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Sept 04 mamas - summer thread - Page 5

post #81 of 202
I have totally been thinking all week about updating my sad, neglected blog - but I'll have to do it after the kids are abed...

Welcome jannasmama!!

I'm paying a babysitter friday to take my kids away so i can clean. I am a desparate woman.
post #82 of 202
Ugh, paying a babysitter to clean...I would feel totally cheated. I'd much rather do something fun.
post #83 of 202
Meg - Blog updated! Well, 2 new posts in 18 months...

Janasmama - TELL me about it. I'm probably paying the sitter more than i would pay a housekeeper to come. but it's an investment in my sanity.

Speaking of insanity - I complained to my mother about my state, and she offered to come stay next week....and i took her up on it. this will either go very well, or VERY badly.
post #84 of 202
Guess who has created, printed, copied, cut, pinked (is that a word for using pinking shears?), glued, addressed and stamped birthday party invites already? ME!!

I've also already booked the location, figured out the time/events/theme, etc. Nothing as fancy as it sounds - i reserved the pavilion at a nearby playground, and we're doing an early-evening picnic. I couldn't face the possibility of having people at my house this year - this is our first party away from home. In leiu of favors/lootbags, we're going to have an art project that is a take-home (I'm hoping I can find materials for making magic wands the kids anc paint and glue, but if not we'll do paint-a-pot and send everyone home with a bag of seeds). She wants a Unicorn cake, and since target had Abby Cadabby tableclothes on clearance, we're calling it a "unicorns and fairies" party.

My cheesy invitation poem:

Robin is such a monkey;
She loves to climb and play!
She hopes that you will
come play, too,
On her special day!

Robin H*** is turning four!
She thought it would be a lark
If you could come to her party:
A cookout at the park!
post #85 of 202
Thread Starter 
you are so on top of it I could almost despise you if I didn't like you so much.

T wants to have his birthday party at the local bowling alley. That would be a riot, I think - a whole buncha 4-year-olds?!
post #86 of 202
at least you have parties! we have never thrown a bday party with a whole bunch of little kids....ever. i can't afford it although i think it would be fun and i think it would be a total waste on ethan....when ayla gets to 3 she may like it but for now....ugh. ethan does good enough with blowing out a candle on our bday day for all the kids in playgroup.
post #87 of 202
Way to go Becca! J really wants a party this year....she's been talking about it on a weekly basis since January.

Her favorite thing to do is play dress up so she really wants it to be a dress up princess party. I've only done two other b-day parties for her. I'm not into the big, lots of kids parties. We invite about 4-6 friends and that makes it affordable and for her it seems like something big.

I typically spend somewhere btwn 60-80 dollars and then if it's a tight month the party is her gift. The county fair comes in Sept, the week of her b-day so last year she had the option of going to the fair or having a party. She chose the fair. This year I think we'll do both.

If anyone has any good ideas for fun 'princess' food please share them.
post #88 of 202
Last year was our first party for Andrew -- we had 3 families come over, which was plenty of kids for my spirited boy to handle, and enough plastic added to our household stock. But I think I might have offended a bunch of people that I didn't invite, because that was the beginning of my social decline around here. But seriously, was I doing a birthday party for my son, or to make the ladies in my town feel good? The former, I think. We had self-serve burritos and chocolate cake and they played in the sand box and made and knocked over towers made of orange boxes. The food was supposed to be an outside picnic, but it rained, so I just lay out blankets in the living room instead. Really classy event. As usual I failed to be culturally appropriate and tried to serve burritos and chocolate cake without cutlery and then everyone wanted forks and I didn't have enough and I spent a bunch of time washing forks . . . it was ridiculous.

This year we'll do the same -- have four or five families over and eat outside. I'm going to make the "Wall of Sound" from The Creative Family (has anyone else read that book yet? Really amazing stuff in there) -- ie hang noisy things to bang from our swing set -- and we might tie dye t-shirts or playsilks for the activity / take home thing. I figure that shouldn't be too steep -- home made cake, finger foods, playsilks, dye and we're done. Also, my friend is unloading her plastic workbench and tools on me, so I'm going to buy that for Andrew for his birthday, I think (which will be about $20, I'm guessing). My ILs always just send money, so I'll have to figure out what to get from them while we're away. I'm sure I"ll be able to find some cool Playmobil or maybe some Plan stuff for him from them.

We've survived pretty well with DH away for the week, although Andrew did have a huge meltdown last night. I think that was because we were at the park with my friends and they had some snack mix stuff with cheezies and cheese doritos that Andrew ate, so I think he had a sore tummy.

On a sort or random note, related to names, Andrew has really embraced his name lately. His name means "Brave Beloved"and we told him that being brave doesn't mean you're not scared, it just means you try things even when you are scared. In the last few weeks he's been trying all kinds of things, and yesterday he went on a floating dock and a swinging bridge -- both of which he's formerly been terrified to do). When he does them he says, "How come I"m brave? Because I'm Brave Beloved". Its really cool.
post #89 of 202
Are many of you allowing your child to go to preschool this fall? I think I'm going to let dd go 2 half days per week. That's all we can afford plus I want to transition her slowly.

I use to be anti-preschool but with a new baby on the way and an under 2 yo. I don't feel like I can give/do all that I want her to be able to do as far as art projects, etc. Plus she's really social. Every night before bed she asks "where are we going tomorrow?" and we just don't have that much to do around here.
post #90 of 202
"princess food" - robin went to a princess birthday party a few months ago that was 3 girls (plus birthday girl and her sister) - it was a drop-off and leave party, although i stayed b/c i was bringing Robin's friend who has a severe peanut allergy, so I stayed to monitor food. the Party consisted of one little craft project, playing dress-up in the girl's room, eating pizza (1 from a local shop) and cake. It was on a friday afternoon - very small and simple. Her "princess" food was a half-circle cake with a doll shoved in the middle. the cake was baked in a pyrex bowl then inverted like a half circle. then a barbie-type doll was shoved in the middle and the whole thing (including the doll) was iced like a princess dress - very cute and special. Ohm and the mom decorated a barstool as a princess chair and took each girl's picture in her dressup sitting on the "throne"

Preschool: I went back to work part-time when robin was 1, and put her in a PMO program while i worked. She loved it, and we've done preschool since. She went 3 mornings a week at 2 (this was also when we were in china/back from china/Eli was a newborn). Last year, we had moved and enrolled late, and ended up only being able to find a 5-day spot. We took it, but really it was too much for us - too many rushed mornings. i worked M/T/Th, so she had to go those days, but she missed a lot of Fridays.

This year, she'll be attneding the fantastic cooperative, nature-based, waldorf and reggio-influenced preschool where I teach, 9-12:45. She's elgible for the public pre-K (sept 1 birthday! - the cutoff day), but it runs longer - til around 3 - and that is too much for her still. We're in a great district and the pre-k is great. But I want her to stay in a small, nurturing, cooperative school and benefit from that sense of community.

We just had our first preschool workday as parents - painting her classroom, staining wooden furniture, building planting boxes for gardening activities....I'm looking forward to her being there! I know preschool isn't for every family, and if I had it to do again I would not have put her in the school she was in in the US when she was 2. But the other schools she's been in have been great, creative, play-based, totoally non-academic, etc. - and she loves it.
post #91 of 202
Thread Starter 
T started out last year at a language immersion preschool and LOVED it, and it was so good for his language (I've been speaking it with him since he was born, but I was really his only source of the language). He really wanted to stay there this coming year, and I really wanted Waldorf for balance to his mainstream preschool (although not nearly as mainstream as it could be), so he's actually going *5* days a week in September and I hope it isn't too much for him - we'll see - the immersion school has a 3-day-a-week minimum starting in fall, so he couldn't just go 2 as he has been this year.

We'll see. Off to do errands!!
post #92 of 202
e went to preschool last year as well for 4 days a week for about 3.5 hours. he went to public school so even rode the bus (the big ones!). it was for his language delay and he still qualifies so he'll go again this year as well for 4 days a week. its all FREE thankfully as we can't afford ANYTHING like that at all right now. its the NEXT year that i am worried about. its likely he may have developed enough to not need preschool but he won't be able to go to K yet so we'll have a year of either having to pay or having him home. i am not sure what i will do!
post #93 of 202
I WISH we had a waldorf school here...or even waldorf inspired. The school we are going to go to said they don't press academics. They just want them to be able to write their name. I just don't want her to feel pressured to learn b/c I know it all comes in time.
post #94 of 202
I've enrolled Thor in 3 days a week at a coop preschool in the small town we'll be living in on Whidbey Island. He's never really been before. I'm a little worried about it because it involves me helping in the classroom 3x a month... and i'll have to figure out what to do with anna during those times, and then the baby. But it's very affordable, and i figure a great way to meet other families.

I don't know what to do for thor's birthday. Maybe we'll do something at our new place and invite friends over to the island, since it may be their first visit there.
post #95 of 202
Our school is not academical-focused at all, but in the 4-5 year old class the kids will be expected to sign themselves in everyday and put their name on their art projects (when on paper), whatever that looks like for them. If it's "pretend writing" that's fine.
post #96 of 202
Hey, you guys made all the ads at the bottom light up with 'princess' things- We use princess like a bad word around here, so Cecilia has no desire for any of that! I didn't even realize we do it, but when I think back, being called 'princess' in my house meant you weren't capable/self sufficent/tough enough to do it yourself! Maybe that's why I still freak out when I don't see women outside digging their own post holes around here.

Don't worry, Cecilia is still all girl though and she LOVED it when her friend had a little 'princess' party. That one consisted of a few games (played in dress up 'princess' clothes) and a big play-doh session. I think the cake was pink as an ode to princess.

So we took a few photos at the fair yesterday (and some other random shots)... here they are!

Ack, birthdays! You guys are so great with the parties!! Anything you do is more than I've ever done- we just have a big family birthday and Greg and I invite our adult friends/families and call it good. But this year we went to a backyard party with 'streamers, balloons and fun stuff to do' and now that is what Ceci is requesting. Oh help, I am the last person to organize games and 'fun stuff.'

I did consent to two days a week of Waldorf preschool for Ceci this fall. She's probably finally ready. I absolutely would not feel bad about NOT doing preschool though, b/c if you are spending time at all with your kiddo at home then they are right on track with what they need. Preschool is over-hyped social time (although there are great ones, Becca & Jen omg, how fantastic) but I think they are sooo optional. That's what I tell myself, b/c I often do not feel like imposing a schedule or social system on my little family yet. I'm bad, I know!!

Jilly, 'brave beloved' is awesome. That made me smile.

Okay, its noon and I am still in pj's. I did manage to drink most of the coffee and read the front page of the paper, so the day is a success!!
post #97 of 202
Thread Starter 
My kiddo needs that over-hyped social time, because if it were just he and I every day, we would make each other insane. Our backyard is the size of a postage stamp, he is an only child and believes that he is entitled to 100% of my attention, all the time, and so he won't play by himself hardly at all, and at some point every single day, he NEEDS TO GO FOR A WALK which is starting to get really exhausting for me in this (relative, and I don't want to hear anything about how hot it is in the rest of the country and that I'm a whiner because frankly, I think 90+ and a 70 degree dewpoint is unpleasant enough even if it's worse elsewhere... sorry I'm hypersensitive about this after a woman from Houston in my DDC chided me for being such a wuss! : There is a REASON I don't live in Atlanta or Houston or New Orleans or Biloxi...)heat. Oh, and none of the neighborhood kids want to come to our house, I think because we live SO far away (2 blocks is a long way, you know), half of them can't come in because we have cats and the rest no longer are at home during the day because their parents are both back at work and they're in daycare.

So that's why we pay for the over-hyped social time because it's social time, outside time at a playground (on-site), singing time, craft time, coloring time, snack time and someone-else-can-interact-with-him-who-isn't-mama time. It makes all of us much happier.

and for the record: T would flip if he could have a pink cake for his birthday. I think I'll have to consider this now.
post #98 of 202
In my house, i know i need preschool as much as Robin does. Especially when I was pregnant and had a newborn at home. Now, it's the only one-on-one time Eli gets with me, and we both need it.

Jen - even though it's been in the high 90's/100's and we haven't run the a/c yet, I won't call you a wimp Boy my hair was flat when we went to that wedding in Idaho in July. I depend on humidity for volume.

Augs - at my school, moms can bring babies on their P/T day as long as they are in a sling or carrier - newborns are welcome. And some of th emoms trade watching each others' toddlers.

Danielle - so, Ethan will be too old for his current program, but not old enough for kindergarten? Is there a 4 year "pre-K" class that would be a good bridge for him?

Jilly - Good for Andrew, being brave. that's sweet.
post #99 of 202
becca~ yeah i am 99% sure that ethan will be 1 month over the deadline for k in 09. the preschools here will take 5 yr olds i think but i can't afford reg. preschool let alone anything that would help him with his differentness. preschool's here for 3 days a week are i think $300 a month or so. plus we live in the not so good part of town and anything i know off/hear about is in the "east side" which is FAR. hard for us who are stuck between middle class and poverty!
post #100 of 202
hi, janasmama! Sorry I neglected to say welcome -- welcome!

We are going to do playschool this year. Last year I got majorly frowned on for not putting Andrew in the one-morning-a-week program (I'm sure you guys heard about it already, I just don't remember) and all the other preschool activities about town, but he really wasn't ready for them. This year he is finally gaining some confidence and self-sufficency, so I think he will like it this year. The program here is two mornings a week, and pretty play oriented from what I understand. That is just right for us, and I think Aaron will enjoy the undivided attention, but will probably miss his brother.

Well, I am anxiously awaiting a call from dh to make sure he is still alive. He's been on what he likes to call his "read and ride" where he drives through national parks in the US and camps and reads theology for his educational leave. The only thing is that he's not in contact much. I haven't heard from him since Wed and I'm supposed to meet him in Regina tomorrow. The car is packed, I just need to sweep the floor and then get the boys dressed tomorrow morning and go.

Jen -- I hate to tell you this, but Andrew is still a lot like that and he's not an only child anymore. I still get constant wails of "PLAY with me mommy!" all day. I try to get down on the floor and pretend play with him for a bit every day, but he does need to learn that I've got stuff to do other than just attend to him. Also, I am terrible in hot weather, too, and find anything above 90 and humid too hot.

ETA: Meg, great photos! I love the one of Cecelia and Carl both looking mildly terrified yet fascinated while sitting on Greg's lap. The infectious diseases one is hilarous too.
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