Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Frank and Honest Discussion About Story Land

 ex·pert[n., v. ek-spurt; adj. ek-spurt, ik-spurt]

1.  a person who has special skill or knowledge in some particular field; specialist; authority:

Zoe,who is four, is an expert on many things.  Dinosaurs, The Three Pigs, travel to New York, sloths, how to care for box turtles, the blue morpho butterfly, painting, and the magical properties of unicorns, just to name a few.  She can tell you everything there is to know about these things, and will if she is in the mood.  Given that this is her third continuous summer as a Story Land season pass holder, I am pretty sure that she also qualifies as a Story Land expert.  I decided to sit down with her for an in depth interview about the best and worst of Story Land...from a four year old point of view.

For those of you who don't know, Story Land is an fantastic Amusement Park located in Glen, NH, targeted at children ages 2-12.  For a young child, Story Land is pure magic.

So here it is...the interview.

Me- What is the best part of Story Land?
Z- The Polar Coaster.
Me- Why?
Z- Because it's really fast, just like me!

Me- What's another fun one?
Z- The Whirling Whales.
Me- Why?
Z- It whirls and whirls and whirls a lot of times!

There are rides for all ages and stages.  When I take both kids, both Zoe and Sam (18 months) we have a blast visiting Butterfly Island, visiting Cinderella, riding the carousel, driving the tractors and watching Farm Follies.  When we go as a family, an adult for each child, Sam and I hang out in the sprayground while Zoe and her Dad ride the Polar Coaster and the Bamboo Chutes over and over and over.

Me-What don't you like?
Z- The Turtles, they're too fast.  They make me scared.

I know plenty of kids that love the Turtles, but my speed loving daughter doesn't.  I guess I put this in as a reminder that our kids are quirky, and unique.  I know that whenever I take my kids to a park, especially when I have paid for a day, I have an image in my head of how that day is going to go.  As clear as my image is, if I push my kids too hard, or push them in a direction that belongs to me rather than them, I risk the day ending in tears.  A happy day at Story Land is a child led day.  If that means you skipped the Turtles, or spent 45 minutes in the sandbox, or went on the Whirling Whales so many times your head is still spinning, so be it.  Story Land is geared toward kids.  Let them lead the way and your day will be one for the scrapbook!

Me-What should you bring to eat?


Me-What should you bring to drink?
Z-Juice, Lemonade, Milk, Water

Well, she's right about this one.  Story Land is big for your little one.  It takes a lot of energy to make it through the day.  A fed and hydrated child makes for a happy mom or dad.  Story Land has great cubbies for your cooler, but also has very reasonable rates for food and drinks.  There's also the big lion water fountain which my child, at least, would choose over almost any other drink!

Me-Who do you think would like to go to Story Land?
Z-Me, Sam, Daddy, and You

Right on Zoe.  Great for families, great for friends, great for everyone!  Have a great time...we'll probably see you there!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Phenomenal Woman

Five more hours and I am on vacation...sort of.

I took my kiddos (school kiddos, not my own personal ones) on a second to last day Field Trip to beautiful Echo Lake with a side trip to one of my favorite places on the planet, The White Mountain Cupcakery.  As I wrangled the children into a semi-organized group, a parent quietly remarked "Wow, your job is hard."

"Not really," I replied.

But when I add it all together, she's right.  Being a teacher is hard.  Being a mom is hard.  Doing both at the same time is really hard.  Wonderful, amazing, inspiring.  But no doubt about it...hard!

So here is a poem for me today.  And for all of you who Mom out there.  And work.  And do both.  Although we may not feel it very often, what we do is phenomenal.  We are phenomenal.  And we need to remind ourselves of that every once in a while.

I am half on vacation after five more hours of work.  I won't be all the way on vacation for at least seventeen more years, but I wouldn't change it for the world!

by Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me. 
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing of my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can't see.
I say
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me. 
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me. 

from And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

App of the Week: Scary Mommy Confessional

***All iPod touch, iPad and iPhone app reviews on this site are ones that I use with my own children or to integrate technology into my classroom. The apps I recommend are all available at the app store, are high quality and very useful from an educational and a parenting point of view.  When you buy through this site you can feel good knowing you are supporting your local blogger!***

Well, the headliner above isn't exactly true this week.  I don't use this with my children.  This is not for my classroom.  This is not at all useful from an educational point of view.  As far as parenting...very useful.  For your sanity, that is.

Scary Mommy Confessional is like Facebook.  Except anonymous.  It's funny.  And sad.  And mean.  And strangely comforting.  It's all the things you want to say on Facebook, but don't.  It's all those things that you were afraid you were the only one feeling.  Or doing.  You can "like", "hug" or OMG, me too!"  It's the answer to your Mommy angst!