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A few weeks ago, I signed my husband, up for Daddy Boot Camp, a boot camp designed for new dads. His class was last weekend and I would say it was definitely a success, because he came home all smiles with great stories!
Daddy Boot Camp is a crash course that provides dads-to-be (aka “Rookies”) a comprehensive orientation on fatherhood from the real experts (aka “Veterans”) – men already doing the job as new fathers.
The three-hour class is offered internationally, but the founder, Greg Bishop, is right here in Orange County and he was the head coach of my husband’s class. At each class, 2-5 Veterans show up with their babies before the Rookies roll into class. This is a man-only zone… well to clarify, no females over 2 feet tall are allowed.
When the class was only in session for five minutes, Bishop asks,“Which one of you guys is having twins?”
My husband raises his hand and before he knew it, he was holding 2 babies in his arms.
As in most classes, when the Rookies say that they have never held a baby before, the Veterans were quick to hand them their child. The first part of the class entailed introductions where everyone shared one or two things they hoped to get out of the class.
Shortly after that, the class was divided into small groups with one Veteran assigned to each group. The Veterans talked about their experience as a new father, fielded questions, and passed their child around the small circle. If there was a need for a diaper change or bottle feed, the Rookies were welcome to help out.
The class reconvened as a large group and Bishop began going down the list of what everyone wanted to learn from the class. The Veterans helped lead the group discussion by providing more feedback and answering questions.
When I asked my husband what he thought of the class, he responded:
“I was hesitant to go when I was voluntarily signed up, but after the class was over, I realized, it was one of the better three hours that I spent getting ready for the unexpected.”
The class is only $25 and all dads receive a book, Crash Course For New Dads, along with a certificate, to prove to their wives that they did indeed attend the session.
For more information on Daddy Boot Camp, (or to sign your husbands up) you can visit their website at http://www.bootcampfornewdads.org.
Just when twin pregnancy was becoming too easy to juggle (ha ha!) we have decided to move into a new home on April 30th.
We are currently in a 2 bedroom / 2 bath apartment. Our lease is up in September but the Irvine Company has an agreement called “Rent Responsible,” meaning if they can lease our apartment by the time we move out, then we will owe nothing to move out early!
Currently, our second bedroom doubles as my office and the guest room, and it would be very hard to convert that into a nursery (for twins) as well. We have also decided that it would be easier to move before the girls arrive, rather then uprooting our lives with two newborns in September.
We live at the luxurious Gateway Apartments in Orange and it is beautiful. The best part is, it is walking distance to Angels Stadium! We have a premiere apartment on the 4th floor with a balcony overlooking one of the three pools. We are hoping that it will not be too difficult to rent out since it is such a desirable location.
Here is my plug :-) - If YOU or anyone YOU know are looking for a 2 bedroom apartment in early May – please feel free to contact us directly! Our current floor plan is below! :-)
At the end of the month we are moving into a beautiful 3-bedroom condo with an attached 2-car garage. There will be a lot more space for our growing family.
Since I will be 29 weeks pregnant, we have decided to hire a moving company to assist Trent in moving our home. It will cost more then renting a U Haul, and doing it ourselves, but in the long run, it will be a lot easier on us.
My nesting instincts are going crazy right now, because I am itching to get the nursery set up, wash all the baby clothes, and get everything ready. Now, I will have the opportunity to “nest” an entire house in a couple weeks – but of course, I am going to want to do the nursery first!
As much of a pain as it will be to move, we are definitely very excited to get into our new home and begin preparing for the arrival of our precious girls!
Two winners were randomly chosen to win a Coming Soon Package, and I was one of those lucky two!
“A baby planner helps expecting moms discover their inner bump, birthing, and baby style – the products, services, and resources, that will make pregnancy as easy and as enjoyable as possible. She provides clients with the most up-to-date information to help them make well-informed decisions according to each family’s budget and lifestyle.” OC Baby Planner
Before I found this website, I had never heard of a baby planner and now I am completely overjoyed that I found such an amazing and knowledgeable new friend, Denise Xagorarakis, CEO for OC Baby Planner.
Honestly, winning this contest was a huge blessing in disguise and I cannot begin to tell you how helpful and supportive Denise has been!
Becoming a first-time mom, (of twins) planning can be very overwhelming at times. I had so many questions and really, just needed someone who could help guide me in the right direction and answer the hundreds of questions I had. Denise, the OC Baby Planner, has been that person for me.
My husband and I spent hours doing research online and I was able to bring my limited knowledge, then collaborate with my OC Baby Planner, and come up with a solution that was right for us.
The Coming Soon Package that I won was a $325 value and includes 3 consultations and unlimited ongoing dialogue and email correspondence.
On our first visit, Denise came to my home and we instantly clicked. She was very professional and had some worksheets for me to fill out. We discussed many concerns and questions that I had including what products to use, birthing options, classes to take, fitness programs and so much more. After our first consultation, Denise sent me a wealth of information via email that helped me put one foot in front of the other.
Yesterday, we met for brunch and enjoyed our second consult. One of my concerns was what baby products to purchase. She had a folder printed out for me that included product suggestions that was specific to twins, which was a blessing.
After lunch, we headed over to Babies R Us where Denise walked me around the store, offering suggestions and answering any questions I had. This was such an immense help.
Last night, when I was talking to my husband on the phone (after the consult) about which products to purchase, he actually said, “Wow, you sound so much more confident tonight.”
I have one more consult with Denise, where we will address any other questions I have but she has told me to call or email her anytime, which is a life saver.
I never heard of a baby planner before stumbling on the OC Baby Planner website, but I am so happy I found her. A lot of the stress has been lifted off of my shoulders and it is so wonderful knowing that I always have an expert to turn too.
Marcy Massura, co-founder of BlogCrush, organized the meetup. Once we arrived on location, we were given a tour of the facility, met with some key members that make it all happen, and were able to jump behind the line and serve a delicious, nutritious, feast to those in need.
The mission of Someone Cares Soup Kitchen is simple: To feed a daily nutritional meal to the homeless, unemployed, working poor, mentally & physically challenged, senior citizens, and most important, the children.
I was highly impressed with the nutritional, well-balanced dishes that were offered. Meals are made fresh daily and consist of vegetable soup, lettuce and fruit salads, heart and filling side dishes, breads and muffins, desert, milk and water.
The Soup Kitchen serves over 450 guests every day. Meals are served Monday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and a pancake breakfast is served on the weekends. For many guests who walk through the door, it is the only meal they eat all day. Their guests are comprised of the following:
- 25% are families with school aged children
- 30% are homeless
- 20% are working poor or unemployed
- 10% are mentally or physically challenged
- 15% are senior citizens
The holidays are upon us and on Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter, the Soup Kitchen serves up a special meal to over 500 guests. At Christmas, a toy drive is also organized for the kids. Children are able to visit with and have their picture taken with Santa Claus and receive their Christmas presents. It is the busiest day of the year for the Soup Kitchen.
As we sit down at the table to feast our holiday meals, it is important to remember that are so many people right here in Orange County, who go to bed hungry. The Someone Cares Soup Kitchen has launched a $50,000 in 50 Days campaign to help feed the less fortunate.
In 2009, Corey Donaldson, local business owner, and his taskforce successfully spearheaded a campaign to raise $40,000 in 40 days for Someone Cares Soup Kitchen’s holiday programs. The campaign allowed Someone Cares Soup Kitchen to fill 450 backpacks with more than 14,000 items, host a holiday dinner for 1,200 and give away more than 3,000 new, unwrapped toys as well as support the soup kitchen’s ongoing programs, including its tutoring center for at-risk kids.
This year, they aim to raise 50K in 50 days. If you would like to make a donation, you can visit www.SomeoneCares50Kin50Days.com.
It was an eye-opening experience volunteering in the Soup Kitchen today and I look forward to volunteering again soon!
I had the pleasure of exploring Ocean Institute for the first time on Friday and I was blown away! If you have not been to Dana Point to see this place, it is a must see in Orange County! They host hundreds of field trips, overnights, and sea adventures. Kids walk away saying it was the best trip they ever had.
Ocean Institute is a non-profit organization that has become nationally recognized for its hands-on marine science, environmental education and maritime history programs. More than 110,000 K-12 students and 8,000 teachers annually participate in the Institute’s 61 award-winning, immersion style programs.
To learn about oceanography, science, and California history, students voyage onto the ocean, study in labs and live aboard tall ships or in the chaparral, where they can feel and taste the salty sea spray, sort through live specimens, observe migrating whales, collect scientific data and investigate the culture and world around them.
On weekends, we open our doors to the public for a sneak peek into how ocean science, history, and literature are used to inspire life-long learners!
I was completely fascinated by Ocean Institute and wished that my school in Maine could’ve taken part of some of the adventures. Then I found out that the organization is nationally recognized and they also bring in groups of kids via live stream around the world. How cool is that! Seriously, this place is amazing.
So, you may have heard of Ocean Institute’s 6th Annual Laguna Beach Million Dollar Home Raffle. Since OI is a non-profit organization, this is the biggest event of the year and plays a large role in keeping their doors open. For the 6th year in a row, they are raffling off a Million Dollar Home in Laguna Beach! Don’t want a home? No problem, you can take the $1 million dollars instead!
Raffle tickets are $150 and a maximum of 20,000 tickets will be sold. You will have a lot better odds in this raffle than winning the lottery! Over 300 prizes will be awarded, including the grand prize of $1,000,000 cash or a beautiful, ocean-view home in Laguna Beach. Other prizes include cash, shopping sprees, dream vacations, iPods, hotel stays, and more!
Buying more then one ticket? You will also be entered into additional multiple ticket drawings including a Toyota Prius, South Coast Plaza Shopping Spree, Cash, or a dream vacation! If you refer-a-friend you will be entered into a separate drawing where you AND your friend could win $10,000 cash!
Raffle tickets may be purchased over the phone by calling 949-542-3600 or by faxing your order form to 949-542-3601.
By purchasing a raffle ticket, you will also receive a complimentary Individual Membership to Ocean Instittue. If you purchase two or more tickets, you will receive a complimentary Family Membership! Get ready to explore a whole new world, under the sea!
All proceeds from the raffle will benefit Ocean Institute, so really, this is a 100% win-win!
Remember those special days in elementary school that happened once or twice a year that you dreamed about? Field Trip Days!! Everyone had to remember to get their permission slip signed by their parents so they could attend. Your mom would pack you a little lunch and send you off on your excursion. The bus was so much cooler because it was taking you on an adventure and away from the school. I think once or twice a year, adults still NEED those field trips. Today, was that day for me!
Recently, I took the course through the Anaheim Visitor & Convention Bureau, to become nationally recognized as a Certified Tourism AmbassadorTM(CTA).
“The Certified Tourism AmbassadorTM(CTA) Program is a ground-breaking, nationwide certification program that serves to increase tourism by training and inspiring front-line hospitality employees and volunteers to work together to turn every visitor encounter into a positive experience. The CTA Program goes well beyond basic customer service training; it gives participants the opportunity to build upon their knowledge of the local region, enhance their skills in serving customers, increase their awareness of information resources and discover the power of tourism!” (www.CTANetwork.com)
Today, a group of 30 CTA’s from all over Orange County, went on a FAM trip to learn more about the amazing county we live in! At 8:30 this morning, we loaded up on a double decker bus, hosted by Southern California Gray Line, to visit some areas that I have never been to before. I actually learned SO much about this bus service. Did you know they offer FREE shuttle service to Sea World AND Knotts Berry Farm? I definitely encourage you to check out some of the great deals on their website, especially if you’re like me and not a fan of driving in traffic. (Unless it is for BASEBALL reasons)
Around 10AM, we arrived at Balboa Fun Zone to set sail on a Harbor Cruise! We took a relaxing 45 minute cruise on the “Showboat,” along lower Newport Bay. This cruise was awesome! It seemed like every other home or yacht we saw belonged to a celebrity! I saw the home that Shirley Temple purchased when she was 12 years old. TWELVE. Apparently, I must be totally slacking in life! Some other homes of the stars included, John Wayne, Buddy Ebsen, “Mrs. Fields,” William Wrigley (gum), and Dean Koontz just to name a few.
I also learned that in the early 1900′s, you could order your home out of a Sears Catalog, which would be delivered by box car and then assembled when it arrived. There are not many of these homes still standing, but you will see one on this cruise! The house was purchased for about $12,000 and now the lot itself would sell for millions! Are you a fan of Gilligan’s Island? Take this cruise to see where the first taping of the shipwreck was filmed.
The Harbor Cruise we took today was $14 for adults, $11 for seniors, and $7 for kids. If you’re looking for a different way to “see the stars,” I highly recommend it. To learn more about this cruise and others, visit them on the web at Balboa Fun Zone!
Next stop of the day, South Coast Plaza! This is without a doubt, the classiest shopping destination I have ever been too! Vacations Magazine said SCP is 1 of the 5 best in North America! If you want to experience a luxury shopping experience with extraordinary designers and personal service, you’ve come to the right place! There are 280 boutiques and luxury retailers including Chanel, Gucci, Rolex, Tiffany & Co., Valentino, and more! It is the Orange County version of Rodeo Drive and collectively, the employees here speak over 40 different languages.
You may have walked through South Coast Plaza and not even noticed the VIP Hospitality Suite called, Access. Walking in this suite, literally blew me away! Access provides guests a place to relax during their shopping experience. (If anyone needs a place to relax here – it is your Credit Card!!) Access is located on Level 2, adjacent to Saks Fifth Avenue. The room is elegantly decorated and features a Sports Lounge and Zen Room. A concierge staff welcomes guests with complimentary champagne, beer, tea, coffee, snacks, and refreshments and attends to personal requests like restaurant and theater reservations. You need a VIP card to get in, but I think if you check with concierge upon arrival, you may get lucky!
Okay, by this point, I was starving! We hopped on our Bus – AWESOME – and headed to The District at Tustin Legacy, where we were invited to enjoy lunch at the Bluewater Grill. I’m not sure if I was more impressed by the food, atmosphere, or staff, but overall, it was a great experience! This would be a great choice for banquets or catering because they can easily accommodate groups of over 100 and the pricing is very reasonable. I will also forever remember the general manager’s name, Chris Rock!
- Hors D’oeuvres
- Pacific Prawns
- Maryland Style Crabcakes
- Ponzu Sashimi Sea Scallops (OMG.. MUST TRY)
- Maine Lobster Bisque
- Simply Grilled Atlantic Salmon
All fueled up and ready for the next stop, Anaheim Farmer’s Market. I have never been before but it was really cool! It is located in Downtown Anaheim at Center Street Promenade and Lemon Street. The market is open every Thursday from 12PM-8PM.
You can shop for items such as farm-fresh produce, bakeries, crafts, or international food. Me… I bought three pairs of shoes at $8 a piece.
Definitely check their website for entertainment schedules because I know they will be having Reggae Festivals every Thursday in July!
Last stop of the day, MUZEO! The MUZEO is also located in Downtown Anaheim and is open daily from 10am-5pm. Every year they host 3 traveling exhibitors and now through September you can see “Frogs: A Chorus of Colors” exhibit.
This exhibit includes over 100 live frogs from around the world! Learn about their evolution, biological importance, various ecosystems and threats they face. It was really fascinating to see so many colorful species!
Admission fees to enter Muzeo are $13 for adults and $9 for children, but it is a totally unique experience!
Whether you are 7, 37, or 92, everyone deserves to go on one or two field trips a year! There is SO much more to do in Orange County then “Disneyland.” This is your backyard… so get out and explore it!