Photo Credit: katherinemariephotography.comPicture this: You notice the house is so quiet that you can hear the birds chirping outside. You sit for a moment and relish in the beauty of a peaceful moment.
And then you remember you have a 3-year-old kid. You remember he's in the kitchen. Alone. You quickly find him. He's standing on the kitchen counter dousing himself with food coloring. Why? Because he's trying to recreate a scene from the book, "How the Leopard Got Its Spots."
Yes, this is a true story. One of my many rookie parent moves.
I was reminded of that moment when I saw a post and the above photo over at Katherine Marie Photography. During her quiet moment, her little guy managed to find a bag of small marshmallows and poured them in a bowl for breakfast.
I want to hear your stories. What are some of the sneaky things you've discovered your kids doing after you've noticed the house being a little too quiet?
Blog Posts by Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Wed, May 27, 2009 9:47 PM EDT
Photo Credit: katherinemariephotography.comPicture this: You notice the house is so quiet that you can hear the birds chirping outside. You sit for a moment and relish in the beauty of a peaceful moment.Read More »from When the kids are quiet: What's the sneakiest thing you've found your little kid doing?
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Tue, May 26, 2009 9:44 PM EDT
Over the warm, sunny Memorial Day weekend, we were able to spend ample time outdoors. And without a doubt, a favorite moment (replicated over and over) was watching the kids blow bubbles around the backyard.Read More »from Camp Shine: Get outside idea #1 - Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles
If you're looking to stock up on summer vacation essentials to keep the kids busy, I dig the "No-Spill Big Bubble Bucket" (US$8, toysrus.com) by the company, Little Kids. It's large enough to hold a good amount of bubble mix and sturdy enough to withstand being dropped on the patio or driveway time and again. It comes with three wands, which are easy for small hands to use. (Bonus: no one feels left out when you have a few kids over to play or siblings sharing the bucket). The large handle makes it easy to take to the park or to a playdate.
And, of course, the bubble mix never spills out.
The only downside is that the bucket does not come with a starter pack of bubbles. But that's an easy problem to solve: you can help the kids make their own bubble solution.
I also think the
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Tue, May 26, 2009 8:59 PM EDT
My niece turned four over the weekend and someone gave her this adorable Make a Princess Doll Kit (US$13). Sure, the homemade princess will be sitting amongst her Ariel, Cinderella and Belle dolls. But I love that fact that she will help make the doll, and be able to give it her own look. It's not linked to any highly marketed movie or cartoon character--a big plus in my eyes.
Also? It's not overly glam or sexy. (Holy cow! It's truly age appropriate!)
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesLast week on Shine, we featured a user post from *devotion72. Faced with a challenging parenting moment, she asked Shine readers for advice. Her sexually active teenage son wanted her to buy him condoms. We asked you what would do in her shoes.Read More »from Thanks from a Shine mama
And most of you responded with some very thoughtful and helpful comments.
I always find it inspiring when I see that Shine parents are helping each other out by sharing their wisdom and words of encouragement.
*devotion72 posted an update and thank-you post today, and I hope you take a moment to read it.
And a big "wave" to all of you who took some time to respond to *devotion72's post.
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Thu, May 21, 2009 8:12 PM EDT
Photo Credit makeandtakes.comWhile I'm a little nervous about the logistics of summer vacation, I'm really looking forward to some of the fun projects we've lined up while they're on break (like making this cute "Yoda" finger puppet.)Read More »from Camp Shine: Cooking with kids idea #1 -- DIY strawberry fruit leather
One of those projects is DIY fruit leather. I'm not a big fan of packaged fruit skins/rollups because they are packed with sugar. But my kids keep asking for them. So guess what? We're going to make fruit leather at home, thanks to this neat DIY tutorial over at Make and Takes. The instructions call for apricot, but you can easily substitute other fruits. And as
I think kids would get a charge out of letting the sun "cook" the fruit spread into leather. And you don't need any fancy equipment to make the fruit leather. Along with your basic ingredients, a blender, cookie sheet and plastic wrap can do the trick.
If you try it out, let us know how it goes!
Camp Shine is a regular feature on Shine Parenting. At Camp Shine, you'll find tips, ideas, hacks, and activities to help your
Rick Springfield, crafty goodness and topics that focus on the goodness of parenting. That pretty much sums up what I had the most fun writing about on Shine Parenting over the past year.Read More »from Posts I loved writing on Shine Parenting
My all-time favorite moments were all about spending time with my crush, Rick Springfield. He taught me how to play Jessie's Girl on the guitar and recently chatted with me about his new album of lullabies (part two is coming soon, I swear!). Also? I really dig talking to him about parenting and his experiences as a dad.
Other stories I love writing about: Itty bitty bites, crafty things for parents to do with their kids, and tips to help us all become better parents.
What posts do you love reading on Shine Parenting? What do you wish we'd write more about?
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Work + Money – Tue, May 19, 2009 9:32 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesI feel like my kids' schools are getting me prepared for their impending summer vacation (in 17 days, but who's counting). The month of May has been filled with many half days of school, events and general last-month-of-school chaos. (Did I mention the 50 paper dinosaurs I need to cut out by June 5?)Read More »from How are you getting ready for your kids' summer vacation?
If it's any indication of what summer vacation will be like--while doing the working mom juggle--I kind of want to crawl back into bed and hide under the covers. For three months.
Yes, I'm a little scared of summer vacation this year. My kids will be in day camps for part of the summer, but there are other weeks when they will be home with me.
I know it will all come together. It always does. But it's the mapping it all out that sends me into a mini tailspin...and a quick recovery. Once my husband and I have it all on paper--the calendar and a rough map of our daily routine--I usually feel better. Especially if the planning occurs over a really good martini.
What about you? How are you
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Work + Money – Tue, May 19, 2009 9:01 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesAn NBC affiliate in Philadelphia recently posed a challenge to five high school students: Could they give up text messaging, cell phones, iPods, computer time and video games for 10 days?Read More »from Parenting poll: Do you let your kids text message at the dinner table?
David Silver, one teen involved in the challenge, admitted that it wasn't as difficult as he thought it would be to give up his tech gadgets or online time. He studied more, did his homework, went to the gym, and--wait for it-- he talked to his friends and family members.
There are many parts of this NBC story that struck me, such as the sheer volume of text messages Silver received in month (14,000). Or how his mom finally got to meet some of his friends. Or worse, how sad it was that his mom felt she missed her son because of the time he spent texting.
But what bothered me most was the admission that he spent every night at the dinner table and texting his friends. (Ironically, when Silver was on his technology fast, it irked him when his sister was texting at the dinner table.)
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Mon, May 18, 2009 7:53 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesDo you remember the anticipation of getting your school yearbook? The second the book hits kids' hands, they usually plant themselves on one spot while they comb through every single page. Times ten.Read More »from Yearbook photos: Teach your kids not to get caught with their underwear down
There's always an embarrassing photo (or two) that manages to make its way into the yearbook. An "embarrassing" photo usually equates to nothing more than a silly expression or someone caught at a dance in some ridiculous pose. Because usually, a school administrator is supervising yearbook production and won't allow students to be humiliated in print.
So I'm left wondering if someone missed the photo of the junior class at Sickles High School in Citrus Park, Florida before the book went to press. Because I imagine that someone would have noticed the girl in the front row whose crotch was exposed.
The 16-year-old girl's mom told 10Connects.com that the girl didn't wear underwear on photo day because she didn't want "her panty lines to show." She also must have forgotten she wasn't
photo credit: charlene prince birkeland/crazedparent.orgThe second I saw this post over at Omnomicon with photos of an amazing rainbow cake, I knew I'd be trying it at home. It was just a matter of picking an occasion. I even wrote about it on Shine Parenting because I think it's one of those feats that will truly knock your kids' socks off when they see a slice. A Shine reader commented that it would make a cool Easter cake and, mira, that was all the inspiration I needed.
I followed the directions over at Omnomicon to the letter with only one exception: I did not use soda in my cake mix (side note: I used Duncan Hines white cake mix).
Should you want to try to make the Rainbow Cake, let my lessons learned be your tips:
1. The cake: You're using one box of cake mix for each layer. After you're done baking, pick the layer that isn't as pretty for the bottom of your cake. You'll need to trim about 1.5 to 2 inches off the top of the cake to get it to a reasonable height for layering. Use a serrated knife to cut that layer after itRead More »from Dispatches from the test kitchen: Rainbow cake