Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Leprechaun Hunt

Today, we were supposed to meet with the mommy group at a local Botanical Garden for a Leprechaun hunt. I've been excited about this for over a week! Eleven people were supposed to be there, but of course my new friend, Maureen, and her son were the only ones to show up! We were totally expecting that.

I had to wake Aiden up early to go to the hunt. Every morning we have a struggle over breakfast and we just didn't have much time this morning. So, I offered him the breakfast of champions, cupcakes! He couldn't believe it. His eyes were huge and he jumped out of bed and raced to the table.

I set the clover cupcakes in front of him. He said, "These are perfect! How did you do that?"



My boys in Green! At the Botanical Gardens



The hunt itself wasn't very organized. The staff seemed to be really confused as to what they were supposed to be doing. We kept walking around in circles. And we had to keep waiting for bulldozers, golf carts, and tree cutters to move off the path. It was hilarious!

They had different little areas where the children did little activities like learning an Irish jig, blowing bubbles with a clown, and playing Leprechaun Says.

Finally, we made it to the leprechaun prints. We had to search for different items like a shamrock plant, feathers, rainbows, and gold.



Aiden was so excited about the gold!





Holden slept through the entire walk!



At the end, they had a photo opportunity with a T-rex. Not really sure how that fit in, but the kids enjoyed it!



They finished with a snack (green apples and pears) and got to take home a St. Patrick's Day craft kit.

Aiden chose a leprechaun








It turned out pretty cute! We had a really fun St. Patrick's Day! I hope everyone else did as well!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A St. Patrick's Day Treat

Today, we met our new friends at the park. It was so much fun. Finally! A mommy friend for me and a 4 year old friend for Aiden! It was so cute seeing Aiden run after his new friend. And Aiden was so proud of his little brother. He kept saying, "Come look at my baby. Look at this cute, cute, precious baby." The little boy had no interest in Holden, but Aiden would not give up. He took the little boy's arm and finally talked him into looking at his baby.

After playing at the park for 2.5 hours, we went to a make up class at The Little Gym. This is the class that Aiden should have been in from the beginning. There were big boys in the class and he had so much more fun. It amazes me how quickly little kids can make friends. Within 15 minutes, a little boy was calling Aiden's name and they were running around together and whispering secrets in each other's ears.

Aiden has really broken out of his shell lately. He will go up to other kids now and ask them to play. I'm so proud of him.

Anyway, back to today's St. Patrick's Day activity. I had planned on making clover cupcakes with Aiden this evening, but we ran out of time. Instead, I made them after he went to bed and will surprise him with them in the morning.

To make the clover, I rolled up aluminum foil and put it around the cupcake lining after pouring the batter in.





I used green licorice for the clover stem. I had no idea they made green (watermelon flavored) licorice until I saw it at Safeway the other day. (I got this recipe from the Family Fun website)



I ran out of aluminum foil and didn't want to bake for an hour, so I made a dozen cupcakes plain.



And tomorrow, I'm taking the boys on a Leprechaun hunt! It should be fun...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rainbows, Leprechauns, and Gold... Oh my!

It's been a while since Aiden and I have done an art project. So last night I took a break from my thesis and planned a St. Patrick's day activity for us to do today.

I found a cute little leprechaun project from Disney's Family Fun website. I made all of the pieces last night and Aiden painted and assembled it today.

He was excited about being able to paint. But when he saw the toilet paper roll, he said,"I'm supposed to paint that? That's boring!"



All the little pieces



Holden and our finished leprechaun. Holden sat in his seat and watched the entire time. I think he's going to like doing art projects as well!



While we waited for the paint to dry, we made a rainbow.







After looking at both of the pieces together, Aiden asked, "Where's the pot of gold?" So I took another idea from the family fun website and made some lemon jello. I cut the jello in little squares and put them in a small black bowl.



Aiden was so excited about eating his jello. He said, "Mommy! You have to try a piece. It's so jiggly!" And he watched closely to see my reaction when I ate a piece. So cute.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"I'll Listen Next Time"

Yesterday, we had a playdate scheduled at a gymnastics place during Open Gym. Of course the organizer didn't show up and I was the only one there from the group (I'm no longer surprised). It wasn't that long ago when I would have been too shy to walk into that gym filled with moms who know each other because their children take gymnastics together. But I'm the mom now and I can't make my children miss out on fun activities because I don't feel comfortable.

So we went into the lobby of this gym and it was packed with loud, rambunctious boys just a little older than Aiden. He was thrilled. He didn't care that they seemed to know each other at all. He just joined in with their game of tag and they welcomed him.

Finally, the instructor came out and gave us the gym rules. The first rule was "No running in the gym." I pulled Aiden aside before we waked into the gym and said "Did you hear the man? He said 'No running in the gym.'" Aiden nodded. I signed him in and paid my $7. And he was off straight to the foam pit.

Unfortunately, the red eye was on my camera and Aiden can't hold still long enough for that.



And that was the last opportunity that I had to get a picture.

Less than 5 minutes later, Aiden was running around on a mat with a group of bigger boys. One of the boys grabbed Aiden by the foot and twisted it somehow. We had only been there for 15 minutes.

I didn't think that he was hurt all that badly at first, but he insisted on crawling around the gym.



I hate that he got hurt (he's still limping a little bit today). He was really disappointed because we had to leave the gym and cancel our trip to Chuck E Cheese. (He was having a pretty difficult time walking) He cried and said, "I'll listen next time."

Open gym is a bit dangerous. There are a ton of kids there and even though they are supposed to have a parent with them at all times, most of the moms were standing (or sitting) in groups talking while their children ran wild.

Aiden has asked if he can take his gymnastics classes at the "big gym" instead. This gym doesn't have the scenery that The Little Gym has, but I was really impressed with the gym itself. (And classes are 1/3 the price!) They are a more competitive facility focusing more on learning skills than playing games, but I think we will give it a try next semester.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I've Already Gotten Spoiled

The past few days have been absolutely beautiful (ok, so maybe one of those "absolutely beautiful" days was mostly cloudy, but it was 60 degrees!) and we have been having a lovely time playing outside.

We were supposed to have a playdate after Aiden's Little Gym class, but we canceled it because there was a 100% chance of rain. But it didn't rain. I wasn't complaining though. The Little Gym is in an absolutely wonderful location right on the water. There is a long boardwalk, tons of shopping (even Target!), lots of cute little cafes, and a playground.











After gymnastics, we went for a walk, picked up some lunch, and ate on one of the animal statue benches before heading to the park.







It's going to be such a fun spring and summer. I can't wait! I am in love with the whole DC metro area and feel so lucky to have this opportunity to stay at home with my boys. I'm loving every minute of it!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Stood Up

You have got to be kidding me! I was stood up not once- but TWICE- today!

I may not have made any friends through my mom's group as of yet, but they always have such fun activities on the calendar so I refuse to give up. At the very least, I'm becoming more familiar with the area and learning of lots of fun new places to take the boys.

On Saturday, we were supposed to meet some of the moms at Barnes & Noble for Dr. Seuss's birthday party. I took the boys and waited at the designated spot, but no one showed up. The birthday party was really cute though and Aiden enjoyed it. They read Dr. Seuss books, colored hats, did huge dot to dot puzzles, and made green egg cookies.

One mom kept glancing around and I wondered if maybe she was part of the mom's group. So I just went up to her and asked. Another mom overheard me and said that she was a part of the group too. Apparently, we are all new members of the group (we never saw the organizer!) and we all have 3.5 year olds. I was so excited! I exchanged information with them and scheduled a playdate for today.

So the boys and I had a big day scheduled. We were supposed to meet 6 moms from the group this morning and go on a nature walk. Then we had the playdate this afternoon. We got to the lake 10 minutes early and we waited for 15 minutes after the time we were supposed to meet everyone. NO ONE showed!

I came home and had emails from two of the moms. The organizer apologized for not being there because her brother had flown in from Ireland. Seriously? She didn't know about that until this morning? And she couldn't have sent that email BEFORE the time we were supposed to meet?!

So I thought, Oh well. At least I have the playdate this afternoon and I now know of a good place for picnics this summer.

Yeah. We went to the park at 1:20. And waited. And waited. We were still there at 4:30 and my "friends" never showed up!

Aiden had so much fun and he played with a lot of the children who were there.









Holden enjoyed his time at the park in the Hotsling. He is fascinated with all of the children screaming and running around.



And I did get an email from my "friend" too. She is new to the area and apparently got lost and forgot to write down my cell number. I know how that is. I didn't have her number with me either. And I get completely lost all the time. Even with Garmin! So we have tentative plans to meet at a different park (which we both know how to get to) on Thursday. I hope it works out; it seems like we have quite a bit in common!

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'm a Nice Girl...

So why am I having such a difficult time making friends?

The first playdate I attended with my new mommy group was at Chuck E Cheese. This didn't really give me a chance to get to know any of the other moms, but Aiden had fun. So I decided to give the group another chance.

This time the organizer scheduled a playdate at a local children's gym. They had an insturctor who was doing activities with the children and only our group was there. It seems like I could have at least had a conversation with one of the other moms, right?

No one spoke to me!

Even worse, when we were standing at the desk signing the "we can't sue you if our child gets hurt" form, I waved to the organizer of the group. She half smiled and turned her back to me!

Once we went in the gym, I just followed Aiden around while they had free play. He loved it!







"Snowball" fight Kids vs Moms


Holden took a nap for most of the playdate. Usually, he is a really good sleep fighter. He's always afraid that he's going to miss something. Well, when he woke up, they were in the middle of a Bubble Dance Party! Dark room with a spinning rainbow light, music, and bubbles... It made me laugh. Yes, buddy. This is what we do every time you go to sleep!



I finally went up to a couple of moms and tried to start a conversation. For some reason all they wanted to talk about was food. What they had for breakfast, what they were going to have for lunch, what they were making for dinner... I have no problem talking about food, but there is only so much one can take! Needless to say when they decided to go lunch after the gym, I wasn't invited.

Why is it so hard to make friends as an adult? Surely, I have more in common with them than the fact that we all eat! We all have children... Maybe they don't like me? Well, I don't care. They aren't going to get rid of me! There are a lot of fun playdates scheduled and I'm finding out about a ton of places I didn't know about. Even if I don't ever end up making friends, Aiden will have fun and I will have fun watching him.

Want to Make some New Friends?

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