Living life in the carpool lane..

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Happy Fourth of July from “Living life in the carpool lane!”

Stay safe and have fun!

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The girls’ latest obsession is sidewalk chalk.

For $1, I purchased a pack of 12 pieces at Target.  I feel like ‘Super Mom’ because this chalk can keep them occupied for at least an hour, and I didn’t pay an excessive amount of money for it!

Yup, Super Mom.

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The girls love it.  The back yard concrete is full of colorful drawings and lines.  It’s really brought our backyard to life!

The Target chalk is great.  It gets the job done.  It’s chalk.

However, I found an old pack of Crayola side walk chalk that we received as a party favor years ago.  I brought that out to them for them to try.

Crayola chalk is vastly different than Target chalk.

Target chalk feels like, well, chalk.  Crayola chalk has a creamer and smoother feel.  It’s not a dry to touch.

Target chalk makes fainter lines on the concrete.  Target chalk makes chalky lines.  Crayola chalk makes darker, more pigmented, lines.  The colors are more vibrant and noticeable.  The chalk glides on the concrete in a creamier way.

But honestly, the kids don’t care.  Chalk is chalk, no matter what the brand.  They are having fun with both sets and can spend a whole afternoon out there playing and drawing.

I love watching them enjoy some time outside!

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M – first born

She’s intense.  She’s ‘in your face’ but in the super friendly way.  She sees wants to be everyone’s friend the second she meets you.  She doesn’t understand personal space because she just wants to be your best friend.  She’s super sweet.  She’s affectionate.  She’s funny.  She’s opinionated.  She’s understanding and can ‘go with the flow’ in most circumstances.  She’s articulate.  She’s innocent.  She never means anyone any harm.  She can lose control because she gets so excited and happy about the smallest and simplest situations.  She is a fun, but strong, personality.

K – the baby

She’s a bit quieter.  She’s a bit more reserved.  She can run and laugh with her sister, but you can tell she holds back a little bit more than M does.  While M openly laughs loudly, K can be seen giggling demurely with her hand over her mouth.  She’s a bit more cautious when it comes to other kids.  She’s learning to be more friendly, but hasn’t gotten too close to people she doesn’t know.  She’s opinionated.  She’s strong willed.  She’s a fighter.  She won’t give in.  She will make known when she is unhappy.  She’s a little more serious.  She shows affection on her terms and doesn’t like to be bothered with random hugs and kisses (especially when she’s in the middle of something). She’s the baby and it definitely shows.

I’m loving how their personalities are shaping and changing.  I love the similarities.  I love the differences.  I love watching them interact and how their personalities affect how they play and deal with each other.

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M graduated from preschool.

It was a great day.

They did the celebration at a local park.  They played for a little bit and then the teacher gathered them around for a little “ceremony.”

They were handed certificates and then each of them were to say their favorite thing about preschool.

In true “M” nature, she said that her favorite thing about preschool was playtime.

After the ceremony, the kids were allowed to play around until they were ready to go home.

We took M to Chuck E Cheese for lunch afterward.  We ended up staying there for THREE HOURS!  M and K had a blast!  They played endlessly.  They loved every single minute they were there.

Three hours at Chuck E Cheese meant that they fell asleep in the car before we even left the parking lot!

It definitely was a great day!

I’m so proud of what M had accomplished this preschool year.  She had grown so much since the beginning.  She’s definitely become a better student because of this experience.

She’ll be moving on to Transitional Kindergarten for the next school year.  I’ll probably do a post about it when the time comes.

Congratulations, my baby girl.  Over the course of the school year, I have seen you grow up into a little lady.  You’ve made friends, and learned how to be a good student.  I can’t wait to see what next year holds for you.  You make me so proud everyday.  I love you so much and I hope we have a super fun summer vacation!

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Me:  K is so much more tiring to take care of than M was at that age…
My mom:  No, it’s the same, you just never felt it because you were working.

She’s right.

For the first two and a half years of M’s life, I was a working mom.  I’d leave before M wakes up in the morning, and Hubby would bring M at home right before dinner in the afternoon.

For about 10 hours a day, she’d be with a grandparent.

I didn’t know how tiring she truly could be.

Now, I stay home all day.  I get the kids 24/7.  They are tiring.  K is tiring.  K is nonstop running, climbing, jumping, exploring… she’s always got an agenda.. she’s always got something to do.

Tiring.

I didn’t experience it much with M.  The only times I’d get to stay home with her were on weekends, holidays, vacations or sick days.  I didn’t feel so tired chasing after her because I felt like I rarely got to do it.   I always felt I was missing out by being at work, so I took full advantage of my time with M.

So is K really more tiring than M?  Or is it just that I’m around more to deal with a very active toddler than I was when M was this age?

I try not to think about it because then the ‘mommy guilt’ kicks in about how I didn’t feel I was around much for M when she was younger…

Let’s not go there..

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The girls love Legoland.

We have passes, so we try to go as often as we can.  That usually means we visit the parks about once a month.

This past visit was a special visit because it made me very aware of how much the girls are growing up.

For the longest time, K’s visits to Legoland were pretty uneventful.  She’d spend most of her time in the stroller or in someone’s arms.  She never really walked around.  She was content with simply people watching.

This time, she was old enough to want to get more involved in the visit.  She walked around a lot more.  She ran around and played with the Lego toys.  She sat by the stage to watch the Lego Friends musical show.  She thoroughly enjoyed her trip to the aquarium.

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M has spent most of her visits playing around with Legos and watching almost every showing of the Lego Friends musical.  When weather permits, she’d spend the rest of the visit at the water park.  She would enjoy all the hands-on experiences that Legoland offers.

This time, she was old enough to enjoy Mini-land.  All the different city displays created out of Legos finally caught her eye.  She loved running around to the different displays and catching all the tiny details.  She was in awe and I finally saw how mature she was becoming.

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I enjoy watching my girls grow up.  I enjoy watching their interests change.  I enjoy watching how mature they are becoming.  I enjoy seeing them change.

It’s interesting to watch how their interactions with Legoland are affected as they get older…

I love parenthood.

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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

From the family at Living Life in the Carpool Lane!

To all the mommies, please enjoy this special day!

I’ll be back with a fun blog post tomorrow!

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Turning 4 1/2 has brought many changes for M.

Four and a half meant saying good bye to things that have scared her in the past.  I don’t know what brought upon this sudden surge of bravery, but she has conquered two of her major fears since she hit the half way mark of her fourth year of life.

Air blowing hand dryers
For about two years now, M had been scared of those hand dryers.  They were just too loud in public restrooms where the echo can amplify sounds so much.  If a hand dryer was the only option in the bathroom, she would just wipe her hands on me.  All of a sudden, she felt brave enough to try it, and she’s never looked back.  In fact, she enjoys it and looks for the air dryers now.

Rides
There is a ride in Legoland that bounces children up and down from up high.  It’s a kiddie ride, so it’s really not THAT high, but it does give a small sense of free fall as it bounces the children up and down.  When she rode that ride during the Brick-or-Treat in October, she was terrified!  The look on her face made me feel so bad.  I wanted to ask the operator to stop the ride early just to get her off.  Several trips to Legoland later, and she still didn’t want to ride it.  However, during Spring Break, something made her want to try that ride again.  No one asked her, she just told us she wanted to try it again.  I asked her several times as we were in line, if she wanted to back out.  I even asked her one last time as she was boarding the ride, if she wanted to back out.  Nope.  She wanted to ride it.  She had the time of her life.  She laughed and giggled and screamed in sheer delight.  She liked it so much, she rode it twice!

We’ve been so proud of watching M venture out of her comfort zone and face those fears.  I feel like she’s gradually boosting her confidence with every fear she’s tackled and it shows on her face.

I love watching this kid grow up.  I really do!

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Disclaimer:  The item featured in this ‘Shopping small’ post is purchased by me.  I am not sponsored by the store featured.

My daughter’s current obsession is Pokemon.  More on that in a future blog post.

Buzzfeed featured an article on awesome Pokemon gifts.  M and I loved browsing through all the different gift items.  Click here to view the article.

We came across a Pokeball bathbomb and M was so excited.  She loves bathbombs, she loves pokemon, it combined two of her loves.

So I obviously placed an order.

The shop is Baby Corn Soaps.  Clicking the link will take you directly to their Etsy shop.  They specialize in various soaps and bath/beauty products.

We ordered one of the Pokemon bath bombs, click here for the direct link to the item.  When ordering, you have to choose what type of Pokeball you would like.  Each type of Pokeball refers to the various types of Pokemon.  We chose ‘Electric’ because M loves Pikachu.

There was a 1-2 week processing time before the item was shipped to me because the products are made to order.

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This is what the product looked like once it arrived.  It was very well packaged and survived the trip from their shop to our house.

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I absolutely loved the hand written note she wrote on the packing slip.  It made the purchase so much more personal and friendly.  I had a little laugh at all the little Pokemon references she used in the note too.  This was very awesome on their part.

I had told M that she couldn’t use the bath bomb until I took pictures for the blog.  Once I took the photos, she immediately wanted to use it for that night’s bath.

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When I unwrapped the pokeball from it’s plastic packaging, the other layer crumbled off a bit.  It didn’t matter to me because I opened it above the bathwater so I didn’t waste any of it.  Once in water, it fizzled nicely and turned the water a nice orange/red color.  It’s smelled very good too.

Once it completely dissolved, we found the little Pokemon inside.  That was the most fun part about it all!  It was so exciting to see what sort of Pokemon surprise was inside the bathbomb.

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Honestly, we have no idea what Pokemon that is.  However, M was just so delighted to find that Pokemon at the end of the bathbomb, she didn’t care that she didn’t know what it was.  We have a book of all the different Pokemon, so once we have some time, we’ll look it up.

Purchasing from this Etsy shop was quick, easy and efficient.  We are planning on purchasing more Pokeball bathbombs again.

Happy shopping!

If there are any other small/handmade shops you’d like me to check out, please leave a comment below.  If I feel like it’s a good fit for myself and this blog, I’d gladly purchase an item and leave a review. 

Today is Hubby’s birthday.

Happy birthday, hubby!

I’m a terrible gift giver.  Lucky for me, Hubby and I aren’t huge on gifts.  I think we’ve gone through many occasions in the many years we’ve been together that we don’t give each other anything.

And it’s ok.

However, I don’t want M or K to grow up being a bad gift giver.  I want my girls to grow up thoughtful and good gift givers.

Last year, I let M decide what to give her daddy.

Last year, she decided to give him a set of socks.

I asked her why.  She told me that daddy needed new socks because he was using his socks to wipe off the white board on her easel and that the socks are now too dirty for him to use.  What she didn’t realize were that those socks were old and had holes in them so he really didn’t want to wear them.

It was a very sweet gesture and a very thoughtful gift.

When Hubby heard the explanation, he was very happy to receive his socks.

This year has been a little hectic, she seems at a loss at what to give him.

(I write these blog posts a few days ahead of time, and at the time of writing, we still haven’t gotten him a present yet.  We’ll be going to Target soon, so I’m sure we’ll find something!)

Happy birthday, Hubby.  You are the greatest dad and husband we could ask for.  You work so hard for us and we really appreciate all you do!  Thank you for all you do!  We pray for continued blessings and many years to come!

We love you!!!


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