If you're new to this blog... trucks are everything to my kid. Name a truck, we have it. So naturally Touch-a-Truck is a MUST for us. Touch-a-Truck is basically a hands on truck extravaganza. Every kind of truck is there:  emergency trucks, construction trucks, trucks, trucks, trucks. Kids can sit in them, on them, and get behind the wheel, honk the horn, and push the buttons. They also have people there who drive them to talk to the kids about them. The best part... tickets are only $5.00 or a family 4 pack for $15.00.

This program is put on by the Junior League. This one was the Norfolk-Virginia Beach chapter. They are a community of women who promote volunteering, developing the potential of women, and improving communities. It is an educational and charitable organization. I can support girl power! In the 2017-2018 league year, they dedicated over 1,000 volunteer hours in the area. They have worked with the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Pediatric Clinic, the Salvation Army, the Union Mission, Park Place Child Life Center, the H.E.R. shelter, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, St. Mary's Home, the YWCA, and the Ronald McDonald House.  Whew, that's a lot.

(The Colgate truck!)
If you want to support, check out Little Hands Big Difference which is all about volunteering for kids. Mamas who have extra breast milk... check out their partnership with the Milk Bank at CHKD. If you like running, they partner with Girls On The Run. I've helped with girls on the run before... ummm I hate running. I'm all for the teamwork and self esteem that it builds though! They donate books to REACH and school supplies to For Kids, sanitary items for the H.E.R shelter. They also collect diapers, wipes, and baby formula. They also take wreaths for military veterans. You have lots of chances to donate in lots of different ways!

There were several vendors there, food, bubbles, coloring, lots to do, and lots of freebies.The weather was perfect and we had an awesome time. We will be back next year for sure! 

Purple Stride 2018

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up." ― Anne Lamott

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that my father was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in October. The cancer spread quickly and was painful. In November they told us that he would be lucky to make it to Thanksgiving. In December they told us Christmas. After Christmas they said New Years. He passed away on January first. My family formed team Hurwitz to walk in the Purple Stride soon after and everything sort of spiraled from there.

Our original goal was to raise $10,000. Once we met that we raised it to $15,000. Then $20,000. Then $25,000. We had a huge yardsale with donations from over 30 homes and volunteers from our friends and family. We had bake sales put on by Neil's aunt, whose mother also died of Pancreatic Cancer. We had a silent auction with baskets put together from donated items from local businesses. We had a Purple Out at my school where teachers could wear jeans and purple tops for a donation to the team. We worked, and we worked, and we worked.
(Teachers at my school rocking their PURPLE!) 

I was asked to speak at the opening ceremony for the walk, because no team has raised this much money. I was also interviewed by the Virginian Pilot. My team has been remarkable. I've felt support from so many people from walking, donating, to volunteering. I was even interviewed for the Virginian Pilot. To date, my team has raised almost $26,000. The goal for the Tidewater walk was $150,000 and they have surpassed that at almost $183,000. That's awesome.

Crossing the finish line! 

Some info for people who want to join us next year (please do!):
  • Fundraising can begin in the summer. You don't have to wait to squeeze it all in like we did!
  • Parking is available in the garages at the ocean front for a fee. This year is was $10.00 for the day or $2.00 an hour. 
  • Volunteers are needed even if you can't walk. 
  • Money goes to four areas: scientific research, patient services, government advocacy, and community engagement. 
  • Strollers are allowed, but pets are not. 
  • After the walk there is live music and lawn games. 
  • There is a children's area with coloring and activities. 

A huge, huge thank you to our donors for the silent auction! 
Blue Ocean Wealth Advisors with Raymond James 
Hunting & Gunning with Perry Beasley
Lava Presents at Toast
AFK Books & Records
151 Productions
Patty Ramsey
Pat and Cecil Thomas
Judi and Frank Bowen
PF Changs
Buffalo Wild Wings
Yard House
Pat and Bill Hodges
Paul and Barbara Hodges
Regal Cinema
Scrappers Delight - Chelsea Garrett and Allena Anglen
Royal Chocolate
Hook Shots/Field & Stream
On A Mission Fishing Adventures
Olive Garden
Admirals Hockey
Tides Baseball
Mona Lisa Pizza
Bahama Breeze
Cheesecake Factory
East Beach Salon
Cold Stone Creamery
Jeff Beaber Photos
Mary Reeve
Permier Scapes
Britt’s Personal Training & Self Defense Gym
Changes Hairstyling
Mr. Shawarma
Chuckletown Productions
Chatham Vineyards
Breezes Day Spa & Boutique
Tresors Styling Studio
The Shanty 

Team Hurwitz started raising money in January. This year we will certainly start earlier. Be on the lookout for Team Hurwitz's events! If you want to join our team- let's chat! We are certainly a fun loving bunch. ;) 

5 Things I Wish I Knew

There are a million parenting books out there. You know what? I read almost none of them. Neil and I read "Punk Rock Dad" which was great and I could relate to a lot both about parenting and teaching, and I read a lot of things online. So, maybe I wasn't ready, but I certainly didn't see these five things in any guides... (Also, special shout out to Jim Lindberg who offered to let me sit side stage while I was 8 months pregnant for the Pennywise show!)

01. You will have a million more conversations and be much more interested in poop. I can't tell you how many times I say "Did you poop?!" We watch for runny poop, hard poop, green poop, all kinds of poop. Moms can tell a ton of stories about poop.

02. Snot. Everywhere. All the time. I'm not a particularly snotty person, so I had no idea... but kids have snot all the time. Literally, all the time. I'm not even sure where it all comes from? 
03. A child's favorite food can change overnight. Those apple slices that your kid demanded yesterday... are now disgusting today. They may have eaten handful after handful yesterday, but today they are downright offended. How dare you even suggest the idea of apple slices! Also, while we are talking about food. Let's talk about how stressful it is to go to dinner with a child. Nothing relaxing about that! 
04. Kid's activities will suddenly become fun again.  Living in Tidewater, I pass construction pretty much every day. Every mile. Every minute. Before having a kid, I would never have been excited about this inconvenience. But now seeing a construction truck is a full on party in our car. We are all so excited. Similarly, I can't say that I am particularly excited about fish. I mean, I don't hate them. They are just not on my life of exciting things. But R loves watching fish, so off to the aquarium we go. When he says "WOW!" I am amazed too. I'm seeing it all through his eyes. 
05. Okay, this is the most real one. Why did no one tell me that I would have to brace myself to jump/sneeze/run/laugh? Who else pees a tiny bit when this happens to suddenly? This certainly was not in any mothering handbook that I read! See, there is even a term for it!

Lantern Asia

Last time Lantern Asia came into town I was three weeks away from giving birth, and although I wanted to go, I just couldn't drag myself to waddle around to see it. So this year when they announced that the exhibit was coming back I knew I wanted to go. My family (minus Neil!) rounded up and went out even though it was colder than we expected.
We arrived in time for the 6:30 live entertainment. This was comprised of four women who did stunts with Chinese yo-yo's, spinning plates, ropes, and danced. The sun was still out but it was setting behind them as we watched. R was actually watching the show, which as lovely as the girls were, I didn't expect.

As we walked around we saw pandas, fairies, flowers and so on. Many of the exhibits moved. I came with my class on a field trip during the day, but nothing was moving so I didn't expect that.

The exhibit is here until May 13th, so you still have plenty of time to go. They are open Monday - Thursday 9 am-9pm and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9 am to 10 pm. Garden members can enter for free for day visits before 5:00 pm. Tickets are $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for children 3 and up. Ages 2 and under are free. Tickets can be bought online or at the gardens.  Members can buy up to 6 tickets for a discounted rate. For those who don't want to walk, there is a tram available but you have to book it in advance. There is a food truck on site, which I wanted to have all Asian food. They did have a sign that said they had spring rolls, but also served french fries and popcorn.
The exhibit suffered a little damage from the wind this week, but it was lovely. We have been looking for more active ways to get out and about with the family ever since my cousin Bernadette got us all Fitbits last year and this was a perfect outing to get some steps in.

Road Trip to Nationals Park

On Sunday afternoon we drove up to DC to see the Nationals v. Rockies game. When we left, it was 75 degrees here so we wore shorts and t shirts. When we got there it was 43 outside. Whoops. We grabbed blankets and jackets from my car, but I had no pants for Neil and me. But Neil is a huge Rockies fan and we had driven three and half hours, so... in we went, 80% chance of rain and all.
Spoiler alert, it rained! It was freezing! (Notice the other people in the picture in long pants and jackets) But the Rockies won and we all had a good time. It was R's first Major League game. Here are some tips for traveling to the Nat's park.

Expect to pay up to $30.00 cash for parking. Kids 2 and under don't need a ticket to sit on a lap. Bags are allowed, but can't be bigger than 16x16x8. All bags will be searched. Soft sided coolers can be brought in with food in individual sizes. One water bottle per person can be carried in. Strollers can be checked at Guest Services in the outfield. While you're there, if it is your child's first game let them know. They will give you a certificate.

Also in the outfield there is a playground for kids. They let the kids in for ten minutes at a time. It was closed because of the rain while we were there. Right outside of the play area there is a concession stand just for kids called Rookies. Next door there are a few carnival like games.

The Nats have a kids club for ages 12 and under. They will get a backpack, lunch box, coupons, lanyard, and so on. They also have special meet and greets for members. Next to section 223 is a nursing lounge. It has air conditioning and a space for toddlers too. All of the bathrooms also have changing tables, and there are lots of family restrooms around the park. Be on the lookout, a man was walking around handing out free Nats coloring books with crayons. After the game, kids 4-12 can run the bases for free.

Overall the day was a success. The Rockies won, I got my veggie hot dog, and R got to see his first major league game. Last year when the Rockies were in town is was 100 degrees; this time it was freezing. Hopefully next year we have a nice spring day! 

Toddler Tuesday: Rainy Day Box

We have posted lots of indoor places to visit, but sometimes on a rainy day (or a cold day, or a snowy day, or a way too hot day; recently we have had all of those in one week!) you just want to stay home. We have what I call our rainy day box. I have seen people do this, but often they suggest going out and buying lots of things. I'm not about that, and you've got stuff in your house you can use! Sometimes we have been out and about and have picked up things that we just didn't have time to do. A good example of this was MallOween on the BOOulevard(Number 9). There were a few cute arts and craft stations, but there were so many other things going on. Pony rides, bounce houses, games-the point being we didn't have time for the craft. The same could be said for some of the library events that we go to. It's hard to compete with shelves full of toys. I always ask to take the craft home where I throw it into the box.

  1. Letter puzzle - this was a hand me down.
  2. This is a cool pinball art thing. We got it as a hand me down, and it says it is too old for him, but we did it and it's cool. I'm pretty sure it was from Five Below. You load the paint in and pull the handle and bam - art. 
  3. Beach Ball, because they fold up small, take time to blow up, and are easy to hit around. 
  4. Allllllllll the coloring paper. 
  5. This is a mini chalkboard set that we got from the Hampton Carousel when we went around the holidays. 
  6. Melissa and Doug water color painting. I'm linking these here because they are really cool. I think these would make a cool gift for someone too. 
  7. Mini play dough from a birthday party goodie bag. Perfect size. 
  8. Sticker books. Stock up on sticker books. Here is a giant one. 
  9. Malloween craft
  10. Hungry Caterpillar stickers. 
  11. We have a few of these wooden puzzles
  12. This is a leftover craft from a Home Depot event! 
Hanukkah coloring sheets leftover from school? Rainy day box. Sensory bag making kit? Rainy day box. Sometimes places like Highlights will send some sample stickers. I toss them in. It's really a free for all. They say that toddlers can only pay attention to something for 3-13 minutes. Sometimes on these days you can do great things to work on fine motor skills, math, letters, or science. Other days you just need something to occupy some time. A healthy mix of both is great.
Some other ideas:
01. Color hunt- If your little one knows their colors, head on a color hunt in your house. The same can be done with a number hunt.
02. Going along with the color theme, have your toddler sort items by colors. I'd keep a sheet of each color in the box and rotate the things you use. Hot wheels cars, buttons (if they won't eat them!), post it notes, anything can be sorted.
03. Have an indoor picnic. Have your toddler help lay out the blanket, carry the food, and pass everything out.
04. We store all of the goodie bags from birthday parties in our box. Often this has the mini playdough, bouncy balls, or mini slinky. We all know that usually these things are small and either break or get lost quickly. This is totally the time to use it.

Comment and tell us, what's a must have in your rainy day box?

Kid's Cove

Okay, we finally did it. We are finally blogging Kid's Cove. Kid's Cove is part of Mount Trashmore. It is a 165 acre park, which has two "manmade" (trash) hills, two lakes, two playgrounds (one for littler kids and one bigger- Kid's Cove is the bigger one!), a skate park, and walking paths. People can be seen exercising both on the hill and all around the lake at all hours of the day. Around the lake there are several exercise stations. The path around is 1.95 miles. Fishing is allowed in the lakes from the land, but not by boat. Kayaks are the only boats allowed. On the property there are also picnic shelters and grills open for rent, a volleyball court, horseshoe pits, vending machines, restrooms, and seasonal concessions. What's really cool too is that you can rent all kinds of play equipment for free from the park office. If you visit, bring a kite and head up the hill. It's the perfect place. 
I used to come to Mount Trashmore often with camps as a kid. It was the coolest huge wooden playground and the designers actually used input from kids when they built it. The entire thing was built by volunteers and was coordinated by The Virginia Beach Jr. Women's Club. In 2010 the new 1.4 million dollar playground was put in to replace the one of my childhood memories. Sad, but the new one is awesome. The playground is three different areas, a huge climbing area with lots of slides, an area of different types of swings, and an area with little rock climbing structures and other climbing structures. There are benches and shade. The area has a rubber bottom which is awesome for little ones who are still tripping and falling. 
Mount Trashmore actually opened in 1974 turning an abandoned landfill into a park. People complained of a trash smell on some of the hottest summer days in the first few years. Despite that, it has over a million visitors each year. Tony Hawk has even been known to visit the skate park. 
Upcoming Events: 
Saturday, April 21st- Earth Day celebration 
Friday, June 1st- Tuesday, June 19th: Summer Carnival 
Wednesday, July 4th- Fireworks celebration