Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Great American Backyard Campout 2014


We’re most definitely a camping kind of family. Mr. M sometimes thinks that I’m not very outdoorsy, but I think that opinion goes away every time I outlast him on complaining about a lack of showers or worrying about bears at night. But did you know that we hadn’t introduced Miss L to the wonders of sleeping outdoors until last year during the Great American Backyard Campout?


We set up our 4-person tent in the backyard complete with our sleeping bags and sleeping pads and lantern and gazed up at the stars through our tent windows. Miss L absolutely loved every single ounce of it, and after that one Saturday night, we ignited a monster that asked to sleep in the tent practically every weekend after that.


She guilt tripped grandparents into joining her in the tent too. In fact, I think she even asked to sleep out in the rain one cold fall weekend!

So far this summer, we’ve spent 4 nights in the tent in the past 2 weeks. Two were in the backyard and two were in Yosemite (many more photos to come) last weekend. And I’m sure we’ll end up outside again for this year’s Great American Backyard Campout on Sunday!


And if you’d like to join us, I wrote a BIG post on how to throw the ultimate backyard campout on Momtastic! It’s got tips on camping gear, s’mores and everything else you need for a memorable overnight experience for everyone!

So who’s going to come camping with us this weekend (or maybe just this summer)???

summer style for little girls with Old Navy

We’re now entering summer #5 with Miss L, and I think by now I’m actually ready for it. You see, while we don’t have to worry too much about big coats and insulated hats in the winter, we do have to plan for very hot summers. Last week we got our first glance of 90 degree temperatures, and more is headed next week. And we’ve learned to live by a few important rules when shopping for summer clothes: 1) make sure they’re light and airy and breathable; 2) have light layers around so that no one gets chills in air conditioning or when the heat finally goes away; 3) have lots of summer clothes because these clothes will get super dirty and wet very often from all the outdoor play!

And it’s no surprise that Old Navy happens to fit the bill for the majority of our shopping. I went through the current summer 2014 collection and found some of the staples that have gotten us through the past summers to pass along to you!


Summer Style for baby girl: (1) Ruffle-Front Rompers for Baby, $14.94 (2) Jersey Hoodies for Baby, $16.94 (3) Bright-Floral Sun Hats for Baby, $9.94 (4) Glitter Jelly Sandals for Baby, $9.94

Lots of people ask what’s the best thing for babies to wear in the summer, and I always say ROMPERS! They’re not as heavyweight as onesies, but you’ve got the same awesome easy diaper access. Always keep a hat in the diaper bag so it’s always at hand (hey… I think there’s still one in ours tucked away in the closet…hmmm…) and the same goes for a light coverup! Now as for the jellies? Well normal people are crazy walking in jelly sandals, so let your child enjoy them long before they are actually walking!


Summer Style for Toddlers: (1) Shirred-Yoke Printed Tanks for Baby, $8.94 (2) Color-Blocked Jersey Skorts for Baby, $8.94 (3) Eyelet-Trim Hoodies for Baby, $19.94 (4) Glitter T-Strap Sandals for Baby, $16.94

This has pretty much been Miss L’s daily summer wardrobe for the past two years. Tank top, skort and coverup for inside! I just checked our drawers, and we have 5 of these skorts in her current size. They are AWESOME and last really well. They’re especially great for long-legged little girls, as most short shorts just look inappropriate!


Summer Style for Little Girls: (1) Girls Lightweight Slub-Knit Hoodies, $16.94 (2) Girls Embroidered Dobby Tops, $19.94 (3) Girls Linen-Blend Rolled-Midi Shorts, $19.94 (4) Girls Glitter-Canvas Sneakers, $19.94 (5) Girls Fashion Sunglasses, $5.94

First off… every gal needs glittered shoes. Miss L was getting jealous of mine, so we picked make sure she’s got some glittered footwear each summer. We love these longer bermuda shorts since they provide a bit more sun coverage and are very breathable as well. Finally, the lightweight hoodie will work all summer long and provide a cover-up to the sun as well as a nice protection from the cooler night breeze.

While I didn’t mention it here, Old Navy is currently having an amazing BABY sale on all things baby/toddler! Those skorts are $4!!!And for all my mom friends in New York City, you can enjoy a carnival themed event in Chelsea on Saturday, May 10th, 2014 and shop Old Navy’s Baby Sale, where tons of styles will be $10 and under!

The event is hosted by The Moms, Denise Albert and Melissa Gerstein and will feature carnival games, a prize booth, face painting, balloon artists, arts & crafts, a photo backdrop station (takes your photo against a carnival backdrop and uploads to social media), cotton candy, popcorn, hot dogs etc.!

When: May 10th, 12pm – 4pm
Where: Old Navy, 610 Avenue of the Americas (at 18th Street), 2nd floor

Color me jealous of everyone that gets to go to this! You NYC moms definitely have some fun stuff!

spring is for soccer

Around these parts, soccer is a year-round sport. They’ve got indoor soccer fields, plenty of outdoor ones, and just about every family is playing or practicing or watching it during the spring and summer and fall and winter.

Now, let it be known, that despite my undying love for almost all sports, soccer is one that I just don’t adore. I’m going to place the blame on some mean kid in my Kindergarten class choosing to kick my shins instead of the soccer ball. But parenthood is all about getting over those hills and exposing your kids to more than you were exposed to… so that’s how you found me at the park with 20 little soccer balls flying this way and that.


We enrolled Miss L in a “soccer skills” class, which is exactly what it sounds like. Drills…




and a tiny bit of running up and down a mini soccer field.


But the best part? The scrimmages with pinnies!


And while I still might not be the biggest soccer fan, I’m definitely a huge fan of my little girl no matter what sports she chooses to love and play with all her heart!

Anyone else in my shoes with the conflicting sports love?

do you wanna build a snowman, Valentine?

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  This year, Miss L took the lead in choosing what kind of Valentine we were going to create with the following conditions: something Frozen, preferably Olaf, something sweet.

So I hopped on the web and created a set of Pinterest pins for her to choose from… and from the many items I had pinned, she settled on the oh-so-popular-in-2014 buildable snowman Valentine’s!

On Tuesday afternoon, we headed to Target for our supplies: GIANT marshmallows, big marshmallows, Mike & Ike’s (for orange noses), Mini M&M’s (for buttons) and pretzel sticks. We then set out on a Valentine making assembly line… which, like last year, is just plain awesome!

Snowman Ingredients

See, in my family, you weren’t allowed to pass out cute things that mom & dad made for your friends. You had to make them WITH mom & dad, and then mainly just supervision on your own execution. I love passing on that pride to Miss L as well… that she can walk in the classroom knowing that SHE made them, and not her mom! In carrying on that tradition, perfection isn’t a part of these Valentine’s, but just lots of love! And I think that Miss L did an awesome job with everything!

Assembling the Snowmen

We pushed the noses and the pretzel sticks into the bodies of each little marshmallow, then carefully attached each button using a special glue combination of white chocolate chips melted in white frosting.  (Be careful… those mini M&M’s have a very delicate little candy shell!)

We set them all in the freezer on cookie sheets to set the glue (and to prevent any premature melting before Friday), then bagged and assembled them late Thursday night.


The final touch was a 2”x4” label that we printed to say, “Valentine, Do you wanna build a snowman? Love, L.” 

And with that, our 2014 Valentine’s were ready for preschool distribution!  Now I guess it’s time to finalize all that birthday party planning in two weeks… yikes!!!

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the experienced Disneyland visitor

As of this past weekend, Miss L has spent 12 days at the Disneyland Resort in the past 6 months. That’s just what happens when you sign up for 2 runDisney events at Disneyland, it happens to be D23 Expo year, and you’re lucky enough to get a paper accepted at a conference at the Disneyland Hotel. Is she Disney Parks spoiled? Perhaps… but it’s so much fun we haven’t stopped to notice!



Miss L got to experience two new rides: the Mark Twain Steamboat and the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes. Because, it’s totally normal having 85 degree days in the middle of winter (hint: it’s not even normal for Southern California!)




And of course, there were old favorites like the Silly Symphony Swings, the Astro Orbitor & Radiator Springs Racers.



She was lucky enough to be chosen to attend Jedi Training Academy… and fought Darth Maul with her training light saber! (Watch out Lincoln… you might be the next light saber victim at home!)



And she got to play “tour guide” to her little Disney pal N, who was riding “Winnie the Pooh” for his first time too! (“Do you hear the bees? And do you see all that honey?!?”)

Then there were the treats!




Sure you can keep lots of snacks in your bag for all day, but nothing beats a daily sugary snack!

And what about those characters?







For a twist on our final day at the park, I gave her 7 old pins and a lanyard to let her “pin trade” with cast members. She did pretty well actually trading away her pins for new ones, and ended up with 6 Hidden Mickey pins!


Ah yes… another successful trip to Disneyland is in the books…



… and for the first time in 6 months we don’t have an answer to “when are we going to Disneyland again?” for Miss L. I think she racked up enough memories of the Happiest Place on Earth to keep her content for awhile!

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