Let Me Start By Saying

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Being a SAHM, wife & writer would be easier if Life would stop chucking things at my head. Like lemons. And poop.

What's the funniest thing your child has ever done or said?

What always makes you laugh?

What's the funniest gift you've ever received?

What's a parenting rule you should break and why?

Kim Bongiorno

That everything my kids do or create is a brilliant masterpiece of wonderfulness. I know what my kids are capable of, so I refuse to stand in rousing applause each time they press crayon to paper or run across the soccer field in the wrong direction. Don't get me wrong: I'm not going all Crouching Tiger, Hidden Piano Mom on my kids. I'm supportive and encouraging and appreciative. I've never tossed a violin at anyone. I pinky swear. But when they can do better? I know it. They know it. So I tell them to do better. Earlier this year, my kids were making birthday cards for their uncle. They basically scribbled a smiley face and handed them to me. I took one look and said "Uhhh no. Try again, people". They typically spend hours a day making colorful ornate cards and posters for their stuffed animals, for goodness sake. Step it up a notch for a real Human Being, please. I see no problem with building confidence in kids by telling them they did a good job at trying something new, even if they didn't do a superb job. Heck, they tried! That's awesome! But when they are, in fact, good at doing something and just dialed it in? Or know how to write their name but only tack on a last initial out of laziness? Or simply don't want to clean their mess up and act like they don't know where the toy box is? Gimme a break. I'm happy to hug and support them, and my kids know I believe in them and are here to kiss boo-boos. But they also need to know that They Can Do It On Their Own. They Can Do Better. I have faith in their abilities, and don't want them thinking that there's never room for improvement. These parents who think it is terrible to keep score at soccer games, or who argue with the Art teacher that their kid's splotches of paint are deserving of a college scholarship, or insist that their child is a genius at something when everyone else who hears/sees/smells the result is wondering "Does she see what WE see??" aren't letting their kids shine for the world, only for them. And that seems limiting, to me. I'm not perfect, and don't expect them to be. I don't expect them to be The Greatest At Everything They Do. But we can all be a little better. I know my kids are awesome. I just want them to prove it to themselves. So I refuse to blow smoke up their butts. I'll leave that to their grandparents.
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Which movies for kids in the 2-7 age range will parents also enjoy watching?

Kim Bongiorno

My kids are 4.5yo & 6.5yo, and we're all big into movies. Favorites are Rio, Megamind, Ponyo, Madagascar (both are hilarious, but 2 is even funnier than the original), Despicable Me, any of the Ice Age movies...oh boy, so many. I didn't see Hop, but my kids did and they can't WAIT for it to come out on DVD so we can get that one. I will say this: this fad of 3D movies ruined the movie-going experience for my family. My daughter gets scared, some scenes even scare my older son, and he's a tough cookie. Also, I have to wear the glasses over my eyeglass, which is annoying...especially while holding a scared little girl in my lap. Please, movie companies, quit the 3D trend for any film that kids under 10 will want to see. Pretty please?
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How much help should parents give their kids with homework?

Kim Bongiorno

Talk to his/her teacher first. My 1st Grader's teacher wants the kids to do homework on their own, so she can see where they are on that skill without her assistance. If we, as parents, see something incorrect, we can say "I see one wrong addition answer" or the like, letting them know there's something they can correct...but not give them the answer.
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What's your dream gift for Mother's Day? (If it's a product or service that can be found on the web or on your blog, please include a link.)

Kim Bongiorno

My Nana's favorite flower was lilac, and she always smelled of them. I've wanted a lilac bush on each side of my house since we moved in 4 years ago, and am hoping my husband makes it happen this Mother's Day. I've missed her every day for the past 18 years since she has been gone. Now that I'm 36 years old, I'm officially at the point where she's been gone half my life. From now on, I'll have more of my life without her than with. It's time to bring a piece of her back to me, to keep her presence strong as time passes. I'd love for her memory to be carried in the breezes that blow around my kids as they play in the yard. I'd love to have my thoughts filled with her when I catch a whiff of that sharp purpley scent on a bad day. So I hope for lilac bushes.
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How do you keep your kids involved with chores?

Kim Bongiorno

It’s part of our routine, so it has become a habit. My kids are almost 5 & 7 years old, so they can help out with a few things now. I keep a Swivel Sweeper in the kitchen right by the table. After they spill four thousand crumbs per meal, they know to stroll on over to the SS and get to work. They know to clear their spots on the table after meals. It’s automatic now. Also? It increases their chances of getting dessert. I act like it’s A Big Deal to help me fold towels, so the kids practically fight each other to get to me first for a pile to fold. Jedi Mind trick? Maybe. But it works. Each time they pick up a new task, I let them settle into it, get used to it, so they don’t even think about the fact that they’re doing it, before I add something new. I’m just looking forward to the day they’re old enough to do all the laundry. Oh, that’ll be AWESOME.
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What's your favorite muffin recipe?

Kim Bongiorno

The Pioneer Woman introduced me to muffins that taste like donuts. They are breakfast crack. I cannot get enough of these warm, buttery, cinnamony mini muffins.
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What are the best ways to keep kids entertained & well-behaved at a formal event or luncheon such as wedding?

Kim Bongiorno

Low expectations, an escape plan, and a bag full of surprises. I pack stickers, paper, mini coloring books, crayons, silent toys, Dollar Store crafts (and a baggie to store them in), snacks and a reward chart for my kids when we go to something that is probably too fancy for them to be expected to behave at properly. I also make sure they are dressed appropriately, but comfortably. Nothing makes a bored kit twitchier than an itchy dress or too-tight pants.
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