Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pumpkin Patch V.2013

 Each year we make a trip to one of the local pumpkin patches.  Truthfully, I miss Sunshine going as part of a field trip.  This year we found ourselves busy on most weekends in October and so wound up going to Best Nursery on Monday afternoon after school let out.

Pretty painted pumpkins inside

Seriously, you're surprised she wants a pink pumpkin?!

 The benefit of going on a weekday is that very few people are there.   We wound up having the hay ride all to ourselves!

 My sweet girl and I.  I can't believe how much she's grown since the first time she came here as a toddler!

We brought home several small pumpkins to decorate the mantel as well as a pie pumpkin for Sunshine to paint pink this weekend and a larger one for "the family" that we'll carve.   I say "we"---Hunter and Sunshine will do it!

We've survived last night's Fall Festival and are gearing up for 2 parties today.  One is the birthday for Sunshine's bestie.  Fortunately that's a drop off party so I can great lunch & get ready for the 2nd party.  It's a costume party at the home of my former knitting mentee's parents.  I'm not sure what Sunshine is wearing (her Draculaura or another costume).  I'm going as Jessica Lange's character (Fiona)  from the current version of American Horror Story: Coven..  Should be a good time!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What Was It About Picking Battles?

Parents often hear the line "you've got to pick your battles" from well meaning friends and family.  There are numerous blog posts about it, it's a catch phrase whenever parenting "experts" are on tv or spouting opinions in their books, friends saying it to other friends.

Any parent who has a child oh, 2 years or older has done so.  Little boy wants to go outside without boots in the rain?  Big girl wants to have dessert before dinner?  Big boy wants stay up past his bed time?

There are so, so many times that parents have to make an "executive decision" when it comes to their child.  What's going to happen if your son wears Crocs in the rain?  Well, his feet will get wet & he'll be uncomfortable.  Your daughter wants a cookie or two before dinner?  Is it really that bad?  Will it set her up for a lifetime of unhealthy eating? No, she'll think it's the best treat, EVER!! and will go back to her regular routine the next day.

Sunshine is 9, going on 10. I don't know how many times I've compromised with her on things like this.  We've done dessert before dinner, she's negotiated a later bedtime, she's worn inappropriate footwear in the rain & has played in mud puddles more times than I can count.

The battle that's been ongoing in our house for the last couple years pertains to a specific toy.  The accursed Monster High Dolls.  

She's been asking for them for at least two years.  And it's not like she wants all of them.  She just wants one.  This one.  Draculaura.

If you read her little bio on the website you see that she's a lot like Sunshine.  She loves pink, smiling, laughing & encouraging her friends.  And the frilly umbrella?  So Sunshine.

I didn't write the blog post that I shared in the first link, but I could have.  I grew up with Barbie & while I certainly didn't resemble her, I did envy her 3 story town house with the elevator, her fabulous shoe collection and her hip 70s wardrobe.  It never crossed my mind that her figure was unattainable or that Ken might possibly be sexually confused.  She was just a great toy & sent the message that girls could be anything they wanted.  I've blogged about Barbie in the past.  While I do think her wardrobe's gotten a little, ahem, skanky, she is still a veterinarian, an astronaut, dog trainer, teacher.  Should her lab coat be the length of a skating uniform? Not really.

So, back to the Monster High Dolls.  Sunshine has wanted one of these dolls for seriously, two years.  Her friends have them, we offer some of the books at the book fair at school.  A trip to Target or Toys R Us is spent looking longingly at them.  Heaven forbid if one of their cartoons comes on tv.

Yesterday I was either too worn down or just decided to capitulate----I'm not sure which but I bought Sunshine the Draculaura costume (complete with the wig!) she's been begging for.  She's always worn her princess dress up dresses for Halloween so really, the cost for Halloween for us has been minimal.

I had the costume in my car and had taken it out of the bag as I was heading up to school after Target to do some PTO stuff (wrist bands & raffle tickets for Fall Festival) as well as bring some roses & candy to Sunshine's home room teacher who is back after maternity leave.  Since a friend (our VP) is sick, I offered to bring her kids home.  Sunshine put her back pack in the front seat of the car while the kids piled into the back.  She didn't see the costume.   After dropping off Kim's kids & checking out her daughter's birthday & Christmas presents (AG Saige & part of her collection), we got back in the car to head home as a visit to the pumpkin patch was promised.

As she was moving her backpack she saw it.  THE COSTUME.  Much squealing, much "Oh Mommy, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!" ensued.   She changed into it after we got home from the pumpkin patch and had to be told to take it off to do her homework.

So, my daughter is beyond thrilled & I'm not sure whether I feel I've lost the battle or whether it was a draw.
I think I'm claiming a draw.

Monday, October 14, 2013

I Swear, I'm Alive.

Honestly.   I've been crazy busy with various PTO things.  Let's just list them here rather than go on ad nauseum.   Book Fair (we did well, just not as well as I would have liked), Fall Festival prep is in full swing & while I'm not the chair person (no way am I THAT nuts!) I am overseeing it as the PTO President.  We have our first House Celebration this week & will be hosting a local martial arts dojo (right? Dojo?? Place.  Local martial arts place).  I think the kids will like it.  Their representative & I spoke about the theme being personal responsibility, team work. hard work, etc.  I also managed to book the 2nd House Celebration "talent"---Oxbow Meadows Reptile show will be coming to our school.  I MUST find something else to do that day because me & snakes?  Not good.  At. All.

 In the midst of Book Fair prep my sweet mommy came to town!  Each year our school hosts a Grandparents Breakfast in September.  Sunshine has never been able to attend as well, our grandparents don't live locally.  And we're firm believers that you don't "borrow" someone else's grandparents just for the sake of a glazed donut & grits.  Not that my child eats grits, but you know what I mean.

So, the week before Book Fair (and my birthday!), I drove up to the ATL airport to pick up my mom.  I think the last time I spent my birthday with her was in 2000 so it was a special trip all around.  She & I went to American Girl prior to heading home to do her Christmas shopping for Sunshine.  It's all wrapped & hidden away, just waiting to go under the tree.

Mom was here for a little over a week which was wonderful.  I'm so happy that she was able to share in breakfast at Sunshine's school.  I do think she was a little confused when the teachers (who are my friends) kept asking her to come back to they could ask her questions about me.  Hee!

We went to the Auburn/Ole Miss game a couple weeks ago---very fun but poor Hunter.  Our tickets were given to us through the WTB on post, who got them through another organization.  We knew they weren't great seats but they were free & it was a big game.  We got up to our section & realized we were in the 27th row.  I don't often get acrophobia, but when I do, it's when I'm climbing up to row 27 at Jordan-Hare Stadium under the lights!  

Sunshine & I took advantage of the long holiday weekend to go up to Atlanta & to American Girl this past weekend.  I had promised her that we'd go up on Columbus Day so she could check out all the holiday offerings in person.  On Saturday I got an email advertising discounted hotel rooms.  Well, we got a great rate at a hotel near the store & while she was in the shower on Sunday, I packed a bag for us & got it into the trunk without her knowing.  We went to Perimeter Mall first so I could go to the MAC store for 2 eye shadows that I can't get at other locations & to their Chico's.  Their staff is much nicer than the one here or near North Point Mall.  I managed to get a pair of $120 jeans for $36 & the purple pants I wanted were on sale too.  The best part was that I bought a smaller size!  I normally wear a 2 in their clothes (a 12 for everyone else).  They didn't have the 2 in the purple pants so I tried the 1.5 (a 10) & it fit.  WOO HOO!  While I haven't done anything special to lose weight, I attribute it to the 3% spandex in the pants.

So, Sunshine & I left Perimeter & made our way north toward Alpharetta.  I hadn't rehearsed *why* we'd be staying at the hotel so I just drove there.  When she asked why we were at the hotel I said "we're staying here tonight!"  "NO WAY!!!!!  But I don't have pjs!"   Sweet girl, mommy already took care of that!

Dinner at the Cheesecake Factor was delicious as always & we split the Reese's PB cheesecake after we got back to our room & settled in for the night.   I managed to embarrass her by cheering rather loudly for the Patriots as Tom Terrific managed to work his magic & win the last few seconds of the game.  Luckily the table next to us was a family full of football fans (also following the Pats game as well as the 49ers on their phones) who got my momentary lapse of decorum.

We're so proud of Sunshine---she's a good student and loves school.  I feel like we should take part of the credit as we've raised her with the expectation to always do her best & to strive for good grades, but her school also deserves credit.  SuperAwesomeSchool is just that.  It's super & awesome.  Our principal sets the standard and it trickles down.  I firmly believe that 99% of the people in the building (I'll say 2 are there for other reasons) are firmly invested in making SuperAwesomeSchool the best it can be.  And it shows.

Anyway, during Book Fair we hosted a Family Night.  Sunshine packed up a bunch of science books & brought them in hopes of hosting a "science corner" for the other kids.  SuperBookatarian, Kristine, thought it was a wonderful idea & let Sunshine run with it. There was much squealing, giggling & talking behind the fair as the kids looked through Sunshine's books on Chemistry, Biology & the human body.  Something about an eyeball broke up the group.  Sunshine then approached SuperBookatarian about keeping her books there in case anyone was interested in them.  While she thought it was brilliant, she encouraged Sunshine to bring her books home & to come back to pick some out to display.   As you can see from the picture, planets & the body are huge hits.  Sunshine goes back to the library early each week to put out new books as kids are checking out the ones on the display.  

I don't think I had that much initiative at 9 years old.  And I know I wouldn't have approached my school's librarian about having a science corner in the library of St. Francix Xavier School.  

I love that we're raising such a confident, outgoing, young lady.