Archive for May, 2012

Read On…

Hittin’ the Books

I know for many of us with school-aged kids, our kiddos are looking forward to their summer and no school.  While there are many summer programs and camps available, there is still a lot of time to replace the time our kids spend at school and on homework.

Thankfully, our public libraries across the region know and have announced the following.  Read more…

The Kenosha Public Library has a great summer planned for kids and families! The Library has added programs for teens and for families with infants, birth-35 months, promoting early literacy. Back are some of the most popular kids’ programs with some new and exciting ones added. Summer program information can be found in the Kenosha Public Library Summer Event Calendar available at all Library branches and on the Bookmobile as well as here: and on the Just Add Kids’ website’s Happenings Calendar of Events.

The excitement will kick off tomorrow, Friday, June 1st,  at the Southwest Library branch ( 7979 38th Avenue) with an afternoon of fun. Pick up your reading records and enjoy a variety of crafts and activities throughout the afternoon. Curious George will be there to help in the celebration!  This FREE family event is posted on our website’s calendar and runs from 3:30 – 5:30pm.

At the Community Library‘s branches (Salem, Twin Lakes, and Silver Lake) in Kenosha’s western county, the Dream Big, Read! program will start on June 8th.  Over the summer, participants will read and earn out-of-this-world prizes.  Check out their website page, as well as the Just Add Kids calender for the fun programs scheduled at the Community Library’s this summer!

The Racine Public Library will start summer storytimes with Baby and Me Storytimes and Preschool Storytimes (for ages 3-5) on June 19th.  These storytimes are posted on the Just Add Kids Happenings Calendar of Events as well as available via this link.

While Racine Public Library’s Summer Reading Program has yet to be announced, via their Facebook posting, they “Encourage your students to read all summer long! If you don’t have a library card, get one! Sign up for the Summer Reading Program while you’re at the library. More information about the Summer Reading Program will be available soon on the Racine Public Library’s website.”  So, stay tuned….JAK will share the info on our Facebook and Twitter pages upon announcement, and update this blog entry, as well.
Summer Reading Club at the Burlington Public Library begins June 18 with lots of events and fun things to do at the library!  Register for the Reading Club during the week of June 11-15, then start earning prizes for reading and other fun activities on June 18.  Some of the events planned for the summer campaign titled Dream Big: Read! are posted on our website’s calendar and accessible on the library’s webpage, via this link.
June 9th marks the start of the Waterford Public Library. Local businesses have donated incredible prizes for both adults and kids. Online registration for some programs is now available on their website. Summer packets with all of the information will be available starting June 9.
Rochester Public Library‘s Dream Big~Read summer reading program begins on Saturday, June 9th at 9:30am and is open to children of all ages. Each child will receive a book bag, a surprise, info about the programs and their first week’s reading record. Complete several challenges each week which include reading, checking out books, attending one of their programs, outside activities, writing or word games.  Each week, participants bring their Reading Record back to the library to receive a prize (which is different each week). The program concludes on August 2nd with a party.  Read more about their special events and activities listed on our calendar and on the library’s website.
Graham Public Library Summer Reading program also named, Dream Big…READ! begins tomorrow, Friday. Stop at the library (located at 1215 Main Street in Union Grove)  and pick up reading records for your children! Completed reading logs returned by July 31st receive 10 prizes and are entered into a drawing for a telescope. Teens can also complete a log by reading 1000 minutes and be entered into a drawing for an MP3 player.
In the words of RPL, JAK supports the statement…“Dream Big! Keep reading all summer!”

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Get Out!

Outta the Closet

I am getting my skinny on, and hoping to pull all of those little clothing items (okay, size 8’s) out of my closet sometime this upcoming summer.  It ain’t happening now.  Fat girl has hit her peak. Read More…

Need I say more?  Well, I will!

This is nothing new, it’s happened before…sadly, maybe 3 times in my post-pregnancy years (30 years old til now, 4 kids later).  Gain a tremendous amount of weight, go on a diet (which has worked…I believe in Weight Watchers!), and as slowly and successfully as I lost the 30ish pounds…slowly and surely it came back.

So I’ve hit that point again, triggered by pictures taken on Mother’s Day, and accidental pics with a iPhone camera that flips around and randomly snaps shots of me and my big ‘ole chin….yucko!

This time, the call came at just the right time.  My friend made referrals to her gym and the sales guy gave me a jingle.  Three days later, I am working out with a trainer and buying fun fashionable work out clothes.  If there is a short-term benefit, it’s the shopping!

Back out of the closet is the micro blog, my “Fat Girl in a Skinny World” Facebook page that I left dwindling there on March 11, 2011 when I abruptly stopped going to meetings and counting points.

Are you living in my world? Come join me and join in on the support and dialog…

Artist: Gabby 12.30.2009 “Fat Girl in a Skinny World”

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MAY The Force Be With You

The MAY-hem Continues

If you read last week’s blog, MAY-hem: A Mom’s Life, you know that I am, just like many of you are, especially those with school-aged children, in the midst of probably THE busiest month of your parenting year. May, while crazy busy, is joyfully filled with spring concerts, recitals, banquets, tournaments, graduation celebrations, layered on top of your normal practices, games, and other extra-curricular activities. You ever wonder why they (who is they anyway? Hallmark?) throw in Mother’s Day in May? Read More…

? Is it suppose to provide us moms with a day of respite while in the mix of mayhem? Perhaps, if you hit up a brunch.  Or on the other hand if we as moms weren’t spearheading the creation and/or purchase of gifts to celebrate our own mothers and mother in laws, etc.  Or if you are “lucky” enough to have hosted the celebration at your home, which was our case (thank you hubs) you are in a mad mad rush to get your house looking presentable for your guests.  Yup, they might be mostly family and they should be accepting of you and your busy life, but c’mon, you know you’ve got to vacuum.  In our case, we are pet free (hoping to change that/wish me luck) and for some reason, our kitchen floor rugs look as though we own a few sheddy dogs and cats…it’s quite disgusting, especially if left unvacuumed for a week, which is normal in our household…here kitty kitty.

All in all, things are going well half way through MAY-hem.  Mother’s Day, really was nearly perfect.  Everyone’s in great health (knock on wood), and we’ve got much more on schedule. I know when this phase of my life is done and over with, before any grandchildren come along, and I am really hoping it’s a nice stretched out phase of time for many reasons, I’ll be missing the days of MAY-hem.  Come June, there will be plenty of things to do, including reaching the end of yet another, oh-my-gosh-where-did-the-year-go, school year.  We’ll call this next month the June Boom.

Besides being scared for the summer days of “mom, I’m bored” cuz it will happen, siblings fighting cuz it will happen, and my workload increasing cuz it truly is happening. I am looking forward to Father’s Day Weekend, cuz for us, that’s when it’s all happening!   It’s the climax of the month, smack dab right in the middle.  The June Boom activities include, of course, LEGO® KidsFest, June Dairy Breakfast and our family Father’s Day celebration…wheeow, not at our house, thank goodness!  Hey and don’t forget, Just Add Kids will be kicking off our annual “Color Dad Awesome” Kid’s Coloring Contest.  You won’t have to wait until the middle of the month, not even the beginning of the month.  It’ll be live on the website in a few days.  Stay tuned…enjoy your May! (hem?)

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A Mom’s Life

It’s May!  Need I say more? Well, let’s see…it’s about 9:15pm and tonight was Art Fair night.  Where were you?  School’s ice cream social? Band concert? The sports banquet? It’s a phenomenon that occurs every spring.  It’s called the month of May, or as I have been accustomed to calling it May-hem. Describe your life too?

I guess it’s no coincidence that Mother’s Day is scheduled this month.  We have to all stop, celebrate, and salute moms, right in the middle of her most craziest month out of the whole year (it might be in a dead tie with September).  Now for those of you with preschool children you are probably wondering, what the heck is all of the fuss?  Let me forewarn you…

Got kids? May will hit you like a ton of bricks when they are in school, in sports, in extra-curriculars. Looking and chatting  with a lot of moms tonight, most of us are in a daze. Some had multiple events to attend tonight. And some families had to split.  One parent at school tonight, another at practice.

Our Art Fair ended at 8, yet one of our PTA board members walked in at about 8:15 with her husband and flashy lashed daughter in tow.  I joked, “hey, we’re closed.” 😉  Her response as she whisked by to knock off checking out her kids’ artwork on display throughout the building…”dance pictures”.  She didn’t have to say another word.  I know.  Been there. Done that. Am there. Doing that.

Not bitter.  Just putting my day, my month, in words.  I’m a mom.

Have an awesome Mother’s Day!


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Upward Mobility

The Wheel Deal
by JAK ‘s guest mom blogger from Kenosha, Wendy Woods

It was the morning of August 2009, and my 2 1/2 year old son and I were waiting for his physical therapist and the medical equipment company. My son was going to try out a powered wheelchair for the first time. Yes, I said powered wheelchair. I was dreading this day and here it was. READ MORE…

I’ve known for a while that my son was going to have difficulty walking on his own but I had always hoped and prayed that with a lot of physical therapy he would eventually walk. I remembered waking up and thinking that I had failed him somehow. That I was letting him down. If only he had been diagnosed earlier and started physical therapy earlier, we wouldn’t be here waiting for a powered wheelchair trial. What I thought was going to be the worst day of my life turned out to be the best.

When Nicholas got in the chair, he grabbed the joystick and moved about a foot, his face lit up. He couldn’t believe he moved on his own, free from mom and dad. He pointed towards the neighbor’s house. All that was needed was a little prompt from us to move the joystick forward again and he was off. For the first time I was running after my son, something all mothers of toddlers do. I had thought I would never get the opportunity. I will never forget the look on his face that day. It was the look of sheer joy. He was free. That was when I realized that one of the most important jobs I had as a mother was to give my child independence. That powered chair gave him that. I have never regretted the decision to purchase the powered chair for my son. Nor have we given up hope of him walking one day, having the chair did not mean he would stop working towards that goal.

That 2 1/2 year old boy is now 5 years old and having his own powered wheelchair has opened up his world. Now he wants to explore areas other than our neighborhood, school and medical buildings. As a parent of a child who has a mobility disability, I want to provide him with the same experiences that my non-disabled child has.

We have entered a contest to win a wheelchair accessible van. All we need to win is your vote. I hope that you will take some time out of your day to vote for us. A van that is wheelchair accessible would give us the ability to safely transport my family and my son’s wheelchair. Right now we are driving a van that is 10 years old and cannot be modified for wheelchair accessibility. Wheelchair accessible vans are very expensive and we have had to make due with what we’ve got. We’ve removed the back bench in our van and bought a heavy and quite awkward portable ramp, so that we can transport his chair to and from school, medical appointments and close family functions. While the portable ramp has given us the ability to bring his wheelchair places, we are realizing that it isn’t the most ideal nor safe way of traveling. His wheelchair is placed into the back of the van behind the middle seat. Since it isn’t adaptable, his wheelchair cannot be tied down. Even with the chair’s brakes on it moves around the back of the van while we are driving. This is not safe. We have limited our trips to only the essential ones. We would love to go on longer trips. Having a wheelchair accessible van would give us one less thing to worry about. We could expand our destinations from just routine trips to fun family excursions-knowing that we are safe and that my son will have his wheelchair with him.

Use the link below to cast your vote for us. You may vote once every 24 hours from the same ip address-contest ends May 13. Use promo code 889, to earn us 4 extra votes. The code can only be used once.

Thank you very much, Wendy.

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