Archive | April, 2008

Kaboost! Wahhhoooo!

30 Apr

Over the past couple of months our family has been eyeball deep in home and family reorganization… Because my health and physical ability has changed so much and boyo’s needs are changing daily, I am so much more aware of the things that help me, that give me a little more flexibility or a boost with one set of needs so that I can save my energy and strength for where and when it can have a greater impact. So, the next couple of posts will be about gadgets and tools that are helping me and/or helping boyo…

This one is a new favorite….We have been through a zillion baby/child seating devices- bouncy chairs, high chairs, portable high chairs, boosters… Boyo is at this point where he really wants to be a big guy and is very sensitive about using any implements that say “baby”. Today he told me that he is with the 3 year olds in school, so he is a baby. Any which way I sliced it I knew he wasn’t going accept that his birthday is 5 days after the state cutoff…. I’m learning lately that, with his delays and his sensitivity about being grouped with much younger kids, it’s really important to not totally bug him out with new things (he doesn’t transition easily or in some cases at all) and more than ever helping him feel like a big guy makes him behave like a big guy. So I am really learning about the delicate art, the dance, of keeping the little guy supports that he still needs, behind the scenes…

Anyway, part of this is, as he is still a smaller kid in size, is outfitting every area in the house with step stools. We recently started eating dinner outside every night, as a family (more on that later this week). I bought this gadget as an alternative to a booster seat as my mom’s dining chairs are a little, um, different…They do not accommodate any baby/growing kid gear…

I found an ad for Kaboost in the back of a local parenting magazine and ordered one immediately. It’s awesome. By far one of my most favorite kid gadgets. Almost any chair can be used on it… It comes in brown so it blends with Oma’s earth-tone rich environment. I am ordering a 2nd one this week as I want one for her house and the one for ours. The only downside to it? You do have to lift up and maneuver the chair and pull the springy arms of the kaboost out and get it all together- not a big deal, I’m guessing, for most folks. But this maneuvering is a bit difficult to me with this current body, so our Kaboost stays at home, on one chair. I wouldn’t call this issue a flaw (trust me it’s me and not the Kaboost!) but that is the one thing keeping me from taking one everywhere. When out at the rare restaurant meal boyo can use a regular booster. But for everyday I find the Kaboost to be a sanity saver for us and it encourages big boy behavior at the dinner table which is something that puts this in my top 10 gadgets for growing kids…

Here’s the link to amazon- more information on kaboost and images…. KABOOST Portable Chair Booster Chocolate

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Bubble Club & Prince Aha

23 Apr

Bubble Club & Prince Aha

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

OK. So this photo doesn’t really *have* to be in black and white… The stools are in “Pigeon” (dark gray) and the Bubble Club chair is in Light Gray… I decided to make our Lanai more like an outdoor living room because with just a little dining table and chairs nobody was using it and I’ve finally admitted to myself (and my family) that the kitchen table will always be my work table (it’s indestructible and a little industrial but still curvy and a little antique-y looking. Um. Kind of like me these days?)…

Anyway, I still have a love of color, but my lust for color and patterns changes frequently, so the furniture on the lanai is like a blank canvas. Splashes of color will be added shortly for optimal punch and versatility.

Please excuse me, I do have to go back to sitting on my lanai (what we call a screened-in-porch here in Florida) and sipping my tea while enjoying a rambunctious game of hi-ho-cherrio with boyo and baldguy….

I’ll keep updating…

Oh and for out-of-this-world service please visit Circa50 (they carry the Bubble Club series and the Prince Aha stools…there service and expertise is unparalleled)

Now this is a Heiny folks would grab today…

22 Apr

Happy Earth Day everyone!

I think this idea, if presented today, would be a smash hit… errr…..poor choice of words considering the material, but you know what I mean…

I have to say that if they did this for Diet Coke I could put many folks in new homes…. (it’s my last remaining vice)

Puff’s cave?

21 Apr

Puff’s cave…

Originally uploaded by caruso_jeff

Sent baldguy off to Kauai with a treasure hunt list- some were actual things, some were photos to take.

This is Puff,The Magic Dragon’s cave. I asked him to take this for little guy. For the record, I think this may be Puff’s tunnel, but what do I know… I’m just going by the storybook on this one… (lots of lava caves around Kauai from what I understand…this is not a lava cave…)…. Boy and I read Puff, the Magic Dragon over and over… It’s the only story he wanted to hear while baldguy was away… Mostly because “Puff” takes place in Kauai, kind of by accident according to the last page of the book… So we looked at the map of Honalee and boy tried to spot daddy. He fell asleep with the book most nights.

Anyway, baldguy is back. I wound up losing my marbles in the middle of last week. Being sick and being a tired mama to a little guy with special needs who does not handle change at all, and having a spouse away on an extravagant all-expense-paid vacation (that we all could have gone on…grrrr. picture the peanuts comic squiggly line above my head.) all came crashing down on me in the middle of the week in a bad way. I was going to try to be graceful about the whole thing, and if it was just one thing I would have smiled and waved, smiled and waved… But it was everything. All at once. And I cracked.

I think I cried for 24 hours straight and an additional 12 hours divided throughout 2 additional business days. I understand how I feel and why I feel like this. I’m doing better now. But I’m still tired and wiped out (and I’ve got extra sick sinuses on top of the usual stuff) and buried under trying to get boyo in order. Still taking time off from working on new and custom pieces. Trying to get all of our ducks in a row….

Anyway- check out Puff, the Magic Dragon… Beautifully illustrated and a lovely story (and song)… This edition includes a CD with the song and a few others.. Definitely at the top of our favorite story lists…

And while the animated version of my youth (now easily located on youtube.com) will always have a place in my heart, this storybook version is a bit more soothing and lilting….

Enjoy….

(of course when baldguy went to work this morning and was gone by the time boyo was fully awake, boyo declared that Daddy was back in Kauai… )

The Best Mother’s Day Gift…

20 Apr

If you get the mother in your life a gift certificate for spa treatment(s) or something else requiring time away please please please make two things also a part of that gift… Generally, the two extras are free in regards to cold hard cash (or a swipe of the credit card) but they are worth more than money to an exhausted and hard working mom…

1. Help the mom, especially if she has responsibility to other creatures- be it small kids, a high-needs pet, an ailing relative, or is generally feeling frazzled and spread thin- help her find and make time to use the gift. That means, when you hand her the gift certificate say, or put a little note in it, that says “you rock, you work hard, I’ll watch the kids, you sit back and enjoy it…”

2. While the mom is away enjoying the gift certificate/experience that you so thoughtfully chose for her that you do everything in your power to make her return home a smooth one that doesn’t instantly negate the effects of her relaxing experience. You could, depending on what you have planned with the kids, strip the bed, wash the sheets, make the bed… put out fresh towels… Clean the bathroom counter and sink… Load the dishwasher…. Vacuum. Enlist the kids to put away some of their toys (they don’t have to be precise about it- give them a bucket or box or laundry basket and have them fill it)… You don’t have to do all of this or any of this. But I highly suggest at least NOT making extra mess and extra stress while she is away…

Trust me. She will remember her relaxing time, but most of all she will remember how good it felt for her family to show how much they love her, which is something that money can’t buy…

A friend of mine bought a pack of 10 cleaning services for the home for his wife for Mother’s Day one year- which is a really great gift but also a loaded one- anyone could take that the wrong way…. He turned it into an unbeatable gem of a gift by writing a little note about how the gift was so she could focus on things she wants to do (rather than the million things she has to do with kids and house and work and pets and relatives) and so they could stop fighting about the cleaning and reconnect with each other and as a family. He then helped her get the house ready for the first cleaning (you have to put as much clutter away as possible- you don’t have to sanitize from top to bottom as that would be redundant, but removing clutter from surfaces- even just stashing them in boxes to go through later, helps the cleaning folks do their job, and gives you a visual clean slate that is inspirational as far as trying to maintain it…). He also took the kids out while the cleaning folks were there so she could talk to them and keep an eye (she’s a nervous gal in general)… And when they left he brought food in so nobody would have to cook or mess up the sparkly kitchen until the next day…

That is thoughtful…

Us gals tend to overthink things and overanalyze… I think the best mother’s day present is when guys (and grown kids) put themselves in our shoes and overthink and overanalyze to prepare… That shows true appreciation (in my opinion)…

Of course, jewelry is almost always appropriate and you can find some gorgeous pieces at:  Clevergirl.Etsy.com

xo

Bek

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