THE GREATEST SHOWMAN available on Digital and Movies Anywhere TOMORROW 3/20

Beginning TOMORROW, The Greatest Showman makes its way to Digital and Movies Anywhere. Fans can watch it again and again with the Sing-Along available on iTunes, Blu-ray and DVD. The Greatest Showman will arrive on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, DVD and VOD on April 10

A Lover! Not a Fighter Or Am I?

Yesterday while doing our weekly volunteer at an animal shelter with my kids I almost truly got into a fight with another volunteer. Imagine? I seriously was about to take my earrings out and fight!

We usually clean a room or two but yesterday after cleaning our third room I headed back to the first room we cleaned. I wanted to do the floors which would have made that room DONE! However there was another woman doing bunny cages. Why do the floors if she was doing cages? It would have looked like we hadn’t. So I headed to the supervisor (a woman I had never met because she normally doesn’t do weekends) and tell her we did the three rooms, washed all the dirty things including the ones for the other volunteers but didn't do the floors because there was someone still doing cages. She said no problem. The kids and I went back in to spend some time with the cats before leaving and the other volunteer mentions that she needs to pick up her son soon and she would appreciate us doing the floor for her. She tells me what needs to be done as if I have never worked there before and I listened. No biggie. Not even going to go there. I just tell her OK. We are here every weekend. We know what to do and stay until the job is done. I ask my son to please sweep the floor. My thought process was at least that much will be done and we can do her section after she leaves.

10 minutes later the supervisor comes in and the other woman is closing up the rabbit cages. The supervisor asks if the room was done and my son says "Yes! I swept the floors." The other volunteer jumps in, "NO! He didn't do them. He didn't pull out the garbage cans or get under the cages. He didn't squeegee the floors. It all has to be done." I am thinking, "Wait! What?! I couldn't ever imagine calling out someone's kid in front of him or anyone else. He is 14. Underage and can't work there without me being there. Everyone has eyes and he certainly doesn't need some adult to call him out. We were going to do it when she left. Why work around her?

The supervisor says "OK! They said they are going to do it. You can go take your son. They are willing. It is OK thanks for your help."

The other volunteer says, "NO they are unwilling I can get it done in 15 minutes."

I swear if I could have blinked myself in front of her face I would have but I stormed over to where they were the whole way saying "but but said you were leaving. We said we would do it. We are just waiting for you to go so we can finish up." No one ever said unwilling."

She said, "I am not mad. I hope I don't sound mad!" I shout, "You sound a little upset."

The Supervisor puts up her hands and said, "OK I think this was a miscommunication. They said they would do it. You can go get your son."

Everything seemed like it would be fine but this lady never left. I started sweeping as I was hearing the cages close thinking she is going. She is telling the bunnies that their cages are nice and clean now. I am sweeping by cat cages, making my way to where she was working so when she goes I can hit that area. NO! She starts sweeping too! WTF! Why?! GO!!! You said you were going. You tried to throw me and MY KIDS under the bus for what? A volunteer job that is supposed to be something we all do because we love animals but it always manages to be a PAIN IN THE ASS with the people who work there?!

I am evolved and don't want to judge this woman. The term crazy cat lady exists for a reason and it doesn't always have to do with people who love cats. Maybe she is fighting with her husband. Maybe she has a sick parent. I don't know. So I get the small broom and pan and sweep up her pile so I can get the squeegeeing done and get out. 

She finally says have a good weekend and I return the sentiment.

She took 10 more minutes to leave. I found out later she was giving the Supervisor and ear full.

After cleaning, I went to sign out. This Supervisor doesn't know me and I want her to know why I stood up for myself.  I tell her the story I mentioned above and that it is very important for me to stick up for myself. I spent years not saying anything. Never defending myself and always letting others mentally beat me up.  My kids are watching me and I needed them to hear me defending them.

She says I should let it go and after hearing both stories she thinks the woman misunderstood me. I told her I felt she was trying to be a martyr.

When I left I was still angry. There was so much I still wanted to say to that volunteer. I was ready to throw down if she said anything that made me feel like I needed to.

When I tell friends the story, they say it was probably because of her calling out my son or saying "They are unwilling". That if she had said she is unwilling I probably would have let it go. I don't know maybe.

I just know that I felt proud of myself and wish that I was that strong years ago.

She would have probably gone blow for blow with me but I would have definitely thrown the first if necessary. It feels good to know that about myself. Too many years a victim. Not anymore.

Thankfully my kids didn't have to see mommy go crazy. What they saw was mommy defending them.

Lesson for the day: Don't mess with a CUB in front of MOMMA

3 Family Fun Games For Preschool and Up - Video Reviews - FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

I have mentioned in the past that I love unplugging and spending time with my kids. Lately we have been having fun with puzzles and games. Kicking it old school and I hear some of my friends are also doing this. Kids and adults spend so much time online whether a computer, tablet or smartphone and never enough time together. Our time with our kids is going fast and in the future the phone may be the only communication I have with them so I have been doing things with them that they love.

Goliath Games has some fun games like the 3 listed above. I loved two of the 3 but was only able to try out 2 of them. Stick with me and I will explain.

Build or Boom is the first one up. This is a really fun game that had us laughing. It can be played by 2 players and the recommendation is 4 and up.

Game Contents:
  • 4 Boards
  • 4 Blocks
  • 4 Triangles
  • 4 Arches
  • 4 Cones
  • 4 I-Beams
  • 4 Barrels
  • 2 Builders
  • 30 Blueprint Cards
  • 2 Platforms
  • 2 Boomers
  • 2 Air Hoses
  • 1 Card Holder
  • Complete Instructions

You each get a platform, an air hose and a few sticks of dynamite. The first to build gets to blow up the other's construction.

Helps build STEM skills such as analytical thinking and shape recognition.
Unique game play that doesn’t need batteries!
High-quality components with bright, vibrant colors.

We had a blast (tee hee) blowing up each other's construction and found some of the builds very challenging or maybe that was just me.

To Purchase: Head over to Goliath to see where you can get it. I believe it is only at Barnes and Noble according to the website.

The next game was not a favorite of mine. It is called Giggle Wiggle
and I had a hard time even getting close to doing well. My daughter did much better than me. Maybe her smaller fingers? Hmmm?
Game Contents:
  • 28 Multi Colored Balls
  • 1 Giggle Wiggle Caterpillar
  • 1 Giggle Wiggle Base
  • 1 Sticker Sheet
  • Complete Instructions
  • Requires 3 AA batteries (not included)

Giggle Wiggle is a really cute game. That can be played by up to 4 players. When you open the box you will see that Wiggle Giggle the Caterpillar comes in 3 sections (really easy to put together). You also get stickers to put on for his eyes and multicolored bow ties. He also requires 3 AA batteries.

Each player picks a color marble and it is a race to the finish line as players place their hands in Wiggle Giggles hands as he sways and spins to the music.

Race to place your colored marbles from his bottom row of hands all the way to the top as he wiggles.

I found it stressful and annoying but my daughter who disliked it the first three times is really good at it and has asked to play two days in a row. I do because it is what she wants but you will see in my video, I am NOT good at this game at all.

To Purchase:

TARGET has it for $10 

The last game is called Who Tooted? This Game's A Gas
 By far the funniest game. Can be played by 3-4 players and is for ages 5 and UP. Dad has a gas problem or maybe the family does and they are blaming it on Dad. He happens to be the one on the board.

Game Contents:
  • 1 game board
  • 4 character playing pieces
  • 4 playing piece stands
  • 4 noses
  • 4 game board stabilizers
  • 1 molded figurine
  • 1 game base
  • 4 whoopee cushion controllers
  • Complete Instructions

To play is easy. Put 2 AAA batteries in. Put the board together, put the player pieces on the stands and get ready to hear some fart noises. Everyone gets a whoopee cushion that they hold in their hand. Pick your game piece, mom, dog, son or daughter and hold your cushion but keep it hidden from everyone else because the cushion will randomly select the farter. Once your light goes off on your cushion press the button which will illicit some fart noises. Now everyone has to point their 'noses" at the player they think farted. Even the farter because you wan't everyone to believe it was NOT you. If you can trick the other players you get to move that many spaces. The winner is the one who gets around the board the fastest. It is a funny game. We played quick but our batteries must have been used because we need to pick up some more. Here is our quick video.

 To Purchase:

Disclaimer: I received complimentary products for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered. All opinions are my own.

Easter Prize Pack #Giveaway ARV $75.00 Ends 4/7

Easter is coming and while I know many of us are in snow it IS around the corner (I promise! It has to come eventually right?!

Thanks to National Geographic I am pleased to host this giveaway which includes all 4 books listed as well as an adorable bunny that was featured in my Easter Basket Gift Ideas post.  

SomebunnyLoves Me (hardcover picture book, ages 4-8, $16.99) by Parry Gripp. Parry is an Emmy-winning singer-songwriter whose quirky, popular tunes, including “Nom, nom, nom” and “It’s Raining Tacos” have made his YouTube channel a smash hit with nearly 140 million views. He is an avid animal lover and his bunny Bruno is often the inspiration behind so many of his songs.  In Somebunny Loves Me, Parry’s sweet and silly rhymes are cleverly written to share how children can best understand, appreciate and interact with a variety of fuzzy, feathered or scaly pals.  Paired with adorable, full-page photographs, Parry also includes a personal note in the back of the book giving kids and their parents more tips on how to be good pet owners — from how to keep pets safe, clean and healthy to how to best interact with them and even pointers on on how to make a pet music video.  Check out the Somebunny Loves Me music video and sing along as you and your kids turn the pages (hopefully with their favorite pet by their side!):   


 The 411:

This book has some of the cutest pictures of Children with animals. Written by Parry Gripp who wrote It's Raining Tacos (I wish I could post my kids It's Raining Taco video from a few years ago. It is so cute.) Seriously a book kids will love. These adorable rhymes that go with each photo are sweet and flow. Very easy to read out loud. My preschool class loved hearing about the animals but especially loved pointing to the full color photos. The two- three year olds in my class loved naming the animals and talking about what they feel and sound like.  Truly a great book for home or the classroom.

Who’sWho in the Bible (hardcover, ages 8-12, $14.99) - Everyone you need to know from the old and new testaments!  From Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to Paul's ministry to the ancient world, this beautiful book pairs need-to-know information about biblical personalities with timeless artwork. Each vibrant, colorful profile is accompanied by fast facts, including which books of the Bible the person appears in and what he or she is best known for. Feature spreads cover the history, archaeology, and geography associated with notable individuals. An alphabetical index covering more names not mentioned in profiles ensures that kids reading the Bible never have to ask, "Who's that?"

ASeed is the Start (hardcover picture book, ages 6-9, $17.99) - Spring is about to, well, spring into action, and the magical seed is where it all begins.  Beautiful photography and lyrical text pair with comprehensive picture captions in award-winning author Melissa Stewart's story about the surprisingly diverse world of seeds. Learn all about the plant cycle, from how seeds grow, the fascinating ways they travel, and what it takes for a seed to become a plant. The magic of spring, revealed!

The 411:

This is a wonderful book about the life cycle of a seed.  The full color photos are perfect for explaining how seeds grow into other things. There are many seeds like corn, dandelions and gourds but this book also covered plants like the red hamburger bean vine whose seeds are spread by the rain. Never heard of this plant!  It isn't just wind and rain that transports seeds where they need to go to but also insects and animals pass seeds along. My kids loved the pictures and my fellow teachers loved learning more things about seeds. This book is perfect for 4+ who will learn a lot about seeds.

100Ways to Make the World Better (paperback, ages 8-12, $9.99) - Who says kids can't change the world? If they've got the will, Nat Geo Kids can guide the way, with doable activities, hands-on projects, advice from National Geographic explorers, interviews with experts, weird-but-true facts, and more inspiration.  In keeping with the Nat Geo Kids mission, the book is full of practical, positive, and powerful ideas that every kid can consider, from simple acts of kindness to creative adventures to good-for-the-planet projects.  Ideas are presented as simple concepts with engaging graphics and photographs, and many are followed by detailed supporting information. Kids get a sense of their own power to make a difference and an understanding of what actions contribute to positive outcomes. Sometimes all it takes is starting with something simple, and before you know it, together we've reshaped our planet for the better.

The 411:

This is my favorite layout when it comes to Nat Geo books. The books cover a lot of ground but in a fun way that keeps you reading and retaining because of the colorful photos and the fun text sizes. 

The book is broken down into 100 ways to make the world better and each tip or suggestion has a photo and practical ideas. 

One of the suggestions is to start a Gratitude Journal which I truly believe is the reason I don't sweat the small stuff. I started one years ago and would write 5 things every day that I was thankful for. It was never hard to do. 

#33 is put your talents to use.  Like if you are great with animals volunteer (my kids do and love it!). 

#52 compost. We have thought about this for a long time. Maybe this is the year.

I think families will love this book. What a great way to teach empathy for our Earth and the people in it.

All these books can be purchased at the links listed above and please enter the giveaway below for a chance to win this tremendous prize pack before 4/7.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary prize pack for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered. All opinions are my own. I was not asked to say anything about the products. The giveaway will be shipped from the sponsor at the conclusion of the giveaway. 

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Dear Readers: At this time all giveaways on Maria's Space are for the United States unless otherwise noted.