Monday’s Mommas: Melinda Ziskinder

It’s a new year and that means more mommas to introduce you on The Mommy Rundown! We’re kicking off 2015 with Melinda Ziskinder.

melinda picMelinda is an attorney, wife, and mom to three boys. Since 2013, she has written about parenting and modern life on her blog,There is a Season. When she and her family aren’t watching Glee, they enjoy playing Catchphrase, reading J.R.R. Tolkien books, and gathering in the kitchen for family meals.

Do you and your spouse agree on TV shows? If you do, I think you’re one of the few.

Check out Melinda’s story here in her guest post.


“Newly Discovered Evidence”

Think you know your mate from every angle?  Confident you would take the disco ball trophy on the Newlywed Game or pass the INS toothbrush test?  Think again!

I’ve been married for more than a decade to my love.  Not so long, I know, but surely long enough to know what he enjoys and what he would use scorched earth tactics to avoid.  One thing I thought I knew for sure:  he doesn’t like music.  Disco, 80s greatest hits albums, yes.  Music?  No.

Case in point, a handful of years ago, I purchased tickets to see Paul McCartney with my mom and brother.  My brother couldn’t go because of a last minute work schedule change.  I asked . . . ahem begged my husband to go in my brother’s stead.  Mainly so I wouldn’t have to drive in the dark.  I hate driving in the dark.  My husband declined.  Years later, a friend of his heard this story and pronounced my husband an “a%$%$e” for not going.  Say what you will but my husband relayed his friend’s pronouncement to me and agreed, without any trace of shame, that he was an “a#$#$#e”.  What’s that line from Sex and the City?  He just wasn’t that into Paul McCartney.

At least not live.  My husband enjoys music, but it has to sound the way it sounds on the radio or on the album.  No improvisation allowed!  And original music by unknown artists?  He’ll pass.  Anyway, through the years, he has been subjected to the Paul McCartney concert guilt trip on many occasions.  It must have been a gift from God that he didn’t go.  He has paid for that decision many times.

For instance, the other night I decided that it would be fun and meaningful for our family to watch some television together.  Miracle on 34th Street?  You must not know my family.  I settled on Modern Family. But the series wasn’t on Netflix.  Grrr!!!! So I asked my son to scroll through the television series options and I spotted Glee.  I had never seen an episode but I had a vague memory of Facebook friends losing their minds over the show.  And I am a music geek.  I decided my boys, all four of them, needed to be exposed to the arts.  Since I’m too lazy to schlep them all to a museum during the weekend, Glee would suffice.

The menfolk all grumbled but they ceded to my offer:  “We’ll watch ten minutes.  If it sucks, we’ll find something else.”

The show began with a scene of a puppy-eyed young guy with a hairy chest agonizing over how to help his students.  I was sold.  Hairy chest? Tortured teacher type?  Sign me up!!!  My husband muttered, “This show was made for you babe.”  Yes it was!!  How did I never watch this?

A half hour passed.  My sons were watching.  They were not complaining.  It was a pre-Hanukkah miracle!  My husband was laughing.  At the end of the episode, he yelled (my husband yells a lot – in a non-threatening way):  “Let’s watch another one!!!”  He adored the characters, who he labeled, “really great,” especially “that neurotic lady.”  I was worried he might cry when Kurt’s father, a stoic lumberjack lookalike, revealed that he had known his son was gay since he was a toddler and that he still loved him.  I made a mental note:  Force husband to watch Mr. Holland’s Opus.

I’m not a big TV person.  My husband and I usually have one TV show that we watch together.  When we were dating, it was Ally McBeal and at some point, South Park.  After we married, we moved on to (of course) The Sopranos.  Of late, we have looked forward to Mad Men and Homeland, and my husband – a history buff – has convinced me that there is value in Pawn Stars.  Glee’s whimsical quality has reminded me of Ally McBeal and of the first years of our courtship, when I hung on my husband’s every word, and he believed I was an angel.  Things have changed for sure but apparently some things are still the same.

I was surprised that my husband, in short order, became an avid fan of a show about musical theater dorks, but on another level I was reminded of his soft heart, his love for underdogs, his inability to steel himself against 80s schtick.  There is plenty of 80s schtick on Glee – Journey songs abound.  We should watch TV shows more often.






Monday’s Mommas: Christine Cox

As a mother, you know how important it is to make sure your kids are getting enough exercise. With the temptations of technology, the job becomes a little harder. This week’s Monday’s Momma, Christine Cox, talks about how we can use music to get our kids to move.

Christine Cox is the blog master for Choosy Kids. She has always had a passion for writing and is honored to contribute her work to this blog. Most of her writing inspiration comes from her daughter, Capri, who is fun-loving and full of energy.

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Embedding Health Messages in Songs to Get Kids Moving

By: Christine Cox of

My 2 year old and I were driving in the car the other day and she said, “Mommy, play horse from your phone.” I knew what she wanted…to listen to her favorite song, “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry. She just likes it because of the beat and isn’t old enough to understand what they are sublimely singing. Of course, I turned it on, and she danced in her car seat as happy as could be, but it got me thinking about what she could learn from music.

Music resonates with children of all ages and they naturally move, dance and sing their favorites over and over again. My child has a very eclectic taste in music and enjoys songs that get her up and dancing her groove thang!! Whether she realizes it or not, dancing is great exercise, even if she only does it for the duration of the song. Besides getting up and moving, there are other benefits to listening to the ‘right’ kind of kid’s music.

Choosy Kids, a company that focuses on health and nutrition for children and families, has created music that gives directional guidance to children, allowing them to elevate their heart rate while increasing their vocabulary about moving, nutrition and healthy habits. It is music that I personally enjoy listening to on repeat and that my little one loves to dance to. Sure, the songs get stuck in your head but that is the point! When your children listen to “I’m Moving I’m Learning” over and over again, the messages about how to move their body in different ways helps to get them up and exercising without them even realizing it. Additionally, songs about their body teach them that moving makes you happy, your heart healthy and allows your body to grow. And for those who are too little to know what their arms, legs and head are, it may teach them their body parts and how to get them moving!

Children understand happiness and growth, but it is the health/exercise message that is a little harder to teach. This is an important message because so many American children are said to be obese at such young ages and it is an epidemic that needs to be changed. By listening to Choosy Kids’ music, children can learn about making healthy choices and sharing their experiences with family and friends as this music can be effective for initiating a discussion about healthy behaviors, signifying transitions or simply allowing children to have fun and be expressive while moving.

Now don’t all of those things sound much better than trying to explain what “Dark Horse” means? I know that day will come, but for now, I am going to stick to listening to songs that she can move, groove and dance to that will provide her with healthy messages.