Phoenix & Ariana's First Acting Class!

I've been wanting to get Phoenix into an acting class for a while now. Well, today was the day. Our local metropark is offering a class "Big Stories, Little Actors". In a nutshell, it's an acting class for the preschool-8-year-old crowd. The class includes activities and games that focus on introducing kids to movement, rhythm, drama and character.

I was actually quite impress with how well Phoenix & Ariana did. While Pheonix is quite outgoing, Ariana is much more reserved, so seeing her let loose in class was very cool to watch. The did a few acting warm-up exercises. Next, they read The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss. After the story, they did a craft, and finally acted out The Sneeches using everything they had learned in the class.

Here's a video of Phoenix & Ariana doing some of the warm-up exercises. :)


I thought I filmed when they acted out The Sneetches... but I didn't so... you'll just have to trust me that Phoenix and Ariana both did great!



Have your kids ever taken an acting class? Have you? What did you think? Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one. :)





"Oh My, Oh No!" Book Review

I was given a complimentary copy of "Oh My, Oh No!" to facilitate this review.

Oh My, Oh No!

By: Lisa Charrier
Illustrated by: Agnes Domergue

Running Press Kids; Ages 2 - 6
$15.95 US · $18.50 CAN · Hardcover
8.5 x 8.5 · 32 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7624-5409-9
Publication Date: September 23, 2014

Our family loves books. We also love letting kids be kids. Enter Oh My, Oh No! by Lisa Charrier, Illustrated by Agnes Domergue.  Oh My, Oh No! is a beautifully-illustrated story about how a little girl tries to do things to be just like her mother, and gets herself into all sorts of unintended mischief along the way.



When's the last time you looked at something from your child's perspective? Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one. :)





Blogging Blues | Fun New Photos Of Phoenix and Ariana

I feel like I've been in a bit of a blogging rut lately. Actually, ever since I attended BloggyCon 2013 a year ago, it kind of dawned on me that I really didn't have the desire to blog like I used to, and like so many other bloggers do. Those people that blog for money, money to live off of, are hardcore. Seriously. They're another breed. The whole "blogging is your business" just isn't for me. Sure, I'll do a sponsored post or work with a company here or there... but in terms of any sort of meaningful income, I'd rather just work 4 hours a week at a job than spend 40 hours a week blogging for the same income... if that makes sense.

But... if there is anything to bring me out of a rut, it's beautiful autumn weather. So, today, while the hubby is doing a 24 hour fast to prepare for his black belt testing, I've been hanging out with the kids. We just took Hugo for a walk, rode bikes, and I was able to snap a few.

Phoenix - 5 years & 9 months   |   Ariana - 3 years & 3 months





































I know I'm their mom, but I love how these photos turned out. Taking Phoenix & Ariana's pictured today was a blast, and it reminds me of how fleeting these moments are. I think I'll be carrying around the camera a bit more. Oh,and, it doesn't hurt the Ken got a new lens that takes up much less room too! ;) 

Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one.


Why I Vaccinate My Children



I made the decision to vaccinate my children five years ago. My decision was based on a few discussions with a pharmacist and a counseling psychologist who worked with individuals with autism. Back then, the study relating vaccinations to autism had not yet been discredited.

I still stand by my decision to vaccinate my children. Since becoming a bit more of a skeptic and freethinker, and a member of a few "natural parenting" groups, my decisions to vaccinate have resurfaced again. In a few Facebook Groups I was in, numerous new mothers ask for advice when it comes to vaccinations, and I'm astounded by the general consensus amongst these parents - you should not vaccinate. I think the anti-vaccination movement is rooted in fear, not evidence.

The sheer amount of illogical reasons why parent's shouldn't vaccinate is astounding. I am able to see right through the "proof" they give simply through applying what I learned way back when I took an Intro To Formal Logic class back at Kent State University. Here, I was given the tools to analyze arguments in a systematic way that has been highly beneficial in my decision to not vaccinate my children. If you've never taken a class on logic, I highly recommend it. Here's a free one offered by Stanford. In a world where information is everywhere, being able to analyze arguments is now more important than ever. Here's a simple graphic illustrating how one of the anti-vaccine arguments is illogical. The "Re-Think Vaccines" is an actual graphic used & shared by ant-vaccers to support their movement. The images below illustrate how poor their logic is by applying it to other situations.




I can't micromanage ever parent's vaccination decision, and yet I feel it would be incredibly irresponsible for me to just say nothing. The internet is full of so many vaccination myths it's horrifying. So, in a world increasingly filled with anti-vaccination propaganda, I bring you some information on why you should vaccinate your children.





An infant girl in Intensive Care with Whooping Cough (Pertussis).




The infant above is too young to be vaccinated herself, so relied on herd immunity to keep her safe. Anti-vaccers compromise herd immunity, and as a result, we have situations like this. For herd immunity to work, a certain number of people in a group needs to be vaccinated to prevent the spread of disease. So, even though we can't vaccinate infants they shouldn't get sick due to the number of susceptible people around them being vaccinated. have been saved via herd immunity. 

As one commenter states, "This is a huge frustration for me. Vaccinations have the potential to relieve more human suffering than all the ICU care we could possibly provide. I've seen whole disease categories all but vanish during my career, and yet there are scores of people who think they know better because of anecdotes, their own fears, etc. The data on vaccines are better than any data on which you base any other decisions in your life. Please, I don't need the job security! PS. If you think that video is hard to watch, try it in real life with your own kid. For days. No sleep. Just get the shots."

On WIRED Magazine, read:
An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All
How to Win an Argument About Vaccines
What’s the Real Story on the Vaccine Debate? Learn More

Check out the anti-vaccine body count at http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com/Anti-Vaccine_Body_Count/Preventable_Deaths.html

And, read Dear parents, you are being lied to.

Read the story of this 58-year-old woman who contracted polio.

I'm also excited that NOVA is airing "Vaccines-Calling the Shots" today. Here's a little preview of the special:




Please feel free to share this on your favorite social media sites. Send this to anyone you know who is pregnant or has children who aren't vaccinated. I don't believe anti-vaccers are bad people, they have just not been presented with convincing evidence on why they should vaccinate... but evidence IS out there. 

What are your thoughts on vaccinations? Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one.  






Taking A Break As A Mom #mymikesmoment #MC #Sponsred

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for mike’s hard lemonade. I received a Circle K gift card to facilitate this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.


Wow, has it really been 15 years? According
to my math, that would put me at 19 years old...
so let's just say it's been 13 years. ;)
First off, let me say that most people know I'm not a big drinker. I have no shame in being the only one drinking a diet cola if I'm not feeling up for a drink. When I do have a dink, I'm picky, and tend to go for something of the "girlie drink" variety. So, when mike's asked me to sample their new mike's hard pink lemonade... I simply couldn't resist!

Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co., best recognized for its iconic mike’s® hard lemonade, is currently celebrating its 15th anniversary. They use real lemons – the whole lemon, including both the juice and the zest – to flavor their beverages resulting in the crispest, most refreshing taste around. :)

Tell me more about mike’s hard pink lemonade...

Who are the cutest owls in the world?
These guys are!
Well, mike’s hard pink lemonade is a limited edition, seasonal flavor that’s on shelves now and available until Octoberish. I love how mike’s hard pink lemonade starts out with a crisp, bright citrus notes and finishes tart and refreshing. Since 2009, mike’s hard lemonade has released its seasonal pink lemonade flavor each year in support of breast cancer awareness and has contributed more than $1 million to breast cancer research. Score on that. And... what's not to love about those adorable little owls to the left... everyone loves owls, right? I promise my photo doesn't even do those cute little guys justice. They're way cuter in person.

Why, hello there sunshine!

#mymikesmoment

As a mom, I know it can be pretty tough to get a moment to treat yourself. But, this past Saturday, I had the chance to do just that. During the day, I was able to make a quick stop to Circle K to pick up some mike's pink lemonade as well as swing be the library to pick up a few books I had on hold. Multi-tasking. Always multi-tasking. ;)

Fast forward to 8:30pm. Both kids were sound asleep, and it time to kick back and watch Glee-runs while I try out my new mike's hard pink lemonade. It's been years since I've had a mike's but they taste just as good as ever. :)

Chillin' out on the couch watching television as I enjoy some kids-free time... that's my mike's moment. :) 

Treat yourself! 

This September, mike’s hard lemonade is helping you treat yourself and do good at the same time. As a mom, you’re on the go all the time and Circle K is an easy stop to grab the kids a snack after soccer, pick up something to bring to the sleepover, etc. But don’t forget to treat yourself while you’re out by picking up a mike’s hard pink lemonade to relax and enjoy your own #mymikesmoment.

When you “drink pink,” you not only have a moment to savor for yourself, and, at the same time, also raise awareness for breast cancer research. Share your favorite #mymikesmoment while enjoying mike’s hard pink lemonade. And, don't forget, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.


Be sure to follow mike's hard lemonade on TwitterFacebook, and at http://www.mikeshard.com

What would be your ideal #mikesmoment ? Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one. :)


An Unschooling Poem :)

I tend to think people don't fully understand what unschooling is about. Heck, I've been doing it for a while, and it took me a while to grasp the concept. According to dictionary.com, this is what it is:
Unschooling
noun
a home-school education with the child taking the primary responsibility instead of a parent or teacher; also called child-directed learning, self-learning 
How on Earth could kids just learn on their own? Well, I found the perfect answer - in the form of a poem. In fact, it's a poem my sister (who just so happens to be an teacher) shared with my back when Phoenix was just a baby about play being a child's work. Enjoy!

Just Playing
When I am building in the block room,
Please don’t say I’m “Just Playing.”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play,
About balance and shapes.
Who knows, I may be an an architect someday.

When I am getting all dressed up,
Setting the table, caring for the babies,
Don’t get the idea I’m “Just Playing.”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I’m expressing myself and being creative.
I may be an artist or an inventor someday.
  

When you see me sitting in a chair
“Reading” to an imaginary audience,
Please don’t laugh and think I’m “Just Playing.”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I may be a teacher someday.

When you see me combing the bushes for bugs,
Or packing my pockets with choice things I find,
Don’t pass it off as “Just Play.”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I may be a scientist someday.

When you see me engrossed in a puzzle or some
“plaything” at my school,
Please don’t feel that time is wasted in “Play.”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I’m learning to solve problems and concentrate.
I may be in business some day.
When you see me cooking or tasting foods,
Please don’t think that because I enjoy it, it is “Just Play.”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I’m learning to follow directions and see differences.
I may be a cook someday.

When you see me learning to skip, hop, run, and move my body,
Please don’t say I’m “Just Playing.”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I’m learning how my body works.
I may be a doctor, nurse, or athlete someday.

When you ask me what I’ve done at school today,
And I say, I “Just played.”
Please don’t misunderstand me.
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I’m learning to enjoy and be successful at my work,
I’m preparing for tomorrow.
Today, I am a child and my work is play.
Anita Wadley

Love this post? Feel free to share on your favorite social media websites. :)