Posts Tagged ‘kids’

BIG Family Fun at Foxwoods

Monday, May 9th, 2016

During spring break this year, we – the whole circus that is my family – got to spend a super fun day at Foxwoods. They always do a ton of kid activities for spring vacation and this year I was lucky enough to be invited to a special blogger day that included visiting the Treehouse Arcade, seeing Clifford the Big Red Dog on stage and a delicious meal at California Pizza Kitchen. And there were cupcakes.

For children who only discovered video games 4 months ago and have only been to Chuck E Cheese twice in their life, my kids have an unnatural love of arcade games. They are terrible at them. Really, really bad. If E didn’t “help” a little, we would end up with a total of about 17 tickets which works out to three-fourths of a bouncy ball in the prize store. But armed with a loaded card and pointed towards the games, all three had a great time in the Treehouse Arcade.

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Things I don’t love: shooting games. Things my husband and son LOOOOOOVE: shooting games.

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Look, it’s Evan’s first swag bag! He was so excited they gave him a free bag he didn’t even look in it until we needed to find out cupcake coupons several hours later.

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This game simulated being attacked by giant spiders. Linc did not love the spiders.

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I also stick out my tongue while I am concentrating very hard.

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After we turned in our (virtual) tickets for prizes (including plenty of snacks), we headed over to the Fox Theater for the Clifford Show. It was a musical, which all the kids loved, and had just enough audience participation that they stayed interested the whole time. Since the theater was full of parents with small children I didn’t even feel bad when Linc started screeching in joy when Clifford grew from a hand puppet to a giant two-person sized dog, or when he wouldn’t stay in his seat and bounced back and forth between E and I pointing frantically at the stage like, “GUYS DO YOU EVEN SEE THIS? THAT DOG IS HUGE!”

After the show, we got to meet a medium-sized Clifford at the step and repeat in the lobby. I’ll admit Evan and Caroline were a little bummed they didn’t get to meet giant Clifford, but they still enjoyed their hugs and autographed cast pictures.

 

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Linc wasn’t quiiiiiiite sure about Clifford (although I am writing this with him sitting next to me and he’s SO EXCITED about this picture, obviously it’s a happy memory instead of a nightmare) but he didn’t completely freak out. That’s success when you’re talking about people dresses as character.

After the meet and greet, we went straight over to California Pizza Kitchen for some dinner. Back when we first moved to Connecticut, long before we had kids, E and I lived in the town right next to the casino and used to go to CPK for dinner alllllllll the time. Their hummus and warm pita is the best, the free table bread is amazing, and if we each ordered a personal pizza we had enough to take home for leftovers. But we’ve only been maybe once in the last seven years so it was a special treat to be back.

Evan and Linc ordered mac and cheese and Caroline ordered a kid pizza. Only Linc had leftovers, which we took home and Evan at for breakfast the next day (because carbs + dairy is always an appropriate breakfast). E got his favorite club pizza and I got the Thai chicken, which is the best kind. CPK was very family friendly and our waitress was quick to refill the chocolate milks, which is almost all it takes for us to enjoy a fairly peaceful meal.

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After dinner we walked over to Cake by Franck to pick up our Clifford cupcakes. I could have spent much, much longer in that shop, looking at the desserts and making up reasons I definitely needed to buy ALL of them right at that moment, but the kids wanted to grab and go so we took our cake home. Well, Evan did, Caroline’s was gone by the time we hit the parking garage.

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It was a lovely way to spend the day together as a family, I’m so glad E was able to come and enjoy it with us. Big thanks to the team at Foxwoods for their generosity and the invitation. When we get to do fun stuff like this I’m always super grateful that the internet is still a fun place to hang out and my blog has stayed alive for as long as it has.

 

 

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Laundry Is My New Hobby

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Every year that I’m an adult, I do a couple more adulty type things that make me feel like an actual grown up instead of someone just pretending to be a grown-up. Any time I have to call the insurance company is a big one. Having a hairdresser (as opposed to just going to Super Cuts) is another. I suppose giving birth to children should be on that list, but mostly I still can’t believe I’ve been allowed to create and become responsible for so many humans.

This year’s big accomplishment is finally become proficient in laundry. I’m not sure if I’m just suffering from an abundance of second-trimester energy or what, but our laundry baskets are empty a significantly greater amount of time than they’re full. Let’s just not talk about actually putting AWAY the laundry. That part is still a big nope. But washing? I love washing.

I can tell you what the turning point was. I have a friend who told me she doesn’t dry her kids’ clothes in the dryer. She might as well have told me she sleeps hanging upsidedown like a bat. I thought she was a CRAZY PERSON. Do you know just how many clothes my kids wear? MILLIONS. A million different articles of clothing a day. Where do you put them to dry? What’s so bad about the dryer?

THEN I discovered the world of children’s clothing resale pages on Facebook. If the idea of buying and selling stuff on Facebook is weird to you, you’re the last person in America who has never been invited to a LulaRoe sale. But beyond regular FB parties is the resale world – cloth diapers, leggings, baby carriers, fabric, purses, neighborhood yard sale sites where you can buy everything from a canoe to a car. I’ve taken part in a lot of this sort of thing but it never occurred to me there was a market for kids’ clothes. Since I’m a huge fan of “nice” brands, like Mini Boden and Hanna Andersson, those groups totally got me. I’m now fully immersed in the second-hand world, where a pair of kids shorts in good used condition still resells for $25 and I saw a hard to find toddler t-shirt listed at $100. On these pages, “we don’t use the dryer on our boden/hanna” is a standard listing claim and “wash wear” can cut your value in half. So after I had ordered a few things, I popped over to Amazon and ordered a drying rack. It fits nicely in our bathtub to keep it out of the way and can be moved to the guest room if the kids HAVE to have a bath. It’s also come in handy for my new cloth diapers as part of the Make Cloth Mainstream Challenge, especially for sunny days where I can dry them outside. It’s not actually that hard to just grab my no-dryer stuff as I put the rest in the dryer (I still dry probably 80% of our laundry) and everything gets dry in 24 hours. I don’t actually plan to resell most of my Mini Boden/Hanna, because selling is a pain and my children RUIN clothing, but keeping them as nice as possible for as long as possible is a good goal.

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Linc’s new shirt after he had worn it for 1 hour.

Another thing I got with the diapers is wool dryer balls. DO YOU KNOW ABOUT WOOL DRYER BALLS? They’re supposed to help your laundry dry faster and they TOTALLY DO. They’re supposed to make your laundry softer and they TOTALLY DO. And they’re supposed to reduce static and you know what? THEY TOTALY DO. I have three and that seems to be a good amount for my small-ish dryer, but I know nothing about them except that they’re magic. Allen’s Naturally also sent me a bottle of Stink Out, which is also magic. Takes the boat smell right out of E’s clothes and everything they touch.

My last new favorite laundry discovery is BunchaFarmers stain sticks. I have two, and I keep one in the couch storage compartment and one next to the washer. That way when Linc pours juice all over his shirt I can strip it off him and rub some Buncha on it immediately. Or I can use it on the throw blanket I keep over the ottoman to keep it from getting destroyed by dirty feet, dirty children, spilled cups and markers. I have no idea why it works way better than most of the less-crunchy stain removers, but it does. It’s probably because of coconut oil. Coconut oil is some sort of voodoo that makes everything better.

I realize this might be the most boring thing to be excited about ever, but it’s what’s making me happy right now while my toddler flings himself against his bedroom door refusing to stay in his crib and nap for the second time this week. I feel like at least ONE thing is going well around here. Also, Linc is wearing a VERY cute Mini Boden shirt while he tantrums, so there’s that.

Disclaimer: I don’t have an Amazon affiliate account, so those links (and everything else) are just regular links. I got the stuff from Allen’s Naturally for free because of the #mcmschallenge but I love them enough to pay real monies when I run out. 

 

 

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My Week(276) in iPhone Photos

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

This morning when I got in the car to go to a session the temperature said -3. Not 3 degrees below freezing, 3 degrees below ZERO. It barely warmed up during the day. Our furnace is struggling to keep the house warm and I really wish I never had to leave my couch nest of blankets ever again.

Sunday:

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Nursing break during Mardi Gras Sunday at church

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Evan really liked the parade

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Visiting a friend on the maternity ward

Monday:

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Checking out the snow

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THREE CHILDREN playing trains together

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Linc feels the same way I do about crunches

Tuesday:

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Eating candy because his mother is a sucker

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He says he’s ready to go play in the snow

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No problem loving his own face

Wednesday:

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I DON’T CARE IF IT’S SNOWING GO TO SCHOOL

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There WAS a cat sitting back there

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*ALMOST* 100% on the sight words!

Thursday:

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BRB Googling flights to Hawaii

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Naptime friends

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Celebrating Daddy’s birthday

Friday:

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Lincoln-date at the carousel

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And at Red Robin (YUM)

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And then my Valentine’s came early!

Saturday:

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God Bless iPads so parents can sleep in

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These two *heart eyes*

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And these two!

LOOK AT THAT I GOT MY IPHONE POST DONE ON SUNDAY. I’m very impressed with myself. Now I’m going to go find some more blankets to hide under because it’s negative something degrees again and I do not like it. Even my winter layer isn’t keeping me warm anymore. Maybe I should eat another piece of that leftover cake from E’s birthday.

Because that seems like a much nicer option than cleaning up the house the kids trashed when they still have two days before they go back to school.

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Sofa Fort City {Sponsored by Wayfair}

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

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Our big (ugly) family room couch is one of those sausage-casing monstrosities, where all the cushions are attached, with built-in recliners and cup holders. It’s truly hideous. But while we’re in the “Oh my god where did you get that yogurt?!” stage of children, there’s no point in having NICE furniture, so I settled for comfy and functional in a beige color that hides dirt.

The biggest problem with that kind of couch (besides ugly) is that it’s pretty useless when it comes to couch forts, and couch forts are an essential part of childhood. Luckily, when I was trying to fancy-up our living room last year I found a nice mini-sized couch that a) is also a good dirt-hiding shade of beige and b) has two nice huge cushions that make an excellent fort wall. The kids LOVE that couch – it’s the perfect size for them to spread out and watch iPad, set up all the dolls into elaborate tableaus or just climb all over while they hit each other with lightsabers. Lovingly, obviously. Lovingly hit each other with lightsabers.

I got an email from Wayfair saying they put together some super cute sofa fort plans and asking if my kids would be interested in building one. They even sent a super cozy Lush throw blanket to get us started. Check out their fun ideas:

wayfair blanket fort plans

We chose the Dreadship Blanket and got to work rearranging the furniture, finding supplies and collecting throw blankets and pillows.

Real life talk: This is what passes for “super clean and organized” in our living/play room. It’s half grown-up, finished space (art! mirrored table! fireplace! throw pillows!) and half kid zone (toys! more toys! even more toys!!!). Please ignore the photobombing cat.

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And here’s what happened when we created our own Dreadship Blanket:

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We left the fort up for a week before I wanted my living room back for a grown up event, but pretty much any time they want to rebuild a couch fort I’m on board. It’s the kind of fun, creative, independent play that ends up with about 80% cooperation and only 20% screaming at each other. In case you don’t have multiple kids, those are REALLY good percentages.

Thank you again Wayfair for the fun idea!

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My Week(262) in iPhone Photos

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

Alternate title: The first week after the time change so all my photos are dark and blurry because I haven’t gotten used to the sun setting at 4:30. I’m going to schedule a nice, colorful, sunny photo post to go up tomorrow morning because this is too depressing to leave at the top of the blog for long.

Sunday:

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They both love this

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OMINOUS ORCHARD IS OMINOUS

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Putting the kids to work making a pie they refused to eat

Monday:

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Toddlers on the loose

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Riding the dog like a small horse is frowned upon in this establishment!

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Stupid time change

Tuesday:

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Why look at fish when you can hang out in the aquarium reading area?

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$3 worth of dead fish make the stingrays way more fun

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The force is strong with this one

Wednesday:

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He’s plotting how to knock the largest number of things off the shelves

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While the sun is up the weather is GORGEOUS

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Poor ear infection girl

Thursday:

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Matching leggings 4 life

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MUCH needed nap time

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Super ambitious sewing plans (so far so good)

Friday:

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Wearing two babies instead of one

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Suspicious baby is suspicious

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Sleeping like he’s posed for a newborn photo

Saturday:

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Weirdos

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Bacon crackers. So simple. so delicious.

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Playing cards is my favorite

I was really confused when I realized today is November 8th, which means November is 1/4th over already. HOW is that POSSIBLE? As ready as I am for Christmas decorating, I’m not actually ready for Christmas. I still have to plan Thanksgiving and Caroline’s birthday, schedule our family pictures, order Christmas cards, and buy all the presents. Plus E has a bunch of travel for work, which means I’ll be doing it alone. At least that means I can have cereal for dinner along with the kids.

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