My Life In Pictures: October 1 – 15

Recently a bunch of us in one of my favorite Facebook groups were all complaining about not having time to write on our own blogs because of jobs and kids and lives outside of the computer. That’s when someone threw out the idea to writing a post in pictures! Take your photos from Instagram, and add them to a post with a short description so that everybody can see what you’ve been up to. I loved the idea because it will also make me take more pictures! So here’s what I’ve been up to…

PicMonkey Collage I’ve always heard of Oak Glen and thought it would be fun to go there and pick apples, so while Jason was working one day we decided to go. We met friends there, and I snapped these pictures. These girls are all so cute together! I am fortunate to have lots of friends who have kids the same age as mine, and we all hope these girls will be friends for life…they’ve been lifelong friends so far!

Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to pick apples, but we’ll definitely be going back to do that soon!

PS – Ethan was with us too, and refused to have his picture taken with a bunch of girls.

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The kids are usually terrible at knock-knock jokes, so I was surprised when Lila came up with a good one!

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We finally got some rain in So Cal! It wasn’t nearly enough to end the drought, but every little bit helps. And shockingly, I even got a pretty incredible (considering my photography skills) picture of a gorgeous rainbow!

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Last week, my sister mentioned getting together for dinner, and I told her about this AMAZING recipe for a Garlicky Chicken & Kale pizza that I had found on Pinterest. We made lots of changes to it, and this recipe is AMAZING. Everybody will love it.

PicMonkey Collage1 And seriously, this picture is the reason I have no time. We are completely remodeling our kitchen and downstairs. From the floors to the ceiling, everything is changing. That first picture is what my house has looked like for months (literally). The second picture is a sneak peek of our new flooring and kitchen…stay tuned for more. We still have paint and countertops and a bathroom to redo, so before and after pictures are awhile off. But I can’t wait to share!

Do you like the idea of doing a post on your life in pictures? If so, leave me a comment – if enough people are interested, I’ll start a link up next week!

Guardian Bikes: The Perfect Bikes for Kids

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. We were invited to learn more about Guardian Bikes during a preview event. All thoughts and ideas remain my own.

Looking for the safest bike for your child? Check out Guardian Bikes, with SureStop braking making it virtually impossible for your child to flip over the handle bars! Last weekend, we were invited to get a sneak peek at a new bike for kids, Guardian Bikes. Designed in California, Guardian Bikes are made for children ages 4-12. What makes these bikes different from other bikes out there is that they were designed specifically with safety in mind.

Guardian Bikes have a brand new braking technology called SureStop. SureStop is a single lever brake system that operates both the front and rear brake simultaneously, making it virtually impossible to flip over the front of the bike due to a sudden stop. So if your child stops abruptly, they won’t fly over the handle bars.

Looking for the safest bike for your child? Check out Guardian Bikes, with SureStop braking making it virtually impossible for your child to flip over the handle bars!

Another cool feature about Guardian Bikes is that they only weigh about 20 pounds, much lighter than other children’s bikes. These bikes are made mostly of aluminum, so Guardian Bikes are easier for a child to control.

The kids got a chance to try the bikes out. Ethan loved that it was “smooth” to ride and so light. He also liked that he wasn’t afraid to brake, something he’s always worried about since he has flipped over the handle bars.

Looking for the safest bike for your child? Check out Guardian Bikes, with SureStop braking making it virtually impossible for your child to flip over the handle bars!

Mia absolutely fell in LOVE with this bike! She even asked if I thought Santa would bring her one!

Looking for the safest bike for your child? Check out Guardian Bikes, with SureStop braking making it virtually impossible for your child to flip over the handle bars!

I’ll be honest – Guardian Bikes are not cheap. Think of it as an investment in your child – it’s a bike that will grow with your child. The seat post adjusts as your child grows, so it’s really worth the price. And factor in the additional safety, it’s definitely with the cost!

Safety FeaturesGuardian Bikes

SureStop Brakes

  • No front wheel lockup
  • Easier for children–only one lever controls both brakes

Easy Ride Geometry

  • Wheel base is extended and bottom bracket is lowered for an overall lower center of gravity, making the bike harder to tip over and easier to ride.

Sturdier Steering

  • Guardian Bikes’ steering components make it easier for kids to steer as they ride

Lightweight

  • Mostly made of aluminum, Guardian Bikes are easier for a child to control due to their light weight

High Quality Components

  • SureStop Brakes
  • Shimano shifting
  • Kenda tires
  • Double wall rims for durability

Guardian Bikes are available in 20” and 24” size frames. They’ll be available online and at specialty retailers beginning in September 2015. Current pricing for each bike is $369 for the single speed bicycle, and $399 for the 6 speed bicycle. For more information about Guardian Bikes, visit www.guardianbikes.com.

Happy 8th Birthday, Ethan!

And just like that, Ethan is 8. I am a bad mom and I’m over a week late in posting this Happy Birthday for him, but it’s not because I don’t care or didn’t want to. It’s because we’ve been so busy!

With school starting, a kitchen remodel, and the birth of my 6th niece, things have been chaotic. Not having a kitchen is a real pain, let me tell ya!

So I’m sorry that this is so late, Buddy. I can’t believe my miracle baby is already 8 years old. You’ve changed my life in so many ways, and I  love you to the moon and back and then back again.

Happy Birthday Ethan!

Ethan meeting Baby Presley Lynn. I couldn't love this picture more!

Ethan meeting Baby Presley Lynn. I couldn’t love this picture more!

Daring 

Self Confident

Funny

Smart

Independent

Minecraft Lover

Curious

My Favorite Boy In the Whole World

Stranger Danger: What You And Your Kids Need To Know

Remember being in school and learning about “stranger danger?” Me too. But that’s something that only happens to other kids, right? Kids that live in crappy areas. Kids whose parents don’t pay enough attention to them. Kids who aren’t smart. That is 100% completely untrue. How do I know? Because it happened to our family last week.

My 14 year old niece was on her way home from school, when an unknown 24 year old male approached her and tried to lure her into his car “just for a few minutes.” She told him that she was only 14, and he said he didn’t care. He asked for her phone number. Offered her a trip to a local amusement park. Offered her money…MONEY…to get into his car.

We live in a low-crime city. Nothing major happens here very often. Sure there are thefts and fights, but rarely murders, rapes, kidnappings, or abductions.

My niece is a smart kid. She doesn’t run around with the “wrong” crowd or drink or do drugs. She’s got a good head on her shoulders, and a family that makes sure that she stays on the straight and narrow path. She knows that bad things happen to good people.

She’s not sheltered or a wild child. She’s smarter than her years, and knows better than to talk to a stranger. She’s smart enough to know that when a strange man approaches her (stranger danger!) and won’t leave her alone, she needs to say and do whatever she needs to do to survive the situation.

I’m not kidding when I say she’s smart. She took video, without him knowing, of the conversation they had. She got his license plate number. She gave him her (totally fake and not even close to her real) phone number when he asked…anything to make him go away. But he didn’t. She walked off, and he got in his car and followed her. Fortunately, someone upstairs was watching over her and sent a Good Samaritan to her rescue. A random woman noticed something was not right and stopped to make sure my niece was okay. That scared the guy away.

What I’m trying to say is that stranger danger is REAL. It happens. It happens to good kids in good towns. It happens to smart kids. It frickin’ happens.

The suspect was arrested a few days later thanks to my niece keeping her wits about her and being smart enough to get as many details as she could. And because of a Good Samaritan. Because who knows what would’ve happened if that woman didn’t stop to help.

And you know what? People didn’t believe the story. After we shared it on social media, people said it wasn’t true because there was no proof. People thought we exaggerated the situation, or tried to make it sound worse than it really was. People thought that since he didn’t touch her that a charge of Annoying or Molesting a Child Under the Age of 18 was harsh. Jail time even if he didn’t actually do anything? Here’s how I will address that one: What does a 24 year old man want from a 14 year old girl whom he doesn’t even know that would make him offer her money to get in his car “just for a few minutes?” It wasn’t good conversation about current events, we all know that. He wanted something sinister. He came from another county, cities away, to find a young girl. For conversation or friendship? I don’t think so, and I bet you don’t either.

Stranger danger, in any way, shape, or form, should be a felony. I’m sorry, but just because “nothing happened” because he didn’t get the chance to make it happen doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be held accountable. I don’t feel bad for him. I don’t care about his excuses. I want other parents to know that stranger danger happens, every day, every where, to every kind of kid.

So what do you need to know so that you can make sure your children are prepared if something similar happens to them? Thankfully, our police department shared some tips that can be used by kids anywhere and everywhere if they are ever in a stranger danger situation.

Stranger Danger: What You And Your Kids Need To Know

Do your children know what to do in a stranger danger situation? It happens, no matter where you live. Here's what your kids need to know. I know because it happened to my family.

Thank you to Corona Police Department for sharing these tips that can be used by all parents to educate their kids about Stranger Danger and what to do in these situations:

  • Never talk to strangers
  • Never take items from strangers, such as money or candy
  • Never go anywhere with someone you don’t know
  • If approached by a stranger, stay more than an arms reach away from them
  • If approached by a stranger, seek help immediately
  • Trust instincts, if something feels wrong seek help and call police immediately
  • Use the buddy system whenever possible, avoid walking to or from school alone
  • Know your home address and phone number in case school officials or police need your information

I’d also like to add that if kids are walking home or anywhere and they are alone, they should also stay off of their cell phones and pay attention to their surroundings! Just like when adults are driving, being on a phone while walking alone can be dangerous.

Another tip we’ve implemented with our kids is that if they are approached by anybody (whether they know the person or not) who tells them that mom and/or dad wanted them to go with him (or her), they should know the password. A secret word the kids can remember but that nobody would ever guess. All 3 of my kids know the word. And you’d never guess it!

And always tell your children that if someone is trying to grab them or makes them uncomfotable in any way, to kick, scream, yell, bite…do WHATEVER they need to do to get away or to get other people’s attention.

Luckily for my niece and for all of us, she trusted her gut, stayed away from him, and said what she needed to say to try to get away from him. We are SO PROUD of her and her bravery. While she is doing okay after the incident, she’s feeling a lot of victim feelings and trying to digest what happened. Please send her some positive thoughts and good wishes; she deserves them!

And please, PLEASE share this information with your family and friends. Because it really can happen to anybody.

Does ‘The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep’ Really Make Kids Fall Asleep Quickly?

Disclaimer: This is not a paid review or a sponsored post. I heard about The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep and didn’t think it would work so I decided to try it out and see. 

I have two 6 year olds who HATE bedtime. This is nothing new…I’ve been dealing with their loathing bedtime for years. I’ve written tips about getting your kids to sleep. I’ve written about how much sleep kids need. And yet, it’s still a battle. Every school night is a fight…there’s begging and pleading and whining and crying. And that’s just from me!

Kidding…it’s really all coming from them. Most of the time.

Why does Ethan get to stay up longer?

I don’t want to go to school tomorrow!

I want you to sleep in my bed.

Why can’t we stay up for one more show?

I’ve created monsters, and I’ve hated bedtime with a passion. Until tonight…

I do social media management for Smart Moms and also manage their Mom Videos site. While uploading videos there, I came across a video about a book that will make your kids fall asleep in just minutes. No way, I thought…not possible.

Have you heard about the book The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep? It's supposed to make your kids fall asleep in just minutes. Find out if it works here.

 

The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep

So I checked out The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep: A New Way Of Getting Children To Sleep on Amazon and read the reviews. I went to the author’s website (Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin) to research there too. It seemed legit, but also too good to be true. I had no choice but to buy the book and try it on my girls for the sake of research and to prove it was BS. BUT IT WASN’T BS! It worked, you guys! It really worked!

I bought the Kindle version of The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep on Amazon. The girls were not happy about it. They like reading from “real” books. But I didn’t want to have to wait for the book to get here; I wanted to to try it immediately.

How does it work? From the author’s website: The book is written with a specific language pattern based on psychological techniques that will help your child to relax and fall asleep. If you analyze the language and the structure of sentences you will soon see a pattern emerge. It’s all about giving the right suggestions to the child, to help it focus on relaxation and falling to sleep. I did notice the pattern quickly, though the girls did not.

I read it just as the author had recommended. In the introduction of The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep, there’s are instructions for how to read the story. For instance, when you see words in bold, you read them with emphasis. When you see words in italics, you read them slowly and calmly. I also read them quieter.

When I started reading, I didn’t think it would work because the girls kept talking. They were mad that there were no pictures in the book (there are some, but not on every page.) They asked a lot of questions like how their names were in the book. I just said that they are part of the story and the book said to include their names with Roger the Rabbit. Nope, this wasn’t going to work.

Unbelievably though, within five minutes Lila was already asleep. Mia was yawning and complaining about being really tired. I couldn’t believe it was working!

I don’t play around with luck, so even though they both ended up falling asleep within 10 minutes, I finished reading the entire book.

At the end of the book, I looked at them both and they were completely out. I was shocked! I started to move out of the bed, and Lila said “Mama.” I told her I was going to the bathroom and that I would be right back. She never woke up again. This book is amazing!

Have you heard about the book The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep? It's supposed to make your kids fall asleep in just minutes. Find out if it works here.

The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep really made my girls fall asleep quickly. They liked it enough that they asked me this morning to read it to them again tonight so that they can hear the rest of the story.

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You can find The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep: A New Way Of Getting Children To Sleep on amazon.com, or you can download the free e-book directly from the author’s website!

Have you tried reading The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep to your kids? Did it work?

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