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Printable Coupons For Kids | Download and Print, Free and Fun Christmas Gift Idea

Let me begin by saying that IF I had my act together, I would have picked one of these photos for a Christmas card. My three kiddos, growing up way too fast. BUT, since I DON’T have my act together, and my address book is ABSOLUTELY ANCIENT, another year will pass without a family card. Please forgive me. I have erased it from my “To Do” list once again, without regret…maybe next year I can pull it off, but if not, I will not beat myself up over it. Instead of a mailed Christmas card this year, I am giving friends and others something that I hope you will find useful. First though, let me explain a little…

I have a love-hate relationship with Christmastime. I love the joy that it brings to our household, the memories made with family and friends, the smell of a real tree, and the weeks of celebration. In excitement, I anticipate it earlier than many. By mid-October you will find me listening to Christmas music and pestering my hubby for his gift ideas for the kids. I am generally a terrible procrastinator, but Christmas might be the one and only exception. I know I am not the one one who looks forward in anticipation, as I had multiple super-planning customers who ordered my Rudolph baby barrettes beginning in August! I always have grand visions of how I want Christmastime to unfold: memory making through baking, decorating, giving and celebrating. However, each year I seem to find myself over-committed, stressed, and over-spending.

That leads me to the “hate” side of this love-hate relationship with Christmastime. I hate it that several stores opened early on Thanksgiving Day, requiring their employees to work instead of spend time with family. I watched the news on Black Friday with horror as people were killed in an attempt to get a good shopping deal. I hate it that the season has become so wrapped up in commercialism, and in many cases, our family has fallen into that trap. This year we are striving to simplify Christmastime a bit in our household.

I have been challenged this year to make Christmas look a little different in our household. Our church, along with others across the nation, is participating in an idea called The Advent Conspiracy. Please, take 2 minutes to watch this video. It explains it much better than I can.

As the primary shopper and planner for our family during the Christmas season, I have decided to try and make some minor changes. I am not becoming anti-gifts, as I truly love giving gifts, especially to our kids. Each year I feel like our growing kids are understanding a *little* more that Christmas is not truly about Santa, or candy canes, or presents. While it still consumes their thoughts and excitement, I see little glimpses of true Christmas joy, and have a goal of increasing that a little this year.

A few weeks ago we spoke with our kids about cutting back a little at Christmas, so that we could give more to those in need. My eight year old, the only one who does not believe in Santa, thought long and hard about it. She came up with some solutions, in her mind, that did not involve cutting into her Christmas gifts. Knowing that we often give hair accessories from my company as gifts, she said, “Mom, instead of money, why don’t you just send the poor kids hair bows? They would really like your hair bows.” I explained that the have many more urgent needs than hair bows. Meanwhile, our younger ones still believe in Santa, so I think that they imagined whatever they didn’t receive from Mom/Dad, they would simply request from Santa. I have chosen not to dwell on trying to explain it to them, as I think that it was causing stress and concern for my 8 year old. Instead, I decided just to do it, whether they were on board or not. I hope that in the end they will realize that they didn’t even notice a smaller budget, but enjoyed knowing that they helped someone less fortunate.

As one of our pastors said, the Advent Conspiracy is not an initiative to get people to “dig deeper” into their wallets at Christmas, but instead it is a goal of spending less so you can give more. Another way it was explained is “less presents, more presence.” We do not spend a huge amount on Christmas gifts to begin with, but we had some wiggle room in our Christmas budget to cut back, in an effort to give it away. I also had a few ideas on presents that I could make, that would be fun and meaningful. For our kids, my plan became to cut $20 from each child’s “budget”, and instead make a set of coupons that they can redeem in the coming months. If you like this idea, I have a link below to download the digital files, so you can print them too!

 

So, that is a little story behind these coupons. If you and your kids would enjoy using these coupons, please feel free to download them from my box.com folder below. (If you try to copy them from the blog, the quality is compromised and there will be a “Do Not Copy” watermark on the lower left corner.)

Box site for download:  https://app.box.com/s/jn5w02eqet0gfkuaiygv

I sized them at 4×6″, so it will be easy to have them printed on photo paper, or put into a small photo book=coupon book. My plan is to print them, punch a little hole in the corner, and hold them together with a piece of ribbon. Facebook friends, THANK YOU for all your fun ideas. I think I got them all on here. : )

If you have other ideas, leave a comment below, and if I have the time I may put together some more cards. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

 

Our Neglected Third Child Finally Gets a Fun Birthday Cake!

In so many ways, I totally relate to the people who speak of the neglected youngest child. This neglect is brought to my attention each time Carter’s birthday rolls around. His birthday comes at a super-crazy time of the year. The girls are wrapping up school, with end of the year festivities and field trips. I find myself approaching June in survival mode, counting down the days ’till summer. Every time I look at the calendar in late May, there is a glaring, heavy weight of a sweet little boy’s birthday party that needs to be planned. The past couple years I have thrown together a few friends and family and called it a party. I came up with the easiest birthday cake I could construct, so that the girls saw me making it (a family tradition). He felt like it was a celebration, he felt loved, and in the whole scheme of things, that is what really mattered. When it came to the cake, it usually included chocolate and sugar, so he was all smiles!

Truth be told, I don’t spend much time planning any of our kids birthday parties. In fact, I am esctatic if I get an Evite sent more than a week ahead of the party. Our celebrations are low-key, low-budget, and as low-stress as I can manage. So far it has worked well for us, and the kids still feel like they have had a great party.

Here is my problem…The highlight of the birthday party planning for my 8 and 6 year old was designing the CAKE. Yes, you guessed it, they got my sweet tooth, and they love being artsy and creative. They look forward to their birthday party because, in their mind, I will make them whatever cake they can dream up. I’ve made some fairly elaborate birthday cakes, to their custom specifications. I have spent hours making these various requests, which seem to have revolved around a princess theme and fruity flavors. We’ve had a blueberry Cinderella, strawberry Tangled, and others that I can’t recall…but our sweet boy was so easy-going, that he was happy with whatever sugary treat we put in front of him. Because of this, (in his sisters’ minds) he has never had a “REAL” birthday cake.

I thought I was really in trouble when things took a turn this year. My boy has become a foodie, and the girls have repeatedly explained their expectations for the yearly birthday cake. Lucy reminded him countless times, “Mom will make you whatever cake you want!” Two months before his birthday, he began browsing cookbooks, looking at pictures and requesting various foods for his birthday meal. I thought I was in serious trouble! Three weeks ago he finally settled on a cake flavor, chocolate coconut. However, being the mellow boy that he is, he still had not decided on the design, or character that he wanted. When I finally asked him last week, he told me I could surprise him….so fun!

As I was trying to decide what kind of cake to make him, I thought about the things he is really into right now. Puppies, food, snails, food, bike riding, food…I couldn’t figure out how to make a snail, but I saw a really cute idea for a cheeseburger. It seemed appropriate, as the boy loves cheeseburgers. I fondly remembered one afternoon when we were shopping, and he stuck his nose up in the air and said, “Mommy, I smell something good! It smells like…like…yummy, yummy cheeseburgers!” I decided that I would make his requested chocolate coconut cake, and add my own twist to it…I’d make it in the shape of a gigantic cheeseburger!

The cake actually came together pretty easily. I used this cheeseburger cake recipe as inspiration, and tweaked it to what I could easily find. I used coconut and food coloring for the lettuce, and toasted almonds for the sesame seeds. I also found some orange “edible paper” in the cake aisle at Michaels, which made a perfect slice of cheese! As a bonus, the kids thought it was pretty cool to eat paper. : )

I was very pleased how it turned out, and Carter was excitedly surprised that his cake was shaped like a cheeseburger. Seeing the grin on his surprised face made the effort totally worthwhile! We had such a fun weekend celebrating our big five year old!

Hellllloooooooo Again!

 

It has been a while. Over a year and a half, in fact, since I have posted on here. A lot happened between then and now, and I will not begin to try and catch you up. Long story short, in 2011 I had three young kids, owned my own children’s hair accessory company, held a part-time nursing job, and tried to fulfill many other demands of life. I found myself feeling spread thin, spending too much time behind a computer, and something had to give. Hence, the blog was put on hold. I was not sure if or when I would pick it back up again, but I left it active in case I found time to bring it back. Fast forward a year and a half, and I am hesitant to say, but I think I *may* occasionally have the time to now share on here again. Thank you to all the kind people who have let me know my blog was missed. Sometimes I don’t really know how many people are reading. : )

Much has happened since the last time I posted. I will fill you in on a few of the highlights and favorite pictures from the past two years. I copied and pasted many of these quotes from my scrapbook. They got a little out of order, but I am too lazy to try and figure it out. Thus, they are out of order! Hopefully they will still give you a little chuckle. So, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy a few of the more humorous moments of the past 18+ months in our family!

(In preparation for an upcoming wedding) Lucy asked Carter, “Are you excited to be a ring BARREL?”. He corrected her, “NO Lucy, I’m going to be a ring BEAR!”

Found the start of a note from Caroline, titled, “The List of Noddy Things Lucy Has Done.” Sometimes she is so sweet, and other times she is ruthless!

Overheard Carter say to himself, “I love, love LOVE cupcakes. Love cupcakes.” Maybe he is my child afterall.

The mystery of the repeatedly clogged toilet has been solved. Carter struck again, this time with a banana peel.

I should have known the kids could not be trusted with chapstick. Lucy signed her name, in cherry chapstick, on our couch. Carter ate the remainder of the tube. Why oh why did I think we were past this?!

Leave it to Carter to 1) figure out how to remove a computer “shift” key, and 2) figure out how to reattach it, upside down, in a way that it will no longer work.

While checking on the kids before bed, Carter was nowhere to be found. We checked his room, closet, floors, the girls beds…Finally found a little foot sticking from under Caroline’s bed. There we found him, totally UNDER Caroline’s bed, sound asleep. I would love to know what was going through his mind when he crawled under there to go to sleep!

Caroline’s note last night to the tooth fairy, on behalf of Lucy. “Dear Tooth Fairy. I know this is roud (rude), but could you please not bring Lucy Polar Ice gum. Can you please bring her mint chocolate chip. Can you also please bring her $3, instead of $1. Love, Caroline, Lucy’s sister.”

A few minutes after putting him down, Carter began yelling for me. I went into his room, where he informed me, “Mommy, I love, LOVE taking a nap.” ?!?!?!?!?! This is concerning, because the only logical explanation is that he has a sneaky scheme in mind, that I have yet to discover. Afterall, his top 5 most memorable troubles occurred during naptime.

Maybe he is my child afterall. Shawn went in to wake Carter up this morning, and he said, “Close the door. I am not done sleeping!” It was probably a late night sneaking into the girls’ room to do mischief that I have yet to discover.

We have allowed Carter to pee on the trees outside in our backyard, but when he very proudly left a #2 pile in our backyard, I had to draw the line. That boy…

Took the kids to see Ramona and Beezus yesterday. I am convinced spunky Ramona gave me a glimpse of how our “spirited” Lucy will be as a 9 year old. I felt like I was watching a 9 year old Lucy the entire movie!

I couldn’t help but laugh last night when Carter prayed, “Thank you God for cheeseburgers. Thank you for chocolate chips. White chocolate chips and brown chocolate chips. Thank you God for marshmallows. Thank you for little marshmallows, and really big ones. (He then repeated his thankfulness for chocolate chips and marshmallows). Amen.”

Carter strikes his sisters again. The boy has a fascination with their shoes. He snuck into their bedroom while they were already asleep, and took all their shoes out of their closet. Even better, he piled every shoe ON TOP of the girls. They were sleeping, under piles of shoes. This boy is insane! Wish I had a picture. : (

A drizzle of Hershey’s syrup, and a cherry, on top of plain yogurt= my kids think I am the coolest, and they don’t even know it is mostly healthy.

The girls get excited about the smallest things. I told them they could finish off the grapes. There were probably 20 in the bowl. They squealed, and Caroline said, “This is soooo exciting.” Lucy was in total agreement. Makes me wonder if I deprive my kids, that they get so excited about a few extra grapes!

As we passed Starbucks this morning, Carter pointed it out, “look Mommy, there is the Coffee Maker! Want some Mommy?” What he was really hoping for is a warm vanilla milk.

Carter just told me that “next week” he is going to start pooping on the potty. If he is old enough to articulate that, and to hide in the closet each and every time he does his business, he is old enough to be out of diapers!

Lucy was picking out her outfit, and she showed me some shoes she was considering. I said, “Yes Lucy, those are perfect with your dress.” She replied, “Mommmmm, you CAN’T say perfect. Only God is perfect!”

We have a little work to do with Lucy before she starts school next year. Caroline came home from the bus with a red mark on her forehead, from a bully that hit her. As I was asking her about it, Lucy said, “I know what I would have done.” “What Lucy?”, I asked. “I would have hit him right back!” At least she is honest!

Some little neighborhood friends were at our house playing, and Caroline mentioned that she got a toy from a yard sale. The friend threw it down, and replied, “That means it is dirty, and gross, and covered in germs!” My thoughts were, “you might want to leave now, as half of our house came from yard sale finds!”

For the first time in 10 years, I did not get a flu shot. I am being punished! Carter very politely asked me, “Mommy, I pee pee. Change my diaper please.” Sorry little guy, it is going to have to wait until Daddy gets home. It isn’t bulging yet, your pajamas are still dry (yes, he is still in his pjs at 6:30pm) and I am not moving from the couch unless the house is on fire. Hoping that this illness is gone tomorrow!

My naptime conversation with Carter. He said, “I don’t like to take a nap”. I replied, “Oh, but you feel so good after you sleep.” His reply, “I don’t LIKE to take a nap. I like COFFEE!” Someone has been taking notes!

Just found Carter in the craft room rubbing white stuff all over his face. “Face is dry, lotion. Feels better now,” he said. Oops, the “lotion” was actually Elmer’s glue!

Enjoyed hearing the conversation among the kids. Lucy said, “I really NEED an American Girl doll.” Caroline, (hands on her hips, getting sassy with Lucy), “Lucy, you don’t need an American Girl Doll, you NEED Jesus.” Of course Carter had to chime in, “I NEED a Puppy!”

Caroline heard that Shawn’s cousin (who she adores) was in town and available to babysit this week. She said, word for word “Oh Mommy, can we please have Mallory over? I can pay her with my money. I have THOUSANDS in my piggy bank!”

For those that need another laugh, Carter strikes again…Last night we found him chewing gum in bed. Shawn and I were puzzled about where he got the gum. It finally made sense a few minutes ago, when I found him digging in the bathroom trash, saying “Where gum go?” One of the girls threw their gum away in their bathroom trash, and he later found it. Moms of boys, how do they survive???

Carter and I were going to feed the ducks, but the ducks were gone. As we drove to the park, we saw a dozen vultures feasting on the side of the road. Carter excitedly exclaimed, “There they are Mommy, let’s feed the ducks!” Sorry Carter, we don’t have the right kind of food for them!

I overheard a conversation among the kids recently. Caroline, who has been begging for a puppy for several months now, said, “Lucy, we just need to ask Nana for a puppy. She will get us one!” Lucy chimed in, “Yeah, Nana gives us anything we want. If we ask for dessert, she gives us dessert. If we ask for more dessert, she gives us more dessert.” Caroline thinking, “Yeahhhh, let’s ask Nana for a puppy”…

Why, oh why did I agree to a puppy? He has a current fascination with swimming in toilets, then running all over the house. I had just finished cleaning the floors, when he did it again, this time in a toilet that a certain little boy had forgotten to flush. : (

Lucy just told me, “I’m pretty much tired of Mother’s Day. I’m tired of having to do everything for you.” Geee, thanks Lulu!

The dog ate Lucy’s homework. Really.

While waiting at swim practice, Carter asked why I didn’t bring him a snack. I told him I didn’t think about it, to which he replied, “but Mommy, I LOVE you!” I guess the way to his heart is through his stomach, even as young as he is.

Carter, caught while riding his bike without shoes or a helmet, remorsefully apologized with a hug. “I’m so sorry daddy. I STILL love you!

Caroline just told me, “Mommy, when Willy gives us kisses, he licks us. He doesn’t understand our kisses, and I want him to know that I love him, so I just licked him back.” For some odd reason, she adores this dog.

Just in case she didn’t hear him the first time, Carter asked a sales associate “are you pregnant?”…twice. She was not.:(

Last night, when Shawn and I returned home from our trip to Cabo, we told the kids we had some small presents for them. Carter was bouncing around, ”

Presents, presents!!” Lucy said, “I’m more excited about having you home than I am about opening presents.” Every now and then, our little Spitfire Lucy has a moment of genuine sweetness. I missed the sound of the crashing waves last night, but is great to be home!

While I was driving, Carter says, “Mommy, when I grow up I want to be a policeman with a hooker.” Thinking I misunderstood him, I ask him to repeat himself. He reiterates that he wants to be a policeman with a hooker! At the stoplight, I turn around to see him playing with a metal lanyard/hook…his “hooker”.

While shopping, Carter found a toy he really wanted. When I did not give in to his unending pestering, he came up with a serious threat. “FINE

THEN! I am not going to talk to you until you get me the toy!” I enjoyed a quiet remainder of the shopping trip!

Carter’s life clearly revolves around food. At preschool, he smashed his finger. He cried, inconsolable, for a few minutes. His teacher asked, “Will an M&M help it feel better?” He replied no, and continued to cry. She asked, “Will two M&Ms make it feel better?” He shut it off, said yes, and smiled. Then, at bedtime, he said, “Mommy, your earrings are BEAUTIFUL.” He continued to stare at the pearls while I tucked him in, until he asked, “Are they little gumballs?” Apparently the boy is always looking for something to eat!”

Caroline saw a ziploc bag full of ibuprofen that Shawn was taking to work for his injured back, and she became very concerned with his stash of “drugs”. Worriedly, she said, “Oh Daddy, I hope you don’t end up like Michael Jackson!

Carter, don’t you need to go potty before you go to bed?” His response: “Nope, I peed in the bath!” At least he is honest!

At the park this evening, Caroline excitedly brought me her newest treasure, “Look, Mommy, a pretty shell!” She was quite disappointed when I informed her that it was actually a hardened glob of bird poop!

Driving down the road, Carter said, “Mommy, I like this car”. I responded, “Really Carter? What do you like about it?” He replied, “The driver.” Ahhhhh, melt my heart!

 

Now, if you know me well, you know that pictures are very important to me. I can’t catch you up without sharing a few pictures from the past 18 months!

Lucy’s first day of kindergarten, riding the bus with her neighborhood friends. Ohhhhh, how I miss the school bus that magically appeared each morning and afternoon.

Christmas 2012. Lucy was missing her four front teeth. Loved it!
Somebody has Mommy’s sweet tooth!

In fall of 2011, Shawn and I took a trip to visit family and friends back in California. Little did we know, that trip spurred our decision to move back a few months later.
Introducing Willy, our spunky Springer Spaniel.
Carter shows us some pretty crazy dance moves.
This was the highlight of July for the kids. We climbed on a neighbor’s roof to watch fireworks. Carter is still talking about it!
Our 10 year anniversary trip to Cabo. Ahhhhh how I miss falling asleep and waking up to the sound of those waves…
Another picture from Cabo. We stayed at Zoetry, a boutique style all-inclusive resort. It was AMAZING. I highly recommend it!
With our move back to California, the girls had to start a new school twice. They were such little troopers, and adjusted very well. We are so happy with the school they are now in! As an added bonus, uniforms have simplified our mornings immensely!
One of my favorite recent pictures of our three kids.
Caroline had her Nutcracker debut as an angel.
Christmas 2012
We took our first family trip to Tahoe this winter. Shawn and I had not been skiing in nearly 15 years. We put the kids in ski school, and by the end of the trip we were all having a great time in the snow! There were no broken bones, so I say the trip was a fantastic success!

Here is Carter, learning how to ski. When they reference food, “make a pizza slice with your feet”, the boy is certain to listen!

This is the look on a little boy’s face when you tell him you are moving into a house with a pool and a hot tub. Do you think he was a little excited?
We love having our family come out to visit us!
My sister and I take every opportunity to bring our mom out to visit!
Carter got dressed up for the Easter Bunny. Ahhhh yes, he has found his boy parts.

That is about as much “catching up” I have time for in a single post. I am excited to be back into the world of blogging, and will try to post again soon as time allows.

Erica - April 16, 2013 - 2:29 pm

I’d sort of stopping checking your blog because I thought you had officially retired! Happy to see you back! Thanks for the post — keep em comin!

Our Vacation Story, In Pictures

We had a wonderful opportunity earlier this month to go on a family vacation. Four generations of my family, staying in one big house, in Hilton Head. After living in Northern California for 3 years, our kids were familiar with the beach. BUT, they had not experienced the warmth of the Atlantic in the summer. For months, they were eagerly and anxiously anticipating “hot beach”. With the exception of the traveling, I am not sure who had more fun, the kids or the adults!

Warning: I am getting ready to overload you with dozens of pictures of several of the most important people in my life. You likely will not find them nearly as amusing as I do, but I will make it up to you with a good new recipe soon. : )

My beautiful mom and stepdad.

My sweet niece took a lick of the leaf, and I happened to press the shutter at exactly the right moment, to show exactly how yummy that leaf was not.

The boy LOVED the waves. The bigger the better. He was FEARLESS! You can’t tell from the picture, but he was wearing a life jacket because Mommy is not so fearless.
As one friend noticed, even at the beach my girls had their Bitty Bows no-slip hair clips in place. They do protest, but it bugs me when their hair is covering their face while they are playing.
As many of you know, I have been known to have dessert for breakfast with sad regularity. I now know that it is not my fault, but it is genetic. The proof is in this picture of my mom and grandmother eating key lime pie with their morning coffee!

Lucy will hate me one day for saving and posting this picture. I just had to, as it was a good picture of me one of the only pictures that shows I was actually on vacation too. (I am always the one behind the camera, and have to purposefully request my picture taken so that there is some documentation that I was actually there!)

This is my amazing little sister, also known as “Fun Aunt Kathy”. My older sister and I joked that we were going to post this as a profile picture for her on Match.com .
I loved watching their faces and imagination as they went on an alligator hunt.
Poolside lunches made my day. No clean-up, and we just threw them in to wash them off!
This was seriously the part I had been most looking forward to. Due to a series of bad luck, my kids had never seen fireworks prior to this year.
As you can tell, they were mesmerized by the display.
My sisters and me. Two of my very best friends.
I got a little lucky with my camera set up on a stool and my remote control. Most surprisingly, none of the kids are picking their noses or pulling another’s hair.
Many of you probably already heard about the sunscreen incident. If not, you need to scroll back one post, for a good laugh.
Face washing from Bambi, and Carter didn’t mind a bit. I hope deer mouths are clean!
This picture was requested by my sister, to place in my (almost 5-year old) niece’s bedroom as a reminder of what could happen to her teeth if she continues to suck her fingers at night. It gives me a chuckle every time I see it.
Just in case he didn’t already have sand everywhere, his is going to try to rub a little more in his head.

My niece Ella was teaching my girls about gymnastics. They were practicing tirelessly, between the pool and beach.
Caroline has these long legs that make her super-tall for her tender age of six. Unfortunately, she is about as coordinated as a giraffe. I am proud to say she is practicing really hard, and making awesome improvements in her cartwheel.

Well, that is all for now. I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse into our

Elena - August 10, 2011 - 8:25 am

I like so much the photos……I have a big family, my mom has another 4 sisters, I have one sister and two daugters (single mom). I am glad I found your blog.

tracey - August 29, 2011 - 2:44 pm

loved those beach pics of the entire family! What a great shot…and you’re right…no one was picking their nose!

Tata - November 17, 2011 - 3:02 pm

Thanks for sharing, it put a smile on my face looking through your album. You have a beautiful family! God bless you.

Sharon - December 4, 2011 - 12:42 pm

Thanks for sharing. It encourages me to take more pictures and chronicle those memories. I actually got your blog address from allreceipes.com (red velvet pancakes). Looking through your blogs I can see that you are a wise, blessed woman of God.

Joanne - January 2, 2013 - 11:07 pm

Found your blog thru all recipes – will be trying the red velvet soon (for a Redskins playoff party – plan to dye the frosting yellow). Besides the recipes, I love your blog on life with your family. I have two kids (girl and boy) of similar age and we share your faith. You pix are gorgeous, too. Keep it up! ;-)

Carter Strikes Again, Poison Control, and more…

Yes, I have been gone from the blogging world for about a month now. There has been so much going on at home, that I couldn’t justify taking time away from my family to sit down at my computer to write a post. I know my wonderful readers understand!

As many of you saw from a previous post, I went back to a part-time nursing job, and my training began last month. I am happy to say I survived two weeks of full-time classroom time, and I am near the end of my hospital training. *Survived* being the key word there. I thought that it would be an easy two weeks, simply sitting in a classroom. Wrong. I came home absolutely exhausted, from doing absolutely nothing but sitting and trying to stay awake. I could barely keep my eyes open at 7pm! On a normal day, I chase around 3 kids, and run a baby hair accessory business from home, yet I was pooped from sitting in a classroom. It did not make sense, but I am glad that part is over, and was thrilled to be out of the classroom and actually working as a nurse. I am very excited about my new job in a pediatric emergency room, and think that I am really going to enjoy maintaining my nursing skills with an occasional, flexible shift.

Okay, what I am really back to share about today is a funny story from our family vacation. I will tell more about our vacation later, but this story takes the cake. As many of you know, 3 year old Carter is quite mischievous. He has not been up to significant trouble lately, so a Carter story has been long overdue. Here is my little man, looking so innocent and sweet.

The problem began when he fell asleep for about 5 minutes, on the way home from an afternoon outing. Unfortunately, even the smallest power nap seems to ruin his normal 2 hour nap. I decided to try, and put him down for a nap anyway. He stayed quite, and I assumed that he had gone back to sleep. 45 minutes later, I hear him yell, “Mommy, I poopy.” I went in to change him (potty training adventures will start this week) and I found him covered in sunscreen. He was holding an empty tube of sunscreen stick, which previously was totally full. I asked him where it went, and he replied, “I ate it. It not taste good, but I ate it.” As you can see below, the stick was completely gone!

Just great…after more questions and searching, I determined that he consumed the majority of the sunstick, only sparing the amount that was smeared on his face and body like a greased watermelon. On the back of the tube it read, “If consumed, seek medical attention immediately, or call Poison Control.” This was a first in our family. I called Poison Control, who was very reassuring that this particular brand should be rather harmless, but may cause some nasty bodily functions as it works its way through the system.

As I looked around the room to see if he had found anything else to get into, I realized that my phone was accidentally left in the room with him, and it was also smeared in sunscreen. I was not too concerned. Since I have a 4 digit password, required to unlock all functions of the phone, I didn’t think he could have done much on my phone. Well, he never ceases to amaze me. Somehow the boy cracked the code!!! Yes, somehow he guessed and got lucky, and typed in the 4 digits to allow him total access to my phone functions.

For over thirty minutes, he had full freedom with my phone. He changed the background image (even I don’t know how to do that!), attempted to call 11 people, and successfully sent 5 nonsense, jibberish-filled text messages. Oh, and I just discovered today that he added several new contacts!

My favorite text is pictured below. He texted my friend Stephanie, and when she replied, he promptly texted her back again!

I am very thankful that no lasting harm was done through his ingestion.  It was a good reminder that even on vacation I cannot let my guard down and allow him access to items that are normally out of reach at home. At the same time, I am extremely concerned that his continual sneaky antics are only the beginning of many years of mischief…

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Linda - July 10, 2011 - 10:39 pm

Did you notice while you were calling Poison Control, he pushed the panic button on Kathy’s car key, adding a loud, honking horn to the dilemma? As we are trying to figure out which car was honking, he gave us the keys, and said “I pushed the button”!

anna - August 15, 2011 - 4:25 am

hi…im anna from malaysia…love ur family pictures..great..
and going to try ur carrot cake…..nice to meet u anyway….

admin - August 19, 2011 - 10:43 am

Thanks so much Anna!!!

Julie Therese - January 29, 2012 - 7:12 pm

I found your blog by accident looking for the Red Velvet cupcake recipie you adjusted…and it landed on this story…I am still laughing…make my day.
I am also a RN so I totally get it. What a great blog!!!
Will share with my twitter friends and fb too, you can write
and the humor came thru, not a lot of bloggers can do that and a lot of them are just wasting space online…however, yours is wonderful!!!!
Look forward to making the cupcakes per your adjustments!!!

Lisa Hoffman - March 31, 2012 - 4:17 pm

Hi Kelly, I found your Carrot Top Mom blog on line while I was looking for Carrot Toppings for Cupcakes! Thank you for sharing the story about the sunscreen issue and your son! You are an excellent writer and the subject, to me a mom of a now 35 year old son, brought back so many memories of my son. Especially when he ate one of my spongy ear plugs. He said it was a yellow marshmellow!

I hope to try your recipe for the cupcake soon! Thank you for posting.

Lisa Hoffman, Orange Park, Florida