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And the Hullabaloo winner is…

Drum roll…

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Holy cow, Rory, that was YOUR comment! Emailing you now. Congrats!

And thanks to everyone who entered. We hope we’ll still see you there. Come say hi – I’ll be the mom with the frazzled look chasing two boys almost 5 and almost 2. (HA – see if you can spot me in a crowd of similar-looking [frazzled] moms. Go ahead.)

Category: giveaways and reviews  Tags:  Comments off

Giveaway: Hullabaloo Family Arts Festival

I love family activities. I don’t think we do enough of them. Our work schedules are crazy and it’s hard to find that family time together, but I really want to. I want to build great family memories for our kids. Things they’ll sit around and laugh about when they’re older, but look back on fondly.

So I’m trying to find fun things to do with them (that involve more than our typical trips to the swap meet on the weekends). And I’m really looking forward to taking the boys to the Hullabaloo Family Arts Festival on the 22nd – especially since it’s right in our neighborhood! There will be music, food, dancing, a creativity zone, and even some authors reading their children’s books.

And to share the excitement, we’re going to give away some tickets.

Hullabaloo Family Arts Festival

Date: Saturday, September 22nd

Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: Liberty Station NTC Promenade, also know as the North Promenade

Admission: $7 per person; children under the age of 1 are free; Family Pack of tickets: $25 for up to five family members total (note: due to a technical snag with our ticket vendor, we are not able to offer the family-pack online. Families can purchase them the day of, or we will be selling them at a few of Steve’s shows in the next few weeks.)

But don’t worry, if you don’t win tickets, you can still buy online and skip the lines when you get there!

Oh, wait. I bet you want to know what you’ll win, don’t you? Well get ready, because it’s quite a package, and I might just be a little, teeny bit jealous. Maybe.

Each giveaway winner will receive:

- one Family Pack of tickets, good for up to 5 people (children under 1 year are free)
- A FREE copy of Hullabaloo’s newest CD, Raise a Ruckus!
- A Clif Kid goodie bag
- A free pass to Mon Petit Chateau, good for a one-day visit, up to three children (siblings only)
- one $50 gift card to Renewal By Andersen Windows
- 1 pass to Smart Kids Time, courtesy of SoCal Kids San Diego
- 1 family pass to the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre, also courtesy of SoCal Kids San Diego
- $20 of babysitting services from Urban Sitter!

Giveaway winners will collect their giveaway prize when admitted to the festival- they will go through the will-call line.

And here are some of the great sponsors of the event; I hope that you’ll thank them if you go. I know I’ve been needing a sitter and have heard good things about Urban Sitter, so it’s high time I went and checked them out. (No affiliate or paid links here, people.)

Mon Petit Chateau: http://www.mpchateau.com/

Urban Sitter: https://www.urbansitter.com/

SoCal Kids SD: http://socalkidssandiego.com/

Renewal By Andersen: http://www.renewalbyandersen.com/

Dance to EvOLvE: http://dancetoevolve.com/dancetoevolve-home/

Okay, so you want the rules, I bet. It’s simple. Leave a comment to enter. I’ll use a random number generator to choose the winner. Contest ends at 9pm on next Wednesday the 12th. I need to have the names in by Friday, so if the winner doesn’t respond by Thursday, I’ll choose another. Sorry, I know that’s short turnaround, but I’ll do my best to reach the winner. Please confirm that you’ll be able to make the festival, as that’s where you’ll get all of the additional goodies. Ready? Go! We’ll see you there!

In return for the giveaway, we get entry into the festival. That’s it. It’s a cool event that we’re glad to see come to Liberty Station.

Gone in an instant

“Time flies” has become such a cliché, hasn’t it? But how else do you describe the way time picks up and grows closer to warp speed the older you get?

20120707_151429I still remember how much I wanted to start school when I was little. My brother would head off to the bus and I had to stay home. And now, in a twinkle, it’s my son’s turn to start school. About 3 weeks ago, we heard from the school that they would offer transitional kindergarten and that we should take a look since our oldest qualifies.

I hadn’t expected to walk down that path until next year, knowing he misses the birthday cutoff by about 20 days. An now, suddenly, that reality is thrust in my face. The reality that he’s growing up. That he WANTS to go to school. That time is going more quickly than I like. That my time of influence over him is dwindling and other people will at some point have more influence than we do. That I have to let go. That he’s such a sweet soul and is going to face difficulties with his speech and being a bit behind the others. That other kids can be cruel and no matter how much I want to protect him, I can’t.

That was brought to my attention last night in stark, painful reality. And it almost ended in utter tragedy.

We went to dinner last night with the daughter and her boyfriend. We hadn’t hung out together in a while, so it was nice to visit and have a good meal together. After we said our goodbyes, we went to the car. We were parked on the street, and it’s a busy one headed out to Shelter Island. While we were getting the little one ready for his seat, the oldest was impatient. We had asked him to stand on the sidewalk for a moment and then I was going to walk him to his door, since it’s the one street-side. As we were dealing with M, the wee one, F jetted out in the street.

My heart stopped as both John and I yelled “STOP!!!!” as loudly and forcefully as we could. There were multiple cars speeding by.

He stopped at the edge of the car, just a split second away from getting hit. Our future without two sons flashed before my eyes and I almost lost my dinner right then and there.

Daddy had a long, stern talk with F about being careful and not running into the street. And as I put M in his seat, I said a silent prayer of thanks that he stopped. That he listened for once (because sometimes he keeps going and we have to say stop more than a few times). And that we didn’t have to deal with the “what ifs” that came perilously close to coming true.

And so today, I am hugging my kids a little tighter, grateful for every hug, every mess, every moment. Because it can be taken away in an instant. And we came way too close to that last night.

I can’t keep him by my side forever. I know that. But it doesn’t make it any easier sometimes, this letting go. One of the things we have to get good at as a mom, even as it breaks our hearts to do so.

In spite of all that, though, I do want him to have fun, learn, and make new friends as he starts off on a new adventure, a new phase in his life.

Oh, the places you’ll go, son.