Adventures in Babysitting…Nonmom style!

Yes you read that right, plus, it remains one of my favourite movies to this day.

I was asked to babysit my adorable neice and nephew (he’s my mini-me I swear), and overall I’m pretty pleased at how it went.

I adore them, however I don’t see them as much as I’d like as my schedule doesn’t match up with theirs as often as we’d all like. But I assure you, I adore them.

Now, it is important to note that in my teen years I did a lot of babysitting, like A LOT a lot of babysitting. I loved it. I had a couple of regulars and I was known for my grilled cheese sammiches and also my love of crafting, board games and Disney movies.

But it’s been a while. And I admit, I was a little bit nervous. So, I decided on a plan, my nephew has been wanting me to teach him how to knit so I took along my loom (I taught myself for him as I’m a crocheter) and some yarn and he and I had a blast.

My neice is younger (he’s 5, she’s 2) so was understandably a little confused when I arrived to get her from her nap instead of her regular sitter, or her mommy or daddy, or, my mom or dad.

It took a bit of explanation (no no, mommy at work, so is daddy, you have Aunty Amy today), but she relented and even let me change her pull-up.

And here’s where I had a refresher of sorts. When I took the post-nap one off I noticed it worked just like a diaper on the sides. So I didn’t worry when the sides came loose when I put the new one on. The tabs stuck, it stayed on, but apparently (thank you Jackie!!!) it really is supposed to pull-on. I’m still taking it as a win, it totally stayed on. 😉

The kids played, and nephew-kins knitted with me (we traded off rows on the loom) and then the giggling started as the kids warmed up and indeed perked up around me. We were all giggling before long and the neice and I happily played with Mr. Potato Head while nephew-kins did some extra rows all by himself. Hashtag #ProudAunty on that one :).

We laughed, we smiled, they loved being called Goofball 1 and Goofball 2 and when their daddy came home I was admittedly a little sad as we had been having such a fun time.

All in all, a success. Babysitting skills somewhat updated (we’ll tackle a meal next time), happy munchkins and very happy Aunty:).

It’s #MLPFriendshipDay! Celebrate by spreading the word and the spirit of friendship.

Today we celebrate something that I just adore and think is the loveliest thing ever: International Day of Friendship with My Little Pony and #MLPFriendshipDay!

MLPV2

I have always loved My Little Pony and still have my originals…obviously I’m a believer in the ‘never grow up’ theory of life :). The ponies are all about the power of friendship and the day is all about the same. My family of course has had a massive impact on who I’ve become in life, but so have my friends. They mean the world to me and even though I may not see all of them as much as I want to, they know I’m always thinking of them all and I’m there for them and vice-versa. The ponies and their friendships pass on such positive messages to kids, and I love that.

Friendship is powerful and My Little Pony and Hasbro are happy to celebrate it and further it with fun. When you go to the official page for Friendship Day here: http://mylittlepony.hasbro.com/en-us/friendshipday you will see some wonderful and heartwarming activities and lessons that correspond to the pony personalities. As a bookworm, I’m partial to Twilight Sparkle and her sharing of the magic of education, but Fluttershy and her helping of animals also touches my heart as I am a proud cat mommy to three all adopted from shelters. The site has activities and ideas broken down by pony into these segments and more and encourages the spreading of friendship through them.

To help celebrate this wonderful day, we’re having a very special giveaway too. To qualify, we have two levels:

1. Tell me about your BFF and why they are so special to you.

AND/OR

2. Pick a Pony activity on the website and tell me why you chose it and what you’re going to do. Donate a book, take your dog for a walk, it doesn’t have to be complicated, every little step counts in my books. Share a picture of it to encourage others to do the same.

Bonus entries if you do both.

You can enter here or on the Facebook page, open to Canuck Pony fans only, and what a lovely prize pack it is! It includes treats from the Friendship is Magic line as well as a lovely PJ set and water bottle with a retail value of approximately $100!

I will notify the winner who will be notified after this closes on August 15th to give lots of time for projects to take place.

The power of friendship and its impact is bigger than any one individual, and a little bit goes a very long way. Let’s all celebrate and spread the positivity of it today for the big day, and everyday and I bet the world would be a whole lot happier if we did :). Happy International Friendship Day from me to you!

What munchkin time means to me as a Non

I am ‘Aunty’ to many and actual Aunt to a few and it is a title I cherish.

Last year my darling wonderful niece and nephew (aka my BFF’s kids) moved to another province and as my BFF knows all too well, I was brokenhearted. I managed to say goodbye to Miss (and cried the entire way home after), but I couldn’t hold it together to say goodbye to Mister so I begged her to say goodbye for me (thank goodness he was 4 at the time so to him it wasn’t as big of a deal LOL).

I got to see all of them again a couple of weeks ago and I was beyond elated. So was Miss, and then Mister once he remembered me again.

We arrived late so didn’t get to see everyone until the morning, but it was all I could do to stay in bed and not run out and hug them all once morning came. To me it was like the feeling I got as a child on Christmas morning all over again. And when I did sneak out to surprise Miss and my BFF, it was beyond fantastic.

A full-week of my BFF and the kids, I was ready and enjoyed every single moment I assure you. Hugs every morning and lots of quality fun time with all, yup, it really was like Christmas for me (and I hope them too a bit). We went on day trips, we sat and snuggled. My BFF and I caught up and on our day to ourselves, it was like time had stood still and the nuttiness picked up right where we left off. This is the power of this friendship and my adoration for my niece and nephew.

JA

My BFF and I: Reunited!

When you see that I have their pictures up at work and at home you can be assured I look at them often, these are things I cherish. I have them with my actual niece and nephews pictures too, the kids in my life matter to me, all of the munchkins in my life matter to me.

When I’m given a picture they’ve coloured (even some of my Sparks girls give me artwork) I save it and I do show it off. I think that surprises people, but for me, since I don’t get that everyday, I adore it.

This time I managed to hold myself together to say goodbye to my BFF and the kids (I know she’s proud of that) and after SEVERAL hugs and starting the countdown to next time, they left.

I miss them terribly, but I have the pictures and the memories…and there’s always Skype too ;).

Celebrating my ‘kids’ on their birthday

‎Yesterday my beloved fur-baby-boys celebrated their 8th birthday. Spot was the recipient of peanut butter, his favourite, as a treat while Smudgie received his treat of a bite of cheese.

They both also received a tonne of kisses and cuddles from their mama.

They were just babies when ‘they adopted us’ at the shelter and hubby and I truly cannot imagine life without their furry presence.

We were adopted by their little (and rather rambunctious) now sister last spring and she was admittedly well behaved for their special day too, very proud of her.

Happy Birthday to our (still babies to me) furry boys Spot and Smudge :).

Review & Christmas Reading Gift Idea for Kids

This fall I was fortunate enough to get to read Scott Clements’ final book in his Trip Montgomery series: The Protector of Peace.

The Protector of Peace Scott Clements

I personally adore this series and have from the start with Gasparilla’s Treasure and then The Forgotten Secret. The books are full of action and the characters are incredibly relatable. I constantly pictured one of my favourite childhood movies, The Goonies, in my mind’s eye while reading it. Scott’s career in the film industry is wonderfully apparent with his attention to detail and plot progression.

This last book in the trilogy brings the group (Trip, Sarah and Josh) together again as successful treasure hunters who have one more piece of the puzzle to solve.

What I also love about Scott’s books, and this series in particular, is how he incorporates history into the plots. Because of him, I want to learn more about Florida history. Honestly. This time he brings in Benjamin Franklin and the founding fathers of the U.S. as well as some beautiful tropical Florida backdrops. The kids race against time and a character called The Destroyer who is after them and the final piece of the puzzle.

They are now teamed up with someone new, but can they trust her? And what about the Triumvirate? Who is The Protector of Peace? All of this answered as you read about their adventure.

The Protector of Peace, and the entire trilogy, are available in paperback as well as digitally (for a wonderful last-minute digital surprise) on Amazon. A series that will have your middle-grade reader competing with you to see who can read it first, because I assure you, you will want to read the books too.

You can learn more about the series and Scott on his website here.

Happy reading!

The great Christmas shop has begun!

I freely admit it. I am beyond behind this year. Like, really, beyond behind in everything related to the holidays. I blame it on being sick since the end of September combined with a crazy schedule and a trip to the desert.

I have literally been non-stop trying to catch up from trying to catch up and failing because more stuff came up.

But I digress.

Time to put on my big girl pants and move on, the holidays are upon us and I have got to get moving.

This year is going to be all about simplicity and getting back to basics.

I’m having to redefine what Christmas essentials are and prioritize accordingly.

First up, my family Christmas is, gasp, tomorrow! Yes, I was the slightly panicked Aunt at the store tonight making sure I had something special for the kids. Thankfully I used my ‘back to basics’ strategy and it paid off. I went to my old faves: board games! I love them and my sister and I always played them as kids so I thought why not grab a couple for her kids to build memories with?

After debating between several favourites including Monopoly Junior and Hungry Hungry Hippos, I decided upon Chutes and Ladders and Minion Memory.

I have wonderful memories or both of these and no matter how old we get, these are fun to play.

So, phase one of Christmas is now complete. What is phase two you ask? Well, I need cards, need ideas for my hubby (more on that to come) and of course, I still need to decorate.

How are you managing? Have you started? Any advice for this Nonmom? 🙂

Hasbro Gaming Chutes and Ladders, Minion Memory

Review: Baby Alive: My Baby All Gone from #Hasbro

‎The new Baby Alive: My Baby All Gone was sent to me to check out from my friends at Hasbro and I must tell you, she is adorable in her little pink dress and adorable pigtails.

Baby Alive Hasbro

She speaks over 30 phrases and, with a touch to her little pink bracelet she can change between English and French.

My Baby All Gone comes with an adorable little spoon and bowl and sippy cup, as well as some mixable food and a couple of diapers…you’ll need those as she is is a very lifelike doll.

Baby Alive Hasbro

When my adorable mini-me nephew was anticipating the arrival of my adorable niece, he was wanting to learn and help his mommy. Baby Alive would be perfect for that situation, and of course, for the ‘Little Mommy Helper’ in general.

‎I love how sweet she looks and those big eyes, they’re adorable. I also love that she is also available in a different skin tone. I really think that’s important so little mommy’s (and little daddy’s too) can culturally identify with the dolls.

Her little accessories mimic the same ones the kids are probably still using (in some cases) and again this gives another point of commonality and realism as the kids can ‘teach’ their doll what they already know.

I just adore dolls in general, I had a few cherished ones as a kid too, and the thought that has gone into this one, so special.

She is in stores now and looking for her special homes and hearts to warm :).

Baby Alive Hasbro