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How Does Your Family Celebrate Easter?

by Dawn on April 10, 2009
category: Cool websites,Fun time & Toys,Video

lucy-easter-074 Happy Easter!  This picture of my daughter Lucy was taken two years ago when she was just 1.  I remember that morning like it was yesterday; she had never seen a plastic egg before and had no idea what she was doing with it clutched in her little hand.  Now she’s a rambunctious little girl running around saying, “I want more Easter eggs!”  I know she is going to love the annual Easter egg hunt on Sunday morning – and the candy inside them even more so.

As with other holidays, sometimes I get a little overwhelmed with all there is to do.  Do my kids have good outfits for Sunday morning?  Are we going to make a special meal?  Did I get everything I need for their Easter baskets?  (Will I be able to find their Easter baskets?)  My hubby and I decided to take this year easy, since the kids are still pretty young and we’ve had a busy couple of months leading up to now.

Recently I heard about a simple bread that is easy to make with children that symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus.  After it bakes, it becomes hollow on the inside to represent the empty tomb.  This is a perfect opportunity to enjoy some family time, make a yummy treat, and remind the kids what Easter is all about!  Here are a couple of recipes should you decide to try it:

Feel like playing it old school?  Here is a basic how-to on dying Easter eggs (which is also good for showing your kids), from Kaboose:

What kind of Easter traditions does your family have?  May you have a blessed and beautiful Easter weekend from all of us here at The Mom Crowd!

6 MORE Truths about Pregnancy & Motherhood that Nobody Tells You: Guest Post from Homemaker Barbi

by Dawn on March 17, 2009
category: Cool websites,Guest Posts,Inspiration,Pregnancy

Danelle “Barbi” Ice is a problogger and the founder/editor of HomemakerBarbi.com, an online Home & How-To magazine with free resources specializing in homemaking, parenting, frugal living, and family life.  If you liked this article, visit Homemaker Barbi!

preggyshirt.jpg New moms wonder about a lot of things as they experience pregnancy, from losing baby weight to pregnant body image.  What you’re most curious about – the weird, funny questions and deep, dark feelings – are what we’re not afraid to talk about.  If you missed yesterday’s 6 truths about pregnancy and motherhood, go read it first.

Below, we’re giving you 6 more truths you don’t have to wonder about anymore!

1.  It’s okay to wear your maternity clothes before you need them just so people will know you’re pregnant.  It’s completely normal to wish you were showing the day you find out the news!  Before you start to show, you walk around feeling different and pregnant, but to the rest of the world you look exactly the same.  If you’re excited for your new maternity clothes and really want people to know your news, by all means – pack away your pre-pregnancy clothes and go maternity now.

2.  Pregnancy tees with funny sayings are A-OK!  Celebrities are wearing them these days, even dads are wearing them.  Shirts that have funny pictures and sayings about pregnancy are all the rage.  2chix.com has “Bun in the oven”, “What’s kickin?”, “It’s a girl”, “Pregzilla”, “You had me at epidural”, and the list goes on and on.  More and more moms want to show off their pregnancies with baby bump t-shirts that advertise the joyous news.  Will you get weird looks and comments from some childless people?  Yes, but who cares!  Enjoy your pregnancy any way you want to – these shirts are a definite “Do”!

3.  Be balanced about baby talk or risk burning out others.  While some husbands and relatives will be just as consumed with thinking about and talking about the baby as you are, keep a balance.  The baby is in you, growing, moving, changing your habits, and with you everywhere you go, every minute.  It’s natural that your thinking will be focused on baby-related talk much of the time.

Please keep this in mind: your husband, friends, and family members are excited about the baby too, but they still love the pre-pregnancy you as well.  It doesn’t have to be baby talk 24/7!  Every once in a while, it’s okay to call up girlfriends and chat about this week’s episode of Lost.  Have a romantic dinner date with your hubby in which you talk about dreams, stories, and interests not centered on the baby.  You can still be the woman he fell in love with, dreams about, and lusts after too – not shifted into the role of mommy and baby-maker 100% of the time!

4.  Breastfeeding is not for every mom.  If you can’t breastfeed, don’t feel guilty.  If you don’t want to, don’t feel bad.  Own your decision and do not listen to unsolicited recommendations from your friends or family.  The decision to breastfeed or not is yours alone; it’s your body and only you have to feel comfortable with what you do.

5.  Not every woman adjusts to motherhood quickly after her first baby is born.  Some women shift into “mommy mode” during pregnancy.  However, others may still not be used to their new role for several months after giving birth.  Give it time and don’t feel bad if it doesn’t come to you naturally right away.  Your new role is a major life change, and it will grow on you with time and experience, so don’t worry!

6.  It is natural to be proud of your pregnant body one minute, and self-conscious the next.  If you’re 7 months pregnant, feel as big as a house (I did), and uncomfortable, it’s hard to feel beautiful and attractive 100% of the time.  Your thoughts may vary wildly, from proud and wanting to show off that baby bump to wishing for your skinny pre-pregnancy body back.

When I was pregnant, I could walk through a store feeling big and proud, until I saw a beautiful (non-pregnant) woman walk by, wearing a stylish (non-maternity) outfit.  Instantly, I’d have a desperate longing for my regular body back, I’d feel large and un-pretty, and feel a little out of place.

While not enjoyable, this body image flip-flop is completely normal!  Your body image in your mind is the picture of how you envision yourself.  For most of us, that picture is how we’ve looked for most of our lives, not the way we look now that we’re pregnant.  It can be hard for the brain to reconcile the discrepancy between those two images during pregnancy.  Focus on the end result: a beautiful baby, an addition to your family, and your non-pregnant body back when it’s all said and done!

If you liked the 12 pregnancy truths, be sure to subscribe to Homemaker Barbi’s RSS feed and The Mom Crowd’s RSS feed for more articles about motherhood!

Photo courtesy of stock.exchange. 

“Mom, Can I Play On The Computer?” : Kids and Computer Time

by Amelia on February 19, 2009
category: 3 – 5 years (preschooler),5 – 12 years (kid),Cool websites

images3.jpeg “Mo-om, can I play on the computer?” How many of you hear that everyday?

How old are your kids and do you let them play on the computer?  My 4 and 5 year old enjoy games and activities on the computer.  Isaac, my 4 year old, would play everyday if I let him–which isn’t a bad thing per say.  He would also watch tv all day if I let him.  I probably would too if I weren’t responsible for taking care of the house and 3 kids–if you ever come over sometime you would probably wonder when I take care of the house (based on the tornado design of it all) but that is a whole other topic! I digress. Anyway, I don’t like to have the kids watch an hour of tv and also get sucked into playing on the computer for another hour.  I’m curious about what other parents allow their kids to play on the computer and how much time you give for computer time. When do you let your kids play on the computer?

images-12.jpeg My two favorite websites for kids are PBSKids and Starfall PBS Kids has a TON of games (educational and plain fun) based on all the kids shows that air on PBS.  My boys love playing Martha Speaks, Word World (one of my own favorite cartoons), and Super Why.  Curious George also has some fun videos they enjoy watching.  I like how it is good, clean fun and they are learning about words, matching, science, and how to pay attention to details.

images-21.jpeg StarFall is a new discovery that I learned about from another mom friend of mine.  StarFall is a website that helps kids learn how to read, learn letters, sounds etc.  It is AMAZING!  Isaac started on the reading games and has worked his way through several of the games one by one. In just a few weeks of playing around on the website he is reading a lot more than he was before.  He has a knack for reading though–and the website has been a way to nurture his love for learning how to read.  My 5 year old enjoys the games too but he usually doesn’t ask to play the “reading website”.  He also hasn’t had as much time to poke around on it.

Another website I let them play on (one time) was Hasbro.  Hasbro has some really fun things on it–like G.I. Joe and Spiderman cartoons. They have some matching games and puzzles too but I knew that once they discovered cartoons were just a click away it would all go downhill from there.  The cartoons are so cool–but honestly, I’d rather them play educational games.  What can I say, I’m one of those “let your kids be nerdy” moms.  Hasbro also has a Connect Four game.  I didn’t show the kids that one–I bookmarked it and play on the rare occasion when I have nothing else to do. Which is never.  I can usually be found poking around on Facebook for my computer time.  And there is always something else I should be doing.  Again, a whole other topic- (Coming soon-What Do You Do To Escape From Your Kids?).

So, what do you think about kids and the computer?  How much is too much?  Should you avoid it as long as possible? What fun sites do you let your kids play on? Share with the rest of us!

Meal Planning, Part Two: How Much Should You Spend On Groceries?

by Amanda on January 25, 2009
category: Cool websites,Feeding,Finances,Inspiration

vegetables.jpg Last Friday I shared my grocery shopping philosophy and I wanted to know how you shopped and budgeted for groceries. We had a great discussion in the comments.

Amelia asked if everyone includes household items like cleaning supplies and diapers in your grocery budget.  Most everyone that commented does include all household items in the grocery budget. There was also a discussion on whether or not gas should be included. I like to keep our gas separate, so I can track my spending better.

Heidi asked if anyone had any experience using a Food Saver (a vacuum sealing kit). Trina thinks that as long as you put the effort behind it and remember what you have in the freezer then they really do save you money.

How much should you spend on groceries?


What’s in my Google Reader?

by McKenna on January 20, 2009
category: Cool websites

1065243_white_laptop.jpg Due to some serious writer’s block, I have decided to share with you some of my favorite blogs that I read.  If you’re looking for a new blog to add to your google reader, you can check some of these out.

Adventures of Homeschooling Noah

  • Beverly is a great mom who blogs all about homeschooling her son, Noah, who has Down syndrome.  She shares the coolest ideas on how to teach your child.  The resources she finds are great for any parent who is looking for a fun craft or activity to do with their child!  Noah is also exceptionally cute and I just love any excuse to see his cute face! (more…)
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