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Things I Love: Imaginarium Bouncy Horse

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
By Glinda

This toy is practically perfect.

It is beyond sturdy, (my 9 year old can ride on it quite violently and it holds up just fine) is low noise-producing, (unlike that damn cat piano my sister bought) and it promotes physical activity.

If you’ve got a 2-3 year old, look no further for your next toy purchase.  We got this as a gift for Christmas, and it is used a LOT, which is saying something for a two year old with a short attention span.

They only sell this at Toys R Us, so accept no substitutes.

Things I Love: Kindle Fire Product Review

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
By Glinda

So we were searching around for a gift for my nine year old for his birthday, which was in September. At the time, everyone was buzzing about the Kindle Fire, and since my husband and I had already discussed a desire to get him a tablet device (but were balking at the price tag of the iPad) the Fire seemed like a perfect solution.

Not too expensive? Check.

I think we spent more on his DSi a couple years ago.  If something happened to it, I wouldn’t be hyperventilating the same way I would over an iPad.

Easy to use? Check.

If you’ve already got WiFi enabled, you can start using the Kindle in less than a minute upon opening the box as long as you have an Amazon account. I find the browsing and icons to be fairly intuitive, and my tech-crazy son finds it even easier.  The touch screen strikes a nice balance of sensitivity, and I’m so happy there is no stylus needed.

Nice to look at? Check.

The size is perfect to hold easily in your hand, and the screen resolution is fantastic. At least to my untrained eye.

Access to books, books, and more books? Check.

I am not kidding when I say that I have a hard time keeping up with my son’s reading habit. Buying new is expensive, although I do for series that I know he loves, such as all the Percy Jackson books. Our downfall is that we are horrible at getting books back to the library on time, and we tend to check out around thirty books at a time. Add all the late fees up for two weeks or so, and I figure I’m already ahead on the Kindle purchase. Our last late fee was around forty bucks. Ouch!

Decent battery life? Check.

We got about a ten hour charge out of it on first usage out of the box.

Android-based? Check.

Finally, I have seen what the Angry Birds craze is all about.

Access to the internet? Check.

This was not the main reason I bought the Fire over the other Amazon e-readers, but I figure it can’t hurt.  Right?  Trust me when I say my son will never be allowed to access the internet whenever he feels like it.   Supervision at all times!  As many filters as I can put in there!  Educational websites only! That being said, he needs to learn how to navigate the internet as a critical thinker, and this will help him do that. With me looking over his shoulder, of course.

We just got our Fire this afternoon, so maybe there are certain things I will hate about it in a week or so, but my first impression of it is extremely positive.

Overall, as a parent, I heartily recommend the Kindle Fire.


*I bought the Kindle Fire with my own moolah.  I was given absolutely no compensation for this review.  Although I certainly wouldn’t refuse a free app or two.


Top Ten Reasons I Love Homeschooling

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
By Glinda

10. The amount of depth we can go into on a particular subject at any given time. For example, we do current events, and I will tell him about something important that has happened somewhere in the world, and he will grab his globe and go find it. I think he has a better grasp of world geography than me at this point.

9. The fact that I know where my son is all the time (which may not be such a bonus for him, eh?)

8. No bullies! Not that it was an issue with my son, but I have heard some stories that would make your toes curl, and I am just glad that my son will not have to deal with that type of crap. I am not of the opinion that dealing with bullying is a “normal” part of growing up.

7. Not having to pack lunch and snack every single damn day. AND knowing what he eats every day as opposed to what is traded away/thrown away.

6. Being able to really control what my son is learning, and how. Not that I am doing some sort of free-form schooling, but empahsizing the things I think are important versus what someone else might think. Also, being able to introduce a critical thinking element to pretty much every subject.

5. The definite downturn in illnesses. Some people might see that as potentially bad, but I’m not one of them.

4. No more endless fundraising appeals. While I totally understand the need, they are still exhausting and annoying.

3. Field trips! Field trips! Field trips!

2. No drop off or pick up lines! Yay!

1. Waking up whenever we want. And then doing whatever we want during the day instead of planning our days around when school gets out.


I never really knew how much of a nonconformist I truly am until we started this.


Tomorrow, the flip side!

Things I Love: My Door Monkeys

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011
By Glinda

No, no, that isn’t a typo.

I didn’t mean to type Trunk Monkeys and somehow missed by a bunch of letters.

You see, my daughter is a stubborn type of child who likes to go places where she isn’t invited, such as my bathroom or the hallway closet.

Enter the door monkey.

It is the easiest, safest type of child door “lock” I have ever had the pleasure of using. It also works double duty as a pinch guard.

You simply attach the door monkey to the door without any type of adhesive or screws (it takes about, oh,  1 second) and voila! Your doors are childproofed.

Granted, it isn’t perfect for when you desire complete privacy as there is about an inch and a half gap where the door is slightly ajar, but if I need privacy I just enter the preferred room and lock the damn door. Usually I appreciate the gap as it allows for air circulation.

These monkeys have worked flawlessly for about a year now, and the ONLY problem I can see is if your little darling decides to climb up on something and unlatch the door that way, but if you child is doing that, you have much bigger problems.

Besides, I like being able to go around the house asking everyone where the monkeys are.

Things I Love: The Kid Should See This

Thursday, October 6th, 2011
By Glinda

Seriously, the kid SHOULD see this.  My son adores this site, and I find it just as fascinating as he does.

Created by a mom and her three year old, this is something a kid could spend quite a bit of time on and learn a ton while having fun.  What could be better?  The video above is just one of the eye-popping things in store for you.

Get thee to the site and bookmark it.  Now.

Things I Love: The Mysterious Benedict Society

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
By Glinda

A cryptic advertisement in the local paper leads four gifted children on an unexpected journey to defeat an evil genius.  Any more than that and I’m giving too much of it away!  If you have young readers who love fiction in the vein of Roald Dahl and Lemony Snicket, then this (eventual series of three books) is for them!  The children are put in danger, have to use their wits in unusual situations, and are forced to pit themselves against adults trying to harm them.

My son could not put this book down.  He is the type of reader that when he adores a book, will stay up late in order to finish it in one day. Ahem, which is a trait he definitely inherited from me.  I try to read as many of the same books as he does so that we can have some non school-related literature to chat about, and I think I liked the series almost as much as he did.  As evidenced by the fact that the day after he finished the latest release, I demanded it from him and stayed up a half hour past my bedtime to complete it.


Things I Love: Nike Kids Sunray Adjust 4

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
By Glinda

Whew, that is a handful of a name, is it not?

I know that the Manolo prefers the Saltwater Sandals for the summertime feets of the children, but I’m going to have to differ with him on this one.

Not that there is anything wrong with the Saltwater, they just aren’t my style.

I bought these Nikes for my 19 month old, and they are fantastic. 

Soft, no rubbing on tender feet, a sturdy yet flexible sole that can tackle almost any terrain, can work in wet or dry conditions, and best of all, adjustable on both the back and front straps.


Things I Love: How the States Got Their Shapes

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
By Glinda

I am a sucker, total sucker, for great educational programming.

And the History Channel’s How the States Got Their Shapes falls into that category very nicely.

With Brian Unger (former Daily Show correspondent and NPR host) and his completely deadpan delivery, this show manages to make what could potentially be an extremely boring subject and make it sing.  He’s not to hard on the eyes, either, which always makes for a nice bonus.

If you’ve got a mature 8 year old, they should do fine with this show.  There is some historical violence, such as various reenactments of Civil War battles and so far, they have said the word “hell.” But it is totally in context.

You will find out the answers to these utterly fascinating questions: (and I say that not at all facetiously)

-How did an asteroid create the border for three states and change history?

– Why did we almost have a state called Forgottonia?

-Why does Montana look like it took a bite out of Idaho?

-Did the Civil War actually begin… in Kansas?

The season is already six shows in, but I’m guessing you can find it on reruns.  It IS the History Channel, after all.  If not, they’ve got all previously-aired shows online.

And yes, I am officially a geek.

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