Thursday, December 11, 2008

Carnival of Family Life Posts

The Carnival of Family Life posted at All Rileyed Up. Looks like there are tons of good Christmas craft ideas. Gifts for Grandma, anyone?

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Tis the Season for Sickness

Starting with me, everybody in my family has been sick since last Sunday.I had a stomach bug. My husband has a cold. My daughter has chronic stomach problems that I keep fearing is not the usual problems, but my stomach bug - plus it looks like she's caught her father's cold. So she stayed home today.

Nothing cramps holiday plans quite as quickly as an illness. It got me thinking, though: Should I be more aggressive about cleaning after minor illnesses? I mean, I'm having a hard enough time getting the basics done as it is.

I found this post about cleaning a baby's toys - which becomes a much bigger deal when you're dealing with a five year old instead of a baby. One woman posted this piece of advice about 10 times:
"I clean the toys at my church. The way we were taught, was to wash them in soap and water, then rinse them in a bleach solution. I fill a deep sink with hot water and add 3 tbsp bleach (the ratio should be 95% water, 5% bleach.) The trick is to let the toys dry with the bleach on them, don't rinse! If you are cleaning something big like an exersaucer, try putting the 95/5 solution in a spray bottle."


But I think I'll just buy some Lysol and go to town spraying the doorknobs and light switches.
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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Save Money with Family Gifts

If you're looking for a way to cut down on the holiday hassle and possibly save money, why not consider giving family gifts this year? By family gifts, I mean one gift for an entire family that encourages family togetherness.

I wrote about the idea in 2006, but I didn't mention at the time that it could be a way to cut your gift expenses. After all, you can buy a very nice family gift for everyone to share for less than you would spend on each individual.

Here's a list of family gift ideas to get you started.

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The Value of Relaxing

I was perusing the early posts of this blog and was amused to discover some posts from when I was trying to give up TV. I had to smile, because it's three years later, and I'm still debating whether or not to give up TV.

Sometimes, though, everybody just need to relax: You, the spouse, the kids, even the dog. And frankly, TV is a great way to do that.

I know, I know. Technically, it's not a great way to do that. Studies have shown there are a lot better, more efficient ways for your brain to relax. But nothing feels quite as laid back and low key as just chilling in front of the TV.

We watched Air Bud and then Hercules, which has what I consider to be cartoon violence and for some reason, my daughter gets a kick out of it. Mostly, I don't let her watch it, but every now and then I watch and episode and she claims to watch it, but mostly she plays.

At one point, I asked my daughter if she wanted me to read to her or just watch TV. She loves reading, but she opted for the TV. I think she needed to feel free to do her own thing and chill, too.

Just last month, I said I wanted to cut back on the TV. And we have. But this wasn't mindless, "hey dinner's over so we now watch TV." This was a deliberate decision to call off the work hounds, call off my errands and just be together. None of us felt up to much - I suspect my daughter might be on the cusp of a stomach flu - so we watched TV, with Sweatpea sitting in my lap while I rocked and hugged her.

I think what matters is not so much the TV itself, as the message it sends my daughter - which is that even her parents are going to be 'off' for tonight. She knows we're relaxing. When we read or do other things, I get antsy and end up doing work or otherwise being busy. When we watch TV, we all slow down, sit and just be together.

Of course, my daughter and I also have the ability to talk and interactive, even with the TV on. My husband does not. Plus he was sick, so he went to bed early.

It was a relaxing evening, and I can't help but think TV was a part of that. Are there better ways? Sure. But nothing says total sloth like TV night.

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