My husband happened to be surfing for the first time in ten years when "Genie" the 14-foot Great White Shark decided to visit the coast of Assateague Island, Maryland last month. No, he didn't come face to face with Genie. In fact, we found her ping marker in an online map in our exact location and time we were there using OCEARCH.ORG. Of course, we happened upon this data the day after his surfing adventure. I'm not sure he would have gone in the water if he'd known ahead of time. When he did find out who he was swimming with, he was pretty impressed with himself.
Whether you want to check out who is or who is not in your area when you're taking a swim at the beach, OCEARCH Shark Tracker is an incredible tool to have at your fingertips. OCEARCH is an ambitious shark tagging project that provides you the ability to track over one hundred sharks, seventy of them Great Whites, along the Eastern seaboard in real time online. The OCEARCH mission is global conservation for these apex predators as well as public safety. For our family, OCEARCH makes shark education accessible to the kids, who love to track their favorite sharks up and down the coast. When a shark pings in near us, we all get so excited.
Sharks are infinitely amazing creatures, predating pretty much anything on this planet with a spine. OCEARCH makes these apex predators of the seas more accessible to us landlubbers while promoting their conservation as well as your protection.
Teach kids about conservation of Great White Sharks using OCEARCH.ORG.
Our kids need to know that Great White Sharks are particularly vulnerable since humans have over hunted them for years and years. Tracking sharks allows scientists to understand their lives and behaviors. Why continue to conserve and protect the Great White Shark? Apex predators are like the lions of the ocean, keeping the ecosystem in balance. To remove the king of the food chain would disrupt the entire system. Not to mention, a creature that's been around for as long as sharks deserves some serious respect.
|Photo courtesy of OCEARCH.ORG|
Since we were in such close proximity to her, Genie remains our favorite shark to track. She was originally the first shark tagged in the OCEARCH project. She was tagged in Cape Cod back in September of 2012. She measures 14 feet and 8 inches long and weighs in at 2292 pounds and has traveled nearly 5000 miles since she was tagged. She's not as coast-hugging as some other sharks but her travels are fascinating. In the past year, she's traveled up and down the East Coast, from Rhode Island down to the bottom of Georgia and back again. She last pinged in at sea off of Georgia and South Carolina in late July.
Remember, if you want a healthy ocean, you need sharks!
The Shark Party Menu.
Fish sticks or homemade fried fish. Substitute mozzarella sticks if you're not a seafood family.
Seaweed Salad (we just used all green veggies like cucumbers, green peppers and onions). Top it off with some Italian dressing.
Dessert can be as creative as you want. We chose cream cheese, crushed pineapples and whipped marshmallow for a pie. After mixing up all the ingredients, we added blue-raspberry
flavoring in our cheesecake-marshmallow pie, to turn the whole thing blue. Then we used whipped cream to shape some waves on top, and carved chocolate into shark fins, which popped out from the waves.
The Shark Party Crafts.
We make Shark Hats every year and wear them when we watch Shark Week. This year's hats were more creative than ever.
Grab some construction paper, scissors, glue and tape. Measure the bands first, then cut out your shark head shapes and attach the mouths, teeth and eyes. Attach the shark's head to the band using tape, for immediate wear.
For our 4th annual Shark Week Blog Event, we'll be focusing on kid-friendly shark fun and hosting an awesome giveaway at the end of the week. So let's get our Shark Hats ready, (see here) bake up some Shark-friendly treats (see here) and get this week-long Shark Party started.
Here's a rundown of Shark Week's 2014 lineup:
Sunday, August 10. 8 PM: Air Jaws: Fins of Fury. 9 PM: Shark of Darkness: Wrath of Submarine.
Monday, August 11. 8 PM: Great White Serial Killer. 9 PM: Jaws Strikes Back. 10 PM: Monster Hammerhead.
Tuesday, August 12. 9 PM: Alien Sharks: A Return to the Abyss. 10 PM: Lair of the Mega Sharks.
Wednesday, August 13. 9 PM: Zombie Sharks. 10 PM: Spawn of Jaws: The Birth.
Thursday, August 14th. 8 PM: I Escaped Jaws 2. 9 PM: Sharkageddon.
Friday, August 15th. 8 PM: Megalodon: The Extended Cut. 9 PM: Megaladon: New Evidence.
Saturday, August 16th: 9 PM: Great White Matrix.
I'll just come right out and say that this summer has been the hardest summer for me so far as a parental unit - and my kids are still young. I just turned thirty. That didn't help my emotional state. I love my kids dearly, and they make me laugh with all their silliness; I beam with pride at their smarts and creativity, their care for one another and their love of exploring this world with me. Let's be honest, though, five kids are LOUD. They ARGUE. They MESS like they're getting paid to mess. Then while you're dealing with all the noise, bickering and messing, you have to conjure up whatever is left of your sanity and soul to raise these little monsters to be good people.
So far this summer I feel as though I've been walking around my house for fifty odd days guzzling coffee and having panic attacks, attempting to talk to customers on my so-called business line while my five year old screams that she never wants to see me again at the top of her lungs because I won't meet her demands for juice during those two tiny minutes I'm talking to said customer, then shuttling kids to whatever day trip, activity or park, grocery store and all those places we go, with my brains completely and utterly scrambled. Whew. Not a sentence. Parenting around the clock while trying to run a company in the same house doesn't always work the way I want it to.
Five kids is a lot. It's not like three kids. It's not like ten kids or whatever the saying is. It's like five kids. Whether you've decided to have a big family or fell into it accidentally (we are the latter), you'll likely agree that it tests you daily. If I had a hundred bucks for every time a parent of one said to me, "Wow, five kids? I've only got one and I'm exhausted." Yes. Thank you. Five. I've got five. I am very proud. You've got one. I can't even remember having just one. Don't get me wrong. I totally get this. If your one kid is anything like my toddler then I totally get this. I have a toddler that thinks it's hilarious to run out in the front yard butt naked while I'm busy changing the baby's diaper, despite my repeated "you do not have permission to go outside right now." He waves his winky at all the neighbors and laughs menacingly as I chase him through the garden. Yes, there is kid safety junk all over that door! The boy is smart - and dexterous. This little gremlin vandalizes the walls daily and we've already repainted twice this year. The walls and furniture are his canvases for crayon squiggle art, Sharpie pens that I thought I'd hidden oh so well (we've got Sharpie in the carpets, too) and of course, poop. Good ol' poop. I just cleaned some out of a doll's eyeball and bleached the heck out of that brunette - who is now a blonde. Hey, she's lucky she didn't get thrown in the trashcan.
Go ahead. Tell me to put the crayons on top of the refrigerator. Don't worry, they won't find it there. I think the couch must be throwing up crayons because it does not matter how or where we hide them, toddlers are crayon magnets and they will find every single one. In fact, I think the couch just throws up everything. Specifically, it throws up whatever things I just cleaned up ten minutes ago. Toys. Laundry. Cereal. Actually, it took me a few weeks to realize that AJ had a secret stockpile of all the broken bits of crayons under his mattress. He's got to have other stockpiles, too.
I thought I was done but oh, wait! What about those lovely individuals who make comments like, "Five kids... you and your husband sure are busy." I never can decide if they mean busy chasing after kids or busy making them - maybe both. Shut up!
Anyway, things are finally starting to fall into a semi-routine. Work is on track. It just took me a while to figure out what the heck that new routine was. Now here we are, weeks away from another school year beginning. I actually do love working from home. We can stop what we're doing and check out a museum or visit the playground. I can take the kids out back and soak up some sun when I'm tired of staring at emails. I can build a Lego castle or become a Ninja Turtle stalking the hallways in search of The Foot Clan if called on to do so - at any moment. I can pick up a sick kid from school if the nurse calls. I am always with my children while I'm providing for them. This is one amazing thing that I've built here and something to be proud of. It's not perfect. It's usually a total mess and boy did it muddle my head this summer. But it's us. Maybe I felt like a crazy person last summer and forgot because all the love filled me up since then. Who knows.
As I write this, my oldest son - six - is rolling across the kitchen floor like a burrito in the thick, white comforter I've washed four times this month because he won't stop rolling across the floors in it. Sigh.
Musical legends and original members of the British rock band, Brian May and Roger Taylor joined forces with Season 8 American Idol runner up Adam Lambert for this summer's tour. May said in his March 6th interview with Rolling Stone, "This is the closest that you'll ever get to see Queen as it was in our golden days, but it's not a reproduction. It's not an imitation. We're here live and real and we have a great singer. They'll be a lot of newness about this. I think that's very exciting. It'll be loud and dangerous and all the things that people used to look for in us."
My husband pointed out the crazy range of ages throughout the audience. There were many old timers, completely decked out in Queen gear and every other age you could imagine right down to a ten year old who wore a sparkling Adam Lambert t-shirt. It seemed like everyone was there. The younger Adam Lambert fans were strewn throughout the stands, but I wondered how those who were not so familiar with the American Idol runner up, the original Queen fans, would take to his singing lead for their beloved band.
The performance did not disappoint - at all. In fact, it was everything and more than I hoped. Though I never had the chance to see Mercury live, there's really no reason to compare the two singers. As May stated, they're not trying to reproduce the original Queen. Lambert is his own thing, bringing a new voice - a powerful one - to Queen, while honoring and paying tribute to what once was. Of course, Lambert brings a theatrical element that is all his own and reminiscent of the flamboyant Mercury, walking the stage like a cat in crazy heeled shoes, studded and sparkling jackets, sunglasses, a shiny gold microphone and my personal favorite, the amazingly glittery diamond crown for the last song. When Adam hopped up on the balcony that hovered over our section and waved at me, I nearly fainted. Even in heels, he is drop dead gorgeous. When he hit those high notes, it felt like my head didn't have room to contain the sound and I had to shake my head to relieve the pressure. Judging from the reactions of the audience, he'd won over a ton of new fans.
Brian May and Roger Taylor gave amazing performances, too. They were total legends, owning the stage in their own right. May, with a camera strapped to the top of his guitar, showed the audience on the big screen, just how talented he still is at sixty-seven years old. May's interpretation of Mercury's "Love of My Life" was one of the most touching performances I've ever seen. His appreciation for the audience and of his former band mate was so genuine.
The memories made that night were many and ScoreBig.com made it happen. Rock on!
Further Reading: ScoreBig.com Website Review
Four Little Monsters Blog received a promotional code for use on ScoreBig.com in exchange for this review. All opinions belong to the blogger.
|Photo Credit: www.fourlittlemonsters.com|
Begin with eyes upward, right after sunset.
|Photo Credit: www.fourlittlemonsters.com|
|Photo Credit: www.fourlittlemonsters.com|
Come celebrate the grand opening of Krispy Kreme’s New Castle, Delaware location at 114 N. DuPont Highway on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 starting at 6:00 AM. Located directly in front of the New Castle Farmers Market, the location will offer more than 15 varieties of Krispy Kreme’s beloved doughnuts, including the signature hot Original Glazed®, 6 varieties of fresh baked bagels, as well as a complete selection of Krispy Kreme Chillers®, espresso beverages and Krispy Kreme Signature Coffee Blends. The new location will also feature a full-service 24 hour drive thru, outdoor seating and free Wi-Fi.
- One free dozen Original Glazed® doughnuts every week for a year to the first customer in line.
- One free dozen Original Glazed® doughnuts every month for a year to the next 99 customers in line.
- Additional prizes will be given out at random throughout the day. Prizes will include t-shirts and other Krispy Kreme merchandise.
- Summer Nights Wednesday evening concert series. A diverse line up of music, a laid back outdoor vibe, as the Museum stays open. Optional gallery tours between sets! 5:00 to 8:00 pm, through September 3.
- Summer Wonder Family Programs. International, interactive, and fun. Wednesdays at 11:00 am in July. (air-conditioned)
- Unearthed in the Archives. Fridays at 2 pm. Join archivist Alessandro Pezzati and staff as they pull out a gem from the Museum’s archives—and bring Museum stories to life (air-conditioned)
- Award-winning outdoor gardens. Penn Museum’s lush urban gardens feature sculptures and fountains by Alexander Stirling Calder, places to sit or eat, even a reflective koi pool.
- In the Artifact Lab: Conserving Egyptian Mummies. Conservators at work open their windows twice a day to chat with visitors (air-conditioned gallery and workspace)
- Free bottled water at the admission desks, while supplies last
- Take a break with ice cold, fresh squeezed lemonade, just $2, or free with $7 lunch entrée, every day in the Pepper Mill Café.
|Photo Courtesy of The Franklin Institute|
The Neural Climb isn't your ordinary playroom.
|Photo courtesy of The Franklin Institute|
When choosing tickets, you can narrow down your seating area but not your exact seats. ScoreBig promises that your seats will be together and in the area that you choose, rated in stars (Ex: 4 star seating area vs. 1 star seating area). This allows the ticket providers some flexibility to provide great deals on seats. In fact, 40% of tickets go unsold for many events each year, even events that are supposedly "sold out". That's were BigScore comes in, grabbing up those tickets for you to score.
Head-quarted in Los Angeles, CA, ScoreBig was founded in 2009 and was recently named by Forbes as one of America's Most Promising Companies and by Billboard as one of the ten best start-ups of 2012.
Disclaimer: Four Little Monsters Blog received a super awesome ScoreBig promotion code for the purpose of this review. All opinions belong to the blogger.
Wait - there's more! In addition to a guest designer, the twelve top submissions will win $100 gift certificates for use at the CHARM IT! website, as well as a donation made in their names to the Art Start organization.
For official rules and to download the entry form, head over to www.shopcharm-it.com/contest
Is Your Daughter a CHARM IT! Girl? Accessorize with CHARM IT! Jewelry!
CHARM IT! bracelets and necklaces are fun, colorful and creative. They're the perfect accessory for girls who want to show off their personality, favorite hobbies, activities and interests. It can grow with them as they change and add or trade out new charms. There are an assortment of bracelet and necklace styles available.
We had a blast choosing charms for our nine year old, who was totally surprised to receive a bracelet that reflected her uniqueness. She's a paleontologist in the making, so of course we chose a dinosaur. The microphone charm was perfect for her love of the stage and performance. Her passion for all things art and
The bracelet itself is chunky and fun, with a ton of color and a ton of space to easily fit more charms. The charms fit along the bracelet with little key chain hooks, which are holding up very well as she wears it around. The charms are solid, well made and many of them have crystals and glitter accents. We're going to have so much fun adding to this collection as she grows.
High IntenCity was founded to inspire girls to express their individuality through creativity. SInce 1993, IntenCity has been creating fun fashion jewelry for girls worldwide. The CHARM IT! brand debuted in 2000, with the original, detachable charm jewelry line.
Discount Code for CHARM IT! JewelryThrough May 21st, save 25% on your online purchase, using promo code CHARMLOVE25.
WIN A CHARM IT! Gift Set at Four Little Monsters Blog
One lucky reader will win a CHARM IT! Design-A-Charm gift set including five past winning charms of their choice.
Disclaimer: Four Little Monsters Blog received a Charm It! Bracelet and charm set for the purpose of this review. All opinions belong to the blogger.
National Brain Tumor Society, the largest nonprofit organization
dedicated to finding better treatments and a cure for people living with
brain tumors, hosts the Delaware Brain Tumor Walk on April 26th at the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware. The Brain Tumor Walk,
which aims to connect brain tumor survivors, patients, family, friends
and caregivers, uses proceeds to fund brain tumor research and raise
awareness. Participants can walk as individuals, create a team or join
an already existing team. Last year, the walk raised almost $200,000.
At this moment, nearly 700,000 people in the United States are living with a brain tumor. 69,000 more are expected to be diagnosed this year and over 4,000 of those will be children. “Only one out of three adults diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor today will be alive in five years. More so than any other cancer, brain tumors can have life-altering psychological, cognitive, behavioral, and physical effects. And yet, despite these facts, brain tumor research remains grossly underfunded,” says N. Paul TonThat, chief executive officer of the National Brain Tumor Society. “Every dollar pledged from the Delaware Brain Tumor Walk allows us to continue funding vital research to accelerate the discovery of new scientific breakthroughs and the availability of more treatments for this disease.”
The Delaware Brain Tumor Walk is this Saturday, April 26th at Dravo Plaza in Wilmington, DE at 10 am. For more information on the Delaware Brain Tumor Walk, please visit http://events.braintumor.org/delaware-brain-tumor-walk/. If you can't make the walk, you can still donate to a participant or team.
The Delaware community is invited to share in the family fun and bring their gently used toys for further donation. The toys will be moved in 1800 GOT JUNK trucks to their various drop off locations. In addition to the toy display, families can enjoy outdoor face painting, a DJ, coloring activities and explore the museum indoors. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
As a proud Mom of five, I couldn't wait to own one of these Pea Pod necklaces. They're the perfect mixture of elegant and cute. I'm going to treasure mine forever.
I received two versions of the Pea Pod necklace, one in alternating pink and green (for my order of girls and boys) and a second in their birth stone colors. Both came on a sturdy sterling silver 18'' chain. Kelli was fabulous to work with when deciding on the designs for both necklaces and super communicative. There were so many samples to browse on the Sweet Peas In A Pod facebook page. When I asked for alternating pink and green pearls and a specific charm to go with my necklace, Kelli accommodated my requests immediately.
Pea Pod necklaces by Sweet Peas In A Pod can hold up to seven peas and if more are needed (after all, there are plenty of us Moms of many out there), then you can do more than one pea pod on one chain.
If you're looking for something other than a necklace, you can also order them as earrings, key chains, pins and bracelets. Colors are pretty limitless for the peas themselves, although I prefer the opalescent look of the pearls, myself. If you're looking for birthstones, Kelli offers genuine birth stone peas as well.
HERE and support her company's growth. You can also help spread the word by sharing this post, sharing on facebook and entering the giveaway below!
Enter to WIN a custom Pea Pod Necklace by Sweet Peas In A Pod
That's right! We've partnered with Sweet Peas In A Pod to give away a custom Pea Pod necklace of your custom combo of colors or birthstones -- just in time for Mother's Day! Enter using the Rafflecopter below, good luck and Happy Mother's Day!
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Don't get me wrong, this little troublemaker is as charming as they come. He knows that he merely has to make a funny face or cross his eyes at me to make me giggle. His snuggles are simply the best. His face beams with delight when I draw him an airplane, a school bus or a vacuum. (Yes, he is obsessed with vacuums. Take him to the vacuum department at Wal-Mart and he is one happy dude). I've taught him right and wrong, just as I have with his older siblings. I've taught him boundaries. The troublesome behaviors continue. At his age, he's just not getting most of it - or doesn't want to just yet. Several times over the past few months, I've asked myself in tears, "What the heck am I doing wrong? He just won't behave!"
I knew it wouldn't be long before the notes started coming home from school. Sure enough, I got the first one yesterday. Apparently, he's stealing toy cars from school and attempting to take them home. This actually made me laugh out loud because he literally hides a car or an airplane toy of his own in his backpack every morning before hopping on the bus. Sometimes I catch him and sometimes I'm too busy with shoes, jackets and lunch boxes and four kids scrambling for their buses to remember to check. Knowing that AJ tries to take his own toys to school every day, I realized that he wasn't stealing toys from school out of malice. He literally just thinks everything is his. It's all the same to him. If it's a car, he likes it - a lot. Therefore, he wants it. Obviously, this way of thinking isn't going to do him any favors as he grows up. So the teaching and learning continues...While I have not figured out how to get him to stop smashing bars of soap into hair brushes or how to stop climbing the shelves in his bedroom, I know that teaching him not to steal will be easier.
Why do preschoolers steal and what can a parent do about it?
Preschoolers may steal out of impulse, peer pressure or to seek attention. In fact, the word "stealing" likely doesn't mean anything to most preschoolers. Children under the age of four do not yet grasp the concepts of "mine" and "yours". I know my son is incredibly impulsive and his stealing of toys cars at school likely stems from this. I like that. I'll have that.
To help teach the wrongs of stealing, parents should take some immediate steps to guide the child in he right direction. Stealing should be addressed immediately, and rather than overreacting, parents should explain values such as honesty and sensitivity and have the child return the belonging. Returning the object right away, with an apology included, will help convey ownership as well as honesty and sensitivity to the child.
A great way to turn stealing into a teachable moment is to first, correct the child's wishful ownership. Say, you wish the toy car was yours - but who does it really belong to? Lead the child to developing the answer him or herself. Then have them return the belonging.
Don't expect immediate results. If I've learned anything as a Mom of many kiddos, it takes time to develop certain values in children. Stealing in preschool is just another bump in the road that will need some consistent smoothing out. In the meantime, I'll be scrubbing crayon-drawn monsters off the walls, rehanging curtains and emptying out dresser drawers full of water - again... and again... and again... and again.