Thank goodness for Wordless Wednesday which totally saves me on weeks when I can’t find time to write a full sentence down on this here blog.
It’s been a pretty crazy holiday season and the holiday season hasn’t even started yet! I have the freelance hustle in high performance and have some really fantastic clients which inspire and work my creative spirit. So it’s a win. But I’m a working mama bear these days!
I have sooo many gift guides coming up… so swing by again for more gifting ideas and random rants!
Also this picture was so beautiful that I had to post it just to have in it the archives!
My fab friends Nancy and Rebecca have created the coolest network for kids ages 7-14. KidzVuz is the only online network for kids which includes video sharing, reviews and events geared directly toward this demographic. Lily and I are fans of Kidzvuz and this year we were invited to their annual Holiday Party… which did not disappoint.
The event space was full of gifting ideas for kids. Everything from tech, gaming, crafts and STEM… and candy.. lots of candy!
One of our favorite spots was the HP booth. HP has notebook which start at $229. These are great for tweens who do need access to the internet for their work, or maybe a budding blogger ( ahem – lilypie) or just a great laptop/notebook for homework.
HP also has a new snazzy printer – the HP Officejet 8040 with NEAT – which features NEAT technology and allows you to organize your life. The printer are all iCloud compatible which is also a bonus. You can scan, print, copy and fax with this all in one laser printer. With the NEAT organization system, every document becomes key word searchable so you can find info fast, turn receipts into expense reports in seconds and export data to Excel®, Quicken, and TurboTax. Pretty easy!
Techy printer news aside, there were a nice diverse collection of brands which were great for the tween set!
Lily took to the science kits immediately! She was digging up owl pellets to find bones and fragments from what the owl has eaten! Yumm!
Some of our faves:
@RabbidsOfficial had the gaming corb=ner packed with the uber cool new Ubisoft game. @SchoolSpecialty – had the best selection of speciality toys. I was eyeing a few toys for the kiddies! @Keurig had the ever important coffee station! @NYIScream is always one of our faves. Lily has a few of their pillows and loves them! @ScaryMommy – Jill has a really amazing Thanksgiving Project which feeds hundreds of families every Thanksgiving season. This year @StopandShop donated to the Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project. Jill is a pretty fab gal who juggles alot but her mission to do good is lound and clear… and she’s doing a lot of good! visit the Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project to get involved.
If you have a kiddie between the age of 7 – 14 … get thee to Kidvuz.com This is a great SAFE site for kids to build a community!
* This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. I was compensated by HP to stop by and check out their new goods. *
The holiday season is upon us, folks. We have a ton of loved ones to buy gifts for. Besides Thomas and Lily, we also have nieces and nephews and god children and kids of our dear friends… there is a long list. Which means, like you, we are overwhelmed.
Here is a handy gift guide for all things unplugged. So no techy items here. These gifts are for boys and girls and all ages. We have all of these gifts in our home and have really loved and cherished them. There is endless play with these classic toys.
You can never ever go wrong with art! I usually make my own art kits with my favorite materials and cater it to the age I am making it for. Every year I give Lily a little hodge podge of crafting and art supplies and looove how excited she gets about it all! Kid Made Modern – found at Target- makes a really awesome ArtTool Box which I love! The materials are really great – bright pigments, soft crayons and acrylic paints! I am a total art supply snob!
The gift of music is one which keeps giving. We have this gorgeous Schoenhut Piano for Thomas and he loves it. He’s been playing and singing on it since he was 15 months. Schoenhut is a great company which make top notch products… so think heirlooms when you buy these gorgeous musical instruments. This might not be your grandmother’s piano… but it will probably be your grandchild’s.
My favorite toy growing up was a doll house… or rather doll houses… I had multiple. Even as an adult the magic of a dollhouse with little dolls living inside and miniature everything brings back the best memories! Dollhouses encourage play in ways no other toy can ever compete with. A must in every playroom… a dollhouse! This Chalet Playhouse from PlanToys is one of our favorites! It’s all wood and really durable and so funky!
A train set is a classic. We had trains sets with Lily and now they have been passed down to Thomas. Our favorite sets are the wooden train sets. We’ve found Thomas and Friends trains to be our go to. Even if your kids are not into Thomas and Friends, the train sets themselves are great, they are elaborate, whimsical and of really good quality. The sets comes in all sorts of themes and sizes so start with a small one and keep adding through the years!
Building blocks are always a win! There are some pretty amazing and creative building blocks on the market so instead of the classic blocks, I say go for a little something different. We picked up a set of Areaware Alphabet Blocks at a local specialty toy store. And we love them. These are not just for kids but make a strong design statement in any decor.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with gift giving… I hope this little guide helps you along the way!
Tis the season for gift giving and I am super excited to announce the FIRST ever official real- dealHoliday Gift Guide from The New York Mom.
How exciting you guys!
I have tons of tips and suggestions and ideas and all sorts of fun goodies coming up for the next few weeks. Gifts for kids, for moms, for dads, techy gifts, foodie gifts, gifts for young, gifts for old… i got you covered!
We’ve been on fast forward for the past few months… for no particular reason… except life!
I have been feeling out of sorts lately, maybe because i feel pulled in a thousand directions without fully committing to any one thing.
I had a birthday last week. The older I get the wackier I feel about my birthday.
Lily has asked me not to post pictures of her unless i get her permission. Makes sense. So here is one sweet picture she allowed me to post!
Thomas is non stop and I love it. I love him, I love life with him, I love life with him and lily. It’s a treat every day to wake up to see what shenanigans he’s going to get into and to see Lily react to him with the utmost patience, love and LOOOVE!
Christmas Pj’s are at Target… I couldn’t resist these! Also, I bought too many matching christmas pj’s for the kids this year! Like 5 pair. yeesh! We recently found a shoebox full of Matt’s old matchbox cars from ‘way back when’. Thomas and Lily love these toys. Lily calls them ‘vintage’ and thinks they are cool and Thomas just likes anything with wheels! Also notice his artwork… he stays on the page and draws choo choo tracks all the time.
Lazy daizy weekends. These two are never far from one another. // don’t look under the couch for all the hidden clutter //
We’ve been enjoying the last few gorgeous sunny autumn days in NY… before the projected POLAR VORTEX arrives. The Zoos in NYC are our go-to spots.
He’s on the naughty list … for sure!Our family arrives next week for Thanksgiving!!! We’re busy trying to get this house clean and ready for a week of our loved ones!
Let me start by stating the obvious. Hockey arenas were not built for a thousand screaming Elsa’s who have to go pee N O W !
Standing in the Nassau Coliseum – drowning in a sea of Elsa’s- is pretty much how I felt, when I spent 2 hours at the Disney on Ice: Frozen show. Don’t get me wrong… the show is spectacular. It’s magic. It’s on Ice. It’s Disney.
But… while the kids LOOOVED it!
Make. It. Stop.
Let. ME. Go.
A few weeks ago when this whole house was sick, we watched frozen 4 times in one day. IN ONE DAY! Even the 23-month Moto is obsessed and sings the songs complete with ice queen castle building hand flares. You… dear parental unit… are quite possibly going to find yourself at a hockey arena with your very own Elsa, Anna or Snowman watching Disney on Ice: Frozen and I have some valuable tips to share with you. I, of course, learned all this the hard way. Field research… as they say.
1. Get to the arena early. There are a ton of vendors selling Olaf hats and mugs and Elsa wands and reindeer antler headbands and everything is blue and sparkly and cotton candy and you and your kids have to fight your way through this forest of souvenirs before you even get near your seat. So get there early and get ready for battle.
2. Bring earplugs. Everyone is Elsa… some are Anna… but the Elsa’s rule the night. When “Let it Go’ is performed, get ready for the entire… and I mean ENTIRE arena to explode with each kid singing their own individual versions of the song. At the same time. Really loud. In your ear. Coming at you from all directions. You might want to tuck some earplugs under your own platinum blonde side-braid wig.
3. Go pee. Make sure your kid pees before the show and then don’t give them ANY liquids during the entire show. Do NOT… do NOT use the restrooms during intermission. You think a public gas station bathroom is gross… try a public bathroom where a gazillion Elsa’s have tried to hike up their poufy dresses to go pee… only to miss all over the place. * i have to say that the staff at the Nassau Coliseum did a stellar job tidying up after the princesses. You’ve got toddlers… what else can you expect!*
4. Beware getting clocked in the head by the many glowing, whirling magic wands. Instead of clapping, the kid behind you will like to wave hers around, treating your head to a thousand failed attempts at “turning you into a frog”.
5. Cinderella makes an appearance in the very beginning for all of 1 minute and the entire place is going to EXPLODE with a million squeals!!! I guess Elsa has competition!
So there ya have it. The kids are going to love the show, It’s fun, funny, and has that Disney magic which cannot be duplicated. Disney on Ice: Frozen is a Holiday Season MUST!
You know when we adopted Lily, she was 3. Things changed for us at a speed we were not expecting. Since having Thomas – biologically, the pressure and the stress is the same but the support is very very different. Looking back we didn’t get the support we so desperately needed. I think people …even today… don’t think that adoptive parents go through the same things that you do when you have a biological child. People say some pretty insensitive things to me about adoption almost on a weekly basis. These days we don’t really talk about Lily’s adoption since it has been 6 years. But in the beginning… it was a daily barrage of ridiculous utterly insensitive crap which came from those around us. This being National Adoption Month, I though it would be fitting to maybe help people reword some of their questions when speaking about adoption. All of these statements have been said to me more than a handful times. I know! It’s crazy!
1. You are so lucky you never had to go through childbirth and gain weight and depression and contractions and all of that stuff.Adoption is so much easier. ( this is usually accompanied with an equally incompetent laugh and nudge) No! instead I went through 2 years of heartache, waiting and stress to birth my adopted child from my heart! Adoptive parents go through a version of Post Partum Depression. While there isn’t a biological change in your body, there is the same sort of mental state when you have a child. Check in on your friends or family who have adopted a child. Regardless of the child’s age, the adjustment to life with a child is still exactly the same and sometimes a little more challenging depending on what the child has gone through.
2. Don’t ever EVER EVER EVER EVER say – So will you have your own children. This is the most insulting insensitive thing you could ever utter. Think about this statement. Your OWN children… so what is my adopted child? Maybe the term ‘biological children’ would be a better way to word this.
3. Keeping the theme of the above comment. Never ever say – “We’ve always wanted to adopt after we have a couple of our own first. “What does that mean! That’s awful to say. Don’t say that. You are setting yourself and your children up for confusion. Get rid of that “my own” children part. When a child enters your life and your family it is YOUR child. regardless of how that happened.
4. She looks nothing like you. Thanks for pointing out the obvious… in front of my child. I have encountered this so many times and now I just smile at the person saying it and give them a death stare! Lily gets nervous and waits to see how I respond. Why would someone point this out anyway.
5. So where are her REAL parents. What do you mean real parents? I am the real parent. You mean the biological parent.
6. Does she have any issues? I have had strangers ask me this question. why .. why .. why in the world would you ever think this is appropriate to ask. Why would I tell you, and why do you assume all adopted kids have issues. Not all have issues and even if they do have issues it’s the same sort of issues all kids have.
7. Are you afraid she will want to see her real mom one day. Again with the ‘real” word. I am her real mom and yes i’m sure one day she will want to meet her biological parents and we will deal with it. Just remember that this topic is very sensitive to adoptive parents. It’s something we know will happen and we have been prepared for it from birth so imagine going through a decade or more always knowing in the back of your mind that your child might want to meet their biological parent one day. As supportive as I am of this… it tugs at my heart.
8. Now that you adopted, you will totally get pregnant! Not OK to say on many levels. Why do you have to think that everyone who adopts tries to get pregnant first. Not everyone wants a biological child. And for those who have tried to conceive and haven’t been able to. That was a rough emotional, expensive road… so joking about how she will get pregnant is not funny or welcome.
9. How much did she cost? What an awful question to ask someone. We are talking about a child. She cost nothing. Do I ask you how much your biological child cost … hospital fees, doctor visits, shots. Yes, we had adoption fees and travel costs but ‘SHE” did not cost anything. She is a child just like my biological child.
10. That’s so sweet. We adopted our dog too. Not the same people. We are talking about children here. I like to say, “We rescued our dog”. The term adopted being used relating to dogs or highways can be very demeaning to kids. Kids hear this and think… oh it devalues me or simplyfies my process. We’ve had conversations about this with Lily. So please find other words to describe your rescued dog or ‘clean up’ of the highway.
*Bonus* – Because people say some pretty insensitive things… i could go on for pages!
11. So if you could get pregnant, why did you adopt? Because some people like me believe in adoption and don’t really worry about having biological children. A child is a child.. is a child.
We have been blessed with the best of angels who has made my life complete and shows me ways to be a better human everyday… just like my biological child has. I love talking about our adoption process, I love talking about Lily. These comments and questions hurt the heart and when the child hears some of this, it’s particularly confusing.
The first Bugaboo by Diesel collection includes a line of unique accessories that not only perfectly fit the Bugaboo Cameleon³ by Diesel, but add a touch of rebelliousness to Bugaboo’s entire product family.
Bugaboo’s latest stroller is fashion, rebellion and function all in one. This army green and camo stroller is one of the coolest products to come out this season. All the sleek high fashion details which we are used to with Bugaboo strollers can be found in this collabo but this time.. little extras make this stroller stand out. It’s almost as if this stroller collabo is screaming, ” I’m going to do what I want”. And i love it!
We’ve had a few rainy dreary afternoons this week and while I am stir crazy being home with nothing to do, Thomas and Jonah don’t seem to mind one bit. This is pretty much what they do all day. Snuggle, watch the cars out the front door and play choo choo.
Thomas turned 23 months yesterday. and it makes me sad that the time has flown by so fast. I really do love being home with these two. I love seeing their bond strengthen every day. Jonah fell in love with Thomas the moment he met him. He’s been Thomas’s guardian and partner in crime since day one!.
As Thomas grows, there is more mischief to be had… and most of it includes food. one drags something down from the counter or drops it off his plate and the other is only too happy to gobble it up. Hide the evidence of food shenanigans.
Happy Wednesday all! Maybe we should just all snuggle up with our hairy beasts for the day!
We have all recovered from our candy crashes and are off to our various tasks this monday.
Halloween was really cute this year. Thomas couldn’t believe that he was actually allowed to walk up to people and ask for candy and they would give it to him. What a concept!
” thandy thandy” almost replaced “choo choo” this weekend.
Lily decided to go as Elsa from the movie Frozen complete with an original gown and a wig and her converse high tops.
My Mother in Law made the best costume for Thomas. We decided he should go as Max from one of my favorite children’s books – Where the Wild Things Are. Grandma made the best costume with all the details… the feet, the fingers, the faux fur tail, the crown… just perfect. It was definitely a neighborhood hit!
We’re still eating candy and trying to give it away to anyone who comes over. * so come over and take all our candy! *
Here are a few of my favorite captures from our Trick or Treat adventures! Hope you had a good one!