We’re Going to Surf with Santa and Visit SpongeBob at ICE LAND!

Thanks to Schlitterbahn, Moody Gardens, and US Family Guide, we’ll be surfing with Santa at Schlitterbahn and visiting SpongeBob at Moody Gardens ICE LAND this weekend. As always, all opinions are entirely my own. #BahnHoliday #MGIceLand

Schlitterbahn Galveston, Moody Gardens Galveston, ICE LAND, winter events in Galveston

Do you remember over the summer when we had the Bubby dubbed, “best day ever” at Schlitterbahn Galveston? Well, guess what? Dudes, we’re going back for some holiday fun. That’s right, a water park in the wintertime, because our island is cool like that. Santa is inviting kids to a very different kind of holiday party – Holiday Splash at Schlitterbahn Galveston Island. During the park’s Holiday Splash, which takes place weekends and select dates from November 28, 2014 through January 4, 2015, Santa is giving surf lessons to kids on the Boogie Bahn (I’m pocket sized, I’m going to try to slip in the line too). Kids can also make holiday ornaments, swim in an artificial snow storm, and enjoy a sprinkle of holiday cheer.

Schlitterbahn Galveston Holiday Splash, winter activities in Galveston, Christmas in Galveston

Wait. What? That’s not enough to entice you to want to come join us? Don’t worry, there’s more! When you’re done playing in the “snow” and surfing with Santa, you’ll want to grab your parka and head over to Moody Garden’s ICE LAND Ice Sculptures with SpongeBob SquarePants!

Moody Garden ICE LAND, winter activities in Galveston

Now through January 4, 2015, you can visit this Winter Wonderland (since we really don’t see snow here in southeast Texas) and your kids will be thrilled. I know mine are going to be! A skilled team of 31 internationally-acclaimed professional ice carvers from Harbin, China dove into 900 tons of ice (wow, that’s a lot of ice) and transformed them into majestic marvels featuring holiday scenes with the beloved Bikini Bottom inhabitants from Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants. Chilled and held at a temperature of 9 degrees (oh my frigid bones…but they provide you with parkas, so it’s OK), you can witness these works of art as Galveston makes its holiday transformation into a Winter Wonder Island.

We loved Schlitterbahn Galveston this summer and we can’t wait to go back and visit Moody Gardens this weekend to enjoy some holiday cheer. Plus, Santa and SpongeBob in one place is pretty much pure heaven on earth for my little ones (and me). If you’re visiting Galveston anytime soon, this is one spot you won’t want to pass up. If you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by. We’d love to see you! I’ll be back next week to share our weekend of fun.

In the meantime, you might want to follow along on Facebook and Twitter to find out all of the other cool stuff that Schlitterbahn Galveston and Moody Gardens have to offer all year long. I love living on this island and I hope you’ll come join us this weekend!

First Day of School, School Uniforms, and Social Lessons from Kindergarteners

school uniforms, equality, first day of school

Today was the first day of school. Yay for them, sad face for mom. Seriously, it was so quiet in here, you’d think I’d be ecstatic, but actually I felt terribly alone. But enough about me. Let’s talk about the first day of school and things that hit me like a ton of bricks today, shall we? Well, since we’re talking about things that hit me like a ton of bricks, I guess we (really just me) are still talking about me, right? It is what it is.

The babies had a great first day, mostly. Bug enjoyed every minute of it and Bubby enjoyed the first half. Apparently the second half was really boring involving sitting on a rug and stuff. Turns out, the “stuff” was music class and it’s apparently not his favorite part of the day. He had fun, he’s making friends, and I’m incredibly proud of him.

Now, on to what “hit” me. My kids are just fine without me. In fact, they flourish. That’s a good thing, really, but it’s somewhat hurtful in a way. I need them, I know they need me, but they do very well without me. Proud, but bitter sweet.

But aside from the emotional issues of the day, I decided I wanted to talk about something political. Uniforms and equality. If you know me at all, you know that I stay FAR away from discussions of politics, race, or religion. These are hot topics and I don’t like confrontation or debate. That’s not to say that I don’t have strong views, it’s just to say that I don’t like to argue or upset others. So I shut up. I mumble to myself, I have my opinions, but I keep them closed within me, because that’s how I was raised. Today, I break that mold.

My kids’ first day of school pictures will look exactly like their last day of school pictures because my children will be wearing the exact same clothes on the first day as they do on the last. Yes, school uniforms. Although I do hate the blandness of it all, I actually totally appreciate it. Not for my kids really, but for some of the others.

We “have”, others in my area do not. It’s not fair, but it’s a fact of life. I was raised with money. A blonde haired, blue eyed, “white” girl with money. Then I raised 2 little girls as a single mom. We didn’t have shit. They were lucky to have Walmart clothes for school. The playing field wasn’t equal for them, but they made do and they did well because they had the charm and charisma to pull it off. That had nothing to do with social stature, race, or anything really, other than themselves. I was proud but I wanted more for them.

Kindergarten, equality, equal rights

Today, as I sent my babies to school, as I dropped them off in their classes, I looked around. All of the kids looked the same. White, black, brown, yellow…the same. Why? Because they were all wearing red or white polo shirts with khaki shorts, skorts, skirts, or pants. No one stood out. No one stood in the shadows. Equal. There was no hatred. There was no racism, no talk of socio-economic differences. And they giggled, laughed, and conversed as equals. Because they should. Because they are. One child’s family might have more money than another. One child’s skin might dictate how society treats them. But in that classroom, in those same uniforms, they are equal and in that, I find hope for this world.

I see a lot of bad things daily on the internet, on social media, but today I saw peace. I felt peace. If everyone saw the world through the eyes of a child, if we all wore uniforms, this world would be a better place. Please don’t think I’m insinuating that racism doesn’t exist. It does and it breaks my heart and every fiber of my being on a daily basis. All I’m saying is that it doesn’t exist in Kindergarten. Hatred is learned and thankfully, these babies haven’t learned to hate yet. I hope they never will.

Zach Kindergarten

I watched my son this morning and I was proud. I was proud of the lessons I’ve taught him and I was proud that he doesn’t see color or social stature. He sees people, he sees friends. We’d all be better people, we’d be a better society, if we’d all take a moment to revisit Kindergarten. There are no barriers there. No learned hatred. No discrimination. Just love, uniforms, and equality. It’s a beautiful thing. I witnessed pure beauty and I loved it!

I’m not writing this for a political debate. I’m not writing this to hear how much better I have it than others (I know that I have it better than some, worse than others). I’m writing this to point out that children (and schools with uniforms) are so much better than our society as a whole. Being unique is flippin awesome, but some uniformity, some conformity, is pretty awesome too. Let us all learn from our children. They don’t see the walls that we, as adults, sometimes build. Why should they? They shouldn’t exist. They don’t see socio-economic standing. They don’t care. They see someone that looks just like them. In a uniform. They see friends…all around them. And they are so much more brilliant than we are. Let’s don’t teach them to hate. Ever.

If my kids never get out of uniforms, if they never see the hatred that society has created, I’ll be OK with that. I hope they always continue to see everyone the same way they see themselves when they look in the mirror. That’s the way it should be and I’m glad my babies see it that way. It’s time to stop the hatred. Hopefully these kids, our future, will finally make the change and this world will be a better place. It will be as wonderful as Kindergarten where the only talk of color that matters is in the Crayola box and all of the beautiful drawings they can create with those colors…together.

8 On-The-Go Summer Essentials for Moms

For the record, I’m sharing these 8 summer essentials for moms on the go (hey, that’s me) as part of a sponsored post for Poise Microliner through Socialstars. #PoisewithSAM

Poise Microliners, 8 summer essentials for moms, LBL, light bladder leakage, moms

So, you’re a mom on the go like me, huh? We’re always heading to the pool, or to the beach, or off on a bike ride, or some other family adventure, especially in the summertime, and it’s important for moms to be prepared for anything, and everything! We need to make sure we have everything the kids need. We need to make sure to have everything the husband needs. Everyone will need to be fed if you’re out all day. But what about mom? We need to be prepared too. And let’s face it, as moms, we have issues. No, I’m not talking emotional scars here. I’m talking “mom” stuff. You know, the stuff that happens to us after we become moms and begin to age a little? Yes, that stuff. It’s not pretty, but it’s a fact of life and when we’re out in the elements, all day long, we need to be prepared. Yes, I do mean the damage the sun can do to our drooping (OK, mine, maybe not yours) faces, and oh heck, I’ll say it, loss of control of some of our functions thanks to the minions. Yes, LBL (light bladder leakage). I’ve already explained that. Being prepared for anything is key!

bike riding, Galveston, family outing, moms, Poise, LBL, light bladder leakage

One of my family’s favorite outings is bike riding. It’s a huge deal for us and it’s a full day’s event. We need to be prepared. So while B is prepping our bike, or as I like to call it, #GossettBusComingThrough, I’m prepping everything else inside to ready us for the day. He gets the tools for the actual bike (can’t have a low tire, can’t be without seat adjusters, etc.), but I get our “tools” ready for the day. Here are my top 8 essentials for a great family day of bike-riding fun!

bike riding essentials, Poise, LBL, light bladder leakage, Galveston

1. Sunglasses for everyone.

The sun is BRIGHT here, y’all. I mean super bright and all of these blue eyes are very sensitive to the sun. We need sunglasses to keep our eyes safe, free of squinting, and in the cases of my “boys”, no sneezing. Seriously, they both sneeze every time their eyes hit the sun. We can’t have that, so I’m always prepared with sunglasses for all.

#PoisewithSAM, Poise Microliners, LBL, light bladder leakage, bike riding essentials for moms

2. Sunscreen.

Like I said, our sun is bright, and HOT. We need to protect all of our skin all day long with a good sunblock. Bubby and B are fair and Bug and I tan with a quickness. Neither is great for our skin (especially mine because, well…wrinkles), so we need to be prepared. We spray down before we leave, and I bring the spray along to reapply throughout the day.

3. A picnic lunch.

When you ride a bike all day long, you get a little hungry. Even though we just do leisurely bike rides (hey I’m not trying to race or anything), it’s still exercise and we get hungry. Stopping at restaurants along the way can get expensive, so I’m always sure to pack a nice picnic lunch and we plan a family-friendly stop along the way. This week, it was a fun park with a little water splashing action. Sandwiches are always best because you can pack light and everyone feels satisfied.

4. Bottled water.

This is a HUGE deal. You need to stay hydrated in all of that hot summer sun, especially for something like a bike ride. You don’t want anyone getting dehydrated, so tossing some bottled water in that cooler/picnic basket is essential.

5. Bug spray.

Mosquitos are BAD here y’all, and they’re demon mosquitos at that. We spray down before we go, and we’re sure to bring more to reapply as necessary. Seriously, the mosquito should be our national bird. HUGE, I tell ya, just huge, and demonic.

6. Cell phone.

OK, for me, this is a biggy for many reasons. First, you’re out and about and something could happen so you’ll need a charged phone in case you need to make a call (might I also suggest a portable charger just in case?). Second, photo opps of course. You don’t want to lug around your big camera, but you still want to capture those fun moments, right? Last, ummm, how else would I post all of the fun on my social media if I forgot it? Right. Never go anywhere without your cell phone!

Poise, bike riding, Galveston, LBL, light bladder leakage

7. The bike.

Well, you can’t go on a bike ride without the bikes of course. Or in our case, one big, extremely long, bike for the entire family. Once he’s done assembling, and I’m done prepping, we’re ready to go and I know that we’ll all be safe and completely ready for a full day of fun!

8. Poise Microliners

But I almost forgot about me. About the LBL. Moms always forget to take care of themselves. But this time, I was prepared and I’ve been prepared all summer. Thanks to Poise Microliners, I haven’t had to worry about embarrassments or walks of shame. Just because pooping out 4 kids has done some things to my body that I don’t care to admit all of the time, that doesn’t stop me from having fun. I just plop a microliner in my panties and don’t worry if I can’t quite make it to the next port-o-potty because I know these thin (seriously, you can’t even tell that they’re there) pads will protect me, just in case. If you’d like to try them for yourself, you can. For free!

Galveston, bike riding, Poise, LBL, light bladder leakage

Another successful weekend for our family, without incident, and fully prepared. This OCD comes in handy sometimes. Plus it keeps me feeling protected, protective, young, and prepared for anything. Are you ready when you head out of the house this summer? Don’t worry about the little things, and don’t you dare worry about embarrassment just because mommy issues have you wondering if you should stay at home. LBL is a thing, y’all, and you aren’t alone. 1 in 3 women have issues with light bladder leakage. It’s just a thing. Put Poise on your list and you’ll never have to worry again!