Modesty Shorts: What they are and where to get them

Back-to-school shopping is right around the corner! There is no denying it: Little girl outfits are totally adorable. The frilly skirts, the polka dots, the ruffles!!!

When they are young, girl skirts have built in shorts to prevent underwear flashing while little girls hang upside down on the monkey bars at the park. However, it seems that when they hit school-age, these shorts are no longer a part of the skirt and it’s simply “I see London, I see France” for all to see! You know, at the exact age where sitting criss-cross applesauce is expected daily.

If your little fashionista loves dresses like my second minion, you were introduced to this dilemma earlier. For us, our eldest wasn’t incredibly into dresses, so underwear flashing was rarely an issue until she entered kindergarten when she had a uniform that thankfully included skirts with shorts attached!

Now, both girls are in school and my second minion especially can be seen in a dress or skirt daily. The solution we came upon a couple of years ago and have rarely since was what we call modesty shorts.

These are amazing little shorts that girls put on over their underwear and under their skirts/dresses without the bulkiness of that regular shorts can cause.

In school shopping last year, I was on a mission to get a few pair since BOTH my girls were going to be in school. I was very sad to learn that these modesty shorts are not sold in many places. I went to Macy’s, JC Penney, Target, and a variety of other stores with no luck. When I would ask an employee, I would be directed to bike shorts – at $12/each, no thank you! This is not what I want.

Why is it so hard to find a simple pair of shorts to hide my daughters’ underwear?!?

Luckily, my mother-in-law found some at Kohls and called us. We went out that night and bought a few sets. {You can find them in the store or online at Kohls.com.} These are referred to as “bike shorts” or “playground shorts” but are very different from the other stores. I swear they are “modesty shorts.” 🙂

When we checked out, I mentioned to the cashier that I had been searching and searching for these! She mentioned that the other place she knew of with them was Von Maur – but even these are 2T-4T. Seriously?!? No where else? You can look online, but they will come with a hefty price tag.

To me, it should not be so hard to try to preserve our children’s innocence and modesty. I want my girls to be able to go out and do cartwheels and play duck-duck-goose without showing their underwear {or more!} to anyone close by.

So, for those of you looking for these magical underwear hiders, I encourage you to shop Kohls as they appear to have the best price. You can easily get a set of three for $9.99 in various colors {though we stick to the black, white, and grey as these are NOT to be shown off :)}. Add their ever-easy-to-find coupon and save more. The Children’s Place has “Cartwheel Shorts” for just under $4/each.  Old Navy {online ONLY} has some for $5/each as well. Again, there are others online, but some sell for more than $22/each. No thank you.

Plus, it shouldn’t be so hard to help our girls stay modest. Please, please, please department stores, sell these IN STORE so people know they exist.

Have fun this back-to-school season and feel safe knowing your lil’ girl is covered 🙂
andrea-sig

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I Love You, Don’t Touch Me.

I love my family more than anything else. However, there are times when the last thing in the world I want is for any of them to touch me.

This phrase has been helpful in certain situations in order to help my family {husband AND kids} understand that while I have absolutely more love for them than I ever imagined possible, there are simply times when I feel disgusting or I am busy and I don’t want them within six inches of me.

We have a relatively active family and are outdoors often. Lately, it has been upper 80s to low 90s every day. And STICKY! Bleh! After we go for a walk, ride bikes, work in the garden, etc… that seems to be the exact moment my children want to be picked up and snuggled. Ugh! No, no, no!!! I love you, don’t touch me.

Once we cool down or shower, I will give you as many snuggles as you can handle! But please, please, please, don’t touch my sticky skin with your sticky skin. 

I know. I’m heartless.

My husband apparently became aware of this when I was pregnant with our eldest minion. She is a July baby. Nine months pregnant in July? Not fun. I love you, don’t touch me.

List of times mama doesn’t want touched:

  • I’m sweating,
  • I’m working in the garden,
  • I’m cooking dinner,
  • I’m nine months pregnant in summer,
  • I’ve been holding children more than six hours of the day, and
  • As needed.

The kids are actually very good about this and they are understanding. I make a point to let them know that I feel icky and will love on them soon, just not now.

I know it is a silly thing, but it is my thing. Luckily, my kids are understanding and I always have extra morning or nighttime snuggles ready as needed upon request. 🙂

Have a great day!

Shop Amazon and Give to Your Favorite Charity at the Same Time via AmazonSmile!

Have you heard of AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at Smile.Amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.” – AmazonSmile, emphasis added by me.

I am not an in-store shopper so much {outside of groceries}, but online? Yes, please! I just purchased some discount printer ink and some school supplies at Amazon. Now, it’s not always the best price, and when it isn’t, I don’t buy. But when it is, I simply add to cart and proceed to checkout!

AmazonSmile then automatically gives to the organization of MY CHOICE – in my case, Heartbeat International – and then a portion of my spendings goes directly to Heartbeat without my needing to do anything further!

You simply go to Smile.Amazon.com and the site will walk you through the process. Here, you will select the charity of your choice. Again, there are nearly a million from which to choose! And that’s it! You can shop and give at the same time! I love it! As I hope the charities do too! 🙂

Have a great day!

Review: Columbus Main Library Kid Space

The Columbus Library has re-opened after a year of renovations! We explored it today and here is my official review.

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The renovations did a great job of incorporating a new contemporary feel into the original early 1900s ambiance. Sadly, though, with all the renovations, the kid-space fell flat.

Now, I am not saying that it is not a good space for kids, simply that in comparison to what it was, it lost a lot of charm. My minions loved going to the “castle library” and playing with the various interactive play spaces it had. Now, it barely has any!

The new kid-space contains books for ages 0-9 and has a nice layout. The bathrooms are kid-sized {which the minions loved!} and they provide plenty of seating for reading. Unfortunately, they dropped the elements beyond books that little minds require to learn.

Elements NOT brought into the new library kid-space from the old:

  • Dramatic play space. The library used to change out this space monthly to reflect various themes such as a restaurant or post office.
  • Puppet show area. It was a simple stage and basket of puppets and any time we were there, kids were playing here expanding their imagination.
  • Light wall/Magnet board for kids to practice letters and numbers. According to one of the librarians, this is coming soon.
  • Private story time space. I didn’t know this was necessary until we attempted to attend a story time {see below}.
  • Creative play space.  Where are the blocks?!? Simple toys encourage little ones to get creative!
  • Kindergarten assessment center. They had a great center before renovating that told you what a kid is expected to know and then offered little games in order to assess your child. I personally loved this and it didn’t take much space at all.

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So, what IS in the new library kid-space?

  • Tons of books! The organization is fantastic and, let’s face it, we are at a library and this IS the purpose of a library.
  • A lot of computers and tablets. While I do understand the purpose, this was one of the only interactive pieces with which kids could play. I do not go to the library for media time and the number of tablets and computers with little other option was a turn-off for me.
  • Story time. The idea of having this as the first thing you see upon entering is appealing until you realize that one person speaking in a very open space is not very conducive for hearing well. Add to that the kids in the space who are NOT involved in story time and it makes a difficult task of asking preschoolers to focus.
  • Kid-sized potties + a family bathroom. This was a nice touch showing that they put a lot of thought into how to make things easy for parents.
  • Five toys. Literally one puzzle and four toys for toddlers. That’s it. A librarian said they rotate them out, but it seemed like a tease.

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I know that a lot of thought and preparation went into this huge renovation. The hours spent are seen through all the details in the construction and the items that were selected are top-notch. However, in comparison the the old kid-space? I vote for the old.     

With my personality, I am very quick to ask questions. The journalist in me I suppose. Or the nosiness… One of those two, that’s for sure!

I talked with two librarians and was ensured that this was the only kid-space in the library. There are a few elements still in the works such as a smart-board and a light board. They are open to hearing from parents/care givers as to what they can do to make it a better space. This does not mean that every idea will be accepted of course, but feedback is welcome.

I wish I had more positive feedback to give, but sadly, I was very disappointed in the kid-space renovation at the Columbus Public Library downtown. Compared to others in their own network such as Karl Rd., Whetstone, New Albany, it simply falls flat. Not to mention Westerville! If you want to engage kids at a young age to be actively involved at the library, you have to have those intentional elements in order to engage.

I still encourage you to check it out and let me know your thoughts. One great addition is that the library opens to the Topiary Garden in the back. This was a nice walk for the minions and a picnic in the park is always a plus!

Have a great day!

A Child’s Reminder

My time and my minions’ time hardly ever match up.

While I want my children to do certain things in a certain time frame, it is important to remember that they will do it in their time, when they are ready.

Case in point: My eldest is more timid than my younger children. She is much more cautious and worries more. When it came time to learn how to ride a bike with no training wheels, she was not exactly on board. The fact remained that my little girl has very long legs and simply could not ride her little girl bike any more.

She got a new “big girl bike” when she turned six and showed a little eagerness, but it faded quite quickly. After trying multiple ways of teaching her how to ride, she simply wasn’t getting it and had no desire to do so.

We would get our excited voices going and ask, “Are you going to ride today?” and her response was always a shy, “I’ll try…” I would even get my Yoda parenting on and state, “There is no try, only do.” She didn’t.

After months of trying, she discovered she would much rather ride a scooter and actually got very good at riding the scooter. Great speed and endurance. OK. It was something.

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The eldest minion preparing herself.

Well, today, nearly TWO YEARS after receiving her “big girl bike” she simply declared, “I’m going to try to ride my bike today.”

She put on her helmet, knee guards and elbow pads and got on her bike.

After a rough start, I asked if I could help. “YES!” was her emphatic response given in a tone of “Thank God, mommy offered!” almost too proud to ask. I gave her a quick boost and off she went! And she kept going!

The smile on her face was from ear to ear! Almost as big as mine 🙂

This was a huge reminder for me.

Our eldest minion is incredibly smart, kind, and creative, but she’s also nervous about trying certain things. Of course, to me, the things she is nervous about is silly at times. But the thing that I must remember is that she will do things in her time.

These moments are not about me. They are about encouraging her!

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The minions chased her down the road encouraging her. It was adorable!

As her mommy, I need to remember this. I need to join in her celebratory moments and I need to remember to be patient when she doesn’t achieve a childhood skill in my timeline.

In the grand scheme, does it matter that she didn’t ride her two-wheel bike when I wanted her to? No. It doesn’t. The answer is that simple.

The important thing is that she did it in her time and she did it with confidence! May I always remember to share in her joys and not try to hurry her onto my timeline.

Today, we rejoice 🙂

Have a great day!
Andrea-sig

Why he matters

I know we live in a world where women can do anything and we don’t need men in our lives, but in my world, I do. I need my husband.

People often compliment the activities that I do with my children, but the reality is that my husband found many of our favorite things: Art for Kids Hub, the Metro Parks Explorer Program, and the perks of the Westerville Library to name a few. Now, yes, I probably would have been able to find these items if I were looking, but I wasn’t. He was!

When a weekend occurs like this past one where I was simply out of commission due to sickness, he tells all the kids that mommy is off limits and then takes over all the duties. He typically has to tell me to go nap so the kids actually do let me have quiet 🙂 In this time, he plays with them, cooks for them, and even cleans up.

Most importantly, my husband supports me and my decisions with all his heart. He listens to me and speaks truth in love. We have amazing conversations and some really nonsensical ones. {Those are the fun ones!} And I never feel judged by him. All I feel is genuine love and support.

Without him, I would probably go crazy. He is my outlet. He lets me escape family life to simply be with my girlfriends. He is so incredibly thoughtful of our needs in any decision he makes. He is mine and I am his and I am happy about that.

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Now, I’m not saying this to gloat or spark jealousy by any stretch of the imagination. I simply feel that in article after article, couples aren’t experiencing this. As I am a mom, many times in these articles, the husbands play the role of dunce who can’t do anything right nor do they give any support to the mom. I just want people who read this to know that respectful men exist. They do teach, love, and support their families.

There is no magic lesson as to how to achieve a happy balance as I know that we were very blessed to find one another and we just happened to click with one another. But I do know that talking openly with each other about expectations has been very helpful for us.

I have several friends with great marriages and radiate the same happiness. I also have some friends who have had some very sad marriage stories.

To me, it’s all about respecting one another – not just as husband and wife, but simply as humans.

Perhaps if more stories/shows/articles promoted the happiness that does exist within marriage, there would be less cynicism regarding marriage in our culture. And maybe, if we can simply get back to a world where we respect each and every person, the world will be a happier place.

Have a nice day!
Andrea-sig

Eric Carle Week

Fingerprinting after reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar from CraftsByCourtney.com

Eric Carle’s birthday is June 25. If you don’t know who he is, I am sure you know his books. He is the beloved author who wrote and illustrated childhood classics such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Grouchy Ladybug and Mr. Seahorse. He also illustrated Brown Bear, Brown Bear and others.

His art is unique and his love for animals is evident throughout his career. His books easily help formulate lesson plans for young minds and for the past few years, we honor his birthday through an “Eric Carle Week” of learning with art, food, games and trips out into nature. {This week is similar to how we celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday as well. Great children authors deserve such respect 🙂 }

A fun activity for The Very Clumsy Click Beetle with races to follow! These little crickets actually move! Thanks Preschool-Creative-Learning.blogspot.com!

I’ve compiled a plethora of ideas on how to commemorate Eric Carle through preschool learning. With a little imagination and some paint, your little ones will enjoy these artistic activities while learning a little about animals and several lessons on math and literacy as well!

We also teach our minions about the author as well when we have a week focused on their work. What makes them unique? Are there any themes to their books? What do you like about them? It engages the kids and reminds them of the person behind the words. Eric Carle’s website will give you a lot of information on him and his books as well as some activity pages of their own!

The Grouchy Ladybug snacks from PowerYourLunchbox.com are easy, delicious and healthy. LOVE!

Did you know that he started illustrating in 1965 and had work published just last year!!!  {I love when I learn from my kids activities 🙂 }

Check out the link below and then go to your library {or better yet, reserve them} and I promise you will have a ton of fun learning about the world of Eric Carle 🙂

>>> Click here to be inspired<<<

Have a great day!
Andrea-sig