Monday, October 21, 2013

Catholic Mom's Cafe Book Review

What it is
A book of daily devotionals for busy moms

Who wrote it
Donna Marie Cooper O'Boyle, a Catholic mom of 5, radio host, and EWTN tv personality. 

My impressions
Each day Cooper O'Boyle offers four short sections: Ponder (words of wisdoms from Popes, Saints, and Scripture), Offer (a reflection by Cooper O'Boyle), Pray (a short prayer going with the theme of the day and suggestions of which memorized prayers should go with it too), and Savor (a one liner to think about throughout the day). The prayers are found in the front of the book, which I really appreciate since I don't have them all memorized. 
I also like how short the devotionals are! To be perfectly honest, I have discovered I can read the day's entry while using the restroom, then say the prayers the next time I'm in there, and that's really convenient for me!
I like that she keeps it short, but doesn't skimp on depth of content either. She uses great verses and quotations to really get you thinking in just a few minutes.   
As a convert I did notice the book was very targeted at Catholics. I would not recommend this book to non-Catholics.  While there is nothing in there antagonizing non-Catholics, it just wouldn't be very relatable for someone who does not understand and appreciate the Hail Mary prayer or the rosary, for example (they're mentioned a lot). 

Get it
You can get Catholic Moms Cafe for $14.95 from the Catholic Company at time of posting

The bottom line
A great book for busy moms wanting to incorporate their Catholic faith into their lives daily!

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Catholic Mom's Cafe. The Catholic Company is the best resource for all your seasonal needs such as First Communion gifts as well as ideas and gifts for the special papal Year of Faith.

3:21 Blog Hop October 2013

Every month, a cool blog called With a Little Moxie hosts a fun blog hop all about Down syndrome! At the end of the post you will find the link to click to add your own post (if you link up, you end up linking to every blog who has the hosting thing in their post!) Each month participants are asked to share one truth, one tip, and one picture. I hope you enjoy mine!

One truth
It's Down Syndrome awareness month! I'm enjoying all the extra info about and pictures of cute babies with extra chromosomes. 

One tip
Connect with moms online if you're having trouble finding moms locally who have babies of similar age and are similar to you philosophically. 

One photo
He started on the blanket, but he knew where he wanted to be and figured out how to get there!

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

7 Quick Takes Oct 18, 2013

--- 1 ---
Boy #2 figured out how to inchworm! Hurray! It's sooooo fun watching his face lights up at his newfound mobility. Combined with rolling, his inchworm crawling (apparently what I think of as "crawling" is technically called "creeping" and the inchworm does actually count as a form of crawling!) allows him to get just about anywhere he wants!

--- 2 ---
Winter weather has arrived and I'm sort of bummed. I am not ready to hibernate! 

--- 3 ---
My husbands birthday was this week, and we discovered Boy #1 doesn't like dark chocolate cake! On the bright side, that meant my husband got more of his own cake than usual. 

--- 4 ---
My mommy is coming to visit soon! Hurray! We will all enjoy her company for a few days. 

--- 5 ---
I got a Zumba DVD from the library and can't wait to try it, even though I totally have two left feet!

--- 6 ---
I'm starting to think about handmade Christmas presents and gather up supplies. What's your favorite handmade thing to make and give?

--- 7 ---
I love that fall TV is in full swing. My favorite new show this season so far is the Tomorrow People. Despite looking exactly like every other CW show, it does have a somewhat interesting concept and I am a sucker for sci-fi. The Originals is pretty awesome too if you like vampires but is definitely NOT something to watch while kids are in the room. 

I'm underwhelmed by Super Fun Night and Reign, which is unfortunate because I thought both were concepts with good potential. 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Kids Chores for Tech Privileges

Welcome to the October 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids and Technology

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about their families' policies on screen time.


I have a love/hate relationship with technology and how it sucks my child into its pixelated time-wasting vortex. Sure, he traces letters and solves puzzles, but he also stares at a screen to do it. Anyway, I recently had a revelation, when thinking about my current parenting challenges. Besides limiting our somewhat excessive technology use (bad habit lingering from baby #2s newborn days), one of my focuses lately has been encouraging my preschooler to clean up his messes. Then it hit me: why not tie them together?!? So now, in our house, to get iPad minutes, children must clean. We have a couple rules to make sure it doesn't get ridiculous:
  • one minute of focused cleaning, meaning putting toys all the way away=one minute of iPad time
  • messes made solely for the purpose of acquiring iPad minutes don't count, but must be cleaned up before redeeming iPad minutes earned legitimately
  • timer tampering means your turn is automatically over, and mom can ask to check the timer at any time
I love that much like adult life, this game ties fun rewards and necessary work together. After all, we wouldn't have iPads and Internet and such at all if it weren't for the hard work of the adults who pay for them! I love that it puts a positive spin on chores, and that it naturally limits iPad turns. I think it could be easily adapted to any technology use that is a strong motivator to your child. If you have a tidy child and house already, you could change it to one toy=one minute so they don't end up getting totally insignificant rewards. The second morning we played this game, my 4 year old woke up and immediately started cleaning his room. #parentingWIN


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants (list will be updated throughout the day on October 8):

  • Has Technology Taken Away Childhood? — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama worries that technology is intruding on the basic premise of childhood - active play in all forms! Join her as she takes a brief look at how play has changed as technology becomes more integrated into the daily lives of our children.
  • Fostering a Healthy Relationship with Technology — Jenn at Adventures Down Under describes her children's love of screen time and how her family implements their philosophy and policies on technology.
  • Kids Chores for Tech PrivilegesCrunchy Con Mommy shares how tying chore completion to iPad privileges worked in her house to limit screen time and inspire voluntary room cleaning!
  • Screens — Without the benefit of her own experience, sustainablemum explains her family's use of technology in their home.
  • Screen Time - The Battle of Ideologies — Laura from Laura's Blog explains why she is a mom who prioritizes outdoor natural play for her kids but also lets them have ample screen time.
  • The Day My iPhone Died — Revolution Momma at Raising a Revolution questions the role technology plays in her life when she is devastated after losing her phone's picture collection from her daughter's first year.
  • Finding our Technological Balance — Meegs at A New Day talks about how she finds balance between wanting her daughter to enjoy all the amazing technology available to her, without it overwhelming the natural parenting she's striving for.
  • Raising kids who love TV — Lauren at Hobo Mama sometimes fears what children who love screentime will grow up to be … until she realizes they'll be just like her.
  • No Limits on Screen Time? Is that Natural? — Susan at Together Walking shares misconceptions and benefits of having no limits on technology and screen time in their home.
  • Screen Time — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares what is currently working (and what hasn't) regarding screen time in her household.
  • Positive Use of Technology with Kids — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells about her family's experiences with early technology, shares helpful resources from around the blogosphere, and speculates on what she'd do as a parent with young children today.
  • why i will never quit you, TV — How Emma of Your Fonder Heart came to terms with the fact that screen time is happening, and what balance looks like between real and virtual life for both her toddler AND herself.
  • Technology Speaks — Janet at Our Little Acorn finds many uses for technology - including giving her child a voice.
  • 5 Ways to Extend Children's Screen Time into Creative Learning Opportunities — Looking for a way to balance screen time with other fun learning experiences? Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares 5 fun ways to take your child's love of favorite shows or video games and turn them into creative educational activities.
  • What parents can learn about technology from teachers — Douglas Blane at Friendly Encounters discusses how technology in schools enhances children's learning, and where to find out more.
  • 5 Tips for a Peaceful Home — Megan of the Boho Mama and author at Natural Parents Network shares her favorite 5 tips for creating a peaceful home environment.
  • Technology and Natural Learning — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling writes about the importance of technology as a tool for natural, self-directed learning.
  • Babies and TechnologyJana Falls shares how her family has coped, changed their use of, relied on, and stopped using various forms of technology since their little man arrived on the scene
  • Kids and Technology — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis talks about the benefits of using technology with her preschooler, and includes a few of their favorite resources.
  • Using Technology to Your Advantage: Helping Children Find Balance — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy discusses how technology can be used or abused and gives a few tips to help children learn balance.