Let’s go to Pretend City

Grandma Kc wrote this on September 26th, 2010 9 Replies

If I ask Amara what she wants to do tomorrow you can almost be sure the answer will be “Go to Pretend City”! So we had made plans to meet Celia and Miss Monique there this weekend. Pretend City is an amazing kids’ museum, rated the 2010 Editors Choice award by Orange County Parenting. Here kids can pretend to be anything they want from an artist to a farmer! All this pretending is even more fun when you have a friend there to share it with and Grandma Kc was glad to have someone to share it with, too.

Our visit started with a stop in the Art Studio where the girls got to be creative. They have a glass wall where they can paint anything they want, and then wash it off and start over again. The child-height craft tables are loaded down with everything you could need to create a masterpiece — glue, buttons, colored pop cycle sticks, gold and silver beads — the girls were inspired! There were even mannequin heads with some kind of sticky little beads that you could use to create hats and hair and even earrings!Amara gave the mannequin a hat to wear.

Our next stop was the grocery store complete with shopping carts and every imaginable plastic food. Celia played the checker and operated the cash register while Amara went running around the store filling her basket with fruits, vegetables, 2 kinds of cheese and 3 pieces of cake! Celia rang it up and gave her back her change.Amara and Celia play at Ralph's Market

One of Amara’s favorite areas is the Amphitheater. She loves to perform! There is a huge stage with colored lighting, music, lots of costumes and even a soundboard (which always makes me think of Heather). The girls picked out their own costumes and danced for us. They were in their glory! Amara had informed me when I picked her up that she was wearing a tank top because it would make it easy to put on the costumes!Amara and Celia at the Amphitheater

Later the staff used the stage to gather the kids for story time. One of the great things about Pretend City is that they have different activities every time you go. This weekend popcorn was the theme and the story was about a popcorn machine that went crazy and filled the town with popcorn! Next up, the popcorn hat races! The staff tied little paper plates on the kids’ heads and then put a handful of popcorn on top. Everyone got a prize and Amara was so glad they did that – everyone was a winner!Amara and Celia had paper plate hats topped with popcorn

The girls spent a lot of time playing in the area called "Our Home". Everything in the Home is kid-sized. There is a kitchen, 2 bedrooms and a living room with a TV. The attention to the details really lets the kids stretch their imaginations. The bedrooms have closets with shoes and clothes to wear and a kid-sized bed to lie down on — which they did. The kitchen is complete with a frig, stove and cupboards with foods and pots and pans, all of them at kids-height.Amara stretches out on the bed.

They pressed all of the buttons in the 911 station.The girls played in the emergency booth.

The Restaurant is another favorite place and Celia kept bringing us plates loaded with Mexican Food! Amara was quick to grab the mop and start cleaning the kitchen. She looked so cute in her Chef’s Hat!Amara is ready to cook up lunch for us.

Pretend City also has a farm where the girls were able to dig up carrots, pick apples, lettuce and lots of strawberries. They filled the produce truck and when it over-flowed they replanted everything and started the harvest all over. Celia found this cowgirl costume and looked right at home.Celia looked so cute in her cowgirl costume.

Our last stop was the post office where we got postcards to take home and mail. Celia looked so cute in her postal inspector’s hat. It was a wonderful time. I don’t think we made it out of the parking lot before Amara asked “When can we come back, Grandma?”Amara and Celia putting stamps on the mail.

This post has been linked to Say it Saturday at Family Home and Life.

Giving Life to a Scarecrow

Grandma Kc wrote this on September 11th, 2010 11 Replies

Friday was an amazing day! Jenna and I got to spend time in Amara’s first grade classroom helping with a scarecrow as part of their fall project. 3 generations of us girls all in the same classroom. Did I mention it was wonderful? Amara’s teacher had asked for volunteers and there were 6 of us, including 2 other Grandmas. We were to be at the classroom at 9:30. None of us knew what the project was so I didn’t take my camera with me. Neither Jenna nor I wanted to be a distraction to the students by bringing cameras. That was a mistake.

When we arrived, the students were sitting on the floor in front of their teacher for reading time. It was an amazing sight to see. They were all listening attentively to the story. When the story was over the teacher challenged them to see whether the boys or the girls could be the quietest in returning to their seats. They were so quiet and respectful. So different from the crazy behavior you see on the playground. We watched as each child tried to be quieter than the next child.

It was a tie!

Amara’s teacher then told the students that we were going to split up into groups and “stuff the scarecrow”. There were five groups. First up was the pants group. Then the shirt group — that was us! There was a socks group, a shoe group and a gloves group. Our group consisted of Amara and 5 other wonderful little girls. There are 24 students in her class. There are only 8 boys! Our team informed us that “girls rule and boys drool”. They were happy to be an all girl group.

Their classroom is right next to the playground and the outdoor lunch tables so we took the project outside. We started at one end of our team; each girl would stuff 2 handfuls of shredded paper into the shirt, sleeves first, and then pass it down! They didn’t squabble. They were too busy having fun. The weather outside was the perfect fall day, 72 degrees with a light breeze. It is one of those memories that will stay with me forever.

We quickly ran out of shredded paper so we had to start shredding our own. The girls had more fun shredding than they did stuffing!

Musical NoteI like to shred it shred it
I like to shred it shred it
You like to shred it shred it
Shred it!

Once all of the pieces were stuffed, their teacher took them off for recess and the volunteers stayed behind to create the head — face courtesy of Jenna — and to assemble him! The teacher had created a corner in the classroom and left a chair there for us to seat him on.

Mr. Scarecrow relaxing in the 1st grade

I would have loved to have seen their faces when they returned to the class. According to Amara — “We loved it Grandma!”

This post has been linked to Say it Saturday at Family Home and Life.

Concert in the Park

Grandma Kc wrote this on September 7th, 2010 15 Replies

Last weekend Amara and I had a wonderful adventure together, just the two of us. We went to a Concert in the Park. One of the wonderful things about living in Southern California is all of the wonderful parks. Amara and I have been to many parks together and while this park was close it wasn’t one I was familiar with. Grandma’s House of Hope, which is a wonderful local charity, was presenting the concert and the admission fee was food. They suggested you bring a case of Top Ramen or Cup of Noodles or plastic jars of peanut butter and jelly. Amara absolutely loves Kraft Macaroni and Cheese so I got her a case of that to donate. She loved the idea. I got a case of top ramen as my donation.

As we headed for the park, I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know where we should park. As we got closer, I saw some families coming out of a church parking lot and figured it would make a great parking place, it did. We got out of the car and I could just barely hear music in the distance. Amara couldn’t hear it yet. And they said 60s music was going to make us deaf! But as we walked down the hill toward the park, she heard the music. “It’s getting louder, Grandma.” She looked up at me with such glee! Her feet started to twitch. This was going to be awesome! “Grandma, can I run?” Did I mention that we’d had the talk before setting out on this adventure? You have to hold Grandma’s hand. If you’re doing something else, that you have permission to do, you must always be able to see Grandma and she must be able to see you. No wandering off! So I let her run but only a little ways in front! She kept turning around and looking at me with that wonderful grin.

A wonderful band was playing but we were loaded down with our admission fee and wanted to find where to drop it off. We found the Grandma’s House booth and got a ticket for a balloon in exchange for our food. We decided not to get our balloon until we were ready to leave which ended up being a great idea.

We started going to each of the booths when Amara noticed a conga line and those feet started twitching again. I told her she could go get on the end of the line but just then, the music stopped. You could see her disappointment but it really didn’t last for long. The band had taken a break but some girl was playing music through the PA system and before long, she had a bunch of kids up there dancing. One of the girls gave Amara a gold necklace. She had so much fun! Next time Grandma won’t take her purse and she will get to dance, too! Couldn’t dance AND I didn’t take my camera!

When they finally took a break from their dancing, we went and explored the other booths. First stop was for a big bottle of water! She was hot from all of that dancing. We then spent time at the Boy Scouts booth making a sugar straw for Daddy. It was almost 1 1/2 feet long and she filled it with layers of flavored sugar. Her Daddy loves sour so his was almost all sour flavors. She had so much fun she wanted to make one for herself. I was a wise Grandma and let her get one but told her she couldn’t eat it until she went home.

Our next stop was the Girl Scouts where she made a present for her friend that is moving away out of yarn and Popsicle sticks. We also got tattoos! Mine didn’t come off for 3 days and I didn’t even care. Every time I looked down at the peace sign on my wrist, I went back to the park and it made me smile.

She hula hooped. She colored pictures of owls for her Mommy. She bought a necklace from the Grandmas. And Grandma got to watch it all, it was wonderful. She didn’t get her face painted, it looked cool but the line was just too long. So she danced. And she danced. She finally agreed to go home, mostly because she wanted to see Grandpa and tell him all about the fun she had. We had a quick dinner and then it was off to bed. And boy did she sleep!

About Grandma’s House of Hope — before going to this event I wasn’t familiar with their work. I was truly shocked to see how many kids rely on school breakfast and lunch programs and who go without food over the weekend. Take a moment to look at their site, and if you can help, I hope you will.

UPDATE: Amara and I went to the Concert again the next year. You can read all about it and this time see pictures!

This post has been linked to the GRAND Social blogging event at Grandmas Briefs.

Amara’s first day of 1st Grade

Grandma Kc wrote this on August 31st, 2010 8 Replies

How exciting! Yesterday I got to go with Amara and her Mommy to the first day of 1st grade. We were 3 generations of excitement! These are the magical moments that make up being a Grandma!

I got to Amara’s house a little bit early and Mommy was still combing the tangles out of that long blond hair. There is a story behind school, Mommy and long hair but I’m saving that for another day. Amara looked so cute and Mommy let her pick out which new headband to wear. This is to keep Amara’s hair out of her eyes when she studies. Amara looked beautiful. Mommy and Grandma looked a bit sad. Amara is growing up.

The 3 of us walked to school. We’ve been having some heat but the morning was perfect and we ran into other students she knew along the way. As we got closer to the school she saw more and more friends, some that she hadn’t seen since school got out, some that she hadn’t seen since pre-school. She saw her principal and we went in search of her classroom. The door was decorated with apples with each of the students’ names on them.

And then she got to meet her new teacher who was only a little taller than Amara! Amara had picked out a special red apple to take to her new teacher, her teacher was thrilled. She gave Amara a big hug and kissed her on the top of the head. Amara was thrilled.

Amara modeling her dress for 1st day of school

It is going to be a wonderful year!

Amara starts 1st Grade

Grandma Kc wrote this on August 28th, 2010 4 Replies

It’s hard to believe that Amara will be starting 1st grade on Monday. 1st grade! How did we get here so quickly. I was reading Grandma Shelley’s blog the other day and she was talking about the many first we grandparents get to experience.

A couple of years ago I was taking a HTML class at LVS I created this web page. It is all about Life as a Grandma and the things you can’t possibly understand until you actually are one. It’s funny to look at this page I did 2 years ago and to think of all of the things that can now be checked off the list and to think about the things we never even thought to put on the Grandma Experiences List.

Amara started Kindergarten 2009

  • She has finished preschool
  • She has started and finished Kindergarten
  • She has now lost 4 teeth
  • She now wears glasses
  • She tries new food — this one is huge
  • She takes swimming lessons
  • She goes to art classes
  • She has an amazing group of friends

Amara's First Day of First Grade

I can’t wait to for all of the wonderful adventures having a Granddaughter in the 1st grade will bring.

This post has been linked to the GRAND Social blogging event at Grandmas Briefs.

The Amara Fashion Show

Grandma Kc wrote this on August 23rd, 2010 6 Replies

Amara has started to outgrow all of her Disney Princess costumes and she has now started to focus more on the Barbie Princesses and their costumes — beautiful, fancy dresses that are more grownup and fashionable. So a couple of weeks ago Amara, her Mommy and I went to The Goodwill and picked out 3 fabulous dresses that she could keep at Grandma’s house for playing dress up. This weekend she put on a wonderful Fashion Show for Grandpa – aka the Paparazzi. I was the announcer and Grandpa and the bears were her audience. When Mommy and Daddy brought her over I had her gowns all laid out for her complete with 2 new Barbie Fashion Tale Books! She was thrilled!

The Fashion Show was planned for Sunday morning. This gave us plenty of time for a bubble bath and to wash and dry her hair. She brought her makeup with her and she looked so grown up! Her audience was very patient with us as we had to take a brief intermission between each gown to get changed. We had a blast!

Three Gowns and 2 Barbie Books

Three Gowns and 2 Barbie Books

Amara models her 1st gown.

Amara models her 1st gown.

Grandma pointing out the Pivot Spot!

Grandma pointing out the Pivot Spot!

Strutting her Stuff!

Strutting her Stuff!

Posing for the Paparazzi

Posing for the Paparazzi

Posing

Posing

Modeling the Bridal Gown

Modeling the Bridal Gown

I'm not sure why we are playing a flute.

I'm not sure why we are playing a flute.

Showing off the back of our gown.

Showing off the back of our gown.

Smile for the Camera!

Smile for the Camera!

Princess Daffodil

Princess Daffodil

Dancing with the Dancing Frog

Dancing with the Dancing Frog

They are both wearing yellow

They are both wearing yellow

Flowers for the Princess

Flowers for the Princess

Very Cute!

Very Cute!

This post has been linked to the GRAND Social blogging event at Grandmas Briefs.