Age Appropriate Books | More on Raising a Reader

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This post is sponsored by Buddig's Sandwich and a Story Sweepstakes.

I can't remember who I was chatting with on Facebook but the subject was books we read as kids that were totally inappropriate for our age, and someone mentioned Flowers in the Attic. I can't remember exactly how old I was when I read it, but I was definitely new to double digits. How I went from reading Sweet Valley High to that series I'm not sure but those books definitely aren't for younger eyes.

While Tyler is definitely not reading anything near that inappropriate, he has been reading books above his grade level which present some challenges. He started reading a new series, Pendragon by DJ MacHale. He loves it. He says it's one of the best series of books he's ever read. I didn't think I needed to check out the series to make sure it was OK for his age, but I guess I should have. Last night he told me again how much he likes the books but, "they sure do say the H and A words alot."


I mentioned it to Phil and he said it's part of the hazards of having a kid who reads so much (and isn't content with short stories anymore). Eventually, they're going to start coming across things with older themes. I'm not sure why Young Adult authors feel the need to use swear words in their books in the first place. Maybe I'm just getting old.

The language in the books presented a good opportunity for Tyler and I to have a conversation about things he's allowed to do and say versus what we consider 'grown up' language and behaviors. We told him we didn't mind him continuing to read books with the occasional bad word as long as he's not repeating them. This has also been a good lesson for me to investigate the books he's interested in a little before I let him read them. When we want to know if a movie is OK for Tyler to watch, we go to IMDB. I was looking for a similar service for books but couldn't find one.

I can only imagine we'll run into this type of situation again, especially since Tyler favors the Sci Fi/Fantasy genre. Tell me, how do handle this in your home? 


This post is sponsored by Buddig and their Be A Reader sweepstakes. Buddig is nourishing children’s minds as a proud supporter of Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and the national Be A Reader campaign. During the yearlong Be A Reader campaign, parents and their children are encouraged to create their own reading and literacy experiences wherever they may be. As a proud supporter of RIF, Buddig will provide a minimum of $100,000 through May 30, 2012 to help children across the nation discover the joy of reading.

How to Enter: To enter the sweepstakes look for specially marked packages of Buddig lunchmeats and go to Enter your code and complete the entry form to enter the sweepstakes. 

Eligibility: The Buddig Make A Sandwich And A Story sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Timing: Sweepstakes begins on Aug. 15, 2011 at 12:00:01 a.m. Central Time (CT) and ends on Oct. 30, 2011 at 11:59:59 p.m. (CT). 

*Five Grand Prize winners will receive a Scholastic book library plus a Buddig backpack filled with school supplies (ARV $200). 
*400 First Prize winners will receive a Buddig backpack (ARV $13.00). 
*118 winners each week beginning on Aug. 22 will receive a free Scholastic book (ARV $10.00).  Limit: 5 entries per person/email address per day. 

Beware the Coupon Thieves

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mean people suck. I've been reading more posts and articles about coupons being stolen from newspapers. Most everyone is blaming TLC's Extreme Couponing. I can definitely see how the show may have pushed people in that direction. The show makes couponing look a little more effortless than it is and some of the deals people have gotten are questionable at best. 

I've had coupons missing from my paper and the mail inserts, and I've also bought packaging that was supposed to have a coupon attached and it didn't, but didn't think much of it. After my experience at Target a few days ago, I'm going to be a bit more thorough before I buy something that advertises coupons are included.

I had another toothbrush in my cart when I spotted this one on an endcap. They were priced the same, but the included coupons and the Crest Whitestrip (which Phil uses) moved me to make the switch. Of course when I got home and started putting the groceries away I saw the packaging had been opened and both the coupons and strip were missing. Buying this particular toothbrush was a double win because of the sample and the possibility of the coupons. It felt like I'd be making money on the deal. Someone literally took money out of my pocket.

Still, I'm not too bent about it. Obviously someone needed them more than I did, but the rule follower in me can't picture myself ever standing in a store opening something that someone else is going to buy and taking things out.

There are plenty of ways to get coupons without snatching them. I print them, get them directly from companies, buy my own newspaper, ask my neighbors for them and buy really high value ones from clipping services. I want to save money just as much as the next person but I'm going to be ethical in how I do it.

Have you had any experiences with coupon thievery?

Keeping my iPad Protected on the Go | Things iLove Thursday

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My friend Jill from The Diaper Diaries hosts a meme called Things I Love Thursday. I've been wanting to participate and thought now would be a good time to jump in. I'm pretty late to the iRevolution. Before my dad bought me my iPad I felt like everyone and their mother (grandmother!) had more technology than I did. Heck, my mom got a smartphone before me.

I know it's silly to feel that way because lots of people are in the same boat I was. Now that I'm on board I'm having a great time catching up on all the apps, gadgets, gear and other things everyone else already knew of; as well as keeping an eye out for new stuff. So, this series is for everyone who has either just bought a smartphone and/or tablet or is thinking of getting one. 

For my first post in the meme, I thought I'd start with the basics: the cases for my iPad. When I got it, I wasn't sure what kind of case I wanted. I knew I'd need something for everyday use but wanted a supplemental case for travel (OK, also because I'm super over protective). It took me awhile to find what I wanted and every night I'd put it back in the box it came in rather than leave it lying around. My requirements for an everyday case were protection without bulk, convertible into a stand and pretty color. A little bit of Googling led me to the Slim Line case from HandHeld Items and a 10" netbook case from Built.

The Slim Line is thin but doesn't feel flimsy. The inside cover is sueded so it doesn't slide when using it as a stand. It fits well in the outside pocket of the purse I'm using for summer. I don't really like having it in the outer pocket so I'm on the hunt for a fall bag I can carry it inside of.

I became more familiar with Built when I went to the International Housewares Show a few years ago. They had a great display. We've bought several things by them since (laptop sleeve, bottle carrier and a lunch tote). Their items are sturdy and great for travel. The Slim Line case slides in and out really easily and there's no gap around the zipper so the iPad isn't sliding around.

I feel good now about taking the iPad out and about with me. That was the whole point of getting it. Leaving it at home in its box wasn't doing me much good. It's been a great alternative to carrying my laptop around in my backpack.

Future posts in the series will be more about apps and things I use the iPad and iPhone for. I'd love to answer questions from those of you on the fence about getting one of your own. 

*If you want to see other things people are loving this Thursday or contribute your own post, Jill has a linky on her site. This is not a sponsored post.

Fourth Grade | Word{ful} Wednesday

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hey Kiddo-
I know you said you're not looking forward to being back at school, but I have a feeling it's going to be a great year. You have grown so much, both in height and maturity. I look at you and see the beginnings of a fine young man. Do your best this year. That's all we ask. You're such a smart kid, you just don't know it yet. But when that happens? It's going to be amazing to see what you will do. Your dad and I are so proud of you. 

Love you!

Supporting My School in My Own Way

Monday, August 22, 2011

*This post is sponsored by Volunteer Spot

I've always thought I don't have it in me to be a Room Mom or on the PTO. As anal and organized as I can be, I don't feel I have the time to be quite that available throughout the school year. Oddly, just last week I was offered a chance to apply for a position on the fundraising committee. On one hand, I think it would be something different to do and a new challenge. It would be a way to help the school bring in funds. It would look good on a resume.

But, I'm torn. It would take a lot of my time. If I do decide I'm going to do the 3 Day, I'd hate to accept the position and then neglect it as the training intensifies. I'm also not sure I'm PTO Mom material if you know what I mean. There's also my vision board. If I take on another project, how will it effect my other goals?

And, let's be real. If I'm being 100% honest? There are days I really enjoy not having my kid around. Do I really want to spend so much time on campus around other people's? It's definitely something to think about. I'm flattered to be considered and I'll definitely weigh all my options before I decide.

For most school districts, it seems like it all boils down to money, money, money. As much as we'd love to, we can't donate the $250 our school asks for each year and participate in all the fundraisers, dine outs, the carnival and stock the classroom with supplies. There are times I feel like we should just leave a stack of blank checks in the school office!

I know schools are hurting, funds and programs are being cut, and many families aren't in a position to buy all the supplies they need. We wish we could do more. But there's only so much in our coffers. I really do try to help the school, Tyler's teachers and the brave souls who take on the Room Parent title. For me, giving my time is just as important as giving money. I hope Tyler's new teacher has some of the same types of classroom activities his last teacher did because I was able to help out in ways that made sense for us.

Secret Reader
I really loved her Secret Reader activity. We parents signed up to bring in one of our favorite childhood books to read on a Friday afternoon. All week long the kids would get one clue per day to try to guess who's parent would be coming in. I read a few stories from the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Treasury. After class lots of the kids told me they'd never heard of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle but they loved the ones I read and wanted to look for the books at the library. That was a great feeling!

I also helped out as class Photographer. I went to the room parties and a few of the school activities to take pictures. I put them all on a flash drive and gave it to the room parent for her to pass along to the yearbook committee.

Class Parties
I sent in lots of food throughout the year but my favorite contributions were for Valentine's Day and after the kids had a lesson on American Indians. For the Valentine party, we had to bring in pink or red foods. I was worried the kids would think I was a party pooper but knew there would be a ton of junk and I wanted to offer something a little healthy. I served strawberry yogurt with raspberry granola in pink Dixie cups. Some of the kids came back for thirds! For the Indian Feast, the kids were to ask us if they could bring in the dish they loved to eat most at home. I took in big batch of chili.

We collect Boxtops for Education religiously! Tyler's school turns it into a competition and winning classrooms get to have some type of party each semester. I'm not (too) ashamed to admit I've ripped a Boxtop off packaging from my neighbors' recycle bins.

I also buy supplies all year long when they're on sale, buy teacher gifts and contribute items for the Halloween Carnival raffle. This year, if Tyler's teacher plans any type of computer or online lesson I want to volunteer to talk to the class about internet safety and privacy.

Those are a few of the things I do to help our school in my own way. How about you? Did you participate in anything fun I can share with Tyler's new teacher?


I SUPPORT MY SCHOOL... MY WAY! And I’m joining VolunteerSpot’s sponsored Back To School campaign to help raise visibility for parent involvement in schools. 

Save time {and sanity} and get more parents involved at school with! 
VolunteerSpot's FREE online signup sheets make it easy to organize parents and signup to help for just about anything: classroom helpers, snack schedules, carnivals, library volunteers, parent-teacher conferences and more....  No more 'Reply-All' email chains or clipboard sign up sheets! Please share Volunteer Spot with your room mom, teachers and parent leaders.
There is also a huge Sweepstakes on VolunteerSpot's Facebook page! Win $500 worth of school supplies for YOUR School! Enter here

Follow the conversation on Twitter to see how other parents are supporting their schools. #MySchoolMyWay

5 Reasons I'm Psyched for Back to School

Thursday, August 18, 2011

'School Supplies Pencils Erasers August 07, 20101' photo (c) 2010, Steven Depolo - license:
Can you tell I'm pretty happy school is starting? Not because it's been a hard summer. Tyler has matured so much this past year. It's just that, in my attempt to be more of a Yes Mom, I've agreed to just about every invitation we've had this summer. And now? I'm tired.

Earlier this week he asked me "what are we doing today?" and I said "nothing unless you're driving." I'm over it. I'm ready to get back to a routine. I'm ready for my house to stay clean for more than an hour. In no particular order, here are five reasons I'll be dancing back to my car next Wednesday after morning drop off:

1. Morning news. I usually start my day with a cup of coffee and the Today Show. It will be nice not to have cartoons as background noise.

2. Walks on the beach. I should be training for the 3 day. It will be nice to drop Tyler off at school and head to the coast for a really long walk. One with no "are we done, yet," "I have to go to the bathroom" or "my legs are tired." 

3. Time with friends. I've been a bit of a hermit this summer. A leisurely coffee date that turns into an early lunch sounds heavenly.

4. Blogging. If I'm going to jump in with both feet on my new project, I need time and focus to make sure it goes smoothly. I said before this is the time for me to shit or get off the pot. I've neglected all my social media this summer and it's time to regain my focus.

5. Errands. I really want to be able to run errands without a shadow. One of the side effects of Tyler being in hockey is his increased appetite. He was a good eater before, but it's just plain silly. If I have an afternoon of errands, I have to pack a bag the way I did when he was a toddler. If I don't, I end up hitting the drive thru. We've spent more money than I'd like to admit at the Target food court.

I'm sure I could keep going but listing any more than five will make feel like I'm being selfish. 

What are some of the things you're looking forward to about 
back to school?

On the Mend

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hi friends. I've been sick. I thought I was just losing my voice but I think it was a bit more than that. I'm starting to feel better and people can understand me when I talk. I hope I fully recover over the weekend so I can get back on my blogging horse. Have a fantastic weekend!

Fun With Space Mountain Pt 3 | Wordless Wednesday

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Disneyland March 2011

Let the Countown Begin

Monday, August 1, 2011

Morning Mom!

I'm hungry, can I have breakfast?

What are we going to do today?

Can I watch TV?


Can I have someone over to play?

Can I go to someone's house to play?

Is it lunch time yet?

Can I have a snack?



I'm bored.

Can we go to the bookstore?

Can you buy me this?

Can I have a smoothie?

Do I have hockey today?

Can we go to the ice rink?

What day is it?

What time is it?


Can we go to the park?

It's hot!

Can we go to the pool?

Did you bring snacks?

Hey, mom?


I need more toilet paper!

When is Dad going to be home?

Can I play the Wii?

Is it dinner time yet?

Can I have a snack?


The first day of school is in 22 days, 22 hours, 34 minutes and counting...
copyright melanie sheridan 2009 template design by Studio Mommy (© copyright 2015)