Kids Eat Free or Cheap..

Kids Eat Free ( or Cheap) in the Valley..

Kids Eat Free or Cheap Everyday:

Texadelphia Mcallen : Kids eat for $1. One $1 kids meal per adult meal purchased .

IHop: EveryDay 4pm-10pm: Dine in Only. Drinks not included. Some restrictions apply

Golden Corral: Children 3 and under eat FREE from the buffet with the purchase of an adult meal.

Kid Eat Free on Mondays:

Cowboy Chicken: Kids Eat Free with a purchase on an adult entree.

Buffalo Wings & Rings: Kids Eat FREE with a purchase of an adult meal.

Kids Eat Free on Tuesdays:

Main Event: Kids Eat Free

Kids Eat Free on Wednesdays:

Luby’s: One Free Kids meal with a purchase of an adult meal. Only at participating locations. Call your local Luby’s for more information. Dine in Only

Kids Eat Free on Saturdays:

Luby’s: One Free Kids meal with a purchase of an adult meal. Only at participating locations. Call your local Luby’s for more information. Dine in Only

Know of any other Kid Friendly restaurants that offer Kids Eat Free specials of for Cheap? Email us to rgv@tots-tweens.com to add them to our list.

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Austin Pogo Pass

Are you’re looking for fun & cheap kids activities in Austin , the POGO Pass is exactly what your family needs.

What’s a POGO pass…?

Imagine an activity pass that gave your family the ability to explore 23 family-friendly places in Austin , TX .

Go to Zoo, Texas Stars games , Wonder World  Park, UT home games, AND visit Hawaiian Falls (among other things) …all for less than $40 per person…for Over 20 activities at  23 destinations.

Fun & Cheap Kids Activities…Pogo Pass.

The Pogo Pass gives you access to many family friendly activities in San Antonio for one price – $39.98 per pass.

Pogo Pass Promo Code: RGVTOTS

With each activities pass, you get admission to 23  family-friendly venues and things to do in Austin/Waco . If you bought each thing to do separately – it would cost hundreds more.

This is a steal – cheap family fun!

Use our promo code to get the special, discounted price. The kids activities pass is usually $99.98 OR More!

23 Family-Friendly Destinations in Austin = $39.98

The Pogo Pass activity pass get you at least 1 FREE admission to each of these fun events or activities for kids.

One Pass. One Price. One Year of Family Fun

Find a full list of  Austin participants & Purchase a Pogo Pass with code: RGVTOTS to get the pass for only $39.98.

This Pogo Pass code can be used in San Antonio , Austin, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Kansas City, or Dallas to purchase their respective activities passes.

Watch to learn why the Pogo Pass is so awesome!

Pogo Pass Makes Family Fun Possible at a LOW cost!

Purchasing each fun kids activity separately would be costly. With the one-time cost of the Pogo Pass, you are saving a TON of money…hundreds of dollars!

Some even include more than one visit, so you can come back more than once.

Each person needs their own Pogo Pass to get into the activity with the card. Additional admissions can also be purchased separately for individual activities.

You can even use your mobile phone to show the Pogo Pass – it is that easy!

  • Pass is valid for 365 days.
  • Each pass is for 1 person – it includes their name & is non-transferable.
  • You can print the pass or show membership using your mobile phone.
  • Some activities include 2 admissions – check the website for updated details on activities.

Pogo Pass Austin Participants:

Each kids activities pass includes at least one visit the below Austin locations.

  1.  UT Athletics: One (1) general admission ticket to the 2019-2020 UT home games: Listed UT events can be attended by presenting your Pogo Pass at ticketing for a general admission ticket
    1. Men’s Basketball
    2. Women’s Basketball
    3. Baseball
    4. Softball
    5. Women’s Volleyball
    6. Women’s Soccer
  2. Cameron Park  Zoo: (2) Two visit to the Cameron Park  Zoo.
  3. Hawaiian Falls Waterparks :  One (1) general admission ticket to Hawaiian Falls Waterparks
  4. Wonder World Park: One (1) visit to Wonder World Park
  5. Austin Spurs: Two (2)  Austin Spurs games during the 2019-2020 NBA G league season.  Each Pogo Pass member receives One (1) ticket per game.
  6. Two (2) visits to Urban Air Trampoline Park Waco for a One (1) hour jump session. Re-usable Urban Air socks are required at select locations and can be purchased for $2.50
  7. Texas Stars: Two (2) Texas Stars games during the AHL regular season. Each member receives One (1) ticket per game
  8. Monster Golf & Laser Tag  (1 ) Visits to Monster Golf & Laser Tag. Members can choose from a round of Mini Golf, or a game of Laser Tag 
  9. Mt. Playmore: One (1) visit: One (1) visits to Mt. Playmore.
  10. Austin  Aquarium: (1) One visit to the Austin  Aquarium
  11. Pump It Up Austin Two (2) visits to Pump It Up. Visits can be used during open jump times .Ages 2 yrs (34″) and up. Each pass holder receives $50.00 OFF any birthday party booking Monday thru Thursday with their Pogo Pass.
  12. Dr. Pepper Museum: One (1) visit to the Dr. Pepper Museum
  13. The Mayborn Museum: One (1) visit General admission to  The Mayborn Museum.
  14. Playlive Nation: Two (2 ) visits  to Playlive NatioN Barton Creek location ONLY. 2 Hours of gaming per visit. Playlive Nation offers Pogo Pass members a 10% discount on Birthday party packages. Because of capacity limitations, admittance of Pogo Pass members may be restricted at any given time.
  15. Quest ATX Wakeboard Park : Two (2) vistits to Quest ATX Wakebaord.. Each visit is good for 2 hour session.  Equipment not included (wakeboard, life jacket and helmet rental available for $15) 
  16. Austin Park-n-Pizza: One (1) Game of Bowling /mo.( shoe rental Not included). One (1) “Climb, Tag N Play” Package / year which includes: UNLIMITED Laser Tag & Rockwall or 18 Holes of Mini-Golf
  17. Texas Sports Hall Of Fame:  One (1) visit to The Texas Sports Hall Of Fame
  18. Skate Country: Two (2) visits /mo to Skate Country Family Fun Center. Skate rental not included.
  19. Skate World:  Two (2) visits /mo to Skate World Family Fun Center. Skate rental not included
  20. Epix Lan Center:  Two (2) visits to Epix Lan Center.  Each visit includes 1 hour of gaming. Because of capacity limitations, admittance of Pogo Pass members may be restricted at any given time.
  21. Austin Rock Gym:  Two (2) visits of Bouldering at North Austin Rock Gym. A waiver is required for all participants.  ·  Shoe rental is required – $5 , Chalk is recommended – $2 .  Because of capacity limitations, admittance of Pogo Pass members may be restricted at any given time. 
  22.  Dart’ Em Up: Two (2) visits to Dart’ Em Up. 
  23. Move Sport Ninja Academy:  Two (2) visits for a 1 hour session during open gym.   Visits to be used on separate days.

Don’t Miss Out on Fun Things to Do for Cheap

If your family does even a few of these activities, the Pogo Pass pays for itself! Less than $40 is a steal for some family fun in San Antonio.

Pogo Passes are also available in

Phoenix , AZ

Las Vegas, NV

Kansas City, MO

Dallas/Ft. Worth TX

Austin/Waco, TX

Chicago, ILL

When you purchase the activity pass, to any  locations be sure to use Pogo Pass code: RGVTOTS  to get the 60% OFF discount.

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Pogo Pass San Antonio is HERE!

Pogo Pass San Antonio: 21 Fun & Family Friendly Activities for Kids = $39.98 per yr

If you’re looking for fun & cheap kids activities in San Antonio , the POGO Pass is exactly what your family needs.

What’s a POGO pass…?

Imagine an activity pass that gave your family the ability to explore 15  family-friendly places in San Antonio , TX .

Go to The San Antonio  Zoo, Rampage games , Wonder World  Park, UTSA home games, AND visit Splashtown (among other things) …all for less than $40 per person…for ALL  21 activities at  15 destinations.

Fun & Cheap Kids Activities…Pogo Pass.

Activities for kids include:

The San Antonio Zoo, Urban Air, University UTSA home games, Rampage hockey games. You even get 2 admissions at some locations with the activity pass !

The Pogo Pass gives you access to many family friendly activities in San Antonio for one price – $39.98 per pass.

Pogo Pass Promo Code: RGVTOTS

With each activities pass, you get admission to 15  family-friendly venues and things to do in San Antonio . If you bought each thing to do separately – it would cost hundreds more.

This is a steal – cheap family fun!

Use our promo code to get the special, discounted price. The kids activities pass is usually $99.98.

15 Family-Friendly Destinations in San Antonio = $39.98

The Pogo Pass activity pass get you at least 1 FREE admission to each of these fun events or activities for kid

One Pass. One Price. One Year of Family Fun

Find a full list of  San Antonio participants & Purchase a Pogo Pass with code: RGVTOTS to get the pass for only $39.98.

This Pogo Pass code can be used in San Antonio , Austin, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Kansas City,  Dalla ro Chicago s to purchase their respective activities passes.

Watch to learn why the Pogo Pass is so awesome!

 

Pogo Pass Makes Family Fun Possible at a LOW cost!

Purchasing each fun kids activity separately would be costly. With the one-time cost of the Pogo Pass, you are saving a TON of money…hundreds of dollars!

Some even include more than one visit, so you can come back more than once.

Each person needs their own Pogo Pass to get into the activity with the card. Additional admissions can also be purchased separately for individual activities.

You can even use your mobile phone to show the Pogo Pass – it is that easy!

  • Pass is valid for 365 days.
  • Each pass is for 1 person – it includes their name & is non-transferable.
  • You can print the pass or show membership using your mobile phone.
  • Some activities include 2 admissions – check the website for updated details on activities.

Pogo Pass San Antonio Participants:

Each kids activities pass includes at least one visit the the below San Antonio locations.

  1.  UTSA Athletics: One (1) general admission ticket to the 2018-19 UTSA home games: Listed UTSA events can be attended by presenting your Pogo Pass at ticketing for a general admission ticket
    1. Men’s Basketball
    2. Women’s Basketball
    3. Baseball
    4. Softball
  2. San Antonio Zoo: (1) One visit to the San Antonio Zoo.
  3. Splashtown San Antonio:  One (1) general admission ticket to Splashtown San Antonio.
  4. Wonder World Park: One (1) visit to Wonder World Park
  5. San Antonio Rampage: Two (2) San Antonio Rampage games during the 2018-19 AHL hockey season.  Each Pogo Pass member receives One (1) ticket per game.
  6. Two (2) visits to the San Antonio Urban Air Trampoline Park NE for a One (1) hour Bronze package jump session. Re-usable Urban Air socks are required at select locations and can be purchased for $2.50
  7. Monster Golf & Laser Tag  (2) Visits to Monster Golf & Laser Tag. Members can choose from a round of Mini Golf, or a game of Laser Tag each visit.
  8. San Antonio Aquarium: (1) One visit to the San Antonio Aquarium.
  9. Two (2) visits to Incredible Pizza for a free buffet: Each visit is good for One (1) free buffet
  10. University Bowl: One (1) game of bowling per visit. Subject to available space/lane availability. Shoe rental not included
  11. Pump It Up San Antonio: Two (2) visits to Pump It Up. Visits can be used during open jump times at the Pump It Up Northwest, or Pump It Up Northeast locations.  Ages 2 yrs (34″) and up. Each pass holder receives $50.00 OFF any birthday party booking Monday thru Thursday with their Pogo Pass.
  12. Battle For Texas: One (1) visit to the Battle For Texas Museum.
  13. The Witte Museum: One (1) visit to The Witte Museum.
  14. The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum: One (1) visit to The Buckhorn and Texas Ranger Museum.
  15.  UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures: One (1) visit to the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures.

 

Don’t Miss Out on Fun Things to Do for Cheap

If your family does even a few of these activities, the Pogo Pass pays for itself! Less than $40 is a steal for some family fun in San Antonio.

Pogo Passes are also available in

Phoenix , AZ

Las Vegas, NV

Kansas City, MO

Dallas/Ft. Worth TX

Austin/Waco, TX

Chicago, IL

When you purchase the activity pass, to any  locations be sure to use Pogo Pass code: RGVTOTS  to get the 60% OFF discount.

 

 

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Talk to Your Parents About Stress

How to Talk to Your Parents About Stress

If you’re feeling a bit stressed out, your parents can help. Although they did not grow up with the same pressures as you, such as social media and insane testing schedules, the adults in your life are a great source of support. Also keep in mind that although stress and anxiety can stick with you for a long time, there are techniques that can help you manage both (your parents can help you here, too!).

Talking to adults

Having to approach a parent or teacher about uncomfortable subjects can be scary. Don’t be afraid to let your mom or dad know that you need to talk. If you feel tired all the time, like everyday activities are just too hard to get through, or sick without reason, it might be time to talk.

KidsHealth.org is a good website to look at if you think you might need some advice on talking to your parents about stress or other difficult topics. It is not rude to start a conversation by explaining that something is weighing on your mind and that you just need them to listen. It’s also okay to ask for advice. Remember, even your parents need guidance sometimes, so no one is going to judge you for asking for a listening ear.

What do you need?

There is no single thing that all people need to keep stress away. When your stress causes you constant anxiety, it can kill your confidence and make you feel scared of failure, especially when it comes to how you’re doing in school.

A few things that may help (and things you should consider talking to your parents about) include:

  • Changing the way you eat. French fries might be tasty, but anything you get from a drive-through isn’t going to be good for your body. When you eat, your food goes into your gut, which has the task of separating the vitamins and minerals from the stuff that doesn’t contribute to your health. And believe it or not, there is a little world just behind your belly button that affects everything from weight to the chemicals in your brain that make you feel happy or sad. Ask your parents about helping you eat more foods that promote gut health or taking a supplement that contains probiotics.
  • Exercising. When you were in elementary school, you went outside for recess every day, but the older you get, the more you probably just want to chill out on the couch with your video games. Fortnite and Minecraft are fun, but they don’t help your body and brain work the way they should. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic note that exercise can boost your brain’s production of feel-good endorphins (hormones that make you happy) and can ease stress.
  • Having too much to do. Sometimes, adults think that the best thing for their kids is to stay busy. There’s nothing wrong with taking martial arts or playing soccer after school, but sometimes, all of this extra activity is just too much. Not getting done with baseball practice until 10 o’clock at night and then still having to do homework and eat dinner isn’t good for anyone.
  • Spending more time with your family. There are a lot of scientific reasons that you should spend more time with the people you love, and if you’ve been feeling like time around the dinner table makes you happy, you’re probably right. Activities like eating dinner together, playing games, and doing crafts with your family help you bond. These activities also give you a great chance to talk to them about everything that’s going on during the day while you are at school.

There are a lot of things you can do to make stress go away, but there are also things that you’re going to need help with. Talk to your parents or a trusted teacher about things you can do, like eating different foods and taking some activities off your plate. You may find that simple changes to your day can make you feel a whole lot better.

Image via Pixabay

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Best Holiday Season

How to Create a Good Morning Routine
to Make for the Best Holiday Season

A good morning routine is essential for setting you and your family up for a successful and enjoyable day. However,during the holidays, it’s easy to let your family routine fall by the way side amid the school breaks, dinners, seasonal activities, and other special events.Alas, this can make for a stressful season. Fortunately, there are ways to fully embrace the holidays while maintaining structure and keeping the stress to a minimum:

Maintain a clean home

The first part of establishing a holiday morning routine is maintaining the cleanliness of your home. A clean and clutter-free living space is critical to keeping stress levels down. And no matter how busy your schedule may get during this time, you can still keep your home in tip-top shape. Start by de cluttering your home before you decorate, and keep your decorations to a minimum. Try to keep all your items in their designated place, keep all surfaces clear (i.e. tabletops,counters, shelves, etc.), spend 10 minutes a day getting rid of clutter, and make sure everyone in the home participates in these tasks.

 If your budget allows for it, consider hiring a cleaning service to come in during the holidays. A little extra help cleaning can save you major time while ensuring your home stays in pristine condition and ready for guests. Right now  the costs for a one-time cleaning service runs from $110-$227 — a worthy investment for your holiday sanity.

Keep a decent bedtime.

 Another thing you want to do is establish a realistic bedtime for your kids. School may be on a hiatus, but you don’t want their sleep habits to go completely haywire.Even if it looks a little different for the holidays, it’s important  for your children to go to bed at the same time each night. This helps ensure they get enough sleep, as well as make it easier to transition when school starts back up. Furthermore, it’s critical that parents get enough sleep; otherwise, stress will quickly overtake your holidays.

 Plan for the next day.

 helps to wake up to some sort of plan in the morning. Whether it’s preparing breakfast, delegating chores, or packing things up in the car for a trip,consider planning the night before. Also, be sure to schedule adequate time for things like personal hygiene, getting dressed, and eating breakfast. Not having to rush is key to avoiding the stress of a chaotic morning. If you really want to start off on the right foot, wake up before the kids to do something relaxing, such as reading with a cup of coffee or meditating.

 Be flexible.

 Having some level of flexibility is always helpful in life. But during the holidays, you can’t really survive without it. Your family’s schedules are likely to be more different and demanding than ever, and you will need to work hard at maintaining order while staying open to the changes. For         instance, try to be consistent with bedtimes, but don’t let that keep you from going to see The Nutcracker with your kids one evening. Or if your morning doesn’t go as planned and it gets stressful, don’t let the rest of the season turn upside-down by giving up on your routine. Take it a day at a time.

When you have a routine for the family, it reduces stress and allows you to fully embrace the holidays. Remember to keep your home clean by spending a little time on it each day. Make sure everyone is getting enough sleep, and start planning for your morning the night before.Finally, remain flexible as you adhere to your routine. Keeping a solid routine will make for a better holiday season for the whole family.

Photo Credit: Pexels

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Nurse Family Partnership – RGV

Expecting, new moms get support from Nurse Family Partnership :

When a woman is pregnant for the first time, she has dozens of questions and just as many opinions from friends and family. How can she learn to make the best choices for her and her baby? To help pregnant Valley women and new mothers through those unfamiliar times, the Nurse-Family Partnership pairs a first-time mother with her very own, personal nurse to guide her through pregnancy and give her expert health advice.

 

The national program launched in the Valley in 2012 and is offered for FREE by DHR Health Women’s Hospital. There is no waiting list at this time, and friendly nurses just like Gabby Calzada are ready to help expecting moms of all ages be the best moms they can be.

 

Vanessa Bocanegra was a high school senior and 24 weeks pregnant when she learned about Nurse-Family Partnership. Although she was nervous to meet Gabby, Vanessa was quickly put at ease and glad she made the decision to join the program.

Vanessa.Bocanegra

 

Gabby met with Vanessa every other week throughout her pregnancy. Vanessa’s son Damian is now 14 months old and doing well, and Vanessa credits her nurse with making her feel proud to be a mom and fall even more in love with her son. Vanessa is confident in her parenting skills, because she knows how to listen for or notice exactly what Damian needs. Gabby has also given her important parenting support and answers at the times when she needed them the most.

 

There is not a waiting list for the Valley’s Nurse-Family Partnership program.

 

Pregnant women in Hidalgo County who are eligible for these free services can enroll immediately. Once enrolled, a first-time mother is connected with a personal nurse who can answer her questions about what to expect during her pregnancy, childbirth and taking care of her baby. To find out more, pregnant moms can visit txnfp.org

Helping First-Time Parents Succeed – Nurse-Family Partnership

txnfp.org

With your very own free Nurse­-Family Partnership personal nurse, you will get the support, advice and information you need during your pregnancy and when your baby arrives.

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5 Tips to Throw a Fun & Easy Party

blog july 10

 

5 Tips to Throw a Fun and Easy At-Home Birthday Party on a Budget

 

One of the challenges of parenting in the digital age is the worry about making everything “Pinterest perfect.” Kids’ birthday parties are no exception, but the reality is that our children just want a fun time to celebrate with their friends. When you get back to the basics with an easy at-home party, it’s not only budget-friendly, but it’s also less stress and more fun for everyone.

 

Start with a Theme
Planning around a theme gives you a focal point and serves as a springboard for other ideas. For younger children, loose themes that are gender neutral work well, such as fairytale characters or bugs and butterflies. Older children may already know what theme they’d like, or you can brainstorm possibilities together based on their interests. If you’re still looking for inspiration, we like these theme ideas that are broken down for different age groups.

 

Another option is to have an activity-based party, so you have the theme, activity, and sometimes even the food all rolled into one, making party planning even easier. Two activity themes we love from HuffPost are chocolate-making and scavenger hunt parties.

 

Make Low or No-Cost Invitations

Printing invitations can really bust your budget, but digital options are free or inexpensive and are more eco-friendly too. Going digital can give you the option to manage RSVPs online with services like Evite. If you’re tech-savvy (or have a design-savvy child), sites like Canva give you plenty of creative freedom to make your own special invitation.

 

If you decide to go the paper route, let your child help make homemade invitations. Use craft supplies you already have lying around, or grab some blank cards from a dollar store and let your child decorate them to their heart’s content.

 

Set the Scene

 

Decorations transform your home from the everyday into a world of wonder, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on them. One budget-friendly way to decorate is to keep store-bought decorations general and spruce them up yourself. A couple of DIY decorating ideas we like from Babble are confetti balloons and using printed washi tape to decorate plain cups. Try to get the best bang for your buck with inexpensive decorations that really pack a punch. Decorating with string lights is a great way to spice up your party, both indoors and outdoors, without spending much since they are inexpensive and kids usually love them. And when you’re finished with your party, you can use the string lights to add comfort and warmth to a space in your home!

 

Focus Refreshments on What Kids Want Most

 

Instead of setting out an expensive spread of food, focus on what kids really want, such as fun snacks like popcorn and, of course, the best part: cake and ice cream. You can get away with this by timing your party to start mid-morning or mid-afternoon when no one expects a meal. Most children would agree that the cake is pretty important, so consider making it yourself and starting a tradition by letting the birthday child help.

 

Play Classic Games and DIY New Ones

 

Planning a few activities is an absolute must because downtime leads to boredom and kids running wild. Classic games are just as fun as ever, so pick a few like freeze dance, hot potato, or red rover to keep kids entertained at no cost.

 

For something more current, one of the more popular party activities these days is to set up a photo booth. Scour the internet for photo prop templates that fit your theme, and print them yourself on heavy paper. To up the fun even more, use large cardboard boxes to make an actual “booth,” and let your children get involved by decorating it themselves.

 

The reality of modern party planning is that when you get back to basics, it’s easier to let go of stress and focus on what matters most. Children won’t remember (or even know) how much you spent on their party, but they will remember how much fun they had. Use these tips and your own creativity to pull off a memorable, fabulous shindig at home without breaking the bank.

 

Photo credit: Unsplash

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5 Tips for Hosting a Child with Special Needs This Holiday Season

By Diane M. McCullom

For most people, the holidays are a joyful time spent with family and friends, though they can be quite stressful and demanding with party-attending, gift-buying and schedule-juggling. Families with children who have special needs face these same demands and more—wondering how their children will feel at social gatherings is just one of the many questions asked. If you have the privilege of hosting a child with special needs this holiday season, chances are you are wondering about some ways that you can help ease the process for these families and for yourself. We have a few ideas:

Check in with parents – Before your holiday gathering, check in with the child’s parents for a list of do’s and don’ts, traditions, food sensitivities and recommendations. This step can go quite the distance in ensuring that the child feels comfortable and at home in a new environment.

Be prepared – Organize your home in a way that provides few distractions: remove clutter, keep overstimulating items out of the central focus points of your home, have backup food that the child likes, and have fun, skill-appropriate activities and games available for the child in those moments when uneasiness or restlessness sets in.

Be flexible – You might have to throw all of that preparation out the window on a whim. And guess what? It’s OK! Be flexible enough to change your plans to meet the needs of your guests.

Teach your family – Use your experience hosting a special needs child as a teaching time for your own children or relatives to learn about awareness, difference, respect and acceptance.

Relax and have fun – A kid with special needs wants to be independent too, so let them attempt things on their own instead of immediately jumping in to help. Things might get spilled or kids might jump on your couch. As long as a safe and fun environment is maintained, don’t sweat the small stuff!

With a little preparation and an accommodating mindset for those special kids in your life, the holidays are sure to be a success for everyone this year!

Diane M. McCullom is the senior vice president of clinical operations at Dallas-based Epic Health Services, a leading provider of pediatric skilled nursing, therapy, developmental, enteral and respiratory services, as well as adult home health services, with operations in 21 states.

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Sharkey’s Hair It Is

Sharkey's Hair It Is specializes in parties for little girls.

Sharkey’s Hair It Is specializes in parties for little girls.

The main floor of Sharkey's.

The main floor of Sharkey’s.

Walking into Sharkey’s Hair It Is is a visually stimulating experience.  With Hollywood lights lining the stylists’ mirrors, bold colors on the walls, a couple of televisions playing popular shows with options to play the Xbox, and pop culture music—both old and new—playing on the speaker, your attention is captured.

Originally based  in Connecticut as “Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids”, Sharkey’s Hair It Is was created to cater to the whole family.  With locations mostly in the East Coast US, and as far away as Ireland and Egypt , it is the first of its kind to show up in South Texas.  Owner of the local franchise, Marcos Saldivar, says, “My vision is to have one in each city here in South Texas.  We’re all about customer service.  When you come in, we treat you like you’re walking into somebody’s house.  We offer water and want people to feel comfortable.”

DSCN4089

This pink room is a popular party venue for little girls.

When asked what the secret of their three years of success has been, manager Mary Valdez commented, “We have good customer service for the kids.  A lot of parents tell us their children are requesting to come and get their hair cut here.  We treat the whole family.  They leave very happy.”  The aforementioned Xboxes, she notes, are there for whoever wants to play them, whether it be a child or an adult.

A popular venue among little girls, Sharkey’s offers two different birthday party packages.  One is for 12 girls for two hours at $375, and includes a hairstyle, make-up and nails.  They also get to dress up and play planned games in between.  Sharkey’s provides drinks and pizza, and parents have the option of bringing a cake.  The smaller package is for 6 girls for an hour and a half and includes all the same perks for $275.

DSCN4086

Two examples of the cars children can choose to sit in while getting their hair done.

Party Coordinator and stylist Karie Recio noted, “[Parents] like the space because they don’t have to do everything.  We have enough people to take care of the kids; it’s adapted for them, especially little girls.  They enjoy dressing up and being with the ladies.”

Haircuts for adults are $18, and $15 for children.  All haircuts come with a shampoo, and girls can get their nails done for no extra charge.  Children receive a balloon and a lollipop when they are done, and have the choice of sitting in a special car of their choice while being treated.

With great customer service and clientele, it looks like Sharkey’s Hair It Is is here to stay.

For more information on Sharkey’s, please visit their website or Facebook page.

Local Sharkey's manager, Mary Valdez, is very helpful and committed to her clients.

Local Sharkey’s manager, Mary Valdez, is very helpful and committed to her clients.

 

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Brownsville MOPS

As a mom, do you ever feel like pulling your hair out?  Are there other moments where you are in complete awe of the beautiful children that have been entrusted to your care?  Can you go from complete elation to total devastation in a matter of seconds?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) is for you!

Part of the Brownsville MOPS group plays an icebreaker.

Part of the Brownsville MOPS group plays an icebreaker.

“My favorite thing about MOPS is getting to know moms and being able to connect with them on a deeper level,” says Briana McIsaac, coordinator of the Brownsville MOPS chapter.  With 15 years in existence, it is a place where all moms are welcome.  “This year, we’ve added MOMSnext to include moms of all ages, and a bilingual table to cater to more mothers in the community,” added McIsaac.

Mothers of Preschoolers, or MOPS for short, is an international nonprofit organization that exists to support mothers as they parent children from birth through Kindergarten.  MOMSnext is an extension of that, helping raise kids who are beyond the preschool years.  Local gatherings typically run for a couple of hours, and include homemade meals, childcare, icebreakers, crafts and inspiring messages.  Outside of meetings, planned extracurricular activities include playdates and special events, such as Moms’ Night Out and MOPS and POPS Night (large group date night with childcare provided).

The MOPS theme for this year is, "A Fierce Flourishing:  Celebrate Lavishly, Embrace Rest and Notice Goodness."

The MOPS theme for this year is, “A Fierce Flourishing: Celebrate Lavishly, Embrace Rest and Notice Goodness.”

Long-time member, Laura Castro, had the following to say about her MOPS experience:  “We have really supported each other through a lot.  There has been a sincere desire to love each other as best we can.  What I’ve found over the years is that it has become a community for me.”  Remembering the weeks following the birth of her second daughter, Castro remarked, “The meals (that MOPS makes and delivers) are great.  Having people come in my home and knowing they were not looking at my chaos meant a lot.  The first few weeks after a baby is born are very chaotic.”

Extracurricular MOPS activities include occasional fundraisers.  Picture here: last year's Zumbathon.

Extracurricular MOPS activities include occasional fundraisers. Pictured here: last year’s Zumbathon.

With three chapters that meet regularly in the Rio Grande Valley, mothers from every area are invited to attend.  Whether you are a stay at home mom, work part-time or full-time, MOPS is a place for you.  The Brownsville chapter meets every other Friday, with the next meeting being October 9th, from 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at Central Christian Church on 1100 E. Alton Gloor Blvd.  Harlingen MOPS meets the first and third Wednesday of each month from 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., at First Christian Church on 421 S. 13th St.  And the McAllen group meets every first and third Thursday from 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at BT (Baptist Temple) Church on 2001 Trenton Rd.  For more information, please visit their Facebook pages:  Brownsville, Harlingen and McAllen.

Giana Gallardo Hesterberg is passionate about many things, including being a wife, mother, teacher, speaker, blogger, gardener and friend.  You can follow some of her adventures on her blog storiesbytheseashore.blogspot.com 

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