Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Daily Vlogger

Anyone who knows me, or who spends any amount of time with me knows that I've always had a "mild" obsession with reality I mean, this can even be traced back as far as 1998 to BUG JUICE on the Disney Channel - Did anyone watch this? I was obsesssssed.
Bug Juice is a Disney Channel reality series that premiered on February 28, 1998. The series focuses around 20 kids and their experiences at summer camp. Together, the kids work hard to excel in their activities and become friends.
I can still sing the theme song word for word. This morphed into other reality tv shows that I randomly watched throughout high school and college, and now my current vices are Dance Moms and the Real Housewives franchise. These shows are my total escape each week. I look forward to each and every show and I make no apologies or excuses for it. I loooove them. 

Over the past two years, I've delved into the world of the "Daily Vlogger" on youtube and I watch some of my favorite youtubers every. single. day. 


I have watched every single video that Sam and Nia and Ellie and Jared have posted since last August, and quite a few before then when I first discovered them in 2015. Those are the two vloggers I care about the most, and without fail, I'll watch them every night right after I put the kids to bed. 

I like them for several reasons - Both families have kids the same age as mine and I like to see the things that they do with their kids. I like to see the places they go, the projects they work on, the lessons they teach their kids, the foods they feed them, I could go on and on. It's really great insight for me, and makes me think of things that I wouldn't normally think of. 
Of course, they aren't perfect, I recognize that. Sometimes their videos are a little "clickbaity" (Mostly Sam and Nia as of late) and sometimes their videos are just wasteful and extreme in order to get more views (again - Sam and Nia - though I go to their channel first and foremost every night, so I'm totally taking the bait) I could NEVVVER be a daily vlogger - they open themselves up to so much criticism and I definitely give them credit for it. Perhappps the yearly salary that these youtubers get for becoming big vloggers counteracts the negative aspects, but STILL, it can't be easy.

Anyway, last week I was putting Natalie to bed, and I didn't really want to leave her yet, so I asked her if she wanted to watch some videos with me. 

I put on Sam and Nia and she loved it. Every single person that came into the video she asked me "who's that?" and "who's that?" and then "Mommy, I want to go in there!" and points to the screen. Then we did the same with Ellie and Jared.

I like the adults in these videos - they are obviously the people I relate to in this. But the kids, oh the kids!! The kids make the videos and it's the kids that I want Natalie to see. Whether they're good "for the cameras" or not, it doesn't matter. Natalie doesn't understand that concept yet. What she's seeing is kids being kids, playing, laughing, having fun, learning, experiencing and getting excited over things. She got excited and laughed right along with them. 

And as if Sam and Nia knew I had just introduced a little 3 year old girl to their youtube channel in the last two days, they uploaded THIS VIDEO: Pool Full of Magical Mermaids  - A super cheesey, super silly video that on a normal day, I probably would have rolled my eyes and felt underwhelmed by the whole thing. But to this little 3 year old girl? She ate. it. up. She got to watch kids and adults being mermaids in a pool and she immediately jumped off her bed, grabbed her mermaid-tail blanket and pretended to be a mermaid too. She "swam" over to me and said:
"Um...excuse me? I'm a mermaid, and I've lost my mother and father, can you help me?" 
And I died. I like when Natalie watches real kids be it on youtube or even on tv. There is a British show on sprout called Topsy and Tim, about a brother and sister who play together each day, which has recently caught Natalie's attention. I LOVE it, because they are two, well behaved kids with wild imaginations and I've caught Natalie playing "Topsy and Tim" on her own after watching an episode or two. This just has much more meaning and weight to me than Paw Patrol (oh...Paw Patrol...)

Two days after that, Natalie walked into my room in the morning and said "Mommy! Do you want to watch Sam and Nia??" 

And I died again. Perhaps I could have been doing this all along - but I'm trying to start including Natalie in the things that I like - she may not be ready for Dance Moms or Real Housewives of New York, but watching Sam and Nia and their kids play at the beach, pretend to be mermaids in their pool, and be silly with blow-up donut water rafts? That is something we can share together, and I'm kind of super excited about it. 

The world of the daily vlogger is a fassscinating one. They are these mini-celebrities who get noticed by at least one person who knows them just about anywhere they go - yet they aren't actual Hollywood-like celebrities. Make fun of me all you want - but if a genie granted me a wish to meet any celebrity in the world - I would choose Sam and Nia and/or Ellie and Jared, hands down. (ok maaybe Chris Pratt too but ...I would just be super awkward and it wouldn't go at all as I'd plan it in mind *cough* we make out for a while *cough*). 

Say what you will - they are just real people, who literally get paid the big bucks to stay home AND HAVE FUN WITH THEIR CHILDREN. I mean - isn't that the ULTIMATE DREAM? They literally get paid to spend money on coming up with fun things to do with their kids - all the while trying to keep them grounded and not super spoiled, which, let's be honest, is hard for anyone to do these days. 

Anyway, I could write a novel about these youtubers, and I'm sure there will be more posts to come about them. if anyone else follows these families or wants to start following these families, let me know, I would love someone to share in this obsession with. 

But if not, that's ok - I've got Natalie :)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday, June 22

Growing up we had this awesome turtle sandbox in the backyard. It had a cover, but of course, rain and bugs always got in, but we didn't care. It was fun. This isn't exactly a huge sandbox, but it's a start. And they seem to enjoy it just fine for now. Who knows, maybe we'll get a big sandbox one day too.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wednesday, June 21st - Corn on the Cob

She, she does love him! Lazy morning start today - that's what summer is for, right?
The Stop & Shop out by the mall is so much cooler/nicer/more amazing than the one by my house. Natalie had fun shopping in this little car today! Might be worth the trip out here more often to shop like this!
Christopher LOVED the corn on the cob I gave him for dinner -
Milestone Alert: First Corn on the Cob right here:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tuesday, June 20th - Splash Park!

I needed to get out of the house today after our lazy day yesterday. My friend Dana had just told me about a splash park that was only 8 minutes away from my house, and I had never heard of it! I decided to head out and check it out and I can see myself spending quite a few days here this summer! Shade, sun, splash pad, swings, playground - it had it all and was easy to manage with both kids. Chris's cousin, Jessica, and her son, James, met up with us there and we had a nice time catching up!

Dinner and Ralph's Ice for dessert at night!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday, June 19th

 Lazy day recuperating from a bussssy last 3 days.

Chris found his Dopey costume from when he was in first grade, and he and Natalie decided to surprise me with a little dress-up!

Stepping in front of the camera for once

My dad snapped these after our day of play at Good Day Play Cafe - Just love these pics with my babies:

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Doing some backdating here - determined to keep a record of most days of the summer!

Friday June 16th: we spent the day of a cute play-space called "Good Day Play Cafe" in Bayside

On Saturday, 6/17, we had about 35 people at our home as we welcomed Natalie's entire Nursery School class and their families for an end of year party! It rained as people were arriving but the kids played in the rain and had an overall fabulous time, and I think the parents did too!

Chris and I were pooped after the party and had a lot to clean up so my parents took Natalie up to the festival for a few rides and of course, the balloon popping game which was her ultimate favorite:

Sunday 6/18 was Father's Day! We spent a relaxing day bbqing, playing in the pool, and going to the festival up the street from us at night. A super busy and super successful weekend!

First time on a ferris wheel for both kids!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Summer Vacay Day 4

The St. Greg's Festival is back in town!! Last year we spent almost every day at this 10 day Festival! It's a lot of fun, and such a great way to kick off summer. I couldn't believe it, but as soon as we arrived, Natalie grabbed my hand and started walking toward where the train ride, saying "I want to go ride the train" - she remembered it from last year! I was shocked!

A little parade in our neighborhood kicks off the festival. The neighbor girls, whom Natalie loves, walk in the parade because they play on the sports team for the school, so we kind of just join in with them and walk the parade too when it comes to our house! (It's a very low-key, parade...)  Natalie loves it, and I can guarantee that for the next few weeks every time we leave our house Natalie will ask if we can go march in a parade:

First up, ride the train:

Then the fire-trucks!

Then, what turned into a private lesson on dart throwing! This woman was incredible!!! She spent a solid 10 minutes at least showing Natalie exactly how to hold a dart, how to throw, she gave her so many chances, she really helped her a lot and Natalie probably popped about 4 balloons and earned herself a paw patrol ball! I am so grateful for this woman and her patience:

I thought Baby Christopher would fall asleep in his stroller but nope - this kid walked the entire length of the festival and then some. with his Oma and Grandma!

and got in some dancing with them to boot!

And of course, zeppoles

Can't wait for more St. Greg's fun and memories this year!