Category Archives decisions

Razor Scooter Surprise

Everyone had been asking what JSL wanted for his fifth birthday. The reality is that he only asked for one item. We cringed at his one request, but figured that walkie talkies would be a lot of fun for the kids to use outside this summer.

Perry Walkie-Talkie

We were left with no real ideas and relatives asking for suggestions. When my mother and I went shopping, something clicked while walking down an aisle. JSL has been asking for his kiddie scooter to ride. Unfortunately, it was not in the best of shape after two kids and he is just too big for it. Check out the birthday boy’s face when he opened up his gift Monday afternoon:

Scooter Surprise

JSL was beyond excited to try out his new Razor Scooter. Thanks to rain most of the week, we never had a chance to do that. Yesterday, the weather was beautiful, so we packed up the box to take out and try with JSL’s new helmet.

Ready to ride

It truly was priceless watching JSL try to figure out where he wanted the handles, how to place his foot, and whether or not he was going too quickly. I do think he will be doing tricks before I know it since the kiddo has no fear and likes to try things other children are doing.

Major concentration

I guess I should enjoy this stage, especially thanks to the big smiles JSL provided from sheer happiness.

All Smiles

Yes, seeing my little guy smile made my entire day!

It's Me

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Selecting Phone Sounds

Two weeks ago, Violet came into my life. If you do not know who Violet is, let me introduce you.

Violet says hello

Yes, Violet is my first Smartphone and I had to name her. At first, I felt a little Bionic-ly challenged when she came into my life, but now I love the flexibility she allows me to have with her features.

One of the items I was most excited about was setting ring tones for different people, places, and things. It’s the little things in life some days. I had a lot of fun with this. While looking at phones one day, the woman at the store happened to mention an app called Zedge. This was the first item that I put on the phone (Instagram came out a few days after we got the phones).

Zedge time

At first, I put a notification sound that was just too much. Although I love Beaker from The Muppets, he was over the top. Right now, it sounds like Mario is here collecting coins when I get a text or e-mail. Then, it was time for music. For TechyDad, I selected a little of The Big Bang Theory Song. Let me tell you, I almost had Sheldon saying Bazinga for him. For my father, it had to be Elvis. Still not sure what to keep for my mother, but my son likes the Adele tune and keeps singing along when she calls me. Others have been selected for a few other people, but I still need just the right ones for others. Oh, I will never admit who the Jaws Theme was selected for.

So my question to you this week:

What ring tones do you use on your phone and is there a special story behind them?

It's Me


Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An<br<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
    /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
    Island<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

Aloha #198

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Family Views on Walt Disney World Attractions

My children have been lucky enough to go to Walt Disney World several times now. Thanks to this, they have developed some opinions about rides.

An 8 year old’s view:

When asked what ride is his favorite, NHL did not even pause to think about it. He quickly screamed one and only one ride that you will see below.

Big Thunder Mountain

Yes, Big Thunder Mountain was the ride that immediately came to his mind. I don’t have the heart to tell him that the ride will likely be closed for continued refurbishments when we head there this spring. Of course, he has other rides that are also favorites. Those mentioned include Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Of course, I think this has something to do with the fact that last time he was on it he scored 999,999 within a few minutes of starting the ride. He also loves Soarin’, Test Track, and many others!

One ride that NHL is not a big fan of is:

Tower of Terror

NHL went on Tower of Terror during his first trip to Walt Disney World in May 2009. I don’t think it was the actual ride that scared him, but more of the special effects since he was just in kindergarten.

A 4 year old’s view:

JSL had a more difficult time coming up with his favorite. He took a bit of time, then mentioned a few favorites.

Space Ranger Spin and Winnie The Pooh

Yes, the little fan of Buzz Lightyear and Tigger mentioned these two rides along with Journey into Imagination with Figment. His favorites may change up after the next trip. Since he is over 40 inches tall, there will be a lot of new rides that he can go on. These include Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Test Track, Soarin’, Tower of Terror, Star Tours, and several other big rides.

Over the years, we have figured out that JSL is not a fan of 3D. Each time he tries to watch something in 3D he will scream to leave. Thanks to this, his least favorite attractions at Disney World would be Muppets 3D and Mickey’s PhilharMagic.

Not a 3D fan

The Mom View:

I could easily pick a ride at each park that I love and for very different reasons. Still there are two that happen to be in the same spot that are so unique that I do think they are close to the top of my list.

My Favorite Rides

Yes, the Aerosmith Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster is the best coaster that I have ever experienced. In the dark, amazing light effects, and smooth as butter. Going on with my father for the first time in 2009 was like the old days of riding with my father and brother. Toy Story Midway Mania is a fan favorite for me because it is an interactive game/ride for the entire family. Some amazing memories there with Nana, Papa, the boys, and also at an event.

I also hope to get a chance to ride Primeval Whirl. Almost every time we have gone to Animal Kingdom it was too long a wait, closed for multiple reasons, or nobody would/could ride it with me. That will hopefully change this trip.

As for least favorite, I am NOT a fan of:

Mission Space

While Mission Space is a beautiful building, the ride itself makes me want to turn green – and that’s on the easy setting. I do not think it’s the motion, more of the confined space in the simulator that bothers me. So I now officially skip that one when possible.

What is your favorite and/or least favorite attraction at Walt Disney World? I would love to know in the comments below.

It's Me

P.S. A huge thank you to Mariana from The Domestic Buzz for creating this magical Blog Hop!  The link will be within this post the day after it is published.

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Talking to Kids About Current Events

Current events are a tricky topic to talk about with children. They need to know what is happening in the world, but, let’s be honest, the news can be a scary thing for even an adult to watch. The other day, we were visiting Nana and Papa’s house and CNN or another news channel happened to be on. I quickly shuttled NHL and JSL away from the television. They were showing some graphic scenes from Syria. In addition to this, they were talking about things in Israel that may scare my children. NHL knows that we have family there and I do not want him to be upset over something he will not understand.

Current EventsI certainly can not shelter my children from the world around us, but as their parent I need to help them to get doses of it that are developmentally appropriate. Of course, the news and current events can be a great way to start conversations. The untimely death of Whitney Houston can be the starting point for talks with children about addiction. Discussing how they can always turn to you, that you will always be there should they be faced with making a hard decision in a social situation.

This reminded me of something I wrote for another project just over a year ago. It was from mid-January 2011. One year later, I could have written it about a number of different events or items that have take place.


Last Saturday, the world stood still as we learned about the chilling events in Tucson, Arizona. So many lives lost, and others forever changed. After other tragedies, I remember being glued to the 24 hour news channels. I lived in front of CNN and MSNBC after the Columbine shootings and events of 911.

This time was different

I wanted to learn more, but I had a problem. My 3 and 7 year old children were around and I did not want to scare them with the news. My husband and I did not talk about anything with NHL. I kept trying to think about what I should say to my 7 year old, but there were no words..

911-MemorialThis made me flashback to September 11, 2001. A day that everyone will forever remember. I was a substitute teacher that day in a first grade classroom. The teacher I was in for was overseas at a wedding. I was scheduled to be in for 1-2 days. As I was teaching that morning, the principal stepped in with a note about what had happened. At lunch, we discussed that we would not talk about anything until the kids went home to their families. The next day, the kids came in. Several had seen news with the planes crashing into the Twin Towers. They knew their teacher was on a plane that day. Counselors came into the classroom and the kids were reassured that their teacher was safe and would be back the following week.

As I watched the moment of silence covered on Monday, I wondered if NHL’s school would observe this. They did, and he came home that evening asking questions. He wanted to know what it was about. I sat there wondering what he had been told, and even more curious about what I was going to say. In the end, I told him that something bad had happened Saturday. A lot of innocent people had been hurt, and several were killed. I told him that everyone stopped for that time to remember those people and to hope that those injured would get better soon. No more was said since he seemed content with this explanation. Still, I worry about what he will hear in school. Kids talk, don’t know the facts, and scare each other with inaccuracies.

How do you talk to your children about current events? Do you tell them everything, let them watch the news, or try give only details that they need to know?

It's Me

Disclosure: This post was previously published on a project I worked on during the time when Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Arizona. The text is mostly the same, but I placed a new introduction for events happening one year later.

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Counting Down the Days to Disney

To tell the kids or not to tell the kids? That is often the question that many families contemplate as they plan a Walt Disney World vacation. I will admit, as we finalized our plans to go to the 2012 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I was not sure what to do.

 The last day at Disney 2011

I wondered how I would be able to keep this BIG secret from my boys. I always watch the videos of people surprising their children the day of and wonder how they do it. TechyDad and I just did not think it would work for several reasons.

  • Our house is not large enough to have a secret packing area. Packing for a big trip is stressful enough in a smaller house. I could not even imagine trying to do it while in stealth mode.
  • How does one talk to teachers and others at school about missed days, but not tell their child? My eight year old would know something was up as I went into school and came out with a load of work.
  • I am WAY too excited and can’t stop thinking about everything. I wanted to be able to share the magical planning and joy in my heart with the kids now. Winter can be depressing enough, so having something to look forward to as a family seemed like a great idea.

There were other items on my mind, but those were the biggest things. To date, we have never been able to keep a Disney trip a secret from the boys for long and I think it has been the right decision for our family. When we told the boys that we were going to Disney World, their faces lit up. Then, they wanted to know when and how many days away it was. Chatter about rides to visit, places to explore, and Hidden Mickeys to find have dominated things in recent days. The boys sit together and read planning guides and think about how they will notice a new Hidden Mickey in their adventures.

Researching Disney trip

Each day, they recite how many days are left until we head to see our favorite destination. Excitement is definitely in the air. At eight, NHL gets that we have just under three months until we go to Disney. JSL is only four and does not quite get it. I have thought about making a Mickey Ears paper chain to help us count down the days. This will help him to see as we get closer to the day of our trip.

Have you ever kept a Disney trip or something else a secret to surprise your children on the day of your trip? I would love to know how it went and if you have any other count down traditions that you do with your family.


It's Me

P.S. A huge thank you to Mariana from The Domestic Buzz for creating this magical Blog Hop!

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