Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ONE OF THE BEST KEPT SECRETS IN LOCAL CHILDREN'S PROGRAMMING

Clowes Hall on the Butler University campus offers an educational series for preschool and school-age children. Plays and musicals, typically about one-hour in length, are performed by local and touring production companies and can be seen weekdays throughout the school year. Tickets are usually between $7 and $10 and may be ordered in advance or purchased at the door (Some performances do sell out.). Upcoming preschool performances include Three Classics by Mercer Mayer, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites and Click, Clack, Moo. See a complete schedule on the Clowes Hall web site.

I’ve never seen this series promoted anywhere but the Clowes Hall website. The shows are attended mostly by school groups so perhaps Clowes focuses its marketing efforts to educators. Regardless, individuals are also welcome. I took my three-year-old daughter to see The Berenstain Bears musical last fall. The show was based on three different books and explored good nutrition, stranger danger and honesty. My daughter loved it, and I admit, I was entertained too!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

WHAT TO DO ON A SNOW DAY


So now we are on Day #3 of our snow days adventure. Are you going crazy yet? As moms, it is always a challenge to figure out what to do with your child to keep him or her occupied when you feel the 4 walls closing in on you. Normally, I wouldn't have this issue as my children are grown, but it was decided with the circumstances surrounding where my daughter lives and because her husband is employed in the moving snow and melting ice business, that she and her 2 children should come to my house to ride out the storm. So they are still here and we are trying to "entertain" an almost 4 and almost 6 year old. Here are some ideas we have come up with:
  • Play games - children need to know how to take turns and how to loose gracefully. This would be a great time to work on this.
  • Make a band - Gather all your instruments from around the house (both real and pretend) and have a band. Remember to use pots, pans and plastic ware from your kitchen too!
  • While you have your band instruments, why not have a parade? March all through the house. Make different parade routes.
  • Have an inside snow storm - Gather some boxes of tissue and start pulling them out FAST! Before you know it "snow" will be covering the ground.
  • If it snowed, you have to have a SNOWBALL FIGHT! - Scoop up a mound of ice cold snow, and roll it into a ball just so, now pull your arm back nice and slow, let go of that snow, look at it go! Too fun!!!
  • Indoor ice skating - Get some paper plates (the cheap kind are best) and stand on them. Move your feet to get to skating. Be careful, it's slick!
  • Make an instrument - Get an old carton that you have saved (sour cream, cottage cheese, coffee can, ziplock bowl with lid) and use it to make a shaker instrument. Experiment with by putting different things into the container to see the different sounds you can get from the same shaker.
  • Have a beach party! Get out your beach towel, sunglasses and if you are brave, put on your swim suit. Sing summer songs, eat lunch on your towels and just pretend you are at the beach! If you have a fireplace, you could do this in front of it pretending the fireplace is your campfire on the beach.
  • Bake something to have on your beach picnic. The Our Time students from last semester sang a lot about measuring and pouring. Let them do this. (I know... it will be messy, but think of the fun you will be having!
Above all, I just want to encourage all you moms to enjoy these precious days. You will talk about the "ice storm of 2011" when your children are adults. I hope you all have fond memories of this time together!

Posted by Kim Bemis ("Gamma"), who is really enjoying having two of her grandkids here for the storm even though there is a thick layer of crumbs (almost as thick as the ice outside) under her island in the kitchen.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

AMAZED


Charlie is a big boy.

He will not let you call him "baby", even if meant as a term of endearment. He has good reason to feel this way. In the month of December he did two amazing things: he dropped the binky in 2 days & potty-trained in a week. That last part bears repeating...
he potty-trained in A WEEK!

I feel like I've been shouting it from every mountain top I can find. Yes I think my child is a genius. This isn't meant to put down my friends who have older kids still happy as clams in diapers. It's more a celebration fueled by relief. He has mastered such a basic thing, all on his own. He got it. He's not my difficult child. Halle-freakin-lujah!

The relief surrounding this milestone is based on our experience with Jack. We started potty-training him just after his third birthday. I was home, he was old enough, preschool was just around the corner; it was time. Or so I thought. (perhaps even more so it's what everyone told me.) Age & readiness aren't always the same thing however, made very clear to us by how tough Jack was to potty-train. He had very few accidents at night, but on a good day he would have at least two while awake & playing. And that was just #1. Poop was so much more complicated, and honestly still is as he approaches 5 years old. I think we're finally learning that Jack doesn't notice the physical cues that he needs to poop. So with encouragement, a conscious effort not to yell & good reading material in the bathroom I think we've finally made some progress.

But you can see how this two year process with Jack had me dreading doing it with Charlie. If Jack, our resident people-pleaser, had such a hard time, what would our feisty child be like? Little did I know the level of determination Charlie possessed. He made up his mind that he wasn't going to wear diapers and made it happen. Simple as that.

So far, this is one of the most amazing parts of parenthood. When you think you have your child figured out & then they WOW you. The best part is, I know it won't be the last time this happens. They are such incredible, evolving little beings. How lucky we are to witness their lives as they unfold.

And while I bask in the ease of this milestone with him, I'm fully aware they may not all be so easy. That said, I think I'll have Andy teach him how to drive.

Posted by Mrs. Aly who is so glad to have 2 big boys in her home. You can still join her in a class on Thursday mornings in NE Indy!