Today we hit the dollar spot at Target. I was on the hunt for anything school related. Amelia starts pre k in less then a month so I wanted to add more things to help her learn at home.
I got a bucket to put all this stuff in while I work on their learning area. I made a stop a Walmart too and ended up picking more supplies.
I’ll admit I went a little school happy but I love school supplies. Should’ve been a teacher.
I wanted to share their new chore and behavior chart. We are trying a new method (wish us luck). Amelia and Nolan will be able to earn stars and in exchange they will receive 50 cents for every star. They can either exchange the stars for a treat or save the money for a future trip to target. I know Nolan is a little young to understand but I hope he catches on. Never too young right?
Do you guys have a chore and behavior chart? Did it work for you ? Where else is a good place to get teaching supplies? Let me know.
3: Go back to the hotel for a nap and lunch.
We noticed that if we went back to the hotel to rest by the time we got back some people were already leaving the park. Having lunch at the hotel helped with saving money.
4: Find a hotel with free breakfast. Our hotel didn’t offer this. So I bought a electric skillet and made pancakes in the morning. Bisquick shack n pour are life savers.
5: Don’t forget about fast passes.
We used a couple but next time will take full advantage of this on the most busiest rides.
6: Disney Jr Dance Party
It’s in California Adventures. Seriously this show was pretty awesome. This was on my must do for Nolan. He loves Mickey and the Roadster Racers it also had Sophia the 1st, Doc mcstuffins and the Lion Guard.
7: Get a Mechelada at the cove bar
They were really good!
OUR MUST HAVES
1: Camelback / water backpack
Hubby would fell this up in the morning with ice and water. It was easier then buying water or soda all the time. The kids love drinking out of it so next time I want to get Millie her own.
2: Double stroller / stroller
I found mine on offer up for $20. I loved it because it held a lot of things and the kids fit comfortable in it.
3: Led string lights (link)
This isn’t really a must have but I thought I would share. I put string lights on our stroller so at night it was easier to find and it helped with finding things we needed. Plus we got a couple people asking us where we got them.
4: Snacks and lollipops
They helped keep the kids busy while we waiting in line or while Nolan was sitting in the stroller.
5: Glow sticks
I went to the dollar store to get some. Once it got dark I gave them to kids in line so they had something to entertain themselves with.
It gets a little chilly at night but this also helped when we watched the parades to have something to sit on it also created like a boundary for other people not to try to sit in front of us or too close.
7: tissues, wet ones and hand sanitizer
They came in handy to wipe their hands after eating a lollipop or before eating a snack.
8: Free Disney Buttons
Don’t forget to get your free buttons. I got Nolan a 1st time button and a Happy Birthday button for me. I had people telling me happy birthday all day long.
Even though it was super tiring walking so much I wish we lived in California because I’m pretty sure I would take the kids all the time. Seeing the excitement of meeting their favorite characters was so precious. Next time I want get a lanyard and trade pins with cast members.
Most of you don’t know that Amelia has a delay in speech so when internet design zone reach out to me to review their kidoland app I was all for it especially with her starting pre k this year.
Kidoland app is a education app where you can play games, sing along to nursery rhymes, learn ABCs and about animals etc.
I really liked that for Millie it was easier to navigate then most educational apps. For Nolan we would sit down and play with it together.
Millie said her favorite game on here is the chomping monster where you put together items for example fruit and then the monsters get to eat it. She also loves to color and trace letters.
Nolan loved listening to the nursery rhymes. He also learned how to use his finger to add fruits to their specific basket. We’re working on colors with him. So far he says purple and blue.
If you head to their website you can make cute name poems. They even have worksheets for you to print. We have a road trip coming up and I usually like to print some color pages for Amelia and put them in a binder for her to color.
In the end I highly recommend it even if you give it a try for a month. To me personally it’s so much better then letting them watch YouTube videos of who knows what sometimes.
The other day I was telling my husband how I wanted to make an area in our house where the kids can learn and we can read with them. Since Amelia will be starting pre k this year I want to make sure she has an area to learn. So I headed off to savers (thrift store) to find some more books to add to their collection. We found some pretty good books in great condition some of them actually look brand new. I do recommend not to take the kids so you have a chance to look at all the books but since I have no patience (insert eye roll) and rather struggle with Nolan then leave him home with his dad.
Did you know if you donate some used items you get a coupon for 20% off? Good reason to clean your closet out! Kids book are usually $1.29 and there also buy 4 get 1 free. We ended up paying $6 for 7 books (only 6 are pictured since Amelia took hers up stairs) Which I think is a steal! Definitely going to hit up another savers to see what other books I can find.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go” – Dr Seuss
I can’t wait to read these with the kids. I got so excited when I found the rainbow fish book. I feel like this book has been around for ages.
Do you guys have any other places you recommend to find affordable books? Please let me know down in the comments.
Today on my blog I wanted to share my go to salad in the summer. I love having this with carne asada and grilled corn. I hope you enjoy this recipe and give it a try!
Things you will need:
-1 box of pasta (I used penne but you can use tri color rotini too)
– 1 cup of cherry tomatoes (sliced)
– 5 small celery sticks or about 2 cups
– 1/2 cup of green onions
– 2 cucumbers ( I ended up only using half of the 2nd one)
– 1 cup of Pepperoni (chopped)
– 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 1/2 cup of zesty Italian
– 1/2 cup lemon juice
– 2 tablespoons chicken flavor
– 1/2 teaspoon salt (put chicken flavor before salt)
– 1 teaspoon of olive oil ( to cook pasta)
– pinch of salt (to cook pasta)
First add water, olive oil and salt to a pot let it boil then add the box of pasta while that is cooking you can chop everything up.
Second in a big bowl add the cucumbers, celery, cherry tomatoes, green onion and pepperoni.
Once pasta is ready drain and let it cool down I usually add ice so it cools down faster. Then add it to the bowl.
Now you can add the zesty Italian and lemon juice. Go ahead and mix it. Then you can add the Parmesan cheese, chicken flavor and salt.
Remember you can always double everything and make two boxes of pasta. I always like to add some more things at the end if it looks like there’s not enough pepperoni or cherry tomatoes.
I wanted to add some pictures of the kids and Zoe having fun outside. One of the things I love about summer is grilling and making food while the kids have fun in their little pool!
Let me start off by saying I love kids and sometimes I would love to have more. With that being said kids are a lot of work. Remember we are raising adults here. Here are some of the reasons we decided to only have two and why I praise people who have more!
– Giving our kids the attention they need. I don’t ever want my kids to feel left out or feel like I wasn’t there enough for them.
– Might I add kids are expensive. From when their born to when they finally move out hahaha who am I kidding. Eventually I’ll be spoiling the grandkids.
– We want them to play sports. This adds to kids are expensive.
– I want another dog hahahaha I had to add this because I’m dying to have a puppy.
– Nolan is like having two kids in one. Examples below.
Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work. -C.S Lewis
– About two weeks ago I had a stomach bug. Hubby had to come home from work for two days. Not being able to take care of my kids and myself was the worse for me. It reminded me how I wouldn’t like being pregnant again while taking care of two kids ( I get really bad morning sickness when I’m pregnant).
– I am looking forward to when both kids are in school. I want to be able to volunteer in their classrooms and attend any events they have. This is a huge reason for me. Since my mom was a single parent she would often miss events in my childhood.
– I can win family of four tickets without having to buy an extra one. I’m totally kidding! Hahaha
– We want to be able to travel and do fun things with our kids. Like go to Disneyland and water parks.
– I hate being pregnant. Giving birth was the easy part Nolan practically walked out. I just didn’t like being sick and so uncomfortable.
– We would love to adopt! We are waiting for the kids to get a bit older to see what are options are I’m hoping we can give a kid out there a better life one day.
– Let me add that if Nolan would’ve been a girl we would’ve decided to try again for a boy.
I am no means saying you couldn’t do any of the above things with more kids. These are just a couple of reasons that justify our decision.
This morning I woke up wanting to get out of my house. I knew I wanted to do something more then just go to the store or playground. I remember last week my sister mentioned Valley of Fire. Which is about 45 mins to an hour away from Las Vegas. I got this kids ready packed some snacks and took off. Our first stop was at Starbucks (this mom needs her coffee). Nolan knocked out on the way there. Amelia and I were enjoying the drive up there talking about the snow and Valentine’s Day (she’s obsessed with every holiday). Part of me was regretting going up there because I thought the kids might not have fun (I was wrong btw). We decided to stop at this spot called Mouses Tank. It was a super easy trail to walk threw. We actually kept stopping because Nolan wanted to climb and play with dirt ( typical boy). We saw lots of writing on the rocks which was amazing to see something thats probably hundred of years old(it’s actually 2000 years old according to google). On the way back the kids had their snacks and knocked out(they were snoring). I actually wish we lived some where that was surround with more things to do nature wise because I love being able to just take off and explore. We already want to go back hopefully the hubby and Zoe can join us!
Hope you guys enjoy some (there’s a lot of them) pictures from our spontaneous trip.
“Let them once get in touch with Nature, and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight through life. We are all meant to be naturalists, each in his degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things. ” Charottle Mason
My last day as a mom of one. I remember finding out I was going to get induce that night. So Amelia and I headed off for some girl time. I was nervous and excited all at once. I remember thinking is she going to hate me for having a baby. Later that night we dropped her off at my moms. As we drove away I cried (that ugly Kim Kardashian cry). She wasn’t going to be my only baby anymore.
The next day she met her baby brother. She actually didn’t want to see him at 1st . It took her a little bit to warm up to him. Then she would give him kisses. We finally got to go home. My mom dropped her off and then left. That’s when reality hit. We now have two kids.
Patience is key.
My advice for moms for what to do while your pregnant then when you’ve had the baby.
– Try to involve kids in pregnancy and let them choose something for the baby.
– Talk to them about how they feel about having a brother or sister if their young and can’t really grasp what’s going on try and show them pictures of the ultrasound. Let them know mommy has a baby in her belly.
– take them out get some one on one time with them plan dates with mom and dad. I did this a lot while I was pregnant.
– try to get meals ready since I breastfeed Nolan the 1st six weeks I didn’t move from the same spot I would feed him then he would sleep then change him and feed him again. I was able to put him down for maybe 2 hours out of the day.
– get a wrap or carrier! My ergo was a life saver especially going to the store. (If your breastfeeding learn how to feed while he/she is in it)
– Don’t worry about the house this one is harder for me and still is sometimes spending time with kids is more important then a clean house. ( see below)
– take advantage of nap time. This is were I would play with Millie, take a shower, clean etc.
– kids are going to be jealous. It’s a normal human emotion. Amelia still gets jealous that we get excited when Nolan says or does something new. We also get as excited when Amelia shows us something she drew or made. We like to remind her that she’s a big girl and a big sister! I also love showing her pictures or videos of when she was a baby. To help her remember her time with us.
-my advice to family and friends of the mom respect their wishes ask them what they need instead of saying “let me know if you need anything” most moms wont ask for help I know I didn’t.
Mom life now.
Having two kids isn’t easy I actually couldn’t Imagine having more then two. You will just have bad days and you will have good days. As they both get older I involve them in helping me do things around the house. Sometimes they help me feed the dog , put clothes in the washer and dryer. Last week they helped us make breakfast.
Do my kids fight? Yes they do every day actually. Usually over something so simple. Nolan went threw a phase of bitting Amelia because he would get upset at something she did to him. Some days I separate them I send Amelia to play by herself and let Nolan play by himself downstairs. My advice let them get bored. Let their minds come up with ideas on what to do. They usually play pretend or go outside and run around with Zoe (the dog). My kids love playing with her!
I wasn’t sure if I was going to add this next part or not but it’s apart of me and why not.
I suffer from depression and anxiety. As a mom there were days I wouldn’t do anything we would watch movies and cartoons all day. Days where my husband would have to come home to tell the kids to calm down. There not bad kids but when your mind isn’t in a right state and your anxiety is high because there not listening to you. It’s breaks you down and I would cry. Take it day by day. Wake up and tell yourself okay today is going to be a good day. If it’s not that’s fine take it easy that day and start over the next day. My most anxiety came from trying to get out the house with two kids thinking that the store was going to help. Going to the park in the middle of summer isn’t really an option for us when it’s 110 degrees outside. So find places you can go to like indoor playgrounds, kids museum etc.
Don’t forget to take time for yourself (I need to take my own advice and make more time for me). I started working out every weekday and my mood started to change. When I don’t workout during the week I feel sluggish or moody. Drink a glass of wine and watch a chick flick by yourself. Go to the store by yourself! Ask yourself when was the last time you went grocery shopping by yourself? Not having to worry about screaming kids or them putting everything in the cart. I still have so much more to learn. Both my husband and I do. As they get older were going to deal with different struggles. Patience is key!
Do you know a mom who’s pregnant with her 2nd or thinking about having another? Share this post with her. Hopefully it will help put her mind at ease.
I remember getting a call to go interview at this “store” (I’m already blushing well I write this). So the day comes for me to go to my interview obviously I was already nervous. I never expected to be meeting the love of my life and the father of my kids (A little background I was married at the time I met him but that story is for a later post). Here comes the funny part I get to the “store” park and get off then I realize great I left my keys in the car and locked it from the inside before closing the door. Just what I needed right before this interview. I walk in and I see this guy walking from the back to the front of the “store”. My heart sank! I don’t know how explain how I felt because saying It was love at first site is kinda cheesy ( I know your thinking she’s married how can she feel this way? But I was already emotionally checked out of my marriage). I was waiting to get called back for the interview. Then he comes up and says my name all I could think was oh great he’s the store manager and I’m about to make a damn fool out of myself. Then he ask “how was my day going” I answered “oh great except I left my keys in the car”. At this point I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m an idiot. What he actually thought.
“I thought you were really Beautiful and smart and had a great personality”
I’m pretty sure he’s just telling me this now so he doesn’t have to sleep with the dog tonight. Hahaha. If your wondering no he didn’t help me take my keys out of my car. (Insert eye roll)
I ended up working for him. There was always this kind of chemistry between us. I ended up leaving the relationship I was in. He become someone I leaned on he even opened up to me about his brother and what he went threw. I told him everything he my ex had done to me. He told me that I didn’t deserve to be treated that way. He ended up giving me his number (took him long enough). According to him I asked him out 1st. Which isn’t true because he asked me out to go eat sushi which I said no to ( Kicking myself for say no). I did ask him to go to the movies with me.
After talking for a while. He ended up asking me to go to California with him for his sister bday. Yes I was the first girl he had ever brought to meet his family. ( his sisters hated me but they will deny it but it’s okay they love me now at least that’s what I think).
One day he asked me to either leave my job (did you forget he was my boss) or this thing we had going on had to stop. I feel like I didn’t think twice about leaving (refer to how I felt when I 1st saw him). Was I crazy for leaving a job I just started for this guy that I only new for about a month. Most likely. Was it worth it? It was now. At first I didn’t know where our relationship was going to go. Things changed in August when he left for Mexico for about a week or more. When you spent so much time with someone and their gone for over a week or so it gets hard to be with out them for that long. My feelings change they grew more and more and ended falling in love with him (He fell for me too he just had a hard time sharing his feelings).
How we got married and why we did get married the way we did.
I got pregnant. It wasn’t like he had to marry me just because I got pregnant. We already knew marriage was coming some day but things change. I never thought I could get pregnant ( I never got pregnant with my ex no it wasn’t him he has two kids now that I know of) till i actually did. Do I think it was fate? Yes I do. While going threw the first weeks of pregnancy we realized my moms insurance didn’t cover me. So basically we had to either get a separate insurance for myself or we got married and he added me to his insurance.
We eloped. Obviously we live in Vegas what other choice did we have. Haha. We went to the court house and it was fast and simple. Did we tell anyone? No we didn’t. Yes people were upset for what reason I have no idea. Do I care? No not anymore. My marriage means more to me then my wedding day. Btw he never purposed! I’m actually still waiting and yes I cry every time I watch videos of a guy purposing. 6 years later we still don’t have rings. Hmm maybe I’ll purpose? I wonder if he will say yes? Probably not!
Five things I would change
Not going to eat sushi with him. How could I turn down sushi!
Moving in together before having kids. We had about 4 months alone before Amelia arrived.
Traveling before having kids. As parents now we barely get to go on date much less travel alone.
Not buying an actually wedding dress. Something I would’ve love to hand down to Amelia. I actually want to buy one and get pictures of us two just for fun!
The day we actually got married. I wish we would’ve choosen something more meaningful. Then again it’s just a date.
How did you and your partner meet? Is there anything you would change? Let me know in the comments below!
I’m Valerie Barajas, I’m 24 years a wife to an amazing husband (he told me to add that) haha jk. Of course I’m a mother to two beautiful kids! Amelia who just turn 4 and Nolan who is about 18 months. I’m also a dog mom to a 3 year old German Shepherd. My husband says If it were up to me I would have like 10 dogs but I think 3 is good maybe 4 haha okay maybe just one more.
Some say I’m so lucky to be able to stay home with them. I just think my fridge isn’t stocked with enough wine to handle these two all day, but I will say I am very blessed to be able to see them grow into these tiny little humans with attitudes of teenagers. Did I mention I’m a self proclaimed photographer. It started as a hobby then turn into a business. Now I’m just on a break. Who knows when I will get back to it. Hopefully one day.
Since I could remember I’ve always wanted to start a blog but I always talked myself out of it. Since the new year started I thought I would give it a go! I usually like to keep to myself about the struggles of being a wife and a mom but if I can help make one mom laugh or give her hope that everything is going to be okay. Then that’s enough for me.
My hope is to provide good content, silly story’s, maybe some yummy recipes,things I’ve learned along the way, even overcoming personal difficulties and maybe some diy!