Slumber Party Time!

Slumber Party Time!

Have you hosted a slumber party for your kids yet? My son has been begging to have one for months! He kept asking me if we could invite friends over from school, but it just didn’t feel like the right time yet. To be honest, there are just so many “what if’s” when it comes to having your kid sleep away from home. I knew I wasn’t ready for that, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever be? Anyone outside of family, just seems a bit risky, so we opted to have his cousins come over.

I really had no idea what to expect, but it truly was a lot of fun! We had obligations until the early evening, so we couldn’t start until around 6. The evening officially started with dinner, followed by some painting, and then of course hide and seek! I think this was the highlight of the evening. We were all screaming and giggling so hard – including myself.

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Of course chaos ensued so I felt it was time to unwind with a movie. But first we had to get all ready for bed. It was hysterical watching everyone put on their pajamas and try the different toothpastes… who knew toothpaste was so exciting!

I couldn’t believe it, but everyone agreed on a movie (yay for Secret Life of Pets!). I think they only lasted about 30 minutes, so we turned it off, everyone picked out a book to read, and then it was lights out!

Looking back, everyone really did fall asleep fairly quickly, but in the moment I was worried we would all be up all night! After going in there a few times to remind them it was bed time, everyone fell fast asleep and stayed asleep all night long! Success!

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Morning came around soon enough, then it was time for breakfast and one last round of hide and seek – this time outside! It was a perfect way to end the slumber party.

Have you hosted a slumber party alone? Do you feel comfortable having your kids spend the night at a friends or family members house? I think my biggest challenge was keeping them entertained but yet giving them enough space to play on their own. I just have the one son, so I wasn’t used to the “he did this/she said that” – in other words, tattling. Man that is exhausting! At one point I told them no more tattling… but it didn’t really stick. Hopefully as they get older, this will subside. Or that may be wishful thinking!

I’d love to hear any tips you have to handle multiple kids, or any great slumber party hacks in the comments below! I think by the time I’ve recovered from this one, I’ll be ready for the next!

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Sister Night with Andy Cohen

Sister Night with Andy Cohen

I really don’t like to go out when my son is home. Mom guilt is real and it doesn’t get any easier the older he gets. He’s in the phase of really wanting me home to read him a book before bed. Which I completely understand. I remember being young and hating when my parents went out and left my sister and I at home with a babysitter. However! On occasion, when it’s really worth it, I will leave my son with my parents and experience a night on the town. Getting a chance to watch “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen during his LA week, was one of those times!

I was lucky enough to receive free tickets through On-Camera Audiences for the Sunday night show. Of course I took my sister who is a Bravo Fanatic. I really had no idea she loved Bravo and Andy as much as she did. Which ended up being perfect because it’s so much more fun to enjoy something like that with someone who LOVES it all. Our guests were Nene Leakes, Lena Waithe, and of course James Kennedy in the DJ booth.

We had to be there at 6pm – which really was code for – be there at least by 5pm. I picked up my sister at 2 and we were on our way. We stopped for an early dinner at Bottega Louie, one of our favorite restaurants in downtown LA. I used to live in DTLA before I had my son and would frequent this restaurant a lot. I love the New York restaurant vibe it gives off, the amazing food and yummy cocktails. If you have a chance to go, I definitely recommend it.

After dinner we drove straight to The Wiltern. Can I just pause right here for a moment for a quick backstory? I grew up in the era of all the fabulous pop-stars (Britney Spears, NSYNC and etc) and I used to drag my sister to all kinds of crazy concerts, watch countless hours of performances and talk endlessly about their lives. So, driving up to LA to see Andy Cohen felt like we were giving an homage to our teenage self. It was really fun getting all giggly and excited about what was to come.

We pulled up and I could see a line had already formed. I wasn’t surprised but still we needed to move fast. Without even really knowing what the line was for, or where I should park, I made my sister get out of the car and get in line. I think my 17 year old self reemerged in that moment! I was stuck at a light and watched her get in line, look ahead and then leave the line. I started to panic. I love my sister but she’s not somebody you want to put in charge of these situations. My light changed and I finally could drive and look for parking. And then I saw it: the line had wrapped around the building. I quickly parked and met up with my sister. By the time I got to the line they had already handed out wristbands to everyone that had shown their ID. And I forgot to bring the tickets from the car! More panic. I “ran” back to the car (have I mentioned I was wearing heels) and came back just in time for another ID check and ticket check. Phew! We got our wristbands which secured ourselves a seat inside.

While we were waiting to go inside, all of a sudden we heard a bunch of cheering. It was Andy Cohen! He was making his way up the block, saying hi to all of the fans. He didn’t make his way to us but we did see him in the distance. The excitement began to grow…

After making small talk with the people around us, and posing for one too many selfies, it was finally time to head inside! It was a little bit chaotic when we first got inside. We were instructed to head upstairs and find a seat. The line to get in was so crazy! Between the line to find a seat, the line to get a drink and the line to go to the bathroom – I really didn’t know where to stand. But a wonderful stage manager got everyone hustling and we finally, got to our seats.

Once we secured our seats, I checked in with my mom to make sure my little guy was okay. He was happy and sound asleep. Now I felt I could really enjoy my night. Does anyone ever feel like that?!

Before the show started, I grabbed a couple of drinks and then beaded back to wait for the show to start. We were up in the balcony; dead center, perfect view!

The stage manager came out and gave the run down of how the show was going to go – it really was going to be live! I’ve been to a lot of taping for shows that say they are “live” but they really weren’t. I was shocked there wasn’t going to be even a tiny bit of a delay.

Before it was time to go live, Andy Cohen came out and introduced himself to the audience and answered any questions that were asked. I couldn’t believe it! Like I said, I’ve been to a lot of taping and I have never had any host/actor do this. He was SO nice. He’s just like how he is on TV; a little goofy, really funny, and super sweet. I think I fell in love, haha!

The show started and it was everything I thought it would be and more! It really ran so smooth. My only complaint was that I was a little disappointed that they didn’t have any surprise guests. The doorbell rang and everyone in the audience gasped and sat up straighter with anticipation. But, it was just the “gay shark” with a shot ski. I’m not even exaggerating; the whole audience sighed with disappointment. I felt bad for Andy! Besides that, everything was great. The after-show was even better! If you have a chance to watch it, you need to. It was hysterical. A guy from the audience asked Andy out on a date and Andy really didn’t say no! I still am wondering what happened with that. Anybody know?

After the show my sister and I headed back to our homes. Whenever I’m in LA, I always walk away missing my old life. But, I couldn’t imagine that same life with a kid. It’s just nothing something I want for his life. And as much fun as I had that night, I couldn’t wait to get into my bed and snuggle with my baby. I promised B I would “scoop” him when I got home. Scooping is when I take him out of his bed when he’s sleeping and being him into mine. I always promise him a scoop when I’m not there to put him to sleep. I like to give him something to look forward and a reassurance that I will always come home. Do you have any traditions that you do when you go out without your kids? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

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Home Depot Kids Workshop

Home Depot Kids Workshop

Last weekend, I took my son to Home Depot in Mission Viejo for their FREE kids workshop, to build a birdhouse.  This workshop is held once a month for kids between the ages of 5-12 and every class they make something different. We had never been before, so I really had no idea what to expect. I called a couple of days before asking what time they suggested we be there as the website listed it was open from 9am-12pm. The woman I spoke to said I should be there at 9am as it gets really crowded and boy was she right!

We got there just before 9am, the parking lot was filling up and about 4 people had already started on their birdhouse. We made our way to check in and we were greeted by a very friendly Home Depot employee. He informed us that unfortunately, they didn’t receive any mini aprons for the kids this month. I completely forgot that we were supposed to even receive one! Instead he handed B a plastic “hard hat” and his kit to make the birdhouse.

The kit came with everything you need to make the birdhouse, including; step-by-step directions, a birdhouse pin, and 2 suction cups that are used to help hang your birdhouse. I was really impressed with the directions and how thorough they were. Being a boy mom (or at least a mom to MY boy) I really have learned that my son loves to build and makes things. Luckily, so do I! And thankfully, I took stagecraft in high school so I know a thing or too about tools (hello, “righty-tighty & lefty-loosey”)! But, sometimes directions go over my head and I get frustrated. This time though – piece of cake!

It was really cute watching all of the kids work hard building their birdhouses. The website states this workshop is for ages 5-12, but they don’t check and I definitely saw kids younger than 5 there. Heck, my son isn’t 5 until June and he was there! Some parents let their kids lead the way and others did most of the building. There definitely were parts B needed some assistance, as hammering can get kind of crazy.

After the birdhouse was built we went over to the painting table. They offered 3 different paints, sponge brushes and paper plates. With no direction from me, the painting began. It’s always so special watching my son make something from his vision.

Once finished, I put B’s pin on his shirt and started to look around. The place had really filled up! Most of the kids had their aprons on from previous workshop, with pins all over them. It got me really excited to continue this monthly workshop. I really love the idea of bringing the community together to do something special. The whole project took about 45 minutes from start to finish. By the time we finished, there was a line down the parking lot and I think every spot was taken! It really was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to doing it again.

If you know me, then you know I am all about the activities. I don’t like TV or idle hands, so I try to squeeze in as many activities as possible. The fact that this was free was even better! We will definitely be back next month to make a windmill. To learn more about the Home Depot kids workshop in your area click here!

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Moms’ Night Out

Moms’ Night Out

During school breaks my son gets to spend that time with his dad. I love it for many reasons; one being that B gets that quality time with his dad, and two, I get some “me time”. This past week was spring break – which meant I had 3 full nights with no kiddo! Every time I get a break I tell myself I’m going to take advantage and go out every night. But more times than not, I don’t do it. As the day (or night) gets closer, I end up longing to be at home either just lounging or during work around the house. However, I rarely am social with friends when my son is home with me. I don’t get to have him at home all of the time,  so I want to soak it up as much as I can. Plus, I have crazy mom guilt when it comes to leaving him; especially at bed time.  He’s in a phase where he really wants me home to put him to bed. I figure this isn’t going to be forever, so I do want to make the conscious effort to be there whenever I can. However, he was gone this past week so I chose two nights at home and one night out with friends… hey, it’s a step!

In my twenties I worked at a restaurant in Laguna Beach with some of my best friends. Many of us worked there on and off for many years; it was essentially our home away from home. If we would have been allowed to sleep there, I think we would have! The owners are a sweet married couple that always had their arms open for us to return any time we wanted. I had a lot of fun during that time of my life. We all did!

I was lucky enough to meet up with a few of my old friends/co-workers at our old stomping ground. We laughed so hard remembering all of our crazy adventures… Well, what we could remember of it anyway! Life before kids was such a different time. It’s always so interesting to look back on what our lives were like and how far we’ve come. You never think your life is going to change that much, but it does and it becomes a blessing.

While I got to escape from being “on duty”, I never feel like I’m “off the clock.” I don’t know if this just happens to moms or if it’s a parent thing; but my mind is never too far from my mom responsibilities. It’s really hard for me to turn that switch off and completely let go. Not that I’m being paranoid or I’m worried about my son, but it’s more that my whole being is a mom now. While I have an identity outside of being a mother, “momming” is a huge part of my soul and I genuinely love that part of my self. But, I know I really need to work on being more social in adult setting. It’s really hard for me to do that – but I’m working on it!

When or how do you make time for yourself? And when you do; do you ever feel like you can just turn off being a mom? If so, how do you do it?! Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear!

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Avila’s El Ranchito in Laguna Beach.

Grab a seat, order a taco and sip on a marg.