Holly May Writes

The stuff of Life

New book: Inside the Hole

hollymaywrites

New Book

I wrote a children’s e-book called “Inside the Hole”. It’s about a boy who sees a hole in a tree and wonders what is inside.

I also did the illustrations!

You can click on this link to purchase my new book “Inside the Hole” to view on Kindle.

Even if you don’t own a kindle you can download the kindle app on any computer, smartphone, or tablet for free. My book is only $.99 so I’d love for you to check it out and let me know what you think! What kind of children’s books would you like to see me write in the future?

Skylanders: The Latest Obsession

game controller

My son is three and when he decides he likes something he becomes obsessed with it. His latest obsession is The Skylanders or as his best friend calls them “sky-lanterns”. He watches the show on netflix, plays the video games, has the board game, and pajamas… He will even just play with the figures themselves.  He has gotten very adept at playing the video game. His hand eye coordination has grown immensely in the past couple of months since learning to play the game.

You may say why are you letting him play video games… he is only 3. Well, he has had a kindle for some time and played educational games up to this point. He loves any type of game we play board and video games a lot as a family and it is a good bonding time between him and his father. They look for new figures when they go to the store and love creating their own with the Imaginators expansion. There are so many customization options and my son goes in several times to change stuff up on his characters.

Even though he loves games he also loves being outside so much of his time is spent doing things outside like jumping on his trampoline. But he often tries to sneak a Skylander or two out with him to play.

Being as he is a toddler his obsessions are fleeting and I’m sure before long he will move on to something else. But I will say as far as games for children go I do like the Skylanders series. There are various versions and we have a few of them but his favorite is the Imaginators. If you are a gaming family it may be something to look into. It is available for all of the major gaming systems. You buy characters which go onto a portal and then appear in the game. He loves being able to pick which character he is going to be and can change his character at any time which is pretty awesome.  It is similar to Disney Infinity. The board game that we have is quite fun as well.

Does your child have an “obsession?” feel free to let me know about it. Also if you have any family game recommendations feel free to share those as well.


Toddler Game Review: CandyLand

candyland

Toddler Game Review: Candyland

My husband and I love to play games. Board games, video games, card games, dice games, role playing games…. you name it. My three year old has also inherited this love of gaming. Unfortunately he is too young to play most of the games we have. So we have been on a mission to find toddler friendly games. We have found a handful of games that my son is able to play. Today we will talk about his favorite game to play currently CANDYLAND. (aff)

Now unless you have been under a rock your whole life you have probably heard of this one. It came out way back in 1949. It is for 2-4 players. The only thing your child needs to know is color recognition. Which even if they don’t know their colors with your guidance it is good practice to learn them. There are color cards that are placed face down which once chosen will determine where you get to move. There are also a few special candy pictured pieces that let you go to a special spot on the board which could be near the end of the board or back towards the beginning. Those cards keep the game interesting. The object is to be the first one to get to the end of the board.

Playing games such as this help teach your toddler how to take turns and good sportsmanship. As stated earlier this particular game also works on color recognition. As for a review of this game let’s just say that the hardest part of the game is getting my son to stop playing it! That’s how much he loves it. He asks to play several times a day. It is a classic game that kids still play for a reason. If you are just introducing your kids to the joy of board games this is definitely a must have. My very competitive husband likes playing it, even though my son often beats him at it! It is a great family bonding activity. Since it has been around so long there are many variations and special edition sets. I’d love to hear what some of your favorite toddler friendly games are so leave a comment and share with us because we can never find too many games for family game night.

Foosball Coffee Table

foosballcoffeetable

The Foosball Coffee Table:

Who doesn’t love Foosball? I had a roommate for awhile that had a foosball table and it was pretty sweet. I have always wanted a foosball table and someday I shall have one. Another thing I am lacking is a coffee table. It’s hard to find a nice looking table with rounded corners so my toddler doesn’t take an eye out or something. And space in my house is at a premium. So finding multi-use furniture is always exciting. I stumbled across this amazing piece of furniture online that combines both foosball and a coffee table into one.

I feel like this could solve all of my decorating problems in one purchase. It appears to have rounded corners so my toddler would be nice and safe. It has a glass top and a bottom shelf so I could sit things on it which is a must for a coffee table. And hello foosball. All I’m seeing here is win. What do you think? Would you get one? Do you have one? Is it as awesome as I am hoping? I have not purchased this item (yet) and can’t review its actual awesomeness but the concept sounds amazing.

Pokemon Party on a Budget

pokemon

Pokemon Party on a Budget: My son just turned 3 and wanted a Pokemon Party. We are on a tight budget so we had to keep costs down. Due to the release of Pokemon Go it is hard to locate Pokemon party supplies at least where we live so we got creative. We needed 3 cheap things to make the party successful: venue, cake, and party favors.

Venue: For our venue we chose to go to our son’s favorite park/playground. It was free, we brought a folding table and some lawn chairs. We could have held it at our house but the tree in our yard seems to be home to millions of mosquitoes and the playground seemed more fun. Free is always good and all of his friends love the playground too.

Cake: For our cake we chose to make our own cupcakes and decorate them to look like pokeballs. We bought two boxed cake mixes: one funfetti, and one devil’s food. We bought two containers of white icing: cream cheese, and buttercream. Then a red and a chocolate icing that had included piping tips. We could have made the red and “black or chocolate” icings with food coloring but we were lazy. The cake mixes produced 40 cupcakes total. We iced each completely with white icing, then added the line and circle with chocolate then filled in half of the circle with red icing. We rushed the process so it looked a little sloppy but he thought they were amazing and they tasted great. Now we could have melted candy and made it nice and smooth or we could have used fondant but again we are lazy. Our finished product looked like this:
pokeball cupcakes

Party Favors: For our party favors we decided to create our own pokeballs so that each guest could have a few to play with and take home. To create them we used ping pong balls because they are light and don’t hurt when bounced off your head and don’t break items in the living room when bounced off the shelves and such. This was a trial and error process. First I tried coloring them in with Sharpie markers. I don’t know whether we bought faulty markers or the marker just didn’t like the material the balls were made out of but either way they did not look good. The marker seemed dried out and the ball looked streaky and it just wasn’t appealing so we went to plan B. We put duck tape around half of the ball leaving half exposed. We used the excess tape as a stand to hold up the balls so that we could spray paint them red.We placed them in a box prior to painting.
spraypaint pokeballs
We put two coats of paint on. Once dried we took out a bottle of black acrylic paint and hand painted the line and circle on each one. This did take some time.
handpaint pokeballs
Once the paint was fully dry they looked awesome. Again we kind of rushed and each one looked different than the next but the kids loved them.
finished pokeball
The kids ran around the playground pretending to catch each other. My son throws them all over the house and at his stuffed pokemon to catch them. They took a while to make but were a huge hit. A few kids tried stuffing their pockets with extras that they found laying around.

Stuff we used:

We kept the party simple and had our pokemon party on a budget and it was a great success. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a party. Our son had a fantastic day and so did our guests. I’d love to hear about some of your DIY parties and what themes you came up with, feel free to comment with ideas that may help others do a budget friendly party.

Priorities

We’ve all had days where most if not all of the to do list doesn’t get done. We need to make sure our priorities are straight.
priorities
If your kid is alive and you haven’t killed anyone then today was a successful day. If you were able to accomplish more than that give yourself a pat on the back and take a well deserved break.

If you have a system for getting things done, feel free to share so we can all benefit from your knowledge. My house is a mess most of the time, laundry gets piled up, dishes fill the sink, but my son is alive and healthy and to me he is my number one priority.

Supermom

supermom

I may not wear a mask or a cape but I am a supermom. Within the first hour of waking my day went something like this:

-Toddler meltdown of epic proportions due to wanting two items his pokeball and his skate gloves, at least one of which was in the car which his dad took to work.

-The dog had what can best be described as a bout of loose stool syndrome all over my carpet, runny poo everywhere, a little here… a little there… a lot in some spots. All while child is still crying over the nonexistent toys.

-doorbell rings, maintenance is here to remove our window ac units since our regular ac got fixed oh a few months ago. So kid running around half naked and house smelling like poop these poor guys had to wade through the mess that is my house to take out three window units. Luckily that took like 10 minutes maybe.

-son has 2 ninja turtles that have weapons, these weapons fall out of the turtles hands oh a million times a day. Today he was bringing them to me to fix when he dropped them, by the fridge, and the weapons slid underneath. There are no hands small enough to reach under there, and it is too heavy for me to move so with my trusty cell phone flashlight and a drinking straw in hand I got onto my hands and knees and tried to fish out the weapons. They got pushed further back. Of course they did. So as the bendy straw wasn’t up to the challenge I grabbed a small notebook and shoved that behind the weapon, and by the grace of something holy, shot those puppies out from under the fridge along with some chalk and dust bunnies. My son then proceeded to clap for me and cheer. Thanks bud, I needed that.

-there were a few other small things thrown in there like breakfast but they weren’t too exciting. I hope the rest of my day is a little calmer.

-I got a hold of my husband who was able to run home quick with the gloves, we still have not located the pokeball, which is still being asked for every 26 seconds or so. But after this morning I definitely feel like supermom, I survived and I stayed calm, and my son is now patiently waiting for me to go have a sword fight so I must cut this short. But I have one last secret to share. All you mothers out there are supermoms and you can do it! No matter what the day brings, you got this. I’d love to hear your supermom stories in the comments. We perform miracles every day ladies. And dad’s feel free to share superdad moments too!

Time to Write

timetowrite

Time to write

Over the past few days I have tried to sit and write and something always comes up as soon as I sit down at my computer. The dog decides to use the floor as his personal bathroom, my toddler NEEDS my full attention at that very moment… you name it and it’s probably happened.

We have also spent a lot of family time together lately, well walking around while my husband plays Pokemon Go. I refuse to hop on the bandwagon. I am a gamer but Pokemon Go just isn’t my cup of tea. We went to a Geek Meet convention last weekend and my son won a pokeball and is now obsessed. Every morning now he asks to watch pokemon on netflix and then takes his pokeball and throws it at me and says “I choose you” which is kinda cute I guess.

Aside from my son’s pokemon obsession he still loves Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so we occasionally watch that as well or Paw Patrol which is right up there as well. But even with him engrossed in a show I am still not able to write as he insists I am keeping up with the action.

I’ve been practicing my illustrations when I get a few minutes and trying to read some things to improve my writing as well. My son and I have also been spending a lot of time outside playing. He would spend every minute of every day outside if you let him. Which is good.

I guess my point of all of this is not to make an excuse but to admit that finding time to write is hard. I did write another kids book but haven’t gotten illustrations done for it yet. My brain is also in a fog from not getting much sleep lately which is also mostly toddler related. Hard to admit I’m not a superhuman that can do it all. I also want to make sure that when I do make posts that they are worth your time to read so I will try to improve my posts in the future. Anyway that what how my week has been and why I’ve been slacking. What have you been up to? And if you write how do you find the time?

Shed a Tear

shed a tear

Shed a Tear

It is a hard time to be a parent. Children are growing up in a world where people are being killed for their chosen profession or the color of their skin. They live in a world full of hate and manipulation. Lawbreakers can become president. Rich people can rule the world. They are also growing up in a time where rules and authority don’t matter.

When I was a child you behaved in school. You listened to your teacher, you listened to the principal, and you for sure listened to other adults when they told you how to behave. While teaching I had a chat with some second graders and that conversation was very enlightening. They were instructed by their parents that they need not listen to the principal or teachers, that they only needed to listen to their parents. Fighting was okay. Getting suspended was okay and sometimes even rewarded. I knew an older boy who’s parents let him play video games all day if he was home so he enjoyed being suspended. Things have definitely changed. I saw these things in action. I didn’t just take the kids word for it but I found it to be absolutely true. Long gone seem to be the days where you were in more trouble once you got home.

It used to be if you acted out around another adult they put you in your place and told you to knock it off. Now it is no longer that village mentality. If you as much as look at someone’s kids funny you are wrong. Personally if my son is doing something wrong, and I’m for whatever reason not right on top of it, I want someone to step in. For his safety, for the safety of those around him, and for him to learn that the rules apply even if I am not around. We live in a society that seems to think rules don’t apply to them. Each individual does whatever they want because they feel they deserve it, or somehow earned it, or everyone else is wrong.

I shed a tear for all innocent lives that are lost because someone thinks they are better than another. I shed a tear for our country where the laws are not consistently upheld and promises can be broken. I shed a tear for the children growing up in this crazy time. Most importantly…

Tonight I shed a tear for the good ol’ days. The days I remember as innocent. Not that there weren’t always issues floating around but I was blissfully unaware of them. I am trying to raise my child with the same morals that I grew up with but I fear all that he will be exposed to may corrupt them. He isn’t living in the world I grew up in.

Potty Training

pottytraining

Potty Training

When we first decided to start training we bought a potty seat. It attached to the regular toilet. It even had handles and a button that made sound. It was CARS themed which my son loved. What he didn’t love was dangling from the big potty and it was hard for him to get on to even with the step stool. So it was practically impossible to get him on the toilet in time, let alone for him to do it himself. The reason we started with the seat instead of a potty chair was due to a recommendation from another customer at the store who said that they felt the chairs were a waste of time and it was hard to then transition them to the bigger potty it was almost like starting over… Made sense to us. But then we went a different route.

Since he loved the idea of the potty and flushing and everything we bought him a potty chair that looks exactly like a real toilet but it is child sized. He loves it. He is able to sit on it by himself. Although he still isn’t super interested in potty training and would rather just stay in diapers, he will sit on it and read books and he has gone in it already. The best part is his feel can touch the ground making it more comfortable so he will sit there longer with no fuss. So even though he isn’t potty trained just yet I do highly recommend this potty chair and it’s super cute. The top has a compartment to keep wipes in it but he likes to throw toys in there to hide. It has a flusher which makes a flushing sound followed by a giggle sound. The only thing that is missing is being able to watch the water swirl as it goes down the drain but with a kids potty there is no water so we compromise and put whatever he does into the big potty when he is done and he gets that excitement too.

Are you currently potty training or maybe you have some success stories that you would like to share? What has and hasn’t worked for you and your children during this process? I would love to know. We still have a ways to go here so any tips are always appreciated.