Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lost in spaaaaace.....

I've heard from several friends, also doing time as Cub Scout den leaders, that our Blue & Gold Banquets are way over the top. Maybe so. We really tried to scale back this year, but apparently we're not so good at thinking small. It was really fun though, and the looks on the boys faces are classic when they see all their decorations everywhere.

The boys made tin-foil-toilet-paper rockets, decorated rocket ships and aliens to hang from the ceiling, and mapped constellations to hang on the walls. We had a great slide show of all the scout activities of the past year, and the highlight was the scout dance. We put glow sticks on their wrists and ankles, blasted some funky techno music, turned all the lights off, and let them jump around so all you could see was the moving glow sticks. The key to getting 8-10-year-old boys to dance is to do it in total darkness so no one can see them. We won't talk about the leaders' grand dance entrance: Sunglasses + husbands' suit coats + the Men in Black theme song.

Carden designed a UFO cake for the cake-decorating competition and I really tried to be hands-off and let him do it myself. It worked best if I actually left the room and came back when he was done. I piped the border between the two cake layers, but he did everything else.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I don't like glovies, I bite them!

Poor Claire. The "life is tough" lessons start young for some. Claire has sucked her thumb with great devotion from the time she could maneuver her hand to her mouth.

March 2010 (5 months old)

Claire sucks her thumb when she's tired, hungry, sleeping, upset, or bored. This appears to be about 20+ hours of her day. (Maybe it's time to rethink some parenting approaches!) The dentist warned us her teeth were already bent in, and her upper jaw was being reshaped by her bad habit and we would be looking at major orthodontics bills to restore her jaw width and straighten the bone the permanent teeth grow out of if she didn't stop.

With new resolve, we left the dentist's office determined to succeed. First stop: the nasty bitter nail polish. Didn't work. Not a flinch.

This month we are trying thumb gloves. A stretchy glove fits over the thumb but leaves the other four fingers free. She only sucks her left thumb, so we started with the left glove only. Within 48 hours she started sucking the right thumb, crafty girl. So on went the right glove, too. She started sucking her index finger. When she sees us bring out the gloves, she crams all 10 fingers in her mouth and runs away.

Claire has worn them for about four weeks and she hates them. She figured out that if we don't have the gloves buttoned on the tightest setting, she can pull them off with her teeth. The first time, she hid under the kitchen table, pulled them off and stomped over to Tyler. With as much vehemence as a 2-year-old is capable of (which is quite a lot, actually), she snarled "I take my gloves off. I bite them!!). Yikes.

She gets her favorite treat, fruit snacks, if she wears them. A few times we've caught her sucking the glove out of desperation, but she is slowly making the change. The first week I'd watch her fall asleep; she'd flutter her fingers near her mouth, as if she couldn't figure out what to do with a hand that wasn't in her mouth. She's into stuffed animals, so we keep baskets of them in every room so that when she has down time and would usually be sucking her thumb, she can hold coyote and unicorn instead.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

V-day boxes

Next year I think I'll promise extra chocolate to the teachers who make the Valentine boxes during class. I'm not a crafty person, and even less of a crafts-with-kids person. Or maybe I just make the mistake of saying, "Let's see what ideas we find online." Low-achieving parents (me) don't put pictures of their Valentine box projects online. High-achieving parents (not me) do. So after seeing the 4-days to make a paper mache R2D2 and other boxes that would have taken the entire contents of our recycling bin, we settled on a tissue-box alligator for Seth, and a pirate ship milk carton for Carden. It still took 4 days. I learned that art projects with Seth, are just that--art projects. Art projects with Carden are high-intensive occupational therapy. Ugh. And poor Charlotte, struggling to write her 9-letter name on 16 valentine cards...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tea Party

My cute little niece Rachel turned 3 last week and wanted a tea party birthday with her cousins. Since all the cousins live in Lehi, we had the party here and I got to do the decorating. It's been a long time since I've had that much fun! (Naturally she tripped and skinned her nose on the sidewalk a couple of days before all her birthday.)

Entertaining is so casual now, that the only appreciative audience for gold-rimmed china and antique tea cups is the 8-and-under set. Charlotte and Claire were hilarious. Every new item that came up from the basement elicited shrieks of delight. "Oh, Mom it's sooooooo pretty!!!" I, on the other hand, was a trifle embarrassed that I own so many sparkly dishes. Granted, several items came from Mom's garage sale finds when I was a teenager and dreamed of throwing sparkly dinner parties on a regular basis. (Hey, it was the 80s--excess was in!)

Now my perspective (or justification) is a bit different; I'm into the heritage aspects of my sparklies: chandelier crystals from Vicki, painted china platters from Granny, an antique tea set and glassware from my grandparents, the Irish linen tablecloth from dad's mission.

The girls all came in their dress-up finery and raised their pinkies to sip their juice and eat their dainties. They all loved the chandelier crystals dangling from pink ribbons and the I think it should be an annual event!