1. Crazy Baby Wednesday: 5/25/16

    May 25, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen

    Cousins being cousins (photo credit to Papa).



  2. Crazy Baby Wednesday: 5/18/16

    May 18, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen

    Portrait of the artist as a young peanut.



  3. Review: Little Passports

    May 17, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen

    Lorelei receives her highly anticipated mailing from Little Passports.

    Lorelei receives her highly anticipated mailing from Little Passports.

    I was fortunate to be able to travel a lot with my family when I was growing up, so it’s important to me to share those types of experiences with my own kids. My husband, on the other hand, never got to travel very far back then, so he’s excited to do more traveling now.

    The bottom line is that we’re both eager to get out there and get exploring with our monkeys, but it’s hard when the kids are so young (because they’re, you know, monkeys).

    Which is why I was super-excited to be asked to review Little Passports, a subscription service that sends your kids fun, educational travel-related materials every month in the mail. Little Passports currently comes in 3 versions:

    Early Explorers (ages 3-5): Each month has a different theme (such as oceans, landmarks, or music)

    World Edition (ages 6-10): Each month features a different country

    USA Edition (ages 7-12): Each month features two U.S. states

    We were sent the Early Explorers edition, which included a cute little suitcase; a world map; an activity book and trading cards; a letter from our fictitious travel buddies Max, Mia, and dog Toby; and more.

    Lorelei, who is almost 6, was delighted with the whole package, especially the world map we could affix our landmark stickers to (this month’s theme was landmarks). Everything was very informative and high-quality.

    (Plus, hey – real mail in the mail! Increasingly exciting for all ages.)

    While I was sent just one Little Passports mailing for review purposes, Lorelei was already looking forward to receiving next month’s installment (and beyond). The activities in the Early Explorers edition were definitely geared more towards younger kids, so I ordered her a World Edition subscription as an early birthday present.

    Whether you’re real-life family travelers or more couch-bound wanna-be versions, as we currently are, Little Passports is a great gift for the little adventurer in your life.

    Little Passports’ lovely PR folks sent me an Early Explorers package to review and write about on the site. I have received no other compensation and am in no way affiliated with Little Passports. We’re all about editorial integrity here at Mommy Tries.

  4. Crazy Baby Wednesday: 5/11/16

    May 11, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen

    A boy’s best friend, new millennium version: His stuffed emoji (which has inexplicably been named Jacob).



  5. No Big Top for You

    May 5, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen

    20160504_131036 (750x1000)Nicholas and Lorelei have both been looking forward to a long-planned family trip to the circus this coming Saturday – particularly Nicholas, who seems to have a passion for animals and clowns in equal measure (I think he strongly identifies with both groups).

    Unfortunately, we have been dealing with a lot of terrible behavior from Nicholas lately – mean-spirited backtalk, hitting, screaming, tantruming, defiance, and so forth. It’s not surprising, given his age (3 and three-quarters) – but it’s not acceptable, either.

    Things really came to a head a few nights ago, when he was put in a time-out for throwing food around at dinner. His time-out spot is at the foot of our stairs, right in front of our huge canvas print with, ironically enough, the “Family Rules” printed on it.

    (You’ll notice that “Don’t slapshot your dinner across the table like Wayne Gretsky” isn’t explicitly listed; we may need to have an addendum printed up.)

    In any event, we’ve had some issues before with Nicholas getting up from time-out and pounding on the sign, thereby prolonging said time-out. This time, however, he took things one step further by ripping the sign off the wall and slamming it onto the ground, screaming all the while like a rage-fueled baby Hulk.

    The banshee was immediately removed to his bedroom, the sign was repaired and re-hung, and Eric and I quickly came to the joint conclusion that this was not a kid who deserved to go to the circus on Saturday.

    Bubba did not, as you might expect, take the news all that well. But I think it finally hit home for him that there are consequences to his behavior.

    He understands (I think) that we are not going to change our minds on this, no matter how good he is between now and then. And that Lorelei and I will still be going, while he and Daddy will be staying home and not doing anything particularly fun during that time. (Lest we be tempted to cave, Eric has already given the extra tickets to two German co-workers of his, who are excited to a) experience all the uniquely American entertainments this country has to offer and b) meet the little girl with the Teutonic name.)

    Nicholas has been as good as gold since the whole debacle. While I have no illusions that this stretch of delightful behavior will be permanent, I do think it’s good for him to see that we mean business. It’s surprisingly hard, though, to see your kid so disappointed, even when the disappointment is entirely his own doing.

    I’d really love to take him to the circus on Saturday. But I want to raise a good person even more.

  6. Crazy Baby Wednesday: 5/4/16

    May 4, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen

    Reading time with Cocoa, the newest member of the family (and already Lorelei’s loyal sidekick).



  7. Crazy Baby Wednesday: 4/27/16

    April 27, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen

    Have scissors, will snip (chives, that is).



  8. Crazy Baby Wednesday: 4/20/16

    April 20, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen

    Lorelei, Daddy, and the back of Nicholas’s head at the Fisher Cats game.



  9. Parental Jeopardy

    April 14, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen

    (noun) 1. The precarious and inevitably ill-fated state one enters when one tries to quietly sneak into the kitchen and consume the last brownie.

    (noun) 2. The mistaken belief that a parental infraction, upon being noted by one’s child, will not be brought up again ad infinitum in conversation (See also double jeopardy)

    (noun) 3. The daily state experienced by parents of young children involving a rapid-fire barrage of endless, and often unanswerable, questions by one’s progeny, e.g., What is this song about? Are there bones in your tongue? Why do fire trucks live at the fire station? Are crab apples apples with crabs in them? What do hummingbirds look like? Is 42 less than 100? What makes the wind? What happened to the last brownie?

  10. Crazy Baby Wednesday: 4/13/16

    April 13, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen

    Little bubba in a little car.