Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Arabella's First Camping Trip!

Last weekend was Arabella's first camping trip!  We attended ArtBeast's Festival of Little Houses in Coloma - this was their 2nd year throwing this awesome event to raise money for Tubman House. Direct from their website:

Waking the Village is a nonprofit organization directing Tubman House, a free, 18 month transitional living program for Sacramento's homeless, parenting youth. At Tubman House, youth experience dynamic coursework, community support, counseling and healthy living so that they leave prepared to be leaders in their own lives and the lives of their communities.

I can't adequately describe the awesomeness of the experience in words, so I'm mostly going to illustrate with photos.  I definitely recommend anyone with children (even if you don't have children - just know there will be lots of them running around) to sign up for this event next year as soon as registration opens. They sold out this year and are considering how to expand the event next year without ruining it - my hope is that they add additional weekends.

The Itinerary

Arabella stomping in the American River (which was freezing cold! but felt good with the hot weather for a few minutes before my legs went numb)

Pinata making was a craft station hosted by Sol Collective. Arabella was inspired by her kids' apron with a bumblebee on it to make a bumblebee design - concept and execution is entirely by Arabella except Mom cut the strips and fringe and monitored glue usage. 

Beautiful bird pinata on display at the pinata-making station. If you're interested in learning to make a beautiful pinata like this, I was advised that Sol Collective is teaching the pinata and papier-mache techniques  to anyone that wants to learn at their studio this week as they are prepping for huge Day of the Dead / Dio De las Muertas celebrations throughout October in Old Sac (schedule of events is here)
 Snow Cones were available the whole weekend for $1 - made with homemade Strawberry or Watermelon Syrup. I took a slurp - it tasted great. In spite of the snowcone, Arabella still had a diva moment at dinner on Saturday when she was informed that there were no Shirley Temples to be had on the campground (Shirley Temple is Arabella's signature drink) It was worse than Ramona with no Pinot Grigio (and if you don't get that reference you should be proud of yourself for not succumbing to trash TV / if you do get that reference - message me! I love to have someone to converse my guilty pleasures with)
Moon lanterns and artwork drying along the river.

We purchased this gnome family on Saturday - $2 each was a steal!. The purple one is the baby, red one is the mommy and gray one is the daddy, of course.

More wading in the river - this time with 
water shoes on. Water is so clear and lovely up there.

Entrance to the Fairy Woods

Our fairy  gnome house. Arabella wanted it round so it resembles a nest. The mother and father gnome are watching their pinecone TV and the baby gnome is in it's nutshell cradle. Arabella is quality testing the gnome's food (wild berries)

A neighboring fairy house.

First nature sighting - little frog on the bathroom mirror.

Second animal sightings- goose and ducks right outside our campsite.

First morning at camp - Arabella and Shay checking out the river while still in pajamas. Keith snapped this photo while Shay's mom and I were yoga-ing in our pajamas (no photos of that will be posted!)

These cardboard things were a big hit with all the kids - some were made into teepees by stringing them on a hoop on the top, and the kids had fun running through them. 

This one reminds me of a dinosaur skeleton. The kids also took a bunch and made lincoln log style cabins, and dismantled some into flat pieces to slide down this hill.

Our little gnome family - we made these on Sunday at camp but was out of power so I took this pic at home on our coffee table. Arabella made the one in the middle - she picked the hair, robe and thread colors and cut the hair - she wanted it short! Arabella named her Rockidah. The one on the right is mine and Keith made the one on the left. We didn't name ours but we are open to suggestions. After I took this pic I left them posed like this for about an hour on the table but they really started to creep me out (looked like they were coming for me) and I moved them to Arabella's room.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Preschool Report


September 5, 2012 - Taken on front porch just before first day of Preschool!!!

The first day of preschool kicked my ass - and I'm loving it. I came home from Arabella's first day of school today, drank 3 huge glasses of ice water, and we both crashed for a 3 hour nap.  

Keith and I were just there to hang out today since it was Arabella's first day but were asked to help out at the woodworking table. I'm very happy to report that no one lost limb, life or digit on my watch. 

On her first day, in the 2.5 hours allotted Arabella managed to:
make two paintings / tell a story to her teacher that was read by her other teacher at gathering time / dance to stories at gathering time / dress up as a princess and a witch / go barefoot the whole time except for the 20 minutes or so she had another girl's flip flops on / ride the teeter totter / climb repeatedly through the rope loft / ride a tricycle / shovel dirt / go on the outdoor swings plus ride the indoor standing swing with 3 other girls while singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Arabella"/ pour her own water for snack time / play with dolls in the play loft / use a saw and vise / attempt to ride the zip line / see a lizard egg that her Teacher found in the sand / view a dragonfly, bee and log under a magnifying glass.

I'm sure there's more but Arabella isn't awake right now to remind me what I forgot.

Tomorrow Arabella plans to:

-Bring her backpack! Arabella was appalled that we forgot to bring her Dora backpack when she saw the other backpacks lined up at the entry.

-Spot a fish in the pond - she looked and looked but could not see the fish on the first day. It has come up repeatedly in conversation this evening that she could not see the fish! 

-Help mom at art table (I am officially on duty tomorrow as a working parent - I told Arabella that she should still play whatever she wants just like today, but she insists she will be helping me at art table tomorrow)

I'm so glad we are at a parent participation preschool -this is so much more fun than just dropping her off and it's so awesome to meet other parents with a similar perspective!  

(Sorry I don't have any photos during preschool - Arabella's preschool has a rule that parents don't take photos there as it can be intrusive and distracting to the kids - which I totally get and support but it's kind of a bummer when it comes to blogging photos!) 

Not a preschool photo - just one from the archives of Arabella playing at a park to dress up this post!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Arabella tap dancing!

Had to share Arabella's exuberance in this video - she seems so EMPOWERED by the noise she is making with her feet.  I already shared this on Facebook but wanted to give it a permanent home here. So if you have seen the tap shoes at Payless Shoe Source and were on the fence about getting them for your child (boy OR girl!) I would recommend yes! Just $27.00 for priceless happiness.

Take that Shirley Temple! What Arabella lacks in training she makes up in sheer enthusiasm!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Arabella's Kitty, Frog and Ice Cream Story

The frog goes into the air balloon and goes into the car and I hold him in my hands. Him be nice. Him be friends with me. Him be big kid frog. He won't be so big, him be's a kid. The frog wants. Kitten, wants to pet him. The kitty cat. Him said "hello kitty". Kitty said "hello frog". 

Them wanted ice cream. Two ice creams. Says one at a time. Yeah. Them get some pink ice cream. Both want a pink ice cream. Them said mother, mother, us got ice cream. Them -the frog be a girl and kitty be a girl too. They like ice cream. Them love love ice cream. Like this (Arabella made licking motions with her tongue). Like a kitty. I got vanilla ice cream. It's white and I liked it. It shaped like a bowl. It's just a square. Eats and eats and eats and eats and eats. 
Kitten wants a bowl of bones.  And Arabella eats apples and froggy eats green fish.  Meow, meow, says kitty and frog says ribbit and I said "them be number five." Their moms five years old too. Them five old years. Them big kids like me.