Sep 16

20140805-090045-32445358.jpgWe love the summer nights that let us spend a little more time outside in the nice weather. Here summer nights usually last clear until October. So we try to enjoy as many non-school nights outside in the weather as a family. This month we decided to add a special event to our Friday night family fun routine. Our kids love stars, and I am not talking movie stars I mean the celestial stars. We live in a pretty rural area so we can just walk outside and see the lights without the street lights interfering with the gazing. We usually just sit in the backyard and stare up at the sky but we recently acquired a telescope and we are all very excited to try it out.

We decided that we wanted to get a look at the northern night sky, we live in California and it is easy to see clearly on most nights. But in order to make sure we knew what we were looking for we searched for a few maps of the sky so we could show things to our kids with ease. We found these fun kid-friendly maps of the northern celestial constellations, you ca an find them too as a free printable at Mr. Printables. We printed one for each kid so they can look at their map as we look in the sky. We also were able to print some stories about these constellations at Mr. Printables. We love Greek mythology in our family so most of these are review but it is always fun to hear them again, especially when you are actually looking at the constellation.

We are so excited to spend Friday night out in our yard with our new telescope. We have been gathering things all week to have with us while we gaze. Maybe you and your family can plan a similar evening, it is a great way to get your kids learning and asking questions, but it is also a lot of fun to gather as a family and do something so out of the ordinary. The dark sky lit up by stars makes us feel as if we are far away from everything else and it brings us closer together as a family. We hope you and your family enjoys it as mush as ours does.

What You Might Want:

Big blanket
Star maps
Star stories
Journals and a pen to write down the stars you see

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Sep 13

Recently I have noticed my little one has been testing limits. Mine, Dad’s, even their own. We do not like to spank unless it is an issue of personal safety. The child reached out to touch a fire, tried to pick up a knife from the dining room table (the knife set for someone else’s place at dinner.) only in instances in which we want to make a very substantial memory that this was a very bad thing to do. But when it comes to daily events like misbehaving, climbing furniture, throwing toys, etc. we tend to use timeout or discussing what the behavior was and why it was wrong. But with the recent increase in misbehavior we have all grown a little impatient, annoyed, and aggravated and I have noticed that we are doing more yelling than I want my child to hear, or have directed at them. It is beginning to feel more like we are seeking to punish instead of teach and discipline.

I catch myself yelling because I am angry. I use a sharp tone because I am impatient and cannot believe this behavior is still going on. My child knows better. I have taught them better. But they are still kids, they are young, they are learning, and learning means doing things over and over again. I know all this, yet it still find myself losing my patience far too often. So what can we as parents do when we are behaving more like our children, yelling in anger, snapping with impatience, and seeking to punish instead of teach? We need to talk a breath, relax, find a calmer place, and try once more to teach. But it may mean we need a few lessons ourselves.

Helpful Hints

Your toddler son is playing in the living room stacking cups one on top of the other. When suddenly you no longer hear the soft kathunk of the cups landing on top of one another and begin to hear the splashing sound of water being poured from one cup to the other, and then all over the hardwood floor. You begin to see red. Your anger rises, your jaw tightens and you just can’t hold back the yell of “no do not do that!” What do you do? Take a step back, breathe deep, and think of something calm. Yes there is now water all over your clean floor, the stacking cups will need cleaning and drying, but is it the end of the world? No. You look at your son and ask, ” is that how we play with our cups? Do we use water in them? Why not? Because they get the floor all wet and that is bad because someone could slip and fall from the water.”

1. Take a deep breath. Relax. You want your words to resonate with your child, you want to teach why this behavior is wrong. You don’t want to scare them or punish them for being bad. They aren’t bad, they are showing bad behavior. You don’t want to punish or scare the child, you want to teach the lesson of why this behavior is unacceptable, and show that if done again it will be dangerous.
2. Discipline from a place of anger does not teach your child what they did was wrong. It shows them that when things don’t go right you should be angry, and rude and act out. Which is not the behavior we want them to exhibit, so why do it ourselves. Take a deep breath and think about the situation. It was a mistake, people learn from mistakes, make this a teaching moment to show that although people can make a mistake, they can make it better by trying to fix the mistake or clean up after it. Get a towel and get your child to help clean the mess.
3. Allow your child the chance to explain what happened. Listen. Hear their reasoning, explain why this was the wrong thing to do, even if they think it was just for fun it could still cause a problem for someone else which is not fun.
4. Don’t seek to punish. Get your child to help clean up, explain why it is a bad idea to play with water in this way. Then when they are done and are once again back at play later in the day do not continue to be upset or punish them for what happened. What’s done is done, they do not deserve to be treated badly for the rest of the day. The mistake has happened, been rectified, and forgotten.bringing it up over and over to punish the child is only hurtful to the child and makes them resentful. We want to build our children up, not tear them down.

In the heat of the moment it can be difficult to stop how we are feeling and thinking and try to be understanding and good teachers but it is important for us to show this behavior so that when our children are placed in similar situations they can see how they are supposed to react. Do you have any other ideas or tips that help you in situations like this?

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Sep 10

Summer is starting to fade away and Fall is slowly on its heels creeping into our lives. The weather may still be a little warm, t cooler winds will prevail soon we promise. S why not make sure you are prepared for those cooler days and cold nights. The Boy’s Store is ready and we are prepared to help you get ready for Fall with a few brand new tops from Ragtop. We have hoodies, long sleeves, and a couple of teens for those still warm days that will keep your boys comfortable during the transition period. Ragtop knows how to attract a boys attention with totally cool and hip graphics. Your boys will love their new tees and will enjoy showing them off at school each day.

Bull Dog Shirt by Ragtop/Neptune Zoo: this charcoal colored short sleeved tee is the perfect addition to any boy closet. Featuring a screen print graphic of a bull dog it is tough and fun all in one. Boys will love how cool it looks and how it makes them feel just a little bit tougher each time they wear it.


Patriot Shirt by Ragtop/Neptune Zoo: we live in America which has always been synonymous with freedom, baseball, apple pie, and fast cars. So it is no surprise that this shirt is called patriot and features a graphic of an American muscle car and the American flag. It just screams fast, free, and loud. Perfect for any little boy.


Hiss Twofer by Ragtop: this great tee is definitely a twofer. It features a layered look of a long sleeve and short sleeve tee. The long sleeve portion is white and t sleeve portion is black and features a hissing snake graphic. Snakes are always a hit with the boys. There is something about the small being very powerful, about the silence and the attack from nowhere, and the strength hidden in the most unlikely place.


Super Hero Hoodie by Ragtop: this heather grey hoodie is fun and functional. It features a a fun graphic of a super hero that is “powing” his way through life saving people, changing the world, and getting rid of the bad guys. This hoodie is empowering, fun, and will be a huge hit with the boys.


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