Celebrating Earth Day in Style

It’s the day after Earth Day, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to write about how Princess celebrated the day – in style. Sometimes I feel like a mom to a teenager, rather than a preschooler. Princess has been wanting to dress herself lately, which is great. I love that she’s becoming more independent. But, it can also be a daunting task.

There are those moments when I want to pull my hair out because this teen preschooler tries to negotiate everything from what I should make for breakfast to the clothes she wears.

“Can I have pancakes?” she asks.
“No there’s not enough time for pancakes. You’re having oatmeal today,” I respond.
“But, what if I can have oatmeal tomorrow and pancakes today?” she asks.

We’d go back and forth until either she cries, I cave in, or both.

At some point, I’ll have to pick her up eye level to the closet, so that she can physically pick out her outfit for the day. Sometimes I’m so exhausted from working the night before, that I have trouble balancing her on my back.

After I suggest the long-sleeve teal dress, she expresses her disapproval and chooses a bright neon green dress with a bright yellow sewn-in slip.

“Are you sure you want to wear this dress? It’s for summer,” I say to her.

“Yes,” she insists.

It’s still a bit too cool for sleeveless dresses. Knowing how I feel about it, she goes on to say that she’ll wear it with her black tights and black patent leather shoes. She also tells me that she’ll wear her black sweater. Then adds that since it’s Earth Day, the green with yellow is perfect. I guess she’s referring to the trees and the sun, which isn’t such a bad idea when you think about it.

I then pick out a cute, yet simple neon green headband for her to wear. However, little Miss Fashionista declines and reaches for the light pink princess tiara favor from a previous birthday party.

“It’s seems a bit much. Do you really want to wear this,” I ask.
“Yes,” she answers.

I reluctantly say ok, while secretly praying that she doesn’t look hideous.

She places the crown on top of her head and walks into the kitchen to watch her iPad (a.ka. her ‘little TV’) and eats her oatmeal.

I stand back and reflect on how she amazes me each day. Princess has such a beaming personality that shines through. I can’t believe how much she grown. Despite my reluctance of her sporting this get up, I realize it looks pretty cute – crown and all.

tiara

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After dropping her off at school, I take a peak at her as she plays with classmates on the playground. She takes off her crown and asks her friends if they want to try it on. One by one, they all place it on their heads. While some parents may express concern that one of these kids could have head lice, I think to myself, “how nice.” My daughter is really something special.

 

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A Travel Day to Remember (Part 2)

A Travel Day to Remember (Part 1)

Family trip

We were hell bent on making this flight. The thought of having to wait for another gave me anxiety. From a distance we saw a crowd of people who appeared to be waiting to board the aircraft. “We got this,” I thought to myself.

Once we arrived at the gate, we were informed that no more passengers were allowed to get on the plane. Here’s where I thought that playing the baby card would work in our favor. But the agent took one look at our family and reiterated, “The doors are closed.” We begged and pleaded for her to let us on, but with a very matter of fact demeanor she said, “We close the door five to ten minutes before takeoff.” I looked at my phone and realized that we missed the plane by one minute.

“Can’t you call the plane and ask them to let us on,” I pleaded some more. “No,” she said. “Once the doors are closed, that’s it.” That woman was cold as ice. She obviously didn’t care that we missed our flight. The other people who we standing there, as it turns out, were from an earlier flight that had been canceled due to mechanical problems. So we weren’t the only ones out of luck.

This was the first time I’d ever miss a flight. I kept going over in my head how we could have saved time, but it was useless. We missed it and there was no way we were getting on that plane, and no way my hubby could have made the standby cut either. Now we had to try and get on his original flight, which was set to depart at 2:30pm. Princess had been trooper up until this point. “I’m hungry and thirsty. I want some water and something to eat,” she whined. She had a pretty hearty breakfast, but we had decided to limit her water until after the flight. So, I couldn’t blame her for being thirsty. It just came at a bad time. I took her to the bathroom and searched for water, while my hubby stood on line to try and get us on his flight.

The only option we had was to place the kids and me on standby for the 2:30 flight. If luck would have it, some people would miss their flight allowing the four of us to travel together. However, it was already full and the odds of someone missing the plane was slim because there were tons of people on standby from that earlier canceled flight. If we didn’t make that plane, the kids and I would have to wait until the 7:30pm, which would mean that we’d be stuck at the airport the entire day and wouldn’t arrive I tampa until after 10pm. It would take a miracle for us to travel together. The only other option was to take a flight at 1pm to Boston and wait for a 7:30 flight to Tampa from there. We chose to try our luck and waited to see if we could get on my hubby’s direct flight.

After roaming the airport and listening to Princess whine some more, she finally got her wish. We had lunch, then headed straight to the gate to wait for the 2:30 flight. With only two one diaper left, I was hoping Baby O wouldn’t have a last minute explosion. There’s no telling when we’d be able to board a plane at this point.

We were already pissed off that JetBlue turned us away, and planned to write a note of complaint. But then I figured, why not try and work a little magic to see if the agent could do something to get us on the next flight somehow. I could bat my lashes, or approach with the kids. There are some people who have a sore spot for kids. But after thinking about that lady who shut the door, I knew that playing the kid card would be a waste of time. Batting my eyes wouldn’t work either. I looked at hot mess.

Instead, I politely explained the situation to the guy behind the JetBlue counter. “This is my first time on stand by. Can you explain the process to me?” I asked. I then went on to tell him that even if there was one seat left, I’d want to put my daughter in the flight with her dad and I’d travel on the 7:30 flight with the baby. “But, if there’s anything you can do to get us all on, I’d appreciate it,” I added. He then told me that there was a family of six ahead of us. “I don’t think they’ll want to split up, if there were only a couple seats left,” he said.

In a nutshell, we sorta had a shot of getting on. As it turns out, the family of six was supposed to have been on that early morning canceled flight, and wasn’t able to board the 10:30 flight either. They were actually supposed to be on a cruise and missed the boat too. The agent told me that they were basically out a ton of money with no where to go, and decided to spend a coupe days in Tampa and make the best of their situation. They were in a pretty bad predicament, but so were we. Traveling with small children is completely different from traveling with teens, like this family.

We had about a two hour wait, which seemed like an eternity. Princess was getting more restless and had been working my last nerve. I prayed that there was at least one seat so that she could get on. I couldn’t blame her though. If we had made the flight, we would have already been in Tampa.

She must have needed to go to the bathroom a million times. I actually lost count. After every trip to the restroom, she wanted to race back to where Baby O and her daddy were sitting. Needless to say, I was exhausted.

So what do you think, did we make it on the next plane? Stay tuned to find out.

A Travel Day to Remember (Part 3)

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Singing Along to Frozen’s “Let it Go”

I’ve heard of Frozen sing along sessions in some towns. I haven’t been able to find any in my area. But Princess’s school has been holding their own sing alongs at school. Almost every morning when I drop her off at school, her teacher queues up the cd player with the soundtrack. The kids all get excited as they sing and dance around the classroom. It’s not just the girls that are into it, the boys are too. It seems like every kid has seen this movie, including Princess.

Frozen

It wasn’t too long ago that she had our first theater experience. She loved it so much that she didn’t want to leave. Now she watches Frozen almost everyday. When she’s not watching it, she’s singing the songs from the Disney movie. I recorded her latest performance. Check her out!

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I Dress My Baby In a Snowsuit For Nap Time: Crazy or Cool Idea?

I’ve written about the silly things I do to get my baby to go to sleep on my BabyCenter blog. I thought I had it all covered. But, I recently figured out another cool way to get Baby O to nap. I dress him in a snowsuit for nap time!

Every morning when we drop Princess off at school, I dress her brother up nice and snug before strapping him in the car seat. Unlike most parents who unsnap and carry around that bulky car seat, I actually carry him around in my arms. I’m able to maneuver quickly with two kids in tow. I had been doing his all winter long, and realized that I struck gold. All you parents out there know exactly what I’m talking about. Sometimes we have to come up with silly ways to get our babies to sleep.

Our routine consists of homemade oatmeal and some organic gluten free puffs for breakfast, followed by a sippy cup filled with water. He usually enjoys some play time beforehand. The ride to school involves singing and playing animal clouds. Once we arrive, Princess’s classmates are pretty excited to see the kids, especially Baby O. By the time I load him in the car to return, he’s exhausted.

Baby O wide awake on our way to school.

Baby O wide awake on our way to school.

Fast asleep by the time we arrive home.

Fast asleep by the time we arrive home.

He’s knocked in minutes. I’m able to place him in his crib in his snowsuit, and he usually naps for one to two hours. This method has been working like a charm for the past few months. But with temperatures getting warmer, you’d think I’d lose the snowsuit – NOT! Call me crazy, but I refuse to ditch it right now. We’ve left the house in 40 to 50 degree weather, and Baby has been rockin’ his snowsuit. I see other parents and faculty members looking at me with crazy eyes, but I don’t care. I guess I’ll retire once it reaches 60 and go back to the ‘cry it out method.’ I have to draw the line at some point, otherwise someone may accuse me of child abuse.

How do you get your kids to sleep? Would you consider my snowsuit idea crazy or cool?

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Sibling Love

One of the things I love most about my daughter is her carefree spirit. She’s the kind of kid that loves to have fun. If I’m feeling down, she always knows just what to say to make me laugh. She’s like that with Baby O too.

Whenever he cries, she sings to him. “Jelly jelly jelly jelly, you’re my favorite jelly” is just one of the many songs she dedicates to Baby O. I asked where she heard it, and she claims she made it up.

sibling love

siblings

Made up or not, it seems to do the trick. He usually stops crying. It’s great to see the strong bond that they’ve formed  in such a short period of time. “Make sure you have each other’s back,” I always say. It’s obvious that they do.

I know that when they get older they’ll have arguments, but that’s something most siblings go through. But, I know they’ll always be tight. That’s what I hope, anyway.

How close are your kids? Do they argue a lot?

 

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I am Beautiful Project

siblings

I tell my kids they’re is smart, beautiful, and talented practically everyday. I do this because it’s true. I do this because I want them to know their worth. I think it’s important our children know how great they are so that they can be confident in themselves. As much as I reinforce these positive traits, something makes me think about my own self-esteem. Do they ever see Mommy pointing out her flaws?

It’s been tough losing the postpartum belly bulge. Sometimes I’ll squeeze it in the mirror, thinking somehow it’ll shrink. Even though they aren’t in the room, I realize that what I’m doing is not good. I’m sure that most women can agree that we can be self deprecating at times. But, it may be sending the wrong message.

Rather than put myself down, I say “I look great.” My husband – the stud that he is – always compliments me on how fantastic I look too. I’m glad that my children are able to see this because I want them to be able to build positive relationships with their spouses some day. But most importantly, I want them to be confident in who they are and their abilities, so that their kids can also be confident.

With that said, I hope that every parent does the same. Tell your kids how beautiful they are, and tell yourself how beautiful you are. I came across this YouTube video called “I am Beautiful Project” and it inspired me to write this post. Please feel free to share. It has a very powerful message.

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