Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘children’s activities’

Paulo is wearing a zip hoodie and cargo pants set from rabbitmoon's Imagination collection.

I’m guilty! I am so guilty of not indulging my second child to the same enjoyable things as I did with my first. Miranda had playgroups, play dates, Mommy and Me classes, anything and everything that I could expose her to that would be fun, educational, and give us extra bonding/play time.

I remember someone telling me that having two kids is like having 10. I didn’t believe it! How can one little person make life complicated to the 10th degree? Well, let me tell you… Now that I have two kids, I AM A BELIEVER! I am so busy with the demands of motherhood, Miranda’s school, my freelance work, the housework, the grocery shopping (I have to go every week now because boys eat so much more than girls!) and all the voluntary roles I thought I would have time for (Classroom Mom, Yearbook Committee, Faith Formation Teacher, helping my parents). I’m lucky if I can keep my head above water. Poor Paulo! He gets whatever is left of my hectic schedule.

I jotted down my little guy’s schedule each day of the week:

  • Monday: take Miranda to school, eat, very short nap, pick up Miranda, play
  • Tuesday: take Miranda to school, eat, very short nap, pick up Miranda, play
  • Wednesday : take Miranda to school, eat, longer nap, pick up Miranda, play
  • Thursday: take Miranda to school, SWIM CLASS!!!, eat, longer nap, pick up Miranda, play
  • Friday: take Miranda to school, eat, longer nap, pick up Miranda, play

Pretty boring, huh? At least he has weekly swim classes. But any free time I get, I’m either working, doing chores or running errands just so I can survive the day and actually get to bed at a decent time (midnight would be early for me!) But never mind about me. This is precious Paulo time I’m wasting. So… I’ve decided that I NEED take charge of my schedule and plan recreational activities for my little guy. He shouldn’t be penalized for being Child No. 2. He needs to have his own schedule, his own friends, and make his own memories. This sad little dude rarely sees a playground that when he does see one, he pees his pants in excitement! So I’m bringing back weekly playgroups.

His first play date was with my friend’s daughter. This little girl’s big brother was Miranda’s first playgroup friend and they have been very good friends ever since. (Coincidentally, my friend and I had our two kids roughly at the same time so each of our two kids are about the same age.) We met at a nearby playground to enjoy the fresh air and some outdoor fun, but it started to drizzle. Luckily, there was Toddler Storytime at the museum across the way that was just about to start. PERFECT!

The kids had a good time, AND the moms did as well. We both reminisced about our lives five years ago when we were both new mothers and only had one child each. We talked about how much more relaxed we were back then, how busy our lives have become, and how we missed connecting with each other just to talk about life in general (husbands, in-laws, school, broken appliances, the laundry…). We vowed to have our play dates each week for the sake of our second children AND for the sake of our sanity! What a revelation… I NEED PLAYGROUP, TOO!!! This is going to be a good thing.

Read Full Post »

Kristin's Ready to Bake

Kristin's Ready to Bake

Baking…a fun activity with a built in reward!   Although I am not an expert cook I just LOVE to bake!  My mom always created ‘special time’ for the two of us by inviting me into the kitchen when she was cooking; and although I didn’t pick up on her cooking skills, I thankfully did pick up on her baking skills.  These were great bonding moments for us – mom would dress me up in my own little apron, and gave me the important job of letting me read from the cookbook and pour in the ingredients that she had carefully measured out:

Mom: “a teaspoon of salt”

Little Kristin: “like this mommy?”

Mom: “yes – very good!”

I think many people share similar memories in the kitchen with their mom.  Robyn, our Assistant Credit Manager here at le top, has a beautiful daughter – Kira.   (Kira has been a “le top baby” for a very, very long time!  The announcement of Kira’s upcoming birth came very soon after Robyn began working with us ten years ago!  She modeled clothes in our ads from the time she was a baby until she outgrew our sizes!)  Robyn and Kira were baking cupcakes (and building memories together) in the kitchen, and as usual Kira was “Chief Decorator.”  Robyn left the kitchen for a few moments and came back to find that Kira had made a present for her – a custom cupcake proudly exhibiting mommy’s company logo “le•top!”  Robyn was in awe at the quality and accuracy of the logo…she just had to take a picture to share with us!  We knew we had to pass on this work of art to our loyal bloggers, so…TAT  DAA!  We present Kira’s le•top cupcake masterpiece.

Kira's Surprise for Mom

Kira's Surprise for Mom

Read Full Post »

Happy cyclist!

Happy cyclist!

We live in an area that has four distinct seasons. This lets us explore different outdoor activities. The summer season always makes me excited for bicycling. You get to see your neighborhood at a different pace when bicycling as opposed to driving your car. We began sharing our love of bicycling with our daughter at a young age. She first experienced bicycling as a bike trailer rider. We tried pulling the trailer on dirt roads near our house and quickly realized her little 10-month old head was bobbing up and down quite a bit! Maybe that type of road might not be the best for her age (as a licensed massage therapist by profession, I tend to be a bit protective of that central organ, the brain!). All was good as we biked the paved roads. She enjoyed being a passenger and sometimes would bring along stuffed animals and dolls to ride with her.

On her own energy she began to pedal a tricycle, then got the hang of a two wheeled bike with training wheels by the time she was two or three. When she was about three or four, we got a tag-along (trail-a-bike, third wheel – they have numerous names depending on the brands) attached to our adult bike, and she rode behind either my husband or myself. This bike attachment was pretty safe yet made the adult feel like they were riding with a drunk…as our daughter loved to lean from side to side as she pedaled! 😉 Most of the time we made it safely through our town doing errands or riding just for fun.

Dad and daughter bikers pulling into the driveway after a fun ride...

Dad and daughter bikers pulling into the driveway after a fun ride...

Sometimes my husband would create what he and my daughter called “the triple rig”: she would ride along on the tag-along which was attached to his bike, and the bike trailer would be attached to her bike. This way they could pedal to our local gardeners’ farmers’ market and bring home lots of veggies, fruit and other treats! We were amazed that the years passed so quickly and before long, she was pedaling her own two-wheeled bicycle along with us. It’s been a fun process that we hope becomes a life-long pattern of exercise and enjoyment for all of  us!

Where are you in the stages of bicycling with your kids – trailer, tag-along, tricycle, or 2-wheeled bike?

Read Full Post »

On Monday, I talked about some of the fun and discounted family specials the Seattle Mariners are offering this summer. You can read about it here. Today, the team up is my FAVORITE team, the Oakland A’s:

Oakland_AthleticsOakland Athletics (did I mention they are my favorite team!?!)
The Coliseum
7000 Coliseum Way
Oakland, California 94621

Price Range: $9.00 – $48.00

$2.00 Tickets, $1.00 Hot Dogs presented by BART: At every Wednesday home game you can purchase Plaza Level, Plaza Outfield and Plaza Reserved tickets for only $2.00 and hot dogs throughout the park are only $1.00.

Fireworks night: Fireworks night at The Coliseum is so much fun especially on summer nights. After the game is over (and hopefully with an A’s win!) fans are allowed on the outfield grass to watch the show. So, bring a blanket and relax and enjoy the lights with the family. Next fireworks night is Friday, June 26th. Game time @ 7:05 p.m.

Root Beer Float Day presented by Pepsi: Not only will you get a refreshing treat to enjoy during the game, but you and the kids will get to meet some of the players! (Yum! Oh. Wait…”yum” to the root beer float, not the players!)  Thursday, August 6th at @ 10:35 a.m.

Giveaway Days:
Backpack day – Sunday, August 23rd @ 1:05 p.m. (First 7,500 kids, 14 & under)

So we’re almost done with the West Coast teams on my list…can you guess which Major League team I’ll be talking about on Friday??

Read Full Post »

Our family moved to a new community when my daughter was 14 months old. It was tough to be a stay at home mom and figure out how to meet new people. I decided to try a local LeLeche League meeting. My daughter and I had a solid breastfeeding relationship going (and yes, she was a nursing toddler). I just felt drawn to meet other mothers in similar situations. One of the best finds from attending this meeting was hearing about a Wednesday playgroup. I got the information and called the woman who organized the activities.

playground

It was fall season, but the group of moms and toddlers meet every Wednesday morning for two hours with varied activities each week. One week they would do an outdoor adventure, one week they would meet at someone’s home and play with the toys there, and the other two weeks of the month, they would meet at a preschool room of a local church. Such a schedule evolved, as the mothers wanted to avoid spending time at the local McDonalds during those months of poor weather! They meet at local parks during the summer months.

At first, I wondered what a playgroup would be like – would I get to talk with other mothers and visit about parenting ideas? Would my child make new friends and learn different social skills than she got when we were home alone? I soon realized these were high expectations. At the playgroup gatherings those first few months I had to stay pretty close to my daughter as she wanted that more than playing with other children. More than once I wondered if we were getting anything out of it, but the chance to interact with other families made me keep going back each week. Slowly, as my daughter grew up and her confidence blossomed, she was able to play on her own or with others. The mothers could talk a little until a fight broke out about toys, or a child began to do something dangerous.

I began to see it as a new fact of life that seldom were sentences (yet alone conversations) completed without interruptions from children’s needs. The same group continued to meet weekly and time passed into years of attending playgroup. The children watched each other grow up, learned from one another, and the mother’s friendships deepened. As new families would join, we could learn from one another, hear different perspectives on parenting, and see the diversity in children’s behaviors (that was helpful for me – the mother of one!).

One five-year old boy told his mom, “The play is for the kids and the group is for the moms.” He was sure correct on this, as the playgroup gatherings were like a form of therapy and sanity for us all. It’s been seven years now and although schools have forced us apart, our playgroup still comes together for social gatherings several times a year! I’ve been grateful and thankful for this group of families helping me along my parenting journey.

Read Full Post »

clayFlowerIf your kids are like my child, then they  probably enjoy playing with clay. I know my daughter can’t get enough of clay at home and at preschool. Play Doh can get old and hard, or the colors get all mixed up. Buying more gets expensive. So I had to ask my daughter’s preschool teacher how they make their “Play Clay.” Here’s a recipe to make at home. And if your child is old enough, s/he can even help you. Makes for a great activity!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • food coloring

In a pot, mix a few drops of food coloring with the water. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes really thick and stiff. Cool, then knead. You are ready to play!

(Store in a resealable plastic bag.)

Read Full Post »

What are your Earth Day plans with the kids? Planting a garden, a tree, a windowsill herb “garden” (for those apt./condo dwellers)? Even babies can get involved because remember, babies know dirt! I hope the White House garden that Michelle Obama planted with area kids might get some attention today from kids from another D.C. elementary school. Happy Earth Day!earth_flag_pd

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »