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The little book with BIG resources!

GIVEAWAY!!! “Hot Pursuit” Advanced Screening Passes

Good Evening, Kansas City!

I think it’s safe to say that our entire team here at iFamilyKC LOVES a fun night out at the movies and there’s only one thing that makes movie nights more fun: Sharing them with you! We are absolutely thrilled to be able to offer TEN lucky winners passes to the advanced screening of the new movie “Hot Pursuit” BEFORE it hits theaters nationwide! If randomly selected in the drawing, you and a guest will join us on Tuesday May 5th at the Cinemark Palace theater on the Plaza at 7:30 for what is sure to be a fun evening. Want to get in on the action?! Head on over to the iFamilyKC Facebook page for more details on how YOU can enter!

“HOT PURSUIT” is a hilarious road trip/buddy comedy starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara.

Witherspoon plays an uptight, by-the-book cop who is responsible for transporting Vergara – the glamorous, out-spoken wife of a drug lord – across Texas to testify in court.   The comedic chemistry between these polar opposites as they race across the state with cops and bad guys in “hot pursuit” will have audiences laughing out loud – especially those who love female-driven physical comedies such as “The Heat,” “Bridesmaids” and “Miss Congeniality.”

Directed by one of today’s best comedy directors, Anne Fletcher (“The Proposal,” “27 Dresses,” etc.), the film is a great kick off for the summer movie season.  The film also stars Rob Kazinsky, John Carroll Lynch and Richard T. Jones, with entertaining turns by popular comedians Jim Gaffigan and Mike Birbiglia.

From New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, HOT PURSUIT will be released by Warner Bros. Pictures in theaters nationwide on Friday, May 8.


Kids Club Event Recap: A Fun Morning At Johnson Farms

Good Afternoon, Friends!

Amidst the hustle and bustle of every day life, many of us long for the simplicity and quiet that only nature can provide. Yesterday, we hosted our semi-annual morning at Johnson Family Farms and it couldn’t been on a more beautiful morning. The blue sky and blooming flowers created the perfect backdrop for this fun event which enabled families the opportunity to spend some time appreciating Earth Day.

Johnson Family Farms Kids Club Event

Johnson Family Farms is nestled on 140 acres of land making the location as vast as it is beautiful and their selection of plants is unparallel to anywhere I’ve seen in the metro area. With nearly five thousand options to select from, Johnson Family Farms is sure to appease the horticulturist in all of us. But that’s not all that the location has to offer. The family friendly atmosphere, play areas, and live animals provide for an enjoyable day out with the entire family.

Yesterday’s two hour event offered the opportunity to witness, first hand, what Johnson Family Farms is all about. Laid back back and relaxed, it made for a really comfortable experience. Participants were given the opportunity to put their green thumbs to good use by potting either a vegetable or a flower. Afterwards, the children and their families headed out to explore the rest of the farm. From the jumping pillow to goat bridge, Johnson Family has something to offer guests of all ages. My four year old particularly enjoyed the jumping pillow and the opportunity to see some pretty fun animals (the goats were a huge hit).

Life down at the farm sure is sweet and we plan to be back for one of their upcoming gardening workshops. My daughter can’t wait to visit over the summer for some family fun and again in the fall for their annual Pumpkin Patch. For more information on Johnson Family Farms, visit them on Facebook or stop by during business hours and pick up some beautiful plants!

Check out more pictures from this event on the iFamilyKC Facebook page and on the iFamilyKC Instagram page.


Fresh Ideas In Parenting: Questions That Change Everything

Good Afternoon, Kansas City!

Mondays are always such an interesting day in our household. Coming off of another very busy weekend, I was actually looking forward to this day – a chance to start a brand new week full of  endless possibilities. We thought Mondays would be the perfect day to launch our brand new blog series: Fresh Ideas in Parenting. Today I wanted to talk about something I recently started doing with my own four year old daughter.

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This is a picture of Charlotte and me at her preschool Valentine’s Day party in February.

Over the last several months, I’ve noticed a drastic shift in my four year old child. She’s transformed from a toddler into a little girl. She’s more independent than she used to be, her personality is shining now more than ever, and it’s become abundantly clear that she is her own little person. I knew, with her growing maturity, that there was also the potential for our relationship to grow and mature as well. A couple of months ago, I started asking her more about her day when I picked her up from school, around the dinner table, and before going to sleep at night. I started asking her deeper, more thought provoking questions than the surface level ones that I’d asked before. The results were shocking. 

When I first started asking Charlotte to tell me about a moment in her day when she felt happy, lonely, excited, or sad, I thought that she wouldn’t grasp the question or that she might not remember those instances but, surprisingly, she does. These questions about the emotions she experiences throughout the day, rather than simply asking her what she has done, encourage her to reflect on how she’s feeling and to be more comfortable telling me what’s on her mind and in her heart. Her responses have opened my eyes to things I’ve said and done and the impact they’ve had on my child (both good and bad). I truly believe that asking her about how she feels has helped to strengthen the bond I have with her.

You see, as parents, we want our children to feel at ease when talking to us even when it makes them (or us) uncomfortable. I want my daughter to know that I’m there for her and I’m ready and willing to listen. I want her to know that I appreciate her voice and that her feelings are valid. More than that, I just want her to trust that she can tell me anything. I know there will come a day when she’ll face the issues of adolescence (not that I’m thinking that far ahead or anything ;)). I know that one day she’ll feel pressured by her peers and I want her to come to me for advice and support and I hope that will be true for our relationship as she grows.

I would encourage you to ask your children hard (for their ages) questions. Here are some of the ones I ask my child:

-What made you the happiest today?

-Was there anything that made you angry?

-Was there anything that made you laugh?

-Was there anything that made you feel sad?

-What was the best thing that happened to you today?

-What was the worst?

-Is there anything you want to tell Mommy (/Daddy) about today?

What are some of the things you ask your children?


The Trials Of Naming A Person

Good Evening, Kansas City!

What a fun weekend here in the metro area! Our boys in blue are ROCKING it on the field (GO Royals!) and Spring events for families are in full swing! Today, Mom Ambassador Jayne reflects on baby names and it makes me wonder: What’s in a name?! When my husband and I were expecting our daughter in 2010, we went back and forth on names until we finally settled on one. Then, in true pregnant fashion, I worried that the name we’d selected for our daughter wouldn’t fit her when she made her grand entrance into the World. Thankfully, Charlotte Grace fits her perfectly. We want to know how YOU selected your baby names: Join in on the conversation on the iFamilyKC Facebook page.

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I recently mentioned that we are pregnant with our third baby – and SO excited!

But, that brings us to one of the most fun (or NOT) parts of pregnancy –
Baby Naming.
Now, if you are a person who comes up with your baby’s name easily and quickly with your significant other, congratulations!  I, however, am not one of those people.
With our first child, we had a “decent” time figuring out a name.  What that meant was we knew the middle name almost immediately (it was a family name), but it took us until the end of the pregnancy before we decided on his first name.  My husband had a very clear choice of name that he wanted, and I had my own name that I liked the best.  Neither one of us loved each other’s name, and neither one of us could agree on anything else that came close.
So, we settled it the old fashioned way – a compromise.  We were also in the middle of a bathroom reno at the time, and my husband and I agreed that if he was able to tile the bathroom the way he wanted – I could name our son the name I preferred.
Done.
With our daughter, it took even longer.  Her middle name was also a relatively certain family name, but her first name was even more difficult.  Even after combing the baby name books and internet for months, neither my husband nor I found any names that we absolutely loved.  When we did finally find a name we loved shortly before her birth, we then disagreed on the spelling and pronunciation.  In this case, my husband won out as he brought up that I’d chosen our son’s first name and now it was his turn to make the choice.
For our third baby, we’re not even having the conversation until we know if it’s a boy or a girl.  At that point, I’m almost certain we’ll have the same difficulty in finding a name we both agree on together.  We don’t have any names on our short list, and we don’t have any names we’ve agreed on in passing just yet.
Thankfully after our older children were born, my husband and I both have come to absolutely love the names we have given to them, whether we initially agreed or not.  I know that after naming our third, the same will happen.
And during any name disagreements, I’ll just keep reminding my husband that it’s my turn to choose again!
Did you have any trouble naming your children?  How did you handle it?

How Did My Daughter’s 1st Birthday Become MORE Overwhelming Than Wedding Planning?!

DSC_0216Good Afternoon, Kansas City!
We’ve all been there – – that agonizing feeling that the birthday party you’re planning for your little one is just not enough. My own daughter turned 4 in February and I struggled with thinking that I should have made her cake or decorations instead of going the store bought route. You know what, though?! Everyone had a great time and I don’t think that it would have mattered if I had spent the extra hours hand making everything this year. Since we know that many of you fall into the same boat, we’ve asked our friend Shannon over at Center Stage Personalized Gifts to give her take birthday party planning. Take a look…
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How did my daughter’s first birthday become more overwhelming than wedding planning?
In this day and age everything has to be Pinterest DIY and fabulous! However, where does that leave us over worked and tired moms? Rather you work outside of the home, on the home or a little of both, if you’re a mom to a little one or more, your day starts with a shower (most days) and end with a where did my day go! I am fortunate to work from home, which is both a blessing and a curse. When you try to do everything it can turn out that you’re not too good with any of it. This brings some extra stress around the time of year that you head to Pinterest and try to find the most original idea that everyone else has already done for your little prince or princess’s birthday party.
 I did Minnie Mouse last year for my daughter’s ALL IMPORTANT first birthday and felt the need to DIY everything I could get my hands on. I am pretty sure that by the end of it, it rivaled the stress I had while planning my wedding. Looking back, was it worth it, well yeah! But, could I have been easier on myself, yes. I changed plans several times and my party at home with a few friends and family continued to grow and grow and before I knew it, I was overwhelmed and decided to look elsewhere to move the party and take a little pressure off myself. We picked Little Monkey Bizness and it was one of the best decisions we made. She loves that place and all her little friends had a great time too! The person assigned to my party was with me the whole time to make sure I stayed on schedule, helped me with what was next and was seriously just awesome! So sometimes doing everything your self doesn’t have to be the only option. I will say though I did still have my adorable picture cake of the baby, the decorations with her face on everything, my chalkboard stats of all her first year accomplishments that I designed (which still sits in her room and I love to look at it every day and see how big she has grown), the first year slideshow (that didn’t work right and skipped a bunch of slides), the homemade tutu outfit, personalized Minnie Mouse “1” onesie, homemade tutu for her height chair (yes, it is now important to also dress the height chair adorably) and the invitations I designed which will go in her scrap book (that I will get around to making someday). After all the stress and the moving, she had a great party and I was glad that I put the time and effort into it because I have a few mementos to keep and look back on.
What has me reminiscing about the first birthday? Her second birthday fast approaches in 2 months…I seriously have no idea where the time has gone. I still want it to be awesome, but I don’t want to have to stress so much. For me, having the birthday somewhere else was nice for no clean up after (or before) and gave her somewhere special to celebrate so we will start the hunt for that again. I have asked my daughter what kind of birthday party does she want to have this year? She continues to say “MINNIE”! I have tried princesses and the like, but no Minnie it shall be again. So I get to have a party twice and make it seem different ha-ha. I love the slideshow and though I did it last year and it had technical issues it will be a fun memory to have and it will be different because it’s another year of fun, love and laughter we have shared! I am going to get her the cutest personalized Minnie and Mickey Mouse CD that sings her name though out. We just returned from Disney World and she will love to hear her name sang by Mickey, Minnie and Goof the only sad part is they don’t have a Happy Birthday song for her like the Disney Princesses Tea Party and The Wiggles CD offers. Maybe next year we will be a little more into the Disney Princesses…it has already started. And of course she will need another tutu fit for a birthday princess, but I think mostly I will try to remember the fun of the birthday and try not to stress about it being perfect. She will love it regardless and my family and friends will love just watching her run around and be adorable (because let’s face it she is). I think the first year was consumed by how amazing the party had to be and making it all about perfection and each year after that will be trying not to cry because my baby is growing up way too fast!!
What are some of the fun birthday party ideas you have done?
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