Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Natl Book Festival

Went to the Natl Book Festival this weekend. I highly recommend it if you are in the area. There are tens of authors - doing readings and signings, and lots of other stuff. The PBS kids tent had tons of coloring pages and other activities, and they had their own stage with Elmo and others. Also lots of characters (Clifford, Sid the Science Kid) around to meet your kids.

We love Mo Willems - author of Knuffle Bunny, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, and the Gerald and Piggie series (among others). We stood in line 1 1/2 hours to get his autograph. That was a little nuts - and I wouldn't do the book signings again ( the lines were all insane) - but it was fun. The kids really enjoyed.

Another tip - do NOT buy your books there. The Borders tent to buy books had a 45 line to pay, and the books were not special - same as you would get at any bookstore.

Next year we will go and hear more readings and see more stuff - no autographs. Definately worth the trip though!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Evil Mommy

So I did it. Last week I sent all three kids to bed without supper. The reactions I have gotten have been interesting.

First, the story. It was last week and the kids had been up late the night before (back to school night). We got home from work/school and the kids were being really rambunctious. I was working with the girls on one drawing project, but they were all just sort of knocking off the walls. I went to start dinner, and realized I was still in my work clothes. I told the kids I would be right back (DH was upstairs on a phone call) and went up to change clothes. I was gone MAYBE 5 minutes. On the way back down I hear wailing and crying and screaming - from all 3. I get down and see all 3 kids crying or screaming, a shattered chair on the ground, and a bloody scratch on K's leg. I make sure K is ok, and then lose it. I scream " I don't know what the hell (yes, I said hell, bad mommy again) has been going on here, but you 3 can all march your butts upstairs and get ready for baths. You are going to bed without dinner!" All three kids are now wailing even louder but make their way upstairs. We did baths, read books, and put them to bed around 7:20 (normal bedtime 8-8:30). Once they were in the bath, none of them said another word about missing dinner. I went back up at 7:45 to ask K a question, and they were all crashed out. Hasn't been mentioned since.

When I have told other moms that I did this, the reaction has been interesting. Several have said, they couldn't do it - would feel too guilty. I have to say I didn't feel guilty at all once I did it. I felt a slight pang when it came out of my mouth, but they were all complaining about dinner (hamburgers and fries- what is wrong with these children??!!) and I know they all had a snack around 4pm. Others have said they really wanted to do it, but had thought it would make them a bad mom. Several have said they may try it now that I have done it.

I didn't want to be a trend setter in this area, and have no intention of making it a regular thing. But it was very effective at the time. (as it turns out we believe they were climbing onto the back of the sofa, jumping on the wooden chair and then onto the floor - eventually breaking the wooden chair). And I don't regret it at all. DH was also brilliant in deciding we wouldn't eat the hamburgers and fries after they went to bed - we ordered Outback, and we had the hamburgers and fries the next night (lest they believe this was an effective way of getting out of a dinner they didn't want). My children don't seem scarred in the least. And like I say, I don't plan to use this as a regular tool. But once or twice a year, when warranted, might not be a bad thing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I lost my mind.....again

Every year I say I am going to let each kid pick on activity and that is it. Yet, here we are about to start the fall with 3 kids, each with 2 activity. I did manage to put them all on 2 days (tues night and sunday afternoon) -but it is still nuts.

Putting aside the cost (which I refuse to think about) - the logistics are nuts. On tuesdays, it isn't too bad. DH and I both have to leave work at the stroke of 5. In the car are 2 packed bags (one for gymnastics, one for swimming). DH will grab Big Man and I will run and meet him at the car. We will plow through rush hour traffic to try and get to the elmentary school by 5:35. At the school, DH and Big Man will get out (with the swimming bag) and walk home. I will get the girls, toss them in the car and drive to McDonalds. I will leave them in the parking lot to change into their leotards, while I run in and get their dinner. They will eat dinner in the car during the 10 minute drive to gymnastics. Meanwhile, DH and Big Man will get home, grab something quick to eat, change Big Man into his swim diapers and swim suit and get to the pool by 6:30. The girls and I should get home around 6:45 - in time to finish up homework and get ready for bed. Big Man will arrive around 7:30 - just in time for books before bed (already dressed in his pjs).

Sunday is the bad one. Big Man has gymnastics at 1:30. He will then come home for a late nap. I will take K to swimming at 3:30. Ideally, Big Man will wake up in time for DH to take B to skating at 4:30. I can then pick up B from skating on the way home from swimming with K.

I am exhausted just thinking of it all. Why do I do this to myself???

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vacation Memories

(From top to bottom- skyline of NYC by K, T Rex at Natural History Museum by B, Statue of Liberty by K, Statue of Liberty by B)

So last weekend the girls and I went to NYC with Grampa. I was trying to figure out ways to make sure they remembered the trip - and things for them to do to keep them busy in restaurants and on the bus ride there. It couldn't be easier - some markers and blank paper.

The first day at lunch I asked them to draw some of the things they had seen. It was awesome - I figured I'd get 3-4 pics from each. I probably have 25 total. They just ran with it. They drew all kinds of things - things we weren't even sure they noticed as we walked around, but clearly they did!

I have now taken pics of the drawings (and scanned them) and we will include them in our scrapbook next to photos of the real thing. What a great memory - and SO easy! I just carried a large envelope with the blank paper and a pack of markers in my purse. When the finished the picture I would mark who drew it and what it was on the back and put it back in the envelope. INSTANT memories.

That's what works for me! For more works for me ideas, visit:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Big Apple in a Whirl

This weekend Grampa treated me and the girls to a weekend in NYC. I took the girls up by bus on Friday (lots of fun - it was raining and B got sick watching a movie - good times!), and we got there around 9pm. The girls were suitably impressed by the big buildings and all the lights. We were staying right in Times Square, so it was great to get out of a cab there and let them soak it all in. The next morning we were like a freight train - breakfast, Rockefeller Center, stroll down 5th Ave, Trump Tower, Central Park, HOrse and Buggy Ride, Museum of Natural History (to look for stuff from Night at the Museum!) - all before lunch! Lunch was all elegence at the Tavern on the Green in Central Park. The girls LOVED all the colors. Then we went to see Mary Poppins on Broadway. K got SOOOO excited when we surprised them in the lobby of the show. She was jumping up and down. We had tickets in the 4th row! The girls LOVED it. B (being 5) is so literal. She had to tell me every part of the musical that was different than the movie.

After the show it was the 3-story Toys R Us, more Time Square gawking, and dinner. After dinner - M&M world and collapse into bed. On Sunday morning we did a quick breakfast, then to the top of the Empire State Building, and walked through Herald Square and around the Macys. We followed it up with a Circle Line Cruise to the Statue of Liberty.

By that time the girls were kinda wiped. We headed back to the hotel, grabbed our stuff and a quick lunch. We caught an early bus back(nobody got sick - YAY!).

It was a quick, fun-filled weekend. It was great to see them so excited. Check back tomorrow for a great tip on keeping kids memories!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Implore You!

Recently Newsweek did a great article on the truth about the healthcare plan. You can find it here. It does a great job of ironing out the truth/fiction of the proposed law itself, as well as reasons why some of the falsehoods are so strongly believed.

I am not sure which iteration of the plan I prefer - but let me say this: The President's job is not to be our best friend. It is not to be popular. It is not even to be reelected. It is to do what he thinks is best for the country and the people. I believe President Obama is doing that. And without healthcare reform - people will continue to suffer. We need healthcare reform. People are paying too much for healthcare, and being denied services they need to improve their quality of life. We need change. And I trust our President to get it for us.

Mr. President - please don't let us down. Don't let ludicrous rhetoric and idiotic popular opinion polls dissuade you from this most important task. And Congress - same to you! You can do it. This is the time. PLEASE reform healthcare. It is the right thing to do!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Old Fashioned Beach Life

Last week we went to Rehoboth. We went for two reasons, really. First, we had nothing to do with the girls. There were few camps available - the only one I could find was going to be nearly $350 per kid. A great camp - but that is outrageous for one week. Second, I love Rehoboth and we got a great deal. Both Maryland and DC schools went back last week, so the beach was highly discounted. A 2-room suite at a hotel right on the boardwalk for $150/night. Can't beat it - cheaper than camp!

Rehoboth is like going to the beach in the 50s. (or how I imagine that to be!). It is a nice quiet, family town. A low-key boardwalk - with lots of pizza joints, ice cream joints, and cotton candy. There are lots of lifeguards at the beach. The hotels provide free beach chairs and umbrellas. You can miniature golf on the top of one of the boardwalk stores. And there is Funland. I LOVE Funland. Tickets at Funland are 22-cents (if you buy the 90 tix for $20 package) and some of the rides are 1 ticket! 1 ticket. We pay 50-cents around here just to ride the little truck in front of BJs. The biggest rides (there are only a few) are 4-5 tickets. At the county fair a few weeks ago we were paying $4-5 per ride!!! Funland also has carnival games with guaranteed prizes for $1-2!!! The kids love it, and so do it. Its been there since 1962, and still has a quaint atmosphere.

We had a very nice, relaxing few days. The weather was awesome (if not a little windy!). We had beach time, pool time, miniature golf, rented bikes, hunted for shells, and played. It was a really fun getaway. We did it a few days last year too and I hope it becomes a tradition!

Monday, September 7, 2009

First Day of School, First Day of School!

The bags are packed. The lunches are nearly ready. The checks are written. The school supplies are at the front door. Hair has been cut, nails have been painted, and dresses are hanging and ready. Let the first day of Kindergarten (for B) and 2nd grade (for K) come!

(edited to add pics!)

B is off to kindergarten, K will be in 2nd grade!!

Big Man isn't actually going to school, but really wanted to be in the pictures!!