Sunday, January 30, 2011

Just for Orlando Moms and Orlando area Moms

Calling all Orlando Moms and Moms of Multiples,
If you are a Mom of babies, toddlers, or preschoolers and you live in the Orlando area, specifically North Orlando cities. Check out North Orlando Sunshine Moms Playgroup!

Sunshine Moms is a active playgroup is for Stay At Home Moms of babies,toddlers,& preschoolers who are not yet in pre-school to meet each other for Park playdates, walks, indoor play centers, stroller/wagon walks, shopping, lunch, dinner, family outings, pool parties, library storytime, park storytime, splash parks, science center, art & crafts, sign language, learning, Theme Parks, Moms Night Out, and much more!!

All the moms in our group are very friendly. We are a very Twins, Triplets, & Higher order Multiples friendly group also! The organizer has twins as well as 12 other members to date with Twins and Triplets.

We also have a home preschooling group, within the group.

We hold most of our playdates in North Orlando area... Winter Park, Maitland, Casselberry, & Fern Park, as well as some in Altamonte Springs, Longwood, Lake Mary, Winter Springs, Oviedo, & Sanford. We also hold occasional playdates in Orlando & Downtown Orlando, and beyond.

Check it out!

It was warm outside today, so we got WET!

I went outside the morning to take out the dog, and realized hey' it's pretty warm out today! So while I was out there I filled out the water table. I did not get the kiddie pools out just yet but it was so nice today I figured the water table could not hurt!

They had a lot of fun! I was not in the mood to go all out so I just left the bounce house deflated today. Still much fun was had!

Water table! We have missed you!

fun in the sand box

bubbles, bubbles, everywhere!

ooh bubbles


bubbles and splashing!

fishing and blue skies

more sandbox and a visit from our dog!

this is what happens when you put sand in the water table 

bounce, bounce, bounce, STATIC!

LOOK at that HAIR!

more bubbles on the trampoline!

Mommy, I see dead people!!!

 So last night was like any other night. I put Graham and Parker to bed for the night, Parker fell asleep first. Graham was playing with some stickers in his crib but was not yet asleep, when suddenly he stood up in his crib and was VERY UPSET.


A lady man, is a woman.  Graham calls men a man but he calls women a lady-man. He has been doing this for a year now.

Just a side note, my twins are 2.5 years old. They turn 3 in April.

So anyhow I said no Graham there is no one there, go to sleep. However, He was very persistant and was becoming more and more afraid. So I went over and unzipped the crib tent and took him out. He was grabbing onto me like crazy and was very upset. I asked him what lady-man and he kept pointing RIGHT THERE RIGHT THERE. I turned on some lights and told him everything was fine. I asked him, once the lights were on and if he felt better. He said NO, THERES A LADY-MAN! I sat with him for a few minutes and told him to just tell the lady-man to leave and go away. He said GO AWAY LADY-MAN GO AWAY LEAVE. So then I said to him, ok so is the lady-man gone and can you go back to bed? He said no. but...................

I started walking to his crib I went to put him in it and he went BERSERK!!  He started screaming and his eyes got all big and he looked so frightened. He screamed and screamed no no theres a lady-man. He would not let me put him in his crib. Imagine trying to put a resistant cat into a cat carrier so you can take the cat to the vet. 

By this point I was feeling the heebeejeebes. If ya know what I mean. So I played along some more and said ok Graham where is the lady-man. He said shes in the kitchen. Well I walked in there and immediately felt really strange. Like the hairs on the back of my neck must have been standing on end. I had this weird chilly-ish feeling.

OK so I took him to the master bedroom, woke up Daddy and told him to just lay there with Daddy.

So wow that was pretty freaky!

One of my friends suggested on facebook that it if there was a ghost. saying they exist.....that maybe it was my Aunt Verna who died on Friday morning.

So whatcha think, shall I call in the Ghost Whisperer?  hehe

OK yes I know that Jennifer Love Hewitt does not really see people into the light for a living.


ON that note, I will remind you of BlogHopPalooza.  Be there or be square.

INTRODUCING The Star of the Blog World for January 2011!!!!!!
You will see this on the 5 hosts blogs and hopefully more blogs all throughout January!!! It is a month long mega blog HOP!!!!  Want more followers, get on board NOW!!!!



Your 5 Blog Hostesses
The Rules

1. follow the first 5 blogs..

2.leave a comment that they have followed so we may follow back.
optional BUT a GOOD idea for all

3.add the badge

4.feel free to blog about it and add linky

5.follow others and have a blast

Thursday, January 27, 2011

of Peanut Butter & Tea

Moms of Multiples need to de-stress at times, how do you de-stress?  I know a hot shower or bath helps sometimes, or a good swim, maybe a nice walk, or a great cup of tea!! Tea is a great all day de-stresser for anyone, especially Moms of Twins, Triplets, or more!!

I was just having some tea, so I thought maybe it would be nice to share it with you!

My Twins are always trying to get me to share my tea with them. I do let them sip some of my tea sometimes. I just have to limit which ones they sip. Certain herbal blends are not good for them at their age. Plus a lot of teas contain caffeine. Twin Toddlers on caffeine would be dreadful. eeek!

I love tea! I have been ordering it from a couple of pretty unique tea websites for quite a few years now. Before then, I just bought whatever looked good in Publix, Whole Foods, or Chamberlins.

One great one is Adagio Teas. They have some really nice teas. One great thing they have is the tea-of-the-month club. Adagio has an amazing array of loose leaf teas. Plus they have REALLY great teaware to easily brew your loose leaf teas in!!

My other favorite tea website is Republic of Tea.  They have fantastic tea. Most of the tea I have ever purchased from Republic of Tea has been bagged tea. I have purchased a few loose leaf teas from then though. If you are much happier with a bagged tea, Republic of Tea would be a great one to try then, They have a really cool perk that I love!! If you subscribe to their monthly tea catalog will arrive wrapped in plastic with a TEA SAMPLE INSIDE!! Talk about awesome!!! It is so nice to see that tea sample every month. Then I think, ooooh wonder what it will be next month!

Now, how about peanut butter. Who likes peanut butter?

Raise your hand if you do.
Well, ok well honestly I won't see your hand even if you do raise it. I can tell you that if someone asks me what I want for lunch, it sure as heck won't be peanut butter rolling off of my lips. However I have found a few REALLY cool alternatives to your average store bought traditional smooth or crunchy peanut butters. Let's face it, peanut butter is pretty darn boring, right?  Yes!!! Kids seem to like it, some kids that is. I can name off five kids who really do not care for it at all. Those would be my five kids.

I did some digging online several years ago and found some pretty great alternatives. How about Curry Spice Peanut Butter or White Chocolate Peanut Butter.... mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm  Now that sounds tasty! Well it just so happens that there are 2 companies that make some pretty crazy peanut butter flavors. One is unfortunately closed down now but they had a really amazing array of flavors, so I had to mention them too. I am not a peanut butter lover but these make me want a PB&J!

First off is Peanut Butter & Co. They ARE indeed still in business and I have actually caught a jar or two of there on the shelves of a Wal-Mart believe it or not! Peanut Butter & Co. has a really nice variety of flavors. Some are pretty darn impressive if you ask me. They make one called White Chocolate Wonderful that if you pair it with Raspberry Jam, it makes one heck of a sandwich!!! My kids were going on a field trip last school year and for that field trip the students were all asked to bring a simple bagged lunch that could be tossed in a trash can afterwards. My kids were really not cool with this at first. They said well can't we just take a lunchable? UHHHH NO! Lemme evaluate this situation. First off we live in FLORIDA and not in the panhandle where it can occasionally get super cold. We are in the Orlando area. The trip was during one of our warmest months, and if you take a brown paper bag lunch, you can not throw in an ice pack to keep it cold until lunch time rolls around. Could you imagine the nasty lunchable that sat in the bag from 6 am when they left the house to board the field trip bus until noon when they had lunch? EWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! So I had to get creative, needless to say. I picked up this white chocolate wonderful peanut butter and then said to myself what on earth would go best with this, and then it dawned on me.... RASPBERRY!! So, raspberry jam it was and wow was it incredible. They could not stop raving about their PB&J after the field trip. They wanted more and more and more of it!  Score one for Mom and Score one for Peanut Butter and Co!

The second Peanut Butter company I wanted to mention is the one that is now closed down. It was called PB Loco and their flavors were so wacky but so awesome! I am not really sure why the company closed but in my eyes they are a legend in the world of Peanut Butter. They had really crazy Peanut Butter flavors flavors like Asian Curry Spice, CocoBanana, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Sun Dried Tomato, Jungle Banana, Raspberry White Chocolate, Sumatra Cinnamon and Raisin, European Cafe Mocha, Sun Ripened Apricot, Dark Chocolate Duo, Creamy White Chocolate, Classic Crunchy, Classic Creamy.   Wild huh!! I bet once you read Sun Dried Tomato you might have thought to yourself, is she really talking about a Peanut Butter flavor here??  WELL I WAS!!! That is why PB Loco was a great name for that company. I really hope one day they re-open,  either that or Peanut Butter and Company decides to make more flavors and adds ones like PB Loco had! This site did a nice review of some of their flavors.

Barney Butter is not even Peanut Butter, it is Almond Butter!! YUMYUM! I really like this one and it is an excellent alternative for those with peanut allergies that do not have almond allergies. It is also a Gluten Free food!! Definitely check out Barney Butter!! It is quite tasty and very good on a sandwich!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

If it's gonna be THAT kind of party.........

*insert part of Beastie Boys song here*

Planning a child's birthday party can be quite stressful. There are so many details that go into a birthday party, and you sometimes are made to feel it has to be just perfect. This can not always be so, then again maybe every birthday is just perfect in it's own way. I guess you really have to set your limit of expectations and be happy with the way it goes regardless. I just finished planning my daughter Mackenna's 11th Birthday party. Once I really had a good location set up, the rest fell into line quite easily. Thank goodness!
My oldest daughter does not want a birthday party this year, so we will just go somewhere she wants to go on that day. She will be 15 this year, so I am sure it will be something like Busch Gardens or Islands of Adventure. who knows though, right?!?

My Twins are going to be 3 in April. I had pondered the idea of sparing everyone of the birthday party routine this year, however now I feel that I can not. One of my Twins talks about birthday parties, party hats, and sings the Happy Birthday song 3-4 times a day. MEEP! So, to rob them of a birthday party would make me feel like a jerk. The problem with birthday parties for my Twins is that we really do not have family here. The paternal grandparents (2 sets) are in an eternal feud and would not be caught dead in the same location, even if it meant the world to their Twin grandsons. The maternal side consists of Nana(my mom). The rest of the family are all out of state and unable to travel here for their birthdays. They were not even able to make it to their first birthday.

My Dad just retired recently and with his pre-existing health conditions it is costing him upwards of something like $700 per month for his health insurance. Due to this expense and the fact he is now responsible for several elderly relatives, he can not attend.

My Twins 1st and 2nd Birthday parties consisted of, as far as guests go....... Us, the paternal grandpa, his wife, and a few of her relatives, some of our playgroup friends, My mom, and my Moms best friend. They had a great party both years. It was really nice to have those who came, to attend. We had to have a 2nd mini party for them at the paternal Grandma's home both years due to the feud.

This year, I feel guilty.

I don't feel guilty to invite the very small amount of adult relatives that attend every year. I however do feel guilty inviting our playgroup friends. If I did not invite them, there would be no party. The only children at the party would be the Birthday Boys and my three older children ages 11.5, 12, and 14.5

I really value the friendships we have with our playgroup friends. However I now feel guilty inviting them to my Twins 3rd birthday party because when I asked a few of them recently what their birthday party plan will be for their child, several of them said they were only having their family over for small parties. So if they feel they would not want their playgroup friends at their child's birthday, does that mean they would appreciate not being invited to my Twins 3rd birthday too? Does it mean they can not afford a party that includes playgroup friends? Does it mean they feel strange mixing family with playgroup friends? What really does it mean?

I feel like if I do not invite them, there is no point of a party. What is a toddlers birthday party with no other toddlers there to enjoy it with? It's a bunch of bored adults eating cake off of a cartoon character paper plates with a colorful plastic fork. Uh......yeah.

What the heck do you do to entertain your bored adult guests and make it a fun party for your Twin toddlers if there are no other children at the party? Do you have them pin the tail on Grandpa? Do you have the Grandparents do some cartwheels?

I also feel like if I do invite them, they will be highly annoyed and feel obligated to either begrudgingly attend or make up some last minute lie/excuse to get themselves out of it.

Would it be easier if I just tell them gifts are not necessary? How do you make the parents happy and feel happy to come, not feel obligated to come while having no intentions of really wanting to be there?

What is the best way to have a birthday party that people want to attend?  I want our playgroup friends to continue to be our friends, not run for the hills to avoid being invited to another birthday party. Most of the playgroup friends that attended last year, did not invite us to their child's birthday when it came around. So, this makes me think that they would really appreciate not being invited. I just don't know.

Hanging at the shore'

Our playgroup now has a weekly playdate at this really cool store called Lakeshore. They have a lot of awesome teaching and learning supplies for children. The awesome store manager at Lakeshore hosts a weekly playdate for us. Some weeks we do a craft too! She has a space for us to let the kiddos play and they open up some toys for them to play with!! It's been really nice!

They love this giant marble ball drop toy 

They also love this food stand with cash registers and a board with fridge magnet gears. They have a lot of great toys and puzzles that my Twins have been enjoying. It gives me some good birthday gift ideas for them too! They turn 3 in April.


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