Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Morning After

The DH and I are proud parents of a Tiger Cub. After camping this weekend in the mud and rain, the DH spent most of Sunday morning cleaning and drying their tent.

I am so proud of my boys.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Family Vacations

I think I love planning our annual family vacations as much as I enjoy the experience. In 2013, we took our first family cruise on Norwegian and had a blast. It was the best bang for our buck and we got to visit Roatan in Honduras, Belize City, Costa Maya (literally just a port stop for shopping and swimming in Mexico) and Cozumel.

2014 found us at Disney World and was truly magical. We did all four parks and Downtown Disney over eight days. For the DH we upgraded to the Deluxe Meal Plan and were able to book all the character meals! We got sick on the tail end and missed out on just one *must do* meal, but what fun! I would love to do this again before the kids get too old to enjoy the magic.

Later this year we're cruising with Norwegian again to Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, Ocho Rios, George Town and Cozumel again. Maybe this time we'll make it to Chitzen Itza since the kids will be older and more able to handle the trek.

Because there were so many things in Orlando that we wanted to see, but didn't because there just wasn't enough time, we're going back next year to visit Sea World, Universal Studios, and Lego Land.

But what I'm most excited about is planning a 2017 Alaskan Cruise!!!

Yesterday I priced a Disney Alaskan Cruise. $20,000 for a balcony room for four people, but only $7,000 for an interior cabin, plus our airfare to Vancouver. Ummmm, I guess we'll be going back to Norwegian which offers the exact same itinerary, but less magic, for just shy of $5,000. Interior cabin of course. [I should point out that 2017 rates are not yet published, so this is based on 2016 rates. The price may change.]

We live very hectic lives. I firmly believe in children having extra-curricular activities to help keep them balanced. As such, our typical school year is a blur of school and work, church, homework, cub scouts, ballet, gymnastics, tennis, baseball, soccer and basketball. Since there are no grandparents for thousands of miles, the DH and I manage Stinky and Blinky by ourselves. This is no easy feat. Therefore, our family vacations provide an opportunity for us to relax and just enjoy each other, and experience fun, new things together, building memories that will last a lifetime. So yes, I am one of those crazy mamas that plan too far in advance but the reward is so worth it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sometimes Mama just doesn't feel like sharing...

...so she makes smoothies in the bathroom, out of earshot of the little people.

#selfish #MommyTimeOut #sogood


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

MORNINGS!

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Last week on facebook, I noticed a teacher posted there are only 35 days left in the school year. A host of other teachers commented about how much they are looking forward to summer break. Well, I have news for these overstressed individuals...as an overstressed Mom I am also looking forward to summer break.
 
Mornings in our house are complete and utter PANDEMONIUM! Between homework and extra-curricular activities for a seven year-old boy and five year-old girl, we have some pretty late evenings. Getting the kids up in the mornings in the mornings are next to impossible. Then there's encouraging them to shovel their breakfast in (extra points if its not one of their favorites), pack lunches, let the dog out, get ourselves dressed, get the kids dressed and get in the car early enough to have Stinky Marinky in class at 7:40!!! By the time I get to work (not sure about the DH), I feel like I've run a marathon, been hit by a truck, or both. So for me, summer break means not having to rush about to be somewhere at a ridiculously early time. I can actually sit and enjoy breakfast with my kids without having to yell at them, and let the kids ride their bikes in the evening instead of playing taxi.
 
31 school days left.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

On Getting Older...

At lunch today, the waiter casually [albeit pleasantly] strolled over to greet then seat me. 5 minutes later, said waiter nearly falls over himself to greet and seat 2 college girls in hot shorts who couldn't have been older than 18.

*Sigh*

Monday, March 30, 2015

Quote of the Week

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While playing a game of tickles with the DH, I overheard Blinky yell to Stinky, "SAVE YOURSELF!"

The then giggling commenced. Fun times!

Friday, March 27, 2015

To sleepover or not to sleepover? That is the question.

I am not sure how I feel about my children spending the night at friends. A billion years ago when I was growing up, the only people my brother and I were allowed to spend the night with were my maternal grandmother and maternal first cousins. You can probably guess my Mom was, and still is, fiercely protective. That said, I did have friends sleep over at my house. Not often, but there were a few occasions.

Well fast forward to 2015, and my five year-old daughter received her first sleepover invite. My husband, who is not opposed to sleepovers once kids are old enough to take care of themselves [that age has yet to be determined], feels Blinky is too young. I actually think Blinky is quite capable of spending the night away from us as she is extremely independent, even at 5. But I'm just not ready to let her go.

Coincidentally, I came across this article on Yahoo about the issue of sleepovers. The author, a young Mom like me, is adamant about not allowing her children to spend the night away from her as she was molested twice at sleepovers. I'm sure this is not the norm and Blinky would return to us unharmed, but stories like these make you want to place your children in a cocoon to keep them safe.

Stinky and Blinky have actually had two friends sleepover at our home this year. One of my girlfriends had surgery and asked if her little boy could spend the night with us so she could recuperate. And just last weekend, my childhood friend and her family were in town visiting for Stinky's birthday party and her stepdaughter spent the night to have more playtime. Both times the Mom in me slept with one eye open, not because there was anything to fear, but because I appreciated that these children were away from the person who loves them most in the world and it was my job to get them back safe and sound.

So how did this all end? We reached a compromise. I explained to my girlfriend that we would be happy for Blinky to visit for a few hours and help celebrate her friend's birthday, but that she isn't going to spend the night. My girlfriend understood and everyone is happy, especially Blinky. I also understand that the time will come when I will let Blinky go to a sleepover. And I will cover her in prayers and trust that the parents will act as I did when entrusted with a parent's most prized possession.