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Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Drama Queen Birthday

Yesterday was Her Cuteness’s 8th birthday. We had a theater inspired party for her and her best friends at Creative Cauldron in Falls Church. The focus was a hands-on acting workshop lead by the wonderful Laura, a teaching artist, who was terrific at getting the kids excited and keeping them engaged in each activity.

The party started with creative introductions. Each kid picked a movement that represents their personality, which they used to introduce themselves to the group. Everyone then acted out not just their introduction movement but everyone else’s too – an excellent ice-breaker.

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Then there were a series of Charades-like activities in which the children were separated in teams of six and would act out something as a group for the other team to guess.

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The last activity involved a imaginary chest full of magical gifts. Each child got to pick a gift from the magic chest for Nia’s birthday and give it to her. This was my personal favorite because the kids were not allowed to use their voices. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a group of kids playing quietly like that. It was awesome:

Gifts for the birthday girl from an imaginary magic chest

Laura surprised me by inviting me to participate in the activity, which was tricky because I was filming at the same time but I managed somehow.

We closed the party with birthday cake and other treats. I had made rainbow colored cupcakes the night before and had them all in my new fancy double-decker cupcake carrier. Everything was honky dory until the handle broke and the cupcakes turned into a mangled frosted mess but we ate them anyway because the mess was contained in the carrier. Everyone had a great time and I’m pretty sure Nia is going back to Creative Cauldron  for more acting workshops/camps.

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This was probably the best kid birthday party we’ve attended and we highly recommend Creative Cauldron if you need something different for your 4-14 year old.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Proud

My peeps (Paul, Her Cuteness and Chutney) have be unusually awesome lately, so I couldn’t help but brag about them a little.

I have known Paul was a Foreign Service Badass for a long time. I even dedicated one of the first posts of this blog to his Badassery. So, naturally, I was thrilled to learn that he was nominated and won an award for his work at the Office of eDiplomacy last year.  His award was Government Computer News’ Rising Star Award celebrating outstanding IT achievements in government. He got it in recognition for his efforts in organizing a number of events called Tech@State over the past year. So, a few weeks ago we got to go to a gala at a fancy hotel in Tysons Corner to collect his award. I think this was the first gala I’ve attended and it was a nice one. The set up was great, the food delicious but of course, the best part was celebrating my husband’s awesomeness.

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Then, the other day we had a parent-teacher conference with our daughter’s teacher. If you have been reading this blog for a while, you may recall that we had a little bit of a painful experience after Her Cuteness was moved up to second grade mid-year last school year. She got a new teacher this school year and we were both hopeful and nervous at the same time. She seemed to be doing well but we weren’t sure because we hadn’t had the opportunity to talk to her teacher in detail until now.

The day of the conference, I asked Her Cuteness what she thought the teacher would say about her. She said he’d say that she’s  a good reader. I asked her if she thought he’d have any recommendations for improvement and she thought he may say that she needs to work more on her math. That made sense. She’s always been a great reader, but she doesn’t exactly love math or writing. She can do them but she doesn’t seem to enjoy them nearly as much as reading. Her second grade teacher had specific concerns about her math and writing skills last year, so we were expecting to hear something along those lines again.

Imagine our relief when her teacher told us that yes, she is a great reader but she is doing great in math and writing as well. He showed us her math tests and her writing assignments. He had nothing but wonderful things to say about her. He said she was smart, curious and imaginative. He also said she behaved well and got along with all her classmates. We were blown away, in a good way. Because hearing that your child is doing great at school is like music to any parents’ ears. We made a big deal of it to our daughter and went out for special treats to celebrate the occasion.

Last but not least, the littlest of the littles, Chutney, has been working extra hard too. He is 9 months old today and healthy and happy as can be. It’s been amazing to watch him in the last month as he seems to have gone “fast forward” developmentally. He has decided that walking is the most awesome thing ever and has been working his tail off (quite literally) to figure it out. He can’t really do it just yet but that’s all he wants to do. A mere two weeks ago he couldn’t lift his butt off the ground no matter how hard he tried. He was a little, shall we say, ahem, butt-heavy, (I hope you’ll pardon my Hindi, Son!) so he couldn’t crawl.

I was convinced he was going to skip crawling because he just didn’t seem interested in it (plus the whole butt-lifting wasn’t happening) but a couple of weeks ago, a miracle of miracles, he lifted his butt of the ground and started crawling. That didn’t diminish his enthusiasm for walking though. He has been pulling himself up on everything using his arms and mouth (yes, you read that  right – wish I had a picture of that…). He constantly wants one of us to hold him by his hands and walk with him. His latest accomplishment is figuring out how to work this thingamajig:

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I am pretty sure he’ll be walking really soon. Guess I’d better go babyproof the house, huh?

 
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