16 Mommy and Son Date Ideas

That will not break the bank!

At first, when I found out my second baby wasn’t a girl I was a little disappointed. I wanted to have the little girl to go shopping with, get our nails painted and play with Barbies. But now I’m truly blessed I had boys. All that girly stuff I’ve done before now it’s time to play with all boy stuff. Hehe It can be hard some times to connect with my boys but when we get together we have so much fun. It wasn’t always that easy for us to connect until now. I’m going to let you know 16 cheap little dates you can go on to help connect more with your son(s).

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Candy Cane Family Fun

Christmas DIY

For the last few years, my family has come up with a progressive dinner. We stop at every house to check out each others Christmas decorations. First we start off with appetizers, soup and salads, main course and then dessert. We play games and have fun. This year the theme was “candy cane”. I wanted to make as much as I could myself so I could be unique and save some money:)

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Nicholas Sparks Biggest Fan

I’m just going to say I have been reading Nicholas Sparks since high school and I can’t miss a single book. I actually started reading the books after I watched A Walk To Remember with a good friend back in 2002. Almost 17 years later and every time a new movie comes out we find the time to watch it together. Whenever a new book comes out I always get it for her.

I’m so excited to give her the newest book by Nicholas Sparks Every Breath. Yeah, I read it already and I’m not going to spoil it for you. BUT MAKE SURE YOU READ IT FROM FRONT TO BACK!!! Nicholas Sparks always knows how to surprise you and always has an amazing twist.

I truly don’t feel like I ever have time to read between early morning workouts, late night blogging, homeschooling, and all the in-between while raising two amazing boys. BUT, I make the time for these books and movies.

Don’t judge me but I own every book and movie and I’m a little proud of my collection. (Except the Last Song, I have to order that one still) Even if I’m crying like a big baby I still can’t get enough of his endings. I have to read the books before I see the movie so I can see the difference between the two. The book always comes out better because Nicholas Sparks knows how to connect you to the characters. I can’t say I have a favorite. I love them all. Now that I’m writing this I need to have a day of Nicholas Sparks movie Marathon. hehe

Yeah, Every Breath, I read in 2 and half days, it was hard to put down. If you are still looking for a last-minute Christmas or birthday gifts this is the perfect one. Get Every Breath here! Let me know what you think of the book. Love ya, Mary xoxox

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Kyle’s Birth Story

We wanted to have a non-stress environment not only for Kyle but for our oldest, Bradly.

This story is nothing like my firstborn‘s birth story. Truly no two births are the same. Since I had a hard time with my oldest son we decided to have a scheduled C-section. I actually got a lot of crap from this. Honestly, it kind of wore me down because I wanted to have a natural birth experience with my oldest. Having a C-section was something my husband and I talked about several times. In the end, I’m so glad I did it this way.

Kyle James was born at 10:32 A.M. weighing 7 lbs. 3 oz. 19 inches long on February 27, 2015. My sister came into town to help me with our oldest. We got up at 5:30 A.M. and went to the hospital to prep everything. Bradly and my sister were in the waiting room with a bag full of activities. He was so excited to see his brother and oh so patient.

We went back about 7:30 A.M. and they took all the vitals and drew blood and put in the IV. Signed all the paperwork checked the baby, things moved pretty quickly. They had me walk into the operating room and started the epidural. Instantly my legs went numb. My husband came in and they started.

The doctor was the same that delivered my first, which I was so excited because she knew my story. She talked me through everything and then lifted the baby right up for me to see, instantly I fell in love. Which I was so nervous if I would still feel the same way as I did with my oldest. Within minutes the nurses cleaned him up and had him nursing right away. He was a champ at nursing, nothing like I experienced the first time around. I was getting my tubes tied as well while she was in there. (another reason we planned it)

The nurses took the baby to check him over and I went to recovery. Once I got into our room the baby was right in my arms waiting to nurse again. The nurse gave him a bath in front of me and then his temperature was a little low. I tried using my body heat but it wasn’t enough for him. The nurse brought him to the heater and he was good to go after about 30 minutes.

My sister stayed with me and the baby while my husband took my oldest home for the evening. They came back the following day to visit but I think it was good bonding time for the two of them. I was ready to go home by the next morning and walking around. They didn’t let me go home until the following morning.

I’m so happy that this birth was less stressful. I love everything about it. I love listening to birth stories especially when I was pregnant. I hope you enjoyed my story. Love ya, Mary xoxo

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DIY Christmas Decorations

I was trying to stay on a budget and have cute matching Christmas wreaths. So I decided to make them myself. I have made cheap little wreaths before but nothing like these. These were actually surprisingly easy to make.

Items you need:

I got this stuff at my dollar store near me except the letters I got them at a hobby store.

I used my fingerprint to make the dots on my letter and let dry. Then thick glitter ribbon will be wrapped around evenly. Added the mini ornaments with the red curling ribbon and picked a color pattern. I then used the same curling ribbon to add on my letter. There you go, easy peasy. I think I’m going to strip it down at the end of the season and do something different next year. You can see the ornaments are starting to fade from the sun. (After three years)

I also made other little cheap things I found and put them together. I made a centerpiece and the kids helped me make homemade ornaments and signs.

I put this centerpiece together for less than $10.00. The canvas I got are at our local hobby store and we had the paints. Inspired by our favorite Christmas book, The Night Before Christmas

The salt dough ornaments were super easy to make. 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of salt, and 1 cup of warm water. Mix it all together and get creative. put it in the oven on 250 degrees until it’s dry. Also, I have used play dough in the past as well. I found some wooden pieces at our hobby shop and had the kids paint them.

I love having the kids make something new every year (add the date). Then you can look back at their little handprints. So cute:) Let me know what other Christmas decorations you have made. Happy holidays. Love ya, Mary xoxo

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What Your Preschooler Wants For Christmas

Not only have I worked with preschoolers for over ten years but I have a preschooler. I know exactly what he wants and what he will ACTUALLY play with. I will try to give ideas that are good for both boys and girls. This list will help the long distant relatives that don’t see the kids but want to get them something they will use.

I hope this Preschool Christmas List was helpful for you. These are perfect ideas to keep your children learning and to be creative. Let me know if I’m missing anything. Click the list to see a baby or a six-year-old boy’s Christmas list. Happy Holidays! Love ya, Mary xoxox

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My Son’s First Ambulance Ride

There is nothing scarier than having a neighbor call you to get home quick, “the ambulance is here”…..

So my oldest son always seemed sick when he was younger. Check out Bradly’s birth story. Once, he had a fever over a week. We took him to the children’s hospital and the doctors twice and they said nothing was wrong with him. They told me that he needed to fight the fever off his self and not to give him medication until it was OVER 105. degrees. I did not like hearing that!! Finally, after a week of him being miserable he one day got better.

A few months later he had his first ear infection and took a ten-day antibiotic. We went to the checkup and the doctor had cleared him and said he was better. So we took him to Chuck E. Cheese. (Kind of celebrating him getting better.) We then had to go to the store and I felt Bradly and realized he felt warm. I called the doctors office right away and he said that was weird but he would prescribe him a new antibiotic. We finished what we had to get and went home. (the prescription wasn’t ready yet)

When we got home I took our youngest and meet my mom to go to the store with me to get orange juice and the antibiotic. I get a call from my neighbor to get home now. I was thinking my husband said something smart to her and she got pissed. (That was their kind of relationship) Then I heard her say the ambulance was there and my heart sunk into my stomach. Luckily, I was just around the corner. I pulled up to them taking my little man on a stretcher in the ambulance. I jumped into the truck and Bradly was just staring at me. He didn’t grab my hand. He didn’t talk to me, he had a shocked look on his face.

It is very rare I leave my kids unless it’s a quick trip to the store and if they want to stay with daddy. I didn’t even see my husband until they were about to drive off and I told him I’d meet him there and my mom and the baby were in the car. I ask the men what happened and they said that he had a seizure. He never had one before (he was almost four). We get to the hospital and they put an IV in to give him fluids. He still had a fever and they checked him over and didn’t see anything was wrong with him.

I was not going to allow that to happen again…. they told us that we should transfer him to the children’s hospital an hour from us because they didn’t have a pediatrics in that hospital. The ambulance transferred him and he was starting to come around a little bit. We finally get checked in and the nurses were amazing. They said he had a febrile seizure and he was fine. To me, that didn’t seem fine. They say it can run in the family. My sister had seizures when she was young. There was a reason why he spiked his fever.

They sent in a neurologist and she wanted to do all kinds of scans of his brain. I refused those because they wanted to sedate him. After two days being there, another doctor came in and said he can’t leave until he is 24 hours free fever. I started realizing he was swallowing funny and asked them to check his throat. Guess what he had strep throat. They said they didn’t see that much in younger kids.

That little man remembers his arm being wrapped up. (from the IV) and he got to play on their tablets. Four days in the hospital was way too long for me. But I was so happy when that day finally came when we all walked out of the hospital together. Love ya, Mary xoxox

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Did You Get Everything For Baby?

Did you get everything you need for baby? Are you looking to give a gift to baby? I have a great list you don’t want to miss. When you go to a baby shower everyone wants to give all the cute clothes, bath tubs, diapers, wipes. Which all those things are great, but then when the time comes and they get a little older they have a lot more items they will need. I have a list of items we forget about. Make sure you get everything for baby.

Babies that are 6 months and younger:

What baby doesn’t love to stare at themselves. A simple mirror can entertain them for hours. Touch and feel books are a great way to introduce books to your child. Musical toys are pretty much annoying but so worth it because your baby with try to figure out how to make it go off a hundred times. Crib toys are a great way to have them entertain themselves in the morning, they will let you know when they are up by kicking it. You will need spoons sooner than you think. You will always need clothes. I loved my bumbo it was a great way to teach them how to support themselves. Also when they got a little older I used it in the bathtub. Teething rings are perfect for your little ones I especially liked the ones you can throw in the freezer. Car seat toys are very useful. Floor mats are perfect for tummy time and practicing to roll over.

Babies 6 months and older:

Babies grow so fast so clothes are a must. Activity table will help with your baby to start pulling themselves up. Pushing toys are great for beginner walkers. I breastfed and then went right to a straw cup. Big knob puzzles are a great for them to start hand-eye coordination. Bath toys are always fun no matter the age. Colorful books are great way to start showing them about different colors. My boys loved hugging stuffed animals that made sounds to them. Activity blocks are a lot of fun for baby. Hard sole shoes are so important for a baby that is learning to walk. It helps them with support and balance.

I hope you will find some use in this list when you shopping for a special baby this year. Let me know if I missed anything. Love ya, Mary xoxox

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Countdown Family Fun Until Christmas

Here are my Christmas traditions throughout December. Join along with us or let me know some new ones we can add to our list. Make sure you check out my Halloween and Thanksgiving traditions as well.

  • Dec.1st- Decorate Christmas tree together
  • Dec. 2nd- Finish decorating
  • Dec. 3rd- Make something for the Christmas tree (Lace popcorn and cranberries)
  • Dec. 4th- Make Christmas cards
  • Dec. 5th- Have hot chocolate and snuggle
  • Dec. 6th- Send Christmas cards
  • Dec. 7th- See a Christmas Parade
  • Dec. 8th- Christmas party
  • Dec. 9th- Go Christmas shopping
  • Dec. 10th- Watch Christmas movies
  • Dec, 11th- Drive around to see Christmas lights
  • Dec. 12th- See Santa
  • Dec. 13th- See a Christmas play
  • Dec. 14th- Make homemade items to give away
  • Dec. 15th- Donate or send a care package to someone in need
  • Dec. 16th- Go caroling
  • Dec. 17th- Make a gingerbread house
  • Dec. 18th- Finish Christmas shopping
  • Dec. 19th- Make a Christmas project
  • Dec. 20th- Give something nice to a neighbor
  • Dec. 21st- Wrap presents
  • Dec. 22nd- Make Christmas cookies together
  • Dec. 23rd- Cookie exchange party
  • Dec. 24th- Celebrate with family and go to church
  • Dec. 25th- Merry Christmas

All through December our elf on the shelf (Elfie) does something new every night and leaves the kids a small treat.

On Christmas Eve, we have a family dinner together and go to church. We also play a left, right game and all win an ornament at the end. When we get home we read the night before Christmas. We all get new Christmas pj’s from my mom and take pictures with our stockings. Then we leave cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. My boys will hang a light and a magic key for Santa on the outside of the door. (since we don’t have a fireplace.) They say their goodbyes to Elfie and head off to bed.

On Christmas morning, the kids are usually the first to wake up. We tell them they have to stay in their room and just call for us when they wake up. Or else they would have every present open before the camera came out. After my kids open their Santa presents and stocking gifts we go to my mom’s house. My boys will have round 2 of breakfast and have a four generation breakfast. We call them “hot ones” but they are just fried dough with syrup. They open presents from all the aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. We go home, have leftovers and then finish opening presents. End the day watching the Christmas story on rerun.

We definitely enjoy all of December and stay very busy all month long. The days go by so fast so enjoy every moment you have with your children. I hope you liked hearing our family traditions and I would love to hear what traditions you have. Love ya, Mary xoxox

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Thanksgiving Family Traditions

Other than of course, having a family dinner with a huge turkey and loads of veggies and pies we are a family full of traditions. Check out my Halloween traditions.

We start off the day with some morning shopping. We come home just in time to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. Make some of the sides for the family dinner.

Head off to my sister’s house for a late lunch/dinner. We sit and read the ads for Black Friday shopping. We play family games… who can draw the best turkey and BINGO. Yes, we have been playing bingo since I can remember and we pick out prizes if we win. The kids really love playing along but usually get burnt out quickly. (We are not a football family)

Check out some new traditions I would like to start by making some turkey cookies with the kids HERE. Also how to keep them entertained HERE!

The sisters and my mom plan out our route for Black Friday shopping make our list and check them twice. I really don’t like how they have changed Black Friday to Thanksgiving night but we still go, just don’t crazy. We use to start shopping at 10 P.M. and not get home until the next evening. Now that I have Ebates, I shop more online. Those are our family traditions, let me know what your traditions are. Love ya, Mary xoxoxo

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