iPad, oh how I loathe you…..

There are very few things I despise or loathe in this world, but there is one that has come to the top of my list just in this past weekend – our iPad. It wasn’t always like this – I used to love using it and seeing my children also being able to use the features it offered.

See before our family had an iPad, we all did more together as a family. We played games together, colored, hide and seek, interacted more, doing more outside of a “screen”….the list goes on and on. But since Apple products have found their way into our home I have seriously resented introducing the iPad to my eldest son, JD.

You’re probably wondering why would she hate such a wonderful, multitasking product that could help make my life easier, and could be used as a teaching tool?20140119-154722.jpg

Our iPad was initially used for my husband for work. When it came home every now and then we would all get to use it. I was excited for our family to have one to allow us to use it to connect to the Internet without being in the home off at our pc. We slowly introduced JD to it because at the time apps where slowly being developed and we were hesitant to let our little one use it without parental help. Now realize we at the time had iPhones and occasionally allowed him to watch Sesame Street videos, PBS, and many more on them when we would go to dinner, and while we would travel.

I thought it was great when we would find educational games with counting, letters, sight words and more. What started our as a good piece of technology that was helping our family in a multitude of ways was slowly turning on me. Games like temple run and minion rush have now moved in and have overwhelmed my lil JD that the educational games never get played anymore. Don’t get me wrong these games are fun at times in MODERATION. Not only is this game playing on our home iPad but it has extended to our phones and not just mommy and daddy’s but also on into the grandparent’s phones.  I have already deleted those games that are not educational and will continue to keep my phone “game” free unless it has some type of educational purpose for the boys to enjoy learning.

Yes I know at times it is easier to give a child a phone to watch a movie or play a game to give you a few seconds to yourself. Trust me I know I am part to blame for this. And that is why after a weekend of hell of throwing fits and crying, screaming – “I want the iPad” over and over again that I am standing my ground and no longer allowing the iPad to be the “babysitter” per say to keep my child entertained.

We enjoy the library, we enjoy being outside, we like doing things together so iPad my friend, my dear – I think you’re days are numbered here soon. You may be a reward for a WEEK of great school work, no fits, etc. I see you as a 10-15 minute reward on the WEEKENDs but you will never again be “babysitting” or entertaining my child for hours on end. I’m stopping this now! And I hope you my readers, do the same. What happened to having fun, learning, games, reading, interacting with others before technology grew so big?

Easy Chicken Tetrazzini

easychickentetrazziniAre you looking for a easy but filling recipe that will make the family want more? We love our chicken tetrazzini recipe and hope you will too! I tend to split this recipe into two pans so that we can have one now and the other later in the month! The recipe originally came from Kraft foods, however over the years we have made it our own with slight tweaks here and there.

What You Need

1/2 lb. wheat or whole grain spaghetti, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces or canned cubed chicken
1 red pepper, chopped (optional)
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
1/4 cup flour
1 can (14.5 oz.) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
3-5 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1/2 cup-1 cup Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
seasonings (to taste) – garlic power, onion power, pepper, oregano

Lets Get Cooking……

Heat oven to 350°F.

Cook spaghetti in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt. Meanwhile, cook chicken and vegetables in large nonstick skillet 5 min. or until chicken is no longer pink. Add in seasonings per taste. Remove from skillet; cover to keep warm.20140113-125646.jpg

Bring Neufchatel, flour and broth to boil in same skillet, whisking constantly; simmer on medium-low heat 5 min., stirring frequently.

Drain spaghetti; return to saucepan. Add Neufchatel sauce, chicken mixture and 2-3Tbsp. Parmesan; mix well. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole sprayed with cooking spray; Top with mozzarella and remaining Parmesan; cover.

Bake 25 min. Uncovered, 5 – 10 min. or until mozzarella is melted.

Next time – If your adventurous – try adding other vegetables that you know your family would like. Peas, carrots, red pepper….. Then enjoy!

It’s in a book….

Now that the crazy chaotic December is past us and we are back in our grove (back to school, back to work, etc) its time for JD and I to get back to our reading adventure we have created earlier last year. JD loves to read! He has well over 100 books, maybe even over 200 or so and continues to want more. 100_0687I’m thankful for my sister who also got him interested in the library this past summer where we have been able to continue his love of finding new books, reading the adventures they have for him and retelling the story in his own words. All without having to purchase them!

The other day I was reading – 25 Rules for Mothers of Sons by a fellow blogger, and # 4 Read to him and read with him really stuck with me. We have read to him from the day JD was born. I remember when I was home on maternity leave reading him the books he got from his Auntie Ashley. And even when Auntie would visit she would always read to him too! 100_0331 I’m looking forward to getting back in the swing of things where we go to the library weekly to enjoy in the actual physical books to read and enjoy the time together. Saturdays have been our special days for JD and I to go to the library, get a bag or two full of books and enjoy reading them together, with daddy or even his little brother.

Emilie Buchwald said, “Children become readers on the laps of their parents.” Offer your son the opportunity to learn new things, believe in pretend places, and imagine bigger possibilities through books. Let him see you reading…reading the paper, reading novels, reading magazine articles. Help him understand that writing words down is a way to be present forever. Writers are the transcribers of history and memories. They keep a record of how we lived at that time; what we thought was interesting; how we spoke to each other; what was important. And Readers help preserve and pass along those memories.

I challenge other parents to take the time to enjoy a book together. Lets your creativity go wild with your imagination while reading!

Need some suggestions on books to read together with your young one? Check out my educational board that I started for the boys. Great suggestions on getting started together! Enjoy the adventure.

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