We’re Moms Too: When our date night became family night

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Written by Ashley

Long gone are the days when my husband and I could just get up and go out to a nice dinner, play a few rounds of pool, kick back at the bowling alley, or even go see a movie (I haven’t stepped foot in a movie theater in nearly two years). But it’s still important to make time for my marriage, even with a little peanut at home (maybe even more so).

A few months back, a new grocery store opened up in our neighborhood. This wasn’t just any ‘ole food center – this was the cream of the crop supermarket that had a full blown bar, made-to-order pizzas, a gelato counter, and even flew in bagels from the Bronx daily. This place was awesome.

We first ventured there out of pure necessity. We needed to pick up something on a Friday night and ended up finding out that every Friday night is wine tasting night (yes, please) with live music. We ordered dinner and sat down in the dining area, which featured beautiful dark wood furniture and black leather couches. The little one snacked on some puffs and enjoyed people watching. It was a successful night that ended with a movie rental from Redbox.

After that night, it became our Friday routine. We merged the need for date night with the reality of our growing family and turned Friday into family night.

Fast forward 3 months, we still spend our Friday nights at the supermarket, tasting new foods, picking up a box of popcorn (and a 6-pack), and renting a movie for after our daughter falls asleep.  It’s certainly a change from the days sans kids (I mean, let’s be honest; we spend Friday nights at the grocery store). But it’s special for us and something the three of us look forward to. It’s much different with a little one now, but it’s different in a good way.

It’s the new normal; and it’s perfect.

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WM2_AshleyAbout Ashley
Ashley is a self-proclaimed fashionista, social media maven, and proud new mama. Together with her husband, they welcomed their first child last August. They also have a fur-baby named Peak, an 80-lb. yellow lab whom they adopted during a ski trip in Denver. She is the Social Media Manager at Step2 and you may have recently communicated with her if you’ve chatted with Step2 on Facebook or Twitter.

Family Goal Setting

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The New Year is like a fresh start and as adults we often come up with a list of goals and resolutions that we look forward to accomplishing. Last year, we created a list of resolutions that we wished our little ones would make. As funny as the list was, what if we actually helped our children to set goals for the New Year? Even better, what if we set goals as a family?

First, children must understand what goals are. Goals are something people work toward. For example, some athletes may want to get better at scoring points and some artists may want to become better at painting.

Creating goals together will help children to learn responsibility and ownership for their actions. Also, setting these goals together will build a strong family unit that does not let one another quit or give up on what they intend to accomplish.

Thanks to Breezy Mama and Notes on Parenting, we have compiled a list that will help you and your little ones create realistic goals for 2014:

  • Age appropriate goals: Think of activities your little ones can do based on their age. For example, younger kids can try to put their toys away at least three times a week. Not only will kids be cleaning (which is always a plus!), but they will be learning how to count by the amount of times they clean up their playroom or bedroom each week.  No matter what age your children are, work together to find a goal that they can achieve and learn from.
  • Opportunity to lead: Give your children a chance to make their own goals. What do they think they need to work on? What is it that they think you, as a parent, can work on? These goals can be silly or serious; either way, they will help both you and your children realize that everyone has something they can work on.
  • Have a family goal: Whether that goal is eating more veggies or more active play time, partake in this goal together. There should also be a prize once this goal is achieved – maybe a trip to the zoo or your family’s favorite park.
  • Goal tracker: Make a chart that you can fill with stars. Each time someone in your family accomplishes a goal, put a star next to their name.  After there are a certain amount of stars on the chart, a celebration is in order! Have a family party to congratulate everyone on all their hard work.

Have fun completing your goals together in 2014! Do you have any tips on how to create and achieve goals as a family for the New Year? What is your goal for 2014?

Thoughtful Thursday: Teddy Drive

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As a child, waking up to presents on Christmas Day is an incredible feeling of excitement and love. Six-year-old Garrett Tews believes that every child deserves to feel that type of love and excitement, even if they don’t get to spend Christmas at home. That is why for the second year in a row, he has donated teddy bears and other stuffed animals to the UAMC Diamond Children’s and Tucson Medical Center.

Last year, Garrett rounded up 150 stuffed animals to give to the children at the two hospitals. This year, the amount he collected has doubled! To collect so many stuffed animals, Garrett went to local businesses and placed boxes where people could leave new stuffed animals for the patients.

Garrett says he wants to keep giving to the children at the hospitals each and every Christmas. This Thursday, we thank Garrett for his generosity and devotion to making others smile.

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Copyright: Darci L. Slaten

Thoughtful Thursday: Sign Language Performace

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Christmas time is here and that means that holiday concerts are in full swing at most schools. There is nothing quite like hearing hundreds of gleeful children sing the classic songs dedicated to the holidays.

Five-year-old Claire Koch is a child of two deaf parents. Although Claire’s parents could not hear her perform at the holiday concert, she found a way to make sure they were able to listen to the show.  As a surprise to her parents, Claire performed the whole show in sign language.  Her parents were in awe by Claire’s thoughtful gesture and amazing recital.

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This Thoughtful Thursday, we applaud Claire on her terrific performance!

Here is just a preview of the songs Claire performed in sign language:

Also, check out HuffPost Live’s interview with Claire and her parents: