Friday, May 30, 2014

A New Chapter

Time has gone faster than I ever could have anticipated and my little one (oldest) is graduating from preschool.  To me this is a major milestone.  For the years prior to school my little one stayed at home with me and due to his birthday he got an extra year at home (which was fine with me).  At the beginning of preschool I was worried about how he would do.  The four short hours a day seemed like an eternity.  I also was concerned how he would do away from me, he has always been a mama's boy.  Better yet if he would behave and learn while at school.

Kids are resilient and adapt more easily than I could have ever imagined.  The first day of preschool he said, "When are you going to leave?"  All the worrying and he was fine.  I was the one who didn't fare so well that day as I left in tears.  Now I am not going to paint a picture that he was an angel the entire year.  There were a few red and yellow "apples," which was devastating to my little one.   Now just as we have gotten into a routine- summer is here and we will be able to have some adventures.

Now some of you might say it is just preschool, buck up buttercup, but I am proud of me.  Proud of the things I have instilled in him, proud of the foundation he has, and proud of me for being a mom that several years ago I couldn't even fathom being.  The chance to see your child grow up and amazing you almost daily is great.  I am also obviously proud of him for learning, growing, and loving school.  I hope he will always love school and always want to learn.

Now we are preparing for Kindergarten,  I can't promise I won't be emotional on the first day, but I can promise I am more confident in my boy to handle the school year.  But we won't think about that now-we have a long and fun 3 months ahead of us.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Science Fun!

My 5 year old is crazy about science and loves to do experiments. We went to the Kids Fringe this past weekend and I got the idea from an experiment there to make an erupting volcano. As soon as I told him about it, he was all in, totally concentrated and ready to learn, which doesn't always happen! Now at the Fringe festival, they did 2 tablespoons of vinegar, food coloring, and 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a cup and it fizzed a little in the cup. Now that's all fine and dandy, but I decided to kick it up a notch and threw all caution to the wind and threw out the measurements (by the way, you may want to do this outside, I'm talking from experience, just trust me on this one!) We used a water bottle and I had the kids take playdoh and shape it all around the bottle to look like a "volcano" so that only the opening of the bottle was showing. My son even came up with the idea to get some sticks and grass from the outside to stick in the playdoh so it looks like a real volcano, love it! Then filled the water bottle about halfway full of vinegar followed by some red food coloring. Then we poured some baking soda in and stepped back and watched it "erupt". And oh my, did it erupt! Like, an "all the way to the ceiling" kind of erupt! I'm not sure I have ever heard my son laugh so hard in all of his little life, and I have to admit, I was cracking up myself! While the clean up was a little much, the learning and laughter were definitely well worth it, and both my kids are already asking when are we going to do it again! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Pumpkin Muffins

I am excited because recently my littlest has been taking naps free from my arms.  The funniest thing is the naps are usually just sprawn out on the floor, in the high chair, or on the sofa.  But I decided to take advantage of the free time and make a recipe that my oldest has always liked.  This will be the 1st time my youngest will be trying this so I am looking forward to seeing if he enjoys them as well.

Pumpkin Muffins (I know this is more of a seasonal recipe but they are really yummy other times of the year too)

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare your muffin pan for 12 good sized muffins.  I normally just use muffin papers it makes for really easy clean up

2.  In a small bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger

3.  In a large bowl (mixing bowl), blend 2/3 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark I have tried both) and 1/4 cup of vegetable oil.  You can on low speed or mix with spoon just to blend these ingredients.  Then stir in 1 egg (I use egg white but either is fine), 1/2 cup of pumpkin, 1/2 cup of yogurt (plain or vanilla)  for this recipe I used greek yogurt until blended.

4. Stir in your flour mixture just until blended.

5.  Gently stir in 1 cup of uncooked oatmeal (old fashioned or quick cooking) and I used a box of raisins in 1.5 oz size but you can use 1/2 cup if you really enjoy raisins

6.  Put the batter in the muffin cups or muffin forms

7.Bake the muffins for 25 minutes.

These are freezable as well and I like them best warm.

Both of my boys enjoyed the muffins.  Mommy score.  Hope you enjoy them too.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Kids Fringe Orlando

I am going to start out by saying that it was hot out today and by hot I mean too hot to be outside for a fringe festival.  But after the slather of sunscreen and a promise to myself to only stay a little while, we were ready to go.  I was surprised how much free parking there was, I really expected having problems parking.
                                          One of the many crafts available

The event was not huge but there was actually a lot of things to do.  There were tons of craft tables- painting, drawing, and projects.  There was even a pottery table with a wheel that the kids could help make a little bowl to take with them.  My oldest had lots of fun and my youngest was miserable.  A mixture of the heat and wanting to be set free.  There were lots of children's entertainment including a butterfly/fairy who was giving out cork bracelets and some spontaneous singing.  There was also a bounce house and lots of dress up areas.  Everything was free except for the food of course.
                                          Craft Area
                                         Stage Area
                                         Arts & Crafts

It is a great, entertaining, and fun free festival that is engaging for your little ones.  I will keep my fingers crossed for better weather next year.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Staying Sane in an Insane World

Sanity is defined as the ability to think and behave in a normal and rational manner

Sanity is always debatable.  One person's sanity is another person's nightmare.  My sanity is a great big question mark sometimes too.  I'll start by saying that both of my boys as babies were colicky and hard to appease.  The colic lasted on each 8 months hardcore and a year till there was some peace.  My oldest now, who is 5, is still hard to please and my youngest, who is 21 months is what I call a fusspot.

With life and responsibilities, in addition to taking care of the kiddos, it can be overwhelming and stressful.  

Here is list of somethings to accept that will improve your sanity:
1.  Sometimes, no matter how much you clean, your house will never be perfect or even clean enough.  Everytime I try to clean up toys I have a little shadow behind me (my 21 month old) pulling everything out.  My oldest is never satisfied with one toy at a time.  He likes to make "worlds" using multiple toys together.

2.  No matter how many places you have to store toys, your house will still look like a toy store....that exploded.  I have a toy box and multiple buckets to hold the toys-it is never enough.

3.  Boys can be gross especially in the bathroom and no matter how much you clean your toliet it may always have at least a faint smell of pee at all times.  Aiming is not my oldest's  strong point.  Normally he starts out on target and by the end due to laziness, everything goes awry.  Also don't even think about sitting on the seat without checking first.  I have had one too many occasions of wetness on the seat when I sat down...ewwww

4.  Boys like to destroy things.  I can't tell you how many times I have heard, "Sorry I broke it!"

5.  No matter how many toys your child has it will never be enough.

6.  Picky, picky, picky. This might just be my boys but they are specific about everything- food, how they think things are supposed to go.  I have 2 very strong willed boys who speak their mind at will.  It can get really exhausting and frustrating.

7.  One day they will grow up and as stressful and difficult as it seems right now, you will wish to have these moments back.  I can't believe how quickly the last 5 years have flown by with my oldest. I can't help but think of that tiny baby and realize that before I know it they will have lives of their own

****This list is all from the perspective of a mom with 2 boys.  I won't pretend to know what challenges you face with a girl****

If you have any tips to keep sane or comments let me know.  Please like and share if you can relate or if you know someone who might need a sanity pep talk.

The Overwhelmed Mom

I am not delusional, I know that my two boys are not always the best behaved.  There are moments when I cringe or think who is this child.  Please tell me I am not the only one, but sometimes you just have a stressful overwhelming day-today was one of those days.  It didn't start off well I knew this at 3 am.  My oldest was having trouble staying asleep and even asked to be driven to school right then (too bad that isn't going to last forever, the love of school not the 3 am insistence). Most parents know this isn't going to turn out well.  This day happened to be a scheduled tour of kindergarten after preschool.  I picked him up actually looking forward to the tour (how quickly things changed).  From the moment we arrived I could tell he was ready to go and to top it off my little one started screaming.  As we went through the tour my talkative child was very vocal asking questions and making observations.  Near the end of the tour he very loudly said boring.  Mortified I shushed him meanwhile my 21 month old was still screaming and I was getting the mommy stink eye.  At the end of the tour they asked for questions and my son's hand went up.  The question was "This is really boring can we go play?"  Agh...of all the things he could have said.  Way to make a great first impression on your future principal kid!!!

I know this isn't the only time this will happen or for that matter the worst and it was one of those situations where I could only mildly discipline at the moment.  As we walked back to the car I took a lot of deep breaths and tried to calm my self down.  Once we got in the car I was still angry but thankfully had a little time to cool down.  The wraft of mommy was a lot less than it could have been.  I noticed when I am overwhelmed and stressed I am definitely quicker to anger and really when I thought about it-it was a normal raw 5 year old response.  Kids often either don't know something is inappropriate to say or just say what comes to their mind with no filter.  I have to remember the innocence of my 5 year old and try to take the time before disciplining and remember this.

What has your little one said that made you cringe or when have you felt overwhelmed?  Lets commiserate together.  If you can relate or have a story please share.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

That Night Book Review

Before kids I was always an avid reader and it had become a bit of an addiction.  When I read it is a situation where I can't stop.  A book started must be completed.  Ever since I have had kids I definitely don't read as much as I used to.  Don't get me wrong, I have tried but then I feel guilty because I get so immersed in my reading that I feel like I am neglecting them. Just recently I was asked through Chatterbox through House Party to review a book in a 3 week time frame.  I promised myself to only read after the kids were asleep and surprisingly stuck to it.  I did lose some free time and sleep but over 3 evenings I accomplished reading a book.  To tell you the truth I felt a little more like the girl I once was.  Now I don't know if this will turn into a regular occurance but at least I know I can.

That Night was written by Chevy Stevens, a New York Times Best Selling Author,
and is considered a murder mystery.  It is a story about Toni who is navigating life as an 18 year old who falls in love with a guy named Ryan.  Toni is a rebellious teenager who resents her mother for her discipline and often times defies her at every opportunity.  In other words every mother's nightmare.  Toni has a temper and is being bullied by some popular girls in school.  Her sister Nicole starts hanging out with the popular girls at school.  During this time, Toni is still bullied and made fun of, with her sister present.  On a night out with her boyfriend Ryan, which her sister begged to come along, her sister is found dead.  Toni and Ryan find her and are then charged with the crime.  They both insist their innocence and the book explores their journey throughout the process of serving their time and who is really at fault for Nicole's murder.  

It was an entertaining book filled with a well thought out story.  The only thing that was a little disorienting was the way the book was set up.  Every chapter was a new time period skipping back and forth between the present and past.  It was a bit of a distraction and it took a moment each chapter to adjust to the new scene .  Overall, this is an entertaining read filled with interesting plot twists and engaging subject matter.

Even though I received this book from Chatterbox for free, I received no additional compensation and this review is entirely my own.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Summer Survival Guide

The end of the school year is quickly approaching and summer is right around the corner.  Although I am looking forward to the chance to sleep in (this just might be impossible with my 21 month old, but a girl can dream) and spend time with my oldest.  Sometimes the spending the time together and keeping the kids entertained is the hardest part.  So I have put together a novice list of fun, time consuming, and/or educational things to do this summer.

1.  Lowe's Build and Grow and Home Depot Kids Workshop
     This is for an older child but both of the home improvement stores have events each month to make a project in the store.  Depending on your child's skill level (there is hammering involved) you may be the one doing the hammering for the project so be prepared. For Lowe's the current schedule has Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon and in August some Monsters vs Aliens projects.  You have to preregister and it is on Saturdays at 10 am.  You normally receive an apron and kit in the beginning and upon completion a badge and certificate.  A full schedule can be found at
Home Depot currently has on their schedule building a riding lawn mower and a bug house.  Their projects are on Saturdays too but start at 9 am there is a registration as well. You also get an apron and a completion badge as well.  The schedule for this is
Both stores offer these events for free so these are great if you have a little builder in your family.  Plus the sense of accomplishment on their little faces will probably put a smile on your face too.

2.  Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Express
     Dreams of seeing a movie at the movie theater?  Although this list is probably not your dream list it is quite possibly your little ones.  The best part of this program- it is only a $1 each for admission.  What a great way to accustom your child to going to a movie theater where there are theaters full of kids in attendance (Still not your dream experience I know but we have to get out of the house and who doesn't like movie popcorn???).  The movies are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 am and for participating theater location and movie schedule go to

3.  Pottery Barn Kids Storytime and Summer Reading Program
     Now I am not going to lie this Storytime is probably going to be packed but it is all in proportion to your desperation to get out of the house.  That said, if you happen to have a Pottery Barn Kids near you on Tuesdays at 11 am they have Storytime and after 5 visits, you receive a stamp per visit, you can get $10 off an in store purchase (it's the little things).   Also, there is a summer reading program that has a completion list for older kids as well as younger ones.  This is one of the few summer programs that I have seen that includes toddlers as well.  With your completed list, you can get a free book in exchange. Here is the link with all the info including the book list requirements

4.  Local Splash Pad
     This one seems pretty obvious but in my area at least there are tons of local splash pads, (one of the perks of living in Orlando-heat and I are not friends) many of the splash pads are free or a few dollars.  Get some outdoor fun and avoid a possible heat stroke.  Bring swim diaper for little ones and don't forget the sunscreen.  Some great local splash pads are Capehart Park, Tanja King Splash Pad,  Dr. Phillips Splash Pad, and Downey Park.  All the ones I listed are gated which makes keeping track of your little ones so much easier.  FYI:  Downey Park is $2/person so come with some cash.
Tanja King Splash Pad

5. Playgroup
    Finally, my last suggestion, and this is for you and your little one(s) is to join a play group for the summer.  It is great for interaction for the kids but also for you.  You can make some new friends and maybe even schedule some mom's nights out (Aaha.., now I have your attention!!!). Everybody needs a break so make sure you get one it will be great for your sanity.  If you are looking for a play group go to and look under your area for a local play group.  

One of the best things I ever did, after becoming a mommy, was start a play group and I have met so many great mommies and have made some great friends. Including my friend who created this blog with me over drinks at a night out at Epcot over some strong Strawberry Margaritas.  So take a chance step out of your comfort zone and make some friends :)

Since many of us have experienced baby amnesia I think many of us also have what I call "Fun Amnesia".  Fun Amnesia is getting excited about going to do something with our kiddos anything from the mall to as big as Disney or beyond and into hour 2 you realize what was I thinking this is either exhausting/stressful/crazy I am never doing that again.  Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your outlook-you forget about all the stress from your last outing and go out again.  I guess this is a great design otherwise, when would we ever leave the house??!!

These are just a few suggestions if you like this post or have suggestions for unique summer activities that we can all have "Fun Amnesia" for please comment and share with your friends.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Orlando Kids Fringe

In Orlando there are a lot of kid friendly activities to do and every so often a free and fun event happens.  The Orlando Kids Fringe is beginning on May 17th with Space Day,  May 18th Slummer Party,  May 24th Cartoon Day, and finally May 25th Snow Fairy Day.  The Kids Fringe as opposed to Orlando Fringe, is very child friendly filled with entertainment, crafts, meet and greet with characters, and even a parade.  The event is free but you may need to pay for parking.  The actual schedule for all of the days events is in the link below.