Samara Tilkens Postuma is raising five kids from infant to teen in the St. Michael area with her husband, Jeff. When not found driving kids to and from activities, helping with homework or at the park or pool, you can find her sharing her life online where she does some freelance writing and social media work and also writes at her own blog, www.simplicityinthesuburbs.com.

Taking the Kids to the Minnesota State Fair

Posted by: Samara Postuma under Society Updated: August 21, 2014 - 12:38 PM

Taking your kids to the Minnesota State Fair can cost a small fortune, but it doesn't have to. Here are some tips and ideas for taking your kids to the fair and not breaking the bank.

1. If you didn't buy advance tickets, go on a promotional day to save money. Kids Day takes place Monday August 25 and Monday September 1 and kids 5-12 are $8 compared to $11. Or bring the whole family on Read and Ride Day {and bring everyone's library cards!} on Wednesday August 27 where adults are $11 and kids are $8. Kids under age 5 are always free.

2. Feed your kids before you arrive. This seems like a no-brainer right? But we all know how the sights, sounds, smells of the fair affect us adults, imagine being a kid. Plan on buying things to share instead of everything individually to not only save some money but also allow everyone to try more items.

3. Buy a Blue Ribbon Bargain Book. Just $5 and includes more than $900 in savings. Just using a coupon or two pays for the book over and over agin.

Visiting the fair doesn't have to mean rides, rides, rides. Of course kids want to ride rides and play games {does anyone ever win?} but there are a lot of FREE family activities that take place every day of the fair. 

1.The barns and animals are a fun thing to do but how about actually milking a cow? Each day at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Land O Lakes Stage outside the Cattle Barn you can try your hand at handmilking a cow. Or visit Kemps Little Farm Hands where kids ages 3-10 can ride tractors and try things out at a pint-size mock farm exhibit. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

2. Friday, August 22 you can visit the DNR Park and Building to celebrate Smokey the Bear's 70th birthday a and also help make an ornament that will decorate the US Capitol Christmas Tree this Christmas. This year's Christmas Tree will be traveling from Chippewa National Forest to D.C. and more than 10,000 ornaments representing Minnesota will be made for this tree and 60-70 smaller accompanying trees. Both events take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow.

3. Eco Experience activities. This year there will be a visual of the world's largest wad of paper and also a Nature Adventure Play Yard. It's an outdoor, multi-sensory, exploratory experience, including sand and water and even a construction zone. Intended for ages 2-12, enjoy some free unplugged time here.

4. Alphabet Forest

An entire area devoted to kids and the alphabet, kids can play games, win prizes, meet authors and learn about the State Fair alphabet. Located at Family Fair in Baldwin Park, this area is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. everyday of the fair.

Do you plan on going to the fair with your kids? What are some of the activities you enjoy or plan on checking out? 

Day of the Dozers

Posted by: Samara Postuma under Society, Education and literacy Updated: August 19, 2014 - 2:57 PM

If you have kids who LOVE trucks, tractors, construction vehicles and more you will not want to miss the Day of the Dozers. The event takes place on Saturday September 13 in Elk River at the ERX Motor Park from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids will even get to ride the Big Equipment with a trained and qualified professional operator, and all proceeds go towards a great cause- Children's Hospitals and Clinics.

Last year the event raised a little over $5000 and this year's goal is $10,000.

Adult admission is $10 and kids admission is $5. You can pay when you arrive but you might want to save time by filling out your waiver beforehand online right here.

For those early birds that day, the first 500 children will receive a free toy construction hat.

Do you have a truck and construction loving kid in your house? Will you be attending?

#MNVaxChat with Children's and Twin Cities Moms Blog

Posted by: Samara Postuma under Society, Education and literacy Updated: August 10, 2014 - 9:41 PM

I'm excited to be a part of a Twitter chat Monday night {I'm @samarapostuma} with Twin Cities Moms Blog and Children's Hospitals and Clinics. We'll be talking vaccines and leading the chat will be expert from Children’s (@ChildrensMN), Patsy Stinchfield (@InfectiousPS). Patsy is the Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases in Infection Prevention and Control at Children’s. Patsy will be joined by Dr. John Baker (@jbakermetropeds), Metropolitan Pediatric Specialists (Metro Peds) in Burnsville, along with Children’s, to answer any questions that YOU might want to ask about vaccinations.

Even better than a chance to learn more about a widely discussed topic? Children’s is giving away a $50 Target gift card to one of our #MNVaxchat participants. Be sure to use that specific hashtag in each of your responses to be sure we see your tweets.

The Twitter chat will take place at 8 pm CST for one hour and you can follow along and participate by using #MNVaxChat

In the spirit of full disclosure, I do vaccinate my kids and really feel strongly about it. When one of my children had food allergies a few years back we really took a step back and slowed down the schedule of immunizations but in my mind and heart, I would much rather protect my child from illness for an inconvenient poke than risk illness or disease later on in life. 

Vaccines can be a divisive topic but it can also be an informative, respectful discussion. I hope you can join us and have your questions answered and share your opinion and experience tonight even if it's different than mine.

Not on Twitter and want to join? Here's some step by step instructions on how to join Twitter and our chat Monday night from Twin Cities Moms Blog.

A Road Trip Parenting Conundrum

Posted by: Samara Postuma under Society, Crime, Violence Updated: August 6, 2014 - 10:13 PM

I took my three youngest children on a cross country road trip a few weeks back. Thankfully an aunt joined us about 300 miles into the trip so I was really only solo for about 5 hours on day one. 

{Stanley, Wisconsin has a pretty fancy, multi-cultural McDonalds}

But it was that first five hours that ran me into my first road trip conundrum. When we stopped for lunch in Stanley, Wisconsin, my eight year old son had to use the restroom. The idea of sending him in to a truck stop/gas station/fast food restaurant restroom alone had me panicked. But at eight years old, there was no convincing him to come into the women's room.

I was torn on what to do and at the last minute allowed him to go into the mens room while I stood outside.

He was fine. I was fine. The rest of the restroom visits throughout the trip was much of the same.

I'm not sure why this is a non issue on a day to day basis when we are out and about around home besides the fact that we're in familiar territory and usually with friends and family.

I try not to live and parent with fear but the entire situation had me wondering, what does everyone else do in situations like this?

Is there a real reason to be cautious or are we just oversaturated with Dateline and Headline News stories of what could happen?

What do you do when you are out and about with your children and your child of the opposite gender needs to use the restroom?

Meet Gillette's CurePity Heroes Ambassadors- The Feyereisen Triplets

Posted by: Samara Postuma under Society Updated: August 4, 2014 - 10:35 AM

Leah and Nick Feyereisen have heard a time or two that their hands are full. But with three spunky, "lucky" seven year old boys you won't find them complaining.

The couple found out they were having spontaneous triplets just seven weeks into Leah's pregnancy. Months later an ultrasound revealed problems, a brain bleed, clubfeet and a spinal abnormality with the baby who would be named Tanner. Gillette was involved then and remains involved now. To date, Tanner has undergone eight surgeries to treat his clubfeet and cerebral palsy, and to correct his spinal abnormality.

In addition to his physical challenges, Tanner deals with Celiac disease and must adhere to strict dietary limitations. But his experiences have only strengthened the triplets’ bond. “These brothers, they just love each other,” says Leah. “They’re very protective. Parker and Cole hate when Tanner’s not around.”

Leah considers Gillette family and it's no wonder, the family has been there so many times over the last seven years. 

Leah and Nick have worked hard to use Tanner's experience as an opportunity to teach the boys about kindness and acceptance, having conversations about why he wears leg braces, why someone else might be in a wheel chair and helping them be inclusive.

The three 7 year old Irish, born on St. Patty's Day, triplets have been chosen as Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare's CurePity Heroes ambassadors as Gillette and Centurylink team up.

The two are teaming up to find stories of everyday people in the Twin Cities who've gone above and beyond to help create a better, more inclusive world for people who have disabilities.  CurePity Heroes honors individuals or groups of people who are changing the world by improving the lives of a child, teen, or adult who has a disability. Nominations are being accepted at www.curepity.org/heroes in three separate categories:

1) Kids
2) Groups
3) Adults

For each submission, CenturyLink will make a donation to Gillette and the deadline to enter is August 22.
 

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