Wishing For Just One More Afternoon At The Park

This morning, after dropping the girls off at kindergarten, I was driving to the grocery store and passed the park. The park where each of my babies sat in a swing for the first time. The park that has the slide that I have a picture of each of them sitting on with static hair. The park where I used to take them all for afternoon picnics, long before second grade and kindergarten and preschool.

I passed by that park, and longed for just one more afternoon with those toddlers that have since turned into children.

Screenshot 2015-04-21 14.04.59

I remember how much I hated having to push swings over and over again until I finally said no more, while they begged for just a little bit longer. I remember that I had other more “important” things to do rather than take them to the park (again). I used to prefer them to sit and watch TV or play outside instead of another afternoon at the park.

And now? I would do almost anything to have just one more afternoon with those babies that used to love the park.

I look back, and realize how much time I wasted with them as I wished time would hurry up and pass…wanting them to get bigger. Wanting them to get through the Terrible Twos stage and the cling-on-to-mommy-constantly stage. I wished all of that time away – I took it for granted. And now I regret it.

Because I would love to spend just one more afternoon at the park with those little people that Ethan, and Lila, and Mia were just a few years ago.

And I’ll use this as a reminder to enjoy them each day, even on the bad days, because time is passing much too quickly and before I know it, they’ll be all grown up.

Disclosure: Written with tears tumbling down my cheeks and full of regret for all of those times that I wished them big.

Nintendo eShop: Ethan Approved

I review of Nintendo eShop, which can be used with both the Nintendo Wii U or Nintendo 3DS systems. Automatically pay for and download your favorite games!

Last year, Ethan became an official Nintendo Kid Reviewer, and boy do they spoil him!

Nintendo Kid Reviewer

He became a kid reviewer around the holidays, and unfortunately we didn’t have time to post anything, though he’s been putting some videos together of the games and what he likes about them. Today he wants to tell you a little bit about the Nintendo eShop.

There’s more to Nintendo eShop than just cool games! It’s an online Nintendo store packed with downloadable games, entertainment, and more—all delivered directly to your Wii U and Nintendo 3DS/2DS systems.

I review of Nintendo eShop, which can be used with both the Nintendo Wii U or Nintendo 3DS systems. Automatically pay for and download your favorite games!

What is Nintendo eShop?

What’s cool about using the Nintendo eShop to purchase games for the DS is that they live permanently on the system, so if you are traveling, the games are on the DS and you don’t have to carry a bunch of game cartridges around.

It’s also super easy to use, and it’s fun to look through all of the old and new games. We even were able to demo a few of them and Ethan has a list of games he wants to get. It’s cool to be able to get new games without having to leave the house. As soon as he downloaded the games, he was playing!

And another cool thing about Nintendo eShop is that there are all kinds of apps, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and YouTube, so he can watch movies, too.

I love that you can also purchase Nintendo eShop cards. It makes a great gift that all game loving kids would appreciate.

Now I’m off to download old school Donkey Kong! Let’s see if I’m still as good as I was when I played as a kid!

Disclaimer: Ethan and I are working with Nintendo on game reviews, events, and trying out new products. All opinions expressed are our own. We receive free products and gift cards, and no other compensation.

My Boy

He’s reading to me. Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He loves those books. He wanted to read together, and usually he reads a page and then I read a page. But tonight, he just wants me to listen.

His eyelashes are long and dark, like his dad’s. He laughs when he reads the funny parts.

His thumb rubs the page he is reading. Dirt under his fingernails that need to be cut.

He scoots closer to me. He asks if I will read the cursive writing in the cartoon on the page.

He doesn’t want his sisters to listen in – this is our time.

His pajamas are too short. He won’t stop growing! It seems that all I do is buy clothes for him…he’s getting so big.

He asks me what a word means, and I explain. He then uses the word in a sentence to be sure he understands.

He unconsciously picks at the dry skin on his lip. He laughs again as he reads, and it’s like music to my ears.

I kiss him on top of his head, breathing in the scent of him.

He tells me he wants to finish the book tonight, even though it means staying up past bedtime. I don’t say no. I love listening to him read.

More importantly, I love this time together, just me and him.

I’ve written about my alone time with Ethan before…here and here. Funny, I don’t write about the time I spend with the girls like that. I wonder why?

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1 #MockingJay #MC #sponsored

Disclaimer: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Lions Gate. I received a book, products, and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

I remember the first time I ever heard of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. A friend mentioned it on Facebook, so I immediately went to check it out on Goodreads to see what all of the fuss was about. Turns out, the series had great reviews and several of my friends had read it and given it great reviews. Now that Mockingjay-Part 1 is about to be released on November 21st, I can hardly stand the wait!

Did you read The Hunger Games trilogy? Anxiously awaiting November 21st to see Mockingjay-Part 1? See the trailer and review of the book here! #MockingJay

Do you know anything about The Hunger Games? Let me fill you in (synopsis from Goodreads)…

The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

Sound unbelievable? Maybe. But it makes for a damn good story! And even though it’s aimed at a teenage audience, I enjoyed the books very much. Katniss is a strong female character and she draws you in from the second you start reading. I also really enjoy when I book comes to life on the big screen exactly the way you imagined it would. This series definitely does that. And it keeps you on your toes throughout the story. Another bonus!

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1, has Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in District 13 after she (literally) stops the games forever. Under President Coin’s leadership (Julianne Moore) and the advice of  friends, Katniss fights to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a nation who loves and trusts her courage. Mockingjay-Part 1 is the third in a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins that has over 65 million copies in print in the U.S. alone.

Did you read The Hunger Games trilogy? Anxiously awaiting November 21st to see Mockingjay-Part 1? See the trailer and review of the book here! #MockingJay

Now last year about this time, the second The Hunger Games movie was released. My mom had never seen the first one, so we sat down to watch it. Ethan was instantly hooked too. In fact he ended up going with my mom to see part 2! So our plan is to sit down this weekend and watch the first two over again to get The-Hunger-Games-refreshed. Then we will all go see Mockingjay-Part 1 together!

Still not sure if this series is for you? Check out the trailer for Mockingjay-Part 1.

Did you see The Hunger Games or The Hunger Games: Catching Fire? Are you planning on seeing The Hunger Games: Mockingjay–Part 1?

A Love Note To Ethan

love-note-e

It was a simple thing really. The girls had noticed their friends were getting little notes from their moms in their lunch boxes, and asked me to send them an I Love You note. And of course I did. But I couldn’t give them a love note and not give Ethan one…he loves getting those notes, too. So Jason and I wrote little love notes for the girls. They can’t read so we just told them that we loved them.

love-note

For Ethan, I wrote more. The night before, Ethan finished reading a fourth grade level book and I was very excited for him. And he was proud. So on his note I wrote something along the lines that I loved him and I am so proud of how good he is reading.

Off to school they all go, not knowing I put the little love notes in their lunch boxes. When the girls got home from school, I asked if they got the notes and they said yes. Not nearly the excitement level I expected.

Then we went to pick Ethan up from his Tae Kwon Do class. He was getting in the car and was thirsty, so he started opening up his lunch box to get his thermos. As he did, the little note blew away.

He said “Uh oh mom your heart blew away” and immediately started crying. I mean sobbing. He was so upset. I put the car in park and asked him what was wrong. He could barely even speak he was crying so hard.

Apparently the boy sitting next to him at lunch saw the note and started teasing him about it. Saying things like “Oh Ethan misses his mom so much she has to write him notes in his lunch” and then “everybody” started laughing at him.

He was embarrassed.

I felt like a big jerk. My little love note caused him to be teased and cry harder than I’ve seen him cry in a very long time.

I promised him that I wouldn’t put anymore notes in his lunch, and he said “But I like when you do that mom! I want notes in my lunch.”

So we made a deal. I would write notes on regular paper and tape them into the bottom of his lunch box where no one will be able to see them. He also told me that it’s okay if I want to send jokes in his lunch that he can share with his friends.

My sweet boy still wants love notes, but he is growing up and being introduced to the world of jerks. We explained to him that his “friend” was probably just jealous because his mom didn’t put notes in his lunch. He said that’s true, and that he felt sad that his friend didn’t get notes. The kid has a heart of gold.