Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog

Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog

Kansas City, family city. Throughout the year, kid-friendly exhibits are featured at the Crown Center Showplace, located on the first level next to the Coterie Theater, The best news? THEY'RE FREE! If you aren't local to the Kansas City area, Hallmark's Crown Center is a three-story boutique wonderland connects via skywalk to LEGOLAND Discovery Center, SEA LIFE Aquarium, Union Station, Science City, the Westin Conference Center and more. Right now, Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog is there until September 22. Put together by the Minnesota Children's Museum with the help of Scholastic, visitors get an opportunity to explore Birdwell Island (by ferry, if you so choose) and meet its community. Help the Elizabeth family water their flower bed and fill Clifford's dog bowl. When you're doing, you can play bongos at Emily Elizabeth's backyard theater and even dress up in a costume. Explore tunnels with Cleo or make...Read More
Reila Turns Two

Reila Turns Two

I'm not one for memorizing poems, but Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote one I'll never forget: There was a little girl, Who had a little curl,Right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, She was very good indeed.But when she was bad she was horrid. My Nana recited it to me when I was a little girl and now, it's my turn to share it with Reila as she enters her "terrible twos." Turn your back and she'll overcome any obstacle course you've put between her and the Paw Patrol fruit snacks, chew through hot dog packaging in the grocery cart or bellyflop on the ground. Despite her incredible vocabulary, her favorite word is "No," which she says over and over again. But all those typical two-year-old behaviors aside, watching Rei explore and navigate the world around her has been so much fun. Not to mention enjoying her...Read More
Is a Baby Swing Necessary?

Is a Baby Swing Necessary?

I was flooded with a torrential downpour of sympathy from my family back east when I told them I was expecting again with baby Asena. Besides asking if it was an accident or how many more kids I planned to have, all they could talk about was how much work taking care of a second baby would be and how full my hands already were with three dogs and Reila. Politely, I reminded them our sweet Rei of Sunshine is now a toddler – not a baby. My Nana insisted children are babies until they're three years old. Whatever, Nana. When I picture a "toddler," its a child between the ages of one and maybe four years old. But there was no point arguing with someone who successfully raised four human resources of her own to adulthood and has lived long to meet her great, great grandchildren. Respect your elders....Read More
Meet Asena!

Meet Asena!

Asena (just a few hours old) wearing a bonnet my great, great grandmother crocheted for mePHOTO CREDIT: Taylre Pearson Photography There's a new, tiny human being laying on my lap in a fuzzy, pink, zip-up sack as I type this. She has ten itsy-bitsy spidery fingers, ten tiny toes and sweet, milky breath. When I look at her, my heart feels fluffy and light – like cotton candy. In fact, life itself feels all fluffy and light since she made her debut despite all the diaper changing. I guess you could say she makes me melt and that's why I'm so excited to introduce you to this little girl my family waited so long to meet. Her name is Asena (uh-SEE-nuh) and we welcomed her into this world on Groundhog Day. She's my little moonack, although Spennie calls her Sea for short. Seeing how Reila has a bazillion nicknames from...Read More
Mommy Hiatus

Mommy Hiatus

Our beautiful baby girl, Asena. Moony Musing readers may have noticed my daily 5 AM posts have been irregular this February. Just look at the dates for yourself and see what I mean. But don't worry, I am doing fabulous and things are getting back to normal (whatever that means) so I decided to share the wonderful news: Spennie and I had another baby! Our second daughter, Asena, was born February 2, 2019, at 1:10 PM in the comfort of our own home. Two wonderful Kansas City midwives – Cheryl Gilman and Nicole Green – were in attendance as well as my sister and father-in-law, who did a great job entertaining our 18-month-old daughter, Reila, when she wasn't checking in on me. Click here to find out why I chose home birth with both my pregnancies. I'll save the details for a pregnancy-specific blog post but labor was only six...Read More
50 Hours, No Power

50 Hours, No Power

NO LIGHT January 12 started off like any other Saturday. I got out of bed before my sweet husband to take an undisturbed shower, got my one-year-old, Reila, changed when I heard her wake up, prepared breakfast and called my Nana. "A light dusting," local meteorologists predicted before the snow started falling the previous night. It was the first snow of the year and only the second of the season. But it was already up to my dogs' ankles when they came back inside from taking care of their morning business. And then, the power went out. It was 11:00 AM. Reila was in the middle of a bath when the lights flickered and went off. With our guest bathroom is in the middle of our upstairs floorplan, it has no windows to bring in natural light. "Hey, did the power just go out?" I hollered to Spennie, who was...Read More
2019 Resolutions, 2018 Review

2019 Resolutions, 2018 Review

Can you believe it's already January again? Time flies when you're having fun. My website is still alive but now, it's time to thrive. Here's to success for all of us in the new year! Just like last year's Resolutions & Review post, our family had a smashing Christmas and I'm typing this in my brand new pocketed pajama pants complete with a royal blue fleece-lined hoodie and the most amazing memory foam, cloud-walking slippers I've ever owned. All I wanted for Christmas is to be comfy and I got it! 2018 was a great year, all in all. Spennie and I had so much fun during our first full year of parenting, especially with our unlimited free admission as Friends of the Kansas City Zoo. Reila has grown so fast and has around 30 words in her vocabulary now. She took her first steps mid-December but is cautious and...Read More
Glow: The Magic of Nature 2018

Glow: The Magic of Nature 2018

Looking for a fun, family-friendly Halloween event to get you out, into that crisp, autumn air – sans jump scares and screaming? Take a trip to Powell Gardens for Glow: The Magic of Nature.  For two nights every fall, the gardens turn into a one-mile walk lit by jack o' lanterns and other artfully carved pumpkins – all thanks to local volunteers. Admission is $12 per adult (unless you're a member), $10 for seniors and $5 for children between the ages of 5 and 12. This includes access to activities like decorating your own bag for trick-or-treating and crafting a magic wand hosted inside a giant, centrally located tent complete with a DJ, bar and surrounding food trucks. Hayrides were also available for an additional $5 fee. Upon entering the gardens, you'll find yourself in the Grand Hall – a Harry Potter inspired hangout for warlocks, witches, and wizards alike complete with owls...Read More
7 Tips to Avoid the 7-Year Itch

7 Tips to Avoid the 7-Year Itch

Spencer and I just celebrated our seven-year anniversary yesterday and it was unlike any other. They've all been unique but this one was really special. We were bummed because Spence knew he would have to work that day. Usually, we take our anniversary off but hey, a job is a job and him being at work meant I could get some transcription done, too. This was our first anniversary with the little lady, Reila, in tow which added to the magic for both of us. She's gone everywhere with us since she was three days old and we love having her along for the adventure. I won't go into how beautiful and sacred the process of creating life is but every day is brighter than before now that she's in the world.  Before coming home from work, Spencer handpicked seven roses for me. Roses are the only thing I want for romantic...Read More
Reila’s First Birthday

Reila’s First Birthday

Measure time through the growth of your little one and you'll find it flies even faster, thanks to all the fun. For two months, Spencer and I discussed plans for Reila's first birthday but all that planning didn't alleviate the shock of it already arriving when we woke up on August 20. I know Rei won't remember her family and friends gathered together, giggling as she stuffed her face with the lion cake Nana made while dancing to The Steve Miller Band's Book of Dreams. But that's okay. It was a celebration of her life. A few hours of partying to honor the little babe who effortlessly turns strangers into friends and brings joy to everyone around her with her big smiles and little waves. My grandparents even road tripped to Kansas City all the way from Massachusetts with their friends to celebrate their great-granddaughter's big day. I mean, who can blame...Read More