Last Night I Drank a Beer In The Shower

Last Night I Drank a Beer In The Shower

It was one of those days. I don’t even have to elaborate on that sentence for you to know what I mean. Whether you’re a parent or not, everyone has “those days”. The days where you just need a moment. You need some space, some time, A MOMENT, to just be.

If you’re local to Southern California then you know August and September (heck even October) can be some of our hottest months. It’s really quite a shame they make the kids go back to school during our “local summer” but I digress…Today was hot. I typically don’t mind the summer heat, but today I was not about it.

This time of year is historically busy for my work, and to throw in the “back to school” of it all, it’s just downright insane. Not to mention, we are at a new school with new rules, new friends, new processes, new teachers – it’s too much NEW.

With the heat comes the whiney kids. And the hungry kids, because they are too hot to eat, but yet somehow still find the energy to burn whatever they have stored up on the playground. And then the tired kids show up around 3pm because they haven’t eaten, they’ve burned all of their reserved energy, and they’ve whined themselves into a stupor.

But I’m a “cool mom” (despite the heat) and decided to team up with my sister and take our boys for a swim. I envisioned cooling down by dipping my toes in the pool, laughing at the kids as their dives turned into belly flops, and having easy conversations with my sister. Instead the above-mentioned kids showed up, and they brought friends – the ornery and argumentative kids.

Then something suddenly came up. My cute ponytail had drooped low behind my neck. The denim mini skirt I was wearing somehow had hiked its way up past my waist.  And I was sweating so much down my back it traveled down to my butt. It was time to call it quits.

Leaving to come home took way longer than it needed to. By the time we made it inside the door – I was done. I scrambled together some version of dinner while B showered, flipped on Spongebob Squarepants and said “It’s your lucky night! TV DINNER!” I opened the fridge and saw the most glorious cold beverage staring at me – Mexican Lager. But where could I find 15 minutes of solitude and drink this beer in piece? That’s right, the shower.

To be fair, I hadn’t drank a beer in the shower in probably 15 years. I’m not even sure if I ever had, but if I did, it for sure would have been in my “college days”.  I say “college days” because I didn’t go to college until 26, but consider my cruise ship days my college years.

It wasn’t even about having a drink, it was more about the fact that I needed a moment to myself that was all mine. I knew in that time my only moment was the shower. And to make the moment even sweeter, I added a beer. I have to say, it felt weird at first, but then it oddly felt so invigorating to be doing something out of the norm.

I soaked up every square inch of space within my moment of “me” and I genuinely don’t think I would have made it without it. Sometimes we just cannot make it to bed time and that’s okay! Throw your kid in front of the TV every once in awhile and allow yourself some time. Some days you just gotta drink that beer in the shower, ya know?

signature

The Summer of Me

The Summer of Me

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.”

-John Lubbock

It’s been the summer of me. And I don’t feel guilty one bit. As some of you know, in the summer my son spends a big chunk of the week with his dad. When new friends hear this piece of information I am often times asked, “Oh, I’m so sorry. You must miss him a lot?” I very kindly respond, “No, not really.”

You see, I have my son 90% of the time during the school year. His dad doesn’t live in the same city, not even the same county, so logistically it’s hard to get down there between school and sports. While I wish his dad would move closer to us, it’s not our reality right now. So, the school year is 90% on me and it is exhausting.

Between school lunches, drop offs/pick ups, play dates, homework, school projects, emotional breakdowns, teacher gifts, household duties, my full time job, and my part time job…by June this mama is SPENT. Some days getting both us out of the door on time is a task and a half. While I yearn for the weekends – sometimes those are more hectic than weekdays!

I have a great co-parenting relationship that I am so grateful for, but it doesn’t make up for the lack of co-parenting in the flesh. I am the bad cop and hardly ever the good cop. I am the enforcer of house rules and hardly do we ever have the time to break the rules. I have to create schedules and structure so that my son and I can have happy and successful days. But, when all of that falls on the shoulders of one person, it can take a toll.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom. I love my son. But when summer rolls around, it is my time to refuel. It is my time to regroup. It is 8 weeks of: mindless TV; hours spent on the couch in my robe; days of dishes piling up in the sink; laundry half done; beds unmade; clothes on the floor; cereal for dinner; staying up til midnight because I can; sleeping in until 8 because I can; solo Disneyland trips; and many Door Dash deliveries.

I never want to reflect on being a single mom as anything but positive. I don’t know any different. But no, I don’t feel guilty for my summer of me. And you shouldn’t either.

Good luck to all the mamas that are gearing up for the school year ahead. We got this! Also, does anybody know how many days until Christmas break?

signature

Summer at Knott’s Soak City

Summer at Knott’s Soak City

If you grew up in Orange County then you most likely spent countless hours at the infamous Wild Rivers. I have so many fond memories of many summers spent at this thrilling water park, I couldn’t wait until my son was old enough to take him to one! While Wild Rivers is gone (for now), we do have Knott’s Soak City right here in Orange County. For our first trip I had so many questions about what I needed to know, bring, do and etc. I had a hard time finding any real information so I’ve put together some helpful tips for your next Knott’s Soak City adventure!

Top 10 List of Things to Know When Visiting Knott’s Soak City

1. Buy Before You Go

Get your tickets before you go! Plan the date you want to visit the park, purchase your tickets online and save as much as $9 on your ticket. You can also take a peek at Goldstar and see what they have to offer.

Knott's Soak City Water Park

2. Get there early!

Knott’s Soak City opens at 10am but people will start lining up well before then. Once the doors are officially opened the line moves fairly quickly, but you will still need to go through security. You will also want to grab a spot ASAP! Which leads to me to…

3. Grab a Spot in the Shade

Shade is hard to come by so you will definitely want to head to the shaded areas first. I made that mistake and we only got half shaded chairs, which was kind of a bummer. We really only were in our chairs to eat lunch but it would have been nice to cool down. They do have shaded areas to eat lunch but the signs say you can only sit there for 30 minutes.

img_7263

4. Harbor Waterworks

We just happened to find chairs in front of Harbor Waterworks which ended up being perfect! If your kids are old enough to go off somewhat by themselves, this is the perfect area to set up camp. Even if you don’t have a chair over in this area, it’s a great place where the kids can run around and you can take a moment to breath! Just be careful of the big buckets of water that will dump out every so often. I learned this the hard way!

img_7239

5. Bring a Waterproof Phone Case

Somebody gave me this idea and it was the best advice! Because you’re rarely with all of your belongings this is the perfect way to keep your phone on you. It came in handy when I wanted to grab a few photos and videos. It also was really convenient to slide in a credit card. I used a Joto Waterproof Phone Case that I found on Amazon.

img_7278

6. Wear Your Flip Flops

The ground gets pretty hot as the day goes on so we had to put on our flip flops while we were walking from ride to ride. Trust me, you won’t be the only one. You’ll see a big pile of flip flops at the bottom of each ride!

img_7258

7. Rent a Tube

We didn’t rent a tube but I think on our next visit we will rent tubes. We went on a Friday so it was pretty crowded the later it got in the day. The rides that require a tube, you have to wait in line to get a tube and then wait in another ride to go down the ride. Also, if you want a tube in the wave pool or the lazy run, they are pretty hard to come by. But you can bring your rental tubes in any pool or on any ride!

img_7273

8. Make Your Own Cabana

You’re allowed to bring in a small cooler with water and sports drinks. But honestly, we brought in a lot of snacks and nobody said a word. I think you could probably bring in lunch under the radar. Many families also brought in wagon strollers and set up camp on the grass with their umbrellas. I don’t have an umbrella that will stand on grass, otherwise this seems like it would have been such a good idea!

9. How Tall Are You?

If you are under 48″ inches you are required to wear a life vest on any ride that doesn’t have tubes and in any of the pools. I suggest being a minimum of 42″ if you plan on going. If you are less than 42″ then you won’t be able to ride any of the rides..

img_7243

10. Lockers

When we first got there we immediately went to the lockers to put everything in there. The lockers range from $15-$25 depending on the size you get. But, I think next time we will skip the lockers and keep everything at our chairs. I would rather spend that money on rental tubes! And make sure you keep your valuables at home 🙂

img_7281

I hope this is helpful to you! Do you have any plans to visit Knott’s Soak City this summer? Or a water park in your town? Let me know in the comments!

signature

Navigating Sports as a Single Mom

Navigating Sports as a Single Mom

My son is Mr. Sports. As soon as one season ends he’s on to the next. And not necessarily the same sport. He’ll jump from baseball to basketball to soccer to whatever else he can think of. I don’t think he has a love for a single sport yet so in the meantime he wants to try it all. And at 5 I think he should! He has his whole life to play one sport, now is the time for him to find out what he loves. But, as a single working mom, juggling this athletic life can be complicated.

Last year was our first full year in sports mode. Luckily, soccer was only a one-day commitment, which made the schedule juggle super easy. We moved on to baseball in the spring and I was so fortunate to have a job that was pretty flexible with adjusting my lunch hour to be there for games and practices when needed. I also have very helpful family members to pick up/drop off when I couldn’t. And now I have a different job this year where I get to work from home, so essentially I can take my son anywhere, anytime.

But it really got me thinking – what do single working moms (or dads) do during a sport season? From my experience, practices are in the afternoon (during regular business hours), and some games are during the week. Is your child not allowed to participate in their local little league due to scheduling conflicts? I haven’t been in this sports world for too long but I really feel that there is a demographic that is completely forgotten about. Not every family is able to logistically get to a practice and/or game. It’s really not fair that they can’t participate solely because they don’t live in a two-parent household or have family nearby that can help.

I am SO grateful for my current job situation but you never know when that can change. You never know when life is going to throw you upside down. I don’t have any answers but I think we should start a conversation. Children living in a single parent household (or even a two working parent household) shouldn’t have to sit out on a sports experience because practices are at 3pm. There has to be another way!

And while we’re here… why don’t we know the practice schedule when we sign up? Why don’t we know until 2 weeks before practices start? How is anybody supposed to plan anything?! It really just feels like they’re marketing towards families that have at least one at home parent.

Do you have any suggestions on how we can be more inclusive? I would love to hear in the comments.

The New Legoland Castle Hotel

The New Legoland Castle Hotel

Just before Christmas I took my son to Legoland for a little 2-day staycation. I wasn’t going to be spending Christmas with him that year so I wanted to do something to make this holiday season still special. One of his most favorite places to go is Legoland! I thought I would up the “special” this time and add one night in their new Legoland Castle Hotel…and it was pretty spectacular! Read below for everything they have to offer and even take a peek at a pretty sweet deal at the bottom. Enjoy!

img_1257

The Legoland Castle Hotel is incredible with all of the lego features on the outside, complete with a drawbridge! It’s also right in front of the Legoland Park – literally like 10 feet. Can’t beat that!

img_1259

This was probably my favorite part of the hotel. This amazing lego sculpture is in the lobby centered right where the adults check-in. Below the sculpture is a huge bin full legos to occupy the kiddos. Also, just behind is a slide! I love that everything at the hotel is catered to kids as soon as you walk in the door.

img_1268

We chose to the stay in the “Knights & Dragon” themed room but there are other options such as; a “Magic Wizard” & Royal Princess Theme”. All rooms are equipped with a separate quarter for the kids, which includes bunk beds! See below 🙂

img_1266

Below the bunk beds is a pull out cot, perfect if you have lots of kids with you! Also, the kids have their own TV and lego station to build to their hearts content.

 

One of the highlights of our stay was the scavenger hunt throughout the Legoland Castle Hotel. Hidden in the hotel are clues that unlock a treasure chest that is in every room. It was so much fun running around the hotel room looking for the clues. And then of course unlocking the treasure box to find TWO lego sets! Honestly, I had no idea the hotel did this, but it truly was one of my highlights.

 

We didn’t make it out to the pool on this trip as it was SO cold but from a distance I could see they offered water slides, splash pads, and lots of water activities for littles that aren’t ready to swim just yet.

We did however get to enjoy the outdoor common area which included a HUGE movie screen, life-size games, and a very stimulating park area. I really think you could spend the entire time at the hotel, not even go into Legoland and still feel highly entertained. Especially if you came in the summer and took advantage of the pool activities.

img_1338

When I booked our reservation our room came with a complimentary breakfast. I really didn’t think much of it because typically when a hotel says it has a complimentary breakfast it’s not much more than coffee, muffins and maybe some fruit. Boy was I surprised! It was a full on buffet with omelettes, french toast, sausage and even a buffet just for kids! I didn’t get to snap any photos of that because you know, kids in a restaurant…

All in all, we had a great time and I am already looking forward to our next stay at The Legoland Castle Hotel. And right now is the perfect time to book YOUR trip! There is a limited-time offer right now, so don’t miss out because it ends on February 28th! If you book a hotel room you receive:

  • FREE 2-Day Child LEGOLAND + SEA LIFE Hopper tickets
  • 2-Day Adult LEGOLAND + SEA LIFE Hopper tickets
  • Exclusive early access to LEGOLAND on both days

BOOK HERE!

 

Earning Our Way to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach

Earning Our Way to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach

If you know me, then you know I am a big proponent of fun. I want to go everywhere and do everything. I’m always looking for the next adventure even when I’m already in the middle of the fun. It’s hard for me to really tone it down but ultimately I don’t want my child thinking he can just wish for something and it happens. I want him to understand that we must work for the things that we want. They just don’t magically happen.

Last year my son really wanted to go to Legoland. We already had Disneyland passes so I felt it was hard to justify taking him to Legoland “just because”. Instead, I made a plan. I told him that for every good choice he made he could put a mini lego in a mason jar. For every poor choice he made we had to take a mini lego out. Once the mason jar was filled up, he earned his trip to Legoland! It was such a satisfying experience for him. Especially it being something tangible and visual rather than just words floating around of “keep working on earning your trip to Legoland.” And honestly, it truly made the day at Legoland THAT much more enjoyable because he worked so hard for it.

I haven’t done anything since then because Summer came and behavior wasn’t such an issue as before. But now we’re halfway through the school year and truthfully my son has great days at school and some not so great ones. He came from a little tiny preschool where everybody wanted to be his friend. Now he’s at a school with so many kids that somehow already knew each other and it’s been a bit of a struggle for him.

His class has a system in place with a colored chart that reflects their behavior throughout the day. At the end of the day his teacher hands out “golden tickets” for those that earned them, and for every 15 they get to go to the treasure box. I have been trying to encourage making smart choices and being kind to everyone but of course my son isn’t perfect so some days he doesn’t receive one.

img_1970

I’ve decided to incorporate a similar plan to what I had last year but instead of a jar with legos I made a chart. I know similar charts can be found at Target or most any store, but I wanted to make ours unique to our goal.

Braden knows that  school is his job, so I have made the “golden tickets” his currency. Once he has received 25 “golden tickets” he can “buy” his ticket to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. I LOVE the idea of having a visual that he can look at on his wall every day  for every ticket earned he can add a sticker to a square (there are 25 squares). Once he has filled in all of the squares – he will be on his way! Having something tangible he can add to it so he knows where he is on his journey to the aquarium is so helpful. Also this way we are focused more on the positive behavior rather than the negative. Which is where my energy needs to be focused as a parent in this season of our lives.

I’m attaching pictures below of what our chart looks like. It was super easy to create and not to mention a great project to work on together.

img_1974

img_1976

img_1978

Do you have any reward charts in your help? What has helped positive behavior in your house? Would love to hear in the comments!

signature

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Are you ready for 2019?! Well, ready or not here it comes! As you’ve noticed, I took some time out of blogging during this last quarter of the year. Between B starting Kindergarten (and homework!), my new job, teaching more and trying to be more present, it was a struggle to find the balance with it all. Writing and sharing my experiences was so heavy on my heart – especially during the holidays. I had so many things I wanted to share with you! But truthfully, I was having a hard time adjusting to our new normal and could never find the time to sit down and write.

That’s the thing with writing (or really anything), time is not going to find you. You have to seek it out. You have to make the time. As hard as it may be, you are the only who has that power.

Can you guess what my resolution is this year? YEP! MAKE TIME. I have unwritten screenplays, pieces of choreography in my head, unfinished films, unedited photographs, half-written blogs, that ALL need to put to use. I’ve promised myself that I will do one piece of something every day. So here is my start to the New Year with this simple post as my re-entry in the blog-o-sphere.

Where will 2019 take you?

signature