Modular Railroad Club

The Tidewater Modular Railroad Club is a nonprofit club that promotes the hobby of model railroading and railroad history. The club was formed in 2009 and they set up traveling displays in libraries, schools, malls, nursing homes, and convention centers. Their clubhouse display is free and open to the public. (18 and under must have an adult with them!)
There is a train table for little ones, which R and L loved. The main displays were so intricate and detailed. R's favorite was the train with the construction trucks, shocker. He would follow it along and yell "dig, dig, dig!" The adult's favorite train was the "pregnancy train" which had alternating cars of pickles and ice cream. There were also a few scenes in particular that we laughed at including funerals, people being pulled over, and a village of friendly homeless people.
Their clubhouse display is located in the Fairfield Shopping Center between Rite Aid and Hallmark, and is open to the public. They do have a box for donations. All the people working there are volunteers. They also have a facebook where they list their events!

Wednesday: 10-2
Saturday: 10-4
Sunday 12-4

Upcoming Events:
Denbigh Community Center, Saturday May 12

And, as usual, some tunes for the weekend!

Toddler Tuesday: Meme Edition

My score is 12, what's yours?

via Mean Girl
Okay this isn't exactly toddler related, but it is totally true.

The snuggles though! You forget how mad you were!
Going out to eat is literally more stress than it is worth sometimes.
Or in my case the peanut butter jar.

Sounds about right.

That's it for this week. Phew! 

Currently: March

March has been an insane month for me. We had two field trips at school, a feeding the homeless event where we cooked for 70 people, but most importantly a huge multi-family yard sale at my mom's house for the Pancreatic Cancer Society. We raised almost $2,000 to go towards our goal of $20,000. I've been asking local businesses to donate items and gift cards to create baskets for our upcoming silent auction. My goal is to raise $20,000 for pancreatic cancer research. (My team's page is here, in memory of my father.)
Image result for pancreatic cancer

Watching: Okay, okay, okay. I've recently been binge watching Sisterwives on hulu. I am fascinated. For example, how do they go out to eat? How far in advance do you need that reservation? Do you have to book a private room? How do they afford it all? It's got me thinking, what meals do you cook for that many people? I literally have so many questions. They all seem like lovely people, but how do they make it work, even taking the emotions out, but just logistically!?
Reading: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco. This book has some magic, fantasy, resentment, and mystery all together. It flips between present and past to tell a story of Tea, the bone witch. This is the first book of the series, and number two just came out.
Eating: Lots of rice. You may remember my dog Reggie's stomach issues all over my car. He needs some rice to balance him out, so we have all had rice the past few days since I made a ton of it. Good thing, it's one of R's favorite foods. He likes to eat it throw it, put it in his hair... I'm in a little bit of a dinner rut. We seem to constantly have a little of this and a little of that in our fridge, but I haven't had time to stop and really cook some good meals in a while. We did just have a really good Greek salad and pizza. Yummm. 

Doing: After R goes to bed recently I've caught myself spending a lot of time looking at pictures. Old pictures on my phone of him, pictures of my dad, pictures of my wedding. I've realized that I need to do a better job at capturing moments of friends and family because you never know how long you'll have. Time seems to just go by so quickly. 
Listening to: Rainy cold days months (aka most of March) always make me want to listen to Death Cab. There is just something so warm and cozy about some of the backgrounds while still having cold and dreary to the bone lyrics that I love. 

That's it for us. What have you been doing this month? 

Toddler Tuesday: Book Edition, Momma and R!

As a teacher, I take introduction to early literacy pretty serious. We have magnets on our fridge of Hebrew letters, English letters in our bathtub, and we read nonstop. We start and finish the day with a book and incorporate several throughout. We also go to pretty much all of the events that we can at the library. Check our Babygarten and Toddler Time posts. We have also attended a few Barnes and Noble events. I'm an avid reader, which I get from my mom who taught high school English forever. Neil even likes nonfiction texts. Basically... I take reading pretty seriously. Luckily, R has picked that up and loves to be read to also. 

R's picks:

R is obsessed with this book. We read it first thing in the morning, and right before bed. I've got to order the other books that go with this series!

This is one of the BIG book series. They have Big Bulldozer and Big Firetruck that I should keep my eyes open for, because this one is practically falling apart from being read so much.

You've probably picked up that we love music in this house. This book, by Bob Dylan, I picked up as a recommendation from The Book Exchange. R likes to point out the cars and busses, and I like the message.

We received this as a gift, and it's pretty cool. It's got a riddle with a fold up on each page, and some texture thrown in to make it a little more interesting. The end of the book has a mirror, because the last clue is the reader.

My picks:

Just finished this book. It's about a working mom of twins who is unappreciated, and just.... leaves. An easy read with several parallels for the main character to discover. 

Okay, this isn't a book, but it's book related! Harry Potter fans, don't you love this mirror?

If you're into punk rock and like Against Me! check out this autobiography by Laura Jane Grade. She used to be Tom Gabel, and this book deals with her struggle to find herself.
psttttt- I'm starting to add some upcoming events to our page. Check out the upcoming events page to see things from our partners! 

The Bunny Hutch

Who knew that America's largest bunny was here in Virginia Beach? The Bunny Hutch is an exotic animal rescue, but it's a little more like a mini zoo. Local animal rescues take in all animals, but they can't keep exotic animals. They contact The Bunny Hutch who takes them off of their hands. Everyone who works in this place is a volunteer. Let me say this again; there is no paid staff here, which is pretty amazing. They operate under AZA guidelines and give donation based tours.
Our tour started off in the reptile room. I won't give everything away so that there are some surprises if you go, but there were animals that people just shouldn't have as pets. I suppose that's why they ended up here. One man snuck a particularly exotic snake into the country in his pants. In his pant's yall! Who does this?! The boys were able to touch different animals, although R wasn't into some of them.  We next went to check out the mammal room and then back to the food prep station and the bigger mammals.
Last we went upstairs to see Jr, the big rabbit. Jr weighs 25 pounds and was actually the runt of his family. His father weighed 52 pounds and holds the world record for biggest rabbit. Jr, whose full name is Lord Roland Watson Beldon Maxwell VIII, is the official Easter Bunny of Hampton Roads.
Here is the coolest part... they do birthday parties! All kinds of parties! They can do ones where the child is surprised by an animal adoption, ones where kids do crafts on a snake shed, ones with a popcorn machine and snowcones... all kinds of things. The birthday parties are donation based too. They have a big room upstairs for the parties, but you actually get the entire facility for your party. Seems awesome.
So far, they have helped over 220 animals. Because they are all donation based and volunteer based, they rely a lot on others for what they need. They have an Amazon Smile account, which is an easy way for you to donate to them and it costs you nothing. They can take animal cages, food for their animals, cleaning supplies and anything off of their amazon wish list. They accept volunteers ages 1-100. They also have Zookeeper for a Day program for ages 8-12 who want to learn about daily tasks for zookeepers. They even sell animal made artwork as a fundraiser in their lobby.  Check them out on facebook, instagram, and on their website.  We had an awesome morning during our visit. 

OV St. Patty's Day Parade

St. Patrick's Day has a special meaning for people who grew up around Ocean View. The parade is more like a high school reunion for me than anything else. Now that I have a kid, it's a more mellow meeting of everyone's kids. This year marks the 51st annual parade in Ocean View.

The parade starts a few weekends before with a celebration dance, then the parade itself is always on a Saturday morning, and concludes with an official- and tons of non-official parties. The official after party is at the Columbian Club, but everywhere you look is full of people in green partying. (I wouldn't take my kid to most of these parties! We stopped a little while at a friend's house who sweetly fed us lunch and let R run around.) 
The parade starts at 10:00 a.m. every year at Northside Middle School and travels down Granby Street to A View. It makes a turn onto First View and ends up at Government Ave. If you've never been before, here is what you can expect:
  1. Lots of drinking. This is the time during the year that everyone has a drink in their hand. Just expect it. I have found that even though there is lots of drinking, it is still a family atmosphere.
  2. Loud noises. In the parade there are several marching bands, fire trucks, and other loud noises. If your kid is afraid of them bring headphones. 
  3. Lack of bathrooms. Some people rent port-a-potties, and there are a few businesses, but the bathrooms will be crazy. Go before you come. 
  4. Candy, beads, cups, and other things being handed out. 
  5. Lots of the Shriners. I love this because all of their work is for children! 

Happy St. Patty's day! 

Designer Consignors Children's Spring Sale

Everyone knows that kids don't stay in their stuff long. They have this nasty habit of growing up a size every three months. While kids stuff is super cute, it can also be expensive. Spring is the time for consignment sales, and today we went to the Designer Consignors Children's Sale in Virginia Beach.
Here's the skinny:
March 15: 10AM - 7PM
March 16: 10AM - 7PM
March 17: 8AM - 12PM 
Location: Church of the Ascension, head to the community center in the back. 
Address: 4853 Princess Anne Road, Between Edwin Dr. & Baxter Rd. (across from Kemps Greens Golf Course) Virginia Beach, VA 23462
***On THURSDAY! (Tomorrow!) they have some tickets to reserve your VIP place in line so that you can get in first. 
The items range from maternity for moms, to items for teenagers and everything in between. A heads up, they don't take car seats or some crib bedding because they are really strict about recalls, which is actually a good thing. Everything was really well organized. The owner has a really cute southern accent and the southern hospitality to match. She has done two of these sales a year, one in spring and one in fall, for 23 years. There are usually about 15,000 items on the floor from about 260 consignors. They normally have about 400-500 shoppers, some from out of town... even as far as New York and Massachusetts! The owner is super picky about the quality of what she accepts and is even a little OCD in marking it and organizing it. (I say this as the daughter of super OCD parents... I mean it in the best way!)
This thing wins the award for the coolest thing here. 
If you're looking to sell some of your stuff (which I looked into this because SO many moms in local facebook groups have asked about the best places to sell!) I can tell you that she gives a really high percentage. Lots of their consignors give a portion of their profits to charities including Muscular Dystrophy and Duchenne Dystrophy. They start collecting a few months ahead of time, and info can be found on their website. If you don't have things to sell, but want perks like getting to shop early, you can sign up to volunteer too. 
A couple notes- 
01. They do take credit card. This is awesome because I never carry enough cash around. (Sorry to Bubbie who always has to give me cash, whoops.) 
02. Consignors can set their own prices. 
03. Consignors can choose to mark items down. Friday everything is 25% off, Saturday 50%. (Most do!)
04. Consignors can choose to donate unsold items at the end of the sale. 

Here is our haul:
Not pictured is a chair and two pool toys that have already been stolen for Bubbie's house. All cost us less than $50.00. Score! I'm in LOVE with these high top chucks. I may or may not currently have a very similar pair. Also... this is how we walked around, because, you know... trucks are life.