Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Foiling My Plans

I try to teach my kids.  I try to help them learn that there are natural consequences to their behavior.  I let them make mistakes sometimes so that lessons can sink in deep.

Take, for example, the famous "forgotten lunch" scenario.  Does a loving parent deliver lunch?  Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Jungle Boy and Drama Girl are both attending a local ballet intensive for the next few weeks.  They are supposed to bring their own lunch and the rules are strict that they are not to leave the ballet school during the lunch break.

So today when I discovered that Jungle Boy had made a lunch and left it on the counter, I chose to let him experience a little hunger, so he will remember to not only prepare a lunch but pack it with him when he leaves the house.

When I went to pick him up, I brought the topic up, expecting to hear tales of hunger, frustration, or perhaps how he had begged some food off his sister.  It went something like this:

"How was lunch today?" [snicker snicker]

"It was great! The ballet teacher drove me to the bakery and bought me a big Italian sandwich with everything on it!"

The bakery is exactly one block from the ballet school - and she drove him there?

Dear world; please stop spoiling my kid.  This parenting job isn't getting any easier.  *sigh*

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Home Again

Saxophone with mouthpiece and supply of reeds: $$$$

Weekly music lessons:$$

Enrollment at jazz camp: $$$

Earning the right to put a cool sticker on your saxophone case?  Priceless.

Wasabi Girl is back from her jazz camp.  She had a fabulous time, learned a lot, and met some jazz legends.  Her session had 185 boys and 25 girls - who are all her new best friends.

Jungle Boy got back late last night from his month at ABT.  I'm still getting the stories from him.  His camp had 220 girls and 9 boys.  How did this happen that both of my twins went to camps where they were a decided minority?

Jungle Boy met a special girl - who lives halfway across the country.  He started drinking coffee to deal with all the early mornings and he decided that dorm food can't hold a candle to home cooking.  Luckily for him there was a fresh batch of cookies waiting for him when he got home last night.

Think of me today - it looks like I have a ton of laundry to get through.  It's worth every bit of it to have everyone home again!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Revolving Door

It's summer, and with Jungle Boy still away at camp, the girls have had all sorts of sleepovers and friends in and out the door.

Right now I'm listening to one girl practice the flute.  She fits right in to our room full of musical instruments!  Someone is playing the guitar in the back of the house and I'm pretty sure it's not one of my kids.  The bathroom looks like 20 girls have been prepping for a prom.  There are sleeping bags and unmade beds everywhere.  Drama Girl is wearing clothes I don't recognize.

There have been grand plans to plant a garden/build a shed/sew some clothes.  There has been more soda consumed in the last week than in the past 6 months.  I keep running and emptying the dishwasher.  I keep driving back and forth to the mall, various homes, downtown.  I need to wash a bushel of towels.

It's a bit chaotic, but at various times one and another girl has called me "mom" - on purpose.  I'm loving it.  Now excuse me while I go bake them some cookies.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Finished for Friday: Mischief Managed

Over Wednesday and Thursday of this week I took my daughters and some of their friends to the local theater that was hosting a Harry Potter marathon.  All 8 movies in two days.  We had such a blast. Wasabi Girl and I had spent some time making gift bags for each person for each movie.  Each bag had a little bit of candy and a toy.  For the first goodie bag I made everyone a golden snitch.  Find the pattern here.

The girls dressed up, as you can see from the picture below.

That's Drama Girl on the right getting ready to read tea leaves.

Because we were among the first in line for the marathon we got some fun swag from the theater including this cap and these special edition 3D glasses.

I've had a few hours sleep, but I see my future and predict a nap if I can fit it in this afternoon. 

What have you been up to this week?  Link up and show us.  Thanks for playing along. Oh, and if you're any kind of Harry Potter fan at all, you really want to see the final movie.  Exceeds all expectations.  And I love Neville.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Kids in Restaurants

McDain's restaurant in Pennsylvania is banning children under six.  You can read the full story here and see a Youtube video from an angry parent here

I think it's a great idea and I applaud the restaurant manager for doing it.  I hope more restaurants follow suit.

I can see both sides of the argument.  In these tough economic times, babysitters are expensive.  If money is an issue, I suggest parents cook a nice meal at home.

Restaurants are public places.  Actually no, they are private property and it is completely legal for them to establish rules.  Most people forget that it wasn't that long ago that many restaurants had dress codes.  Some still do.  This particular restaurant is like a country club, situated at a golf course.

Kids will be kids.  Yes they will, which is why it is inappropriate to insert them into every aspect of society.  Your baby may wail when tired or cranky.  I shouldn't have to listen to it while I'm enjoying a steak and a glass of wine.  Take the child to a kid-friendly restaurant or hire a babysitter.

Kids can't sit still.  Yes they can.  Parents can teach table behavior as soon as kids are sitting up in a highchair and eating cheerios.  Do these kids run around at mealtime at home?  Parents are completely responsible for training kids how to behave in restaurants and I have no patience with parents who shirk this responsibility.

Now if we could only ban the under-six crowd from ballet and musical performances.

I have pretty strong opinions on this, but I'm eager to hear your viewpoint as well.  And yes, my kids have always behaved perfectly in restaurants.  I don't think they realize that they even push in their chairs when they leave a table - something they don't always do at home.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Finished for Friday: A Little Light Reading

In anticipation of the final movie coming out next week (and the movie marathon we're attending) this week I've started re-reading all of the Harry Potter books.  I've made it through the first 4 1/2 of the seven and with every page I remember why I love my Kindle so much.

The first copy of "The Sorcerer's Stone" that I found in the house was a big old hard cover.  I read along until I got to the exciting part at the end - and the last 50 pages were missing.  Argh!  Our family has multiple copies of all of these books though so I was able to unearth a paperback copy.

My current book, "The Goblet of Fire" is over 800 pages and weighs a ton and I can only find a hard cover version.  It's heavy!  And even more annoying, it's broken:

These books have seen a lot of wear and tear in our house.  Thankfully, J. K. Rowling has finally consented to let her books be converted to ebooks.  They will be available on her website in October.

What have you been up to this week?  Link up so I can congratulate you!  Please also visit other participants.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Crazy. I'll admit it.

Eight movies in two days.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Appreciating America at the Henry Ford Museum

I had the opportunity to go to the Henry Ford Museum when I was in Detroit recently and I loved it.  Definitely a must-see if you're in the area.  I thought for this 4th of July I'd share just a few of the many many exhibits I enjoyed.

Part of a dollhouse from 1840.  I would love to have a dollhouse like this.  What a lucky little girl to have such a wonderful plaything.  There were several dollhouses on display from different eras.  I could have spent hours looking at them.

Vintage sewing machine.  I forgot to note the year for this one.  Isn't it an interesting design?

"1980's teen bedroom" I had to laugh at this one.  Part of their display of lifestyles through the decades.  It looked pretty authentic, right down to the unmade bed.

The chair President Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated.  This was part of a very sobering display on freedom.  There is also an interesting Civil War exhibit at the museum now through September.  Yes, that is a bloodstain at the top there.

The bus that Rosa Parks rode in when she refused to give up her seat to a white man.  They allow you on the bus and you can hear a narration by Rosa of what happened that day.

There's the seat.  Yes I did sit in it, the tour guide was inviting everyone to sit there.  Being able to touch this piece of history was a profound reminder of how one person can be the pebble that starts an avalanche.  I was very moved by this.

Enjoy your 4th of July, and take a moment to enjoy what freedom means to you.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Finished for Friday: Nine bags full

This week is another finish in the "massive cleaning" department.  Since Jungle Boy is off to study ballet for a month at ABT, I took advantage of his absence to go through his room and clean it out.

His room didn't look bad to begin with, but once I got in there it turned into a much bigger job than I anticipated.  Stuff under the bed, stuff stuffed in drawers, stuff everywhere.  I started out with an empty bag for trash and an empty bag for items to donate.

It isn't hard to fill a donation bag when you have a kid who's grown about six inches in six months. His voice has changed now, and his tastes and sensibilities have done a lot of growing as well.  The Hungry Hungry Hippos game in the closet had to go, along with Candyland and a stack of other games that had been forgotten in there for years.  All the shirts that only skim his midriff went into bags, and all of those half-finished lego models that were missing the rest of the pieces.

The closet was like an archeological dig.  The hobby horses and jigsaw puzzles (60 pieces!) and long-sleeve shirts that now only go past his elbows all went into bags.  The more I pulled out, the more things seemed to multiply.

Then I found ballet tights.  Then another pair, and another.  Men's tights are almost like pants - thick and sturdy and about $24 each.  Oh look, another pair - had they been multiplying in the back of a dark drawer?  After I pulled out six pairs I jumped in the car and sent them to him UPS.  He told me later on the phone he doesn't think he needs them but I'd rather he have too many pairs than too few.  I was a little annoyed that he didn't check his drawers carefully enough when he was packing.  Boys!

In the end, I had six bags of items for the thrift store and three bags to go out with the garbage.  I spared some things he needs to sort through himself.  I bought a new mattress pad and pillow and did everything I could to freshen up the place.

Many hours and sore back and hip later, the room doesn't look very different, but it's better equipped for my big teenager.  If I did my job right, he probably wont even notice.

What have you been up to this week?  Link up so I can visit and congratulate you.  Feel free to grab the button from my sidebar.

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