Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ben On: When I Grow Up

Ben has had a variety of interests in his three years of life – from airplanes to construction, and with a current intense fixation on Legos and firefighters – part of the fun of being a parent is finding things to encourage your child’s passions and watching them shine.  Never did I expect to be genuinely so mother freaking excited to see an excavator on the side of the road, but Ben loves them and loses his mind when we see one – so now, I do too.

I thought it would be fun to ask Ben what he wants to be when he grows up.  Three year olds are pretty funny with their perspective on the world (he recently told me I needed to get money at the money store, so I could buy him some Legos), and when it comes to thinking of the future, this is no exception.

Before I had kids, I swore up and down, that I’d never let my son wear clothing with trucks, tractors, or any kind of transportation on it – especially not construction equipment.  I also swore I’d never even entertain a conversation about a potential career that is laden with danger.  And yet here we are – my darling boy in a dump truck shirt, gleefully talking about becoming a firefighter.  Who am I?

Now, do I really think he’ll stick with the construction and firefighter obsessions?  Doubtful.  First it was airplanes, then playing “fix-it” with tools, then construction, now firefighting, with a side of Legos.  He’s quick to move on, but in the meantime, I’m happy to get into his latest passions and aspirations, and encourage him to explore his interests full throttle. 

We play lots of pretend, watch TV shows in whatever theme he’s into (seriously, ask me how many times we’ve watched Mighty Machines on Netflix – I could sing that oh-so-catchy theme song, with enthusiasm, in my sleep! [side note: if you have a kid who loves construction, vehicles, or anything of that nature, fire up Mighty Machines and watch his or her head explode with joy]), draw pictures together (I draw a mean excavator), and read books together on whatever topic he’s currently interested in.

I distinctly remember my childhood obsessions – horses, becoming an ER doctor (for someone who ended up hating all bodily fluids, that’s a hoot), figure skating, Beanie Babies, and Sailor Moon, to name a few.  It really is beyond imaginably exciting to have something else to get into again. Getting excited about your child’s passions is really one of the fun parts of being a parent – it absolutely makes you feel like a kid again.

Thank you to Netflix for sponsoring today’s post as part of their StreamTeam program. I received a membership to Netflix and an iPad mini as compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Boy’s Best Friend

Since day 1, Ben has been in love with our dog Cooper.  Those two are peas in a pod. The problem is that Cooper is a giant PITA – constantly snatching (and then destroying) toys, running around like a lunatic, knocking over baby Joo-luh, and peeing in random places in the house.  So for those reasons, he’s mostly kept in his own “room” – the laundry/mud room in our house.  Yeah, I feel bad about it – all his issues are due to lack of exercise and attention, but listen, I’ve got enough to do, paying attention to my human kids and maintaining our home, rather than taking the dog for a 6 mile walk every day. 

Anyway, Ben always is asking to let Cooper out to come and play.  It’s usually more hassle than it’s worth, with the aforementioned toy-snatching, baby-knocking-over, and the like.  But Ben loves it.  He begs and begs to let Cooper out to play, and sometimes ventures down the hallway to visit Coop during the day.  And when I let Cooper out?  Those two are best friends.  Running around all over the place, getting each other all hyped up, and laughing.  Well, Ben is the only one laughing, but I imagine Cooper is mentally laughing in a way only dogs can. 

Ben will mimic us when we yell at Cooper (#parentingfail), but he really does have a special place in his heart for Coop.  He’ll go down the hall to visit Cooper (“I’m just checking on Cooper, Mom. I want to see if he’s okay!”), asks to feed him on occasion (and always tries to share his meals with Coop), and sometimes gets mad at me or Derek when we’re yelling at Cooper (“Mommy/Daddy stop!”).  It’s kind of stinking adorable, and makes me want to let Cooper out of his room more often.  Eventually, we’ll fence in the backyard, and those two can go crazy out there together, all day every day.  I can’t wait to look out the kitchen window and see them chasing each other!

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Do your kids have a special relationship with your pet?  With Ben’s love for Cooper (and dogs in general), we watch a lot of dog movies around here.  He especially loves the “Buddies” line from Disney – like Snow Buddies, Santa Paws, and Santa Paws 2, all available on Netflix. If I had a dollar for every time he asked to “Watch the puppy story!” (as he calls them), well, I’d be a wealthy woman.  Take a peek at these furry favorite movies this month on Netflix!

Today’s post was sponsored by Netflix. I received a Netflix membership and iPad Mini as compensation for this post, but the opinions expressed here are my own.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Kid-Friendly New Year’s Eve!

It’s New Year’s Eve, party people!

New Year’s Eve used to mean living it up until past midnight, with copious amounts of alcohol.  Now?  I’m lucky if I make it to 10 pm. 

Lucky for all of us, Netflix is hosting a kid-friendly countdown, so you can have a New Year’s countdown with your kids before they go to bed.

And then stay up until 10 with wine, hubs, and perhaps some dessert.

This awesomely kid-friendly countdown is hosted by Madagascar’s very own King Julien, and his band of furry friends.  You can trick your littles into thinking it’s midnight with this adorable, fun-filled video, and maintain a reasonable bedtime.  Hashtag winning.

A very, very long time ago, a very young me, freshly graduated from college, and Derek, went to go see Madagascar when it came out back in 2005.  Yes, we were college-age kids going to an animated movie, in a theater packed with moms and kids.  And we loved it.  I’m pretty sure We still talk about how hilarious the movie was, so we were thrilled to see that Netflix just launched a new animated series, All Hail King Julien(see also: look at little us, around the time we saw Madagascar for the first time!)

Now we can get into the characters with our own kids.  Netflix truly does a spectacular job with their original series (Orange is the New Black, anyone?), and All Hail King Julien is no exception.  Hilarious, colorful, and silly, it’s something your kids will fall in love with and ask to see over and over again.

Don’t miss the fun countdown with King Julien, and the new animated series, today!

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