My Top 10 parenting posts from 2013

Well it is the end of the year and I have been busy with holiday shopping and activities with the kids. So for my last parenting post of the year, I decided to highlight ten of my favorite posts about being a parent.

1. Explaining cancer and chemo to the kidsThis one was from Jan. 28, 2013. As the year progressed, the kids only had a few questions about Pat who had such a great, upbeat attitude through her whole ordeal. I am glad to say that as of this October, she is cancer free!

2. Why I choose not to have my kids birthday parties at home – This one is from March 4, 2013. It ran the day after we had Lexie’s party at Inflatable Wonderland. This coming year she wants to go to Chuck E Cheese for her birthday. As for Jase, I think we are going for a smaller party – and gasp, it probably will be at home. I am sure that will be a post this coming year!

3. Favoring one parent over the other – This one was from May 6, 2013. This topic may come up again as we are planning a trip to Disney World in 2014 and I will be explaining to the kids that there will be NO arguing on who gets to sit with Daddy on every ride!

4. Unique Anatomy: Situs Inversus and Interrupted IVC  &  Unique anatomy continued: Polysplenia – These two post ran May 20 and June 3 about my daughter Lexie. I was touched by the parents who contacted me thanking me for posting about her condition and sharing their stories of their children with either the same or similar conditions.

5. Should we lessen disappointment and rejection for our children? This post ran on May 27, 2013 and of course the answer should be “no” but it seems society doesn’t agree.

6. Establishing House Rules – This one is from June 24, 2013. Our posted house rules have helped somewhat and we have yet to have to add to them though we did change the last one to not interrupting anyone rather than just adults.

7. Building the kids a Lego table – This one if from Aug. 5, 2013. I had to share this one again since I think it was so worth building Jase a Lego table. He uses his all the time. Lexie is just now getting into Lego Friends so I think hers will get more use soon but until then I love that it is easy to store under her bed!

8. It’s a different age…kids growing up with computers – This post ran Sept. 30, 2013. It is amazing how much kids use and rely on computer these days. I am sure a few more posts will appear next year about kids and computers including one about bringing a tablet to school.

9. Planning a Trip to Disney World – part 1 – This post appeared Oct. 28, 2013 which is right after Pat and her family came back from Disney World where they celebrated Pat being cancer free (see post #1). We too are planning a trip in June 2014 so I expect there to be two or three more posts about planning our trip to appear in 2014.

10. Puppy Sadie Rose joins the family – This one is from Nov. 4, 2013 (my hubby’s birthday). For those of you who know about Lexie’s allergies, the fact that we brought a puppy into the house and she hasn’t had any issues with that is simply amazing. I am sure there will be at least one post about Sadie and the kids in 2014.

And as the year wraps up, I also wanted to thank all the other parents who take the time to read my blog and post their comments. I appreciate every one of you and hope to hear more from you in 2014!

Building the kids a Lego table

Two weeks ago, I wrote about my son’s love for building Lego sets. My daughter is just now getting interested in the Friends Lego sets. One day in July, Jase said he wanted a Lego table. If you look online at Amazon, they can range from $60 to over $200. And the problem with these tables is they take up a lot of room in my kids’ already toy-filled rooms.

So my husband suggested we build one ourselves. A quick look on Pintrest led me to this website with an easy to make, collapsible Lego table.

It seemed perfect for our needs. The kids would have a Lego table, and it could easily be stored when not in use. We ended up making two of them – one for each kid. We figured that would stop any arguing. Lexie’s is stored under her bed and Jase’s stored in his closet when they aren’t in our living room being played with.

The Joys of Boys blog does a good job of describing the building of this table, but I thought I would let you know a couple of things we experienced and changed.

CIMG1950First off, we bought the 34″ Lifetime folding table that she mentions at Wal-Mart for $34 each. The link provided in the blog goes to Amazon which shows the same table for $70 each.  She also mentions buying a Lego 4 building plate set from Amazon for her table. Since we didn’t particularly like the grey boards, and because it was cheaper, we bought 10″ x 10″ Lego Building Plates in both blue and green. To do 2 tables, we needed 18 of these plates (15 green and 3 blue) for a total of about $90. Total cost for the two tables was about $160.

We started building the tables as a surprise for the kids so that meant doing it after they went to bed. It took us about an hour to unwrap all the Lego plates, cut them, and then use the Liquid Nails to affix them to the table.

CIMG1951To ensure the plates would be in the proper place, we did mark the table with a Sharpie slightly under where they would go. We then applied the Liquid Nails to the tableCIMG1954 and put the plates on, securing them with Lego pieces to make sure they were properly positioned.

CIMG1956Later, we decided that it might have been better to put the Liquid Nails on the actual plates instead of the table because some of our corners were not affixed to the table. To remedy this problem with the corners, we used a toothpick and placed some Gorilla Glue under the corners.

CIMG1955We let the Liquid Nails dry overnight. We placed bottles of water and some 12 packs of soda on top of the table to make sure everything was pressed down and in place.

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The next morning the kids were surprised and happy to have their new Lego tables. We made them slightly different – putting the water as a river on Jase’s and at the end on Lexie’s, so we could tell them apart.  The kids have had a blast with them and while so far they have mainly stayed built and ready to use, I love the fact that they can be easily folded up and stored out of sight when needed.