Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sending a Huggies #UltraHug to the Mother's Milk Bank of Austin!

Huggies has recently partnered with Walmart and to share the love by giving ten $2,000 grants to local community organizations or projects that are near and dear to your heart! Having purchased Huggies Snug & Dry Ultra Diapers for most of the last five and a half years, and trusting both the brand and the products, I knew I immediately wanted to participate in the campaign, and took this selfie to share my #ultrahug and my love for the Mother's Milk Bank of Austin:

If there are any causes near and dear to my heart, breastfeeding is certainly at the top of the list. Having nursed both of my children for a collective four years of my life (and counting!), and having donated milk to infants in need when I was able, I feel strongly about the work that the Mother's Milk Bank of Austin does in our community. With one in eight babies born prematurely, and with fewer than half of mothers of premature babies able to provide exclusive breastmilk for these babies, breastmilk donations are of the utmost importance. These most fragile infants are the ones who stand to benefit the most from breastmilk, given its immune properties and antibodies - and the Mother's Milk Bank of Austin works hard to recruit donors, pasteurize the milk for safety, and distribute it to fragile infants in and around Texas! That's why I nominate them for one of Huggies and Walmart's $2,000 grants!

Do you feel passionate about a cause or project within your community that you think Huggies should know about? Share the love and nominate them by posting a selfie with the hashtag #ultrahug on both Twitter and Instagram, and you could be one of the ten winners! Who would you nominate? 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

'In My Own Backyard': A Review.

I had the opportunity to be at the opening of Pollyanna Children's Theatre's 'In My Own Backyard' at The Long Center this morning with Jack, and I am so incredibly glad we went! I was a bit anxious about the performance initially, as Jack is currently in an I'm-scared-of-absolutely-everything phase, but it went swimmingly!

Once we arrived, we waited with other families out in the lobby, where the children were able to play with stuffed animals and color on white butcher paper. Though we didn't wait very long before one of the performers - Nathaniel Reed - came on with his guitar and ushered us into the room, Jack was perfectly content to sit and color in the meantime:

 Once the guitar player/facilitator led us into the room, we were handed a program with suggestions on how to continue the learning and engagement at home, as well as some guidelines for theatre for very young and/or first time theatergoers. One of the things that really stood out to me, and gave me comfort as the mother of an energetic toddler boy, was that the program said specifically that this was a "no-shhing" production. Sure, try to keep your children from screaming and being actively disruptive, but talking with them quietly about what they're seeing and what is happening, and allowing them to point and say some of the concepts being illustrated ("in", "out", etc) was encouraged. I think there was a collective sigh of relief amongst the mothers in the audience when we read this! One of the biggest barriers to taking children to see performances is in the expectations associated and fear of how they might behave like, well, children, so to have that removed and to know that it was alright for my son to act his age set such a positive and relaxed tone for the experience.

As if that tone was felt by Jack, too, my usually uncertain and nervous baby was completely relaxed and engaged in the production, interacting with the characters when invited to and joining them on "stage" with the other children - something I was not expecting but pleasantly surprised to see!

The cast was exceptional, as well, with the actors great at engaging the children and reaching out to those who might need a bit of encouragement (*cough* Jack *cough*)! He really responded to their welcoming and inviting manner, as you can see:

'In My Own Backyard' runs through Saturday, with shows everyday at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the AT&T Room at The Long Center. Tickets are available at the event, or you can purchase them ahead of time here.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Pollyanna Children's Theatre Presents "In My Own Backyard".

We've seen several Pollyanna Children's Theatre productions over the past few years, and have loved them all. Still, it's difficult to find entertainment that can engage my older child and yet still be appropriate for my energetic toddler, a struggle that I feel a lot of families out there face. Enter: Theatre for the Very Young (TVY) at Pollyanna Theatre.

This week, Pollyanna Children's Theatre presents 'In My Own Backyard': An Interactive Theatre Experience for Very Young Children. From their website:

‘In My Own Backyard’ was created to engage children as early as 18 months - 4 years of age through a visual theatre style performance and dramatic play alongside the actors. It is classified as ‘Theatre for the Very Young’ (TVY) - an umbrella term often used to describe a variety of theatre work and practices intentionally designed for children under the age of six and the first professional premiere of theatre of this type in Austin.

The play, written by playwright Bethany Lynn Corey, will debut at the AT&T Conference Room at the Long Center on Wednesday, June 10th, with showings at 9:30 and 11:00 Wednesday - Saturday, June 13th. It tells the story of ‘Squig’ and ‘Lolly’ at a backyard picnic, where they find common picnic objects inside of a picnic basket. Using their imaginations, they reinterpret the objects as playthings; musical instruments, frisbees and different animals and objects that may be found in a backyard. As the two childlike characters play and create, they deal with issues of sharing, caring and playing fair as would any set of friends.

Get your tickets online, at Pollyanna Theatre Company, or by calling (512) 743-7966, and be amongst the first to experience this breakthrough theatre experience for young children! I cannot wait to take my toddler for a mommy/son date!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

UncommonGoods Kids Quotes Contest!

If your kids are anything like mine, surely they say things that make you either crack up or cringe on a regular basis. My children have given me enough material for both stand-up comedy and therapy, and judging by my Facebook newsfeed, I'm certain my friend's kids are equally as hysterical. That's why I'm excited to tell you about how to enter UncommonGood's Kids Quote contest here. From now through May 31st, submit your child's funny or otherwise adorable quote for a chance to win a piece of custom wall art displaying their quote. Though we've all had the experience of our child saying something highly inappropriate at the wrong time (always funnier in retrospect than it was at the time, am I right?), your submission needs to be PG and kid-friendly. Chances are, if you're comfortable with it hanging on your wall for eternity, it qualifies :)

My favorite recent quote from my five-year-old daughter, Ava, was during communion on Easter Sunday. She likes to wait until the absolute quietest part of the service to say or do anything remotely questionable, so naturally as soon as it went silent for communion, Ava said (very loudly, I might add!), "Wine is my FAVORITE part of church!" Oh, super. Thankfully our Rector has a good sense of humor and just barely stifled her laughter. Out of the mouths of babes, right?

I'd love for you to enter to win the custom wall art, and share with me here in the comments your favorite quote from one of your kids! While you're perusing the goodies, check out the other personalized home decor available here. Good luck!

If you're not yet familiar with UncommonGoods, there are many worthwhile things to know about them and their mission as a company. For example, as an independently-owned Brooklyn business, they have the creative license to feature unique and one-of-a-kind products, with a focus on those that positively impact the world. Furthering this mission of conscientiousness, they also partner with several not-for-profit organizations, such as RAINN, Reach Out & Read, Women for Women International, and American Forests, and give $1 from each purchase to your choice. Shopping you can feel good about - what's not to like about that combination?

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Touch-A-Truck Returns May 9!

Returning from its one year hiatus, Touch-a-Truck is a family-friendly event that hosts a wide variety of vehicles for kids of all ages to play on, while learning about the automobiles and how they help to serve their communities. Featured vehicles have included firetrucks, police cars, motorcycles, school buses, recreational vehicles, ambulances, and more!

Other features include live music, a local Austin favorite ‘Food-Truck Food Court’ and a Kid Zone complete with a petting zoo, face painting, barrel-train rides and much more.

Touch-A-Truck is a fun way for families to bond as their children explore vehicles they have seen in movies, books, or just driving down the street. More importantly, however, the event raises funds for essential programs within Austin Children's Services. Please join us as we welcome community leaders, families, children, youth to the Annual Austin Children's Services Touch-A-Truck.

Saturday, May 9 from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
*VIP Admission from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM – Includes breakfast!
Located at Camp Mabry, 2210 W. 35th St. Austin
Tickets available here and are $5 for general admission, and $20 for VIP admission, which includes breakfast and early admission.

You can learn more about the event and see photos from previous events by visiting Touch-a-Truck’s .

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