April 18, 2012 at 11:22 | Posted in ALEX Toys, Mamma Mia Rea | 1 Comment
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About eight months ago, my 3-year-old was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder. As a former special education teacher, it was not a term I was unfamiliar with; I’d worked with plenty of kids with similar diagnoses, as well as other issues that included sensory integration challenges. Ironically, I never suspected, until my son’s teacher sat us down and suggested we have him evaluated, that there was anything going on. I guess that’s one of the blessings and detriments of parenthood: we love our children so much we see them as absolutely perfect the way they are, which is true, but sometimes, we are unable to see where they need extra help until someone else tells us so.

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On The Road

April 2, 2012 at 12:54 | Posted in ALEX Toys, Mamma Mia Rea | Leave a comment
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Spring is here (Finally!) and it’s time to hit the road with the family. From personal experience, traveling with kids can be an absolute joy or a total nightmare. I’ve had kids sleep through an entire 13-hour flight to Israel and happily tag along on trips to archaeological sites, and I’ve had a baby fuss from New York to Ft. Lauderdale and hide the keys to the room at our B & B (it took us HOURS to find them).

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The “Spoonful of Sugar” Approach to Clean-Up Time

March 19, 2012 at 11:45 | Posted in ALEX Toys, Mamma Mia Rea | 1 Comment
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In the classic film “Mary Poppins”, Julie Andrews and her animatronic bird cajole two spoiled kids into cleaning their room with a smile, a song and a little bit of magic.

She made it look so easy.

Although I’m a pretty decent singer, I have neither a magic purse or a jolly sidekick like Dick Van Dyke to psyche my kids up about clean-up time, which is why I have to remind my kids about 47,000 times each evening to clean up the living room before the toys start getting put away…maybe. I have, however, a few tricks up my sleeve which are, in fact, inspired by our favorite magical nanny.

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Rebuilding the Food Pyramid

March 5, 2012 at 10:00 | Posted in ALEX Toys, Mamma Mia Rea | Leave a comment

You know the fat kid in school? There’s always one. Well, when I was young, it was me. Needless to say, the weight made my childhood a little, well, challenging, and I struggled into my adolescence as well. Thankfully, with some love, support and guidance, I was able to lose over a hundred pounds in my twenties by sticking to a healthy food plan, and have kept the weight off for almost a decade. Continue Reading Rebuilding the Food Pyramid…

Celebrate with A Random Act of Kindness

February 17, 2012 at 09:00 | Posted in ALEX Toys, Family Time, Holidays, Mamma Mia Rea | 1 Comment
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Happy Random Acts of Kindness Day!

About ten years ago, the book “Pay it Forward” put the value of kindness into perspective. The gist, devised by a young boy, was simple: Perform an act of kindness for three people, expecting nothing in return except that they “Pay it Forward” to three more people. The system, if followed correctly, could quickly spread kindness to global proportions.

Many were inspired by this story, which was later made into a motion picture. A “Random Acts of Kindness Day” has been initiated around the world.

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Be My Valentine

February 14, 2012 at 11:38 | Posted in ALEX Toys, General, Holidays, Mamma Mia Rea | 1 Comment

Finally, it was my bedtime. The kitchen cleaned up (sort of), the living room straightened (sort of), my work for the day was done. I crept past my boys’ room as quietly as I could, hoping to slip into my covers without any commercial interruptions. Alas, just as I reached for my doorknob…


My three-year-old, Yonah, was peeking out at me from his doorway.

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Winter Fun

January 19, 2012 at 12:00 | Posted in ALEX Toys, Family Time, Mamma Mia Rea, Outside Play | 1 Comment
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The other day, my 3-and-a-half-year-old and I were getting into the car when he pointed up to the sky.

“What’s that?” he asked.

I looked up and saw a pipe on the roof of a building, emitting clouds of steam. “That’s called steam,” I told him. “That’s what happens when warm air mixes with cold air”.

He looked at me quizzically.

I thought fast. “Look,” I said, exhaling heavily. “Mommy makes steam, too!”.

His eyes widened.

“You try!”

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Resolutions, Revamped

December 29, 2011 at 11:57 | Posted in ALEX Toys, Holidays, Mamma Mia Rea | Leave a comment
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Confronted with new beginnings, we put on our best face and resolve that this year, things will be different. We’ll lose those extra ten pounds or stop buying the trash magazines we’re addicted to. Maybe we’ll finally crack open those dusty Rosetta Stones and learn to speak Italian, like we resolved five years ago.

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Kids A La Cart: Shopping with Company

December 12, 2011 at 12:04 | Posted in ALEX Toys, Family Time, Mamma Mia Rea | Leave a comment

There’s an art to shopping with kids. Somehow, you have to get what you need while fielding requests for one shiny/sugary/overpriced thing or another, making sure everyone stays with the traveling party and preventing a throw-down temper tantrum in the middle of the action (sometimes, you’ll be the one throwing it). After four kids, I’d like to think it’s an art I’ve mastered; those maniacs running through the grocery store on Supermarket Sweep ain’t got nothing on me.

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Home Décor, Kid Style

November 30, 2011 at 12:00 | Posted in ALEX Toys, Mamma Mia Rea | Leave a comment

The day I discovered the purple crayon swirls on my wall, I was less than pleased. My son, Yonah, had decided that construction paper was not a large enough canvas and headed to the living room to do some sprucing up.

Continue Reading Home Décor, Kid Style…

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