Does family-friendly TV exist?

I try to limit the amount of TV my kids watch.  I do, really, I do.  Most days, I’m not that successful at it.  When it was just me & Max at home, we had a pretty good schedule of an hour in the morning, and then maybe another 1/2 hour to hour in the afternoon, after his nap, while I made dinner.  Definitely within the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation.  Now that there are two kids that get up at different times, the morning TV time has stretched out a bit, and since Max doesn’t nap anymore (usually), it admittedly sometimes goes on in the afternoon, too, while Wyatt naps.  I feel extremely guilty about this, but sometimes it’s just a necessary evil in order to get everything done in a day that needs to get done (including keeping my sanity).  My consolation is that just about everything he watches is educational. 

Oh, did I mention they also watch a little before bed, too?  Yeah, they usually wind down with something like Diego, but lately, we’ve been feeling like us parents need to get to watch a show once in a while, especially since Wyatt’s wake up call is at 5:30 am, our bedtime isn’t long after his. So the quest to find something family-friendly, that’s not made for preschoolers, but still ok for them to watch, began.  Shows like American Idol and AFV are good for this;  not my first choice, but a little more tolerable for an adult.

So yesterday, since Max had a fairly decent nap, I knew he’d be up late.  I was feeling tired, so I said ok to some TV, but it had to be one of my shows. After some perusing, we decided to watch So You Think You Can Dance.  Max likes to dance.  He’s always showing me his new “moves”.  I figured he would enjoy it, and it seemed innocent enough. 

What bothered me was not the show itself, but something else I’ve been noticing more and more now that I’m a parent:  the commercials.  You think you’re watching something innocent, you don’t have to worry about walking out of the room to get a drink, when you hear a commercial come on for some incredibly gruesome scary movie.  Or maybe now you have to explain to your 4 year old what erectile dysfunction, or herpes, is.  I remember when Max was an infant, an old neighbor of mine actually called the local TV station to complain about a particularly explicit news blurb that was played during a Harry Potter movie. 

Last night, the offense was an ad for a new upcoming show, FRINGE.  Don’t get me wrong, this show looks really cool, it’s from the makers of LOST, I’d probably like to watch it.  But I don’t need my kids seeing blood splattered all over the inside of airplane windows, and hearing the main character talk about how everyone is dead.  This is all before 9 o’clock pm.  Is is too much to ask that the commercials match the rating of the show?  I know they sort of tend to do this anyway, but I think they can do a whole lot better. 

As usual, it’s up to the parents (as it should be) to police what their kids are seeing.  I don’t have a problem with this, but it would be nice that once we settle on a decent show, we could actually sit back, relax & enjoy it together. 

I guess this is a another pretty good arguement for just turning it off & having some quality family time together.


Proud to be an American

For the wee ones…

Here’s part of a baby gift I’ve been working on, and also a little preview of what’s to come for the  babypotami once the shop updates (I promise I’ll have better photos):



I used Tracy Porter fabric for the applique, & hope to get more so I can make a matching set of pants.  I hope little JP likes it!


Last night I braved my way through Kensington to attend a class for sellers on Etsy.  My dear friend Liz accompanied me, and we managed to make it there in one piece and (almost) on time.  It was informative, although much of the time was taken up with instructions on how to list an item, which I already know how to do.  There were a few tips shared, although I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for more “insider” secrets to selling.  Liz is always good for some interesting conversation, and since we share the same opinions on a lot of matters, she’s always a pleasure to be around.

Anyway, I’ve been pretty happy with the amount of orders I’ve gotten just from the blog, and special requests from people who’ve seen my stuff on flickr & etsy.  Not that I wouldn’t be more than happy to get more, of course, but it’s been nice & steady.  I realize I have not had a shop update in quite a while, and, all I can say is, I’m sorry!  Anyone who clicks on the links to my shop must be so bored by the same old pictures that’ve been up there since Easter….  I do have an update coming, I promise! 

The good thing about taking the class last night was it got me motivated to get my heiney in gear & pump out some new stuff.  I’ve had these ideas floating around for so long, it’s time to make them materialize.  I’ve always been kind of in awe of the fact that we as humans can take something intangible and abstract, like a thought, or an idea, and make it into something real.  Something that can be touched, listened to, read, admired, or even criticized by others.  You can offer someone a little window into what’s inside your mind.  I guess it’s a little like imitating God… pretty cool.  After all, isn’t imitation the highest form of flattery?

Passing the torch

Today is Max’s last day of Preschool.  I can’t believe how fast it went.  Now that I’ve become accustomed to having him in school two days a week, I’m faced with the challenge of how to keep him entertained all summer.  Two days a week doesn’t seem like a lot, especially since it’s only for a few hours at a time, but it does help break up the day/week.   I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun over the summer, but it is somewhat difficult to “stay fresh” & keep both him & his brother occupied & engaged.  I would like to say I have a whole list of things planned, places to go, and activities to keep their minds active.  The truth is, this list consists of a trip to the zoo.   I did get my requested copy of The Creative Family  for Mother’s Day, so I will definitely be hitting that up for some ideas. 

Sadly, though, my kids don’t seem to be bitten by the creative bug.  Part of the reason I have not posted anymore “Kids Crafty” features, is that I cannot get them to finish one single project!  Ok, I know, they’re only 4 and not quite 2, and maybe my expectations are a little high at this point, but it’s not like I’m trying to get them to build the world’s largest LEGO tower  or anything.  Hmmm…. a room full of half-finished craft projects…. sounds strangely familiar.   I guess they get their craft A.D.D. from me.

Anyway, as we get ready for his last day, I think about how much he’s grown this year.  His language skills and ability to carry on an intelligent conversation (even if it is dominated by superheroes and their various powers/weapons) has grown tremendously.  He has passed the side-by-side play for more engaged playtime with his friends.  Over the past few months he has blossomed into such a pleasure to be around.  He still has his tantrums, but nowhere near what he used to, and he takes being told “no” so much better, it’s almost like I have someone else’s child.  True, we’re still dealing with some issues, but I have to remain confident that they will resolve themselves when he is good and ready. 

Someone once told me the terrible two’s don’t go away until sometime during the age of four.  I guess this theory held up for Max, just in time for his little brother to step in & take over.  While Max’s past few months have shown such strides in his personality, Wyatt has hit terrible two-ness with a vengeance. Again, it’s like someone switched kids with me in the middle of the night.  Let me just tell you– if you’re ever around Wyatt and a banana, you’d better hope & pray it doesn’t break, because hell hath no fury like a little boy whose banana just broke.

At least I know this “phase” will pass, even if it does take two & a half years or so….


Anyway, here are Max’s teacher’s gifts:

They started out as lunchboxes, but I guess they’re pretty much just summer purses now.  I hope they like them- they certainly earned it!

In the Moment

I was reminded yesterday that I’ve been projecting myself into the future a little too much lately.  I can’t help it, worry & concern over what is to come seems to run in my blood.  I have also been guilty of agonizing over the past at times.  The past is…. past.  You can’t change it.  All you can do is learn from it & use it as an educational tool.  I really think I’ve been missing out on a lot this way.  

Today, I am going to try and focus & enjoy whatever it is that I am doing at that moment in time.  Have you ever really tried to do this?  Just wash a dish & not think about what you need to do next, what bills are due, who you’re going to get to babysit Friday night?  It’s not easy!

I started this morning up early, went in my sewing room to do a few things that should’ve been done last night.  About 20 minutes later, Max started yelling for daddy.  Then, not to be outdone, Wyatt started yelling for me.  I didn’t finish what I was doing.  I went in and cuddled with my almost two year old, and I didn’t worry about what I didn’t finish.  It was wonderful.  We giggled.  We tickled.  We gave butterfly kisses.  I’m going to give it a shot the rest of the day.  I’m certainly no expert, but I think this might be a way to find more happiness and satisfaction with life in general.

Now, I’m not sure how much I’ll be enjoying the moment when that pesky eyelash gets stuck in my eye, & try as I might, it just WON’T come out, but we’ll see how the rest of the day goes…

Fun, Flatulence, and Flying Poo

A belated Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Mama Bears out there.  I hope you all had as great a day as I did. 

The day started with an exquisite extra hour & half of sleep, followed by two very excited, wiggly, giggly boys climbing in bed with me with an awesome breakfast not far behind.  There was laughing.  There was licking.  There was a picture of me drawn by Max:  “Look, mommy!  I gave you one big eye- I made you a cyclops!”  Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of it to share.

After enjoying a nice long shower, and since it was truly the most beautiful weather, I thought it would be appropriate to go to the “Mother” of all playgrounds…. Kid’s Castle.  Check this beast out:

These photos don’t even do it justice… this place is every kid’s dream come true as far as playgrounds go.  The huge castle part is very much like an M.C. Escher maze, complete with a three story slide that I think Bill almost got stuck in.  There’s a ton of swings, a pirate ship, a whole sandbox section, bridges, monkey bars, balance beams, the list goes on & on.  And it’s all free.  Gotta love the city of Doylestown.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a nice lunch out served by a not-so-nice waiter (I think he maybe partied a little too hard the night before), and headed home so the boys could take naps.  I settled down to get some sewing done while Bill headed outside to finish up some yardwork. 

About an hour later, in a flash of stammering nakedness, my husband comes running up the stairs, stripped of all clothing, hollering that he’s about to puke.  Apparently, he hit a fresh pile of dog poo with the weed whacker, and it sprayed like….well…. sh*t hitting the fan. And, God bless him, he finished the job, covered in canine feces from head to toe.  This level of dedication to lawn and yard would surely put the Lawn Whisperer to shame.  Bravo, Bill.  I never laughed so hard in my life.  I’m sure you can read about the whole story in gory detail later this week on Poop & Boogies.

After the kids got up and Bill burned off his epidermis in the shower, I enjoyed a yummy dinner of chicken & bean burritos made for me by hubs.  Oh, and if you live on the East Coast, that tremor you may have felt around 6 pm was not seismic activity…. it was just a few too many beans in Bill’s burrito.  He’s ok, but I think I might have to call out a structural engineer… *just* to be safe….


Have a wonderful day.