On the Parents Who Don’t Have Childcare.

On our last morning of vacation, on a walk to get coffee and breakfast J & I walked past a little boy, a little younger than H, standing outside a restaurant banging on the window.

I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t really register or think anything of it and walked forward about to cross the street when J stopped and walked towards the boy.

“What’s wrong, buddy?” J asked.

“I’m trying to get my mom, she’s inside cleaning, I’m supposed to be drawing in the car but I have to tell her something,” he said.

“Come with me,” J said and the little boy followed him around to the other entrance where a door of the closed restaurant was propped open. J waved to the mom as the boy ran up to her and hugged her.

We walked away and I was rattled.

“She left him in the car while she was working…you could have been anyone and he followed you…” my stomach hurt as I thought of the possibilities of this sweet boys fate and was thankful that J had the insight to stop and help.

J wasn’t surprised by the situation and as I processed aloud how sad I was he pointed out that for many parents there aren’t any other options. It’s either work or don’t work, eat or don’t eat. Childcare isn’t an affordable option for so many families.

A few days after we were back, I read the story about a mom losing custody of her 9 year old daughter after leaving her to play in the park 3 days in a row while she went to work. Judgements flew across Facebook and in the comment section as moms and dads weighed in about what kind of parent leaves their kid at the park while they work.

What kind of parent leaves their kid at the park while they go to work?

The kind of parent who is trying their darndest to make ends meet. The one who wants to feed their kid, pay rent or the mortgage, keep the air conditioning from being turned off. These aren’t simply parents who don’t want to pay for childcare because really, do any of us really WANT to pay for childcare? These are parents who CAN’T pay for childcare. Parents who aren’t making enough money to pay for it or who if they do have to pay for it have to not pay something else.

I was blindly about to walk past that little boy standing on the corner, knocking on the glass for his mom because he wasn’t my kid and it wasn’t my problem but I am so glad that J had the insight to stop, to listen, to help without judgement, just kindness and understanding.

At the end of the day we all need more of that. Don’t you think?

Top Six Seattle

UntitledSo J and I went to Seattle, two weeks ago now, but feels like months ago. How can that be?

We LOVED it. It was the perfect amount of time, not too long, not too short and we had the best time. We did everything we wanted to do, walked a ton and ate and drank all the best things. Went to the best restaurants, enjoyed local Seattle fare and just really made the most of our time. It was great and I can’t wait to go back.

Here’s our top 6:

1. Coffee:

Where J loves all things quaint, independent coffee shop, I prefer me some Starbucks, so needless to say visiting the very first store in Pike Place Market was a highlight.
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2. Speaking of Pike Place, this is a must see and do.
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Go early, go often, eat everything and then do it again. Go for the fish throwing, the samples, J loved the Clam Chowder and I had more than my share of freshly baked chocolate croissants.
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Also, Beechers Cheese? The best fresh cheese curds I’ve ever tasted. They squeak.
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3. Use public transportation.
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So a lot of people told us that we should rent a car but after reading about Seattle and the different methods of transportation AND the crazy traffic we decided not to. I AM SO GLAD!

Our hotel offered a shuttle to most main attractions and aside from that we really loved exploring the city. And I estimate that we saved HUNDREDS of dollars on a rental, gas, parking and HOURS of frustration with parking and traffic.

So after we arrived in Seattle we took the Light Rail to Seattle Center and then took a cab to our hotel. Estimated drive time: 1 hour. Actual time on public transit: 1 hour. Cost: $15!

We took the Light Rail a couple times, a cab when we needed to and walked a lot! I never felt as though we couldn’t do anything due to transportation because we just figured it out. I LOVE this part of visiting new cities!

4. Take a Ferry ride to Bainbridge Island:
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I knew this was a for sure thing on my list of things I wanted to do in Seattle but it took a little convincing for J but once we went he loved it. The weather while we were there was simply perfect and being on the Puget Sound with the sun shining and a breeze was absolutely perfect. Bainbridge Island was a small, cute little town full of cafes, shops and real estate offices {?!?} but we made the most of it, had one of our favorite meals while there and just meandered.
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5. Catch a Mariners Game:
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On our flight to Seattle, we heard that the Twins were playing the Mariners while we were in town, so we hopped online Thursday morning and bought tickets just 17 rows away from the field. It was so fun to be there to cheer on our home team and see another stadium and field.
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6. Don’t forget the Seattle attractions

You can’t go to Seattle and not visit all the attractions in Seattle including the gum wall, the Space Needle, Chihuly Gardens and the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation.

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Have you been to Seattle? What’s your favorite or must do and see activities?

Glamorama 2014 in Minneapolis

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Glamorama is coming! Macy’s Glamorama is an hour-long high-end fashion show and musical production that not only unveils the latest fashions from the hottest designers, but also showcases heart-stopping dance, lush visuals, staging as well as incredible musical performances by chart-topping artists. Returning again to the State Theatre, this year’s theme is “Fashion Rocks.” Past […]

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Post Alpha Bits Little Free Library in St. Michael!

I’m VERY excited to finally announce that a Post Alpha Bits Little Free Library has been installed in my community. For local St. Michael friends, the Little Free Library is located at the Rec Center right off Lincoln Drive. And oh, is she a beauty. Alpha Bits sponsored 30 Little Free Libraries to go up […]

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On Seattle and Marriage

J and I returned from FIVE glorious days in Seattle on Sunday night. {More details from our trip in another post to come!} The last time we had been away for any amount of time was three years ago when I surprised J with a weeklong cruise and my cousin generously gave up her week […]

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Budsies Turns Art into Stuffed Animals

We have a surplus of art around here and as any parent of many children knows, you just can’t save it all. We try to weed through the artwork from time to time and even gift some to friends and family but yet I know we’ve lost or misplaced or even tossed some sadly. Budsies […]

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Win a Private Building Session with Master Model Builder at Legoland Discovery Center-Chicago

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LEGOLAND Discovery Center’s Master Model Builder, David Howard, is searching for a building partner! What would you recreate in LEGO bricks? If you could choose anything in the world, what would it be? Enter your idea in our contest for a chance to build it with our Master Model Builder! How to Enter: Make a […]

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On Nisswa Turtle Races, Traditions and Good Friends.

Three years ago now a friend of mine and I were both reminiscing about going to the Nisswa turtle races as we grew up. And then we both realized that neither of our summer schedules were going to have us in Nisswa on a Wednesday for the turtle races. {Races happen each Wednesday through August […]

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Remembering Nan’s Battle- August 16, 2014

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This August will mark 7 years that our family and many friends and extended family members have joined us to walk and run to remember my mom at the A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation 5K. This is my annual plea and invitation to join us. I get that these days it’s not unusual to […]

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Parent/Baby Class at My Gym Eden Prairie {Huggies Giveaway!}

Huggies Little Movers Class Takeover

I’m excited to invite my readers to a special event sponsored by Huggies Little Movers and hosted by My Gym Eden Prairie with a class taught by Fitness Celebrity Nicole Glor. Miss F and I will be at one of the classes {hopefully 11 a.m.} and we’d love to see you there. Here’s the rundown- […]

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