Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Late Merry Christmas Post!

It seems like this entire year has found me constantly running behind, in almost every aspect of my life.  It has been a chaotic, unpredictable, rough and tumble year for Boymom and my family!  So it seems fitting that I should end the year like I started, frantically trying to pull together a Holiday blog post before the year ends and I miss the opportunity to thank my friends, family and my wonderful readers for sticking with me and coming back here from time to time to read my...stuff. was your Christmas?  Ours, although hectic, ended up being a pretty good Christmas.  This year we really tried to focus more on the spiritual aspects of the holiday and less on the gift giving (lack of money was how that idea started, we decided to run with it!).  The gifts we did give were a lot more practical than in years past and thanks to the generosity of friends, family and a Secret Santa, the boys got more than they (or we) expected.  By the end of Christmas Day, I was feeling pretty grateful and extremely blessed.

I think this year, more so than any in the recent past, I truly felt the Spirit of Christmas in my own heart.  Maybe because I quit focusing on what we didn't have and what wasn't working and started focusing on what I could give back.  It was a joy and a pleasure to watch my boys get excited about our own Secret Santa project, which didn't amount to a whole lot of money, but definitely showed my boys that there are people in the world who are so much worse off than we are.  Little Man almost broke into tears when he realized that there are people who literally have nothing other than the clothes on their backs.  Listening to him pray that night for the well-being of a stranger we met who was living under a tree in a park is a Christmas experience his dad and I will cherish the rest of our lives.

I'm glad we took the time to help my boys understand that it's not about the gifts.  It's about being a good human being during a season when we celebrate the birth of one of the greatest beings ever to walk the earth.

(Ignore the tighty whities and focus on the Nativity, please.  The nativity set, people!!!

Merry Christmas, my dear bloggy friends.  Thank you for your wonderful examples, your kind and caring words, your generosity of spirit and good will.  You have made a difference in this Boymom's life.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Roman Town Review

Mommy Parties sent me a box a few weeks ago, with some knit caps, water bottles and a computer game called Roman Town.  It came just in time for Little Man's birthday, which was great for him, because he has always wanted to be an archaeologist or a paleontologist.  Bottom line:  He likes to explore and dig.  How much does he like to dig?  Exhibit #1: 

Remember the fort?  It's getting bigger every day!  Look at how he and Big Bro dug holes into the side to put important pieces of equipment. 

Back to Roman Town.  We had a computer game party last week to show off our new game and the kids really liked it. (Pics coming soon, having problems downloading them!) I wish I could have had the game going on more than one computer, because all the kids were hovered around it trying to take a turn. 

So what is Roman Town?  It's an educational game that lets kids explore ancient ruins as an archaeologist would.  The game starts with a professor giving you information and instructions, so the kids have some guidance as to what to do next until they get the hang of things.  They get to place diggers in various spots to try to unearth Roman Ruins.   They can choose the tools the diggers use and as an artifact is unearthe,d then they have to use a different tool to gently brush the dirt away to expose what they found.  Once all the pieces to an artifact are found, the kids categorize them and then they can do things like put the pieces together to see what exactly what they found.  

There are tests throughout the game that ask the kids questions about ancient Rome to see if they are paying attention to the facts that are being taught during their exploration.  Little Man and I both found it very interesting and it held the interest of about 3/4 of the kids that were here for the party.  I think had we had more computers the other few may have stuck around a few minutes longer. 

I really think this would be a fantastic game for teachers to use in class! Little Man hasn't finished the game yet, so he is excited to have some time over Christmas break to delve into it even more.  He is definitely a little "treasure hunter" and this game has sparked his interest in ancient civilizations all over again.

After our computer time we had some snacks (Mummy Juice and King Tut's Fingers - Drinks colored green and pigs in a blanket) and had our own treasure hunt out in the desert, where the kids looked for their own buried treasure.  They received water bottles and knit caps as party favors, courtesy of Dig It, so they looked like quite an expedition heading out into the desert!  They came home with a broken scooter, some kind of jawbone from something or other and a snake skin that some snake had recently shed.  Nice.  I was kind of hoping for some pottery or an arrowhead, but I didn't want to be a buzz kill so I thanked them for their lovely artifacts and sent them on their way.  It was a good day and we all learned a lot about Rome!  Thanks Mommy Parties and Dig It for a chance to try out Roman Town

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Little Man Needs a New Nickname

Little Man had a birthday this week and I every time I look at him I am reminded that his "little boy" stage is rapidly coming to a halt. 

Until he does something like this: 

Then I wonder if he'll ever grow up. 

Somedays I really need him to grow up because things like fighting with him over taking a shower when he smells like a wet dog just gets old.  Other days, when he looks like this: 

I wish he could stay my Little Man forever.  Then he wakes up.

Truth be told, Little Man really is an amazing creature.  He is the quintessential little boy.  He loves dirt and creatures and rocks and animals and wierd looking, stinky things and nature.  He is kind to his friends, he loves his family and he has a wicked sense of humor.  He is the kind of kid who challenges his mama with his boyish nature, and sometimes he makes me so mad I could spit.  Then the second he realizes he's crossed a line or hurt my feelings or trashed my dryer with his "rock tumbling" experiment, he will hug my neck so hard that I feel his little heart through his chest.  His remorse is so real and so heartfelt that I can't stay mad.  Because that heart is so pure and innocent and loving that to stay mad at him for being who he is?  Would ruin who he is.  So who is he?  He is an amazing gift from a loving Heavenly Father who knew that I would need someone in my life who can love me wholeheartedly, without condition, regardless of my weight, my haircut or my lack of patience with curious, active little boys. 

He is my Little least for a few more years.   


Friday, December 3, 2010

MixBook Photobook Winner!

What the heck was going on with my eyes while I was making this video?!?!!!  This is why I don't do stuff like this more often.  Major Vlog FAIL!!! 

But oh yeah...Congrats to Melanie for winning the MixBook Giveaway!!  Have fun putting your photobook together, Melanie!! 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Episencial Skin Care Products Review

A few weeks ago, I received some really great skin care products from Episencial and Mommy Parties to try out.  They arrived at the perfect time, because here in the desert, as the air gets colder, it also gets even drier than in the hot summer months, if you can believe that!  My boys both look like they have alligator skin right now, but I have to be really careful about what I use on Little Man because his skin is super sensitive. 

Episencial makes several all natural skin care products specially formulated for babies and kids (but adults can use them too!).  Free from the bad stuff like parabens, phthalates and fragrances, Episencial products are loaded with all-natural goodness and healthy organics.  All of the formulas are safe for newborns and actually contain an exclusive "skin immune complex" to help the boost the skin's immune functions. 

I got together with some friends and we tested some of the lotions on some of the toddlers in the group:

We used the Better Body Butter and everybody really loved the feel and smell of it, it wasn't oily at all.

Melisa was happy to get the Nurturing Balm for her 3 month old baby girl to help keep the diaper rash under control and the "Kristys"( two of my neighbors are good friends who live next to each other...both named Kristy!) were both excited about the Playful Foaming Wash.

My camera had a meltdown, so couldn't take any more pics, but all of the guests received gift bags full of samples so they can try out several Episencial products.  I came home after the party and used the Soothing Cream on Little Man who always struggles with a bit of eczema behind his knees and on his arms.  He usually hates using lotion on those spots, because it either burns or feels greasy and iscky to him.  To his and my delight, he felt no burning or irritation and he said the itching started to go away pretty quickly.  Yay!  Something that actually works for him!   

It was a fun to get together and I want to thank Episencial and Mommy Parties for letting us try out their new line of all natural, organic skin care products for little ones.  We love what we have tried so far!  

**Disclosure - I was not compensated for this product review.  Episencial and Mommy Parties provided me with skin care products to help facilitate this review. **