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March 2nd, 2015 by Behaven Kids

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April 16th, 2014 by Behaven Kids

Single Use Towels?

March 29th, 2013 by Behaven Kids

My husband and I agree on many things, but one thing we differ greatly on is the issue of towels.  His philosophy is single use only. He doesn’t want to use a towel to wipe his face that was perhaps previously used on other “key” areas.  I make the assumption that areas are clean when wiped off with a towel, but perhaps I’m wrong?

My philosophy with the towels is that a couple days of use is fine with me.  I’m clean when I get out and half the time all I get is quick wipe down as my kids are either crying or yelling for me by the time I step out of the shower.  I’m lucky I get time to use a towel at all.

Why this topic comes to mind to me today is that I’m facing a giant pile or should I say piles of laundry. My son currently follows his father’s practice with the towels (although he doesn’t know why) and so between the two boys alone I am faced with washing 14 towels/week.  This isn’t even figuring in the other three females in the house.This seems ridiculous to me!  How do we even have that many towels?!?  And then on top of it all, I have to wash them all, over and over and over again.

I am not even going to touch on the ecological impact on our water resources, etc. on the topic of washing all these towels.  But I think of hotel stays and how they now give you an option to reuse or use new every time.  Even hotels recognize there are differences in opinion on the use of towels.

And apparently, we aren’t the only household that disagrees on the topic.  A Google search of the topic found several different links on the topic which I’ve included here.  Some agree with me that with frequent washes and appropriate storage re-use is fine.  I should note that my philosophy for hotel towels is different.  I’m not doing the laundry there so give me a new towel every time!

What’s your philosophy on towel use?  Do you reuse or are they a single use item only?

New Year’s Resolutions

January 8th, 2013 by Behaven Kids

We are just over a week into 2013, and here I sit, staring one of my New Years resolutions in the face. Mounds of laundry on my coffee table, waiting to be finished and put away. One of my resolutions was to try and keep up with the never-ending piles of laundry in our home, seemingly at all times.

Did you make a resolution this year? According to the infamous Dr. Oz, more than 50% of us will keep our resolutions until June or later. I found that statistic surprising. I figured it would be much lower! As a society, we aren’t always the best at following through on what we say we are going to do. Dr. Oz’s advise was to set clear, specific goals. Don’t make a blanket resolution to “lose weight”. Instead, resolve to be more active in your everyday life by taking simpler steps like parking farther away from the store entrance, taking the stairs, walking the dog more often, or attend a fun fitness class once a week.

Dr. Oz also mentioned to make other people aware of your goals. You have a much better chance of following through with a resolution or goal if you have others in your corner cheering you on. You all have just become my accountability partners in my 2013 New Years resolutions.

Resolution number 1: to never have more than 1 load of laundry “on deck” at one time. Wake up call – when Husband had to go digging through 2 different “sock baskets” this morning, searching for a matching pair. Sorry! (More about these sock baskets…..this has been my solution for all of those mismatched socks. They collect in a laundry basket, just waiting to be paired up. I got the idea from a former boss who had come across a hidden bag in he and his new wife’s closet one day. She confessed about her secret “sock bag” – he thought she was crazy….I thought it was genius.)

Also regarding laundry: I have seen an idea floating around the Pinterest boards, saying that in order to stay on top of the laundry situation, you should do one load a day from start to finish. I suppose that could work – just wash everything on cold, and reserve whites for once a week. What are your thoughts?

Number 2: Try to actually look like a presentable adult, everyday. There is no reason to look like such a frump! No more of the stay at home mom uniform. Wake up call – One day a few weeks ago, I woke up late, threw on some ratty jeans, put my hair up in a pony tail, threw on an oversized hoodie and my crappy water stained snow boots and got my kids to school a few minutes late. Then my boss-lady called and needed me to run down to work at the jewelry shop for a bit, then 3 or 4 other things came up and soon enough it was late afternoon and I still hadn’t showered or put on real clothes. Is my life really so tough that I can’t get out of bed on time to make myself look like a respectable human being? No!

After reviewing what I have written above, I guess my resolution could be summed up in one vague way – be more on top of things! Imagine a household where you are never scrambling for clean socks and where you are always ready for whatever the day might bring. It would bring calmness to my mind, that’s for sure. All it takes is a little preparation to set yourself up for success.

Did you make a New Years resolution? Do you need me, or another reader to be your accountability partner? Lastly, I’m dying to know your solution to missing socks. Do you have a sock bag too? Please share!

Have a great rest of the week!

She’s Here!

January 4th, 2013 by Behaven Kids

As my loyal readers know, we were expecting our third baby estimated to arrive December 20th.  With the holidays approaching and two other young children at home, my doctor agreed to schedule an induction on December 21st so I would be out of the hospital and home for the holidays with my kids.  As it turned out, the induction wasn’t necessary!  “Paris” made her arrival on her own terms on December 21st!

Paris joined us at 6:13am, only 57 minutes after we walked into the emergency room at the hospital! All along she decided that she would make her arrival on her own terms!  Both of my other pregnancies were only 38 weeks and I had been hopeful that this one would be the same; however, that was not the case.  I am happy to say that I did survive my full 40 weeks of pregnancy and am so thankful that she is healthy.

Her arrival was so quick and again different from the others and so it affords Paris her own unique birth story.  No one knew we were headed to the hospital and everyone was so surprised with the news so early in the morning!  With a fast arrival, there was a flurry of activities from a number of nurses and my doctor.  I had a great bunch of nurses and it always help to make the process go smoothly.

After Paris was born, nurses were guessing weight and length and so it was fun to hear them guess.  Paris ended up weighting 8 lbs. 13 oz. and was 21 inches long.  She has a head full of dark, spiky hair.  Her hair is so dark it’s almost black!  She has the same button nose that my other kids had and it’s easy to tell that she is related to her siblings and her daddy!

So far, Paris has been an easy going and a good baby.  She doesn’t get too riled up with fits of crying yet and she thankfully sleeps for relatively good chunks of time allowing me to get some solid sleep.  I definitely can’t complain and she’s already had one night where she slept all night!  She’s travelled well on her first little road trip to grandma’s house for a Christmas celebration and so far she appears to be able to sleep through anything!  This comes in particularly handy with a loud older brother and sister!

Her older brother is in love with his new baby sister.  For a guy who wanted a brother in the worst way, has made her arrival so fun and enjoyable to see how much love he already has for such a little baby.  Paris’s older sister, Tiffany (3 years), does not necessarily share the same joy of a sibling yet.  She did say to me yesterday, “Mom, you should take Paris back to her mom.”  I said, “I’m her mom.”   Tiffany responds, “Then take her back to her dad”.  I had a good chuckle with that one.  Tiffany appears to be coming around and I believe it will just be a matter of time before she warms up to her little sister.

And as far as my husband and me, we are absolutely in love with our littlest girl.  We sit and talk about our amazement as to how your heart just grows and finds more love to give.  We are thankful this holiday season for our many blessings!  Our baby girl was by far, the best Christmas gift that we were given this year.


2013 Please Be Awesome!

January 1st, 2013 by Behaven Kids

Happy first day of 2013!

Did you have fun celebrating last night? Most of you that are reading this probably have kiddos, and had to either find a babysitter weeks ago, or resign to spending the night ringing in the New Year from your couch at home. Our plans are up in the air as of right now (Sunday night) but hopefully something fun will come our way! We lined up a babysitter awhile back, as history has shown that New Years Eve is not the easiest night to secure one. Heck, if no plans come our way, I might even just pay the sitter to watch the kids while I read quietly, take a bath, and go to bed early! 😉

My favorite New Years Eve happened just 2 years ago, in 2010. A close friend got married that afternoon, then hosted a beautiful dinner and dance at a local restaurant/event hall. We danced our hearts out, then at midnight, got to watch a private fireworks display out the window of the reception room. (There was another wedding reception in the building, and as luck would have it, they had planned to have a private fireworks display for their guests to watch at midnight. Little did they know, we had a better view – and a free show to boot!) The funny thing about New Years Eve is that everything seems to shut down right about 12:20 am. Party’s over, time to go! :)

One past New Years Eve, I remember being babysat as a kiddo and convincing my babysitter to let me stay up and shower my parents with home-made construction paper confetti upon their arrival home. Now that I am that parent, the last thing I want to see when I get home is my kid still awake (most likely jazzed up with candy and soda) throwing cut up paper at me and yelling “HAPPY NEW YEAR” in my face at 12:30 in the morning. I would like to take this time to publicly apologize to my parents for that scene. I always have had a flair for the dramatic.

In our home, the new year is bringing some big changes. Right away this Thursday, both boys are starting pre-school at a new school. Long story short, it was time to find a better situation for all of us. I’m a little nervous, but confident that they will make new friends, and transition just fine. 2013 will also bring Little Man #1 starting Kindergarten. We have yet to decide which route we are taking as far as where to enroll them in K-5 school. Stay tuned, as I’m sure that will be a blog topic that I will cover sometime this year! Be kind to us 2013!

How did you ring in the New Year? Did you even make it to midnight, or did you hit the sack at your normal time?

Do you have any New Years traditions?

However you chose to celebrate or not celebrate, I hope you did it safely and had fun!

See you next week!


Playground Peer Pressure

December 28th, 2012 by Behaven Kids

We tend to hear a lot about peer pressure and bullying in the media.  As a parent of young children, I have been ignorant to think that I have many years before I have to be concerned of such things.  What I have learned, however, is that I was wrong!

It’s interesting watching how our 6 year old son navigates in his social environments.  A few years ago, we were worried about how shy he was and how awkward he was in social situations and we’ve really worked with him over the years to overcome those issues.  Now, he is a social butterfly and talks easily with other people and kids and does well in Christmas programs, tae kwan do tournaments and other similar events.   Our son is typically very well behaved and has good manners and we often get compliments from teachers and caregivers as to how sweet and well-mannered he is (my husband and I know well enough that this isn’t ALWAYS the case).

One day last week we took the kids swimming at the wellness center.  Since I was 40 weeks pregnant at the time and didn’t have a swimsuit for a beached whale, I was able to sit on the sidelines and observe.  My brain is constantly analyzing things I observe (occupational hazard of a behavior analyst) and it was interesting watching Peyton during the swimming outing.

He easily began interactions with other kids about his age.   He and another little boy started playing diving games and going down the slide and basically followed each other around the pool.  The other boy appeared well-behaved as well and the interaction was positive.  Peyton knows the expectations I have for his behavior at the gym and he’s well aware of the rules of the gym pool as we review them before we get there so I usually don’t have to intervene or remind him once he’s there and swimming.

What I observed was that Peyton’s new little friend was going into an area that is too deep for Peyton.   After the first several times the other boy went, Peyton did not follow.   I could hear him say, “my mom says I can’t go in that part.”  After enough times, Peyton wavered and followed the boy in.  Peyton was easily reminded of the rule and again didn’t go it, but it was interesting to watch the events unfold.

The other little boy also started throwing some pool toys across the floor in the gym, potentially striking other swimmers as the toys flew into the pool after sliding on the floor.  Peyton knew enough to not throw the toys, but he did follow the boy and laugh with what he was doing.  The lifeguard blew the whistle at the boys and the other boy stopped and that was the end of it.

Peer pressure is described as influence by one’s own peer group.  In observing Peyton, it is obvious that peer pressure is part of the typically developing child.  They observe other’s behaviors around them to aid them in determining what is appropriate or not, what is fun for them and what isn’t.  Peyton clearly felt safe and was having fun with his new friend, and while the infractions were very minor, it was obvious that there was decision making that was required for Peyton.   He knew that my rules was to stay out of the deep end, but clearly his friend didn’t have that rule, so by trial and error Peyton learned that even if it was okay for someone else, it still isn’t okay for him.

We always hear about peer pressure in a negative connotation.  But, I believe to a degree, that peer pressure is not always negative and is needed for social development.  Peyton gave in to a little peer pressure at the age of 6.  Was it the first time? No.  Will it be the last time?  Heavens no.  As a parent it was important for me to observe that particular situation.  It helped me realize that these things are going on for him all the time, and ensuring that as a parent I am vigilant and mindful of helping him set appropriate boundaries and outlining appropriate guidelines for him as I can.

While the future may hold scary topics like smoking and alcohol consumption in relation to peer pressure, by then hopefully I will have good practice and many opportunities to observe and adapt my parenting skills in relation to peer pressure.  It’s something that as a parent, we can never to be too good at.

How do you see peer pressure influence your child’s life?  Have you seen positive effects from peer pressure?  Have you been involved with some scary topics related to peer pressure?

Waliki “Benny the Bull” Review & Giveaway

December 19th, 2012 by Behaven Kids


Upon receipt of the blue “Benny’s“, as my kids soon named them, our house was immediately a lot busier and noisier! All of the kids’ energy that has been bottled up since early November when the weather turned cold suddenly had an outlet. They soon set up a race track that looped around the kitchen, into the living room, and back again. The “Benny’s” may be more suited to be an outdoor toy, as the quality seems high and like it would hold up on a garage floor or concrete. The horns double as handles, which makes for easy steering.

As with most new toys, the “Benny’s” the bull, accompanied each boy to bed time they were in our house. Although a little large and uncomfortable looking to mom, they used them as pillows for awhile :)

The sizing seemed inconsistent, as one “Benny” seemed larger than the other, although similar looking in every other way. My oldest son thought it looked like a movie star, with its sunglasses and white stars imprinted on its side.

If there was a downfall, I would only say that my oldest seemed a little big to play on it. (He’s an average sized 5 year old.) His knees came up to his chest when he hopped. I will say, however, that he didn’t complain :)

I would recommend playing with the Benny’s. They seem durable and are kind of cute all on their own. They are a version of a hippity hop, although probably easier to use because of the way they are designed – with the handles on front, instead of one handle on the very top of a round ball.

Be sure to tell your kids not to pull the plug that keeps the air in, as it makes for an impromptu refill session. Maybe a piece of duct tape over the air plug would do the trick? The Benny’s do come with their own air pump for convenience.

I would highly suggest adding this to your little one’s Christmas list!   And for one lucky person – you can have one of these free because Waliki Toys is hosting this week’s Win it Wednesday!  For your chance to win your own Benny (ARV $44.99) just do the following…..

For an entry into this week’s drawing – let us know if your little ones are experiencing cabin fever yet!

For EXTRA entries – leave a comment below for each one you do:

-”Like” us on Facebook

-Refer a friend to “like” us on Facebook (have them tag you on Facebook via a wall post)

-Share our “Win it Wednesday” post via Facebook

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Giveaway ends 12/20/12 at 11:59 p.m. CST!





Soundtrack to Your Life

December 18th, 2012 by Behaven Kids

I was at Hobby Lobby the other day, wandering the aisles and aisles of Christmas stuff, sipping my skinny peppermint mocha, while instrumental Christmas tunes played over the speakers. I thought to myself – this is the perfect setting to be doing some Christmas shopping. If there had been top 40 songs, country, or pop hits playing, the mood would not have been set quite so perfectly.

Now, I understand that some smart marketing person at corporate Hobby Lobby headquarters realized that that is exactly the scene you need to set if you want shoppers to buy your products. The same reason that department stores blast Christmas music, and have big obnoxious decorations all throughout the store. If they get you excited about buying, or if the mood they are setting gives you gives you the warm fuzzies, you may be apt to buy more since you feel so comfortable in their stores.

This got me thinking over the weekend – I do something similar in my own life. I use music to enhance everyday activities. As a mom of two young boys, you’d think I’d be ready to sit in silence whenever humanly possible, when in fact the opposite is true. I don’t even like taking baths versus showers, because baths are TOO quiet!  I rarely feel comfortable sitting in silence. It is a major pet peeve of mine to be at a social event when there is not a little background music playing, at the very least. I believe that music is an often overlooked detail, and if people would understand how powerful it could be, they might be more aware of it.  For instance, I co-hosted a baby shower this past summer for a very good friend of mine. It was important to me to make a playlist from my ITunes to have playing in the background during the whole event. It really proved my point when she was opening gifts, and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (the ukelele version) and she got emotional, as the song evoked memories of her grandma. Not that I was happy she got emotional, but the perfect storm of the guests present to celebrate, the impending arrival of her first baby, the opening of gifts, and a sweet song playing really drive home the enormity of it all to her.

My appreciation for many different styles of music has grown with me, with my iTunes collection containing a range from Garth Brooks to broadway show tunes to Lady Gaga.The capability of holding our entire former CD collection in our hands at one time, along with instantly being able to download that awesome new song we just heard on the radio is slightly mind boggling. Gone are the days of the perpetual CD shuffle while driving. Now with a few swipes of your thumb, you can access any song you want.

Have there been any particular songs that you recall enhancing a memory or a situation? For example, any song from Titanic soundtrack makes me think of my best friend and our silly middle school years. Any Michael Buble song reminds me of our first dance at our wedding, and subsequently brings back memories of seeing him in concert……………twice. (I’m not at ALL ashamed to admit that, either!) The above mentioned ukelele version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” will now always remind me of the special moment my friend had during her baby shower.

What songs bring back special memories to you? Is there a song or singer that “get you every time”?

Have a great rest of your week!


The Season of Giving

December 7th, 2012 by Behaven Kids

The holidays seem to be the time of year where giving is most highlighted due to the tradition of giving Christmas gifts that has held the test of time.  While I try to give to others throughout the year, I seem to beef up my giving to others during this time of year.   This time of year I tend to feel slightly regretful that I don’t do more throughout the year.  I never quite know why I cram so much more in November and December than any other month.  I could probably do more if I spread it out throughout the year.  I am more reflective this time of year, especially as I sit down to write our annual Christmas letter and think back upon the year.  My attention becomes focused on reviewing the many blessings of the past year.

Recently, at one of my MOPS meetings, a mentor mom (someone who has been a mom for a long time), came forward to share with the group that she had just been informed that she was in need of a kidney transplant.  As you may or may not know the list of recipients on the donor list is quite lengthy and the wait for a kidney from a donor is even longer.  Often times an individual in need of a kidney has the most luck from immediate family (like a sibling or child), but in this mentor mom’s case, she doesn’t have much family and from those available a match wasn’t identified.

Her particular story hits close to home, as my family has been in a very similar situation.  My father suffered from end stage renal failure basically my whole entire life.  Eight years ago, our family was informed of the same news, that my dad’s kidneys were no longer functioning well-enough and that a kidney transplant was needed.   We also are a small family and of course the pool of potential recipients was very small.  As the only child and with different blood types, I was immediately ruled out (and my father would have fought me giving mine to him anyways I’m certain).   But what came of the whole event was the truest example of giving.  We had a family friend who came forward to be tested (anonymously at first), and who ended up being a perfect match for my dad.  Without hesitation this friend decided to move forward and proceed with kidney donation.  He did inform us (the immediate family) of who he was, but requested that we not tell anyone else.  We of course, honored his request.  The hospital stay was interesting trying to deter people from seeing him in the room next to my dad!  But what a selfless gift.  A whole organ to give to a man, only a friend, to give him a new lease on life (who since has now been able to enjoy 2 grandkids in good health), and to do so without recognition.  This truly encapsulates what the joy and spirit of giving should in fact be.

While I’m not suggesting everyone go out and donate a kidney (it would be fabulous- but I’m not pushy- I still have both of mine), I am suggesting that we all take a moment to reflect on the many blessings we have.  I encourage you all to sit back and think about what you can do to “pay-it forward.”  Facebook posted that today Houston Texans running back Andre Foster purchased $19,000 in toys for children.  I saw another post today about a local highway patrol of ours that had been in the hospital for 45+ days after being hit by a drunk driver give $5,000 to a fellow officer with a daughter in Mayo Hospital.  This goes to show you that you don’t have to make millions or be in a position of advantage to do for others.  May be it’s making a meal for a busy family down the street, or stopping by to visit someone who’s lonely or far away from family during this holiday season.  Whatever way you decide to give, it doesn’t have to be about money or buying things, there are so many other ways you can give to others.

How do you give to others this holiday season?  Are you good about giving all year round or like me and cram it in at the end of the year?  What are some of the charities or organizations that you are passionate about in your giving?