Phoenix

Have You Heard? … Scottsdale

Whether you’re new to Scottsdale or just looking for a parent’s guide to all things local, Have You Heard? … Scottsdale has you covered. Created by a team of mothers who like to share their expertise, it’s your resource for the best the city has to offer.

Have You Heard? ... Scottsdale

Find fun things to do with the kids or locate local clothes and toy shops. Get the dish on family-friendly restaurants and where kids eat free, or enjoy a little romance with their date night recommendations. Get social with their MOM SOS listings of clubs, playgroups, and Mommy and Me classes.

Planning a birthday party? Browse through venues, caterers, and in-home entertainment. Looking for pediatric doctors and dentists? They’ve got the details.

Their Scottsdale School Resource Guide is an information goldmine. Among the nuggets of school stats you’ll find:

Scottsdale School Resource Guide

  • Total enrollment
  • Teacher-to-student ratio
  • Curriculum info by subject
  • Gifted and special needs services
  • Discipline methods / Behavior expectations

They also have AIMS and SAT rankings and a handy Scottsdale School Locator.

Moms, they value your unique experiences too! You can submit your tips, comments and stories. And, if you own a Scottsdale business, this is the ideal spot for advertising to a targeted audience.

Connect with Have You Heard? … Scottsdale on Facebook and Twitter.

Water that falls in drops condensed from vapor in the atmosphere

rain in my backyard

So it rained this week. The weatherman said it was going to but he might as well be Noah warning people of the coming flood because Phoenicians are not believing that until we see it.

As soon as it started drizzling I did what I normally do – I grabbed my phone to snap a picture because every rain here is as magical as snow on Christmas morning to people who live where it actually snows. I’m guessing. I have no idea what life is like for people who own sleds and thermal underwear. Anyway, I’m certain if I took the time to search my blog I’d find similar, water-blurred pictures of my backyard with the grass varying heights and shades of green. But of course I didn’t take the time to search because it’s overcast and stormy and I’d rather look out the window.

The Big Chill

Yesterday I wore a long sleeve shirt, leggings, and thick socks around the house. I turned the heat up to 75 degrees and snuggled a blanket on the couch. It’s cold in Phoenix this week. How cold? The weatherman delivered the forecast below while wearing a trench coat and leather gloves, never mind that he did the reporting inside a heated studio.

via

Depending on where you live, you’ll look at these numbers and laugh. In Phoenix this is HUGE. We haven’t seen four consecutive days of freezing temperatures since 1988. People said “barf me out,” played Pac-Man, and watched Growing Pains the last time it was this cold here.

“The Big Chill” was last night’s top story on the local evening news. They did a bit on hypothermia and explained to us desert rats that it’s what happens when you lose body heat faster than you replace it. They said to look for these signs: drowsiness, confusion, slurred speech, stumbling and poor decision making. I never knew hypothermia was like being drunk.

Our governor declared an emergency. People are freaking out about their plants and vegetation freezing. They’re updating Facebook statuses with pics of their thermostats and it was all over Twitter (#AZFreeze) that icicles were on the fountain at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort this morning. Icicles!  That’s frozen water!

As I type this, my nose is cold and I’m considering taking a hot shower to warm up. If you’re someplace with snow on the ground you’re thinking I’m a complete wimp. Yes, that’s true but come find me in the summer when it’s 112°. I’ll be like, “Eh, that’s not so bad. At least it’s not a hundred and twenty-two.”

No Pictures, Please

This picture was taken at ASU Art Museum’s Family Fun Day. While I was snapping pics like a paparazzo with my phone, an employee told me I’d have to get special written permission to take pictures in the gallery. “Some of the artwork is copyrighted,” he said. Good thing I got this and some other cute ones before I learned you can’t take pictures in a museum. Next they’ll want us to be quiet in libraries.

It’s Good to Be a Kid

When you’re a kid going to the toy store can beat a day at the park, especially when it’s as cool as KidStop. It amazes me that even as a native Phoenician I’m still discovering hidden gems like this. I found KidStop when I looked for a cool toy store to buy Hudson’s birthday presents. Now I’m never going back to Toys R Us.

Bring Your Baby Matinees

As a mother of three, I speak from experience when I say that welcoming a new addition to the family often leads to cabin fever. It seems like there’s always an excuse to stay home. Fatigue, fear of germs, bad weather. Besides Grandma’s house there’s not many befitting places to take a baby. That quiet, fancy restaurant is out. Concerts and ballgames are a no-go. You can’t take a baby to the movies… at least, you couldn’t. You can now.

TheBump.com and AMC Theatres have started a program called Bring Your Baby Matinees, held on the first Tuesday of each month at noon. Now new parents don’t have to wait for DVD releases because AMC is screening the popular movies that they want to see. Brighter lights and lower volume make it baby-friendly. Also, breastfeeding is encouraged and crying is expected.

I was thrilled to attend July’s screening of Rock of Ages with my three month-old, Jolie. Get out of the house? Bring my baby and meet other new mommies?! Yes, please!

Because it was the day before the Fourth of July there was a smaller crowd, a scattering of new moms in various states of presentation. (Make-up optional, Hooter Hiders a plus!) There was occasional crying that was surprisingly not disruptive. It was a relaxed environment where (for a change) we didn’t have to worry about every little peep out of our little ones. Actually, us moms rocking out to the 80s hits were louder than the babies because when you’re listening to Catherine Zeta-Jones perform Hit Me With Your Best Shot you just gotta sing along.

Bring Your Baby Matinees is a chance for parents to get out and comfortably do something they enjoyed before the baby was born. Just don’t forget to bring a blanket. It’s always cold in movie theaters.

To find a participating theater near you, visit AMC Theatres or TheBump.com.

Disclosure: I received a free ticket to attend a Bring Your Baby Matinee in exchange for my review. All opinions and observations are strictly my own.

Playtime at the Park

We took a jaunt to Mesa last Thursday for Day of Play, a free family festival in Pioneer Park. Hudson loves any chance to jump in a bounce house and he really enjoyed his first ever snow cone. I had a great time hangin’ with my two favorite guys.


“No pictures. Let’s go have fun!”


“Yeah! What will we do first?”


“Look! A train! Choo choo!”


“Bouncy houses! My favorite!”

“Over here, Daddy. Over here!”


“Mmmm… snow cone. Delicious!”


“Just look?! Can’t we go for a ride?”


“Thanks, Daddy! This was fun!”

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Flaws

Rarely am I the one behind the camera. Lucas is a self-trained but talented photography hobbyist. Madison took a photography class last year and started trying to teach me that those buttons on our camera actually do something. I’m just an aim-and-snap girl when it comes to pictures.

So you’d think I’d be in tons of photos, right? Wrong, surprisingly. And of the ones that I make an appearance in I like very few. For me to produce a “good picture” of myself for one of my many online profiles (think Facebook and writing communities) is a hard task.

Madison wanted to come to my rescue. She’d do my make-up, my hair, and supply the wardrobe for an impromptu backyard photo shoot. Surely there would be at least one usable pic for Gravatar. I jumped at the chance.

Problem #1 Anything coming anywhere near my eyes is perceived as an imminent threat and my eyes close up like Fort Knox. So the make-up session, not so smooth. Problem #2 When it came to styling my hair I had to remind Madison I’m a 36 year-old mother, not a teenage girl with thick, curly locks. Problem #3 As soon as she produced my proposed outfit I said, “You want me to wear that?”

Here’s the story behind the dress: it belongs to Madison’s friend. She has this circle of friends that open their closets and share their wardrobes like sisters. (Or rather, like sisters who share. When I was Madison’s age it was a stealth mission to sneak into my older sister’s bedroom and come out with a pair of shorts.) There was a recent swap and a multicolored maxi dress was what she got in exchange for a mini sleeveless dress.

“Why don’t I just wear something of mine?” I said.

Madison wouldn’t negotiate. “No, come on. This will be cute.”

Cute? I like funky. I like wild. But I can’t say I really like this dress. For me anyway. However, I wanted to be a good sport and I appreciated what she was trying to do for me. Resigned, I put it on. Madison wanted to tie the straps in a bow on the front but no way was I wearing that thing strapless. Like two thin pieces of fabric going up around my neck make the dress more modest, but somehow it made me more comfortable.

When we uploaded the pictures Madison was full of praises. “You look good in this one.” “I like how you’re smiling here.” “See this? You could totally use this one.” For all of her flattery and effort, I found fault in all of them.

You should see the pictures I deleted. Final analysis: back to the drawing board. I’m hoping Madison will be willing work with me again. I’m not the easiest subject to work with, as I’m sure she could attest to. Let me tell you, I was so not cut out to model. No wonder God made me 5’3″.

Saturday, Muddy Saturday

Today we took the kids to the annual Mighty Mud Mania at Chaparral Park in Scottsdale. For older kids and adults they had mud obstacle courses, a mini mud course, sandcastle building, mud puddle pools and water slides. The 6 and under play area was awesome. Tons of inflatable toys and Little Tikes play houses. And of course, lots and lots of mud.

Radio Disney was playing and people were dancing on stage. There were free slices of Howie’s Pizza and free Fuze and Sports Blast drinks.

(By the way, you need one of these baby carriers if you’re going to carry a baby for any length of time. Next time you go to a baby shower, you know what to get the new mommy-to-be. It may not look very comfortable in the pic but Jolie loves it.)

Between the trees and all of the tents there was lots of shade, essential for the Arizona outdoors.Wish we could have stayed longer but we can only postpone nap time for so long.  It was so much fun and so well organized, I can’t wait to go again next year.

Breaking News: Phoenix is Hot in the Summer

Excessive heat warnings are in effect for the next few days because the temperature will climb from 109° up to 114°. It will “cool off” over the weekend to 103°. However, you are advised to keep lots of water on hand if you need to be outside.

NEWS FLASH: YOU LIVE IN PHOENIX. This is the desert and it’s hot. Do we really need heat advisories? We have four temperatures. 1) Mild – this is the weather we experience when everyone else is wearing thermal underwear and shoveling their driveway. It lasts just long enough to remind us why we live here: because we can Christmas shop wearing shorts and we don’t know how to ski. The mild weather is so nice we’re even willing to put up with snowbirds.  2) Then we have Hot. This is the prevailing temperature in Phoenix. From there it just gets 3) Hotter and 4) Hottest. You know that blast of heat you get when you open the oven to take out a batch of cookies? On our hottest days that’s what it feels like to open your front door. It’s too hot to even go swimming and Christians start repenting because if this is Phoenix then what must the heat feel like in Hell? It’s safer to just come out at night.