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Spread the Love with Savings in February

Leapster Discounts for Girls Save 20% and Leapster Discount for Boys Save 20%

Get Ready for your Super Bowl or Valentines Day Party and save at:
Party City $10 Coupon

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Old Navy is having a Sale with items as low as 1.99 and complete toddler outfits for Valentines Day starting at 9.95
1-800 Flowers save 15% Promo Code: CPMTN15
Wal-mart photo gifts for under $20
American Girl: $10 off a $30 purchase expires Feb 2009
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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

ALL TICKETS $10* for weekday performances!
SAVE 20%* on weekend performances!
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Love out Loud

The other day I was driving past a Hallmark store where I saw a poster in the window for Valentine's Day that read "Love out Loud". When I got home after another "long" day at work and a 45 minute drive I was greeted by my daughter voice excitedly yelling Daddy-Daddy-Daddy she then ran down the stairs and jumped into my arms to give me a big hug. It immediately struck me that this is Loving out Loud. No reserve just pure emotion. The cares and worries that I had accumulated that day were erased in that moment. My daughter has taught me a great deal about and for that I will always be grateful. Hopefully these lessons will help me to be a better parent able to treat her, even during trying times with love, patience, and kindness.

Review of Hotel for Dogs

Hotel for DogsTonight I went to the theatre to see Hotel for Dogs with my daughter and niece, both 4. They really enjoyed it. I found it okay but a little sappy and predictable.
Synopsis: The story tells the story of a brother and sister who live with various foster parents being shuffled from home to home but never having a family. Their situation drawing parallels to the stray dogs they take in. The Hotel for Dogs is a safe haven for all the strays in the city who would otherwise be taken to the pound. The Hotel is ingenious with Bruce the young brother creating a series of inventions to automate taking care of the hotel guests.

Hotel for DogsThere is a bit of toilet humor but humor nonetheless. There is a part of the movie where the dogs are scheduled to be euthanized and this created some anxiety for my daughter and niece. There is also some teen and canine romance (not teens with canines). The movie's ending is somewhat predictable.

Bottom Line: The dogs are the stars the movie has enough laughs to make it enjoyable but the dialog and story is weak.

Caution: Viewing this movie with your children will most likely result in them asking for a dog if you do not have one already.

Calling all parents with a mission

If you are a parent you are on a mission. It begins when you first find out you are going to be a parent and becomes solidified the day you first look into the eyes of your child. This is serious stuff you are responsible for the well being and development of another individual. Are you going to approach this recklessly, without a plan or concept of what kind of parent you want to be? I think not. Like most parents you probably spent a great deal of time prior to the delivery of your child running through scenarios in your mind, asking questions of other parents, (maybe even your own) reading parenting magazines and books, and spending hours surfing the web looking for information in order to become a “good” parent. I have put the word good in quotes because that is what your mission statement should help you to answer. Similar to a best in Class Corporation your parental mission statement should sum up and solidify your vision of the parent you want to be.
Open your mind to envision the best parent you can be. Now take out a piece of paper or open up notepad on your computer and start to jot down some action words that will define you as a parent such as: loving, compassionate, disciplined, supportive. You can find a more exhaustive list at timethoughts

Your list will help you to determine what you value most as a parent and shape the key points of your mission statement.

While there are no specific rules for writing your mission statement here are some guidelines that will help you create a concise, positive, emotional, and inspiring Mission Statement

  • Keep it simple, clear and brief. The best mission statements tend to be 3 to 5 sentences long.
  • Your mission statement should touch upon what you want to focus on and who you want to become as a parent in this part of your life. Think about specific actions, behaviors, habits and qualities that would have a significant positive impact in this part of your life over the next one to three years.
  • Keep it positive. Instead of saying what you don't want to do or don't want to be, say what you do want to do or become. Find the positive alternatives to any negative statements.
  • Create a mission statement that will help guide you in your day-to-day actions and decisions as a parent.
  • Make it emotional. Including an emotional payoff in your mission statement infuses it with passion and will make it even more compelling, inspiring and energizing.
Your mission statement is a living document. It will continue to change and evolve as you gain insights about yourself and what you want out of each part of your life.

Below are two sample mission statements can you guess who they are from:

"To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world If you have a body, you are an athlete."

"We create happiness by providing the finest in entertainment for people all ages, everywhere."

Jack and the Beanstalk in Pompton Lakes

Jack and the Beanstalk Smiling Rhino Theatre

A co-worker just took her two grandchildren to see Jack and the Beanstalk at the Smiling Rhino Theatre in Pompton Lakes NJ. Her grandchildren are seven and four. Below is what she had to say about the show.

Hi Mike,

We just got home from the show. The kids loved it and want to go again on Sunday.
It is a very small theatre about 125 people and we sat in the 3rd row. The actors come into the audience, and I thought Juleinne might get scared but she did not. We really enjoyed it. After the show the kids met the actors and got autographs. It is a good length of time- 2 acts 45 minutes each.

The Smiling Rhino Theatre is Located at: 247 Wanaque Avenue . Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442

There are three ways you can obtain tickets:
  1. Call the theatre at (973) 248-9491
  2. Send an email to
  3. Purchase them online by clicking HERE.

    Outdoor Safety in the Winter

    Outdoor Safety in the Winter
    Written by Julie Saviano

    Just because it’s getting colder outside, doesn’t mean that folks will stay inside until springtime. As temperatures begin to drop and snow accumulations rise, active kids and adults begin clamoring for old-fashioned winter fun.
    There are plenty of activities to keep everyone interested; skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and ice skating. There are also plenty of not-so-fun tasks that may need to be done, such as shoveling or snow-blowing, changing tires, removing Christmas lights and outdoor decorations.
    A few precautions can help ensure that everyone stays safe while working or playing outside.
    The most important thing is to dress appropriately. A good rule of thumb is to wear loose, lightweight, warm clothing in several layers. Trapped air between the layers acts as an insulator. Layers can be removed to avoid perspiration and subsequent chill. The fabric on outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Always wear a hat or cap on your head since half of your body heat could be lost through an uncovered head. Cover your mouth and nose with a scarf to protect your lungs from extreme cold. Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves because fingers maintain more warmth when they touch each other.
    Kids should take indoor breaks every 30-40 minutes since they lose body heat faster than adults. And remember to have them drink water and wear sunscreen -- dehydration and sunburn also occur in the winter.
    If someone has had prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, especially in children and the elderly, you will need to check for hypothermia or frostbite.
    Some symptoms for hypothermia may include:

    1. Inability to concentrate
    2. Poor coordination
    3. Slurred speech
    4. Drowsiness
    5. Exhaustion
    6. Uncontrollable shivering, followed by a sudden lack of shivering*
    The symptoms for frostbite are different than hypothermia because there is no pain associated with the early stages of frostbite. People working or playing outside can develop frostbite and not even know it. First, the skin may feel numb and become flushed. Then it turns white or grayish-yellow and feels cold to the touch. Typically, frostbite occurs on extremities such as fingers, toes, tip of nose and ear lobes. If you encounter someone who may have frostbite, move that person to a warm location and cover the affected area with something warm and dry. Never rub the area. If a person's body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, get emergency medical assistance immediately! Remove all wet clothing, wrap the victim in warm blankets and give warm, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated liquids until help arrives.

    Last winter, five people died after falling through the ice.
    Over the last 10 years, 52 people drowned after breaking through thin ice.
    Sixty-five percent of all ice drownings are vehicle related.
    Last winter, 22 people died in snowmobile accidents.
    Last winter, 49 percent of snowmobile deaths were alcohol or drug related.


    Child Safety Quiz

    Much of what parents are taught about safety is wrong, according to Gavin de Becker, safety expert and author of the best-selling book Protecting the Gift. Find out how to keep your kids safe, so you can worry less!

    The Quizes are available at: