Stay A ‘Head’ Of The Game

Much discussion has been going on recently in the Sports World about the risks, the causes and effects, of head related injuries to athletes– specifically concussions. With players coming forward giving their testimony’s and sharing their stories of life after repeated head trauma and scientific research to back them up it’s made it so main stream it was recently featured in a major motion picture. You can find out what you need to know about head injuries by reading The Head Injury Reports. While this issue gaining more coverage is great, it frustrates me to no end that this news seems heavily geared toward one sport alone.

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Why I Wrote A Letter To My Teenage Son


In this day and age, it’s easy for parents and teens to get disconnected. It’s even easier for teens to feel like their parents just don’t ‘understand.’ Rather than talking at them, I try to take a few minutes every now and then to write them a little letter. Even the toughest of teens, the ones who so badly want to do it all themselves, sometimes need a little sentiment and reassurance. Find out how you can spotlight your teen’s awesomeness without putting them on the spot.

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Playful Edible Sludge #ad #GooGone

We’ve all played with play doh. Most of us have heard of gak or slime. It’s time to introduce everyone to Playful Edible Sludge! It’s slimy, it’s sticky, it’s the perfect texture for messy fun that’s also a great way to incorporate sensory skills into everyday play.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Birthday Party

The youngest son turned 6 a few weeks ago. And gone are the days of Mommy’s-pic, cute, cuddly party themes. We’ve finally graduated into picking our own, from last year’s Minecraft Party to this year’s choice of The TMNT.

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Cowabunga Dudes (and Dude-ettes) !

Let’s take a look at our totally radical Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Birthday Party theme.

First, the cornerstone of any good party: The Cake.

Ninja Turtle Party

We opted for an actual turtle to grace our cake, and the sons favorite it had to be. I thought our little Mikey (Michelangelo) turned out pretty well.

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I frosted it completely with green, left it in the freezer for a couple of hours, then used a toothpick to lightly draw the outlines of the face into the frosting. I recommend starting with the nose line. If you get that right, everything else is *ahem* a piece of cake. Then we piped in frosting of various colors to fill in the lines, and used a spatula to gently smooth them out. We finished it off by piping a line of orange rosettes around the bottom edge.

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The Turtles, Mikey especially, have a thing for pizza– so naturally we had to have some at the party. We picked up a few pizzas from Little Caesar’s for ‘eats’ and had pizza, and more pizza for dessert with these cute cookies. They’re sugar cookies I frosted red. The ‘cheese’ is finely grated white chocolate, with red M & M ‘pepperonis’. SOn # 2 works at a local pizzeria and snagged me a few pizza boxes for presentation, but I’m sure most local Mom & Pop joints wouldn’t mind giving you one or two upon request.

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We had Oreo cookie ‘Sewer Lids’ to munch on too. And in a nod to our anthropomorphic friends radio-active origins, we had some Toxic ‘Ooze’ to wash it all down with.

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We tend to keep the deocrations simple, using things we already have on hand. In this case? Nunchucks on the table (another nod to our beloved Mike) and talking turtle figurines. We used plastic bowls that happened to coordinate and red solo cups for untensil holders. I did splurge on coordinating plates and napkins ( each about $1 at Walmart) and a table cloth to keep clean up easy.

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Another thing we don’t do? Goody bags. You get cake and ice cream. Copious amounts of sugar are my gift/ thank you to you. On the other hand, we all know how much I love a good diy, or any kind of imaginitive play the keeps them away from outlets and batteries. When I saw an idea to make your own wearable turtle shells? Every kid was gonna get one! And they were adorable 🙂 I’ll have a how-to up next week so you can out fit your own Ninja Turtles in proper DIY-couture.

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And here’s my gorgeous sister so kindly modeling a shell for the birthday boy, and also using some of the photo props from a kit we found on clearance (again at Walmart) in the party planning section.

Simple. Straightforward. And the birthday boy and his friends thought it was all totally gnarly. Even the one boy who looked at my like I’d grown two heads when I asked him to eat over a plate as he was on his third bite of pizz-ookie, sprinkling my carpet with ‘cheese’.

A Life. Interrupted.

I went round and round about sharing this here (it’s something I’d only shared on my personal FB page and to a limited audience at that) but after talking with my husband, my family, and friends, I’ve decided that it’s part of my testimony, and not just mine, but that of my family and my children’s as well.

“Having children is a blessing. Being able to have children, even more so. I was told, years ago, by my very much trusted, and tried and true OB, that I may never be able to conceive. God brought 3 boys (and my husband) into my life who very much needed a mother, and not just a mother but a Mom who could actually be present. And then we were blessed with the surprising and much anticipated arrival of Grayson, whom we thought would complete our family. Two miscarriages down, one of which we suffered two weeks ago, and one that was four years ago, it does not get easier. It’s not as simple as, you didn’t even know so that makes it easier. It’s still and always a struggle, and each time we have to claw our way back to the surface. That ‘knife’ I feel digging inside me each time, is one that cuts to the soul. I am blessed that I have a husband who ‘gets’ it even when some days he really doesn’t. I will always thank my God for the family he crafted for me, and I will look for those two souls when I pass, but for me, for US, they’re still very much present and a part of our lives. Don’t discredit them, their worth, their value. My babies are my babies … From start to finish. And one day we will get to meet.”

The love and grace I’ve received from family and friends has been nothing short of amazing, also both eye-opening and pretty damn humbling. I’ve also heard other mothers’ stories of love and loss, and through all the tears, hugs, love, and tissues there’s one thing I can’t stop thinking about. Why did I suffer and struggle in such silence the first time we tried to wade through these uncharted waters. Why didn’t I reach out for the life preserver that was my friends and family?? Why didn’t I let them share my burden, my hurt, my heartbreak and help me heal??

What I’m learning this time around, since breaking my silence, is that having a miscarriage, loosing a baby, a life– interrupted, isn’t something that can be helped, and it is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. So why is it such a taboo subject for us to share?

I still can’t answer that question myself, but what I have learned is this:

Ladies, you are not alone. You do not have to go through this alone. You and your s.o. Do not have to go through this alone. You have no idea how many of your friends and loved ones have been where you are now. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Even when words may not suffice, or there’s nothing left to say, let them hug you, let them love you. Let them celebrate life, and loss, with you. It will give that precious life, interupted, the importance it deserves. And you, because whether you meet your child in this life or the next … You are still a mother. You are their Mother. And neither of you will ever forget one another.

So why should anyone else?

3 Ingredient Edible Peeps Playdough

Another Easter’s almost here, and you know what that means. PEEPS! Peeps here, Peeps there, Peeps are everywhere. The hubs and the sons go nuts for these things. The hubs prefers to slit open a package and let them sit for a couple of days as he finds them quite pleasing when stale. (YUCK!) The sons will badger me incessantly if they see a package in the pantry, even though if they just patiently wait until Easter the bunny always loads their baskets up with several packages.

The past few years, I’ve seen mroe and more ideas floating around with different ideas and suggested uses for them. Last year we made Peep kabobs for their baskets. I noticed they’re now selling them in stores this year. Well this year we took it above and beyond by making this simple, but awesome edible ‘playdough’ for Son # 4. Even the older sons wanted in on this action. Although I was forbidden from photo documenting the event. No evidence and plausible deniability… blah, blah, blah. Who knows, maybe this will find it’s way to the Peep market eventually. In the meantime, it doesn’t get any easier and it’s tons of simple, sugary fun for you and the little ones to gear up for the holiday.

 peeps playdough

3 Peeps
1 tbsp of coconut oil
3 tbsp of powdered sugar, plus more for dusting

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Put both the peeps and the oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for them for 10 seconds, just long enough to watch the peeps “grow” with the heat. Take the bowl out of the microwave and add in the powdered sugar and stir. As you stir the mixture in the bowl, the ‘dough’ should begin pulling away from the edges of the bowl. Lightly dust the lump with powdered sugar and work out any additional lumps in your dough with your hands.
If your dough is too sticky or too oily, add more powdered sugar, and alternatively if it is cracking, add a touch more oil. Use your hands to knead the dough until everything’s equally incorporated and it has reached a malleable consistency.

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Ok, so while we’re calling this playdough, it’s actually pretty much marshmallow fondant with some added pizzazz and Easter-y fun from the Peeps. The pink ball was with traditional peeps, but we went out on a limb and gave the party cake peeps a try, and it tasted even better! This edible marshmallow dough can be used and played with just like regular play dough, but it does not store well. So if you’re getting ready to make it, be sure to have the kiddos on hand to get the most play time in with it.

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Concerned this is too much sugar? Check out this version from Still Playing School that uses cornstarch instead of powdered sugar. Coincidentally, they also make a bigger batch so it’d be great for larger quantities for multiple little ones to enjoy.