Monday, January 17, 2011

Week in Review: Retirement Party, Toys, More Snow

So, not starting off too well on the whole keeping up with the "weekly" part of the week in review thing. But, here it is, nonetheless.

Last weekend was my mom's retirement party, after 28 years of being a librarian. This was in my hometown, in a different state, and unfortunately my husband ended up having to work that weekend, so it was just me and the four-year-old who drove down for it. We had a nice weekend with my sister's family -- there was what seemed like a never-ending parade of little girls through my parents' house, to the extent that they had to be counted every time they went through a path way that someone else was about to step into, lest that someone else collide with one of them -- and the party was nice as well. It will be weird, though, to no longer have my mom working at the library.

Some extended family members attended the party as well, and we went out for dinner at a restaurant locally well known for its potato soup. It's a secret recipe, and it's darned good. Despite the oddity that, when we arrived at my parents' house, they actually had no snow on the ground (a bizarre concept to those of us coming from Minnesota), the weather was predicted quite a bit of snowfall for last Monday in that area, so I ended up coming home earlier than planned -- drove home in the evening after the party, with no stops, as the four-year-old and I had our "highly nutritious" puff corn and M&Ms car snacks for supper. She slept a little bit, but not all the way -- and, after all of the recent driving to and from a different state, I have to say that I am so. done. with the VeggieTales "Incredible Singing Christmas Tree" CD ... at least until next Christmas. Yes, it is cute, and Mr. Lundt's acting like one of the American Idol judges is entertaining. The first 40 or so times, that is ....

While we were at my parents' house, my mom did some mending for my sister and me. (She's a talented seamstress -- and yes, we're spoiled in still bringing our mending home to mom.) One of the tasks from my pile was fixing a rent in my daughter's winter coat, which got covered up with a patch with a horse head on it that my mom found somewhere. Since she had also attached insignias to the older cousins' Girl Scout uniforms, my little one has decided that this horse head is her "badge."

Since I had already taken last Monday off work -- and since I was pretty tired after all that weekend driving -- I took it as a free day, and took the four-year-old to her first movie theater movie, "Tangled," with the mall gift card I'd received from their email list for my birthday. The movie was a good movie, and she was also impressed with the small things about the theater -- like the line of lights along the exit walls, about which she pronounced, "That is so cool!" We also had a nice conversation following the movie about her question "what does 'selfish' mean?"

We ended the week with "Toy Story 3" for our Friday night family movie, which had me paying attention (even more than usual -- I kind of enjoy toys and this topic) to which toys she plays with the most -- which have the most/longest-lasting play value. Right now, that is ponies and Barbies, plus her Dora the Explorer truck (with horse trailer) and Fisher Price Dance n Twirl Palace. She also had a birthday party for one of her baby dolls this week, when I mentioned that it was the birthday of one of her cousins in Iowa -- but that, no, we couldn't go to her house that day.

"Toy Story 3" also prompted the question, "Am I going to college?" I pointed out that there's a need to get through kindergarten through 12th grade first.

Games played last week included LeapFrog Letter Factory (a no-longer-manufactured game we're borrowing from a relative), a couple of rounds of Gator Golf, checkers, and Richard Scarry's Busytown Eye Found It.

There was also some creativity with a finger loom that was a late Christmas present from my aunt, and, as I was immersed in paperwork -- trying to find receipts and documentation for the remaining monies in 2010 FSA's, for one thing -- she entertained herself nicely with Play-Doh® (out of which she built a "volcano" erupting down the sides of a Play-Doh can), stamping sets and paints. She also dug out all of the books from her book bin and "read" them (she has large portions memorized) to her stuffed animals.

Our library books this week were about familiar characters, in newfangled books (in general, I'm not really a fan of newer authors writing in a kid's series after the author has passed away -- even if they are related): Olivia Acts Out by Jodie Shepherd and Madeline and the Cats of Rome by John Bemelmans Marciano. Plus, Someone Walks By: The Wonders of Winter Wildlife by Polly Carlson-Voiles. That's my favorite of the bunch, and it gets requested for "story!" fairly often - she likes to find the animals amongst all the snow in the pictures, and check out what they're doing.

We finally got around to doing an "animal helping" project by putting together the pinecone and birdseed kit received for Christmas from the teacher relative (she passed it on, since she wasn't going to do it). It's hanging on the tree in our front yard -- but I don't think there have actually been many nibbles on the peanut butter or birdseed yet.

That project occurred during one of the times we were outside shoveling, which also led to a request to dig out the sand buckets and shovels -- and to playing "ice cream shop" in the snow. We have certainly been having enough of the white stuff -- it seems like almost every other day. The four-year-old has a 2011 Dora the Explorer calendar, which came with stickers, including some for tracking the weather. She gets so excited every time she spots it snowing, and runs to put a sticker on the date -- and she's almost out of them already. I think we have some snowflakes as part of other sticker sets around here, and I'm thinking I need to find them.

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