Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Thursday, March 8, 2012



One of the nice features of my pet sitting service, The Whole Pet, is that they leave a little diary entry in a spiral-bound notebook every day after Stella's walk that notes the fun she had at the beach, or forest, or wherever they ventured. A couple of days ago, there was a cryptic message about a camera crew and Stella being quite the charmer. When I glanced at Facebook yesterday, I found the following entry and picture of Stella, her Stella-cam, bandana, and ball:

Friday, March 2, 2012

Preschool acceptance!

CDS LogoI am very happy to report that Jack was accepted to our first choice preschool today - Children's Day School (CDS).

Coincidentally, CDS is conveniently located 2 blocks down the street from our house. It is a private school from preschool through 8th grade which is ideal so we do not have to deal with the admission process all over again for Kindergarten.

Their curriculm is "project based" and a bit progressive. In addition to challenging academics, the school prides itself on equally developing a child's emotional intelligence by encouraging creative exploration and critical thinking, and creating an enduring love of learning. Not happy to just teach at students, they press you to understand the "why". CDS strives for a diverse student body which was important and has an active parent community. There is even a small farm with sheep, snails, chickens and a garden on the premises to teach about sustainability and follows in the footsteps of Alice Waters' "edible schoolyard" project by bringing nature to the middle of the city.

It's been a lengthy nerve-wracking process to get to this point. We previously attended a School Tour to see the school while it was in session and talk with the teachers, and attended an Open House to meet and discuss the program with administrators.  We submitted an application and iterated the essay until it was just right. We brought Jack in for a child evalualtion, and finally had a parent interview a couple of weeks ago.


Beep Beep -- Jack turned 3!

Evite invitation to Jack's birthday party
I would think that understanding the concept of your birthday for the first time can be a bit complex for a three year old. Now complicate that by having five birthday celebrations in two weeks. At this point, I'm not sure that Jack understands he has one birth DAY and not a birth MONTH!

First, on the Friday before his official birthday (on February 19th), his class celebrated with cupcakes and a crown. He received a very cool dinosaur sand toy set where each mold is a different dinosaur skeletal bone like a foot or head or tail.

CLICK HERE for more pictures of Jack and his classmates, and a couple of random pictures from class as well.

Next, Jack had two separate celebrations with his cousins from Sacramento on the following weekend. Jack and Tom met them on Saturday for lunch and then they met again on Sunday with Jack and me. That Sunday we jointly celebrated with two of his cousins who also have February birthdays with lots of food, presents, and cake. Jack seemed to like helping them open their presents as well as his own.

CLICK HERE for more pictures of Jack and family having fun.

Last Friday, we celebrated with my two friends, Linda and Christabel (that's "Auntie C" to Jack), who also have February birthdays. We had dinner, wine, and cake. Each time they come over we have a tradition where they brush Jack's hair while he watches a cartoon. It's a big day for Jack when they come over and he and Stella love the attention. (And frankly, I believe that Linda and Christabel lap up the reciprocal attention that Jack gives them too!)

CLICK HERE for more pictures of Jack celebrating with his Aunties.

On Saturday, we attended a birthday party for a school friend at Pump It Up which is like an indoor jumpy house play space that specializes in birthday parties. It is wildly popular as the Mom in front of me complained that she had to fill out a waiver form yet again even though it was her 20th time there with her kids. It was my first visit and it's interesting how they have it down to a science. You enter into playroom #1, put your presents here and your belongings there on a rolling cart, then jump jump jump around on inflatable slides and jumpy houses. After a half hour, the doors open and you are ushered into playroom #2 while the rolling cart of your belongings follows you in. This room has bigger slides, and more and bigger things to climb. By this time, you and your kid are literally sweating. Your kid is wired and you need a nap but they are begging you to go down the slide one more time. After another half hour, the next set of doors open leading to the party room for pizza and cake. This room is nice and cool so you can eat your pizza and cool down. After cake you are prompted out again through another set of doors and find that you have made a circle back to the lobby -- with another party in the room right behind you. 

CLICK HERE for more pictures of our day at Pump it Up.

Lastly, we held a birthday party for Jack at the Bay Area Discovery Museum on Sunday. There was a great mix of Jack's friends, friends from daycare, and some of my friends from work with their kids. About a dozen or more kids and their parents attended. There was a face painter, a crafts table where the kids could paint wooden cars, some pop up tents to play in, and a mat with musical instruments. We did a pinata and then cake. Jack is obsessed with the animated movie "Cars" so we had a Cars theme throughout this year. We even had a Cars cake thanks to a very cool edible decal that was printed with a Cars picture which you just peel it from its backing and lay it on top of a plain buttercream frosted cake. The decal eventually melds with the frosting. After the cake, everyone was free to roam around the Museum.

CLICK HERE for more pictures of Jack's birthday party at the Discovery Museum.