Enjoy your Children

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I’ve had this post title sitting in my drafts for several months. This is a topic I’ve been mulling over for awhile now and I don’t have it all figured out but it’s something I wanted to write about.

Yesterday I took all the boy to the Science Museum, by myself. That’s something I never would have done just a year ago but I’m slowing taking on new tasks all the time. Motherhood changes you, it changes what you desire and what motivates you. It can be so easy to get caught up in all of the “to do” lists and social obligations that we forget to actually enjoy the whole process.

This time last year I was day dreaming about the day when all of my boys would be old enough that we could venture out together without a meltdown. I tend to hope for the future a little too much. I start to forget about the present. I guess it’s better than dwelling upon the past, but still.

I’m trying hard each day to be present. To enjoy each step of life including all of the hard parts. Parenting is work and work isn’t usually easy. But at the same time parenting is part of my life and I want to live my life to the fullest. I find that the biggest factor in creating a life that is full of joy is my attitude. Hard work can still be enjoyable if you have a positive attitude. This goes for anything, not just parenting. I try to teach my boys about having a good attitude and doing their work with a joyful heart. Like most things children learn through example.

I guess what I’m trying to say is the more time I spend with my children, the more I invest in their lives, the more I challenge myself to start each day with a positive attitude and joy in my heart, I find that I really enjoy my kids. I miss days where we aren’t together. I love to hear their stories, receive their hugs and watch them grow. I just really like my family.

Parenting isn’t always easy but it can be a can be a source of great joy if we allow it.

A Peek at the New LeapStart from LeapFrog

We received the new LeapStart from Leapfrog a few weeks ago. The boys have loved playing with the new interactive learning system.

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The LeapStart helps building key skills and challenge kids to get ready for their next step in learning.  The system works with a library of replayable activity books with variety of content for preschool through 1st grade. Kids ages 2-7 will enjoying playing with the LeapStart while simultaneously developing life skills.

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My boys immediately figured out how to use the stylus to navigate the pages of the books. Each book is packed with over 30 activities from games, jokes, songs and more. I really love that there are book designed for different ages and abilities. All of my boys can have their own books that challenge them but are still easy enough for them to use on their own. I love watching them get excited about learning their ABCs, logic, fractions and more. LeapFrog always makes learning fun and encourages a love of learning in children.

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The LeapStart interactive learning system is portable and easy for little hands to carry around with a built in handle, attached stylus and separate activity books. It requires two AA batteries, not included.

The LeapStart will so be available in stores to purchase for $39.99. Additional books are sold separately for $12.99 Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 1.14.35 PM GIVEAWAY
One lucky reader will in a LeapStart from LeapFrog. (US Residents Only). Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Giveaway Ends 8/2/16

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends on August 2, 2016. The winner to be chosen at random. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. See giveaway rules for more information.

The information, product and additional gift pack have been provided by LeapFrog.

Carolina Beach State Park Camping

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We took a mini-vacation to the beach a few days ago. We drove down to Carolina Beach on Sunday and stayed 1 night in the Carolina Beach State Park. Carolina Beach State Park added a four little cabins this year that are available to rent for a small fee.

After our day at the beach we checked into our cabin and enjoyed a nice but hot evening “camping”. I say we went camping even though we were in a cabin. The cute little cabins have 2 rooms – a front room with a double bed and little desk and a back bunk room with 2 sets of bunks and another desk. There is electricity and Air Conditioning but no running water in the cabins. The bath house is a short walk away and outside of the cabin is equipped with a picnic table, grill and fire pit. We enjoyed all the fun parts of camping but with the luxury of air conditioning… a must when vacationing in NC in July. Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.56.44 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.56.35 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.56.29 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.56.19 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.56.07 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.55.55 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.55.36 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.55.48 AM

It rain all night long but we were safe and dry in our little cabin. The boys slept fairly well, although Abel had a little trouble falling asleep in a new place. In the morning it continued to rain and the roads and paths in the park were very flooded, which made accessing the bath house a little difficult. But we remained flexible and adjusted our plans accordingly. We packed up a little earlier than planned and headed to the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher. (Thanks to our Zoo membership we got in free!) Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.54.23 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.55.12 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.54.47 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.54.31 AM

After the aquarium we grabbed some lunch and coffee then headed home.

It was a nice little get away and adventure with out boys. Was it relaxing, not really. Traveling with 4 small kids isn’t necessarily relaxing but it was a lot of fun.

Simple Limeade Popsicles

Over the long holiday weekend we stopped for lunch at Zoe’s Kitchen. While we were there I grabbed a gallon of their homemade limeade to take home.

My kids love Zoe’s Kitchen limeade. I thought I would make a super easy treat with the kids for our Fourth of July cookout. We made limeade popsicles. It’s so easy!

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Ingredients

  • Zoe’s Kitchen Limeade

Directions

  • Pour Zoe’s Kitchen Limeade into popsicle molds.
  • Place molds in freezer for about 6 hours
  • To remove from molds run under hot water for 10 seconds and gently pull apart.

With temperatures here in North Carolina easily reaching into the mid 90’s (not to mention the humidity and heat index) it’s nice to cool down with a frozen treat.

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The boys absolutely love their limeade popsicles. They’re so easy to make I foresee us making them many times over the course of the summer.

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The featured product was provided to me free of charge for review purposes. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and not influenced by the company.

The BGF – Movie Review

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I can’t tell you how excited I was for the new Disney film of Roald Dahl’s famous, “The BFG”. I love anything written by Roald Dahl and just a few months ago Jude and I read “The BFG” together. I was very interested to see how Disney and Steven Spielberg would portray this beautiful and heartwarming story.

I contemplated taking Jude to the preview but I know how sensitive he is to things that are the slightest bit scary. So even though he’s 8 years old I decided it was best to watch it first. I remember him telling me it was scary when we read the book so I can only imagine how much more intense it would be for him to see it on the big screen. I don’t know if all children will react this way but the premise of the story is based around giants stealing children from their beds while they sleep, and then eating them. So that part of the story could be quite scary for some children.

However, like most of Roald Dahl’s stories they typically start off rather dark but always have fun and happy endings. (I can’t say the same for his adult fiction but that is something to discuss in another post.)

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About The BFG
“The BFG” tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. The BFG, while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like the other inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part. Giants like Bloodbottler and Fleshlumpeate on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while the BFG prefers Snozzcumber and Frobscottle. Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming, and, having never met a giant before, has many questions. The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams. Having both been on their own in the world up until now, their affection for one another quickly grows, but Sophie’s presence in Giant Country has attracted the unwanted attention of the other giants, who have become increasingly more bothersome. Sophie and the BFG soon depart for London to see the Queen and warn her of the precarious giant situation, but they must first convince the Queen and her maid, Mary , that giants do indeed exist. Together, they come up with a plan to get rid of the giants once and for all.

Final Thoughts
I absolutely love the performance of Ruby Barnhill as Sophie. She is absolutely delightful and you automatically fall in love with this sweet little girl. The same can be said for The BFG, the special effects on the giants is wonderful especially the vulnerability and warmth captured in the eyes of The BFG. My favorite scene is their trip to dream country, it’s absolutely beautiful and there are several lovely lines that just resonate with you long after the movie is over.

I will probably wait a little while until I take my kids to see The BFG but I will be very excited when we all get to watch it together.

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The BFG is rated G
Release Date: July 1, 2016

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I received passes to the featured event in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own.

Stay Home and Avoid the Oops

It’s 8am and everyone is begging for breakfast but I have a baby with a stinky diaper. I run upstairs to change him only to find there are no more diapers in the box. I start to panic and then remember to check the diaper bag. Nothing. I run to the car and search for my secret stash. I find it! One diaper. It’s 2 sizes too small but it will have to do.

After everyone is fed and clothed I pile my four boys in the van and we head to the store for much needed diapers. The boys just want to go to the park but we have no choice but to go to the store. Diapers are needed ASAP.

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Taking 4 small children to the store can be an exhausting experience. I try to avoid it whenever possible, but sometimes you just have to go to the store to buy a needed item like diapers. Or do you?

Look at this crew… they’re a handful.

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You’d think after 4 kids I wouldn’t run out of diapers but it happens. I just don’t have the time to get to the store as often as I need but thanks to this thing called the internet I don’t have to go anywhere. I can order my must-have daily items like toilet paper, diapers, wipes, etc… online at www.avoidtheoops.com

I ordered diapers, wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, and some cleaning supplies. It’s so easy to avoid the oops moments by ordering P & G products directly from Walmart.

Products Offered through Avoid the Oops:

  • Kitchen
  • Laundry
  • Cleaning
  • Baby
  • Bathroom

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This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Walmart.

Explore

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My kids love playing outside but it takes some effort to get them there. We don’t have the best backyard. It’s been known to have a pretty bad mosquito infestation on occasion (although this year isn’t so horrible) therefore we don’t like spending a lot of time there. So we spend a lot of our outdoor time elsewhere.

I love taking the boys on adventures. Almost daily I take them somewhere outdoors so they can play, no matter the weather. We started this routine during winter when we would bundle up and try to plan our outing during the warmest part of the day. Now that it’s summer we make sure to pack plenty of water and try to get out early in the day before the heat is too dangerous.

We don’t always have a plan the kids know when I say we’re going to explore that means “get in the car, we’re going to a park”. We try to visit as many different parks as possible. Thankfully, Raleigh and the surrounding area has a lot of parks. We visit a new place almost every week and still haven’t even scratched the surface. I find that it’s good to explore new parks regularly because they boys get bored going to the same park every day. Although they do have their favorites.

We find new bits of nature everywhere we go. And every exploration lends itself to new discoveries and learning opportunities.

Super Abel and a Super Swim Diaper

We are at the pool a lot between swim team and recreational use I think we are at the pool almost every day during the summer. Abel is a water baby for sure. He loves to splash in the baby pool with his brothers.

When you’re at the pool as much as we are a reusable swim diaper is a must. We love the new Bumkins reusable swim diapers. They are durable and waterproof, they keep any diaper contents tightly contained to prevent spills. Plus, they have a ton of really cute prints available like this super adorable Superman diaper.

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Bumkins swim diapers are outfitted with three adjustable snaps on each side for easy changes. They are also machine washable.

Most pool require swim diapers for children who aren’t potty trained and the Bumkins swim diaper meets those requirements while looking adorable.

I was provided a featured product free of charge but all opinions are 100% mine.