When my daughter was born, I was happy, excited and terrified! My little girl kept me busy. She was active, loved to play, and was the funniest little person I have ever met. Having another child scared me. Even though my daughter was fun, I couldn’t imagine being able to handle another one. I’m a teacher, used to managing a classroom of 30 students, but when it’s your own kids who are with you 24-7, the prospect of two is a little daunting. My husband finally convinced me to try and my son was born in July of last year. Llama and Dude are 4 1/2 years apart. I thought the age gap would be perfect. Llama would be a little more self-sufficient which would leave me with more time to focus on the baby’s needs. Cue laughter here. Sometimes, my two kids are hard and sometimes they are joyously fun and easy. Here are some things I have learned in the past year about having two. 1. They are very different from each other. My daughter liked to sit and play with her toys as an infant. She would bang on her crocodile piano contentedly or sit in her high chair while I made dinner. My son is into everything! His favorite activity when I am in the kitchen is to open up one of the bottom drawers and take out the bread hook and some other foreign part for our stand mixer, and use these both as hammers on our white tile. He then crawls into the living room, raids his sister’s stash of colored pencils, crawls back into the kitchen with colored pencil in hand and proceeds to draw on the floor. He’s only 10 months old! Man, I am in for it when he turns 2. As another example of how different they are, right now, Llama is on the floor reading a book. Dude is digging through my office trash can face first. 2. They will keep each other happy… at times. When I am grocery shopping with my son, he usually lasts about 10 minutes in the cart before he is squirming out and wants me to hold him. The next 20 minutes of my shopping trip usually consist of me holding Dude in one arm and maneuvering my shopping cart with the other. Sometimes, Dude pretends he’s Superman and tries to push the cart as well. Now that my daughter is off of school, she comes shopping with us. We get a car cart and it is utter bliss. Seriously. They play with each other and laugh a lot. Other shoppers in the store usually stop and comment on how cute and well behaved they are. Know that this is only a moment in time and my kids seem to really dig “car cart” shopping. 3. I usually have to protect my youngest from my oldest. Nothing sums this up better than a drive we took about 2 weeks after Dude was born. […]
Oh, hello Stitch Fix waiting for me outside my front door! I love when my Stitch Fix box arrives. I’m always excited to discover what clothes my stylist picked out for me this time. If you are new to my Stitch Fix posts, read all about this amazing service. Last month, I noticed that all of the clothes were a little big on me. This month, I noted that I needed a size smaller in all of my shirts. The shirts in this fix fit me much better. Here’s what I got: Piece #1 I loved this shirt immediately. It is very similar to the Renee C shirt I sent back in last month’s fix but fits me much better. I liked it so much, I tore off the tags right away and wore it to my daughter’s dentist appointment Friday morning. Shirt: Market & Spruce, Stitch Fix Shorts: White House/ Black Market Belt: Express Necklace: Express Shoes: Cole Haan, Nordstrom Rack The style card pairs this shirt with a rose colored skirt. The skirt in the photo looks awesome, but I have nothing in my closet resembling it. However, I do have a coral dress. I wondered what this shirt would look like over coral. Shirt: Market & Spruce Dress: Bobeau, Nordstrom Rack Earrings: Whimsicle Necklace: Express Call me crazy, but I love it! I would have never tried this combination before, but I really like the way the shirt dresses down the Bobeau dress. It gives it a more casual and yet put together appearance. Needless to say, I kept the Market & Spruce top. Piece #2 I like the distressed look in these skinny jeans. I paired them with a top that I kept from my first Stitch Fix for a very comfortable, dressed-down look. They were too tight. I know skinny jeans are supposed to be form fitting, but I really had to squeeze myself into them. When I sat down, I felt like I was was going to tear open the hole on the right knee. I sent these back. Piece #3 The blue color of this shirt was very pretty. That attracted me to the top right away. I also like the peach colored jeans on the style card, but alas, I have nothing in my wardrobe like that. So, I paired this shirt with my black capris. My attempt at looking coy. Top: Olive & Oak, Stitch Fix Capris: White House/ Black Market Shoes: Cole Haan, Nordstrom Rack And then with the Kensie jeans from this fix. While cute, I didn’t feel there was anything special about this shirt. With a $48.00 price tag, I decided to ship it back. Piece #4 I requested a dress in this fix that I could wear to my Grandparents’ vow renewal happening in June. I specifically noted that it needed to be a dress that I could nurse in. This dress fit both of those requirements. Dress: Tart, Stitch Fix Necklace: Express Earrings: Whimsicle I had […]
Since I am a city dweller, I have an utter fascination with picking fruit off a tree and eating it. So when I heard that Vertuccio Farms in East Mesa had a peach picking event, I gathered up my family and headed out. This was my first time to Vertuccio Farms and I was really impressed. Not only did we get to pick peaches, but the farm also has a ton of activities for kids such as a giant slide, farm animals, a jumping house, an air pillow and even a truck powered train. Admission for all of these activities is only $4 per person with kids under 1 being free. As we arrived to Vertuccio Farms, we saw this giant sign in the parking lot. We parked near it and got out of the car. I loaded up my son in the Baby Bjorn We put a hat on my daughter and slathered her in sunscreen. And then we went to pick some peaches! Well, the peaches were a little further down the road. Since the weather was spectacular last weekend, we decided to walk to the grove. If you are not the walking type or if the weather is really toasty, I recommend continuing through the parking lot and driving to the grove. There are signs that direct you the entire way. Make sure you bring some plastic grocery bags to hold your peaches or pick up a cardboard crate near the “Start Here” sign. Once in the grove, we started our search for the perfect peach. My husband taught my daughter (and me) to look for the firm ones (again, city dweller with no peach experience). Soft and squishy means over ripe. Since we didn’t drive, we walked into the amusement area through the back. We were amazed to find all of these wonderful “free” activities for kids. No, they’re not free. Make sure you pay for a wrist band before jumping down the air pillow or cruising down the slide. We had no idea we needed a wristband. When you you get one, you can pay for your peaches at the same time. Our large bag cost about $8.00. We had a fantastic morning at the farms and when we got home, we made this peach cobbler. It was the MOST AMAZING! I recommend pairing it with Talenti Tahitian Vanilla Bean gelato. (we found our pint at Whole Foods) Wow! Such a perfect end to the day! Peach and Play happens again this weekend at Vertuccio Farms. It’s the last weekend for the peaches this year. Vertuccio Farms also hosts a Fall Festival complete with pumpkin picking. See this link for more details on events.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Invisalign. However, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. One of the reasons that I love teaching fifth graders so much is that I get to usher kids through school at such a socially complicated age. Not only do kids have increased pressure about grades, but their friendships are changing along with their bodies which throws everyone for a loop. I see kids either withdraw or become horribly mean people at this age. I was the former. Middle school was rough for me. Not only did I seem to gain twenty pounds once puberty hit, but one of my orthodontist checkups delivered some unwelcome news. I had braces put on in when I was in the fourth grade. I loved them for the two years that I had them. I loved picking different colored rubber bands each month. I loved the extra attention each month gave me when I got them tightened and needed to take some Tylenol for mouth pain. I loved finally getting them off at the beginning of sixth grade and having perfectly straight teeth. My doctor gave me a retainer and told me to wear it. I didn’t wear it. In the middle of seventh grade, my orthodontist put the braces back on. So in addition to already feeling self conscious, I now had a smile that I wasn’t thrilled about. Most of my photos from that age look like this: Or this: Now that I have kids I think about how my husband and I will handle teeth straightening for them… and I know they will need it. Thankfully, there are options now that require no metal mouth. I recently attended an event where I learned more about Invisalign, which straightens teeth without the traditional wires or brackets. Invisalign treatment consists of a series of clear aligners, perfectly shaped to straighten your teeth, and are removable. There is also an Invisalign made especially for pre-teens and teens called Invisalign Teen. I remember that flossing with braces was a huge chore (and I seldom did it). Since Invisalign Teen is removable, brushing and flossing are easy and there are no food restrictions (bring on the gum!). As I mentioned above, I had a huge problem wearing my retainer. I worry, as a mom, that if my daughter had Invisalign, she wouldn’t wear her aligners and I wouldn’t be able to tell. This is actually a myth! Here’s why: Invisalign Teen aligners are made with small blue dots, officially called compliance indicators, that gradually fade as aligners are worn. It’s a quick visual check for parents and teens to confirm they wearing aligners long enough to get results. In fact, clinical data from orthodontists confirms that teens wear their aligners an average of 21 hours per day, just as recommended. I was also surprised to find out that Invisalign Teen is covered by most dental insurance policies- just like traditional braces – up to 50% of the cost may […]
Activity 3 If you don’t have time for anything else this summer, read! READ READ READ I can’t say it enough. The more trips you take to the library, the more likely your child is to eventually start picking out books they enjoy. For instance, my oldest Biggie, hates to sit down for any duration of time to read. When I take him to the library to pick his own SpongeBob books he is less reluctant to fight me on it.
My thoughts five years ago: Hmmm, I should run a marathon. That will get me into shape. Reality: I didn’t lose a single pound. I ate more food during marathon training than I ever have in my life.
I am not one who likes to feel rushed. Now that Mother’s Day is over (and after the spectacular job that my husband did with it), I immediately start thinking about what to do for him for Father’s Day. Perhaps, you’re in the same boat. Have no fear, here is a list of simple, but thoughtful crafts for your kiddos (and some for you) to make for Dad:
Rows of desks. Colorful supplies. White dry erase board covering the walls. I love the classroom. But I’m not quite ready to go back full time. So… I signed up to be a sub. Once a week, my cell phone wakes me up at 5:30am where an automated voice offers me a job. I usually accept the first job I am offered. I view subbing as an adventure to experience new schools and grade levels. Anything goes.
I am out-spoken, blunt, and honest. I can’t help it. It’s the way I always have been and probably always will be. Because of this, I am shy and don’t typically like to meet new people. I’ve never been good at blending in and going with the crowd which tends to make one unpopular. Some might say I suffer from chronic verbal diarrhea.
“Mama, can we go to fro-yo, tonight?” Oh, how I wish we could go get frozen yogurt every night. (Frankly, I sometimes do after my daughter has gone to bed.) However, as a parent, I can’t justify letting my child eat that many sweets. I am a self-proclaimed sugar-aholic. I don’t want my daughter to have the same weight issues I did as I struggled to gain control over my sweet tooth. That’s why this dessert is fantastic. Ice Cream in a Blender! However, it is not ice cream in the traditional sense. All you need for this recipe is bananas and milk. There is no added sugar whatsoever. This recipe takes a little prep work, so you will need to plan a day ahead of time. First, take a bunch of bananas that are just starting to turn brown. Peel each banana and break it into chunks. Place these chunks in a plastic Ziploc freezer bag and freeze. I plan for at least one banana per person. Let freeze at least 24 hours. Place frozen bananas in a blender and pour in 1/2 cup of milk to start. Blend. If the bananas get stuck and you hear a whirring noise from unmoving blender blades, stop the blender, stir with a long spoon to dislodge the bananas and add a little more milk. Keep doing this until you have a consistency that looks like this: Scoop out banana ice cream using an ice cream scoop. We like to top ours with a few chocolate chips, a little bit of chocolate syrup or some peanut butter. This ice cream is creamy and delicious and doesn’t have a strong banana flavor. I recommend eating the entire batch because it does not taste as good if stored in a freezer – a strong banana flavor is present. Whenever my daughter asks for banana ice cream, I’m happy to oblige. And my husband is a pretty big fan as well.