Friday, December 31, 2010

Time Flies

Wow, time really flies during the holidays. I can't believe I haven't posted in 2 weeks. My apologies, but I do have something great to share with you today. My last post provided a hint as to my favorite organizational tool (another clue, it's an app) and I'll get to that in a moment. First I'd love to hear some of your New Year's Eve traditions. My family, even as a kid, just stays home and watches the ball drop on television. We'll have a light dinner and then munch on hors d'oeuvres like shrimp cocktail the rest of the evening. Closer to midnight I'll have a glass of champagne, Dadda monkey will have a sip of mine (he's not much of a drinker) and then have a glass of Martinelli's sparkling apple cider. That's what I always had as a kid and since I introduced it to Dadda, he can't get enough. If Monkey girl makes it up that late, she can have a small cup as well. Sounds pretty boring and perhaps it is, but every year now when I see the crowd in New York City, I'm grateful that I'm sitting in the comfort of my own home. It's a little strange now that I live in the central time zone. I've always been on the east coast and now we kind of celebrate the New Year at 2 different times.

On to my favorite app...My favorite little tool will allow me to schedule my New Year's festivities and write out my shopping list in the same place. I don't remember how I came across it, but I stumbled upon an app for my iPod Touch called Intuition. This little program is quite a gem. I don't have an iPhone yet (come on, Verizon) so I can't attest to it's full capabilities, but I'd originally been looking for a good app to do my grocery lists. I tried a few, even on Dadda Monkey's Android phone, but none of them were really up to par. Then I found Intuition. The shopping list section is really well done. There's already a large list of items and I just click on them to add them to my list. If something I want isn't on there yet, then it's really easy to add it yourself. Once your list is complete, you save it and pull it up at any time to view or make changes. When you're at the grocery store, the list is organized by section (ie: produce, meat, dairy, etc...) and you can check them off as you put them in your cart.

As if this weren't enough, Intuition also has a calendar and sections to organize errands, calls, family, wishlist, and an 'everything else' tab. I have mundane items on there like when the milkman comes so I remember to leave my cooler and my order form for him. Then I have things that may be on there for quite some time like take a photo of my neighborhood and have it turned into a 4 piece canvas. What can I say, my house is lacking in art work on the walls and I saw this idea somewhere. I thought it was a great idea so much so that I have it indefinitely scheduled to be done. When Monkey girl had her speech therapist appointments, I had that listed under the family section.

When you click on Intuition, you get this little flower and each petal is a different section. I usually just click on categories because that takes me to the menu which shows me how many tasks are pending and there's an exclamation point if something is past due. You can also click on the calendar to see what is scheduled from any section. Apparently you can do things by location too, but my use of this is limited because I don't have an iPhone. However, this app is worth it's weight in gold for just the parts I'm able to use. I've asked them if they're going to get an app for Android and they said Android is high up on their list of next versions to do. What that means, I'm not sure, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The app is free, but I would pay money for it. Hint, hint developers, get that Android version out with a fee for it and I'll be your first customer! They have a facebook page as well, if you want to take a peek, make a comment, or pester them for an Android version like me. One of my New Year's resolutions is to make better use of this app so I can be better organized. Perhaps I'll even get that photo done. Happy New Year's Eve!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


This is the crazy time of year when I'm trying to keep track of all the things going on and what needs to be done. I like to make lists to organize the chaos going on in my head, but I still forget things or think that something is so simple it doesn't need to go on the list (especially if it's not handy). Today, I had a regular chant going on of all the places I needed to run errands. Then there's a separate list of things I need to do. My list for today looked a little like this:
  •  milk man comes, leave his check and the order form
  • notify Bro Bro's sitter that there's no Little Gym for Monkey girl for the next 2 weeks so she doesn't have to haul herself over here those mornings
  • run errands at bank, post office, grocery store, and department store
  • take trash out this evening
  • clean up kitchen so I can bake cookies tomorrow
  • finish wrapping presents
Needless to say I forgot a couple of things like getting the dogs dinner. I was preoccupied with feeding the children. Not to worry though, because they reminded me pretty quickly. If only things like my Christmas tree could whine or bark to remind me that they need water. Or if my holiday cards could remind me they need to be addressed and mailed off already. I know, I know, they're really late, but I have a bit of an excuse, they just got here today.

On top of that, Dadda monkey is laid up for a couple of days so I'm on my own with everything. I can truly say I sympathize with all the single Moms or Dads out there. Normally I don't credit Dadda monkey enough, but every little bit helps. I was so stressed today, that I forgot my favorite weekly activity...Ladies Night. Once a week, some girlfriends and I gather at a friend's house to watch a little TV, drink a little wine, and chat a bit. I always look forward to it and tonight it somehow completely slipped my mind. On a week when I could use it the most, my head was in a fog and I missed it.

I hope your schedules this holiday season are allowing you a chance to enjoy it. I love this time of year, but I feel swamped this week. I do have one little tool that helps ease my mind a bit. I just have to discipline myself to use it and consult it more often. I'll share that little gem with you soon. For now, I'm off to take out the last of the trash and then get some sleep so I can do this all over again tomorrow.

Monday, December 13, 2010

YGG Update

Yo Gabba Gabba went better than expected. That may have something to do with the fact that I didn't let Bro Bro monkey take his nap earlier that day. Monkey girl was a bit unsure of the loud music (it was incredibly loud) and flashing lights at first, but when they got into the dancing and the crowd joined in, she was happy. They sang songs she knew so she sang along, danced with the crowd, and really enjoyed it. Bro Bro sat on my lap most of the time. When my arms got tired about 3/4 of the way through, I passed him off to Dadda.

One funny thing to note is that Dadda monkey does not like Biz from Biz's Beat of the Day. He finds him 'creepy'. Well, Biz showed up and did his thing with the kids. Just before he went off stage, he sang a couple rounds of 'You...You got what I need. But you say he's just a friend, but you say he's just a friend...' I immediately recognized the song and it was a bit of fun for the adults. I admit that I didn't know he was the one who sang it. The show was fun and both kids enjoyed it, as did I. I'm counting it as their first concert since it was so loud with a lot of music. If you get a chance to go, you definitely should. I think the San Antonio crowd and theater is smaller than elsewhere so we had decent seats, but I still think it's a must see if you have kids that enjoy Yo Gabba Gabba.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yo Gabba Gabba Tonight

Tonight is the night our family has been looking forward to. Months ago, we bought our tickets for Yo Gabba Gabba Live and the date has finally come. I'm excited to see how Monkey girl reacts to seeing everything, but I'm nervous about taking Bro Bro monkey. He's at the stage where he does not want to be contained. He's a boy on the go! If you attempt to restrain him, you're sure to hear his discontent. The show isn't very long, about an hour, so hopefully we'll make it through okay. Ideally, he'll be mesmerized by the characters and music, but we'll see. Wish us luck.

Friday, December 3, 2010

CSN Stores Wish List

I've created a wish list at CSN Stores because I keep finding things I'm interested in. With over 200 stores there's a lot to see, from furniture to toys and everything in between. If I weren't getting a new kitchen table set I'd probably go for these counter height stools.
In the near future, I'll be reviewing something from CSN Stores that I've had my eye on for a while (something that once resided on my wish list). I highly recommend using their wish list feature. Since CSN Stores has such a vast array of products, I'm able to keep track of items I want. Dadda monkey knows about my wish list too so it makes buying presents easier on him. If you haven't already, this holiday season is a perfect time to check out CSN Stores.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Almost ready for Candy Land

I can't wait to play games regularly with my kids and I had been wondering if my two and a half year old was ready to play board games. I can't think of any game that's better to start with than the classic Candy Land. We got Hasbro's Candy Land: The World of Sweets and set it up promptly. Setting up involved nothing more than unfolding the board, shuffling the cards, and placing our characters at the start. My mother, Nai Nai, was here and she was excited to try playing with her grand daughter. Monkey girl was enthralled with the vivid colors and the novelty of it all. She picked her card and we explained that she needed to move to the next purple square. Unfortunately, 'next' purple square meant 'any' purple square to her. We're still working on the concept of following the path so I don't think she's quite ready for a full game. Needless to say, she won in as little as 3 turns. 

Candy Land was one of my favorite games as a child and I had fun playing with my daughter. I still think it's a great game to start with and we'll keep trying to play with Monkey girl. The most important part, as with any game, is that everyone has fun and it's a fantastic family activity. For next year's National Family Game Night, Candy Land will be our go to game and maybe even Bro Bro monkey can try playing.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

The monkey family and I don't have family in our state so we were lucky enough to have been invited by friends to have Thanksgiving with them. The past couple of years we'd been celebrating Thanksgiving alone, which was still pleasant, but not quite the same as being with a larger group. My mom always had extended family over to our house for Thanksgiving and would prepare a large elegant meal. This was one of the few times we got to eat in the formal dining room. My mother is also a really good cook. I'm not sure why that didn't get passed on to me. Dadda monkey would say I inherited her nagging trait, but that's another topic entirely. This Thanksgiving I'm especially thankful for having friends nearby who have welcomed us into their home. It will feel more festive this year to dine with others and the monkeys will have other kids to play with as well. Dadda monkey is hoping they'll have the football games on. I'm also thankful to have people taking their time to read these posts. Wherever you're spending this holiday, I hope you enjoy it. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Changing Tables

Normally, my blog is about products that work well for me. This time it's just the opposite. When we found out we were expecting Bro Bro monkey, we wanted to save some money on furnishing his nursery. For Monkey girl's nursery, we went to Babies R Us and bought the Babi Italia crib and dresser and we haven't had much trouble with them, but I thought they were a bit expensive for what they are.

So after shopping around, we bought the Da Vinci Kalani crib and the Storkcraft Aspen 3 drawer dresser. The crib's been fine. The dresser/changing table is another story. We've had it about a year and it seemed fine at first, but a couple of months ago, we started having problems with the drawers. It got so bad that I finally stopped using the middle drawer completely. However, that seemed to compound the problem with the changing table's stability because now the whole unit is unsteady and falling apart. We're not able to use it at all anymore. The interesting thing is they don't appear to sell that particular piece anymore.

I'm now in the market for a new dresser for Bro Bro. I'm trying to decide between the Da Vinci Kalani dresser to go with his crib or shopping at a regular furniture store for a dresser in a similar color to his other furniture. You already know how much I stress over making these kinds of decisions so I probably won't do anything until after the holidays.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I have a separate personal Facebook page, aside from the Mommy 2 Monkeys Facebook page. I've considered deleting it, but it does help me keep in touch with friends and family who I wouldn't otherwise correspond with as much. The problem is, so many of the posts irritate me. I think I'm a little high strung and opinionated anyways so it's not difficult to get under my skin. I don't typically take offense to the people personally, it's just certain posts that bother me and make me wish they would put some more thought into what they type.

First off, I am not of the texting generation. I don't like the abbreviations (it takes me 10 minutes to figure out half of them) and I really feel it detracts from the English language and writing skills. I know that subject is up for debate, but that's my opinion. We've actually had text options disabled on our cell phone plan. I hate seeing LOL being used as punctuation. 'I just made dinner, LOL.' Was it really that funny? If so, maybe you should be elaborating on what made that so darn funny.

Secondly, I've never been a fan of chain letters (or in this case posts). I remember getting postal chain letters occasionally as a kid and throwing them away, while secretly wondering if I'd really have 10 years of bad luck (or whatever other consequence) for doing so. They moved to email and now to Facebook. I still ignore them, but I'm no longer concerned about any impending doom. It doesn't help your cause when words are misspelled or the grammar is off. English certainly wasn't one of my stronger subjects, but numerous, blatant mistakes bug me. If you're a sister (or third cousin-in-law once removed) and proud of it, great, boast about it in your own words. I'll take my time to read it then, but seeing it copied from place to place demeans it a bit. If you're a fan of chain letters, great, to each their own. Just be aware, I'm not going to re-post it as my status and I probably won't even read it.

Third, do your own research. It's really easy to read something on the internet and copy and paste it for everyone else to read. Snopes is great for fishing out stories that may be less than true. I'm also not going to put a whole lot of credence into some rumor being half-wittedly posted around Facebook. If that's not the case then I apologize. After all, everyone is entitled to their opinion and free speech.

I love being updated with what's going on with everyone's personal lives and those posts rarely bother me. Additionally, if you check out your facts (which I will inevitably double check), I don't mind being informed of important current issues. Several weeks ago, I posted about an alumni family with some personal problems. They weren't asking for money, but more for verbal support. I hesitantly posted about it, but kept having second thoughts about it because I didn't want to come across as pushy, overbearing, or out of line.  Even with this post, I really don't hope to ruffle anyone's feathers. It's more of a personal rant and I'm sick so that makes me a bit more overzealous. Overall, I've found Facebook to be a great tool, but one that also irks me from time to time. If I end this with LOL, will that help lighten the tone of it?

I'm going back to bed now until Dadda monkey gets home with some toast and tea. I hope everyone's Thanksgiving week is off to a better start than ours.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Funtastic Playland

I'd never heard of this place until recently, but Funtastic Playland has over 13,000 feet of indoor play space. I haven't been yet, but I'll be going to check it out soon. There's a 2 story pirate ship, castle, monster truck, and more. I love finding out about new places to take the kids. I'm especially interested since they have a designated toddler area. If any of my San Antonio friends are interested, there's a deal of 2 weekend passes (includes 2 drinks) for $9 or 2 weekday passes (including 2 drinks) for $6.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Potty Training and Toothbrushes

It's no wonder my daughter can't get on board with potty training. Her Mom is apparently dense. I've been leaving the kids bathroom door open so that she can have access to her potty chair. Since we started leaving the door open, we've gone through about 10 additional rolls of toilet paper because Bro Bro monkey thinks it's fun to unwind the rolls. Additionally, we've bought many new toothbrushes because Monkey girl loves her toothbrush so much, she goes in there, grabs it, and plays with it everywhere (including in the toilet). Yesterday a light bulb finally went off in my head and I've moved her toothbrush to the medicine cabinet and the toilet paper is not being put on the holder anymore. I blame the unpredictable weather and the stress of family visiting on my Mommy fog recently. I just hope this potty training thing starts to stick soon.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cards Direct

With the holidays approaching, my thoughts have turned to preparations for this festive season. I've already begun buying gifts and now my attention has turned toward getting our holiday cards. Cards Direct is a fantastic source for this task. They have some beautiful Christmas cards, but I think we'll be getting the photo cards this year. I personally have my eye on this one (assuming we can get a good photo of the monkeys together):

I love a lot of their snowflake/snowy designs as well, but it seems silly coming from south Texas. This one is cute too if you get your photos printed separately:

There really is a great selection of holiday photo cards to choose from. Cards Direct offers personalized greeting cards for business and/or personal use. They have over 2,000 designs in categories such as holiday cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, photo cards, baby shower invitations, birth announcements, and more. Additionally, the online ordering process is simple and convenient. Don't you love getting things accomplished while still in your pajamas?

I'm going to have to remember they have birthday invitations as well when it comes time for Monkey girl's birthday in the spring. She'd adore these birthday tea party invitations:

Cards Direct has generously offered one of my readers 25 cards of your choice (up to a $50 value). Please note that your code will expire December 31st.

How To Enter:
(The first step is required for your first entry. Any steps after that reward you with an extra entry.) Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

1. Tell me which design you like for either holiday or birthday cards (either the description or a link).

2. Become a follower of my blog, Mommy 2 Monkeys, and leave a comment on this post that you've done so.
3. 'Like' the Mommy 2 Monkeys Facebook page and leave a comment on this post that you've done so.
4. Follow me on Twitter and leave  a comment on this post that you've done so.
5. Place my button on your blog/website and leave a comment on this post that you've done so.

This giveaway will remain open until November 22, 2010 at midnight central time. The winner will be chosen using I will post the winner on my blog and also email the winner (please make sure your email is visible on your profile or post it in your comment). The winner will have 72 hours to respond to my email or I will choose another winner via Good luck!


Mommy 2 Monkeys hasn't done business with Cards Direct yet so a review was not possible. Mommy 2 Monkeys was provided with the opportunity to hold a giveaway for my readers through Cards Direct in partnership with Global Influence. I will be provided with some cards for my personal use. No other compensation was received and the views expressed here are my own. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dogs at Play signs

Some of you may remember my review of the Dogs at Play sign I put on my fence. I recently got an email from saying you can buy their signs through Amazon in the Home, Garden, and Pet section. On top of that, they're 30% off until November 14th with free shipping by entering the code DOGSIGN7.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Family Visits

Sorry for the short hiatus, but we had family visiting from Florida. We love when family comes to visit since we don't have any nearby, but afterwards I feel like I need a staycation. We did a little running around town and surrounding areas and also did some routine things like going to Little Gym and our weekly play group. The kids were also happy to have new people to play with. Even though we did a pretty thorough cleaning of the house before they came, we're going to have to do a lot of picking up since we've been so busy while they were here. The kids found plenty of free time to pull out toys, food, clothes, etc... As for now, I'm off to bed for a good night's sleep. Hopefully, the monkeys will sleep in a bit tomorrow morning. It's just wishful thinking...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Little Gym

We've been attending The Little Gym for a couple of months now and I can definitively state that it's been good for Monkey girl. She still isn't staying with the group the whole time, but there's been some definite improvement. From my view, I've been impressed with the program. Monkey girl is in a super beasts class with other 2-3 year olds and they started with simple skills. For example, we've learned monkey jumps (which lead to cartwheels), donkey kicks (lead to handstands), how to walk on the balance beam, and hang from the uneven bars. We play with shakers, parachutes, hoops, and balls as well.

The sessions start with everyone sitting in a circle for introductions and some songs followed by a warm-up. Monkey girl would never sit in the circle and only joined the warm-up when it was time to run. Last week she sat with us and introduced herself when it was her turn. Although today she regressed a bit, I think this is good structure for her before she starts school. Now that we've been doing it for a while, Dadda monkey and I decided we will go ahead and enroll her for next semester too since we're both happy with it. We may enroll Bro Bro monkey too next year. I really encourage those of you with little ones that aren't in daycare to try The Little Gym or a similar program near you.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Friday

We're going to be a bit ambitious this weekend. Since we had the yard sale, we were able to get rid of some large items in the garage. So I'd like to finally get it somewhat organized. We've had another set of shelves sitting in a box for months now and we can get those up and put some things away. Then maybe we can get the car back in on one side of the garage.

We also have to go get our pumpkins and there's a pumpkin patch with a corn maze not too far from our house. They also have a petting zoo so Monkey girl will excited. I'm not too sure how much goats like to be hugged constantly though. I'm waiting for the day she asks for one as a pet. Monkey girl has been asking to go back to Sea World too so if we get everything done beforehand, we might make it there for a couple of hours. See, I told you ... ambitious. What actually gets done is another story, but at least we have some goals.

Bro Bro monkey is still recovering from the vicious ants we have here in San Antonio. Everyone told me the fire ants here are bad, but we went to the neighborhood playground a few days ago and he has about 10 large bites from the regular black ants. Seriously! I don't remember ants being that much of a menace when I was a kid. Poor Bro Bro has been a trooper though and needless to say we won't be frequenting that playground much anymore. Maybe he'll be distracted from the bites when he sees the goats. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

CSN Stores

Just in time for my kitchen table dilemma, CSN Stores has offered another giveaway for me to offer my readers. Since I first learned of CSN Stores, I have bought a hammock stand and a dog kennel from them. I've been very pleased with both transactions. I even had a chance to try out their customer service when the hammock stand we ordered was sent with some incorrect parts. With one quick phone call to them, the correct parts arrived in days. In case you're not familiar with CSN Stores, they have over 200 stores with pretty much everything, including bar furniture, which is where I found this lovely table. I had to start a wish list because we've found a grill, playroom furniture, fire pits, and light fixtures that we like.

The table above is really lovely, but I'm convinced I don't want another counter height table for my space. If you read my previous post, you know my struggle with choosing a new kitchen table. I think my first choice may be too big, but the other two choices is just a decision between black and white. Sounds simple enough, right? However, I don't trust myself with these decisions even after I take forever to make them, so this time I'm enlisting your help.

First choice, a foot longer and wider than my current table and with upholstered chairs (keep in mind I have 2 small children), but by far my favorite design.

Second choice, keeps the white/wood style, but is 8 inches shorter than my first choice. It also has wood seats that will be easier to wipe clean and rounded corners (good for both space saving and small children).

Third choice, same as the second, but in black. May match our brown cabinets and black appliances better (though our walls and floor are lighter colors and all trim is white) and may hide dirt better since it's darker. Though it's not my favorite, I'm thinking it may be the best choice.

CSN Stores has generously offered my readers a chance for a $45 promotional code. There really is so much to choose from it's hard to do thorough 'window shopping', but I love the feature on their homepage that allows you to see what people have bought recently. You can also click on the sales and promotions or clearance center to do some great bargain shopping.

How To Enter:
(The first step is required for your first entry. Any steps after that reward you with an extra entry.) This one's a little different in that I'll ask that you follow my blog to enter as I'd really like to reward my readers with this giveaway.
This giveaway, and subsequent shipping, is only offered within the continental United States.

1. Help me decide which table I should purchase (the first one that I like the most (but I fear is too big), or the white or black smaller set). The choices and more details can be found here
tell me what you've purchased from CSN Stores and how you like it
what you would like to purchase from CSN Stores

publicly follow my blog, Mommy 2 Monkeys (GFC is in the upper right side).

2. 'Like' the Mommy 2 Monkeys Facebook page and leave a comment on this post that you've done so.
3. Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment on this post that you've done so.
4. Place my button on your blog/website and leave a comment on this post that you've done so.

This giveaway will remain open until November 5, 2010 at midnight central time. The winner will be chosen using I will email the winner (please make sure your email is visible on your profile or post it in your comment). The winner will have 72 hours to respond to my email or I will choose another winner via Good luck!


Mommy 2 Monkeys was given the opportunity to hold a giveaway for my readers. No other compensation was received and the views expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Help Me Decide Which Table Is Best

I've been wanting a new kitchen table for a couple of reasons. First, our current table was just a cheap set we bought as a starter piece before we had kids. Secondly, it's a bar height table and it seems to take up more space because of that. Also, I'd rather have a normal height table for our family with small children. 

The other thing I'm looking for in a new table is the ability to expand for when we have company. When Bro Bro monkey arrived we turned our third bedroom into his nursery. This meant we lost our guest room since we only have a 3 bedroom house so we're turning our separate dining room into a make-shift guest room and the new kitchen table will be the only place for us to eat together. I picked a table that I really like, but I feel like it may be too big. I love the design of the chair backs and the upholstery would match our sofa and curtains. Here it is:

Our current table is only 48 inches long and this one starts at 60 inches and can expand to 78. The space where the table will go is not large so I wanted to keep it smaller. I was looking for a table that was 48 inches round and would expand to 60+ inches, but I had a hard time finding something of that size. I found something close though. This table is 52 inches long so it would only be 4 inches longer than our current table, which isn't bad, and the corners are rounded which might help with both my small space and small children:
The even more difficult part for me is choosing between white or black. As you can see my favorite choice (the first picture) is a white set and I love the casual cottage/beachy look, but the kitchen table will be amidst our dark brown cabinets and near the black appliances. Additionally, our family room is an open space next to the kitchen and has all dark brown wood furniture with a sage green sofa. My husband loves darker colors and I love lighter ones and so far he seems to be getting his way. So I'm thinking this set in black (below) might work better.
For some context here are some pictures of the area:

Dark cabinets and black appliances, but lighter countertop (to be replaced and probably another blog plea for help on color in the future).

Dark wood furniture in family room and sage sofa.

Sage sofa and brown/tan floor (to be replaced in the future)

Tan walls and white doors/trim/window (at the other end of the table you can't see).

As I've mentioned before, I'm not very artistically inclined so I'm struggling with this decision. I can go with my absolute favorite (first pic) and deal with the loss of open space. It's 8 inches longer than the other two considerations (and a foot longer than the current table) so I'm thinking it's the worst option. I can choose the white table (second pic) and it will fulfill my desire for light colors or I can choose the black table (third pic) with the thought that it blends better with the current style of our house. I think realistically the third choice is the best, but I'm hoping it won't make the space feel even smaller because of the dark colors. Please help!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Curious George Live!

We weren't sure how a 1 and 2 year old would do with sitting through a live show, but we were pleasantly surprised. I think it helped that it was characters my 2 year old recognized. We try to catch Curious George on TV in the afternoons here and she thoroughly enjoys the 'silly monkey'.

On a Sunday afternoon, we went to Freeman Coliseum and took our seats while waiting for the performance. As an aside, the staff was really patient with allowing my monkeys to crawl around before the show began. Note to self though, don't get there really early with small children who will be bored and restless. However, once the lights and music started they were as curious as George himself. Then when George and the man in the yellow hat appeared, they were hooked.

The story begins with George getting a large package and what might be inside. It's traveled all the way from Italy and inside is a chef's hat. It then goes on to a meatball contest and trials and tribulations along the way. I have to admit that as much as my daughter enjoys singing and dancing, she's not quite patient enough to sit through unfamiliar songs by other people. On top of that a lot of the story is told through the songs and she's too young to catch on to the meaning in the song. Luckily for us there was a lot of activity going on on stage and Curious George was oversized and very animated, which helped keep her attention. All in all, our monkey family enjoyed watching Curious George Live and we'd go again. I recommend it to others, especially if your kids are slightly older.

Yard Sale

My neighborhood has organized a community-wide yard sale this month and I've decided to take advantage of it. I'm really glad they're doing this collectively and I have plenty of things I'm ready to part with. On the other hand I have a few things that I should part with, but am having a hard time letting go.

Dadda monkey and I have decided we probably won't have any more children and Bro Bro is a very large 13 month old. As a result, all those baby things I had to have should probably go now. The bouncer, swing, and monitor are already in the garage for the sale. Dadda monkey wants me to sell the exersaucer and baby bathtub as well, but just yesterday I had Bro Bro in the exersaucer and when I give him baths I still prefer to use the baby tub inside the larger tub for extra security. We probably don't need either of these items, but if we have them I think we should use them until we're definitely done with them. However, if I don't sell them now, we'll probably have them until the next yard sale. One of the problems with keeping them is the pure fact that they're taking up room. I've noticed the homes around here have very limited storage space. I think they make up for this fact by giving you a 2 car garage that realistically is only big enough for 1 car.

I'm probably going to go ahead and sell them (and many other things), but they were my babies' firsts. We're also selling the infant car seat that I meticulously researched and begged Dadda monkey for. Similarly, I've been bagging up the clothes they've outgrown and passing them onto friends who can use them. I guess I'm just a sentimental fool, but looking at each outfit and the memories they accompany has just been hard. I'm thrilled they're going to friends who can use them though. All in all this will be good for everyone. I'll bid a fond farewell to the things we had and they'll go on to people who have a need/use for them. Wish us luck on our first yard sale!

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I love taking pictures and Dadda monkey was nice enough to give me a DSLR camera for Christmas a couple of years ago. I took a couple of years of photography classes in school, but that was before the digital age and I feel like it's a whole new ballgame now. All that time we spent on learning how to process your film and develop your pictures seems all for not now. I think I may take a class to work more on composition and lighting. I'll forever be working on taking better photos, but at least I'm on the right track in terms of equipment.

One item I have that helps me take better pictures is my new Joby Gorillapod. It really makes a difference having your camera on a steady base versus relying on your hands. However, the best thing about Gorillapod is it's flexibility (literally). You can wrap the 3 legs around almost anything to help you take great photos.

I can use it as a regular tripod standing flat on a surface or have tripod stability by wrapping it around a post or tree limb and have the ability to take some unique shots that I wouldn't otherwise be able to get. In the picture below, I wrapped it around my kitchen chandelier to take a photo from directly above the vase of flowers I had.

From the side versus from above:

Joby's website for the Gorillapod makes it really easy to find the right tripod for you. You can search by your camera make or type. In addition, they have Gorillapods for your video cameras. I have the Gorillapod SLR which also has an attached level to help ensure you're taking the best pictures you can. I've just started playing around with manual settings, but the Gorillapod will make taking long exposure shots much better.

One of the things I was worried about, despite the fact it's clearly made for it, was putting my camera on the tripod, while hanging from something, but the Gorillapod did it's job well. It holds up to 1.75 pounds. Some features from their site:
  • It's made from injection molded plastic which will stay firm through lots of action
  • Over 24 leg joints bend and rotate 360 degrees
  • The lock ring provides extra security that your camera is safely attached
You can buy the Gorillapod direct from Joby's store and the model I have retails for $39,95 which is extremely reasonable to me for such a versatile tripod. The quality is clearly superior and I have no hesitation in putting my camera in unique locations now. At this price, I highly recommend it for any photographer. I'm looking forward to using it to take some family pictures for the holidays.

Mommy 2 Monkeys was provided with a sample for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received and the views expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I think October may be one of my favorite months in San Antonio. The weather is starting to cool a little yet the sun is still out allowing lots of outdoor play. We bought a hammock for the backyard and it's been a great to have the whole family outside enjoying everything. Even Bro Bro is starting to enjoy going down the slide (assisted of course). One of Dadda monkey's favorite things is Halloween so he's been like a big kid ogling all the Halloween decor in the stores. He's currently working on a graveyard set up for the front yard. And now we're off to Costco, where hopefully they'll have the pumpkin streusel muffins available. Yum, October is a great month all around.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stuck Toys

I have spent a good portion of the past 2 days pulling stuck toys out of other toys, or laundry baskets, or kitchen gadgets, etc.. I have heard the stories of poptarts being put in the VCR or gum in various places, but my kids are under 3. I had hoped not to have to be worrying about this for some time. Granted I'm happy it wasn't food, but I'm hoping this is not a sign of what the future has in store for me. Top that with the terrible 2-3 (I've heard 3 is worse....) year old tantrums that accompany frustration and unhappiness and you've got a Mommy that needs some quiet time. This weekend is a busy one for us though and I won't be getting much quiet any time soon. Hopefully, it will be a fun weekend though and one without any more stuck toys.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Potty Training 102

Many moons ago, I wrote about getting the potty chair to start potty training. I still love the potty chair, but the potty training isn't going so well. I think Monkey girl's just not ready yet. She'll be 2 and a half in a couple of weeks and we've tried to start potty training several times to no avail. The first couple of hours go well, until she has to go, then it's always in between the 10 minute intervals I've been taking her. I've tried pull-ups, big girl underwear, and training pants. After she goes, I ask her if she wants to try again or if she wants a diaper, and the response is always in favor of the diaper. We'll keep at it every couple of weeks, but just as with her speech progression, I'm going to have to accept that she'll do things in her own time.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Yo Gabba Gabba! Live!

Ever since we discovered Yo Gabba Gabba! over a year ago they have been shown in our house at least once a day. Bro Bro monkey is even starting to watch the show. At first, Dadda monkey and I found the show fairly bizarre, but we soon learned how addicting the songs were and noticed the really great messages the show conveys to their pint size audience. My daughter is often caught singing songs like 'There's a Party in my Tummy', 'Keep Trying', or 'Try it, You'll Like It'. For those who know about my daughter's speech problems, the fact that she's singing these songs is great for more than one reason. I even did a post about Yo Gabba Gabba's influence in our lives back in March.

Last year I didn't know about Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! until they had already come through our area so this year I made sure to buy our tickets as soon as I heard they'd be in San Antonio. December 9th, the Monkey family will be going to see Yo Gabba Gabba! Live and I can't wait to see the kids reactions when they realize what we're going to see. You can visit for more information on the show including when and where their performances will be. The show is supposed to be about an hour long and, unlike most live shows, will be careful about hurting your little one's ears. There will even be surprise special guests at the live show. We honestly can't wait until we go and as an added bonus, by December I think even Bro Bro will be aware of what he'll be watching. There's going to be a party in our city and we've made sure we're going to be there.

Yo Gabba Gabba! has also been generous enough to provide one Mommy 2 Monkey's reader with a prize pack. This includes the Yo Gabba Gabba! Clubhouse DVD  -  released on June 15 and features performances by musical guests Erykah Badu, The Killers, Jimmy Eat World and more AND Yo Gabba Gabba!: Music is Awesome Volume 2, which is a compilation of songs from Season I, II, and III. The CD was released August 31, timed with the launch of the live tour, KIA Motors Presents YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE! THERE'S A PARTY IN MY CITY.  

A couple of notes about the CD (including a free download): Jam-packed with Super Music Friends & all of the songs you’ve grown to love including those from Weezer, MGMT & Jimmy Eat World. A deluxe edition featuring bonus songs from the hit series will also be available on iTunes. Fans can get a sampling of the record with a free download of our favorite Super Music Friends – Weezer’s track “All My Friends Are Insects” at
MUSIC IS AWESOME! VOLUME 2 is available on CD at Target, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and independent music retailers nationwide and for pre-order on Amazon (link below):

I have to confess I'm jealous of the winner. While I'm typing this post, my daughter is peering over my shoulder with a big smile on her face, looking at the pictures, and saying 'Yo Gabba'. Sorry YGG, we've dropped the last part of your name.

How To Enter:
(The first step is required for your first entry. Any steps after that reward you with an extra entry.) Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

1. Let me know what your favorite part of Yo Gabba Gabba! is. For example, do you have a favorite character, song, special guest appearance. You can go here for some help. If you've been to the live show leave me a comment letting me know what you thought of it.

2. Become a follower of my blog, Mommy 2 Monkeys, and leave a comment on this post that you've done so.
3. 'Like' the Mommy 2 Monkeys Facebook page and leave a comment on this post that you've done so.
4. Follow me on Twitter and leave  a comment on this post that you've done so.
5. Place my button on your blog/website and leave a comment on this post that you've done so.

This giveaway will remain open until October 4, 2010 at midnight central time. The winner will be chosen using I will post the winner on my blog and also email the winner (please make sure your email is visible on your profile or post it in your comment). The winner will have 72 hours to respond to my email or I will choose another winner via Good luck!


Mommy 2 Monkeys was provided with the opportunity to hold a giveaway for my readers. No other compensation was received and the views expressed here are my own. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bro Bro's Birthday

We recently celebrated Bro Bro monkey's first birthday. We're so happy to have hit this milestone and as if he knew what time it was, he started taking 2-3 steps on his own. It took him forever to crawl, but once he got going we all knew immediately just how much he likes to move. So we really shouldn't have been surprised when he started taking baby steps recently.

For the monkeys' first birthdays we decided to keep them low key. Just like for Monkey girl's first birthday, we celebrated Bro Bro's birthday with just our immediate family. We picked up cupcakes and let him dive into his very own. As for presents, I have high praises for 2 of the gifts we got him. The first one was the Haba Colori Stacking Ball. It's a little hard for him to assemble right now, but it's a great size and I love the colors. In fact just today, a friend of mine was admiring it.

The second toy was a Busy Zoo Activity Center. It was discounted slightly at Amazon and I thought it would be worth a try. It turns out that both Bro Bro and Monkey girl love it. It's hard to find toys that Bro Bro will sit in front of and be content for any extended period of time, but this is one of those and I'm so glad that we decided to give it a try. I highly recommend it for any young children.

We had a great day and Bro Bro (and Monkey girl) seemed equally as happy with the festivities. Happy Birthday, my little man!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Are You Ready For Some Football?!?

I am! Though I'm not in the DC area anymore, I'm still rooting for my beloved Redskins. It is my favorite professional sport and football season holds many great memories for me. To me it also signals the beginning of fall. I've held onto my season tickets in hopes of getting great seats when/if we move back to the area. Dadda monkey wasn't a big football fan when we met. We started watching some games together and he was hooked. Naturally he became a Redskins fan because those are the games we watched the most and he took a great interest in them. Now he may be a bigger fan than me...maybe.

Last year we made it back to DC just as preseason was starting so Dadda monkey got to go to his first professional football game ever. We talk about heading up to Dallas for the Redskins game, but I wouldn't want to take the kids and it may be hazardous to our health to display our loyalty in Cowboy country. Today, however, I proudly wore my Redskins shirt in anticipation of Sunday's game against the Cowboys. Even the monkeys have Redskins apparel of their own. Though we're relatively far from Dallas (in fact closer to Houston), there's a great many avid Cowboy fans in San Antonio. They even televise the Cowboys on the news as if they're the home team. I haven't figured out if it's just because Texans in general love the iconic Cowboys or if it may be because the Cowboys practice here at the Alamodome. Either way I'm looking forward to tomorrow's game and watching my favorite player #47 Chris Cooooooley! It should really set off the season with a bang (hopefully in favor of Washington). Go Skins!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Being Sick With Kids Is Not Fun

Dadda monkey must have picked up something at work and shortly after he was having symptoms, I got sick. The kids followed suit too. Luckily, I think they're bigger troopers about it than their parents are. We have completely different ways of reacting to being sick. Dadda likes to take his sick days and spend them playing video games and watching movies. I prefer to stay in bed, sleep most of it off and maybe read a little. The kids went about their normal routine though. Dadda monkey's dietary preferences don't change except for wanting more sweet tea. I prefer soup, raisin bread toast, and hot tea. If my throat hurts I love sorbet.

The worst part, aside from watching my poor children be semi-miserable, is trying to still care for them and keep our routines when I just want to curl up in bed with quiet surroundings. The tropical storm passing through allowed me to cancel Monkey girl's gym session without much guilt and we were able to re-schedule for this Saturday. Dadda monkey's feeling better and I think I'm getting better as well so it looks like things will get back to normal soon.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Monopoly and Family Game Night

Monopoly is one of my favorite board games of all time. I remember trying to get my parents to play this with me frequently when I was younger. Too often though they weren't interested, which was sad both then and now. I can't wait until my kids are old enough to play with me. I love the idea of instituting a family game night and was thrilled to discover that September 29th is officially Family Game Night. Check out the Hasbro's Family Game Night Facebook page. The new Monopoly Revolution seems like a great updated version I might have to pick up for my family in anticipation of family game night.

Hasbro is also celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Monopoly with Monopoly "Money Makes It Real". A recent survey conducted by Hasbro, showed that 60 percent of United States residents who have played the game have imagined the cash in the game becoming real money. If the money became a reality, more people would use this cash to pay off debt (70 percent) or buy something for their family (54 percent), before they purchased something for themselves (40 percent). Did you know over a billion people in 111 countries have played Monopoly? In honor of the anniversary, they're giving away all the money in the bank (Monopoly's bank) to the tune of $20,580. Hurry up and enter for your chance since entries will only be accepted until September 3rd, but you can vote until September 27th.

Hasbro is generously sponsoring a giveaway in honor of Family Game Night and Monopoly. One of my readers will win the Monopoly Property Trading game.
How To Enter:
(The first step is required for your first entry. Any steps after that reward you with an extra entry.) Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

1. Let me know what memories you have of playing Monopoly OR what you would do if you won the money from Monopoly's bank?

2. Become a follower of my blog, Mommy 2 Monkeys, and leave a comment on this post that you've done so.
3. 'Like' the Mommy 2 Monkeys Facebook page and leave a comment on this post that you've done so.
4. Follow me on Twitter and leave  a comment on this post that you've done so.
5. Place my button on your blog/website and leave a comment on this post that you've done so.

This giveaway will remain open until September 10, 2010 at midnight central time. The winner will be chosen using I will post the winner on my blog and also email the winner (please make sure your email is visible on your profile or post it in your comment). The winner will have 72 hours to respond to my email or I will choose another winner via Good luck!


Mommy 2 Monkeys was provided with the opportunity to hold a giveaway for my readers. No other compensation was received and the views expressed here are my own.