October 24th, 2006

Reality and Preschoolers

Ariel always makes me laugh. At 4 years of age, the line between reality and fantasy really is thin.

Today she demanded that I pay attention as she watched Leap Frog’s Letter Factory. “See??” she demanded. “THAT’s how you get to the letter factory. You drive straight and then turn and then turn and drive straight.”

Yes, I had a very hard time not laughing.

She’s been after me to take her there, and my excuse has always been that I don’t know how to get to the Letter Factory. She doesn’t buy that I don’t know how to get to the Frogs’ house to start.

We had a little talk about television not being real. She is not ready to believe that yet. It’s sure sweet at times, though. Other times… well, I’ll be glad when she gets it.

[tags]kids,children,family,television,reality,preschoolers,letter factory[/tags]

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

October 4th, 2006

Figuring Out Media Center

I’ve been using Media Center on my computer for some time. I’ve had problems with it here and there, and I definitely think TiVo creams it so far as being user friendly, but it came with my computer, so why complain about what’s so readily available.

I’ve been having trouble downloading the guide for some reason lately. This is supposed to happen automatically, but lately it hasn’t been working. Today it had no data for any channel, and I had noticed the other day that only about 3 days’ worth of data was available. It’s supposed to have about 14 days.

In sheer annoyance, I went in and completely started over on telling it which guide I needed. That did it. Hopefully it will stick, but I have what appears to be the full guide for my channels now, and it’s recording the shows I want again. I don’t think I made any changes, so I don’t know why this should have been any different from telling it before to download the guide. Read the rest of this entry »

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

September 7th, 2006

Getting an Early Start to the Day

We actually got out of the house pretty early today, and it’s not a school day for Ariel.

We decided to head over to the park right after breakfast because it has been so hot lately, but it was so nice and cool outside this morning. I think our timing was perfect. By the time we finished walking back home things were definitely heating up outside.

It’s so nice having a park within walking distance. It takes about 10 minutes to get there, but that’s pretty easy.

Gage is finally getting bold about playgrounds. He used to be afraid of swings, but now he loves them. He was laughing his head off today. He’s still deciding how much he likes slides, but he’s at least willing to go down them on his own.

Summer may be coming to a close, but in my area we can expect warm weather for some time yet. It’s nice getting the occasional cool morning, rather than reaching 90 degrees out before 10 a.m. We’re still reaching that high inside the house many days, but it doesn’t come until the afternoon.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

July 18th, 2006

Summer Vacations on a Budget

We’re getting ready to take our summer vacation soon. It’s in part a celebration of my 5th wedding anniversary, but also because we want to visit family up in Oregon and Washington. It looks to be a great trip, but with money being tight, it’s going to be a bit challenging to not overspend.

We are taking several steps to limit our expenses. Even though gas is expensive, it’s going to be cheaper to drive up than it would be to fly then rent a car. We’ll have some basic snacks and water in the car.

With two small children, there will be a lot of potty breaks. No avoiding that, especially since they’ll also be ways to tire the kids out so they won’t get too cranky in the car.

We are fortunate enough to have relatives live at reasonable stopping points for each leg of the trip. The drive is about 1000 miles, so it would be extremely difficult to do in a single day. However, with relatives in Sacramento, we have a very nice stopping point to get a few hours’ rest out of the car without getting a hotel room.

Visiting family is a great way to make a family vacation inexpensive. With most families it’s lots of fun too. But what if you don’t want to visit family this year? Read the rest of this entry »

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

July 10th, 2006

Summer Night Activities

Summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy the night. Summer nights are generally warm, and it’s just such a relief after the heat of the day to get outside and do something!

Take a look and see if there are any places in your area that have special summer night activities. For example, here in San Diego the zoo and Wild Animal Park are open after dark, so you get to see many of the animals be more active than they are in the heat of the day. Many cities also have summer outdoor concerts in the evenings.

Camp out in your back yard. Many nights it can be more comfortable to sleep outside in the tent than in the house, which is still retaining heat from the day.

Alternatively, try a one night camping trip at a local campground. Roast marshmallows around the campfire, tell stories, and just relax. Don’t forget to leave a little time for a family hike during the day.

Go stargazing. Whether you look at the stars from your own back yard or drive out to someplace a little darker, children love to look at the stars. Try looking at the moon through binoculars if you don’t have a telescope. Get a chart that identifies the constellations. Watch for shooting stars. You could also check with your local planetarium or amateur astronomers’ club for nights that they do stargazing.

You don’t have to go outside to have fun. Stay indoors, open all the windows to let in the breeze, and start making cookies! You can let each child pick a recipe or so, depending on how many cookies you want to make.

[tags]summer,summer nights,activities,family, children,kids,fun[/tags]

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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