Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to all the men and women who fought and continue to fight for our freedom.
A few days ago we were watching the parade of ships go by to kick off Fleet Week. Maddie, 3 1/2, turned to me and started screaming “look mommy…it’s a pirate ship”. I didn’t really think to correct her or explain to her why there were so many ships. This morning the girls got up early so in honor of Memorial Day weekend I decided to get creative and make the girls a special breakfast and while they were eating we talked about the why we celebrate Memorial Day and why the ships were passing by the other day. Here is what I came up with, also a fun breakfast to celebrate the fourth of July:
Blue Star Sailboat Funbites Pancake with Strawberry Syrup:
Egg Flag: Used a hard-boiled egg and cut it in half. See under pictures for how I made the “stars and stripes”.
Happy Eating this Memorial Day weekend!
Disclaimer: All ideas and images expressed are my own.
My 2-year-old runs around telling my 3 1/2-year-old and her daddy that they are a “silly goose”. She has quite a personality and is always acting “silly” so I may have called her a “silly goose” once and now she has it stuck in her head. Last week, I was at a Stella and Dot / Rowe party and purchased a great pair of earrings from Stella and Dot stylist, Brianne, and scooped up a couple of the Jane Jenni plates from Wendy, founder of Rowe (a new company with unique gifts and awesome vintage jewelry). I was so torn on which plates to choose for the girls(see photo on right). I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I am HORRIBLE at making decisions. I ended up passing up the “silly goose” because I didn’t like the color and went with “social butterfly” for my 3 1/2-year-old, and “cutie pie”, for my 2-year-old.
When I got home I started re-thinking my decision so I decided to look up Jane Jenni to see if I could order the “silly goose” plate online. Well, I found so many adorable products: lunch boxes, forks, cups and plates with so many fun personalities that remind me of my girls and now I am back to being indecisive again.
What is your favorite Jane Jenni?
Making choices has never been an easy task for me. My husband will ask what I want for dinner and I always reply “it’s up to you, I don’t care” or when we go out for a special occasion I always leave clothes on the bed and have him make the final decision on what I am going to wear. The few choices I have been certain about are marrying him and starting a family.
I graduated with a Masters in Special Education, the “ideal” career for a woman who wants a family. Mid-way through my first year teaching my husband, boyfriend then, was asked to move to London for his job. We knew we wanted to get married so we got engaged, had a civil ceremony and moved across the pond, leaving a job I loved. To keep this short, I’ll just say I have never had more than a year at a school because shortly after moving back to the States I got pregnant. We had talked about starting a family so weren’t trying but weren’t being careful either. It didn’t make sense for me to go back to teaching right away because the salary I was making at a non-profit school was about what a nanny or daycare would cost. Nineteen months after having my first daughter, I gave birth to my second and that’s when I realized I was a full-time stay at home mom. My thoughts at the time: why go to work and teach other children and use almost all of my salary to have someone else teach my children and witness their milestones. Little did I know being a stay-at-home mom would be more challenging than the classroom. Some days I am happy with that decision and other days I feel like being a stay-at-home mom is making me lose my mind. Would I be happy working and not seeing my girls grow? Or being there for them every moment and having those challenging days? Lot’s of “what-if’s” racing through my head…
You might be wondering why I am writing about all of this? Over the weekend I had the opportunity to see Rapture, Blister, Burn at Playwrights Horizons which left me contemplating my choices: should I have chosen a different career, should we have waited to have children, should I have gone back to work because at this point I don’t know if I will ever get a job in a school with my “scattered” and limited experience, is it possible to have it all-a career and a family? Rapture, Blister, Burn, written by Gina Gionfriddo, reunites two friends from graduate school who took opposite paths in life; Gwen (Kellie Overbey) put her degree on hold to start a family with Don (Lee Tergesen) while her roommate Catherine (Amy Brenneman) moved to London to pursue her career and becomes a successful writer. Decades later, Catherine moves back to take care of her mother, Alice (Beth Dixon), who had a heart attack and takes a job teaching. Avery (Virginia Kull), a twenty something year-old college student and Gwen sign up for Catherine’s course which takes place in Alice’s home. The four women bring forth the perspectives of 3 generations of women in regards to 20th century feminism while sipping martini’s and discussing topics like the accessibility of internet “porn”, the use of technology (I couldn’t help notice Gwen took notes with a pen and paper while Avery took them with her IPAD), the role of women, the impact of children in a relationship, can men and women be 50/50 in a relationship.? Catherine and Gwen ponder the “what-if’s”, coveting the other’s life and commencing a dangerous game of musical chairs…the prize being Don (Rapture, Blister Burn Synopsis). I don’t want to give it all away so won’t continue on. I highly recommend it. The phenomenal performance of the entire cast and incredible script captivated me the entire two hours and ten minutes. I was so drawn in, I felt like I was in a graduate course on feminism. Rapture, Blister, Burn will be playing on the Main Stage at Playwrights Horizons May 18- June 24. Can’t find a babysitter? PLAYTIME, provides affordable babysitting services to bring parents back to the theater. For more information go here.
Rapture, Blister, Burn was such a thought-provoking script it’s impossible to write it all in this post. Please join MamaDrama on May 30 at for a twitter party to discuss the hot topics in Rapture, Blister, Burn. More information here.
Last week we went to Florida for my brother’s graduation at Embry Riddle in Daytona. We knew flew into Orlando so we decided to take the girls to Disney for a couple of days. I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure if they were old enough. I always said I would take them at 5 or 6, but to my amazement it turned out to be a great age, even for my youngest-who won’t remember but while she was there it was heaven to her. Some tips and suggestions for traveling that helped me survive our mini-vacation:
Packing: Never easy with two kids, especially for a 3 1/2 year-old who is very particular about what she wears and gets hot very easily (not ideal for the Florida temperatures). Prior to going, I ordered Diapers.com to my brother’s house so he could have diapers and wipes ready for us to cut back on what we had to bring. Call hotels to see if it is possible to ship them there. It makes a big difference not to have to worry about packing diapers or buying them when you get there.
The Flight: It was a little stressful getting to the airport. We almost missed our flight because the traffic was HORRIBLE leaving the city. Thank goodness we gave ourself over 2 hours otherwise we would have definitely missed our flight. The excitement of seeing my brother and the “princess” made the flight to Florida pretty easy. It helped that we left around dinner time so we stopped for food. I hate to admit that I am that parent who gives McDonald’s but I have to say the happy meal really kept them “happy” during take-off and it was the closest place to our gate since we were about to miss the flight. It wasn’t until after beverages were served that they wanted the IPAD’s. I had multiple Disney movies and a variety of applications downloaded for them on our IPAD’s, new is always better because it will keep them engaged a little longer and as a little gift for our trip I bought adorable iHome Minnie Mouse headphones to go with the Disney theme. My 2-year-old broke hers within the first 5 minutes of using them by pulling them out of the seat socket, she had used them to watch tv on that back of the seat in front of her…bummer. The way back from Florida wasn’t as easy. They both have difficulty saying goodbye so when they had to leave their grandfather, it was the beginning of many screaming episodes that we had no idea would be in store. I tried doing dinner again but my youngest was so over-tired she screamed the entire time the fasten seatbelt sign was on. After about 45 min she finally fell asleep and remained asleep the rest of the flight. My older daughter entertained herself by drawing pictures of princesses over and over. I always carry a pen and crayons and blank paper because she loves art. After 3 long hours on both flights, we survived and we weren’t thrown off, even with the temper tantrum.
Disney: It was very hard to do the parks in just 2 days, especially with little ones. They loved it and it was a very magical experience for them but Disney is pretty expensive and you want to get your money’s worth and see it all. We were with so many people, 11 total, that it was hard getting everyone up and out the door in the morning so both days we didn’t make it into the park until 12. In the future we will get there when it first opens, stay for a little while, go back to the hotel to rest a bit and then hit the parks again in the afternoon. I had no idea how exhausting it would be.
Animal Kingdom: The first park we visited was Animal Kingdom. We got there late and of course there was the usual afternoon Florida Thunderstorm that wouldn’t let up so we had to leave. Luckily, we were able to visit Kilimanjaro Safaris® Expedition, the highlight of the day because they saw giraffe, cheetahs, elephants, alligators, hippos, and more close up. After we walked past the gorillas and chimpanzees which they loved because we had just seen the Chimpanzee movie in the theater. We also visited the Finding Nemo musical but the girls and I had to leave early because one is sensitive to noise and on top of that got scared by the shark. I was able to catch about 10 minutes and thought it was very cute. Next time. Just before the down pour and lightning, the girls were able to catch Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade, if I could have only caught the girls expressions when their favorite Disney characters came around the bend. It was unbelievable the excitement, smiles, and awes that came from them. Maddie made a pit stop as we were dashing through the rain to get a unicorn painted on her face. I should have done that earlier in the day because you can go back through out the day and get it touched up for free. Overall, it was a great park for their age but I wish we had seen more of the attractions.
Magic Kingdom: The name says it all. It is as magical going as a parent then as a child. Seeing the joy, happiness, laughter and priceless expressions my girls had while we were there was a magical experience in itself. When I went on It’s a Small World, I loved it just as much as I did as a kid. Maddie was able to go to the Bippidy Boppidy Boutique, which made her think she really was a princess getting ready in Cinderella’s Castle (review to come), and their favorite attractions were the Mad Tea Party, It’s a Small World, the Parade’s and MEETING the princesses and Tinkerbell. My two-year-old was so excited she was forcing her way past Maddie to get her autograph book signed first. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the fire works because we got such a late start in the morning, the girls weren’t able to get a nap in between. We are definitely planning another trip back but next time we will prepare more and get out the door earlier. We also will take advantage of the Fast Track passes. We didn’t realize that you can get more than one until later in the day.
Until next time, we have wonderful memories, 2 Minnie princess hats and an awesome popcorn set for when we watch our favorite Disney movies! Can’t wait for our next Magical Adventure!
Last week I took the girls to see Chimpanzee in the theater. I went to the first showing because I was nervous about crying and talking and hoped that no one else would be in the theater “just in case”. Well there were two other people in the showing and they were not with kids. I was nervous about every little sound the girls made. Most were laughter but there was an occasional cry when they wanted more popcorn and I didn’t have it ready. I recently received an e-mail about a SCREAM showing of Small, Beautifully Moving Parts at Cinema Village (12th St & University), where kids and babies are welcome. Unfortunately, I am out-of-town during the showings or I would be there. If you don’t have a babysitter and want to see the film pack up your babe(s) and enjoy a mid-day movie on Tuesday May 15 or Thursday May 17 in the company of other mothers where whimpers, cries and gurgles blend right in. (from Promotional E-mail)
Stroller parking limited; please consider slinging it.
About: When technophile Sarah Sparks (Anna Margaret Hollyman) becomes pregnant, her uncertainties about motherhood trigger an impulsive road trip to the source of her anxiety: her long-estranged mother living far away and off-the-grid. A SXSW premiere and winner of the Sloan Feature Film Prize, Annie J. Howell and Lisa Robinson co-direct this comic coming-of-parenthood tale for the internet age. (from Small, Beautifully Moving Parts ) Film opens tomorrow, May 11th. If you don’t want to go with your child(ren) more movie times and tickets can be found HERE.
More info can be found at www.smallbeautifullymovingparts.com (Film is not rated; family friendly with a single swear word.)
The girls and I love having picnics in the park on nice days. Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t been great lately so we haven’t had many picnics in the park. Yesterday, I was on Zulily and saw this adorable Playtime Party Picnic Set by Dwell Studio, perfect for cold or rainy days when you need an indoor activity. The Playtime Party Picnic Set comes with a carrying case which includes a coloring book, a sheet of stickers, and a punch out kit that has: pretend food items, plates, cutlery, napkins, and placemats.(information from B&N.com) It retails for $15.99 but is on Zulily now for $9.99 and BarnesandNoble.com for $13.49 . We are heading to Florida on Friday and I have looked for activities to keep the girls busy on the flight. I will definitely be purchasing this to have an “in-flight picnic” to keep the girls busy.
I am always trying to get the girls to try new vegetables without having to purée them and mix them into smoothies or sauces. A while back I decided to try asparagus with them. It is a hard vegetable to get a child to eat because it smells and looks like a tree. I thought there was no way they would eat it on its own and I was right. Initially I cut it up into smaller pieces after steaming it and they wouldn’t touch it. I went back to the kitchen to see what I could mix it into. I came up with rice and goat cheese (both of my girls are cheese addicts). As soon as I put it in front of them, the pieces of asparagus the same size as before, it was devoured with nothing left. Now Maddie will try asparagus alone and will ask for this rice dish for dinner. It is very easy to make and you can add chicken or fish and serve it all together in a bowl.