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January, 2012 | Everyday Childhood

Archives for January 2012

The Road We’re On…

I am so humbled to have been a part of the Chevrolet Road We’re On campaign. It was very personal for me to take photos of my family as we lived our life around a Chevy truck. We went to one of our favorite hiking places in North Phoenix and took some shots… followed by a trip to the car wash! For those of you fancy photogs out there… I practiced a fun technique utilizing color splash editing to bring out special elements in the photos.

 

I very much appreciate your click on my photo set and your comments are always appreciated.

View our #Chevy100 photo story here: http://bit.ly/y48U02

 

Much Love…

Kelly

Movie showings for special needs kids? Yes, please.

Last weekend I had the good fortune to remember that a local movie theater offers monthly showings of current kid’s movies for special needs families.  It ended up being a wonderful experience, and it would be a disservice to many of you if I do not share the awesomeness which is the Studio Movie Grill.

If you live near: Scottsdale, Dallas, Houston or Atlanta, be thrilled.  If you don’t, you’ll probably want to move there after you read this.

Studio Movie Grill is one of those new-fangled theaters which offers meal service delivered to your seat during the movie (gluten free selections?  You betcha.).  Those servers are good at what they do–primarily, they’re good at making certain you have your margarita on the rocks and in your hand before the film starts.

But one Saturday every month they offer a free movie to kids with special needs.  Their siblings watch for free, too.  Parents and caregivers pay just $5.  I know that other theaters sometimes offer a similar service, and I think that can be a great option for a lot of families.  But SMG just knocked my socks off this time.

We saw Beauty & the Beast last weekend.  There were far more wheelchair/stroller accessible seats than a traditional movie theater, for one.  The theater lights were left on during the featured presentation, presumably so that we could more easily keep an eye on our kiddos but also to avoid alarming children who have struggle with being in the dark.  The volume of the movie was dialed down a notch or two–we had no trouble hearing the movie, and  yet did not bust an ear drum when the Beast roared his greatest PMS’y roar–sweet.  The servers didn’t hesitate to serve families with children who were disruptive, loud, made repetitive noises, threw tantrums, required electric suction or who otherwise acted like children.

Food prices were a little higher than you might find at a nearby restaurant, but a nearby restaurant also is not showing films.  Fountain drinks set me back $3 each, but we enjoyed free (and speedy) refills for the duration of the movie.

It was such a great experience for the kids, and for the parents.  You can’t beat the price.  If you parent a special needs child, check to see if you have a Studio Movie Grill in your ‘hood.  It is absolutely worth checking out, and the monthly special needs showings all but free.  Maybe it’s even more worth checking out if you can book some respite care and drag your husband out for a cosmo and to see the latest Jason Statham movie–at the same time.

You’re welcome.

~~~~~

SMG has no idea who I am or that I was their guest on any day, ever.  I paid the same price as everyone else for our movie experience and received nothing from anyone for writing this post.  I just think that they offer such a great service to the special needs community and if my mother had to be the person to tell me about them then their PR could use a swift kick in the derriere.  Maybe someone could tell them I wrote this, and I could get a free margarita–on the rocks–delivered to my seat the next time I go there.  I’d be cool like Fonzie if that happened, no worries.  I’m a cheap date.

~~~~~

Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl.  Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why they have hope for a cure for muscular dystrophy at byrdsforacure.org.

YouTube: My New Favorite Babysitter

I recently may or may not have used my parental control password to clear the children to watch YouTube.  Unsupervised.

Relax.  It’s not like I gave them Benadryl so that they would sleep for the duration of the flight.  This time.

They didn’t wander through the scary Interwebz poking into amateur porn or tween bullying cage fighting–well, not so far as I know.  Far from it, in fact.  When they grew tired of viewing the same amateur Star Wars home movie clips over and over, they somehow found the home page for my own YouTube account.  Oh relax–there are no Star Wars home videos in my YouTube library.  No amateur porn, either.

That is to say that they discovered all the adorable videos of them which I have uploaded over the past half-decade and watched every single one of them.  Over.  And over.  And over.  Most of the videos are of themselves doing something mundane, such as singing Twinkle Twinkle, or having a tea party.  In terms of who finds this most entertaining, and target audience, Grandma is pretty much alone in both  categories–until now!  Good golly, my floors are all shiny and clean, pantry reorganized, refrigerator shelves freshly decrustified and sparkling, and my bathrooms are so clean it’s like they’re begging me to serve dinner on the toilet seats.

All of that because everyone was busy narcissisticaly watching home video of themselves doing something just darling.

Take note, new parents:  take video now of your wee ones, your toddlers, your preschoolers, your gradeschoolers.  For there will come a time in the near future when you need just eleventy-hundred hours to yourselves, and pointing your kids’ Dorito holes towards your YouTube channel filled with dozens of videos of themselves may be like finding unlimited buckets of free time to catch up on everything you used to do back when you had enough leisure time to capture footage of your baby doing pretty much nothing.  (amIright?)

~~~~~

Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl.  Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why they have hope for a cure for muscular dystrophy at byrdsforacure.org.

Am I the only one who does this?

I mean, it’s not like I reinvented the wheel or anything, but suffice to say I was pretty proud of shopping with the twins for the few months when this strategy worked.

~~~~~

Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl.  Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why they have hope for a cure for muscular dystrophy at byrdsforacure.org.

Resolutions.

Like many this week, I’ve come up with a list of resolutions for 2012.  I realize that making commitments to myself in hopes of improving my health, sanity, and daily life is something that I should feel free to do any day of the year, but let’s face it–a new year brings with is reflection of the past year and hope for the next.  That said, you may be disappointed that my resolutions are probably identical to every other mothers’:

1.  Commit to staying active, and get my family out there with me.  With my three young children it’s common for one of them to be sick, but if everyone is in good enough shape to go to school and I have a few hours to myself, I make it a priority to get outside and do something three times per week.  The kids know that I run, or hike, or golf, but they don’t ever see it.  Time for a change!  As a mother, it doesn’t make oodles of sense for me to make the decision to be a role model for them and stay active if they don’t ever witness me doing those things.  From now on, I’ll be dragging them along!  Occasionally.  Well, minimum of once a month.  Until it gets hot in a few months, and then no way.  But mostly, absolutely going to stick to it.  Basically, this will happen at least once this year.

2.  Drink less.  Was it just me, or did the last few weeks of 2011 seem like it oozed with booze?  I’m all for a great party, stress relief, decompressing, and catching up with friends, but somehow it all added up and I need to dry out a little.  This resolution brought to you by my liver and my wallet.

3.  Read more.  Like, an actual book.  If you ask me what the last 5 things I read were (Twitter and Facebook excluded…), I would have to say magazine, magazine, blog, blog, blog.  This is ridiculous!  Interesting people read interesting books–not Entertainment Weekly and mental_floss!  Actually, that’s not true–I am proof that very interesting people read those.  But still, I love reading and  yes it can be a tough thing to find time for with three young children around, but it’s important to me.  It’s always been.  Plus, my laptop just broke and therefore it’s a lot harder to play Mafia Wars these days.  A book it is!  Got any good ones?

As I review my resolutions I can see that if all goes as planned, I’ll be a teetotaler mom reading a Debbie Macomber book on the elliptical.  So I have that going for me.

~~~~~

Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl.  Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why they have hope for a cure for muscular dystrophy at byrdsforacure.org.