14 March 2014

Class Birthday Treats & Long Walks

Two quick things to share today. First, wanted to share this year's class birthday treat. The Bug and I talked a good bit about what our treat would be this year. The school has a no birthday cakes policy, which I think is based on the mess, time it takes to serve a cake, class disruption, etc. So most people bring cupcakes, which is probably only slightly less messy. The Bug said the kids seem a little tired of cupcakes.

Last year after talking with her teacher I felt like I needed to do something that didn't require a special trip to the school to deliver it, something she could just take in a small bag with her in the morning. I also wanted it to be something that could be easily handed out without a lot of class disruption and didn't make a big mess. So I decided to make chocolate dipped pretzels and put them in a little bag with a cute tag so if the teacher wanted to hand them out and have the kids take them home or eat them outside they easily could. Here's a peek.

This year again the teacher reminded The Bug about the "No Cake" rule. We were already aware and I had been thinking about doing the same bag idea to minimize mess and perhaps this time use a big cookie, brownie or a few of her favorite candies. Things took a turn for the insane when The Bug said she didn't think chocolate was a good idea because there are kids in her class who don't like chocolate. (What kind of kids are these? Don't like chocolate??? I'm not really sure I want her associating with people like that? Haha, I kid!)

The Bug loves gummi candies so we decided to go with that. We found large bags of gummi bears at Target. Two three pound bags, which cost about sixteen dollars total gave us enough for 30 small bags with some probably just shy of a pound left over. I figured cost-wise this was about half what I spent last year on chocolate covered pretzels -- and a lot less work too. We used paper we already had on hand for the tags and we had plenty of bags left over from last year.

We used a small measuring cup to get even servings in each bag. Then The Bug and I worked together to chose colors and make the tags. Once she was in bed I finished up the tags and put the bags together. Easy breezy while watching Parenthood. I hope they're a hit with the kiddos. Can't go wrong with gummis -- although I'll never understand that. They taste like water and paste to me.

The other thing I wanted to share today was a little lesson I learned yesterday. Because my car is still in the shop, we took a cab to an appointment because we only have 15 minutes between the end of the school day and the appointment time. I though it would be great to walk home since we had the time afterwards.

We stopped and got an ice cream cone, popped in at Target to get the candy  - and picked up a few birthday goodies too and then headed home. We walked across a university campus, past a national cemetery, through a federal building complex, across a park, through a baseball complex and then a few short blocks home. There was plenty to do along the way and I learned a fun lesson.

It's good to take long walks with your kids. You come upon fun things to do, you have a lot of different conversations and have time uninterrupted. We had some great talks, lots of laughs, good hugs and time walking arm in arm. For a while we took turns kicking a pine cone down the sidewalk. Even though we were walking in a our own neighborhood down streets we drive all the time, everything looks different from the sidewalk and conversations are different when you are walking than when you're in the car all the time.

Maybe more importantly parents are less distracted when walking without the responsibilities of driving and we can be more present. The Bug and I were both pretty tired from the day by the time we got home and it was a little past dinner time already. Lucky for us The Man was already whipping up grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner which was wonderful - and he makes a killer grilled cheese. A plate of fresh fruit and grilled cheese and we were in heaven.

Things were pretty quiet around here after that. I think we were all tired. The Man was asleep well before eight. The Bug quietly did her homework then helped me make tags for the candy bags for a while. I finished things up while watching TV and at 11 p.m. I seriously thought it must be early morning by then. I think we're still recovering from the time change and our busy days this week. Looking forward to the weekend. Hope it's a great one for you!

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