When my dog is ready to come in the house after roaming in the muddy outdoors, I usually have a towel near the door so I can wipe his paws off. Even that task is a struggle with a 65-pound puppy.
Now, imagine trying to dip your dog's paws in something called the "Paw Plunger."
I do not kid.
It's a dolled-up black mug that you fill with warm water. You put your dog's paw in it and "soft, deep-cleaning bristles gently scrub away dirt, mud, and harsh ice-melting chemicals."
It's yours for forty bucks.
Or you could just use a towel.
Blog Posts by Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Pets – Fri, Jan 30, 2009 9:19 PM EST
When my dog is ready to come in the house after roaming in the muddy outdoors, I usually have a towel near the door so I can wipe his paws off. Even that task is a struggle with a 65-pound puppy.Read More »from Things you don't need for your pet: The Paw Plunger
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Thu, Jan 29, 2009 9:38 PM EST
There's a buzz at my son's school and it's all about the stomach flu. I asked a teacher how her class was doing and she said, "They're dropping like flies."
Just what a mom wants to hear when her kids are healthy. Also, it turns out that this particular stomach bug is knocking kids off their feet for days.
Cold? Sore throat? I can deal with you. Stomach flu? Stay. the heck. away.
I went grocery shopping last weekend and as I came across the soup aisle, I decided to stock up on all the things we'd need if our boys get hit with the stomach flu. Maybe, just maybe, my advanced preparation will ward off the germs. It's wishful thinking, but at least I won't have to make an emergency dash to the store or worse yet, call a neighbor or family member to go out for me if and when a puke fest strikes.
As I shopped, I realized how much of my sick-day supplies are shaped by what my mom used to feed me as a kid when I was home with stomach woes. Does this happen to you?
Check out the slideRead More »from Get flu ready: 8 things to stock up on in case the kids get sick
Multiply by two.By now you've probably read all about the woman who gave birth to octuplets. More good news was reported this morning when doctors said all eight of the babies were breathing on their own. The babies were born nine weeks prematurely and will be in the hospital for several more weeks.Read More »from Mom of octuplets plans to breastfeed her babies
Here's the little tidbit of info that amazes me: Doctors say the mom plans to breastfeed all eight babies.
Can you imagine the feeding schedule? Any nursing mama can tell you that a newborn wants to eat often, but the official word from La Leche League is that a baby will average 8-12 feedings over 24 hours. Most newborns drink about 25 ounces of breast milk a day. Multiply that times eight babies and you've got one exhausted new mom whose body is producing a lot of breast milk. Will she ever be able to leave the house?
It wore me out to breastfeed one baby for a year. The thought of nursing eight newborns would have scared me to pieces. So for however long she manages to breastfeed, she's to be
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Tue, Jan 27, 2009 9:29 PM EST
photo credit: lavenderlimes.blogspot.comToddlers do have busy hands. And as they try to learn new skills to gain some independence, we like to give them any tools to help them along the way.Read More »from Crafty mamas make their toddlers...heart-inspired busy books
I adore this Valentine's Busy Book made by the proprietor of the blog Lavender and Limes. It's a piece of felt with an assortment of buttons sewn on. The felt hears have little slits, so tiny hands can practice their buttoning skills.
Easy to make, even for the most un-crafty parent.
More crafty mama ideas on Shine:
Crafty mamas help their kids make...a cardboard zoo
Crafty mamas help their kids make...cardboard masterpieces
Crafty mamas can try making...a DIY color book for little ones
Crafty mamas help their kids make....homemade playdough
Crafty mamas help their kids make...wooden robots
Crafty mamas let their kids...make postcards out of cereal boxes
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Tue, Jan 27, 2009 8:47 PM EST
Sharon Wynne over at Whoa, Momma! let me know her readers were in an uproar over a new doll that was supposed to be launched today.Read More »from Things that appall us: The "Caylee Sunshine" tribute doll
Hmmm, I wonder why anyone would be upset about a doll called "Caylee Sunshine"?
Check this: It's a "tribute" to the Caylee Anthony, the toddler whose remains were found more than six months after she was reported missing. (Caylee's mom has been charged with the murder of her daughter.)
The so-called inspirational doll, made by Showbiz Productions, is "a symbol of 'every child' in this world.
Let us hold onto this doll to remind us that Caylee is safe in Heaven embraced in loving arms forever!" The site says all proceeds from the sale of the doll would go to a charity.
I might be able to believe the company wasn't trying to capitalize on such a heinous crime. But then, as Sharon points out in her post, this is the same company that sells Michael Vick chew toys for dogs.
Showbiz Productions posted an update to their Caylee Doll site today (yes, that's
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Mon, Jan 26, 2009 8:50 PM EST
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesWhile I'm no longer an avid pro football fan, I do follow my hometown team, the 49ers, mostly because I dig their head coach, Mike Singletary. He's a no-nonsense kind of guy and he is always on fire during press conferences. (Here's the one made me a believer.) The man has seven kids and I'd love to know how his coaching skills apply to parenting, but dads may be able to find out since Singletary is on the "roster" of parenting organization for fathers called All Pro Dad.Read More »from Football pros are teaching dads how to be better fathers
All Pro Dad was created several years ago by Family First to help dads become better parents. According to one dad who helped organize a local chapter in Ohio, the goal of the group is for dads to "follow 10 the principles of being pro dads," which include loving your wife, spending time with your kids, being a role model, showing affection and eating together as a family.
My favorite principle listed in this article is to "discipline with a gentle spirit." What a wonderful concept. In the midst of doling out
My littlest dude is obsessed with jets and flying right now. It's a preschool thing; they're learning about all forms of transportation. How much would he flip for an old-school aviator cap (US$35)?
I spotted this Etsy find on Cool Mom Picks. It's a velveteen cap with a soft flannel lining and wool felt aviator goggles...you'll have to find your own scarf. Would be a fun addition to any dress-up box. (Dare I say Halloween costume?)
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Thu, Jan 22, 2009 6:07 AM EST
I featured PakNak charms as a Shine Parenting Pick of the Day many moons ago. But since I'm hot on the Valentine's Day theme, I wanted to tell you about a cute PakNak heart charm, which would make a sweet little gift for your child(ren). (I give my kids Valentines, do you?)Read More »from A simple, sweet Valentine's Day gift for your kids (it's four bucks!)
PakNaks are these adorable rubber decorations that kids can use to dress up backpacks, lunchboxes or anything else they like to personalize (think bike helmets, binders, etc.). The charms attach via velcro circles, which means kids can change them throughout the year.
Can you tell I know a lot about these things? I gave one to my oldest son before the new school year, followed by a Christmas-themed charm in December. Also, at four bucks a piece, they're fun, inexpensive birthday gifts for classmates.
Okay, back to the heart charm. It's called "Minty." (Each of the charms have personalities. My personal favorite is Birdy-Birdy.)
Related link on Shine:
DIY Valentine's Day cards: Kid friendly, easy and inexpensive
Photo Credit: makeandtakes.comI know the day will come when my boys will say they want a Star Wars-themed birthday party. I'm extremely grateful that Marie over at Make and Takes has pulled together the coolest blueprint, a Star Wars birthday party 101, if you will.Read More »from Star Wars birthday party 101
From the invitations to party game activities, Marie has thought of everything to make one pretty awesome kid's party. The best part is that you can pick and choose ideas from her post that best fit your budget and craft level. (I don't think I'd be willing to make little Jedi robes for all the kids, but now I'm thinking about it!)
My two favorite ideas from her post are the Lightsaber Cake and the Yoda Sodas (pictured below).
Photo Credit: makeandtakes.comRelated links on Shine:
Birthday party inspiration: DIY Curious George cupcakes...no monkey business
Tetris birthday cake for the kid gamers (and it's easy and cheap to make!)
DIY LEGO party for $50
Party like a pirate
How to throw a kid's birthday party for $100
Tom and Katie drop $100K for Suri's first birthday party
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Wed, Jan 21, 2009 8:53 PM EST
I've never been a huge supporter of celebrating Valentine's Day (Hallmark holiday, blah, blah). But my kids really love it because it's a big deal at school. And it's hard to be a love scrooge when your little ones are so excited about making a Valentine's Day card mailbox, attending the class party and deciding what kind of cards to hand out to their friends.
So yes, I am a Valentine's Day convert. And my crafty little self is equally psyched about helping my sons prepare for February 14th.
You don't have to be super crafty to make Valentine's Day cards with your kids. I've picked out my favorite DIY card ideas from around the blog and craft world. I promise that they are super easy, kid friendly and -- even better -- inexpensive to make. In some cases, you don't even have to hit a store for materials so long as you have paper, a printer, scissors and a marker.
What cards are your kids handing out this Valentine's Day?Read More »from DIY Valentine's Day cards: Kid friendly, easy and inexpensive