Posted in Mama Adventures

A long but perfect summer

The Wilson household has begun the countdown to the first day of school (12 days to go).  I for one am looking forward to getting back into a routine.  We are all getting restless with the triple digit temperatures that keeps us indoors.  Curls and Red are changing their minds daily on what they want to be for Halloween.  And whenever they ask for a new toy, my new response is, “Add it to your Xmas list that you will send to Santa in November.”  But before we move on to my favorite season and all the school and holiday activities that come with it, I want to reflect on our extended but best summer yet.

We took the term staycation seriously these past three months.  Our bucket list dictated that we treat Southern California like tourists and boy did we ever.  Here are a handful of the places that we visited:

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

El Capitan

Monsters University

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier 2 Santa Monica Pier

Beach

Scarlet beach Wesley beach

Palm Springs

Palm Springs

We had our staples that we visited multiple times.  These places fit into our budget because we either had annual passes or cost next to nothing (YAY!).

Knott’s Berry Farm

Knotts 2 Knotts

Knott’s Soak City

Soak City

Trampoline Park

Trampoline park 2 Trampoline park 3 Trampoline park

When we stuck around the house we were either lounging and taking advantage of the lack of a schedule or doing:

Crafts

Crafts

Bubbles and running through the sprinklers

Bubbles

Video games

Video games

We also tried to put ourselves out there and be appreciative of all that we had.  We tried to give back and did:

Letters to soldiers

Soldier cards 2

Alex’s Lemonade Stand

Alexs Lemonade Stand

Recapping this summer just reminds me again how lucky I am.  I have my ups and downs like everybody else but I can always come back to my hubby and my kiddos.  Spending this summer with them has left me feeling content and happy.  Even if we didn’t finish the Bucket List.

Posted in Pop Culture

Movie Trailer Monday: Divergent

I was wrong about The Host. I was wrong about Pacific Rim. I was excited for both and predicted that they would do big box office numbers. And I wasn’t just wrong. I was wrong on a level of epic proportions. The wrongest of wrongs. The Host bombed and had such awful reviews that I chose not to watch it and let it ruin the book for me. Pacific Rim was awesome and has produced decent enough numbers that there will most likely be a sequel. But it didn’t even touch Iron Man 3 and it’s success.

Which leads me to today’s new trailer, Divergent. I have mentioned the book before as one of my favorites, right behind The Hunger Games. The movie will be released in March 2014. It is set in the future where society is divided into five factions: Amity (peaceful), Erudite (scholarly), Abnegation (selfless), Candor (honest), and Dauntless (fearless). When our heroine Tris (Shailene Woodley) takes the test to find out what faction she is best suited for, the results show that she is Divergent. This translates to her not fitting into just one faction, which is rare. She must keep this a secret for her safety and chooses Dauntless. She becomes a part of a group of teens that may or may not take fit into an evil plan.

The preview premiered last night during the MTV Video Music Awards. There are high expectations for this film and it’s eventual sequels. I’m hoping against hope that it will be the “next” Hunger Games and not the “next” Twilight. I’m afraid to make a prediction about the film’s quality and success so let’s just say I will have my fingers crossed.

http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=108179

Blu-ray or theater: I think it’s pretty obvious by now that I am a young adult book junkie. I will most likely be there opening weekend, sporting a t-shirt proclaiming my faction (Candor).

Have a great week!

Posted in Good Things

Dear Red

Oh, my dear sweet Red. How I love you so. In the past four years you have taught me how different boys are from girls. And when I say different, I mean how crazy and full of energy you are compared to your sissy. You can be lovable one minute and infuriating the next. If I tell you to not do something, I can be sure that you will do it the minute I turn my back.  You are loud while your sister is quiet. You are hot tempered like sissy and mama and look your cutest when you are mad, all crossed arms and low lidded eyes. And your mischievous grin will get you out of trouble every time.

You love many things but your sissy is still number one. If she is in trouble and being scolded, you will be telling Mom and Dad to stop being mean to her. This assures me that you will be protecting her from anybody once you are in school. You still love Buzz Lightyear but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Leonardo is your favorite) and Superheroes  (superhero names with their alter egos are embedded in your mind) are a close second. You discovered Cartoon Network and Boomerang channel this year which means you are asking for new toys every five minutes due to the abundance of commercials.  Macaroni and cheese with apple juice is your favorite meal. You love music and sing songs like “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons and “Royals” by Lorde at the top of your lungs, even if you are not pitch perfect (another way you are like your sister). And last but not least, you love the ladies. Oh my, do you love the ladies. You have been a flirt since before you were one and you have become more and more confident as you have grown. You will give hugs and big smiles to Scarlet’s friends, but mama is still your number one girl (for now). I can always count on at least five requests each day for “a hug, a kiss, and a touch (arms wrapped around my neck).”

You have become more and more independent this year. You go potty by yourself, started taking showers, and brushing your teeth. Getting you to pick up your toys is still a struggle but you are working on it. Big boy puzzles (100+ pieces) are what you always want to do, even if you rarely finish them. You are scared of bugs one day and then think they are cute the next. Fireworks still freak you out. You are becoming quite the acrobat with your somersaults to travel through the house and sitting on your head while you watch TV.

As you are a boy, farting is the funniest thing on the planet and I know it is just the beginning. And my favorite thing that you do that cracks me up every time is putting in your breakfast order the night before: “Mom, I have something important to tell you. Yes, Baby? I would like a cereal bar and some yogurt for breakfast. Okay Baby. I’m not taking orders right now, but thank you for the heads up.”

935751_10200270299899327_1887551537_n

I love you so much it leaves me exhausted. You make fires wherever you go but you can always count on me to be right behind you with a fire extinguisher. Happy 4th birthday my Love Bug.

Posted in Pop Culture

Movie Trailer Monday: Her

If you have ever seen a Spike Jonze film, you know he has his own signature style.  From Being John Malkovich to the adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are, Jonze has proven that he makes his own path when it comes to movies.

Her is his newest film.  It is the story of Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) and his relationship with an electronic device that converses with him that uses a feminine voice (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).  His connection with her creates a false sense of security as he deals with his divorce from Catherine (Rooney Mara) and his friendship with Amy (Amy Adams).

I can’t decide if this movie will be creepy or just weird because you never know with Jonze.  Either way, I am looking forward to it’s January release.  Here is the trailer:

Blu-ray or theater: If you are lucky enough to live by a theater that will be showing this (I live in the boonies so I will have to wait), check it out!

Have a great week!

Posted in Good Things

Dear Curls

You turn six today, my glorious baby girl, and I cannot believe it. You call me “Mommy” in one breath and then turn around and go make your bed in the next. You still suck on your two fingers but sleep in your bed most nights. You are constantly asking for permission to do things such as put away your own clothes, clean the dishes, or set the table. You clam up when anybody other than those closest to you tries to engage you. You are a sour puss most days but when you do grace us with your smile you light up the world.

You have hit many milestones over the past year. You have lost four teeth (the first you swallowed). You completed kindergarten with flying colors and even received student of the month during that time. It took you a while to get over your fear but you finally learned to ride your bike (and we haven’t been able to get you off of it since). Your love of learning resulted in you becoming an avid reader. And you gained confidence in yourself by not letting others bully you at school.

Your favorites haven’t changed much over the year. Pink, macaroni and cheese, and any Disney princess (Sofia the First being in first place) are still dear to your heart. Root beer is your drink of choice. You discovered Teen Titans, Teen Beach Movie, and anything else that is Disney and teen related. You exhaust your father and I with your love of catch. And as tone deaf as you are, your passion when you sing your favorite song of the day (I Love It by Icona Pop is a recent one) is unmatched.

Curls, you are hot tempered but quick to forgive (just like your mama). You are already giving us a preview of your teenage years with your mood swings and abundance of emotion. But you are also so loving. You show the most patience out of anybody in the house with your brother. You freely give compliments to anybody you love, showing your selflessness. You are already your own person at such a young age and I couldn’t be prouder to call you mine.

Curls Supermodel

Happy birthday My Bugs. I love you forever and ever.

Posted in Pop Culture

Movie Trailer Monday: Thor: The Dark World

Chris Hemsworth is one of Australia’s finest imports (along with his brother).   He is a good actor and I look forward to seeing him in movies. But when I saw the new trailer for Thor: The Dark World, supporting players Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba are what revved my engine (vroom, vroom) . These new leading men have been quietly making their mark in Hollywood over the past few years. Hiddleston has appeared in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and as villain Loki in Thor and The Avengers. At this summer’s Comic Con in San Diego, Hiddleston showed up as Loki in Hall H and berated the audience in character. Elba has popped up on The Office (U.S. Version) and as leader Stacker Pentecost in the underrated Pacific Rim. When he bellowed, “Today, we are cancelling the apocalypse!” in the film, I got goosebumps. And they both are British. What’s not to love??

Back to Thor: The Dark World. The sequel is set to release in November, just in time for the holidays and ensure big box office numbers. In the film Thor is trying to save his lady love, scientist Jane Foster (which, as hard as I try, I cannot buy her in this role). This time he needs his brother’s help, the evil Loki.

The trailer gives us battle scenes, humor, and romance between Thor and Jane (gag). Here it is:  

Pay the overpriced ticket or park your butt on the couch and wait for the Blu-ray?: It’s a superhero film and the first one was pretty decent. Get thee to the theater!

Have a great week!  

Posted in Mama Adventures

Might I propose a Target Daycare

Every morning I wake up and think, “Today will be a good day.” Last Friday must have laughed it’s ass off when I woke up and said that. My hubby had left for the day and I got up, fed the kids, got them ready, and got myself ready. The morning was uneventful and I liked it that way.  I had no idea that by the end of the day I would be praying for a child friendly playroom in the store that is my home away from home.  

Then we arrived at Target in the afternoon. I give them the “Please behave in here, please act like you are let out in public on a regular basis….blah, blah, blah” speech in the car. I took a deep breath, unbuckled all of us, and we headed in. First stop, the shopping cart. There is the race to find one that is in working order. Child seat belt in working order, check. Cart isn’t cracked where Curls will jump on and off of throughout the entire shopping trip, check. Wheels all facing forward, free of anything disgusting that could have been picked up, check. Then there is the matter of wiping it down. This is my kids version of the car wash. They take the more than required amount of wipes from the provided bin and proceed to wipe one side of it for five minutes while I do the rest. After the cart has been settled, it’s a fight to get Red in it. He is almost four but my heart cannot take trying to chase him while picking out the correct cheddar sticks that Curls will eat. But after five minutes of arguing with him, I cry uncle and let him ride on the outside of the cart. I warn him that if he misbehaves in any way he is sitting in the cart. After this we are finally on our way.

This particular trip required we venture into the toy area. Curls had a birthday party to go to and we needed to purchase a gift. And I know what you are saying. A smart mom would have gone to Target on her own and purchased the gift. But noooooo…..I am lazy. I didn’t want to take the time to put on makeup and go out for one thing. Instead, I would rather be punished for my laziness. I am subjected to, “Mom! Can I have this? What about this? Mom, they have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Sofia the First! Mom! Mom!” I had to stay focused. I went straight to the aisle that held the gift we would purchase and gave Curls two options. After a few minutes of, “But I want it. Why can’t I have it? What about this?” we had chosen a gift.

With what I thought was the worst part over with, we walked over to the other side of the store to get the essentials. By this time Red was in the cart for climbing under the cart and making me almost run over him. He was getting restless, did NOT like being confined, and I was going to hear about it. But instead of telling me, he waits til we get over to the pharmacy section so I can pick up some medication. We are the only ones in line and just as we are called up to the counter, he proceeds to yell, “I FARTED!” He sits back in the cart, snickers, and looks very pleased with himself. I hear the pharmacy techs behind the counter all start laughing. I look up and try to laugh it off. “Bet you are glad you are on the other side of the counter,” I joke. The cashier laughs while one of the guys says, “Tell him he’s crop dusting.” I reply, “I would prefer to not introduce him to that term just yet. But thanks.” I finish my purchase and pray that will be the end of my children embarrassing me while we are in the store. No such luck.

When we get to the makeup aisle is when Red decides he has had enough of sitting and takes advantage of the fact that I am on the hunt for one particular item. A “beauty specialist” comes over and offers to help me. As I am explaining to her what I need Red is unbuckling himself and trying to heave himself over the side of the cart. The sales girl looks scared and says to him, “Sweetie, you should stay in the cart so you don’t get hurt.” She turns to me and says, “He is soooo cute.” I grin tightly and utter a thank you while putting Red back into the seat and buckling him back up. During the time the girl looks for the item and eventually has to call a manager to help her, Red has unbuckled himself enough times and gotten over the side of the cart that I just give up. To add insult to injury, I leave empty handed.

As I try to wrap up our trip, we arrive at the cards. Red and Curls are running up and down the aisles, giggling and screaming beforehand. But when we arrive at the cards, all hands are on deck. They manage to touch all cards within eye level and yell, “This one!” for every one. Every single one of those cards were left untouched to the point that if there was a crime committed in the card aisle at Target, Curls and Red would be the number one suspects.

Our last stop before checkout was a gift bag and some tissue for the present. More screaming, laughing, and running. I grabbed Red’s arm at one point and whispered through clenched teeth in a voice from hell, “KNOCK.IT.OFF.” It had no effect whatsoever. I grabbed Curls’ ear and did the same. She had the opposite effect. Complete meltdown with tears, crying, and “You hurt me!” I go into calm down mode and try to tell her I am sorry. When I look up to see if I have any witnesses (like any good mother does), I see a teenage boy and his mom about 30 feet away talking and looking at me. When we make eye contact they burst out laughing. So before I get myself arrested for defending my parenting, I push the cart towards the closest checkout stand.

I dread checkout. The candy, little toys, and even the batteries are like catnip to my children and I want to lay into every merchandiser that puts that crap out there (Yes, I know why they put it there. But STILL). They each hone in on one item and proceed to play with and ask for it the entire time I am being rung up. I take the item, say no, and put it back. They pick it back up and the vicious cycle starts all over again. After Red becomes bored with his item he starts running circles around the entire checkout. He runs into people but nothing stops him, letting his evil laugh loose. I finally pick him up and hold him sideways while he wiggles and takes away the last bit of energy I have left, forcing me to put him down. My poor cashier doesn’t make eye contact with me the entire time and I can’t blame her one bit. She finally hands me the receipt and I push the cart forward, not caring at this point if my kids are following me.

So dear Mr. Target CEO, I would pay handsomely if you had a daycare located in your stores. All I need is one hour. Even a half hour would do. I don’t even want credit for the idea when you are flooded with letters from grateful mothers who will only shop at your store from here on out because they can do it stress free. So please consider it. I beg of you.

P.S. It has been brought to my attention that IKEAs around the country offer FREE child care so Mom and Dad can get their shop on. Here’s to hoping others such as Target offer suit.