10 Hobbies That Make Your KIDS SMARTER!

10 Hobbies that Make your Kids Smarter!

Oh, Nesting…

pregnancy-9Months

I’m in the 9th month of my pregnancy and just about two weeks shy of my due date! I figured I should get a few words in before the big arrival of Little Little. Especially since it’s looking like he may be here sooner than expected. I’m currently dilated to 4 cm and 70% effaced. My contractions have been more frequent, yet not too close together. I never was dilated with Baby Baby at any of my appointments, so it’s hard to even think my body is preparing itself without me being in active labor, lol.

Bumps & Cuddles <3

9-Month Bumps & Cuddles <3

The 9th month hasn’t been so bad, some days are better than others but for the most part my energy has been great. I tapered down on my running early July but stayed active in my Mommy & Me workouts up until now. I’ve kept the mentality if I feel good and I have the okay from my Doctor, then go for it. For a little bit mentally I was getting stressed, the saying one is one and two is twenty was floating around a lot. It was making me nervous about what I’m going to be venturing into next on my journey through Mommyhood. However, I’ve been able to relinquish my worry through prayer and I know that this gift I’ve been given to bring another child into this world is God’s plan, my plan and purpose.

The past two weeks I finished up last minute purchases, organized our home for the 100th time, and my family hosted a baby sprinkle for me. One of the biggest things I’ve tried doing is taking advantage of the time I get to spend with my husband and son. It’s crazy to think it’s not going to be just the three of us. I know the transition into a family of four is going to be a challenge. A learning experience, as always…but a precious one. I’m praying that I get to continue to feel these kicks for a couple more weeks but, we’ll have to see. When it’s time, it’s time <3

Raising My Children to be Socially Aware


With the tragic events that have occurred over the last few weeks across the United States as a Mother to young children I ask myself, “how should I raise my children in today’s society?”

Of course, there has always been tragic events throughout history. I remember as a child the Rodney King Riots in Los Angeles. I grew up about 45 miles south of LA and the impact still traveled across the United States in a series of events. I was only 7 years old but I was scared. We couldn’t venture outside and I stayed home from school for a week. A child to a young Mother we never spoke about what was going on around us, her goal was just to keep my sisters and I safe. I can’t help but think how it would have been better to speak about the event. At 7 many wouldn’t think a child would understand but I knew the difference between black and white, it was enough to open a conversation.

Over the course of my childhood, I started to analyze and break apart how I picked up on current events. Most issues were discussed during school, church, and with friends. Information was delivered so much more differently then it is now and with the growth of technology I can’t help but think how much will get to my kids before I do. So I compiled some concepts to how I plan to raise my children to be socially aware and have the skills to address whatever issue is going on. While it may be a difficult task to monitor what’s going on in the community, giving a child the tools to develop a social conscious of their own will help them throughout their life.

  1. Faith – This is a solid concept that everyone may not agree with but one that my children will grow up with. Everything happens as planned. There are no accidents, yet a bigger picture we are yet to see. I believe if their foundation is built in faith, they will understand why things are the way they are.
  2. Diversity – Promoting diversity from the toys my children play with to the value of understanding different cultures. I want my children to gain perspective so that they can take in everything with an open mind.
  3. Privilege – Addressing privilege is vital in growth. I want my children to have a grasp of our history and understand why there are differences between specific groups. Teaching my children what privileges they may have or not have is important early on. This will allow them to understand issues that arise in our community at an early age and how they should address them.
  4. Volunteerism – Teaching my children the value of serving our community. This can be within our church community, at school, and possibly a local shelter. I want my sons to know what it’s like to be selfless. I believe by having them give their time to those that need it will let them witness why specific issues create conflict or exist in our world.
  5. Open Discussion – As my children get older, I want them to be able to come to me about anything they have questions about. Whether a news article or something they don’t agree with at school. Being able to be open is what family is all about.

Overall, I want my children to know as much as they can before they begin to dissect a situation. Raising socially aware children is one of the most important priorities a parent should have in order to take on what world issues we will face tomorrow. The more children are aware of justice, equality and fairness, the better they will be able to help build a good community.

 

 

Family & Maternity Pictures

A few weeks ago we made our first trip back East since the move to California! It was a bittersweet feeling for me going back, I found so much of myself when I lived on the East Coast. It’s where I got my life together, finished my education, and became a Mother.

I love this! Precious moments year by year!

Awwww, I love this! The growth of our family in 4 years <3

We had so much planned for just a week and a half trip, from a Baby Sprinkle to a trip to Delaware! In between all of that we were fortunate enough to have Beckah, whose not only our good friend but a photographer in town shooting a wedding. She offered to take our maternity and family pictures. So, of course we jumped at the offer! If you’ve followed my blog you know that http://www.herewithyouphotography.com has captured all our family’s precious moments. From our gender reveal with Baby Baby, Engagement, to the Wedding! We love her work!

Here are a few or our favorites from the shoot:

Mav+Heidi2016_Web-10 Mav+Heidi2016_Web-08 Mav+Heidi2016_Web-09 Mav+Heidi2016_Web-07jpg Mav+Heidi2016_Web-06 Mav+Heidi2016_Web-05 Mav+Heidi2016_Web-03 Mav+Heidi2016_Web-04

One thing I didn’t miss while on the East Coast was the humidity, lol! Besides that it was a fun trip and great to enjoy the little East Coast pleasures we don’t have here on the West!

“I’ll never want it back. The direction that you’ve gave me. Nothing can replace what I’ve gained. Time grabs me by the shoulders. No one know how it feels to move over.” -NFG

Happy Easter!

 

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from our family to yours! We had an eventful Easter weekend consisting of church services, running, egg coloring, egg hunts and family dinners. Spring is such a special time of year for us and spending it with each other is a blessing. I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!

Busy-Mom Secrets for a Clean House

As a mom you probably have high standards when it comes to housekeeping. You want that the house is sparkling so that your children live in a healthy environment and your guests keep asking how you manage to maintain such a gleaming home. Truth be told, it’s not possible to keep everything under control. Life after kids is much different than life before kids. You need to set new standards and to change your priorities. Tidy home instead of sparkling home. More time to rest instead of more time to have fun. Once you do that, you’ll realize housekeeping is not that difficult. Have a look at our tips on keeping a clean home.

clean house

Clean in Chunks

Before you became a mom, you could set aside a whole day to clean and declutter your home but when kids are born, you can barely spend half an hour cleaning. Believing you can accomplish a whole host of household chores with children around is pretty unrealistic. You need to break down the cleaning into small manageable chunks. For example, spend 15 minutes scrubbing the bathroom tiles and sink in the afternoon when your kids are napping or playing games in the open. In the evening, when everybody goes to bed, take the time to wash the dishes and sweep the floors. You can vacuum the living room first thing in the morning before you go to work.

Involve Your Family

Now, who says you have to be the only person who washes the dishes and sweeps the floor? You are a family, right? You need to learn the basics of teamwork. Now is a right time for your relatives to start helping you with the chores. You can assign plenty of small tasks to your spouse and children, such as picking up dirty clothes and toys from the floor, setting and cleaning off the table, collecting the dirty dishes, gathering newspapers, loading the laundry machine or the dishwasher, etc. When the serious cleaning begins, all the areas will be fully accessible and you’ll get the job done with ease.

Create a Schedule

Rather than doing chores randomly, set up a schedule where each task has to be done on a specific day of the week. For example, sweep and mop the floors on Monday, dust on Tuesday, do the laundry on Saturday, etc. It is also important to reward yourself. Every time you manage to keep up with your schedule, give yourself a treat.

Keep Your Children Occupied

If you have to do housework when your children are at home, you’ll find it difficult to focus on the tasks. Hence, you need to make sure your kids are occupied. Let them play their favorite games or watch a movie. The longer you manage to keep them occupied, the more time for you to clean. Make sure to offer something interesting so they don’t get bored after a little while.

Things don’t have to be perfect, though. Your home doesn’t have to be immaculate. If you aim for perfection, you will never reach your goal. But if you divide housework into small chunks, you will be able to keep your home clean. Sometimes it’s all about appearances. If your home looks clean, you’ll feel great.

Do Something Small Every Day

Make it a habit to do some cleaning at the end of each day and your home will be in great condition. This will keep it from overcrowding.

Last but not least, don’t forget to have a day off. You are not a robot and you need a break, too. Sometimes cleaning can wait. Don’t forget that you need to be well rested in the first place in order to tackle your responsibilities and bring up your children. What matters is that you don’t stress over the chores. Clean whenever you can and as much as you can. The only standards you need to meet are your own.

The article is contributed by TenancyClean NW5

 

Mickey’s Halloween Party 2015

Peter Pan, John Darling, and Wendy Darling <3

Peter Pan, John Darling, and Wendy Darling <3

Our favorite time of the year at the Parks is Halloween Time. What makes it better is the Annual Mickey’s “Not So Scary” Halloween Party, which is hosted select nights during September and October at Disneyland. This year we opted to go to one of the later dates as the party is our main “trick or treating” event for the family this Halloween. Last year’s party theme was hard to top as Baby Baby, Daddy, and Mommy did a Star Wars theme; Chewbacca, Han Solo, and Princess Leia. This Year we decided to go with Peter Pan and since you have to purchase tickets early as the event sells out. I started planning in August =X hahaha. Which gave enough time to get all our costumes together.

Trick or Treating Peter Pan!

Trick or Treating Peter Pan!

Baby Baby, Daddy, and Mommy were Peter Pan, John, and Wendy Darling. This time around Baby Baby had a lot fun, at 23 months he’s fully aware of when we are at the Parks and even more excited about candy, hahaha. Since the night was special, we also introduced him to his first Mickey “Pumpkin” Cake Pop and we couldn’t leave the event without a orange light up Mickey Balloon! The “Trick or Treating” sections at the Park left us with a lot of candy and what’s fun about being Annual Passholders is the section they set up in Opera House on Main Street, U.S.A. For the 60th Anniversary they gave out little 60th Anniversary backpacks and cake rice pops! It makes for a fun perk to being a passholder. From the decorations to the haunted harmony….everything about the event is spooky fun (how could not be when it’s Disney, lol.) Also, seeing all the costumes people come up with is a great sight! We couldn’t have been more excited about this year’s party and we can’t wait to plan again for 2016!

Cake Pop Time!!!

Cake Pop Time!!!


Peter being more interested in his candy than taking a pic ;p

Peter being more interested in his candy than taking a pic ;p

The Pumpkin Patch – Round Two

First Halloween compared to Goose's Second =)

Goose’s First Halloween compared to his Second =)

Let me begin with, what happened to my Baby Baby? I took a picture of Baby Baby on top of the “Do Not Sit Pumpkin” again this year (yep, we’re so bad ;p) To compare the differences between Baby Baby’s First Halloween to his Second. As you can see the picture says it all, I now can admit and see I have a toddler, big boy, lil’ man….Awe, as I wipe away tears.

a quick pose before he jumped of the the deck =/

a quick pose before Baby Baby jumped off the deck =/ such a wild boy!

To beat the heat, we got to the patch an hour before they opened and managed to leave right before it hit 90 degrees! The high for Sunday ended up at 102 degrees in Orange =X You got to love Southern California Fall weather ;P I can say this year’s Pumpkin Patch adventure at Irvine Park was a little more active then last years. Last year, Baby Baby was just learning how to walk and now our lil’ guy is running up a storm.  We played in the haunted house (mommy’s fav) and ran around the maze. Baby Baby picked out a pumpkin and also, climbed on everything and anything. At almost 23 months old he doesn’t leave out any chance to find something to climb up and jump off of! I learned to teach him the term, “brush it off.” So, with minor falls he jumps back up brushes his two hands together and gets on his way. (I’m totally not conditioning his habits for future hockey leagues…hahaha.) Unlike last year, we didn’t venture over to the zoo. Since we live in California now….we have all the time to visit Irvine Park, especially on a day that isn’t so hot! We did do brunch closer to home at an old favorite called, “Snooty Fox!” Mav and Baby Baby loved it, it wasn’t Mav’s “Cracker Barrel” but, I got him to admit it was better =)

keeping our Sunday selfie game strong

keeping our Sunday selfie game strong

It was such a perfect Sunday Funday with the family. Especially, since the night before Mav and I had our first date day/night in awhile…which, I plan to share in another post. We’ve been super busy this October and in the next few weeks it will only get busier. I love this time of year and I can’t get enough of all the activities Southern California has to offer!! We still have Mickey’s Halloween Party to attend. Which will be at the end of the month. Baby Baby and Mommy have another 5k coming up as well.  I’m very excited to participate in another race and our training has not only been fun but, a stress relief. That’s all for now, I’m going to finish enjoying the rest of my favorite day of the week, MONDAY!! I hope to post again soon =)

 

Car Shopping

The time has come to start shopping to replace “single” car car. I’ve waited awhile but I feel we’re at a point where Mav and I each need our own family vehicle. I have a few different vehicles I’ve been looking at. My first priority is safety, and then comes what is comfortable. SUVs have been my go-to. However, some vehicles don’t even categorize themselves as SUVs but still give the same options. My current vehicle selection has many key points I enjoy and I think we may just go with another Subaru…. I love our current model and it has everything we need. Adding another to our family would be great and I could really see us having it until Baby Baby gets his license. Some other Makes on my list are Volvo and Jeep. All are within the same price point for the options I want; the XC60 is one of my favorite SUVs right now. I love the features, the way it drives, and it did make KBB’s top 25-safety list. It wasn’t until I got behind of the wheel of the 60 that I appreciated its value. As a previous Jeep owner, I’m always curious to see what features and changes as well as different models Jeep transitions into. The last few years they’ve had some trial and errors that drive me crazy. A go-to is a wrangler; I’m a huge fan of the Sahara. I know what most of you are thinking…. didn’t she say, “Safety is the top priority??!!!” I did, I don’t plan on going to far off the map of a stock Sahara, and the options available are enough to make a family vehicle.

With my three choices, Mav had to introduce another idea today and that is the Q5. I’m not a huge Audi fan but I do like it’s ratings and would have to go test-drive it to see if it’s something I’d enjoy. It’s in the ballpark range so, there’s a forth option. One of the biggest things I love about my SUV choices is I want one that a mark can tell a story and not something to freak out over. I loved when I had a Jeep because a scratch here and there wasn’t the end of the world. There are some cars that are flawless and they’re meant to stay that way. Being realistic, I have a soon to be 19 month old and I need something that can handle our silly adventures ;p

All and all, car shopping is fun yet it becomes annoying quickly. So, I’m starting my research early and hopefully within the next few months I can decide on what would be the best option for our family. I love the emails and support, if anyone has any suggestions. Please email me via my contact page. Also, I do review comments as well. I’ll approve if relevant and appropriate.

I started filming my Father’s Day gift review and I’m really excited on how it’s turning out. Of course, I have to wait until Father’s Day to get the reaction and review of how the child seat, helmet, and bike works. I think vlogs will be a fun way to share more of our adventures and introduce new products to my readers =)

Social Media

True Story….

True Story….

I’ve mentioned before how social media gives us just a small glimpse into someone’s life. Usually, 99% of that glimpse is all the good things. At least we hope for such a high percentage. It’s predictable with age and common sense. However, heck you never know now-a-days. Unfortunately, age doesn’t always bring enlightenment or growth =( However, that’s besides the point I’m trying to make…lol.  So, I found these pictures comical from this past Sunday’s morning adventure at The Parks. I ended up posting the second picture on my fb. Why? Because it’s my family and we’re not perfect. I had to share, since the first picture is great but, not so realistic. Sometimes you just have to look at the silly things that make up the best parts of your life….Well, here’s how my family looks to a majority of what I post about and here’s our daily self portrait!!! Embrace who you are!!! Live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re going to share it…be honest with not only yourself but, others!