Friday, July 25, 2014

Mommies' Night Out

What a perfect excuse to drink. Being a mother. Sign me up! After giving up drinking for nine or so months just to grow and push out the most beautiful, perfect human being, we deserve a drink. Or two. Or three. And thankfully I am friends with many other women who agree.

That is why one mama from daycare decided to establish Mommies' Night Out, a (monthly) event for us mamas to get together, drink and just get out! 

Almost three years ago when I started writing this blog, I wrote a post on The Dating Scene, about play dates. It definitely still applies but it goes into a total different stage. My husband and I met on a blind date six years ago. And I feel like sometimes these parent nights out almost have that same type of anxiety. You get on an email chain of parents, some saying they will be there, others missing out. You maybe know what they look like but really only know the names of their kids. So you sit and wait at the bar, or nervously walk in, looking for who maybe that person or people from the email. An awkward smile, head nod or look let's you know that it's the group. You walk over, shake hands, introduce yourself and order drinks. Then spend the night getting to know one another. Ha! It seems weird but that is literally how it is. The drinks start flowing, you compare potty training tips, complain about pregnancy, laugh sharing moments your kids have embarrassed you, and it gets a little less like a blind date and more like, well, a Mommies' Night Out. 

What I think is most great about this night (besides the obvious drinking part) is that it brings together a bunch of women who really only have motherhood in common. We are all from different places, all different ages, different careers, but all share the same bond of motherhood. We are mothers of sons, mothers of daughters, mothers of twins, and mothers of only children. We are working moms and stay at home. We have different parenting styles, but offer support for each other. We all like to drink and are just trying to figure out this crazy journey parenthood. 

CHEERS to Mommies everywhere!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"I'm gonna bash you"

I'm gonna bash you. 

Welp. It's begun. The rough'n'tough, crash'n'bash part of raising a kid. I definitely didn't think that this stage would already be starting a couple weeks shy of him turning three. And what I didn't expect even more is how I would feel about it.  

No fighting. No guns. No swords. No bad guys. 

WAY easier said then done. 

Actually, now that I have started this new phase in the wide range of WTF-do-I-do phases of parenting, I have found myself to be much more relaxed about the subject. 

This spring, while I was out of the house 16 hours a day, 7 days a week teaching and working on a play, my husband introduced Vedder to He-Man. The boy is obsessed. Hand him a sword or baseball bat or even a stick and he will recite the entire opening to the show. He has even talked about how he will be He-Man for Halloween and dada will be Skeletor. Whether or not he understands the show, it absolutely has sparked his imagination. 

When we went to Disney a few weeks ago, I cried walking down Main Street, watching Vedder in his new Mickey ears sit on Michael's shoulders, taking in everything. In the three years we have been a family, that has been one of my favorite moments. Then a little voice says "where's my sword?" and I'm snapped back into the silly reality that is raising this kid. "I need a sword to be a Mickey musketeer like Donald and Goofy." This kid never ceases to surprise me. 

Did I ever think that his sword fighting and "I'm gonna bash you" language would ever come from those family movie nights of watching old school Disney movies? Ha! Never. But they did. And now that's where his imagination goes to. 

And for now my mumma gut is telling me to let him go there. Are the wrestling matches with dad and the water gun fights with Nani going to really make him a bad kid? I try to remind him when he wants to pretend to "bash" that not everyone likes to play that way so he needs to ask first. And I try to remind him that sometimes being too rough can result in someone getting hurt. But I don't say no. I let him play like that. I let him use those words. Not because he's a boy. Because he's a child. Because he's fending off an evil giant to help bring food and sunshine back to his town. Because he is fighting off villains to save a princess who he loves. Because I don't want to tell him his imagination has to be limited to what is PC. Because he is not hurting anyone. And if one day he slips and makes a mistake or goes too far, that will be another moment for us to learn a lesson. 

But until that day.. I'll let him play. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer Sessions - Part Two: Sensory Boxes and Busy Bags

One GoTo activity that we have in our apartment is the sensory box! Actually we have a few different ones. Some we combine, some we make off a whim. And what's nice is that they are in easy to store boxes. Not only do they keep everything from being scattered all over the place but they store on the shelves nicely so we forget about them and then months later when we come across them again, it's like a whole new toy!! YEAY for short term memories!! 

My all time favorite GoTo sensory bin that we have is our nature one. It includes:
Tree stubs I got from the people who sell us our Xmas tree, Popsicle sticks, scraps of free wool fabric, a while doily, pieces of birch tree bark, a wooden unfinished reindeer ornament, pinecones, a fake flower, sandpaper, and twigs. 

Another one that is a big hit is our "beach box!" This pretty much only has sand and oyster shells in it. Sometimes a dinosaur or truck joins in on the fun. (Or some feathers like in this picture) 

They are very easy to make. What is great is if your child already has a bunch of small toys, knick knacks, etc. you can make a few different ones, and store them. This helps with clutter too! 

Some of our boxes are themed, others just have one or two different types of items. One of V's current favorite has just the tree stumps and Popsicle sticks. Literally that's all that is in the box. Seriously. And he will sit there for 30 minutes fully entertained! 

Along with the sensory boxes, we also have "busy bags." They have different things a like a coloring book and crayons, colored pasta and string, and cut shapes to make pictures. 

Having these types of activities around the house can help with last minute time savers. I also store all the boxes and bags at Vedder's level so he can easy access them on his own time too. 

He likes having options. That's his new thing. "What are my options, mumma?" So storing them on low shelves and drawers makes it easier for him to use them more independently. 

Summer Sessions - Part One: TV is OK

Part One: TV is OK

An old friend and fellow mama wrote to me asking if I would post some ideas for summer fun! During the summer, when it's just too damn hot outside and the chill vibes of the summer relax us a bit too much, we let the old reliable "babysitter" get the best of us and throw on the tv all day. 

Now do not get me wrong. TV is completely allowed in our house. Netflix is our best friend. Yesterday alone was one of those days where I watched tv for hours while Vedder played on the iPad. PARENTS: these days will not kill you or make you a bad parent! They will help you! I repeat. PARENTS, TV IS OUR FRIEND. However, if you find that your child had finished the whole second season of OITNB in two days, well your family may have a problem. 

So to help out a friend, and anyone else interested, I will be writing a few blog posts called "Summer Sessions." These posts will include lessons, activities, links to my favorite blogs, etc. for parents to refer to for any summer help.  

The blog I will be shouting out to in this post is I have on both my Facebook and Instagram already RAVED about this blog. She has created amazing printable activity packets to go along with your child's favorite shows and movies! Make indoor movie days guilt free!

Before leaving for disney we spent every night watching a movie, short film, or disney show. We would draw pictures of them and even act out parts. "WOZOWSKI! You didn't file your paperwork!" Then I stumbled on 1plus1plus1 and saw that she did printables for all the movies and shows Vedder loves! I had the printables in file folders in our "art" drawer so if V wanted he could take one out to trace, color, practice matching, do a letter search or a number chart. He LOVES numbers, so the number chart is what he would often pick.  

This website, along with other blogs I have fallen in love with, my favorite "pins," and V's favorite at home activities, are what I will be filling these Summer Session posts with. If you have a favorite at home indoor activity you and your little ones (any and every age!) like to do when it's just too hot, too rainy, or it just feels like a stay inside type day, please email me at! I would love to feature you in a post!!