Monday, January 28, 2013

Citrus Lane Review - A Surprise in a Box!

One day when I was watching my friend Cori's kids, (who are 3 and 1) she gave me a box. It wasn't an ordinary box. It was from Citrus Lane. 

"Here," She said "We get a box every month from this company, and there's always something fun in it."

I opened the box not knowing what I would find. We were presented with a "make your own fruit" project. There were all different fabric fruits including an apple, a pear, and an eggplant. The kids got to decorate their own fruits. They loved the project. 

I decided to write to Citrus Lane and see what kind of box they would send me for review. 

I received a reply from the lovely Jason, over at C.L. He sent me an awesome box which included animal castanets!

Traditionally castanets come in pairs. But I thought it was only fair that each of my kids got their own toy, because I'm fair like that, yo!

The box also came with this super awesome recycled tupperware and bowls, and organic pureed fruit. 

I think the idea of getting a box with surprise toys and fun things every month is exciting, and that's what Citrus Lane gives to parents and their kids ages 0-5. 

Guess what people? I'm about to hook you up.  If you sign up and use the code BREAK10 you'll get 10 percent off your subscription to surprise boxes at Citrus Lane

Let me know what you get in your box!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Samara Turns Two and I Embrace Her

Samara turned two on January 22nd. We visited my parents in Florida to celebrate and then Wil's family in Texas.

Samara and I have been fighting a lot lately. She wants to run in the street and I tell her she can't. She wants to stick her hand in the electrical socket and I inform her sternly that that's a terrible idea.

But I realized something about my girl on this trip. Despite her predilection for danger, she just wants to explore and have adventures. She wants to have fun.

She shows me every day that the most mundane things can be made into a fun time. For example, climbing on an airport baggage ramp can be exciting...

Until it starts moving. Then it's time to get to find something else to do. 

I've given up the idea that I can "tame" her wild side. Of course, I have to shield her from danger, but Samara is an adventurer. 

That's just her.

She loves to explore, learn, try, and do.

And I embrace that. 

I will learn from her fearless nature.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ari Takes The Gifted & Talented Test

I signed Ari up to take the Gifted & Talented test for Kindergarten. The day came for him to take the test. No matter what the results are, I know my son is a bright kid. There's no harm in taking the test to see if he gets into the program.

I didn't prep him beforehand. We didn't go over any study materials. If he gets in, he gets in.

*Please excuse the recycling boxes that need to go outside in this picture.

The day before the test I told him:
"Tomorrow you're going to go to a new school where you'll show the people there all the shapes you know!"
"I don't want to do that." Ari replied.
"Well, afterwards you get ice cream." I said on a whim.
"Okay!" He exclaimed.

The morning of the test it occurred to me that we would need his birth certificate. I asked Wil to open the safe to get it.
"Uh,'s not in here."
"No. That's not possible!" I exclaimed.
"Didn't you take it with you when you registered him for school?" He asked.
"Oh that's right. But I'm sure I put it back in the safe."
But it wasn't in the safe. I was panicking. I decided to take his social security card with us. Surely that would count for something.

Before we entered the school building where he was going to take the test, I told him this:
"Okay, are you ready to show the people all the shapes you know?"
Ari nodded with a big smile. Then we entered the school.

"Name?" Said the woman sitting at a cafeteria lunch table.
I gave her Ari's name.
"Birth certificate?" She asked. Only her eyes looked up from her paper.
My heart sunk.
"Oh, I brought his social security card. Is that enough?"
"No, we need his birth certificate."
"I looked in the safe this morning, and we couldn't find it. Is there any way he can take the test?"
"I'll talk to the supervisor." Said the woman behind the cafeteria table with a slight smile. "We'll see what we can do."
Ari looked on, not knowing what was going on exactly. The woman exited the cafeteria in search of the supervisor.
"Call his doctor's office. Maybe they can fax it over." Said a mother who overheard the conversation.
"Good idea!" I replied. I called the doctor, but since it was Saturday, they had already closed.

After waiting for an excruciating ten minutes, the supervisor emerged.
"He can take the test, but you'll have to scan and email a copy of his birth certificate to us."
"Thank you!"

Ari was sent upstairs with a group of kids, wearing a green post it note with his birthday on it.

I waited.
There were a few parents there waiting for their four-year olds to emerge.
After an hour, one little girl emerged.
The mother and I were talking.
"My oldest, over there playing Angry Birds, has taken the test four times. She hasn't gotten in. She's kind of a space cadet though. My youngest is sharp. She'll get it."
"Excuse me." Said another mother listening in "Did you say that your daughter has taken the test four times? And you're making her take it again? That's abuse!"
"Um, first of all that's my business," began the first mother. "And second of all she wants to take it."
I didn't know what to say, it was such an awkward moment and clearly these women were super competitive.

Ari arrived five minutes later.
"Hi Ari boo! What did you do on the test?"
"Nothing." Ari said looking down.
"Did you play with puzzles?"
He nodded.
I tried to get more information out of him, but all he said was:
"I want ice cream!"

I asked the mothers who lived in the area if there was a good place to get ice cream in the neighborhood. They recommended an Italian gelato joint around the corner.

So we went! I thought I could get more information about the test out of Ari after he had some gelato in his system.

Ari got vanilla gelato and met a cat named Rocco.

Post gelato, Ari revealed that he was interviewed by a woman who kept asking him "where?" and coloring in circles. He also said something about oranges and that he did a puzzle with numbers. That's all he gave up.

I still can't find his birth certificate. If I can't locate it, they won't send us the scores! I need to get a replacement copy as soon as possible.