Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Zealand turns 4

I'm amazed at how fast time goes by.
I remember begging the seconds to tick when I was younger.
Days seemed like years and years seemed like infinity.
I'm saddened that I haven't been keeping better notes and records of his days. I am going to regret it even more with each passing year.
If there is one and only one piece of advice I would give to moms-to-be,
it would be to document every morsel you can.

Because my wish has come true...the seconds are ticking faster....and I want to take it back.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pursuing your Child's Potential

I remember watching and playing with my nephew and niece when they were little. I remember being in awe in what and how they learned....I also remember that I took it all in and believed that when I was my own parent that I would do it "so" much better.
That day has come and passed and I do take the things that I have learned from how my sister has raised her kids and apply my own versions. First of all I am having a really hard time realizing that I can't change my children. They are who they are and that I have to teach them in separate way. I have to harness their own natural abilities and run with those.....which is a hard thing for me to do.
Examples are that my oldest has a very difficult time with speech. He has been in speech for two and half years. Where my daughter started speaking and signing at 7 months.
Kingsley loves to sing her ABCs and her coloring is very intense and specific whereas Zealand prefers to goof off and I have yet to hear him sing his ABCs in order past the letter D and his coloring is flippant and disorderly.
I put Zealand into preschool even though I have a deep longing to homeschool because I need someone to show me how to harness his potentials. I know that he loves taking things apart and putting them back together. I know that he loves glue and building art projects. I love to watch him bop his head to music and play his air guitar.
I enjoy his creative side but know that academically he will need to meet goals as well. Getting past his verbal delays will be a huge progression and I have faith that we will be there in the next two years.
I think it's important to discuss goals with your child's teacher(s) to make sure that everyone is on the same page. I think supporting all your child's creative needs is imperative to showing them that academically they can be equally as successful. Kumon Academic Enrichment Program unlocks such potential so that your child can achieve more on their own. I have recently discovered Junior Kumon which focuses on children ages three to five. Junior Kumon builds fundamental skills in reading and math and by building such skills gives children a self confidence and a passion for learning.
Instilling a desire to learn for life is a motto that Kumon has for this program and it's clear that their programs work with the amazing statistics that they show.....46 countries and 16 million students enrolled since opening.
It's all about the LOVE of learning in and out of the classroom.
I hope to pass that you?

This is a "sponsored" post...I was paid to write my own thoughts and opinions on this program.
I would not have blogged this opportunity if I did not believe
it to be in the best interest of my readers.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

To School and Back to School

It's hard to write a post about "Back to School" when we haven't been before!

I say "we" literally of course as I did go to school.
I don't really remember having any anxiety or nervousness accompanied with the first day of school. I was always excited and eager to learn (a trait I hope my children inherit).
I know that not all kids were the same as me and I know that not all parents felt the anxiety-ridden sleep I had preparing Zealand to go to pre-school for the first time.

I always like to share tips so here is how my family transitioned Summer-time into School-time:

1. Bedtime rituals!!! Starting bedtimes early is really hard with the hustle and bustle of summer time activities and a sun that seems to never want to set. The sooner you do it the smoother it makes the days leading to the "Big Day"

2. Eating balanced meals. WHAT? Our school has a criteria as to what should be packed in Zealand's lunch. At first, I was a tad upset that they were telling me what to pack...then I realized it wasn't directed to me per se but to the millions of parents who have obese children. Preparing balanced lunches will help in the transition to school lunch time. McDonalds and Pizza Hut isn't accessible, so this transition might be more for the parent than the kid! ;)

3. Discipline. I started telling Zealand weeks before we started school that "His teacher wouldn't like that...or this" often. Not that I wanted to use his future teacher as a tool or lever but to make sure that he comprehended that he was to have guidelines and rules. Being that Zealand has never been under the care of anyone but family, rules is something new to him. Zealand has an aversion to the word "No" to a humiliating fault.... something we are working on, as we tend to not use the word in our home.

4. Bathroom Breaks. Sure, sure they have to be potty-trained but are the clothes you are sending them to school potty-ready?
This is something I should have shared with my friends earlier, as my dear friend already had to go and re-do her school clothes shopping. I have one quick and easy word: ELASTIC. I'm not a fan (mostly for myself....just tacky) but it truly is a must to make sure that your preschooler has the ability to drop those drawers in no time flat or they will be the talk of the class....and not in a good way!

5. Being Prepared. I'm sending Zealand to preschool because I already know that he is not prepared for VPK (Florida's Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten). I'm taking the steps early to ensure that he doesn't fall behind because quite frankly I don't know how that feels and can't imagine. My sister took summer classes at Kumon because she fell behind in lots of subjects.

Kumon is an Academic Enrichment Program that drives students to perform at their highest potential. If you are looking for a fresh year of learning and need a place for your child to be motivated to achieve more on their own.....then look no further! Since 1958, Kumon has helped more than 16 million children and is a valued and trusted company to my family.

Here's to a successful and fulfilling learning journey this year!

This is a "sponsored" post...I was paid to write my own thoughts and opinions on this program.
I would not have blogged this opportunity if I did not believe
it to be in the best interest of my readers.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Forever and a day

It's been forever and a day.
It sure feels like it anyway.
Both the kids are potty I don't have any cloth diaper news to give.
Kingsley has finally I don't have any boobie news either!

I moved my shop (Peace Love Play) to a new location and it is doing AMAZINGLY well.

Zealand started pre-school last week and has already told me numerous times how much he loves his teacher....oh boy!

We stay busy that is for sure. Every extra penny I make goes towards the extras that I give the kids. Mostly trips to Disney and stays at the beach....we also have a Disney cruise we paid for, for next May!

I'm actively involved with a new church now, that my kids and I love.

My husband loves his job (as much as anyone can love a job, i guess).

And that's it!

I'll be posting on things in the future about how we will pack healthy lunches, how we feel about some of the pressures and rules of pre-school and of course Disney (tips of the trade, I guess you could say!)

I hope to stay in touch more now that my store has moved and now that I've established a more regular bed-time routine for the kids and I hope you stick around and leave feedback so I don't feel like I'm talking to myself!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Disney's bringing the memories TO you!

Spreading Magical Disney Memories Coast to Coast
No one has to tell a parent how quickly kids grow up. But memories are the secret to keeping them forever young. And Disney memories? They're magical things filled with color, wonder and laughter. The kind of memories that dance for us in our dreams and live happily ever after in our hearts. We're sharing those kinds of memories across America with the Let The Memories Begin Tour. It's taking Disney memory making into towns across America where children and adults of all ages are enjoying a sample of the magic and fun that people enjoy every day in the Disney Theme Parks. You can also pick up a commemorative Disney Parks photo below as well as enter for your chance to take home memories of a lifetime on a Walt Disney World ® Resort or Disneyland ® Resort vacation that you could win by entering below. So don't wait a moment longer. There's a Disney memory waiting for you right now.

Chicago, IL 5/30 - 5/31/11 Houston, TX 7/12 - 7/13/11 Seattle, WA 8/20 - 8/21/11
Boston, MA 6/5 - 6/6/11 Phoenix, AZ 7/19 - 7/20/11 Calgary, Canada 8/26 - 8/27/11
New York, NY 6/10 - 6/12/11 Denver, CO 7/26 - 7/27/11 Toronto, Canada 9/2 - 9/3/11
Washington D.C. 6/18 - 6/19/11 Salt Lake City, UT 7/30 - 7/31/11 Puerto Rico 9/23 - 9/24/11
Atlanta, GA 6/24 - 6/25/11 San Francisco, CA 8/5 - 8/6/11
Dallas, TX 7/8 - 7/9/11 Portland, OR 8/16 - 8/17/11

This is a media plug for, and written by, Disney

Monday, May 16, 2011

Disney advice

I doubt Disney reads my blog but I have a piece of advice for them and 3 pieces for you!
(short and sweet and to the point)
Let's get them out of the way ......
I think its safe to say that a least 50% of their phone calls for resort reservations have children involved...right?
So, why OH why is their phone system VOICE activated?
So that each and every time I call, "they" can't process "that" request.
So, Disney, how about the first thing you ask your callers is if they would prefer touch or voice answers....cause I would really appreciate it. Since all moms know that no matter what, kids don't have a thing to say (or scream) until we get on the phone!! on to advice for you. (Take it or leave it!)
On a mom board I saw someone searching out advice for Disney with toddlers and I saw many replies that begged the mom NOT to do it!
Totally DO IT!

Here is 3 things I say will help with the trip:
Bubbles and lollipops.
They are amazing to waste away the minutes while you are waiting in line.
Snacks and drinks.
Pack a cooler. Yes you CAN! Bring all their favorites. AND if you need a drink you can get FREE ice water anywhere!
Mark your stroller.
I swear everyone has the SAME stroller as you. AND they actually pay employees to keep the stroller area neat and tidy, which means they move strollers ALL over the place. So bring a bright cup for the cup holder OR buy an awesome Mickey balloon from Dollar Tree and tie it on!
(That's a double tip...thank me later)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Welch's Harvest Grants Program

Meet the Winning Schools in the 2nd Annual Welch's Harvest Grants Program

Nearly 7,000 teachers applied this year for the 2nd annual Welch's Harvest Grants Program! 100 schools (2 per state) were chosen to receive their choice of either an indoor or outdoor customized package that included: variety of tools, seeds, educational materials, and more.

5 schools were given a package worth $1000 (with a flip camera included)
95 were given $500!!

The benefits these children will receive by winning these gardening packages will affect all subjects.
Math: estimating and measuring
Art: dyes and coloring
PE: digging and planting
Health: nutrition education and source of food
Social Studies: economical and environmental issues
plus more.....

You can find green thumb activities to help grow your family fun time here
You can sign up for the Welch's newsletter here and keep up with the programs they have and next year's application process

you can see all 100 winner's HERE

This is a "sponsored" post...I was paid to write my own thoughts and opinions on this program.
I would not have blogged this opportunity if I did not believe
it to be in the best interest of my readers.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”