Category Archives: Family Life

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp: Register Now + Freebies

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp: Register Now + Freebies

Do you have a child that loves to play soccer?  If you do, then participating in a Challenger Sports British Soccer camp is a must-do activity this summer… and if you register now, you can gain access to a lot of fun freebies!

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camps // Money Savvy Living

 

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camps // Money Savvy Living

British Soccer Camps are the most popular soccer camp in the US. With an innovative curriculum that develops skills, speed, and confidence in players ages 3-18, The British Soccer Camps provide boys and girls with the rare opportunity to receive high-level soccer coaching from a team of international experts right in the heart of their own community.

In addition to teaching new skills and improving game performance, each British Soccer Camp provides lessons in character development, cultural education and, of course, is a ton of fun!

Sounds like fun, right!?  But it gets even better!  When you register your child for one of the soccer camps, they will also receive over $100 in freebies: FREE SOCCER JERSEY, SOCCER BALL, T-SHIRT & POSTER with code: CAMP17 

 

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camps // Money Savvy Living

Enroll you child in a British Soccer Camp today and remember to use code CAMP17 to get a FREE SOCCER JERSEY, SOCCER BALL, T-SHIRT & POSTER!

 

*This post has been sponsored by Challenger Sports British Soccer Camps.  Product review and opinions expressed in this post are mine alone. #ad

I Need a Meternity Leave from My Maternity Leave

I need a Meternity Leave from my Maternity Leave | Money Savvy Living

 

So apparently, there is a thing now called a “meternity” leave.  In case you missed it, there was an article last week in the New York Post called “I Want All the Perks of a Maternity Leave Without Having Any Kids.”

 

Umm, what?  That is like saying, “I want all the benefits of eating a brownie sundae without the fat, calories, or weight gain.”  Or “I want to get in shape and lose 20 pounds while eating fast food every day and never going to the gym.”  Or “I want to be a neurosurgeon but don’t want to go to college.”

 

Do you see where I’m going here?  You can’t have one thing without the other… So instead of having time off work to care for a newborn child, the author of this article wants to take time off to focus on caring for herself.

 

Kudos.  Take all the time off work you want, lady.  You should take care of yourself.  Pamper yourself with a manicure, pedicure, massage, and facial.  Go buy yourself a new outfit while you’re at it.  Find a nice relaxing hammock and cuddle up with a good book.  Bury your toes in the sand and soak up the sun while you contemplate what direction to head in life.  Everyone needs a mental break, I get it.

 

But, to try to equate reflective “me” time off work with a maternity leave is beyond unwitting.

 

I will try to give this woman the benefit of the doubt though, because I remember my pre-children days—feeling that it wasn’t fair that people with kids get off work “early” in many cases, to make sure that they can pick their kids up from daycare on time, while those of us without an “excuse” had to continue working.  So I sort-of understand how she could misconstrue maternity leave as extra time off work that childless employees don’t ever get.

 

With that small concession being made, I’d like to take this opportunity to set Ms. Davies straight on what maternity leave is and isn’t.

 

First of all, it starts with a lot of pain… typically about 12-20 hours of extreme pain.  Pain so bad you are not sure that you can do it.  Pain so bad that when a nurse comes in an asks if you would like a 4-inch needle stuck in your back you gladly, even joyfully, accept the offer in order to take away some of the pain—not a “MEternity” leave yet…

 

Now, I won’t go through all the details of childbirth, however, suffice it to say, you will barely be able to walk for the next week.  But don’t worry about that because the only time you will need to get up and move is when your baby needs something—still not a “MEternity” leave….

 

…like a diaper change, fed, cuddled to sleep… so maybe only like once every hour—AROUND THE CLOCK—will you need to force yourself to get up and move around to care for your helpless newborn even though you are truly the one who needs the pampering at this point—definitely not a “MEternity” leave….

 

Once you are all healed up—in 4-6 weeks—you can go back to your active lifestyle.  You are finally able to work-out again—and you’re probably gonna want to because you will still most likely be carrying around 15-20 pounds of unwanted “baby-weight.”  It just doesn’t drop off, much to every new mother’s chagrin.  Caring for a newborn doesn’t lend much time to taking care of yourself.  Maybe you will get a workout in and maybe you won’t.  You will even have to try to sneak a shower in when your baby is napping—that is, if you aren’t napping yourself.  You won’t feel like yourself.  You will feel like a tired, sore, deflated balloon—but you will long to feel like yourself again.  So I wish you luck on any of these endeavors because if the baby starts to cry, you have to drop whatever it is that you are doing and tend to him or her—does this ever turn into a “MEternity” leave??

 

NO.  The answer is no.

 

In fact, I think most new mothers would honestly say that they could use a “meternity” leave from their maternity leave.

 

Meternity Leave | Money Savvy Living

 

So, to get back to the original outrage—I mean article—“I Want All the Perks of a Maternity Leave Without Having Any Kids,” I am curious what Ms. Davies thinks those perks are?

 

In her article, she says, “Bottom line: Women are bad at putting ourselves first. But when you have a child, you learn how to self-advocate to put the needs of your family first. A well-crafted “meternity” can give you the same skills — and taking one shouldn’t disqualify you from taking maternity leave later.”

 

Maternity leave is not about you.  It’s about your baby—taking care of your baby and bonding with him or her.  If you don’t know how to “self-advocate” before having a child, you won’t magically develop that skill upon reproducing—and in fact, having a baby to take care of will make self-advocating even harder.  You don’t have a child in order to find yourself, become self-aware, or introspective.  Having a child is not about what that child can do for you or how he or she will make you feel, it is about giving of yourself to a person that you decided to bring into this world—and maternity leave is only the start of that.

 

If you want “me” time, that’s great.  Take some time for yourself.  Do what you need to do to reflect on your life and be able to stand up for yourself—every woman should get to that point.  But don’t equate it with maternity leave.  You don’t want maternity leave, what you are looking for is called a vacation.

Kids Activity: Make Slime Using Cornstarch and Water

Cornstarch and Water Science Experiment | Kids Activity | Money Savvy Living

 

Do your kids like to get their hands messy?  Of course they do!  So that is what is so great about this project—your kids can get messy, and maybe even learn something too!  Fun science experiment!

 

Here is what you will need:

  • cornstarch
  • water
  • measuring cups
  • large bowl
  • plastic fork or spoon
  • food coloring *optional
  • plastic bag (for storage and later disposal)

 

Directions:

Mix ½ cup cornstarch with ¼ cup water.  Combine until the mixture is somewhat stiff, yet gooey.  You can add a bit more cornstarch or water depending on consistency.  What you are looking for is a substance that acts as both a solid and a liquid.

 

 

The cornstarch and water mixture acts like a solid sometimes and a liquid at other times. This concoction is an example of a suspension – a mixture of two substances, one of which is finely divided and dispersed in the other. In the case of the cornstarch quicksand, it’s a solid dispersed in a liquid.

When you punch the cornstarch quicksand, you force the long starch molecules closer together. The impact of this force traps the water between the starch chains to form a semi-rigid structure. When the pressure is released, the cornstarch flows again.

 

All fluids have a property known as viscosity – the measurable thickness or resistance to flow in a fluid. Honey and ketchup are liquids that have a high resistance to flow. Water has a low viscosity.  Sir Isaac Newton said that viscosity is a function of temperature. So, if you heat honey, the viscosity is less than that of cold honey. The cornstarch and water mixture and quicksand are both examples of non-Newtonian fluids because their viscosity changes when stress or a force is applied, not when heat is applied.

 

Solid to liquid… apply a bit of force… and back to a solid.

 

 

Very cool.  Very messy.  Your kids will be entertained for hours!

 

*Make sure to dispose of this concoction in a plastic storage bag.  You DO NOT want to pour this down the drain, as it could cause a blockage.

Baby Footprint Keepsake

Baby Butterfly Footprint Keepsake

Blue Footprint Keepsake | Money Savvy Liivng

 

Little newborn baby hands and  feet are so cute.  Funny how, as we get older, feet aren’t so cute anymore…  Anyways, I know that bringing each of the boys home from the hospital, I would just look at that little, tiny life in amazement and marvel at how each little finger and toe were just perfectly formed.  I think any new mother can relate to that feeling of wanting to keep your baby that little forever… although, I will admit that the middle-of-the-night feedings do get a bit old after a while.

Sooooo, since your baby won’t stay little for long, you have to capture those little footprints (and handprints!) while you can.

Here is an easy way to capture you little one’s footprints! In these pictures, I used my youngest son’s little feet to make the butterfly and my two older children made the thumbprint ladybugs and the fingerprint flowers.  This was a great way for all of my children to be included in the picture.  So you can definitely get creative to add more than one child without taking a full handprint or footprint, especially when some of your kids are older and a full hand or foot would take up too much space.  A calligraphy pen is great to add the accents. Use any colors you like and then frame it!

*Tip: When working with newborns, you will probably have better luck with footprints because tiny babies tend to want to close their hand, so getting a clear handprint is quite a bit harder than a footprint.

 

Footprint Keepsake | Money Savvy Living

 

This is also a very inexpensive way to make a keepsake of your precious little one. I used a frame that I already had and cardstock. I did have to buy the washable ink pads (make sure it is washable and safe to use on children) and calligraphy pen (less than $10– and you will have these items to use for other crafty projects), but still spent much less than the keepsake plates (shown below) which were done at a studio, and cost at least $25 each.

However, it was my babies’ footprints… and I really wanted to have these keepsakes for display, so I allowed myself to splurge on these for each of the boys.

 

Golf Footprint Keepsake | Money Savvy Living
My husband loves to golf. This is a gift that I made for him when our son was about 18 months old. A great way to give a meaningful keepsake to any dad or grandpa. This was painted on a ceraminc plate, coated, and fired at a local paint-your-own pottery studio.

I would have never come up with the idea for this on my own, but attended a workshop where they walked us through how to do the footprint as a golf green and how to complete the scene.  So after I did this one, I wanted to make plates for the other kids, but not the exact same thing.  So I got creative and below you can see my designs:

 

Football Footprint Keepsake | Money Savvy Living
This is one of my favorite footprint pieces that I have done. The design came out good, even though I could have used a few more coats of paint to even it out! My son was 3 years old when I did this, so I needed a little bit longer plate to make it work. After placing his footprint on first, I drew the football outline with pencil (pencil marks disappear during the firing process) and filled in.  Drew in the field hash marks and done!

 

Baseball Footprint Keepsake | Money Savvy Living

I figured to round out the trio of sports plates, I would do baseball next.  The green came out a bit darker than I had hoped, but my little guy’s footprint stands out, and that is most important!

Gifts Your Kids Really Want for Christmas

Christmas gifts your kids really want | Money Savvy LIving

Wondering what to get your kids for Christmas?  Get some great deals online and avoid the crowds this year.  Great gift ideas for small kids through pre-teen: sports, educational, books, and more!

SPORTS

VIDEO GAMES

Super Mario Bros Wii U

kids super mario bros wiiuNew Super Mario Bros. U

 

You can really never go wrong with LEGOS:

Legos
LEGO Disney Princess Elsa’s Sparkling Ice Castle

LEGO Minecraft 21116 Crafting Box

LEGO Star Wars 75043 AT-AP

 

Holiday Barbie 2015

Holiday Barbie 2015 Barbie Collector 2015 Holiday Doll

 

PAW PATROL is set to be some of the most demanded items for young kids:

Paw Patrol Collage

Nickelodeon Paw Patrol Pop Up Game

Nickelodeon Paw Patrol – Look-Out Playset, Vehicle and Figure

Paw Patrol Action Pack Rescue Team

Paw Patrol Giant Puzzle (46-Piece)

 

EDUCATIONAL

kids star wars planetariumStar Wars Science – Death Star Planetarium

kids star wars r2 d2 bop itBop It! R2-D2 Star Wars Game

kids spelling game

The Learning Journey Match It! Spelling

kids alphabet memory gameThe Learning Journey Match It! Alphabet Memory

 

kids color shapes puzzle

The Learning Journey Lift and Learn Colors and Shapes Puzzle

 

kids gear set Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears!

kids brain quest
Brain Quest Smart Game

kids states trivia
Professor Noggin’s The Fifty States

kids science game
Educational Trivia Card Game – Professor Noggin’s Wonders of Science

 

BOOKS

Popular books for Kids | Money Savvy Living

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series 1-8
Diary of a Wimpy Kid 1-8 Complete Set

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 10
Diary of a Wimpy Kid #10: Old School

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 9
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

Are You My Mother?
Are You My Mother? (Bright & Early Board Books(TM))

Charlotte’s Web
Charlotte’s Web (Trophy Newbery)

Pat the Bunny
Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book)

Magic School Bus Series
The Magic School Bus Chapter Book (20 Book Set)

Tuck Everlasting
Tuck Everlasting

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

 

*This article does contain affiliate links, so if you choose to purchase through here, I will make a commission, although it does not increase the cost to you, the consumer. However, I highly recommend that you get an activity tracker whether you purchase through here or elsewhere.

 

It’s Not Just a Clump of Cells: It Is A Baby

It's Not Just a Clump of Cells, It's A Baby | Money Savvy Living

 

In October 1988, President Reagan proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. “When a child loses his parents, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses his or her partner, they are called a widow or a widower. When parents lose a child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS and other causes.”

 

photo via the web: https://infertilitywhyme.wordpress.com/

photo via the web: https://infertilitywhyme.wordpress.com/

 

On September 28, 2006, the U.S. House passed a resolution recognizing the movement to make October 15 of each year as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

 

photo via the web: www.kindasillymommy.com

photo via the web: www.kindasillymommy.com

 

While there are many voices out there that will tell you that it’s not a baby, it’s just a clump of cells and it doesn’t matter, I want you to know that your loss does matter.

 

That sadness that you feel, the tears that you still have years later, the feeling of wondering what that child would be like… it’s real pain.

 

You aren’t crazy.

 

You have a right to feel sad.

 

You did suffer a loss.

 

The loss of a baby, not a clump of cells.

 

And you deserve to grieve that loss without being told that your loss was insignificant.

 

Now, I realize that there are many on the other side of the spectrum that feel that ending a pregnancy isn’t ending a life. And if you are one of those women, I want you to know that you have the right to your opinion and your choice to not be a parent, but don’t you dare tell me that it’s not a baby.

 

 

 

From the moment of conception, the instant of fertilization, your baby’s genes and sex are set. If the sperm has a Y chromosome, your baby will be a boy. If it has an X chromosome, the baby will be a girl. The egg stays in the fallopian tube for about 3 to 4 days. But within 24 hours of being fertilized, it starts dividing fast into many cells. It keeps dividing as it moves slowly through the fallopian tube to the uterus. Its next job is to attach to the lining of uterus. This is called implantation. Some women notice spotting for 1 or 2 days around the time of implantation. The lining of the uterus gets thicker and the cervix is sealed by a plug of mucus. It will stay in place until the baby is ready to be born.

 

This isn’t my opinion. This isn’t conjecture. It is proven scientific fact. All of this happens before most women even know they are pregnant. It is a baby.

 

It is a baby, just not a fully formed baby that is ready to live outside of its mother’s womb yet.

 

fetus stages | It's not just a clump of cells, it's a baby

 

I realize that it is not going to make you feel good to know that ending a pregnancy through an abortion is more than just getting rid of a clump of cells. It might even make you feel regret or remorse for that decision, knowing that the clump of cells you are getting rid of has all the genetic code necessary to develop into a fully formed person—a baby. Well, I’m not going to sugar-coat it for you because you chose to end your pregnancy. And despite what we are constantly told, that is not an empowering choice for women.

 

But I didn’t choose to end my pregnancy, you see, I personally lost a baby to a miscarriage in June 2010. I helplessly went through the process of a miscarriage with no choice at all and nothing that I could do to save that “clump of cells” so it could further develop into a baby.

 

At that point, I already had two beautiful, healthy little boys. I never imagined that my third pregnancy would be anything other than what I had experienced with my first two pregnancies. But it was very different. And for reasons unknown to us and the doctor, the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. We were devastated. As I sit here, even now, I have tears in my eyes thinking about what that baby might have been like today. Why am I sad? I don’t know. I can’t really explain it. I never met this child. But it is still a loss. A loss that 1 in 4 women will experience. And even though we have never met these babies, we still love them.

 

1 in 4 women

 

It is a baby. Any woman who has actually been through pregnancy knows that her body changes, you feel that life inside of you move and kick. That’s not a clump of cells that are meaningless. Each of those cells has a specific purpose. Some will continue dividing and form the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys…some will become fingers and toes…each of those cells has a genetic code that defines it as the beginning of a life. It is not a random clump of cells. It. Is. A. Baby.

 

 

Domestic Violence Being Joked About in Fourth Grade Curriculum

Lab Safety? | Money Savvy Living

 

This is not a topic that I would have even thought to write about on my own. It wouldn’t have even crossed my mind. Until, I was helping my son review for this science test a few days ago. I mean, why would I have even had reason to believe anything about domestic violence would show up in a “Thinking Like A 4th Grade Scientist” packet? Well, it did.

 

There were a couple of page on Lab Safety. Makes sense. Teach the kids to be safe when conducting experiments in the lab. Most of the rules and explanations sounded fine, until we get to “Horseplay out.” Here’s the entire excerpt of that section:

 

“Horseplay can lead to chemical spills, accidental fires, broken containers, and damaged equipment. Never throw anything to another person; be careful where you put your hands and arms; and no wrestling, punching, or shoving in the lab. Save that for when you get older and start dating.”

 

Did you catch that? “Save that for when you get older and start dating.”

 

Exactly what are they supposed to save for when they get older and start dating? Wrestling? Is this a lewd comment about making-out or some other sort of hanky-panky? Punching or shoving? Why would anyone need to save punching and shoving for dating?? Punching and shoving within a relationship is not a joke, it’s not flirtatious—it’s abuse. And why is the mention of dating even necessary when talking about lab safety for 4th grade science class anyways?

 

At best, this sentence is meant to be a joke—a very bad and inappropriate joke. At worst, it is trying to somehow justify physical violence within a relationship as acceptable. Either way, no student (not even in high school) should be exposed to this type of rhetoric, especially, not a child as young as fourth grade.

 

Why am I making such a big deal of this? It’s only one, little sentence, right? Well, the things we say to kids matter. They remember it. They are like little sponges, soaking up information about what we, as adults, say and do. So if they bring home something from school (a trusted source) that nonchalantly jokes about physical violence within a relationship—“when you get older and start dating”—then we are sending a message to our kids that it’s not a big deal, probably even acceptable, and should even be expected. That’s not the message that I want to send to my children.

 

Don’t get the wrong idea here. I am NOT blaming the school or my son’s teacher. As a teacher myself, I understand that it is totally possible and reasonable to expect that a teacher, or the Board of Education who probably approved the curriculum, has NOT read every single sentence of every textbook or supplemental material packet that is going to be used. They are looking at an overview of the curriculum and trusting that the publisher has taken their due diligence within the writing and printing of materials. It is not until teachers actually start teaching from a particular series that they can fully know how the implementation of that material is working.

 

We are very fortunate to be in a great district and when I contacted the teacher, he was very understanding and said he didn’t know that sentence was in there until the packets had already gone home and would remove that sentence for future use. I truly couldn’t have asked for a better resolution in this situation.

 

But I still had to think, what if my son’s teacher wasn’t so understanding and willing to resolve this issue immediately? What if I hadn’t read through my son’s curriculum to find it in the first place? I’m sure there are many districts across the country that do actually use controversial curriculum and probably don’t even care the message it sends to kids. How many other publishers, like the Wild Goose Company—the creator of this ridiculousness—are slipping in controversial remarks or weaving inappropriate undertones into curriculum that are slowly and methodically ingrained into our children as core beliefs?

 

I don’t know if the teacher would have caught it. I don’t know if other parents caught it. What I do know is that we have the right, and responsibility, as parents to speak up for what we want our kids to be taught, and when something doesn’t seem right, say something.

As parents, be involved in what your children are learning. Be an active participant in their education.

Every Kid in a Park: Fourth Graders and their families get FREE admission to National Parks

Every Kid in a Park | Money Savvy Living

 

Is your child a fourth grader for the 2015-2016 school year? If so, your fourth grade student—and entire family—qualifies to visit all national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and other federal park lands throughout the 2015-2016 school year—for FREE as part of the Every Kid in a Park initiative!

 

Every Kid in a Park passes are scheduled to be available on September 1, 2015. Passes will be good for one year. Details on obtaining and using the passes will be announced September 1, to coincide with the launch of the program. As information is released, or as updates are made, check the Every Kid in a Park page for the most current program details.

 

Every Kid in a Park joins the National Park Foundation’s Open Outdoors for Kids program in helping children learn history, culture, and science while exploring the great outdoors. With kids spending more time in front of technology these days—smart phones, video games, tablets—it is more important than ever to encourage children to learn by experiencing and not just researching online.

 

Because the fourth grade student and their entire family can get into the parks for FREE, visiting one of America’s beautiful national parks would be a frugal—and educational—vacation for your family this year.  Want to plan a trip?  Click here to get a pass for your fourth grader and family.

 

Following is a list of the parks that are a part of this program. Check out the locations and links and start planning your visit today:

 

Acadia NP—Bar Harbor, ME

Arches NP—Moab, UT

Big South Fork NRRA—Oneida, TN

Biscayne NP—Homestead, FL

Bryce Canyon NP—Bryce, UT

Cape Cod NS—Wellfleet, MA

Cape Hatteras NS—Manteo, NC

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NHP—Hagerstown, MD

Death Valley NP—Death Valley, CA

Everglades NP—Homestead, FL

Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP—Fredericksburg, VA

Glacier Bay NP and PRES—Gustavus, AK

Glacier NP—West Glacier, MT

Grand Canyon NP—Grand Canyon, AZ

Grand Teton NP—Moose, WY

Great Basin NP—Baker, NV

Grand Sand Dunes NP and PRES—Mosca, CO

Great Smokey Mountains NP—Gatlinburg, TN

Harpers Ferry NHP—Harpers Ferry, WV

Lassen Volcanic NP—Mineral, CA

Mammoth Cave NP—Mammoth Cave, KY

Mesa Verde NP—Mesa Verde, CO

Mount Rainier NP—Ashford, WA

Olympic NP—Port Angeles, WA

Ozark NSR—Van Buren, MO

Rocky Mountain NP—Estes Park, CO

San Antonio Missions NHP—San Antonio, TX

Sequoia and Kings Canyon NP—Three Rivers, CA

Shenandoah NP—Luray, VA

Sleeping Bear Dunes NL—Empire, MI

Theodore Roosevelt NP—Medora, ND

Virgin Islands NP—St. John, Virgin Islands

Yellowstone NP—Yellowstone NP, WY

Yosemite NP—Yosemite NP, CA

Zion NP—Springdale, UT

 

*The initiative is an administration-wide effort among the National Park Service, Forest Service, Department of Education, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Ultimate Guide to Summer Fun: Discounts for 250+ Attractions Nationwide

Summer Fun Discounts 2015 | Money Savvy Living

If you are looking for some summer fun that the entire family can enjoy, check out this list of over 250 attractions, theme parks, and water parks offering special discounts in over 35 states nationwide.  As a U.S. Family Guide blog member, my readers can enjoy savings by clicking on the links and printing coupons or codes to save money at each of the attractions below:

2015 Theme Park, Waterpark and Summer Attraction

 

 

Printable Coupons and Promo Codes, by state:
Alabama

USA Triathlon 2015 Splash & Dash

 

Arizona

AZ Air Time Scottsdale

Kiwanis Park Recreation Center

Arizona Museum for Youth

SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium

Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium

INSPIRE Entertainment

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center – Tucson

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center – Phoenix

Carrie Curran Art Studios

Arizona Rafting

 

California

California’s Great America

Gilroy Gardens

Hollywood Wax Museum

Madame Tussauds Hollywood

Newport Landing Whale Watching

Pirate’s Dinner Adventure

Raging Waters

Waterworld California

Mulligan Family Fun Center

Guinness World Records Museum

Bladium Sports & Fitness Club

BounceU – Orange

Downtown LA Walking Tours

Fillmore & Western Railway

 

Colorado

Copper Mountain Resort Association

Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park

Water World

Pirates Cove

The Splash at Fossil Trace

Boondocks Fun Center

Dinosaur Resource Center

Children’s Museum of Denver

Butterfly Pavilion

Downtown Aquarium

Evolve Action Sports Park

A+ Athletics

Adventure Golf and Raceway

RaftColorado.net

Earth Treks Climbing Center

Broken Tee Golf Course

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

American Paintball Coliseum

Grand Adventures

SK Horses

Putter’s Pride Mini Golf

FatCats Bowling Centers

Putting Edge Glow-in-the-Dark Mini Golf & Arcade

Snow Mountain Ranch

Dart Warz

Unser Karting & Events

Bladium Sports & Fitness Club

K1 Speed

Colorado Sports Hall of Fame

Denver Firefighters Museum

Blitz Paintball

Silverthorne Recreation Center

Friends of Dinosaur Ridge

Gateway Park Fun Center

 

Connecticut

Flight Trampoline Park

My Gym Enfield

My Gym Glastonbury

My Gym of West Hartford

Lakeside Pottery Ceramic School and Studio

 

Florida

Adventure Landing

Adventure Landing & Shipwreck Island Waterpark

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park

Bluefoot Pirate Adventures

Everglades Holiday Park

GameTime

Putting Edge Glow in the Dark Mini Golf

Sky Zone Fort Lauderdale

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

 

Georgia

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

Lane Southern Orchards

LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Monster Mini Golf

Wild Adventures Theme Park

Georgia Renaissance Festival

Smoke Rise Summer Camp

 

Hawaii

Hawaii Game Truck

My Gym Kailua

 

Idaho

FatCats Bowling Centers

 

Illinois

Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm

Go Bananas LLC

Jump America Indoor Trampoline Park

Odyssey Fun World

Pump It Up Chicago

Putting Edge Glow in the Dark Mini Golf

Safari Land

Discovery Center Museum

Exploration Station

My Gym Aurora

My Gym Buffalo Grove

My Gym Chicago

My Gym River Forest

 

Iowa

Monkey Joe’s Of Des Moines

 

Kansas

All Star Adventures

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Kansas City

SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center Overland Park

Wichita Riding Academy

 

Kentucky

Gattitown Lexington

 

Louisiana

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

Steamboat Natchez

 

Maryland

Earth Treks Climbing Center

Madame Tussauds Washington, D.C.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

My Gym Bethesda

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center of Timonium

My Gym Owings Mills

 

Massachusetts

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

Classic Harbor Line – Boston

On Location Tours

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center

Rock Spot Climbing

 

Michigan

Bavarian Inn Lodge

Berlin Raceway

High Velocity Sports

Putting Edge Glow-in-the-Dark Mini Golf & Arcade

 

Missouri

Castle of Chaos

Hollywood Wax Museum

SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium

The Bretts

The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum

America’s Incredible Pizza Company – St. Louis

America’s Incredible Pizza Company – Springfield

Cool Crest Family Entertainment Center

Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Kansas City

Putting Edge Glow in the Dark Mini Golf

Shoot for the Stars Mini-Golf

World’s Largest Toy Museum & Attraction

The Little Gym of Fenton

Mad Science of St. Louis

 

Montana

Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center

 

Nebraska

My Gym Childrens Fitness Center – Lincoln

 

Nevada

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

Wet’n’Wild Las Vegas

BounceU – Henderson

 $5 Off Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus – XTREME

 

New Hampshire

Liquid Planet Water Park And Zip Lines

Water Country

 

New Jersey

Wild West City

International Sports Skating & Fun Centre & Deptford Skating & Fun Center

Pump It Up – Roselle Park

Pump It Up – Freehold

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center – Glen Rock

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center – Westfield

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center – Manalapan

 

New Mexico

Tours of Old Town

 

New York

Adventure Landing – Greece

Adventure Landing – Tonawanda

Adventure Speedway

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

Classic Harbor Line

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester

Madame Tussauds New York

On Location Tours

The Ride

New York Baby Show

Bounce Magic

Gamin Ride

My Gym Children’s Fitness – Stony Brook

The Little Gym of Kingston

 

North Carolina

Adventure Landing – Gastonia

Adventure Landing – Winston Salem

Adventure Landing – Raleigh

Adventure Landing – Pineville

 

Ohio

Magic Mountain Fun Centers – Polaris

Magic Mountain Fun Centers – East

The Beach Waterpark

Ohio Renaissance Festival

Akron Fossils & Science Center

Family Karate

 

Oklahoma

Andy Alligator’s Water Park

America’s Incredible Pizza Company

Bouncin Craze

Bouncin Craze II

 

Oregon

USA Triathlon 2015 Splash & Dash

 

Pennsylvania

Flight Trampoline Park

Fun Slides Carpet Skatepark

Monster Mini Golf

Sunset Mini Golf

Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway

Slide The City

BounceU – Exton

BounceU – Warrendale

Snapology Discovery Center – South Hills

Snapology of East Pittsburgh

Gymkhana Gymnastics

Soccer Shots

The Valley Skating Center

Color Me Mine Pottery Studio

 

Rhode Island

Rock Spot Climbing

 

South Carolina

Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors

Hollywood Wax Museum

Outbreak

Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry

Hollywild Animal Park

My Gym Northeast Columbia

 

Tennessee

Castle of Chaos

Guinness World Records Museum

Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors

Hollywood Wax Museum

Ripley’s 5D Moving Theater

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Odditorium

Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Golf

Ripley’s Haunted Adventure

Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze

Ripley’s Old MacDonald’s Farm Mini-Golf

Dickson Stampede Days Rodeo

America’s Incredible Pizza Company

 

Texas

Adventure Landing

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

Cascade Caverns

LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Moody Gardens

Natural Bridge Caverns

Schlitterbahn

SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium

Shore Club Volente Beach

Splashtown San Antonio

Trinity Forest Adventure Park

Woodlawn Theatre

Amazing Jake’s Plano

America’s Incredible Pizza Company

Gatti’s Pizza

Gattitown

Inflatable Wonderland

Nickelrama Arcade

Drama Kids International

Olympian Fencing Club

 

Utah

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

FatCats Bowling Centers – Salt Lake City

FatCats Bowling Centers – Ogden

FatCats Bowling Centers – Provo

This Is The Place Heritage Park

Boondocks Fun Center

Discovery Gateway: The Children’s Museum of Utah

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center – Layton

Adrift Adventures

 

Virginia

Flight Trampoline Park

My Gym of Hampton Roads

Mad Science of Hampton Roads

 

Washington

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

 

West Virginia

West Virginia Mountain Rail Adventures

 

Wisconsin

Blue Harbor Resort & Spa

Door County Trolley

Egg Harbor Fun Park

Gravity Trails

Badger Bouncers

Sky Zone Milwaukee

Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley

 

The One Thing Every Mother Needs to Hear

The One Thing Every Mother Needs to Hear | Money Savvy Living

 

We went on what I like to think of as a “mini-vacation” this past weekend. We took the boys out of school a couple hours early and headed for Chicago.

 

Since the kids have been born, I have to admit that I am not much of a vacationer. It. Is. So. Much. Work. Yes, work… not relaxing. Work. It really seems like I need to take half of the house with me in order to be prepared for anything that we may even possibly think about needing. You know, like diapers, wipes, bottles, snacks, Band-Aids, extra clothing… now that they are getting bigger this is getting a little better…

 

We have gone on a few vacations though—to Disneyworld and the beach, and things went well. For the most part, the kids have always done well. Of course, we do hear the typical things that you would expect to come from the back seat: “Are we there yet?” “I need to use the bathroom!” “Mom, he’s touching my stuff!” Did I mention we have THREE boys?

 

Even though the kids do pretty well and are excited when we go on vacation, I still don’t really feel relaxed though. I mean, it’s a lot of pressure to make sure all three kids actually stay with us so that we don’t come home with only two… or just one…

 

The boys standing by a huge Lego giraffe at Legoland

The boys standing by a huge Lego giraffe at LEGOLAND

 

So on our mini-vacation, this past weekend, we went to Chicago and tried to make it fun for the kids—riding the train into downtown, going to Skydeck Ledge, visiting Legoland… even getting to try authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza.

 

Yes, we were actually all brave enough to step out over the city at the Skydeck Ledge (photo via: theskydeckledge.com)

Yes, we were actually all brave enough to step out over the city at the Skydeck Ledge (photo via: theskydeckledge.com)

 

But the event that stood out to me this weekend was brunch at the hotel on Sunday morning. It was crowded. Really crowded. There was a long line for the waffle maker, and of course, the kids wanted waffles. There were no tables big enough for our party of five. But there was a table in the corner for two. So I asked an elderly couple sitting close by, if we could borrow a couple of chairs from their table. They indicated that no one was sitting there, so I scooted them over to our table. Ok. Now the kids could be seated while I worked on getting their breakfast and my husband could watch them to make sure no one got away. Whew. See what I mean, even just getting a table for breakfast was work. So I got the boys eggs and some cereal to be eating. Then went back up for extra plates, napkins and silverware. Work. Then back up for water and orange juice. Work. Everyone was happy—sort of, “Mom, can I please have a waffle?” Of course, the little guy only wanted pancakes. And there were no pancakes.

 

By this time, the line died down for waffles, so I put some batter in the waffle maker and even got my husband some eggs and juice to be eating while he made sure no one escaped. Finally, we had a waffle. So everyone was happy. Time to relax and eat my breakfast. Then the little guy spilled his water—and started to cry. I told him it was ok… And as I tried to make my way around the table (it was very crowded, so I had to go past that elderly couple again), that sweet elderly lady stopped me and said,

“You’re a good mom.”

The One Thing Every Mother Needs to Hear | Money Savvy Living

 

I thanked her. I should have hugged her. She will never know how much I needed to hear that. That little bit of encouragement made my day. It was all I needed to realize that this work was my life. My life with little kids that will soon be big.

 

If you see a Mom with little kids, give her a word of encouragement today. It may mean more than you know.

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