Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mind the Gap...

...between my kids and me while I'm enjoying a London holiday. I'm off to a wedding with my husband and so looking forward to getting away-just us.
We parents deserve some alone time whether it's a date night, a weekend rendezvous or better a yet an entire week's vacation. If you have the resourses, uh, volunteers, okay, babysitters available-take advantage of the opportunity. There is no need to feel guilty about it either. You deserve it, your kids should spend quality time with others and as for the babysitters-they'll make sure there's pay back!

Mind the gap and enjoy the space!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

GoodWill Costume Hunting

Having a frightful time trying to find an inexpensive costume for your kiddo-or maybe yourself? Check out your local resale shop. There are countless rows of costume ideas. If you're not creative, most resale shops put together spooktacular displays. The stores usually pull from their stock and set up special "Halloween" clothing racks. Plus, you can find costume kits-some are still in their original packages.
Kids love to dress up and they never seem to be able to make up their minds. My daughter wanted to be Velma from Scooby-Doo and then decided to be a kitty cat. And with all the Halloween activities planned around the actual day, kids want to dress up as something different for each event! It can get pricey! But, you can purchase several costumes at a resale shop for less than one at a department store. If your kids like dressing up throughout the year like mine do, buy some hand-me-down fun-costumes, vintage outfits and accessories.
Then after Halloween, hit the discount department stores like Wal-Mart and Target for 50 to 75% off costumes. Make sure to buy a size larger than your kids are currently wearing. Don’t worry if your kid doesn’t want to be a princess or Superman next year-they’ll love wearing it for dress up! Oh, and if FREE sounds better to you, this is also a great time of year to hit up your neighbors, friends and family for hand-me-down costumes!! Happy Hunting! and have a Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Pumpkins and Fall Festival Fun!

My daughter was three-years-old last Halloween and really wanted to help her daddy carve our pumpkins. There are special carving tools available these days that seem to make the pumpkin-carving a little less dangerous for young children and the tools create ornately designed pumpkins or simple jack-o-lanterns.
But, you and the kids can also decorate pumpkins with paint, markers, babbles and beads, and anything else you can imagine.
I bought my kids, nieces and nephew all one small pumpkin each (a size they could easily handle by themselves). My sister and I put out several art and craft items in the center of a newspaper-covered table. We also provided glue bottles and glue sticks.
If you don't have construction paper, buttons, beads, glitter, foam cut-outs, etc. around the house-make an organic Halloween pumpkin. Decorate it with straw or twigs, leaves, pinecones, seeds, or whatever else you can find in your yard or neighborhood.
We let the kids decorate their pumpkin any way they wanted. We allowed them to feel independent and creative. The kids had a fun afternoon and were pleased with their pumpkin creations. Plus, we ended up with great Halloween decorations and less worry about one of the kids slicing their finger!

Don't forget, it's also Fall Festival time!

Check on-line or your local paper for festivals, pumpkin patches, and carnivals in your area. Many of these events are free for kids. My family recently went to the Bayou City Art Fest and kids under 12 were FREE. In addition, there were several booths for the kids to make FREE arts and crafts. The "black cat hat" in the photo above with the pumpkin was one of the crafts from the art festival. The kids loved making the hats as much as they loved wearing them!
(It's made of black construction paper-a 3" wide band taped to fit around your child's head. The base of the cat face is cut out of construction paper and taped or glued to the head band. Use other colors of paper, markers, googly-eyes, pipe cleaners, etc. to create the cat's ears, eyes, nose and whiskers.)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Mamma's Boy

I took the kids to see their grandparents this weekend. We had a lovely visit. Sunday morning my son seemed to have woken up too early and was in a bit of a foul mood. My father-in-law asked me, "why does he cry so much?"

It's a good and valid question, but not one to ask of the child's mother.

Feeling defeated, I simply replied, "I don't know," and put an end to the inquiry.

I've since thought more about it and I have the answer.

My name is Kelley and my son is a mamma's Boy.

The fault is not all my own, yet I'll take the credit anyhow. My son is our second-born and youngest child. I believe having a daughter first and son second perpetuates the whole Daddy's Girl and mamma's Boy scenario. My son is also much more quite and shy than his older sister. Plus, living 1600 miles away from our family during his first year and half of life doesn't necessarily help his comfort level. It takes him some time to get acclimated to new surroundings- even if those surroundings include family. That was the reason for the visit in the first place.
I try to use every weekend to take my kids to spend time with family. I want them to have close relationships now that we live near by to everyone. I just hope that everyone has patience and accepts that to my son they may seem like strangers at first. I want to close that gap, but I know it will take a few more weekend visits.