Sweet Patriot turns two, and I remember the day he was born.
I remember waking up in the morning. I was not in a good mood. I was convinced I was constipated, and I had a head cold, at 9 months pregnant I was a joy to be around. I dropped lib off at school and headed to the studio for summer camp. I was feistier than usually and I'll admit maaaaybe a bit snappy. By 9:30 I was done, I called the doctor and told them I needed something! I didn't feel good. I headed to the dr & when I got in he said, "let's just check & see how your doing". After checking me he says. "So ummmm. Im just going to send you over to the hospital now, your dilated to 5"😮 What? No way, I was not ready today, I had to go get a movie for summer camp, order lunch & I didn't have a plan for lib! I had just assumed I was being induced in a few days so of course didn't plan for any of it. Jake was alone at summer camp and I had driven myself to the dr. I convinced the doctor to give me an hour. I rushed to Best Buy, contractions and all, popped by the studio and came home to pack. Jake was suppose to meet me home, but after about 10 minutes I knew I couldn't wait so I waddled to the car and drove myself to the hospital....
I valet the car (thank god), grabbed my 19474738 bags, nursing pillow, purse and car seat (I have no clue why I felt the need to carry all of this myself) and waddled my way up to labor and delivery. When I finally arrived the nurses looked at me like I was nuts. They got me prepped and into bed & as the doctor checked, I had an option to get an epidural then or not at all. There was no waiting for jake... so I huddled over into my nurses arms and they started, jake walked in mid epidural and I don't think I could have been more relieved. They let me rest for about 30 minutes and then it was time. I pushed a few times before they realized he had the cord wrapped around your neck... twice. The neonatal team was called in. But no need, I pushed one more time and you were here! A head full of hair, roaring cry and the biggest brown eyes id ever seen. You snuggled write up to me and got yourself a spot in my heart. You have completed our family sweet boy. You test us to our limits and allow us to feel joy we never thought possible.
What a fun afternoon! We did everything from play with the sand to paint boxes! We had a delish lunch from Lucilles BBQ, the kids devoured the Mac "n" Cheese, and for my picky eaters, that's impressive! I try to explain this event to people, and honestly it's one of a kind! I say it's like, every kind of specialty (well made) item you're not going to fine in Toys "r" us, birthday party ideas, snacks AND activities for your littles! Plan to be there all day too!! It'll take that long to get through everything! Be sure to follow #greatbigfamilyplayday on Instagram & twitter with the links above!
Check out our favorites from the day!
Can you believe that I'm almost 34, I've lived in Southern California my entire life.... never been to Palm Springs! Ever... The Master rides quads for fun, and we go to Glamis quite a bit. If you've never been to Glamis, imagine an enormous sand box with no running water. For years we would head down to Glamis for some "fun"..... with no running water... and lots of sand.
We would drive by Palm Springs, and a girl could hope. Wish. Dream.
Flashback to this guy at 25 in that big ole' sand pit.
Well girls, wishes do come true! My dads bought a house in Palm Springs!!! Now there was no way the Master could say "no" to Palm Springs!!
Wahoo for vacations that include running water!
We spent our Spring Break 2017 in Palm Springs!
We put together a 3 day family travel guide for you.
You can also search our hashtag #theflamesdopalmsprings2017 to see all our photos!
We arrived super late on a Wednesday. Our kids hate the car, hence why it's been so hard to do vacations. I refuse to drive any long distance with them, and the Master refuses to be trapped on an airplane with them. Their suuuuuper easy kids......
Day 1: Palm Springs Ariel Tram & Villagefest
Thursday morning we were up and ready to go!
We headed downtown for breakfast, we found a cute little French Restaurant, L' Atelier . The mimosas had a bit of strawberry in them which made them super tastey! We had eggs Benedict on a croissant, which tasted just like Paris... see the sign?
Prices were super reasonable & they had kid friendly food!
After breakfast we headed up the the San Jacinto Mountians!
We arrived around 11:30 and caught the 12:20 tram up. The wait was not long at all, it gave us plenty of time to check out the many decks for viewing the beautiful scenery!
The ride lasted about 10 minutes. Don't worry about where you stand, the floor rotates! There is no sitting on the tram on the way up, you must stand. If you have a backpack they'll ask you to take it off. There was a person at the top with a stroller, but I wouldn't assume you can take one. If you have a little one, be sure to bring a carrier.
Once you're at the top, it's breathtaking! The views are incredible and it's like you've entered another world! There is a restaurant, bar and gift shop at the top. But I highly recommend bringing a picnic lunch, there are a ton of tables behind the visitors center. There are trails that run along side creeks, patches of snow and bridges to cross! It is such a fun place to let the littles explore! You could easily spend a few hours exploring the area.
After our adventurous outing we headed back to the house and freshened up for Villagefest! If you are in town on a Thursday, this is a must! They shut down a portion of Palm Canyon Drive and it quickly fills up with vendors, art exhibits and food! There's no need to make dinner reservations, theres plenty of yummy food like Paella, Shwarma, Crepes & more!
Day 2: Wet & Wild plus Patriots first movie!
We were so excited to take Liberty to the water park because, duh. Slides & WATER!? The park opened at 11 and closed at 5. If you can buy your tickets in advance, do it! You can save a few bucks!
Wet and Wild was super clean & surprisingly quiet for spring break! We grabbed a few chairs on the grass under an easy up to plop our stuff down.
There was a ton of slides along with a wave pool & lazy river!
There are 2 restaurants on site, plus a bar!
But, be careful the one that serves the Carne Asada & tacos is only open a few hours. Wet & Wild allows you to bring in sports drinks & waters ONLY! They will ask you to throw anything else away. W & W supplies life jackets to so no need to bring your own.
After they kicked us out of the park, literally, we headed home to refresh and back out to the movies. This was patriots first movie. We headed to the Regal Theater in town, they have a ton of movies to choose from!
Day 3: The Living Desert
What a cool zoo! You guys, this is one of my favorites! I've been to zoo's all over, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Miami, its one of my most favorite things to see in a city! This zoo honestly felt like you were walking into another land. The animals are all fit perfect for the area and the extras are awesome! Liberty and the Master got to ride a camel! A camel! It was quite hot so make sure to arrive early. If you go in the fall/winter there are some hiking trails as well! There are a few indoor spaces with activities as well if you need to get out of the heat.
There is still so much to do we'll definitely be back!!
If you're a local business in Palm Springs & would like us to visit you to share our experience please email
us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The past few weekends we've spent our Sunday nights at the Ventura Pier, and it is gorgeous!
Theirs a restaraunt on the pier called Beach Tacos. Aahhhhhmazing! They have the perfect to-go boxes that are perfect for eating at the beach below the pier... that wait for it.... HAS A PLAYGROUND!!
The tacos are to die for! I always get the carne asada combo plate that comes with cheese, veggies & peppers sautéed on top. 😋
The quesadillas are SO good as well!! So cheesy, my kids love them!
After dinner we head down the pier for a great view of the sunset!
It's the perfect ending to the weekend!
He came into this world fashionable late, and fast. I was convinced I was constipated & had a head cold. Little did I know I was actually in labor. I thought for sure I'd have to be induced. I drove myself to the hospital at 1, and he was born at 3:13.
He was perfect. He had dark hair, dark eyes and he stole my heart the minute we locked eyes.
The first few months he was the sweet mommas boy I thought he had to be. You know, because Liberty was SO difficult. She's strong willed, sassy, smart and nows how to work that sweet smile.
But then she turned 4, and everything started to come together for her. I mean, she still throws her average 4 year old tantrum with the best of them,
but she's SO much easier.
Then there's this guy.
and I'm like, "whaaaaat!? Where did you come from!?". Like whoa. This kid. He's grumpy, he's happy, he's crying, he's laughing, he's climbing, he's deystroying, he's running, he's rolling around in the dirt.
I am eating my words with this one. I always thought, you have one hard kid, you have one easy kid. I was convinced that was the way it was. Patriot HAD to be the easy one.
Nope. I've got a difficult kid and a more difficult kid. I mean, maybe it will get easier. But I'm pretty sure, hard headed isn't something you grow out of.
So I have this to say to you moms out there of all boys, I bow down to you. To the moms out there who have those strong willed littles, that test every step you take, keep working at it. There going to break things, climb things, make you want to hide in a closet and eat a snickers bar, this is true. But they will be your biggest accomplishment. They will
push you to do more, be more and push yourself
to your limits. Good luck mommas.
You're thinking, cookies, hot cocoa and Christmas lights right? Nope, not the season I'm talking about.
But the season of sniffles and coughs.
I dont know about you, but here at the #flamehouse we've gotten everything from
pink eye to larangitis & of course the stomach flu. Oh, and don't worry we were not lucky enough for one of the kids to get larangitis, but Mom... of course.
It feels like the entire month of January, someone has been sick. We've been cooped up in the house and going a little crazy.
So what did I do? Ask my favorite #momsofconejovalley how they keep there families healthy....
Heres what they said:
👉🏼Wash your hands! When you get home, before you eat, after the bathroom, before nap, after nap, keep them clean!
👉🏼Change your clothes when you get home.
👉🏼 No shoes inside.
👉🏼 Lots of Vitamin C.
👉🏼 Elderberry Syrup.
👉🏼 Lots of fruits & veggies.
👉🏼 Stay hydrated.
👉🏼 Essential Oils.
👉🏼 Plenty of rest.
Holy Moly we almost have a kid in Elementary school. If someone could please find the past 5 years of my life that would be a awesome. The thought of having to be at school Monday thru Friday at 8:15 gives me the chills. We can barely make it to preschool by 9.
But, realizing that we have like an actual "kid kid" not like a "baby kid" kiiiiinda freaks me out. I feel like I have to start making her responsible. Independent. Respectful. Focused. I've taught other peoples kids for so long, I know what I want my kid to be like. Some kids can dress themselves at 5, others can't. Even though I may not like what she chooses, I want my 5 year old to dress herself (here's to hoping we get into a school with a uniform #sneakymom). I want her to be responsible enough to bring home all the Tupperware in her lunch box. I want her to speak up in class. Be a critical thinker. Ask questions. I want her to be aware. Know what's going on around her.
So, to get ready for being 5 we started with actual chores. Our days aren't the same though the week, so these aren't daily chores, yet. But they are things she needs to do when ask.
1. We just separated our kids and gave them their own rooms. This is what happens when your 17 month old decides to jump ship outta the crib. So she needs to keep her room clean, toys in bins & clothes put away as well as making her bed.
2. Get dressed by herself, we may pick out clothes the night before or it may be her job to pick out her own clothes. We've been preparing for this for a few months. She can successfully take all her clothes off and put them on without any help.
3. Helping unload the dishwasher. Her jobs are silverware, this helps her sorting skills. Tupperware, she needs to match the lids and put it away. And last the bottles and sippy cups, again she'll need to match them, screw them on and put them away.
We're starting small, little chores that help her to grow and work on sorting, matching and motor skills. As for right now it's a privilege to "get" to help. She's excited and enthusiastic to "work". As she gets older I'm sure we'll add in some incentives, but as for now we're keeping the chores "fun"!
To all those moms sending your sweet little coughing booger making factories to school for the first time, They are going to get sick. A lot. Especially in the first year. No matter how many oils, elderberry syrup or coconut oil you slather them in, they will begin producing those lovely green boogers that just don't stop.
You'll be so excited to have some freedom back, get out of your yoga pants and maybe, just maybe, drink an entire cup of coffee without heating it up six times.
The first few weeks will be amazing. Whether you've gone back to work or just taking a bit of "me" time, you'll get into a schedule, things are great.... and then BAM! It hits, a cold, the stomach flu, a rash that looks like the measles... they'll get better for a few weeks, after they've passed it to yourself and anyone else around them, everyone will be healthy! You've sanitized every crevice and door knob, washed all the puke blankets, packed everyone full of vitamins, and rubbed oils on the bottom of their feet and temples, everyone is healthy! You breathe a *sigh* of fresh air... Then, boom! If you had the stomach flu last time, this time it's a cold and vice versa... it just doesn't stop. For the first year your sweet little booger factory is at school, their going to get sick. All the time. And then share it with you! Especially the first year, it doesn't matter if you start them as a toddler or preschooler, the boogers will find you!!
So. I have this piece of advice. Be ready for it. Be ready to take days off. Disinfect door knobs. Guzzle the elderberry syrup. And wash wash wash, those puke blankets. Because for some reason every time they start throwing up, every dam blanket in the house is dirty!
for those of you who are doing your best to keep those little boogers healthy!
Heres some of our favorite "precautions".
We love Fairytales Hair products for lice repellent.
We also love (not just the taste either!) Grateful Naturals "Elderberry Syrup"! Although it isn't a miracle cure, it sure helps get rid of sicknesses much quicker & can help you fight off your basic cold!
On Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Conejo Community Outreach will be hosting our first "Open Closet Day" at Jacob Flame's Tang Soo Do University in Newbury Park.
Pre-registered local individuals/families will be able to "shop/browse" our Community Closet inventory (a free resource created out of donations from our community).
If you, or someone you know, is in need of basic necessities such as baby clothing and items (bottles, diapers etc), work attire, jackets and beyond, please visit our website to pre-register for this event. Once your pre-registration has been processed, we will reach out with additional information.
We are also looking for continued donations over the next month to assure can adequately meet needs. (Work attire, diapers, bottles, baby wipes, maternity wear, baby clothing are most requested). Or you can make a monetary donation to help us stock our inventory.
And we are looking for volunteers to help us the day of the event (great opportunity for kids). Please visit our website for more information on how to pre-register, where/how to donate, and how to volunteer.