Tell the world what you’re made of
If you’re new here, let me introduce myself. My name is Claudia! I’m the mother of two wonderful boys named Jason and Justin (yup! I’m a BOY MOM) I live for adventure LOL. I met my soulmate when I was 21 years old, and been together ever since 💙 My hobbies include traveling, shopping, and Event planning. I have the best job in the world, I teach kindergarten, my students are my forever babies 🍎 I recently started a Kindergarten Instagram page! Go give it a follow @Teachkinderwithme .
Justin is 3
Having a “Threenager”
Wow! I can’t believe I have a three-year-old. Where has time gone?? It was literally overnight that he has morphed into this mature little person no longer a toddler, but a full blown miniature adolescent a “Threenager”.
In all seriousness, in the past week I was told to “get out of the bathroom I’m doing caca.”
I wasn’t prepared to see my sweet boy get so independent so quickly. I guess having an older brother has its advantages.
However, on the upside we seriously feel like we have a new best friend. We laugh, smile, and even talk. This is seriously the best age!!!￼￼
Happy birthday Justin!!! Mommy and daddy love you more than you’ll ever know.￼
3 Tips for Picky Eaters
“Mommy, can I have an orange?”￼ My six-year-old asked me.
Picking my jaw off the floor, I tried to be cool.
“Sure babe. Go right ahead!”
Why is this surprising to me? Because my six-year-old is a picky eater. It is almost impossible to get him to eat new and healthy foods. He’s been stuck on the same carb and dairy diet, and there was little we could do about it.￼￼
Until recently, keep reading to learn how we are getting our picking eater to try new foods.￼
Healthier choices for those foods they love.
I recently stop buying mac & cheese, instead I traded it for the cauliflower mac & cheese and he hasn’t been able to notice the difference. I opt out of regular goldfish and instead change them to the carrot/tomato one￼s, the kids love them!
Jason Loves ground beef. I assume he loves it so much because it’s easy to chew. I just added ground turkey and chicken to the menu. I am currently in the hunt for recipes. So if you have any please let me know.
I just implemented kids choice into our weekly menus. Jason gets to choose what we all eat one day out of the week. He loves it! He usually picks eat out and that’s OK too. We encourage him to try something new every time we go eat somewhere. Last Friday we tried spinach dip. He wasn’t too convinced but we were happy he tried it. These baby steps might seem silly to most, but to us it’s a step towards the right direction.￼
Activities, Attractions, and how to tips with Toddlers
This year for Christmas Jonathan and I decided to give the kids more “Adventure” vs your typical “presents”. I sat down with both my boys with a list numbered 1-5 letting them pick the top 5 things they really wanted. I told them that this year would be the first of many family Christmas trips. As I type I’m mentally planning our next trip.
Our trip consisted of many hours in a car with a toddler and a preschooler. I made sure to stock up on a few activity books, puzzles, legos, crayons,coloring books, and toys.
We stopped at 3 major cities on the way up Atlanta, Gatlinburg, and Boone. Trying to visit as much places as possible in one day. Below I’m sharing my top must do’s if you’re planning a trip with little ones to any of these locations.
First Stop Atlanta, Ga
We arrived late Christmas Night and checked in at Embassy Suites Atlanta Perimeter. This hotel was in a great neighborhood surrounded by amazing restaurants and local shops. The rooms were spacious and clean!! It was extremely affordable. They even gave me the option to check in via our phones and used the Hilton app as a key!! It was an overall great experience. We woke up the next day with plans of going to Stone Mountain a vast, scenic park with activities your entire family would enjoy. They have a scenic train that takes you around the mountain, cable cars that take you all the way to the top ( make sure to purchase the cable car tickets early, they sell out quickly). Mini golf, Dino exhibit, 4d movie,and Christmas Wonderland all included with your ticket. This year due to COVID tubing was closed, but definitely going back to experience it!!!!
Stop number #2 Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Jonathan and I had been there before but didn’t get to experience it like we did this time around.
We rented at Park Vista Double Tree Hotel. The hotel had beautiful views of the smoky mountains and of the city. This year Gatlinburg was a little crowded, everywhere we went had lines. (We didn’t have to wait as much because we purchased our tickets before hand). On Tuesday after breakfast at Flapjacks (a must) we went to Anakeesta now this place was breathtaking!! It has so much to do with your little ones tree top playgrounds, a look out tower, zip lining, roller coaster, a bridge, campfires, mining, and even live music!! This place was stunning “I loved it.” If you’re planning a trip to Gatlinburg this is a must!!!
(Make sure to purchase the express pass online, the line to enter the park was 4 hours long!)
Stop #3 Boone, North Carolina
On Wednesday we went to visit my godmother, uncle, and cousin (she rented a cabin and invited us over to spend a few night). When we arrived we went tubing. The boys got to play in snow, we did snow angels, we even had a snowball fight!!! On New Years Eve my godmother took us to grandfather mountain. Whoa the views 😍 they were breathtaking, this is the perfect park if you like to hike. Jonathan and I had never been so we were a bit over dressed but we hiked down the mountain anyway! We didn’t take the boys because I was scared they were going to fall, but next year they’ll be going up and down with us!!
Top 5 things to do this Holiday season
that won’t hurt your pocket
Celebrating the holidays with kids can add up fast! Between holiday parties, school events, baking delicious treats, and of course, the best of all, Christmas presents!
But how can you celebrate when you’re on a tight budget? And what if you’re looking for some quick and fun things to do during the holidays, don’t worry mama, I’ve got you!
I’ve done some research and came across a few things.
Friendsmas get together
Every year for the holiday season I host a friendsmas party at my house. I ask everyone to come in Christmas Pajamas and to bring a small dish of their choice. Once everyone arrives we begin to decorate gingerbread houses I purchase at Five-below. Together families work together to make the best looking houses. “I haven’t won YET!” After we finished with the gingerbread houses I play a Christmas movie outside under the stars, my son Jason loves it.
Bayfront Park Holiday Village
Bayfront Holiday Village will transform Bayfront Park into a shopping and entertainment destination for locals and tourists alike. All accomplished while keeping high family values and a welcoming atmosphere. The Village will become one of Miami’s most iconic offerings during the holiday season. People will come for the weather, they’ll stay for great shopping and entertainment. The Village will host several unique elements such as “The Shops,” a collection of artisans in a retail setting; Bayskate, Miami’s answer to cold-weather ice skating; and “Bayfront Bites,” a food, beverage, and entertainment area to sit back, relax and enjoy the park and waterfront.
Santa’s Flight Academy at DolphinMall
Santa’s Flight Academy, a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience that culminates with a special visit with Santa, will return to Dolphin Mall from November 7 through December 24. The holiday attraction merges the physical and digital to provide a personalized adventure for every child.
Pictures with Santa at Bass Pro
Families who visit Santa receive a free 4x6 studio-quality photo, as well as a free shareable video when you provide your email address. Additional photo packages are also available for purchase and print instantly at the store. Due to Covid you must make reservations.
Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami
More than one million bright and dazzling tree lights!
A brand new 26 foot tall LED holiday tree
Arts & crafts** (limited space available)
Appearances by Santa until December 23
Last appearance at 9:30 p.m.
Letters to Santa**
Snowman's River Boat Rides* ($3 per person)
Last ride at 9:30 p.m.
Hot chocolate and cookies*
Holiday Shopping at the Zoo Gift Shop*
Halloween isn’t OVER
Safe and Easy ways to celebrate Halloween during a pandemic
Halloween is one of my absolute favorite holidays. I love celebrating it with the boys. Our family costumes are planned months in advance. This year is going to be AWESOME, I cannot wait to share it with y’all. Just because Halloween is a little different this year, doesn’t mean its over. There is such a large number of ways you can participate in your yearly traditions around the house or even around your neighborhood. I’ve done some research and found some indoor and outdoor activities that we can really enjoy as a family or even with some friends if you’re comfortable with that.
Not so spooky drive through adventure
A drive-thru experience where families can celebrate the season from the safety of their cars. Giving children the ability to trick or treat, pick pumpkins, take photos and have fun all while following social distancing guidelines.
Miami´s first ever drive-thru pumpkin patch:
Not So Spooky Drive-Thru experience
Trick or Treating
Miami Children’s Museums Trick or Treat Drive Thru Event
Then on Saturday, October 31, drive by the Museum from 11AM – 2PM* to trick or treat from your car seat at MiChiMu’s Halloween Drive-Thru. The event is set up to be a contactless drive-thru trick or treat experience, sponsored in part by Florida Dairy Farmers, Caleb & Calder Sloan’s Awesome Foundation, Geico North Miami, ARA Food Corporation, and Fabricant & Company, PA. The first 500 children will receive a free pre-packaged trick or treat bag filled with candy, trinkets, healthy snacks, a book, fresh chocolate milk from Florida Dairy Farmers, and other surprises!
Burr Berry Farm
Enjoy the Harvest Festival at Burr’s Berry Farm, with a corn maze, a tire mountain and of course, a pumpkin patch for families and kids. On weekends enjoy the tractor-pulled hayrides.
Celebrating the fall holiday season, Burr’s Berry Farm at 12741 SW 216 Street is featuring a wonderful family-friendly experience for all, attracting hundreds of families for old-fashioned fun and good times.
Halloween Drive In Movie at Milandar
The City of Hialeah Is hosting multiple movie nights for their wonderful residents.On Saturday, October 17, 2020, they will be joining three outlandishly wild witches as they return from 17th-century Salem after some unsuspecting pranksters accidentally conjure them up in the movie Hocus Pocus.
Pumpkin Carving Party
This year my friend Lisa and I are planning a pumpkin craving party for our kids. We’ll be craving pumpkins, playing games, decorating cookies, and even painting faces. Lisa and I both love this holiday. We’re working on Halloween themed food, treats, and drinks.
Halloween Get together
On Halloween my sister is hosting a small family and friends get together event at her house. She knew how excited the boys were to dress up this year, the thought of them not being able to broke her heart. Being the phenomenal Aunt she is she planned this party for her nephews.
Halloween Movie Night at home
With the endless selections of Kid Halloween movies out there an outdoor movie night doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Amazon sells mini projectors that you can project off a bed sheet. If your not feeling that adventurous you can keep it indoors with pillows and blankets.
Going to Disney with a Pandemic
The happiest place on earth, a place every family loves taking their children, a place filled with MAGIC, a place where we literally leave our wallets, Disney World!!!!! This year for my sons second birthday I asked for (Disney) gift cards since he’s at that age where he loves everything Disney. $700 dollars in gift cards later I purchased the Magic Flex Tickets. Not paying to much attention to COVID 19, we decided to go ( it was amazing). After COVID hit and we were stuck at home I found myself worried if I was going to lose my tickets. Fast forward six months, Disney let’s us know we have until September 30th to use our tickets, since we had used gift cards I couldn’t get reimbursed forcing me to go. We decided to rent in Orlando for Labor Day weekend with the possibility of going to a park. I checked online and reserved the parks I wanted to visit (make sure your tickets are linked to your MyDisney experience app in advance to save you some time) because your tickets must be linked to a specific park before even entering the parking lot! After enjoying an amazing day at our hotel (celebrated my hubby’s bday too) Jonathan and I decided to take the kids, little did we know what we were getting ourselves into.
Parking and Trams
Once we arrived at the park ,the parking attendant scanned our band to confirm we had reserved the park for that day. After confirmation we followed the line of cars to the hero’s parking lot in Magic Kingdom. Due to COVID they’re having people park with a parking space in-between making sure we practice social distancing. After parking we had to walk to the park ourselves , Trams are closed! Park capacity is at 30% so I doubt people are parking in the villains section, if you’re a Disney fan you know the villains parking lot is towards the back (its a very￼ long walk!). So if you’re going soon prepare to walk.
Temp and Bag Checks
Once you get closer to the park, you’ll find yourself reaching a group of tents all lined up together. Inside the tents Disney hired a special company to take people’s temperature￼. Shortly after, Disney security will be checking your bags! This time around they really didn’t check, they basically skimmed through everything.￼￼
Jonathan and I picked the ferry boat instead of the monorail to avoid less congestion. Less than ten minutes later we arrive, there were no lines to scan our bands to go in. Finally inside making or way towards City Hall we see all of our favorite faces Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, Daisy, and Goofy￼ waving and dancing from the top of a Railroad Station. This is pretty much all the character interaction there is beside the parade. Some rides are closed and their completely paperless ( do not except cash). Protective Shields are place between families at rides, parks are closing early and Fast passes aren’t available.
Disney this time around wasn’t as Magical as we had hope but it wasn’t HORRIBLE either. Parks are empty, making it possible for people to actually ride ALL the rides. Kids are able to walk freely without having to worry about them being grab by someone. Hand sanitizer stations are EVERYWHERE! Disney honestly looked cleaner than EVER!! The only complaints I have is that it’s extremely hot and the mask is a total pain ( they will literally stop you and make you cover your nose) !! If you ask me if I would consider going again my answer would be NO, not until everything goes back to normal (if it ever will).
Back to school with
Madness and Stress
The image above is the exact representation of how I felt the very first day of school. Above you see the face of total disarray. Justin my two year old had no idea he’ll be returning to school on Monday. Little did I know that Monday would of been the complete disaster it was. The first day of school is always exciting in the Diaz household, every year I read them “The Night before ___________ (grade level on the line).” This sets the tone for all the adventures the next day will bring us as a family. If you all don’t know by now I’m also a Teacher so the first day of school is really nerve racking to me as well. I always get insomnia the night before leading to a rather interesting week. So this week put the icing on the cake!!!
To all the virtual teachers out there, you guys are the real superhero’s. Teachers were introduced to this app only three days before school started not giving them enough time to prepare and learn everything there is to learn from a new app. Basically being fed to the wolves (parents) .Can you imagine how upset parents are? Having to help their children try to log on multiple times a day only to run to the same problem over and over again.Not to mention that most of these parents are home WORKING with deadlines that they have to meet.I honestly salute you both. I was worried about the virtual teaching this year, Jason my 1st grader isn’t a sit still kinda boy, and having him stare at a screen for hours was going to make him mad. So far he’s really enjoyed the four hours of education given to him this week (if that). The highlight of his week was realizing that his kindergarten teacher is a Mom in his class...He LOVES her! This is the first thing he tells everyone when they ask him how was school.
Dropping off my Toddler
This week I prepared myself mentally for an emotional week. Justin has always been more of a Mamas Boy than Jason ever was (and Jason is a Mamas Boy) Take this into consideration when I say that Justin has been at home with me and Jason since March, when quarantine first started. On Monday just waking him up turned his mood upside down. Getting him dressed with huge tears coming down his face. As I pulled up to his school the tears started once again , giving me a sense of guilt, making me second guess my decision of bringing him back to school. Once we get off and walk towards the door the real tantrum has begun making me feel like the worse Mother in the world!!! Drop off continued being the same way the rest of the week. I know taking him to school right now isn’t ￼ necessary, but it’s important. I want Justin to develop social skills with kids his age. I want him to learn his colors and Alphabet. Yes this is something I can teach him, but it’s also something someone else can, letting me concentrate on language skills and vocabulary￼. Justin is finally catching up with his speech and I want to take advantage and focus on that. We all have to sit back and tell ourselves this is not going to last all year, it’s only ￼temporary until we get used to our old routines . Remember that we can over come anything with a positive attitude, and in times like this where we only see dark it’s time to see the LIGHT!!!! We got this!!!!!
What really happens to mothers at Target??
The mystical land with the red circle symbol, a place where everyone loves to get lost in for hours. Can you guess where it is? TARGET. This store is even popular to children, kids just have to see the 🎯 and know exactly where they’re at. This is Holy land to most moms including myself. From the endless options at the dollar spot to the jackpot finds at the clearance section, Target is the place to be. I think my mother is the only person that dislikes this place ( 🤷🏼♀️) . As soon as you walk in the door, that passion takes over, and just for an hour, sometimes two or three, you can escape all of your worries perusing the aisles of the most addictive store in the United States. With the smell of Starbucks in the air, you know that you are home, and soon enough your cart will be filled with shoes, clothes, and throw pillows that you didn’t realize just how much you needed in your life.
The Dollar Spot
I believe this to be the most dangerous place in Target, the area filled with deals ranging anywhere from $1-$5. After spending about 10 mins in this area you noticed your cart is already filled half way! Can this be serious?? IT IS !!! Does anyone else do that? Or is it just me.
My favorite section in Target after the dollar spot is definitely the kid clothes. I can literally stay in this one area for about 45 mins. I start my walk with the graphic tees, so many cute options for just $4.00 I love a good tee to just hang out at home or even go do groceries. I skim through the the pants and shorts gravitating myself to the character tops and pajamas which I love! Fun fact: I LOVE kid pajamas!!! I love them so much I change them according to the season.As I make my way through the tees I find my favorite kind, the band tees I must have every band tee they’ve ever release, I love seeing my boys rocking them with a cute pair of vans. (If you want a matching top for yourself check out the men section, they usually have them). 20 mins in already, I check out the last section in this area THE CLEARANCE. I’ve scored some great deals for the boys in this area. I usually only purchase items that are the next size up. I was lucky and found bathing suits for next summer for $3.98 yesterday.
Toys Toys Toys
I am totally that mom that can’t go to target without getting my kids something, I know it might seem crazy but I honestly can’t leave. It can be anything from a hot wheel car to play-dough it brings the biggest smile upon there faces when I do. Granted theirs times they don’t listen or they fight (like siblings do) on those days I leave without getting them anything. I do set a budget for the toys they pick , they each have $5 dollars to spend unless they have birthday money.
Shopping for the item you came for
At last the item I actually came to target for. This is always the last thing IF I even remember to get. I know I can not be the only one that forgets the one item they went to target for. This happens to me AT LEAST once a month. Lately I’ve been doing my shopping with a list so I haven’t forgotten since.
Starbucks on your way home
Now because of covid we have to finish our Target trips with Starbucks instead of starting with it. A tall cold brew to set the tone and send me home.As my trip comes to an end I understand why Target is every Mother’s playground (except my mother’s) and how it has earned the name The Mothership. Target just gets women, and for that, it will forever hold a special place in my heart!
Being a BOY Mom
and why it’s a privileged
Justin turn 2 in March, and ever since then I’ve been getting asked the dreadful question “When are you going to have another one?” Or “Third time is a charm, it’s going to be a girl”. Let’s clear the air Jonathan and I DO NOT want to have any more kids!!!! If we ever decide to have another one, we would want to have another boy. After time I’ve noticed I’m NOT a girl mom. Girl Moms are bubbly and cute. I’m rough, strict, and I can not stand how dramatic girls can be (i teach so I see it all the time). Being a boy mom has brought me so much joy! Sometimes we’re so caught up in comparing the to, that we don’t realize how special being a boy mom really is!!!!
I get to Raise Gentlemen
I love that I get to be the one that shapes my boys into the Gentlemen they’ll be once they get older. Teaching them values and principals is very important. I’m teaching my boys to control their frustration, and to be gentle. In a society where it’s normal for men to be loud and rude. I get to teach my boys how to LOVE. Not being afraid to express what they feel.
I get to Raise Men who value Equality
My boys have seen first hand how hard we work to give them everything we have! They see how much Jonathan and I do together as a TEAM. My mother always tells me this when I’m having mix feelings about myself or others she says “Your not better than anybody, but NO ONE is better than you” ! And you know what she right!! I tell Jason this all the time (he’s super competitive) which is a good thing don’t get me wrong, but it’s annoying to other￼ people. So I find myself reminding him that he isn’t better than anyone and that it’s rude to constantly brag! He’s getting the concept but it’s something we’ll have to continue pushing!
Peacemaker and a Rebel
How on earth do the terms peacemaker and rebel go hand in hand? I feel as though people are always encouraged to be one or the other. I want my boys to rebel against the status quo. I want them to fight for truth and justice, refuse to settle for complacency, and love passionately. I want them to do all that with peace and gentleness in their hearts. As I am raising boys, it’s my job to teach them how peace and rebellion can go hand in hand and guide them as they sort that out.
My Potty Training Adventure
Never having to buy diapers again is the best feeling in the world!!! Justin my 2 year old, is completely potty train (1& 2) I decided to potty train him not because I wanted to stop buying diapers, but because he kept on insisting to use the toilet. So I went for it, not knowing what to expect, his brother took a little longer to get it, and I honestly thought he was going to be the same. BOY was I wrong!! I purchased every single type of toilet. I bought a regular potty, the toilet seat and I even bought a urinal. I figured one of them would be a hit. I used a timer and rewards for every time he went. A few accidents later he got it! I am so proud of my baby, he proved me wrong!! Below I’m sharing a few tips that helped me with this milestone!!
Favorite Character Underwear
I made sure to stock up on Marvel underwear since Justin love superhero’s. This made wearing underwear AWESOME!! He was so excited to wear them.
Setting up a timer
Most of us have a smart home devices, I would set 15 minute timers on our Alexa. Sometimes we get caught up in whatever it is we are doing at the moment and forget we’re potty training. Every time the timer rang I stopped what I was doing and took him, once he went I would set the timer all over again. I did this for two days. Then I changed the timer to 30 minutes.
Multiple Character Potty options
Before I started this adventure I made sure to have all the different potty options available to see which one he would prefer. I started with the urinal, thinking it was the easiest one for him to use, BOY what a mistake (he would pee all over the floor). I then started with the small potty. This was the winner! He loved it, I was able to move it all over the house making it easy for him to pee anywhere.
After every time he went I rewarded him with his favorite gummy snack. I purchased the marvel pack because again he loves superhero’s. Each pack brings like 8 gummies in them, I would only give him one at a time. He would get so happy to see the character he would get every-time.
Fort Myers Beach
Fort Myers Beach a little island off the west coast of Florida. This year due to COVID-19 we had to cancel our family trip to Mexico. A few people we know recommend staying there, after a few months of research we finally found the the perfect house to fit my family and some really close friends. We enjoyed the beach, nightlife, and even some local restaurants. Below are some of my top recommendations on what to do at Fort Myers Beach !
Rent Jetski’s at Lynn Hall Beach
On Friday we decided to go to the beach,the weather was beautiful and the water was amazing (crystal clear). Imagine digging your feet in white powder sand so soft it feels like baby powder. After enjoying some sun we decided to rent Jetski’s, we have two boys and they were able to enjoy them as well. We rented them for an hour, this was the perfect amount of time when you have a big party and multiple drivers.
Walking around Town Circle at Night
After dinner at Doc’s Ford bar and grill we decided to walk around the town circle, this area is filled with live bands, little bars and mom and pop restaurants.
Eating Brunch at The Salty Crab
We were a party of 15 and they were able to accommodate all of us, their customer service was excellent, and the ￼Oyster￼s were to DIE for! Definitely going back to have Dinner!!!
This is the property we stayed at. The owners provided everything you can possibly think of from a pack and play to coolers for the beach! The house was spacious and clean!!
My Top Picks
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