Update: Rockbox Complete… FINALLY

Rock Box Complete

Two months later… I finally got the motivation to complete the rockbox! (Original post here.)

Washing the pea gravel was a bit of a pain, but I ended up drilling holes (three cheers for power tools) in the bottom of a Rubbermaid storage bin (like, a ton of them), dumping in a bag of pea gravel at a time, and washing it with the hose (and mixing it up with my hands) until the water pretty much ran clear. I ended up only using three bags of gravel – so filling the box only cost about $10.

The result? Absolute JOY!!! Inevitably, handfuls of rocks have already been thrown… and I’m happy to report that gravel to the face hurts FAR less than cancer sand in your eye.

Alligator Adventure – The Highlight of Our Summer

Alligator Adventure

So, here we are… we’ve traveled hours upon hours and finally arrived at our destination – Myrtle Beach, SC. We roll up to the house, where Gram, Aunt Lizzie, and Uncle Austen are excitedly awaiting our arrival. We are all super excited to share in Munchie’s first REAL beach vacation and can’t wait for a week of sand castles and salt water. We had everything planned out… beach in the morning, lunch, nap, and afternoon adventures.

Just one problem – anytime the parent of a toddler meticulously plans or schedules any event… the toddler must throw a monkey wrench directly into your face… often with great force.

Insert beach day numero uno. We load up the golf cart and head to the beach. It’s about 100 degrees (F, not C… for all my concerned friends from around the globe), but the salty sea will cool us off, right? ERRRRRT. Wrong-o, my friend. You see, my child has decided that his incredibly severe phobia of pools now extends to the ocean. I simply couldn’t let my child bake in the sun for a week without any reprieve… so we did a bit of rearranging to our schedule. Activities during the day – beach at night… for about 30 minutes… at which point, he would head for our bag, start dragging it to the dunes, and exclaim loudly, over the sound of crashing waves, “ALL DONE! GO HOME!”

Insert Pinterest Fact – While, yes, baby powder will dry you off and take the sand off – do NOT put it all over your body (sorry, kid), or you will straight up look like a ghost. Tried it. No photos. Trust us. Just put it on your feet and put those shoes on.

So – on to our activities. We hit up the aquarium, which was super awesome – but at the age of two, Munchie pretty much generalizes all fish to just be “fish.” He did like the sharks – especially the guy wandering around in the shark costume. Overall – I think we are too young to fully appreciate the aquarium. (The adults loved it – be sure you are in the tunnel at feeding time – incredible!)

Next, Alligator Adventure. We bought our tickets, which were actually good for two days in a seven-day period, so we were able to go twice… which is a good thing… because it took that long to travel the park with a toddler.

From the outside, Alligator Adventure looks rather small, but they have an incredible property with animals Munchie was able to recognize. He got super excited about the house of small reptiles (which is air-conditioned – so we were thrilled he enjoyed it there) and was obsessed with the monitors. He even gave on a high five! We also got to pet an owl and a giant iguana thing!!!

He loved the alligators, got to pet a giant tortoise, saw some kangaroos, a bunch of birds, and then… we got to the lemurs. (Okay, there are some random animals here – but they are all super awesome!) He actually played chase with a lemur for about seven minutes… and then had a full on meltdown when we couldn’t take the little guy home with us. Gram said he’s going to be that kid you read about who sets a bunch of animals free from the zoo or a lab or something… and I can’t say it would surprise me.

We did a bunch of other stuff on vacation (like took Munchie to his first movie in a theater… Minions), but Alligator Adventure was certainly the highlight of Munchie’s Summer… and getting to experience such an adventure with him – a magical moment for all of us. If you’re headed to Myrtle Beach – be sure to put this place on your list.


Please note: I didn’t get paid to write this. We didn’t get free tickets. The park compensated us in NO way. I wrote this post because we truly LOVED our experience and I want other families to know how awesome Alligator Adventure is, so they can have super special memories like the ones we created in this park and will cherish forever. Also, we saw a ton of people without kids who were totally enjoying the place. We recommend it for people of all ages!

Also… all of the animals seemed to be completely happy and well cared for. I’m not typically a fan of animal prisons – but this was more of a sanctuary.

 

 

Hello Workforce – Did You Miss Me?

Saying Goodbye to Staying at Home

It seems this is the week of big changes. A two-year old… a toddler bed… and a WORKING MOMMA BISH!!! Today, after two years of staying at home with my favorite little guy in the world (and some of his friends), I am going back to work. I am beyond thrilled to announce that I have accepted a position at our church, First Baptist Church of Frederick​, that will allow me to use my eclectic set of skills and experiences in non-profit growth and management, communications, marketing, event planning, and a passion for FBC Frederick, to grow our church family, cultivate volunteers and mission leaders, and send them out in our local community and beyond, to help share the love of Christ through their service and actions.

Munchie seems super excited about starting at his new school later this week and his teachers have already expressed their delight in having him in their class. Last week, he had the opportunity to play with his new classmates for a while and everyone seemed to get along fabulously. I feel comfortable leaving him in the responsible hands of his new caretakers and teachers… but I will certainly admit that all this growing up and change is a little bitter-sweet. (Dear Self, get over it… he’s literally going to be in the same building you are working in… everything will be fine.)

Being a stay at home mom has been an unplanned blessing. People are generally shocked to learn that I hadn’t ever planned to be a Stay at Home Mom… it’s just what God/the universe (whatever you believe in… just because I work for a church doesn’t mean I’m going to cram the Bible down your throat and ex-communicate the friends who don’t share my beliefs… so no worries) had in store for me.

Yes, I am truly thankful that I had the incredible opportunity to stay at home with Munchie – but at this point in time, I feel going back to work and putting my kiddo in a classroom environment is certainly what is best for our family. Let’s be honest… he could use a little more structure and socialization in his life… and I could use a few more spreadsheets and paychecks in mine.

I have a feeling that going back to work, in a job that many would argue was designed just for me (insert chuckle… because I may have written and pitched my own job description), will be the recharge I need in the middle of my week (I’m only going back part-time) to gice me a new outlook on the time I get to spend with Munchie… and the time we all get to spend together as a family. I feel like staying at home (and with Daddy Bish working from home) we kind of take our time together for granted.

So,  to sum up this entire rambling post – I’m going back to work… starting today – and I am certain this is the right decision for our family. It does come with some mixed emotions… but overall – they are of happiness and excitement.

Cheers, to new beginnings!

Sentimental Sandbox… Turned Rockbox

Sandbox Turned Rockbox

Last night, I got a message from a mom at church asking if we might want their old Crabbie Sandbox. All three of her boys grown. One is in college and the other two are now in the youth group… and they have known Munchie since he was an itty bitty little guy (well, as itty bitty as Bish babies get)… and our families have been on mission trips together… and… well… we know these people… so it was kind of totally awesome that we were in line to inherit such a totally awesome piece of play equipment! Obviously (from the photo above), we graciously accepted their offer.

Now Momma Dubs (that’s what we’ll call her) did inform me this crab needed a good scrub down and that he was rather faded from years of baking in the sun… but that didn’t stop us! She rolled up this morning and we unloaded the beast… as Munchie and Sweet Cheeks waited (not so) patiently at the front door… their jaws totally dropped…  just waiting to get their hands on this incredible piece of awesomeness.

As Momma Dubs rolled away, I met the excited little buggers at the front door and they trailed behind me to the kitchen. “Outside? Outside? Play? Play?” Never have I seen larger smiles than when I handed them sponges, grabbed the soap, and informed them we will be cleaning the sandbox!!! I’m not even exaggerating – squeals of delight radiated throughout the home and echoed throughout the neighborhood, as we stepped outside.

As neighbors peeked through their blinds and stuck a head out their cracked door to see what the fuss was about, I’m certain they thought I had lost my mind. Two toddlers with sponges, a sandbox (just brimming with sudsy water), and Momma Bish… with a garden hose in one hand… and a toilet brush in the other (don’t judge – it was new… I get a pile of them every time I go to IKEA)… it was certainly a sight to see.

After a full day of scrubbing (primarily because toddlers aren’t very helpful… and like to run off… and babies wake up from naps… etc) and bleaching – our crab is cleaned up and ready for sand!!! Right???

WRONG!!!

Now – I come across as a fairly chilled out mom – but I do take my kid’s health (and the health of his friends) seriously. I didn’t have to look very far to learn that play sand contains some crazy silica nonsense that people shouldn’t be exposed to for long periods because it’s linked to cancer. So… if you were ever curious about where I draw the line of “chilled momma,” your answer is cancer-sand.

I’m not going to lie… stumbling upon this information pretty much made my day because… fun fact… I HATE SAND. You can’t get it out of the carpet, it scratches your wood floors, it hides in clothes, diapers, ears… and no one wants sand in their eyes… especially not cancer-sand.

So… what will we fill the crab sandbox with? Rocks… more specifically pea gravel. Washed, clean, cancer-free pea gravel. Thanks Momma Dubs – and the whole Dubs family!!! We are honored to be the next in line to love on this awesome crab box – no matter what it’s filled with.

 

The Grieving Family is NOT Your Therapist

Always in Our Hearts

In 2012, Joe Biden spoke to the families of soldiers about grief. He said, “There will come a day – I promise you, and your parents as well – when the thought of your son or daughter, or your husband or wife, brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye,” Biden says. “It will happen.”

Now, I don’t care what your political affiliation is or how you feel about Biden – but that statement right there – that statement is an incredibly accurate truth. On this second anniversary of Dad’s death, I am able to smile when I think of him, his jokes, his laughter… I choose to remember the good things. Do I still cry? Absolutely. But am I now able to find joy? I am. Has the gaping wound in my heart started to heal – so I can speak more often about that scar, the permanent mark that my dad left on my heart, instead of feeling the constant sting of an open wound? Definitely.

I already know that today’s post is going to be one of my highest traffic posts of the year – because people want to know how our family is doing (or because they are hella nosy and want more details of Dad’s death… which really don’t matter at all… the details are, he’s gone – it was unexpected – it was traumatic for all those left behind – and if you didn’t care enough to be around and offer your support while he busted his tush to recover from a traumatic brain injury… well, then you pretty much suck and don’t deserve to be privy to any details that we will never ever share with you – so stop being a creeper).

So, now that I’m fired up from that little rant – I know exactly what message I want to share with you. THE FAMILY MEMBERS OF THE DECEIVED ARE NOT YOUR FRIGGIN’ THERAPISTS. We have friends and family all over the country – and many of these folks were not able to make it to Dad’s service to pay their respects – so when we do finally get the opportunity to see these folks, a few words of sympathy are typically exchanged.

Let’s just throw this out on the table right now… paying your respects is awkward. There is no right thing to say… but for the love of all that is holy – there are plenty of things you should NOT EVER EVER EVER say to the family who has endured a loss.

In our situation, Dad died of suicide – something many people don’t understand. That’s fine – if you want to talk about suicide and mental health with an open mind – let’s do it! I would love to have the opportunity to educate you on the topic – I think talking about mental health is super important and the only way we will be able to work toward eliminating the stigma associate with mental illnesses and suicide. I’m totally game!

HOWEVER – I’m not your ding dang therapist… and you better not open your mouth without seriously thinking about what is going to come out. I could seriously write an entire book about all the stupid sh*t people have said to us.

“Oh, but wasn’t he excited to meet his grandson?” Oh – you mean my baby that was born 12 days after he died? Yeah – he was beyond excited to be Pap to Munchie… but mental health doesn’t discriminate and is illogical.

“I mean, what was he thinking? Why would he do that?” Did you seriously just point these questions toward his daughter? He did it because his benefits had been suspended and he had stopped receiving the care he needed. Much like – if someone with cancer had their benefits suspended and they stopped receiving treatment. Their disease would take over and they, too, would die. Mental illness requires the appropriate treatment.

“My life is hard and wake up every morning and decide to be happy. So, he should have just gotten over it and been happy.” Yes, and people with cancer should just pretend it isn’t there and they will magically be healed. I’m so happy you understand medical science.

“Suicide is the ultimate sin because you can’t repent.” Commence throat punch… because I literally have no words that your ignorant, narrow, uneducated, insensitive mind would even be worthy of.

Honestly, if you don’t know what to say… just say you were really sorry to hear about my dad’s passing… and if you knew him, feel free to tell me a funny story about him, share a memory, or let me know what you are going to do to keep his legacy alive. For all your other outlandish comments, please… go find yourself a therapist… because my family and I certainly aren’t the ones to analyze your psyche and help you hash out your issues, questions, etc surrounding the death of my dad. There is a time and place for everything… and I suggest 3pm in your therapists office.

—————————————————-

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with mental health issues – you aren’t alone – you aren’t weak – you just need some help! I encourage you to call this number and talk to someone so you can find the care you need. Just three numbers to remember 2-1-1.

If you feel like I pulled one of the above “what not to say” comments directly from one of our conversations – then I urge you to read up on mental health, grief, and what to say to someone who is grieving.

I also HIGHLY encourage folks to watch this Biden speech. Again, I don’t care what your opinion of Biden are – the man makes some great points and after the death of his son, his message is more poignant.

Such a “McCoy” Mother’s Day

HappyMothersDay

Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know I’m Momma Bish… but before I was Momma Bish, I was (and always will be) a McCoy. If you aren’t a McCoy, you just don’t really get it when it comes of oddball luck, “go figure” moments, roadfinds, and the general shiznit that seems to happen to our family members. Since a couple of our McCoy men have left this world, we have started to feel as though they are orchestrating some of these shenanigans now. One recent example… the WTF Mother’s Day flowers.

Two things… my mom LOVES getting flowers… and I think sending flowers is the stupidest idea ever. They are overpriced. They die way too fast. I would rather cook someone a meal. BUT… whatever… it’s Mother’s Day… so my gift to my mother isn’t about me. Right?

So… I scour the internet and find the PERFECT flowers to send her. An arrangement of three POTTED perennials, arranged in an ombre fashion, that are PERFECT for the Maryland climate, and absolutely adorable. I literally spent a good 45 minutes researching these damn flowers to ensure they would last a LONG time.

Even better – I have a COUPON! I input all my information, the price gets knocked down to $24, I pick a FREE SHIPPING day… and select PayPal. I log in, click the purchase button… and I’m taken to a screen that confirms my $53 ORDER?!?!?!?! Wait… WHAT THE FLIPPIN’ SCRAMBLED BANANAS IS THIS SHE-OT?!?!

Oh, hells no. I pick up my phone, call their customer support number, and demand my order be cancelled. (You don’t charge someone more than TWICE the amount they agreed to pay!) The sweet flower lady informs me that my order has been locked in and she can’t cancel it. This requires contacting another department. She puts me on hold. Five minutes later, she returns to the line, apologizes for the wait and offers me a 20% discount. Um… no. She explains there is only one person who can cancel the order at this point and asks if I mind holding again. I’m placed back on hold. (No worries, I didn’t have anything else to be doing at 6:30am on a Saturday morning.) Again, she picks up, apologizes, and offers me a 20% discount and $5 off the shipping. NOOOO.

“Ma’am, I can go to Costco, buy my mom eight times as many flowers, and deliver them myself for this price. I just want my money back!” The poor woman is obviously growing frustrated with the fact she can’t do anything for me. In total, we are on the phone for 30 minutes.

Then, she makes an offer. “Sweetie, I can’t speed this up, but what I’m going to do is issue you a refund and stay on the line with the other department until they cancel this order. I’m going to warn you though, there is a chance we won’t be able to stop the shipment and the flowers will still be sent out to your mom.”

WAIT… WHAT?!?! This was a FABULOUS OFFER! YES, I WANT THAT, PLEASE! We finished up the call and was SOOO eager to share my story… but it wasn’t even 7am. I waited… waited… waited… okay… 8am. I picked up the phone, called my mom, told her the fabulous tale, and informed her she “may or may not be getting flowers for Mother’s Day.”

“Emily Marie, it is just like you to tell me what I’m getting for Mother’s Day.”

“But Mom, you might not get it.”

With a giggle, “Well, now if I do, I know you didn’t pay for it… so you still have to get me something else, too.”

——————————-

On Wednesday, my phone rings… it’s Mom.

“Emily Marie – I had totally forgotten about these flowers and they came and I was so surprised!” She continued to go on an on about the package and the card (which included a heartfelt thanks for pushing me out of her lady bits) and she was thrilled… but didn’t mention the flowers.

“Mom, tell me about the FLOWERS! I spent forever researching them… aren’t they beautiful?”

“Ummm… I guess? I don’t know.”

“Wait… what do you mean you don’t know? Aren’t they cool looking? Do you like the different colors and how they fade from hot pink to white? It’s ombre – totally “in” right now.”

“Uhh… I think they’re yellow.”

Oh shit. My mom must be losing her mind… or they sent her the wrong flowers.

“Mom, they are in a box that fades from pink to white, right?”

“Yeah.” Okay… she wasn’t losing it. What in the world did they send her? Maybe they found out I got a refund and stuck something else in there.

“But… the flowers are yellow?”

“Oh, there aren’t any flowers.”

“What the sh*t? They sent you an empty box?”

“No, it isn’t empty. I think I have to grow them or something. It’s just a box with some peat moss in it… and three bulbs under the peat moss. This one looks like it’s starting to come up. Kinda looks like a penis.” (Sorry Mom, it’s pretty much the funniest part of the story.)

Awesome… I’m trying to be a good daughter… and I send my mom a “Grow Your Own Penis” kit. WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?!?

I requested a picture of the “not flowers,” just to see what had arrived. Ready folks?

FLOWERS

I will admit, these little buggers are growing rather quickly… and I’m enjoying daily updates on their progress. Perhaps this wasn’t the biggest fail ever… oh dear… no… not a fail at all… just another ridiculous “McCoy Mother’s Day” story.

flowersgrowing

Cheers – and a very happy and beautiful Mother’s Day – to the woman who pushed me out of her lady bits, and raised me to be a totally awesome, sassy, piece of work. On behalf of the world, I would like to thank you for raising a couple of awesome members of society… who aren’t afraid to voice their opinions, stand up for what’s right, and truly make a difference in the lives of others. Well done! (Now go water your free penis flowers.)

Homemade Felt Food… Because… Diabetes.

Felt Food

Oh, I’m sorry… does that title come across as a little extreme to you? Well, it’s not. Did you know the CDC is predicting that 1 in 3 Americans will have Diabetes by 2050?!?! That is freaking terrifying. Over the last month or so, I have been tediously sewing felt food by hand for Munchie, Sweet Cheeks, and any other kiddo that comes over to play. After spending an HOUR sewing together a slice of bread, I figured it was time to pack up and just invest in some manufactured play food.

I began my search with some basic criteria. I wanted to find healthy foods (so eventually, we can work together and learn how to create well-rounded, healthy meals), decent quality, and sizes that were somewhat proportionate to one another (a whole roasted chicken is not the same size or smaller than an apple).

First stop – IKEA. Their selection of felt food offers a healthy variety and we already own their felt vegetables, so I know they are of good quality. Unfortunately, the fruit basket is nearly impossible to find and there is a serious lack of protein options. (But, I did manage to find some AWESOME pots, pans, and tools for our little kitchen.)

Second stop – Dancing Bear. They offer a decent selection of Hape felt and wooden foods and play kitchen accessories. I also learned they have a birthday registry, where kids walk around with a box and fill it with the items they want. (Umm… after already sending out a birthday invite that specifically requested presence, not presents.) The price is a little more than I was looking to spend… but the foods are healthy, the quality is lovely, and the foods are proportionate.

Third stop – Walmart (because we needed allergy meds). The selection was disappointing… the quality was almost humorous, and the proportions? I saw a pineapple smaller than a strawberry. SKIP! (Whatever happened to the super awesome Little Tikes kitchen stuff that we grew up with?!?)

Fourth stop – Toys R Us. Their online selection was half decent… but in store?!?! I was appalled. I have literally NEVER been so enraged by the toys I saw on a shelf until Friday afternoon… and I felt a little silly… because… who gets this passionate about pretend food for their kid? I DO. I had two choices. On one side of the store, I could spend a fortune on Melissa and Doug foods that, for the most part, fit my criteria… but I had read the reviews on these. They are heavy and dent floors, kitchens, little pots and pans, etc… so, no. And the other side of the store? You can get pretend processed foods, junk food, or a giant multi-pack that includes both… with a few TINY fruits and veggies tossed in. Awesome… heart attacks and diabetes in a box. (Over half the food was either fried, dessert, or some other unhealthy junk food.) Also… WHY are there ONLY PINK picnic baskets and tea sets? (Angry feminist side came out, too.)

I got home, turned to Amazon, and realized that BUYING healthy, decent quality food for Munchie’s imaginative play kitchen would cost more than a month of organic produce… so I’m back to stitching felt together… to promote healthy food choices among the kids I love so very very much. Cheaper. Healthier. Full of LOVE.

—————-

Note: I’m not trying to condemn parents who expose their kids to unhealthy pretend (or real) foods… but I do encourage you to be cognizant of what your children are playing with (and consuming), discuss nutrition, provide healthy food choices in your home during snack and meal times, etc. (Heck, I made a felt hot dog and we don’t even buy hot dogs anymore because of the nitrates. I’m not going to talk to my toddler about nitrates… but I will surely talk about other foods we can grill, like chicken, shrimp, and steak… which I will eventually sew… but I started with the easy stuff.)

My C-Section Was… Necessary.

c-section

Two copies of my birth plan were tucked inside a manila folder… the last thing I packed in my hospital bag… it sat on top of everything else, for easy access. I had poured my heart and soul into that thing… I had spent month contemplating the events that were mere moments in our future. We arrived, I handed my plan over to the nurse… and we reviewed it together. In it, a note to my medical team… “We have no idea what we are doing. I know I’m carrying a giant baby. Please just be honest with us. I understand a c-section may be medically necessary.”

After three hours of active pushing, the news came. “You can keep pushing, but your baby isn’t coming out this way without injury. Dislocated shoulders, broken collarbone… he just isn’t going to fit. My recommendation is that we get you scheduled for the OR before this turns into an emergency.”

Tears… and an overwhelming feeling of defeat. WHY? WHY CAN’T I DO THIS? ISN’T MY BODY DESIGNED FOR THIS? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Three hours of pushing has gone by… surely, just another 30 minutes would be enough time to push this little guy out, right? I remember looking at my husband… apologizing. (Looking back, perhaps he should have been the one apologizing for impregnating me with a tiny giant… my family makes little babies.) But, in that moment… he just looked at me like I was crazy. He reassured me of how awesome I was, as he stepped into his OR outfit.

I didn’t WANT a c-section. This isn’t the outcome I would have selected… but, I knew it was the best option. I was exhausted. I was terrified. Truthfully, I don’t remember much… except accusing the anesthesiologist that he was trying to kill me (because I couldn’t feel myself breathing)… and then I fell asleep.

I remember my husband walking in and asking if I was okay. “Oh my God! Is she dead?” Just what everyone wants to hear while they are already fairly convinced they are dying. The anesthesiologist must have thought we were both crazy… but he calmly explained that I was exhausted and just sleeping.

I remember blurred chatter… as if Charlie Brown’s teachers were speaking. I remember my head was turned left and Patrick was sitting on my right. Then, I assume I fell asleep. I am completely unaware of what was probably the most important and most traumatic part of my birth experience. THANK GOD.

The next thing I remember is Patrick telling me to look at our son… and I simply didn’t think I had the strength to roll my head over and open my eyes… but I did it… and as soon as I saw that adorable child… I didn’t think there was any possible way that could be OUR baby. He was just too damn cute!

Was it my ideal plan? No. Would I have done anything differently? Absolutely not.

The way your child(ren) entered this world… or your family… these are details… intimate details that weave the intricate pattern of your family bond. All people are different. All stories are unique. No one person or story is more important or better than another. In the world of parenting, we are all warriors. So as long as you LOVE your child(ren)… and do your BEST to raise awesome humans… you have my unfailing support.

—————–

Post inspired by: Three Truths About C-Section Mamas

Last Minute Basket Boppity

Easter Basket Boppity

Dude, seriously? It’s like 11pm the night before Easter and you TOTALLY forgot about that ding dang bunny you child is expecting to get treats from in the morning… but you have been too busy working/cleaning/checking FB/etc and neglected to push your way through the crowds this year. Perhaps you literally forgot… or maybe you are still in therapy over last year’s fiasco of taking an elbow to the face while reaching for the last Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg (no, I feel no remorse for my actions… those things are my primary springtime food group… #sorrynotsorry).

Honestly, I don’t care why you have been caught empty-handed tonight… but whatever your reason, just thank your lucky stars it’s just an Easter basket… and not as severe as waiting until Christmas Eve to start shopping for gifts. I can totally help you out… so, let’s begin.

Okay, your kid(s) is/are in bed. If this is a two parent household, someone can just run out and scavenge the shelves of the local pharmacy, grocery store, Target… or (because these are desperate times) the gas station. Easter related or not… just grab it!

If you are the only adult… you might have to get a bit more creative. Perhaps a neighbor will take pity on you and stay with your kid while you follow the shelf scraping scenario mention above… but if not, prepare to get creative!

Depending on the age of your kids, you might be able to pull a few quick ones. Go take a look in your snack cabinet. See anything good? (Heck, I put apple pouches and gummies in my kid’s basket. I literally took them OUT OF THE PANTRY!)

Now head over to the creative/art/crafty area of your house. See any new-ish stickers? Coloring books? Bubbles? Sidewalk Chalk (not even a whole box, just a couple new sticks)? New art stuff that hasn’t been opened? It’s all fair game! If they’ve had it for a couple of weeks and haven’t touched it… you can pretty much bet they have forgotten about it.

Same goes for toys they haven’t seen or played with in a while. Dig deep in that toy box!

Have kids who are a bit older? Hop online and start printing out tickets to local museums, events, etc.
– Mini Golf
– Laser Tag
– Train Museum
– Trampoline Park
– Rock Climbing
– Movie Tickets
– Pump It Up

You can even make your own coupon book with stuff they might actually enjoy.
– 30 extra minutes of screen time
– Ice cream date with Mom
– Dinner at Chuckie Cheese (Yeah, I know it sounds like hell… but keep in mind… YOU SCREWED UP! Bet you’ll remember the chocolate next year!)
– Go shopping for a new kite
– Family hike/bike/run
– Picnic in the park
– Trip to the garden center to pick out flowers for spring

Another idea for kids who are a bit older is giving them cash… and then taking them shopping the day AFTER Easter… and they can get twice as much candy/toys with their money.

In terms of the basket? Grab a basket, bowl, box… whatever you can find! Skip that stupid Easter grass (you can tell your kids you are saving the environment or something)… and arrange everything nicely.

Now, set it on the table, take a couple bites out of that carrot they left for the mystical beast, and leave some flour footprints on the table. If you hooked them up with a “unique” gift, you can write a note explaining that you thought it would mean more to them than candy.

OH, SUPER IMPORTANT… if you fail to find any sweets for that basket… either bake something immediately, or stick $5 in their basket so they can buy some.

If you read this and don’t think you need the advice… I bet you know someone who does… so you might want to share it, post it, pin it, tweet it… whatever… because you could save a little kid’s Easter and keep the magic of that mystical furry rabbit alive.

Send Auntie K to HARVARD!

auntiek

Auntie K has been selected to attend a Leadership Summit at HARVARD! Get more details about this opportunity here.

Don’t know who Auntie K is? Um… pretty much one of my favorite people in the world. She’s a high school student with incredible aspirations, hopes, and dreams. Remember that age when you truly believed you could do ANYTHING you put your mind to? Well, she’s there… and she really does have the determination, drive, and brains to achieve pretty much anything she could possibly want to do (like, legit smart).

She’s also one of the only teenagers I trust to care for Munchie (there are literally only three or four high school students I will leave him with) and he loves her to pieces. Oh, and did I mention she’s my editor? That’s right – she edits everything I post, so I don’t look like a total fool on the interwebs. (Which, I totally did look like at one point… before she cleaned up the evidence.)

To sum it all up… Auntie K is AWESOME and I want to do whatever I can to support her in reaching her goals and achieving her dreams. She has the opportunity to attend a Leadership Summit this summer at Harvard through People to People (I’m sure a LOT of us have some sort of connection to this organization).

The catch? This adventure comes with quite a hefty price tag… so, she’s asking for our help. If you’re looking for a way to help a promising young woman continue her transformation into a strong leader, I encourage you to kick a few bucks her way. Think of it as an investment in the future!

A lot of times on these online fundraising sites, people are hesitant to make a donation because they don’t know the person… but now you do… and she’s fabulous! Sometimes, people feel like there is a minimum amount to donate… but there isn’t! Heck, skip your latte today and send her a fiver… grab a handful of paper shreds from the office recycle bin for your kid’s Easter basket and send her the two bucks you saved on Easter grass… that twenty you keep in your wallet for emergencies, send her that – our future is pretty freaking important and this kid is our FUTURE! Trust me, every little bit helps… and Auntie K won’t disappoint. (Hmm… maybe I’ll have her recap this adventure in a guest post upon her return!)

BEST WISHES TO OUR FAVORITE AUNTIE K! Your leadership abilities, passionate attitude, incredible determination, and creative “out of the box” mindset will take you far in life. Cheers!

The Twists, turns, and true tales of a mom and her pint sized human

%d bloggers like this:
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On Twitter