Friday, August 8, 2014

Take Me Out to the Ball Game #mc #sponsored


“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for the Staten Island Yankees. I received tickets for the game as well as food vouchers to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”


Last week, hubby and I were able to take Lucas and Nicholas on an adventure to Staten Island to see the Staten Island Yankees play. The boys had never been to Staten Island and to be fair, neither had we (other than the ferry terminal).
It was Lucas' first experience watching baseball other than on tv and Nicholas' second time as he'd just gone with his grandpa, papi and sister to see the Major League Yankees.
Nicholas was thrilled that the Staten Island Yankees had a smaller ball park with up close seats and great views! He especially liked that we were right by the Yankees' dugout and could see them so up close and personal. It was so fun to see Lucas take everything in for the first time! At one point he happily exclaimed, "I like baseball!!" :)

Even though they had fun watching the game, the highlight for them was definitely the food! They enjoyed some yummy treats and thankfully because of the minor league atmosphere, there weren't terribly long lines to order the food and we didn't have to wait too long to satisfy our hunger!
They even got a special treat of cotton candy. I've never seen two boys inhale something so fast! Oy!
Yum!
We had such a pretty view of Manhattan from the stadium and overall it was such a fun experience! And I must say, Minor League Baseball (my first experience) is much more crowd interactive and entertaining than the major leagues! The boys even had the opportunity to try and catch some balls! We went home empty handed but with so many fun memories made!
If you live the NYC area, I highly recommend checking out this fun, family experience! Especially if you have younger kids, this is the way to go! It's such a family fun experience and allows for close up views of the game that no major league experience provides! You can check out all the details here: http://atmilb.com/1x4QL1c. Or Visit them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 


While we drove to the game, we decided afterwards that our next trip will be by public transportation. The ferry ride alone would be so fun for the kids and overall, a cheaper way to travel! But either way, there is parking close by and even during rush hour, we made it without a problem!

It was such a fun night and I'm so glad we went! It was so fun to hang out with just the 2 boys and see this new experience through their eyes. Sophia is begging for us to go again so she can experience it too!

What are some fun things you've done this summer?


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Quality Time


We went to Coney Island today with the kids. 
Sophia got a calendar at the beginning of the year and went through it and marked all the important dates. She had stickers and she placed them all on those special dates. On June 21st she put a "beach" sticker. It being the first day of summer, she felt it only suitable to go to the beach that day! 
The kids have never been to Coney Island so we thought it was the perfect day!

It was gorgeous. The sun wasn't too hot, the place not too full...it was a good day.
Nicholas was cold though, as the day wasn't too warm, so he decided to play in the sand. 
Next thing we know, he cut his hand on a small piece of glass that was in the sand. 
Thankfully it wasn't deep, but needless to say, he was no longer really interested in doing much of anything other than snuggling with me.
When we asked him tonight what the best part of his day was, he told us it was "snuggling with Mami."
And...you know?
It was my favorite part too!
Speaking his love language by snuggling and watching boats together, was so simple and so sweet and it reminded me that as he grows, we don't get a lot of that time anymore. And it reminded me of how much I miss it. 
With him growing more independent, we don't always get to spend that time together.
Today was perfect, despite the circumstances and I treasured each moment!
It also reminded me I need to work harder at keeping each of my kids' love languages in mind when I spend time with them.
And it turns out to be oh-so rewarding to both of us!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Big Families


There have been several posts lately on Facebook and blogs talking about the newer rise in large families again. I'm going to try not to get on a soap box here, but can I just tell you how thankful I am for these posts?
By all accounts, 4 children isn't that large, relatively speaking, although 4 children in NYC is considered a very large family. 

I have to confess that I'm so ashamed that I hesitated in telling the world about our pregnancy with Mateo (#4) because I was afraid of the judgment and of the looks or the comments or the gossip that might occur behind our backs. 
I am now so ashamed that I was ashamed.
There was a recent blog post that I read  that I just loved. Specifically #7 on that list. It mentions the comments that larger families receive regarding birth control, self-control, needing a television, etc...and then poses the question...what if the tables were turned? What if we mamas of larger families went around asking mamas with only 1 or 2 kids why they stopped at 1 or 2? 
Those questions are unheard of....
Asking a mama if she's struggling with infertility is taboo
but asking a mama if she plans on having more kids or will you be stopping anytime soon is totally ok.
Please don't get me wrong...my heart aches for the families out there that long to have more babies but can't. I in no way mean to offend or make it seem like a small matter. 
My frustration lies with the way it's ok to call a couple out on having a big family, but if we were do the same for their smaller family, like the author of that post mentions, they would be mortified.

And, I will add, maybe they don't mean to be judgmental by their comment or mean anything by it at all....but to a mama who constantly gets the looks or the comments, even something that could seem harmless to them can jab when all around us, the world is telling us that 2.5 children is more than enough.

When I think about the comments and looks I get with my 4, I stop sometimes and think about asking the person on the other end...."well, what child would you suggest I not have?" 
Because honestly, that's what it feels like...and I cannot imagine life without any of them.
Would life sometimes feel easier without juggling four different personalities and meltdowns all at once or all the time? Maybe...but which one would I chose not to have? 
All four babies are precious, regardless of how many gray hairs I will eventually have from them...and I would just love to hear, when asked the question, "are they all yours?"
"oh wow! what a blessing!"

Because if we're looking at it from God's viewpoint, that's all he sees..beautiful blessings. 

So no matter if your family is a family or 3, 4. 7, or 10....each is special and precious and a work in progress. :)
Just a little reminder for this Wednesday afternoon.

Have you loved a mama in your path today?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Whole30

Hip hip hooray! I did it!
I'd been putting it off, but I definitely knew I needed a swift kick in the pants, food-wise. Hubby has been mostly grain-free and refined sugar-free for the past year and while I mostly joined him, I needed to get back on the straight and narrow.
I decided the Whole30 was exactly what I needed. No sweets of any kind except in fruit and no dairy.Plus no grains and simple carbs. 
(breakfast on day 1)

It turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be. There have been days I really just wanted some chocolate, but for the most part, I haven't missed anything I took out. And the results are great too!

One of the reasons I decided to do it was because of my family's history of arthritis (specifically rheumatoid). I really wanted to get ahead of that in my own life and knew that eating for autoimmune health would only help that!
I've been less achy. I haven't been nearly as tired in the afternoons (where I used to almost fall asleep or actually fall asleep when putting Lucas down for a nap in the afternoons, I haven't felt the need for that at all this past month).
And, the weight loss is an extra bonus! 15 pounds to be exact! :)
Overall I just feel better. When I did GAPS with Lucas a couple of years ago, while I started to feel better, I eventually felt much worse. From the get-go this time around, I feel much different and much better.
I've decided to go another 30 days. At least....Paleo definitely agrees with me and I feel so much better with clean eating.
I do miss dairy...who knows...I might re-introduce it and see what happens...but regardless, Paleo it is for me! :)

Have you done a Whole30? If so, how did it go for you?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Stuck on You Lunchboxes

I had the pleasure of reviewing Stuck on You last year when they sent us some super fun water bottles and this year they were so kind to mail us some very fun, personalized, lunch boxes!
It was extra fun since we were able to customize them based on things each kid likes. Sophia is loving ballet, Nicholas has a never ending love for animals and dinosaurs and Lucas loves anything that races! And as you can see, I found something for each of them!
We tried the lunch boxes out for the first time at our homeschool end-of-year picnic! It was great to not have to carry so much myself and have each kiddo take responsibility for their own food! 
We've since used them many other times and we just love them!
They are lined inside to keep food fresh and with the kids' names on them. so much easier than dealing with the confusion of whose is whose and which one is better! :) The kids love things that have their names on it...there's just something special about carrying something personalized just for you.

The best news? 
Right now they are having a 50% off sale! Plus, several other offers, including free shipping!
Can't beat that!!

Do your kids like personalized items?
What would you buy?

*I received complimentary merchandise for this blog post but all opinions expressed here are my own.



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Huggies Little Movers #mc #sponsored #movingmoments


“I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central for Huggies. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.”

We go through so many diapers around here...although as I type this, Lucas is getting potty trained, so here's to less diapers in my very near future! 
Most of the time, we get our diapers at Target. I have a slight addiction to Target! But don't we all? And I love how easy it is to shop for diapers! As a matter of fact, when I bought these diapers, they were on sale! Always nice! They always have a nice variety of diapers with all sizes and for that I'm thankful. Makes my shopping experience that much easier with 4 little ones in tow! 

Huggies Little Movers are specifically designed with the mobile baby in mind. They allow for lots of moving around while still staying in place, providing good protection against leaks and accidents all the while being soft and comfortable enough that your child can move around in without trouble. Mateo is constantly on the move these days (so much so that simple diaper changes can be tricky) but  I don't worry as much with these diapers as they were created for movement! And, while there's nothing worse than feeling like a diaper is too small or tight or too big on your baby These diapers feature a SnugFit waistband for an all around stretchy fit. Knowing a diaper was designed with comfort and fit in mind makes my life easier! 
Huggies Little Movers are now made with new Double Grip Strips that are soft, durable velcro strips on the sides and front of diaper panel that provide all-around comfort that lasts no matter how much baby moves! And if you have babies that love to be naked like mine, even better, since clothes usually help keep diapers in place. With these new strips, you don't need to worry!
As the weather has continued to warm up, we've spent so much more time outside. I love that I have diapers that will handle all the extra exploring and movement! To help welcome this wonderfully fun time of the year, Target is offering a chance to win a one year supply of Huggies Little Movers diapers!! When you enter, you automatically receive a $2.00 Target coupon for Huggies diapers. To enter the sweepstakes, please visit https://www.moments.huggies.com/Coupon?coupon=target  all you have to do is upload a photo or video of your little one's best moves. Make sure you create a login so you get entered!

Are you ready for some fun adventures outside with your little ones? What's your favorite summer family activity? Happy Summer!!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Some Encouragement this Mother's Day


Dear Mama,
Mothering can be one of the hardest, most grueling jobs there is. It can exhaust, overwhelm, try our patience and emotionally drain us. 
But it's also (in my personal opinion) one of the most important things we'll do. 
I've learned that with littles, Mother's Day doesn't always feel like a holiday....but today, on this, your special day, I want you to know how very much your are loved and treasured by your family and even more, by your Heavenly Father. 
I wanted to share a little something I originally posted last Mother's Day as an encouragement to you today and each day you wake up, brew your coffee and prepare for the day ahead. I love it when the day is easy, but on those especially hard days, this is for you Mama!

We are in a bit of a difficult season as parents. As our oldest continues to express her independence, new personality traits have started to come through that make day-to-day parenting sometimes extremely challenging. There are days when I feel I have reached the end of my rope and have no idea how I'm going to keep going. There are days when I find myself closed up in the bathroom, tears leaking down my face, crying out to God for wisdom as I just don't know what else to do.
Thankfully, we are learning and getting creative in dealing with situations and it seems to be helping. 
But, I'm going to be honest...in those times when things are extremely difficult, I question whether or not I'm enough. I don't feel worthy of the task in front of me. Motherhood is the hardest job I've ever had and sometimes, I want to pass the cup, not because I don't love my bunch, but because I don't feel adequate. I don't feel like I can handle the situation the best.
I look at my sweet daughter that is desperately trying to figure out how to live life with all those childhood emotions and feelings of unfairness and wonder if there might not be someone better equipped for the job. And then I wonder, how do I have 4 children, when I clearly have no idea what I'm doing.
Those types of moments can feel so helpless and lonely. They can feel overwhelming and desperate.
But its in those moments, when I am not sure how much longer I can keep going, that my Heavenly Father reminds me that he picked me.
He could have chosen someone else way more qualified to handle the intense emotions of my 7 year old.
But he chose me.
He could have chosen someone who is quicker on their feet at problem solving when the 7 and 4 year old are battling it out in the living room.
But he chose me.
He could have chosen someone who doesn't get stressed with all the chaotic noises produced by 4 very loud kids.
But he chose me.

He knows my weaknesses. He knows that I have a tendency to yell when I'm frustrated. He also knows that my children don't respond well to that. He knows that I feel so unqualified for this job and scared out of my mind some days that I'm going to mess them up terribly. He knows everything about me and He knows better than anyone else, the kind of mother I am. And there are definitely days when I'm not proud of myself as a mother...
But He knows...and he blessed me with these amazing kiddos anyway.
He knows that I'm enough. He picked me. Not because I'm deserving. Not because there isn't someone else out there that could have done a better job, but because I'm enough for these kids. 
With His grace and goodness and not at all in my strength, I'm enough. And He wants to mold me and break me and refine me in the process.
So he chose me.
The days when I want to run and hide from my kids, He gently reminds me that he picked me for this job and therefore I'm qualified.
And peace and joy fill my heart and I rest in that.
So today, as perhaps you struggle in your role as mommy, know that you are enough. He knows who you are, inside and out, and has deemed you qualified for this job.
Be encouraged that He will teach and guide you along the way and He will give you that wisdom, that uplifting word, that friend or person to support you and that through all that and His grace, you are the right person for the job.
Know that you are precious in His sight and He delights in you.
Be encouraged, Mama! You are doing a great job!