Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloweeeeeeeeeen!

Today, I am out with my boys. Many shenanigans (and with much luck lots of candy) will be had. Hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween! Now, because I am a terrible graph nerd I bring you (from GraphJam of course): Candynomics!


And because Halloween is just not Halloween without a little Thriller...




Tuesday, October 25, 2011

She is Here!

Aunti made her appearance on Sunday and D's reaction was priceless! K was thrilled as well but he is still a little to young to understand why.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Bye, Bye Bippy

My babies have always been pacifier babies. From their very first week of life, they loved their pacifiers*. D had his "binkie", K his "bippy".

D always took his bink with a grain of salt. He figured out pretty quick that it meant bed time and he hated bedtime. Still does. It means slowing down and that is just not okay with him. Still, he needed it to get to sleep and help calm him down. From about 3 months on, he only got it at bedtime so as he got older it was not that big of a deal when one day, he just didn't want it anymore. At 16 months, during his bedtime routine, D threw his binkie in the floor and refused to ever touch one again. It made me sad that he was getting too big for it but at the same time, I already knew I was pregnant again so it seemed best for all of us.

K, while much more hesitant at first, took the pacifier love to a whole new level. He loved his bippy. In fact, I am fairly sure he said bippy before he said much else (Bruba was his first word. Of course.). We tried so hard to stick to the only at bedtime routine with him but he has always been... Well, louder than D was. So we would cave and give it to him in public and around the house. He was okay without it but was always ever so happy to see it too. To K, his bippy was his friend. Sometimes, he would just show up with one. We joked that he kept a stash around the house because no sooner than you took one, he had another. He loved his bippy almost as much as he loves his brother but not quite.

So, of course, we started the inevitable "what are we going to do to get this thing away from him" talks probably about a year ago. I have always said a kid should be done with a pacifier no later than 18 months. Well, that milestone sailed right on past and none of showed any signs of wanting to getting rid of it. Me? I was totally okay with that. Call me a sucker if you want but why torture the little guy? I figured I would wait until after Christmas and start to push it more.

Until a week or so ago that is. When we were at the Disney on Ice show, K fell and hit his face, in true clutz style, on the concrete floor. He tripped so hard and so fast, he didn't get to catch himself and fell flat on his little face. He cried, I sobbed. He bled all over me and everything we passed going to the medic and I freaked.

Good news is, he is fine now. He busted the heck out of his top lip, bruised his top gums and one of his front teeth is a little loose (it should firm back up, so I'm told). While he was getting checked out though, my mother and I made eye contact and I uttered one word and we both got nervous. Bippy. There was no way he was going to be able to suck his beloved bippy in that shape. I snuggled my head down on top of his and started crying again.

That night, I went to put my poor, beat up little man to bed and after almost an hour of snuggling and rocking and singing, he said that one word in the saddest, sweetest little voice I have ever heard. Almost a whisper: Bippy. As I fought back the tears again, I told him that bippy would hurt his mouth and he didn't need it tonight. I laid him down in his bed expecting a huge fit but he never made a peep. He rolled over and went straight to sleep for the first time in his life with out his beloved bippy.

I should be happy to say he has stopped asking about it. That he really only asked for it one more time. I should be giddy that it was that easy to convince him he didn't need it. That he has been bippy free for almost two weeks.

But I'm not. I'm so not.

I can't help but feel like I forced him to part with something he wasn't ready to part with. Of course gravity played a pretty big part in that little decision too but after that one night, after the swelling had gone away, he could have taken his bippy with no problem. He asked in his sweet little voice every nap and every night for bippy but I just kept telling him it would hurt until he just stopped asking. Yep, I lied to my my kid. Winning!

I know in the long run that this was probably the least traumatic way to get rid of it for him. Logical toddler is logical I guess. I think the thing for me is I don't like that he is growing up. I've known deep down for a long time he didn't need his bippy to sleep but it was his last little bit of baby left and I was subconsciously determined to hold on to it. Maybe even more than he was.

So here's to growing up. Both K and his mama. I suppose its time even if mama isn't ready. Bye, bye bippy.

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*With that admission, most breastfeeding advocates will chastise me saying I should have been putting them to breast instead of giving them a pacifier and with that I usually agree. For me though, we did just fine with it and they definitely never lost any milk because of them.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Club Penguin's Halloween Bash

Ok, so I admit it, when I first got the email about the annual Halloween party going on at the website called Club Penguin, I didn't really know what that even meant. So, I took a little time and checked out the whole site, checking the security features and what not and guess what? I immediately fell in love. Then, I called D over and let him play with it a little and he fell in love too! Of course some of the games are a little over his head right now but there are several that he got the hang of quickly and now asks all the time to get to play!

Disney’s Club Penguin is the #1 virtual world for kids and works to maintain a fun and safe online entertainment experience by using filtering technology and live moderators. Geared towards ages 6-14, it provides a safe place for kids to chat with each other and have some online gaming fun without their parents having to worry about the content. That means any creepy weirdos out there get caught and booted before they knew what hit them. A definite plus for anything that involves kids and the internet.

Another huge plus? The award-winning virtual world of Club Penguin contains no third-party advertising and is free to use and enjoy but you can choose to purchase a membership that will provide access to additional features that enhance the play experience. Club Penguin is headquartered in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, is enjoyed by parents and children around the world, and can be played in English, Portuguese, French and Spanish.

Now of course, you all know how much we adore Halloween and everything fall related. So of course when I found out that this week, Club Penguin kicks off its annual Halloween Party, I got even more excited to see the changes to the virtual penguin world that were coming! The island has been transformed into Halloween Transylvania with spooky trees, carved pumpkins and many other features created especially for this super cool event. Last year more than 3 million players celebrated Halloween at this massive in-world party, making it one of Club Penguin’s most anticipated events of the year and I can certainly see why.




Starting on October 20 and running until November 1, The Halloween Party is definitely a sight to see. The Island has morphed into a Halloween Transylvania with exciting changes including a dark background complete with full moon, trick-or-treating adventures for Penguins and a haunted Island experience. A new Halloween Scavenger Hunt is taking place during the party in which kids can follow clues and locate ghosts to receive a new game background. There are even costumes available for the penguins including Monster Catcher and Ghost Sheets among others. Plus, Club Penguin’s 6th Anniversary Party will be held in the Coffee Shop in conjunction with the Halloween Party, making this the biggest party yet.

So, if you are already a Club Penguin member or you have thought about checking out Club Penguin, you need to go check out the new Halloween Party features. Like I said before, D loves his little penguin named WubbleWowzer. All you have to do is log in and click the "go there" button where it says Halloween Party. Check it out and see what 3 million other people are so excited about!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Yo Gabba Gabba!


That's right Atlanta, It’s Time to Dance! Oh yes, on October 30th, Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! is returning to the fabulous Fox Theater for two shows! Presented by Kia Motors, this years Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! show promises to be a memorable experience, featuring a mix of all of your favorites, as well as new songs and new performances. The state-of-the-art, high-energy production features  and a mix of music, animation, games, singing and dancing.

Now, most of you already know that Yo Gabba Gabba! is our families favorite show. We love to sing along with the songs and, of course, D has all of the dancey- dances memorized. We had the opportunity to check out the Party in my City tour when it was touring last fall and we had a blast! This year though, our most favorite Leslie Hall is going to be joining in the fun as well as Biz Markie, DJ Lance Rock, Brobee, Foofa, Muno, Plex and Toodee! I am so excited I can hardly sit still and I haven't even told the boys yet! They are going to be even more excited than I am!


If you are not so familiar with the show, you should most definitely check it out. On the heels of receiving two Daytime Emmy® nominations and a season 4 pick up from Nickelodeon, Yo Gabba Gabba! is one of the most popular series on television worldwide and not just with the pint sized crowd! Preschoolers to adults sing the praises of this award-winning series, created by Christian Jacobs and Scott Schultz, that is produced by The Magic Store and W!LDBRAIN Entertainment ( The Live! show is produced by S2BN Entertainment in association with The Magic Store and W!LDBRAIN Entertainment). Kia Motors America began their relationship with Yo Gabba Gabba! when they kicked off their “Joyride Dream” advertising campaign and included none other than the amazing Muno. I am almost positive that even if you have never seen the show, you have seen the characters!


If you are in the Atlanta area, you need to get your tickets for this year's Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! tour soon. Time is wasting! Tickets for either of the Atlanta shows, 2pm or 5pm, can be purchased by heading over to YoGabbaGabbaLive.com and selecting Atlanta tickets and info. Just remember that everyone that is attending the show must have a ticket! Go quick! You won't be disappointed!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Here she comes!

Aunti Pax that is. She is coming to visit this weekend and D is so excited he can hardly contain himself. See, Pax is my older sister and D's most favorite person on the whole planet. She moved away when he was a little over a year old but he never forgets about her when we talk about our family. Every time we mention her coming, he gets all excited and starts looking out the windows for her. Soon baby... soon but not soon enough.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Dare to Dream

Last night, we got to attend the newest Disney on Ice, titled "Dare to Dream". We arrived early and got to do a meet and greet with Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. D was all about getting to meet the characters from his most recent favorite movie but K was a little less thrilled. He was a little intimidated by the characters but he did give a good snuggle to my friend Sue after we took pictures. Silly monkey.

After that we did a cool crown craft and had some yummy snacks. D put his crown on,  pronounced himself King of the Beasts and jumped in on a few other peoples photos. Then it was time to find our seats!

Now, for those of you that are already getting all weird about me taking my boys to what you have labeled in your head a "princess show", you are wrong. This show was an amazing blend of songs from three Disney movies that had princesses in them but it was in no way a "princess show".


The first up, was the Princess and the Frog. Once the lights dimmed and the show started, the boys didn't move for the first few musical numbers. They stayed glued to the spot, watching Tiana and Prince Naveen on their journey. We were immediately immersed in New Orleans and the story was brought to life in an amazing, fast paced and totally captivating way. The crowd, including all the parents, were singing and clapping along. The skaters were so dynamic and energetic and it was immediately clear this was going to be an amazing show!



 The next up was the classic Cinderella. The skaters captured the grace and fun of the movie perfectly. I don't know that the boys have ever actually seen Cinderella but they loved watching the mice skate around and help Cinderella out. I loved hearing and singing along to some of my favorite Disney songs. It was a perfect pace to follow up the loud, boisterous music of the last story.


After a short intermission, we got started again with Disney's newest hit, Tangled. D has watched this movie a handful (or two) of times but he loves to pretend he is Flynn Rider. He swings around the house with his backpack or basket saying "I'm Flynn Rider, mama! You're 'Punzel cause you have hair!". 

Here again, the skating was superb and there were even some amazing aerobatics involved that had us all watching on the edge of our seats. All of our favorite songs were there and the lantern scene was so beautiful. Even though the story was rearranged a little to accommodate the length, it was still my favorite.

All in all, this has got to be my favorite kids show I have seen. Seriously. Everything was amazing. The scenes were beautiful, the lighting was perfect and the the skaters were into it. It was like watching your favorite movie happening in real life... on ice. My mother and I were talking on the way home that Olympic skaters have nothing on these guys. Next Winter Olympics, we want to see them do their routines in fat suits and wigs. That is talent!


If you are local to Atlanta, Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream is showing at Philips Arena now through Sunday. With multiple shows Friday through Sunday, there is a chance for everyone to check it our and I highly recommend it! Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and start at only $14 apiece. If you have ever been to a show at Philips, you know there is not a bad seat in the house, so this is an amazing deal!

For those of you that are not local, you should still check out the Disney on Ice website to find a show coming to your area. You won't be disappointed!


*I received tickets for us to attend this performance but it in no way altered my opinion. It really is an amazing show!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

#Unplugged

In case you missed the announcement: This week, I took a break. I took a break from social media, from my smart phone, and everything internet related. Some by choice, some not so much. It not been what I expected though. I expected to be fretting. To be wondering what I was missing and what things would be like when I got back. I blame social media's reach into my daily life and the speed at which things change here on the internet. I had gotten into the habit of checking things way too much. I would make the boys lunch, check the computer. Go to the bathroom, check the computer. Its sad and weird but I think there are more people out there that way than any of us want to admit. Afraid to miss something, anxious to respond quickly or be judged as rude. Skip a day, you are behind, so what happens if you skip a week?

Nothing.

I missed nothing. I logged back in tonight to check up and see what dramatic changes had happened in the life of every one I know and I was kind of sad at the lack of excitement. Either things this week have been terribly boring or things have just gotten too blasé in general with the change of the weather. Of course, there are the regular "OMG my kids are driving me nuts" posts and the "My neighbors so crazy" mixed with the "repost this to every thing you have access to or a dog will die" type stuff but nothing new or exciting. The world hasn't changed its orbit and nothing important exploded here in town.

I, however, have had an amazing week. The boys and I have spent our entire days enjoying the weather, stuffing our faces, and taking some epic naps. Repeat times a million.

We have kicked this year's "schooling" into high gear with all kinds of fun activities and workbooks. Oh, how D loves his little workbooks. K loves his too but he is still at more of a flashcard stage than workbooks stage. So while D would work at his workbooks at the table, we spread out K's myriad of flashcards and sorting bins and got to work. My little sponges. D is going to an outside the house preschool for a few hours, three days a week too though and was burnt out by Thursday. So we spent that day skipping rocks and chasing each other around the playground for a few hours.

Oh, the playground hours. They have been plentiful and grand. There is a playground, a tennis court, and a sandy volleyball court here in the neighborhood and they have all been thoroughly tested and trampled by a certain two little boys this week. When it takes 30 seconds to walk to anything you could possibly want to do, life is good. Say what you want about it but oh how I missed apartment life.

We also spent this week as the first week of our 30 day no spend challenge as part of the 2011 list. This is hard. I had not realized just how often we spend money on weird little piddly stuff. I am determined to make this work though. Have to save up for Black Friday.

I should probably say that my house is spotless and my hair is perfectly coiffed considering I have had all this spare time on my hands but I have to be honest with you.. My house is a wreck and I haven't washed my hair in four (or is it five.. crap.) days. Does it bother me? Nope. Does it bother Tommy? Maybe a little. Does that bother me? Nope.

Now that I have had my week of slacking though, will it be hard for me to get back into the swing of things? Maybe. You know what though? I am totally okay with that. I know for one thing, I have been broken of the thinking that I have to check them on any kind of semi regular basis. I'm not a huge sharer anyway and to be honest, if you update your Facebook with meaningless, mundane pieces of information every hour or if the only things you ever post are self promo items, I already have you blocked from my feed. I really don't need an update every time your kid farts or wakes up. Come to think of it, I am totally okay with it if I never have to go back to Facebook or Twitter again.

Of course, I will go back. My friends live there but even that can be bypassed. Thing is, being away has sort of shown me who those real friends are. They are the ones that noticed my absence and checked on me when I logged off and just didn't come back. The ones that actually care about me and my boys. What really surprised me was that the people I thought would miss me, weren't the ones that actually did. Its ever so tempting to just go ahead and do a huge defriend of the people who seriously just don't care while its on my mind. The people who are only there to stalk and judge me. I don't have time for that petty weirdness. I won't though, I know that from experience.

Unplugging for the week has been fabulous. Kind of like spring break from the internet. Wild and loose, with no rules or schedules or appointments with inanimate objects. Only no alcohol or obnoxious undersexed teenagers. So not complaining about that either though. Except the no alcohol part.. I could really use a nice, big glass of wine. Any way, back to life. Back to living a real life outside of the virtual world. See you around?

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