My Son Played Ice Hockey At Nassau Coliseum!

17 Dec

We’ve had a very exciting week in ice hockey here!  My son’s team, the Icecats, had a wonderful opportunity on Monday night during the Islanders vs Devils team at Nassau Coliseum.  After the first period, he and his teammates got to play for a few minutes on that famous ice!!!

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They also got to high-five the Islanders as they entered the ice which was pretty monumental for the little guys.

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that’s them watching the practice

It was a night my son won’t forget…

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Proud hockey mom here!

 

One Party Through the Years

13 Dec

We went to a children’s Christmas party that we attend annually and it’s through this party I really see the my kids aging….sob!  When they were so young it was labor intensive for me at this party, chasing them around, making sure they ate.  We would often have to leave BEFORE Santa arrived as my daughter was deathly afraid!   Fast forward a bit and my husband and started to be able to sit back and enjoy our meals while the kids enjoyed the face painting, cookie decorating, dancing, and the delight of Santa.

This year?  As we geared up I was so excited…the Christmas party is coming up I would declare as it got closer………and shoulders would shrug with barely a smile!  I mean, they do all still believe in Santa THANK GOODNESS! But, I can see they are just getting over it all bit.

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December 2010

December 2011

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December 2012

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December 2013

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December 2014

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They are so grown up!

 

Happy 56th Anniversary to My Parents!!!

7 Dec

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I don’t know….it seems like the longer they are married the younger they look!

I just talked to them and my dad said “you know you don’t meet a lot of people who are married this long…” :)  It’s pretty amazing isn’t it?

 

The Center for Hope #GivingTuesday

2 Dec

A day for giving thanks…a day for getting deals…today is a day for giving back.  It’s called Giving Tuesday and it’s a global day dedicated to giving back.

I wanted to talk about something I don’t talk about often here.  My other role….as a social worker….currently in a very special place called the Center for Hope.  Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York is committed to creating a place of healing and hope where children and families can come together in their journey of grief.

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The Center for HOPE (Healing, Opportunity, Perseverance, Enlightenment) offers programs intended to meet the needs of the entire family providing support and help to bereaved children, adolescents and their parents through developmentally age appropriate groups and short term counseling. The Center also specializes in meeting the needs of parents who have experienced the devastating loss of a child. These groups are provided free of charge and facilitated by certified social workers and compassionate, caring trained volunteers.

I am honored to be a part of this program for the past 7 years.  I’ve observed families enter our doors at the brink of devastation, and leave with support, strength, and hope for getting through the days and weeks ahead.  I cannot think of a better place to give to, if you are in a position to do so today, than the Center for Hope.  Your donation will serve to help children right now who might be preparing for a first holiday season without a mom, dad or sibling.

A volunteer at the Center for Hope started a GoFundMe account.  Please check it out and spread the word about this wonderful cause. xoxo.

Braving Black Friday

30 Nov

Keep me away from crowds!  I think people who go out on Black Friday are completely nuts.  I do 90% of my shopping year round online. But when my son was running around the house talking about this one dumb toy he wants that I know will self destruct 5 minutes after it comes out of the plastic (that takes 25 minutes to tear apart…you know what I’m talking about!!!) I looked online and found those awful words…OUT OF STOCK ONLINE.

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The toy was well stocked in the store according to the online info and the Black Friday deal was $14.00 less than the regular price (not indicated in that photo).  I told the hubs I was setting out for Target at noon on Black Friday and he feared for my life.  But off I went.  There was a lot of traffic but admittedly I took a bad road. I made a mental note to go home a different way.

I planned to park anywhere I could find, as far away as I could find, but as I pulled in I found a sneaky spot up front and I just knew luck was with me.

When I entered the store it was a bit of a circus but I went right for the toys.  My plan was only to get the toy, and a chai tea latte, and leave.  No distractions!  A very nice employee directed me to the item right at the end of an aisle.  There were loads of them.  I snatched one.  I waited on line for about 5 minutes.

I rewarded myself with my Starbucks tea and then drove far away………..until I return on Monday, that is. :)  The things we do for a few bucks! The things we do for our kids!

Did you score any Black Friday deals?

Celebrating Turning 9 Years Old

21 Nov

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I just love that photo.  It’s my 9-year-old (as of today) twins getting sung to at Red Robin by 10 members of the wait staff.  We were all feeling a little kooky and punch drunk coming off of 5 hours at Great Wolf Lodge.  Yup you heard me.  Somehow the hubs and I got dragged back this year as a way of avoiding birthday parties.  I kinda of loathe that place.  But the kids….they can’t get enough.

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And it’s 2 hours away which isn’t bad.  We spend one night and that’s our big birthday vacation celebration.  After Red Robin we went back for more “fun” and the next morning we were at it again at 9 a.m! Thank goodness Starbucks is in the building.  The wear and tear on mine and the hubs bodies is deep from this trip.  But, I must say the highlight was when the attendant at the hydroplunge ride looked at me and my 55 pound 9-year-old and said,

are you guys a minimum of 150 pounds together?

Um what?!  I don’t know who you are kid at Great Wold Lodge, but I LOVE YOU!

Back home and today is the official birthday which means we went out for hibachi tonight.  As we ate I thought about 9 years ago, and how I barely remember these guys.

Nonetheless it was a wonderful day.  I just wish it would all slow down!

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Have a great weekend! (We are soccer free and loving it!)

Mensch On A Bench – A Must Have Item for Hanukkah! @menschonabench

17 Nov

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It was just two Hanukkahs ago when former Hasbro marketing executive Neal Hoffman was at a favorite retailer holiday shopping with his two boys.

“I want an Elf on a Shelf” proclaimed Neal’s 5 year-old son.

At that moment, a light bulb went off in Neal’s entrepreneurial head. Why couldn’t Jewish children and parents have their own Jewish-themed tradition…and the Mensch on a Bench was born. Mensch on a Bench became last Hanukkah’s surprise mega-hit which sold out in just 10 days, and is this year’s “Basement to Big Time” story.

As a family that celebrates Hanukkah and Christmas, I can relate to Neals story!  I suspect our Elf, Smiley, will become fast friends with our Mensch, because he does gravitate towards our menorah and driedals. :)  Check him out here.

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Mensch on a Bench is a 12’’ doll with an accompanying hardcover story book that tells the story of Hanukkah from the view of Moshe the Mensch.  It introduces children to the traditions of Hanukkah and teaches them to be good and honorable people…Mensches.  The doll holds the Shamash (leader) candle and needs to be moved each night to watch over the Menorah.

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In year 2, Hoffman has added new pages to the Mensch on a Bench book to teach children the Hanukkah prayers and how to play dreidel.  There is even a page to write down their favorite memories of each holiday season.

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The Mensch on a Bench is fun way to start another family tradition at Hanukkah. Mensch on a Bench is available at retailers such as Target; Bed Bath and Beyond; Michael’s Arts & Crafts Stores, Barnes & Noble, Toys R’ Us and more.  Shop now at www.themenschonabench.com. and use coupon code OYVEY at checkout to receive 10% off your order.

Be sure to check out Mensch on a Bench on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. 

 

Sample provided for review.

 

 

 

The Mid Week Day Off From School

14 Nov

Veteran’s Day was this week. I like when the kids get a break but no one likes it more than they do.

I had a few returns to make in a mall where I used to take them at least twice a month to ride a merry-go-round. It was something to do when they were babies. But would they be interested in riding now I wondered….?

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It was so cute to see them hop on all next to each other. But they looked like GIANTS. It made me a bit sad to reflect on the time that’s passed by, as they rode by. Perhaps I’m feeling it more as my twins’ birthdays are one week from today…
But it was a treat to see them on the ride and then I got them some punch balloons.

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We headed to my parents retirement community next where they enjoyed the swimming pool.

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I love this mid-week mini breaks. What did you do on a Veterans Day?

Big Hero 6 Movie Review!

9 Nov

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Who can believe Halloween is already way gone and Christmas music is already blasting in the mall!?

Well, the chaotic week of Halloween, I was battling 2 weeks of bronchitis and it wasn’t letting up!  We were invited to a screening of Big Hero 6.  I was feeling unmotivated but the kids were completely manic when they got wind of this invite and their excitement gave me the energy I needed.

And the movie did not fail us!  You know without putting myself down too much, I’m really not a big fan of kid movies………..but.  Big Hero 6 I loved.  My kids loved.  It was adorable.  Baymax is our favorite kids movie character ever….”so gentle, cuddly and cute” as my daughter says. Fair warning though.  As in most Disney flicks, someone does die, and in being the mess I was/am I even got choked up! (I think my daughter was too but she wouldn’t admit it!)

Synopsis:
From Walt Disney Animation Studios, the team behind “Frozen” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” comes “Big Hero 6,” an action-packed comedy-adventure about the special bond that develops between Baymax, a plus-sized inflatable robot, and prodigy Hiro Hamada. When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends – adrenaline junkie Go Go Tamago, clean freak Wasabi No-Ginger, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called “Big Hero 6.” Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring comic-book style action and all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Big Hero 6″ is directed by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”), and produced by Roy Conli (“Tangled”).

We really enjoyed this adorable movie.  Check out Big Hero 6 which is in theaters now!

If you’ve seen it already let me know what you think…

 

 

 

 

Stuck in the Auto Body Shop or Tips For Getting Through Boring Appointments With Kids

6 Nov

Tuesday was Election Day, the kids had off from school.  I’m not a big scheduler on these days off because the kids have such hectic schedules altogether and I believe they need a nice day off (i.e I didn’t take advantage of the Girl Scout bowling trip or the various camps being offered for the day).  However, I do try to plan some fun for the four of us and what that usually involves is a discussion leading up to the day and a decision about what will make everyone happy.  We had decided to to head to my parents over 55 community to go swimming and that was an easy great idea.

But when I got to my car I found an alert light on and the plans had to be aborted for a moment.  Of all days!  I’m a freak about safety when it comes to the kids.  The last thing I need is to be broken down with them in the car so I told them we needed to head into the auto body shop for a quick check.  I made it very clear that it was tight in that little waiting room and they needed to not fight, wait patiently, and keep occupied.  But, if they could do it, I would take them to Wendy’s afterward, followed by the fun afternoon of swimming.

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Everyone who came into the place looked at these 3 and smiled or laughed. :)
They were great, and it’s not because they are great kids.

Here’s why it worked:
1-Communication–I made it clear what was happening BEFORE we got to our destination.
2-Expectations–I made it clear what I expected in terms of their behavior.
3-Distraction–I made sure they had enough things to keep them busy.
4-Rewards!–I told them I would be happy to take them to Wendy’s (their choice) when we were through.

30 pleasant minutes later with one nail removed from my tire we drove off to a nice lunch and a great day of swimming!
How do you manage when your child/ren have to tag along to your boring appointments?

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