Zumba Kids

When Covid stopped Morgan from teaching her regular YMCA Zumba classes, she knew she needed to do something different. Turning to Zoom, she started teaching her regular Zumba class, but knew that kids needed something to keep them up and moving. So after recently getting her Zumba Kids certification, she started up the classes. The response has been so overwhelming that she knows she can't stop even once isolation is over.
Zumba is an umbrella of classes directed at different ages and abilities. You might remember we did a post awhile back on Zumbini, which is for babies. Zumba Kids is for children ages 3-6, Zumba is for adults, and Zumba Gold is for seniors.  
Morgan was actually introduced to Zumba when she took a class with her mom, who promptly signed her up to get her license. (Us mamas are like that!) It began as an extra hobby, but she fell in love with the fact that it combined fitness, dance, and absolute joy in one workout. The kids in her Zoom classes have clung to that joy too and they have an infectious energy that allows everyone to have a blast, even from their living rooms. The choreography is super simple and introduces moves that might be seen in adult classes, but broken down at a lower level.
I met Morgan for the first time when, without knowing me or anything about me, she volunteered at our Team Hurwitz for Pancreatic Cancer Research Zumbathon. I love how she radiates light and love, and these classes are no exception. Find her youtube channel here to get sweating for you and join her Facebook Group here to find her classes for both adults and kids.  Thanks Morgan!

Toddler Tuesday: Brain Pop Jr.

Image result for brainpop jr

So Brain Pop Jr is a website that literally every teacher knows about. AND right now, they are offering FREE access because of Covid. Normally it costs money, but here is the trick, even when it does, every week they have a different free video. This site covers every subject from reading to science, health, writing, social studies, math, and even arts and technology. There are several other freebies on the site. For kids who are into science and social studies or need some extra help with early math concepts like shapes, this is perfect. 
Each video has a quiz that goes with it, a jokes page, an activity, games, word play, and a comic strip. Kids love the music at the beginning and Moby the robot's jokes. This is one that kids can check into once or twice a week on the computer to learn some new facts. We use it as an add on to whatever we are reading about. 

Sandy Bottom Nature Park

Sandy Bottom is a 465-acre environmental education park and wildlife management center. The original Sandy Bottom was a pit formed when interstates took sand for the building highways. Since then tons of work have gone into the project to make it into the nature facility it is today.
Rentals are available for an insanely cheap price. John boats from $3 an hour, paddle boats, canoes and kayaks for $4 an hour. Fishing is allowed in specific places on the property. There are even campsites (no electricity or water), picnic shelters, and an amphitheater available. No alcohol is allowed in the park.  There is a dog park with a $10 a year membership. On the trails people can bring bikes and leashed pets. There is also a playground on the property.
There are tons of winding trails, a playground, and a nature center. We saw all kinds of birds, frogs, turtles, and even a snake, which made Neil jump about ten feet off the ground. If you're looking for somewhere to get away from everyone right now, pack some snacks and head out here. We saw some people, but we were able to easily keep far distances from everyone. 

By the way, if you haven't checked out House & Home's new record, do it now. I'm obsessed! The vinyl itself is a beauty! 

Virginia Beach Farmer's Market

Right now it is so important to support our local businesses, so when we heard that the Virginia Beach Farmers Market was totally empty we knew we wanted to make a trip. Besides buying local, it's a great place to burn off some energy.
Be sure to check out the little gardens behind the market. The kitchen garden showcases all kinds of edible plants and next door you'll spot a garden with all kinds of creepy crawlers.
Some of the stores inside the market that are still open include a creamery, seafood, a butcher, fresh vegetables, handmade soaps, gift shops, a florist, and a bakery. A few of the vendors were closed, but several were open and ready for business. 
Normally the market has live music, craft fairs, and even a little carnival with rides during this time. But social distancing has brought a new reality. If you're able to stop by and support, do so! 

Baby Boutiques

With Babies R Us closed, many of us were looking to shop locally for baby items.  I love supporting local businesses, and I love that these places have more options than your typical Walmart and Target selection. I was able to talk to several business owners about what makes their stores special, and each one has something that makes it unique.
White Rabbit-The White Rabbit has been around for 32 years in Norfolk. It's both a consignment and retail store, with a focus on things being sustainable, long lasting, and engaging for kids. As a mom of three little ones, the owner understands that moms are looking for things that are unique and cool both for their own kids and as gifts. Free gift wrapping is available. I love that they have a variety of in store events such as hand made silhouettes that friends of mine are obsessed with and mini photo sessions. They carry lots of locally made nursery artwork, jewelry, and bows. Look for another silhouette session around Mother's Day.
334 w. 21st street, Norfolk VA
Rockabye Baby OBX-Started in the Outer Banks 40 years ago; it was brought to Hampton Roads 5 years ago. They started out as all new items, but have moved to more consignment items. They sell both clothing and gear. half and half. Open Tues-Sat and always closed on Sunday except summertime. They carry brands that other local places don't have, like Mayoral, Feltmen brothers for classic look. They also try to keep everything as reasonably priced as possible, which sets them apart. Their goal is to keep everyday wear under $40.00,
1201 Laskin Rd #200, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Kidtique- Located across from Lynnhaven Mall,  Kidtique just celebrated their one year mark, and it is 100% consignment with sizes premie to 18 in teens as well as gear, equipment, and toys. They even have maternity wear. Parents can bring items in and starting at the end of the month will be able to get cash for them rather than sell only on consignment. Their specialty is affordable prices for their clients.
2720 N Mall Dr # 140, Virginia Beach, VA 23452

Little Shoppes on High- We did a post on Little Shops on High a few summers ago while spending the day in Olde Town Portsmouth. They are four shops in one building including one for babies and children. Little Shops sells lots of Melissa and Doug style toys and we always end up getting the reusable coloring place mats and crayons from them.

Little Peas Boutique- Little Pears just opened in Chesapeake. The mama who runs is has a degree in fashion design and worked for Guess Jeans in LA, Nordstrom, and believes in clean and organized aesthetics. She tries to find items that are not mass produced. They have a physical store but also an online site that offers two day shipping or store pickup. 

The rest of the stores I wasn't able to talk to, but I did some digging on their sites. 

Velveteen Rabbit - The Velveteen Rabbit is a true boutique offering high end, quality pieces for babies and children. From furniture to gear, clothing, and toys, the Velveteen Rabbit's slogan is "only the best for your baby." Look to them for specialty items such as Christening and Baptism needs.
7386 Harbour Towne Pkwy. #19, Suffolk, VA 23435

Sprout -Sprout was born from a mama who was tired of spending tons on her son's clothes which he quickly outgrew. The consignment shop offers high end and quality clothing at a lower price.
1556 Laskin Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Carousel- Located in Historic Williamsburg, The Carousel offers traditional and comtemporary pieces for infants, children, and tweens.
420 W Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg VA

Le Bebe Chic Boutique- With a focus on chemical free, organic options, Le Bebe Chic offers everything from clothes to gear to a line of baby Babiators (adorable!). They do offer a resell program, accepting "organic, sustainable, ethical, and even practical." This is a store that tries to stay away from mass production and high chemical toys and clothes.
237 E. Hanbury Rd. 315, Chesapeake Virginia 23322
An honorable mention, although not a baby store is Mary Barnett's. They have been around for over 50 years and actually began as a hardware store. Now a gift and decor store, their baby and kids section continues to grow and you'll find unique items there. They have standard books, bibs and clothing, but also special things like tooth fairy jars or special frames. All kids items can be wrapped for you there on the spot. The owner of this store is lovely and I felt like I was talking to a friend!

Make Your Own Pizza Kit

Another option from local restaurants are make your own pizza kits. This one is from Mona Lisa Restaurant and Bar, located on Military Highway. For $5.00 you get the dough, cheese, sauce, and one topping of your choice. The pizza is a ten inch pizza. We got pineapple, one of my favorites and RT and I split this pizza.
It didn't take us very long to make it, and RT was able to pretty much do it himself. Something a little different to make a fun memory during this crazy time.

Pick Up Cookie Decorating Kits

Local businesses are finding creative ways to stay open and serve Hampton Roads.Some bakeries have started selling "decorate at home" kits, which are a great way to keep kids busy and happy. We picked this box up from the Pembroke Bakery and Deli yesterday. They had both dinosaurs and spring boxes to choose from.
When I decided that we should get these, my brain went to all of the lessons I could teach. Symmetry, perimeter, area, fractions... and so many more. But... well, he wanted to do them all by himself and this is how they turned out. They tasted great!
We got the full dozen and gave half of them to our neighbor to do with her two boys. We are all in this together! Below is the price list for Pembroke Bakery. Check them out or another local bakery if you're looking for something fun to do! 

8 Months

Month 8 of little man's life brought the social isolation of Covid-19. Which is hard, frustrating, annoying.... but it also has given me more time with my boys which is awesome. Working from home has been... interesting. We have been doing lots of arts and crafts and spending a lot of time outside weeding our flowerbeds. It's hard because we are used to spending a lot of time with our friends and going out and doing things. I worry about how long this will last and the impact it will have socially, educationally, and if the boys will have their birthday parties impacted. Here's to staying away from people and helping this thing pass quickly!

Norfolk Pagoda

A gift to Norfolk from the Taiwan Provincial Government, the Pagoda in the Freemason district in Norfolk is home to the largest Koi pond on the East Coast. The Pagoda sits on the waterfront on the foundation of an old molasses tank. It came to Norfolk in 1989 and is surrounded by beautiful oriental gardens. It's the perfect place to walk, particularly during this  time of social distance. 
We splashed in puddles, looked for birds, and saw lots of fish in the pond. If you sit for a second, you will see fish practically coming out of the water. Also walk over to see the Wisconsin, Norfolk's battleship. There are lots of statues and signs to read on the way. While driving around downtown, be sure to keep an eye out for all of the mermaids!