{FREE} Mommy and Me Dance Class

AZDA 2
Does your little one have some extra energy to burn off?  Well, I’ve got the perfect way to make nap time last just a little bit longer.  Arizona Dance Artistry is offering {FREE} Mommy & Me dance classes for kiddos over one-year and up.  They are during the month of April (the 2nd-23rd) from 11:30-12:00 at AZDA (1745 W. Deer Valley Rd., Suite 102, Phoenix, AZ 85027).
The class is an introduction to creative movement, colors, counting, music, social skills and tumbling/stretch.  Parent participation is required per child (1:1 parent/child ratio), so get ready to move!  To enroll, click here.
(Max enrollment is 10 parent/child combo enrollment. Parent must enroll prior to class.)  Parent and child should dress in comfortable play attire. Bare feet or socks only, no street shoes in studio.
Happy dancing!

Today’s Free Amazon Download

Head over to amazon today and download Happily Married With Kids: It’s Not a Fairy Tail for free.  Hurry because prices change fast!

Nora Ephron said that “having an infant is like tossing a hand grenade into a marriage.” Carol Ummel Lindquist, who has spent twenty-five years as a marital therapist, agrees wholeheartedly. She says that sixty-seven percent of couples with children are less happy than they were before kids–largely because of unrealistic expectations. Some of Lindquist’s advice seems simplistic (“Try to go one hour, one day or one week without criticizing anything,”) but perhaps simple is the best place to start for couples trying to function on four hours of sleep. Happily Married With Kids has chapters on constructive fighting, how to find quality childcare, and ways couples can revitalize a lackluster sex life. While the topic of new-parenthood has been covered before, this is still a worthy reference for couples short on sleep and patience, but desperately in need of quick solutions to bring the fun and connection back to their marriage. –Erica Jorgensen

Free Admission to the Desert Botanic Garden 2/14

Yes, another 4-letter word post:  F-R-E-E!

Get in free tomorrow, February 14th from 1-8pm.

Free admission to the Desert Botanic Garden the second Tuesday of every month from 1-8pm.  Can’t beat that deal!  I’m sad to admit I haven’t been there since I was a kid, so this is definitely going to be something I take advantage of.  It’s another excuse to get out and enjoy this beautiful winter weather.  When’s the last time you were at the DBG?

Tooth Fairy Pillow

As I was out and about today, I came across an adorable boutique, Little Artika at the Biltmore Fashion Park.  I walked in and immediately said to myself, “Ahh, I need that.  I need that.  Yep, I need that, too.”  But then I got to the counter and saw the most adorable little product:

(Photo courtesy of www.oeufnyc.com)

“This cute and friendly molar-shaped pillow features a pocket in the back for the tooth and fairy’s deposit. Small and soft, it is perfect for hiding under pillows and may even become your child’s favorite new little friend.”

Such a simple idea, why didn’t I think of this?  My 8-month-old son’s first tooth just broke through, yet I’m already looking forward to the day when the Tooth Fairy visits our home.

Click here to buy one for your toothless wonder!

Baby and Kid Sale

Spring is right around the corner and you know what that means…SPRING CLEANING!  Yeah, it’s not all that exciting, but if you need a little incentive to clean out those closets, here it is.   The MOMS Club of Phoenix – Happy Valley is hosting a fundraising sale benefiting “The Real Gift Foundation,” which helps Arizona’s homeless children.  If you are looking to make a little bit of cash, help a charity or just find some great deals, check it out!

Calling All Moms!

Bargain Shop at Our Baby and Kid Sale!

The MOMS Club of Phoenix-Happy Valley is excited to announce the dates for our Spring Baby and Kid Sale!

When: Friday, March 9th     6pm-9pm
Saturday, March 10th     7am-Noon

Where: Foothills Christian Church – 3951 West Happy Valley Road, Glendale
Our moms look forward to this time of year. They get to clean out the closets and make a little cash, but also give to a wonderful charity. For this sale, proceeds benefit “The Real Gift Foundation” which helps Arizona’s homeless children.

Many families participate in our sale, so you’ll find thousands of gently used children’s items at bargain prices… everything from clothes to shoes, baby furniture and décor, and toys, both large and small.

Now, if you have closets full of clothes your children have outgrown or a garage full of unused toys, consider selling them at our sale. We’d love to have you! Check out www.hvmomskidsale.blogspot.com for more information. We’re also on Facebook. See you at the Baby and Kid Sale!

Military Family? Visit Sea World for FREE in 2012

Any active duty, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman is entitled to free admission under the Here’s to the Heroes program through 2012. This also includes free entry for up to three direct dependents.  Click here for more information and to register.

Barnes & Noble Online Storytime

Barnes and Noble has a great portion of their site dedicated to online storytime.  They have numerous popular children’s books to choose from (If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Pinkalicious, and many more) read by authors and celebrities right on the computer.  I love getting kids exciting about reading, so click here to check it out.

As a former teacher, I know the importance of reading to our children each and every day.  Sure, easier said than done, I know but it really is thatimportant.  I will try not to get preachy on you, but here is what some of the research is saying?

Here are 12 of the key reasons to start (or continue) reading aloud to your kids today.

1.  Build a lifelong interest in reading. “Getting kids actively involved in the process of reading, and having them interact with adults, is key to a lifelong interest in reading,” said BeAnn Younker, principal at Battle Ground Middle School in Indiana.

2.  Children whose parents read to them tend to become better readers and perform better in school, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

3.  Reading to kids helps them with language and speech development.

4.  It expands kids’ vocabulary and teaches children how to pronounce new words.

5.  Reading to toddlers prepares them for school, during which they will need to listen to what is being said to them (similar to what they do while being read to).

6.  Reading to older kids helps them understand grammar and correct sentence structure.

7.  Kids and parents can use reading time as bonding time. It’s an excellent opportunity for one-on-one communication, and it gives kids the attention they crave.

8.  Being read to builds children’s attention spans and helps them hone their listening skills.

9.  Curiosity, creativity and imagination are all developed while being read to.

10.  Being read to helps kids learn how to express themselves clearly and confidently.

11.  Kids learn appropriate behavior when they’re read to, and are exposed to new situations, making them more prepared when they encounter these situations in real life.

12.  When read to, children are able to experience the rhythm and melody of language even before they can understand the spoken or printed word.

via Reading Aloud to Kids: The 12 Benefits of Reading Books Out Loud to Children of All Ages.

So get out there and start raising a reader, it’s never too early!

The One Armed Bandit…

…AKA: a mom.  I’m pretty sure humans were designed to have two arms for a purpose, and no, opening a bottle of wine was not the reason (however I might argue that point after dealing with a sick baby all day).  One is actually useful, the other is a designated baby holder.  That’s right, if you’re not a parent of a baby, toddler or child that second arm is actually just an extra convenience.  Not until I became a mother did I realize just how much I could do with that one arm.  This was the precise moment I discovered my superhero abilities:

My 5-month-old son and I had arrived at our local library for the weekly class we attend (Phoenix Public Libraries have an amazing Babytime program, check it out here!).  As I opened the car door to get my son out, one of his favorite balls fell out and rolled under the car parked next to us.  By some stroke of bad luck it rolled and stopped dead center under the car.  Of course.  As you can imagine I was not all that happy, but figured it was a $3 ball from Target so it wasn’t the end of the world.  Plus, there was hope that car would be gone when we were finished with our class.  I grab the diaper bag and baby and made my way inside.  I was a few minutes early and sat there thinking, “Nope, I can’t just leave it there.” So outside I scrambled with a baby on my hip.  The car was still there and the ball had not moved.  I pulled out a few baby wipes, crumpled them in my free hand and got down on my knees to throw this wet cloth at a ball.  As you can imagine, I was a complete failure.  Each wipe flew about 6 inches before too resting under the car.  Now, not only did I have a ball under this car, but I now had two baby wipes stuck under there.  “Okay, plan B,” I thought.  I spotted some landscaping near my car, so I walked over there and picked up handful of pebbles, got down on my knees again, leaned over and on that second toss, “Wham!” I hit that ball square on.  SUCCESS!  The little ball rolled out as if happy to be rescued and I picked myself up and went back to class full of glory.  I’m sure anybody watching me thought I was a complete maniac, but the things you do for you children.  I’m not going to lie, if I spotted someone crawling under a car with a baby in her arms I’d think she’d lost her mind, too.  And need not worry, that car was gone when we came out and I picked up those little wipes that had failed me.  It’s been a few months since this has happened, but I’m still proud of my accomplishment that day.

What is your favorite ‘one armed bandit’ story?

KidZui – The Internet for Kids

 

We live in a day in age where we depend on technology for daily tasks.  Our kids will never know how to find a book using a card catalog or research information for a book report using an encyclopedia.  It’s just part of the evolution of society, I guess.  Our kids are growing up using iPads, the internet, smart phones and MP3 players.  As a parent, most of us struggle with this because, let’s be honest, there is a lot of “stuff” out there that our children should not be exposed to.  I came across one of my favorite websites, KidZui.com by accident one day.  It’s a place where “kids can only access websites, games, pictures, and videos that have been approved by KidZui’s editorial staff, parents, and teachers.”  It is a completely free web browser designed just for our kids.  Try it out and let us know what you think!

 

Do you Drive-In?

Do you remember the excitement you had as a kid when you pulled into a drive-in movie with your family?  The man at the booth would count the number of people in your vehicle and tell you to turn your radio to a special channel.  You’d run up the hill to order a hot dog and an ice cream cone, then pull out those aluminum folding chairs to set up camp as your dad cranks up the volume on the radio.  Ahhh, why don’t we do these classic family nights anymore?  Well, probably because we’re too busy running to and from soccer practice, dance recitals, doctor’s appointments and to pick up that last minute gift for tomorrow’s birthday party.  If you can find that special night to spend as a family, why not pack up the van and head to the drive-ins?  There are two awesome locations here in the Phoenix area, one in Scottsdale and one in Glendale.  Check out www.westwinddriveins.com for all the details.  Prices are much more reasonable than your local Harkins or AMC, so get out there and make memories with your kids!

If you’ve gone in the past, leave us a comment and tell us about your expereince.