1stDayofSchool021.jpg picture by mamamcmann

Last week, I wrote about my son’s first day of kindergarten. It went so well! So did the day after that! Then…the bottom dropped out. That third day of kindergarten, as we were lining up in front of the school, my son started to blink rapidly and look sideways, like he does when he’s upset. Then, when we got into the classroom, his eyes welled up with tears. I stayed for 15 minutes, and his nose was running when I left. I helped him wipe it, hugged him, and said goodbye. According to him and the teacher, he was only upset for about a minute after I left. That night, he swore it was just “:bad luck”, and that he’d be fine the next day. That’s not exactly what happened.

That next day, he started to cry even before we left home! He was teary-eyed all the way to school, and I had to call his dad at work, who talked him into getting out of the van and into school. When we got into the classroom, he proceeded to stick to me like Velcro, and beg me to take him home. The longer I stayed, the more upset he got; I ended up leaving, almost in tears myself! He tried to run out of the room with me!! His teacher held him, and I waited outside the classroom to make sure he was okay. After what seemed like forever (actually three minutes), he calmed down. It almost broke my heart to leave that day!

Today, he didn’t cause a huge scene like he did Friday, but he did cry when I left, and ask me to stay. I had to be strong, hug him, and assure him that it was much better for him if I left quickly. He says he likes school, so I don’t understand why he gets upset when I leave in the mornings. He’s never been much of a mommy’s boy; daddy has always been “the last word” as far as he’s concerned.

I hope things get better soon. I don’t know how long my heart can take this.

When my kids were in diapers, I struggled frequently with tough diaper rash. When my son was a year old, he had an allergic reaction to some cheap diapers that gave him the worst diaper rash imaginable! His poor little bottom was raw and red and peeling, with little red dots around the edges of the rash. When we took him to the doctor, she informed us that the allergic reaction had been aggravated by a yeast diaper rash, and recommended that we use over-the-counter steroid cream as a treatment. Eventually, the rash went away, but I’ll never forget how horrible it looked, or the profound sense of guilt I had, even though the rash wasn’t really my fault.

When my daughter came along, she frequently had yeast diaper rashes, but I knew enough to buy the over-the-counter cream before the rash became too horrible. Still, with just steroid cream as a treatment, that pesky rash kept creeping back. It never went away for good until she was potty trained. I got to the point where I felt there was nothing I could do to completely tackle that rash!

I wish that Vusion ointment had been around when my kids were in diapers! Vusion is a new treatment for yeast diaper rashes that is so effective it can be obtained through prescription only. It’s also gentle enough that it has been approved by the FDA to treat babies as young as four weeks old, which is how old my daughter was when her first round of yeast diaper rash cropped up. It would have been so nice to be allowed to stop worrying about diaper rashes and focus on other, happier things, like spending guilt-free time with my kids! If your baby has a rash that just won’t go away, ask your doctor about Vusion ointment!

Thanks to MomCentral, for allowing me the chance to help spread the word about Vusion Ointment. Click here to download a coupon for Vusion Ointment.

I am always on the lookout for new ways to effectively and safely clean my house. I love the do-it-yourself cleaner recipes and my husband knows that I would much rather use baking soda and elbow grease when tackling a tough cleaning job than harsh, smelly chemicals. I have yet to find an effective homemade dishwashing liquid, so I was thrilled when MomCentral offered me the opportunity to try a sample of Clorox Greenworks Dishwashing Liquid.

When I first heard of the Greenworks line of cleaning products, I was very skeptical. For one thing, Clorox has become synonymous with chlorine bleach, which green parents don’t usually touch with a ten foot pole! I had to wonder if Clorox was just jumping on the green bandwagon and trying to pass off less-than-green products as the real thing. However, after visiting the Greenworks website, many of my questions have been answered. I discovered that all Greenworks products are at least 99 percent natural, and that these products were in development for five years. They even delayed Greenworks’ original release date, so that the formulas could be further perfected! Also, this new dishwashing liquid has been approved by the Sierra Club and the EPA. What better endorsement could there be?

After learning these handy bits of information, I couldn’t wait to try the Greenworks dishwashing liquid. After all, now that my two-year-old daughter helps me wash dishes, I am more conscious than ever about what I put into my dish water. There’s no way I’m going to needlessly expose her to harsh chemicals! Another reason for my enthusiasm about this product is that I live in the country, with a septic system. My family drinks well water, so I have to think twice about every single thing that goes down my drain. I can’t afford to contaminate my family’s water source!

After trying Greenworks Dishwashing Liquid, I must say that I was extremely pleased! It creates just as many bubbles as every ultra-strength dish soap I’ve tried, without any harsh chemicals. It also smells wonderful. There’s no lingering, synthetic odor that most dish soaps leave behind. Greenworks dish soap has a pleasing aroma that I couldn’t get enough of! The best part is that this product is offered in five different scents: Original, Water Lily, Tangerine, Free & Clear, and Simply Lemon.

At first, this product sounded too good to be true. I mean, a natural dishwashing liquid that cleans as well as the chemical-soaked competition? It just couldn’t happen, right? WRONG! Greenworks Dishwashing Liquid works every bit as well as any dish soap out there. It kind of has me wondering exactly why all those other companies are still using harsh, synthetic ingredients! Look for it very soon in a store near you!

I am presenting this Things I Love Thursday post in connection with The Diaper Diaries. Check it out!

After reading that title, I’ll understand if you’re confused! It’s not as strange as it sounds…at least I don’t think it is.

My son is suddenly obsessed with monsters, thanks in part to his favorite show, Monsterquest on the History channel, where they tell the legends of creatures like Bigfoot and mutant canines. Then, they try to capture a photo or live specimen, which hasn’t happened so far. My son is six, though, and loves the mysterious aspect of these creatures and is proud to know more about BigFoot than any other six-year-old around!!

He’s especially fascinated by mutants, ever since watching the mutant canine Monsterquest. Now, any time we see an animal or bug that he can’t immediately identify, he says, “Well, I guess it’s a mutant!” Once he makes up his mind that something is a mutant, there is absolutely no way to get him to change his mind! So now, locusts are no longer locusts; they’re mutant bugs! And barn swallows aren’t called barn swallows around my house. They’re mutant birds! It’s actually pretty funny, and I’m not going to spoil his fun by insisting that these creatures are just run-of-the-mill, ordinary bugs and animals. He’ll figure it out soon enough. In the meantime, he’s really enjoying discovering all the “mutants” around us!

Things I Love Thursday is a great idea I just discovered today. To join in on the fun, check out The Diaper Diaries.

My hair is very hard to care for. It’s definitely not straight, but it’s not curly enough that I can pull off those messy ponytails that actually look good. My ponytails just look…messy. I have a HUGE problem with frizz, which becomes about 100 times worse in the summer. And since I had kids, my hair has never been the same. Maybe that’s because I have a lot less time and money to spend on my hair than I did pre-kids. Either way, I’m thrilled that MomCentral offered me the chance to test out several Suave hair care products, and also some wonderful summer hair care tips from celebrity hairstylist Luke O’Connor!

I have long felt that the Suave Professionals hair care line is amazing! You can’t beat the price, and they perform every bit as well as their super-expensive counterparts. Even with great products, though, if you don’t know what you’re doing with your hair, it’s not going to look as good as it could. That’s why Suave has teamed up with Luke O’Connor to spread the word about their fantastic, affordable products, and a summer hair care regimen that works wonders!

I LOVE Suave Professionals Sleek Shampoo and Conditioner! They claim to make hair five times smoother, and I have to agree wholeheartedly! After using these products and styling with Suave Professionals Extra Hold Mousse and Hairspray, my hair looked better than it had in years, and even though I used the blow-dryer, my hair was less frizzy than when I don’t use those products and let it dry naturally! After testing the Suave Professionals Hair Care line, I’m even more sold on Suave than I was before!

Help Your Hair Survive the Summer in Style with Tips & Tricks from Suave Celebrity Hairstylist Luke O’Connor:

Shine Through Summer

Chlorine from the pool can quickly turn hair dry and dull. Look for hair products specially-designed to infuse shine. Also, blow dry hair from roots to ends, making sure you do not ruffle your hair. By doing this, you’ll keep the cuticle of your hair lying flat, thus reflect more light, and producing more shine.

How to get the Shine: Suave Vibrant Shine Shampoo and Conditioner is formulated with silk amino acids to restore shine and luster to dull hair for bright, shimmering strands. Price/Availability: $1.92 – 2.49 at drugstores, mass merchandisers, and supermarkets nationwide


Don’t Let Your Hair Fall when Temps Rise!

Hot summer weather and humidity can cause your hair to lose its shape. Apply a little mousse to damp hair to add body and help control your style. For added fullness, flip your head over and blow dry the roots. When you flip your head upright, your hair will be at maximum volume.

 How to get the Shape: Suave Professionals Extra Hold Mousse helps to lock in style for all-day hold and is great for hair that needs body and control. Price/Availability: $1.92 – 2.49 at drugstores, mass merchandisers, and supermarkets nationwide


Hold That Look

Heat and humidity can be tough to battle, and here’s where the right hairspray comes to the rescue. To keep a soft, full, long lasting look, use an extra hold hairspray and keep the can 8-10 inches away from your head while spraying all over. This allows the fine mist of spray to penetrate the roots and hold the hair in place.

How to get the Hold: Suave Professionals Extra Hold Hairspray helps to lock in style for all-day hold and helps to control fly-aways. Price/Availability: $1.92 – 2.49 at drugstores, mass merchandisers, and supermarkets nationwide


Make Summer Styling Smooth Sailing

Frizzies and fly-aways suddenly appear during the summer months with humidity at an all-time high. Achieving frizz-free hair starts in the shower with a shampoo and conditioner specially formulated to fight frizz. When blow drying hair, again be sure to blow dry from roots to ends to smooth the cuticle.

How to get rid of Frizz: Suave Professionals Sleek Shampoo and Conditioner moisturizes and smoothes curly, frizzy or dry hair leaving it looking salon-smooth and healthy. Price/Availability: $1.92 – 2.49 at drugstores, mass merchandisers, and supermarkets nationwide


Fight the Fade

Have color-treated hair? Lock in your color and keep hair healthy during the summer by protecting your hair with products designed to fight the elements, such as color-protecting shampoos, waterproof gels, and UV protectors.

How to fight the Fade: Suave Professionals Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner has a gentle formula that nourishes and defends hair against harsh environmental elements and helps protect color from fading. Price/Availability: $1.92 – 2.49 at drugstores, mass merchandisers, and supermarkets nationwide




Check out 5 Minutes for Mom for more Wordless Wednesday.

My daughter’s favorite show is Lazy Town. Her favorite Lazy Town character is Stephanie. If you’re not familiar with the show, let me fill you in: Stephanie is a the most adorable little girl, who likes to jump, run, dance, and sing, and she just happens to have a full head of pink hair! My daughter has been begging me to dye her hair pink (thanks to daddy, for teaching her what that even means!). Of course, I’ve told her no every time she’s asked me. Then, one day we were browsing in the store and came across those cans of sparkly, colored hairspray. It’s the kind that kids so often use on Halloween. And they just happened to have some in pink. So…I let her get the stuff, and this is the result:

Thankfully, her hair was pretty clean when I put the stuff in her hair, because she wouldn’t let me wash it out for days! I have to admit that she looked pretty DARN cute!! Here’s a shot of her hair, up close:

She LOVED it, and would walk around, pulling sections of her hair in front of her eyes, just so she could admire it! She’d say things like, “I’m not doing anything. I just have pink hair!” Too cute!! She also attracted quite a bit of attention when we went grocery shopping. Most people thought it was adorable, but a few old ladies looked at me as if I was a horrible parent! Oh well, it made my daughter happy, and that’s what really matters to me.

I’m sure she’ll have pink hair again, at least once or twice before the spray can runs out!

Sometimes when my mom comes to visit, she helps me out by washing dishes. Last time, she asked my daughter if she’d like to help. The answer was a resounding YES!!

Since then, every time I wash dishes, she helps! And she doesn’t just ask, “Can I help, Mommy?” She expects to help! She sees me standing at the sink and goes, “Are you WASHING DISHES?!!?” Then, before waiting for my answer, she drags a chair out of the dining room and climbs up! You gotta love a two-year-old’s enthusiasm!

She actually does a pretty darn good job, and her companionship makes a once-dreaded chore much more enjoyable for me! Here she is, scolding me for taking pictures while she is trying to do the dishes:

Check out 5 Minutes for Mom for more Tackle it Tuesday.

Last week, I spent way too much time on Craftster, but I found a really cool hoodie tutorial that I just had to try. It took me about three hours, total, which I spread out over a few days. I think it turned out very nicely, if I do say so myself! I found this oh-so-cute fabric at Wal-Mart for $2 a yard. Here’s a full-body shot:

My only complaint is that the fabric turned out to be quite thin, and since I was making a jacket, I wanted it to be fairly warm, so I had to double up the fabric. This caused me to run out of fabric at the very end, and I couldn’t make the hood quite a slarge as I wanted. Next time, I think I’ll try fleece or sweatshirt fleece. I promised my son I’d make him a hoodie some time soon!

Total cost: $6

For the hoodie tutorial I used, click here.

Yesterday, hubby took off work so we could get HI-DEF T.V!! It’s amazing, but that’s another story….

The Dish Network guy was at our house at 8 a.m. and left at  9, so we had all day to bum around with no plans. We ended up driving half an hour to a very cool waterpark. We’ve been there once before and loved it, so the kids were just itching to go back! I didn’t get any pictures because I don’t trust myself to keep the camera and my daughter from going under the water!! I did, however, do a bit of people-watching, and came up with this (hopefully) fun list of do’s and don’t’s, for your reading pleasure.

Do wear sunscreen. All that water around you will attract sunlight. It’s like sitting in a box of tin foil for a few hours!

Don’t forget to apply sunscreen in a weird place! Somehow, I ended up with a sunburn on one leg and one arm! And hubby sunburned his scalp! Guess that’s what we get for waiting to put sunscreen on at poolside. We had to rush to keep the kids from running off and jumping in the deep end.

Do have fun with your kids. Let loose and enjoy yourself! Kids are only little for such a short while, and if you’re stiff and embarassed, or too cool to play with them in public, you’ll regret it sooner or later (I vote for sooner).

Don’t count on lifeguards to babysit! I can’t count the number of parents who were doing just that! It was unbelievable to me how many parents would just sit there while their toddlers wandered off! One lady was actually hanging on to her kid and pushing him in a swim ring, but wasn’t watching him. As she pushed, his face went in the water several times, and he’d come up spluttering and spitting, which his mom never noticed!! If you’re going to the pool to have family time, then spend time with your kids! If you’re there to sunbathe and gab with your friends, then leave the kids with someone who will actually keep an eye on them! (Can you tell I got a little irritated? ;) )

Do Score Some Sexy Shades. There were lots of hip mamas who looked really great there. If they had the tired mommy bags underneath those dark glasses, I’ll never know. Next time, I’m going to bring glasses.

Don’t Stumble Around Blind. This is another reason to bring glasses! The brightness of the water didn’t bother me, but hubby-and several other adults I noticed-were squinting and rubbing their eyes a lot. Maybe that’s why some of them were’nt watching their kids: they couldn’t see anything!

Do Try to Feel Comfortable in Your Own Skin. Since I started writing my Peekaboo Picks column, I notice women and what they’re wearing much more than I used to. The mommies who looked the best were the ones who stood up tall and didn’t seem self-conscious. They weren’t always-or even usually-the skinniest or chic-est, just the most self-confident. Remember that next time you pull on your bathing suit!

Don’t Be Overly Confident. Self-confidence is great, but all the self-confidence in the world isn’t an excuse to stuff yourself into a suit that’s two sizes (or more) too small! I don’t mean to sound snotty, but I was honestly surprised by how many women-mothers included-were wearing totally inappropriate and ill-fitting swimsuits! If your body bulges six inches out the sides or back, it’s time to buy a larger suit, honey!

Do Find a Way to Include Nap Time. I saw the coolest thing at the waterpark yesterday! A good mama brought a collapsible rocking chair and rocked her toddler all through nap time! I wanted to go up to  her and applaud her, but I didn’t want to wake the little one, especially since she’d thought so far ahead and was probably working hard to keep her asleep!!

Don’t Overdo it. If you’re not as lucky or smart as that rocking chair mama (and I admit I wasn’t), watch your kids (especially toddlers) for signs of over-tiredness. A day at the waterpark isn’t any fun if you stay too long, causing your kid to turn into a smaller, nastier, less-green version of the Incredible Hulk!

I hope you enjoyed my waterpark do’s and don’t’s! If you have any comments or additional tips, I’d love to hear them!

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