Swimmer Kid

While Tucker DOES enjoy himself a running race, I think his real passion (as passionate a 5 year old can be) is in swimming. For the last four years, we’ve been taking Tucker to the swimming pool in our neighborhood for lessons over the summer. The last two years, we’ve also had him taking swim lessons at the indoor pool near my work.

Signing up for the summer lessons have historically been a nightmare. Last year, I stood in a line for over an hour, on a randomly freezing day for the end of April. It was snowing! The year before, my position in line was halfway around the building!

This year, the city FINALLY opened up online registration. And Tucker is signed up for swimming ALL summer.

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I apologize for the brevity, but I also want to get the posts for P, Q, and T out today.

What are your summer fun plans?

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Runner Kid

One of my coworkers in the social studies department is also the cross country coach for our school. I asked his advice for getting Tucker running more.

Tucker is a ball of energy; as far as athletics go, he loves two things: swimming and running.

My coworker suggested that we sign Tucker up for a Kid K (aka a fun run) to see how he formally liked running. After a little digging, I found the perfect run to start Tucker with. The Dino Dash, hosted by our local natural history museum. The cost was minimal and Tucker got a cool T-shirt and a race bib.

We had had Tucker taking science classes at the museum for about a year and a half, so he was very excited to learn that he would be participating in a fun run there.

A lot of the fun runs have a theme, and many of the racers did not disappoint when they selected their race attire.

The Dino Dash was, obviously, dinosaur themed and a lot of racers dressed in dino-themed leggings or shirts. Some even came in FULL dino costume. It was pretty awesome. We kept Tucker low-key. He’s got a pair of dino pajamas under his shorts and race shirt.

So, he was semi-hooked. Look at that proud finisher!

We ended up (or I ended up) signing him up for another one. This one was in October. Halloween themed, of course. This one was The Great Pumpkin Chase. As you can see, things just got real; little man earned a medal! And how fun to have a Halloween race–the costumes on ALL the racers were top notch. Way to show out, Albuquerque!

We skipped the Thanksgiving races (and there were a few). Instead, we opted for a Christmastime race. The Run, Run Rudolph. This race was cool because the fun run participants each got a pair of antlers AND a Rudolph nose. Our little racer did pretty awesome on this cold day! Also nice was the fact that the race was just down the way!

Tucker ran the Sweetheart Run in February. This race was just down the way (the other way) from our house at the Bosque School. Things were a little confusing at this race, and the fun runners (and their parents) weren’t sure where they would begin. Tucker did an AWESOME job, did his best, and was the 6th little kid to cross the finish line out of the 30 or so runners.

The post-run Tucker is pretty exhausted.

My husband, Jason, and I agreed that a kid k for Tucker every other month wasn’t too cost prohibitive. We want him to find things he loves, and right now he seems to love this, or at least enjoy it a lot. We have talked about getting ourselves into a running shape as well. Tucker may enjoy it now, but he may not if we (Jason and I) don’t join him. So that’s our plan. We want to be able to run the 2018 Run Run Rudolph WITH Tucker. And we are working toward that goal!

Last weekend, Tucker ran another kid k in the Albuquerque Marathon. He did great!

How do you get moving?

A Noticed Thing

I’ve lived in Albuquerque for just over 30 years. When I drive around my city, I can reflect on the parts that bring me the fondest memories. And now that I have a child of my own, I am able to share some of those places and memories with him.

There’s a park near the mall on the East side of town where my grandfather used to take me. My mom has albums full of memories, many of which were made at this park. When I was a girl, there was a sort of monkey bars sculpted into the shape of a giraffe. I hadn’t really thought about that park in years. My grandfather passed away when I was eight, and I had no reason to visit the park afterward since I lived in another part of the city. Last spring, almost exactly a year ago, Tucker was invited to a friend’s party and it just so happened to be at that very park.

Of course I have passed by this park, now and again, through the years. I noted at some point the giraffe seemed to have been removed or relocated. I never stopped to look until the day of that party.

It was there. Tucked back in the corner of the park, off the main road. Set aside like some monument to my childhood. Before joining the party, I let Tucker climb that giraffe.

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Movie Lists

Over the last few years, Jason and I have, of course, taken on the pop-enculturation of Tucker. We have been working on the cinematic element of this lifelong process most recently.

In addition to the myriad animated movies courtesy of Disney, Don Bluth, and Studio Ghibli we indulge in, we also ensure a fair amount of live action and mixed action films as well.

About a year or so back, I drafted a list of animated movies that would be of relative interest to Tucker. I looked for movies with male characters who learned valuable life lessons through their adventures within the movie. Don’t get me wrong, movies with strong female characters are just as valuable, and two of Tucker’s favorite movies that don’t involve vehicles, dinosaurs, or super heroes are Frozen, Coraline, and Ponyo.

We have a few movie lists to share including our animated movie list for boys, live action movie list, and mixed action movie list. The titles in bold are ones Tucker has actually seen while the others are movies we are either waiting to watch with him (The Dark Crystal is probably too scary right now) or just haven’t gotten to yet (Pinocchio doesn’t come on that often).

Animated Movie List with Boys in Mind

  1. Aladdin
  2. Aladdin and the 40 Thieves
  3. All Dogs go to Heaven
  4. Atlantis
  5. Bee Movie
  6. Big Hero 6
  7. Bolt
  8. Brother Bear
  9. Brother Bear 2
  10. Bug’s Life
  11. Cars
  12. Cars 2
  13. Cars 3
  14. Chicken Little
  15. Dinosaur
  16. Dumbo
  17. Emperor’s New Groove
  18. Finding Nemo
  19. Gnomeo and Juliet
  20. Goofy Movie
  21. Hercules 
  22. Howl’s Moving Castle
  23. Hunchback of Notre Dame
  24. Jungle Book
  25. Kronk’s New Groove
  26. Lion King
  27. Meet the Robinsons
  28. Monster’s Inc
  29. Monster’s University
  30. Oliver and Company
  31. Peter Pan
  32. Pinocchio
  33. Planes
  34. Ratatouille 
  35. Return of Jafar
  36. Robin Hood
  37. Sherlock Gnomes
  38. Shrek
  39. Shrek 2
  40. Shrek 3
  41. Tarzan
  42. The Black Cauldron 
  43. The Brave Little Toaster
  44. The Croods
  45. The Fox and the Hound
  46. The Good Dinosaur 
  47. The Great Mouse Detective
  48. The Incredibles
  49. The Incredibles 2 (coming soon)
  50. The Land Before Time
  51. The Sword in the Stone
  52. Toy Story
  53. Toy Story 2
  54. Toy Story 3
  55. Toy Story 4
  56. Treasure Planet
  57. Up
  58. Winnie the Pooh
  59. Wreck It Ralph
  60. Wreck It Ralph 2 (coming soon)

Live Action Movie List

  1. Gnome Mobile
  2. Herbie the Love Bug
  3. Herbie Rides Again
  4. Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
  5. Herbie Goes Bananas
  6. The Flight of the Navigator
  7. The Explorers
  8. The Goonies
  9. The Cat from Outerspace
  10. Labrynth
  11. Muppets Treasure Island
  12. Muppets from Space
  13. The Neverending Story
  14. Annie
  15. Mac and Me
  16. ET
  17. The Dark Crystal

Mixed Action Movie List

  1. The Phantom Tollbooth
  2. Mary Poppins
  3. Bedknobs and Broomsticks 
  4. Who Framed Roger Rabbit

**These are obviously not exhaustive lists. What movies would you add? What movies are on your lists of movies you absolutely need to share with your kids?

Living in Lego Land

When we first discovered that we would be welcoming a bouncing baby boy into our family, I had no idea what I was in for.

That’s not entirely true, actually. For years, well before I even met Jason, I would pass by the baby section of any number of stores and stop at the baby boy clothes. Little girls clothes are just too lacy and frilly and girly. Color explosion. The boy clothes? Three words: Little Man Suits. I would ponder the future as I gazed at those adorable little things. I vowed to myself that my son would wear little man suits. Oh yes; he would wear them all. the. time.

Of course fantasy rarely aligns with reality. Fact is, Tucker has only worn ONE little man suit and it was when he was 3. I’m OK with this.

This past Christmas / Hanukkah, Tucker’s daddy gave him ALL of his old Legos. We’re talking a huge bin full of them. He also got 20 or so new Legos sets and 5 rolls of Lego tape. The tape is awesome, while it stays sticky. The picture below was taken of Tucker’s bedroom door back in December. We’ve only lost the e and r so far.

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As far as Legos go, right now Tucker is more of a “follow the directions” sorta kid. He opens one set at a time, and with very little, if any, help from adults, he puts together whatever he’s meant to.

Daddy and Tucker Lego time consists of Tucker drawing new plans or dictating them to Jason who then attempts to create them in 3D with Legos from the afore-mentioned bin.

I love Tucker playing with Legos. He builds his fine motor, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. He can stretch out his imagination with each new construction. We are definitely living in Lego land over here.

What are your kids’ favorite toys?

 

KilnIt

A fun place we visit occasionally is a “you-paint” pottery store called Kiln It.

Summer before last, we were introduced to this type of store. For a flat rate, we could select a piece of pottery, paint it any way we wanted, leave for the proprietor to fire in a kiln, and pick it up within a week. Tucker and I were invited to a play date at a place out in Rio Rancho.

Tucker painted a cool race car, and I made some personalized presents for the grandparents.

Fast forward to that November, the day before Thanksgiving Break. Jason, Tucker, and I were wanting to go back to the place in Rio Rancho, but they were having some sort of craft fair. Undeterred, we went in search of “the other place” I had heard about from a friend. We were not disappointed.

A family-run operation, Kiln It had a cool studio vibe, and tons of figures to choose from. We decided to paint a family of turkeys. Then I followed them on Facebook.

One of the things I really like about the studio is their regular story times. One of the owners is also an area teacher, so she does a great job reading with the kiddos. We’ve done a few of these over the last year or so. Our first story time was “Giraffes Can’t Dance.” Tucker made a very red (his favorite color) giraffe. With some help.

Our second story time was “Pete the Cat Saves Christmas.” We turned this into another opportunity to make it family day. In addition to Tucker’s Santa, we painted an ornament for each of us. Well, Tucker painted Santa, and I painted Tucker’s ornament to look like the Grinch per his request and assistance. I also make the snowman and Jason made the snowflakes. After firing, they turned out even cooler! IMG_20171216_174844_993_resized

The most recent story time was for “Dragons Love Tacos 2” at which we painted a cute little dragon. I say “we” because it really is a joint effort. The figures need three good layers of paint in order to really turn out well. Tucker doesn’t quite have the technique down, so we help him out here and there.

Kiln It hosts all sorts of events, from these story times, to various paint technique clinics, as well as themes around local breweries, just to name a few. We HIGHLY recommend a visit.

What is you creative outlet?

Jump For It

It took me a long time to consider my post for J.

I could talk about Jason, my husband. He’s pretty awesome, creative, often the yin to my yang, also my soul mate.

I could talk about my Judaism, which is much different, I imagine, from other people’s. I imagine that everyone’s personal experiences with their culture is vastly different because those are their experiences.

In the end, I decided to talk a little bit about the jump, bounce, and climb places around town. Well, the few that we’ve visited.

Hoots (mentioned first in the H post), is our favorite. Kids can tackle the massive, multi-level climbing structure. It’s fun for kids to just get lost in all the twists and turns. Kids also have the option to indulge in their perpetual need to move, bounce, and wiggle in the bounce room. What’s AMAZING about Hoots, is that during open hours, you can bounce your kids for UNLIMITED time. For less than $10.

We’ve gone to a few trampoline parks. We ventured to Gravity Park when Tucker was a little guy. We knew from an early age, Tucker was a bouncer/jumper/climber. We only have adorable video of this experience, so I won’t include it here.

I haven’t had bad experiences at any of these places, and they are all essentially the same. For a price (these are different at each place) you get a set amount of time to jump–usually an hour. I had a Groupon for Fallout Jump Arena the last time we went, so it was well worth the $$. Both places have foam pits, which, let me tell you, give QUITE a workout.

Tucker is also a climber. He just loves to climb up the slides at the playground, and climb up any and all faux rock walls. There’s a park near us that is MOSTLY rope courses. We’ve been a few times, but not in a while. I think we will need to add it to our rotation.

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We also have an actual rock climbing gym, Stone Age Climbing Gym, in town. A friend of ours had her son’s birthday party there last year. Tucker was nervous at first, but he got the hang of it and did a GREAT job.

How do you help your kiddos burn off their energy?