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.