Friday, March 18, 2011

The Perfect (Blanket) Cape is HERE!

I have just released pictures of my most favorite HappyLittleMonkey product yet- the blanket cape!

I mean, c’mon, we have all tied a blanket around our neck, placed our hands on our hips, and stood proud that we were about to save the world. We were at least about to run as fast as we could to somewhere or fly there. Little did we know that our parents were hoping we would run and conquer the world to burn some of that boundless energy that only a three-year old can wield.

For over a year now I have been creating and recreating capes, either actually with fabric, blankets, or mentally. Finally, I took a little step back and remembered how HLM started, with a simple blanket that did its job- it swaddled and could provide years of snuggliness.

A HLM Cape must do the same.

I’m so excited to share, it does!

The simplicity of the design is that it is made just like a blanket, but instead of tying it around your little one's neck, there is velcro on the top corners. This can allow your toddler to use his superpowers to learn how to get it on himself. Then, should he be thwarted by an evildoer, the velcro should breakaway so your hero can still escape unscathed.

To make sure your Superhero, Flowered Princess, King or Queen doesn't get tripped up by their own cape, this one is a little shorter than a standard blanket, measuring in at approximately 20" x 25" it will is the perfect size.

The icing on the cape, is that it comes complete with magic wristbands. These special cuffs transform your caped child into a real superhero. They are “solar powered” so when your child stands still for a moment and points his wrists toward the sun, they harness and store the superpower they will need to run back and forth across your lawn until they are out of breath. (Hint: When your child won’t slow down, remind him that he needs to recharge his bands. Since this process requires a moment of direct sunlight, you may even be able to get him to take a sip of magic water so he can go back to playing.) Here is what they should look like when they are charging up their super-powerful, solar-charged wristbands.

My first series of pictures all came out like this because my three-year old would not stand still. Superheroes are hard to capture on photo, you know?

As they were released to save the day this afternoon, I was able to get a few rare posed pictures of my superheroes. Then they were unstoppable as they harnessed the sun’s power, sprinkled magic on the plants to make them grow, and tried to bring about the demise of evil-doer Mom with her unmeasured power to put her kids in time out.

After all of this, they totally surprised me when the younger monkey laid his cape down on the ground. The older one ran inside and brought back a “basket” of fruit, for a picnic. They sat on their capes, ate their faux food, and then lik magic they were caped crusaders again.

It's been another fun and happy day.

These will be available at Springtime Tallahassee on April 2nd, 2011, and will be posted to the store after the show. The cape is approximately 20” x 25”. The cuffs are approximately 6” around and are zig-zag stitched to enable a little stretch when pulling them on and off.

Coordinating belts, crowns, headpieces and personalized superhero shirts are also coming. I just couldn't wait any longer to share!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day- The Greenway Way

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day from us!

It has been a great day. We woke up, made some cookies, and headed out for a picnic at the Greenway because of my great friend who is awesome at organizing playdates.

A while ago I posted about our picture-perfect afternoon at the Greenway, “A Dream Day”, and this one had new reasons to take pictures. New friends, new activities, and St. Patrick’s Day! (Oh, and I remembered my camera)

Our last trip to the field was months ago now, and we finally made it back. This time, we were soaking up some green for St. Patrick’s Day at the Greenway. We made the trek out to the cluster of trees and the kids played, and played, and played! It feels so great to get there and unleash the kids.

It's like the air is even better out there. Within moments of safely crossing the parking lot, freedom begins and the rest doesn’t matter for a little while.

I was born and raised near the ocean. I miss it. I don’t realize how much I miss it until I get to visit it. The ocean heals me. Everything seems smaller when standing at the edge of land and look at the vastness of the ocean. Everything. It gives me perspective.

We don’t have an ocean in Tallahassee. Before moving here, I always knew my compass directions based on the location of the water. Even seven years later, I rarely know which way is “up” here,

probably because the roads in this town go in circles. C’mon, its where government does its business!

Land has never really been my “thing.” Don’t get me wrong. I like land, it just doesn’t move me the way the ocean does. Maybe that’s also a product of being a South Florida kid. Our mountains were landfills. The only hills we have are road overpasses. It is flat land, very flat.

This greenspace is one of the few areas of land that has had that healing effect. It is vast, there are little hills, and there is little need to be hovering over the kids telling them “no” every other second.

I have had a couple run-ins with "perfect" this week, and being reminded that we aren't, in a good way. We are parents. We do the best we can, day in and day out. Some of us share the good times, some of us the bad, and some the inbetween. I'm thankful when I am lucky enough to step back and appreciate these moments and my kids, who are growing up way too fast.

It was a great way to spend St. Patrick’s Day! So, cheers to you, Marlo, for getting us all together!

Here are a few pictures from our fun

Friends on their way to have fun


Capes (of course)

View of a small part of the space

Blowing bubbles

Three girls under a forest tent

Girls and a hula hoop

An Irish blessing:

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May sun shine warm upon your face,
the rain fall soft upon your fields,
and until we meet again
may God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What do Playgrounds and Legislative Session have in common?

Today, being the first Tuesday, after the first Monday in March, marks the beginning of Legislative Session for us in Florida. A time when legislators, lobbyists, and citizens invade our capital city for a period of approximately sixty days to set a state budget and make, break, and change our state laws.

For our family, this time means the hubs is going to be even busier than normal for the next sixty days. Before becoming a full-time stay at home mom of two kids, I was also involved in the fun and chaos known as a legislative session.

Feeling a little nostalgic, I felt I should counteract thoughts of wanting to be back in the craziness by having fun with the kids. We took a trip to the playground and I was struck by the similarities of the two activities.

A few ways being at a playground is just like

being a part of legislative session

1. There are a bunch of people running around acting like two- and three-year olds.

2. Someone is always doing things the hard way, like climbing up the slide.

3. At any moment, someone will probably want to pack up their toys and go home.

4. There are plenty of ups and downs, just like the seesaw.

5. One kid (probably a future lobbyist) is trying to get other kids to think playing their game is a good idea.

6. Sometimes you need some help to get your swing to move.

7. You may have to deal with someone throwing a fit.

8. When Mom counts to three, sometimes kids come back, sometimes they run away (ahem, Wisconsin).

9. There could be name-calling and clique formation.

10. Someone’s always trying to climb higher on the monkey bars than everyone else.

11. Someone may start crying.

12. After playtime, the kids gather around a table for juice and goldfish.

Can you add to this list? Comment below.

Cheers to our friends and family who are have begun the count-down to Sine Die! May you all use your powers for good and make it back to your families soon.


A few little bits of info:

* Florida is the only state in the nation with a legislative session beginning on the first Tuesday, after the first Monday in March. It is in our state constitution (
Article III, Section 3(b)).

* The only other state starting session in March is Alabama. For a calendar of legislature dates, check out this site, BallotPedia.

* The majority of states begin their sessions in January.

* Louisiana, a state that is typically the exception to most political commonalities in our nation, is the only state to begin session after Florida.

* Adjournment Sine Die- A motion to adjourn sine die concludes a legislative session. Sine die is the Latin term for "without day."

* Do you want to teach your kid about Florida Legislative Session? Check out Online Sunshine for Kids


Florida Constitution Language:

Article III, Section 3(b), of the FLorida Constitution provides that

REGULAR SESSIONS. A regular session of the legislature shall convene on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March of each odd-numbered year, and on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March, or such other date as may be fixed by law, of each even-numbered year.

Real Language:

From the FAQ on VisitFlorida: How long does legislative session last?

The regular Legislative session runs for 60 consecutive days. Regular session begins on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March in odd numbered years. In even numbered years, regular session can begin earlier at the request of the Legislature. The Legislature will start session early when re-apportionment is needed. Special sessions, which can last up to a maximum of 20 days, occur at the order of the Governor or joint proclamation by the Speaker of the House and Senate President.