A huge permanent tooth … nestled right behind two baby on my 4-year-old’s bottom row. I started calling him “shark tooth” because it reminded me of the multiple rows of teeth sharks have, and because he thought the name was cool.
Then the wiggles started. Those two precious baby teeth … the first ones to sprout when he was just a baby … started to wiggle. I called his dentist and in he went to get it checked.
“Ms. Smith, the dentist will need to extract the two bottom front baby teeth.” Extract?? At 4 years old? Even the dental assistant remarked at how early this was for baby teeth to come out. And I suddenly found myself unprepared. I had no tooth pillow, no little treasure box, no cash! And my son didn’t even know who the Tooth Fairy was. Not to mention the emotional unpreparedness. I wasn’t ready for anything “baby” to go … and it does go … way too fast.
In the end, it all worked out. My boy was a trooper – not one tear shed and he was all smiles, even with the huge gauze pad stuck in his mouth. The dentist put his teeth inside a little glittery tooth-shaped box for the Tooth Fairy to snap up. And I made that trip to the ATM.
Here’s some news from the Oklahoma City Zoo:
The Zoo’s Education department is offering a mother’s day out program beginning in February. The program will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nature Explorers Mother’s Day Out Program will run from Feb. 15 to May 26 and is for children ages 3 and 4. (Child must be 3 or 4 on or before September 1, 2010.)
The program will promote interaction skills, self direction, language skills, intellectual growth and environmental awareness.
For more information, including a program handbook, tuition costs and registration forms, go to http://zoofieldtrips.publishpath.com/explorers.
Registration starts today (July 15) for volunteers and consignors. While volunteering may not sound like as much fun as actually shopping at the sale, let me tell you why it’s completely worth it.
70% on items AND an opportunity to shop BEFORE the public!
For those reasons alone, I signed up. For just a 3-hour shift, you get both those perks. For 6- or 9-hour shifts, you get in to the presale even earlier.
And if you consign, you can get 65% on all items sold and still get a presale pass. I know I’ll be bringing in a ton of baby/toddler items.
The fall/winter sale is open to the public Aug. 23-28 at State Fair Park. Presales are Aug. 21-22.
A couple of weekends ago, I had the great opportunity to attend a conference focused solely on single moms. One of our speakers really gave great advice on how to save money, especially in the expensive world of grocery shopping.
She is based in Oklahoma and her name is Sarah Roe, aka the “Money Saving Queen.” And she deserves every bit of that royal title.
She is an expert on all things coupons, deals, freebies and how to get groceries at a fraction of their listed price. Have you heard those stories about moms going to the grocery store and buying $400 worth of food for $30? Those stories are true, and Sarah tells you how to do it.
There’s a definite method to the madness of couponing, price matching, store deals and much more. Here are just a few of the many tips she shared with the conference attendees:
1. Clip coupons - manufacturer’s coupons, store coupons, and get coupons off the Internet. Find coupons in Sunday’s Oklahoman, manufacturer’s websites, store websites and even eBay. You can use manufacturer’s coupons in conjunction with store coupons for extra savings.
2. Keep track of prices. Take the 20 most expensive items you use regularly in your household. Go to the one store you shop at most often and track their prices for 6-8 weeks. You’ll notice a “sale cycle” when prices are at their highest and lowest and you’ll know when to stock up. Use your coupons on the rock bottom price. Stock up while you can, or wait until you can get it at that lowest price.
3. Shop around. Start planning your menus at home based on sale cycles and when stores are having the best weekly deals.
4. Know store policies. Many big drug store chains offer rewards for simply shopping there. Same is true for grocery store chains. Find out what they can offer you. It may not be something they advertise, but chances are there’s something.
I get a “Daily Deals” e-mail from the Money Saving Queen. And they really are filled with terrific discounts, free items and store sales. She even has links to coupons you can print off and store circulars for your area. I highly recommend signing up for these free e-mails and also joining the website forums. It’s all free and well worth it.
Go to www.moneysavingqueen.com and learn all you can on how to save the most you can at your next grocery store trip. I know I will!
Not for the gifts, or the special deals moms can find around town. Not for the flowers or for that nice dinner out. But because it’s a day set aside to cherish our own moms and our children. It’s the one day a year many of us can celebrate having a mother and being one at the same time.
Like many of you, I am completely in love with being a mom. It has brought the greatest joys imaginable and every day I wake up and know how truly blessed I am to have my little boy there. It’s the kind of love that is truly unconditional and unwavering. The kind of love that lets you know you’d do anything for your children. And it’s the kind that I celebrate in my own way every day, not just on Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day makes me stop and think about how much my own mom has always loved and sacrificed for me. Although if you ask her, she wouldn’t call them sacrifices, but just “the things that moms do.”
So give your kids the biggest hug, not just this Sunday, but every day. Cherish those little gifts they’ll give you that they made with their own two hands. Call or visit your own mom. Tell her how much you love and appreciate her. Let her know how much you’ve learned from her. And enjoy your special day.
Last weekend, I took my son (he’s almost 4) to see “The Blind Side.” Given the rating and subject matter (football), I thought it would be OK to take my boy to see it. And it didn’t disappoint. It was a fabulous movie and really tugged at the heartstrings. My son wasn’t wrapped up so much in the storyline, but he was definitely into the football scenes. And of course, he loved “Big Mike.”
When we got home, he says, very matter-of-fact, “Mommy, Big Mike is brown. What color am I? Am I brown?”
OK, so I really wasn’t expecting that. I was a bit tongue-tied, I must admit. I don’t want him to think he’s different than someone else based on skin color. But I didn’t want to lie to him either. What’s a mom to do?
Call her mom. That’s what.
My mom had some great advice and told me exactly what to say.
“Hunter, God made us all different shades, like paint on a palette. Like snowflakes, no two are alike, and that makes each of us very special.” Then she suggested I show him how my skin tone is even a little darker than his. He seemed very satisfied with that and went on with his day.
Whew! Good answer, Mom. She really does know best.
Ever been asked a difficult question by your toddler? How did you handle it? Let me know by commenting here or by e-mail. I’d love to hear your stories.
Ever wonder what the Jonas Brothers’ mom must be thinking these days as her boys deal with megastardom?
Turns out she’s thinking about some of the same things we “regular” moms are – how to keep the clan close, which battles to wage with the kids and which to forget and so on.
Denise Jones is set to speak at an iMom event at a Brooklyn school on Friday, Oct. 23. The nonprofit organization iMom provides support for moms in school and online. The organization has monthly events called iMom Morning, at 350 public schools across the nation.
Here’s some of her advice, some personal principles she’s acquired on her own:
1. Put in the rug time. “I called our family’s spontaneous father-and-sons games “rug time” or “rearranging the living room without license.” But without a word, the boys and their dad called it love. I learned that no carpet or piece of furniture is worth more than bonding that happens in the rug time.”
2. Cook when you can. “Life on the road wreaks havoc on kitchen togetherness but I love to cook and I’ve learned to do it as much as I can. Something’s very comforting about eating food mom cooks.”
3. Never mind the hair. “Moms also know this lesson as ‘choose your battles.’ As issues come up, I’ve learned to weigh each for its big-picture significance and adjust my response. Some things, like a teenager’s hair, I let go.”
4. Buy the drums. “Your daughter wants to play softball? Find a team. Your son wants to sing? Encourage it. Someone’s good at drawing? Quick: paper and colors. At times you have to study your kids. Other times their gifts hit you full force. Whatever the case, give them a chance — then stand back and give them room.”
5. Celebrate the wrinkle cream. “In a store once, I saw a wrinkle cream and mentioned it to the boys that I like it. Next Mother’s Day, I’m unwrapping the wrinkle cream and felt like crying! But the sweet thing is, my sons had heard me and wanted to please me.”
6. Trust the detours. First the news of Nick’s diabetes brought shock. Then we responded as a family. We learned about diabetes, followed the guidelines and stayed the course — and our eyes opened to others with health issues. Bad news has been a back door blessing.”
7. Stay grateful. “With privilege comes responsibility and we’re grateful for all of it. Yes, everything. Our flight is held up? We’re grateful to be going. Our hotel reservation is one room short? We’ll sleep on the floor. Life isn’t perfect, but in every circumstance, our job is to manage our response.”
8. Sit close, hug often. “Our family speaks the language of hugs and we speak it liberally. I’ve learned that when words aren’t enough, holding my child says volumes. Kids outgrow laps but never hugs.”
9. Set internal pillars. “The world presses in with schedules, expectations and exhaustion. How my children withstand that has everything to do with what’s inside them. We don’t just assume our kids will pick up good inner structures such as honor, self-respect, honesty and kindness. We talk about these things and praise our kids when those qualities show.”
10. Be the mom. “My kids don’t need me to be a buddy, a sidekick or a maid: They need me to be a mom. Kids need a mom to set limits, set the example and set out what they can be and do. Anyone can be a friend. Only the mom can be the mom. That’s the highest calling — a a big reason I’m big on iMom.”
For more information about iMom, go online to www.iMom.com.
My mom, “Gwennie,” comes into town about twice a year from Connecticut. While here, she usually packs in a few trips to the local country western outfitters, a visit to a BBQ joint and, of course, enjoys some Mexican food.
For putting up with the craziness her trips usually entail, I’m entitled to some gift … usually of the purse variety, and of a brand I wouldn’t be able to afford for myself.
So there I am last week, searching for my perfect new bag. Alas, I find it but the store is down to two.
Can they hold it for me? Of course – but only until the end of the day … a full week before my mom’s arrival.
Can she charge it over the phone? Of course! So my mom ensures I have my dream bag and charges it over the phone for me. Here’s how that went …
Saleslady: “Ma’am, would you like us to send the bag home with your daughter or would you like it held in customer service until your arrival?”
Me: Super excited to take home my bag.
My mom: “Leave it customer service. She can wait.”
Me (to the saleslady): “Is she serious?”
Saleslady (to my mom): “Ma,am, are you serious?”
My mom: “Yes. I’m absolutely serious. Please box it up and we’ll pick it up Friday.”
After the disbelieving salesgirl shared this with her fellow salesgirls and they all expressed their sympathy for me, I called my mom back and asked “how could you??”
The explanation is this:
My mom wanted us to go pick it up together. She knew how much I wanted it and she wanted to be there to see my excitement to pick it up. She didn’t want it to be “old hat” by the time she arrived a week later. Part of the fun in getting for me was seeing my reaction to having it in my possession.
Three years ago, I wouldn’ t have had an ounce of understanding about this, and thought it was just plain cruel. But being a mom, one of the greatest joys I have is seeing my boy happy. I treasure those moments – the ones of utter surprise, of excitement, of bliss. And I probably will still treasure them when he’s my age. I guess some things never change.
-Erica Smith, Copy Editor