Tag Archive | mommy blog

The Internet, TV and Our Toddlers

While there are many benefits to navigating the internet or watching TV, there are also many problems when it comes to allowing our children to navigate these means independently. Our children are becoming obsessed with watching cartoons online or on TV, it’s almost a sickness. I noticed my 4 year old would throw these random tantrums or be rude or talk back to me or just plain act bratty and I was becoming very concerned. I would wonder, what is she so angry about (she’s 4)? or why is she being so rude or acting up (she knows better)? Until one day I noticed one of the kid’s YouTube channels she was used to watching was of this girl (about 8 or 10 yo) acting up and doing the rudest things to her parents…screaming at them or throwing things at them, ect. The parents filmed and were also part of the “skits”.  They acted as if it was funny or as if it was ‘ok’ for her to treat them disrespectfully. I found it so odd and immediately told her she was not allowed to watch that channel and told her mimicking the wrong things of others is not right and gave her a whole speech as to why the little girl was acting wrongly. Since I prohibited her from watching that channel, she’s no longer acting this way…she has her moments of acting up, like most 4 year olds, but it is not nearly as bad as during those days of her watching that channel.

I also noticed that when it came time for me to take away the phone or the tablet or if I didn’t want to turn on the TV, she would cry, as if it was the end of EVERYTHING in her world. That actually made me so upset because it showed a type of obsession. I would tell her “if you cry you will not be able to watch anything for a long time.” Now she gives me the back the phone or tablet as soon as her time is up or doesn’t give me such a hard time about keeping the TV off or even asks if she can watch something. Basically, monitoring what they watch and setting up rules is something we need to be adamant about.

There are cartoons that look perfectly safe and cute and we would never think anything negative about them, but if we actually sat down and paid attention to them we would find some pretty disturbing things being ingrained in our kids. For example the Peppa Pig cartoon which many parents believe it is wrongly influencing our children.  Thankfully my daughter doesn’t watch Peppa Pig, but I know this cartoon is very popular. Check out this particular article HERE where a mother reveals some of the negatives of the Peppa Pig cartoon.

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But it doesn’t stop there; recently an extremely disturbing Mickey Mouse video surfaced in the YouTube Kids App.  This particular Mickey Mouse video shows normal Mickey Mouse cartoons singing the “Finger Family”song.  TODAY better describes it was follows, “one channel available on YouTube Kids, Superkidz Finger Family, has offered a dark take on the “Finger Family” song. Recently, some moms have shared on social media their shock at finding graphic images of Mickey Mouse and his family, shooting one another — and themselves — in the head with guns.” How crazy is that?!  See full article HERE

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As crazy as it may sound, we have to monitor everything; all of the kid’s YouTube channels and even the cartoons on TV have to be reviewed by the parent(s) first.  Oftentimes I sit down with my daughter and analyze what she’s watching whether it is on TV or YouTube to see if it brings anything valuable to her life.  Even if it is strictly entertainment, I make sure it is typical kid humor and entertainment.  I would say, sit down with your kids from time to time just to get a feel of they are watching.

xoxo

Kari Aragon

-a concerned mom-

 

Kiddle.co  – The New Search Engine For Kids

As parents, we always strive to protect our children as best as possible; including, but not limited to their protection from the craziness of the internet. Nowadays our technology is part of our everyday lives and the majority of us have access to at least one medium of technology that allows for our connection to the internet.  Our children are now growing up in our more technologically advanced world and can easily maneuver a cell phone, a tablet, a laptop or computer from a very early age, whether it is to use a kid friendly app or to watch or read something on the internet.

With my now almost 4 year old, I often find myself constantly checking in on her while she is using her tablet to watch kid-friendly YouTube channels, because it is very easy to end up on a different channel that is absolutely not kid-friendly.  I recently came across this post which talked about a new kid-friendly search engine called Kiddle which filters searches to only show kid-friendly results.  Even though my daughter is still not reading or searching for anything on the internet, when I heard about this new kid-friendly search engine I thought, “wow, a fabulous idea” for when she does start using the internet for her own searching

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Although, I think this is a great idea for kids between the ages of 7-14 who are constantly on the computer, who read and write and can maneuver their way around the internet,  this might only work if parents can really restrict access to other search engines and still monitor their kid’s searching habits. I don’t really believe there is any true way to restrict our kids from searching the internet, however, this idea is fantastic, as I strongly believe kids need to be kids first and foremost and our internet certainly exposes kids to all sorts of negative things at an earlier age than necessary. I figured that once she starts using the internet to search I can take away access to the other search engines and download Kiddle for her to use.  And even though there’s only so much I can control and keep away from her, I think any little bit helps to keep her mind as innocent as possible for as long as possible.  After a certain age I don’t think there is much you can do as far as restriction on their searching, but I think that if this search engine can really develop this idea and do more than what it claims it can do now, it can give some parents some peace of mind, at least for a little while. However, at the end of the day, our parenting skills is what is most important and what takes precedence over any negative exposures to our children.  If we are always doing our best as parents and teaching them as best as possible, right and wrong, good and bad and just being a good human being overall, they will be able to make good decisions in their lives regardless of what they see.

But if you would like to know more about this new search engine you can check it out here or check out this other article which goes into more details about the pros and cons of it. It definitely gives you a better breakdown of what to expect.  If you  are a parent of a child who is beginning to use the internet on their own, maybe you can check out this new search engine and see how it works for you and your kid(s).  I would love to hear about your experience.

XOXO
Kari

Tiny Prints - Birth Announcements and More

SANTA FOOTPRINTS ~ DIY

FullSizeRenderAs parents who thrive off of the idea of Santa and its magic to make Christmas that much more special, it can get a little hectic when you run out of ideas for a special Christmas morning.  Last year I was asked by many how I did the Santa footprints, which were such a hit with my daughter that I decided to make a video of it showing each step.

Santa footprints will surely make Christmas morning absolutely magical! Take a few minutes Christmas Eve and make some footprints. You won’t be disappointed.

Check out the How to Video Here! Enjoy! Merry Christmas!

Please leave us a comment and let us know how your Christmas morning went.

xoxo Kari

KIDS EAT FREE – NEW JERSEY RESTAURANT GUIDE PARENTS WILL LOVE

Ever wonder where your kids can eat for FREE in NJ?  Here’s a guide parents will love.  I have compiled a list of restaurants where your child(ren) 12 and under can eat for free on different days of the week.  Make family night an awesome one for your kids and your pocket!

Please keep in mind these offers are subject to change at any time (the day of the week or times may vary).  We suggest you call and confirm prior to your visit. You must purchase an adult meal to get deal.

WHERE WHEN CONTACT COUNTY
Cheeseburger in Paradise Secaucus Tuesday (after 4pm) 201-392-0500www.cheeseburgerinparadise.com  
Buffalo Wild Wings Locations: Brick, Bridgewater, Eatontown, Linden, North Brunswick, Parsippany, Rockaway, Secaucus, Watchung, Woodbridge Wednesday (3-7pm) 732-475-7645www.buffalowildwings.com    Various Counties
Chevy’s Fresh MexLocations: Clifton, Linden Monday (after 4pm – kids under 5yo) 973-777-6277www.chevys.com  
Brother Jimmy’s BBQNew Brunswick Monday, Tuesday, Friday 732-249-7427http://www.brotherjimmys.com/new_brunswick  
IHOP All locations – various nights Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 866-444-5144www.ihop.com ** Contact for specific day and time Various counties 
IKEA Elizabeth, Paramus Monday – (everyone free breakfast until 11am) Tuesday – kids free 888-888-4532http://www.ikea.com    
Ariang Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi BarMountainside, Parlin Monday and Tuesday 908-518-9733www.partyonthegrill.com   
McCormick & Schmicks Sunday      
Bennigan’s Sunday    
Willie McBride’s, Branchburg & Hoboken Sunday Willie McBride’s, Branchburg & Hoboken  
Smashburger Monday & Tuesday    
The Brick Oven of MorristownMorristown Monday & Thursday 973-984-7700http://www.brickovennj.com  
Denny’sLocations: Avenel, Bordentown, Carney’s Point, Clementon, East Brunswick, Galloway, Northfield, Turnerville, Vineland Tuesday 732-634-4160www.dennys.com  Various Counties
MIller’s Ale House Mount Laurel

 

Tuesday MIller’s Ale House     
Arthur’s, Hoboken Wednesday    
TGI Friday’s Thursday    
Jake’s Way Back Burgers, Voorhees Thursday Jake’s Way Back Burgers, Voorhees  
MoonShineMillburn Sunday, Monday & Tuesday 973-218-6042
www.moonshinesupperclub.com
 
  
O’Reilly’s Pub & GrillNewton Monday 973-383-4091
www.oreillysnewton.com
 
 
Toro LocoSouth Orange Sunday & Monday 973-761-1515www.toroloco.net  
Stage House TavernSomerset Wednesday (nights) 908-322-4224www.stagehousetavern.com  
Blue Moon Mexican, Wycoff Tuesday Blue Moon Mexican, Wycoff  
Pizza Hut Tuesday    
Pizzeria UNOLocations: Clifton, Deptford, Hamilton, Maple Shade, Metuchen Tuesday 973-574-1303www.unos.com  
Hooter’s Saturday    
The Famished FrogMorristown Monday 973-540-9601www.famishedfrog.com  
MemoireRidgewood Sunday 201-857-8899www.diningatmemoire.com  
Applebee’s Tuesday    
Baja Fresh Wednesday    
Cold Stone Creamery Tuesday    
Uproot Warren Monday 908-834-8194www.uprootrestaurant.com  
JalapenosGlen Rock Sunday 201-445-5566www.jalapenosmexgrill.com  
The Pop ShopCollingswood & Medford Saturday (free Breakfast 7:30-10:30am) 856-869-0111www.thepopshopusa.com   
JasmineMedford Monday & Tuesday & Thursday 609-654-8818www.jasmineorientalcuisine.com     
RoccaGlen Rock Thursday 201-670-4945www.roccanj.com  
Friendly’s Wednesday    
Escondido’s Mexican RestaurantFreehold Tuesday 732-577-0200www.escondidonj.com   
Al DenteMoorestown Monday 856-437-6593www.aldenteitaliana.com  

 XOXO

Kari

5 WAYS TO NATURALLY INDUCE LABOR

11224741_10206608765801416_3816183014202982893_nI have a friend who just recently gave birth, but a week before and after her due date had passed, she asked if I knew of any methods to naturally induce labor as she was ready for the baby to ‘come out’. She was scheduled to be medically induced a week after we spoke, but she didn’t want to wait and at the same time wanted it to happen on its own.  She mentioned she had been walking tons for the past week and cleaning and just staying active overall.  I told her to do some light squats and hip circles on a yoga ball, etc…She said she had done all of that, but would try the squats.  She later asked me if I had ever heard of anyone drinking Castor Oil or Karo Syrup to induce labor…I said no, but that I would find out.

As someone who had a midwife during my pregnancy, I am all for promoting the most natural ways to give birth rather than it being medically induced.  So, I went on a quest to find out from other moms what they’ve done to naturally induce labor. I put up a post asking moms the question and was immediately showered with answers with things that they had done themselves that worked for them.  So for those of you preggos out there who are past their dues dates and are looking for ways to naturally induce labor, here are some of the most common answers I received to my question.

  1. SEX – Have lots of sex
  2. Foot Massage/ Pedicure/Acupuncture/Pre-natal massage/Warm Bath
  3. Walk, walk and walk… a lot (squats and pelvic circles on yoga ball are good too)
  4. Foods that can help: Eat Eggplant Parmesan (CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE), Pineapple, Spicy Food, Chinese Food.
  5. Let the baby come out when it wants to (it won’t be in there forever LOL)

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Although, many of the women were against drinking Castor Oil as it causes extreme abdominal pain, diarrhea and meconium (having the baby poop inside; which of course would not be a good thing), some of the women had actually used Castor Oil and claimed that it worked for them (as long as you don’t abuse the dosage).  Of course this post is for informational purposes only and in no way it is to be taken literal.  I am not a professional in this field and your decision to try any of these suggestions would your own responsibility.

I thought it was very interesting finding out what other women claimed help induce their labor process.  Some of the woman said that after doing one or two of the above they were in labor just a few hours later.

So if you are in this situation and are looking for a natural way to induce labor, I think the 5 suggestions in this post are fun to try and non-threatening.

If you do try any of these, I would love to hear if they worked.

Wishing you a happy and healthy labor and baby.

Xoxo Kari
The Honest Company - Safe, Stylish, Convenient

Candy Tactics your kids will love

I’ve never been one to have a sweet-tooth. In fact I could go without candy and dessert without ever needing a ‘fix’ – bottom line I have no need for candy or sweets of any kind. However, other circumstances have made me Love candy in ways you couldn’t imagine… Wait maybe you can imagine.

I have compiled the top 5 reasons why I love candy…can you relate? 

1. Potty-Training – I used the candy tactic on my toddler when she was potty training. One jelly bean for each time she went to the bathroom. It worked wonders! She was fully potty trained before 2.5 years old.

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2. Eat your food and you get dessert – my little one is not necessarily a ‘picky’ eater. She pretty much eats everything, including fruits and veggies, but she can be an “annoying” eater, as in she plays with her food and takes forever to finish.  That’s when I bring out the candy or dessert tactic… “You can have dessert when you finish all of your food”

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3. Clean-up time bribing – Getting your child to clean up after themselves can be challenging at times…But not when you bring out the candy tactic. “I’ll give you a lollipop after you pick up all of your toys” – works like a charm. 

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4. Behave in public – She’s normally a really well behaved kid so I don’t use this very often, but when she decides she wants to act out – I definitely gotta pull out the candy card. 

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5. Bedtime – This one is very rare but has worked.  “Close your eyes and go sleepy time, when you wake up I’ll take you to get some frozen yogurt. I did it last night…she woke up asking for her frozen yogurt. Lol

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These tactics have worked out great! Probably because she has a sweet tooth lol. I do not give her candy every time I use the tactic though… It’s just a way to get her to do something and then I entertain her until she forgets about it. As parents we gotta figure out what works best for each of us because if we don’t find alternatives that work we can easily go crazy. Lol 

I hope you find my candy tactics helpful. what do you do to get your child to perform a task? Share your tactics. I may need to switch up mine here and there.” 🙂

Xoxo 

Kari 

We Love Sesame Place!

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What a fun-filled weekend this past weekend was!  Lots of celebrations…I love celebrations…I am happy to say that there’s always so much love surrounding them and good vibrations emanating from all over the place.  We are truly blessed. Among all of the celebrations I attended to this weekend, one in particular was Sesame Place’s Autism Awareness Day!

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Sesame Place is a kid-friendly amusement-water park geared toward children ages 2-13.  It has a variety of rides which kids can ride by themselves or accompanied by an adult if the child is too little.  They are located in PA about an hour and 20 minutes from Northern NJ and officially opens for the season this coming weekend.

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A friend of mine gave us tickets to attend this special event and we couldn’t have been more thrilled to go. Since we know how much our little one L O V E S Sesame Street, we knew this would be a major event for her.  She was certainly over the moon with excitement once we arrived. I wish you guys could have seen the expressions on her face. She was in heaven! This certainly was the perfect amusement park, for the best little girl. Later in the day, one of my sisters and two little brothers came to the park to join in on the fun which made the day even more special.

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It was a sun-filled Sunday, just the perfect day to be outdoors. As I looked around, I noticed every child was truly enjoying this magical day.  It was great to see all of those little smiling faces, running around, going on the rides, eating candy, meeting all of the characters and more.  Everything was so perfect! My little one finally got to go on rides for her size… and she was having a blast.

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We got to sit and watch Elmo Rocks Concert which was fantastic.  She was totally enjoying and rocking to the beats of Elmo, Cookie Monster and friends. She also got to say hi to Elmo and take pictures with Cookie Monster and Abby…her favorite characters!  And to top it off, she got to see ALL of the characters during their wonderful 20 minutes closing parade.   She truly had the time of her life.  We can’t wait to bring her again once the water rides open…that will be another amazing experience.

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This day was just so wonderful overall.  Seeing her beautiful face lit up throughout the entire day we knew we made the right choice when we accepted those tickets.   If you are close to PA or willing to take an hour plus ride, I would suggest you take the kids. While we were there we ate at the Cookie Monster Cafe where each kid got to take home a super cute Cookie Monster Plate and Drink Cup as a souvenir.   My only suggestions would be to try to eat a good meal before arriving at the park. The food there is expensive and not the healthiest.  Other than that I can assure you, your children will have a great time!

There is a Groupon deal going on right now. Go HERE to view.

Hope you enjoy looking at the pictures of our Sesame Place Adventure!

Xoxo

Kari