Friday, July 30, 2010
And if you live in Orlando and haven't visited the Orange County Regional History Museum, you are in luck!
This weekend you can visit the museum for FREE!
Courtesy of Orlando Health, the Orange County Regional History Museum is throwing open its doors and having a celebration all weekend long.
Plus, on saturday the 31st from 12:00pm to 2:00pm MIX 105.1 will be there with their Safety Safari (presented by Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital and Metro PCS). The Safety Safari will offer free bike helmets and activities (while supplies last).
The museum boasts great photography exhibits, the history of Orange County and exhibits on aviation and horse harness racing and tons more.
Plan to spend a few hours there, there's a lot to take in.
For more information on the Orange County Regional History Museum, call (407) 836-8500 or check out their website .
The Orange County Regional History Museum is located at 65 E. Central Blvd. Orlando, Florida 32801
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Not that I’m speaking from experience.
Okay, I am.
I was a geek.
I wore glasses and got awards for reading lots (and lots) of books.
My husband was not a geek.
Quite the opposite actually. In middle school he hung out with older kids and smoked cigarettes (not cool now kids, not cool). In high school, he played football, drove a lifted truck and had lots of friends that were famous for school pranks.
But this past week, he became a geek. Better yet, a Geek Dad.
From Ken Denmead and Gotham Books, Geek Dad is a whole book packed full of geeky projects to do with your kids. Its tagline is, appropriately: Raising Geek Generation 2.0.
Ever wanted to see the world from the sky? Geek Dad has you covered.
What about boosting your Wi-Fi signal? Yup, in there too.
Our favorite activity was the Model Building with Cake (page 67)
and the Best Slip ‘N Slide Ever (page 113).
With each project, Geek Dad gives you a thorough breakdown with the concept, cost, difficulty, duration, reusability and what tools and materials you need.
And you really don’t need to be a geek to do these projects, you just need to follow the step by step instructions that are detailed and before you know it, you can add geek to your resume.
Geek Dad retails for $17.00 and is on store shelves and online now.
I received a copy of Geek Dad to review. All opinions on this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Yes, at five months.
Roo didn't do this until she was seven months (further proof that they are soooo different).
Of course our celebration was cut short when Turtle quickly dissolved into a fussy ball of red-faced baby that was super unhappy leading to an unhappy family.
Except for Roo, nothing fazes that child.
So for the past two days when I nurse Turtle I get anxious.
Anxious, like I'm on pins and needles. I'm waiting for that first scrap of a tooth on the boob.
And it will happen. It's bound to happen and while I wait for it, I keep imagining it's going to be like nails on a blackboard.
So I nurse her with my toes curls, my body tense and my jaw clenched... because it will happen, oh yes, it will.
And when it does, I'll yelp like a schoolgirl, tell her no and continue on with our lives.
Because it'll be over and done with... and we can move on to more important stuff... like what we're having for dinner.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
A full day of chasing a toddler, making sure she gets all the playtime she needs, hunting down toys, making lunches and snacks, finding playdates, coloring Princess pictures and getting Playdoh out of the carpet . Toss in a baby that is hooked on my boob most of the day, who loves to roll... and roll and roll, who needs her diaper changed and demands I tickle her yummy little toys for hours.
And then there's my hubby, who really doesn't need much from me except for to get him up and going at the right time of the day, food on the table, clean clothes in the closet, some interaction and discussion of politics and our daughters, someone to cuddle on the couch with and a little lovin'.
That doesn't include cleaning the house, doing the dishes daily, laundry, showering, feeding the dogs, chasing lizards for Roo and blowing farts on Turtle's neck.
It's a lot to do in one day.
So you can see why at the end of the day, I want nothing more than to collapse in my bed, watch some trashy reality television, check my emails, a hug and kiss from my man and then I want my eyes to close and not open until sun up (which never happens, thanks Turtle!).
Of course, things get in the way and I normally find one or more projects that prevent me from doing this... or I get a toddler that tells me: I don't wanna sleep.
And this gives me pause because all day long she has to share me with her sister. All day long she hears that she has to wait because I have to feed the baby or I need to do this.
And I think even though I am beyond tired, I can muster up enough energy and let her stay up late, snuggle in my bed and just feel like she still has her Mama. I want her to have time to have one on one time that (typically) doesn't involve her sister crying or stealing the show with her big, drooly, gummy smile.
And I find my second wind, just enough energy to make Roo giggle.
Because I am never too tired for her lovin'.
Monday, July 26, 2010
And of course, 3pm is Turtle's nap time as well as the hottest part of the day on the farm.
Lately for Turtle's nap (to get her sleep on her side) I lay her in my bed and nurse her and then typically have to lay with her to keep her asleep.
So this means at 3pm, my tornado of a 3 year old is left to her own devices and ends up either coming into the bedroom and waking the baby up or screams and shouts as she rushed around the house (her usual route is through the kitchen, into the dining room, up the hallway and out into the family room) and that too wakes the baby up.
I know she's three and that she really has no concept of: SHHHHHHHHH! You're sister is sleeping.
Which explains why she repeatedly ignores me when I whisper this to her a million times in one hour.
Cartoons don't work either because they can't keep her attention long enough.
And the husband is usually outside working so he can't help and if he could take care of her, like I said, it's too hot to be outside for too long.
So I'm really lost at what I should do.
I know what I want to do. I want Turtle to sleep in her crib, unassisted, so I can spend some much needed time getting all that crazy energy out of her sister's wiggly little body.
Which really shouldn't be such a big issue, right? I mean, I am the Mommy. I know what's best (sometimes) and Turtle should listen to me when I tell her she needs to sleep alone. I should tell her that I know best and she should listen to me.
Ha... ha ha ha.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Whether it be a festival, music event, store opening, toy demo, whatever we want to cover it and get the word out to other Moms and Dads in the area.
If you have a business, park, carnival, anything and want to be featured in our Florida Friday weekly, please email me at email@example.com and we can set something up.
While we do cover adult events, we prefer to keep it family friendly.
Friday, July 23, 2010
You can't miss it, or the crowds.
Known for its amazing variety of plants and flowers, it has everything a gardener needs. Even if you're just starting out or you're a pro from way back, Lukas Nursery has what you need.
And if you have kids who are antsy and need some fresh air (and an educational experience at the same time), Lukas Nursery has you covered.
With the only Butterfly Conservatory in the Central Florida area, Lukas Nursery has a bazillion (okay, maybe not a bazillion but it sure feels like it when they are fluttering all over the place!) butterflies that swoop past you and even land on your shoulder (and your head!). Kids can learn about all the different species of butterflies, how to identify them and how they turn from caterpillar to butterfly.
Admission for the Lukas Nursery Butterfly Encounter is $5.00 per adult or child.
If you want a little more information about butterflies, the nursery offers guided tours as well. Admission for the guided tours are $7.00. The guided tours are limited to groups of 15 or more and require a reservation (Reservations can be made by calling 407-365-6163 ).
Lukas Nursery is located at 1909 Slavia Road Oviedo, Florida 32765 and is open 7 days a week.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I try to ignore it, hoping in the back of my mind that I'm hearing things or that maybe the monitor has picked up some other kid stirring in their bed.
Then the noises get louder, a little more demanding saying: Mom, I'm awake and so should you be.
I, literally, drag myself out of bed, stumble across the wall to get you from your crib.
We plop down on the couch and you nurse while I pray silently in my head that today will be different. I pray that today you will fall back asleep while nursing and I can put you back in your crib and float back to my own bed and crash.
Because I am seriously tired lately.
But no luck.
None at all.
5 am (sometimes sooner!) is your wake up call and I want to weep.
Who the heck gets up that stinkin' early?
Oh, that's right: YOU!
I love you to death, would do anything for you, but does it really have to include a 5 am wake up call?
Who the hell can function at 5 am?
Oh, yeah... you.
Not me though.
At 5 am, I'm cranky.
Especially because there's nothing on TV at 5 am to watch.
And because my days never end earlier than 10pm, add in an hour to shower and maybe spend some time with the hubby and you're talking 11pm before I can even think about crawling into bed.
Don't forget to add in the night wakings from you (last night was a record six!) and you can see why I'm so cranky, right?
Can't you have some pity on your poor old, tired Mommy?
And make sure it's in the form of me, laying motionless on a bed for hours without interruption.
Let me know if you can do this for me.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Even if you’re having the worst day of your life, a special delivery of heavenly smelling flowers or delicious food can turn it all around.
ProFlowers is a specialist in bringing smiles to people’s faces. With tons of baskets (and even more flowers, balloons, plants, you name it), ProFlowers can make everyday a special day.
The other day I received the Ghirardelli Chocolate Basket… and I have to be honest with you: It went fast.
People in my house, love chocolate so as soon as the delivery guy left it was ripped opened and all the yummy treats called for.
Full of chocolate, the basket comes with a huge red hot chocolate cup, a mixture of dark and milk chocolate.
The hot chocolate was so yummy and even though it was 90+ degrees outside. I enjoyed it, oh so much.
Try as I did, I could not find fault with this gift basket. The trendy little basket all the chocolate comes in has even been re-purposed as a catch-all for my nightstand.
You can order your own yummy baskets, or send it as a gift by calling ProFlowers or ordering directly online.
I participated in a blogging campaign with ProFlowers and received a basket of treats for my time. All opinions are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more details.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Energizer and the BareFootMommies are running a contest for a $2000 scholarship to go to BlogHer 2010 in New York City. In this contest, entrants are supposed to write about why they should be a "Chargher" and represent Energizer at the biggest, baddest conference around town.
So I mulled it over and decided: what did I have to lose?
Seriously, if I spend some time type up all my interesting, amazing and talented attributes what am I going to lose? Besides, if I lose (he he) you all will get to find out how interesting, amazing and talented I am!
Like you don't know already though, huh?
Okay, here we go.
The reason I, SuZ, should be a Chargher for Energizer batteries at the BlogHer 10 Conference is because I am desperate to get away from my life for awhile (haven't heard that before, have you?).
Once again, seriously. Let's take a look at my life.
I am a breastfeeding Mama to a 5 month old so I don't attain much sleep. Add into that fine mix a 3 year old toddler who has suddenly become so over-enthusiastic that it makes me raise an eyebrow when she launches into her tirades. Oh, and don't forget my husband... my dear husband of 9 years. The one that is so busy I have to actually pencil time in the datebook to see!!
Oh, wait... there's the 40+ horses on our property, the two dirty pigs, two shedding dogs that whine all day long, one tabby cat who eats rats. The rows of corn, green beans and carrots and the in laws that reside along with us on 24 acres of hot, hot, hot Florida sun.
Wow... that's a lot huh?
See why I need a break?
I need to bust out of this redneck paradise and go to a fancy city that requires you wear more than Adidas shorts, a sports bra and flip flops. I need to escape to connect with my fellow Moms and soak up swag. I need to get out there, bust out of my comfort shell and meet all these amazingly intelligent and talented (do you see a theme here?) women and feel apart of something huge and that has absolutely nothing to do with horse poop!
Besides I clean up nicely and am willing to promote Energizer like a crazy lady.
If I'm picked I promise not to even pack a single pair of flip flops or anything camo.... I swear.
We had lots of tree to stake out.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Living in Florida during the summer months also means that it is stinkin' hot and you will, no doubt, need refreshing treats to make surviving the summer months easier on you.
The best way to stay cool in Florida: eat ice cream.
Breyers Ice Cream has a brand new, yummy treat on store shelves that is guaranteed to cool you down no matter what the temperature outside is.
The Smooth & Dreamy collection is ridiculously good and so ridiculously good for you. They have less fat, fewer calories and no artificial flavors or colors added in. The entire selection of Smooth and Dreamy treats is so delicious that you will want to try them all.
The collection includes ice cream bars and ice cream sandwiches that have to-die-for creamy ice cream and yummy treats mixed in. Some of the flavors include: Chocolate Caramel Brownie, Vanilla Caramel Chip, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Covered Strawberry, Vanilla Fudge Brownie (my fave!), and Triple Chocolate Chip.
The amazing thing about Breyers Smooth and Dreamy ice cream treats is that each one has 160 calories or less and 4-6g of fat per serving!
Yes, you read that right.
And you lucky Central Floridians get a shot to test taste Breyer's Smooth and Dreamy ice cream this month. The people of Breyers are hosting an ice cream event at the Florida Mall on the 24th.
The full event details are:
Breyers Smooth & Dreamy Ice Cream Bars and Sandwiches Complimentary Sampling Event
Orlando, FL The Florida Mall – (event will be held at the Mall entrance near Macy’s and M&M’s World)
Saturday, July 2411:00 AM – 6:00 PM
In addition to yummy tastings, the event staff will be handing out $1.00 off product coupons so you can rush to the store and purchase some treats for your own freezer.
And just one more thing, like contests? Breyers is hosting the Smooth and Dreamy Wheel of Delight. You can spin the wheel for great prizes and be entered to win the grand prize of $10,000 cash.
Enjoy and Good Luck!
I received free coupons to test out Breyer's Smooth and Dreamy collection. All opinions in my post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
It started on Sunday and ended late last night.
I packed, I moved, I pushed furniture across the floor.
And my girls now have their very own room.
And my husband and I have, for the first time in three years, a kid-free and toy-free room.
And last night... we were so sad.
We'd never had our own room. We loved having our girls so close.
We could cherish every sweet breath, rescue binkies and toys in record time... we could just sit and stare all night long.
Now we can to get up and cross the hall to savor any of your cuteness.
And we did that, repeatedly.
We're just not used to you being so far from us.
But you both slept so well... and we both slept so well.
And while we did wake up and go, "Wow, we slept!" We also rushed across the hall, scooped you up and brought you into our bed for a real good snuggle.
They say distance is good and I'll agree with them, for now, as long as you never go further than that hallway.
Posted by SuZ at 6:25 AM
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Posted by SuZ at 6:21 AM
Monday, July 12, 2010
Any kid that is a fan of Sid the Science Kid is in love with the microphone that Sid uses.
Sid the Science Kid is an inquisitive 5 year old that loves science. His own microphone is used to on interviews, when he jokes with his friends and when he sings the theme song.
Now Roo can sing along with Sid the Science Kid because the Sid the Science Kid Gotta Know Microphone is now on store shelves.
The Gotta Know Microphone has three buttons that each make a different noise, including the Sid the Science Kid theme song (which WILL get stuck in your head). There's also a fourth button that allows your kid to talk into the microphone and have it echo.
Roo loves this toy.
She is in the stage where she's learning to love to sing and dance and now she can dance along to the theme song and use the echo feature to sing, sing... and sing some more!
The only downfall we've found with the Gotta Know Microphone is that to really get the full effect of the echo feature, you have to literally put your lips on the microphone and talk loudly.
Besides that, the Sid the Science Kid Gotta Know Microphone is a must for any Sid the Science Kid fan.
I received the Gotta Know Microphone to review. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.
It's another game.
A battle of wills.
Who is stronger than who.
Who can outlast the other.
Picture this: two parents, snoozing away when a child starts whimpering.
This morning it was Roo whining that she had lost her tiny dinosaur.
I was determined to hold fast and not be the first one to get up, simply because I'm always the one to pop up and get the girls whatever they need while my hubby snores away.
I held motionless, hoping that he would make the first move.
And Roo continued to whine, "I want my tiny dinosaur."
I didn't even crack my eye open and he didn't even stir.
Ten minutes later, I lost. Ten minutes later, he still hadn't budged an inch! I got up, found the tiny dinosaur and promised myself that tomorrow morning I wouldn't lose. Tomorrow morning I would be the one that was snoring.
Of course, I know the same outcome will occur simply because he's stubborn... also known as a heavy sleeper.
Posted by SuZ at 7:39 AM
Friday, July 9, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
During their conversation, they heard the shriek of a whistle and of course, assumed that they weren't doing anything wrong.
The lifeguard at Rock Springs State Park deemed their nursing as inappropriate and demanded that they cover up.
Both Mothers knew of the Florida law that covers them to breastfeed in public (House bill no. HB 231 Fl. ALS 4; 1993 Fla. Laws ch. 4; 1993 Fla. HB 231
Fla. Stat. § 383.015, § 800.02 - 800.04, § 847.001 (later: § 827.071)) and told the lifeguard that they were doing nothing wrong.
Upon speaking to a supervisor regarding this incident, one mother was told that the law didn't cover federally funded state parks (which it does!).
In response to this event, nursing Mothers in Central Florida have planned a peaceful demonstration that breastfeeding isn't a lewd and lascivious act and they have the right to nurse in public, even in parks.
The details are as follows:
Date: Saturday, July 10, 2010
Time: 9:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Kelly Park, Rock Springs
Street: 400 East Kelly Park Road
City/Town: Apopka, FL
For more information and one of the mother's story visit this webpage on Facebook.
Now, I have to stop everything I'm doing and count the months in my head(and sometimes on my fingers).
Bad Mommy, I know.
I get that a lot... just ask your sister.
Anyways, you are going through a little regression in your attitude lately and I'd like to take this opportunity to ask you to stop it. I really love the carefree, crazy girl I had before. The one that never fussed and certainly never stuck out that lower lip.
I understand that you are going through lots of changes with your sister being here and becoming more and more demanding of my time. But in my defense, I do everything in my power to evenly give you both equal time.
And if I can't, Daddy swoops in and saves the day.
Speaking of Daddy, you are even more in love with him lately. He takes you out lizard hunting at dusk and for tractor rides during the day. He keeps you by his side, like his own personal sidekick. When he's not around, you repeatedly ask me where he is and when exactly he'll come back.
I have to tell you, he loves how you greet him at the door with a big smile and an even bigger: Daddy!
You're still fully potty trained and I, literally, burst with pride when you ask me to take you potty when we're out and about.
You can also sing your ABCs, count to 10, dance and love it when I read or sing to you.
We've been enjoying all this wonderful hot Florida weather and spending as much time as we can outside and near water. We go swimming in the pool, play at the splash park and make the use of the hose in the front yard.
Hopefully my next letter won't be so far off. I do my best, okay?
I love you very much.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I get it.
But in my defense, my hands have been full... with you!
Now, let me start this letter by saying thank you.
Having you has totally changed who I am as a parent. Having you in my life has made me more relaxed, more calm... and more sleepy.
With your sister, I was kinda uptight. I would watch her like a hawk, not let her do certain things or go off with certain people. Now, thanks to you, I am more lax.
You've taught me to chill out and just let things be.
But in regards to Roo, I have to say thanks to her because of her, I am this great parent with you. Because of Roo, I'm not stressed out, pulling my hair out by the roots and walking around like a zombie. Because of your big sister, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and you benefit because of this.
This month you roll over like crazy. I put you down and not even a second later, you've rolled on to your belly. You can roll all the way over too. You have mastered your exersaucer and your chunky little legs are getting stronger. You love to stand up and the exersaucer helps give me some free arm time because you love, love, love all the toys attached to it.
You're still teething which means that you drool all the time, and I mean, all the time. Your outfits are soaked by the end of the day and to be honest, smelly.
Because of said teething, you're not sleeping too hot. Once you slept like an angel only getting up once a night to nurse before passing back out. Now, you wake up 2-3x a night and sometimes, just to keep me on my toes, you like to wake up at 530am and have a party in your crib. And because no one wants to party alone, you demand I get up too.
It's okay though, like I said: I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
You and Roo are still going on strong. Like two crazy kids that love to play together. You literally light up the whole room when you see her.
And you still make mine and Daddy's heart glow. We love you so much and are so happy you are here.
But let's work on that sleeping thing, okay?
Monday, July 5, 2010
And since then I've discussed it with not only you, but all my friends, relatives, strangers on the street, etc.
And I think I've found my solution. Mind you, I said I think I've found a solution.
Since I started using my solution, we've gone from ten meltdowns a day, to one or two.
What is it, you ask?
It's something super simple: Using the right words.
My friend, a pre-school teacher, told me that she's constantly reminding her charges to use their words.
Taking this hint, I did it.
And I also started restructuring how I used my words.
Instead of telling Roo that we had to go because Turtle needed a nap, which turned into a 15 minute car ride home of tears, I told Roo that we needed to go have a cold drink and Popsicle because it was too hot outside.
And you know what, not a single tear was shed.
Since that revelation, I think about what I'm going to say to my oldest before I blurt things out and we've had a much happier toddler.
Meaning we've had a really happy Mommy.
Sure, she still has at least one a day, but sometimes they are about things that can't be avoided (like sorry, honey, no more fireworks) or (Daddy's working and can't take you on a tractor ride right this second). But the important thing is we are avoiding all those other mindless, mind-numbing tantrums by using the right words.
And usually the only tears you see in this family are mine, and they are ones of joy.
Posted by SuZ at 8:38 AM
Friday, July 2, 2010
And every night since that post, as I get up 3x a night, I want to weep when I think back to those nights when we only got up once a night.
Every morning I drag myself out of bed at 6am, feeling exhausted and drained.
And I go: Why?
Then I see the massive amounts of drool and the hand chewing, and realize that my baby is teething.
And I blame the teething for our lack of sleep.... at least, I think I do. I so damn tired that I don't know who to blame.
And I don't know how to fix it.
How in the world do I get back those blissful 8 hour stretches of sleep?
Roo was never a good sleeper, so with her I just trudged on through. But my Turtle is a totally different creature, one that mystifies me.
Help me get my sleep back, what do I need to do?
Posted by SuZ at 6:56 AM
Thursday, July 1, 2010
People told me, repeatedly, to be careful with Roo once Turtle came home because there was a chance that she could regress with certain things.
Like most mothers, I insisted my child would be fine.
And like most mothers, I was wrong.
Roo is backsliding... and fast.
It's nothing drastic or huge. She is still potty trained, she sleeps through the night, she eats her veggies, etc.
The problem is that she's acting... how do I say this... like a child.
Meaning she's easy to upset.
She cries if I tell her no. She ignores half of everything I say. She pouts.
Yes, I know this is how most children act, but Roo was different. She behaved. She listened.
She was a star child!
Now as she whimpers and sniffles besides me, I wonder what happened.
And yes, I know that she has a new sister in her life and I know that maybe I should cave in and give her what she wants and life will be easy again.
But the hard ass in me says that she can live without her taggie (her "lovie") for ten minutes while she plays.
The part of me that wants to cave is afraid that if I give her what she wants that I'll just start a vicious cycle that will never end.
Then once Turtle gets older, she'll pick up on Roo's spectacular behavior and model herself after her sister and then my hands will be full of two brats that can't behave.
I can't be that Mom.
I won't be that Mom.
For now, I'm just going to take huge, deep breaths and remind myself that this has to be a phase and that if I'm firm, yet soft, I can get her through this.
And never have to deal with it again... that is, until Turtle goes over to the dark side.
Posted by SuZ at 11:16 AM