Friday Favorites – Leslie Sansone Walking Work Outs

FridayFavorites (1)

This post does not contain any affiliate links and no financial compensation given. All opinions belong solely to The Whatever Mom.

After taking that really fun Aerial Yoga class a couple of weeks ago, I feel like I need to get back in the game with taking better care of myself through exercise. As a busy mom working from home and managing the household I tend to prioritize myself last. I keep trying to fit exercise in but then I find a reason to let life get ahead of me. Life has been a little crazy with twins and working from home by myself. Now, it is just time to say I’m worth all the time it takes to keep me healthy.

My mom sent me this walking DVD years ago when I complained about how hard it was to get my daily walks in, in between feeding two babies and their nap time schedules. Even though there is day care available at my gym, I wasn’t feeling very confident about leaving two little babies in someone else’s care just so I could spend 30 minutes on myself. But, this walk at home program did the trick during nap times and rainy days!

Walking With Leslie Sansone

 

I can’t find this awesome DVD anywhere in my house. Who knows where it is. Just when I gave up searching for it, I remembered there is YouTube! (Duh) I did a quick search and there she is! My faithful friend Leslie! Her walks are mixed in with some added aerobic movements so it feels like an actual work out and not just walking in place.

The last few weeks I have pulled up Leslie’s walking videos first thing in the morning. It isn’t the same as the walks I enjoyed outside in the morning before kids. I do have a treadmill, but that gets super boring for me. I miss taking classes at the gym, so for me these videos motivate me with the music and energy early in the morning! Plus, I get my 30 minutes of me time checked off before my kids wake up!

Walking With Leslie Sansone

My goal is to get back to feeling healthy again and finding more energy to keep up with my super active kids. If the happy side effect is weight loss that’s great! I just really miss that feeling of an aerobic rush. Before I was addicted to coffee, I was addicted to aerobics! I like being active and I am not a big fan of feeling like a slug.

Now that my girls are old enough for the kid’s room at the gym I can finally get there each week! They really love it because they have friends there. My plan now is to keep up with my morning “walks” and get to the gym as often as I can. If I miss a day at the gym I won’t feel so guilty because I already have a work out in!

Leslie’s videos are less than $15 per DVD, or free on YouTube. Her work outs are supported by the American Heart Association which recommends at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity per day for heart health.

What are you favorite ways to get exercise outside of the gym?

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

It’s OK To Let Some Things Go

OK to let some things go

Oh boy does life get overwhelming sometimes! I have a lot on my plate as a mom working from home. I have writing deadlines, I have advertiser deadlines and conference calls to make all while making sure my little sweeties are all comfy at home. This can be really hard to manage on top of everything else the household demands of me. You know- the laundry, the dishes and the broken handle on the fridge, and pretty much everything else.

A few weeks ago I decided there is no reason to take all of this on myself. I know I am the one home most of the day, but there are four able bodied humans living here! We should all be pitching in to maintain our home. I’m also very lucky that my kids like to help out. It isn’t without grumbling some days because no one here is perfect. But, they do help out.

The last few weeks I have delegated much of my evening/after dinner routine to the hubby and kids. I hand off a chore to each of them while I do the dishes and clean up the kitchen. The girls are five now and can easily wipe down the table and chairs, or sweep up under the table while hubby takes out the trash. Once all of that is complete we move on to toy pick up.

I do not own the Strawberry Shortcake doll house, nor do I own an entire collection of Care Bears. So, why am I the only one putting them away? Now, after dinner we all work as a team to put away the toys and mess we’ve made during the day. My kids even help me get their school bags ready for the morning and lay out their own outfits for school. This is great prep for Kindergarten in the fall! (They don’t know it yet, but that’s when they’ll start packing their own lunches too).

The kids have started taking care of their own laundry. They carry their own hampers to the washer, put their clothes in and start it up. (Obviously, I add in the detergent). I put it in the dryer and fold it then they put it away. I know they won’t enjoy this chore for very long, but I am taking full advantage of their enthusiasm now.

When either kid complains (because every kid complains) we remind them we are a family and a team. We pitch in to help. We do not pay them for chores. But, their eagerness to pitch in does count! We take into consideration how helpful they are and how much they are growing into their responsibilities and we reward them with a trip to Build-a-Bear, or a surprise trip to their favorite ice cream store.

We aren’t using any chore charts. I simply hand off a task when I need help. Also, I’m not looking for perfection in their efforts. I just want things to feel livable. If all the clutter and crumbs are put away I really do feel better, and it truly makes for fewer items on my to-do list.

I’m not sharing this for any accolades or to impress anyone. Because really there are times I let the crumbs and clutter pile up because I can’t make it all work. I am sharing to let you know it’s OK to hand off items on that to-do list to your family members. We often feel like we have to do it ourselves because no one else can match our standards. Well, to that I say change your standards. Maybe you feel like your kids are too young to help, and to that I say they have to learn some time! If you are like me and find there aren’t enough hours in the day and you feel like you are always behind, give out tasks to your kids, or spouse. Start small and then add on. Even toddlers can help by wiping a table with a cloth or sponge or clear their own place at the table.

As much as I miss my little babies being babies, I am actually excited about this new phase. We can now work together as a family to get things done quicker. This makes less work for each of us. On the days this all works right (again we’re not perfect) we get extra time to snuggle and sit on the couch together and talk about our day. That to me is worth it!

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley ParentandMasshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

Friday Favorites- Glade Wax Melt Warmer

Glade Wax Melts Warmer

In the last few years I have slowly replaced products in my home with more eco-friendly or kid friendly versions. Instead of heavy cleaners I now make my own cleaners with peroxide and essential oils, and I use Norwex products. But, the one thing I miss the most is burning candles.

I am a recovering candle junkie. I could easily live at a very well known candle store. I had stock piles of candles for every season and in every “flavor.” The problem for me is allergies and worries about air quality. Most candles contain lead in the wicks and the fragrances can over power me to the point of breathlessness and headaches. With kids in the home I worry about their safety with an open flame.

I am so happy I found the Glade Wax Melts Warmer! Now, I can melt my favorite wax scents without the worries of flames, toxins in the air and heavy scented fragrances. I can control the amount of scent in my home and feel safe leaving the room.

I found this electric warmer at my local Dollar General for around $10. I picked this cream colored ceramic with floral design to best blend with my home decor. I can put it any where in my house and it will match the room. I like it in the kitchen best where I can keep a close eye on it with kids around.

Here are pics of my Glade Wax Melts Warmer working in my home!

Glade In My Home

I like that there is a light indicating the burner is on. This way if any little hands accidentally flip the switch during the day I can catch it. So far the girls have only been a little curious about it, but they don’t seem to notice it much. I however, enjoy having a safer product for us to use and I can keep my home smelling fresh.

What are some of your favorite scents for the home?

No financial compensation was given for this post. There are no affiliate links in this post. All opinions and reviews belong solely to The Whatever Mom.

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent andMasshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

Learning To Fall with Grace

Learning to Fall With Grace

This week a group of my mom friends trusted me to take them on an adventure. We traveled an hour to take an Aerial Yoga class with my friend Delia. Delia has instructed newbies on the “silks” for about three years now. She is a natural at it and really great at letting people find their own comfort zone.

When I suggested this adventure I really had no idea what I was getting us into. I had zero reservations about the experience. That is until I arrived at the studio, took off my shoes and got into place in front of my silk. Silks are 10 feet of hanging fabric clamped to a chain and attached by a cable to the rafters or some other structure. I had no clue how demanding it would be to stay steady on them.

I followed Delia’s instructions very closely. I tried to mirror her movements as accurately as I could (and this old body would allow). But, half way through the class I was stuck upside down and swinging inches from the floor. I could not figure my way out and she instructed me to simply drag my hand over the floor to slow myself down, and then how to stop myself and lower myself out of the silk.

In that moment my instinct was to panic. I wanted to fight against the momentum and drop to the floor. Instead, I embraced this new feeling of flying and stretched out my arm to emulate the grace of an ice skater. I joked with my group and made silly faces as I slowly, and as gracefully as possible, came to a stop. I stood up with confidence and said, “I like to fall with grace and style.” My friend Delia commented, “Isn’t that what life is about, learning to fall with grace?”

That statement stuck with me. How many times do we find ourselves in new and sudden situations outside of our comfort zone? Parenting for sure will push you into realms of discomfort you didn’t know existed before. Do we brace ourselves against the momentum of life or do we embrace the chaos? Do we slow ourselves down long enough to gain confidence to get back up?

I feel like every new stage has brought about new challenges with my kids. From their behaviors to their food preferences to a first time with a new sickness. Most often I want to bristle and try to control things into perfection and make them more efficient and convenient for me as a parent. That seems to only make things worse. But, when I truly lean into the moment and just go with the flow and leave behind the instinct to panic things seem to get easier for me.

I stumble most days on this parenting journey. I rethink my choices daily. I wake up with zero reservations about my life with kids. That is until I am standing in front of the empty coffee pot with one or both of them screaming at me. When I find myself pushing back and yelling I remember to take a breath, find that amazing mom I want to be and let go of making the outcome perfect. If I fall, I get up and declare my grace through humor. I dust myself off and try again.

I wish I could say the rest of the class was easier after that, but it wasn’t. I got stuck two more times, thankfully not upside down. Delia came to my rescue with a boost both times. That’s what friend’s do.

Who knew taking a yoga class would help me discover that I am stronger than I realize? That when I am faced with a challenge I have a deep inner strength and determination that doesn’t allow me to give up. Who knew I would get a life lesson from a yoga class?

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

Friday Favorites- Hungry Root Review & GIVEAWAY!

Hungryroot

If I said the words: Gluten Free. Dairy Free. Soy Free. All Natural. Vegan. Would you wonder, “is it also flavor free?” Not if it’s a meal from Hungryroot!

Hungryroot offers amazing veggie noodle based meals served with a creative sauce that can easily pair with a protein (purchase with or without grilled chicken). Home cooks can prepare their favorite meals in less than 10 minutes on the stove top or in the microwave. All the meals are locally sourced, non-GMO and are gluten free. Many are dairy free and even vegan. This is the answer to all my food dilemmas!

As a busy mom, with dietary restrictions, I often lack the time to prep healthy meals for myself. I spend so much time making meals I know my picky eaters will like that I am left at the mercy of hunger and I grab anything quick. I have dreamed of finding healthy organic convenience meals for years. Now, I can make a full sized healthy meal for myself before you can say chocolate chip cookie binge (OK more like 7 minutes). Every meal is less than 500 calories, rich in nutrients and already prepped!

Hungryroot package Noodles

I placed my first order as a Christmas gift to me. I was curious to taste for myself how root noodles could compare to the taste of traditional pasta meals. I selected a gift pack of three full meals and one side and one dessert. Did I mention these FRESH healthy quick cook meals were delivered right to my door?

Hungryroot insulated cooler

I wasn’t home when my package arrived. But, the meals were all kept safe inside the insulated box with cooler packs. Incidentally, all the shipping materials are biodegradable and recyclable. Be sure to check with the local recycling guidelines in your area and read the directions on packaging before recycling.

Carrot Noodles Hungryroot

My husband raves over every meal we try! The man who could live on pasta with every meal- RAVES over noodles made from vegetables! I personally love the Rutabaga noodles with Mushroom Pistou Sauce and grilled chicken the best, but those Sweet Potato noodles with Creamy Cashew Alfredo and Roasted Falafel have me craving more! My picky little eaters and I are now addicted to the Coconut Carrot Cake Bites with coconut frosting (all vegan!). I can’t wait to try the Black Bean Brownie Batter and the Maple Chick Pea Pancake Batter!

Carrot coconut cookie bites Hungryroot

The cook time and the already portioned ingredients sold me on Hungryroot! A price point of $10-$12 per meal to serve 1-2 people may seem pricey for a family budget, but for this gluten/lactose/soy intolerant mama on a time crunch these super convenient meals really fit the bill!

You all know how much I love a company that gives back. Hungryroot is a 1+1 company which means they donate 1% of their profits to charity and volunteer 1% of their time to support nutritional education and healthy eating. At the time of my purchase they were donating fresh meals to City Harvest a NYC based food rescue agency.

Hungryroot meals are available through Hungryroot.com or FreshDirect and AmazonFresh.

So, hungry for more? Well, nothing gets a Friday started like some free food am I right? The amazing folks over at Hungry Root are giving all of you the chance to win a fabulous FREE meal including dessert! Just enter below!

 

 

 

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Promotional product provided by Hungryroot. Financial compensation not provided for this review. All opinions provided herein belong solely to The Whatever Mom (and lots of other people who think Hungryroot has yummy food).

*Title photo credit: Hungryroot.

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

Kids Get Sick – Get Over It

The Whatever Mom (7)

 

I am on day 10 of this crappy sickness with my kids. Is it a cold virus? Is it strep throat? There’s no fever or vomiting. They have tons of energy. But, I keep them home for their comfort. Thankfully, I work from home and can afford to keep my kids home as long as they need. By afford I mean not paying a baby sitter; I didn’t mention the cost to my sanity.

When my kids get sick I am wary about sharing on social media for fear of judgement. There is always a parent out there that has an opinion on what kind of cold medicine you give your kids- is it organic, dye free and homeopathic? “You do know you shouldn’t give kids too many antibiotics.” “There are alternatives to eye drops for treating pink eye.”  Then, there are the teachers who blame the parents for letting their kids get them sick. “Keep your kids home if they are sick.” No one intentionally sets out to spread germs. Germs are everywhere and during every season. If I post what we are sick with and show up to a party 3 days later I’ve just branded us as the source of everyone else’s illness.

So what is a mom to do?

  1. Don’t post every illness to social media. I have been guilty of posting about our second round of pink eye. I administer the drops and release my kids back to school three days later (per doctor’s permission) and suddenly another kid in the class gets pink eye. Now my kids are the target of blame. Really does it matter where the pink eye came from? A kid can get pink eye from a shopping cart, play spaces or a doctor’s office. If your kid gets pink eye identifying the source isn’t going to cure it. Following the doctor’s orders will.
  2. Use the medicine that works best for your child. If you are not one to follow homeopathic methods because you don’t feel they work for your child, then don’t waste the time or money paying into the guilt of “over medicating” your kid. It is completely OK to seek out the advice of a pharmacist or doctor on which over the counter medications you can safely use to comfort your child through illness.
  3. You don’t have to rush your child to the doctor for every sniffle. It is OK to use the wait and see approach. Most often that is the response a doctor will give you anyway. You are not neglecting your child if you wait a few more days to see how they are feeling before taking them to the doc’s office. Not only are you saving co-pays, or an extra bill but you are saving your child exposure of additional germs.
  4. It’s OK to send your kid to school with a runny nose. Every school has a different sick policy. Learn what your school’s policy is and follow it. Typically, it is the rule to be free of a fever and vomit for 24 hours before returning to school. If you have followed the rule and your child is fever and vomit free, but still has a runny nose and a cough with no other symptoms; it’s OK to give them cold medicine and send them to school. If they have the energy to make it through the day and their doc doesn’t see a reason for them to miss any more school. Always have a doctor’s note for their return to school. It won’t save you from judgement, but it will save you from some guilt.
  5. Disclose your kid’s sickness when necessary. It’s OK to cancel plans or disappoint your kids because they are too sick to attend an event. It might be tempting to send them to school or a party at friends while not recovered 100% to see if they can make it through. This runs the risk of exposing other kids to germs and setting them back a bit in their healing. I promise kids will get over the sadness of missing a birthday party, or a fun play date.

Most importantly, don’t judge another parent’s methods for dealing with their kid’s sickness. Unless you can see definitive proof of neglect there is no reason to suspect a parent isn’t doing everything they need to, to ensure their child’s health.

Instead of lashing out on Facebook about the types of meds a parent administers, or judging a parent for not keeping their kid home long enough; why not offer to help? Would you be willing to bring a meal, some cold supplies like tissues and cough drops? Can you send a get well card, or drop a note saying you are thinking of them? Taking care of a sick kid and balancing the rest of our life is stressful enough; we don’t need to hear someone else spouting their own opinions and standards.

I have the fortune of staying home with my kids on sick days. I understand not every parent has that luxury. When I drop my kid off at school and hear another kid coughing, I don’t think “man, couldn’t their mom keep them home longer?” I think, “Poor kiddo he/she must not feel well.”  Then I ask the teacher if she needs any additional supplies for the classroom and I make sure my kids wash their hands. The best way to safeguard my kids during cold season is to worry about what we are doing in our own home to stay healthy. I don’t have the time or the energy to get caught up in how everyone else is living.

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

Friday Favorites- Perfectly Posh VALENTINE’S GIVEAWAY!

Honeycomb

No financial compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are tried and true and solely belong to The Whatever Mom.The links contained in this post are not affiliate links. 

Do you know why I love giveaways? It isn’t just because everyone loves free stuff. It’s because I LOVE treating my friends and readers to some really awesome products! I only share with you products I use in my own home! This week I’m in love with Perfectly Posh products! In honor of Valentine’s Day I am giving some for FREE!

What made me fall in love with Posh products is they are cruelty free and never tested on animals, there are vegan options and everything is made with plant based natural ingredients. I love that I can pamper myself and my little girls without worrying about fillers and synthetic chemicals. Now I don’t mind sharing my products with them! You can find a list of product ingredients at Perfectly Posh.

Of course you can also count on me to find a company that contributes to charity and a great cause! Through the You Deserve It charitable program Posh generously shares their products and raises funds for women’s shelters. They also collect needed items like socks and gently used shoes for women and children living in YWCA shelters. I don’t know about you, but for me buying products I can safely use with my children while supporting families in need feels like a really big win!

Here are my personal favorites:

Brazillian Bombshell Body Butter

Perfectly Posh brazillian bombshell

This 10 oz. tub of awesomeness goes a long way! I use it every morning in place of perfume. Essential oils gives this creamy body butter a fragrance that lasts a long time without over powering. My kids and I both have sensitivities to strong fragrance, but this has no effect on our allergies! I use this rich body butter to moisturize before bed too!

Caffeinator Skin Stick

Posh Caffeinator Skin Stick

This skin stick has amazing super powers. I’m not kidding! The lemon powered scent is reviving and the caffeine helps with that over tired look. I have used at the beginning of a migraine and found relief! It really helps! I keep mine in the fridge for a nice cooling effect when I need that afternoon pick me up.

Gender Bender Chunk Big Bath Bar

Perfectly Posh gender bender

This chunky bar is vegan and made with natural charcoal powder to draw toxins from the skin. The shea butter leaves a nice smooth layer of moisture and the scent is light enough for guys or gals. I use in the shower for a five minute spa effect. I’d almost forget I have kids if they weren’t yelling through the door.

All products are Made in the USA and every item costs $25 or less! I know! That means you can afford to pamper yourself and share a little with the kids (although you might not want to share). Speaking of sharing it’s time for our giveaway!

My very generous friend Stacey a.k.a Dr. Posh (yes she really does have a PhD!) is sponsoring today’s Posh giveaway! Two readers will win a posh Valentine’s Day Treat!

Be sure to comment below which item you would like to win! A full size Gender Bender Shower Bar, or a Starbucks travel cup filled with samples and Valentine chocolates!

Don’t miss out on these amazing specials happening right now! If you are already a Posh fan then you won’t want to miss out on these freebies with purchase! You can also join the perks program and earn free products! Find out more here.

posh chunk bar posh hand cream posh lip balm

Contest opens midnight Friday February 12, 2016 and ends February 14, 2016. Winners will be announced on Monday February 15, 2016 on The Whatever Mom Facebook page. If you are not following on Facebook yet, you can do so here.  Why not sign up to follow the blog via email and never miss out on another giveaway again!

 

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The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

We Fill Buckets in This Family

Be a BucketFillingFamily

The last few weeks have been a challenge. My twins are constantly tackling each other, screaming at each other and just entirely not being nice to each other. If I pick them up from school they are rumbling. They are rumbling during the car ride home and they are rumbling after gymnastics practice. Quite honestly their behavior is starting to drive me nuts!

While wracking my brain to figure out an effective way to discipline while creating teachable moments I remember my girls love the book How Full Is Your Bucket for Kids by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer. It’s a book they read and discussed in school.

Photo: Amazon.com
Photo: Amazon.com

I bought the book to read at home. After we read it together I understood more clearly how important it is for my kids to learn just what makes a bucket dipper; and more importantly how to fill someone else’s bucket. Allow me to explain.

This book introduces kids to the concept of empathy. A young boy learns that every one of us carries an invisible bucket over our heads. Every time we say or do something not nice the bucket slowly drips and becomes empty. But, if we give compliments, take time to listen and do nice things we not only fill someone else’s bucket, but our own buckets as well. The illustrations really help bring this concept to life and even young readers can understand it.

Photo: Inner Pieces Gallery
Photo: Inner Pieces Gallery

As soon as we finished the book I was inspired to create a family bucket filler chart. (I used items I found at the dollar store. Everything was pre-cut and I attached with double sided tape. That is the extent of my craftiness). I polled the girls for what they think a bucket filler looks like, sounds like and what it feels like when filling up someone else’s bucket. I hand wrote their words on the chart to serve as our guide for good behavior.

Family Bucket Filler Chart

Each one of us gets a bucket of our own with an envelope attached.

Family Bucket Filler Chart

Every night at dinner I ask each person in our family, “what did you do today to fill sissy’s (mommy/daddy) bucket today?” Each answer is written down on a card and placed in their envelop. For every card filled out I add a drop at the top of the bucket. We read all the cards at the end of the week.

I laminated the buckets using clear contact paper so I can draw each drop with a dry erase marker. I can erase and start over again the next week. If we each have five drops by the end of the week we get to participate in a special activity. This week is a Fro Yo sundae at Sweet Frog.

I attached the coupons for our activity above the chart so we can all see what we are working toward.

The first day or two neither kid got any drops in their buckets. But, once they earned their first drop they caught on quickly how this all works.

We are on week two and already I am seeing some positive effects. Both of my girls are quicker to take responsibility for their own behaviors and seek ways to apologize for and remedy hurt feelings.

I feel like participating as a family demonstrates for my kids we are a team, and everyone has to be accountable for their actions. Taking responsibility for their behaviors  is something my girls struggle with (as most five year olds do). I can’t tell you how often I hear, “she made me do it!”  I also like that it’s a more positive way to nurture good behavior and lay the foundation for empathy.

This is just what is working for us this week! For us, adding the chart brings tangibility to the message of this story and is a great tool for me in creating teachable moments.

 

What’s working for you this week? Feel free to share in the comments below!

 

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

Friday Favorites- GoNoodle.com A Website For Kids

Friday Favorites

The Whatever Mom does not receive any financial compensation for this review. All opinions shared are solely that of the Whatever Mom. (It’s just a really cool site).

I hear a lot of parents request suggestions for apps and websites that are appropriate for little kids. Someone suggested GoNoodle Home Edition and despite being a low tech family I thought I’d give this a try. It is such a hit! I use it on my phone or on our computer. The best part is it is FREE!

This website offers different challenges that encourage movement and emotional management tools for young kids. Teachers can use in their classrooms and parents can use at home or on the go! To get started parents sign up and select a password. The site will verify parent information to be sure it is OK for kids to interact with the website.

Then, kids pick a champion, or a character, who will grow bigger and stronger as kids complete videos and games. The more minutes kids spend dancing to videos and moving through the challenges the bigger the champion grows. Once the champion is maxed out kids select a new champion and continue with their favorite games and videos. Sounds pretty easy right? That’s because it is!

Gonoodle.com Champ

Select from video channels which is a grouping of your favorite videos, or a specific category such as calming, stretching or sports, etc.  Creating a favorites list allows you to tailor your kids experience to their needs.

Gonoodle.com

 

Here are some of our favorites:

Gonoodle.com Empower Tools

Empower Tools– offers yoga poses that encourage movements to help kids manage frustration, anxiety and strengthen focus. This has been a great tool for us during those pesky moments when my kids seem emotional but cannot really tell me what is upsetting them. I pull this one out for the after school melt down. My kids are more tired after school and need help focusing on the transition to home.

 

Gonoodle.com awesome sauce

Awesome Sauce– this channel has super silly and fun songs that encourage kids to get up and move. My kids love this any time of day, but we primarily use it for that afternoon slump when a dance party is the only cure.

 

Gonoodle.com think about it

Think About It– these short minute long videos offer affirmations and positive lessons on how to have a great day, practicing patience and forgiveness. I like to use these during those sibling scuffles. It helps all of us to take a short breath and distracts us from the negativity happening. When we are all calm we can talk about solutions for the next time we argue over a toy, or whose turn it is.

 

Gonoodle.com Maximo Monkey

Maximo– this little blue monkey is our absolute favorite. He is entertaining, yet my kids can focus on all the stretching movements under his tutelage. We love to use this any time of day! I especially pull these out on rainy days, or when I’ve noticed we’ve been sitting for too long.

 

Gonoodle.com Recess

Indoor Recess- these adorable and energetic videos are typically 10-15 minutes long and designed to get kids heart rates moving. Coach Terry gets kids up and running in place, performing jumping jacks and more. I have one super energetic kid who wakes up and wants to exercise. I let her complete one or two of these before school to get her morning started. The happy side effect is her sister always joins in too.

You can find all of our favorite videos as well as Zumba Kids, Brain fitness exercises, Kidz Bop videos and more at www.gonoodle.com. Parents have full control over passwords and access to the site. This makes it a really safe experience for kids. You can take it with you when you travel, you can use it before school or even before bedtime. Movement really helps change up my kids’ energy and moods. This has been a great tool for managing the craziness of our day! Be sure to find the GoNoodle 101 in the Explore section. It will help parents and new users learn how to use this awesome site!

What websites do your kids like? Share below and it may be featured in a future Friday Favorites.

 

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

 

 

 

Oh The Humanity of Game Night

Oh The Humanity of Game Night

Recently a group of my mom friends and I gathered for a game night event that can only be described as adventurous. Nothing about it was hazardous. We didn’t even leave the living room. We simply gathered to play just one game: Cards against Humanity.

Let me start by sharing that this game is NOT for anyone who is uptight, or timid about hearing and using colorful language that includes descriptive sex acts, body parts, bodily functions and worse. The list of offenses can go on. But, now that the disclaimer is out there let me share why this game was so much fun!

As moms we spend our entire day being appropriate. We model for our kids the appropriate topics to discuss at the dinner table. We teach them to use manners and respectful language. We even refrain, with intervention from a force deep inside, from dropping the ole F-bomb on a daily basis. I KNOW I’m not the only one who has stepped on a Lego piece and held back a generous amount of curse words.

Cards against Humanity

Our night wasn’t about getting together to use bad words and yuck it up over innuendos. It was about getting to share some laughs. Plus, it was nice to be in a kid free space eating snacks we didn’t have to share, and drinking our own beverages. We didn’t have to worry about whispering or spelling out words our kids can’t spell yet.  We could really relax and know no one will judge us for the non-politically correct things leaving our mouths because we could blame it on the cards. No one panicked about “how am I going to explain this to my kid later.” The freedom to let loose and go uncensored was darned exhilarating.

Moms playing Cards against Humanity

After the game was over and the cards put away a group of us lingered to talk. We were up well passed our routine bed times. The last time I was up until 1:00 a.m. it included a puke bucket and a thermometer. So, it was a thrill to be up that late catching up with moms I only get to toss out a quick hello to in passing.

I highly recommend starting your own game night with friends! You don’t have to play this game, any game will do. Just find a kid free space to let down your mommy-guard for a short time and relax. I know I felt refreshed and ready to tackle my mom duties the next day.

Tips for hosting an Epic Game Night:

Make sure you have a place for the kiddos to go. Whether it is off to grandma’s house, or upstairs with daddy, you will want a distraction free environment. Make it a place you can truly relax.

Ask everyone to bring their favorite snack to share! It can be as simple as chips and dip, or as fancy as a decadent dessert. Can’t go wrong with store bought!

Decide in advance on beverages. If you want an alcohol free space, or if you would like to include a little wine, make sure your guests know what to expect in your home.

Don’t worry about cleaning the house to white glove standards. You’re inviting moms! They get it! Just make sure there are plenty of comfy places to sit and maybe clean up some of the sticky parts.

Have the group decide on a game and let the fun begin! The mission of game night is to just laugh and connect with friends. Keep the game simple and energetic and the crowd will do the rest!

Got a game night suggestion? Leave it in the comments below!

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy