June 2016, Latest & Greatest News

Sharing Grief with Our Littlest ~ #OrlandoLove

Hi Friends!

My latest post with Orlando Moms Blog is up today and it’s definitely one that I wrote from my heartstrings. ❤

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Sharing Grief with Our Littlest #OrlandoLove

You can link to the full post HERE.

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Our Orlando community experienced insurmountable tragedy in recent days, but in the wake of this, we have pulled together and will rise above with LOVE and as one, strong  community unit, as well as county. I did not want to necessarily talk to our little one about this just yet, but it kind of just naturally unfolded. However, I did so in a way that was age appropriate and with love and respect to his little heart & mind.

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thanks for reading!

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June 2016, Latest & Greatest News

Preparing for Pre-K Graduation — A Look Back at Daycare

How is this day already here?!?! ~ Liam’s Pre-Kindergarten graduation is TOMORROW! I can hardly believe it. We are on the heals of ‘big boy school‘. Watching him evolve & grow throughout this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about this day & what it means for him and for our family. It really is such a huge milestone.

He has spent the last 4 years at the same daycare, and as I wrote in THIS post not that long ago, we really have entrusted his care & learning to the hands of the teachers & staff at his school. You have to advocate for your kiddos at this young age and trust your parental gut & heart. Also, I think it’s vital that you communicate with whomever is caring for them. That was vital for our family. Stephen & I couldn’t be there since we had to work. That’s why we chose daycare, but we still wanted to know what he was doing and learning. We didn’t just drop off & pick up. We stopped and greeted  his teachers and said hello. It makes a HUGE difference. They love your child like their own ❤

That said, I went through our memories over the last 4 years at Kids R Kids & pulled out some highlights 🙂


1st EVER day at school! …and, 1st time in a high chair & using a crayon & doing a craft project. All at a mere 4 months old. (I remember that my heart just about exploded when I saw this picture…so many firsts all at once!) ~ 12.16.11

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Another fun project while in the infant room ~ 3.13.12

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Class picture from the Infant Room ~ Suite 100 ….Look at the chunker in the middle front row!

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This pic was taken in June 2013, but this was of Liam reading a VERY special book — “Time For A Hug“. Our favorite teacher from the infant room, Ms. Kathy, gave it to him when he graduated from that room with her. We still have it ❤ …torn pages & all…lol!

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1st Water Day ~ Toddler Room, Suite 200 6.27.13

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Holiday’s have always been super fun at school. Valentine’s Day Party in Suite 150 ~ 2.14.13

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Class Picture from Suite 200 ~ 4.9.13

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When he moved to the other side of the building where all the Preschool Rooms were, we graduated to our 1st backpack. It will forever be called ‘giraffe backpack‘ around here, and while we stopped using it on a daily basis in Pre-K for space issues, I don’t think I can ever part with it…..Cuteness overload ❤ ❤ ~ 7.29.13 (1st day in Suite 250)

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Happiness is …Pajama Day, Suite 250 ~ 10.23.13

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Saying good-bye to one of the BEST teachers EVER. Ms Kathy!! ❤ ~ 11.23.13

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MLK art project excitement, Suite 250 ~ 1.22.14

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Celebrating another Valentine’s  with more of our fav teachers — Ms. Jenn & Ms. Tamie!! Cannot say enough about how much he loved his time with these ladies.  ~ 2.14.14

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Mardi Gra fun in Ms. Candice’s room, Suite 300 😉 …Ms. Candice is a saint & so kind for working with this mama bear through the trials of potty training! ~ 3.04.14

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So proud of his bird feeder project he made with Ms. Laura in Suite 350!  ~ 6.18.14

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He was only in Ms. Laura’s class for a few months but he still talks about her from time to time. She was a great teacher. She taught him to count to twenty in Spanish & he still remembers, today! ~ 8.14.14

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Liam’s 1st drawing that wasn’t ‘scribble scrabble’. I remember that I almost fell over when I saw this hanging up in his room. SO proud 🙂  ~ 1.29.15

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Last day with Ms. Dignora, Suite 400 for Preschool. She taught him to LOVE circle time & the days of the week song!  ~ 6.05.15

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Last June, Liam was excited to move back to the ‘big kids‘ building from the main center. We started early VPK for the summer in prep for VPK/Pre-K all year. It honestly was a harder transition on me than him (or Daddy…lol.) He flourished under the care & instruction of Ms. Samar! I like to peak at him from time-to-time on the camera access to see how his day is going, and sometimes, I really catch some hilarious tid bits. Here is one a snapped a screen shot of — he was ‘talking on the phone’ ….Love it!!, Early VPK, Suite 400EC ~ 6.18.15

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and then….VPK officially started! ~ 8.24.15

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A favorite art project from Pre-K — Family Tree Drawing ~ 9.15.15

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Circle time was seriously a fav for little dude. If we happened to go into school later on a given day than normal, he was adamant that he did not want to miss circle time. Love our little learner ❤ ~ 10.22.15

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All in blue in honor of World Diabetes Day // LOVES this playground …also Ms. Kaylee!  ~ 11.13.15

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Throughout his time here, we are thankful for the many opportunities for the parents to visit & be involved. We are also fortunate that are work schedules allow us to do this, too. While we Stephen & I normally swap events, this past Thanksgiving family lunch, we surprised little dude & both came ❤  ~ 11.25.15

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This was one of THE cutest productions ever. Liam performed his heart out & ate up the attention. All the kids & teachers did a wonderful job. It was adorable! — Pre-K Holiday Program ~ 12.17.15

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In-House field trip & the resulting painting was the coolest. Liam had a ball! — Yes, You CANvas ~ 12.23.15

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VPK brought on homework (or, extra activities) for the 1st time, but this little man tackled them each week like such a big boy. They always were family activities & they really helped reinforce what he was learning in the classroom. We also confirmed this year that he is a lefty, like his mama 🙂 ~ 1.16.16

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 VPK Garden — planting sunflower seeds with Ms. Samar– This activity was what sparked his interest in gardening and honestly, it lit a fire of interest that we love. We’ve now planted our own garden at home due to his request! ~ 3.11.16
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VPK — Another screen shot I grabbed because of cuteness overload. — Liam ‘reading’ to his class. I later asked him & he was turning the pages while they were listening the CD read the story…still impressive! ~ 4.11.16
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VPK Graduation Picture!!! ~ June 2016

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From December 2011 to June 2016 — oh, how far our sweet, sweet boy has come! ❤

Kindergarten bound now…..we can hardly believe it! Thank you to everyone who has loved him, hugged him, and taught him along the way. You have made a profound impact on our family, and we cannot thank you enough.

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Latest & Greatest News, May 2016

Catching Up

I mentioned in my previous post that through the craziness that is life, I’ve gone on a hiatus from blogging, so let’s try to catch up! We’ve definitely been busy these last few months….so, here are some highlights:

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At the beginning of March, Liam went on his very 1st field trip! It was to the movies with his class at Pre-K, and they saw Zootopia. He had a blast, but I have to tell you that his most favorite part of the entire experience was riding the school bus! The director took this pic of him before they left. She said his face lit up when they got on the bus & started pulling away. It was all he could talk about when I picked him up. They could have just drove around the block & he would have been thrilled. LOL! He has seen the daycare’s school bus for the last few years each day, and has always asked when he would get to ride it. So, you see, this was a BIG deal!

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Easter came early for us this year. It fell during the last weekend of March. We really love the Easter Bunny in Casa de Murphy & he brought lots of fun goodies for wee-man again this year ❤

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Liam woke up before the sun came up….although at bedtime, he cautiously asked if EB would be gone before he got up. He loves him but he does not want to see that gigantic guy….lol! Can’t really blame him for that…I think the mall EB’s have left an impression on him. However, all of that was forgotten when he woke up, and he was stoked as he went through his basket & checked everything out.

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The EB always hides eggs in the front yard & this year was no different. However, there was no deterring this 4 year old’s excitement. So…..we hunted eggs in the dark (before 7 a.m.) WITH a flash light. It was awesome!

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I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I wanted our little family to get back into church, as well as give this essential foundation to Liam, so he could build his own relationship with the Lord. I’m very happy to say that we found a wonderful church home early this year & it’s just been a blessing for us all. Service on Easter Sunday was great!

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Easter weekend was jammed packed for us! It also brought on Stephen’s BIG 40th Birthday! We always share Liam’s milestones, but this was definitely one for Daddy 😉

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Since his big day fell on a Friday, we had a yummy dinner out at Kobe with friends.

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The next day, we celebrated with our little guy ❤

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The festivities continued right after the weekend, as my mom flew in from North Carolina for a few days. Liam was so excited to see his Grammy, as we hadn’t visited with her since she moved up there last summer. It was a great time with her 🙂

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While she was down here, we spent the afternoon at Disney Springs. I hadn’t been out there in forever, and was really impressed with all the renovations & changes. We will definitely be back, again, soon!

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So fun that there are a few rides for the littles there now, too!

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In April, I had the pleasure of working alongside my fellow Orlando Moms Blog mamas for Bloom 2016. It was a great time & a huge success.

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Great information was shared for both new & expectant moms by several guests in our local community. We gathered at a local coffee shop downtown — Credo.

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City Moms Blog Network gave us these fab swag bags — LOVE THEM ❤

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Honored to be part of this team…..

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Are ya still with me? 🙂 ….We’re almost caught up!

At the beginning of this month {May}, we met up with our FABULOUS swim instructor, Ms. Katie Mosley from SwimSprout for our spring swim refresher lessons for Mr. Liam. If you’ve been following along with us over the last few years, then you know we’ve been swimming with them & Liam has been doing amazingly well in the water. Here’s a look back HERE and HERE. This season was no different, except that it will most likely be our last refresher with Ms. Katie, as Liam has been doing so well, and is now at a point with his muscle memory, that he is retaining his skill. So proud of him!

He has quickly gone from his basic swim-float-swim to jumping off the side of the pool & also diving for rings. We can already tell that this summer is going to be super fun poolside!

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Last, but certainly, not least, is an impromptu  dance performance little man graced us with after dinner over the weekend. I have laughed every time I have watched this. He loves to dance & is SO good at it. Love this kid!! I posted a snippet of this on IG & FB, but this is the full-length feature 🙂 ….Enjoy!!

Until next time, friends!

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February 2016, Latest & Greatest News

4.5 Years — Oh My!!

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was posting about how much fun we had at little man’s 4th birthday party? How are we already half way to 5?!?! Ya know that saying….”The Days Are Long, but the Years Are Short“? …well, it’s SO true! Don’t.Blink.

Keeping up with our photo tradition, here’s the latest of Liam with his teddy bear. You can catch up on all our previous monthly/yearly updates HERE.

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AGE: 4.5 years // 54 months

WEIGHT: approx. 42.6 lbs. (he was 41 lbs. at his 4 year check up)

HEIGHT: 42 1/4 inches – or – 3 ft. 5 1/4 inches (he’s grown an inch 1/4 since his 4 year check up at the end of August….WOW!!)

CLOTHES: We stayed pretty steady all of last year in 4T but I would say we are pretty strong into a growth spurt now & are quickly growing out of that size. I am now buying all  “big boy” size 5 or size XS. No more toddler clothes! He also just moved up a size in shoes and is now in size 11.5.

FAV FOODS: if we could buy stock in Publix popcorn chicken, we would. That’s a definite ‘go-to’ on days when we are short on time and he is a HUGE fan. He tends to be more of a snacker or likes smaller meals. He likes cereal, mandarin oranges, bananas, cheeze-its, cheese, and peanut butter sandwiches.

FAV WORDS/PHRASES: I should log a journal for all the hilarious things this little man says to Stephen and me. Seriously, some of comments that come out of his mouth are unbelievable. He really has the best sense of humor! If he sees we’re upset about something, he’ll say, “you get what you get and you don’t get upset“. Yes, admittedly it’s a sassy response & one that he most likely heard from a friend at school, but the 1st time he said it, I laughed so hard. It was SO unexpected. When he gets mad at us, he says “I’m not your friend anymore“, and likewise when he really wants you to do something for him, he says “Please, I’ll be your friend“. Ah, such persuasion.

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FAV ACTIVITIES: We recently re-modeled the office/playroom, so he loves to play in there with all of his Imaginext toys, superheros and cars. Watching & listening to his imaginary play is something I could do for hours, and of course, it’s super fun to join in & play with him. He also LOVES to listen to music and sing and dance. I still say he’s going to grow up and do something in the arts. His teachers at school say he was Latin rhythm and ask us where he gets it…HILARIOUS!!

DISLIKES: There’s not too much this little dude doesn’t enjoy. Since Pre-K started, I guess you could say he has not been the biggest fan of doing the structured writing activities and learning to write, in general. In a way, I don’t blame him, as I was kinda on the fence for how much is expected of our little 4 year olds, but I didn’t want him to fall behind. We encouraged him and have been careful to not push him…and, I’m really happy to say that he’s made remarkable grown since August. He has learned so much and it’s crazy to see how much his handwriting is improving. Very proud of this boy! /// On another dislike note, I have to say that this boy is JUST like his mama and completely dislikes waking up in the mornings unless he wakes up on his own. Poor Stephen! haha!! 🙂

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As I began writing this post last week, FB showed me these gems in the memories feed that we’ve been graced with lately. I don’t know about you, but I am so enjoying these blasts from the past. Such sweet, sweet memories ❤

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This photo captures the heart of our sweet boy. His pure joy. He asked to pose like this after we did the regular teddy bear pic, and how could I say no?

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Happy Half Birthday, Little Man!! — Mommy & Daddy love you so VERY much!

Until next time friends,

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January 2016, Latest & Greatest News

Winter Break

Over the last few weeks, not only did we enjoy the Christmas & New Year holidays, but Liam & I also enjoyed some time off of school & work. I am fortunate to work for an amazing university that closes at the holidays so I pull little man out of daycare to hang out with me, too. We wish Daddy could pal around with us, but he’s got an important job to do …and at least, we had the weekends & after work to play 🙂

Liam had really enjoyed riding his new bike and getting used to this “big boy ride”. He was zooming around the sidewalk in no time.

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We hit up Sea World on Christmas weekend to check out their holiday decorations.  The park really looked festive! We spent a lot of time this season checking out Christmas decorations and lights at various venues, and just driving through local neighborhoods. So fun!! I think we found a new tradition that we’ll continue in years to come. All of us thoroughly enjoyed it.

At the time, we thought this was going to be our last visit before our annual passes expired, as well as Liam’s Preschool Pass….BUT, the park JUST announced this week that the Preschool Pass is returning for 2016 so we may be going back again. It’s such a great deal 🙂

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One of things we were most excited to see this visit was the holiday update to the Wild Artic ride — for Christmas, it becomes The Polar Express Experience! This is one of Liam’s most favorite Christmas movies, and he was over the moon to see this 🙂 …it was such a cool ride! You really felt like you were on the train & in the movie.

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Watching  a clip of the movie before we “boarded”….

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All smiles & ready to do it again….

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New Year’s week, my Orlando Mom’s Blog team gave us the awesome opportunity to hang out at the Science Center for the afternoon. We had let our annual passes lapse over the summer, so it had been almost 6 months since we last visited. It was so fun to see my team members from OMB, and we also hung out with Aunt Heather & cousin Sierra. Such a fun afternoon. I literally had to drag Liam out of there after FIVE hours! 🙂 …this mama was wore out!

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We were thrilled to see the new additions to the Nature Works exhibit. The fish tanks are beautiful, and the kiddos loved picking up the different star fish and examining them. What a great experience for sensory learning!

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New Year’s Day, we took little dude to the local carnival. He had been asking & asking to go, so we caved. This same one comes around at the holidays each year, and honestly, it was surprising that Stephen & I had never been to it, ourselves, in the past. It was super fun!

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Can you tell that Liam is used to me taking pictures? 🙂 …cheese!!

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quick selfie while little man was driving a tractor in the background…ha!

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these two….driving bumper cars!

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We met up with Aunt Heather & cousin, Sierra again…these kiddos love hanging out together. I can only imagine what this pic will look like in about 12 years from now…when they REALLY want to take the car for a drive together . Lord help us! 🙂

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baby teacups!

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Seriously, this Ferris Wheel was GINORMOUS!! …My people rode it. I did NOT. I was freaking out while they rode it. Too big & too high for me. Liam loved it (of course!).

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It was a fun & restful break from work & school. I was able to get some things done around the house that I needed to, and Liam enjoyed playing with his new Christmas presents. I do think he missed his friends from school, though, and the structure/routine that he’s used to. I know after a while we did 🙂 …haha!

Until next time, friends

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December 2015, Latest & Greatest News

It’s Christmas Time!

I just love this time of the year — the decorations, the music, the smells, the traditions ❤ ….now, if we could only talk mother nature into giving us just a tad bit cooler weather here in the sunshine state, that would be swell 😉

As soon as we got back into town from my dad’s after Thanksgiving, we broke out the decorations & got busy making the house look festive. I have to say that having an excited 4 year old as a helper this year definitely made it extra fun 😉 — I think I said his name  &  ‘careful‘  & ‘just a minute‘ at least 100 times as he helped me take things out of our storage bins. He is SO excited for Christmas this year! We had to explain what “Christmas time” meant and that we didn’t jump from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas Eve in one shot. Ha!

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Placing the star on top is his favorite 🙂

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Our tradition is to welcome back the Elf on the Shelf once our tree is up & decorated. So, Mr Elf did fly back from the North Pole last Saturday night, but more on that next time!

He also was thrilled to have his Little Peoples Nativity Scene back. He happily played with that for a majority of the afternoon. Made my mama heart happy ❤

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Early last week, Liam was over the moon to find a letter in the mail from Santa, himself! He danced all the way down the walk way & into the house!

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We headed out to Light Up UCF for an impromptu meet up with Mimi & Aunt Heather & cousin Sierra after school last week. Unfortunately, it was raining, so the lights were off…BUT, they had reindeer there that night!!! SO COOL!! — Did you know their coats are water proof??

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He also got to ride the ice slide. He thought it was the greatest thing ever. Not to shabby for our Florida boy 😉

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Saturday, we were all excited for our 5th Annual Gingerbread Decorating Party! This has become such a fun tradition for us both as a family & for all of us as friends. LOVE IT ❤

For a look back at last year’s party, click HERE

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I asked him what his favorite part of the party was afterwards. He said “the candy” …..as in, eating it! Can’t tell, right?!?! Hahaha!!!

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All done!

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And, of course, let’s not forget what happened to poor last year’s masterpiece — lol!!

After the kids wrapped things up….the “big kids” (aka, Lisa & Stephen) went to town on their house. This has become these two crazies little tradition & let me tell you they take it pretty serious 🙂

At one point, when Stephen was helping Liam, I suggested a few things to add & I was told, “no, we’re saving that for later” — wow!!!

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I am in LOVE with this!! ❤ ….We haven’t always been fans of Santa pics (it is kinda intimidating, right?!?!) but he did it this year! When he was done, he was so proud of himself & so were we for conquering something that he was kinda scared of. He even said, “that wasn’t bad at all!” Love that little dude so very much! We celebrated with hot chocolate!

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Until next time!

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Latest & Greatest News, October 2015

Welcome October!!

1st week of October is in the books! Yes, this family is excited 🙂 …I think I saw it posted somewhere last week that as of October 1st there were 30 days until Halloween, 58 days until Thanksgiving, and 85 days until Christmas. I’m ready for it! I love this time of the year ❤

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We brought the fall decorations down from the attic & Liam was thrilled to help me put them up. I like to put up fun Halloween decos for October and then switch it up to more general pumpkin, turkey, and fall-leaved themed things for November.

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We have some fun family activities planned over the next few weeks, so that always helps to keep us in the holiday spirit….even when the temperatures here in FL make us sometime question it 😉

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We kicked things off a few weeks back with a trip to Legoland. I had scored us an awesome promo deal for tickets through the Children’s Home Society of FL …we literally all got into the park for less than a full price ticket at the gate. So awesome!! Best of all, a portion of what we paid for went to their agency.

Loved seeing the cool Halloween Lego displays throughout the park! Can you see little dude’s head peaking out of the big pumpkin Lego below? 🙂

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We were uber excited this visit because little man was tall enough to ride a few of the “bigger kid” rides. He chose ‘Merlin’s Challenge’ — a mini Himalaya flat ride. I think the smile on his face tells you how much he enjoyed it 🙂 …this mama actually got dizzy…lol!!

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Since starting Pre-K, Liam has had some enjoyable events at school, as well. The 1st was Pirate Week, which ended with a fun Pirate Parade. We squeezed him into his ‘Jake & the Neverland Pirates’ costume to wear for it. Seriously, he was THE cutest!! They also had Community Helpers Week, and had special visitors to the school from Dr’s, Police Officers, and the Fire Dept. He LOVED it.

I’m not sure how/when it started, but Liam frequently asks me to tell him a story when he’s falling asleep about Super Hero Liam and Super Dog Timber. So, I try to be a ‘cool mom’ and make up fantastic stories of these great adventures that he & Timber go on. It definitely challenges my creativity and story telling skills 😉 ….then, one day at school, we see this neon plastic guy with a dog. Clearly, I know it’s designed to flag parents to slow it down through the parking lot…..however, my child immediately says, “Mommy, it’s superhero Liam & super dog Timber! They are at my school!” He was thrilled! I thought it was hilarious that is what he thought of when looking at them. So….we took a picture. And, each time we see these guys, he says hello to his new friends. LOL! One day, I will definitely tell him this story 🙂

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In other news, we went to a good friend’s birthday party at a local Sports Complex last weekend….and yes, even in hot & sunny FL, we ice skated. Liam was overjoyed!! I, on the other hand, ….could not move the next day 😛

It really was so fun, though, and I am happy that I could introduce him to something I loved to do as part of my upbringing in New England. Next time, we’ll hopefully convince Daddy to get out there with us!

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 Until next time, friends!

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Latest & Greatest News, September 2015

Welcome to Pre-K

Hard to believe, but we are finishing up our 1st month of Pre-Kindergarten over here. We have always referred to daycare as “school” around our house, and now, we are in the “big kids school” 😉 … At Liam’s school, the Pre-K Department is housed in an entirely separate building from the rest of the daycare, so he really does feel extra special and more grown-up now. It’s been a whole new experience for all of us, and more than anything, we are just happy that he is enjoying it & continuing to thrive.

To help with this transition to Pre-K, the school put the kids back with their new teachers at the beginning of the summer. At first, I have to admit that I was leary of this decision…..mainly, it was my mama heart not wanting him to reach this stage yet. But, we can’t hold them back now can we? 🙂 — He did AWESOME over the summer & both Stephen and I absolutely LOVE his new teacher. We have seen so many changes already. It’s incredible how fast they grow — independence, the “i can do it myself” is really there now, he’s learning to write letters & numbers, he brings art projects home & sometimes we see him do things we had no idea he could do (like coloring inside the lines)….SO COOL!

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Liam really connected with his teacher, Ms. Samar, over the summer, and we’re looking forward to a great year ahead with her. With that said, I wanted to do something extra special to start off his Pre-K year and express our excitement for this milestone. Thus, I took to Pinterest and found some ideas for creating a “Back to School Kit”. My ideas came from several different sites so I cannot credit just one person, but I will tell you that this is not my original idea….I put it all together from other mamas with similar interests in mind ❤

All of the items were purchased from my fav spot, Target, and all were $1 or just at that price range….so, it definitely did not break the bank. If you decide to do something similar you can make your “kit” as large or small as you wish! The basket I used to put it all in was also from the Target Dollar Spot! — score!

This basket I created was featured as part of the Fall / Back-to-School Issue of The Moms Magazine. You can check it out here.

BTS Teacher Kit

I was anticipating the 1st day of Pre-K to be hectic, as we knew that there would be many new friends starting that Monday. So, we opted to deliver Ms. Samar’s basket on the Friday before. It worked out perfectly because that was the “End of the Summer” party day 🙂 ….here’s a quick pic I snapped of Liam holding it just before we headed to school (can you tell he was THRILLED with me for this photo op?….LOL!)

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When putting the kit together, I had decided to make it fun and a little campy, so each of my items had a specific meaning. I wanted Liam’s teacher to know why we chose each item, so I put this fun list with descriptions inside the basket.

MsSamarBTS

Since we made such a big deal out of starting Pre-K, I wanted to also do something special for Liam’s 1st day. Let’s not forget the excitement we all felt getting ready for a new school year, and the butterflies we had in our bellies. So, for him, I made a “Back to School Celebration Kit” Again, I found this from various ideas on Pinterest, and it is designed to be easy & budget friendly.

I put the items in a sandwich size ziploc bag and hid it in his backpack. On the drive to school that 1st morning, I told him I put something special in his backpack. He could look at it when he got to school, if he wanted to, but he couldn’t open it up until I picked him up. That made him smile so big 🙂 …he was very excited!!  Since Liam is not old enough to read yet, I didn’t make an insert like I did for his teacher’s basket. Instead, I just talked about why I gave him each item. I think it made for a good conversation piece for us after school, as it was one of the 1st things he asked about after pick up.

For this kit, here’s what I put in & what each item meant:

Glow stick: to remind you to always share your bright ideas

Eraser: to let you know that it’s okay to make mistakes. That’s how we learn!

Stickers: to remind you that we are family & we always stick together

Pencil: to let you know that you are going to learn SO much this year

Starburst: to let you know that you are always a star

Chocolate Hugs: to remind you that your new teacher cares about you & is excited to have you in her class this year

Lifesavers: Mommy & Daddy are here to help you. Don’t be afraid to come to us if you need anything.

BTS Celebration Kit

One of my favorite things is walking into Liam’s classroom & seeing the art projects they worked on that day hanging on the wall or {now} the letters & numbers they practiced writing that day. He is also VERY proud to lead us over by hand & point out his work <3.

Here is his ‘self-portrait’ that he did during his 1st week. When he was showing it to me, he was like, “aww, I forgot my arms” ….haha! Love him!

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If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw his 1st family portrait that he did recently. We were blessed with this fabulous art project that he did at school just this week. It’s his family tree & it is just the cutest!! I love that he included all 3 of us, including our dog, Timber (at the bottom). He even noted to me that he drew red AND brown apples on the tree. So creative!

Family Tree Art

Another new experience for us is “extra activities” that are sent home to work on during the week. To get ready for what’s to come down the road, we’ve been calling it ‘homework’. Now, don’t get me wrong….this is not in any way a time consuming task. Trust me, a 4 year old’s attention span cannot handle it. It’s also not something he is penalized for. It’s just good extra practice to help reinforce what they are learning about for that week’s lessons, and it also helps us parents be engaged in his learning. Stephen & I decided to divide up what is sent home each Monday (it’s due back on Friday), so little man really only spends about 5 minutes working. It’s tasks like tracing letters & numbers and coloring shapes.

homework

2015-09-03_Liam Coloring Art

Switching gears a little bit —

We recently also had little dude’s 4 year check up! Good times!

He is currently 41 lbs & 3 ft. 4 inches. That’s 2 1/5 inches taller since last year & up 4 lbs., as well. Definitely growing like a weed, as he should be, but thankful that he is super healthy.

He was a trooper during his check up & even got his blood pressure taken like a big boy this time. I had asked him if he wanted to sit on either me or Daddy’s lap & he said, no….so independent 😉

Since his birthday is later in the summer and at this time next year, we will be prepping to start Kindergarten (gah, don’t even get me started!…lol!) we opted to do his 5-year booster vaccinations this year. Can you believe we’ll be thinking about Kindergarten registration in the Spring???? Anyhow, his doctor told us he is now done with vaccinations until middle school. WOW! 

4yr checkup

Our little man is growing up SO FAST right before our eyes. We cherish every second with this dude — he is such a blessing & so full of love! Looking forward to a fantastic year ahead as we venture through Pre-Kindergarten!!! 🙂

Pre_K Post

Until next time, friends!

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August 2015, Latest & Greatest News

A Splashing Good Time

Last Saturday, we gathered together to celebrate our little man’s 4th birthday. Very early into the planning, he declared he wanted an Avengers party, so I was excited to find this invitation on Etsy.

The shop I worked with is called, Cupcake Tops. Now thru Sept. 30th, use code: casademurphy and you can receive 20% off any purchase of $5 or more in their shop 🙂

Bday Party Invite

Liam LOVES to swim & play at splash parks, so we thought it would be fun to have his party at the Oviedo Splash Zone — part of the Oviedo Aquatic Facility. Basically, it’s like a playground in about 1 ft. of water. SO MUCH FUN for all!!

When we booked the party, we chose the morning time slot, as we thought there would be virtually no chance of Florida showers that early. Well…..Murphy’s Law — it stormed AND poured for literally the week & a half prior to and days after the party. I’m talking HEAVY rain peeps. Poor Tampa was under a state of emergency there was so much rain. I just kept praying it would let up for those few hours. We had no back up plan. Driving to the park, it started to sprinkle — I was less than thrilled, but Liam was so positive (as always). He said, “it’s okay Mommy. Sprinkles are not bad :)”. Love him! We were blessed as the rain stopped AND the sun came out. The weather was beautiful for the entire party ❤ …..and then, it poured again as soon as we got home….LOL!!

I have a lot of pictures to share, so be warned that this post is long 😉

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This is one of my fav shots of the morning. I have to tell you that Liam was a little stinker throughout the party, and almost every time I asked him to pose quickly for a pic, he said ‘no’ or ‘after cake’ or made a face. We had to work HARD for this shot!

2015-08-01_Liam Birthday Party 1

Knowing that we would be doing a water party with lots of kiddos, I thought cupcakes would be best & most easy to manage. Publix came through like champs with these! I gave them little direction, and we were thrilled with the end result. They even surprised us with these fun rings as toppers.

2015-08-01_Liam Birthday Party 5

We had a table set up under a ginormous umbrella. Again, so fun! Perfect for shade from the sun or rain. Since it was a morning party, we opted for breakfast snacks and coffee for parents. Thanks to Dunkin’ Donuts for coming to the rescue! I called ahead and we walked in just before the party, and they had our whole order ready to go. HUGE time saver!

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How awesome was this park? The kids {and adults} thoroughly enjoyed themselves!

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Cute mushroom!

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Liam & his cousin, Sierra ❤

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The orange slides were a definite hit with all the kiddos.

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It was SO hard to get any kind of a group shot. Even this is not the best pic of all 3 of these guys, but this is Liam with his bestie, Kenadie and a pal from school, Jase.

2015-08-01_Liam Birthday Party 10

Again….couldn’t get all to cooperate, but still so cute 🙂

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Here’s a quick clip of Liam & friends playing…..

Amidst the craziness of the party, I completely forgot to take a pic of the box of favors I put together for the kids. However, I had taken this pic at home beforehand, so I had some saving grace. I was pretty pleased with how they turned out. I found the favor tags from an Etsy shop called ICandyEvents. The shop owner was awesome to work with & customized the tag for me.

I put a few of Liam’s fav things in there — glow sticks, stickers, temporary tattoos, and a ring pop. All superhero themed, of course!

Goodie Bag

Shortly before the party ended, we pulled everyone out of the water to do cake & sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to the birthday boy. You can see below just how happy he was that we made him get out & stop playing….hahaha!!! 🙂

2015-08-01_Liam Birthday Party 6

2015-08-01_Liam Birthday Party 7

We had such an awesome time celebrating Mr. Liam. Thank you to all who came out to have fun with us!

Happy 4th Birthday, Liam Michael — you are one LOVED little man ❤

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Until next time, friends!

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