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Jack’s Book Recommendation: The Bad Guys

17 Sep

I’ve been hoping since Jack was born that he’d turn into a bookworm just like his mommy. While he’s not quite in the burying-himself-in-books stage, we have been reading a book every night before bedtime for the past 7+ years. Back in April, I shared that his favorites included Pete the Cat and Dogman (read the post here) but now he has a new favorite series: The Bad Guys!

I had stopped by the library on my own to pick up a book on hold when I decided to do a quick loop of the kid’s section to grab a few new books. I saw a bunch of Bad Guys books, so I grabbed book 1, 2 and 3 and brought them home. Holy Guacamole, Jack LOVED them!

Here’s a list of all of them with links to the paperbacks which are typically about $3 each. You can also stick them on hold at the library like we did!


The Bad Guys (#1)

The Bad Guys in Mission Unpluckable (#2)

The Bad Guys in The Furball Strikes Back (#3)

The Bad Guys in Attack of the Zittens (#4)

The Bad Guys in Intergalactic Gas (#5)

The Bad Guys in Alien vs Bad Guys (#6)

The Bad Guys in Do-You-Think-He-Saurus?! (#7)

The Bad Guys in Superbad (#8)

The Bad Guys in The Big Bad Wolf (#9)

These books are for kids in 2nd – 4th grade and center around “bad guys” trying to act like good guys. The graphic novels center around Mr. Wolf, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Snake, Mr. Shark and Legs the tarantula. There’s a bunch of kid appropriate ‘potty’ humor that had Jack and I cackling out loud!

We read a few chapters every night (they are a little more challenging for him, so I read to him and he follows along) and we burned through all three of the books. We went back to the library to grab more and at this point we’ve finished the entire 9 book series and we are impatiently waiting for more.

Jack has already asked me to add the whole series onto his Christmas list and it looks like #10 will be coming out in December!

Have you read The Bad Guys books yet?

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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Goldfish are the Enemy

9 Sep

It all started with a toothache. When we were in Ocean City in August, Jack complained on and off that his tooth hurt. It would hurt for a bit and then stop hurting… and then hurt again. Mostly at night. He’d just been to the dentist 4 months before and I didn’t see anything when I stuck my flashlight in his mouth, so I was crossing my fingers that it wasn’t a big deal.

We decided to come home from the beach a little early and got an appointment with the dentist the next day. It was there that we learned that Jack had a cavity SO BAD that it was all the way through his baby tooth and they were concerned that it was going to rot out his grown-up tooth too. And there was a cavity next to that tooth. AND a cavity on the other side of his mouth.

What. The. Hell.

We were JUST at the dentist FOUR MONTHS ago… how on earth did my kid suddenly get so many cavities?!

Apparently, the answer is goldfish.

Like any parent, I’ve been providing my kid goldfish by the truckload. We typically go for the whole wheat version, but if we are near Costco we’ve been known to stock up on the regular version because it comes in a huge box for cheap.

Source: Pepperidge

Jack’s favorite snack is goldfish.

When he wakes up early on the weekend… goldfish. When he’s chilling on the couch watching television… goldfish. When he doesn’t like the veggies I made with dinner… goldfish. So. Many. Goldfish. But he’s 7, so I basically let him eat them whenever he wanted because at least he was getting healthy-ish food in his tummy.

According to the dentist, goldfish is one of the worst things you can give a kid. In fact, if you google ‘why are goldfish bad for teeth’ you immediately get 3,630,000 results. Apparently, goldfish are made up of simple starch, which turns to sugar really fast. They also get stuck in your teeth easily – they are stickier than most candy — so that the bacterial has even more time to turn the sugar into acid… and ruin your teeth.

I didn’t know this.

Jack’s tooth was so far gone that we had to go in for an extraction, in addition to having the tooth next to it filled. He gets to go back in a month to get the other side’s cavity filled too.

He took it like a champ! Thank goodness it is just his baby teeth and now that we know the culprit, we’ve made some changes to help him keep his mouth healthier:

  • Goodbye goldfish. After the dentist appointment, Jack asked if he should throw the goldfish away in our pantry and hasn’t touched one since. I told him that they are fine every so often, but he’s decided that they’re not worth the trouble.
  • Goodbye orange juice. We don’t do soda at all for Jack, but he was enjoying an awful lot of orange juice on the regular. The dentist said the acidity was too much for his teeth, so he also went cold turkey on orange juice and basically only has water for his drinks now.
  • Better teeth brushing. I bought Jack a 2-minute teeth brushing timer (we got this one) to help him know how long to brush his teeth. He brushes every morning and every night with NO exceptions.
  • Swish Swish. After each tooth brushing, Jack has started using a water/mouthwash mix for an extra swish-swish to get any yuck out of his teeth. He also has flossers that he uses a few times a week.

I can’t even tell you how much I beat myself up for this. I mean, I’m the mommy and I should have known better. So, going forward we are trying to do a much better job at teeth care in our house.

Have you experienced anything like this with your kid? Did you know that goldfish were so freaking bad for teeth?

Disclaimer: This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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Jack’s First Day of 2nd Grade

3 Sep

It’s that time again… I dusted off the chalkboard for the annual first day of school photo on the front porch:

And just like that – BOOM – I have a 2nd grader in the house.

The week before Jack started first grade, we went by the school to hunt down his new classroom and meet his new teacher. However, this year the timing wasn’t right and we weren’t able to visit last week. Instead, my brave boy is going in blind and will figure it out on his own (with the help of some school grown-ups, of course).

Jack wasn’t even nervous leading up to today at all, but then suddenly as we were walking into school for his before-care drop off, he turned to me with wide eyes and said “I’m SCARED” with a nervous laugh. We had a quick hug and a kiss and it passed as suddenly as it came.

 As soon as we walked into the school, he switched into the routine of drop off mode. I got my hug and a half-dozen kisses and suddenly I was outside and he was inside. And another year has started.

To be honest my emotions are a weird mix of happy and sad. I love seeing Jack grow up and his personality shine year after year, but darn if I don’t want to squish him back down to baby-sized every so often.

Happy Back to School Everyone!

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Family Travel: Fun in Philadelphia… Legoland & The Franklin Institute

21 Aug

Sometimes it’s nice to get away… even if “away” is just a few hours from your own house. Jack has been begging to go back to Legoland again this year, so we decided that instead of just driving to Plymouth Meeting, PA and back in the same day, we’d spend a night in the Big City. The Big City is what Jack calls any city — Philly, Baltimore, NYC — they are all BIG to him.

This was actually our third year in a row of visiting the Legoland Discovery Center, but somehow, I’ve never blogged about it. If you have a kid obsessed with Legos, this place will blow their mind. There are a bunch of different Lego build and play zones, a full Lego recreation of Philadelphia landmarks and also a 4D cinema that shows Lego short films. Oh yeah, and the gift shop full of amazing Lego sets and a spot where you can build-your-own mini figures!

Here are some of our photos from the Legoland portion of our weekend:

When it came to choosing a hotel, I didn’t really care where we stayed as long as it was right in the middle of everything. We ended up at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown because they were priced pretty much the same as everyone else, but they had a Visit Philly Overnight hotel package that was PERFECT for us. The package included: free overnight parking, two tickets to the Franklin Institute Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes exhibit, a $25 gift card to some nearby restaurants, and some other stuff.

Considering that no other hotels nearby included parking and it costs around $50 to park overnight AND the two Franklin Institute tickets totaled at $70… it was quite the deal.

Of course, if you do end up booking that package it pays to KNOW what you should receive because I had to remind them multiple times that we didn’t have to pay for our parking and that they owed us the packet of tickets. Just saying.

Anywho. We checked in, went to dinner, slept in the next morning and checked out at 11am. The room was fine – comfortable and clean. The hotel was perfectly located, with the Reading Terminal Market right next store and a Starbucks in the lobby. My only complaint was that we had super loud neighbors who yelled, hooted and hollered until about midnight. They drove me crazy, but Jack and Travis slept through the whole thing.

Since we had parking until 4pm, we loaded up our overnight stuff in backpacks – one for each of us – and hit the road for some exploring. We walked around the Reading Terminal Market for a bit and then took an Uber to the Franklin Institute. Since we got two tickets in our packet, we just needed to buy one additional child’s ticket for $31. The tickets gave us access to Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes, as well as the rest of the science museum. The Marvel exhibit featured more than 300 artifacts, including comic books, costumes and props. I thought it was super cool, but Jack enjoyed the regular science center exhibits more.

We wandered through the exhibits for hours until my stomach started rumbling… then we hit up Urban Farmers Philadelphia for lunch. The food was delicious, but I was even more impressed with the décor. The place was absolutely gorgeous and I totally wanted to grab a book and snuggle into one of their corner booths for a few hours of uninterrupted reading!

Oh, one last photo of our weekend. There was a fun “I Love Philly” thing in Love Park where people were taking turns posing for photos. Well, when it was our turn this happened…

Yup. Exactly the photo I was hoping for!

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