Sunday, October 12, 2014

It's Fall!

One of the things we were most looking forward to with our move from Texas to Virginia, was the obvious change in seasons. As I sit here typing this, I can see out to my front yard and watch the colorful leaves fall. Every morning has been brisk and requires me to find the monkeys' jackets (and my own) before we walk to school. I bought apple cider at the store yesterday and feel like it's the right time to be drinking it. In South Texas, we could buy cider in September, but it was still 90+ degrees out. It just didn't feel right. Just to round things out with this perfect weather, we picked up a pumpkin pie too.

We live near the mountains. Every time I head out to the store and can see the ridges in the distance, I think how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place. Even the monkeys seem to be happier, though secretly they're just hoping it will snow any day now. I don't think they understand that's not likely to happen until December at the earliest. However, I've been purchasing snow pants and sleds because we're all eagerly anticipating that first snowfall. Even Dadda monkey told his boss that he wanted to take a day off of work the first time it snows.

As for now, we're the crazy former Texans who keep remarking on the beautiful weather we're experiencing in Northern Virginia. Seriously, to my new friends here, I apologize for commenting on it, EVERY SINGLE DAY. I'm sure our excitement over Autumn here will taper off soon, but just wait until the first snow!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

School Adjustment

I never thought I'd be in this position. I am the parent of the 'bad' kid in class. Monkey girl has always been outgoing, opinionated, and jubilant. I've struggled recently with how to rein in her enthusiasm, especially focusing on socially acceptable norms, but I also don't want to stifle her own unique personality. Anyways, her 1st grade teacher does the normal clothes hanger behavior monitoring chart. Kids move a clothes pin with their name on it, up and down a color coded chart according to behavior, with purple being 'great' and red being 'parent contact'. Every morning, they all start on green 'ready to learn' and progress through the day. Most kids stay on green, apparently no one's made it to blue or purple (standards of excellence), and a few go down to yellow (slow down) or even orange (warning). Since school started 22 days ago, Monkey girl has been red twice, orange once, and yellow twice.

Today was a red day. I haven't had my 'parent contact' yet, but according to Monkey girl she clapped her hands at an inappropriate time during class when the teacher had specified not to prior to whatever applaud-garnering event was going on. I'm torn because I know she's not a 'bad' kid, but know she needs to work on listening more. However, she went directly from green to red today for this one incident. She didn't bite anyone, throw a book across the room, refuse to do her school work... she clapped.

Unfortunately now it seems as though she's gotten this 'bad' rap and will be labeled as such by her teacher for the rest of the year. Of course, she has her green days which let me breathe a sigh of relief, but these red ones are terrible. I feel like they've might as well make me move my pin down to red for the horrible parenting job it appears I've done. Despite my wonderment at the extremity of these behaviors, we've instilled a punishment at home for any warm tones she might bring home. Though, I've also given her the opportunity to earn back any privileges she might lose. Apparently she's not given the same opportunity at school. For today, I'm going to be on the lookout for my 'parent contact' email and abide by the punishment we've agreed on, all the while hoping things improve beyond this first month of the school year. Otherwise, it's going to be a long one for all of us.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Two Months Later...

We made it! We're living in Northern Virginia now and loving the change. There are big green trees and beautiful lawns. I didn't realize how accustomed I'd become to living in a drought prone region. It's gorgeous here. I can even see the mountains from my house (if I walk out a few meters and crane my neck just so). The climate is slightly cooler, but much more humid. A couple of mornings have called for light jackets for the walk to school, but on warm days, like mid 80s, the humidity has made it feel a bit like south Texas 100+ degree temperatures. Sadly, the pools closed Labor Day weekend, but we haven't missed it too much.

There's so much to do here too. Every weekend, I've been combing through different calendar of events and trying to decide what the Monkey family should try next. There's still so many things to get to, but I love that there's always tons of choices. We're really looking forward to fall and, unlike many of our neighbors, snow!

Now that school has begun again, I will be back to updating the blog more often. Stay tuned for some Monkey family adventures and recommendations!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Moving Tip #1

As you may have gathered, we're moving half way across the country to the DC area. Dadda monkey is already working out there, which has left me with all the packing. We've had numerous movers come out to give us estimates, which are hard to garner online without opening yourself up to numerous phone calls and emails soliciting your business. By the way, a ball park estimate of having movers move a 4 bedroom house from South Texas to DC is about $10,000-12,000, just for sake of making things easier for other people.

We've decided to go with a u-pack service where they bring the moving truck and we're responsible for loading it. That also means we're  I'm doing all the packing. I came across this incredibly helpful tip that instead of buying expensive boxes to move larger TVs, you should scout neighbors' houses on trash day and look for any TV boxes they may have put out. Then you can use them for your own televisions. I am lucky to have an incredibly helpful group of neighbors that frequent a neighborhood forum. I put out a simple request for any one's old TV boxes and immediately got the 2 that I needed! That has quickly taken care of the TV packing (well, once I actually get someone to help me put them in the boxes).

Along the same lines, during the popular moving season (early June-July), you can look for other people moving in who might have moving boxes they wish to dispose of. Again, I'm fortunate to live in a neighborhood with a lot of military families and so there's often people moving in and out. I've already gathered multiple garment boxes and most of the boxes I'll need to pack up out stuff.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


We're going to check out Sea World's Aquatica this weekend. An update and review to come later. Looking forward to it now that temperatures are reaching the 90s.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Break Is Over, Bring On Soccer

We're back to the daily grind. Now add to it two monkeys in soccer, who of course have practice twice a week on different days. So I'm at the soccer field Mon-Thurs and again on Saturday for games. I don't mind, it's just a lot to jump into at once. Apparently I'm not good at change, so drastic change is even worse. Plus sitting on the sideline is rough for someone who played from elementary school through college. Despite my normally quiet demeanor, I'm a terror of a soccer Mom. I don't mean to be overly critical of my own kids or even yell at them like a crazy person, but that is what happened the first week. Dadda monkey has claimed he doesn't know me nor why some lunatic is yelling at his child. Anyways, there's lots of personal growth and improvement to work on. I guess it's some personal spring cleaning in addition to household spring cleaning/purging (that move is still on the horizon potentially). Now off to work on dinner for one of the only two nights there's actually decent time to cook!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It's Spring Break!

I'm possibly more excited than the kids that it's Spring Break! Kindergarten has been a big adjustment for us and I'm really grateful that Monkey girl's off for a week. She gets to spend the week relaxing, going out with her brother and I, and enjoying more family time. We're not sure if we're going to plan anything special (a hike at Enchanted Rock or a day trip to Corpus Christi have been discussed), but even if we don't it's been a great couple of days so far.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Spring Cleaning

This year spring cleaning isn't going to consist of a good thorough cleaning of our house. Instead, I'll be purging the kids toys. Though I've attempted this in the past, I never seem to be able to do a thorough job. I'm as bad as the kids. I find a toy that  I know they used to love, but haven't played with in a while and instead of stealthily putting it in a donation bag, I decide to show the kids what I found, thus getting them excited about playing with it again. Little McDonald's toys that I've kept, will soon be tossed, toys that 'just had one small broken thing' will now be tossed as well. My house is making me claustrophobic; there's just TOO MUCH STUFF. The toys are a big part of it and I know children with less toys function just as well, if not better. Wish me luck!

(Tips, recommendations, and encouraging comments welcome!)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sea World

Last weekend we spent some time at Sea World San Antonio. Now that's nothing new for us as we're lucky to live near it, but they had an extraordinary presentation from a local organization that rescues wild birds. Normally I'm not a bird fan, but it was quite interesting.

We enjoyed spending several hours there enjoying the rides (it was nice out so we even went on one of the water ones) and animal shows. As a bonus, Sea World is offering free tickets for preschoolers (ages 3-5) living in Texas, but you have to register by May 31st. If you live near Orlando or San Diego, you might check their sites as well because I believe they were offering it for local preschoolers too.

With Monkey girl in school, Bro Bro monkey and I are bound to have a few play dates there before school lets out. When we take Monkey girl, she makes sure we never miss Shamu, the dolphins, and the flamingos. Bro Bro hasn't really decided on a favorite, but he loves the rides and giant jungle gym. If you're lucky enough to live near a Sea World, check out their camps too! We haven't tried them, but they look incredible.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


It's no secret that Dadda monkey and I have been wanting to move out of South Texas. It's been a long journey, but as the reality of an upcoming move sets in, I'm stressed! Nothing's done yet, we're waiting on an offer letter (which previous experience tells me may or may not actually happen) and so I'm spending my little amount of free time browsing houses. Houses that cost way more than what we enjoy here... I knew this and yet it's still daunting. Especially since I'm not even sure what area to look in. Regardless, the monkeys and I will stay here through June to let Monkey girl finish kindergarten. Common sense tells me moving sooner rather than later is better so the monkeys can settle into new areas and schools, we won't get entrenched here to make moving even harder, and Dadda monkey can take full benefit of a good career move before he's labelled an old fogey and not able to move up as much. :) Here's to hoping your week is calmer than ours!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Essential Oils

We've started using essential oils to boost our overall health (physical and emotional) and have been enjoying their benefit. I've been using DoTerra, but realize there are many good options out there. There are some not as good, so I encourage you to do your own research before just picking up a random bottle at a local store. If you're interested in DoTerra, you can check out my store here:

A friend shared this recipe for homemade mint chocolate bars (think Larabars):
2/3 cups whole almonds
1 cup whole, pitted dates
2 TB unsweetened cocoa
3 drops dōTERRA Peppermint Essential oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Put in food processor and blend until there are no large pieces of nuts left.
Roll into 1” balls or press into a round or square pan and then cut into bars.
Makes approximately 25 balls.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Introduction to Planes: Fire & Rescue

Bro Bro Monkey is very excited about Disney's Planes: Fire & Rescue coming to theaters on July 18th. Needless to say, this is has been added to our summer agenda.

Here's a look at the movie:

Friday, January 31, 2014

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Bingo

The Monkey Family is very excited about watching the Olympics! This will be Monkey Girl's second winter Olympics, but she doesn't really remember the first so we're looking forward to both monkeys being able to understand more of what's going on this time. On that note, we're trying to do some things that will make it a little more fun for us all.

First off, I can't take all the credit for this as I saw as similar concept on Pinterest (where I love to waste spend a lot of my time). However, I'd love to share my first copy of Olympic Bingo with all of the lovely guests of this blog. Enjoy! I'll work on the extra copies with the squares mixed up over the weekend and get the whole thing uploaded next week. Here's board #1 for now. There are 4 different boards now!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Frozen Sing-A-Long

In case you haven't heard, select theaters across the country will be showing Disney's Frozen Sing-A-Long. Monkey girl has been really excited about being able to belt out Let It Go and Do You Want to Build a Snowman in the movie theater. I won't deny, I'm looking forward to it too. The movie was great and the songs are catchy.
You can see if it will be showing near you and buy your tickets at Fandango.In the meantime enjoy this Elsa coloring page.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter Weather in South Texas

For the second time in a week, the forecast is calling for a 'wintry mix'. The monkeys didn't have school on Friday due to icy conditions and Dadda Monkey stayed home as well. We were hoping for at least flurries so we could let the kids go out and play. We knew it wasn't likely to stick, but even flurries can be fun to dance in when you're little and haven't really seen snow. Anyways, we ended up with some sleet and freezing rain, just enough to make road conditions hazardous. We enjoyed our 3 day weekend!

Tonight they're also calling for a chance of sleet, but it doesn't look like it's going to be as big of a storm as Friday's. I'll be hoping for that off chance of flurries anyways!

Monday, January 13, 2014

I'm Lopsided!

I've been taking some yoga classes because I just hit the big 40 and my flexibility is next to none (thank you c-sections for hindering this even more). Plus I'm all about my exercise routine involving a bunch of stretching. The ladies in my class and my instructor are all wonderful people so it's a joy to make this time for myself each week. Thankfully, I'm not the only beginner because there are certain poses that I know I look like a fool (or drunk crow) attempting them. Then there's the positions that have taken me by surprise at how I can't even come close. For instance in bow (picture you on your stomach with your head raised and feet bending towards your head), you're supposed to grab your ankles. I struggle to grab my right ankle, but my left one... forget it, it may as well be in the next building. Hopefully, I'll get there. Who knew one of my 2014 goals would be to be able to do something as simple as grab both my ankles!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

BOB Jogging Strollers

Amazon has BOB jogging strollers on sale for up to 40% off. That includes my favorite BOB dual stroller. Although, it's too bulky for me to be comfortable taking it places, it's perfect for around the neighborhood. Bro Bro monkey and I usually take it on walks or to play dates while Monkey girl is at school and I've been surprised how well it's handled only having one child in it. I thought it'd be unwieldy or off balance with one side weighed down more, but it's still easy to maneuver. This is a great time to pick up a BOB stroller of your own. I don't have any experience with the single one, but I'd imagine that one would be easier to pick up and travel with. I'd love one for our Sea World day trips. I highly encourage you to go pick one up for yourself while they're on sale!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Year's Resolutions

Oh my, one month since I've posted. My poor neglected blog, although I guess it means the monkeys themselves weren't neglected in the least. Monkey girl says I've been busy playing her, which is great to hear. I always feel I can do better as a Mom (as I'm sure most moms feel). Thus one of my resolutions is to be a better Mom, that includes doing a better job on housework. I really dislike being embarrassed about my home when unexpected company comes by. Not to mention, I always feel better in a clean home.

Secondly, I have a lot of exciting ideas for the blog so I want to make sure I post here every couple of days. One of the things that's been taking my time is my new Silhouette Cameo machine. I've had so much fun for this. As an apology for being away so long and in preparation for Valentine's Day (yes being more prepared and organized is another resolution), I have a design to share with any of my readers who own a Silhouette machine. Just click on the image below to open a new tab where you can download the file. Enjoy and see you in a couple days!