Friday, May 29, 2015

#ad Big Birthday Fun {sponsored post}

This is a sponsored post. I am currently serving as a blog ambassador for The Jones Center, who has compensated me for such. The photos and opinions are real, and are my own. This is a reflection of my family's personal experience as members of the facility.

Well, Big Sis has now officially been an 8-year-old for a whole week. It's hard for me to believe that my first tiny baby is now such a big kid.
As her birthday approached, we started discussing ideas for a birthday party. We looked at options and cost for several different locations. Finally, she settled on just inviting the girls from her class and a few other family friends. Girls Only! (I guess we are at that age now).  Poor brother and dad...
One of our favorite places in town is The Jones Center, so I got online to check out their birthday party options. Immediately, I thought she would choose an ice skating party since she'd just finished a session of ice skating lessons there this winter.  I thought it was a very fun, affordable choice--you can have a party room, a skate lesson with a teacher and skate passes for 15 kids included in the package. But, Big Sis said she wanted something different.

The Jones Center also has a huge indoor pool and pool party packages--either during public swim time or private rental--that are also easy on the budget. Since we've had our membership at The Jones Center, we've spent A LOT of time in this pool. The kids absolutely love the giant slide and I love that we can keep them entertained and busy all year long in the pool. As for a party, Big Sis decided that she swims there so much that she wanted to try the other choice we looked at.

She chose a birthday party in the Gymnastics Studio, and it was perfect for us. We were able to rent the room for 1.5 hours and have access to tumbling mats, balls, ramps and other tumbling "tools." We had about 12 kids at the party and they had a blast! It was non-stomp romping, with only a small break for the Frozen-themed cupcakes that left everyone with bright blue tongues. Instead of birthday gifts, our friends helped us collect more than 10 pair of children's pajamas to donate to the local women's shelter.
Here are some photos of the kids enjoying the Gymnastics Studio party. I totally recommend this for a party space for my local friends.

To see all of the birthday party options offered by The Jones Center, click the link here. Make sure you tell them I sent you!

Monday, May 25, 2015

One-Eyed Fergie

It's been two months since Fergie's surgery to remove her right eye. It was such a hard decision for us to make, but still the right one, we believe. After her injury in January, we waited and treated the eye with drops in hopes of a different outcome. Once the eye pressure went back up, the vet thought that she may be in pain--much like a human would have a headache. Rather than keeping her on pain pills and eye drops forever, we decided to have the eye removed.
Fergie handled the whole thing like a champ, once she got over being mad at us. I'm not joking; she gave us the cold shoulder for a solid week before she caved. Of course, she hated wearing the cone for two weeks and bumped into everything in the house. Once the cone came off, she quickly got back to her old self. We still run and play ball like before. The only difference I've noticed is that she will take longer to judge distance now than before, but she's otherwise adjusted well.
Here's our pretty girl post-surgery and now.

PS: Girl Twin thinks we should adopt a one-eyed boy Boston to be her friend. LOL!

Friday, May 22, 2015

It's Great to be 8!

Today is a special day for Big Sis...she's 8!
Happy Birthday to our funny, smart and pretty big girl. Every day I notice something about her that I didn't notice the day before. She never sits still, she's all legs and she has blossomed this year socially. Sometimes I look at her and can't believe she's the same little girl I left crying in kindergarten just a few years ago.
She loves to read, rides her bike like a pro and will climb on anything that's nailed down. She's a great combination of Disney princess sweetness, Wonder Woman toughness and American Girl coolness.
I'm so proud of this kid.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fun With Big Sis

Big Sis came home last week with a couple of Mother's Day goodies for me. I love it when the teachers let them do creative things that also make great keepsakes.
This year, the kids filled out a questionnaire titled, "All About Mom." I was completely surprised by how much Big Sis really does know about me, and how much she pays attention around the house. I also got a kick out of some of the totally random things that she answered.
Here are some of her questions/answers--
Mom and I like to:  Read together
Mom likes to say: "Clean my room!"
My mom really loves:  My family
She likes to eat:  Fish (what?)
The best thing she cooks is:  Fish (again, what?)
If I could go anywhere with my mom, it would be:  Disney World
If she had time, she would like to:  Relax
Mom is really good at:  Working
Her favorite thing to do to relax is:  Lay down
I love my mom because:  She loves me back. (AWWWW!)
Here's our photo of Lunch with Moms today at her school. I love this kid. I just cannot believe she's going to be EIGHT next week!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Oh Happy Day!!

This. Just look at this.
After taking what seems like forever to get my thoughts in order and find the time to actually decide what I's done. The new look of our blog is complete and I couldn't be more happy about it.
Thanks to my friend Bryan Gott for bringing the vision of my header to life. It's a perfect depiction of my sweet family. If you are needing any kind of artwork done, he's your guy.
And I highly recommend Leslie at Sweetie Baby's Designs as well. She does great work and put it all together so well and did a flawless installation.
Yes, I'm staying on Blogger for now. Because I know there are some of you who are wondering. I've found my happy place again.
Leave me some comments and let me know what you think. Unless it's bad, then don't.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

St. Patty's Day Shenanigans

My sweet, creative kids decided on the eve of St. Patrick's Day that they wanted to make a leprechaun trap in the back yard. I believe this is directly related to the little ones learning about leprechaun traps in preschool--who knew this was even a thing? I think it's getting some legs with the tiny tot set, similar to the Elf on the Shelf craze. Mama don't think so.
So, here I am, caught totally off guard over what to use to make (and bait) a leprechaun trap in the eleventh hour. Leave it to Big Sis to have a solution! She asked Siri what to do. Siri told us that leprechauns generally like to eat green foods and liquor; mainly whisky.
Being the crafty lot that we are, we searched the fridge for something that would qualify. We came up with some salad, a cucumber and a really, really old and stale beer from the back of the fridge. We used food coloring to dye the beer green and BAM! Leprechaun bait was born!
As for the trap, that was all up to the kids. They went into the back yard and rigged up the sandbox lid with a metal rod. Hey, whatever works. Right?
Here are pics from the next morning when the kids went out, with their beach crab nets, to check the leprechaun trap. Needless to say, we were all utterly disappointed that the elusive leprechaun was nowhere to be found. The jury is still out on whether it was so fast that it drank the beer and triggered the trap or that the wind blew down the lid. I guess we'll never know...
What I do love is that the seven-year-old was equally (if not more) excited and intrigued by the whole thing as were the four-year-olds. Pure magic, for sure. 
And, of course, Fergie didn't want to miss out on the action either. Also notice how my brave baby boy stood back so his sisters could open the trap and he'd "stand back and catch it." Sure, that's it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Conversation With My Kids

This morning, on the way to the babysitter....
Girl Twin:  Mama, when we're five, can we do whatever we want?
Me:  NO!
Actually, what I should have said is, "You mean like you do now?"  I finally convinced her that they have to wait until they're 30 to do whatever they want. #winning
If it was up to them, they would eat cupcakes and Cheetos for every meal! This is from their Easter party at school last week.
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