Filed under: Around DC, Entertainment, field trips, Food and Drink, General Motors, Holidays, Mom Victories, Parenting
It’s that time of year again!
While most people are planning holiday festivities,
our family is planning a birthday party.
Holiday babies present a special problem.
From the moment my son was born, a week before Christmas,
everyone instilled in me how important it was to
‘Make His Birthday Special!!’
So every year the question comes up-
What do we do for a birthday party?
And every year it gets harder, because they are getting bigger,
and even a teensy bit cynical sometimes.
This year proved to be the toughest yet, my son’s 10th birthday party….
How to entertain 15 10-year-old boys for 2 hours?
And the answer came out of the mouths of babes….
My son heard about a new place that opened up for parties,
a simple little warehouse….
So how could a little warehouse, with no decorations,
appeal to a bunch of little boys that are starting to get big?
It couldn’t. Unless this little warehouse was filled with…
Yes, you heard me right. A video game party.
The little warehouse we went to is called The Trenches.
And for a reasonable fee, you rent the whole place for 2 hours.
You get the whole place to yourself,
and there are tons of video games and they are all free-
no tokens, no tickets,
JUST PRESS START.
The place had old-time arcade games, new ones, Xboxes, and much, much more.
So the boys get to run around and play games,
have the whole place to themselves,
and just take breaks for pizza and birthday cake.
You’re done. The boys LOVED this. This was the easiest birthday party ever!
I believe that this is the next up-and-coming trend in birthday parties.
I have heard that these are popping up around the country,
along with video game buses, so the birthday party can come to you!
How good of an idea is this? I cannot stress how much all the boys LOVED this party!
And to top it all off, I drove my son and a couple of friends to the party in the Cadillac CTS, the 2014 MotorTrend Car of the Year.
And the boys thought it was so cool!
In other words, Mom saves the day, and makes the birthday special, for another year….
Happy Birthday to all the Holiday Babies out there!!!!
Filed under: Entertainment, Life, Mom Victories, Thankful, Uncategorized
I’m so excited to announce the
publication of my eBook,
Living A Miracle,
We All Do… Every Day
It has been a labor of love and recounts my recovery from a terrible car accident that left me partially paralyzed, with brain hemorrhages,
I made a complete recovery, obviously,
and I look at life differently now.
This is a book about reality.
I’m a realist.
We all live miracles, every day.
Click On the Image of My Book
to the RIGHT to Check it Out,
or read Sample Pages!
1. Spend money on comfortable walking shoes before you go.
2. Speaking of spending money… You’re going to. Just accept it.
3. Make reservations for dinner before you go down there!!
4. Make reservations for character breakfasts !!
5. Use Fastpasses. It isn’t hard to figure out.
6. TAKE A BREAK IF YOU NEED IT. Go back to the hotel and go to the pool. EVERYBODY DOES THIS.
7. Get to the park early. IF YOU STAY IN DISNEY YOU CAN GET IN EARLY FOR MAGIC HOURS- DO THIS!
8. YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING. REPEAT. YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING.
9. ON THE FIRST DAY TRAVELING- since you won’t get a full day- GO TO THE ANIMAL KINGDOM- YOU CAN DO THIS IN A HALF- DAY- THEN MAKE RESERVATIONS TO GO TO THE RAINFOREST CAFE FOR DINNER – IT IS AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE PARK- there, you just got a ‘whole day’ in
10. DON’T WAIT FOR 2 HOURS FOR A PLACE TO SEE THE ELECTRIC PARADE ON MAIN STREET. GO TO FRONTIERLAND AND YOU CAN GET A SPOT PRETTY EASILY RIGHT BEFORE AND SEE THE WHOLE PARADE.
11. People can be crazy… Don’t listen to these people. It is not overwhelming. It can be calm and fun.
12. ENJOY !!!!!!!!
13. ONE MORE THING- get a Photopass card and then take it around with you and have Disney photographers take pics of your family that you can order when you get home !!!
Where do I fit exercising into my day?
I am not a runner, although I will run if I am being chased.
I actually don’t need to lose weight, I just want to tone up a little and be healthy. I’ve changed the way I cook over the past year for the better, making more vegetables and proteins, less carbohydrates.
So exercising has now made its way up my priority list.
But who has time to exercise?
I just got an email from my sister-in-law that said at the end of it, that she was going down to her basement gym to work out before her kids woke up- her email was sent at 6 am.
God bless her… but I am not that kinda’ gal.
I know I will never wake myself up at 6 am just to exercise.
And then I’m busy with my 7-year-old and the house,
and playdates and school,
and laundry, and building forts, and life.
Can I trick myself into exercising just a little at a time?
According to the Centers for Disease Control– the answer is, ‘Yes I can’!
Exercising for 10 minutes, three times a day is as good for you as exercising for 30 minutes straight.
Huh? Really? I think… I can do that!
While my son was at school I took a break and walked to the bottom of our street and back- it took 10 minutes. Our neighborhood park is a 10-minute walk away. My son and I were at the mall so when we were finished buying him shoes, we did a lap around the mall (he loved it). So… I think I can do this!
Wait- if I am walking, carrying groceries (weights) for 5 minutes- does that count the same?
It’s 2011. We aren’t children anymore. We are turning another year older in 2011. I will be in less than a week. Are we cool…? Does it matter…? What does it mean to be cool?…
My resolution is to be cool. I’m not giving anything up this year. I am being cool this year. Easier said than done? Maybe not…
I read an article awhile back that discussed coolness. George Clooney was mentioned. He definitely seems cool. But why? The sly grin… the clothes… the trappings of stardom? I don’t think so. George Clooney seems to be ‘cool’ because he’s comfortable.
He’s comfortable with himself, he’s comfortable with his life. Yes, one could say, ‘How could George Clooney not be comfortable?’ But money and especially fame, do not make you cool. What is cool, then?
Going back to that article – it was interesting… and long. Out of that whole article, 5 sentences stood out to me as a mother.
“Coolness is relaxation.” That may seem hard at first. But being relaxed doesn’t mean you aren’t busy. Being relaxed is merely taking things in stride. And moms are the best at this.
“Coolness is courage.” Coolness is taking a deep breathe and your son’s hand on the first day of school and telling him how much fun he’s going to have. Coolness is smiling at everyone on your way out, even though you already miss him a little.
“Coolness is knowing what’s going on.” Or coolness is at least knowing how to change a diaper, get little people dressed and fed, while trying to figure out what is going on.
“Coolness acknowledges the limits of life while affirming that life is worth living.” No one can be a parent and not be reminded everyday that life is worth living. And no one can be a parent and not be reminded everyday, especially during flu season and potty training that there are limits to life.
“Coolness is the freedom to be yourself.” How cool is it that we are older now… There is no cookie cutter for the perfect mom (trust me, I’ve looked). We are tall and short and blond and brunette. We laugh and cry and sometimes hit our heads against the wall (when no one is looking).
Coolness isn’t clothes. It doesn’t matter how much a pair of jeans cost, they’re really just jeans.
Coolness isn’t a purse or a particular diaper bag.
Coolness is being a mom, and trying your best and being your best for your kids and yourself.
Coolness is understanding that you aren’t perfect and your kids aren’t perfect…
and when you’re tired at the end of the day and thinking, ‘What else do I have to do, what am I forgetting?’ you pick up your child and give them a hug.
Moms are cool.
My New Year’s resolution this year was not about giving up anything. I always like to DO something as a resolution (giving things up also tends to involve a lot of will power).
So I decided January 1st that I would bury my sweat suits and dress a little nicer. And this turned out to be pretty darn easy because my sweat suits were my uniform: the gray one with a long sleeve t-shirt, the green one with a long sleeve t-shirt; you get the picture.
Since the first of the year I’ve been wearing khakis or jeans or a couple other pairs of nicer pants and you guessed it- long sleeve t-shirts. I’ve been feeling a lot more pulled together-
gee, go figure.
Then, I was talking to a friend of mine about make-up (the kind of friend who always looks like she just ‘threw something on’ from her fabulous wardrobe and is perfectly put together).
She joked that I had never seen her without make-up.
“Sure I have, you’re not wearing any now.”
“Yes, I am.”
Hmmm. I started thinking. Maybe I should start wearing a little powder or something. Maybe I could start off just trying to put on some make-up a few times a week…
So I did.
This doesn’t seem at first like it’s life-changing, but it is… just a little bit.
I always make sure my son looks nice and put together, and now I’m spending a few more minutes in the morning so I do too.
I was at the grocery store with jeans on, a relatively nice long sleeve shirt tucked in and make-up on. My hair was even down, not up in a clip.
All of a sudden I get that feeling that I’m being stared at and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up just a little. I look up from the Havarti I’m studying, to see the young woman behind the bakery counter staring at me. She’s staring at me intently… with squinted eyes.
I didn’t think much about it… maybe she needs glasses, thinks I’m someone else, etc.
Awhile later I had made my way over to the cereal aisle when I see the young woman from the bakery counter walking toward me with a smile on her face and she says, I kid you not,
“You look COMPLETELY different!”
The ‘completely’ really got me… Completely?
“You’re wearing make-up…”
“You look so pretty!”
Wow. That’s so nice… Then my mind goes into overdrive… Do I really look that different with make-up on?
That’s still nice… wait- how BAD was I looking without make-up?
How sweet of her… wow, I must have been looking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame every time I’ve come into this grocery store.
Still, what a nice compliment… I’ve been coming to this same store for 5 years, has everyone thought FOR 5 YEARS- ‘that woman should wear a little make-up’?
A second later, I started grinning as I walked down that cereal aisle. There was a compliment in there somewhere.
Beauty is only skin-deep, but looking better can help you feel a little better too.
And my New Year’s resolution is validated!
* I actually wrote this a while back for DC Metro Moms… I wear a little make up EVERY Day now…
Filed under: Around DC, Home, Kindergartners, Life, Mom Victories, The Cool in Everyday Life
I have not ridden a bike since childhood.
There- I said it.
I’ve never been ‘big’ into bikes (don’t throw stones, you mountain-bike-weekend-trip-enthusiasts!!).
But it’s funny how life can change in an instant, with a whimsical choice…
Our family went down to Bethany Beach a few weeks ago, while at the very same time- my son had just taken his training wheels off his bike. I remembered that there was a bike rental shop right in the heart of Bethany and asked my son if he’d like to rent a 2-wheeler for the week, He LOVED the idea and in the next moment I decided that I would rent a bike, then my husband decided he would rent a bike too…
So we spent our Beach Week riding bikes as a family-
~A place I couldn’t imagine getting to in our lives back when I was cleaning up snot or vomit or changing diapers. We were ‘that family’, riding along, with the ocean breeze at our backs, that you glance at and think, ‘Isn’t that nice?!’
I enjoyed it so much that I thought about getting a bike at home. So then we packed up everything and drove back to ‘reality’ and left the beach behind. I arrived home to find a week’s worth of mail in our entry way, even though I had ‘stopped’ the mail… ‘Great’, I thought, as my son trounced through the catalogues and bills mangling up in a even bigger mess. I reached down to gather a first pile up and on the top of the pile was a flier from Performance Bicycles (where we got my son’s bike) announcing they were having a huge sale- that weekend… (karma ?!).
The next day we all went to the bike store and I bought the Schwinn ‘June’ Coaster Bike (with automatic shifting!) and I love it…
and I LOVE that my son and I are riding our bikes together.
You’ve come a long way, baby!
Filed under: Around DC, Mom Blogs, Mom Victories, Mom Worth
You no longer have the same support system you had as you did going through the divorce process. It’s easy to feel scared and insecure. But the good news is, there is life after divorce and you can have a more passionate and fulfilling life than ever before…
A friend of mine has a website for divorced moms,
her name is Colleen Bushby,
and she’s created a great support community ,
complete with a blog, free resources, a blog radio show,
as well as cds to buy.
Her site is Savvy Divorced Chicks,
And you can go there and get her FREE GUIDE,
and you can contact Colleen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Case in point: my son going to the barber. Yes, I know he’s 5, I should have started taking him to the barber literally, years ago. And just made him ‘cry it out’.
But I didn’t. So now he’s 5 and I’ve been cutting his hair all his life. This did not start out as a whole ‘saving money’ thing, although that part is nice. This happened because my son refused to go to the barber. He has thick, wavy hair; he actually has great hair, Paul Newman hair, but people, strangers, have always brought attention to it and him,
“Look at that head of hair!”
“You’re so handsome.” And then people, strangers, have actually ran their fingers through his hair or patted him on the head= Result: my son doesn’t like anyone, except me, messing with his hair.
The only problem with me cutting his hair is that-
1) I’m not a barber or hair-stylist and he has a lot of hair, and he’s getting older
2) Sometimes he doesn’t completely sit still for me and makes a fuss and trimming his hair can become ‘an event’
So we had enough. My son has been wanting a Vtech camera, so you know what comes next-
The last time I trimmed my guy’s hair and he made a fuss, both my husband and I told him that
WHEN he goes to the barber, he will get his Vtech camera. His immediate response-
“How soon will I need another haircut?”
Are you kidding me? This seemed too easy…
“In a couple of weeks,” I said. A couple of weeks went by and so we went to the barber. We planned out last week which day we would go, and we went.
We went to ‘Daddy’s barber’, a real barbershop. As we were walking around the block to the barbershop, my son held my hand and admitted,
“Mom, I’m a little scared.”
“That’s just because you’ve never done this before, but you’ve seen Daddy get his hair cut here, and these barbers ARE MUCH BETTER than me at cutting hair.”
“And I get a lollipop,” he chimed in.
We went in. Bobby, the barber who cuts my husband’s hair was sitting there- no wait. He was happy to see us (we’ve all been trying to convince my son for the past couple of years to come in for a haircut).
My guy got a haircut. He didn’t even wince. And that was it. No tears, no drama. We went back to our car, drove to Toys R Us and bought a Vtech camera. And my son ‘has decided’ that going to the barber is pretty cool, (and they do a better job than Mommy).
So we’ve reached another milestone…
And it’s all thanks to complete bribery
It’s the start of a new year, a new administration and a new time in my life. My son has just turned 5, so he’s not a toddler anymore. He calls me mom, not mommy, and will start kindergarten in the fall.
Life is changing and things are good. I love this time of year: the holidays are over, my house is clean, after being a bit of a disaster for the past few weeks because of celebrating my son’s birthday and then Christmas.
New toys have replaced old ones and I have made my new year’s resolution:
I am going to bed earlier. It’s a pretty good one, isn’t it?
It’s good because it’s pretty easy… at first glance. No more watching mind-numbing shows that add nothing to my life, I’d rather sleep. I always have things I want to get accomplished after my son goes to bed, but I can do these and still not stay up late…
That’s it- I’m sleeping more this year !! Yey!!
I can do this and I will have more energy.
And with a 5-year-old boy, that’s what I need