Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Citrus Lane- October 2013

Ryan and Jake received their Citrus Lane boxes earlier this week.  Ryan was a subscriber from Jan-August.  I canceled after the August box for money reasons.  Then at the end of September I had a code for BOGO.  I checked my Citrus Lane account and I had a $20 credit.  So basically, I got 2 boxes for $5.

Jake received Citrus Lane from Jan-March through Groupon.  His grandma saw how much he loved the boxes so she renewed his subscription for three months.  So, Jake will be getting Oct-December boxes.

Citrus Lane is a subscription box service that is curated for children aged 0-5 years.  It's been around for a couple of years, but I didn't hear of it until last October.  Each box has 4-5 items that are designed for your child based on age and gender.. or you can select neutral when signing up.  If your little one isn't born yet, you can put your due date in when signing up.  The boxes ship from California on the 15th of each month and arrive between the 17th-22nd.  Also, the cut off date for each month is the 5th.  If you order after the 5th of the month, you will receive next month's box.
I tried really hard to get a decent picture of the boys with their boxes.. But getting a one year old  and a three year old to look and smile at the same time isn't easy.  Especially when they are both holding boxes they knew are for them.. they just wanted to get inside and open them.

Our first box is for a 3 year old.. or as Citrus Lane calls him.. a 40 month old.

1.  Dreamz & Twinkles To Go from Cloud B ($20.95)
This is a little night light.  It actually lights up and you can see stars and fish on the walls and ceiling.  Both boys LOVED this.  It was, by far, the best thing from both of the boxes.   It glows in either blue or green.  We have some other Cloud B stuff that the boys love, including the Twinkle Turtle and 2 of the scented lamb pillows.

2. Rhythm Sticks from Hohner Kids ($6.06)
I'm glad they decided to add some musical instruments to the boxes this month, however, Ryan doesn't show any interest in this item.  Although they are aged at 2+, I feel like they are more for elementary aged kids than toddlers/preschoolers.  Maybe he will like them in a few years.

3. BOPS from Good Boy Organics (?)
These chips are definitely healthier for you than regular potato chiops.. but I didn't care for them. Ryan ate them, which is what's important.  But I found them rather boring and more plain than regular potato chips. 

4. Ladybug Magazine from Cricket Magazine Group ($2.92)
This magazine is PERFECT for my 3 year old who loves all books and magazine. Ryan already receives a magazine subscription that his Papa got for him a while back and he loves that the magazines are especially for him.  It is filled with pictures, stories and poems.  It also came with a 3 month digital subscription or the option of $19/95 for a one year print+ digital bundle.

Now on to the second box, which is for a 21 month old boy.

1. Train Whistle from Green Tones ($19.84)
I actually kinda sorta really love this whistle.  Jake got the hang of it pretty quick and he loves picking it up and blowing in it.  I'm surprised that he's able to make the noise all by himself and gets pretty pleased with himself when he does it.

2. Water Bugs from Boon ($9.99)
Both boys really loved this toy too.  We opened it right away and have played with it in the bathtub every night since!

3. Instant Cold Packs from Me4Kidz
These are one time use cold packs for on the go boo-boos.  We got these a few months back in Ryan's Citrus Lane box.  They are pretty nifty to keep in the diaper bag and thankfully, we haven't had to use them yet.

4.  Babybug Magazine and Digital Subscription from Cricket Magazine Group (2.92 +however much for the digital subscription.)
Just like Ryan, another great pic for an eager to learn toddler.

While the boys enjoyed their Citrus Lane boxes, it isn't my favorite of the boxes.  But the boys love them and that's what matters! Do you get Citrus Lane for your little one?  Share the link with me so I can read your review.. I love reading subscription box reviews.

Want to give Citrus Lane a try for your little one.. use my link to sign up and get $10 off your box and I can get $10 off mine as well! 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Martinez Lake- Take 2

Ever since we went to the lake for my mom's birthday back in June, Ryan talked about it pretty much every day since. That's why we decided to take him back for Labor Day weekend- the last weekend of summer.

I have so many memories out at that lake.  My parents took my brother and me every summer growing up.  As I started getting older, I was always allowed to invite a friend to come with us.  Sometimes we would rent a cabin out there, or my parents would bring their pop up camper.  Now when we go, my parents bring their RV trailer.  I've always loved going out to the lake, eating breakfast outside, spending all day swimming, boating, skiing, and tubing.  When the sun is straight up and it's super hot we usually go back inside to have lunch and take naps.  After naps we do it all over again.

Martinez Lake was the first thing we did this summer when Elyse came out for the summer. It made me so happy to take her out there and re-live all the fun things we did out there during my childhood.  She loved it, and I loved watching her pedal boat and canoe.

We took Ryan when he was 14 months and I was 4 months pregnant with Jake.  This summer was the first time Ryan got to really enjoy being out there. & he did love it.  When we were falling asleep in the trailer he kept talking about "papa's boat" and the rocks he kept throwing back into the water.

It's hard to tell from the picture above, but Jake was SO relaxed on the lake.  He loved it.  Aren't baby life jackets so nifty?  You can just let them float around and they are totally chill.  Of course we right next to him, but he would just lay there and close his eyes.

This time that we went, it was just the 4 of us and my parents.  Rebecca was only a few days from her due date so they didn't come up.

Ryan's favorite park about the lake was riding in papa's boat.  He wouldn't stop talking about it.  When he's sitting in the back of the boat he has this straight face on and just watches the water as we go.  I could stare at his expressions forever.  We jumped out of the boat a few times to go swimming. Ryan would swim for a short while and then want to sit back in papa's boat and watch the water.

Jake had the same blank expression as he watched the water too.  I think he liked swimming the most and just floating around in his life jacket.  I want my boys to grow up little water babies just the same way I was.  I spent so much of my summer time in the water swimming.  I want my boys to love driving around in the boat with my dad just as I always enjoyed it.  I want them tubing in just a few years and skiing in middle school, just like their momma.

Here are those blank stares as they watch the water.  They look pretty bored, but they are 100 % happy.  See ya next June, Lake Martinez!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Free Kid's Workshops

One thing we've been doing every month since June are the Lowe's Build and Grow Clinics and the Home Depot Kid's Workshops.  I never signed the kids up before, even though I have seen them, because the website (or somewhere else on the internet?) says recommended for ages 4+.  A friend of mine suggested I take the boys and assured me that the boys would both enjoy going.

The first one we tried was Lowe's Build & Grow where they made a Monster's University Chest.  Elyse (11) participated and so did my niece, Haley (15.)  Over the summer, Lowe's did their clinics twice a month.  They were held the second and fourth weekend of the month.  They had different activity kits to make featuring Monster's University, Planes, and Toy Story.  I'm not too sure if they've ever done any other kid's movies because we just started going a few months ago.

You have to sign up for the clinics online through their website.  The clinics fill up super quick, so I usually keep checking until a clinic becomes available because I don't want to miss her.  October's filled up quick and I wasn't able to take the kids.  Boo!

The children participating in the Build and Grow clinics get a free apron and safety goggles.  Each kit comes with the wood, nails, and direction.  They give you a hammer to use and then you put stickers on it.  At the end of the clinics, the kids get their own certificate and a patch to iron onto their apron.  My boys enjoy going.  They aren't old enough to complete their kits by themselves, but they do love to help hammering.

Home Depot offers the same things.  They are called Kids Workshops and they are much bigger.  They last for 3 hours and take place on the first weekend of the month.  You can sign up online, but it is not required.  The difference between Lowes and Home Depot, is that Home Depot  lets you paint your project.  & at the end they still get a certificate but instead of patches, they get cute little pins, a coloring page, and a snack.

The last Home Depot Kids Workshop we went to was super fun!  They added lots of extra stuff to celebrate October and Halloween.  They had little pumpkins set up to take pictures, a few carnival like games to play, and free popcorn.  The kids made a fire helicopter for Fire Safety month and they had a fire truck there for the kids to see and even sit in.  The kids loved it! 

If you don't already take your kids, you need to!  The next Home Depot Workshop is on November 2nd and the project is a tabletop ship.  The next Lowe's clinic is on November 9th and the kids are making a pull back car.  Not only are these events super fun for the little ones, they are FREE!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Saying Goodbye

Well... I've been neglecting blogger.. a lot.  The last time I wrote in here was on August 4th, that was over 2 months ago.  I always told myself that remembering life with my littles is what's most important.  My 6th year of teaching began on August 1st, and I had to get used to being a working momma again and was always so tired after the kids went to work.  Then I started working out at night after the kids went to work.  Then, September started and I wanted to catch up with all the new tv shows on Netflix before they came on tv.  & That's what I've been up to after Ryan and Jake go to bed, working out, watching Netflix or catching up with New Girl on my phone!!  Oh yeah- cleaning a tornado of toys.  

I haven't been writing and I haven't been reading blogs either.  At Jake's last well check the doc asked me how much Jake weighed when he was born and I couldn't remember!!!  Geez.. this coming from the woman that remembers almost everything.

So here I am, getting back to what's most important, writing down everything so I can remember everything.

When I just logged into blogger, I had these pictures uploaded and the title.  I figured I might as well finish it.

Elyse left us on July 12.  Let me count, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.  ELEVEN.  The number of times that Elyse has come to Tucson and had to leave.  The number of times I've had to say bye to my sweet little girl.  Not counting the three times we went out there to see her. The last full day of her being here is always pretty sad.  We all walk around all bummed out and spend most of the day talking about how much we are going to miss each other.  Elyse always tells us how much she wished we lived closer so she could see us every week.  It's pretty awful.  Washing her laundry and packing her suitcase stinks.  The only good thing that comes out is that she actually cleans her room for once!  She's a messy girl.  I already posted about her last day in town.  We had a pool party for her.

Usually on her last day, we all have to wake up super early and rush to the airport.  Their flight to Chicago was a little later in the day so it was nice to actually be able to spend a little time with her before she left.  Her and Ryan were playing in the living room and I was just watching them play.  I've said it a hundred times, she is SO good with him and he just can't get enough of her.

We drove to the airport and after Tim & Elyse checked in she realized she left her insulated cup in my car so we went back outside to go get it.  Her and I got matching cups.  :)  Instead of me dragging the kids back inside, we said our goodbyes in the parking lot.  This was the first time  I didn't have to watch her walk away from me after she checked into security, and it made it a little easier, or so I thought.

We took all of our pictures in the parking lot and Elyse kept hugging and kissing Ryan and Jakey.  Check out Elyse's hair.  She's so funny, she pulled her hair up in a high messy bun and got so excited about it.  She kept saying "This is going to be my 7th grade hair style!" 

I actually was okay when they were walking away.. that lasted a whole 2 minutes.  As soon as I drove off the airport parking lot I started bawling and had to pull over into a hotel parking lot.  & then Elyse called me!  Ha.  She knows I'm a cry baby and I missed her already.   This whole "sharing a child" thing is so crazy.  We've been doing it for years and we still have so much longer to do it.  It breaks my heart for Tim and Elyse because they deserves so much more.

I had the best summer with her.  We all had so much fun and did a lot of things together as a family.  This was, by far, my favorite summer because I got to stay home every day and spend all day everyday with them.
Love her!

I can't believe it's already been over 3 months since she left.  She'll be back for Christmas.. just a little more than 2 months.

We love you, Elyse!