Friday, April 18, 2014

Seven Steps to Keeping Your Family Safe with Safe Kids Day

About 73% of car seats are not installed correctly. 

Every two weeks, a child dies from a television or furniture tip-over. 

When a young child dies from a residential fire, a smoke alarm is usually either not present or not working because of dead or missing batteries. 

Every 8 minutes a child goes to the ER for medicine poisoning, and almost 9 times out of 10, the medicine belongs to an adult. 

Unintentional injuries is the number one cause of of death to children in the United States. In fact, throughout the world, almost one million children die of an in jury each year, and every one of those tragedies could have been prevented. 

To say that these statistics* are alarming is a huge understatement. That's why I jumped at the opportunity to attend Safe Kids Day at Highline Stages in Chelsea, NYC when Aiden and I were invited last weekend. The carnival themed event including lots of interactive games to help teach kids all about safety. Aiden really enjoyed the imagination playground, the ball pit in which he had to put on his life jacket before entering into the "swimming pool," and the ring toss.

He also enjoyed playing a game of basketball, face painting, riding the fire truck, getting fitted for a new helmet, and the simulated driving area in which he "drove" in a real Chevrolet. After trying out each station and learning how to be safe in each station, he received a stamp of approval. After five stamps, he got to visit the Toy Booth and pick a prize! Score! 

Then, we headed outside to visit the trucks: The fire truck and the food trucks. And we learned what heaven is all about when we tasted the delicious grilled cheese sandwich with bacon. Bacon! It was so good that we went back for seconds! Afterwards, we visited the dessert truck and I had a red velvet ice cream cookie. Guys, when I tell y'all that I was in dessert heaven...

Aiden played it safe with plain 'ol sorbet. It's all good though. I'll teach him what great desserts are made of soon enough.

Safe Kids Worldwide hosted the event. The organization is dedicated to protecting kids from unintentional injuries, and since 1988 has helped to reduce to United States childhood death rate from unintentional injury by 55%.

At the event, they provided us with seven easy tips to help us keep our families safer, and, because I love you, I'm going to share the goodness:

  1. Tug on your kid's car seat where the seat belt goes. If it moves more than 1" at the base, tighten it up. 
  2. Secure furniture and TV's. Mount flat screens and keep bulky-style TV's on a low and stable base, or recycle them. 
  3. Check smoke and CO alarms monthly. Replace devices every 10 years. Replace batteries at least once a year. (I always use this rule of thumb: replace batteries whenever you change your clocks to "fall back" or "spring forward.")
  4. Scan your home for places kids can get into medicine. It is pills in purses, vitamins on counters and medicine in daily reminder boxes that curious kids get into. 
  5. Check around your house for coin-sized button batteries. 
  6. Ask your kid's coaches if they have had concussion or sports safety training. 
  7. Take action against distraction! No texting while driving, crossing the street, or pushing the stroller! 
Thanks so much to Safe Kids Worldwide for such a great event. Not only did we learn a lot, but we had so much fun! 

{I received tickets to the Safe Kids Event in order to facilitate this post. Event attendees received a gift bag. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

*Statistics provided by Safe Kids Worldwide. Visit the website for more information. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bello Mania at the New Victory Theater

Aiden and I can't get enough of The New Victory Theater! I mean, where else are we going to go to see a live show that we both will enjoy, meet cast members, and get autographs?!

A couple weekends ago, we were invited to see Bello Mania, and since Aiden's a huge fan of circus tricks, I knew he'd have a great time. What I didn't realize is that we were in for the time of our lives... and we were going to feel right at home at The New Victory Theater.

Since we went straight from Aiden's swimming lessons to the theater, we arrived a bit early for the show, but were still welcomed with smiles and waves. We've participated in a few New Vic workshops this 2013-2014 season as well as attended a variety of shows at the theater. During our trip to see Bello Mania, I realized just how much Aiden is recognized by many of the workers -- so many of them greeted him by name and they were all super warm and friendly!

Now... about the show.

It was really delightful! Hosted by Matthew Morgan, who is guised as super nerdy -- and funny! -- the first half of the show provides audience members with Bello's family history as well as a brief synopsis of the many circus acts Bello has taken part in. The entire time, Bello engages in hysterical trampoline antics, rides on the world's smallest bicycle, and gets involved in way too much mischief.

Aiden and I literally could not stop laughing during Bello's trampoline act, and we sat on the edges of our seats as Bello rode on the micro bike, because, of course, we thought he was going to fall. We had no faith in him. Shame on us!

The second half of the show included the audience in a pretty dope way. If members weren't called on stage to play a game of musical chairs, they were contestants in a game show, in which the winner got a five-hundred-dollar... bill! And, of course, as with any Bello show, the audience member always wins. Ha! Then, there was the final act, in which Bello climbed the ceiling-high lamppost in order to rescue an audience members' balloon. Witnessing that was... everything!

It's not an explanation... it's an experience!

And just when we thought it couldn't get any better, as were walking out of the theater, we sung, danced, and clapped along to Pharrell's Happy. All the while, all I could think is one thing: Any show that ends with Pharrell's Happy is a hit in my eyes! 

Bello Mania will run at The New Victory Theater through April 20, 2014. The show is 90 minutes with one intermission and is great for children and adults alike. Balcony seats prices start at just $14. Visit the website for more information or to purchase your tickets!

{Disclaimer: I received tickets to Bello Mania in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Pretty Good Kid

Aiden: Why'd you make me waffles instead of pancakes?!! 
Me: Umm... I'm not sure. That's just the first thing I thought of.  
Aiden: That's not the correct answer!!!! (He's clearly being a brat right now.) 
Me: Aiden, you know, I wake up extra early to make you something to eat. How about a "thank you"?  
Aiden: *Whines until I tune him out.*

Aiden's in this really, uh, interesting phase where nothing I do is "right." He's been cranky, he's been whiny, he's been really trying to assert his independence in inappropriate ways. He's questioning all of my choices and challenging all of the rules. I've been called "mean" no less than five times per day. It's been like this for about three weeks. But it feels like it's been much, much longer, and truth be told, it's more than a little annoying.

But... this too shall pass, right?

I try to combat this by creating rules together with him. (Some of them, not all of them.) I give him a time frame to let him know how much time we have left with an activity. I give him two choices to help him feel empowered. I let him do things that I know he's capable of doing because I want him to feel independent. I feel like I'm doing everything to make this phase go as smoothly -- and quickly! -- as possible, but I'm tired. And sick of being called "mean." And annoyed that Aiden has his ungrateful moments where he's being unpleasant and downright bratty. Because it's not his best and it's not who I' raising him to be.

Then this morning happened.

As I was walking him into the school building, one of the class parents stopped me. She  wanted to tell me that Aiden's a really pleasant boy. That he always says "good morning," when he walks into the building. That he's well-mannered and kind. That he's caring. That he's helpful to his teacher and his friends. That, during reading time, he helps one of his classmates -- who's reading on a Level A -- sound out words. That he's, essentially, a really good kid.

Yes, even in the midst of this annoying and exhausting phase, he's still a pretty good kid.

And then I remembered this one thing...

So yeah... this too shall pass.

Monday, April 7, 2014

What Our Kids Teach Us

Scene: Aiden and I are having a conversation about math. He starts talking about skip counting by 2's. Successfully. He feels a little confident in his abilities so he begins to skip count by 5's too. 
Aiden: So, now... this is how you count by 5's: 5, 10, 15, 25, 35, 4-- 
Me: Actually, that's not how you skip count by 5's. You're missing numbers.  
Aiden (Still enthusiastic): Okay. This is how you count by 5's: 5, 10, 15, 25, 35, 4-- 
Me: Actually, you just said the same thing. You're skipping numbers so that's not how you skip count by 5's. 
Aiden: You didn't let me finish! 
Me: I know. But I had to correct you. I can't let you finish if you're saying the wrong thing. 
Aiden: But I let you finish if you're saying the wrong thing! 
Me: Okay... fine. Go.  
Aiden: This is how you skip count by 5's: 5, 10, 15, 25, 35, 45, 50, 55, 60. (Looks at me.) Now it's your turn to talk. 
I don't know if I should thank him for teaching me -- again -- how a conversation actually goes (ie: my turn, your turn, and so on and so forth), scold him for schooling me, or some rare combination of both. But I do know that a stubborn mother and a stubborn child makes for a very interesting combination. 

Man, the things our kids teach us... 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Celebrating Kids Spring Fashion with H&M

Oh look... Aiden's rocking H&M at H&M!
Everyone knows about my love, devotion, and dedication to all things H&M. I mean, all you have to do is check out my personal style posts or kids style files to see just how deep my connection with the hip and trendy brand goes. Or... just take a tour of Aiden's closet. Or my closet. Or my heart.

I literally love this brand! It's incredibly fashionable and incredibly affordable... what's not to love?!

That's why I was so excited when Aiden and I were invited to celebrate H&M's Spring Kids Collection Launch this past weekend at their store in Times Square, which was hosted by Brianne of Stroller in the City. As I predicted, H&M did not disappoint. The collection is super adorable! There's a bit of rock, a bit of chic, a bit of simple, and all kinds of cool. There are funky patterns and fun prints and some glitz and lots of glam. But it's also comfortable and practical. And... wait for it... pieces start at just $4.95!

via Getty Images 
via Getty Images 
I couldn't make it to the event due to work obligations (Saturday school/tutoring for the NY State literacy exams and all that jazz), but I sent Aiden with The Guy (who's also a huge fan of H&M) and they had a great time. Guests enjoyed face painting, balloon art, dancing to live music, tasty snacks (read: PB&J, soft pretzels, and cotton candy), and an opportunity to strut their stuff down the H&M digital runway, which was fashionably displayed outside their big screen in Times Square.

via Getty Images

At the culmination of the event, The Guy helped Aiden pick out an outfit, which Aiden labels as "so cool." I can't wait for him to rock his outfit like a true champ!

Visit the H&M website as well as any H&M store in order to shop the collection! (You're welcome.)

{I was not compensated for this post. Attendees received a giftcard to shop the collection. All opinions expressed herein are my own -- I really do love H&M.} 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

{Personal Style} Feeling Blue

dress, jacket, clutch: H&M | riding boots: Aldo Shoes 

This weekend, I kept it simple and sweet with a blue mini-ruffled dress. I usually wear the dress with a black sash, but I switched it up a bit by removing the sash and adding layered necklaces, a faux-leather moto jacket, riding boots, and a statement clutch.

The outfit is cool and trendy and totally comfortable -- perfect for a weekend brunch! Hope you guys are having a fabulous week. Stay stylish!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Embracing Exploration

Spring marks the beginning of a very exciting time for school-aged kids: science projects! There are many ways to nurture the exploratory side of children, including streaming shows on Netflix. Below are a few picks that'll be sure to get children engaged in embracing their exploratory side:

How The Universe Works
This series provides a story of the universe that includes our solar system as well as distant galaxies. From black holes to supernovas to alien solar systems, this series is sure to grab -- and keep -- the attention of children and the entire family.

Build It Bigger
I think this show is so cool! But, more importantly, children will love it as well, especially if they're into legos and puzzles and building things. Throughout the show, the main character, Danny travels all around the world in order to see how things are built. The only downside? There aren't nearly enough episodes to the show so you'll be yearning for more!

Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
Not only is this flick funny, but it also teaches children how to be brave and witty. In this family film, it's Jimmy Neutron to the rescue when aliens kidnap all the adults in Retroville. This is a movie that the entire family will enjoy, and more than once.

How does your family use Netflix to engage in exploration and fun?

{Disclaimer: As a member The Netflix Stream Team, this post is sponsored by Netflix. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}


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