Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Zamunda

Coming to America is one of me and hubby's all time favorite movies.
We quote lines from it all the time
 and it makes for super funny inside jokes
 because our kids haven't seen it yet.
Well anyway, we went to the grocery store this past Saturday
and our baby daughter brought me over a half dozen of roses.
 It was so sweet the way she said, "These flowers are for you Momme".
 I swear I blushed all the way through check out.
The way I react you would think this didn't happen every time
 we're in this particular grocery store together,
 but it does.
A different kid each time, I think my husband puts them up to it.
 Long story short------> we get home,
I put them in a vase and on my dresser.
That was day one.

Sunday comes and I'm feeling like a million bucks.
 If you couldn't tell by now, I love flowers.
The roses have given me life and I clean and organize the bedroom.
 Feeling beautiful I even venture and work on our closet...
*clears throat* a little.
My, my what roses will do to a girls mood.
All of a sudden baby girl takes four of the roses and snaps them to about a quarter of a stem is left.
*insert record slow scratch here*
 Ooookay.
Hey baby girl, I thought these were Momme's roses. Why did you break them?
That wasn't very nice. etc. etc. she says to me, "Riyah want roses."
 Okay, no problem but next time ask Momme, alright. I fill a sugar bowl with water and put the broken roses on the kitchen counter, CUTE.
That was day two, Sunday.

Monday comes and goes.
Older kids are off to school, we go about our routine.
Sometime in between homework with the school age kids and dinner
she and baby brother decided to have a sword fight
with the two longer stems left on the dresser.
That was day three.
*Remind me next week not to put the roses on the dresser. SMH.

Day four was much to long for flowers to survive
within kid reach, so by the time
I got home from volunteering at the school (quarter to NOON)
 the four quarter inch flowers from the sugar bowl
 were paving the way for me
 from the garage to the master bedroom and from our room to her room.
Awwww, thanks (...I think).
What a warm welcome home (and a lot of picking up..ha,ha :-/).
I felt like Prince Akeem (for a second). LOL.

I tried. I really did. I wanted to let the roses stay on the floor for a full day, just because.
I didn't. I couldn't.
Once they started to wilt the beauty was gone and I cleaned them up.
Down stairs that is.
Her room, still Zamunda.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Momme's Guide to Great Christmas Gifts c/o Belle and June

 
 
The Lady.
 Lovely mirrored box with Swarovski crystals.
 
 Belle and June
 
 
 
 
 
The Gent.
An elegant bath collection.
 
Belle and June
 
 
 
 
The Beau.
Belle and June
 
 
 
 
The Babe.
 
Belle and June
 
 
 

Monday, October 28, 2013

The DO Nots of Special Needs children

Throughout our journey we have tried to reach out to family and few friends to talk about our experience and found that many people were ill informed about Autism, Asperger's and Mental Health as a whole. I've found the best person to talk to is my husband or any other parent who is living with ASD. I've actually found a group of mothers that I talk to now. They have inspired me to  come up with a list of the DO's and Don'ts of dealing with Special Needs children.

Here are the don'ts:
  • Do Not stare.
  • Do Not talk over the child.
  • Do Not underestimate the child.
  • Do Not pacify or patronize.  
  • Do Not laugh at awkward situations (unless the child or parent laughs first; we define if it is a laughable or long-faced moment).
  • Do Not spend 30minutes with my child and attempt to diagnose them (if I didn't let the licensed PHD do it, you and your school of Google education will not either!) 
  • Do Not feel sorry for us. (Some families feel sorry enough for themselves and you don't need to add to that and others like us feel extremely blessed and fortunate to even be AWARE because now we can ACT)
  • Do Not compare our child to yours or your third cousin so and so who is perfectly fine and has never seen a Dr. (This minimizes the Dx and besides our child is perfectly fine as well.)

My motto going forward is "Be aware and act". Now that we know and understand what is going on with our child now we can act on it. Now we can help. Now we know how to best help. There are unfortunately many children and adults with mental health problems who are not having their needs addressed (rather it be for lack of resources, will or knowledge). These children and adults may struggle daily or every once in a while. These children and adults may act out in school, have trouble concentrating, keeping a job, keeping healthy relationships with the people around them. They may turn to drugs, alcohol, promiscuity or other vices. They may go their whole lives wondering "what's wrong with me?". Depression, anxiety, over sleeping, over eating. The bottom line...when you know better, you do better. Our ultimate goal is to address any concerns we have with ourselves or our children so that each one of us can be happy and healthy.


 

Friday, October 25, 2013

aLL dAY i dREAM aBOUT sHOPPING

 
Our Family Journal would like to thank our newest affiliate adidas. I am especially excited about this partnership because we are an adidas family. My hubby dreams about SPORTS and I about SHOPPING! LOL!
Seriously, check our blog often to find out how our readers are saving.
 Here is the latest offer...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Momme's Christmas Wishlist c/o Zulily

Zulily has asked that I put together a Christmas wishlist.
 
As a mom we tend to make sure everyone else is covered and forget about ourselves at Christmas time(at least I do) so this blog post is especially exciting for me.
 
The first thing on my 'Momme's Christmas Wishlist' is...
this 'Deluxe Desktop Sewing Machine' for 39.99.  
I'm not trying to make a wardrobe or anything but I'd like to have a machine just enough to sew a hem, make a few fun projects or stitch my kids favorite things back together...you know.?
 
Anyway, I thought this machine was just the right speed, size and pricepoint for me. 
The next item on my wishlist is this sewing tote to store the
 machine in and keep it free from dust bunnies and kid fingers.
 I know I'm not the only one obsessed with bedding.
I think nice bedding has the ability to change our mood and
it gives our decor a different vibe.
 Thats why my next wishlist is this fabulous 'Tribal Garden' duvet cover.
 
 
The teal, the purple, the pattern. I'm in love.
 
Another thing about me...I'm always planning.
And packing things away for later.
That's why the next item on my wishlist is this beautiful
necklace from Zad.
 
I probably won't wear it for another six months but how beautiful would this necklace be with a flowing maxi dress next summer.
(on sale 16.99).
 
The last, but certainly not least
item on my wishlist...
shoes...
you can not go wrong with a nice pair of shoes,
in this case boots.
These stylish and and sensible beauties are Aerosoles and they retail for 49.99 on Zulily.com.

(If you like anything on my wishlist hurry up and grab it the picture takes you right to it.) 
 
 

 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Blogger-sation w/ Craftsy

Hi everyone.
As you all know the Holidays are just around the corner
and I for one have always wanted my gifts to be wrapped to perfection.
I just love the way the gift wrappers in some of the higher end department stores wrap gifts.
Even if my gift is homemade or from a discount store...
 I'd like to have it LOOK like a million bucks.
Well Craftsy has a class for that!
 
What's Craftsy you ask? 
Craftsy is an online craft tutorial service that offers crafting lessons.
 Craftsy has a class for EVERYTHING.
 Sewing, knitting, cake decorating, crochet...
you name it they teach it.
 
What I love is once you download your course videos and materials...it's yours!
The classes move at your pace.
 
My first course with Craftsy will be the Paper Arts course
with master gift wrapper Alton DuLaney.
 This course is 9.99 on their website.

Craftsy

If your interested please join Craftsy and me in the Paper Arts course conversation or
Blogger-sation from 6pm-8pm CST Tuesday, November5th.

  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Autumn Activities

I love Autumn, Fall. What ever you might call it...
I love it.
Doesn't that name just sound like something nice(say it)...Autumn.
LOL.
Living in the Midwest we get to experience all four seasons to the fullest and
Autumn has become one of, if not my very favorite season.
 
So...I thought I'd share our favorite Autumn activities or Fall festivities(for the Fall folks)...
 
1. taking walks
We don't just take walks, we take rolls.
Family rolls...
 Each member of our family gears up by bike, trike, stroller or skates and we roll...out.
I love it.
I love being able to walk once the 100 and 90 degree heat days are gone and the air is breathable again.
 
2. more home cooking & soul food
During the warm summer months I take a break from a lot of cooking and baking things in the oven.
Hubby loves to grill and since he has gotten his outdoor smoker
 we've been putting them both to good use.
 Besides, when the kids are home and keeping me uber busy during those warm summer months
I'd much rather whip up something easy like a burger and salad than turn on the oven every day.
 
Ohhhh...but come Fall, our taste buds start shouting for soulful dishes like baked mac n cheese, lasagna, dressing, pound cakes and of course homemade apple pies.

Which brings me to number...
 
3. going to the apple orchards
Yummmm.
I can smell and taste the cider now.
And those doughnuts tho..
We love visiting the apple orchards,
 whether it's a pick your own or not we love to get the fresh and hopefully organic
apples by the bushel.
Our favorite are the Honey Crisp and Golden Delicious.
We bring them home cut, slice, eat, peel, cook...my next mission...to can.
I'd love to learn how to make my own apple jelly or preserves.
In due time.  
 
4. Pumpkin patches,
 
 
'nuff said.
I mean how much fun for a kid to pick a pumpkin and then all the fun that comes thereafter.
Pumpkin pie(possibly), carving or creating something cool and of course pumpkin seeds.
Finally...

5.School
I know, I know...school has been in since summer.
 However, there once was a time when the school year began in the Fall.
Now it seems it starts earlier and earlier and some schools are even year-round.
But I still remember and still feel like the true start of the school year
is when the days are cooler and shorter.

When all the kids, parents and teachers
are busy Monday through Friday with nothing more than school, school work
and more school and school work.
I'm sure in the years to come the start of the school sporting season
will be added to the list but for now..
My children know that not many activities will be approved after summer break.

Right now, we are focusing on establishing that foundation...
a foundation rooted in the importance of education.
 
 They attend school and then attend HOME SCHOOL.
No, I'm not too tough at least I'm careful not to be.
We have a lot of fun in home school.
Learning about topics that interest them, topics talked about in school and
if we can a few additional topics I feel they need to study.
We even have art in home school.
 
  






 
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See the link below.

 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

K5 Learning

  
 As you all may know as a Mother as well as an Educator I am BIG on education.
I love finding new resources that promote learning.
Over the next six weeks we will be trying a new online reading and math program from K5 Learning. K5 is an online curriculum based program designed to help build reading, math and study skills. Be sure to check back to see how it goes as well as to see if you'd like to give K5 a try for your little ones.
 
 
 


K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students.  I've been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program.  If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their  open invitation to write an online learning review of their program.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fab finds

If you are familiar with JustFab then you may already know about their spin off kids line FabKids.
FabKids has cute kids outfits and wardrobes put together by professional stylists. We were able to get in on one of their offers earlier in the year and I thought I'd share my invitation link here. If you're interested check them out. Thanks. 


http://www.fabkids.com/invite/14587976/
 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

ALL about the Bandz!

 
My daughter and her friends have all been going bananas over this rubber band bracelet craze.
Now you and I may know where the OriGinal rubber band bracelets came from...
no, not those guys...smh...the postal workers. 
I remember our mail man, Bruce had about a hundred rubber bands on his arm.
I would ask him for them and make bracelets(with markers) and Chinese ropes.
Well, enough of my reminiscing.
 
Anyway, my daughter couldn't wait for hers to get here.
It almost didn't.
Apparently the sub mail lady left it on the wrong door step.
Thank God for honest neighbors.
 
There are a few different brands out there but DD had been watching
the Rainbow Loom YouTube videos so I ordered that kind.
 I'd have to say she really loves this thing.
 
 
After a few tries and a few tutorials she was making bracelets left and right.
Everyone in the house has one, well except the baby.
Even Dad has an all black bracelet with the ring to match.
 
The loom is easy to use and there are more than a few styles to choose from.
It comes with hundreds of colorful rubber bands to get the girls started
 as well as what looks like a tiny crochet needle and a mini-loom.
This style seems to be the favorite amongst the second grade girls,
probably because it's not too time consuming and they can make a
bunch of colors to mix, match and trade.
 
 
 
This is not a sponsored review and I am not affiliated with Rainbow Loom.
Just sharing our opinion and our experience for our blog.
But if you happen to make a purchase...tell her I sent you. ;)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

the mouths of babes...

Are my kids the only ones who are
smart, sweet, and just a little obnoxious? 
Does your child say things like "Are you kidding me?"
Or what about "No Thanks, that's yucky".
Has your child ever answered you with a
 "seriously?"
and you could hardly react because
you half way wanted to laugh and halfway wanted to...
go old school and tell 'em to get a switch. 
I mean they cut up.
I thought I was silly as a kid.
I had nothing on them, they have their own language,
secret meanings to words and it's intelligent humor too...
No more knock, knock jokes.
Brutal.
Where in world do they get this twisted sense of humor
 and what's with all this sarcasm?
 
Even my toddler gets in on the shenanigans
he runs from sit down time, bath time, bed time
and pretty much anything structured
(terrible twos too soon)
with a loud "AHHHH!"
or a "HELLLLP!"
as if A. I'm not his mother and
 B. he won't be running
behind me in five minutes with his arms raised
 begging me to "pick up"
 
I mean this kid is the real deal.
He unlocks a smart phone, tablet or computer
and chooses his apps and games better than some adults.
He counts like a preschooler, sings the alphabet loud and proud
I even tried teaching him the
American Sign Language alphabet.
Well...
that didn't last long
every time I showed him the letter "A"



he said "B" and gave me a fist bump.

 
He is just too much!
 
 
 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Girls night

 Saturday was rainy and gray so we decided to make it a girls day.
 I love these days, and nights.
I try to keep up with what's going on in their world and have a little 'girl talk'.
Plus it was the perfect excuse to bake cookies
 and of course there were movies.
 
The three Queens had their tiny toes soaked in the foot bath
 
 which my youngest son loves because somehow he ends up with a few handfuls of bubbles.
glittery polish;
such girly, girls.
 
 
 
 
After Mani-Pedi's we moved on to their hair regimens.
 
Pre-poo
Cleanse
Detangle/Deep Condition
 
 
Moisturize and Style(Braid)
Air Dry
Moisturize and Style again.
 
They're au 'natural so this entire process took us into Sunday for all three.
 
Ah, the joys of Motherhood. I just pray I am teaching them to care for themselves like the young Queens they are and that even as teenagers we remain this close.
 
 
 
 

 

 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

new new in the kitchen

Okay, so I have been on the hunt for some fresh new recipes to try on my hungry family.
 
I'd like to think we eat pretty well.
 
When I say well, I mean healthy(whole grains, leafy greens and lots of fruit)
...but we are not health food fanatics by a long shot.
We love our pizza, and just about any other finger food you can think of
(tacos, burritos, cheese burgers, chipotle, chicken phillies, cheese steaks). MMMMmmmmmm, cheese steaks...*excuse me, my inner Homer Simpson just came out.
 
Back to the blog.
I am at a point where I am trying to change our diets and I know it doesn't happen over night...so we're doing a little at a time.
 
We do have a few food restrictions such as no dairy for one of our daughters
and our a protein complex carb diet for another.
We are also trying to cut sugar (replaced with natural sweeteners such as Agave and Maple),
simple carbs, food dyes and gluten when we can.
  
With all that said...we decided to give stuffed cabbage a try.
I know, I know...there's nothing new under the sun...
But this is new to us.



Same concept as stuffed peppers only the stuffing
(ground meat and rice(next time I'm going to try Quinoa (keen-wa))is wrapped in the blanched cabbage leaves and then cooked in the slow cooker, oven or stove top and topped with tomato sauce or soup.

How'd it taste?
Let's just say this dish is a work in progress for me. 😒
 
 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Back to the trip report...

Now where was I...

Ah. Day three. Hollywood Studios.

We start the day at Hollywood and Vine.
This restaurant has some of the best breakfast,
my husband had a bomb omelet made to order with sausage, bacon, shrimp, mushroom and green pepper...(isn't the hubby's order always just a little tastier)...
and did I mention it's a Disney Jr. character dine.
Just right for our 1 and 3 year old Disney Jr. fanatics.
Yeah right. 
Our 5 and 7 year olds were right there auto graph books ready
 and just as excited if not more than the younger kids.

 
After breakfast we headed for FASTPASSES to Toy Story Mania. Glad we did because we were some of the last to pick them up. Apparently people line up for ROPE DROP to get these passes and by the time we were done with breakfast at 10:30 our passes were stamped for 9pm. WOW.
Hollywood studios has a totally different vibe than Magic Kingdom and that's alright because that was just what we needed...easy breezy. The kids loved the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play land.
 

 
The larger than life garden complete with buzzing bees and giant ants was just a little too much for the Baby Girl so we headed over to see the Little Mermaid live.
 
After this show it was time for lunch which we LOVED so much it is now a family MUST DO on EVERY Disney trip. Lunch at the Sci-Fi Drive in Diner. I mean if you love buffalo wings, bacon cheese burgers and milkshakes while watching old school cartoons and Science Fiction movies...this is your place!!
 
 
 
After this we headed back to the hotel for a break and returned later that night for Toy Story Mania, which was all kinds of awesome!
Up next...our last day at Dis, things head South, souvenirs, tears and the flight home.
 
 

Friday, October 4, 2013

The weirdest thing in Mommes' purse...


An extra tooth..
 
 
 


Now I wouldn't just pull a tooth out the bag and leave you hanging. Here is the back story...

Our oldest lost her first tooth at school. The school nurse being sweet and ever-prepared put her little tooth in this tooth saving treasure chest and sent it home with her. Come parent pick-up I was surprised to find my baby girl all cheesy and snag-a-tooth. I thought it was so cute I decided to save the tooth and the treasure chest in my jewelry box.

Fast Forward----> Our second daughter starts to shed teeth. Amidst all the excitement over loosing a first tooth and wondering how many dollars she would get, "oooops! Momme I lost my tooth". TEARS galore!! "Don't worry baby, Momme will find it". After looking and looking, when I could not find it I decided in order to quiet the crying...I would pull a tooth-switcher-roo (don't judge me, just read Dr.Seuss).

Needless to say the tooth in a treasure box saved the day(more Seuss, smh). Not only did this tooth come in handy that once but I have used this tooth a total of three times and I still have 2.5 children to loose baby teeth. So, this little treasure box is now kept in a make-up bag, inside my purse.

Don't be shy...follow and forward to a friend. Also, feel free to leave a comment below...what's the weirdest thing in your purse/man-bag?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

No idea about Kindergarten.

Our five year old son started Kindergarten this year. Oh-M-Gee was he excited! See, his sisters had both been in school a couple of years but when we moved...new state, new laws. Early Childhood education is quite expensive here and well, I am an educator so...DS(Dear Son...for those new to the blog-age) stayed home with me for Pre-school and Pre-K.

He was sooooo excited his first week or so. He came home everyday talking in his OUTSIDE voice about how many recesses he had, what lunchtime was like, his desk, his back pack, his teacher, his friend...on and on and on. He sits at the green table and his best friend is SIX YEARS old (a big deal apparently). He has a music teacher named Mrs. Sunny and she either smells, or sings, or both...really GOOD (*it's really well son---told you I'm an educator). Oh, the tales he did tell that first week.

Week two point five. A different story. He comes home talking softly. He pulls off his shoes and socks in the middle of the living room floor. *Sigh* He's so tired. He just wants a snack and "where's the remote?". By the way he says, Coby and Ryah (little brother and sister) have no idea what Kindergarten is all about". Oh really?---

"What is Kindergarten all about?"

"WELL, we have to have morning meeting, and then daily five, then we go to the carpet and then back to our table groups and we have to do writing and then line up and there's no talking in line...not even to your best friend, not even in a whisper".

"Yeah, they have no idea son". I laugh to myself.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

24 hour stomach bug

It came. Wrecked havoc. It went.
We survived.
The washing machine???
It's in intensive care.