Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The one with the picture

(^just 5 months ago.  Delicious then. Delicious now.)

I love the few days right after labor and delivery.  People taking care of everything for me and the quiet moments in the hospital with just me and baby are some of my favorite memories.  I always felt so vulnerable those few days, and loved how my one job was to be with my baby, and how everything else was either unimportant or handled by someone other than me.

Have you seen the episode of Friends where Ross stays in the hotel room and refuses to leave until the last second before checkout?  (And how he has everything from the room in his bag ready to take home?!) That's exactly how I am in a hospital room after having a baby.  

I loved those days! (and think people who leave the hospital early are CRAY!!)  I'm excited to relive them again (well kind of...without the whole labor part...OW!) with my sisters and sister in law when they have their babies.

Anyway...all these emotions started resurfacing after receiving this beautiful drawing of my baby Crew.

Isn't it so beautiful and perfect?!  A sweet and talented young lady (Amy, you're the best!) from church gave it to me after seeing the first picture on Facebook.  I keep it on my fridge so I can see it all the time (I keep all the good stuff on my fridge...sisters' pictures, ultrasounds, kids' best artwork). I love it so much, and love when people use their talents to brighten someone else's day.  

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fun summer activities with kids

If I see one more post telling me to build a fort in my living room with my kids, I will scream. Taking 15 minutes to destroy a whole bunch of things, to *make* 3.5 minutes of entertainment for my children.  No.  They can do that during their free play time.

I said here that'd I'd come up with a summer fun list, and here it is!  There are a mix of general and local (North Carolina) ideas.

*Story Times:
      -Last week, when Charlie was at soccer camp, we went to Cameron Village Library story time on Monday, NC Museum of Natural Sciences story time on Tuesday, and Barnes and Noble story time on Wednesday.  We LOVE story time.  
     -The best story time in Wake County is the Fuquay Varina Library.  Hands down.  Perfectly planned and executed.  Others are good, (and we've been to pretty much every one in Wake Co.), but they're kinda chaotic and more of a music, let's jump around time.
     -Even when libraries aren't having story times, we love going to the library to fill up our bag with new books.  Our library has many extra activities as well.  Crafts, summer reading programs, special workshops, etc.  I check the library's calendar frequently!

*Splash Pad:
     -Our local town is getting a splash pad at the end of August (just in time for all the kids to go back to school), but Cary has one at Waverly Place.  It's a smaller one, but it's fantastic, because it's completely fenced in, and from 10am to about 11:15ish, there are a few shaded benches for momma and baby.

     -I love baking with the boys.  (My extra 15 pounds post-baby are proof of that...ahh!!!) One of my favorite (any time) activities with the boys is to bake a treat and take it to someone.  
     -I asked on Facebook the other day for suggestions on yummy muffin recipes.  I got some great ones!  This blueberry muffin recipe is the latest one I tried, and it is delicious.

*Play dates:
     -This one might seem like a no-brainer, but...play dates!  Have a friend over to your house and beat the heat inside while your kids have fun with other kids.

*Go out for a treat:
      -Going out for an occasional treat is so fun (and what kid doesn't love a treat??!)  An ice cream cone, frozen yogurt, Hawaiian shaved ice, a cupcake...it makes for a special outing.  The Cupcake Bite has a blondie cupcake that I dream about.

     -I love a museum.  Most of them are free admission as well, which is really nice.
          *NC Museum of Natural Sciences is one of my favorites.  We head straight for the butterflies, get an overpriced chocolate chip cookie, go to story time or meet the animals, walk across the bridge to the giant theater, go back across to see the whale bones, and then get out before the 100th field trip comes through.  That usually takes a little over 2 hours.
          *The NC Museum of Art is another one of my favorites.  They have a fantastic kids' program (scheduling varies, so you'll have to check online), and afterwards you can pack a snack or lunch and let the kids run through the water fountains outside.  Here's one of many posts I've written about the Art Museum.
          *There are tons of other museums in NC.  Marbles (gotta admit, I'm not a huge fan of Marbles, but some people love it), Museum of Life and Science in Durham, History Museum in downtown Raleigh...

      -I mentioned earlier about taking the boys to see a kids' matinee at American Dance Festival.  Here is a schedule of the rest of their summer shows.
      -Many movie theaters participate in $1 kids movies throughout the week.  Here is the summer schedule.
      -Halle Cultural Arts Center in Apex, NC also offers free movies throughout the summer mornings. 
       -Carolina Puppet Theater offers puppet shows with a purchased ticket in Holly Springs and in Wake Forest. This isn't my favorite show, but I definitely think it's worth a try if you haven't done it before.

*Kids Classes
     -Michaels Craft Store offers a craft class for a really great price. We did a class this week for $4 per kid.  This class had potential to be really great, but our teacher wasn't friendly or helpful or aware of what was going on.  I definitely think it's worth $8, though, for my kids to do a craft every now and then at their store. The one they did this week would've cost me at least $20 for all the supplies if we had done it at home. 
     -Lots of Community Centers offer classes throughout the summer.
     -Many stores offer a drop in kids' crafts as well!  

*Yummy Lunch Spots
     -The only reason I go to Chick Fil A anymore is for a medium coke and an occasional breakfast of chicken minis.  I can't anymore.  I just can't.  BUT, we love going out for lunch, so I've been trying to find yummy places.  Explore your town and surrounding towns for local eats. Our favorites are The Meeting Corner and Anna's Pizzeria in Fuquay Varina, Nofo at the Pig in Raleigh, and The Village Deli in Cameron Village in Raleigh.
     -If you're in NC, my friend Maddie, has an Instagram called Raleigh Revealed, and posts THE yummiest food spots around.

*Book/Movie Combo
     -My big boys really enjoy reading.  We've read lots of books that now have movies with them, so we're going to start making that a "thing".  Reading the books and then watching the movies.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,  Harry Potter (at least the first couple of them), etc.

*Blast from the Past
     -I'll open up my camera and find tons of random selfies (of Charlie and Walker), pictures of toys, the bottom of chair legs, a book, and blurry action shots.  They love taking pictures.  This week I'm going to give them a disposable camera, let them have at it, and then get them all developed.  
     -I realized my children have no idea who Michael Jackson is.  (How and why would they?!), but STILL!, I have to teach them and show them all sorts of dance moves.  My kids love hearing about things I liked when I was younger, so this summer is going to be spent teaching them about musicians, shows (I made them watch Oklahoma the other day...you're welcome boys), all sorts of things they NEED to know about.

     -Barnes and Noble and Target have really great workbooks that the boys enjoy filling out.  Letters, additions, subtraction, patterns, telling time, etc....I love a workbook for afternoon activity.
     -Go Fish is such a fun game with little people.

     -Since schedules are a bit more laid back during summer, it's a great time to visit family members you normally don't get to see.  If your family is too far away, spend time drawing pictures for or writing letters to them and sending them in the mail.  Everyone loves snail mail!

I'm also a big fan of combining these fun things.  A few Mondays ago, we went to story time, then rode the train at Pullen Park, and finished off the morning (while spoiling our lunch) with ice cream.  Another day, we picked up a yummy breakfast at Whole Foods before heading over to the splash pad for a couple of hours. 

What are some things you like to do (or used to do growing up) during the summer?!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Date with the boys

Every year, American Dance Festival puts on a few children's matinees, and every year, I miss Pilobolus.  Not this year!!  The big boys and I went this past weekend to see them perform at the DPAC, and they put on an incredible show.

The dancers in Pilobolus were so friendly, (which was a nice change from the ballet world) ;) They started by leading the kids in choreography in their own chairs.  Great way to start the show.

Watching the dancers on stage....oh my gosh.  Life goals to have a body like a Pilobolus dancer. 100% muscle.

For their curtain call, they dumped water on stage, and slid and swirled all over.....so much fun.

Afterwards, local kids museums had stations set up for the kids to make crafts, and the DPAC had snacks for everyone.  

I highly recommend this show to everyone for next year!  (ADF has a few more kids shows this summer as well.)

See Charlie at his first show a few years ago here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Skirt: JCrew (similar here), Shoes: Vestique, Top

The humidity and heat has HIT North Carolina, and I'm over here all like ^ (crazy hair and dripping sweat.)

Noel and I saw Newsies a few weeks ago, and oh my gosh, it was good. I love live theatre. These kids were so talented and so energetic....and SO young!!  As I was stalking all their Instagram accounts after the show, (I used to fan girl it up at the stage door, but feel like I might have aged out of that), I was like, "Noel!!!  I could've birthed these newsie boys."  

It was fun seeing the show and feeling the energy.  It definitely made me miss performing.

See this post for my first time seeing Newsies on Broadway!
Linking up with Shanna and The Pleated Poppy

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Summer is here!  

I recently read an article going around Facebook about how kids just need to be kids during the summer.  Just hang out, learn to play by themselves, and entertain themselves. The article mentioned that camps will make them feel entitled, and that they won't appreciate the experience anyway. 

I thought it was a good article, in that it was well written, entertaining, and had some good points, but I don't agree with it entirely.

I do think children should know how to play without being led by an adult.  I do think they should be able to have time to just be kids and to create and to be themselves.  All these things are vital...especially in the summer.

BUT, I know that kids thrive with structure.  I also know that if kids only have free play on their agenda, they're going to go insane and that the grownups will go insane as well.  

I also know that if you only have planned activities and camps for your children, they will never know how to just be and will be exhausted all the time.

There needs to a happy medium.  Days need to be filled with structure (camps, outings, instruction at home, chores) and free play (movie watching, lego building, run-around time). Moderation in all things.

I do think that kids can start feeling entitled after a while...and that's when we, as the parents, need to set them straight.  Make them pull lots of weeds, make sure they keep their rooms clean, make them work for those things you're putting them in and doing for them!

Growing up, I danced every single summer, all summer long.  I have great memories from those summers. I learned how to be independent and how to think for myself.  I made great friends, and I grew a TON in my skill.  

Having structure during the summer gave me a purpose.  I know for a fact that people who feel like they have a purpose do good things and make better decisions.

Camps and outings can get kinda pricey (a lot are well worth the price, but sometimes we can't always do them!),  so I might just put together a list of fun things to do during the summer that won't break the bank.  

What are your thoughts on summers with kids?!  What did you do growing up?
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