So I was one of those people who put their tree up as soon as Halloween is over…Halloween night to be exact but this year is different. Of course all of 2020 has been “different” but I really thought the holiday season would bring back some normalcy to my life.
I feel like the Grinch when I plugged tree up my tree the top section didn’t light up and I literally left it like that.
I’m not sure if you are really self aware but also dealing with depression & anxiety but it’s a weird combination I know I can easily fix it but I have no energy or strength to fix it. So instead of going all out with my decorations like I normally do I left my half lit tree and box of decor & went back in my room to watch my same shows on Netflix. As I’m writing this blog I’m not even sure where I’m going with it but I do want to say check on your people even your strongest friend because we are having full blown battles in our head. So I’m sitting here hoping I could fast forward to Christmas Eve I’m sure the smiles and excitement from my kids will lift me up! Check on the kids too this has been a very draining year for them as well.
We did get the cutest matching black Santa pajamas from old navy so I think we are going to bundle up and try to find some light trails. Because there I go again trying to make this as normal as possible for them, we didn’t go visit Santa yet this year because my 8 year old said it would not be the same…I agree. So if you read this entire rant then thanks I just needed to vent. How are you feeling this holiday season?
It’s fall and I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I didn’t say I already miss summer!! Here in St Louis it’s already chilly and I was quickly reminded why I prefer summer. I like to be warm & cozy so it’s definitely time to bring out all the sweaters and head to the pumpkin patch…but we are still in a Pandemic 😷 so don’t forget your mask too!
Since school has started the kids have pretty much been in the house so they were so excited to get out and explore the Fun Zone at Summit Produce. The have timed reservations and you have a hour to attempt all the fun activities without the typical crowds. During the week it’s pretty flexible but weekends can sale out so make sure you get your tickets in advance they are $5 in advance. On the weekends you also get an arm painting (no faces due to covid) that is included with your pass.
My boys loved running through the Haunted Tunnel and climbing up the straw mountain. You are required to sanitize your hands before you enter the fun zone but I also brought personal hand sanitizer to use after each activity.
Since it was limited admission we were able to do all of the activities Zavae loved the swings but I loved the Quadro Slide because all four kids got to go down together! My older son Cam could barely focus on the activities he had been asking for kettlecorn as soon as he spotted it. They have a nice size farmers market and hotdogs & hot cocoa on the weekends.
The kids fell asleep on the way home so I feel like it was a successful trip! Are any pumpkin patches in your area open? Do you plan on going? If you are in the St Louis area make sure you check The Fun Zone at Summit Produce Oct 1st – 31st.
No trick or treating, no Halloween parties? You guys know I love all holidays because I enjoy any reason to celebrate! I knew our celebrations would be a little different this year.
Every weekend In October is normally booked with activities ending with the grand finale of Trick or Treating!! So I had to think of something to bring our spooky filled month to a great ending… cause at this point I’m just ready to but up my Christmas tree honestly 🥴 For Halloween this year I will be giving my Boos “ Boo Baskets” think an Easter basket but for Halloween. I got them their normal trick or treat bucket and will fill them with Halloween goodies to use on our scary movie night.
I got them the softest matching jammies, cute Halloween books, cups & all the candy they can handle because what is Halloween without going overboard on candy! Once they take their goodies out they can use the bucket for popcorn while we watch our movies.
The pajamas which I think are so adorable I found at Marshall’s it’s the same brand I found last year so I was excited to see that they had them again it is called Trick or Treat sleep.
I always talk about how I love Marshall’s and Burlington for discount books the toddler books that I found were on sale for 2.99
This book I found for Cameron was on sale at Amazon for 6.99 it’s normally 17.99!!
I can’t wait to show the kids their boo baskets! How are you planning to celebrate Halloween this year?? Comment down below and let me know!
We had a chance to visit Incredible Pizza in St. Louis Missouri for the first time since they reopened. We originally went on a Tuesday but they were closed! They had just changed their hours for fall so make sure you check the website for hours before you go. So went back on a Thursday right when they opened and we had the place to ourselves!
So I noticed a few things right away they had lots of easy to read signs up to explain their new procedures. I always carry my own hand sanitizer because I found some places don’t refill their dispenser but Incredible pizza had all of their dispensers full and at a child appropriate height. Also they are a buffet but now they have workers at each station ready to serve you they hand you a clean new plate each time. It was a pretty easy set up but I do wonder how efficient that will be once they are at capacity. They bring your drinks to you as well so no guest are touching any food or drinks.
Incredible Pizza has different themed dining rooms to eat in but I noticed some of the rooms were closed off. Once inside of the dining room they have every other table blocked off while we were eating one other family did come in and they sat on the opposite side of the room. Once we were done eating it was time to head into the arcade, the kids favorite part!
We went to the toddler area first the babies were kind of upset that the playground was taped off but quickly got over it after the first ride on game! We did a few games in the toddler room but the big kids were ready to play the real games. Azaleah wanted to play all the ticket games and Cameron loves the shooting games. After each game I had the kids sanitize their hands. I also noticed although we were the only ones in there the workers were constantly cleaning. Since there was no lines for any games we got to play most of them before it was time to leave.
The kids really enjoyed their day at Incredible pizza and I’m glad to be able to participate in some normal activities again! Have you been back to an arcade yet, how was it?
When I was younger I remember watching Family Matters the episode when they went to Disney. I remember that being one of my favorite episodes but Family Matters wasn’t my favorite show I actually preferred Full House who also had a Disney episode. At the time I didn’t realize that I liked the Family Matters episode more because I could see myself. #RepresentationMatters
Fast forward to my first child Azaleah I knew I wanted to bring her to Disney World for her 5th birthday! So I basically planned a trip for 5 years because I thought that would be the perfect age for Disney…wrong 🤣 her brother was almost 2 during that time and when I saw the joy in his face I knew I had been wrong all along. There is no perfect age for Disney because Disney is perfect for all ages in different ways. So after our first trip in January 2017 I had been bit by the Disney Bug we went back that same year in October. This is just my Disney story but there are so many more stories from family’s with Brown Skin and I want to share that.
So I have my blog and I share my trips but I thought wouldn’t it be amazing to type in a hashtag and be able to see all these beautiful brown babies enjoying the magic of Disney in one place! #BrownBabiesinDisney Not only that what if we became a whole sisterhood! Out of my friends I’m the Disney one and none of them truly understand why I keep going back but if you are a Disney Mom you know exactly what I’m talking about and I thought it would be great to have a community of Disney Moms of color behind the hashtag.
A few years ago my best friend told me a student of hers said that only white people go to Disney and that hurt my heart to hear a child think that way. Black families do go to Disney, travel and have the ability to enjoy whatever makes their heart happy! So if you know any Disney moms go share the page and tag them! If you are a Disney mom come introduce yourself! I can’t wait to see all of our Brown Babies in Disney 🤎
Can you believe at one point we were frantically searching for fabric and face mask now they have mask vending machines!! Right now if you want to have any type of social life him then you own a mask or two, I’ve lost count of all the mask my family owns.
We’ve been a few different places over the summer and wearing the mask wasn’t too bad but the biggest trip of the summer was my birthday trip to Disney. Humid hot Orlando in the middle of August I don’t think we were fully prepared for the way that heat hit us while wearing mask! I’m not going to say it was easy or that the magic of Disney fully distracted me from wearing the mask but I will tell you how we made it manageable.
Take Breaks!-Disney provides “relaxation stations” where you can safely social distance and take off your mask! Take advantage!! With the crowds being later you don’t have to rush and have time to truly enjoy the magic so take your time and relax.
Cooling Towel– I’m not sure of the science behind this one but this towel has a cooling effect that cools your whole body down. We ordered ours before the trip but we found out that Disney sells them too and theirs has little Mickeys on it!
Fans!- Stroller Fan, neck fans, or handheld it felt so good to put the fan on our face. Especially mixed with the cooling towel. We all had the fan necklace and the babies had a fan attached to their stroller. Make sure you bring extra batteries!
Have you been to Disney since they reopened? What tips do you have for dealing with the new normal?
So we made it to Florida and since Covid19 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon I thought our best option would be a rental house. We wouldn’t have to be in contact with anyone and with our large family everyone would have enough personal space!
We used HomeAway and found a rental in Davenport our house was about 15 mins away from Disney Springs (very important to me). There were 4 bedrooms although on the first night all the kids ended up in our bed! Three bathrooms which was very helpful with our COVID routine whenever we got home everyone could immediately shower and sanitize. We also spent a lot of time at the beach so it was nice to come home and have separate bathrooms to quickly make sure the sand was off of everyone.
Another great perk of renting a house is a full kitchen… but not to cook in I don’t know about you but I do not want to use my vacation time to cook although if you love to cook you have that option. We mostly used the kitchen to store snacks and breakfast for the kids, we used Walmart grocery delivery service and it came within two hours! We also used DoorDash and it was great to have a full kitchen to sit down and eat in.
Last the main reason we choose the house we did was the private pool! The kids loved coming back to the house every day and being able to go swimming. I posted a vlog on my YouTube channel Happilyeverbells of our trip and give a full tour of the house so make sure you watch that video.
To book the house we stayed in click Here. Do you prefer staying in a house or hotel when you travel?
We are on our way to Florida! The kids have no idea that we are renting a house there & with our “large” family it’s so much easier to rent a house that way everyone has their own space. Plus with Covid going on we wanted to have the option to still be away from people! But back to the road trip we will be traveling 15 hours with 4 kids! This will be our fourth time doing the drive but first time with two toddlers Zyaire & Zavae are only 1 & 2 and Zyaire just got potty trained in the beginning of quarantine so this is definitely going to be an adventure!
I think I’m some what prepared though, we are leaving early in the morning so I’m hoping the younger ones will sleep for the most part. We are stopping in Tennessee to see family so if they sleep til then I will be grateful! By the way that’s what we are telling my oldest Azaleah when she wakes up that we are going to see her cousins, and since it’s been so long since she has seen other children I’m sure she won’t question me.🤣
I got my older two (5&8) travel backpacks and filled each pocket with a surprise. I don’t what it is but my kids love surprises and blind bags so I figured I would make their backpack into a huge blind bag and at every stop they could open a different compartment…or if they said they were getting bored.
I tried to keep the snacks simple this time, items that were not as messy and easy for them help themselves. I’ll list a few of the items I found that were easy to with.
Yogurt Covered Pretzels
Keep them busy!
So with in those backpacks I also put in some new books & journals. My oldest Azaleah loves to doodle and write stores I found a great travel journal on amazon that ask her questions about the trip. Another great item are jumbo look & find books.Of course if you want complete silence during the trip video games and tablets are like magic ✨ especially for my older son Cameron he wouldn’t make a sound until he needed to recharge it! Dollar Tree also has a great section of car games I found road trip bingo and a fun movie trivia game.
So I feel like we are ready! It seems like the drive back home always is faster than first getting to the vacation! Hopefully these tips will keep them busy(quiet) both ways. How do you and your family pass time during a road trip?
I’ve finally cracked I can no longer stay hostage in my home. I don’t know about you but my family and I actually have been quarantined this whole time haven’t been anywhere except for the grocery store and even then that was only me, my kids haven’t had contact with anyone. I don’t know how I feel about this virus but better safe than sorry. I also am a very germ conscious person by nature anyway and would regularly keep Lysol spray & disinfectant wipes in my diaper bag not saying I’m a germaphobe but I like to keep the ickiness away from me and my family. But I say all that to say we are going on a road trip! I can no longer stay home and if I am in a home I would like the option to see the beach so we are renting a home in Florida! I am so excited 😆
So I would like to share with you how I’m preparing to travel during this new normal. This will be my youngest Zavae first road trip I have four kids total ages 1,2,5, and 8 so I want to make sure I try to be as clean and safe as possible. I’m sure your local stores are low in stock just like mine when it comes to disinfect so I’m going to list what I looked for instead.
•First I checked the travel section anytime I went to a different grocery store I would just check to see and I finally hit the jackpot. I found travel Clorox wipes & travel size Lysol spray
•I also checked the car section for the air sanitizer and found Ozium! I was really excited about finding a full size, and after doing some research I found that this is actually a top product for sanitizing the air.
•Like I previously stated I’ve been a hand sanitizer hoarder so I just bought a big jug to pour into our travel size bottles…and am I tripping or did they seriously raise the price of hand sanitizer 🧐 maybe I never really paid attention before.
•I also found a new line of Clorox fabric sanitizer! I was most excited for that whenever we get back in the house we take our outdoor clothes off and shower immediately and we were going through so much laundry. This comes in a regular spray, aerosol spray and a fabric softener. So instead of having to wash right away we can spray until laundry day.
•Last on our travel list are the most important thing right now, Mask! 😷 Can’t really go anywhere without them and if you know me I love all things matchy so I wanted to find cute mask for my family and I. I found this great Etsy shop Redtastic and they were less than $10 a piece and came really fast she has many different prints to choose from but since this is a Florida trip I felt like I needed to go with the Disney print!
So I guess this is our new normal for now. Hopefully this passes soon but for now I’m just grateful to get out the house! Do you have any summer plans? How are you preparing for them and keeping safe let me know in the comments!
If you read my introduction or know me at all you know I consider my Birthday a holiday because it is 😌 but I feel all birthdays should be treated that way! Your important you made it through the year it’s a time to celebrate 🎉 I say that to say my kids parties start at one, and yes I’m aware that the don’t know what’s going on but with as many photos and videos I take that doesn’t matter. For example my 8 year old daughter seriously believes she remembers her first birthday party and will talk about as if these are her actual memories but in reality she has seen so many pictures and asked so any questions about it it had just become apart of her memories.
So with that being said I celebrate starting at age 1 and I try to find activities that a one year old would actually enjoy. But that wasn’t always the case Azaleah and Cameron both had house parties and but Zyaire had a swim party (see I learned) and Zavae has her party at The Little Gym!
The little gym is perfect for one year old birthday parties, older kids as well but for now we are going to talk about the pros of the first birthday!
* No Setup/Clean Up, They do it all for you and when your chasing around a one year old who keeps snatching their crown off that is extremely helpful. My location even had a high chair!
* Themes, The Little Gym also allowed me to bring in my own decor to add to theirs so it was extremely personalized but don’t worry if you don’t want to bring anything in they had it all balloons paper plates then even had a lighter for the birthday candle (which I always forget)
* Age appropriate Games, I don’t know about your friends and family but there is a lot of range in the ages of the kids the little gym partnered with me to make sure all the kids would be entertained especially the birthday girl
*Plenty of seats for the adults it’s a closed of matted area so if you want to sit down and watch or get down and be active you can The Little Gym was very accommodating to our needs
So “do you” mama if you want to have a birthday party for your one year old do it!! Don’t let anyone tell you they won’t remember or it’s just for you. I will leave all of the Little Gyms info below so you can find the one closest to you. Every Birthday deserves to be celebrated no matter how young! Leave a comment below and tell me how you celebrated your child’s first birthday or what you plan on doing. 😊