Things I Love Thursday V.6

Another week of things I love Thursday. It's that weird and rushed time in between Thanksgiving and the holidays. School is crazy, and everyone is waiting for winter break. If you think kids are excited.... you've never seen teachers after the busses pull away! I can't wait to hang with my kid, have more than ten minutes to eat my lunch, and pee whenever I need to! Anyways.... I've recently been told that my jokes are dad jokes, so here is one for you.
This badass Alice.
Michael Scott is my favorite. Source: Weheartit
Of course your weekly Gilmore Girls quote.
This creative reuse of out dated technology.
This quote by author Neil Gaiman who writes both books for adults and children. Check out American Gods.

On our wishlist, these toddler vans for big R, they zip in the back to make them easy to put on.

This list of protein packed dinners.

Books to read if you like Gilmore Girls, y'all know I do! Where'd You Go Bernadette is on this list, we read that in teacher's book club this summer.

Funny texts parents have sent their kids.

Throwback Thursday post: Penguins Snowballs and Bike Rides to the Park.

Million Bulb Walk

*Scroll to the bottom for mood music! 
For the first time ever, we attended the Norfolk Botanical Gardens Million Bulb Walk. The walk is open from 4-9 daily Nov 10th-30th. This means that if you want to go, you better get on the ball. (Or bulb.... heh heh heh)

We arrived at 4:30 and you can see from our pictures how quickly it got dark. At the beginning is a little food trailer. Hot chocolate was a necessity for us. You can see the options below. The displays go through a water section as a tribute to the coastal Virginia region, the seasons, and then some holiday arrangements.

The trail is over a mile long, but we did a slow walk and it didn't feel too long. R liked winter best, and got out of the stroller to run around and try to catch the lights projected on the floor. He ran from winter on, then turned around and ran almost the entire way back. Keeping up with him was harder than you'd think. This boy doesn't walk- he RUNS.


  • Heads up, do what we did- arrive early. As we were leaving we heard on the radios that they were only letting in ten more people. We stayed about 2 hours and walked it through and back. There was a  shuttle available at the end to take people back to the parking lot if they chose that route. 
  • Buy your ticket online to avoid the ticket line. Just note: tickets are NOT refundable.
  • There are discounts for garden members and military. Check online. 
  • When you go under the big tree in winter, stop and look up! Super cool view. 
  • Dress warm! It was so much colder coming back than going in. We were all snuggled up towards the end 
  • Don't miss the Photo Booth! It's over by the butterfly garden. 
  • Check out our other post on Botanical Gardens here
  • For a group of Jewish girls, we were bummed not to see ANY Hanukkah stuff. Hoping to see some next year! 
R ended up having a lot more fun than I expected. He was way more into running around and seeing the lights than I expected him to be. Driving the lights is awesome, and you pay by car, but I liked walking because it let us take the time that we needed in each section, let us take pictures, and because we could walk it coming both ways. Also, the extra steps helps after a big Thanksgiving weekend!

** We are going to feature some houses with awesome lights to drive around to. If you have a favorite house, please comment on our Facebook post and let us know!

Things I Love Thursday V.5

Daily life with big R. We also have dog petting, dog tail grabbing, dog food eating..... 

When I know I won't have a lot of time, I grab the crockpot. Here is a list of some dump dinners.

Before the availability of the tape recorder and during the 1950s, when vinyl was scarce, people in the Soviet Union began making records of banned Western music on discarded x-rays. With the help of a special device, banned bootlegged jazz and rock ‘n’ roll records were “pressed” on thick radiographs salvaged from hospital waste bins and then cut into discs of 23-25 centimeters in diameter. “They would cut the X-ray into a crude circle with manicure scissors and use a cigarette to burn a hole,” says author Anya von Bremzen. “You’d have Elvis on the lungs, Duke Ellington on Aunt Masha’s brain scan — forbidden Western music captured on the interiors of Soviet citizens.” ( credit

This quote from Maurice Sendak. I love this history behind "Where The Wild Things Are".

Mom jokes and humor here, because we all need a laugh sometimes.

These two brains belong to three year olds, so why is one so much bigger?

This So Cal punk documentary.

Throwback Thursday: Pretlow Library Playscape. We love this place! Also, it's FREE!

I've mentioned here and there about my dad's health. We recently learned that he is fighting pancreatic cancer, and it has been a hard battle. In a month I've watched him go from Mr. Do it yourself, to only being able to stay awake for short periods of time, in lots of pain.  I'm so sad. Sad for my mom, sad for me, sad for their dog... but mostly- sad for R. My dad is the most awesome Papa, and R sees him easily six days a week. Seems so unfair that this is happening. Similarly, Neil's father is fighting lung cancer that has spread to other parts of his body. Both have been in and out of the hospital over the last month. Several people have shared with me experiences that their families have gone through or are going through currently. November is Pancreatic Cancer awareness month. Get educated. It's a fast spreading cancer, and it is genetic. If you have family whose had it- you should get tested. In April my family will be walking in the Pancreatic cancer march. If you'd like to walk with us or donate to our team, please let me know.

"You’re going to be sad.
You’re going to want to scream and punch things.
Do it.
Let out every ounce of anger you have.
Sit on the floor and cry until you feel numb.
Listen to songs that make your heart sink to your feet.
Write angry letters to all the people who have broken you, left you, ignored you or hurt you.
Throw your hairbrush at the wall.
Do it twelve times.
Do it until you feel like you can breathe again.
You’re going to be sad.
You’re going to want to hurt yourself.
Don’t you dare do it.
Sit on the floor and watch cartoons like you did when you were little.
Listen to songs that make you want to dance around your bedroom in your underwear at 3 A.M.
Make paper airplanes out of those angry letters and watch them soar into the fireplace.
Brush all the knots out of your hair and say “I am worth it” into the mirror.
Say it twelve times.
Say it until you feel like you can breathe again. 

You’re going to be sad.
You’re going to get through it."
-via pessimistiic

T.A.T- Holiday Edition

It's that time again! I've already started to see the "what should I get my toddler for the holidays?! posts. Calm down mamas! These years are the easy years. It's when they get older that it is harder. We celebrate Hanukkah, but do Christmas with Neil's family, so we get the best of both worlds. 

Did you know the average kid has 200 toys, but plays with 12? My friend Nancy has always asked for experiences rather than gifts for her son. Once we had R we took this idea and ran with it. For Hanukkah one year we got a Botanical Gardens pass. For his birthday we got a zoo pass.  Read about those here and here. Below is a list of some local ideas for experience gifts:

  • Aquarium membership/day passes (Va Beach or OBX)
  • Zoo membership/day passes
  • Day passes to the city pool
  • Day pass to the Kroc Center (see post here)
  • Day passes to FunVille 
  • Giftcard for ice cream at Doumars 
  • Giftcard for lunch or milkshakes at a place with a playground (chick-fil-a is a possibility although they don't have much for the non-meat eater) 
  • Date to Sugar Shack (post here!)
  • A day at Cloud 9
  • Tickets to a puppet show or play 
  • Movie tickets 
  • Pottery painting at one of our local studios
  • Batting cage day
  • all of the supplies for a craft project 
  • Bowling gift card
  • Skating rink tickets 
  • Highlights magazine subscription
  • Tickets to an ODU game or Tides game 
  • A day at the Children's Museum 
  • ingredients and a recipe to bake something
Also, if you have a fourth grader- you should be signing up for the free park pass here

We have always liked the experiences idea too. For our honeymoon we registered for Honeyfund because we already lived together and had several "things." We loved it, and we have some great memories from that trip. 
Image may contain: 1 person

I've also heard of the four rule. One thing they want, need, wear, and read. This is one thing people use to downsize their holiday haul. I've also heard of doing a stocking of "stuff" to mix some items in. I like this idea too! Even Jewish girls like a good stocking! haha.

Some stocking ideas for toddlers:
  • Blocks
  • Bubbles
  • Socks
  • Chalk
  • Toothbrush/ tooth paste
  • Hats and mittens
  • Matchbox cars, wind up cars
  • Apple sauce pouches 
  • Finger paints
  • Small balls
  • Stickers
  • Hair accessories 
  • Small books
  • Glow sticks
  • Sippy cups
  • Snack cups
  • Utensils (I want these so much!)
  • Favorite snacks 
If you're like me, you will still have friends and family who want to give a gift. We are so lucky to have them in our lives! Thanks y'all! This year in addition for experiences, we have asked for a good set of old fashioned wood blocks and a one of the mini trampolines with a handle. I figure that it will help get some energy out! What are your ideas for the holiday? Lots of gifts? The rule of four? How do you celebrate?

Don't forget! Almost time for the drawing of our Charles Dickens' Christmas Towne tickets. Head over to the Toddlin Around Tidewater Facebook page to enter! 

p.s. This is their tree this year. It's Alice and Wonderland themed. How cool. Anyone else do themed trees?

Things I Love Thursday v4

Anyone else? Between the dogs and the kid, never a trip to the bathroom alone!

This throwback song. 
or 10,000 seconds. 
These tasty egg muffins. 

This stunning photo.
I've seen this picture floating around the internet. Ha- who did this?! 

Do you love Harry Potter as much as I do? If so, check out these 13 books to fill the Harry Potter void. 

Did you know...Carrie Fisher once sent a cow's tongue to a producer after he sexually assaulted her friend. Read about it here

In similar subject, read about how the co-founder of "Rent the Runway" beat sexism on her way to the top.

We have a contest happening on our Facebook. Head to Toddlin Around Tidewater for the details and to enter!

Hope everyone has a good weekend, let us know where you're adventuring.

NPL: Toddler Time

By now I'm sure everyone knows how much we love Norfolk Public Library. I've talked about different classes that we have attended and some that we attend regularly. While we still go to the baby classes, we have started to also go to Toddler Time classes. As you can see, R went straight for the trucks, per the usual. Anything that has wheels is right up his alley! Most of the NPL sites have this class, so if you're looking for something to do, check it out! Click here for their list of classes.

We have been to different locations, but go to the Pretlow library regularly. The man who leads the class is the same one who does the Tiny Tot Gymboree among other things. He was great with the kids, who climbed in his lap, all over him, and fought to be closest to him. The class consisted of 15 minutes of singing and dancing, 15 minutes of story (which R has only recently started to listen to), 15 minutes of parachutes and movement, and another 15 of crafts/ toys. When we first started, the crafts were a little too old for R, but now he has the hang of it and is more into them.

The book in the photo above was about monkeys and R is totally rocking this little monkey hat. I can't get over how cute he is in it! He even wore it for the rest of the day! Also, these paci pics were pre me being the mean mama and taking it away! R has so many crafts, that we had to hang this little board to display them all. It has little strings and clips, but we have so many that they are starting to hang off everywhere! 
There was a Halloween event where everyone brought a snack to share and the kids dressed up. It was adorable. At other classes, they have done other crafts, some a little too old, some not. (Remember though, that we are technically too young than the target age group!) R has started to really warm up to the parachute and the songs. Still, the trucks are his favorites. Since school started, R's grandparents take him. I love this shot of he and his Gramps with the trucks. 

All classes run from 10:30-11:30 at the following locations: 

Toddler Time: 
Monday- Pretlow 
Tuesday- Van Wyck 
Wednesday- Larchmont Branch 
Thursday- Slover 
Friday- Pretlow 

Check out my post on 1-2-3 Play With Me here. It's also for toddlers! 
1-2-3 Play With Me:
Tuesday- Slover 
Wednesday- Little Creek 
Saturday- Pretlow 

Now that it is cold outside, we are always looking for more indoor things to do. This is a great one because it gets out energy, has an education aspect, includes songs and art, and gives him a social outlet. We love Norfolk Public Library! 

Pool at the Kroc Center

Scroll to the bottom for some mood music! 

Since there was no school yesterday, we decided to meet up with some friends and check out the Kroc Center in Norfolk which is part of The Salvation Army. (Located on Balentine Blvd.) The pool was awesome. It has a little beach entry, so the boys could walk in and out themselves. They had a water table like toy in shallow area and a little climbing area where kids can climb and slide. There was a big kid/adult slide, but it doesn't open until one. There was also a lazy river, and some little alcoves to sit and chat in. This was all in addition to the main swimming area, which is more of your typical swimming pool.
Ever tried to get four toddlers to take a picture? Impossible!

Pool Rules: 
  • Boys must wear swim trunks, no cotton shorts or gym shorts. 
  • One adult must be in arms reach per 3 kids.
  • Adult or guardian must be at least 16 years of age. 
  • Ages 10-12 may be at the pool, with a parent in the building
  • Ages 13 and up can be at the pool without an adult in the building. 

I don't have a lot of thoughts for improvement, but I did have a couple. I want this blog to always be honest reviews of everywhere we go. I thought that the $12.00 entry fee was a little high. It was a day pass, so we could leave and come back, but come on.... lunch and nap time have to happen.  (They do have a little grill inside the center!) I was bummed that the big slide wasn't open until one. I lifeguarded all through high school and college, so I recognize that they need to have a lifeguard in this zone, but the pool was close to empty, and there were several lifeguards. Also, it was chilly in the pool. We had to get out because R was shivering and his lips were turning blue. The pool was 80 degrees, but the air temperature should be a little warmer in there.

Upcoming Events:
  • Swim lessons are ongoing. 
  • Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus- December 2nd 10:00 AM, breakfast buffet $7.00 per person.
  • Winter Break Camp December 21,22,26-29 Ages 6-12, 7:30 AM-6:00 PM, non-members $25/day. Includes lunch and two snacks. 
  • Only US Coast Guard approved flotation devices are allowed.
There are several fitness classes in the gym. There is even Stroll & Roll, which is walking time with a stroller around the track. Mon-Fri 10:00-12:-00. There are also arts and crafts classes, performing arts lessons, and private music instruction. Child watch is for 6 months-6 years, but the staff doesn't change diapers. Tween scene is for 7-12 years old, and the teen room is 13-17 years old.

Overall, we will be back. I did have some "room for improvement" ideas, but R and the boys had a great time. The staff was friendly, the place was super clean, and the pool was fun. R laughed and splashed, and wanted to go down that little slide again, and again... and again. He didn't want to leave, and took a nice long nap when we got home. I'll admit... I was ready for one too!

*** A reader just messaged me to tell me that they do Toddler Thursdays where they have lunch, gym play, a craft, and the pool for $10.00. This includes one parent and one child, after that it is $2.00 for each additional child. I'm bummed because I called a hundred times and asked the ladies at the front desk for info on kids programing, and they didn't tell me any of this! Thanks for the tip Nikole! Another reader just said that on Sundays there is a discount on the day pass. Heads up though, they don't open until one. Thanks Mandi!

Things I Love Thursday v3

This week has been a crazy week of hospital visits for both my father and my father in law, in the spirit of staying positive, here are some things that I'm loving.
Yup, we were awake. R didn't get the memo.

This song and this band forever and ever.
I know there was a GG reference last week, but how can you not love this quote?
My aunt makes something similar to these and they are AWESOME.
This wanderlusty little piece.
So true. I love getting lost in a good series.

This husband did a pumpkin themed dude shoot for his wife, and the result will make your heart beat faster.

These 16 dogs are heroes... they are also pitbulls. Check out this Huffington Post article.

Speaking of the Huffington post, check out these 10 spots, perfect for Stargazing.

I'll leave with this quote:
"A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for."- William G.T. She'd.

Anddddd, our throwback Thursday post: tips for littles at Harbor Park for the Norfolk Tides. 

Click here! 

This feature is done by lots of bloggers, including Kaelahbee, and I decided to give it a try. What are you loving this week?