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Monday, January 4, 2010

Bean Pot Taco Soup

Because it's one of my newer stoneware pieces,  I search the web frequently for Bean Pot recipes.  I have been trying a variety of recipes and so far all of them have been greaat.

If you have a hard time cooking meat until is is tender and juicy, you might want to try cooking in a bean pot.

Here's a recipe that I just found and would like to try next.

Bean Pot Taco Soup

1 Can of Diced Tomatoes
1 Can of Corn
1 Can of Black Beans
1 Can of Pinto Beans
1 packet of Ranch Dressing Mix
1 packet of Taco Seasoning

Mix together in beanpot. Microwave for 25 min or until hot – stirring occasionally. Top with sour cream & cheese before serving then add corn chips!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Should a toddler be allowed to play with a Nintendo DS?

When my son was just under two years old, I was playing Super Mario Brothers on MY Nintendo DS.  It was never intended for him.  After watching me play the game once, he wanted to give it a try.  I figured that he would get bored with it pretty quickly, so I let him have a try.  My to my amazement, he played the game well from the very start!  I thought it was amusing and amazing!!  So that Christmas, I got him the Leapster.  I figured that it would be a good alternative for him.  Well, the downside is that because he was only two years old, he doesn't know Math or how to read, which is somewhat required for all Leapster games.  Drat!  The Nintendo DS is so much easier because there are plenty of E rated games that do not require reading.  So after my husband got me a new DS for Christmas, I decided to give my old one to our son.

Well, it has snowballed since then.  He is still only three years old now, but he can play Nintendo DS games like a champ.  He plays much better than I do.  (No, I am not jealous.)  But sometimes I wonder if this can be a bad thing.  It certainly has it's ups and downs.

I have noticed that with certain games he can become a bit more aggressive, so I do try to steer clear of those games.  I have tried to steer him toward the Leapster games, but that attempt has failed most of the times.  Sure, he plays his Leapster sometimes, but not as much as that Nintendo DS.  It's good for long car rides and getting him to sit still in a restaurant for longer than five minutes.

I don't allow him to take it to social gatherings, such as a family get-together for the holidays.  But that really doesn't help when most of the bigger kids have brought their DS with them.  I feel like a family gathering is for socializing with people, not for burying your head in a video game, which is what he would do.  But when he sees the other kids with their game systems, the only thing he wants to do is have a turn with it.  And when that kid doesn't want to share their DS (which is totally their call), then all heck breaks loose.  My three year old is being taught to share and now this older kid is not sharing.  Oy-vey!  Now what?

I am not about to give in and let him bring his DS with him.  There is just too much that can go wrong in that scenario.  And I am trying to get him interested in other things so that he doesn't become a video game junkie. 

But I do have to admit that sometimes it is nice to have a long stretch of time to do laundry or something while he's playing a round of Kirby.

Friday, January 1, 2010

I entered a contest to win a copy of the "Your Baby Can Read" Program

I just entered a contest at J. leigh designz for a Your Baby Can Read Starter Kit.  It looks like it is primarily marketed for babies, although their ads claim  that it can be used for kids up to age 5.  Since my son is three years old, I don't really want to spend a ton of money on this if it really is not meant for his age range.  We have been working on learning our letter names this week.  He seems to be able to catch on to what we are doing, but after today's review, I am not sure how much it is sticking.  This week we learned letters A thru D.  Today, when played games to review the four letters we have done so far, he seemed to be guessing.  He also used to know the alphabet song pretty well, but he seems to have forgotten the end of it now.  It would be interesting to see how this program would add to what we have been doing.


My Review of Poingo Story Reader 2 Pack Set: Toy Story and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Originally submitted at Toys R Us

Venture into the story with Poingo! Move Poingo around the page to interact and play with two Disney favorites, Mickey Mouse and Toy Story. Connect Poingo to your PC or Mac to receive bonus content, free music and more!

This shows improvements!
By Mattsmum from Parma, OH on 1/1/2010
4out of 5
Pros: Page-Turner, Well Written, Engaging characters, Easy To Read, Informative
Best Uses: Younger Readers
Describe Yourself: Everyday Reader
My son got the Mickey Mouse book for Christmas this year. This book is a wonderful improvement over the books that came with the Poingo Pen. In the other books, no matter where you touch in the story section, it would begin from the beginning. This makes it hard to follow along, or even pause between paragraphs to discuss the pictures or anything. In this new version, you can touch the pen at the beginning of any paragraph on the page. So at least you can plan to pick up close to where you may have left off if your child goes astray. The additional activites are fun too. My son loved doing the Hot Dog Dance along with the book. Yes, it had the actual song and broke it down to teah how each character does the dance. My son three year old had a blast with that part. I hope to see mre improvements to this system.