My son loves dinosaurs and most all prehistoric creatures. He wants to be a paleontologist thanks to YouTube and Jurassic Park; yes, I know it is a questionable movie for his age but he loves it. I went exploring online a few months ago to find the right excavation kit for his age. Spoiler I didn’t find one. What I did find was one kit on Amazon and one at Target.
I found Dinosaur Eggs on Amazon for $22.85 in March 2020; it’s $19.99 as of date of posting. The box says it is not for 0-3 years old at all. The recommended age is 6+ years old. This kit includes 12 eggs with dinosaurs inside, 12 chisels, 4 brushes and 12 dinosaur information cards.
Keeps him engaged
Helps develop patience
Interesting way to learn to use new tools
Variety of dinosaurs
Hard to get dinosaur out without soaking in water or help from adult
Brushes are thin
Chisel is hard for him to use (longer chisel would be great)
Takes a long time to get the dinosaur out if you don’t soak it
The National Geographic Dino Fossil Dig Kit was found at Target but I do not recall the price. I did find the same kit on Amazon for $9.97 as of date of posting. This is not for children under 3 years old. The box recommends ages 8+ years old. The kit includes on T. Rex shaped brick with dino poop, mosasaur tooth and generic dino bone, 1 chisel, 1 brush, 1 magnifying glass and a learning guide.
Exciting for all ages (namely me, I was excited…)
Easy to chip away with small amount of water poured over per instructions
Packaging doubles as a container for the dig brick which contains mess
Brush and chisel easy for son to use without help
Learning guide was great even for my son who knows a decent amount about dinosaurs/ paleontology
Only one brick
Not something a younger kid can continually play with
Overall both kits are great considering the price and contain learning guides/ cards for later reference. The Dinosaur Eggs kit is good for multiple kids and continued play since the eggs contain small dinosaur toys. The Nat Geo kit is good for a more dig like experience and has a magnifying glass that will definitely be fun to use for other experiments.
I like things that go but my son loves them! As soon as I found out Monster Jam was coming to our city, I knew we had to go. Thanks to Blippi via YouTube he knows all about monster trucks especially Grave Digger. So I knew this would be a great surprise especially since he’d been keeping his room clean and being a great big brother.
Once the day came, I casually mentioned to him that we had a surprise for him later on in the day. He was curious but quickly let it go because toddler… Soon it was nap time and I finally told him so he could rest before his late night. This didn’t work and tears followed. After he finally calmed down, he passed out. By the time we woke him up, it was time to go.
We prepaid for parking so we were walking to the place along with lots of other excited kids. There were a few rowdy young adults but they didn’t bother anyone just generally loud and possibly intoxicated. Upon walking inside, the crowds were packed around every booth that was setup with merchandise and food. Our seats were way at the top but I didn’t mind as the view was better and seats were affordable. Below are a few moments he is still talking about so I felt the need to include them. I will also post clips on my YouTube channel but be warned they were shot on my mobile as professional equipment or any type of decent camera setup were prohibited.
Bring noise cancelling headphones
no matter how high up you are it is loud…
Be prepared to wait in long lines if you buy merchandise after the show
buy early if possible to avoid lines and to ensure you get what you want
get your bubble skull when you see them because they WILL run out
Make sure your little one is prepared for the down time
he loved seeing the construction type vehicles but if your kid isn’t in to that then make sure they have snacks or something during that time
FYI for sensitive groups; the fuel smell is very obvious and could be worse depending on how close you are
make sure your kid wants to sit that long
my son was okay but he was more focused on the candy and started playing with the earplugs towards the end
if your child doesn’t want to sit that long but would love it, definitely buy the cheap tickets so if you leave early it won’t feel like a waste
Final thoughts: The prices were on par for a special event but the small toy monster trucks seemed very affordable ($10/ truck). I would like to thank the mom next to me for letting me have her new earplugs as I forgot to bring the pair I had. She didn’t hesitate or make any judgmental faces; she just leaned over asked if he’d use them and handed them over ❤ Due to this act of kindness, I’ll bring a spare pair to the next event I go to. Well feel free to ask me any questions as I did enjoy the event and so did my son and husband!
After having our second child, I felt the need to update our emergency plan. We’ve had a plan since finding out our neighbor’s house burned down; this happened years before we bought our home. It helped us see the urgency in having a plan because you never know when an emergency will occur. The first thing we did was get food that was easy to carry but would provide what we needed. Then we tasted it to see if we’d actually want to eat it; totally unnecessary but it definitely wasn’t something you’d overindulge in. Next we packed dog food, rain smocks, flash lights, batteries, etc. We never bought the water we needed nor did we get a few other essentials but we felt it was a good start. Plus we weren’t entirely sure where to go from there. So we researched, made a plan then did absolutely nothing until…
I receive an email from the City of Sacramento about the second annual Highwater Jamboree – Flood Prep Exposition. This seemed like perfect timing but I was surprised as I didn’t realize there was a first. Anyways I read the email, clicked on the link and decided we definitely needed to attend. While I went for information regarding how to prepare for natural disasters common in our area, I knew my toddler would love all of the emergency vehicles.
The morning of the event I told my son we had a surprise for him. He was excited but didn’t really know what was going on as we didn’t give him much information. As we drove to the event, I explained a little about what he could expect. I let him know we’d be going to an event to show us how to be prepared for emergencies. I compared it to popular shows he watches then let him know we would be seeing similar things. Finally, we arrived but there was little to be excited about because we parked far away. After walking for a bit, he saw the vehicles.
Each vehicle had an attendant. The one above showed him how they use a camera, on what looked like a remote controlled car, to see inside the pipes. The attendant/ operator also explained how another item (looked like a small space rover) worked as well as giving a brief kid friendly explanation of the pipes on display. He went on to tell him the importance of keeping the drains clear of leaves and trash so water can enter the drains and be safely transported away from the streets.
My son’s favorite was a toss up between the bulldozer and the excavator. My favorite was the M.I.C. I was able to speak with the officer inside to get details on what this is used for, where it goes and why it is important. I’ll post two views from interior and one video showing the exterior to my YouTube channel Journey to Mommy (links at end of post). I do state in the video that I don’t mention names or show people because I’m a firm believer in privacy. Please note no one asked me not to show them or mention names; this was a choice I made. Once we finished viewing all the vehicles, we went to the tents. All the tents had different information on various agencies that help before, during and after an emergency.
The City of Sacramento Office of Emergency Services tent stood out the most. It was a one stop shop for preparation. The attendants asked about who was in my home and what elevation I was at. These questions are important as having a pet, small children and/or elderly would change your preparation needs. The elevation is important because flood zone versus non flood zone dictates whether or not you should plan to stay in your home or leave. Both require different planning. These were things I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. Below are all the pamphlets I received. If you don’t have a plan acquiring these would be a good way to start as well as checking out your city website to see how they operate in case of emergency.
The picture above was only edited to include a modesty paint splatter because I chose to put it there. Besides that nothing has been done to the photo. Why do I have such an honest picture? Well I had an experience a few months ago that I thought should be accompanied by a picture for context. I was going to make this a pity party post but after having time to think about it decided to make it a teaching moment.
A few months ago I gave birth to a healthy baby. While everything turned out okay, I hadn’t been feeling myself due to things out of my control namely hormones. It had been a while since I had gotten out of the house without my little ones so hubby took me out for a midweek date. Everything started off great. Dinner, adult conversation and planning for the future. Then we decided to extend our evening by going to the mall. First I went to a makeup store to buy a liquid concealer along with two impulse buys. I was on a high because I really wanted the concealer but couldn’t justify buying it as I don’t wear makeup regularly. However my hubby is awesome and he was trying to spoil me per usual. The second store WAS my favorite. Just to clarify I am intentionally leaving out the name but I will say it was not Bath and Body Works. Now the story…
I was really excited to go to my store as I usually get to spend a decent amount on fun but completely unnecessary bath products. I went in with the intention to replace a skincare item and to get a few new bath balls. I walk in (see image above) with a huge smile on my face and no spending cap! Now I would never go too crazy but I was happy with the dollar amount I set for myself. I walk in the store but for the first time no one offers to help. Please note the store was in no way busy; there was maybe three customers not including ourselves. I figured someone would get to me when they were done however no one approached us. Then an additional associate walks out from the back and still nothing. I thought maybe they are changing places with the cashier but again wrong. I decided to say what I was looking for just in case they all assumed the other associate helped me but again nothing and one associate even avoided me. To reiterate small store, not busy and I am very hard to miss as I was dressed in a bright color. Right as I see an associate headed my way I smile and begin to form the words for the description of the items I’m looking for when she continues walking to help the customers that just walked in. At this point I am crushed because I have no other reasoning as to why I haven’t received assistance. Even my husband was annoyed to the point of wanting to complain.
So we go to the candy store next door in an effort to pick me up so I could work up the nerve to go back and give them a second try. The candy store was equally empty and the associate immediately greeted us and asked to let them know if we needed any help or had questions. This is all I wanted but didn’t receive at the previous store. We were greeted so nicely in the candy store I nearly cried. I was hormonal, still dealing with post delivery things and happy to be out of the house and that gutted me. I eventually walked to the back of the candy store so no one could see the tears forming. Now my husband was upset because I don’t cry easily. I explained to him that I haven’t dealt with that much profiling in YEARS. I thought “that stuff doesn’t happen where I live” because it is so diverse. Well I was wrong. Once I got it together, we brought our purchases to the front, made a few impulse buys, thanked them for their great customer service and left.
As we left and passed the offending store, my husband asked if I wanted to go back to complain. I declined. I was so sad that the thought of doing anything else gutted me. What if I went for dessert and the same thing happened? What if the way I looked put people off and that is why I wasn’t helped? Maybe my attitude seemed XYZ? Well by the time I arrived home I was still emotional but I started thinking. I didn’t do anything wrong. I am the same person I always am when around others. I smile at the very least and speak when at my best. I could have looked better but I was dressed the way I felt comfortable and in what could fit my post baby body.
The lesson I learned was to treat every customer like they matter. Don’t pick and choose who you will help. If you are at work in the customer service business and said customer has not been rude, violent, etc then you should give them the same customer service you want to receive. Or at the bare minimum ask if they need help. I don’t expect anyone to bend over backwards or go out of their way to help me. But what I do expect is common industry standard courtesy whether or not you think I have the money to be there. Because your actions might not have direct consequences but knowing you changed a persons day should matter. I consider myself a decent human trying to raise decent humans. I hope my children’s actions never cause anyone to feel the way I did that night at the bath store when Help was indeed Wanted…
This is my Thank You letter to the amazing strangers that played an important role in our life.
To Nurses Helen, Jennifer, Rachel, Megan and Midwife (CNM) Susan with a special Thanks to Jamie who was with us for our first child,
You probably won’t remember us but I’ll always remember you. I was terrified with a nervous calm once I found out I would be going to Labor & Delivery the same day as my last NST (non stress test). I had an overall understanding about being induced, most of which I found out the day before, but the details were a mystery. You all played an important part in easing my fears, answering all of my questions and encouraging me.
No one pressured me to get an epidural. If I wanted an epidural you wouldn’t question me or make me feel bad about my decision. No one scared me about the intensity of contractions with pitocin. You told me what to expect with an induction including the pills and pitocin. No one made me feel like a baby when the pain finally took over. You all encouraged me and told me I could do it. You reminded me I could adjust the lights, have more pillows, move around or whatever else (within reason) would help me feel comfortable. You even answered additional medical questions that didn’t have much to do with labor and delivery.
The pain put a smile on my face because I knew it meant I’d meet my baby soon but I was still in pain. I was adamant about using the bathroom and rather than saying ‘No you’re too close’ our midwife reminded me the pressure could be baby trying to come and I should let her know immediately if I felt a bulge. Thankfully it wasn’t but right after she ASKED if she could check me. We were having issues with the baby monitor so a physical check was done. She warned it might be very painful, confirmed my consent to check and proceeded. This was it. The moment arrived.
I truly appreciated the bedside manner of everyone that surrounded us. I loved that despite losing it towards the end everyone was wonderful, reminding me I could do it, saying my reaction was perfectly normal and helping me cope pain med free. Post delivery they were having trouble getting bleeding to stop so pills were given (not orally…), stitches were quick and there was continuous intense pushing/ massaging on my abdomen until the pills kicked in to slow the bleeding. Though everyone was working fast, I was informed every step of the way because part of my birth preferences included being informed on what was going on. All in all the experience was great and I would give them all referrals if I could. But I can’t so hopefully this letter reaches one of them (or another awesome medical professional) to inform them of the positive impact they had on this mommy.
After my second delivery, I have a better grasp on what to bring to my particular hospital. These are items I found useful but this is by no means a list for everyone as your list will vary based on where you choose to give birth and what is available. For instance, my hospital provides diapers, nipple balm, plain cloths that you wet with water as wipes, tucks pads, numbing spray, extra pads (not a full pack but a few) and we both received gowns (sleep sack and nursing gown featuring hospitals logo) as well as other goodies.
Camera or Phone with chargers!!
Socks (to match gown)
Supportive nursing bra
Preferred pads (hospital pads are huge and don’t have wings)
Toothbrush & toothpaste (later discovered hospital had this too…)
Skincare (facial wipes and moisturizer)
Makeup (tinted moisturizer, chapstick and brow pencil)
Hair supplies or protective hairstyle (thankfully went to get hair braided day before so only needed a head scarf!)
Going home outfit for myself and baby
Additional: snacks for your support person, medical card/ insurance, book/ tablet/ something to keep you occupied if you’re there for a while, nurses gifts (if applicable)
I’ll probably do a video at some point but this was my quick list. I hope someone finds this condensed list helpful!
As I mentioned a while ago, I am now a Studio Manager/ Personal Assistant. I started off putting in a lot of hours in the studio so I could get the lay of the land. Slowly I started transitioning to 90% of my time being from home. Since getting pregnant, it’s more like 100% of my time is from home.
I had a romanticized version of what working at home with a toddler would look like. I thought, this will be the best thing ever. There was going to be perfectly scheduled time for everything and I’d have wiggle room whenever I needed it. I could earn money from home while being with my little man. What could be better?! Well… this isn’t a scary story but there are a few positives and negatives that were unexpected. I’ll name them and elaborate if necessary.
Pros of being WAHM
Commute is awesome
Dress code is at most casual at very least kid friendly
Watch him grow and learn new things
Can be there when he’s sick
Can work when I’m sick unless I lose my voice
Pregnancy related nausea & vomiting don’t interrupt my day too much
Frequent bathroom breaks without anybody caring
Can control food smells because it’s only myself and co-worker (toddler) during lunch
House is maintained because I can wash clothes while on a call or clean during my break
Cons of being WAHM
You work longer without realizing it because you’re at home and can check/ respond to work any time
No adult co-workers to chat with throughout the day
Toddler meltdowns can make phone calls very stressful
Not having a dedicated office space is tough
Distractions are common
Must move all work items at the beginning and end of the work day
Not having a proper desk and chair puts stress on the body especially while pregnant
You are getting snacks for your child and you are right by the refrigerator
It has been raining a lot in Sacramento, CA. We went from barely any rain to what feels like daily showers. I am not complaining because I love the rain as it is the best for my allergies and asthma. However, as the work from home mom of a toddler, it is getting tough. I have a hard enough time trying to safely entertain him as it is; he prefers the thrill of jumping off of and climbing onto things that aren’t made for that purpose. So I made it a point to find something fun for him to do on Sunday (3/3/19).
I was inspired when I saw a local radio personality post about SeaQuest on their Instagram. I did my research and planned the trip. Once I mentioned it to my husband he reminded me that he told me first and wanted to go.
On Sunday, we ate breakfast then headed to Folsom, CA where the nearest SeaQuest is located. Upon arrival the building doesn’t look like it could contain an aquarium or really anything with animals but looks can be deceiving. We ran into other parents who confirmed we were indeed at SeaQuest; so my first word of advice is to find others who can point you in the right direction. I’ll include a list of suggestions/ helpful hints at the end of the post. Once we finally checked in, the fun began. I don’t want to ruin it or make it sound too fun but we enjoyed watching our son go from section to section exploring the land and sea creatures. We also plan on returning during off peak hours to enjoy the other things employees told us about as we visited the different areas. Enough writing, below are a few pictures we took along with my helpful hints/ suggestions. Please note I took more pictures however I don’t want to ruin the experience by showing everything.
Helpful Hints/ Suggestions:
Buy Tickets Online ($2 discount as of 3/3/19)
Wear good walking shoes
Visit during off peak hours (we were told weekdays esp 4pm – closing)
For check-in, prepare to wait in a long and somewhat confusing line
You can touch some of the aquatic creatures but make sure to wash your hands before and after for the safety of creatures and yourself
I started off determined to stick to a primarily plant-based (PPB) lifestyle. I had meals planned, groceries purchased and was off to a great start. I slowly became forgetful, thoughtless then down right turned off by anything that wasn’t tacos and french fries. Alcohol, even my precious red wine, seemed unbearable. Well a few days later I figured out why. I’M PREGNANT!!!
I won’t know the gender until my husband reveals it to me because I want to be surprised like I was with our son but this time I haven’t given him a timeline. Being a great husband he agreed but said it might not be the same day he finds out. I’m fine with it because I already have the boy I hoped for so any additional babies are a wonderful bonus.
I haven’t gained any weight
Food aversions change daily sometimes even meal by meal
Nausea is still a thing depending on what baby decides
I’m exhausted way more then with my son
Eating feels like a chore
No swelling!!! this was a problem with my previous pregnancy
Sleeping sucks because our son still likes to sleep in our bed
Despite everything listed above, I often forget I’m pregnant
Due to the things above, this baby will have less things written and more videos
Return to PPD as soon as my appetite improves
Eat chicken and seafood until after delivery
RESEARCH how to switch to PPD the healthy way i.e. making sure to get enough protein from plant/ nut sources
Use my treadmill especially when I feel like eating all the meats
I’ve been contemplating getting a part-time job for a while now but every time I applied for something I’d get a queasy feeling in my stomach. When I decided to push fear aside and go for it I had 2 opportunities at once not to mention a few temp agencies seeking me out. The job I ended up accepting was the one I didn’t even apply for. A friend recommended me and that how I got it! I won’t go into specifics but I didn’t get the queasy feeling so I knew it was right for me. I am not going to say who I’m working for until I ask if she’s okay with it first but I love my new job.
I’m a Studio Manager for a small business. I organize, maintain and help with the day-to-day stuff. This particular industry is very new to me but will help with something I have desperately wanted to do. Hopefully she’ll allow me blog/ vlog about my experience with the service I want! More on this later 🙂
I feel good about the work I’m doing because it is familiar and different. I was having a very hard time in the beginning balancing work and home life but I’ve gotten into a groove; not a routine but a good flow. Some days I am thrilled to be at work enjoying the change of pace from my SAHM life. Other days I feel like a horrible neglectful parent/ wife and those days are extremely difficult emotionally speaking. Being a SAHM for almost 3 years has been strange yet rewarding but I’m looking forward to all my new adventures as a working mom.