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  • How To Get Picky Kids To Eat Healthy Foods

    By lizmcg | November 6, 2008

    If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

    I must admit to being extremely technically challenged.

    That’s why I’m in a state of elation that my ebook on child nutrition (which is essentially all the articles on “Toddler Eating” on this site) is now posted and ready to go for you in all its 24-page brilliance! I thought this format might make it more useful to all of you.

    Here it is: How-To-Get-Picky-Kids-To-Eat-Healthy-Foods

    The document is in PDF form (so you may need Adobe reader to view it). Click here if you need .

    This ebook is free, time-tested by my daughters, and easy to use. There are two accompanying documents on recipes and on dealing with temper tantrums… which I’ll have up in the next couple of days for you.

    Take care,

    PS: Be sure to let all your friends and family know to visit this site and download their free copies!

    Topics: Uncategorized, toddler eating | 1 Comment »

    In which the author admits to having affairs with other blogs…

    By lizmcg | October 29, 2008

    I love this blog. It’s my first, and feel like my heart is here.

    But I have to admit something shameful: In recent months I’ve had affairs with several other blogs.

    The world of the internet is a fickle place. Each day, my email in-box is like a singles bar at midnight… and right after Labor Day my beer goggles were on.

    You’ll recognize the pick-up lines… “Let me take you back to my site, baby, and show you how to make millions…”

    Well, I fell and fell hard. The first guru was a video-talking delight with an Australian accent (what is it about that accent that makes me weak at the knees every time?).

    We spent our days together after the kids were at school, visiting dark, geek-like places such as “godaddy” and “squidoo”. With him I learned how to use social networking and even how to re-size photos.

    He showed me a whole new world for which I am eternally grateful.

    He was followed by others, all promising in their own ways that they would rock my world. Although none of the others had accents, they did teach well. In the end I had not one but six new websites, all with an affiliated blog.

    Last week I woke up exhausted, with nothing but these sites that hang over my head as reminders of these wild oats I’ve strewn across the internet.

    I’m so ashamed, I won’t even bore you with their identities. Just accept that they are all my awkward attempts to grow into the full fledged blogger that I want to be for you.

    I’ve decided to give up these flings. They just aren’t worth it. They’re shallow one-night stands compared with the relationship we have.

    So, blog, I’ve done the “walk of shame” and dragged myself home after all these meaningless blog affairs. They’re done, forever.

    I hope you can understand and take me back into your heart. You’re the one.

    Topics: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

    New Toddler Fun

    By lizmcg | September 7, 2008

    In the past few weeks we’ve come across a few online resources my little ones (and their mom) think are just too cool. I thought I’d take a few minutes to share these with you this morning.

    At the top of the list is my latest discovery — a show called “In the Night Garden” from the BBC. A friend from Australia (isn’t it too cool that a mom from Illinois has a friend in Australia? I just love to say it every so often!) tipped me off to this. Here’s “” on YouTube.

    Another cute and completely random video we’ve enjoyed is . It’s hard to describe… but you’ll see.

    Did you know you could listen to real stories, read to you online by actual Hollywood actors? I found this site through stumbleupon, and we’ve played around with it a bit in the last few days. I think you’ll enjoy it — and it’s great if you have older kids. Here is .

    Finally, and possibly the greatest discovery, is BemboZoo. My preschooler is learning her letters, and this site takes each letter and turns the letters into an animal. It’s a bit hard to imagine, so just take a peek. The other night the whole family was looking at the site together, and the creations are so amazing. Visit and see.

    What online fun are you enjoying? Be sure to let me know and share it with others!

    Topics: online toddler games | No Comments »

    Apple Juice & Sharing (in no particular order)

    By lizmcg | September 3, 2008

    I admit, you caught me. I took a break.

    I don’t know about you, but the last few weeks have been C-R-A-Z-Y-! The kids have started school, my hubby started school (and a new job), we’ve been trying to make ends meet, and every day is like it’s own little mini-marathon.

    What have you been up to? Be sure to drop me a note or an email to keep me posted. This blog has become so much fun to write because of all of you who read it, and I realized yesterday that with all the craziness I haven’t been taking time to share with you.

    Sorry about that. I’ll try not to do it again.

    I thought I’d pass along a couple of quick news items that just came out.

    The first is a huge “thumbs up” for the . Although I do try to send the kids with water (I’m concerned about the liners of the juice boxes and the chemicals that are in them and about landfill issues), there are times when a juice box is just inevitable. We’ve always loved these, and now I know we aren’t alone.

    The last time I wrote we were all crabby, and “sharing” had become a big issue in our house. In any place with more than one child under age 5, I think sharing is a huge issue. Well, the good news is that . Apparently there is a genetic mechanism that kicks in to make them not want others to have less.

    think my oldest daughter’s behavior would support this finding… as long as her sisters leave her lip gloss alone!

    Topics: toddler behavior, toddler eating | No Comments »

    Online toddler games — My favorite sites

    By lizmcg | August 17, 2008

    Looking for a great online toddler games site? Here are my faves. I like these because they are safe, easy to get to and fun.

    Before the list, let me give you a little tip. Take a couple of minutes and, in your internet browser’s menu, create a bookmarks folder for your child. Use capital letters to spell her name (those letters are the first your child learns to recognize). Then put all the page links you want into that folder.

    Show your child how to open the browser by clicking, and how to get the drop-down menu for the bookmark, and then how to select her special folder. It will take some time for her to get the hang of it, but your child will love having her own special place and using her own special sites. This also will make your life so much easier, not having to search around for links.

    Do you have a favorite site for online toddler games? We’re always expanding our library of these… so be sure to leave a comment and let me know.
    And for more information on rule-setting for computer time, you can also visit my Squidoo article on (it’s about halfway down the page).

    Topics: Uncategorized, toddler activity | 1 Comment »

    What do you do when you need a break?

    By lizmcg | August 16, 2008

    It’s the dog days of summer — meaning that everyone is hot, crabby… especially me.

    I don’t know about you, but I feel like I have an entourage with me wherever I go. We’ve been running everywhere during the last week, trying to get everyone (including my husband) ready to start back to school. It’s been a little crazy, but I’m happy to report that the lunchboxes are ready and waiting.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids dearly, but sometimes I just need some “me” time. Know what I mean?

    I didn’t even notice how accustomed I’ve become to my group-activities mentality until last night I had an opportunity to take the dog for a walk around the park by myself. Then I went out to the grocery store by myself — wow, such a treat.

    In the checkout line I realized that during the last couple of hours no one had fallen off a bike or gotten upset. No one had begged for anything princess-related, requested gum, or complained about not being allowed to hold the Jewel member card (which gets you the discounts at the grocery store, if you don’t live near Chicago).

    It started me thinking… how do you take a break? What works best?

    What are your favorite, most treasured ways to just take a break from the kids?

    Let’s share… and shall we make a pact to do sneak one of these into our “mommy schedule” today?

    I will. After all, I’m way behind in my Vogue reading for the month!

    Topics: parenting | No Comments »

    Olympic Humor

    By lizmcg | August 10, 2008

    I think it’s pretty much universally agreed that the opening ceremonies for the Olympics were just amazing. Every time I thought it couldn’t get more beautiful, it did. I can hardly wait for all the action to kick into high gear!

    Rather than review all the highlights, I thought I’d give you a little piece of humor to brighten your day. I love .

    Do you have some olympic humor to share? I’d love to hear from you!  :–)

    Topics: Uncategorized, parenting | No Comments »

    Have you seen Wall-E?

    By lizmcg | August 5, 2008

    Yesterday was rainy, and by about 11:30 we were getting on each other’s nerves. The prospect of an afternoon inside watching the Doodlebops for the millionth time was too much… so after lunch and naps I herded everybody into the car and we went to the movies.

    I’d heard some confusing things about Wall-E, most notably reports from a couple of neighbor kids that it was really boring. I’m so glad we didn’t pay too much attention to their reviews. The story is absolutely delightful, and I highly recommend it.

    A couple of things stood out. My youngest (who rarely sits still for anything), claimed her own chair and stayed put for most of the movie. The dialogue is very “toddler-like”, with words that have to be deciphered until you get accustomed to robot speak. There’s plenty of action (only a couple of scary moments), and much of the action is very, very funny.

    I went expecting a solid Pixar film and instead wound up being enthralled by the story — which is very original, not some obviously archetypal story Disney usually puts out. I was delighted by the characters’ humor, courage, and tenderness, and was reminded of other stories — The Lorax, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Brave New World with some Animal Farm moments thrown in.

    And I also have to admit there is no more extravagant treat for the daughter of a farmer than going to a movie during daytime hours… Sorry, dad, I know I should have been home scrubbing something, but I hope you’ll understand!

    If you have a chance, I highly recommend Wall-E. And If you’ve seen it, I’d love to know what you thought… are we headed toward a B&L disaster?

    Topics: toddler activity | No Comments »

    Need an Effective Book or MP3 on Toddler Tantrums?

    By lizmcg | August 4, 2008

    Here’s an article I just finished last night. There’s nothing worse than a toddler tantrum, but there is an effective way you can learn to deal with them.

    Check this out… it really will make a difference.

    (And by the way, for regular readers of this blog, guess who showed up at home at about midnight last night?

    That’s right, daddy-who-was-supposed-to-be-at-sleep-away-camp. He didn’t like his dorm room so he came home and left at 7 this morning.

    Personally, I’d take sleep over driving for 4+ hours a day, but to each his own…)

    Topics: Uncategorized | No Comments »

    Sending my husband to sleep-away camp!

    By lizmcg | August 3, 2008

    Yes, the towels and sheets are packed, and I’ve done everything short of sewing little name labels into his clothing. My husband is off to sleep-away camp.

    Why, you might ask, is a 43-year-old father of three going off to camp in August? And why is his wife so happy to let him go?

    He really does have a good excuse. He’s a basketball coach and will be working this week at the DePaul girl’s basketball camp about an hour away. Geographically, it perfectly follows my rule when I moved out of my parents’ house — just far enough away that you have to call if you are coming home (and if your family calls to let you know they are on the way to see you, there’s time to hide the evidence of your last big blowout party).

    Although just an hour away, I’ve actually encouraged him not to come home. For the next five days, he needs to immerse himself in things like “Princeton offense” (his specialty), “3-2 defense” and scouting local talent. I’ve taken just about all I can over the years on these two terms in particular… and recently I’ve threatened to bombard him with information about “wordpress widgets” if he brings them up. It’s quite effective.

    I remember reading about the wife of a football coach who actually rented her husband a hotel room at the end of the season. She just couldn’t take his 24/7 focus on the game, and the restlessness that comes with it. The whole thing became too much to live with. A brilliant idea.

    If there are any other coaches’ wives out there, I’m sure you know what I mean. After every game there’s the initial breakdown of what happened (good or bad). If it’s bad, you end up being like Freud, trying to relieve the repressed trauma before it takes root in his subconscious. This is followed by hours, days, or weeks of second-guessing conversations (reliving the trauma), endless reviews of the tape, compiling stats, reviewing tapes of the next adversary, re-hashing everything with coaches and team, and on and on…

    Summer basketball isn’t nearly as bad, but it is nonetheless an adventure in geekdom that can only truly be shared with his peers.

    But there is one drawback to having a 43-year-old camper who is within driving distance of home. As he walked out the door this morning he called out, “If the arrangements are not to my liking, I’ll be back this evening… and there’s a very good chance that you’ll see me before the week is out…”

    I’d better brush up on my wordpress widgets conversation starters!

    Topics: Uncategorized | No Comments »

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