Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

We were at school one morning, and I wanted to get a picture of my daughter with her classmates. As I readied my camera, Miranda posed with one of her girlfriends. I noticed a boy standing a couple of feet from them so I asked him, “Why don’t you stand next to the girls so you can be in the picture, too?”

I can’t. I’m allergic to pink!”

–Seiji, 6  years old

Editor’s Note:
Please spread the giggles by sharing your funny quotes with us!

Read Full Post »

Paulo is wearing a zip hoodie and cargo pants set from rabbitmoon's Imagination collection.

I’m guilty! I am so guilty of not indulging my second child to the same enjoyable things as I did with my first. Miranda had playgroups, play dates, Mommy and Me classes, anything and everything that I could expose her to that would be fun, educational, and give us extra bonding/play time.

I remember someone telling me that having two kids is like having 10. I didn’t believe it! How can one little person make life complicated to the 10th degree? Well, let me tell you… Now that I have two kids, I AM A BELIEVER! I am so busy with the demands of motherhood, Miranda’s school, my freelance work, the housework, the grocery shopping (I have to go every week now because boys eat so much more than girls!) and all the voluntary roles I thought I would have time for (Classroom Mom, Yearbook Committee, Faith Formation Teacher, helping my parents). I’m lucky if I can keep my head above water. Poor Paulo! He gets whatever is left of my hectic schedule.

I jotted down my little guy’s schedule each day of the week:

  • Monday: take Miranda to school, eat, very short nap, pick up Miranda, play
  • Tuesday: take Miranda to school, eat, very short nap, pick up Miranda, play
  • Wednesday : take Miranda to school, eat, longer nap, pick up Miranda, play
  • Thursday: take Miranda to school, SWIM CLASS!!!, eat, longer nap, pick up Miranda, play
  • Friday: take Miranda to school, eat, longer nap, pick up Miranda, play

Pretty boring, huh? At least he has weekly swim classes. But any free time I get, I’m either working, doing chores or running errands just so I can survive the day and actually get to bed at a decent time (midnight would be early for me!) But never mind about me. This is precious Paulo time I’m wasting. So… I’ve decided that I NEED take charge of my schedule and plan recreational activities for my little guy. He shouldn’t be penalized for being Child No. 2. He needs to have his own schedule, his own friends, and make his own memories. This sad little dude rarely sees a playground that when he does see one, he pees his pants in excitement! So I’m bringing back weekly playgroups.

His first play date was with my friend’s daughter. This little girl’s big brother was Miranda’s first playgroup friend and they have been very good friends ever since. (Coincidentally, my friend and I had our two kids roughly at the same time so each of our two kids are about the same age.) We met at a nearby playground to enjoy the fresh air and some outdoor fun, but it started to drizzle. Luckily, there was Toddler Storytime at the museum across the way that was just about to start. PERFECT!

The kids had a good time, AND the moms did as well. We both reminisced about our lives five years ago when we were both new mothers and only had one child each. We talked about how much more relaxed we were back then, how busy our lives have become, and how we missed connecting with each other just to talk about life in general (husbands, in-laws, school, broken appliances, the laundry…). We vowed to have our play dates each week for the sake of our second children AND for the sake of our sanity! What a revelation… I NEED PLAYGROUP, TOO!!! This is going to be a good thing.

Read Full Post »

First Grade, First Grade, here we come
We know we’ll have lots of fun.
Lots of things to make and do.
Reading, Writing, Numbers, too.
First Grade, First Grade, here we come.
We know we’ll have lots of fun.

This isn’t the first day of school for Miranda, but her first day of First Grade. And although we’ve been through this before, this year seems to have hit me harder, maybe it’s because it’s a full-day of school now or maybe it’s because she’s my little helper and without her I’d have to take care of her little brother all by myself. The whole family woke up extra early to make sure we would get parking, find her classroom, meet her teacher, and take pictures while we lug all our donated school supplies to the classroom. I made sure that I prepared her First-Day-of School snack and lunch as requested: cheese stick and goldfish, a cutie tangerine, a PB&J sandwich (Mommy, make sure it’s raspberry jelly.), Fritos, a juice box (Mommy, I want the reduced-sugar kind.), and a water bottle. We also pre-selected her First-Day-of-School outfit: a Le Top two-piece shorts set from the Spring 2009 Bloomin’ Beauty collection. And on top of that, we still had the little guy to get dressed and fed. So much hustle and bustle in the morning that you don’t have time to get emotional.

Miranda’s classroom door closed and we headed back to the car, then Paulo looked around and said, “Maw-maw?” (That’s how he says “Miranda.”) —and that did it for me! In those two little syllables he uttered, I knew exactly how he felt. What are we going to do now that Miranda is at school? I missed her already and we’re only in the parking lot. (I know, pathetic!) Most stay-at-home mommies cherish this freedom of being able to go to the gym, or have coffee or lunch with the ladies, or even enjoy a day of uninterrupted shopping. But not me! I was a wreck all day. At lunch (after I fed Paulo) I sat at the table eating slowly, staring at Paulo who was banging a pair of drumsticks on everything in his path, and longing for the silly, endless chit-chat from Miranda as she talked about her crazy dream last night, or what she and her friend did at their playdate, or even just her singing the same lines from “Seussical the Musical” over and over. All I could think about was, “Is it 2:05 yet? Did I pack her enough lunch? Did she wash her hands before eating? Are her classmates nice to her? Is she sad?” So many worries to worry over.

At 2:05 pm sharp, I stood outside her classroom and waited for her to come out. As soon as the door opened, she ran straight to me and said, “Mommy, I had a SUPER day! I made 5 new friends and I got to eat in the lunch room and I played at recess but I was eating too long so I didn’t get to play that much because I couldn’t finish all my goldfish but tomorrow I want 2 cutie tangerines and I have my own desk and we made a dolphin carrying our rules on his back and I get to make a paper doll of myself just like we made in Kindergarten and Eamon is in my class this year and Daniel sits next to me and I didn’t get to sit with Lucas in the lunch room because Sullivan took the seat next to him so I sat next to Kaitlyn and I played exercise with Bella where she is the leader and the other girls follow what she does but it was too hot so I stopped playing to get some water…” Oh, dear! There’s the endless chit-chat that I was missing at lunch. It was so good to hear her stories (in one long sentence). She had a great first day and I was worried over nothing. On to Day 2… wish me luck!

For those back-to-school outfits
shop Le Top’s fall 2010 collection here

Read Full Post »

This weekend I took my daughter on a play date with two other kids. Both of the children were from her daycare (she’s now in preschool). She had not seen one of them for 3-4 months and the other child, Lilah saw briefly a few weeks ago. They all love each other very much and couldn’t wait to play together, but what I found through this experience and by asking other parents, is that three can be a crowd. One child always seems to be more in demand. The other two may feel left out, jealous, or not have a partner. Though this is normal (especially with younger children) it may be helpful to have an even number of children on a play date. It doesn’t mean there is a guarantee of no problems, but hopefully with more friends there are more options. 🙂

Read Full Post »

Over a week ago when we were on a play date with our friends Sacha and  Cooper (her son), they asked if we wanted to go see Pixar’s new “Toy Story 3” with them. We jumped at the chance since we had just watched “Toy Story 2” at their house. This was going to be Lilah’s first movie at the theater. So exciting!

Lilah showing off her cool 3-D glasses (and her rabbit moon fleur-de-lys track suit jacket)

Thursday rolled around and I picked Lilah up from daycare and we headed over to Sacha and Cooper’s house to meet up. Lilah was excited to ride in Sacha’s car and was amazed that she had a second car seat ‘just for her.’ It was off to the movies. We chose to go “Toy Story 3” in all of the hyped up glory – Imax and 3-D (just down the street from where it was made in Emeryville)! I have personally never seen a 3-D movie, so it was both Lilah’s and my first experience. We paid for the tickets and I quickly handed her a ticket of her very own. When I passed mine to the theater attendant she handed me the adult glasses and they were HUGE (think bigger than Elton John’s in the 70s) – big enough to fit over my glasses with room to spare and they didn’t fold. Lilah received a smaller folded pair in a plastic baggy (keepers)…Now onward to the snack counter.

Though normally I try to bypass the snacks, since this was Lilah’s first time to the theater, we had to ‘do it properly.’ We bought a small popcorn (which was actually enormous), some chicken tenders, and a water. Our friends filled in with candy and nachos and we were off to pick our seats. We were set.

The theater was already dark, but we saw the perfect seats on the opposite side. As we crossed the theater Lilah was behind me. My arms were full of snacks. When I checked to see if she was still there, she had stopped and said very loudly, “Mommy, it’s so dark!” The rows near us started laughing. It was adorable. We took our seats and hunkered down. Lilah sat with the popcorn and munched for most of the movie. It was incredible. The 3-D effects truly felt as if they were happening just inches from us. She never got scared or bored, and even sat through the entire movie. I couldn’t be more proud of her. The movie was perfect in every way. What amazes me is how kids nowadays will expect to see everything in 3-D. The number of 3-D movie previews we saw was truly unbelievable. After this experience with her I can guarantee we will be attending more movies at the theater soon.

Read Full Post »


My good friend Kim, 29, lives on the beach in Morro Bay, California with her son Max and husband.  You know she is a true surfer gal when potty training started with “naked time” at the beach.  I thought I would share this delightful story of potty training at the beach – isn’t life a beach for Max!  I would love to learn in Central America!

Potty training can be challenging!  This is how we got Max out of diapers and into cotton briefs!  It all starts with lots of  “naked time”.  Last summer we had the opportunity to stay in Central America for two months.  Max was about 19 months.  During this time, we were at the beach or pool with Max and he always went with his diaper off.  By having his diaper off, he was able to see himself go “pee pee” or “poo poo.”  Luckily we didn’t have any accidents in the pool, but he did have lots of poops on the beach.  I remember the first accident he had, he ran too me and said “poo poo” and we ran to look at it. This sounds funny, I know, but this is a way for your child to see what he or she is doing.  After he showed me, I told him, “great job and next time, [he should] tell me and we can use the potty.”  I then scooped it up in a plastic bag – kind of like what you would do when a dog poops – and tossed it in the trash.  After several weeks of seeing himself “pee” and “poo,” we (my husband and I) felt Max was ready to use the potty.  By paying attention to his squatting, we could tell if he needed to use the potty and we would ask him.  Throughout each day we would constantly ask him if he had to go to the bathroom.  Max still uses diapers at night, but rarely uses them during the day.

Since we were in Central America, we didn’t have access to little potties or seat cover potties, so we would just hold Max’s arms as he went on the potty.  After a week or so he would say “poo poo”, and this would mean for us to sit him on the potty.  When we got back to California, he didn’t get as much “naked time,” but he could now tell us if he had to use the bathroom.

Around the house we would leave Max’s diaper off and have his “froggie potty” available to him.  We even put a basket of books next to it!  Just the other day he took of his diaper, (which we still use for naps and throughout the night) and sat on the potty and read a book.  He must have learned that from his dad!  

‘Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.’   –   Emerson”

Read Full Post »

Miranda and Paulo both in lots o' fish (from le•top's 2010 Spring collection).

It was a gorgeous (and I mean GORGEOUS!) Spring day last Friday. Although I didn’t plan on being outdoors all day, the kids and I ended up doing so. We were only supposed to have lunch with friends then drive back home for my son’s nap. The sun was shining and people were happily walking around. My daughter, Miranda, asked after our meal, “Can we go for a short walk?” (Sure, why not?)

As we walked around Downtown Pleasanton, we saw life-size art figures* displayed sporadically around the street. At a distance we thought they were real people, but as we got closer, we realized they were bronze sculptures. And they were cool! So cool, in fact, my children thought playing around them was more fun than a playground! (This one is inspired by the “American Gothic” painting by Grant Wood, 1928.) Miranda couldn’t get enough! We spent the entire afternoon walking up and down the street counting the number of unique and interesting sculptures we encountered, and admiring the precision and patience the artist put into each work of art. Since we were still in Pleasanton and it was getting late, we called Daddy to meet us here and join us for dinner. So up and down the street we walked again till Daddy showed up.

Who thought we’d spend the day appreciating art? Great idea, Miranda!

(* Works by artist Seward Johnson.)

Read Full Post »

Wii Fit is great, but the summer months are approaching and it is time to rediscover your nearest park for a little fresh air and old fashioned games.  Playing outdoors is more important than ever to incorporate into your kids’ weekly activities – it is fun and beneficial to your child’s health, as well as lays a foundation for your child to value a more active adulthood.

Below is a fun game I rediscovered over the weekend with my nieces – not only were they smiling with joy, but I was panting and out of breath chasing them, making me realize that I needed a little outdoor activity TLC.

Where Art Thou? (aka Scavenger Hunt)
# of Kiddies: 1+
Ages: 3+

Why?: Get back to mother nature and teach kids colors and a little about the environment.

What to Bring: A list of nature items. For younger children, use art or drawings to create the list.

Here is a short list to get you started:

  1. A worm
    Fun fact: There are about 2 700 species (different kinds) of earthworms around the world. They are invertebrates, which means they don’t have backbones. Earthworms dig large burrows, which let water and air into the soil.  As they burrow, the worms swallow soil and eat the plant matter that is in it. The soil they swallow passes though the worm’s body and is left in little piles on top of the ground. This is called castings and is excellent fertilizer (food for plants).
  2. A penny
    Fun fact: The average penny lasts 25 years. It is made of 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper.
  3. 2 different types of grass
    Fun Fact:  Bamboo is actually a grass!  Most animals cannot digest (cannot eat) grass. Animals that can eat grass are: pandas, cows, goats, sheep, camels, llamas, giraffes, buffalo, deer, wildebeest and antelope to name a few.
  4. Leaves from 3 different trees
    Fun Fact: Like us humans, trees and plants needs to eat and grow.  In fact, they like to eat sugar!  A tree’s sugar is made with the help of the sun and a green chemical called chlorophyll. If the tree is eating, the leaves will be green. Spring and summer are when trees eat and grow the most because there is the most sun. In autumn, trees like to rest and have stored enough food away for the fall to stop growing.  Since the tree is not eating and only sleeping in the fall, the green goes away, and the leaves turn red and purple, orange; yellow, and brown.
  5. Large rock
  6. Moss
    Fun Fact: Moss cannot have flowers
  7. Berry (Warn your children to not eat the berries, but rather inspect its color and texture, i.e. is it hard, soft?).
    Fun Fact: The Native Americans were the first to introduce berries to their diets.
  8. Pinecone
    Fun Fact: a pinecone can weigh up to 10 pounds!
  9. Something plastic (Explain how it doesn’t belong in nature)
  10. Animal tracks (Draw them on paper after you find them)
  11. Nut or acorn
    Fun Fact: Acorns come from Oak trees.
  12. Flower
  13. Something red
  14. Feather (Have your children guess what type of bird the feather came from? Blue Bird, Seagull, Pigeon and more!)
  15.  Seeds
  16.  A gum wrapper
  17. Something that makes noise
  18. Something that fell out of a tree
  19. Something that begins with the first letter of your child’s name

Note: Can’t make it to the park?  Here is a list of items you can find in your backyard:

  1. A garden tool
  2. A yellow flower or Dandelion
  3. A ball
  4. A white object
  5. A two pronged twig
  6. A snail
  7. A leaf with 3 tips

How to Play: Give the kids a printed list of nature items to find.  The first player or team to report back with all of their items wins the prize (could be a healthy snack such as your child’s favorite fruit or even allowing the winner to pick the next game!).  If your kid is lucky, mommy and daddy could even let the child pick:

a)      Where he/she would like to eat that night for dinner
b)      An educational program on the computer to play with for 20 minutes
c)      A family board game to play at home that night

Note to Self: Since this game is obviously held outdoors, be sure to make a set of rules and guidelines for your kids. If you have more than 4 kids, set them up into teams, set a reasonable time limit and make sure to tell them to stay within the boundaries of the park where you can still see them as a chaperone.  It’s always a good idea to pair up your kids and make a buddy system; young children can carry a cell phone with them. Everyone can be safe, learning and having fun!

Read Full Post »

No, I did not say that!

My friend Colette and her husband are from New Orleans and celebrated Easter this past weekend.  They decided to give their daughter Taylor her first taste of ‘classic’ New Orleans cooking – crawfish!  As the freshly steamed crawfish were placed on the table, her daughter exclaimed: 

Mommy, WHY are we eating bugs?” – Taylor, 4

Editor’s Note:
Please spread the giggles by sharing your funny quotes with us!

Read Full Post »

Time to pull out that crock pot again for a taste that’s South of the border.  This recipe was passed down from friend to friend and is always sure to please.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 4-8 hours

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can of each: kidney beans, hominy and pinto beans (undrained)
  • 1-2 can stewed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 pack taco seasoning
  • 1 pack ranch dressing
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream
  • corn chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Brown meat and drain.
  2. DO NOT drain anything from the canned goods.
  3. Pour all ingredients into crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 4 hours.)
  4. Top with corn chips, shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions.

If you substitute a can of Ro-Tel diced tomatoes & green chilies for one can of the diced tomatoes than you don’t need to add the onion or chilies because they are already included in the can.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »