Monday, March 18, 2019

How I Get My Kids To Smile In Photos

People ask me how I get my kids to smile in photos.

"They always seem happy!" I'm told and I answer, "Oh, that's because I gave them $5 to smile."

I'm kidding.

If I did that, I'd be broke. I take a ton of photos.

When my kids were small, I could make farting noises, and that would do it.

Or I'd run into the side of the house, which hurt, but apparently my pain made them giggle.

But as they got older, it became tricky. Suddenly the fart noises were "lame" and when I ran into the house I was asked if I needed medication.

So what do I do now?

Well, I try to think back to a meme that made them giggle. Or a video. Or a TV show. For example, my son loves The Office, so I made a bunch of "that's what she said" jokes.

My daughter can be trickier. Her birthday is this week, and I wanted to get some photos as I did with my son.

She went, "Maybe I just won't open my eyes," and I answered, "Fine," and clicked away.

You can't give up easily with tweens and teens. You just can't. You have to go with it. Block off at least a half hour.

To get her to laugh, I was speaking to the neighbor's dog, who was barking on the other side of the fence.

"No Fluffy, you can't be in the photos," I said, and Natalie found this hilarious.

"I don't think his name is Fluffy!" she giggled.

Yes, she still stubbornly had her eyes shut, but you know, the photo invokes her joy.

You never know what will make tweens laugh.

"I'm still keeping my eyes shut," she told me.

"Amazing, my eyes are shut too," and then she opened HERS to check.


Then she went, "I'm going to be silly," and I said I'd still take her photo.

I let her get the silliness out of her system, because eventually she will take photos for me because she knows I won't give up. I've had a camera in her face since I pushed her out of me.

She might have thought my face WAS a camera for the first half of her life.

And when they begin to cooperate, they might go back to being a goofball, but those photos are memories too. So take them.

I find the less berating I do, the more willing they are to go back to regular photos.

Look, there's a reason why she's wearing a sweatshirt that says Sassy Since Birth. (It's from Forever 21 if you have a sassy girl too.)

So just a reminder: when photographing older kids, have patience. Be silly. Let them be silly.

And you will get some good shots.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Tween Girl Birthday Gift Ideas

There are some affiliate links in this post. If you make a purchase with the link, I'll receive a small commission. 

My daughter's birthday is this week. She's a tween, so she can be difficult to shop for. She's slowly moving away from toys--she's selective about which ones she'll play with. She's also at the age where she thinks a lot of things are lame, so that can be tricky. But I think I found some gifts that she'll actually like.

Vans! My daughter has been talking about wanting a pair so I found her these at Kohl's. Hopefully she likes the style. She can be super picky about that.

Natalie has a Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 camera, and she never knows where to put all the pictures she takes with it. So I got her this album from Amazon. Plus more film for her camera.

Natalie loves to draw, and she's older so I know she won't take these and draw all over the walls, so I picked her up these Sharpie's.

Natalie has always liked Pusheen, so I found her this jacket from Think Geek.

We LOVE Rose Gold, so I picked up this fanny pack from Shop Disney.

Natalie is big on horror films, so I got her this shirt at Hot Topic. Yes, she's seen both versions of It. I covered my eyes. She didn't.

You guys know how much Natalie loves Freddie Mercury! I found the shirt on Amazon, but it's not available anymore. I got the Funko Pop figure from Amazon as well. The quote is from the Etsy shop duckandshop.

I also got her a keyboard, but it hasn't been put together yet.

Will she like these? I hope so!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Child Identity Theft Is Real

This post is sponsored by Identron. Nevertheless, my opinions are my own.

I admit, my kids spend more time online than they probably should. I always remind them never to share personal information.

But what happens if they do?

Or what happens if they get hacked and the personal information is stolen?

Unfortunately, it can happen and your children might not even know until they are adults. I hate the thought of someone using their social security numbers but it can easily happen offline too. How often do you fill out forms and have to put a social security number down? I think of all the times I wrote it down for school forms, and sometimes you don't know who is seeing those papers.

And what about all those data breeches I keep hearing about?

There were MILLIONS of identity theft victims in 2018 and I don't want my kids to be one of them. 25% off all children will be affected before they turn 18, * and this is a frightening number to me.

Sometimes we assume that identity theft is an adult problem, and this is completely wrong.

I'm grateful that Identity Protection Planning is available. They offer IDENTRON plans which offers family coverages INCLUDING minor children. There is real time SSN & Credit Bureau monitoring with alerts, dark web scanning, plus so much more. You can cancel at any time if you aren't happy.

There are different plans to choose from--one is less than $10 a month.

All the plans come with a one million dollar insurance policy, and you'll get a protection kit which comes with rapid response DNA kits, RFID card covers, and Dennie, their mascot, who is a privacy webcam cover.

Seriously, there are people that can hack webcam too. It's scary.

The IDENTRON plans give me peace of mind. My favorite is obviously the Parent Plan, and you can sign up here. I love that it will protect up to four children's social security numbers.

I feel more at ease with plans like this. You just never know these days, unfortunately. I would hate for my kids to start college and be told that they are already in debt because someone has stolen their social security number. So I want to do what I can to keep my kids safe. Always.

Have you ever been a victim of identity theft?

*According to the federal trade commission

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