Today is $1 Short Stack Day at IHOP !

Today is $1 Short Stack Day at IHOP!  From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, you can get a short stack of pancakes at IHOP for just $1.  Not only do you get a short stack of their yummy pancakes for a crazy price -- for every $1 short stack purchased, IHOP will donate $1 to the No Kid Hungry campaign! What a delicious way to help feed the kids who need it the most!  They're aiming to serve one million pancakes today, so get on over to IHOP, ASAP.

Find an IHOP near you.

Disclosure: I did not receive a sample or monetary compensation for this post. . The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Back To School with Label Daddy

For those of you worried that Back To School means Back to Losing Kids' Stuff, I have 2 words for you: Label Daddy. Label Daddy is the first online label company that I ever worked with, and I have loved their cute, sturdy labels since 2009.

What's so special about Label Daddy? No ironing or sewing . . . just peel and stick. Their exclusive laminated coating gives labels an extra layer of protection and is a must for school! Remember to label all clothing, books, bags, sports equipment, electronics, and other personal belongings your kids bring to school, camp, sports leagues, day care, vacation, and other places Label Daddy labels keep them from getting lost or mixed up with others. These convenient labels are great for adults too! -- Put them on your sunglass/eyeglass case, phone, camera, sports equipment, tablet, e-reader, hats, clothing, and more.

These labels are super durable peel-and-stick washable labels -- they're washer/dryer safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe and UV resistant! Label Daddy labels are also fun and attractive. You design your own labels! Pick from tons of colors, sizes and logos, including Disney characters, MLB, NBA, and NHL team logos, other sport and fun logos, and more. These labels are made in the USA and shipped directly to you worldwide.

Save 25% on your entire Label Daddy order - this is the best discount available anywhere. Use code USFG25 at checkout.

Disclosure: I am receiving a set of labels from Label Daddy via US Family Guide. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Preserve summer memories in an AdoramaPix photo book

Adoramapix photo book

I can't believe summer is over! My 10th grader started school yesterday and my 7th graders started school today. The house is so quiet and it's almost like summer never happened. Can it really be just a few weeks ago that we were exploring Britain's Jurassic Coast, meeting Mickey Mouse in Disneyland Paris, and milking cows in Wiltshire county?

Fortunately, there are always photos and photo books so we can look back on our trip and relive all those amazing memories. I make photo books out of all our big trips because sometimes it's nice to relive the highlights without having to sift through thousands of digital photos!  If you like photo books as much as I do, check out  custom photo books by Adoramapix. I've ordered photo books from them before and they are great! You can choose from gorgeous linen, hardcover and leather covers as well as 6 stunning paper finishes, great layout options, and easy to use software so you can create a photo book in record time.

Adoramapix photo book

Your memories deserve more than a lifeless screen! Breathe life into your photos and turn them into beautiful keepsake photo books that will last for generations.

Shop Now:

15% off photo books. Use code: PhotoBook15. Sale ends 11/05/2016 11:59 PM EST

Disclosure: I received a credit from AdoramaPix via so I could experience the AdoramaPix creation process and review the final product. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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7 New Experiences at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®'s Out Of This World

Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey circus - Out Of This World

Our family used to go to the circus at least once a year for many years, but it has been a couple of years since we last went. Part of that is our kids growing older and having busier schedules, but if I'm being honest, another part is the sense that we're seeing essentially the same show. Now, mind you, the circus we always watch, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, always puts on a good show, and they do a wonderful job of making each show unique. Each show has different acts and different themes, but none have been different in a radical way -- until now. I've been invited to attend their new Out Of This World show, and I can truly say it looks like no other show we've been to before! Here are 7 ways that Out Of This World is completely different from any other circus we've been to before:

No More Elephants

Feld Entertainment has really brought the circus into the 21st century by retiring its traditional elephant performances. Other circus classics like clowns and a few animal acts will remain, but the elephants will no longer be a part of the show. I will miss the elephants but I commend Feld for giving their elephants a much-needed permanent break!

Character-Driven Storyline

Although circus performances sometimes follow specific themes, Out Of This World will feature a plot and characters, with heroes on a mission, traveling to planets around the galaxy, battling the forces of evil. This is the first time a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® circus show to feature a character-driven storyline, and it's going to make the experience even more exciting!

One act at a time

I have never enjoyed the traditional three-ring circus format, because it has always seemed too distracting to me. There are so many cool acts, I want to be able to focus on and enjoy each and every one of them. Now that the acts will be performing one at a time, the audience won't ever have to miss a thing!
Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey circus - Out Of This World

Video projections

Out Of This World is going ultra high-tech, with a video projection screen that will make audiences feel like they're traveling through space. Thanks to the video screen and other lighting technology, the entire arena will be transformed into a sci-fi galaxy, which will help guests immerse themselves even more into the story.

Simet Wheel

A new act is coming into town: the Simet Wheel. It's a rotating wheel combined with a tightrope walk -- how crazy is that -- and it's making its U.S. debut in out Of This World!  Performers are going to be wearing suits in keeping with the Outer Space theme of the show. I can't wait to see it!

Performers on ice

A circus on ice? How cool (pun intended) is that? Out Of This World will feature freestyle skaters combining acrobatics and speed skating, as well as stilt walking (or should I say skating) and hoop diving.  This is another Can't-Wait moment!
Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey circus - Out Of This World

Mobile App

Your family is going to be entertained even before the show, with the free, all-new Ringling Bros. mobile app. App users will be able to take Circus Selfies with some funny filters and share their photos on social media. They'll be able to see what's in store for them with sneak peeks into the show. They can play trivia games and unlock exclusive content right before the show -- so you can come early and get settled without worried about your kids constantly asking when the show is going to start!
Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey circus - Out Of This World

Out Of This World Dates and Locations

Out Of This World will be in 4 California cities through mid-September. For more dates and locations, check out the Ringling Bros tickets and schedules page.

  • Oakland, CA August 18, 2016 - August 22, 2016
  • San Jose, CA August 25, 2016 - September 05, 2016
  • Bakersfield, CA September 09, 2016 - September 11, 2016
  • Sacramento, CA September 15, 2016 - September 18, 2016

Disclosure: I am receiving tickets to attend this event with my family. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Introducing Polar Pizza from Baskin Robbins -- a cool new way to enjoy ice cream!

We have ice cream cake, ice cream sandwiches, ice cream pies.... why not ice cream pizza?  Baskin Robbins has upped their coolness factor by introducing Polar Pizza, the perfect frozen treat that combines everything you love about ice with everything you love about pizza!

Baskin Robbins gave us the opportunity to try their new Polar Pizza, so we headed off to our local Baskin Robbins store to check it out.
Baskin Robbins Polar Pizza

You can find Polar Pizza at your local Baskin Robbins store, inside the freezers where they keep ice cream cake and pints of ice cream. You can't miss it -- Polar Pizza comes in a pizza box and it looks just like a regular pizza! One Polar Pizza cost us $19.99.
Baskin Robbins Polar Pizza

The "pizza crust" is either a giant chocolate chip cookie or giant circular double fudge brownie. The middle layer is yummy Baskin Robbins ice cream, then the "pizza" is topped with caramel, fudge, sprinkles, and other yummy ice cream toppings.  The pizza is pre-sliced so it's easy to portion out and eat, just like a regular pizza!
Baskin Robbins Polar Pizza

Unlike an ice cream cake, you don't have to wait very long to thaw the Polar Pizza before eating it, so you can start enjoying it right away. We loved our first Polar Pizza and can't wait to go back for more! It's such a fun way to enjoy ice cream. What a great addition to your next birthday party or pizza night!

Baskin Robbins Polar Pizza
Polar Pizza comes in 4 standard combinations:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Polar Pizza
A chocolate chip cookie crust with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, topped with cookie dough pieces, rainbow sprinkles and drizzled with marshmallow topping.

Jamoca® Almond Fudge And HEATH® Polar Pizza
A double fudge brownie crust with Jamoca® Almond Fudge Ice Cream, topped with HEATH® Bar candy pieces and drizzled with caramel and fudge topping.

OREO® Cookies ‘N Cream Polar Pizza
A double fudge brownie crust with Oreo® Cookies 'n Cream Ice Cream, topped with crushed Oreo® Cookies pieces and drizzled with marshmallow and fudge topping.

Peanut Butter ‘N Chocolate And REESE'S® Peanut Butter Cup Polar Pizza
A chocolate chip cookie crust with Peanut Butter 'n Chocolate Ice Cream, topped with REESE’S® Peanut Butter Cup pieces and drizzled with REESE'S® peanut butter sauce and fudge topping.

You can also build your own Polar Pizza online, and mix-n-match your favorite crust, ice cream and toppings for an ice cream treat that's all your own. We really want to order a Polar Pizza with a chocolate chip cookie crust, vanilla ice cream, and caramel and fudge topping with almonds -- but I can't seem to figure out how to do it online. I'll make sure I update this post once I do figure it out!
Baskin Robbins Polar Pizza

Disclosure: I received a gift card from Baskin Robbins to facilitate my review. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Giveaway on Finding Bonggamom from FLONASE®

(disclosure: I am promoting a compensated post)

It's back to school season -- and for my kids, it's also back to sniffles season! Both 3Po and Jammy have bad grass allergies..... which is unfortunate because they play soccer on a grass field 3-5 times a week. There's just no way they're going to give up soccer because of allergies, so we've had to find ways to help relieve their allergy symptoms and keep them doing what they love to do. One of the most important parts of their regimen is an allergy nasal spray like FLONASE® Allergy relief.

Check out my latest post on Finding Bonggamom about how we manage the boys' allergies and how FLONASE® can help. The post also has a giveaway for a $100 Visa gift card!!

(disclosure: My post on Bonggamom Finds is a compensated post).
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Back to School with a2 Milk®

This post was sponsored by a2 Milk® as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

The long, lazy days of summer are almost over and soon we'll be getting back to our crazy busy school time schedule. Kids really do expend a lot of energy during the school day -- they're using their brains and bodies from 8am till 3pm! It's no wonder they are starving when they get home. That's why an after school snack is an essential part of their day.  Here are 10 of my kids' favorite after school snacks that fill them up and replenish some of the energy they've burned:

PBJ sandwich
Cheese and crackers
Salami and cheese
Waffles with chocolate spread or jam
Granola bar
Cereal and milk
Cookies and milk

Yes, I let them have cookies, or brownies, or cupcakes, now and then. They are just occasional treats, and real star of that combo is the milk, of course. It's got protein, calcium, and a host of other vitamins and minerals! In fact, I like to offer milk to drink with all their after school snacks! My son 3Po especially needs to drink lots of milk, because he has lost a bit of weight this past year and needs to gain it back. Increasing his milk intake will allow him to gain weight back in a healthy way.

Of course, your child may be one of the many people who don't like milk because it doesn't agree with their tummies. An independent study showed 1 in 4 Americans have discomfort after drinking milk; yet only 5-7% of the population has been clinically diagnosed with a lactose intolerance medical condition. 
But if your child falls into that category, you can still offer them the goodness of milk after school. Just offer them a2 Milk®. a2 Milk® is real milk that is naturally free from the A1 protein, which is the culprit behind many people's dairy discomfort (I'm an a2 Milk® Ambassador, so see my previous a2 Milk® post for an explanation!).  It's real milk, so you don't get any of the weird taste that you might get with overly processed lactose-free milk, or milk substitutes like soy milk or almond milk or rice milk.

Here's some more good news: a2 Milk® is now available at Trader Joe's! Now I can get a2 Milk® at the 3 places I shop most:  Whole Foods Market, Safeway, and Trader Joe's. I don't have to make a special trip to a specialty grocery store, so I can pick up a2 Milk® as part of my normal grocery run!
Do you or any member of your family experience discomfort when drinking milk? Have you tried a2 Milk®? It's easier than ever to find, so it's easier than every to try!

For more information about a2 Milk®, visit these sites:
a2 Milk® website:
a2 Milk® Microsite:
a2 Milk® Store Locator:
a2 Milk® Facebook:
a2 Milk® Twitter:

Disclosure:This post was sponsored by a2 Milk® as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Make a Better Sandwich with Oroweat® {giveaway}


Who doesn't love a good grilled cheese sandwich? A grilled cheese sandwich is supposed to be a childhood favorite, but I'm pretty sure I'll be enjoying it well into old age. Of course, if I eat nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches, I probably won't live to see old age, but I can still enjoy a grilled cheese sandwich now and then, especially if I swap out some of the cheese for veggies, and if I swap out the white bread for whole grain bread like Oroweat® Whole Grain Sliced Bread. Oroweat® is my favorite sandwich bread brand because it's sturdy enough to pack a lot of sandwich filling in between, and it's so delicious my family will eat it on its own!

Here are 3 ways to jazz up an ordinary grilled cheese sandwich. Just take 2 slices of  Oroweat® Whole Grain Sliced Bread, pile in the fillings listed below, and press in a panini maker. Actually, you don't even have to grill these sandwiches; they taste wonderful even when cold!
  • Brie
  • Tomatoes
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Pesto
  • Mayo
  • Aged cheddar
  • Balsamic-glazed red onions
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Mixed greens
  • Honey mustard
  • Mayo
  • Mozarella
  • Tomatoes
  • Basil leaves
  • Fig balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil

What are your favorite ways to jazz up a cheese sandwich -- or any sandwich, for that matter? Oroweat® wants to know! Share your favorite sandwich recipe by August 21, 2016 to win up to $25k in their “2016 America’s Better Sandwich” Contest.

About the 2016 America's Better Sandwich Contest

Oroweat® Bread wants to hear what healthful ingredients their fans use to make the perfect sandwich with their delicious, made with whole grain bread, so Oroweat® Bread is hosting the“2016 America’s Better Sandwich” Contest! To enter, fans can submit their recipes at for the opportunity to win a grand prize of $25,000 – now, that’s a lot of dough! Additionally, the sandwich in each of the five categories with the highest overall score will receive a $5,000 Category Prize.

Making sure no grain gets left behind, this year, Oroweat® Bread will donate one (1) loaf of bread to Feeding America for each entry and or vote submitted, with a minimum of 75,000 and up to 100,000 loaves donated!


Win an Oroweat® sandwich prize pack

One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will receive an Oroweat® prize pack which includes:
  • Six coupons, each valid for $5.00 off the purchase of any Oroweat® Whole Grain Sliced Bread of choice
  • Six coupons, each valid for $4.00 off the purchase of any Oroweat® Sandwich Thins® Rolls of choice
  • $25 Visa gift card to use towards ingredients for their favorite sandwiches

Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below by midnight PST on August 1, 2016. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received product coupons and a gift card from Oroweat to help me create this post. Contest information (in italics) is provided by Oroweat.  The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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CROSS introduces Marvel themed pens for Dads and Grads

CROSS Marvel series pens

Father's Day is coming up in less than 3 weeks! Usually I let the kids figure out which presents they want to give their dad for Father's Day (hey, Alfie's their dad, not mine), but this year I've got a little extra surprise for him -- a CROSS ballpoint stylus pen. And not just any CROSS pen -- a CROSS Iron Man pen!  CROSS has launched a new series of fine writing instruments featuring Captain America, Iron Man and Spider Man. Since Father’s Day is approaching, we feel there is no better time than to honor the dads in the family, the real life Superheros. How super is that? Alfie loves the elegance and quality of CROSS pens, so this is the perfect Father's Day present for him.

CROSS's new Marvel pens come in 2 styles: the roller ball Century 2 series ($45), and the ballpoint/stylus Tech2 series ($45). Each series has 3 available characters: Iron Man, Captain America, and Spider Man. CROSS sent me my choice of Tech2 pens, so I chose Iron Man since I'm #TeamIronMan all the way.
CROSS Marvel series pens

Here's a closer look at the pen. I'm not the biggest fan of Iron Man's color scheme (red and gold), but CROSS manages to make it look stylish and classy. The brushed metal is not too shiny, and the character logos are discreet (but not so discreet that fellow Marvel fans won't notice!).
CROSS Marvel series pens

The pen writes like all CROSS pens -- smooth and easy, without any skipping or blotting. The stylus tip at the opposite end is perfect for writing and drawing on tablets.
CROSS Marvel series pens

This also makes a great graduation present for incoming college freshmen and graduating college seniors about to enter the workplace. Having a CROSS pen is one of those coming-of-age things that everyone should have, along with a good suit, dress watch, and leather purse or briefcase. Thanks to the Marvel branding, it comes across as a hip and edgy present instead of an old and stuffy one.

About CROSS Fine Writing Instruments

ROSS has always championed the pursuit of greatness. From the spark that inspires a passion, to the hard work and creativity needed to make it happen. It takes courage and a lot of heart, but those who take this path are the ones who make their mark on this world.

CROSS was established in 1846 and to this day, receiving a CROSS fine writing instrument is a symbol of achievement, accomplishments, and human potential, all while being a luxury fine writing instrument. CROSS seeks to provide those possessing extraordinary vision and a strong entrepreneurial spirit with the tools needed to make their mark. CROSS will always continue to be the #WriteGift for recognizing the deserving moments in anyone's life from a job promotion, to marriage, to graduation… Who is deserving in your life?

About the CROSS Marvel Series

CROSS fine writing instruments teamed up with Marvel to launch a series of Super Pens featuring the most prominent icons in the Marvel universe, Iron Man, Captain America, and Spider Man.

The pens are available in two styles. First the brand’s evolutionary Century II series finished in a high-gloss lacquer and includes a collectible, character-specific romance card (MSRP $150 USD.) And the second is the Tech2 series, which transforms from a ballpoint pen to a stylus in a flash (MSRP $45 USD.) Both styles endow users with the “superpower” of expression via a fine writing instrument.

Disclosure: This is a compensated post. Product information (in italics) was provided by Cross Writing Instruments via Xomad. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Mabels Labels introduces Summer Camp Label Packs for 2016

Mabels Labels Summer Camp Label Packs

Summer is almost here! This is my kids' last week of school, and starting next week they'll be off on their summer adventures. We have a few trips planned, as well as soccer, cooking, and dance camps. They'll be putting away their school backpacks, and taking out their suitcases, sleeping bags. Of course, they'll be keeping their lunch boxes and water bottles! That's a lot of equipment!

If your kids are anything like mine, they tend to lose a lot of stuff. They drop jackets, caps, water bottles and other things by the wayside, and once they're out of sight, they're out of mind. My kids move on to the next thing, and their stuff is forgotten. And if you're anything like I am, it drives you mad!!  I'm constantly reminding my kids that I paid tons of money for their gear and threatening to make them pay for it out of their allowance. Of course, they couldn't afford it, so the next best thing for my sanity is to label everything to lessen the chance that my kids' stuff stays lost forever. I label everything -- not just clothing, but also pencils, scissors, reusable containers (and their lids!), etc..

Which brings me to Mabels Labels. I've been a fan of their labels for a long time -- which is exactly how long their labels last. I can't think of a time when I've had to peel off a fading or cracked Mabels Labels label and replaced it with a new one. This summer, Mabels Labels is offering 2 new combo packs specifically designed for kids' summer camp needs:

Day Camp Label Pack
Contains 16 Mini Custom Name Stickers, 21 Tag Mates Stick On Clothing Labels, 2 Custom Shoe Stickers, and 2 Personalized Bag Tags (41 labels for $19.99). Perfect for kids heading to day camp! The labels are UV resistant and waterproof.

Sleepaway Camp Label Pack
Sleepaway camp requires a lot more stuff, so this pack has larger quantities of the labels you will need to make sure you kids' stuff comes back home. Contains 10 Personalized Name Stickers, 24 Mini Custom Name Stickers,  50 Tag Mates Stick On Clothing Labels, 8 Custom Shoe Stickers, and 2 Personalized Bag Tags (102 labels for $39.99).

Mabels Labels also makes customized disposable emergency bracelets (pack of 30 for $21) so that kids with allergies or other conditions will always have contact information and medical information on hand. These are also great for days out at theme parks or the beach (whether they are with a camp group or with the family!).

Mabels Labels let me pick out and personalize a Day Camp Label Pack and a Sleepaway Camp Label Pack, and I can't wait for them to arrive! It takes less than a minute to order and personalize labels -- just type in your name (you can personalize a second line on your labels with a phone number, camp cabin number, etc...), choose your label colors and designs, and choose your font.
Mabels Labels Summer Camp Label Packs

There are a ton of designs (make sure you check out their limited-time summer camp themed designs!) and colors, so your child gets a label that matches their interests and personality.
Mabels Labels Summer Camp Label Packs

Stay tuned, I'll post photos of our new labels when they arrive!

Order your Mabels Labels Summer Camp Label packs ASAP, because they're only here for a limited time!

Disclosure:I received complimentary camp label packs to facilitate my review. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Win a trip to Australia from a2 Milk®

Sydney Australia

This post was sponsored by a2 Milk® as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

Have you ever been to Australia? My husband Alfie lived in Australia for five years, and he loved every minute of his time there. He says the weather is great and the people are so nice.  I know he misses sailing around Sydney Harbour, eating lunch near the Opera House, relaxing by Bondi Beach. He keeps telling me that we need to visit! I'm a total travel hound, so I couldn't agree more, but the reality is that tickets to Australia are expensive, and with five of us in the family, we're going to have to move Sydney back a couple of places on our bucket list until the kids are in college and we can go off on our own. But a girl can dream, can't she?

Speaking of Australia, I'm excited to share with you an exciting sweepstakes from the folks at the a2 Milk Company™! I was named an a2 Milk® Ambassador a couple of months ago, and it has been great because not only did we get to try their milk (which tastes great and is great for sensitive tummies), I got the scoop on the prize: they are giving away a vacation for 2 to Australia! The winner will receive a five (5) night trip for two (2) with round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, and $750 towards food and other expenses. The grand prize winner will be selected on or about Thursday, August 11, 2016.

a2 Milk

So why Australia?  a2 Milk® uses cows based in the USA, but originated in Australia. I guess the destination is kind of a nod to the original herd! And why are these cows so special? Because unlike most other herds of cows, they produce milk that is naturally free from the A1 protein, which is the culprit behind "Post-Dairy Digestive Discomfort". What this all means is that a2 Milk® is perfect for people who experience tummy troubles or Post-Dairy Digestive Discomfort, but still want to enjoy real cows' milk, not some milk substitute! You can read more about it in my original a2 Milk® post or on the a2 Milk® Microsite at

Obviously only one very lucky person is going to win that trip to Down Under, but you're still in luck, because the a2 Milk Company™ is giving you the chance to try a2 Milk® for free! They're offering the first 1000 respondents to redeem their receipts for the full purchase price of a2 Milk®.  To find out how, go to the a2 Milk® Microsite at

Disclosure: This is a compensated post.  The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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A Prom Drinking Guide for Parents

Don't worry, dear reader; that's sparkling apple juice in the kids'  champagne flutes!

One of the most wonderful things about seeing kids grow is seeing how they change their minds. That ability to adapt is how they end up discovering favorite new foods, taking up new hobbies, and making new friends.  Of course, that ability to adapt can also be challenging for parents as they are exposed to ideas and habits that clash with the values that we as parents are trying to instill in our kids.

Take drinking, for instance. The Pea is 15, and she tells me, "Mom, I hate the taste of alcohol! You don't ever have to worry about me drinking!".  That could well be true, but given her recent turnarounds, I'm not going to take that as gospel truth:

Two years ago: I hate jeans. I can't move in them and I can't breathe in them.
Two days ago: I need more jeans. They're all I wear!

Two years ago: I can't drive an Autopia car without crashing into the rails! I'm a terrible driver and I'm never driving, ever.
Two weeks ago: I'll be old enough to get my driver's permit in 6 months! I can't wait!

Two weeks ago: Mom, I hate the taste of alcohol! You don't ever have to worry about me drinking!
Two years from now: ????

She's a freshman, and already some of the parties that her friends have been invited to have featured alcohol. What's it going to be like when she goes to prom in just a few years?  I think it's never too early to start talking to your kids about topics like alcohol, underage drinking, or drinking and driving.  Want some tips to get your conversation started? Check out the Prom Drinking Guide that I wrote in partnership with SheKnows and Anheuser-Busch, and check out Anheuser-Busch's Family Talk About Drinking initiative on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Disclosure: This is a compensated post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Sick Just Got Real

When you've got little ones running and screaming all over the house, sometimes it feels as if there's nothing more you want in the world than for them to stop.... until they get sick, and they actually do stop.  Sickness is probably the only thing that would get your perpetual bundles of motion to stop, and then you're so worried about them, you'll do anything to get them back to their normal, loud, crazy selves.

As part of their new Sick just got real.™ campaign, the pediatric brands of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare asked me to share some of my stories about parenting a sick child. Boy, do I have stories! With three kids, how could I not?  Kid delirious with fever? Check. Kid coughing up blood? Check. Kid vomiting into mom's hands? Check. Kid projectile vomiting like a demon from The Exorcist?  Check.

If you're a parent, I'm sure you've been there and you have similar (or worse) horror stories to share about taking care of a sick child. Instead, I'm going to share a story about a child taking care of a sick parent.

One of my sweetest memories of Jammy's babyhood is the time I came down with strep throat, along with 3Po and The Pea. Alfie was at work, and the three of us were burning up with fever. Jammy was the only one who was well enough to play. Actually, he was the only person who was well enough to get out of bed! He spent the day watching tv and playing quietly at my bedside. I felt terrible, both physically and emotionally; I was wracked with guilt that I couldn't take care of my kids.

At one point during the day, The Pea began crying weakly for something to eat. I could barely lift my head, let alone crawl downstairs to prepare anything.  Wouldn't you know it, Jammy took it upon himself to go downstairs and get some cereal for his big sister. He couldn't have been more than two or three years old, and there he was, taking care of us. He carried a box of cereal and a plastic bowl upstairs (he wasn't old enough to open the fridge and pour milk). My heart swelled up with love and pride for my little trooper. He was the best little nursemaid ever!
Is your child coming down with something? Is your heart breaking to see them suffer?  You are not alone! Visit the Sick just got real.™ website to check out virus outbreaks in your location, get tips for dealing with sickness, and learn which of Pfizer's products -- Infants’ and Children’s Advil®, Children’s Robitussin®, and Children’s Dimetapp®. -- can give your child some relief from their symptoms.

Gift Card Giveaway

One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will receive a $25 gift card! Share a story about parenting when your child is sick for a chance to win. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below by April 30, 2016. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a gift card from Pfizer Consumer Healthcare for my participation in this campaign. The giftcard for the giveaway was also provided by Pfizer. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Rainy Day Monster Jam: a completely new and awesome experience

The photo below was taken the very first time the kids went to Monster Jam. It was crazy to see how tiny they were compared to the gigantic Monster trucks!  That was seven years ago, and all three kids have grown a lot since then, but they continue to be dwarfed by Monster Jam trucks. For our family, Monster Jam has become something of a family tradition, and when February or March rolls around, you can bet at least one of our kids is going to ask, "When is Monster Jam coming back to town?".
Monster Jam

Fortunately, the Bay Area has a huge Monster Jam fan base, so they usually visit the area at least once a year.  Last weekend we went to Monster Jam at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, we had the time of our lives. The kids were bitterly disappointed when we couldn't attend the last Monster Jam in Oakland, so getting this second chance to attend was such a gift. In fact, it turned out for the best because Levi's Stadium is much nearer our home, and in our opinion, a much nicer stadium (it was the home of Superbowl 50!).

We've been to Monster Jam several times, but amazingly, there always seems to be something new to experience. This time, it rained heavily for almost the entire show, which added a completely new dimension. We got to see the importance of traction for these trucks to do their amazing stunts. With so much rain pouring into the stadium, the field quickly turned into a huge mud pit, making it way more difficult for the trucks to do their high flying leaps and somersaults.

Many of the trucks must have burned their clutches out, trying to get enough speed and power to do their tricks, because they ended up in a smoking heap!

The trucks may not have jumped as far or as high, but getting to see trucks covered in mud, splattering mud everywhere as they revved their engines and turned corners, kind of made up for it. The whole thing turned into a cross between mud wrestling, an off-road race, and a freestyle competition. You can barely see the motorcross riders in the photo below because they are so completely covered in mud!

Also new this year was a donut competition. Trucks would go round and round in circles to see who would make the craziest donuts. One truck did half of his donuts on two wheels!

One of the highlights of the show was a truck who leaped the length of three whole monster trucks! Fireworks went off as the truck flew through the air, and the crowd went crazy.

Levi's Stadium seats 70,000 people, and I was surprised to see people in every single section of the stadium! The place was at least half full. I couldn't believe that Monster Jam could manage to pull so many people on such a miserably rainy day! It just goes to show you that Monster Jam really does have a huge fan base with broad appeal. I saw families, couples, adults of all ages. It really is a show that everyone will love!

Disclosure: As a Feld Family Activator, I received 4 complimentary tickets to the event. All other costs associated with attending the event were incurred at my expense. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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