Archive | October, 2012

Best Petting Zoo in McKinney.

31 Oct

We went to the best petting zoo in McKinney.  Maybe the best petting zoo in the DFW Metroplex.  Why?  Because it is two minutes from our house.  And empty.  And awesome.

Yesterday after school, I took the kids to the pumpkin patch by our house. This month (year really) has been a little chaotic and we had not had the opportunity to get there and I really didn’t want to miss it. For being so close, it was quite impressive.

The best part on going on Tuesday afternoon at 5p? No one is there. It is as if it is your own private place. Awesome. We bounced in bounce houses- which Luke normally has to sit out, rode ponies, went through the hay maze and of course the petting zoo. So much fun.

Here is a video of Luke’s delight at the petting zoo. Ignore the obnoxious woman in the background. 1- I have a cold and 2- I am apparently freaked out by chickens.

And all done in an hour.

Efficiency, efficiency.


Halloween party on the fly.

30 Oct

A few weeks ago, we decided that we would have Gia’s soccer team over for a little Halloween party. Super low key. Costumes, so treats and time together. As so many times, things got away from me and I quickly realized that I was staring down the preverbial party gun and had done absolutely no prep. So, I do what I always do and run to the internet to fix it. And fast. Black cardboard, string, the Dollar Tree and some fresh flowers. Viola! Instant decor.

Since we had six little girls and a boy to follow them around we settled on some easy activities. Drawing on mini pumpkins, creating jack-o-lanterns, bobbing for apples, and playing soccer. Playing soccer and bobbing for apples won big time.

Sweet little “Belle” is such a tenacious soul. She must have tried fifteen times before getting the apple. And she was (as she should be) so proud of herself! The funny thing about bobbing for apples? It involves a lot of hair holding an guttural sounds. Things that are often found after college Halloween parties. Lots of entertainment for the adults.

All in all, it was a huge success. And we look forward to doing it again soon. We just love to have people over to celebrate.  Despite the below picture, everyone was happy the entire day and had a blast.  I just couldn’t get them to all look at the same time.  Happy Halloween!

You want to be safe-o? Go Graco.

24 Oct

Last week I drove out to a local bloggers house and attended a party that that showcased the Graco Snugride 40. Y’all, this thing is ah-mazing.

Let’s start with the fact that it is safe. And it helps your kiddo stay comfy until two- rear facing. Which yep. That is what the APA wants you to do.
And I have small kids. So small that my five (will be six in November is 32 pounds) year old still doesn’t meet what most three year olds weigh. I am hoping Graco will create a super tall, long torso, skinny kid car seat. But this car seat…for Luke? Is perfection.

So when I went to this party with other DFW moms, we go to talk about the car seat, see a demo and learn about Graco and everything they do to keep our little families safe. We also had Zoe’s Kitchen to eat. And I got to see bloggers I lurv. In lurv. With all of it.

So, this car seat is awesome. (Think SAFE and AWESOME- not like those yellow caution vests I wear when I am running)
– The only newborn to 2 year infant car seat from 4 to 40 lbs (WOOT! Duke is just over 20)
– 8-position adjustable base grows with your child, providing the most leg room and a comfortable ride for up to 2 years (Or, if they are teeny weeny like my kids maybe six. Just kidding. But I have thought of making Gia get in for kicks)
– Simply Safe Adjust™ Harness System is safe and simple with a one-hand harness and headrest adjustment
– Click Connect™ technology provides a one-step secure attachment to all Graco Click Connect strollers to create a travel system (LOVE the snap and go systems. LOVE THEM.)

The best part to me? That kick plate. Keeps my car safe from kicking feed. PTL.

It retails at Babies R Us for $219. When you think about the fact that it will last two plus years you really can’t beat it.

The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 – the first and only newborn to two-year infant car seat that actually grows with your baby from four pounds all the way up to 40 pounds. The car seat is designed for a parent on the go. The infant car seat can be easily removed from the base and used as a carrier when the infant is small, providing portability and convenience so you can easily move your infant in and out of the car without disturbing them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made the recommendation to keep all children in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2. Graco set out to make this product so parents can keep infants rear facing longer while still keeping them comfortable.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. The opinions and text are all mine.

Confession: I don’t really want to be a stay at home mom.

17 Oct

A week and a day ago was Gia’s parent teacher conference. And something happened that always does- she was shocked to find out I work. It is something that never ceases to amaze me. And yet, I am the one that fosters this line of thinking.

Nearly four years ago, I left corporate America and went on the search for the perfect work/life balance. There were crazy jobs like this and this.  And then I found some better independent contractor gigs and around eighteen months ago, Danielle and I launched Sway.  Which is ever growing.  And frankly, more exciting (and more work) than I think either of us anticipated.  But that, is not the story.

The story is that since Gia was two and five months old, the world has thought that I am a stay at home mom.  And I like to keep up this charade.  I bust my tail to be available for every field trip, every volunteer opportunity, every possible moment that I can soak up with my kids- I want to be there.  All while working sixty hours a week.  All while RT travels at least two weeks of every month.

And here’s the crazy thing.  I don’t really want to stay at home.  I could.  Don’t get me wrong, our life would be different.  We wouldn’t do many of the things that we do, probably wouldn’t live where we live, but like most couples with corporate pasts and dual college degrees we have a certain luxury that would allow us to fashion our lifestyle where we live on one income.  But I don’t want to- and honestly, Ralph doesn’t really want me to either.

That said, I have an overwhelming guilt that makes me want to make the world think that I am a SAHM.  And yet, I would have to really adjust to the idea of Gia being a SAHM. Crazy.  I know.

And yet, I think that my inability to comfortably say that I want to work is caused by other moms.  My peers, friends, fellow women that are in it with me.  Why?  Why do we make each other feel guilty for following our dreams.  Whatever they may be?  If your dream is to be a kick ass SAHM that home  schools and gives your kid the best opportunity or a mom that climbs the corporate ladder or a mom that wants to create a new business.  I just don’t get it.  You want to be a SAHM.  Hats off to you! You want to work in Corporate America and break glass ceilings?  Go girl.  Create a new channel.  You rock woman.  All are a life that I have tried some more successfully than others and when each is done right and each contain something that I both envy and admire.  And other working moms, are constantly felt guilty for leaving our kids and freaking out when we can ‘t figure out how to juggle it all.  But why?

SAHM’s do you think I am a bad mom?  Well if you do, shame on you.  My kids are loved, fed, clothed and cherished.  They may not have me 24-7 but when we are together, it is quality time where I am a happier person because I feel fulfilled professionally   And WAHM’s or working moms do you thing SAHM”s are lazy?  I certainly don’t.  And yet, it seems that it is the constant battle.  SAHM pissed because a working mom has asked to help her out. Working mom is annoyed because of excessive posting on Facebook complaining about said SAH life.  And yet we are all in this together.  One day at a time, doing the best we can do.

So I said it today.  Sheepishly, but I said it.  I am a working mom.  I work from my house, but I work a lot.  I am overwhelmed and tired.  And you probably are too.  Oh, and the next time I run out of the field trip to get on my phone.  Please don’t judge.  I am probably negotiating a deal all while trying to make my kid think that I am staying home.

The Pete the Cat Door.

4 Oct

Do you know who Pete The Cat is? If you don’t, check him out here.

Pete the Cat is a big deal at Gia’s school. Like, the biggest.

And given that I want to be that mom I am trying to volunteer at Gia’s school. So the night before I was supposed to volunteer at her school I get this note from her teacher:

“We are going to be called “Pete’s Cats” for the big BOOSTERTHON RACE (more info to come)…I need to decorate my classroom door like the attached picture. That is one big item that I need to check off of the list before Friday. The other items are: copy, laminate, cut out prepare guided reading folders and office type of things.”

To which I wanted to respond, “Have you met Gia!? She is MY kid. You know that zest? That spunk? That attention span? That big idea thinking? She gets that from me. Along with her complete lack of attention to detail and ability to use scissors.”

But of course, I didn’t. I simply said, “Sure! I would love to! What time should I be there?”

Now here’s the thing. If you know me in real life I stink with a capital S at these types of things. Now if you know me in my adult life you are probably thinking that I always have this kind of junk. Two things- it probably looks like crap up close or I bought it on Etsy. For reals.

Y’all, I wasn’t allowed to cut in Girl Scouts. EVER. Scissors taken away from me.

So when I arrived at Gia’s school today, my palms were sweating, I was shaking (possibly the result of too much coffee), and felt like I was about to take a multiple choice accounting exam. The other volunteering moms are decked out in Lululemon talking about things and making other beautiful things. So I meekly get the giant roll of butcher paper and walk back to the Kindergarten pod.

Gia’s teacher sticks her head out the door and points to a bucket with a pencil, sciccors and tape. And closes the door. Holy crap. I might throw up.

How the hell am I going to do this? Seriously, it is going to be a reflection on me. My kid is going to flunk Kindergarten because I royally dis-formed Pete the Cat. This is so much pressure.

So I open the picture on my phone. And start doing stuff. The kids go to music (Gia gives me a hug) and her teacher mouths to me as she walks down the hall, “I know it is going to be great.”

I am shaking more now. My hands are dripping.

And two hours later, this is what I had:

I may have been dancing a jig and high fiving my self out of that elementary school. I did it. And every time Gia goes in her class through the Pete the Cat door she knows her mom did it.

Just don’t get too close. I didn’t buy it on Etsy and it is a total Monet.