Tag Archives for " Kids "

Plano Mom, Rachael tells us about her Exponential Life

An Exponential Life

Kids are loud, crazy, messy, adorable little monsters. But something happens when you have more than one. Everything grows at an exponential rate. I have four little boys – oldest almost 7, a 5-year-old, a 22-month-old, and an 8-month-old – and nothing is just 4x [fill in the blank]. It’s more like 40x. Everything is bigger.

And that includes…

ILLNESS.

Take a journey with me to a time not so long ago. Last week.

It actually started the previous week I came down with what I thought was just a severe sore throat. I didn’t go to the doctor because, well, #momlife and who has the time or money for that anyway?

So, I’m kicking butt, as we moms do, and was diligent in not kissing the boys – which was really hard because I’m that mom that smothers her kids in hugs and kisses.

plano moms rachael and son

 

Anyway! I’m doing great, on the mend, things are looking up. Until Friday night, when… I accidentally kissed my oldest on the lips.

I then sealed my fate with, “Oh, I’m sure it’ll be fine!”

I KNOW!! What was I thinking?! Murphy and his law immediately knocked on my door.

And so the tale of Exponential Sickness begins.

Saturday:

Oldest wakes up congested, but I figure it’s just allergies. We go to the first soccer game of the season and he’s a little sluggish, but he’s moved up an age level – we figured it was just the larger fields. Buuuut then we get home and he’s on fire. 104 degree temp. Commence cold shower, meds, and rest. Fever comes down. Ok, cool. We got this.

Sunday:

Still sick with fever, though not nearly as high. No church.

Monday:

Doctor’s appointment reveals oldest has strep. YAY! Start antibiotics. Doc says he can return to school on Wednesday.

Tuesday:

Second oldest comes home from school and sleeps for 3 hours. Has a low grade fever. Go to doctor for strep swab. It comes back negative. “It’s just allergies with a severe cold on top,” says Doc, “but we’ll send off the culture to be sure. I’m sure he’s fine!”

Meanwhile I’m over here like:

rachael plano momsAt this point I see the writing on the wall. There’s no sense in denying it anymore. We’ve been infested and it’s only a matter of time before more of my tiny comrades fall.

Wednesday:

Everyone to school on meds.

Thursday:

Mommy goes off to a meeting and two youngest stay with sitter. I text her and she hits me back with “Sorry, I was changing #3’s blowout.” Another one down.

Naptime. Sweet silence. Until the phone rings. “Hi Rachael. Calling because #2 has a 103 temperature.”

[Heavy sigh] “Okay. I’ll be there in a bit. I have to wake up the babies.”

Change disgusting diaper and off to get Bubba. And then I hear it.

Heave SPLATT

My poor little toddler has thrown up all over himself and the kitchen floor. Mom Mode activated! I turn to get the paper towels and Lysol wipes and I hear it again.

Heave SPLATT

And then, my sweet little angel, starts walking through it toward me. Panic Mom Mode activated! “STOP! Do. Not. MOVE!” I lift him up and over, run to the backyard, strip him down, wipe him down, cover him in hand sanitizer, and start cleaning up. I call the school to let them know I’ll be longer than expected when I look into the living room.

Y’all. The world slowed down. My heart stopped.

With his chubby little hands, the toddler grabbed the baby’s cheeks and gave him a big, sloppy, toddler-style kiss. Directly. On. The. Lips.

I scream “NNNOOOOOOOO!!!” as I hang up the phone and leap, yes LEAP, toward them. Now, I’m neither small nor spry so for my big booty to move so quickly, well it was something.

I finally get to the school where they won’t even let me enter the building. They essentially open the door just wide enough for my son to pass, quickly close it, and wave at me safely behind the glass.

He throws up on the living room floor that evening.

Friday:

Three youngest stay home. Toddler throws up all over the couch. I call the doctor for the toddler to be swabbed. “I was just about to call you. The culture came back positive.” Me:

rachel plano moms a

We all load up, go to the doctor for the toddler’s swab. It comes back negative. Obviously, I was skeptical.

Saturday and Sunday we took it easy and everyone seemed to be on the mend.

So now we’re halfway through this week and doing great. Number 1 is almost done with his antibiotics, #2 is back to his normal self with the help of good ol’ amoxicillin, #3 just had a 48-hour bug, and miraculously, the baby never caught anything.

Like I said. Life with more than one kid is exponentially bigger. But no matter how hard last week was I would NEVER trade it if that meant I couldn’t experience the exponential love and joy and craziness of my little crew.

But dear sweet, baby Jesus PLEASE don’t let the hellscape of multiple illnesses befall this house again!

rachel plano moms family

This post was written by Plano Mom, Rachael Armstrong. This insight into her thoughts and journey of life as a Mom is written in her own words. 

Get your Ice Exhibit at the Gaylord Texan Discount Code here

Don’t wait a minute longer. Enjoy this once-a-year opportunity to celebrate the Holidays now.

The main attraction is the Ice! At Gaylord Texan exhibit, 2 million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures as you walk through a 14,000 square foot attraction kept constant at 9 degrees!!

Grab those parkas, your mittens, scarves and sweaters and slide down the slides, and marvel at the exhibits!

gaylord texan ice exhibit

In addition, you can enjoy the:

  • Elf on the Shelf Character Breakfast
  • Cookies with Mrs Claus in her own cottage
  • Santa’s Snow Throw
  • The Gingerbread decorating corner
  • Photos with Santa
  • Snow Tubing
  • Santa’s Christmas Cottage Escape Room
  • Ice Skating

And for Adults, you can get tickets to upgrade your experience to VIP status with the On the Blocks Ice Bar!

Get your discount here:

ice exhibit discount promo code

This year’s Ice! at the Gaylord Texan features “Twas the Night Before Christmas” along with a Lone Star Christmas. You can get 50% Off General Admission Tickets using the promo code PLANOMOMS at GaylordTexanTickets.com (Restrictions Apply)

*Offer valid 11/10 – 11/22, excluding Saturdays after 5 PM. Tickets can be purchased online. Limit of 10 tickets per purchaser. Not retroactive. Not valid with any other discounts or offers. Other restrictions may apply. Please check the coupon small print.

What are you waiting for? Book your slot and enjoy it for yourself with our 50% off discount code!

Thank you to the Gaylord Texan Hotel for hosting our family for the day to enjoy it!

plano moms plano tx

Kumon Math and Reading Center of Plano

Does your child need after-school Math & Reading assistance?

Would you like your child to excel in school? Is completing math and reading homework a war zone at home? Does your child struggle with test anxiety? Do you wish your child was more confident? Does any of this sound familiar?

If so, then Kumon Math and Reading Center of Plano is your answer.

Plano Owner, Shilpa Kumar says as fifth and seventh graders her two daughters surpassed every academic goal set for them. Acceptance to honors classes was a breeze, grades were at the top of their class, and still, they time to pursue piano, karate, and be a drill sergeant in the high school drill team. She says that our excellent school system did make a huge difference, but it was Kumon that put them on top of their game.

Kumon is an after-school Math and Reading program that unlocks the potential of children by motivating them to achieve more on their own.

After seeing the advancements in math and reading from her children, she moved from being a Kumon parent to Kumon instructor. She was a Texas certified Teacher and taught physics and chemistry for 10 years at Creekview High School and at Irving High School.   She saw her students struggle with calculations and simple manipulation of formulas due to a lack of fundamental knowledge. She realized that Kumon could help her own children get ahead, but also help struggling students like those in her classes to get caught up.

Kumon offers individualized instruction to develop each child’s ability to their maximum potential.

Instructors help each child self-learn through the Kumon worksheets by following step by step instructions. Students complete daily assignments specific to their current level of ability and advance once mastery is achieved. Through this process, students become self-learners studying ahead of grade level.

Kumon Plano

 

Since opening her center at 1501 Preston Road, the success stories she has witnessed have expanded well beyond her own children.  She has many students that started Kumon struggling math and reading but now are excelling in school.

Saair joined Kumon in 3rd grade. In the initial meeting, he told Shilpa he did not like math. After four years in Kumon, he has changed his mind about math and is now in seventh grade and working on twelfth-grade reading and tenth-grade math.

Sai was only three when he enrolled in the math program. Sai told her that he liked math and wanted to get ahead of his peers. After two and a half years, he is working on sixth-grade math, far ahead of his first-grade peers. Experiencing such results has been incredible, and she looks forward to continuing to develop the students in Plano for many years to come.

Give Shilpa a call at 214-299-2002 or come and see her for a free Placement Test to set your child on the path to success!

 

plano moms plano tx

How to Keep Your Kids Safe on Social Media

How do we keep our kids safe on social media is one of the most talked about topics when I meet up with my fellow neighborhood Moms. We’ve been discussing it since our kids were in kindergarten. Sadly, things are not getting any easier. If anything, things are getting harder! There are so many more hidden dangers and secret ways for kids to hide things on their phones.

If you have a teenager or a soon to be teenager,  then you know they are all about their phones and social media. Whenever your family decides to allow your kids to have access to phones/social media, it’s important to know some ways to keep everyone safe and stay ahead of the game.

How to Keep Kids Safe on Social Media

Here are some basic facts about kids and social media.

  • Nearly 15 million teens in the U.S. were “social network users,” and nearly two million
    children (three to 11 years old) also used social networking websites
  • Among teens 12 to 17 years old, 65% have a profile on an online social network
  • 84% of teens polled said they have a Facebook profile
  • 52% of teens have given out personal information online to someone they don’t know offline,
    and one in four (25%) have shared personal photos and/or physical descriptions of themselves
    (twice as many girls as boys)

(Taken from Mcafee.com)

As we can all see, technology isn’t going anywhere. We need to be in the know of things around us to keep our children safe. These are some scary facts!! Are you prepared for your kids to be on social media? What are your rules and regulations for them? Here are some ideas.

  • Start early talking to your children about social media
  • Set some ground rules
  • Limit their time allowed online
  • Discuss what is appropriate on and offline

Tell them to remember that Nothing is secret when it comes to social media. My kids are still young so luckily we’re not there yet with the phones but we only allow Ipad/laptop use in common areas where we can see. My daughter also has time limits and certain things she can and cannot go to.

What ground rules do you set??? Do you check or monitor their phones? The good news is that there are constantly new apps and ways for parents to stay on top of safety with parental apps and monitoring programs. Here are 2 apps to download and look at to see if they fit your needs:

Keep kids safe on social media

MM Guardian

Protection for Kids, Peace of Minds for Parents

Advantages: Set time limits for usage, block apps and websites (including porn), parents can view browsing history, prevent sexting and cyber-bullying, get a location of child’s phone at all times, see how much they are texting and who they are texting to.

Cost: Varies/They have monthly subscriptions to try or other plans to try depending on a number of devices.

 

PhoneSheriff.com

Advantages:  Block phone numbers, set restrictions, and limits, monitor text message, and activity, time location tracking, more.  You can determine who they can and can’t communicate with, block websites, activity, and more.

Cost: $89 per year

I’m definitely (like many of you Moms) learning as I go with this tricky situation. My oldest is just starting to be at the age where she wants a phone and other devices and I know as her Mom I have to protect her. I want to hear from you and your experience. What are you doing to keep your kids safe on social media?? Let’s band together and help one another with this!

Keeping Kids Safe on Social Media

Looking for Fun Things to Do this Fall? Check out this awesome list of Fall Festivals.

A Local Mom’s Insight to Home Schooling

You made the decision to homeschool. Yet despite your resolve, all those first day of school photos got to you, didn’t they? We are on our fifth homeschool year, and they still give me a tiny twinge of something I can’t quite put my finger on. I always enjoyed school. Am I depriving my own children of the experiences? What about your own life? How are you going to survive?

One aspect of homeschooling that I think was the hardest to adjust to was finding friends. Most of my friends sent their children to school. Sure, we did after school playdates for a time, but they can’t go to the park mid day. They didn’t understand curriculum struggles and asked questions like “How are you going to socialize your children?” This question always amused me and still does because, well, we were at the park playing, wasn’t that socializing?

The first year we homeschooled, we joined a park play date co-op. I wasn’t ready to commit to an academic co-op yet. The park co-op was a bit awkward as all new things are. A lot of the moms knew each other so I felt like the out of place newbie. Thankfully, because it was the beginning of the year, there were other moms standing around equally as shy. My oldest, thankfully,  is super social. He started playing with a little girl about his age. Her mother was one of the other newbies so I sucked it up and introduced myself to my first homeschool friend, Deanna.

I only went back to that park co-op one more time. Deanna and I decided we hated being new and struck out on our own. Our children got along fabulously as did we. Then they moved away, and I may have cried. Hopefully your first homeschool friends won’t move away so quickly!  Making friends with Deanna’s family encouraged me to try again. Finding these gems of homeschool friends isn’t hard, it just takes a bit more effort than you may be used to.

 

One thing I can promise you, is that you will find friends.Good friends. Fast friends. Friends you can call in the middle of the day and get it. Friends who help you rationalize why you decided to homeschool and who remind you that one bad day or week doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel.

If you’re lucky your first homeschooling friends may find you. You may have to awkwardly introduce yourself to someone. They may awkwardly introduce themselves to you. I’ll let you in on a secret, we’re all a bit awkward in the friend making department! I have usually let my children gravitate towards others and then I start the first date like ritual of talking to a random stranger. But I have also made some amazing friends this way.

Next year about this time of year, you’ll see the first day of pictures again. That little weird twinge won’t be as big. Instead of second guessing yourself, you’ll  text one of your homeschool friends about going to the park later that day. Then you’ll lie back down and try to grab a few more zzz’s before you try to to make your child understand long division.

This post is written by Kristina Roegner, a homeschool mom of 3. She enjoys sharing about homeschooling with others and is always happy to help local homeschoolers connect. Visit her website at www.dfwhomeschoolresource.com to see all DFW has to offer for homeschoolers.

Meet the Sherwins – a local family of Twins & Triplets

“You sure have your hands full!”- it’s a phrase we have heard countless times and we will probably continue to hear forever. The truth is, though the words have become monotonous they couldn’t be more true. We absolutely do have our hands full – literally! We have been blessed with a very unique family that is composed of my husband and I, 2 year old twin girls, and 3 month old triplets! It’s an interesting situation that often makes an “ordinary day” feel much more like a circus act.

After the triplets were born, they spent 10 days in the NICU learning how to eat and grow. The NICU experience was unfortunately not new to us, having spent 13 days there with their older sister Keona, one of the twins. It was during this second NICU stay that we got our first glimpse of what a challenge we were facing to care for the needs of 5 littles ones under the age of 3.

Since we’ve been home we have definitely been busy! Everyday brings at least 3 loads of laundry, 30 diaper changes, 6 hours of pumping, 21 feedings (or more)- Almost 100 oz. of milk, multiple outfit changes, and constantly revolving task of washing bottles and pump parts. All of this in addition to caring for our twins: 3 meals and snacks, potty training, conflict resolution, play time and crafts, bathing, reading books, and the list could go on and on. The twins have earned the term “twin-adoes” as they quickly leave a trail of toys in their path.

Luckily, the twins have blossomed into the MOST incredible big sisters. They are constantly putting pacifiers in babies mouths, helping with bottles, and giving their siblings hugs and kisses. The most important (and favorite) part of our job is getting 5 times the snuggles! Though we do have a big family with a LOT of needs, it is incredibly important to us that each individual child gets as many snuggles and kisses as possible. Luckily, we have been blessed with an incredible “village” of friends and family that have stepped up in a big way to help us achieve that goal. Often when people hear of our family dynamic they quickly call me “Super Mom”. Super tired? Yes. Super busy? You bet! Super blessed? Absolutely! But the truth is that I could never do any of it without my husband and my village.

When we first found out that we would be having triplets, the very first thing that I said to my husband, Robbie, was that we were going to have to be the absolute BEST version of ourselves. All we can pray for is that each day we will continue to better ourselves and our lives for the sake of these 5 little miracles. As the days go by we will continue to learn each child’s personalities/likes/dislikes a bit better, we’ll learn little parenting tricks to make our lives a bit easier, and we will work into a routine to help keep consistency in our home. Most importantly we will give these children every drop of love that we have in our hearts.. and then some.

In our 3 months as a family of 7, we have braved to get out of the house a few times. Getting 5 kids under 3 years old ready for a trip out of the house is stuff reality TV shows are made of! I can only imagine the spectacle we are running around the house collecting all of the things we need for even the shortest adventure out of the house. While we are out, I wish I could take pictures of the looks on people’s faces when they notice us! “Wait, you have twins AND triplets?!”, they say in disbelief. Yes, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

The phrase we hear the most often, sadly, is “I’m glad that it’s you and not me!”. Before you feel sorry for us though, please understand that though it may be five times the work, we also get five times the snuggles, kisses, laughs, memories and love. We may be outnumbered, busy and tired but if you think our hands are full, you should see our hearts! We fully believe that God does not give you more than you can handle, and for some reason He trusted us with these five beautiful souls.

The Sherwin family circus is officially in town! If you would like to join us in our adventure, please follow us at www.sherwinfullhouse.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sherwinfullhouse.

Get the Back to School Advantage with Explore Horizons

Now that school is almost back in session, are your kids prepared? Have your kids been doing many academics on their time off? Explore Horizons is here to help.  Send kids back to school with an advantage and be a step ahead of the game with Explore Horizons!

The main concern of parents and teachers of the long summer break is that all the of the hard work and knowledge of the previous school year will drop from a long summer of doing nothing. Yes, kids deserve some time off, but they also need to keep up with their academics to keep up with their learning.

Explore Horizons is designed as an ongoing supplement to a school education and enables children to keep their brains active all year around.

 

My daughter was able to try out Explore Horizons for 1 month this summer and I was thrilled for this opportunity for her. I was so impressed with the entire program offered at Explore Horizons. I have been an educator for the last 17 years and I can say the program and skills taught are directly on target.

 

 

Each child is assessed to their individual needs and then progresses from their own unique levels in the area of math, reading, and writing.

 

The entire program is on the computer and is so interactive and engaging. No child is bored in these sessions! A staff member is close by at all times assisting and redirecting as needed and guiding the children through the lesson while offering positive reinforcement and encouragement.

 

 

Here are some facts about Explore Horizons:

  • For children of all abilities from pre-k through 8th grade in math, reading, and writing.
  • Aligned with the Texas curriculum so it correlates to STAAR so children will be successful
  • Lots of enrichment opportunities
  • Open 7 days a week
  • NO appointments needed, drop in basis (so nice for working parents!!)
  • Personalized learning plan for every child
  • Feedback for Parents at EVERY visit
  • Rewards/Postive Feedback/Acceleration System/Recharge time

I really can’t say enough good things about this facility and program. I didn’t know really want to expect when we first went for our consultation and free assessment but my expectations were blown away! The staff members were all so positive and supportive. They were eager to help and so uplifting to every single child in that room. The recharge time is such a great idea and really gives the kids some time to relax and just have fun!

The staff members were all so positive and supportive. They were eager to help and so uplifting to every single child in that room. The recharge time is such a great idea and really gives the kids some time to relax and just have fun! I also loved the attention the staff members give each parent at pick up. They read over a short report of the day’s session to really explain what was worked on. It was great to hear!

After 4-6 weeks in the program, parents will sit down with a staff member and go over a report which gives a full evaluation of progress. It was very detailed and I could really tell and see what my daughter had been working on and made progress on.  As a parent, this gives you a great idea of where exactly your child is and what they need more help with. This is great to show classroom teachers too! At this meeting, you can make goals for the next month’s session!

My daughter had a fabulous month and learned so much at Explore Horizons! I know she’s ready to tackle this next school year now and is fully prepared.

Would you like your child to be ahead of the game and ready for the school year? Make your appointment now with Explore Horizons for your free assessment. If you mention Plano Moms, your child will get one free hour of enrichment!

 

 

 

8 Ways to Score Back to School Deals!

Moms, it’s nearly August and before long the kiddos will be back at School. What if, just once, we got ahead of ourselves and got those important purchases out of the way early and scored a great deal with Cashback too?

Sounds good, right?

back to school cashback dosh

I recently downloaded a new app, called Dosh. It’s simple. You connect your payment cards (don’t worry about security, your data is safe!) and you can filter through Online offers and buy all those Back to School essentials right within the app.

The pricing is among the best I have seen. For everything I book through the App, I get automatic cash (called Dosh) back on my App which I can redeem whenever I like!

Download Now

back to school cashback dosh2

 

Here are 8 of my favorite stores I choose to buy stuff for my kids (now I can buy and get money back!)

Target 1.4% Dosh Back

Hobby Lobby 3% Dosh Back

Gap and Old Navy 3% Dosh Back

Walmart 3% Dosh Back

Nike 4.5% Dosh Back

Toms Shoes 5.2% Dosh Back

Stride Rite 5.2% Dosh Back

 

back to school cashback dosh3

You have to try it. When you download it and connect your cards you start earning Dosh straight away.

And if you refer your friends you’ll get $5 when they get their first Dosh too.

Download Now

dosh app cashback plano tx

Entertain your Family this Summer and earn Dosh too!

As a Work-from-home Mom, I am balancing my workload with entertaining the kids too. I also have visitors from out-of-town so I’m using the time to be a tourist in the city.

What if I told you that for every Dollar I spend on day trips, passes and admission into local places that I could get automatic cash-back on every purchase, without redeeming any coupons and all from my Smartphone?

Sounds good, right?

cashback dosh app save money earn money1

I recently downloaded a new app, called Dosh. It’s simple.

You connect your payment cards (don’t worry about security, your data is safe!) and you can filter through Hotels & Activities and book right within the app. The pricing is among the best I have seen. For everything I book through the App, I get automatic cash back on my App which I can redeem whenever I like!

Not only that, but every time I take my family to eat out, we get a % cashback on every meal.

Think local places like Dugg Burger or Hash House a Go Go!

cashback dosh app save money earn money2

 

And when I need to cool off and let the kids blow off some steam, I can take them to Chuck E Cheese and get a win-win out of it. Let the kids play and eat and I get cash back.

Over the Summer, I will get 5% cash back on purchases over $30!

cashback dosh app save money earn money4

You have to try it.

When you download it and connect your cards you start earning Dosh straight away. And if you refer your friends you’ll get $5 when they get their first Dosh too.

Are you ready? Get Dosh NOW

 

Your Annual, Family Based Entertainment Pass for DFW

Just in time for Summer, check out this HOT deal! 

Pogo Pass is a year long, family based entertainment pass, that gets pass holders into some of the best venues in Plano, Frisco, Dallas and all around DFW.  

They are always adding new ones, but right now there are 20 listed! If you’re staying in town and looking for fun stuff to do, get a Pogo Pass.

Access your PogoPass on any mobile device or print at home.

Show your PogoPass at each area venue and you’re in. 

Head over here and use code PLANOMOMS and get 68% off (you’ll pay $39.98 instead of $124.95). 

What does the pass include?  Check this out!

Just Hawaiian Falls and the Fort Worth Zoo are over $40 by themselves!

This is truly one of the best deals in family entertainment out there.

You’ll enjoy a FULL YEAR of admissions to places all over town (each place has their own details about how many times you get in with the pass).

It pays for itself within 1-2 visits!

Some things to know: