Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Legoland worth it??

Well considering we've been here over an hour and this is all we've seen....


I'm thinking we should have gone to Sea World. Apparently, they cannot handle the traffic here. It's ridiculous. I can't tell you anything about the inside yet...but I do have a screaming, inconsolable 1yr old. The ticket lines in are terribly designed.

Here's the only parking ticket area.

We should have brought lunch for the car since it is now lunch time.
I'm hoping it's better inside.
-----------------------

Well...it took a little while longer, but we made it inside got our yearly pass tickets and finally got into the park.  It was SO crowded!  We managed to ride the two story carousel.  Since we were the the first 5 in line for the next ride we thought for sure we'd get a horse on the top row.  I took Bubby and my husband took Sissy.  Of course she wanted to luxury of picking a horse.  They went around the one side and some lady was" holding" 5 horses for other people and by they time they came back around the others had been taken up.  After 2hrs to get in and by now it's nap time she was extra emotional and of course is upset and crying now.  Bubby refused to get on a horse (which I knew) so we were going to grab a bench upstairs, but when Sissy couldn't get a horse we went back downstairs and all the benches were then taken.  Great.  We watched.  Sissy cried until it got started and she calmed down. 

We looked at the different lego scultpures of various places around the world.  Those were pretty neat and both kids were entertained.  They even had a building from my alma mater (Florida Southern College).  The Annie Pfeiffer by Frank Lloyd Wright.  My husband actually spotted it first, but I knew exactly what it was (I better after spending four years there).


I'll have to post more pictures later, but this was the best part of our experience today.  The lines were crazy for everything.

The building is a burger restuarant and many of those people are in line for a burger or lunch.  We decided it was just too much with two young kids that were already tired just trying to get in. 

As we were leaving, a Legoland employee was asking a group in front of us if they were coming back today to see if they needed an arm stamp.  They said "no" and she said "I don't blame you."   

They actually closed the park just after we got in because of high volume and meeting capacity.  Why did we pick today of all days to go? There were not very many smiling faces at all.  We overheard someone say they were there two weeks ago and it was empty.  Apparently, it is not always this way, but those of us going for the first time ever wouldn't know that.  I feel really bad for those that paid for a one day ticket.  I'm thankful we were able to walk away knowing we could come back when it's not so crazy.  We left, got a wonderful lunch, and went Disney mini golfing. 

They even had an article about it that I saw after we got home.
http://www.theledger.com/article/20111228/NEWS/111229349?tc=cr&tc=ar
Here's to hoping for a better experience another day. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Broken heart...

Sissy crying "Mommy you hurt my feelings. <crying> 
"Mommy, you hurt my heart" <more crying> 
 "You broke my heart. <hysterical crying>


What did I do to cause all this heartbreak?




 I told her "Don't jump on the bed that will make your tummy hurt more."


Really?  I didn't know whether to laugh or comfort her.  I did give her lots of snuggles and comfort to calm her down since it was a pre-nap meltdown, but I had to work hard to hold in the laughter.  

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bernard, it's been fun...

We started the elf on the shelf tradition this year and it has been fun.  I mean there were some nights it was late and I was tired and realized I had to find a new place for our elf, Bernard, which usually required getting out the ladder.  We wanted to keep him high enough,so Bubby wouldn't mess with him and he's a climber.  Sissy would be really upset if Bubby touched him since he would lose his magic and become sick. 

Here are some of the places he "hid" this Christmas.


Bubby really got into it too.  He will point at him and say, "Bah-Bah" while laughing and giggling.



He left us some cookies the other night.  He was holding a gift bag and a pen and inside the gift bag was the note about the treat. 

I've been trying to prepare Sissy and remind her that Bernard will be leaving tonight to stay with Santa.  She loves him and I know she's going to miss him. She said "he's apart of our family."  He may leave her a gift or two with Santa's gifts tonight.  I'll just have to remind her that he will be back.

Who knows...maybe he will come back with a friend or a sister.  Originally she told me that she wanted to name him "little girl elf."  I told her he was a boy and needed a boy name.  Later I found out they really can be a girl too and even have a skirt.  I also read that some families have more than one (if they have more than one kid), so when they grow up they can each have their own elf from their childhood.  Sounds like a good excute to me.  Here's to hoping a lot of retailers want to get rid of them after Christmas...really cheap. :)

So...here's to Bernard.  It's been fun (most of the time).  We'll see you next year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Funny kids...

Here are a few silly quotes and incidences that have occured the last week or two.

The last day of school before the winter break we had a school wide celebrations and we were giving popsicles to 1st graders.  One little boy kept asking, "Why are they cold?  Why are they cold?" 

Um...it's a popsicle?

..........................................................

While driving on interstate we see a mobile home being transported on a semi. Sissy says "Oh wow! A truck house."

................................................................

Bubby got a toy helicopter from his teacher at church. Sissy snuck it to her room to hide it, so she could play with it and not nap. I asked her where it was and she said "I don't know. I think it flew away."

...........................................................

I told Sissy it was nap time and she started throwing a fit. I told her she had 5 seconds to get to her room "5, 4, 3, 2, 1." She ran to her room and Bubby ran in behind her. I go in there and Bubby is standing there holding up his finger to her counting "1, 2"

..........................................................

Sissy at bedtime "Mommy can you read one more story? I pinky promise I'll go to sleep." Me "Okay" Sissy "Yes, Yes Hee hee. "

................................................................

Sissy to our Elf, "Bernard, I've been good today." She was right, but she was only up for an hour. I have a 4 year old going on 14. She's begun eye rolling already!! What?! I thought I had at least 8 years to go.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Best Christmas Present....

...EVER!!

I think I'm set for Christmas!  I got my present(s).  How about you? :)

Pillow Pets + book $10.99

I just decided my kids need a pillow pet and Amazon has two that are perfect for my kids on sale right now.  We should get them just in time with our Prime Shipping.

Look a "Lizard" for Bubby.  He LOVES lizards.  I know it's a Dragon, but he will think a lizard or dinosaur.  It's only $12.67 WITH a book!!

My Pillow Pets Book Engardia And 17" Lavender Unicorn Pillow Pet
A unicorn for Sissy!  This one is only $10.99

I was just looking at them at Walmart and thought about paying full price $19.99 or getting the mini.  My daughter has wanted one for a year because of the wonderful commercials and catch tune. 

*****Spoiler Alert****  If you are reading Jason then stop here.  I don't think he does.

 I figured I would wait on getting one, but when I was at Walmart I saw this clearance for $10



It's a USF Bulls Pillow pet.  My husand just graduated with his Master's from USF and he also got his Undergrad from there.  I couldn't get Daddy a pillow put and not Sissy.  I almost bought a 2nd one for my sister who also graduated from USF 2 weeks ago.


Winners - iCaughtSanta Photo

Congratulations to These Winners:

Ashley W.
Ashley T.
BreeAnna M.
Courtney W. B.
Jennifer D.

Have fun creating your picture. The kids you share it with will LOVE it.

If you didn't win, they are now offering 50%off your iCaughtSanta order.  Code: Santa50
Thanks to iCaughtSanta for the awesome giveaway.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

$5 Target Gift Card Giveaway ends 1/1/12

I love Christmas and I love giving.  I can't wait for my kids to open their gifts on Chrismas morning.  My husband always gets frustrated because I don't give a lot of ideas on what I want, but honestly, now that I have children Christmas is about them not me.  I have more fun picking out gifts for them than making a list of what I want.  My husband does a good job picking out gifts for me too even though he initially gets frustrated. 

I hope you are having a wonderful season.  This is one of my favorite parts of being a teacher.  Two weeks off for Christmas!  I'm sorry..."winter break."  :P  When my husband and I worked retail we used to have "retailarian Christmas."  We would save one gift for 1/25 and would have a smaller Christmas dinner.  We were always SO busy at Christmas time working overtime we barely got time to celebrate Christmas.  In January, retail business slowed down a ton and we got very few hours, so we had a mini relaxed celebration. 

In my giving mood, I'm giving away a $5 Target giftcard.  I love Target!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pink LeapPad in Stock @Amazon


This is the HOT Christmas item this year.  It has been sold out everywhere and is in stock on Amazon right now.  I don't know how long it will last.

My daughter got one for her birthday and LOVES hers.

1, 2, 3

I told Sissy it was nap time and she started throwing a fit (common occurence).   I told her she had 5 seconds to get to her room "5, 4, 3, 2, 1."  She ran to her room and Bubby ran in behind her. I go in there and he is standing there holding up his finger to her counting "1, 2." 

I started laughing and Sissy was trying not to laugh because she had to hold up her "I don't want to nap" stance.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Catch Santa in your House!! - iCaughtSanta Photo Giveaway


We caught Santa in our house and you can too!  Your kids will LOVE this.  I made a photo using the iCaughtSanta website.  It was very easy to use!  I just uploaded a picture, picked my Santa pose (there are quite a few different ones to choose even one of Santa sleeping), and adjusted size, color, etc.  That's it.  My daughter is going to LOVE this!

Here is my before picture:

Here is my after picture with Santa:

If I was smart I would have changed the date on our calendar to be the 25th, but I doubt my 4 year old will notice.  She is going to freak out when she sees this (in a good way).  We just started the elf on the shelf and she loves it.  This is just the icing on the cake. 

They have other characters for other times in the year like the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy.  My daughter loves the Easter Bunny too.  We may have to come back in a few months and do this again.  You can even have it send you and email reminder for Easter or even next Christmas.
The video is awesome too.  It gave me 5 unique videos  Check this one out. :)
From iCaughtSanta
A personalized photo from CatchACharacter is the perfect gift for any child! In 3 easy steps, you can add a fictional character (Santa, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy or Cupid) to any personal photo. We also make it easy to download, print and share your photo on more than 30 popular websites.

Surprise your kids with your own photo- iCaughtSanta and it's 25% off!  Use Code: Save25

Win it : Enter to win one of 5 codes for your own free iCaughtSanta photo.  Ends 12/21/11 @ 12:01am.  Winners will be chosen by random.org powered by rafflecopter. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Naughty list

This is one of the things that put Sissy on the Naughty list...

She colored on the chair rail that goes all the way around the room.  All of it.  Everywhere.  She colored some on the wall and on the door.  She did this while she was supposed to be taking a nap.    She even pulled out a tote that is under her bed (storage) and used it to stand on to reach any places that were difficult to get to (ie above her bookshelf).  We were at work and we noticed it while putting her to bed that night.

This is how she spent her Saturday...
Thank goodness for magic erasers!  We thought we could trust her to have crayons in her room by now.  I guess I could count myself lucky that she hasn't had issues with drawing on the walls before.  Nothing like this at least.  I just don't understand why she decided to do it now.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Santa 2011

I had a feeling this would happen.  Bubby was not pleased.  Sissy wasn't even too sure right beforehand.  I don't blame them.  Santa is a stranger after all.

Sitting on Sissy's lap didn't help much.


She told him she wants a new kitchen for Christmas.  Too bad she didn't mean a new Kitchen for Mommy.  What am I saying...I'm not a fan of being in the kitchen anyway and our kitchen works fine. :P  It's the cook that is the problem.
Merry Christmas!



Monday, December 5, 2011

Signing traditions

Signing a yearbook is always a tradition, but it has migrated to many things. T-shirt signing was the coolest thing when I was in middle school.  I'be seen graduation stuffed animals, picture matted for weddings, and even plates for baby showers.  Today, I've seen it all. A car.  We parked in front of a truck that had been signed with messages from many people.



This picture didn't come out well at all (I tried using a new app on my phone and it's dark), but all over the hood are notes.  It looks to be a memorial though.  I noticed a couple messages saying "I miss you."  I guess if you have an old car and it needs a new paint job anyway, then why not have classmates sign it. :P

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Late night shopping...

I took the kids to the mall for dinner and then browsed around ToysRus to check out potential Christmas gifts.  It was SO busy and crazy at both places.  I went back out just a little bit ago by myself around 10pm.  It was SO nice and quiet.  No kids to buckle in and out of the car or to tell no to.  The employees were much more cheerful and able to help.  I worked there back in the day, so I know what it's like when it's busy.  I remember having a line of people waiting to ask me a question.  The entire line would follow me as I showed "guests" where items were and answered questions.  It's crazy.  I talked to an old coworker that was always a pleasure to work with.

I got my kids their big Christmas items at great prices and saved over $140 (almost 50% of the total bill).  Of course, I wouldn't have bought some of the items at full price anyway and one of them was a free box of Huggies diapers ($41) after buying 9 on the rewards program.  I had to buy more than I needed right now in order to qualify for the free one in the alloted time, but I don't have to buy diapers for a while. :) 

It was nice to see the savings though and I feel much more prepared for Christmas!  My children are a bit spoiled though. :P

I heard they have a huge book coming out tomorrow.  It's like the original big book, but a different one with sales for the week.  I don't know how the keep track of their sales with 2-4 ads going at the same time.  Crazy!  Not to mention the headaches of Layaway.  I'm glad I don't work there anymore. :)  I think I'll stick with teaching.  I know I have a crazy two weeks coming up, but after that I can enjoy my Christmas.

How has your shopping changed since you've had children?  Do you have an awesome idea that you use to keep your kids occupied and happy while shopping? 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Photos



These were some of the shots we got from our home photoshoot the other day.  We had some issues getting the lighting to work out, but I don't have great equipment.  I think it works better for me if we do pictures outside on the porch and use natural light. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Paint the Moon Photography FREE Holiday Sampler

See below for the offer from Paint the Moon!  Go to the Paint the Moon Facebook page to see more

Photoshop Actions FREE Download Holiday Gift PSE Elements Cards Templates Tags

Dollhouse "brother" or boy figure...

I bought Sissy this dollhouse for Christmas.
 It is a ToysRus brand and it comes with all the accessories you see.  I got it for $19.99.  All the other doll houses similar to this start at $50 or more and don't come with near as many furniture pieces.  The pieces sold separtely aren't cheap either when you add it all up.  I'm sure there is a quality difference and I won't know for sure until we see it.  This looks like it will be perfect for her!  The only thing I wish I could find was a brother or boy figure to go with it to match our family (well not the dog...she wishes :P).  There aren't any separate accessories available that I can see for this set or the "You and Me" brand.  I looked at other brands and did google searches and I can't find anything that will match (in a decent price range). 

Well...the closest is the African American brother & Sister.
Fisher-Price Loving Family Dollhouse Figures - Sister and Brother (Styles Vary) -  Fisher-Price - Toys"R"Us
I would like that the skin color would match my children since they would represent them, but I definitely prefer the African American kids to these.
 
In retrospect this set probably matches our pale skin better and those defintely look like my eyebrows. LOL  Seriously though...really?  Maybe my monitor colors are off.

I could get the caucasian siblings
It's selling on amazon (3rd party) for $41!  Why is it so hard to find a boy figure for a dollhouse?  I'm thinking the cute AA babies are still in 1st place.

How about a brother Diego?
Fisher-Price Dora the Explorer Dollhouse Figures - Diego with Cat and Sled -  Fisher-Price - Toys"R"Us
There are sets for a little sister.
Fisher-Price My First Dollhouse Sister -  Fisher-Price - Toys"R"Us
Grandma and Boy may be perfect, but we are still looking at $12(with the shipping).  The dollhouse was only $19
Fisher-Price Loving Family Grandma and Brother Dolls
The only concern with these or the African American kids is they may be too big for the dollhouse I got.  I guess a trip to ToysRus is in the future (not that we weren't going there soon anyway).  That or Sissy doesn't have a boy in her set.  I got a great deal and what's the point if I spend a lot to get her a boy figure.  I'm thinking the Daddy figure will have to double as the Daddy/Brother.  That or we'll have a Diego Brother. 

I really am suprised there aren't more boy figures available for the dollhouses.  I'm guessing it's the wonderful gender stereotypes.  I think there should be gender neutral dollhouses with boy/girl interior.  Let the boys play house. :-) 

I just found an official "brother" doll.  Should have gone to fisher prices website first. Duh.  He's a big brother though.
 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Family Photoshoot...attempt


I'm attempting a family photoshoot today.  I'm hoping to save $100's on studio pictures bydoing my own.  Wish me luck since I am pretty clueless on sudio lighting and such.  Here is a picture of Sissy help me practice a little this morning.  If all goes well, I'll post some more pictures later.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hand Turkey Family Table Runner

When we went to SeaWorld over the summer they had a Handimal Art for sale.  They have the family put their hand print on a canvas and they make animals out of them.  It's really cute and I really wanted to do one.  I still want to do ducks for our bathroom.  I've seen places that make art out of children's hand/foot prints for their room.  I love it! 

I decided to make a hand Turkey table runner for Thanksgiving.  I am not very crafty or artistic, so I was a little worried on how it would turn out. 

 Materials:
Table runner - I was hoping Walmart would have a plain cheap one (I didn't have time to go other places to look).  I found this one for $13.
Fabric Paint (Brown, Red, Yellow, White, Black, Orange)
Paint Brushes
Fabric markers
Paper plate (or something to make a palette for mixing colors
Leaf
Hands of each member of the family
I marked the center with one of Sissy's hair clips.

I mixed brown and white to make a lighter brown for the turkeys and mostly because I knew I needed a lot of brown.  I needed to stretch it further.  I painted on our hands and had each person put their hand print on the table runner.
I was going to paint the fingers different colors, but I realized with Sissy's that it was drying to fast and not coming out even, so I just went with all brown with the rest of us.
 I painted in the spaces and added the colors to our fingers.  I added the extras to the turkeys.  I was carefully using a paint brush for all of the details and when I was finished I remembered the the fabric paint has a thin pen like applicator.  Duh!  It would have been easier to just use them.  See...I'm not that crafty.

I painted the leaf we had found and tried to put the print on the table runner.  I had taken the kids on a leaf hunt earlier in the day, but we don't have any cool fall leaves in our neighborhood.  Thankfully, I had one leaf that I found at the park with the kids the other day.  The impression didn't work too well, so I went to buy fabric markers.  I traced the leaf and painted in the rest with brown and red on one side and orange and read on the other.

I finished painting in everything.  I used the fabric paints to add the leaf details and added our names and it's done! :)  Well almost.  I need to finish the leaf on the left and possibly outline our hands with the fabric marker to clean it up a little.

What do you think??

Oral-B Pajama Party

Oral care is very important and I know a lot of children don't receive regular dental care.  I work at a low income (Title one) school and I know many of my students don't get the care they need.  I was so glad last week when I saw a Dentist was on the schedule for our Great American teach in to teach children about dental hygiene.  So imagine my excitement when I found out I had an opportunity to host an Oral-B party.  We decided to have a pajama party and my daughter was SO excited.  All the kids received a movie ticket invite which they brought as their admission ticket and they came in their favorite PJ's.  I had a fun snack waiting for them when they arrived.

Is that peanut butter stuck in the teeth?  Good thing we have Oral-B toothbrushes. lol

 
The little ones couldn't wait to sneak a snack!

After their snack, they all got their popcorn (or Chester's Cheese flavored puffcorn for any too young for popcorn) from the "concession stand" and settled in for a showing of Disney's Winnie the Pooh Movie!  As soon as the movie started one of the kids yelled out "I love this movie!"  It's already a favorite in many homes.  They were so excited!

Even the little ones were interested in the movie and sat still for quite awhile!

We had a little intermission right after Pooh thought he was eating honey when he was really eating mud.  We had our version of Winnie the pooh Worms and Dirt Dessert Cups...or "dirt/mud" like Pooh ate in the movie.

 Then back to the movie. 

 We even had some Winnie the Pooh reading going on when an attention span didn't quite last long enough for the whole movie.

 When the movie was over each child received his/her own gift bag of Oral-B supplies.  They got an Oral-B stage I or II brush (depending on their age), Oral-B Stages toothpaste (Disney Princess, Toy Story, or Cars), Disney Lavender Hair & Body Wash, and lots of coupons and information about Oral-B. 



They loved their gifts and I know the Moms love it too.  It's not just something the kids love because they have their favorite characters are on them, but something they actually need.

We had the chance to try out our new toothbrushes a couple days before the party and my kids love them.  The stage I toothbrushes are for 4months - 24mos.  I like that the head of the brush is bigger than some other brands and the bristles are soft.  This is very important right now because Bubby is teething...really bad.  I don't think he's ever had one tooth come in at a time.  For him, it's at least 3 or more.  He has at least 5 teeth coming in right now and has not been happy.  His gums are so swollen and sore.  He does not like me brushing his teeth for obvious reasons.  At least with the Oral-B stage I brush the bristles are soft and I get get more brushed in one swipe with the the bigger head.  
He likes to "brush" on his own after Mommy does it first.
The stage II (ages 2-4) brush for Sissy has the bristles marked to show a pea sized amount for the fluoride toothpaste.  We don't usually let her use fluoride toothpaste because we worry about her swallowing it (I know probably irrational considering the amount, but that's normal...right?).  I know it sounds silly, but I really like the guide.  Obviously, I know what pea size is even though I hate peas, but I'm so used to putting toothpaste across all the bristles that the marks are a good reminder to how little she needs.  She will be using fluoride toothpaste from now on.  Check out Oral-B on Facebook.


A couple guest comments about Disney's Winnie the Pooh Movie

What was your favorite part of the movie?
  • "When Winnie the Pooh went to eat honey and fell in the hole."  Conner, 5
  • "Pink!  (Me: Piglet because he's pink??) Yes, I like Pink."  Makenna, 2
  • "My favorite part was when Owl flew out of the hole and everyone looks at him astonished and not because he could fly in and out." A Mommy
  • When Piglet flew into the letters and knocked them all down.  He giggled during this part and pointed.  Bubby, 18 mos
  • When Christopher Robbins showed up at the end with the red balloon.  Laz, 2  (smiled and got excited during this part...maybe it's the bright red balloon).
  • "It was funny when Pooh thought he was eating honey and it was really mud" Riley, 6
And a video from our household expert...Sissy.

video

This party was sponsored by Oral-B Stages I & II.


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