Life After the Children Leave

5/4/14
Wendy Aronsson, author of Refeathering the Empty Nest
Topic:
Life after the children leave
Issues: Preparing for the shift from parent to empty-nester; navigating the confusing emotions when your youngest finally leaves home; the challenges, uncertainties, and fears; how your marriage may change; (re)learning to focus on yourself; what happens when the kids move back home

Understanding the Best Options in Home Entertainment

It used to be you had just a few simple channels on the T.V. Then cable came along and we suddenly had hundreds. Satellite TV also gave us more choices. Services began to expand their options (now reaching well over a hundred channels). Now you have all those online options.

There are times when you’re spending more time trying to find something to watch than watching the show or film. It’s very frustrating and becomes doubly so when you’re trying to find something for the kids.
Dump on the fact that the price of cable, broadband, and the tech we use to view this media continues to splinter in every which direction, and it can be easy to get a little confused.

My mission, with this post, is to help you navigate the options and hopefully give you enough insight to find the entertainment option that gives you the best bang for your buck.
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Genius, Love, and Autism + Refeathering the Empty Nest

Kristine Barnett, author of The Spark
Topic:
A mother’s story of nurturing, genius, and autism
Issues: A conversation with the mother of a child whose IQ is higher than Einstein’s, taught himself calculus in two weeks, and became a paid researcher in quantum physics at age 12—but who doctors thought would never be able to tie his own shoes.


Wendy Aronsson, author of Refeathering the Empty Nest
Topic:
Life after the children leave
Issues: Preparing for the shift from parent to empty-nester; navigating the confusing emotions when your youngest finally leaves home; the challenges, uncertainties, and fears; how your marriage may change; (re)learning to focus on yourself; what happens when the kids move back home

Plan a Happy Surprise on Mother’s Day

For several years, millions of people across the globe have made Mother’s Day a day to prepare a happy surprise for the loving women in their lives. The roots of this very special day can be traced to ancient Greek and Roman times but the theme began to catch on in the UK where Mothering Sunday was celebrated long before the day became an official holiday in the United States. Julia Ward Howard and Anna Jarvis are credited with pushing to make Mother’s Day an official holiday in the U.S. Now more than 40 countries around the world share this special day in honor of the women who bring life into the world.
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Splish, Splash, We’re Taking a Bath

What is it about bath time that makes it so much fun for kids? Sure, having prune fingers is entertaining, but there has to be more. Is it the echo of your voice in the bathroom? The relaxing nature of warm water? The chance to splash around and make a mess (that for parents is a lot easier to clean up than splashing around in mud puddles)? The wonderful opportunities for creative play, cause and effect, and imagination? Actually, does it really matter? This week we had a chance to review a number of bath toys that can keep bath time fun for everyone—even when it’s time for the dreaded washing and shampooing part. We loved ‘em and we’re sure you will too.

splish & splashB. Fish & Splish Boat (B. Toys)
Take two handfuls of colorful, durable water toys, put them in a boat, and you’ve got hours of fun. The Fish & Splish Boat includes nesting cups, the captain, a life preserver, a fishing hook (no, not a real one, of course) and four easy-to-catch fish—all of which stow away neatly inside the boat. There’s even a comb and nail brush (cleverly disguised as an innocent-looking octopus and a smiling whale) so mom and dad can sneak a little hygiene into the bathing experience. Ages eight months to three years. Retails for about $31.00 at Amazon. http://www.mybtoys.com/

wiggly wind-upsWiggly Wind-Ups (B. Toys)
If there’s one place where electronics don’t belong, it’s the bathtub. And the folks at B. Toys have graciously obliged, coming up with some delightfully old-school toys. All you do is wind ‘em up, let them loose and the paddle their way around the tub, leaving nothing but waves and giggling children behind. There’s a gorilla in a canoe, a giraffe with swim fins, and a masked blue super dog. Unfortunately, the Wiggly Wind-Ups are a little hard to find, but well worth the trouble.

Bubbalooka
Surfing in the Tub
Magnetic Ducks in the Tub (Alex Toys)

bubbalookaIf you’re looking for a way to keep your little one(s) in the tub a bit longer, Bubbalooka is your answer. With Bubbalooka, kids (and we’re sure plenty of parents) can blow incredibly long, fluffy bubble snakes. The complete kit comes with a bubble horn, a bottle of bubble solution, and a suction cup holder so the bottle won’t spill into the tub.  Can be used in the tub or anywhere else, for that matter. Recommended for kids two years old and up. Retails for $11.95 on the company’s website (http://www.alextoys.com/), or you can pick it up wherever you buy your toys.

surfing in the tubThe Surfing in the Tub kit is another bath time extender—one that’s designed to make washing a little less unattractive. Snap the monkey onto one of two foam surfboards and take him on his very own wave-riding adventure. Oh, and did we mention that the money also squirts? For ages two and up. But it for $11.95 on Alex Toys’ website—a bit more on Amazon.

 

magnetic ducksMagnetic Ducks in the Tub are exactly what you’d expect from the name: three colorful, soft, vinyl ducks—theoretically a mommy duck and her chicks, but it could just as well be a dad or family friend—that click together magnetically. Good, clean, old fashioned, fun.  Safe for ages two and up. Retails for $16.95.