Friday, August 31, 2007

2 years for baby!

Today is our littlest birthday (something he really doesn't care about...until he sees the cake and presents)! It also marks 2 years of breastfeeding...that is the longest I have bf one child...and he is still going strong (next month....will mark 4 straight years of bfing!). He is at the point where he politely asks to nurse ("momma milk please"), switches sides ("this one"), and can pull at my clothing enough to reach the boob on his own.

As he was nursing this morning...all curled up next to me in bed...I clearly remember the first time he latched on, just after he was born! I can't believe it has been so long! and he is so big now!

Congratulations to all you bfing matter how long you choose to do is a great gift to your child and family!!

So, in honor of our Breastfeeding Anniversary, some bfing tidbits...

An article on this morning about the power of money and breastfeeding advocacy. By that I mean how the formula industry influenced public ad campaigns (you know the government gets no money from breastfeeding families...and bf babies even save money later in life by tending to have fewer health problems). has a campaign to support breastfeeding moms in the work place. Sign their petition here and share your stories.

Motherwear's Breastfeeding blog is something I came across yesterday. Watch the Sesame Street video from the 8/28 post...wonderful!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sleeping with the Enemy

My little boys are far from for now. But they do have plenty of rough spots (like a nice round of 'mine' 'mine' today). But obivously any trauma the oldest bestows upon the must get forgotten. Our 2yo likes to get out of bed and cuddle up with others. Last week, I found him cuddling a teddy bear in his brother's bed while his big brother cuddled him. cute. I would have snapped a pic if I wasn't afraid of waking them. They both deny the incident.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Everyone's in School!

Yesterday morning...everyone was in school, except me! And it was a nice feeling. I could have done anything for three hours! Oh, the possibilities are endless!

Everyone did fine. My 2yo, in a toddler class, just walked in and didn't even look back. I did say good-bye to him later. He had a great day but was exhausted. He fell asleep shortly after we got home and was crabby until about 3pm. My 4yo loved being the 'big kid' room next to his brother. He played the whole time with his 'favorite friend'. My 10yo got to come home early due to the heat and had her first day of homework. My husband had a great day at his paramedic class learning to save lives.

I got to drink a whole cup of coffee at one with some ladies at the gym...take a shower at home without interruption...and listen to the quiet house!

Monday, August 27, 2007

We are the Super Family...and we have no power!!

So, we visited Chicagoland this past weekend...despite warnings that the power was out. Terrible storms raged through on Thursday and left tens of thousands of people without power for days....when I left on Sunday afternoon, my mom was still in the dark. Of course our power has gone out before but I have never experienced a power outage of this magnitude. In many ways it was great!

Despite the desserts that needed to find safety in a neighbor's fridge...we did very well without electricity. We had a bit of a rush at dinner time to cook (the gas range worked) before sunset and shower quickly with what was left of the hot water. We also had to eat or dump everything in the fridge and freezer (that of which my mom has two). And traffic was a bit slow.

Because this effected everyone in town, it was a moment to work with and help your neighbors. You could see extension cords running across streets, people sharing generators, and food items. The coffee shops with electricty were busy with the internet-deprived (although my husband had enough battery to poach someone's connection from the yard).

But as my daughter said..."it was kind of nice. We got to talk to each other and play a lot." Wow! I completely took the opportunity to detox my kids from the summer TV/DVD addictions. My husband and I both felt very relaxed over the weekend we thought perhaps the lack of noise (no music, tv, running a/c), tv, phone calls, urge to check email and news.

One activity was playing Super Family with our new super capes (that I made upon my son's request). I made one for each of the 11 of us. We ran around the yard and neighborhood...saying "We are the Super Family, and we have no power!". It was fun.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Must-Read

Some of you may have heard about this but I hadn't since yesterday. It just made my day yesterday. Her blog is great! Her trip to the store sounds oh too familiar...and I only have 3 kids.

An email from my cousin...
The following is an item description for Pokemon cards on ebay. It's an actual auction. The winning bid was $142.If you're a blog reader, hers is pretty entertaining.
Yesterday I was having a rather harried day with the kids. Reading her blog made me feel as if I'd had a sane day.

I'm selling a bunch of Pokemon cards. Why? Because my kids sneaked them into my shopping cart while at the grocery store and I ended up buying them because I didn't notice they were there until we got home. How could I have possibly not noticed they were in my cart, you ask? Let me explain.

You haven’t lived until you’ve gone grocery shopping with six kids in tow. I would rather swim, covered in bait, through the English Channel, be a contestant on Fear Factor when they’re having pig brains for lunch, or do fourth grade math than to take my six kids to the grocery store. Because I absolutely detest grocery shopping, I tend to put it off as long as possible. There comes a time, however, when you’re peering into your fridge and thinking, ‘Hmmm, what can I make with ketchup, Italian dressing, and half an onion,’ that you decide you cannot avoid going to the grocery store any longer. Before beginning this most treacherous mission, I gather all the kids together and give them “The Lecture“.

“The Lecture“ goes like this…MOM: “We have to go to the grocery store.”

KIDS: “Whine whine whine whine whine.“
MOM: “Hey, I don’t want to go either, but it’s either that or we’re eating cream of onion-ketchup soup and drinking Italian dressing for dinner tonight.”
KIDS: “Whine whine whine whine whine.“
MOM: “Now here are the rules: do not ask me for anything, do not poke the packages of meat in the butcher section, do not test the laws of physics and try to take out the bottom can in the pyramid shaped display, do not play baseball with oranges in the produce section, and most importantly, do not try to leave your brother at the store. Again.”

OK, the kids have been briefed. Time to go.

Once at the store, we grab not one, but two shopping carts. I wear the baby in a sling and the two little children sit in the carts while I push one cart and my oldest son pushes the other one. My oldest daughter is not allowed to push a cart. Ever. Why? Because the last time I let her push the cart, she smashed into my ankles so many times, my feet had to be amputated by the end of our shopping trip. This is not a good thing. You try running after a toddler with no feet sometime.

At this point, a woman looks at our two carts and asks me, “Are they all yours?” I answer good naturedly, “Yep!
“Oh my, you have your hands full.”
“Yes, I do, but it‘s fun!” I say smiling.
I’ve heard all this before. In fact, I hear it every time I go anywhere with my brood.

We begin in the produce section where all these wonderfully, artistically arranged pyramids of fruit stand. There is something so irresistibly appealing about the apple on the bottom of the pile, that a child cannot help but try to touch it. Much like a bug to a zapper, the child is drawn to this piece of fruit. I turn around to the sounds of apples cascading down the display and onto the floor. Like Indiana Jones, there stands my son holding the all-consuming treasure that he just HAD to get and gazing at me with this dumbfounded look as if to say, “Did you see that??? Wow! I never thought that would happen!”I give the offending child an exasperated sigh and say, “Didn’t I tell you, before we left, that I didn’t want you taking stuff from the bottom of the pile???”“No. You said that you didn’t want us to take a can from the bottom of the pile. You didn’t say anything about apples.”With superhuman effort, I resist the urge to send my child to the moon and instead focus on the positive - my child actually listened to me and remembered what I said!!! I make a mental note to be a little more specific the next time I give the kids The Grocery Store Lecture.

A little old man looks at all of us and says, “Are all of those your kids?”Thinking about the apple incident, I reply, “Nope. They just started following me. I’ve never seen them before in my life.”

OK, now onto the bakery section where everything smells so good, I’m tempted to fill my cart with cookies and call it a day. Being on a perpetual diet, I try to hurry past the assortment of pies, cakes, breads, and pastries that have my children drooling. At this point the chorus of “Can we gets” begins.“Can we get donuts?”“No.”“Can we get cupcakes?”“No.”“Can we get muffins?”“No.”“Can we get pie?”“No.”

You’d think they’d catch on by this point, but no, they’re just getting started.
In the bakery, they’re giving away free samples of coffee cake and of course, my kids all take one. The toddler decides he doesn’t like it and proceeds to spit it out in my hand. (That’s what moms do. We put our hands in front of our children’s mouths so they can spit stuff into them. We’d rather carry around a handful of chewed up coffee cake, than to have the child spit it out onto the floor. I’m not sure why this is, but ask any mom and she’ll tell you the same.) Of course, there’s no garbage can around, so I continue shopping one-handed while searching for someplace to dispose of the regurgitated mess in my hand.

In the meat department, a mother with one small baby asks me, “Wow! Are all six yours?”
I answer her, “Yes, but I’m thinking of selling a couple of them.”(Still searching for a garbage can at this point.)

Ok, after the meat department, my kids’ attention spans are spent. They’re done shopping at this point, but we aren’t even halfway through the store. This is about the time they like to start having shopping cart races. And who may I thank for teaching them this fun pastime? My seventh “child”, also known as my husband. While I’m picking out loaves of bread, the kids are running down the aisle behind the carts in an effort to get us kicked out of the store. I put to stop to that just as my son is about to crash head on into a giant cardboard cut-out of a Keebler elf stacked with packages of cookies.

Ah! Yes! I find a small trash can by the coffee machine in the cereal aisle and finally dump out the squishy contents of my hand. After standing in the cereal aisle for an hour and a half while the kids perused the various cereals, comparing the marshmallow and cheap, plastic toy content of each box, I broke down and let them each pick out a box. At any given time, we have twenty open boxes of cereal in my house.

As this is going on, my toddler is playing Houdini and maneuvering his little body out of the seat belt in an attempt to stand up in the cart. I’m amazed the kid made it to his second birthday without suffering a brain damaging head injury. In between trying to flip himself out of the cart, he sucks on the metal bars of the shopping cart. Mmmm, can you say “influenza”?

The shopping trip continues much like this. I break up fights between the kids now and then and stoop down to pick up items that the toddler has flung out of the cart. I desperately try to get everything on my list without adding too many other goodies to the carts.

Somehow I manage to complete my shopping in under four hours and head for the check-outs where my kids start in on a chorus of, “Can we have candy?” What evil minded person decided it would be a good idea to put a display of candy in the check-out lanes, right at a child’s eye level? Obviously someone who has never been shopping with children.

As I unload the carts, I notice many extra items that my kids have sneaked in the carts unbeknownst to me. I remove a box of Twinkies, a package of cupcakes, a bag of candy, and a can of cat food (we don’t even have a cat!). I somehow missed the box of Pokemon cards however and ended up purchasing them unbeknownst to me. As I pay for my purchases, the clerk looks at me, indicates my kids, and asks, “Are they all yours?” Frustrated, exhausted from my trip, sick to my stomach from writing out a check for $289.53, dreading unloading all the groceries and putting them away and tired of hearing that question, I look at the clerk and answer her in my most sarcastic voice, “No. They’re not mine. I just go around the neighborhood gathering up kids to take to the grocery store because it’s so much more fun that way.”

So, up for auction is an opened (they ripped open the box on the way home from the store) package of Pokemon cards. There are 44 cards total. They're in perfect condition, as I took them away from the kiddos as soon as we got home from the store. Many of them say "Energy". I tried carrying them around with me, but they didn't work. I definitely didn't have any more energy than usual. One of them is shiny. There are a few creature-like things on many of them. One is called Pupitar. Hee hee hee Pupitar! (Oh no! My kids' sense of humor is rubbing off on me!) Anyway, I don't there's anything special about any of these cards, but I'm very much not an authority on Pokemon cards. I just know that I'm not letting my kids keep these as a reward for their sneakiness.

Shipping is FREE on this item. Insurance is optional, but once I drop the package at the post office, it is no longer my responsibility. For example, if my son decides to pour a bottle of glue into the envelope, or my daughter spills a glass of juice on the package, that’s my responsibility and I will fully refund your money. If, however, I take the envelope to the post office and a disgruntled mail carrier sets fire to it, a pack of wild dogs rip into it, or a mail sorting machine shreds it, it’s out of my hands, so you may want to add insurance. I will leave feedback for you as soon as I’ve received your payment. I will be happy to combine shipping on multiple items won within three days. This comes from a smoke-free, pet-free, child-filled home. Please ask me any questions before placing your bid. Happy bidding! :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I love free samples....especially because I often forget about them in the 6 weeks it takes to arrive. What a surprise in the mail. I love ordering free samples of products I already use or would like to use but are too expensive for us....they often give you coupons or offer email coupons. I love them so we were watching TV last night and a commercial came on saying...for a free husband're going to get one aren't you? Of's free!
My favorite sample site is Dove (since I love their products). They offer lots and often. Find the companies and restaurants you like online and see what they have to offer.

Today's free sample: Folger's Coffee.

Monday, August 20, 2007

TV Movie Review

High School Musical 2

So, after watching this made-for-tv movie about 5 times in three days, including a sing-along version (although I haven't watched it all the way through yet)....I have concluded that this one is a good one. If you having been living in the dark (or a kid-free life) may not know about this phenomenon...but it is a big one. Last year, High School Musical (HSM) came out on Disney Channel and we happened upon it....and loved it. Our daughter is at prime age for this kind of thing and she is obsessed. The first one was good and really got kids into musicals (as perhaps seeing Singing in the Rain or the Wiz did for us). From there...several stage shows, a concert tour, an ice show (what doesn't look good on ice?!), merchandise!!! have been created. The soundtrack was the best selling album of 2006! So, of course, the producers are seeing sequels (#3 is in the works).

So, after months of promos....High School Musical 2 finally premiered on Friday. We hosted a party of pre-teen girls who giggled, sang, and danced along with the new movie. They proved themselves true fans and rocked out on some commercial-break HSM trivia. The girls liked it but agreed that the first one was better (I think because of its originality). And all of them thought Zac Efron was a bit too cheesy and wanted more of the other teen hunks (especially Corbin Blue). But they loved the music and dance numbers and, of course, my daughter feels obligated to watch it whenever it is on.

This one takes place over the summer of their junior year. Amazingly, they all get jobs at the same place, a country club owned by the family of the movie's villain, Sharpay (played well by Suite Life's Ashley Tisdale). I suppose the major conflict is Sharpay's quest to get Troy (Hairspray's Zac Efron) all to herself. After a lot of Efron's hairdo and solos, all ends happy (complete with a pool party).

The songs in this one are as good as the first...Tisdale's Fabulous and You are the Music in Me as well as I Don't Dance (replacing the basketball dance with baseball here) are the best. The dancing is great Broadway-style choreography with some hip-hop mixed in. There are several moments reminiscent of Dirty Dancing (e.g. talent show, the staff singing and dancing together on breaks) and Grease (just watch the opening number). I wanted more of Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens), Chad (Blue), and Taylor (Monique Coleman, who is looking a little too old to be in hs...being 23)...this was a bit too much Troy . I am waiting to see Efron act as something besides 'most popular guy in school'. I also wasn't sure if it was because Hudgens and Efron are real-life sweethearts or acting ability...but there better be some health class sex ed in the next one because it sure looked like they were ready to get it on.

But overall, highly enjoyable. I'm sure the soundtrack will be played often in our house and car. I'm not sure its ready for the movie theater (as the 3rd one is proposed to be). however. And I not sure the future of HSM 2 (I doubt they will make a stage show of this one...but perhaps add some of the songs into the ice show). Check it the very least so you will be hip with the youngsters.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Oh, How They Grow.... big weeds!

Oh course I know that my kids will grow up but I am always amazed at how fast it happens. We went to buy shoes for school (Payless BOGO). All the kids had gained at least 1 shoe size since the spring. My daughter is actually in a bigger size than me! Then we measured their height on the wall in our kitchen....all the kids had grown at least 1 1/2 inches since May! And I went through our baby's dresser (something I do around their birthdays) and pulled out all the 18mon stuff (since it obviously was nowhere close to fitting).

It is just so amazing!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Lessons in Regular Life

People often tell me my kids are so smart...and although I think they are innately brilliant (ha, ha)...I have to admit that I 'work' with my kids all the time. However, I rarely sit down and do structured academics with them (even our 10yo). I take whatever we are doing and use it to learn something new or practice something old.

For example....
Learning left and right...
Our 3yo is really interested in this so we ran with it (tip!). The best place to practice this skill is in the car (since you naturally make lots of turns). I start by telling him which way I am turning (running commentaries are good!). Later, I ask him which way we are turning (and correct him, if necessary). We have taught him that right is with the hand he writes with (sorry, lefties). And ask him to raise his hand on the correct side. We also say they we are putting on his left shoe or mention that his is eating with his right or his sister is sitting on his left, etc.

Making print important....
One step in learning to read is understanding that print/words are important and tell important information. Therefore, I point out print and tell them what it says (often running my finger under the words). For example, our 3yo noticed a Wet Floor sign on the floor at a restaurant. He asked what it said...I told him and he repeated it. Next time we saw it, I asked him what it said. We also look at street signs while driving and see what they say (like hospital, library, stop, street signs).

You can count anything (and count almost anything backwards). Our 1yo likes to count but in the wrong order...and that's ok. Since our 3yo can count into teens (not too precisely), we ask him to count you can pick 5 books at the library or you need to eat 10 more peas. Our 10yo (obviously can count) so we use a lot of real life math all the time (cooking is great for this, or shopping, figuring out times, etc.).

Honestly, I often do not even think about what I am doing. I am simply talking to my kids (we talk a lot---that's a great strategy for ALL types of learning (social, cognitive, emotional, motor, literacy, language)). But in retrospection, I think they have learned a lot about lots of stuff through simple everyday occurrences and play. So, relax about what your child is learning and get involved with them and use opportunities as they arise!

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Hyphenated Nation

There is a big trend going on...hyphenating last names. Especially working with kids, you really never know what a kid's last name will be or his parents' last names. I admit....we are a hyphenated family.

Personally, I hyphenated my last name when I got married because I was exercising my feminist tendencies. The reason why women change their names (e.g. being owned by their husbands) doesn't jive with me. Additionally, I like my name and didn't want to give it up just because I was getting married. I also thinks it represents the union of families. So, all our kids have hyphenated names. And so do many of their friends.

However, I find it very interesting that people often choose to drop one of our names. And I really don't understand why (with the exception of the intimidating Polish spelling). If your last name was Johnson...and someone called you would think that was wrong. But people do it to us all the time (including my father on a personalized holiday present once). If I wanted to be known as a different name I would do that but I don't...I want people to call me and my family by our real names. (I will note that when ordering food, etc. I will often use my husband's short and easy to pronounce name).

Another problem of this trend is...what will happen when my kids get married? And what if they marry another hyphenator? Will names just get longer (Madeline Smith-Johnson-Beahm-Dean)? Will they drop part of the name? Will they create a new last name? Who knows...we'll have to see. (At least my kids middle names are also family names, to keep them alive).

Friday, August 10, 2007

Restaurant Review: Blues BBQ

After trying to catch a last meal at Strawberry Fields yesterday (sadly they have closed their of our favorite lunch spots, boo hoo...), we ended up in campustown, trying to catch a meal somewhere we normally avoid during the school year. We tried out a place we pass all the time and say 'we should go there'...Blues BBQ.

It was 5pm on Friday...over the we were the only people there. Which was fine with us since our boys have decided to go crazy everytime in public these days. They have a somewhat conservative menu but all the essentials to good barbeque including chicken, pork (really good!), brisket (great!), steak tip, and ribs. And they have meatloaf! I love meatloaf! They also have hot links and hot dogs. Their sides include mac and cheese (which was awesome!), coleslaw (ok), potato salad (ok), red beans and rice...with sausage (great!), corn bread, potato wedges, baked potatoes, bbq corn, baked beans, and collard greens (we didn't try these yet). We saw but did not indulge in the monster-sized cookies, brownies, and apple blossoms. They also have a veggie sandwich but I didn't ask what it was.

Everything we had was good and very reasonably priced. Although they don't have a kids' menu (why would a campus place need one, really)...we got the kids a side of mac and cheese and a hot dog to share. And it was plenty for the two little ones. The portions were big. Great for dinner (especially since we really didn't eat lunch) but probably too big for lunch. I think my husband I could share a sandwich meal for lunch with ease. The service as fast and hot.

They are open late (so a great meal after a show at Krannert). They also delivery and cater. Additionally, they have a frozen section of meats that you can bring home and heat up yourself.

We would recommend it to anyone (and they have other locations in IL) who likes a good bbq sandwich and good, Southern sides. Honestly, I still think Hickory River is the best in town but this one is up there and more convenient at times.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


My mom had dinner the other day and didn't have dessert for us (what?!). So, as usual, I decided to make something. Of course, the supplies were a bit scarce (e.g. no eggs...which makes baking anything a challenge). So, I came across this recipe for cookies and adapted it a bit on the spot. It was delicious and without the butter and eggs (and if you omit the chips), you can make a case for it to be a healthier dessert choice (or justify adding ice cream and chocolate sauce). You can also make as a mix to give as gifts.

Vegan Chocolate Brownies (or cookies)

3/4 cup veg oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup soy milk (or cow milk)
2 cup flour (1/2 wheat, 1/2 white)
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (carob, if you want to keep it completely vegan)
Add nuts, if desired

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add oil, vanilla, and milk. Combine until moist (do not overmix). Fold in chocolate chips. Spread into 9x13 pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350F for 25-30 mins or until knife comes out clean.

Can also make as cookies. Bake 350F for 8-10 mins (do not overbake).

Just one of those weeks...

It has just been crazy around here..........

Its hot so we are inside a lot (which doesn't agree with the kids).
The cat is sick (after initially calling the vet, they asked us to get a urine sample...from a cat...).
The baby won't nap is very crabby come 4pm.
My husband is crazy busy with work...I think he lives here still but I haven't really seen him.
My 3yo wants to dress himself..this is good until he asked where his snowpants were.
Because the cat was sick, I missed talking to someone about registration at school and therefore had to waste a bunch of time waiting around (for nothing in the end) which caused me to miss an appointment at work...which makes me feel really bad (really, I was very puctual and reliable before kids).
My littlest one is eating deodorant again (why does he keep trying it?).
My husband suggested we go out to dinner, so I didn't have to cook...the boys were in a crazy mood and I'm surprised we didn't get kicked out.
Our dryer is broken...almost causing a fire (ok, that's a bit of exaggeration but not too much).
Our printer ran out of ink.
My husband's power cord is broken so we are sharing one (I do not recommended it).
I'm totally exhausted and overwhelmed with work and daily life.....

but I took time to have an iced coffee and watch So You Think You Can Dance last all will be well (except the cat...who should be well soon enough).

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Fast Food Nation

There was an article on yesterday about how kids prefer McDonald's food over other food (and when I was working, kids always recognized the Golden Arches but not always the ABC's). Although we could discuss the nutritional value of fast food...the article was more concerned with advertising and regulating advertising to children.

Now my kids, especially the little ones, don't really watch a lot of commercial television. We do a lot of DVD's, PBS, and the preschool blocks on Nick and Disney (which show the programs without any commercials). And I thought that was pretty safe, however, the sponsors of PBS, for example, are McDonald's and Chucky Cheese (among others, Dannon, Juicy Juicy....). So my kids to see this. Fortunately, we don't eat fast food often (although a good Steak and Shake dinner is a treat) my little ones don't even know what McDonald's or Chucky Cheese serves...but they do know they exist and talk about them. We also look through magazines together and there are ads in there as well. And we drive, so the kids see billboards. You just can't escape them.

So, instead of shielding our kids from the outside world, we teach them that you can see cool stuff on TV and in magazines but you don't NEED everything. You may ask for special things on your birthday and holidays BUT you may still not get them. And we talk about making good and healthy choices with our meals (e.g. while at Steak and Shake a couple weeks ago, my son choose apples and grapes over fries). And they know that my cooking is better than anywhere else anyways!

**Remember that parents make the ultimate decisions for many, many years (my 3yo isn't driving himself to McDonald's or running over to Target for a new toy). Plus, I am the one with the money (although my daughter has some money that she is allowed to do whatever she pleases with...but we do consult on major purchases).

There will always be corporations (and the government) telling us what we think we need and what we should buy and eat....but we can always make the choice we need to give our kids the skills to make those decisions.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Hot, Hot, Hot!

It is HOT here in Central Illinois! It is quite discouraging to see that the 10-day forecast is basically "hot" and "hotter". This week we should officially hit over 100F! Not to mention the humidity.

So, what do you do? We stay in air-conditioning as much as possible. Its almost like its the dead of winter again. We entertain ourselves as best we can without going outside for more than 10 mins at a time and try not to sweat too much. Library, movies, gym, grocery store....its all cold. We have even avoid the pool, its so hot and crowded. It is a bit of a challenge since the kids loves to play outside and like to go out with them too.

I hope it cools off when school starts in a couple weeks. You can't learn in this heat.

What do you do to stay cool?