Archives for August 2012

Let the Punishment Fit the Crime


We found out seven minutes before the school bell rang this morning that my oldest kiddo didn’t do any of her math homework.  All week.  She even got up early this morning to play on the computer for an hour before school instead of remembering all that homework she didn’t do.

There were strongly worded communications suggesting intense disappointment in her behavior.  (Me.)

There were tears and excuses.  (Her.)

I had all day to think of appropriate punishment.  Then a certain gem from Gilbert & Sullivan (vis a vis Miss Inch in the 1961 production of The Parent Trap starring Haley Mills) (please tell me someone out there ‘gets’ that?) came to mind:  let the punishment fit the crime.







Thanks to the Internet I now have three dozen grade level-appropriate math worksheets printed out for her to complete this weekend.  No TV.  No computer.  No iPod.  Just some basic algebra, addition, subtraction, and word problems to entertain her.  All weekend.

Just punishment?  Dealt.

Lesson learned?  Pretty sure.

Teacher probably thinks I’m bad-ass now that she knows that I’m an awesome parent?  Doubtless.

Manipulate the experience into a blog post for your entertainment?  Okay, fine.


To print out easy, fun, and free worksheets for your own kids (for any reason, not necessarily as punishment), just Google “math worksheets 3rd grade” or “worksheets for 3rd grade”, etcetera.  I tinkered with a couple of different sites and found I liked the Soft Schools site.  Just see the menu of study areas along the left side.  Enjoy!


Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl.  Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why they have hope for a cure for muscular dystrophy at


Another Cheesy Snack!

Today, I’m bringing you another quick and easy snack… Straight from the archives!

For every recipe or tip that we, as a community, submit to the Tillamook Back to School Facebook tab… Tillamook will donate $10 to Feeding America. I’ve helped to donate $20 now… and I’m motivated to keep to helping to raise total. Are you in? You can submit your own recipe or healthy tip HERE. I’d love to know how many recipes and tips you shared! Thanks friends!

Cream Cheese, Fruit, and Crackers:


RITZ Crackers
Cream Cheese Spread
Sliced fresh fruit, such as strawberries (Or whatever you like)

The How-To:

Spread some delicious cream cheese on your cracker and then top with fruit! It’s as easy as that!



Back to School, Tillamook, and Feeding America

Let me start by saying… this isn’t a paid post. This is a post on doing social good. I received information about the Tillamook/Feeding America initiative and wanted to help out. We also received an adorable back pack! (You can win one too) So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

It’s that time of year again! Back to school! And as a mom… I’m constantly trying to come up with quick and healthy school lunches. This year…. I’m giving bento boxes a shot. My kids have been in school for two weeks now and bento boxes have worked really well for us! What’s a bento box? Basically… it’s a lunchbox with dividers. One of the main staples in their lunches is… cheese!

Speaking of cheese… Tillamook, the authority on delicious all-natural cheese, is teaming up with Feeding America, the nations leading domestic hunger-relief charity. How can you get involved?

Starting today… Readers can visit the Tillamook Facebook page and visit the Back to School tab to submit a favorite recipe, snack, or tip! For every submission on the Back to School tab… Tillamook will donate $10 to Feeding America! Every submission also enters readers to win a Tillamook backpack full of back to school goodies and all-natural Tillamook treats!

Tillamook has also given us an exclusive %15off coupon code for their online store. Just use the code backtoschool, at check out, to receive your savings. Thanks Tillamook!

Let’s do some social good and get involved to benefit Feeding America!

Fruit and Cheese Kabobs


Wooden or plastic kabob sticks

Cookie Cutters (to shape your cheese)

A nice block (Or Tillamook loaf!) of cheese

Your favorite fruits


Simply cut a slice of cheese thick enough to keep it’s shape once you use the cookie cutters. You can also use the cookie cutters to shape melon slices. Slide your fruits and cheeses onto a kabob stick and serve chilled!





Happy 8th Birthday Rachel!

Eight. It’s hard to believe that it was 8 years ago that you came into my life. After two tragic heartbreaks before you… now you were born… crying in my arms. Life has never been the same. Your smile and laugh are the joy that fills my very soul. Your dark eyes shining with mischief. Your long wavy hair sparkles in the sunshine and makes me long for more lazy summer days flying through the air on the swings. Soon enough you’ll feel as if you’re too old to swing anymore.

I hope you never feel as if you’re too old to hug and kiss me before you walk out the door. Never too old to snuggle and read a book. Never too old to make french toast on Sunday mornings. Never too old for spontaneous dancing. Never too old to hold my hand when we cross the street. (Ok… you can be too old for that one… but not just yet!)

Happy birthday to my first born. My Rachel.




Getting Psyched for “Wreck It Ralph”











If you went to the theater this summer to see a kid’s movie, then you probably saw the trailer for Wreck It Ralph.  The first time I watched it I didn’t find it very appealing–it’s very pixel-y/analogue looking and I just have no patience for that.  But by the third time I watched it (I found myself subjected to lots of kids movies this summer) I realized that’s the point of it.  And I LOVE it!

Such a clever premise:  In a video game concept reminiscent of our classic arcade friend Donkey Kong, Wreck It Ralph perches on the roof of a tall building and throws bricks down in hopes of demolishing anything in the brick’s path including our hero, Fix It Felix.  The player is Fix It Felix, and the nemesis is Wreck It Ralph–that is, until Ralph gets a complex about being so negative and destructive, and so abandons his role in that game for greener pastures.  Since I just spend the entire movie trailer waiting for the ghost from Pac-Man, I actually have no idea what happens after Ralph leaves the game (other than an appearance by a Lara Croft-esque Jane Lynch which is perfection cartoonified).  But it should be known that I will never say no to spending my husband’s hard earned money to watch any movie which includes a Villains Anonymous meeting featuring a Pac-Man ghost getting so mad that he goes invisible, just like in the game…

Okay, enough writing a commercial for the movie.  (maybe click here for the commercial for this movie.)   Disney nor anyone else asked me to pimp this movie out.  I just like to share stuff that I think is cool.  And the number one cool thing at my house right now is the Wreck It Ralph app for iPod/iPad!  If your kids are intrigued by the trailers and you have zero dollars to spend on another app (that’s right, this app is free), please go find it.  I don’t know what made me think to search for it, but it exists and my kids love it.  I have an 8 year old and two 5 year olds and they all are tickled silly by it.  Plus, it’s free.  Have I mentioned that it’s free?  They titled it Fix-It Felix Jr. instead of Wreck It Ralph (a mistake, in my opinion.  We are not mind readers, we are frazzled parents annoyed that our kids are begging for yet another iTunes download to their over-priced Atari-wannabees.  Some naming consistency would be nice, eh.)  Also this app is not available on the Android market, for those of you savvy enough to own an Android device.  :(

So if your kids are looking forward to the Wreck It Ralph movie, or if you are the only one looking forward to it but want to get your kids hooked too, I suggest you get yourself the Wreck It Ralph app Fix-It Felix Jr. app.  Enjoy!


















(For you planners out there, Wreck It Ralph the movie debuts in the U.S. on November 2.)


Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl.  Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why they have hope for a cure for muscular dystrophy at


Fun Names for Twins

When I found out I was having twins–long time ago.  Days of yore/yesteryear, even–I worked in an office with fun and creative coworkers.  In good humor they quickly posted an easel with an enormous Post-It pad titled “Byrd Twin Name Suggestions”, and that easel stayed up for the six months it took me to bake these buns and then be forced to name them.  Every department in my building had some fun with it, and the suggestions were memorable.

Luke & Leia

Thing 1 & Thing 2

Frick & Frack

Harry & Hermione

Simon & Garfunkel

Barbie & Ken

Peaches & Herb

Rick & Bubba

Smith & Wesson

Chris & Ruth

Thelma & Louise

Rhett & Scarlett

Trinidad & Tobago

Elvis & Priscilla

John Paul & Ringo George

William & Mary

Cuckoo & Big (see last name, at top)

President & Lady (again, see last name above)


The list went on and on.  Sadly, I threw out that poster tablet of creative genius when we moved a couple years ago.  My memory is poor and so I know I’m missing some!  What else have others suggested to you, or can you think of?