One Show Only

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Somehow, despite being mostly mute for his evaluation to confirm he was "typically-abled", Timmy earned a spot in the new integrated pre-school program at our elementary school this year. Katie started in this program as a 3yo for speech delay and I was eager to get Tim into such a well-structured program. When we found out they would allow kids without delays or special needs to enroll this year, I was ecstatic.

It sounds like he's already making a name for himself. Although, I had to laugh when the head teacher (like an assistant principal) told me a few weeks into school, that yes, she knew my youngest had started in pre-k this year. She knew Katie as a preschooler and has been extremely helpful to our family over the years. She told me, "Oh, I saw him get off the bus the first day and instantly recognized that face. I knew he must be a Bouf."

But that face is where the similarities end. Timmy is the opposite of Katie in so many ways. He's naturally athletic (with speed and coordination). He's also naturally shy and quiet in new situations. He takes a while to warm up to new people, but once he does he's loyal and loves to play with his friends. He's quiet about what he knows, often just telling us, "Ahh, I don't know". Even though he does. He carries a tune well and loves to parrot back every commercial and one-liner he hears on tv, but refuses to perform on command. All of a sudden he turns into Mr. Bashful.

But he's been loving school. And lately when I ask him what sound a letter makes, instead of getting the canned "I don't know" response, I get the exaggerated sound, complete with body animation. So today, I just so happened to have written an e-mail to his teacher. I told her how amazed I am with how much he has learned in just one month of school and how excited he is to share things with us. (I also had to ask if Thor's hammer would be considered a "weapon" per the Halloween parade no weapon ban. And yes it is; so is Wolverine's costume.)

Maybe she enjoyed the e-mail and told Timmy to give his mom a break tonight and just sing the alligator song for her. Because, not only did he sing the alligator song he's been talking about since the beginning of September...but he was enthusiastic about me recording it. I'll get him there...he's already telling me he'd rather go to NYC to see Wicked (since I told him we can't see Jack in Newsies AGAIN) instead of his much requested Disney vacation. He belts out Defying Gravity, Just One Day, King of New York or Santa Fe, depending on the CD playing at the moment, on almost every car ride. Good luck getting him to sing them for you. But for one show's the alligator song!!!


Mega Bloks Barbie Party

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Imagine the excitement when MomSelect and Mega Bloks sent us a big box full of the Mega Bloks Barbie building sets to get our Mommy Party on.

Not only was 7yo Katie as excited as Christmas morning, but all of our friends got excited for our party, too - because, I'll be honest, we are a fun family. Um, or maybe because we were going to get a chance to play with the Mega Bloks Barbie Build 'N Style Luxury Mansion and Pool Party plus some cool accessories.

Bright colors, Mega Bloks, girls, Barbie themed: Excitement!

I was thrilled for the opportunity to watch Katie play with these sets. Many building sets with themes she would be interested in are geared to slightly older kids like 6-10 or 8-12, and even at those ages they've been a challenge for Katie's fine motor skill set. Mega Bloks Barbie toys are suggested for 5-8 year old girls. I went online right away to try to get an idea of how it was geared to a younger set and noticed that in the mansion, the block pieces seemed to be more accessories than actual building pieces. Since Katie has to-date passed on her building toys to spend ENDLESS hours playing with Polly Pocket, Pet Shop, and Squinky toys, I knew these would be perfect for her: lots of ability to play creatively, but beginning to incorporate the building, following instructions, and fine motor skills that I wanted to challenge her with.

As the date of our party approached, the evil ugly flu reared it's head and our invited party guests dropped like flies, but we had a great group come out and tons of fun. As soon as Maddie and Mackenzie arrived, the girls ran over to the toys to start planning. After I had opened all of the boxes and inner bags, we quickly realized that while there are TONS of awesome accessories for playing - there were also a lot of pieces to build.
So, we started with our snacks and dinner so that we could clear out the kitchen for some serious building time.
I was fortunate to have a few of my most clever and crafty friends with me and while the girls were eating we decided to sort all of the mansion pieces. Each room of the mansion has its own set of instructions complete with number of each piece needed and which stickers to attach. We ripped the instruction manual pages apart and created building baggies for each room of the mansion that included the instructions and just the pieces needed for that room.
The girls got busy and did a great job. It was their first time following such detailed instructions and even our 7 and 8 yo needed a lot of adult help, but the fact that they could do some of it by themselves made them really proud. They were definitely eager to learn and understand what they needed to do. Katie got easily frustrated a few times. Our almost 5yo gave up very quickly and went to play with the boys.
The moms stepped in to help apply stickers, keep the girls on task, and help attach difficult pieces (or more commonly unattach pieces that were put in the wrong place and then were too hard for the girls to unattach). I also helped to finish customizing the outside of the mansion, with windows, trim, and flower boxes.
Once we got our system down, we finished pretty quickly with only two girls actively participating. By then, they were ready for a break.
 After a bit of energy release, our friend Olivia joined us to help build Barbie's dream pool. And really, this pool is built to amaze.

I really like the sets because they leave you with something to actually play with once you're done building. There are tons of fun accessories including food, utensils, and pretty much anything Barbie could ever hope to have. The downside, there are so many fun things to play with and you have to be very careful so that the building pieces don't break apart.

They empowered our girls to try something they hadn't done before and they loved it. See for yourself:

From our experience, I would caution parents that 5-8 year old girls will likely not be able to decipher the instructions completely on their own, but they can do it with help and they will have a blast playing with the completed project. Like Playdoh, this is higher on the parent involvement scale, but I definitely enjoyed our time building together. When tackling the mansion on your own (as opposed to having tons of hands to help at one time), it is set up perfectly to be completed as multi-day mini-projects, one room at a time.

I received free products in exchange for hosting this party as apart of a promotional program with MomSelect. All opinions are my own.


Happy Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I realize the Catholic Church has made many changes over the last year, but I didn’t see this one coming. First, our mass and hymns were retranslated. Recently, a new precedent was set, morally freeing future popes from serving until their death if they feel that they can’t properly lead due to age or health issues.

But changing our Easter celebration to Valentine’s Day???
Katie recently attended a Valentine’s Day party at gymnastics. While other kids were crafting, she was busy writing a report about how special Valentine’s Day is.
And in the spirit of translating our most holy works, I have translated and edited as follows:
"Happy Valentine’s Day. It is a special day, the day Jesus suffered his life and died and rose up again. It is one of Jesus’s and God’s days.
Our holiday today is Valentine’s Day.  It wasn’t on the date, but they made it this day." (because the party was not actually ON Valentine’s Day.)
It has been suggested that I request a refund for her CCD classes.
Instead, we had a little talk. I revealed the mystery of Easter. Called “Easter”.  Which led us back to, “So what the heck is Valentine’s Day?”


Yo Gabbba Gabba! Ticket Giveaway

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Congrats to our winner - Jill McHale!

It doesn't really seem possible. It seems like just yesterday that I was squealing in excitement about the opportunity to give away tickets to see Yo Gabba Gabba! I thought to myself, eh I don't need tickets myself this year for the Tower Theater- my kids have seen it. Yeah, Timmy still LOVES to watch his pals on tv (and took off to find it on Netflix as soon as he saw these pictures over my shoulder) but it wasn't that long ago that we got to see Yo Gabba Gabba Live! at the Mann Music Center.

And then I scrolled through my picture archives to get some clips and OH MY GOSH!!! It was 2 1/2 years ago. Timmy was a BABY!!! 
Whether your kids have loved Yo Gabba Gabba! for over 2 1/2 years, or are new on the scene, you are in luck because they are back in town, performing at the Tower Theater THIS month!! And not only do you still have a chance to purchase tickets, but you can win a family 4-pack right here.

And it's not just a Party in Your Tummy, it's an all out party!

Win 4 TIX to YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE! Jan 25th
YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE! GET THE SILLIES OUT! Tour in Upper Darby for 2 Performances

The sillies are crazy little creatures that live inside of us and need to be shaken out! DJ Lance Rock and everyone’s favorite cast of colorful characters are calling all fans in Cincinnati to get ready to jump, shake and shimmy them out at the new live tour Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE!: Get the Sillies Out!. Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE!: Get The Sillies Out! tour will visit more than 50 cities across the U.S. in 2013.  Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE! is touring in support of their first national beverage launch, a new line of toys, a new line of kids sportswear and a DVD/ CD collectors' edition.

Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE!: Get the Sillies Out! will have two performances at the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, PA on Friday, Jan. 25th (3pm and 6pm). CLICK HERE for ticket information for the shows. Tickets start at $26.00. VIP Party packages are available as well which include a ticket in the first 15 Rows, a pass to "Get the Sillies Out" in the private VIP room featuring a super fun party with the Gabba Gang (costumed characters) and more. Children under 1 year old do not require a paid ticket to sit on a parent's lap.

For a complete list of tour dates, cities and show times, and a preview of the show, visit 
Yo Gabba Gabba! is an award-winning, live-action television series and live stage show whose unconventional formula has created a triple stacked fan base, making it one of the most popular entertainment properties among preschoolers, parents and indie music lovers alike. The television show, now in its fourth season, airs several times a day on Nick Jr.

Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE!: Get the Sillies Out! marks the third tour for the successful Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE! concert series. The first tour, Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE!: There’s a Party in My City!, launched with a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and a performance at the White House in 2010.  Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE! 2010 tour played to sold out venues in 60 cities. Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE!: It’s Time to Dance! enjoyed repeat success in 2011, energizing audiences across North America at over 120 shows.

Enter for a chance to win 4 FREE tickets to the 1/25 
6pm Tower Theater performance  
(This is a Friday night):

*Simply leave me a comment to let me know who you would love to bring to the show.

*Feel free to tweet this giveaway as much as you'd like for extra entries. 
Tweet must include @JulieBouf and a link to this post.

If you have a non-reply google account or don't have a google account - include some way for me to contact you in your comment (e-mail address, twitter handle, etc...if I don't already know you personally). Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

This giveaway will close on January 20, 2013.


'Tis the Season - Broadway at the Kimmel Center Giveaway

Friday, December 21, 2012

Congrats to Jennifer Vitucci (Jekyll & Hyde winner) and Rene McIntyre (Cirque Eloize winner)  Earlier this December, my kids, my mom and I spent a whirlwind weekend of shopping, shows, and holiday traditions in NYC. At 4 and 7, my kids have already fallen in love with musical theater and really any kind of “show”. Partially because they’re awesome and smart, partially because they’ve been listening to show tunes in the car since utero, and partially because their equally awesome mama has had a subscription to the Kimmel Center’s Broadway series for the last 3 years.

One of my favorite parts of living in South Jersey is the proximity to New York City AND Philadelphia theater. We are regular patrons of the Arden Theater and the Walnut Theater, but nothing compares to the amazing shows produced by the Kimmel Center and I love to treat my kids whenever a child-friendly show comes to town (or not so child-appropriate, but includes all of your 6yo’s favorite songs – ie. Rock of Ages.)

So in the spirit of season, I would like to share tickets that were generously provided by the Kimmel Center and Allied-THA for 2 upcoming Kimmel Center productions.

I am giving away TWO 4-packs of tickets.

1 4-pack to see Jekyll and Hyde
at the Forrest Theatre

Thursday, Dec 27th at 7:30pm

1 4-pack to see Cirque Eloize
at the Merriam Theater
Sunday, Dec 30th at 6:30pm

Tickets can also be purchased at

Since this is a very last minute giveaway and I will travelling shortly, I will be selecting a winner Sunday night. Unfortunately tickets are not available for will-call, so you must be able to pick up the tickets from me.

I am available to hand over the tickets Monday in the Gloucester County Area , Wednesday daytime near Mt. Laurel, NJ or Wednesday evening at the Forrest Theater in Philly. I can also mail overnight, at your expense.

To enter:

As Katie would say, Easy Peazy Lemon Squeezy

Leave a comment letting me know you’re interested and what show you’d like to attend.
Please enter separate comments for each show and leave as many comments as you’d like.


The Game Plan

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Timmy is playing soccer this year.
Well, Timmy has been signed up and placed on a soccer team this year.

We had him placed on the same team as his good friend Ellie. We figured having a good family friend as his coach would help shorten his "warm-up period" that he experiences in almost all situations (except learning new x-box games.)

Despite being carried by his coach during the opening night parade (you know, because he's too cool to walk), he was very excited this morning for his first game. He popped into a chair and eagerly gave me his feet to put on his soccer equipment. We started off well.

"Mom, take my picture! I'm so cool, right? I'm wearing my soccer clothes, right?"
"I went pee on the potty today, right? It's really sunny today, right?"
"I'm too cute for words, right?"

But then we had to interact with other people.

"Timmy, go ahead and kick the ball. It's ok. It's really fun"

 'If I close my eyes, all these people that I don't know will go away.'
 'Is anyone I don't know looking at me?'
 'Maybe if I make myself look like a lost kid someone will come get me and take me for ice-cream or something.'

'Mom, they're LOOKING at me and TALKING to me.'

 'Ha! I didn't have stay out on the field when they started the game. I'll just sit here looking like the saddest boy ever so they don't call my name to play.'
 'Ah, the sun, the people...they're they're they're burning my eyes'
 'Waahaaha, Week 1 was a success. Mom and Dad have wasted their money and their day. I didn't have to do anything and I still got a snack. I bet I can make them do this every week!'

Bathtime update: He just wants to wait till he's more bigger to play soccer. He'll play next week...


Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, where have you been all my life?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

What are your earliest reading memories? I remember breezing through Ballerina Bess and the Fish Pond with my mom. I can see the covers of the books like they're right in front of me. The Cement Tent proved to be slightly more challenging. I transitioned into obsessing over Dr. Seuss's The Fly Went By and all of his fun tongue twisting books. I delved into the world of chapter books and never turned back.

I remember my elementary school librarian, Mrs. Only, with affection. She pushed me and pushed me to read Anne of Green Gables. I think I checked it out on a regular basis for 2 years before I finally got myself to read it. I just couldn't get past the first chapter of Rachel Lynde's boring musings. But once I did, I pined for a Gilbert of my own. Then in fifth grade, we had a list of recommended titles and a computer program that allowed us to take tests when we were done for points and prizes. I read most children's classics that year.

I'm less into literature these days and more into romance novels, but I've built a solid foundation of knowledge, imagination, and vocabulary. My husband once laughed at me because I pronounced a word wrong in conversation. He observed that I'm very interesting (understatement of the year); I have a great vocabulary, but where his is from hearing words, mine is from reading them. So when I try to use words in conversation - I'm frequently mispronouncing them. Katie also has a great vocabulary - which I recently commented on to her. Of course, I assumed that it was due to me passing on my natural brilliance and love of reading to her. She quickly corrected me and told me, no, that she learned all the words she knows from tv. And went so far as to rationalize that she should probably not waste time going to school and just watch more tv.

Regardless of Katie's plots for even more tv (if that is humanly possible), I have gotten her to appreciate the world that books has to offer. She recently selected Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic by Betty MacDonald from the library. And not only does Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle have some very interesting magic tucked up her sleeve, but this book was written in 1949 and is STILL completely relevant. We're really enjoying reading the book as a family. So much that I had to call my sister and recommend it to her. Unlike even the Beverly Clearly books that I grew up on, there are very limited dated references in this book. And it's from 1949. From chapter to chapter, a magic remedy for a common children's behaviour issue is discussed. And folks, kids tattled then as much as they do now. Kids are kids and even if they are spending more of their days watching tv and playing video games instead of reading and playing outside, this delightful book proves they are still the same today.

Jet Blue and PBS Kids have developed The Soar with Reading intiative to encourage people everywhere to help deserving kids get access to the books they need. If reading has had even a bit of the impact on your life as it has on mine, I hope you will take a moment to vist, where:

1. You can share the name of your favorite kid’s book, and for every submission, JetBlue will donate an age-appropriate book to a deserving child through partner Barefoot Books. Up to $200,000 worth of books will be donated through this program.
2.     While on the site, families can access free summer reading materials, including an interactive reading list, reading tips and more.

3.     As a special thank you, adults who share their favorite book on the site can also enter into a sweepstakes to win great prizes, including a JetBlue Getaways vacation package!

Additionally, Jet Blue and PBS Kids have provided a summer reading travel pack to be given away to a reader of The Other Boufs. This pack is preschool-elementary age appropriate. Leave me a comment letting me know your favorite children's book or your favorite reading memory for a chance to win. I will pick a winner via on Saturday, 8/18.

Extra entries are available for twitter followers and for tweeting this post. Please leave a separate comment below for each.

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