Monthly Archives: May 2010

Summer Activity Ideas

So now that we are in the full swing of summer (even the weather is summer like) I needed to compile a list of boredom busters. Something I could turn to when I don’t know what else to do, brain dead days I like to call them. I did this list for all the kids in L’s class so their parents would have it to, thought I would share with you. Some of these things are STL specific but your area might have similar programs.

  1. See a free movie every Wednesday or Thursday at any Wehrenberg theater. Visit http://www.wehrenberg.com/presenting.aspx?pId=190 for more information
  2. Attend a story time at your local library
  3. Play in the sprinkler
  4. Have your very own bike wash or wash any of your toys/ride-ons
  5. Build a fort in your living room
  6. Have a “bored” game day. Pull out all your favorite board games
  7. Have a water balloon fight or go for the gusto and have a water hose fight
  8. Visit the Art Museum
  9. Go bowling
  10. Visit the zoo
  11. Go on an alphabet scavenger hunt. Find something for every letter
  12. Go roller skating
  13. Make a magazine collage. Cut up old magazines and creat your own art
  14. Make a chalk city with roads and buildings then use your Matchbox cars
  15. Water paint outside, a bucket of water and paintbrushes = hours of fun
  16. B ubble
  17. Fly a kite
  18. Have a playdate with a classmate
  19. Get a disposable camera and start a summer album of all the fun your having
  20. Have a campout in your backyard
  21. Get crafty. Visit http://www.familyfun.go.com
  22. Feed the ducks
  23. Have a picnic, indoors or out
  24. Visit the botanical gardens and see DinoQuest
  25. Learn about a new country and live like them for a day
  26. Visit a farm like the one at Suson Park
  27. Attend an outdoor concert at a park this summer or see Shakespeare in the Park at Forest Park
  28. Visit the Science Center and see the Real Pirates exhibit
  29. Do a puzzle together
  30. Make ooblek or slime. There are recipes all over the web
  31. Have an unplugged day. Turn the TV off.
  32. Pick a letter and do everything that day that represents that letter (A – eat apples, learn about alligators, etc)
  33. Make Indoor Hopscotch with painters tape
  34. Take an old pair of socks and make puppets
  35. Visit your grandparents

I could go on and on. There are so many fun things to do if you put your brain to work. I hope some of these spark your imagination this summer. Or if you have a kiddo entering kindergarten you can visit this post I did last year. There might be something there as well. Most important thing is to have fun. They grow up so fast and I don’t want to waste any time.

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J’s Preschool Program

My little guy. He is so shy if you walk up to him and ask him a question but if you put him around people that he knows and trusts he goes crazy. Case in point his preschool program. He got up on that stage and owned it.

My pictures turned out really bad, poor J. But we got a ton of video, so that’s good. Here are the few I do have from that day.

His teachers

The three amigos. J and his best friends

He’s on his way to Preschool 4 next year. He’s also getting so big.

She’s a Kindergarten Graduate

Oh how bittersweet to watch your baby girl walk down the aisle in a cap and gown because next year she is going to first grade. Big girl school. All day school. It brought tears to my eyes.

We treated her to special things all day long. She got a manicure and a pedicure, first ever, from her GeGe and I curled her hair. Her dress was specially made by her GeGe and she was so excited to wear her dress. She was all set as we headed to the school.

They paraded in one by one and stood together on the steps, what a sight to see. So sweet. Some of them will be moving on to different schools next year and we will miss them. After a prayer and a few songs they lined up and approached the microphone one at a time so they could tell us their names and what they wanted to be when they grow up.

L was the best. I’m not just saying that because I’m biased but she may have some stage qualities. She walked right up to that microphone and owned it. My name is L…….. T……. and when I grow up I want to be…. (insert small pause) an Animal Trainer. She shook her teachers hand and received her diploma. It was all over in a flash. I stood there with tears in my eyes so proud of her. When everyone was finished they gathered again in front where they sang the sweetest song, EVER. It was called First Grade, First Grade. That song made me lose it…. here are the words. It’s sung to New York New York tune.

Start spreading the news
We’re leaving today
We want to be a part of it
First Grade, First Grade

We’ve worked very hard
We’re ready to go
We’re gonna be a part of it
First Grade, First Grade

We know our ABC’s and our 1,2,3’s so well
We’ve worked at sounding out words and stories to tell

Just asked us to rhyme
We’ll say tens and pens
We’ve learned to share and get along with all our friends

So now we made it there
We’ll make it anywhere
We’re on our way
First Grade, First Grade

I’m the mom of a First grader. Time flew by. Anyway after the song was finished they were back up the aisle to take off the gowns and hats and we had a reception in the gym. We didn’t stay too long because we had cake and beer waiting at home to celebrate. It was one of those sweet moments that you never forget. Now onto the pictures….

Getting her manicure and pedicure

J waiting for his big sister

Awww here she comes… my big girl

Check out that smile.

The whole class

Giving her speech. Love that the microphone is in the middle of her face ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Diploma time

Walking away a first grader

One last picture of her class, I’m gonna miss some of these guys

With her flowers, tassle and diploma

At the reception with Uncle T-Bone and Cousin Steph

With Unca Na and Aunt Carrie

With GeGe and J

Our family

and finally her awesome teachers. We’re going to miss them too.

First Days of Summer

Summer officially started last Friday and we have been go, go, go since it started. Here’s what we’ve been up to lately, with pictures of course. It’s funny the pictures aren’t from just one source. There from three. My iPhone, my DSLR and my point and shoot.

Friday we laid low during the day but that night I had book club and JT was going to a birthday party so we hired our awesome babysitter to come and hang out with the kids. She is so awesome that I think JT and I might actually get to go out more this summer. I met JT at the party and we hung out with friends and had a great time.

Saturday we had to get up early so we could participate in the Strides for Sids walk. We walked in honor ofย  my friend from high school’s son, Nathan. He died in 2007. We also met my other friend Becca and her two daughters so we could walk with them. We were last to leave the gathering point and we were the first back. How did we do it? Are we that fast? NO it’s called a shortcut. ๐Ÿ™‚ When we got back we let the kids get their faces painted and that was about it. So we headed home to rest. Then we headed to our school picnic to play some games. The kids loved it and I thought it was just okay. We were there all of an hour. After that more resting and playing some Wii (we got a new game). My mom agreed to watch the kids for us overnight so we went out to dinner with my brother and his wife, Pho Grand is the BEST!!! Love Pho Grand. Then onto another birthday party. We were home by 10:30.

Balloons to remember loved ones lost

Notice J playing on my iPhone while being pulled in the wagon. Such a life.

The three kiddos after getting their faces painted

School Picnic

Sunday the kids and I headed to church. We are joining a church affiliated with our school so we did that for the first time together. The kids were so well behaved but at one point J did ask me in a loud whisper when we were going to go home. Kids!!! We came home to pick up JT and headed out to lunch then on to see Shrek the Final Chapter. I thought the movie was ok, not great but ok. After all that we came home and let the kids play in the backyard while we sat and enjoyed a beer.

Before the movie

Hanging out in the backyard

It was a busy weekend. I pray that the rest of our summer isn’t this crazy but we’ll see. If it is I’ll never get any rest. ๐Ÿ™‚ This week is crazy (of course) the car is in the shop, we have a play date and a mini vacation.

Oprah’s show today

So I couldn’t wait to see the Oprah show today. I taped it and everything. I started the DVR about 10:20 pm, super excited because Will Smith and his family are on and I swear I have a special place in my heart for him. He reminds me of my brother (obviously they don’t look the same) but they have the same sense of humor, the same goodness in their heart, they’re both tall (oh wait…), they dance the same… you get the point.

Anyway, I am watching and smiling and laughing and a couple times I completely blanked out. When they started talking about parenting I didn’t hear a single word they said. It was almost like I couldn’t comprehend the word’s coming out of his mouth. Maybe it’s because I’m tired. I think I’ll try to watch that part over again tomorrow. We’ll see if it makes more sense then.

Wouldn’t it be cool to know him? I think it would.

Camp Wyman

There is a kindergarten tradition at L’s school. The week before school ends they head out to Eureka, MO and tromp through the woods exploring Camp Wyman. We were really looking forward to going with L. JT took the day off so we’re really super psyched. I had the backpack packed and I probably overdid it but it’s fine. I’m an over packer, it’s just who I am. Plus we were going in the WOODS. I’m not a woods fan. There are ticks in the woods and I’m not a fan of ticks either. Here’s just half of what I packed (for one day)

Also in preparation, we had been watching the weather for over a week to see if it was going to rain. Because here in the Lou we are currently in a Monsoon season. It has been raining non-stop, so we were very happy about the weather report showing no rain for Friday. Yeah.

Woke on Friday morning, guess what?! It was raining and it didn’t look like it was going to be moving out until after our trip was over.ย  Awesome. Thank you sucky weather people. I could do your job. Anyway, I threw a couple of books and coloring books into the backpack and off we went.

We got to school, received our instructions and boarded the bus. Short trip later and we were there. It was still raining BTW. Luckily they put our group in this meeting room where it was warm and dry. Once we unloaded our lunches we were free to walk around. We were assigned to groups so we had to stay with our group, that way no one would get lost. The teacher put all the girls in one group, she’s so smart!!!

We walked to the frog pond where we were told to watch for water moccasins but we were also told we would find crawdads and tadpoles, turtles, fish, frogs…. ugh all that grossness. The girls got to the pond and we walked around, saw a snake and that was that. There was no dipping in their jars to catch something, none of that. They wanted to move on. So we did.

Walking to the pond

Hello Mr. Water Moccasin

After the frog pond we walked up this hill and two of the girls fell. It was so funny because they both started screaming and cried a little. So funny. They were all muddy and PISSED. Love it. So we head up this hill/trail and we think we are on our way to awesome exploring – NAH – we never found anything. One cool thing was this obstacle course where they had this huge platform and you would have to balance on it because it would teeter back and forth. That was their favorite part of the whole trip. Girls are awesome. I was totally in the right group. The whole time I was completely relaxed too. I wasn’t worried about L getting muddy or wet because really it was pouring. What did I think was going to happen?!?! She actually ended up being one of the cleanest girls on the trip. I couldn’t be more proud.

The ladies on the platform

I had made these camp bags for all 16 kids in the class and in those bags were a jar for catching “stuff”, a milk carton boat, a snack and a scavenger hunt. When we had had enough “walking around trying to find someplace interesting” we decided to walk back to our comfy meeting room (for lack of a better term). On our walk back we stopped at the creek and one of the mom’s got in the creek to float the girls boats. She was brave but really we were already soaked so what’s a wet shoe or two?!

Onward we marched. Right to another body of water… a larger pond perhaps. I don’t know. Looking for interesting things… NOTHING.

I finally put my foot down and said “Enough of this god forsaken rain, I’m done. In we go.” Hah!!! Yeah it was a group decision. Inside we went. Every single child changed out of their wet clothes and we sat down to eat some lunch and color some pictures. Thank god for that meeting room.

After lunch the kids all wanted to play outside and the rest of the groups were slowly coming back and that’s when the sun decided to come out. We had a lot of fun. There were turtle races, hunting in a creek for crawdads (which L held), pictures and just general playing. At one point they packed so many people on this little dock I thought for sure someone was headed in the water but we were lucky no one swam that day.

Our teachers are awesome!!

JT, L and I

The whole group

After all that fun it was time to head home. We were exhausted. There were quite a few kids asleep on the bus and a few adults. Including my baby…

and my other baby… hah!!

We really did have fun, sure we were wet, muddy, cold and tired but what a day full of memories. I’m really going to miss kindergarten. It’s been a great year.

Dancer of the Month and other J stuff

I think I’ve mentioned before that we have two ballet proteges in the house. J started taking ballet when L invited him to be her guest on Halloween. He has really improved, he listens to his teacher and despite distractions from another certain student he always behaves. So The Studio made him the Male Dancer of the Month.

They mentioned his name in the newsletter and we received a yard sign to display in our yard. He’s so proud and frankly so are we. There was a lot of jealousy. Poor L wants to know when it will be her turn to be Dancer of the Month. Ballet is more her thing and she is really, really good. In fact they moved her up a class for next year. I explained to her that there aren’t as many boys in ballet as there are girls and the boys’ turns come around quicker. Plus we should be proud of J because it’s an honor and it means he is doing well.

After all the explanations and the teacher explaining to her also, we were on our way home from class Thursday she said, “J I’m so proud of you, it’s a real honor that you were chosen. You are a good dancer and I’m glad you’re the Dancer of the Month.” Aaaawwwww. Way to go L. Way to beat the jealousy.

Here’s a picture from my iPhone of my big guy.

J and I have been spending a lot of time together this week and it’s been awesome. On Tuesday I was mom helper at preschool and we blew bubbles and played with all kinds of fun messy stuff.

Wednesday we played Wii together pretty much all day, did I mention he’s a 4 year old gamer.

Thursday was Mother’s Tea at school and he was so excited to give me his card he’d made. He was asked several questions about me… like what’s your mommy’s name (he got it right); how old is your mommy (47 – WTH?!?); What color are your mommy’s eyes and hair (blue and brown); What’s your mommy’s favorite food (anything that Daddy cooks, that a boy) and finally… Why do you love your mommy (Because she helps me clean up my room). Could eat that boy up. So anyway at the tea I had the card, a picture he painted of flowers and a potted flower. We were then treated to hand massages by our kids. Poor J hated doing it but it was really sweet he tried anyway. His teacher read us a book, Are You My Mother? and J curled up in my lap and laid his head on my shoulder. I ate it up. Having a boy means that I could possibly lose all that cuddling, kisses and hugs, so I’ll take what I can get and enjoy every minute.

Today we went to the mall because he came up with the idea to Build A Bear (or bunny) for L’s upcoming graduation present. We decided on the flowered bunny with a white cap and gown. He is so excited to give it to her. Then we ran and ran and ran errands and he never complained once. I think that he just loves being with his mommy. I know I love being with him.

Here we are at Mother’s Tea with my flower and flower pot he painted

Getting my hand massage

Cuddling during story time

On our Burger King lunch date (we had to get an Iron Man toy) today