Sunday, May 24, 2015

I am a Thomas (the train) Mom



I am a Thomas Mom, what is that?  It's a mom to a kid obsessed with Thomas and Friends trains and sucked into it herself.  What type of toy mom are you?  What do I mean? I mean the toys your kids love and you therefore collect them and are excited when you find one that they don't have yet.  (Shopkins, Monster Trucks, Match Box are some I know other kids love lately)   For the past 4 years it has been Thomas and Friends.  Before that it was Fisher Price's Little People for 2.5 years which overlapped with Thomas for a while. We started with bigger Push Along Thomas trains, eventually moving on to Take and Play and then Track Master, we also got a Lionel Set along the way too.  Wooden tracks were added this past Christmas and his birthday last week along with adding more wooden trains to our collect.

Outside with our Ride On Thomas and track set

Jack is obsessed, we have every type of clothing item in Thomas, I even found jeans!!  Potty Training 2 years ago was made possible by Thomas underwear, something to strive for.  Jack's 3rd birthday was Thomas too! We have seen (and own) all the movies, DVR the episodes and watch them on youtube.  Jack cannot get enough; Charlotte plays with Jack since those were the only toys she has ever known too.  Molly, Lady, Emily are just a few of the girl trains Charlotte loves as much as Jack.

When shopping, I always have to check the Thomas aisle "in case",  now that Thomas and Friends Minis are out in packages and mystery bags, I am making it my mission to get them all.  I mean you cannot have an incomplete set.   So this summer/fall these little trains are my mission. As of now we have all that have been released.  They were a perfect fit in Easter eggs this year.

Travel to see Thomas has included one trip to Strasburg Rail Road in PA and 3 day trips to Essex Steam Train in Connecticut and The New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show for their Thomas Show also the past 3 Januarys.   Do you think I am crazy yet? This past Thanksgiving a Thomas float was added to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, so guess who went down to the parade? US!


My parents also started taking Thomas and one of his friends on their travels, so far he has been to Brazil, Napa Valley, Miami and Morocco.  We started this because Jack didn't want Grandma going away without him and then offered Thomas to go with her.  The travels resulted in pictures of Thomas all over and then being sent back to us daily for the kids to see and add them to instagram to share our adventures.  We make mini photos albums of all Thomas's travels.  It is a great separation/coping idea, or have your kids do it themselves while you are on family vacation.  Jack takes a Thomas almost everywhere with us.

Thomas and Percy in Rio de Janeiro at Copacabana Beach
I think what I like about Thomas the most is that it is a show that everyone can watch.  There is always a message, and you don't have to worry about the language on the show.   Thomas and Friends (Formally Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends) just turned 70, how many toys/books/ideas for kids can say that lasted that long?  Thomas is not a fad.  Even with Jack, there have been other shows and toys he enjoys, and we get them too BUT they ALWAYS play with Thomas and his friends.  He never leaves out Thomas.   This is why as of right now I am declaring myself, a Thomas Mom.


Reviews for NYBG Holiday Train Show and Thomas Show.  NYBG Thomas Show 2014NYBG Thomas Show 2014NYBG Holiday Train Show 2015

Some tracks Jack has built for Take and Play and Trackmaster, he is always creating big and small.



Disclosure- There are affiliate links in this post. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The kids asked for a baby




Recently the kids asked for a baby.  We told them the "baby shop was closed".  It was hysterical to us, not so much them who didn't understand why we were laughing so hard.  Seriously though at their ages now, post baby stage, I do not want to start again.  I am dreaming of them being older, even more independent, and listening more.  Start over?! Again tonight they asked if we could stop at the baby shop and get a new brother and sister.  This was less than an hour after I got home from being out all day, brought home a new game to play, which they did in-between climbing on the table while pushing each other. Sure lets go get 5 babies..not!  Honestly I could not imagine.  God bless you moms with more.

Char at birth
Jack at birth



Monday, May 11, 2015

MomTrends Travel

Recently I was able to meet with many great companies and learn about brands that make travel for moms easier.  Yup, traveling as a mom and it being easy, it is possible.  Nicole from MomTrends.com, brought together her favorite brands that make traveling easier for her and families alike.   Brands like The Container Store, Guardian Insect Repellant, Baby Bjorn, Miraclesuit, Vicks Zzzquil, New York Family, and more.   Nicole shared that one of the first things she got for her children were passports; travel for her family is a top priority and the experiences together.

I agree, I want my children to see everything, even at their young ages, while they may not remember I WILL. I think people who say its a waste and don't travel to places near and far are missing out.  While the furthest we have been is Disney World with the kids, we drove down and stopped in fun places to see the sights, and even while in Orlando, did other attractions along with the House of Mouse.  Jack was 1.5 months when he started going on our annual family vacation to the Jersey Shore with Tim's family, and 5 months when we went to Philadelphia.  Then Boston/Salem before he turned one. Does he remember those trips? No, but I do, and he loves looking through our photo books at him as a baby.

Eric from NewYork Family magazine was there and shared 5 top things about families and travel trends:
1-indoor waterparks are huge
2-follow the weather, more people are visiting Canada lately
3-National Parks, more families NEED to go to National Parks
4-Mutligenerational travel is big
5-NY "can be sold to the world" there is something here for everyone in NY State (I agree!)
All Eric's  points were perfect points for me, we are checking out Great Escape this summer with the grandparents (1, 4 and 5), family vacation with Tim's family (4) this summer, I love going to even the smaller local national parks with the kids now (3).  Canada is on my list in the next 1-2 years with kids (2).

With summer coming, kids are going in the water and well us moms have to go in with them.  We want to look and feel good but be comfortable and have coverage.  MiracleSuit was there to show off their new styles for every body shape and mom.  Even the adorable covers they offer.  I took part in their mini fashion show with some fellow amazing moms, instantly in love with a one piece and the last one piece I wore was while pregnant.  The suit from MagicSuitSwim named Molly Fringe is my new favorite, perfect at the indoor water park I visited later that week.

Glam Squad is a new come to you beauty treatment that can meet you around Miami, NY and LA for hair, makeup and soon nails.  Baby Bjorn was there to share with us great travel equipment for kids, a mini pack and play that folds with mattress perfectly into a suitcase size.  Diaper bag tips- always keep a book, you never know when the kids will fall asleep and where you will be when that happens.   Nicole's sleep kit for travel: sleep mask, ear plugs, mask for clean face, Vick's Zzzquil, to sleep soundly- pack once and keep in suitcase so it is always there.





Tuesday, May 5, 2015

New Venture: Apple Moms in the Hudson Valley


The beginning of 2015 many changes happened online.  One major one was relaunching the business I built as Apple Moms in the Hudson Valley and Apple Moms HV LLC.   After pouring my heart into this website and spending hours nightly and weekly for month, on top of teaching, two kids activities and keeping the house running around me I started over, solo.  Personally once again I confirmed many things I knew, professionally it was a leap, jump and huge growth.

Apple Moms in the Hudson Valley is a website for moms (and dads) that brings weekly events, product roundups, giveaways and information on places and events in the Hudson Valley straight to moms' Facebook, twitter and email.  We hope to expose moms and their families things they didn't know before, visit or use.  So while all that has been happening, my family site has taken a back burner but I am jumping back in.  I am changing the name to The Proctor Fam Musings based on the fact we are out of diapers, no homework as I finished grad school in 2012, and well my family has grown, we are all over and I want to encompass all that in one place.  

My job as a teacher continues to teach me new things, at the events I have attended I have come across so many new products and toys that help me and my students I plan to share that more, as a mom I plan to share about the kids, our life and travel.  Also share what I have seen and learned and many of the wonderful events I have opportunities to attend.   I love growth, I love sharing and I love informing.  If you know me, you know I love to help people.  Everything I do helps someone (or I atleast hope it does).

I hope you stick around through the changes, through the growth and over the years. 

XO,
Karen


Some pictures from my recent birthday with the kids and some of our recent adventures.