Ring Master MomJanuary 20, 2015Leave a comment

Healthy road trip snacks & entertainment ideas for toddlers

About once a year (okay okay, our average is really two!) we drive together as a family to Disneyland. It’s about 800 miles round trip and I have lots of ways to make the trip enjoyable for toddlers. Healthy snacks are key in my book, and so is creative entertainment.

When I was pregnant with Patrick and wandering the streets of downtown Sydney one morning with James, I was obsessed with finding fresh fruit. The only cafes for blocks had fried and heavy pastries, and I felt out of luck. I remember passing a 7-11 and remembering they had fresh fruit! I was in heaven as I scored a delicious pear and I’m here to let you know that you can find lots of great food on the road.

I know it’s easy to pack pre-cut veggies and other healthy snacks, but this post is all about what you can find at most gas stations or convenience stores. My criteria for finding healthy snacks are as follows:

*They cannot be messy. Alice is 3 and Patrick is 5 and there’s no way I’m buying them their favorite juice – Odwalla Green Machine. No I do not want them covered in green from head to toe the moment we hit a bump thankyouverymuch.

*No artificial colors. This rules out so many treats that are bad for you anyway.

*No sugary or salty snacks. There are sugar and salt added to a few items below, but it’s not in excess. No Big Gulps or Cheetos here!


There are lots of fruit options now with fruit cups becoming popular, but a lot of them include sugar in the syrup, so that didn’t make my cut. Apples, raisins, and bananas are nature’s perfect snack! Speaking of sugar, the yogurt does contain some, but much less than the others making it the less of two evils. And, it’s greek where most others are not, and sugar is an ingredient after fruit. It really defeats the purpose of eating yogurt with fruit if sugar is an ingredient before! I also found boiled eggs which my kids scarf down. Nothing added there! An item with salt are the nuts. Every bag of nuts I found had salt added, and this had the least amount and most variety. Last on my list is hummus. This came with pretzels which is a crunchy and creamy creation.

As a general rule, we don’t use the DVD player unless the trip is more than 4 hours. Our favorite things to do on road trips is listen to cds, books on tape, and color. I’ve included affiliate links below to items we use for the kiddos. Oh, who are we kidding – the Roald Dahl book on CD is a guilty pleasure of mine as well! I hope you enjoyed these ideas and safe travels.


Ring Master MomMarch 5, 20144 Comments

I am

a chauffeur
a gardener
a landscaper
a window washer
a cleaner
a wet nurse
a baker
a chef de cuisine
a nurse
a teacher
a farmer
a handyman
a swim instructor
a dance teacher
a photographer
a writer
a tickle monster
a swing pusher
a librarian

This list could be revised each day and never ending, but I think you get the point. I am asked constantly about what I actually do as a stay at home Mom. The best responses come from people who haven’t had kids – “Well, how fun for you to get to play all day and not have to work!” While it’s true that I do play, I also set up each craft, game, puzzle, meal, and any trip we take during the day. My goal in life was to become a mother, and I thank God every day for the blessing of a son and daughter.

This is the first moment I had Patrick placed in my arms. Note the lights are still bright which means someone under the picture is busy stitching me up. I was incredibly tired after 26 hours of labor and have no strength left to open my eyes. Yet my heart is full of love that I’ve never thought possible and any thought of pain or feeling uncomfortable has vanished at this point in time. Patrick grabbed my finger and I was instantly in love with him even more.

The next picture me holding Alice for the first time. Classic me – no makeup, just joy. The grin from ear to ear shows how happy I am that 13 hours of labor are now behind me.


A quote from Gretchen Rubin sums up my life right now quite perfectly. “The days are long, but the years are short.” Alice and Patrick keep me on my toes every day and the amount of love I receive is the richest payment of all.


Ring Master MomDecember 19, 2013Leave a comment

Disneyland 2013 – Day 3

Again, I have to say that one of the reasons to stay at the Grand Californian is early entrance to the park. It’s great to grab a fast pass for a ride you could never normally get on during normal hours (ahem, Cars) or enjoy a little quiet time with kids, get a fast pass for World of Color later that night.

The kids were excited to be at Disneyland again, but today we were at California Adventure. We started with the Little Mermaid ride which Alice declared her favorite. I loved watching her face in this ride since the Little Mermaid has always been my favorite movie. One of the best parts about being a parent is getting to relive your childhood but getting to see the wonder and their face light up as it happens.

We then visited Cars land and enjoyed several rounds of rides when James got that look in his eye. The one that lets me know he’s up to no good. Yesterday Patrick did not enjoy Splash Mountain, but did go on it and no tears were shed. James asked Patrick if he wanted to go on the Tower of Terror (yet another ride that the minimum height is 40” and Patrick is that exact height) to which PJ actually said yes. People, I do not let my parents go on this ride for fear they will have a heart attack. We explained that it’s pretty scary and he still said he wanted to go on with Daddy.

I knew it wouldn’t end well, so while the boys went off to scare the crap out of themselves, I went with Alice to get an iced coffee and special treat for later. Horray for Starbucks in California Adventure and the cute cups they have there.

I got a cookie also because I had this horrible feeling that Patrick would never go on another ride again after the ToT. We met up with the boys after coffee, and sure enough, poor Patrick did not enjoy himself. I think his exact words were that he didn’t love it and he wanted to sit for a while. He and Alice split a cookie while we walked around and found cute things we’ve never seen before inside California Adventure.

We found a spot serving beer and had lunch there since there was a place for the kids to run around.

And one has to have a Mickey pretzel for traditional purposes.

After lunch was a minute walk back to the hotel and then back for more fun. We’ve never really explored California Adventure before so it was nice to walk at our own pace and decide what we wanted to go on again or try for the first time. I know there are many more rides and places to explore, too! This jellyfish one was a first time for our family

And then we wandered back to Bugs Land and Cars Land to round up the day

Oh, and I guess we did stop to take a picture with a character. No real wait for this, so it kinda seems like it doesn’t count. Alice wanted to take a picture but got scared at the last moment. Thank goodness for Daddy cuddles.

We had dinner reservations at a new restaurant for me, and I wasn’t totally impressed. It’s hard when you’ve had the Napa Rose two nights before, but it seemed pretty basic. They did serve wine (always a plus) and this was a nice salad, so it wasn’t a total bust. Just have to be in the lookout for another place to eat next time.

The evening ended with us getting bundled up

and lots of bubbles with glowing bubble guns in the dark. The kids decided it was time for bed (ha, I finally wore them out!!) so we skipped the World of Color for jammies and bed. Walking through the lobby, we got a chance to hear the Christmas carolers in full costume. I love the little touches at the Grand Californian.

And the best part of the day was once we were in our room and I had finished getting jammies on Patrick and Alice, I heard fireworks off in the distance. I then noticed a flash of light against our window and low and behold, we had a perfect view of the Disneyland fireworks so we cuddled up on our balcony to watch together. What a special treat and perfect way to end our trip together.

Of course the last morning calls for beignets before we check out

And if you’ve been paying attention, yes I had my kids wear matching shirts the last 3 days! Well, the first day was Mickey and Minnie, but I am obnoxious and got matching Buzz Lightyear ones too. Alice is Patrick’s little shadow so whatever he does, she does. It’s cute that she’s into the stuff he likes right now, too.

On our drive back, James and I started talking at the same time about how great this vacation was together. Despite a long car drive there and back, being with a 2 & 4 year old non-stop, we really didn’t feel exhausted. You know that saying that when you’re a parent you need a vacation after your vacation? James and I decided that this was the first time that wasn’t the case. And we are all talking about when our next trip will be.


Ring Master MomDecember 17, 2013Leave a comment

Disneyland 2013 – Day 2

We are really lucky that several years ago, we received a code in the mail for a huge discount at the Grand Californian despite us having never stayed there before. James and I stayed at many cheap hotels nearby but now that we had kids, it was nice to find someplace quiet and extremely close. Proximity is a huge thing when I have napping kids, too. I love to get them into bed before they nap – something hard to do leaving Disneyland as any parent knows! Staying here gives us an early entrance to the park along with tons of perks like finding a fast place to grab food. Mickey waffles are a great hit with toddlers, and we hit up White Water Snacks in the hotel because there’s never a line and it’s a great quiet place to relax before we hit the park.

Also, the kids don’t really know about taking dining or pictures with characters and Alice isn’t into the whole princess thing (yet!) so it’s nice that we can walk around and enjoy rides together. I know that can change the next time we go, so I’m thankful for the amount we were able to go on.

We hit up Fantasy Land first since there are so many original rides here with horrible lines once the park actually opens. Of course the first ride I drag the kids on is Snow White’s Scary Adventure. Alice was a little clingy after that, but loved the carousel and Patrick of course was begging to go on the teacups.

And Alice would not go on Dumbo because her beloved horsies were in close proximity, so Patrick and I got to fly high up in the air

We hit up lots more rounds of fun nearby, and then went on Pirates a ton and the Disneyland Railroad cause the kids love trains.

Lunch was our usual spot – the Blue Bayou. I’ve been coming here since I was a little girl, and I love how quiet and relaxed a meal can be while inside Disneyland. It’s incredible to sit and enjoy the quiet bayou noises and recharge. They’ve upped their menu this year, which is always a plus in my book.

And brought out a special dessert for James. His birthday is the day after Christmas which makes it hard to celebrate because not many places are open and if they are, they’re packed. We always do a birthday “day” here for him.

I was thrilled that after lunch, I was able to talk Patrick on going on Splash Mountain with me. He is my cautious guy and while he did not cry on the ride, he said it wasn’t his favorite after the big drop. Fair enough, and I was so proud that he went on with me. He is 40” tall, and that’s the minimum height.

After that, we hit our hotel for a nice nap and then back to play! We had never been on the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh before, and the kids asked to go on that one again and again and again. It was perfect because it had no line, nothing scary to freak Alice out, and didn’t get old for James and I. And, there was a great little place to grab some sweet treats. I get a caramel apple every time I go, and it’s always different. This year it was a hunny pot complete with bee. Hee hee!!

Lots more rides and then dinner at Rancho del Zocalo for my fave – fish tacos! It’s another relaxing place that I never feel rushed and can catch my second wind for rides at night! It was great to end on this one since it was Patrick’s first ride as a baby

And then time for some beautiful lights

and fireworks!

We always grab some popcorn before they start and enjoy the magic together.

One reason I love going to the park during December is how beautifully decorated everything is.

The planner in me wants to know when they start decorating, where they store everything, how it’s kept for next year, what they do to improve decorations, etc. My brain never shuts up about this stuff – but I kinda love that I don’t have to do it. :)

I know there are a thousand more things we could have done: rides, character pictures, parades, etc, but it is just so nice to have kids at this age who want to relax and go on rides. It makes for a great day together.


Ring Master MomDecember 15, 2013Leave a comment

Disneyland 2013 – Day 1 – Arrival

I will never forget how different it was when I started dating James. His world seemed fast and he was confident and ready for an adventure. A few months into dating, we were grabbing breakfast at a Google cafe when a friend asked what plans we had that weekend. James shrugged and said, “I dunno, Disneyland?” and we both sort of laughed. But with the whole weekend to ourselves before kids, we thought, “Why not?” James had a great time, and loved it much more than he thought he would. I had only been twice as a child, but we started going twice a year until we had Alice. The last 5 years we’ve gone in December and stayed at the Grand Californian which I believe makes all the difference.

Just the top half of the lobby tree. I think they added juuuust a few more lights from last year’s tree.

We had been going with my parents the last few years which really made the trip magical. They would switch taking kids on rides, I’d nurse, then I could go on a few with James, and they’d spoil the grandkids rotten! We also had a tradition of dining at the Napa Rose for dinner but not all together. They’d eat first, then come back to the hotel and tuck the kiddos in bed while James and I had a nice quiet meal to ourselves. Since my Mom’s still in isolation, she and my Dad couldn’t make it this year.

James and I have never not taken Alice and Patrick to a restaurant because it hasn’t been deemed “kid-friendly.” This is something I tell all my Mommy friends who want to know what to feed their kids just learning how to eat, or when to take them to a restaurant. Kids eat whatever you’re eating, so give them everything. And we took Patrick out to eat the first night out of the hospital (hello, Mommy wanted sushi!!) and checked out early with Alice to go grab a dinner at a steakhouse. There’s no such thing as kid-only restaurants. I say that any place that serves food is a place I take my family. We do not do phones or electronic distractions as meal time is a chance to hang out, catch up, and enjoy food. Of course I would never take my kids places if they got up and down, screamed, or threw things. I’m really glad that they’re well behaved and enjoy their food.

The Napa Rose is a restaurant James and I enjoy dining at for their long meals, great wine list, and seasonal menu. We arrived at our hotel on Monday and walked around, unpacked, relaxed, then it was time for dinner. We arrived a few minutes early and got a table in front of the fireplace and James ordered a glass of wine while I started with my fave there – their Napa Rose cocktail.

My Mom bought Alice this dress last year at Disneyland since they didn’t have one in her size at the time. She was finally able to fit in it, so I thought it would be a perfect night to wear it for my Mom. Alice could not stop adjusting her skirt to make sure everything looked perfect.

We started our meal with a few salads to share with the kiddos. This was the baby field greens with marinated cucumbers. Alice is on a huge cucumber kick so she pretty much devoured all cucumbers in sight.

And we also had the tempura fried lobster with asian greens. The kids did not enjoy the lobster (horray, more for me) but I love that they tried it.

Alice ate one of my favorite sides, the truffle mac & cheese served in the cutest baby copper pot.

I had the grilled Black Angus beef tenderloin, hazelnut potato gnoochi, and brussel sprouts. Patrick also wanted to order the beef tenderloin, but I was able to talk him into sharing with me. Boy did he love this dish! James had the sauteed venison, hunter sausage, pork roast, and bortolli beans. James loved his so much that now I have get to cook him venison. I doubt I will get anywhere close to the Napa Rose, so if you have a recipe, send it my way!

The chef suggested the ice cream sundae for Patrick and Alice, and this is what showed up so they were pretty much in heaven.

James ordered the chocolate mousse and Patrick requested the gold flake. He cracks me up.

I had the salted caramel cake but in true Jeannette fashion, ate around the chocolate. I like ordering desserts like this for James cause I know he’ll eat it up. :)

It was an incredibly relaxing evening with a few of my favorite people and I think we should do long dinners more often.


Ring Master MomSeptember 17, 20134 Comments

Flying with babies & toddlers

My first experience flying with a baby was when Patrick was 4 months old, and we flew from San Francisco to Sydney. I was a little nervous thinking about how he would do on the flight since it is a 14 hours long, but he was such a happy baby overall that it was a pleasant experience for everyone. I’ve broken this post into flying with babies and toddlers with two lists.

Flying with babies

If you’re a nursing Mama, wear a cute and lightweight scarf. Even if you have to plop it in a tray while going through security, it’s handy to have if your baby gets fussy during takeoff and you have to shove em on your boob to get him to start swallowing to save his ears. It’s perfect so you don’t have to go searching through a bag for a cover and you can use it to play peek-a-boo later!

I would take everything you’d normally carry in your diaper bag for a regular trip out (diapers, wipes, scented plastic bags, bottle, onesie, etc) plus:
Extra shirt for you (this was not needed for any of my trips), but I figured on a long flight, I might want to change when I landed. You never know what sort of fun stains you’ll have after a long flight.
Pacifier for ears – yes I said ears. If you don’t use one, be prepared to nurse during takeoff/landing to help your little one’s ears adjust without tears.
Banana or soft snack (if baby is old enough) and be prepared to ditch it if not eaten before entering another country.
Rattle/chewing toys to distract (rattle toy from amazon, sophie)
Their favorite plush toy and blanket for cuddles.

I bought two new chewing toys for our trip to Australia because they were super cheap and something fun for a little baby. I think that the mixture of a new toy plus their favorite snuggle/bedtime toys is a great way to keep a baby entertained on a flight of any duration.

I kid you not – this is patrick after his first flight. We had been at the airport two hours early for our international flight, flew over to another hemisphere, went through customs, immigration, grabbed luggage, and this is him still at the airport, meeting his Nanna and Grandad for the first time:


Flying with toddlers

My Mommy advice for flying with toddlers who have recently been potty trained – for a big flight, you may want to keep a diaper on for the flight. I know it goes against any training you’ve done with your child, but it worked for me and here’s why I did it. I know that sometimes there’s turbulence and the fasten seatbelt sign stays on for a while. You don’t have any control of when that will be turned off, and rather than a big accident on the plane, you can prevent this. I told my son who was potty trained a few months prior to a 14 hour flight that he was going to wear a diaper, but to tell me when he needed to go potty. He needed to go twice, once when it was okay to use the bathroom, and once when we had a huuuge stretch of turbulence. This was a lifesaver for me.

I pack the following for our flights with 2 toddlers, whether it’s a “quick” 5 hour flight, or our long one down unda.

Magna Doodle for endless drawing, shape creations, number or letter practice. The possibilites with this toy are endless. And, I love that there’s no markers to draw on other items like the tray table, seat, window, etc, and that the “pen” is attached so there’s nothing to accidentally drop and search for under your seat.
Sippy cup (if your child has recently graduated from a bottle) Stewardesses love happy kids, and will always stop to ask if you need any more water or milk for your child.
iPad/DVD player with favorite games or movies. We haven’t gotten to the point of having to use this yet, but we’ve got it on backup just in case.

As my kids get older, I’m sure the list will expand to include chewing gum for takeoff, chapter books, and audio books/new games for the iPad.

When we fly to Australia, the flight leaves around 11 pm and there are almost no other international flights at that time at SFO. This is great because you can get through security quickly, and have lots of time to roam around a few stores. I take this opportunity to let my kids pick out a snack of fruit/crackers and grab a new small book. This gets this kids moving around for a nice walk to help pass the time, especially since the international part of the airport is quiet at this time of night.

And I’m adding a “keeping it real” pic:

This is what I look like after a 12 hour delay on a 14 hour flight. They turned off the lights for the flight and my poor brain was confused as to what time it was. Note that Alice is in her jammies. I always have my kids in jammies for long flights as I think it’s the comfiest thing for them to be in and I don’t have to change them if they fall asleep on me at any point.

My last helpful hint is to pack some sort of sweet treat for your flight for others. I picked up several Toblerone once we were through security and handed them out once we were seated on the plane the nearest 6 people around us letting them know we were flying with a baby for the first time. It was a great ice breaker and people even offered to hold Patrick if I needed a little time off. Bribery works at any age!!

What are your favorite things to pack and play with on a flight when you travel with your children?


Ring Master MomSeptember 11, 20136 Comments

Every Mom is a Super Mom

I have been writing this post for a month. Every time I come back to it, it somehow feels incomplete. After taking a moment to reflect on the events that happened 12 years ago, I’ve decided today is the day to share. As I pray for peace, I also pray that we stop tearing each other down, and can lift each other up.

I am tired of seeing articles written about Pinterest and “Super Moms” that bash and judge. So what if someone wants to make homemade sprinkles with no artificial colors for their kids. Maybe they’re allergic. Maybe they enjoy baking. The author claims to be “too busy” yet are whining about other people’s lives. How about focusing on yourself!!

I just read another article written by a woman about “bitchy” Moms who do it all – with the response: fuck them!! What the does this even mean?? Because someone chose to write a note in their kids’ lunch, you call them a bitch…really? Where then does one draw the line between being a Mom and a bitch? And why again and we calling each other names?

Everyone is given 24 hours in a day. What you chose to do with it is your business. I love making fun lunches for my kids to get them excited about different veggies but that doesn’t mean I do that crap in the middle of the night. I’m relaxing with James watching re-watching 30 Rock for the hundredth time.

I am amazed at my friends who are starting their own businesses or climbing the corporate ladder. I am in awe of the things they can do (or remember to do!!) after having kids. Some have killer gardens or bake perfect macarons. Because I can’t do these things, should I feel guilty and start name calling?

Most of my days are spent with play-doh in my hair or rinsing chicken poop from the backyard steps. It’s not glamorous, but it’s fun for me and I love being creative with my kids. That is my choice; what I choose to do with my 24 hours. I don’t train for marathons or wear makeup. I look like a hot mess some days because I don’t have a cleaner or landscaper or babysitter for my kids. And that’s what I do with my time. It’s not better than yours or worse. It’s what I do for my family.

I really wish that women would stop hating on Pinterest as if their husbands demand a clean and organized house like tons of the pins there. If you don’t want to use it, don’t use it! It’s not designed to put any pressure on you. It’s designed to share and exchange ideas. Women – we need to come together and celebrate all the wonderful and crazy things in life together. Like how every dirty sock somehow needs my help to make it to the hamper. Let’s sit back, share a bottle of wine and enjoy life rather than bring each other down. We’re ALL supermoms with different talents and gifts. I hope we can share information and ideas to make life easier and more fun. We are all good enough and deserve better than name calling. I’m hoping we can come together to see that we really have much more in common than we think.



Ring Master MomSeptember 4, 20135 Comments

It takes a village

Most of us know the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” and those words seem to ring true once you’re a parent!

James has been working later than usual the past month or so and just left for NYC for work last week and is off for 22 days with Patrick in Australia.  On those late nights, I’ve been doing what I’ve been dreading – making two dinners.  I hated the thought of this when my kids were little because I didn’t want them to eat different food than what I ate.  The only reason I’m doing this is to enjoy a nice warm meal with my hubby rather than eating an earlier dinner with the kids.  It’s so much better sharing a bottle of wine with someone!!

I also want to acknowledge that I’m not complaining at any point.  I always wanted to be a Mom when I grew up and there’s nothing more I love than staying at home with my kids.  We’re not from a military family so I have no idea what other parents actually go through with having to deal with their loved one far away for so long.  This is not a whine post – but an actual question about time management.

Sometimes as I’m picking weeds or mowing the lawn I wonder if I should have someone come and do this.  Or scrub my tubs.  Or even cook a meal or two now and then.  I have friends who have landscapers, maids, chefs, and often wonder when is the time to pass the torch to someone else.  Do I need to since I’m a stay at home Mom?  Also, maybe I should get a babysitter more often so James and I can enjoy a night out and about.  Or maybe just time to recharge for myself.

What do you pay someone to do that you’re just done with?  Or what do you dream of paying someone to do?  Does your significant other give you a special window of time to enjoy yourself – like a Sunday morning coffee/walk through the park with no kids?  I’m curious as to what other families do with their time/money.  It takes a village to raise a child, and I’m thinking someone else from my village needs to give Mama a quick break!  What works best with your family?


Ring Master MomAugust 27, 2013Leave a comment

Dining out with kids

My husband and I love eating out.  Having kids did not change that.  The first night out of the hospital with Patrick we were at our favorite local sushi restaurant.  I wasn’t sure how I would hold up – hello – I just pushed a baby out of me and my nether regions were slightly sore to say the least.  Stitches, squirt bottle…you know how it is, Mommies.  My husband assured me that if we needed to bail, I could hop in the car and he’d get dinner boxed up with our newborn and we could head home.  The contingency plan gave me the confidence to relax and enjoy a meal out.  We did the same thing when Alice was born, but this time we upped the ante and went to a steakhouse.  I checked myself out of the hospital early (Mama wants a nice hot meal!!) and we were all 4 eating dinner together as a little family when Alice was just about a day old.

Eating out with a newborn

I’ve had several friends approach me and ask how I would ever dare enter a restaurant with such a tiny bundle of joy but to be honest; it’s the easiest time to take little ones out.  Right around dinner time when they wake up you change em, feed up, and get your butt to your favorite place to nosh!  As a new Mother you will looove feeling normal again.  You can always let your server know that you may have to jump ship at any moment and to have the check ready on the early side.  It’s amazing how great they “act” at this age, too.  Once you feed them when they’re this young, they’ll probably just go back to sleep!  Keep ’em in a car seat with a blanket over so it’s nice and dark and enjoy your time off!!

These are my favorite blankets for draping since they’re incredibly breathable and are long enough to drape over the whole car seat.

Eating out with toddlers

Toddlers are a trickier bunch.  They want to eat right away, sit on your lap, eat whatever you’re eating even if it’s something they’d swore they’d never place in their mouth again.  I find that distractions along with ordering their food right away will increase your success in an adventure in dining with little ones.

I attached velcro pieces on colored popsicle sticks and have a great toy to make letters or shapes as we wait for our food to be prepared.  Patrick is all about making a few letters together as he’s figuring out how to spell and I’m amazed at how long he’ll play with this – even when his food arrives!

And look – Mama is hands free to enjoy her dinner and drink!!  Coloring kits to the rescue!!

I’ve got my Mommy Manners hat on here.  This is my two cents whenever dining out, ESPECIALLY when you’re at your favorite local watering hole.  Picking up after yourselves is not that hard to do.  Cleaning up crumbs that your kids have spilled will get you great service in the future and it’s known to get us an extra dessert in the past.  Not that we need it, but quick swipe with a wet wipe on the table from your crumb tornadoes is something that I think everyone should do.  It’s also just good manners to show your children to appreciate their food and their server.  Serious pet peeve of mine and I’m stepping off my soapbox now.  😉

Kids won’t always be perfect, either.  You have to remember that they’re not the best at expressing when they’re tired or overstimulated.  The only way I could get through dim sum the other day was to have Alice “help” me eat my food.  She saw me spoon oyster sauce on my bok choy and thought that I should do that for every bite of food I ate.

Not every excursion will be perfect, but they can be manageable.  Cheers!


Ring Master MomAugust 26, 2013Leave a comment

Getting down and dirty

Patrick is 3 (4 tomorrow!!) and Alice is 2.  This is a wonderful age for touching any and everything outside and making messes!!  I encourage finger painting (usually outside) and digging in the mud.  I feel like these last few weeks it’s been a different mess every hour.

We’ve done yogurt cleanups (why did she put both hands in the container?)

Dirt and watermelon mess

Aftermath of running around on a pop up park

And of course – mud!!

I’m thankful for the outdoor hose to get a quick rinse before tossing the kiddos in the tub.  Luckily they are obsessed with bubbles and scrubbing the dirt off to get all clean.  I swear this has been a lifesaver during bath time.  What are your favorite ways to get your little ones clean?