Clean underwear NEED not apply!

As I stand here in my kitchen I find myself becoming overwhelmed with emotion; gratitude, appreciation, and love.  Yesterday everything broke, our garbage disposal, dryer, and food processor (mid-preparations for Father’s Day!), it was frustrating, inconvenient, and financially stressful. Today is our son’s b-day, 8 years old!! We really didn’t plan anything big( not even a cake, which I feel really bad about, especially considering we have ALWAYS done something in the past, DARN MOMMY GUILT!!) and with having to replace a few big ticket items getting his b-day gift and Father’s Day gifts put us over our budget. Thus, our plans today consisted of attending our son’s field day for baseball and participating in Relay for Life. Rather uneventful. Then I started blending!

As I mentioned, our food processor broke mid-Father’s Day preparations. So I asked my neighbor if his late wife, who died from lung cancer a few years after we moved in (roughly 8 years ago), had a food processor. I even slipped when I asked. I said, “Does Emmy have a food processor?” Then I quickly corrected myself and declared, “Did, Emmy have a food processor?” I have to be honest a part of me knew he did have one, I don’t know how or why, but I knew to ask him. And sure enough, he did have one! And with our busy day I am just now getting around to blending ingredients at 8pm. So as I stand here blending nuts and dates for Father’s Day treats I find my mind wondering. The same thing happens when I iron so I gave it up. Haha! I found myself overjoyed with gratitude and appreciation.

My son’s coaches were amazing this year (and last year). I am so grateful that they volunteered their time, shared their skill, talent, and were so patient with the boys.  And, get this, they even remember that today, their last game, was Max’s b-day and they had a balloon and candy for him. Tell me that wasn’t the sweetest!! So after his game he received a trophy, ribbon, balloon with treats, AND, the cherry on his birthday sundae, Muddy & Mudonna (Our Toledo Mud Hens Mascots) showed up just in time & right next to the field he was playing on to sign his baseball cap and get a pic! PRICELESS!! I couldn’t have planned that any more perfect if I tried!!


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Fast forward a few hours and my daughter and I attended Rely for Life for the American Cancer Society.  Mind you there was a lot of planning that went into the event.

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Our team organizer and team mates did a fabulous job organizing everything, making our t-shirts, putting together raffle items, schedules, signs, etc. 

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My daughter and I enjoyed going around the track and seeing what everyone had in their tents, seeing all the fun things people were dressed up in, getting a pic with the University of Toledo’s Mascot….

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and most importantly, simply enjoying each other’s company (which is a true gift).   I couldn’t help become a little sad when I saw pic of ALL those loved ones who have died from cancer….the littlest really tugged at my heart strings. So, what have I learned from today? Why all the emotion? Why all the gratitude and appreciation?

Simple- I. AM. ALIVE!! My Children are ALIVE!! My son celebrated his 8th birthday today!! And I am so thankful for that! There are so many who have lost the battle to cancer. We never know what tomorrow holds. So maybe I DID wear DIRTY underwear today because my dryer is broken and maybe I didn’t bake my son that cake, but guess what, he was here & I was here! I am so thankful for today. I am so grateful for ALL the amazing people (coaches, teachers, friends, family) in my life, my community, my neighborhood!! I am so thankful for all the souls that I have had the pleasure of meeting before they left this earth. I am thankful for Emmy and her food processor. Back when her son turned 8 years old and she purchased her food processor I know she had no idea that in her 50s she would lose a battle with lung cancer. So, what is my message? LIVE!! Live BIG! Don’t masks your emotions with drugs and alcohol, live it all, good and bad!! Feel the pain. Feel the joy. FEEL it ALL!! Tomorrow is not promised. We never know when our lifetime is up. Don’t not show up because you have to wear dirty underwear! Thank those who should be thanked. Forgive those who need forgiveness, including yourself (including not baking your child a birthday cake…perhaps being together is celebration enough?). Don’t live with regret. Don’t live with grudges. Say yes to adventure!! Simply LIVE!! We owe it to all those who have been lost FAR before we would have liked to live our lives to our fullest. May we all be so blessed to live life in a state of gratitude, appreciation, and love!  (Note, this doesn’t mean perfection….and clean underwear need not always apply. Lol!)


JAWsome Party!

What is it about summer time that seems to send life into warped speed? It seriously feels like the kiddos just got out of school yet it is already the Middle of July!!! Where did the time go? Seriously!?! I told my son we would start planning his b-day party over a month ago due to the fact that his b-day was a month ago. So we discussed various themes he wanted. First it was Ghost Busters and I have to admit I was pretty psyched to get away from the typical super hero party. But then he changed his mind. He wanted a Power Ranger party, more specifically the green Power Ranger party. What? I have to be honest that just sounded like way too much work! So I put the entire party planning thing on the backburner for a few days. Well, days turned to weeks and weeks turned to our trip to Disney. We got back and he asked if he was EVER going to have his party. So July 11th after being consumed with 100% organic mommy guilt I planned a birthday party and five days later we had a party….that is seriously a record for me. In the past I would take weeks planning stuff…what a fool I was. Haha!

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I called Fun Factory to rent an inflatable water slide (can you say awesome?) and they were so kind. They worked with me on the date and time and helped answer all 1000 of my questions….I think, no, I know I can be annoying at times. Shocker!! Haha! Then I went to Walmart to grab some Bake and Make pizzas for family movie night that evening and we happened to walk past the party isle. All the Shark themed items were on sale! Score! We got ourselves a theme for the party!! Then I thought about ordering a cake. And I thought about it some more. And the day of the party I ran to Costco to grab a cake. After that I grabbed some balloons and then we had ourselves a party!!

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One would think that after everything so smoothly came together I would be out of the woods (oh, and I forgot to tell you, all but one child could attend…what are the chances, right!?!) I would feel some relief and that 100% organic mommy guilt would dwindle but it didn’t. Nope! It was the gosh darn forecast that had me all concerned. The forecast indicated that it would only reach a high of 72 if we were lucky. 72!! Now that is chilly for the middle of July!!  Thus I stressed out over the weather. Let me repeat that, I stressed out over the weather!! Something I literally have no control over. But I felt guilty…what if I had the party closer to his actual b-day? Perhaps the weather would have been perfect? What is wrong with me? Why was I looking for something to worry about?  Perhaps it was because everything was going so smoothly?  But alas, I worried for nothing!

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Day of party!!! It was cold…I wore jeans and really wants to wear a sweater but felt guilty since the kids would be in their bathing suits. But guess what? The kids didn’t care AT ALL!!! They were climbing up and sliding down that cold water for 3 hours, practically straight! There were a few breaks for cake, gifts, and the piece de resistance, the piñata!!

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And this is what really smothered that 100% mommy guilt flame…a portion of the kids stayed till 8pm!! They were on that slide for 6 hours!!! What chilly weather? Haha!


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It was definitely a JAWsome party!! And our little birthday boy asked if we could do the same thing next year! And of course I said yes knowing full well that he will change his mind a dozen times over the course of the next twelve months.


Do you ask your children what kind of party they would like or do you inform them on what kind of party they are having? Do you ever find yourself looking for something to worry about? (Crazy, right!?!) What is the shortest amount of time that you have pulled a party together? (This is your time to shine!!)

My Urban Toddler…Mommy’s little Oasis

My hubby and I attended a Christmas party back in January and while there I had the opportunity to chat with a friend I hadn’t spoken with in forever, mostly because we became moms.  Isn’t it crazy how one minute you are just two couples hanging out drinking wine, having sushi, laughing about life, not a care in the world (for the most part) and the next we have 5 kiddos between the two of us.  So, while catching up on the daily happenings in each other’s lives the topic of where to go with toddlers, especially in the winter, came up. She had a gem of a recommendation, My Urban Toddler in Saline Michigan.  Apparently it has been operating for like 6 years. What!?! How could I have never heard of it? Word of mouth did not travel very fast which is unusual because when you get a group of mamas gabbing you can learn about things happening on the other side of the globe.

It’s a date, playdate…..

Image from website
Image from website
Image from website

So, the next day I got online checked out My Urban Toddler, it looked like the best time ever, and it is only 44 miles away, so I posted it to our playgroups meetup calendar.  I was eagerly awaiting our visit and a little worried that the weather wouldn’t cooperate. Thankfully for some reason Ohio isn’t getting a winter this year so ice, snow, sleet, and any other form of frozen precipitation will not be a problem.  My next concern was the drive, maybe it would be too long, maybe I would get lost (I think I am the last person on this planet without a phone that can get the intranet or a GPS).  But thankfully my trusty old Map Quest directions that I jotted down on a random piece of paper (which turned out to be one of our daughter’s gorgeous art work masterpiece, oops) five minutes before we left worked just fine and dandy.

The day of our visit…..

To my surprise we arrived early (a half-hour early), I didn’t get lost, and it was really easy to locate. So I got the kiddos out and we strolled in to checkout the place while we waited for the other moms to arrive.

As I opened the door to My Urban Toddler and we walked in I was greeted by a mother’s dream boutique come true, the latest and greatest mommy must haves for babies/children stylishly displayed.  The merchandise called to me, and I think my kiddos too.  I dare anyone to leave My Urban Toddler (or the website, )without purchasing a cute hat, fun art and crafts to do with your  kiddos, or the latest learning toys (how can you say no to those, they foster cognitive learning and occupy your child for a given amount of time). I had to quickly walk past the merchandise since my hubby and I had already agreed upon a budget for this trip (next time I am factoring in gas twice…I have got to get my Toddler one of those cute riders, she loved the piggy and cow but there is also a bee).

My wish list….

I had a tough time getting my Toddler off the scooter that they had there, she loved it!!
This desk is perfect for a toddler and is so adorable; I like the pocket on the back of the chair.
This chair is too cute and it is also available in different patterns/designs. Wish they had one in my size too.
This will help us organize our gazillion hair bows and it matches the girls room, I want.
Budding Artist Diner, this is perfect for going out to eat, it is a portable imagination station. Hey, since the kiddos are occupied maybe we can actually have our entire meal at the restaurant instead or asking for boxes before the meal comes out, maybe!

Okay, enough shopping, back to our visit….

As I entered into the Play areas it reminded me of a cool place you would see in a movie or a sitcom (don’t be surprised if you see something like this on the show Up All Night), where the lead of the show takes their totally hip posh tot and you are like, “I want to go somewhere like that!!!”.   Well now you can (unless you live a far distance from here in which case, sorry, but you can still purchase the amazing products they carry in their store).  We paid (wich as so reasonable), hanged up our coats, took off our shoes and set sail for a fun-filled morning. 

The indoor play area is filled with an imagination driven floor plan.  The layout is an imaginary town with a crawlers station located in the center (which is perfect for safety, no one wants a toddler trampling over a crawlers or infant) and a fire station, library, school, theater, grocery, and house around the parameter.  There are also little mommy oasis, the café, as well as an additional couch/food area where mommies can sip on coffee, read, check mail, etc. or simply set claims, or dibs on a diaper bag location.  

It was love at first sight, she scooted those scooters all over the play area.
She liked the castle, even more than the doll house.
She is leaving the house on the scooter again, told ya, the scooter was a big hit!

My Urban Toddler kept the interest of all our playgroup kiddos aged 0-5, as the website states…

For the infants there is an Infant Park located in the center so that parents with infants can feel secure knowing that the littlest ones are safe within the park. It contains soft toys and mats cushion the park atmosphere while also allowing fine and gross motor skill development.

Here she is playing with toys in the “School” which also included a chalkboard wall.

Toddlers can head “downtown” where a beautiful aquarium marks your arrival into My Urban Toddler City. It is there that the kiddos can view the whole city and choose their first destination. Kiddos can start by scooting around town on a cute animal scooter and visit the Theater for dress-up, puppet shows, story-time, and so much more. For quiet time, it is off to the Library filled with age appropriate books, puzzles, and creative toys. Little ones with an adventurous streak will want to stop in at the “Firehouse” to dress up as a fireman and hop onto the wooden fire truck.

Here she is playing in the grocery store.

The unique environment is geared toward expecting parents or parents with small children ages 0-5. In consideration of those older siblings that would like to come, they say Welcome!

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She hit the dress-up area hard. Here she is wearing not one but two tutu and a Cat ears headband.

My preschooler had a wonderful time as well. He gravitated more towards the fire truck and library.

In addition to the fact that My Urban Toddler play area is a gated, inescapable, safe, and fun play area for toddlers, that also accommodates mommy’s need to interact socially with other moms, it also has clean changing area and nursing area as well as a clean environment to eat healthy (or unhealthy your call moms) food they have available for purchase.  After roaming the imaginary town for an hour any toddler would be parched and worked up a bit of an appetite. So we headed for the snack area and the kiddos each selected their own snacks. Our toddler decided on goldfishes and preschooler, cheez-its, shocker, right?? So we sat for albeit two minutes while they sipped their Apple & Eve juice boxes and ate their additives and preservatives (it was a special occasion).

Snack time

All the moms from our playgroup had nothing but positive reviews, we will be going back, hopefully in the near future and I will be extending my budget to allow for a couple of purchases from the shop.  So, the next time you are thinking, “I have got to get out of the house but where to go?” remember My Urban Toddler.  And if you don’t live nearby you can at least peruse My Urban Toddler’s website and purchase toys, clothes, etc. from their online shop



Technical info:

To Schedule your next play date with your girlfriends, grab a cup of coffee and relax while your kids are safely playing near by! Available during normal business hours Monday and Tuesday. When you schedule a play date that consists of 4 or more adults receive $1.00 off admission for each child. Please call or stop in to add your play date to our calendar at least 24 hours in advance. Please provide a contact name or group name and remind all group members that they must mention the group name or contact name in order to receive the discounted admission.

Wednesday – Friday will be reserved for classes and private group events. Please call for availability and pricing.