Tuesdays with Jacob

SIX.

June 10, 2020


Today you are one inquisitive kid. You love knowing how things work, ask endless questions about "why" and "how" and love to interrupt us with "wait a minute, wait a minute...." when you need to clarify something you've heard. We swear your brain is working a mile a minute absorbing everything and it takes you quite a while to fall asleep at night because you just can't relax and let your thoughts go. 

Today you are as playful as they come. You love to run around and chase, dance, sing, and be silly. You like to make up new rules to games - always calculating and making sure things will end up in your favor, even if it's not quite fair. Nothing makes you happier than getting to spend time with your friends, and you can talk all day long and never run out of words. 

Today you are cautious about new things but getting braver by the day.  You still prefer to watch others try first to see how things will go and need lots of encouragement if you think something might be hard or scary. You conquered your fear of water this year and are growing stronger and stronger as a swimmer. You love to dive down to the bottom of the pool to retrieve objects, jump in the deep end, get thrown in the air to make a big splash, and try to knock people off pool floats. 


Today you are a kindergarten graduate, who ended the school year virtually and is so excited for first grade. You still dislike writing and coloring but you love math and science, especially anything having to do with space.  You are now a tiger scout who's made so many new friends, tried so many new outdoors things, and become an expert at camping. You sleep better in a tent than you do at home! We've diagnosed attention issues this year and we can't wait to see how much you grown when you are able to give proper focus. 

Today you are a lover of loungewear, only wanting comfy pants or shorts without buttons. You like socks but never want to wear shoes, preferring to wear flip flops for all occasions like the Florida boy that you are. You'll stay in your pajamas all day if we let you and you love to cuddle in on the couch or bed and watch a movie together. Your lion sleeping bag and shark tail blanket can usually be found on our couch with you snuggled up inside. 

Today you are obsessed with bad guys, even preferring music and stories that feature them. Bad Guy by Billie Eilish and Circles by Post Malone are a few of your faves, as well as quite a few Lady Gaga tracks like Telephone and Bad Romance. You love to listen to us read you kids comic books, the Bad Guys and Dog Man Series are your favorites.

Today you are on your way to being a professional gamer who is beyond competent at all things Nintendo Switch. You've grown to love hockey this year after attending your first and second NHL games and think you might want to be a hockey player when you grown up. You'd also like to be an astronaut - you've been watching rapt attention every time Florida sends up another shuttle. And it none of those work out, then you'd like to be a fireman who works at Uncle Joe's fire station. 


Today your appetite is on the decline thanks to your new medicine, and you frequently skip lunch, but you still love all your old favorites - pizza, bacon, popcorn, mozzarella sticks, donuts. You are slowly getting better about eating new foods especially if we mix them in with favorites. You love to wait until bedtime and then tell us you are still hungry. 

You survived another hurricane this year - Dorian, as well as COVID-19 and three months of quarantine and virtual school. You've continued to be quite the little traveler - making trips to Atlantic City, Detroit, Long Boat Key, Nashville and up next - Seattle. You are the chillest traveler ever, and we've got flying together down to a science. You gained a new baby cousin Silas this year, as well as a new Uncle Vince.   

Today we love you more than we ever thought we could. 

Today you are SIX.


Jacob's Episode VI { a STAR WARS birthday pool party}

June 9, 2020


Oooh boy, I can not believe this kid is almost SIX!! Thanks to COVID-19 birthdays look a little different this year. South Florida is in phase 1 which means we were able to skip the drive by birthday and plan an intimate get together with his just a few of his friends and family. We hosted a pool party at his grandparents with a few kiddos that he had mostly been in contact with (in a roundabout way) anyways. This kid was beyond pumped to swim and play with his friends after so many months in quarantine. He knew exactly what he wanted - STAR WARS, so we made that happen. 


I knew that the kids would swim for most of the party so I ordered a few STAR WARS inflatables and we made some light sabers out of pool noodles and duct tape, which were a huge hit! For favors we wrapped up bubble wands with spray painted handles (to look like light sabers!) with pool towels. 



I set up just one table as a focal point using a banner and balloon garland from Amazon. The table held snacks for the kids - teddy grahams as ewoks and applesauce pouches as Chewy, as well as the favors, plates, pinata and book. We have always purchased a new book for each of Jacob's birthdays and had all of his party guests sign it - it's such a sweet momento to have after the party is over. 








We ordered Jacob's favorite food - pizza for dinner, and then let everyone have a crack at the pinata before they hit the pool again. I filled the pinata with non-chocolate candy like pixie sticks, lollipops, etc. The heat would have melted any  chocolate! I also threw a few toys in there like bouncy balls, mini slinkys, star wars stamps, and mini planes. We ended the night with cake and Millennium Falcon ice cream sandwiches for dessert. 











We love you sweet boy, and we love watching you grow!!



LINKS

PAST PARTIES
Jacob's Space Mission FIVE
Pizza FOUR Jacob
Jacob is a THREE-Rex 
Jacob is TWO Wild
Jacob's FIRST Birthday 

Quarantine Boredom Busters

March 26, 2020

What to do when there's nowhere to go? I'm rounding up all of the resources we've ordered or pulled out of storage to keep the kiddo occupied during this strange time of quarantine: 


Educational Picks

Arts and Crafts 

Read Alouds

For the Easter Basket

March 11, 2020
It's just about that time of year, time to fill up that festive Easter basket!! I know I always post this way far in advance but that's because I start stock piling so far in advance. I love to spread out purchases instead of buying all at once... just a little easier on the wallet. I honestly start right after Christmas, shopping the post holiday sales and keeping my eyes peeled all winter long for little goodies to stuff into eggs. 
There's a few staples that always end up in our baskets - a new pair of pajamas, a family game, a few sweets, and always a new book. We've always added a stuffed animal too but I think this may be the year we've outgrown that. Don't ask me about it - I am not ok. But also, I cannot handle one. more. stuffed. animal. in. my. house. Please tell me you understand?

Rounding up all of the goodies I am loving for baskets this year, some of which will find their way into Jacob's basket on Easter morning. What can I say? The Easter Bunny has good taste!


ONE // TWO // THREE +TRAVEL GAME  // FOUR +MARKERS // FIVE //
SIX +GUMMIES // SEVEN // EIGHT // NINE // TEN // ELEVEN // TWELVE +GOGGLES
One // Glo Pals: Bath toys have been in our baskets ever since the first year! Some Kindergartners may have switched over to showers already, but Jacob still loves playing in the tub and prefers a bath. 
Two // Light Up Soccer Ball: Perfect for night time parties or even camp-outs, the latter of which may be the reason this one will find it's way into Jacob's basket. 
Three // Lemonade Shake-up: I love including a game the whole family can play in the basket and Peaceable Kingdom has some of our favorites. We also love the travel games from Mudpuppy. The pieces come in a canvas pouch that doubles as the game board - perfect for passing time on airplanes. Last year we put Hoppy Floppy's Happy Hunt in Jacob's basket which we loved - it's great for fine motor skills in the toddler and preschool ages! 
Four // Narwhal Chalk: Anything that gets kids playing outside, am I right? When it comes to art supplies we're also big fans of Ooly markers, Jacob got their ice cream scented set last year! 
Five // Silicone Earpods: Designed just for kids, we love these on car trips so we aren't battling noise from the Nintendo/iPad/DVD player while trying to listen to the radio. 
Six // Bunny Bark Chocolate bar: Every basket needs a little sweetness. We try not to go overboard on the candy but this bar is too cute! We're also crushing hard on these dolphin gummies
Seven // Jabari Jumps: A book is another one of our staples. I love this one because it's all about confidence, being brave, and overcoming your fears - big themes for us this year! Some of my other favorite picks are Cat & Bunny, Gaston, The Little IslandMarshmallow, and Lovely Beasts. (Last year's pick!)
Eight // Wooden Surf Wagon: I love toys that can pull double duty. This car will fit in perfectly as decor in Jacob's surf themed room, and will also be fun to play with. There's also a little yellow camper that can be bought to attach to it as well. 
Nine // Rocket Construction Set: A fun STEM set for kiddos who love space, like mine! 
Ten // Copper Wire Basket: We got ours at Nordstrom, (in the kids section, on an Easter display table - the brand is American Atelier) but it looks like it's sold out. I've linked it in case it comes back in stock, but I'm also loving this white one from Hearth & Hand. You can find some other options here, here, and here
Eleven // Stripe Pajamas: A new set of pajamas goes in our basket every year! I love this bright set and the quality from J. Crew is among my favorite. These would be my pick for girls! 
Twelve // Swim Trunks: We rarely include swim trunks in our basket because we always get new ones for spring break which is almost always BEFORE Easter, but these would be my pick! I know lots of people love them in baskets in anticipation for summer, we just happen to have summer year round. This sweet ruffle trim suit would be my pick for girls. And if you need a good pair of swim goggles, we love these (boys) and these (girls) from Bling2o!

Hope this round up gives you a few ideas and that you have fun putting together baskets for your little ones! Happy spring friends, XO.

Gift Guide for Kindergarten Boys

December 15, 2019
I'm so excited to share with you this year's gift guide for little guys - aka. Jacob's wishlist. We're really trying to cut back on toys this year and zone in on things that he loves and will help him with his academic and athletic development. His big gift this year is going to be a desk for his room - for creating and exploring, and for homework! 



ONE. One of our on-going goals from Jacob is to get him outside more. He seems to have taken a liking to hockey and lacrosse, so we grabbed him a street hockey kit that he can use outside with Mom and Dad. We're still on the hunt for a good lacrosse kit for kids! 

TWO. We're just a teensy bit Star Wars obsessed over here and I kind of see these as a Barbie alternative. (I know I loved those at this age!) Perfect for pretend play. The set comes with six 12-inch dolls, featuring all the major characters.

THREE. Board games have been a huge hit over the last year, and this one looks like so much fun! Some of our other favorites are Candyland, Sorry!, Trouble, and Shark Bite.

FOUR. The Osmo is a tablet attachment (tablet not included) with learning games for kids that came highly recommended by several of my friends. We got the Genius starter kit to use with our iPad mini, and I love that there are additional games you can purchase - this makes future gift giving easy!

FIVE. Camping gear! We camp several times a year both with cubscouts and as a family. While we have most of the basic gear Jacob was pining for a headlamp like many of his friends had on our last trip. A sturdy water bottle is a must for hikes as well! Some other ideas are lanterns, mess kits, sleeping bags, and camp chairs.

SIX. The Instax Mini is a perfect size for little hands. Jacob is only into picture taking if he can see the photo afterwards, so I know he'll love being able to take his own photos and getting to see them print out right after.

SEVEN. Science kits are awesome for this age. Experimenting really gets those little brains working. Jacob saw this specific one at our school science night being raffled off. He didn't win it that night but he will find it under our tree Christmas morning!

EIGHT. We always pick up a few books to add to Jacob's collection each Christmas. Elephant and Piggie are a huge hit with the kindergarten set and always make Jacob laugh.

NINE. A sports Jersey and tickets to a game are one of our favorite "experience" gifts. Some of our others are fair tickets, museum or zoo passes, lessons for music or sports, or passes to local play places. We always like to pick some thing for Jacob to unwrap that represents the experience - we've done a mini stuffed tiger with zoo tickets for example, and a jersey is perfect because they can wear it to the game!

The best news is that every one of these gifts is available on Amazon with delivery before Christmas! (as of right now anyways.) Most of last years gift ideas are still perfect for this age too, check those out HERE. Can't wait to surprise little man on Christmas morning with some of these gifts - we also love to gift practical items like new shoes, winter wear, or pajamas. What do your little ones want for Christmas?



Treat Your Teacher

August 14, 2019
This post is sponsored by 3M but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. This post is sponsored by Post It but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Oooh friends. August already. Seems like summer just started, but here we are loading up on crayons and pencils, glue sticks and hand sanitizer. One of my favorite things to do while I'm out shopping for school supplies is to grab a little gift to give to our teacher on the first day. Just a little something to let them know how excited we are to be in their class and how we're looking forward to a great year. 

Since I'm already shopping for supplies, I usually pick up extra as part of our gift. But the key here is that we like to pick out special supplies just for the teacher. The fun stuff that's just for them. This year I found a cute zipper pouch with "World's Best Teacher" on it and we loaded it up with colorful supplies. You'd be so surprised how something as simple as a pretty pen can brighten up a teacher's day!





Here are some ideas for filling:

Post-It's® & Scotch® Tape: Teacher's use these for EVERYTHING. We love both lined and unlined Post-It's® in all the bright, fun colors. 3M are offering a great deal this season! Purchase $10 worth of participating Post-it® and Scotch™ back to school supplies in one transaction at Walmart stores or at Walmart.com between 7/22/19 and 9/8/19. All you gotta do it take a photo of your entire receipt showing the qualifying items starred. Visit the program landing page either on your mobile device or your desktop computer and enter your information and submit the image of your full receipt by 9/30/19. Once your submission has been validated within 2-5 business days, you will receive an email with a $10 Fandango Promo Code*. Hurry while supplies last!

Erasable pens: possibly the greatest thing since sliced bread. It's so nice to be able to erase mistakes and not have to get out the correction tape which can be messy!

Mini Calculator: Perfect to keep on hand for calculating grades.

Colorful markers and highlighters: Nothing makes teacher's happy then writing with a nice pen! Pretty pastels and bold brights make our hearts sing!

Favorite candy: If you know your teacher's favorite candy slip a few in, if you don't - slip in a popular candy anyways. Teacher's love to stash away candy in their desks for when they need a little energy boost!

Painkillers: Mini containers are perfect for headaches. Enough said.

Gift card: A gift card for a popular store, restaurant, movie theater, etc. Even better if you know your teacher's favorite spots! (Hint - ask parents who had kids in the class last year, they probably know!)

We jazzed our pouch up with some pretty ribbon, slipped in a hand written note in a pretty notecard and we're all set for back to school and meet the teacher!





Don't forget to grab your $10 Fandango Promo Code* when you purchase $10 worth of any $10 worth of any Post-it® and Scotch® Back to School stationery products from your local Walmart*. By the time the first Friday of school rolls around, kids are usually exhausted and needing to decompress a bit. A movie night would be the perfect way to relax and celebrate making it through the first week of school!

*Visit www.activaterewards.com/3Mbacktoschool for full details

Kindergarten Interview

August 13, 2019

Well, here we go. After fourteen years of teaching kindergartners, I officially have one in my home. I'm not crying, you're crying. We've entered the land of homework and projects and someone hold me. I'll now spend 8 hours a day with 5 year olds and then go home to my own. Here's a little snapshot of Jacob as he heads off to Kindergarten: 

How old are you? 
Jacob: FIVE!!!!

Who's your best friend?
Jacob: Joshua

What's your favorite food?
Jacob: Mozzarella sticks and ice cream and cheetos

What's your favorite color?
Jacob: blue and red

What's your favorite toy?
Jacob: Paw Patrol Teeny Tys 

What's your favorite book?
Jacob: Pete the Cat

What's your favorite tv show?
Jacob: Booba

What's your favorite movie?
Jacob: Wonder Park

What do you like to do outside?
Jacob: Play at the playground

What do you like to do inside?
Jacob: Watch TV

What's your favorite holiday?
Jacob: Halloween and Christmas and Thanksgiving

What's your favorite animal?
Jacob: Monkey

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Jacob: An astronaut and Santa Claus