Little Tikes: Christmas in July!

Little Tikes.com is having a Christmas in July sale!  And from today until July 6th, they’re offering an extra 5% by entering the code “BANG” at checkout!  (This is for the product total before shipping and taxes, but there are a lot of items with Everyday Free Shipping!)

Hurry in and stock up for Christmas!  Captain Fussybuckets’ favorite Little Tikes toy is the Adjust And Jam Basketball goal:

Lessons in Forgiveness

Captain Fussybuckets is learning about forgiveness.  He doesn’t really understand the concept, but he knows how to say “I forgive you.”  He’s learning that even Mommy & Daddy make mistakes and when they do, it’s a good thing for him to forgive us.  This morning, I (Mommy) was watering my plants and I accidentally tripped him with the water hose.  OOPS!  I felt horrible, he got hurt, he cried, Daddy got him a band-aid, but in the end, he told me “it’s okay, I forgive you.”

This got me to thinking….how many times has someone hurt me or someone in my family, and I didn’t forgive them?  Or I said I forgave them, but I really didn’t….  I truly believe he HAS forgiven me for causing him to get hurt this morning.  When he is reminded that his boo boo hurts, he says “it’s okay, Mommy.”  (Now if he’ll forgive me for smaller things in ten years, like not letting him get a new video game or go swimming with his friends….probably not! ha!)

God tells us to be like the little children.  This is just another way we can live that out.  When someone does me wrong, whether or not it’s intentional, I must remember CF and his sweet spirit and ability to forgive me.  God forgives us, so we must forgive others.  I know some circumstances are huge and forgiveness is not easy, but I think we will be more at peace if we do forgive.

So….here’s your challenge for today, as well as mine.  Think about someone who needs your forgiveness.  You don’t have to tell them you forgive them, but it might help.  Think hard…..is it an old boss?  Ex-boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse???  Friend?  Neighbor?  A random guy at McDonald’s who yelled at you for getting in his way?  Think about it.  I’m trying, too!!!

Flightless Goose Book Tour

Today is our stop  on the "Flightless Goose" book tour!  I received a copy of this book and immediately read it to the Captain.  He really enjoyed it!  This is such a sweet book, and tells a very good message.  Gilbert gets into an accident and he is not able to fly anymore.  This means he is left alone when all of his friends (who also call him names and pick on him for being different!) fly South for the winter.  While he has all of this free time on his hands, he runs and gets really, really fast.  I won't spoil the ending, but Gilbert is the hero.  
 
 
 
I had the privilege of asking the author, Eric D. Goodman, a few questions!  His answers are below, in red!
 
I noticed in the book jacket that you and your wife have two children.  What do they think of the book "Flightless Goose"?

 

 
They both love it.  Our daughter actually joined us and read the book in front of a live audience at the Festival of Trees.  They both consider Gilbert a friend and enjoy the story.  (Of course, they may have a bit of a bias.)
 
What is your favorite story to read to your children?
 
There are so many, it's hard to say.  But I do love reading them some of the books that I enjoyed as a kid: Dr. SeussEric CarleShel Silverstein, Maurice Sendek.
 
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
 
The first story I remember writing was the result of a school assignment from the third grade.  It was around Halloween and we had to write a spooky story.  There were a lot of one and two page stories about witches and goblins.  I wrote a 10 page epic about a boy who built a monster to fight the evils of the world (which resulted from the earth being knocked off its axis).  I had a wild imagination, and the reaction of my classmates and teacher to the story encouraged me.  That story launched my career as a writer.
 
Gilbert is an awesome, lovable character.  I think you and your wife portrayed him well in the book.  What happened to the real Flightless Goose in the winter?? 
 
The goose really did get left behind and survived the winter to welcome back the flock in the spring.  We and the neighbors fed it bread crumbs throughout the winter. Imagine what went on in that goose's head as he bore the cold winter alone–which is exactly what we did with Flightless Goose.
 
I like that you included a boy in a wheelchair in the story.  It provides more opportunity to talk about how we are all different.  When reading it to my 2 year old, I realized he had never met someone in a wheelchair before.  Instant lesson!  Thank you for that!  Was this character real or made up?
 
This was a made up character, although there are many Johnnys in the world.  The idea of Gilbert the goose having a disability was made clearer through his friend Johnny, I think.  A child may not associate a goose who can't fly as "disabled," which really is how it should be with people.  A person who uses a wheelchair is a person first and shouldn't be defined by the wheelchair — just as he or she isn't defined by their eye color or shoe size.  That's why we show that Johnny uses a wheelchair, but it is never mentioned in the text.  We wanted to focus on the abilities of these characters and only show the disabilities as background characteristics.
 
Are you working on any other books?
 
Yes.  Nataliya and I are working on another children's book now with an entirely new cast of characters.  Then, we hope to bring Gilbert back with a sequel.
 
My new novel — a chapter book for adults — comes out June 30. It's called Tracks, and it takes place on a train.  Each chapter in the book is a stand-alone story about a character on the train, but they link together to form a complete novel.  You can learn more about it, listen to radio readings, and read excerpts at www.TracksNovel.com.
 
Visit www.flightlessgoose.com for more fun stuff!
 
The publishers, Writer's Lair Books, have given me the awesome opportunity to share one copy of "Flightless Goose" with one of my readers!  The giveaway is open to all US citizens, ages 18 and older.  Please, only one entry per household.  The giveaway will be open until Friday, July 1st at NOON central time.  I will use random.org to select a winner after noon, email them, and announce it here on the blog.
 
Just fill out the Google Doc below and you're entered to win!  (tab through to get to the submit button at the bottom!)  The mandatory entry is that you must "like" the Flightless Goose facebook page.  All other entries are optional, but increase your chance of winning!
 
The giveaway has ended and Crystal is the lucky winner!
 
disclosurereviewandgiveaway

 

 

Don’t Rush Mobility

Baby D wants to crawl. You can see it in his eyes and hear the frustration in his voice. This morning, I sat down on the floor and put him on his tummy. He immediately popped up on his hands, but he can't figure out what to do with his legs. (The Captain just used his arms to pull his body and legs along….never did properly crawl!)  Then, he started scooting backwards. I thought to myself "WHAT am I doing???" YES I want this child to learn how to be mobile but WHY am I encouraging it????? This is what happens when kids become mobile!!  Don't rush mobility!!!
 
 
 
This is not the Captain, of course, but a 3 year old that was in our care and yes, that is baby powder.
 
This is a good day for our floor.
 
Playing in the mud with Cousin Z.
 The captain's new favorite thing is to get his stool, climb up in the crib, and play with Baby D after his nap.  This was after he announced to me that he was holding Baby D, over the monitor…
 
Nothing is safe.  Nothing.
 
And last but not least, this is the reason I say you will never stop baby-proofing.
I guess I shouldn't be complaining.  The days of coloring on walls and writing on furniture are yet to come.  There's a website out there….."stuff" my kids ruined.  Check it out if you want to see pure destruction.  (but mind you, there is a dirty word in the title….just letting you know.  We are a family blog, you know!)
 
So enjoy your babies while they're babies.  Help them out along the way, but don't force them to do things.  Let them figure out on their own.  Mobility brings a lot of joy and yes, even relief for parents, but just let them be little while you can.  And know, that you will NEVER stop baby-proofing.  I'm going to install a few door knob thingamajigs in a moment.  And I'm sure in a couple of weeks I'll be getting a lock for the pantry….
 

**Sidenote:  My brother and his wife welcome their first born baby boy into the world today!!!  I'm sure they're not reading this, but if you are…congratulations!!!!  And no, this blog is not directed at you or giving you a warning of any kind.  But, I guess in some way, it really is.  haha!  Enjoy parenthood!!!  I love you guys!

 

Home Video Time! Brother Band

Captain Fussybuckets is very musical and always has been.  He’s currently recruiting new members for his band!  

Children Inspire Design Printable Party

I first saw the Children Inspire Design artwork on places like Jasmere and Totsy.  Every product is simply amazing.  I love these alphabet cards, which are just stunning!!

 

 

 

Rebecca Peragine is the creator of Children Inspire Design.  She is doing great things with her company!  They are creating beautiful pieces that help children have fun and learn.  Check out this beautiful print that promotes a love for our planet:
 
 
And this adorable print!
 
 
CID has recently launched a line of PDF printables.  They currently have a woodland birthday PDF set:
 
 
and a birdie PDF party set:
 

 

 

 
Aren't those just the sweetest little pictures?  And if you're like me and totally NOT crafty, this is perfect!  (And she offers directions and tips on her blog!  awesome!!)
 
-Buy Children Inspire Design products here!
 
-Win it!
 
Rebecca of Children Inspire Design is graciously offering one of our readers their choice of the woodland or birdie PDF party sets.  
 
The birdie collection includes:  happy birthday banner, four party  hat designs, place cards/food cards, thank you note cards, welcome sign, cupcake toppers/wrappers, garland, mobile/centerpiece design, and placemats/coloring page.
 
Included in the woodland collection: happy birthday banner, 5×7 invitations, welcome sign, place cards, four party hat designs, party food labels, name tags, cupcake toppers and wrappers, gift tags, placemats/coloring sheets, thank you gift bag tags, thank you notecards, mobile/centerpiece design, and placemats/coloring page.
 
 

Winner! Kool Kid Legs from Mama Runs With Scissors! plus more giveaways!

Michele is the winner of the Kool Kid Legs from Mama Runs With Scissors!  Congratulations, Michele!  Check your email!

If you didn't win….we have TEN new prizes you can win in the next few days!  First, we have the awesome Dallas Mavericks giveaway ith EIGHT prizes!!!  Tomorrow, we will have a cute giveaway for something party related….and on Monday we'll be the blog stop for "Flightless Goose" and have a copy of the book to giveaway, as well!  So, stayed tuned, spread the word, and enter our giveaways!!

Dallas Mavericks multi-prize giveaway! {over}

Our family is full of huge Mavs fans! (well, except those few Spurs fans, but we'll forgive them for that, for now. :o) We are SO thrilled that the Dallas Mavericks WON the 2011 NBA Championship!!! What a rollercoaster, emotional season!

To celebrate the Mavs' victory, I have rallied some Dallas Mavericks fans who have Etsy shops (www.etsy.com) and they have donated some WONDERFUL Mavs gear! (Seriously, I want to enter to win all of these items but of course, I won't. :o)

**To enter, complete the mandatory entry below each picture and description, then fill out the Google doc!  Please comment or email if you have any questions!  I tried to make it as simple as possible, but multiple prizes like this make it tricky!

To create an Etsy account….simply go to www.etsy.com and click "sign in" on the top left-hand corner.

The Mavs loot:

 

Prize #1 – Cross My Heart Bags - Dallas Mavericks tote bag
 
 
 This tote bag is made from denim material in both the outer and inner lining of the bag. This is a fringed denim tote with various denim and cotton patches with Mavericks and basketball.  The interior is fully lined with denim that provides stability. The bag closes with a blue jean tab and has a jean waistband for the strap.
 
Measurements:
 
13 ½” wide
13” length
1 ½ wide strap
16” strap drop
interior jean pocket

 

BUY IT:  Cross My Heart Bags

WIN IT:

MANDATORY ENTRY: "heart" or favorite Cross My Heart Bags on Etsy!

 
 
 
Prize #2 – Spot Light Jewels – Dallas Mavericks 
personalized jersey necklace
 

 

 
 
Item Description: This Necklace is brand new and about 18" long. However, you can request a custom length by contacting me if you win. There will not be an additional charge for other lengths up to 24 inches. You can request any sport and any team jersey that you would like. You can also personalize these necklaces with any name and any number. The necklace is made out of durable and long lasting ceramic and metal beads. The beads on the necklace are virtually indestructible. This necklace will make a perfect gift for any sports fan.
Pendant Description: The pendant is 1" in diameter.  
 
 
WIN IT:
 
MANDATORY ENTRY:  visit http://www.spotlightjewels.com/ and come back and tell us (in the form below) what other item you'd love to own!
 
 
 
Prize #3 –  Bluebel Boutique – Mavericks cadet hat!
(winner chooses which one she would like!)  
 

 

 

 
Custom distressed cadet style hat with Dallas Mavericks logo layered with coordinating fabrics.   All hats have a ponytail hole and velcro closure.   
 
 
WIN IT:
 
MANDATORY ENTRY:  Like Bluebel Boutique on Facebook and leave a comment telling them that Life With Captain Fussybuckets sent you! (can be combined with entry for pendant below)
 
 
Prize #4 – Bluebel Boutique – Dallas Mavericks pendant
 
 
This pendant features a different Mavericks logo on each side. These images are placed between two pieces of thick glass and soldered together with lead free solder. Each pendant comes with a standard 24"ball chain and is shipped in an organza bag … perfect for gift giving … OR keep it for yourself!
Note: Pendant is NOT waterproof! Pendant is not intended for small children as it is made out of glass and could crack if dropped. 
 
 
 
WIN IT:
 
MANDATORY ENTRY:  Like Bluebel Boutique on Facebook and leave a comment telling them that Life With Captain Fussybuckets sent you!  (can be combined with entry from cadet hat)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Prize #5 – Ally and Natty Boutique – Dallas Mavericks double stack hairbow
 
 
This hairbow is sure to show your little gal's team spirit! It measures about 4 inches and features a bottle cap with an image of the Dallas Mavericks logo. Made with top quality grosgrain ribbon, in Mavs colors. Ends are heat sealed to prevent fraying.
 
 
WIN IT!
 
MANDATORY ENTRY:  "Heart" or favorite Ally and Natty Boutique on Etsy!
 
 
Prize #6 – Hot Glue Hangover – Eco-Paraguard Dallas Mavericks bracelet
 
 
*Can be made to specific length – 8, 10, 12 inches (please include in order what length you would like – this is tip to tip)

*The one pictured above is 8 1/2 inches



Not only are these bracelets a great rustic male or female fashion accessory but they are eco friendly! Don't be fooled by the fantastic braiding these bracelets have a duel purpose – they can also help you survive in the wilderness!

Wear it to work or tear it apart bear grylls style, you choose! 



Materials:

5 feet of royal blue 550 paracord

5 feet of black 550 paracord

Black snap clasp



Dimensions:

8 1/2 inches long

3/4 inch thick
 
 
WIN IT:
 
MANDATORY ENTRY:  
1. Follow Hot Glue Hangover's blog - http://www.thehotgluehangover.com/
2. Favorite an item in her Etsy shop
 
Extra entry:
Tweet which item in her shop is your fav and leave the Tweet address in the form below!
 
 
Prize #7 – Purple Heart Ori"Jenn"als – Mavs 
steering wheel cover
 
 
Show your Dallas Mavericks pride with this 100% Cotton Dallas Mavericks Steering Wheel Cover. It stays securely on your steering wheel with a 4" elastisized binding. All raw edges are serger finished. Between the top layer and liner layer of fabric is a layer of batting to help keep the heat from totally penatrating your steering wheel during those super hot months. All three layers are securely stitched in a random straight-lined pattern.



This particular cover fits a 15" steering wheel but convo me if you would like one bigger or smaller. I can also alter the pattern if this pattern doesn't suit you. Just convo me if you would like something a little different. Total turn around time on these is approx. 14 days – including shipping.



Machine washable with like colors, hang to dry or low tumble.



WARNING: NOT TO BE USED WHILE VEHICLE IS IN OPERATION. FOR DECORATION ONLY.
 
 
MANDATORY ENTRY:  Head over to Etsy and "heart" or favorite Purple Heart Ori"Jenn"als' shop
 
 
Prize #8 – The Bow Girl Boutique – Dallas Mavericks bow
 
 
This is a Dallas Mavericks twisted boutique bow. The bow is 6 inches across, the base bow is 4 inches, and is made with grosgrain ribbon. The bow is mounted to a double pronged alligator clip. (No slip grips can be added upon request)



All of my hair bows are hand-sewn for durability and the ribbon ends are heat sealed to prevent fraying. All bows are originally made with alligator clips, but can be made by any type of hair hardware of your choice.
 
 
WIN IT:
 
MANDATORY ENTRY:  head over to the Bow Girl Boutique's Facebook page , add as friend, and comment on her page that you entered the giveaway  here!
 

"Flightless Goose" book tour!

We are so excited that our blog was one of twelve blogs chosen to review the new book, “Flightless Goose,” by Eric D. Goodman!  Our stop on the tour is next Monday, June 27th!  Make sure to come back then and read all about the “Flightless Goose” and enter to win a copy for yourself!




Small Successes with a Toddler

I don't remember the first time it happened.  I do, however, remember the last time it happened.  It wasn't pretty.    I remember many times that it happened.  One day, in particular, I was about 7-8 months pregnant with Baby D and I took an early Saturday morning trip to the store.  I also took along the 12 year old boy who was in our care at the children's home and Captain Fussybuckets, who wasn't 2 yet.  We had to go to get a few items, I forget what they were, but all CF wanted was a balloon.  And boy, did this store have balloons.  After all, he is a toddler. He didn't want to ride in the basket.  So I let him down.  Mistake #1.  This kid was running around like a wild banshee, finding things he wanted and then discarding them when something else caught his eye.  The 12 year old was getting annoyed.  I was getting annoyed.  I almost cried because I was sure no other child in the history of children was this horrible.

Before kids, I scoffed at the parents who would buy their kids candy and toys when they were throwing tantrums.  And somehow that day I got out without buying Fussybuckets anything, but I'll tell you, my mind was racing with what to get this kid to calm down.  Now when I see kids that are acting out in the store, I want to buy that kid a huge chocolate bar, just to make the Mommy (or Daddy or Grandma…) feel better.

Fast forward to a few days ago.  I left Baby D at home with Daddy (because let's face it, I'm a wuss and I avoid the two child, one adult grocery trip like the plague!)  Fussybuckets had just woken up from a nap, had a good snack and a drink, and we were on our way.  Since we just moved in, we still had a lot of stuff to buy, even though we had been shopping the week before.  There were a lot of "I wants" and "I wish I could haves," but every.single.time. that I said "not right now, please put it back…."   the 2 1/2 year old demon precious child of mine actually put whatever it was back.  (yes, I was letting him walk on his own, he's earned that privilege.  If he wanders or throws a fit, it's back in the cart!)  I was flabbergasted.  He actually put it back!  From sippy cups to cookies to random other things he thought he wanted…he always put them back.

The true test came at the end of our shopping trip.  M&Ms.  WHY ON EARTH DO THEY PUT CANDY IN THE CHECKOUT LINE?????  Seriously.  These people are TRYING to kill us, I just know it.  Anyway…..he grabbed some M&Ms.  (This kid loves chocolate like his mommy.)  Trust me, I was starving and wanted the M&Ms, too.  But I politely asked him to put them back, and he did.  He actually had a semi freakout because he couldn't find where he got them from.  It probably LOOKED like a train wreck to everyone else, but our groceries were bought with no candy and we both left, feeling happy.

I immediately called Daddy to brag about this awesome behavior. And some may frown upon this and call it counter productive, but whatever, it was my call.  A few hours later, Daddy went to the store and bought him some M&Ms at my request.  I explained to him that because he always put the things back at the store when I asked him to, I chose to reward him.  I made it very clear, though, that if he had thrown a fit, he would not have gotten anything.  (and hey, they were peanut M&M's, so there's a little nutritional value in there!)

Now listen.  I'm not saying that I'm a good parent or that his behavior is indicative of anything that Daddy or I have done.  Maybe he was just having a good day.  There have been times since then that he has been out of control and things we are still working on but that's what I've learned…that everything is a process.  I just have to remember to continually stay patient with him and someday his behavior will change.

And don't get me wrong.  I still think he's one of the most rambunctious, attitude-y, often times naughty 2 year olds out there.  But, it's all about the baby steps, right?

p.s.  If you see us in the store, and CF is having a bad day and throwing an epic tantrum, please just look the other way and pretend you don't know us, okay?  ha ha !!  Because it WILL happen again!