More from Kideos

It just keeps getting better.

After I posted/tweeted/sang about the brilliance of Kideos yesterday, the company wrote to me via Twitter to thank me for the post and let me know that they also just launched an EDUCATIONAL GAME SITE!!!

GameClassroom.com is, as the website describes, “a one-stop web destination for accessing educational games, and homework help for K-6 students”.  Like Kideos.com, it provides links to other website’s content (in this case, games) and organizes it into grade-level & subject categories.  The site also provides “homework help” and learning tips for students and parents.

Now that Amelia is in Pre-K, I’ve been encouraging her to play educational games to work on her letters and numbers.  Because she’s shown more interest in the computer lately, I’ve been trying to find a good, FREE, resource for age-appropriate games that will actually serve a purpose.  We have a few sites that we use, but they’re spotty when it comes to educational value.  I’m not a stickler, but I’d like her “screen time” (as my pediatrician says) to be productive…unlike mine (yes, I said it).  It’s also a problem when she starts playing one game, and then clicks on a game in the sidebar that is either geared toward a 12 year old and way too sophisticated or part of a paid subscription site.

So, again, check these folks out.   They’re awesome and I feel like they’ve got our (kids, parents, families) best interest in mind.  I haven’t looked at everything on the site yet, but they’ve just recently launched and seem to be working out the early kinks.  Take a look and give them some feedback!

gameclassroom

*It should be said that, despite my constant raving in the last 2 days, Earlier Media (the parent company of Kideos & GameClassroom) is not paying me or giving me anything for talking about them.  I’m just really excited about this and think that it’s a great idea.  I know that a lot of parents will be well-served by these websites.  If they were here right now, I’d kiss them on the mouth.

Kideos!

Amelia’s new favorite thing is to watch videos on YouTube.  I tend to encourage cool concert footage or performances, but occasionally she’ll get sucked into Dora vignettes.  For the most part it’s great- she gets to amuse herself for a little while while I get other things done.  But every so often Amelia will click through the “Related Video” and get from LazyTown singing about exercise to LazyTown simulated porn (seriously, don’t ask).

The other day I was helping her get back to something more appropriate than 2 teenage boys setting their shirts on fire and I thought “wow, I wish there was a child-friendly version of YouTube, maybe you can set a filter….”

Hey, guess what…

www.kideos.com

ta-da!!!

I’m so excited about this.  It’s a collection reviewed videos, all sorts of videos, that are classified into age-appropriate categories.  I love that it’s not just obscure, corny videos.  It’s the Muppets, it’s movie trailers, it’s that baby dancing to Beyonce.  And it’s set up so well… organized by age-group, character, even language.  Best of all, it’s SIMPLE.  It’s a website that a child will actually be able to navigate (without ads popping up).

When I saw the site, I thought “Wow!  this is perfect!”.  I’ve sent the link to a few mom-friends and they’ve all said the same thing “This is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for!”.  It’s rare to find something that legitimately helps you be a better parent without asking for something in return.  This brilliant. 

Amelia is going to be PSYCHED.

kideos

Inventory of a 32 year old woman’s purse…

Yes.  Seriously.

Tonight is night #2 of my 4 month overnight rotation at work.  I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am to be here…it’s magical.  *eyes rolling*  I can’t complain TOO much (although I’m sure I will) because my last rotation was 3 1/2 years ago.  And, really, it’s only four months….it’s a college semester.

At 2:30am the sleepiness begins, so I generally try to find a project.  It’s important to keep your mind engaged.  If you allow yourself to get fuzzy half-way through a 10 hour shift, it’s going to be a LONG night. 

Tonight’s project has been cleaning out my purse.  I know, major.  It’s a bit misleading to call my bag a “purse”. The term ‘Purse’  makes it sound very grown-up and solid….leather probably.  In reality, I carry a woven guatemalan-inspired bag that I originally bought for a music festival and can double as a diaper bag.  My usual M.O. is to let things collect in my bag until it gets too heavy and the strap breaks.  Then I buy a new bag, transfer the essentials & swear to myself that I’ll never do it again.  Really, I don’t think this is unusual.

So, needless to say, there was a lot of crap in my bag.  Once I dug out and disposed of all the random receipts, shopping lists, flyers & other papers, I had a weird collection of….”stuff”.  I’m a working mom & a pack-rat.  I often grab things on my way out the door and throw it into my bag, never to be seen again. 

I love being able to peek into other people’s stuff…purse, bathroom, make-up case…I have since I was little.  One of my features in Working Mother Magazine is the detail about what the featured cover mom carries in her purse (or always has with her).  So, because I’ve got the time, here’s a comprehensive list of what this 32 year old, slightly disorganized, working mom has in her purse at 3am on a Wednesday night…..

-Wallet

-Cellphone

-Cellphone Case (which almost never holds the phone)

-2 partial books of stamps

-bottle of nail polish (Rimmel 403 Hypnotise)

-2 small bottles lotion (Rosemary Mint & Lemongrass Sage)

-1 pair little girl’s socks & 1 black knee-high sock

-2 tubes lip-gloss, 2 tubes lip balm & 1oz can of Bag Balm

-7 individually wrapped mints

-1 bottle infant Tylenol

-1 bottle Ibuprofen (with 1 pill inside)

-12 grocery coupons

-1 issue Cookie Magazine

-2 pouches Emergen-C

-1 ‘Hello Kitty’ Band-aid

-4 copies of Zaven’s vax records

-1 pair Barbie-size sneakers

Hmmm….I may need to de-clutter.

 

*Watch for future “Overnight Ramblings”.  I’m here for four more months….

Laura Ling & Euna Lee- THIS is What Little Girls are Made Of

When she grows up, I want my daughter to be just like Laura Ling & Euna Lee.  I want her to be brave and fierce and stand up for people who can’t stand up for themselves.  I can do without the prison & international incident, but the spirit remains the same.

Tonight Current.com published the first statement from Ling & Lee regarding the events leading up to their capture.  Amazing.  Completely amazing.  These women were born to be journalists.  The story is mind-blowing & the writing in phenomenal.  It’s the kind of story that will stay with me for a long time. 

When I went to post the link on Facebook & Twitter, I was disappointed to see all the inane, meaningless crap that people had been posting.  I linked the story and was angered when people didn’t immediately start reposting it.  It’s THAT good.  I know that I post my share of meaningless garbage through my various social networking outlets, but when something is important I want to shout it from the rooftops.  I guess that’s what I’m doing here…

Read this.  Now.  Don’t put it off for later.  Read it now.

I want this to inspire every little girl to grow up and change the world.

Celebrity Baby Look-a-Like

It’s always been our joke that Zaven looks like Zuma Rossdale (the second son of Gwen Stefani & Gavin Rossdale).  Blonde mohawk, round cheeks, Z name…they could be twins!  So when I saw that Celebrity Baby Blog was doing a ‘Celebrity Baby Look-a-Like Contest’, and that Zuma was one of the subjects, I sent a photo.  In the age of digital photos and email, it really wasn’t much of an effort.  I didn’t really think that much of it.  I figured that there would be thousands of submission and it would just be the luck of the draw.  At most, I hoped that Z’s picture would be one of a crop of cute babies sporting mohawks posted on the website.

*To be clear, I don’t think that they’re REALLY twins, however they do seem to have the same hair in color, growth & style.*

Six weeks later I got an email from the website titled ‘Zuma Look-a-Like’.  “Oh neat!” I thought,   “Maybe he’s a finalist or something.”  I opened the email and, not only was Zaven the WINNER, but his picture was going to be published in People Magazine.  Um….huh?

Apparently, in my casual e-mailing of my son’s picture, I’d completely missed the fact that the winners’ photos would be included in a celebrity baby feature in the magazine.  Niiiice.

Two weeks later, Zaven graced page 86 of a People Magazine with Alyssa Milano’s wedding photo on the cover (the ultimate irony for Jason because she’s been his celebrity crush FOREVER and now we have 5 copies of the magazine as keepsakes).  He definitey wasn’t the closest match, that honor goes to a baby named Maxine who looks eerily like Tori Spelling’s daughter Stella, but he was without a doubt the cutest kid there (I may be biased).  I’ve had many people comment that they thought Zaven was much cuter than Zuma.  But, really, what are they going to say to me? 

zz

It’s a fun little claim to fame.  The cashiers at Kroger refer to Z as “the movie star” every time we’re there.  Word has spread and people come into Jason’s store asking about him. 

Of course, Amelia started posing the other day and told me “Mom, I need to get in a magazine”.  Well, we’ll see babe….