Winter Gear – PT 2

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Vans – $40 – Journey’s Kids
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Polo Coat – $40 – TJ Maxx
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Winter Gear

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North Face jacket – $50 – TJ Maxx
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Nike Air Max Zero SE – $30 – Champs
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Fall in the Park

Sweater – Savannah – Marshall’s $12.99

Jeans – Lucky Brand –  Marshall’s  $9.99

Shoes – Converse – Rack Room – $24.99

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Summer Travel – Toronto, Canada

Della finally got her passport so her dad and I decided a short trip to Toronto, Canada would be fun.  Della is great on planes and she loves flying. She doesn’t even get nervous when there’s turbulence. She says it feels like she’s on a roller coaster. Thank goodness because having a crying and nervous kid on a plane is no fun. We wanted to go somewhere quick and fun, so Canada was a great choice. We took a quick flight to Toronto and enjoyed four days of wonderful weather, food, and people.

The first day, we arrived, we went to Niagara Falls. Della loved it. If the kid could have jumped in the waterfall, she probably would have. I have to admit, I was impressed to. We both love the water so seeing the waterfall was so cool. Her dad is from Niagara Falls, NY, so he wasn’t fazed. Shoot, he could walk to the waterfalls from his childhood home.  I was amazed at the people who got in the little boat to go into the waterfall. Umm… no. Standing by the rail was good for us. Since Dad’s family lives right across the bridge, we decided to drive over and have a mini family reunion and visit the NY side of the falls. The NY side was quieter and calmer than the Canadian side but we still enjoyed it.

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Day two consisted of Ripley’s Aquarium, CN Tower, trains, and boat watching. Animals and water made for one happy kid. What kid doesn’t love sharks, fish, and all the other crazy sea life. Dad and I had a great time ourselves. I must say we did fall in love with the pink jellyfish. They were so majestic and hypnotizing. We starting thinking we could have these at home but that thought quickly went away when I remember how I almost go stung by one at the beach. Some things are better admired from afar.

Next, we made our way of the maze of kids and parents in the aquarium gift shop to and exit to see the Rogers Centre and CN Tower. We didn’t get to catch the game but we got to take a peak from the glass floor in the CN Tower. The line for the tower tour was crazy but moved pretty quickly but not fast enough for a restless toddler. The excitement built as we took the elevator to the top and exited to see the beautiful skyline of the city. Della was so hyped. We decided to eat lunch in the restaurant and enjoy the boats and planes.  The food was pretty good and thankfully they had cheese pizza for my picky eater. Outside the tower, we quickly took in the train exhibit and called it a day.

Day three was all about the CNE.  The Canadian National Exhibition is a big festival/event  that takes place right before and into the Canadian Labour Day. There were games, rides, shows, and food. They had a building just for food places. Della enjoyed the farm animals and games. We didn’t ride anything but we walked around the all the gift stations and bought a couple of gifts. Since we had an early flight the next morning, we called it a day so we could rest and pack for the flight home.

Waterfalls, sea life, boats and family made the trip a huge success. Della didn’t want to leave and stills talks about the waterfalls today. Maybe, when it gets warmer, we can go back for the weekend.

Share your summer vacation and what fun things you did with your family. Also, share any recommendations for family friendly trips.

5 Things I’ve learned from My 3 Year Old

I have been a stay-at-home mom for almost six months and I must say it has been interesting.  My daughter is three going on sixty.  I like to tell people she’s an old lady stuck in a toddler’s body.  Sometimes, I think she is my grandmother reincarnated. Being home with her 24 hrs a day, I have learned a great deal about how the her mind works. She is very cunning, sneaky, and calculating.  She is also sarcastic and very blunt. So, her is a list of things I’ve learned from her since we’ve been tied to the hip.

1)  What I ate and liked yesterday (or even the week before) is not what I like today. – Yeah, this chick’s appetite changes like the wind.  Sometimes from one day to another or even from one hour to another.  She went from eating spaghetti and peanut butter crackers regularly to hating them overnight.  I’m like really, you were just begging for peanut butter crackers last night and now it’s yuck. This really makes grocery shopping hell.

2)  Don’t let strangers ask her questions because 3yr olds are very blunt.  –  My daughter is very quiet and to herself and doesn’t really do people.  But, every time we go the store an unknowing target approaches and start asking questions and, as I said, my daughter is very blunt and sometimes the answers can come off as mean or hurtful. This can lead to awkward  moments and glares at me. So, I try to limit the questions people ask for their sake and mine.

3)  There is no such thing as privacy or alone time. – Who knew once you had kids you would no longer be able to use the bathroom alone or even go downstairs without being followed.  I didn’t  know I would have two shadows.  IT SUCKS.  Especially when you just want to pee or poop alone.  Like really kid, this is not the time for conversations. I’m trying to concentrate here.

4)  I will watch the same movie or cartoon over and over and over again, because it’s funny (umm no it’s not kid). – I’m all for a good movie or cartoon. Heck I miss Saturday morning cartoons, but these cartoons out now are just blah.  Like really the Bubble Guppies live underwater but light fires and carry umbrellas when it rains. WHY – YOU’RE UNDER WATER?  And if I watch the Minion movie one more time…. (deep breaths, deep breaths)

5)  Don’t ever tell a child you will do or buy something and don’t because they will never forget and will never let you forget. – Kid, sometimes I just agree to the things you say so you will stop asking. I don’t really expect you to remember that two weeks ago mommy said she would buy you a Doc McStuffins’ ambulance and ask did I buy it every time I come in the house.  I also wasn’t prepared for you to ask me  are we going to the beach a thousand times a day.  But as I look back, I know I set myself up for this.

Honestly, being a stay-at-home mom is great.  I get to spend so much time with my little one and travel with her.  We wake up together and go to bed together which makes it easy to keep her on a schedule.  But, there are times when it really tests my patience and I have to remember she is three and this stage will pass.  She’s growing so fast and each day it seems like there is something new.  I know I will look back on this time and wish these moments would have lasted forever (except the not using the bathroom alone).

Eat..Play..Sleep

This year has been a transition year for me and Della.  I lost my job and took her out of daycare. Because of my crazy commute to work, being in traffic almost three hours some days, my sister would pick her up from daycare because of how late I got home.  By the time I did get home, we would only have an hour of mommy and me time before she had to go to bed. So, we’ve basically been adjusting to being together 24/7 and getting to know each other again.  I cut back on blogging and decided to spend the time just hanging with Della. It’s been stressful for us both as we are both very stubborn people but very much worth it.

I think the hardest part has been adjusting to her eating habits.  When she was in daycare, they had a schedule and she pretty much knew what she was going to eat everyday for breakfast, lunch, and snack.  None of this was stuff we had at home.  Her daycare served a lot of prepackaged food and we cook with mostly fresh food.  Trying to get her to eat fresh food for each meal was a huge challenge. I think I heard “I don’t like that” or ” we don’t eat that at school” a billion times.  I wasted so much food trying to push her to eat and because my three-year old’s attitude is a carbon copy of mine and her dad’s, it causes a lot of tense moments. Like I said, we are both stubborn people. Eventually, I gave in to some of the prepackaged foods she liked, and slowly she began to eat fresh foods again. Now, she helps me cook meals and rarely eats prepackaged ones.

One thing my little has taught me is to play more.  I was so stressed out from work and the being stuck in traffic, I barely wanted or had the energy to play when I got home.  Since Della was so used to get up early for daycare, she continued to get up early.  I was not happy about this because I finally wanted to enjoy sleeping in for once.  Heck, I thought she would sleep in since she didn’t have to go to daycare.  Nope, in true kid form, she was up when the first ray of sunlight hit the window ready to play.  I’m not one to talk first thing in the morning and her cheerfulness, millions of questions, and requests to play were not very welcoming.  Little by little as we went outside, in the very early morning, I learned to enjoy our early morning play dates.  I’ve taught her to play games, such as hopscotch, kick ball, and how to fly a kite.  We’ve enjoy making stories using sidewalk chalk paint and playing school on the chalkboard in the garage. Yes, she is the teacher most of the time. We’re mostly just having fun and letting the day take us where it wants.

Bedtime plays a major part in our days.  Della rarely takes naps anymore and by the end of the day, she is so worn out.  When she gets tired she is not a nice or happy toddler. When it’s bed time, and we are all cuddled up, I ask her to tell me about her day. At first she wasn’t really feeling it because she didn’t know what to say. She would just say it was  OK.  I would ask questions about how she felt, what she did, what she ate, or what did she like best about her day.  As time went by, she began to open up and express herself more. It’s all about getting to know her as a person, what she likes, her personality, and how she views the world and our time together without pushing her to share her feelings.  Now, when we go to bed, she crawls in my arms and says mommy I want to tell you about my day.  It feels good to hear the excitement in her voice and know that she feels comfortable talking and opening up to me about things that matter to her.  I hope, as she gets old, she continues to feel she can openly talk to me about things going on in her life.

These months haven’t been all rainbows and glitter.  We’ve cried, gotten on each other’s nerves, and had more personality clashes than needed, but we’ve learned to so much in the process.  We’ve learned to enjoy our mommy and me moments more. We’ve learned to enjoy our free time with play instead of worry and frustration, how to communicate so we understand how the other person feels and what they need. We’ve also learned to cook so good recipes from Pinterest.  But, the most important thing we’ve learned it love and enjoy life.

Museum of Life and Science

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Della and I decided we needed to get out the house, after a long week, so what better place to go, on a dreary day, than the museum.  I have not been to the Museum of Life and Science since I was is in grade school and that’s been a long darn time.  It was exciting to share this experience with her and discover new things together.

The Museum of Life and Science is in Durham, NC.  Looking from the outside, you would never expect the amazing adventures that lie ahead.  We started the day with some music in the musical instrument section outside. Della loved the drums and I must say, my baby got rhythm. We then moved over to the farmyard, to look at the baby animals, before heading off to the train.

The train makes two circles around the park. While riding you can spot dinosaurs in between the trees, animals statues, a giant tree house, and wonderful artwork.  Right before pulling into the the train station, the train enters a tunnel and every one is encouraged to scream as loud as they can. Della and I definitely got our scream on.

The Magical Wings Butterfly House was amazing.  Who knew so many types of butterflies existed.  The museum has a butterfly conservatory that feels like a tropical paradise. All I needed was a beach and I would have been in heaven.

Inside the museum, there is an art gallery and a place for kids to create their own art pieces.  Della’s favorite part was definitely the weather center.  She got to see how clouds and tornadoes form and how changes in the atmosphere affect our weather.

There’s so much to do in at the Museum of Life and Science but we couldn’t fit it all in one day.  After a good three hours, we  were exhausted.  I see us spending many days here this summer.  Since we love going to different museums and science centers, I signed up for a membership.  The membership has great benefits, such as – free entry into the center, early entry for special exhibits, discounts at the center store and cafe’, and discounts or free entry into affiliated science centers around the world.

So, if you’re bored and looking for something fun and educational, check out your local museum or science center. It’s a great way to play and learn at the same time.