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The little book with BIG resources!

Enter To Win $25 For The Just Between Friends OVERLAND PARK Sale!

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Happy Monday, Friends!

It’s the LAST day in August! Who’s ready to FALL into savings at the Just Between Friends OVERLAND PARK sale THIS weekend?! In honor of the upcoming sale, we want to play a little game with you. We’ve got THREE $25 Gift Cards to give away to the sale and, in case you’ve never been to one of these $25 can go a LONG way! We want YOU to tell US how you would stretch your $25 and we’ll randomly select three winners (one will be selected on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, and one on Thursday) from the comments here on the blog and on the iFamilyKC Facebook post.

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With thousands of items to select from all for sale WELL below department store pricing, it’s easy to make a relatively small budget go FAR. I was able to snag 7 items for LESS than $25 at the Spring 2015 sale. In addition to the adorable clothes, Halloween costumes, holiday outfits, shoes, and accessories that you’ll find at this weekend’s sale, you’ll also find a huge selection of gently used strollers, furniture, car seats, and large infant items (like swings) so you can stock up for all of the essentials!

Just Between Friends

First time parents & grandparents, foster parents, mothers of multiples, military families, and teachers can get exclusive access to EARLY shopping for the Just Between Friends OVERLAND PARK sale THIS Wednesday evening (from 6:00-9:00pm) by registering through their Eventbrite link. Everyone else will have the opportunity to shop:

Thursday 9:00am-8:00pm 

Get Your FREE admission coupon HERE!

Friday 9:00am-8:00pm

FREE admission!

Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm

FREE admission!

Sunday 9:00am-5:00pm 

50% Off All Items NOT Marked With a Star!

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All of this and SO MUCH MORE is available to you at Just Between Friends Overland Park’s BRAND NEW location at the Overland Park Convention Center. We’re so excited for the sale and can’t wait to see how far YOU can stretch $25! Be sure to share your deals with us over on the iFamilyKC Facebook page.

Just Between Friends Giveaway

ENTER TO WIN one of THREE $25 Gift Cards!

Simply COMMENT here AND/OR on the iFamilyKC Facebook page through THIS LINK and tell us how YOU will spend YOUR $25.00 to the sale and we’ll randomly select a winner on Tuesday, Wednesday, AND Thursday for this weekend’s sale!


2015 KC Renaissance Festival Preview!

Good Morning, Friends!

Happy Friday! It’s hard to believe that it’s already the end of August (I keep asking myself where the time goes) and now that my favorite season is ALMOST here, it’s time to start thinking about fall festivities here in the metro area. One of my favorite annual attractions is back and it’s better than ever: The Kansas City Renaissance Festival opens NEXT weekend (Saturday September 5th and runs through Columbus Day). I had the chance to attend a sneak peak of this year’s event last night and am excited to report that it was fantastic! Take a look at the video highlights from last night’s fun:

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Last night’s event highlighted some of the newest activities and foods that are available to you this year including the brand new Wizard’s Flight School Zip Line brought to you by our friends at Adventure Zip KC and new menu selections from crab cakes to burnt ends, coffee from The Roasterie, and more!

Here’s a little preview of what you can expect:

 

Paige The Elephant at KC Ren Fest

Paige the elephant (who loves to eat healthy snacks like apples and carrots)!

Mermaid at KC Ren Fest

Live mermaids!

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Wizards Flight School Zip Line

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Dragon Eggs (which I hear are guaranteed to hatch in about 100 years ;))

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Visits with the King & Queen!

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Live music, dancing, and performances!

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AND SO MUCH MORE at The 2015 KC Renaissance Festival!

http://www.kcrenfest.com/entertainment.html

http://www.kcrenfest.com/entertainment.html

http://www.kcrenfest.com/entertainment.html

633 North 130th Street, Bonner Springs, KS 66012
Bonner Springs, Kansas
(913) 721-2110

KC 360 Gymnastics: Jump Into Fun iFamilyKC Kids Club Event Recap!

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Happy Wednesday, Friends!

As we gear up for the back half of this week, I thought it would be fun to take a few minutes to reflect on all the fun we had this past weekend at KC 360 Gymnastics in Olathe, KS. Here at iFamilyKC, one of our absolute favorite things is the interaction we have with each of you here on the blog, across our social media channels, and in person at events across town. We had the distinct honor of hanging out with some of you at our August iFamilyKC Kids Club event on Sunday afternoon. It was so much fun seeing your little ones let loose and enjoy all of the fun activities they have at KC 360 Gym. In case you missed this one, here’s a recap of some of the fun we had:

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From beginner balance beams to dodge ball, our friends over at KC 360 Gym provide fitness and fun for the whole family. Sunday’s event was set up much like their open gym (find their schedule and details for that here) and was a great opportunity to get out to the gym and see what they’ve got to offer.

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Check Out Photos Of KC 360 Gym’s Facility!

KC 360 Gym Event

Most of Sunday’s fun took place on the first floor of the gym where they’ve got balance beams, bars, rings, a running trampoline, dodge-ball courts, and so much more and it was a blast seeing the excitement of the kids as they tested their skills (some of them were incredible!) and let out some afternoon energy. My four year old daughter came with me to this event and instantly gravitated towards the balance beams and running trampolines which occupied much of her time at the event.

Take a peek at all of the classes KC 360 Gym offers!

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One of the things I personally loved most about this event is that it seemed like everyone was having such a fun time no matter their age. We had a wide range of attendees from toddlers (like the cutie pictured above) to teenagers and each age seemed to fit naturally into the different stages and areas that were set up. The gym starts classes for little ones at 18-months (their Parent-Tot class) and go all the way up to adult fitness and dance classes (after all the wine and cheese I had on vacation last week, I could sure use their boot camp class :)).

iFamilyKC Kids Club Event at KC 360 Gym

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We had so much fun at our event that we can’t wait to do it again! If you’re interested in learning more about all of the fun that KC 360 Gymnastics has to offer, visit them online, on Facebook, or give them a quick call (913) 782-3300 and be sure to let them know that your friends at iFamilyKC sent you! Be sure to check out their ad and their COVER in the September issue of iFamilyKC! We can’t wait to see you all for next month’s FUN – Sign up for our email list so you don’t miss out on EXCLUSIVE invites to our iFamilyKC Kids Club events and SO MUCH MORE.

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KC360Gym


Just Between Friends Is Coming To LEE’S SUMMIT! Enter to WIN a $25 Gift Card!

Good Afternoon, KC!

I woke up this morning, the beautiful sun was shining through the windows and it dawned on me: Autumn is on its way (and Christmas will be here in 4 months). As thrilled as I am about the upcoming cooler weather, seasonal changes often mean a new wardrobe for growing children. We’re finally to the point where my daughter (who will be five this winter) wants to pick out her own clothes, shoes, and accessories (so many accessories) and that can get pretty expensive. Thankfully, we’re lucky to live in a city that is just so unbelievably family friendly and I’m excited about the upcoming Just Between Friends sale here in Lee’s Summit THIS weekend (August 28th-30th).

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Just Between Friends (JBF) sales give parents the opportunity to shop for just about EVERYTHING you could possibly need from pregnancy to adolescence all under one roof and all at DEEPLY discounted prices. With consignment sales, like JBF, everyone wins. Local parents can consign their gently used name brand and boutique items where they’ll earn up to 70% of their total sales and shoppers can purchase quality clothing, shoes, toys, accessories, furniture, and MORE at just pennies on the dollar compared to what you’d pay at the department stores.

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We are SO excited about the upcoming Just Between Friends sale that we want to give YOU the opportunity to experience it EARLY! You’ll be able to shop FREE on Friday August 28th from 10:00am-7:00pm. Claim YOUR pre-sale pass by following THIS LINK and be sure to “like” the Just Between Friends Facebook page.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! 

We have 3 $25 Gift Cards to THIS weekend’s sale and YOU can ENTER TO WIN right here on the iFamilyKC blog!

To Enter:

Simply COMMENT on THIS blog post and let us know what one item YOU hope to see at this weekend’s sale.

We’ll randomly select 1 winner tomorrow and 1 winner on Thursday from all blog entries and will notify the winners via email. You can ALSO enter to win on the iFamilyKC Facebook page by leaving us a comment on this post.

Just Between Friends Sale

Just Between Friends Lee’s Summit

Friday, August 28th

:

10am-7pm  Open to the public, $2 admission for 18 & over.

Saturday, August 29th:

10am-5pm  Free Admission.

Sunday, August 30th:
10am-5pm   50% off sale!  Free Admission.  (items with a star on the tag remain full price)

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Need directions?

The Pavilion at John Knox Village

520 NW Murray

Lee’s Summit, MO 64081


Straight From the L&D Ward – Things I’d Do Differently

Straight From the L&D Ward – Things I’d Do Differently

After birthing two beautiful children already, many of you know that we are on our way to a third child this fall.  While having children is a wonderful, amazing, earth-shattering thing, the actual process of birthing/labor/delivery can be confusing, difficult, fast (or slow!), and in general energy consuming.  Once you’ve birthed your first child (and any thereafter), I’ve found that many women approach their next birth with a “things I’d like to do/not to do next time” sort of feeling.  After two lovely but crazy relatively low risk vaginal births, here is my list of things I will do with our third:

1. Find reliable help.
 
And I’m not talking about my lovely family coming to be with my older children (but thank you to my mother in law!!!).  I’m talking about a birth support team.  We had a doula for our first and LOVED the extra set of hands, but when it came time for our second birth, the doula wasn’t able to make it – and then never refunded the amount we’d paid her in advance.  Yeah.  It wasn’t the best situation.  This time around, we’ve found an amazing (and reliable!) doula who was willing to work with us and suffer the sins of another by agreeing to be paid AFTER services have been provided.  This scenario is leaving me with a lot more warm fuzzies and most importantly my husband with the willingness to hire birth support again.  If I were paying in advance again – I would be sure to have a very clearly written contract as to terms of full or partial refund in the case of services not rendered.
2. Adjust the hospital bed, silly!
 
I have no clue why, but when my first was born – I found the height of the rolling baby cart versus the height of the hospital bed to be incongruent… and I never thought to raise the height of the bed.  For however many night feedings or changes he needed, I pulled myself out of bed, stood up, changed him standing, and lifted him in and out of the cart while up.  Somewhere after my second was born, I remembered in the newborn haze that, YEP.  Those hospital beds definitely move up in height, so I can just pick the baby up out of the cart without even getting out of bed.  SO.MUCH.EASIER on a postpartum mama.
3. Have a person designated to feed me.
 
After my first child was born at ten o’clock at night, I realized I’d labored and delivered for over 24 hours without any kind of meal.  Starving and ready to eat, I inquired for a menu and was promptly told that the hospital stops serving food at a certain point.  At that time, the absolute ONLY things they could offer me were packets of crackers.  Um, what?  Unfortunately, by the time my husband was able to get out and grab me something to eat, the only thing available was greasy fast food.  It would not have been my first choice of meal after birthing, for sure.  This time around, if I am laboring at night, my husband is the designated guy to know what the cafeteria hours are and to go grab something for me prior to their closing, so that I have food and drink available when needed.
4. Spend time at home initially.
 
During each birthing, I’d planned to stay at home for as long as possible with my eldest two children.  Unfortunately, seeing as they were born during an ice storm and then a blizzard, my care providers preferred me to come into the hospital sooner than I’d expected due to the inclement weather.  Thankfully, if my history of long labors repeats itself – my current care provider is supportive of my staying home as long as I feel comfortable.
5. Go with the flow, but know my limits.
 
Probably the biggest difference during this birthing time is my confidence level.  After having two low risk births and on my way to my third – I understand what it means to be amenable to change and understand that things can change very quickly.  However, I also am no longer afraid of voicing my opinion and making sure it is heard.  While certainly not every provider, too many hospitals/doctors/nurses, in my personal experience, have the tendency to ignore completely reasonable birthing requests, speak in a poor tone to birthing women, or override personal or religious convictions during labor.  Thankfully, while I plan on being as polite as I am able – I also am not planning on being a doormat during my own labor.
Been there, done that moms!  Are there any things you’d do differently at a subsequent birthing?

Packing The Hospital Bag For Baby #3

As the summer rounds out and I get closer and closer to the early fall birth of my third child, I’ve had to remind myself several times to get out of “already mom” mode and back into “new mom” mode.

Has anyone else found themselves feeling the same way?
 
I know that when my first was born, I was completely prepared with EVERYTHING by the time I hit 25-30 weeks pregnant.  And I mean everything.  The hospital bag, the nursery (painted, furniture and crib in place, decorations, bedding, etc.), my diaper bag, outfits washed and in drawers ready to go, baby monitor set up, baby devices set up (bouncy seat, swing, etc.).
This time around, I just haven’t been that organized.  This week, I will hit 34 weeks, and thankfully I’ve finally kicked into “new mom” gear over here – meaning I’ve washed our newborn girl clothing, installed our third car seat, pulled out our swaddle blankets, prepped our newborn cloth diapers, and at least thrown a few items into my hospital bag.
I don’t know about any other moms of more than one – but it seems like each time I pack a hospital bag, I pack less and less.  Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if I showed up for my third birth with my cell phone, charger, and the clothes on my back – had it not been for forgetting several key items during my second birth.
What, you may ask?  Well flip flops topped that list, for sure.  Try walking around the L&D ward in snow boots and let me tell you how comfortable that is!  LOL.
 
Anyway, a few items I’m making sure I bring this third time around are as follows:
1. Flip flops.  Because NEED.
2. Cell phone & charger (loaded with hypnobirthing tracks)
3. Toiletries (I stocked up on some travel sized shampoo/deodorant/toothpaste at the grocery last week and threw some mascara and a contact lens case in a bag, so I think I’m covered there)
4. Yoga pants
5. Baby’s coming home outfit (well, I’m almost there.  It’s purchased but in my washer at this very moment)
6. Nursing tanks and comfy sweaters for on top
7. Hair ties/headbands for labor
8. A charged iPad/laptop for early labor or after the baby is born, as needed.
9. My DSLR camera so I can snap some newborn shots while uninterrupted by my toddler and preschooler!
10. Sleep gown and bathing suit top as needed during birthing
I think that’s about the total of my hospital bag for baby number three.  While it sounds rather short and clearly is leaps and bounds shorter than most blogger hospital bag lists of late (because – really.  One blogger I follow was bringing an inflatable mattress and a tarp for her husband…. What?), it seems to be the most concise list of the things I actually use during birthing and after.
Although – who knows.  Being a third time mom, I might actually stash some secret snacks and feed myself at the hospital this time as well 😉
What are your top ten items included in your hospital bag?
This post was written by iFamilyKC Mom Ambassador Jayne

 


At Home Late Summer Activities For The Little Ones

At some point in the summer, most parents I know get to “that point”.

You know.  
 
That time when you’ve been Pinterest-mom for too long and you’ve basically run out of ideas to keep the kids occupied.
Right?  I think everyone goes through that at some point each summer!
 
So, without further ado, we’ve compiled a list of plenty of summer fun activities to be completed at your home to get you out of that mid-August slump!  Here goes:
1. Backyard camping
2. Storytelling
3. Picnic lunch or dinner in your yard or at a park
4. Star gazing or looking for constellations at night
5. Looking up common backyard bugs or watching videos about them.
6. Looking up common backyard birds or animals online or at the library and also watching videos about them (this is a FAVORITE of my children)
7. Helping your children to clean up or de-clutter their rooms/wardrobes in anticipation of the school year
8. Make your own ice cream
9. Make cereal or pasta necklaces – give them to each other as gifts!
10. Learn a new song
11. Make a care package for a friend or family member and either mail or delivery it to them personally
12. Volunteer your time to a charity as a family
13. Have a bonfire
14. Go for a hike or just a walk through your neighborhood
15. Collect leaves in your neighborhood and paste them on paper – research what kind of trees they come from.
16. Play board games
17. Go to the dollar store and do a “Secret Santa” gift exchange during the middle of the summer for fun.
18. If there is a working parent/significant other/family member that you can visit at lunch, bring them lunch one day.
19. Have a water balloon fight
20. Write letters to family members telling them about your family’s summer and asking about theirs
21. Play family soccer in the yard
22. Wash a car together
23. Go geocaching
24. Have a sleepover in your living room
25. Play in the sprinklers!
Have you done any of the ideas on this list?  What would you add?
This post was written by iFamilyKC Mom Ambassador Jayne.

Good Evening, Kansas City!

It’s hard to believe it’s back to school season already, right?! Even though the kids are back in school this week and next, we’ve still got a few weeks of warm summer temps and one of our Mom Ambassadors, Molly G., shares one of her favorite summer activities tonight on the blog. We’d love to hear what YOUR favorite summer activities were in the comments below!

Summer Swimming!

What have you been doing on these hot summer days with your kiddos?

It seems like there are so many pool options here in Kansas City and the surrounding metro area. Layla and I love going to different pools once a week in the summertime. She loves playing on the slides, splashing around in the toddler areas, and enjoying the waterfalls. Since she’s only two years old, we tend to stay in the kiddie area but it’s always a fun time!

Our favorite pool in the area is Splash Cover in Shawnee Mission. It’s off of the Johnson Drive exit on I-35 (the same exit as IKEA) with pools that seem to be geared towards the younger crowd (their pools only go to about 3 feet deep so I don’t even have to bring Layla’s float :)). Splash Cove also has a small wave pool that the kids absolutely love and with admission ranging from just $6-$12 dollars a person, it’s an affordable way to have a day out with the whole family.
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What are your favorite splash pads, water parks, and pools to enjoy in the Kansas City area?!


Sweet Summer Snacks!

Good Morning, KC!

 

It’s hard to believe that August is already here! Now that we’re in the final stretch of summer vacation, many of us are trying to find ways to make these last few weeks in the heat enjoyable (or at least manageable, right?!). One of our lovely Mom Ambassadors, Jayne, is here to share her ideas for sweet summer treats that your family can try this month. We’d love to hear YOUR favorite summer snack recipes so join the conversation over on the iFamilyKC Facebook page.

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Whew!  This summer has been HOT, people!  Being almost ready to have our third baby in this heat has been, um, interesting at best – and some days I just don’t want to brave the humidity and temperatures outside.  To combat toddler and preschooler boredom, though – I’ve had to get a bit creative, which has led to PLENTY of summer cooking and recipes!

Since my children are little still, most of our recipes are quick, easy treats that will keep their interest – but at the same time provide some much needed refreshment at the same time.  Here are a few of our heavy hitters recently:
– Fruit Salad
 
There is nothing more my children want to do than cut lately.  Scissors, child-friendly knives, shovels – you name it, they’re trying to become a chef with it.  One simple way to provide fine motor practice, practical life skills, and fun at the same time is to make a fruit salad.  Cutting up items like apples, peeling oranges, de-stemming grapes, and slicing pineapple are all excellent additions to a cool, tasty fruit salad that will get your children’s fingers and brains working hard – especially if you talk about their colors/shapes/sizes while you’re preparing the salad!
– Popsicles
 
My children also LOVE a popsicle after dinner as a treat, and we recently found a kit where they can make their own popsicles at our local grocery store.  (If you don’t have a fancy DIY popsicle maker to the tune of a few dollars, you can also use small cups with either toothpicks or just a bag of popsicle sticks purchased from the store – depending on the size of your frozen treats!)  You can use store bought juice or make your own to pour into your popsicle molds.  This is also a great preschool and elementary aged activity, as you can discuss the reversible process of freezing and melting – as well as what conditions lead to the freezing/melting process and where else they may see that occur in their daily lives.
(I have been VERY familiar with the melting process recently!!!)
 
– Ice cream floats
 
We don’t often allow pop or soda in our house or to be consumed by our children, but there’s just something lovely and refreshing about the once or twice a summer treat of a Root Beer float.  I like to have my children scoop their own ice cream to encourage fine motor skills – but also to have them predict what they think will happen to the ice cream when it enters the soda.  Will it stay the same?  Melt?  Mix in with the liquid?  Change color?  Fizz?  We like to write down our guesses and then our observations and make it a mini science experiment!
– Smoothies
 
Smoothies are always high on our list of what to eat, but especially in the summer – a well timed smoothie is the perfect substitute for a heavy meal on a sweltering, sticky day.  A great way to keep your children involved is not only to have them help prepare the smoothie by pouring the contents into the blender, but also having your children help pick and choose what items they’d like to input in your smoothie at the actual grocery store.  I’ve found this leads to wonderful conversations about the different fruits and vegetables as well as encourages my children to try new foods they may not have previously heard of, for sure!
Other than those top four, during the summer we will also frequently make things like lemonade, fresh squeezed orange juice, jello, lettuce or tortilla wraps, and pudding, among other things.
What are some items your family makes during the summer?  Share your recipes in the comments!

Family Fun Event Alert: “Mulan” On Stage!

 

 

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Good Evening, Kansas City!

I, like many of you, have been spending a lot more time with my little one during these summer months than I normally am able to when school is in session. During our (increased) time together, I’ve noticed a few things about my sweet little lady that I’d never really discovered before: She has a natural love for all things artistic. From our morning dance parties to her recent request to create an action painting (which I had to look up because apparently my four year old is better versed in art than I am), she is inspired by the world around her. I was reminded of my own similar interest in theater growing up. I have really great memories from shows at my local community theater and wanted to share a fun event coming up THIS week in Lee’s Summit, MO.

Reed Performing Arts has been working hard to get ready for their live performances of Disney’s “Mulan” THIS Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the Deerbrook Covenant Church off of Tudor Road in Lee’s Summit. This performance highlights the incredible talent of some of our community’s youngest citizens and I’m excited to share the details with all of you. Reserved seating is just $5 per ticket and general admission is FREE (you’re welcome to make a donation if you’re able). I can’t wait to bring my own daughter for a little girl power and a whole lot of fun.

Disney’s “Mulan” 

August 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th 

8:00pm 

Deerbrook Covenant Church 

Presented by:

 

 

 

Reed_Performing_Arts_Company

 

Reed Performing Arts Company (RPAC) is an exciting new dance and theater studio in the Lee’s Summit community offering recreational dance, competitive dance, and drama for children of all ages. RPAC’s drama program features 5 musicals throughout the year with acting, singing, and dancing.  Reed Performing Arts strives to “Aspire To Inspire” children of all ages to become successful and confident; using dance and drama as a teaching tool for lifelong lessons.