Still Catching Up...

I wish I could devote more time to blogging these days, but the best I can do is to post when I can.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Clean Sheet Day

When The Eagle & I were first dating, every week we had Tuesday Night dinner while watching Dharma & Greg. While I have lots of favorite show moments, I think the one that sticks in my head the most is from the pilot episode where Dharma cheering in the stands at a baseball game says, "Drive your coffee table to Idaho!" Still makes me laugh thinking about it :)

Dharma was also a fan of "Clean Sheet Day" (the day you change the bed) and we have used that phrase ever since. Lately, Clean Sheet Days have been happening a little too frequently around here. That's because earlier this week we ran out of the Tumbleweed's Pull-ups, prompting yet another attempt to get her to sleep in underwear at night.

The first night seemed to go pretty well, with the Tumbleweed waking up at about 5:30 am to go potty after catching herself before she really wet the bed (getting her underwear only a little damp). This prompted her to think that she can always sleep in underwear.

The next night, she was rudely brought back to reality when she woke up at 4am soaking wet. After changing her clothes and the waterproof mats on her bed she slept the remainder of the night no problem and seemed to completely forget by morning that she had not made it through the night dry.

Each night has gone down hill since the first night resulting in extra bed changes and more & more laundry. Thus my growing dislike of "Clean Sheet Day." After the first night we had replaced the Pull-Ups, but she refuses to wear them. I know, in theory, that she is old enough to make it through the night dry, but the reality is that she is such a heavy sleeper she does not wake up for anything in the middle of the night.

So my dilemma is: do I allow her to sleep in underwear to make her feel "grown-up" and do loads of extra laundry for the foreseeable future - or - do I make her go back to pull-ups making less work for me and having her feel like a "baby" a little bit longer?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bathing Suit Underwear

About a year ago, the Tumbleweed was watching one of her friends in a different swimming lesson and asked "When can I have bathing suit underwear?" I almost died laughing at the time, which she did not like one bit, as I realized that she was referring to the two-piece swimsuit the little girl was wearing.

I don't think I actually gave her an answer at the time, but in my head the answer was "never". However I changed my opinion after a week of summer camp last year. They asked the kids to come wearing their bathing suits under their clothes, yet swimming wasn't until 2 hours after they arrived. I thought this was pretty ridiculous considering 3-5 year olds were bound to have to go potty before then and would have to take off all of their layers. Then I realized that the other girls were wearing two-piece suits which made potty breaks much easier. Hmmmmm...

So when I signed her up for a swim lesson at the Y this session at the same time that the Dandelion was in a Parent & Child sports class with me, I decided that it would be a good idea to invest in that two-piece suit so she wouldn't have any problems in Child Watch before her lesson. It was a bit of a challenge to find a suit that was not really a "bikini" (lots of bare belly) but a "tankini" (shirt meets the bottoms), especially shopping in January. After finding very skimpy suits at Target, I finally found one at Carter's. She was so excited to wear her "bathing suit underwear" the first time!

And now we are all set for camp this summer!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Meal Planning

When you are always on the go with two little kids, and life in general, it is easy to get in a food rut, particularly at dinnertime.

Last year I challenged myself to try some new recipes - see the "Adventures in Cooking" tagged posts - and periodically I would look through some cookbooks & magazines, pick a recipe and make something new. But 95% of the year we remained in our food rut rotating between about 10 proven favorites, a few "once a month" special meals, and kid-pleasing "fast dinners".

This year I am attempting to do even better. Inspired by a new grocery list pad I found at Target, I am sitting down every weekend, picking 6-7 meals, making a list and going to the grocery store. I know shopping with a list is not a novel concept, but when you are in a food rut, you don't need a list to go grocery shopping and buy the same thing every week!

This is the second week, and so far it is going really well. It is hard to believe how much stress has been reduced at dinnertime. Now that I have a list with exactly what we are eating for dinner, and which night we are having it, I don't have a mid-afternoon "What do I take out for dinner?" crisis. Or a 5:00 "I just got home and don't have anything thawed" crisis.

We have had several new recipes, some crock-pot recipes, some "Fun Food" kid recipes, and some old standbys. The kids have had a few moments of "What is that?!?" or "I don't like [insert food here]!" but overall all the foods have eventually been consumed by both kids.

I have also started a new shopping routine. I have been going without the kids between 9-11pm. I will probably get back in the routine of taking the kids with me, because they like going and I like including them in some of the choices, but while I adjust to my new plan I have decided to simplify the process. The grocery store is actually quite peaceful at night.

So far, so good. I still have to get better at adjusting the recipes to the quantity of food that we need, but we have been doing pretty well with eating the leftovers :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Evening News

After a long rainy day, the kids fell asleep before dinner. Both before 5:30. I knew I was in for a long, unpredictable night.

I was pleasantly surprised that the Tumbleweed did sleep until 6:30am - only about a half hour shy of her usual 7:01 rise & shine. (We told her several months back not to come out of her room until after 7:00, which she usually does - and announces.)

The Dandelion did not sleep all night. He was wide awake at 2:45 and ready to start the day. I did manage to get him back to sleep somewhere around 4:30 (everything was a little fuzzy at that hour), but not before he woke me up with his cuteness and dragged me into the family room. He climbed behind me on the couch and said "I in back of a limo-zine! You in front." Then he got out his note pads & pencils to play "reporter". The report from our family room at 3am: "It dark out!"

Perhaps I was just tired enough to think anything was adorable, or perhaps it was that it was some nice one-on-one time with him, but either way he was pretty darn cute!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sunny Days

This week the kids & I had the opportunity to attend "Sesame Street Live! on Stage" (The Tumbleweed's words) with our MOMS Club friends. The kids were excited about going, but I was a little nervous to take them both to a show by myself.

Fortunately, the Tumbleweed was content to sit in her seat next to her friends and drink a $5 icee with a purple straw for most of the show. The Dandelion, however, did not want to sit. He sat for about the first 3 minutes in anticipation of seeing Elmo, but once Elmo appeared he was ready to move around. Despite my holding him or chasing him, he still enjoyed the show and did point out his favorite characters (Elmo, Cookie Monster & Grover).

The Tumbleweed and her friends all had a great time at the morning show, before heading straight to school for the afternoon. She was so excited to tell her classmates. I am guessing that this is the tail end of thinking Sesame Street is "cool". Taking her to weekday morning shows, classes and activities is also coming to an end, as she will be in school all day next year. Glad we had the chance to go before she is too old!

We were lucky enough to have floor seats, so the kids were able to dance with their friends in the aisle and even got to hug some characters as they came around. The show wasn't really too loud, the Dandelion decided he didn't want to listen to me anymore and covered his ears - LOL.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Christmas Leftovers

I found some in my purse... JK (Bad MOMS Club joke)

Actually, it still pretty much looks like Christmas around here, as I haven't really felt the need to take down the decorations yet. Usually I take them down some time before Valentine's Day, I'll probably do the same this year. But I have put away some things, like Christmas books, music & wrapping paper.

As I packed up all of the wrapping supplies, I noticed that we had every color of the rainbow in tissue paper. I'd like to think that it is just because of general accumulation over the past few years from Christmas & birthdays, but it could be that I bought a bunch when we overhauled the gift wrap section of Sterling Hallmark in 2003 and I still haven't used it all.

I was in need of a craft for the Dandelion's playgroup and figured there had to be something I could do with a bunch of crinkled tissue paper. I pulled an idea from the Siblings Busy Book and gathered the materials for sun catchers. In the end, some unexpected snow came our way and we skipped playgroup. Hopefully I will still get to do my craft at the end of the session, but for my sanity's sake the kids did it this afternoon.

The Tumbleweed arranged her pieces of tissue paper neatly into a rainbow, but the Dandelion had a very different technique and a much shorter attention span. But I think he was much prouder of his finished project.

Supplies - Tissue paper, contact paper (you can find it at Staples, with the book covers), scissors (to cut it into a shape after), a hole punch and ribbon to hang with.

Mom prep - about 10 minutes of cutting up tissue paper
(not counting the trip to Staples)
Dandelion (age 2.5) - 1 minute of haphazard dumping
Tumbleweed (age 4.5) - 15 minutes of careful selection


Do you ever feel like some days are more aggravating than others? Why is it that the day the kids decide to act up is also the day that it is too snowy to drive to playgroup and the day that their favorite DVD doesn't work?

I suppose it is that "When it rains, it pours" theory.

I am having one of those days. Things looked pretty good this morning - I got the craft prepared for our afternoon playgroup, gathered the books to return to the library, took meat out to thaw for dinner, all while a light snow started to fall. We went to pick up contact paper on our way to the library - an exercise in patience itself - and the kids had a good time. We headed home for lunch, amidst increasing snow. We were on our road before it became clear that the conditions were declining. After barely making the turn into our driveway, I was pretty sure that we were not going back out unless the roads were treated.

That was a difficult announcement to make. The Tumbleweed was super excited to be able to attend her brother's playgroup, as today is a teacher work-day at her school. She was even more excited when she saw the craft I planned. There were tears. She even offered to go "shovel the road or use salt". But it wasn't meant to be.

Things went down hill from there... The Tumbleweed closed her little brother's hand in her bedroom door, he's crying. Then she is crying because I am putting ice on it and won't let her kiss it right away. She stomps off to her room with her library books, swings the bag onto her bed and the books fall out onto her foot, she's crying again.

And it has only been 30 minutes since we were supposed to be at playgroup. Ack - two kids just went by with towels! Crossing my fingers for a good naptime.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fostering Independence

As the Tumbleweed approaches her 5th birthday, I have decided she needs to do more for herself. She is often capable of doing more than she does, and sometimes giving up before she tries. Counter that with the times she insists she can do something without help that she can't, and gets mad when she can't do it. So I devised a new plan...

I purchased a pack of poker chips in the Target $1 section. I put 10 chips in two plastic bags - one for me and one for her. Every time she does something to help me, I "pay" her a chip. Every time I help her with something, she "pays" me a chip. And even though the goal is to keep your chips, it is okay to ask for help with something when you need it because you can always help the other person to get the chip back. At the end of each day, the person with the most chips gets a nickel. (I chose a nickel because she is working on counting by 5s).

After about 2 weeks, it is going pretty well. She is back to zipping her own coat and tying her own shoes (which she has been able to do since August, but after the novelty wore off she just decided to walk around with untied sneakers). She has stopped asking for "assistance" in the bathroom (although we are going through more toilet paper now) and has been getting dressed in the morning before I even get out of bed. And she has even been looking for jobs around the house "to help" - cleaning up, swiffering, etc.

All told it has cost me 50¢ (we have had 2 times that Mommy has had more chips). We still need to work on the value of money a little more, because she thinks that she is rich :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Decision Time, Again

When you have preschool aged children the months of January & February are spent planning for school in the fall. Is my child happy at their current school? Is the school that my oldest liked going to be good for my youngest? How many days should we send them? Morning or afternoon? and so on.

It has been two years since the Tumbleweed first started preschool. She attended one school, that we really liked, for the first year and a half. This year she is attending a different school, which she also really likes. So despite having been through the decision-making process before, we still have some decisions to make about where to send the Dandelion.

On Thursday we did a short tour of one of the classrooms at the Tumbleweed's first school. He had a cute little conversation with the director in the office, asking her if he could bring his cars to school. After we explained that he couldn't do that, he gleefully said he would bring his Cars school bag. She asked him what he wanted to do at school, and he said "computer".

The Dandelion was so excited to play in the classroom. He headed straight for the computer, which wasn't on, but he played with the keyboard for several minutes before checking out some other areas in the classroom. Oddly, the next thing he stopped at was the painting easel. He has never had as much interest in art projects as his sister, but on this day he stopped and picked up both brushes and painted with both hands. This reminded me so much of the Tumbleweed, who spent her first 5 months of preschool there painting numerous paintings every day. The Dandelion seemed very comfortable there.

We have still have some deciding to do, but whatever we decide it is hard to believe that I will have a couple mornings with 2 kids in school this fall.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

In the Gym

This week the Dandelion started his new gymnastics class. He has been begging to go in the gym since the gym show in June, but due to the Tumbleweed's practice times (afterschool, when there is no Parent/Child class) we have not been able to fit a class in. But now that he is 2.5 he can move into the "Parent & Tot" level, which has a class in the afternoon while the Tumbleweed is in school. He was so excited!

He was so excited to go in the pit that he didn't really want to stay with the class during the warm up, but once the warm up was over, he did a great job staying with the class. Such an improvement from all the chasing I had to do last year. He smiled and laughed for most of the class. It was so great to see.

The Tumbleweed is also enjoying gymnastics these days and has made a lot of progress since starting Level 1 this summer. She seems to be a strong vaulter, has good balance on beam (although loses concentration from time to time), and has greatly improved her strength on bars and can do her pullover alone consistently. She loves going and has become good friends with several of the girls. Her favorite part of most practices is the warm-up, because the Levels 1-3 teams all do a plyometrics circuit together and she really enjoys practicing with "the big girls" (I think the oldest is 7 - LOL).

Monte Returns

Yesterday when I picked up the Tumbleweed at school, she had a stow away. Monte Bear, the school's take-home pet, was joining us for the next day. As is usually the case, we were immediately off to an afterschool activity.

We started by playing the NAZ, where Monte got to enjoy "the dark slide", which, by the way, the Dandelion can now climb up to by himself!

Then the Tumbleweed was off to craft time, where they did projects about Martin Luther King, Jr. I didn't hear what Monte said when he first saw pictures of MLK, but when asked who it was a picture of the Tumbleweed answered "Barack Obama" (as did most of the kids there).

After the long afternoon, the kids & Monte put on their pajamas & went to bed. In the morning, I gave the Tumbleweed a paper to draw a picture of herself & Monte and to write what he had done during his visit. Knowing that we were off to a pajama party, under her picture she wrote "I am gowin to a pjama parte" before I came in to help her. I was quite impressed!

The Pajama Party was lots of fun, with several girls from the Tumbleweed's soccer team scurrying around playing fairies & Sleeping Beauty together. I think everyone would have preferred to stay a little longer, but we had to rush off to school so the Tumbleweed & Monte wouldn't be late. Phew!

Here's a flashback to Monte's First Visit

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tooth Tickler

If there is one thing I can't stand about the dentist (and there are many), it is that we have to make appointments 6 months in advance. I hate that. I never know what our schedule is going to be in 6 months. So far we have been to the kids' dentist on the day after my car accident, the morning of a Christmas party, and an hour before heading to Davis Farmland. So when I got the reminder call last week I was not that surprised that I had a conflict with the appointment.

The kids had appointments at the same time as day 2 of my fitness class at the Y. Perfect. If there is one way to get me off a new year's resolution, that would be it. But the Eagle was able to come to my rescue and take the kids to their appointment. Yay!

The report that I got was that the kids did great - with only a few tears from the Dandelion at the very end as they got to his emerging molars (much better than the last time when he clamped his mouth shut). Both kids got good comments from the dentist and came home very excited about their new Dora & Diego toothbrushes, which the Dandelion says was "from the tooth tickler". And I came home exhausted & sore from my workout. Not bad for a Monday morning.

Note to self - the next appointment is July 15th - try not to have something conflicting that day!

Wii like MOMS Night Out

We all had a blast at MOMS Night Out this month! I hosted a Wii Game Night and through House Party I received two new games for us to try - Your Shape and Just Dance. While most of the moms liked the Your Shape game, we agreed that it probably wasn't really a social game and moved to Just Dance! We had lots of fun. I'd post pictures, but I promised I wouldn't :)

After the party, I found out that two of my friends bought the game Just Dance (one posted here) and one even went and got a Wii! Thanks for coming everyone! It was a fun night all around - and I kind of like having a bunch of the furniture cleared out of the family room.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ice Time

The Tumbleweed has been asking for quite a while now if she could take ice skating lessons so, with the Winter Olympics approaching, we signed the kids up for skating lessons. Both kids were very excited and could hardly stop talking about going. It was practically torture to have to wait until after lunch to leave for the rink.

We made it to the rink and it was clear that we were not the only ones who had this idea. There were over 100 people in various groups of skating lessons at the same time. We managed to get the kids ready amidst the chaos and got them out on the ice with their groups - the Dandelion with the Pre-tots (Green) and the Tumbleweed with the Tot 1 (Orange).

They both did really well. The Tumbleweed took the lead in her group after a short time, staying right near the teacher eagerly obeying. Although most of the movements were basic forward steps, I saw her manage to turn in a circle a couple times while she was waiting for the other kids to catch up. She looked like she was having a blast the whole time. I didn't see her fall, but I also had my eyes & camera on another group as well :)

The Dandelion was the smallest of the youngest group (and probably the youngest, considering he just barely made the age cut-off). His group all started by sitting on the ice, and trying to stand up. He did that like a champ and found himself standing on the ice with no idea what to do in a matter of seconds. He managed a couple of steps before being taken down by another kid trying not to fall. He was not too happy about that! Through out the lesson he was up & down several more times and managed to go about 4 feet without assistance. He was definitely done after 20 minutes - which worked out well because the lesson was 20 minutes with 10 minutes of free skating after.

The Tumbleweed wanted to keep skating so the Eagle put some skates on for the public skating session after the lesson. They went around numerous times, and even took the Dandelion out for a bit, but we only stayed for about a half hour.

Skating took a lot out of the kids, as they both fell asleep in the car on the way home. I think that was my favorite part :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Big Boy Things

Two-and-a-half has been a major milestone for the Dandelion. In the past month we have packed up a lot of "baby things"...

The first to go up to the attic was the high chair. This took a little adjusting because there was nothing stopping the Dandelion from getting up from the table, but after a few weeks he has gotten pretty good at saying "May I pweeze be excused."

In preparation for Christmas, we also removed a lot of the baby toys from the family room. Packed away are the Roll-a-rounds, Peek-a-blocks, and several other favorites. In their places are new things, including Imaginext toys, Lincoln logs and lots of things with wheels.

Then it was time for the major transition. Just before New Year's, we packed up the crib, crib bedding, receiving blankets and baby towels, to make room for the Dandelion's Big Boy Bed. Grandma & Grandpa came to visit, bringing a specially designed and built "Lightning McQueen Bed".

The Dandelion was very excited about his new bed. I think Grandpa was excited to see the reaction to his handiwork.

So, it has been about a week with no crib, and overall, the Dandelion has done quite well. He hasn't been up in the middle of the night since the first night, and has even slept past 7 am several times. He hardly ever did that in the crib. Naps have been a little harder than bedtime, but that isn't really a change - he never really liked going for a nap.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Little Scientists

The Tumbleweed has been very into science lately, from weather to animals to structures she loves it all. After seeing how much she enjoyed talking about the weather at the beginning of the school year, I have been taking her to Messy Fingers at the Millbury Library and even an 8-week Science class at the Y.

I recently found out that there is also a "Budding Scientists" class at the Worcester Ecotarium for 4-6 year-olds on the first Thursday of each month. So this morning we headed to the Ecotarium for the morning - and were able to use our First Night Buttons for free admission! The class was great. The did a short discussion about "States of Matter" followed by an experiment to see how to melt a block of ice the fastest. The Tumbleweed was in her element because she had recently learned about liquids at Messy Fingers and the Water Cycle at the Y science class so she was able to chime right in with some answers. She was also quite happy to report that her ice had melted the fastest (she had been assigned salt to pour on it).

When the little class was over the kids were unleashed into the Ecotarium, and they didn't have to go far to see the resident Macaw out with a scientist answering questions. Then it was off to an air tube where both kids enjoyed watching things fly up and out the top. I thought they would never leave it.

They moved only a short distance before finding the perfect replacement for our TV:

They stood and watched the balls move through the structure for a good 20+ minutes, and even went back later. While we were there, I even got to meet the President of the Ecotarium, as he came over and introduced himself and said he was glad the kids were enjoying it so much. That was very true, as I think we are going to attempt to build our own "ball maze" at home (although probably not quite so fancy).

Finally we moved to a different floor and the kids got to race some cars. I think the Tumbleweed had an advantage because she figured out that the round wheel was the fastest, and the Dandelion just wanted his favorite shape - the octagon.

We had to leave before lunch and get the Tumbleweed to school, but now that the Dandelion is old enough to enjoy what is going on I think we will go back again soon. I will, however, have to better discuss the rules about leaving my sight, as there were several times that the Tumbleweed disappeared on me and since I had the Dandelion out of the stroller that meant I was chasing two kids. Thankfully, the Ecotarium was quite empty this morning so they were easy to find. Why don't mothers have 8 arms or eyes in the back of their head? Or children that listen the first time?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Entering the 21st Century?

Sort of.

I am finally bringing my music into the modern era and loading my old CDs onto an ipod. I guess this is something I need to do before my kids figure out that I am "old" and still own, and listen to, cassette tapes & CDs (nevermind the HUNDREDS of hours of VHS tapes stored in my house). Although converting it to MP3 format doesn't actually make the music newer...LOL.

Anyway, the trip down memory lane that my music collection takes me on is an interesting one. No, I don't actually have the first CD I ever owned (Sinead O'Connor - yikes), but I do have an interesting collection of soundtracks, showtunes, and "best of" albums. However, my favorites to find (playing right now as it loads) are the Twister score (my college floor music), Yanni - Live at the Acropolis and other potential floor music from a different time in my life. I feel younger just listening to them - and a tad bit nervous, as I used to listen to them before competition.

But then I am brought back to the reality that most of the music I have loaded into iTunes so far is "kid music", because that is probably what I will be listening to anyway...

Backyardigans Born to Play
Here Come the ABCs - They Might Be Giants
Here Comes Science - They Might Be Giants
Jump & Jive with Hi-5 – Hi-5
Yankee Doodle Mickey

And perhaps there is hope that the kids will grow to like the Monkees, the Beach Boys, Madonna, and even The Sting soundtrack (Scott Joplin's The Entertainer), if I squeeze them in from time to time - or hit "shuffle". And I suppose I will grow to like Hannah Montana. It isn't that different from Debbie Gibson, right?

On second thought, maybe it would be better if they learned about music from their dad.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Accomplish It 2010

Another year begins and New Year's resolutions are everywhere. For years I have sat down the first weekend of the month and made my "Ultimate To Do List" for the year. As I look back on past years lists it is interesting to see how some things seem to be on the list every year and some things are not, either because they were accomplished or priorities have changed.

A couple of big ones on the 2009 list that I accomplished were...

~make time to exercise on a regular basis (I must say I lapsed on this one around Sept, but I did lose 15 lbs this year)
~teach scrapbooking classes
~live more "green" - planted a garden, joined a CSA, went to the farmer's market
~go on a vacation without kids

A couple that will go back on the list in 2010...

~organize papers, mail, filing, etc better
~use internet banking more
~get more rest
~send Christmas cards out on time

Even though my 2009 list was a mile long and no where close to everything was completed (some not even attempted), I do like to look back at it. It helps define who I was at the time that I wrote it. It also motivates me to do more in 2010, which is why I have decided that my motto for this year is "Accomplish it".

I plan to work hard this year to accomplish the things that I have been meaning to for years, the new things that I want to try this year, and all the things that I haven't even thought of yet that come up through out the year. From the little things, like getting out the door smoothly in the morning, to the bigger things, like organizing the basement.

Off to make my 2010 list!

Friday, January 1, 2010

First Night 2010

This year we had the opportunity to take the family to First Night Worcester 2010. I had seen in the paper that they had events starting at 4:00pm and "family-friendly" fireworks at 6:30pm! I was even able to get free buttons (tickets) from the BayState Parent magazine for the adults (kids under 10 are free) - thanks BayState Parent!

We grabbed out warm clothes and headed to Worcester. We were able to park for free at the Worcester Art Museum - which was exactly where we wanted to be for all of our activities. We started out at the Chinese Yo-yo presentation, which was hard for the Dandelion to sit through, but the Tumbleweed loved it. At the end she got to try out the yo-yos herself - which she was thrilled about (and took getting the yo-yo to work very seriously).

After that we headed over to the Worcester Art Museum which was hosting several events that we wanted to attend, but with limited time we had to choose only a couple. Since the Tumbleweed has shown a lot of interest in The Nutcracker this year, we opted for the Worcester Ballet Arts performance. It was very good. The Tumbleweed paid attention the whole time - even chair dancing with cute little hand-twinkling to the music (I guess you had to be there).

Once the performance was over, we went to find the craft rooms to make celebration hats. By this time the Dandelion was pretty tired, so only the Tumbleweed made one and we skipped the second craft despite the fact that the Tumbleweed would have loved to make a star-catcher. There was still a line at the star gazing telescope so we skipped that too. I was a little sad about that because I would have loved to hear the Tumbleweed say the entire "Star light, star bright" poem like she has been doing lately as she looks up into the night sky.

We were off to parade through the streets of Worcester behind a police car which both kids thought was very cool. We walked a few blocks to the Worcester Memorial Auditorium where the kids "made their own fireworks" [aka - stomped on bubble wrap] and watched the early fireworks display in the sky. Both kids were very excited to see the fireworks.

After the fireworks we decided to head home - although I would have loved to go see the trampoline and juggling acts that were taking place later into the evening. Maybe next year :) I think we did pretty well this year considering how little the kids are - and we did manage without the stroller (with 4 adults - meaning that maybe if I was an octopus we could do that on a regular basis...LOL)