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The little book with BIG resources!

A Message To You: Early Childhood Teachers!

Happy Monday, Kansas City!

Ask any working parent and they will tell you that leaving your little ones in the care of someone else while you work can be a real challenge on your emotions. I’ll never forget the first morning I dropped my little one off at daycare when I was working out of an office – I managed to hold it together just long enough to pull out of the parking lot before the tears started to flood my eyes. Today on the blog, one of our Mom Ambassadors, Anne, has a message for all of the childcare providers out there who work so hard to care and love for the little ones when their parents are at work. Our team here at iFamilyKC would like to say THANK YOU to all of the early childhood educators out there – you guys are amazing!


You’re more than just a daycare teacher, you know.

You care for our most prized possession, every single day.

 The words thank you just don’t seem to do justice to how thankful I actually am, for YOU.  Every morning I wake up, I pick my daughter up out of her crib and I cling to her because I know in a few short hours she’ll no longer be in my arms.  She’ll be in yours.

 It’s a love, hate relationship I have with you, you know…

 I slide on my pantyhose, throw on my heels, then out the door we go for yet another whirlwind day of car seat carrying, daycare drop off, office talk, conference calls, meetings, daycare pickup, baby food messes, bath time & bottles.

But when I walk in the room to drop my little girl off, you are there.

Smiling.  Full of energy.  Ready to love my daughter for those hours that I cannot.

 I envy your t shirt & jeans, you know…. 

But what I envy more is the time you get with her.

In the beginning, it was brutal.  Handing off my tiny little baby to a strange woman I didn’t know. Brutal.

In fact, I remember having a conversation with someone to which I referred to the process as in-humane.  Women should never have to experience this.

I hated everything during those weeks. I hated my pencil skirts. I hated the commute to work.

I hated the guilt.

I hated you.

 But now, I adore you.

You are my right arm, you know…

You’re my wing-woman. 

You’re there with my daughter, 5 days a week.  Loving her, comforting her, teaching her.

You allow me the opportunity to wear my badge with pride, not guilt.

Working mom.

 I’ve learned that that badge I’m so proud of, carries a lot of weight.

And that weight is guilt.  But you, you make the guilt a little easier to carry.

 I’ll never forget the day my daughter became very ill while at daycare.

It was the first time I couldn’t get away from the office to pick her up.

My husband rushed there to pick her up & to get her to the doctor.

When he called me later, I broke down in tears…

He described the love you were showing my sick little girl.

 You were rocking her, ever so gently.

You were stroking her back, comforting her as she was throwing up.

That’s the moment I realized that I love the love you show my daughter every. single. day. 

While it ripped my heart out to not be there with her, I knew you were.

And that gave me peace.


So until I can find the words to convey the profound appreciation I have for you…

THANK YOU wing-woman, will just have to do.

(Lara’s Daycare Teachers, aka, My Wing-Women)


Check out www.axenosblog.com for more posts by Anne.

Summer Box Office Hit: “Inside Out” In Review!





Good Evening, Kansas City!


Now that Summer vacation has OFFICIALLY settled in for us here in the metro area, you’re probably wondering if there are any great indoor activities to take your kiddos to this week (hello ridiculously hot temperatures, or rain, or some combination thereof). I had the opportunity to catch a sneak preview of Disney Pixar’s NEWEST film “Inside Out” with my 8 year old niece last week. She gave it a GLOWING “million thumbs up” and I’ve shared my thoughts with you below. If you happen to find yourself at the theater this week, we’d love to hear what you think of the film so be sure to drop us a line over on Facebook with your comments.

Inside Out

Starring: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Phyliss Smith

Runtime: 94 Minutes

MPAA Rating: Rated PG

Hooray! Pixar is back! It has been almost 5 years since Pixar touched greatness. “Toy Story 3″ came out in late 2010 and it it had clever humor, an exciting prison break sequence, and all of the emotions. Pixar seemed like an unstoppable machine. Then “Cars 2″ happened, and it was sort of okay (and by “sort of”, I mean I don’t want to offend the studio because I kind of love them).

It was the first Pixar movie that was mostly appealing for kids and didn’t seem to have a real purpose except for making more money and selling more toys.  “Brave” was really great (girl power!), “Monsters University” was fine but only slightly more necessary than “Cars 2″.  To find it’s heart again, Pixar went back to Pete Docter who wrote and directed “Up”, one of the Pixar most emotionally powerful films. I am happy to say that in “Inside Out”, Docter outdoes himself and once again creates something great.

Those who have seen the rest of Pixar movies know that a world within the world is a common theme.  “Finding Nemo”, the “Toy Story” trilogy, “A Bug’s Life” and “Monsters Inc” all feature a sub-universe that happens within and interacts with a mostly oblivious human universe (this human interaction, incidentally, is what is missing from both Cars movies and “Monsters University”).

“Inside Out” uses this plot device again but does so in a completely different way. Much of the film is set inside the brain of an 11 year old girl named Riley where 5 personified emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger – must work together to help guide Riley through difficult life changes.

While many tv episodes and movies have occurred inside the body, I don’t recall many occurring within the brain. When the body is the setting there are things that we are basically familiar with. We can imagine blood streams and the heart and lungs, and even white blood cells fighting germs. In “Inside Out”, Docter and his animation team had to create a brand new world. They created an entire infrastructure showing how are memories and our emotions interact. The result is entertaining and extremely creative.

Another strength of the film is the voice performances. Sure, there is a lot of type casting happening (of course Lewis Black voices Anger) but when your characters are personified emotions  typecasting is kind of the point and it works.  Amy Poehler (obviously channeling Leslie Knope) does a particular great job and pulls off the difficult task of being ridiculously optimistic while remaining very likable.

I could keep going, but I’ll just say that everything here works. The story is well constructed and the characters learn and grow in very interesting and thought provoking ways.  While people of all ages can enjoy this film, some of what’s happening will likely be too heavy or complex to be fully appreciated by very young viewers. They will still enjoy it, but they could probably watch it every couple years and get more out of it, which is actually a strength. This will definitely be one that we end up owning in our household and it shows that Pixar has still got it.

Written by iFamilyKC staff Holli Ann

SAVE THE DATE: FREE Family Event at Kauffman Center Sunday June 28th



Save the date! For the second annual Future Stages Festival at the Kauffman Center!

Kauffman Center on Sunday, June 28, 2015 from 11am – 4pm

The festival will feature 29 community performing groups from the greater Kansas City region who will perform throughout the day in Muriel Kauffman Theatre, Helzberg Hall and on an Outdoor Stage.

“We are pleased to offer this free event as the Kauffman Center is committed to providing opportunities for youth performance artists and provide family-friendly programming. Supporting the growth of future artists, the festival allows us to give back to our community by showcasing many talented young artists from across the region. I’m personally excited to see more than 600 young performers have the opportunity to be showcased on our stages,” stated Paul Schofer, President & CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Greater Kansas City and the surrounding region has thousands of talented youth artists. Each has a dream to perform in a world-renowned venue and be recognized by professionals and peers. Future Stages Festival provides youth from all disciplines and styles of performance art the opportunity to perform and be recognized.

Future Stages Festival is part of Open Doors Spotlight on Youth, an access program designed to share the Kauffman Center’s stages with a wide range of local artists and performers, from young people to smaller arts groups, many of whom have not yet had the opportunity to perform at the Kauffman Center.

More than 600 artists from the Greater Kansas City community are expected to perform on Kauffman Center stages as part of Future Stages Festival. These artists represent 29 performing arts organizations that were selected to perform after a community request for performance group nominations resulted in more than 160 submissions. In addition, the Kauffman Center’s resident companies, the Kansas City Ballet, Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Kansas City Symphony will take part in the event. Families and young people attending the event are invited to participate in interactive arts activities throughout the day.

Future Stages Festival Features Performances by

5 Star Jazz Band
AileyCamp the Group
Allegro Choirs of Kansas City
Culture House Academy of Performing Arts
Defy Dance Project
DNC – United Dance Trio
Heart of America Shakespeare Festival – Team Shakespeare
Heart of America Youth Ballet
Dr. Jan Kraybill
Kansas City Ballet’s ROAD Program Interactive Dance Class with Sean Duus & Ken Lovern
The Kansas City Boys Choir and The Kansas City Girls Choir
Kansas City Symphony
Kansas City Young Audiences Community School of the Arts Dance Students
Legacy School of the Arts Ballet and Jazz Companies
Lyric Opera of Kansas City – Kids in Opera
Metropolitan Strings Academy’s “Advanced Chamber Strings Orchestra”
Nevada Crimson Sound Symphonic Band
O’Riada Manning Academy of Irish Dance
Ottawa Suzuki Strings
The School of Rock – Parkville, MO
Silk Road Dance Academy and Zhang Li Dance Academy
Sinag-Tala Performing Arts Troupe of the Filipino Association of Greater Kansas City
Starlight STARS of Tomorrow
TMS African Dance Youth Ensemble
The Trouble Clefs: “KC’s Kings of Swing”
Voices of Change
Youth Symphony of Kansas City Summer String Program

Interactive Arts Activities and More by

American Institute of Architects Kansas City
Kansas City Chalk & Walk
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Kite Club
Kansas City Symphony
Lyric Opera of Kansas City
Mattie Rhodes Center
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Pianos on Parade by 4/4Kids and KCMTA
Quixotic School of Performing Arts
Theater League
UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance

The Kauffman Center Open Doors program connects young people to the arts through three major components:

  • The Open Doors Spotlight on Youth program inspires and nurtures the next generation of artists by giving young performers the opportunity to perform on the stages of the Kauffman Center.
  • The Open Doors Community Ticket Fund offers access to programming at the Kauffman Center for youth and families through reduced price or free tickets.
  • The Open Doors Transportation Fund offers funding to schools in the metropolitan area so that bringing students to the Kauffman Center for school matinee performances is more affordable.

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, a major center for music, opera, theater, and dance designed by Moshe Safdie, opened in 2011. Serving as a cultural cornerstone for Kansas City and the region, the Kauffman Center delivers extraordinary and diverse performing arts experiences. Recently honored as one of the World’s 15 Most Beautiful Concert Halls, the Kauffman Center attracts some of the world’s most renowned performers and entertainers. Through educational outreach programs and community enrichment, the Kauffman Center supports Kansas City as a cultural destination.

More information on the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is available at www.kauffmancenter.org.

MotherFreakingHood the HILARIOUS New Musical

Ok moms, and even grandmas, listen up. Whether you are pregnant with your first, a veteran with 4 young adults that have left the nest, or possibly the grandma who has seen it all, you need to see this show! MotherFreakingHood takes us from pee stick through High School graduation at a rapid pace without missing a beat. We were fortunate to experience this witty musical Saturday evening for their opening weekend at Avila’s Goppert Theatre and it was a huge hit with the entire audience! Literally, laugh out loud funny, throughout the evening, there’s something for all of us. The humor is so high quality and comes so fast, you may need to see it a second time to catch it all. The artful cast of players is truly top notch. Their talent, combined with the hilarious content had us in tears – the good kind – from laughing hysterically. The writers, originally from KC, are skilled in translating real life mom-hood into irreverent comedy, mostly because it’s all true. This show and it’s impressive cast is worthy of any stage, not just in Kansas City. I wasn’t sure what to expect and the quality of the entire production blew me away.

The story revolves around “Rachael” the naïve young mom with unrealistic expectations that clash with reality, “Angie” the mom that has it all under total control {or does she?} and then my favorite, “Marcia”, who brings it all home with the real deal for moms at every stage. There are 19 original songs with lyrics and rhythm that tie in with fabulous choreography. I would buy the soundtrack in a heartbeat. Grab your girlfriends, neighbors, co-workers & even your moms and make a night of it. You do not want to miss this show! At the Goppert Theatre, runs through June 14th. Get your tickets now!

MotherFreakingHood 2015 at the Goppert Theatre
MotherFreakingHood 2015 at the Goppert Theatre