Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kids Out And About Visits The Museum

Hey All!

Kids Out And About visited this museum this past weekend and filmed our Sugar Camp at our Sap, Syrup & Sugar event!!! The event runs the next two weekends through the end of March and you can find out more at My friend Brian is doing the into about the camp! He was also over in the brewery making beer but they didn't show that part!

I served pancakes to 400 people, and I'm expecting 1000 this weekend!(ok, that's a little misleading, I didn't serve 400 people by myself, I had a lot of help!!) I also got to try the Maple Sugar they made at the camp as well as a chicken that was cooked over the very fire in the video! Great stuff but I went back to the pancake breakfast smelling like a girlscout at a campfire! Next time I'll stand upwind!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sap, Sugar & Syrup -Maple Sugaring At The Museum

Looking for something to do this month? This weekend and all of the rest of the weekends in March, The Genesee Country Village & Museum is running their Sap, Sugar & Syrup event.

Head on over to my museum blog to see what it's all about-I'm actually too tired to write a more personal account, but that post gives you all of the details you need. I'll write more after the event this weekend as there will be two more after it!

This is one of my favorite museum events. A 19th Century Sugar Camp, maple sugar cotton candy and a pancake breakfast with real New York State maple syrup! (and a lot more as well!)We do make our own syrup but we we use it in the village during the year and don't make enought to use for the breakfast anyway.

Did you know it takes 40 Gallons of Sap to make 1 Gallon of Syrup?

You can also find the museum on Facebook!   I We have 2484 fans and I'd really like 2500 by the weekend!

***Note, it's not snowy at the museum now at all. I took this pic a few weeks ago on a beautiful day....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Say What?

While we are on the subject of my daughter, I have a little secret to share.

And I don't even know why I'm bothering except to say that it's something I've gotten a lot of  negative feedback on and while it's not that common, I can't seem to get all worked up over it like many people I've come in contact with. It's kind of surprising to me.

So here it is.

Sometimes.....Perhaps 15% or 20% of the time.

My daughter.....

Calls us by our first names.

Are you shocked?

I would almost be surprised if you were not, judging by the reactions of those around me. I think I had no idea the amount of people I know who can raise one eyebrow....

There are a lot....

Grandparents, naturally, are scandalized.... I mean really. My mom told Emma that in their house she was not allowed to call me Christine. I told her not to worry about it. Then my mother told Emma that if we were out in public and she called me Christine, people would think I was not her mother....I asked why on earth we care about what complete strangers think? It was like a tennis match with my daughter as the ball....

I have no need to prove her lineage to strangers. While I am very proud to be her Momma I don't need to wave that at you like a flag or something. And honestly, if you see us together, you'll probbaly guess we're mother and daughter anyway-We look similar and I'm usually tending to her....

Perhaps I should explain the context a little. Mostly she calls us Mommy or Momma & Daddy or Dad. Sometimes, if she's laughing and giggling she'll throw in a Christine or William or "Chrissy, can I have a popsicle." or if we're at the store "CHRISTINE will you look at that!"

This does not bug me. My name is Christine. My best friends are allowed to call me that, why not, then, the creature I love most on this planet? Yes, she is the ONLY person who can call me Mommy, but should she not get to use a salutation that everyone else does?

Does this seem overly familiar? I am, indeed, most familiar to those in my own home. Being called by my name by them does not offend me.

Lack of respect has also been thrown around A LOT regading this issue-I can tell you with certainty, that there are people who respect me far less than my daughter, walking around using my name all day long.

Additionally,I'd challenge that the rolled eyes or the "You're a mean mommy" show a much greater lack of respect than using my god-given name. And while many people may not have a child running around calling them by their name, a great deal of them have disrespectful kids....*Note-We also have the rolled eyes and mean mommy talk and even a "I hate you" thrown in when were're feeling particularly naughty.... But that's a different issue.

What I find interestring about the situation is when she calls me by my name and someone corrects her. IN FRONT OF ME. No, that's not being disrespectful to me at all is it? Who is the one with no manners now?

She's aware that she's not allowed to call anyone by a name they do not want her to use. She is forbidden to call her grandparents Mary Ellen and John for example. That seems respectful to me (using people's preferences..)

And people, this is mostly a joke but my daugher has the ability to say mommy like 300 times in a row. Sometimes my name is a welcome break....

I actually think this is more of a phase than anything, and trust me, I can get worked up over white bread and Gogurt..... I'm not exactly a permissive person. I just can't muster any negative energy about this name thing.

Sometines when she calles me Christine I do call her Child though ;-)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Money Management For Small Children

We're trying to teach our daughter a little about money. Each week she gets $5 allowance. This may seem like a lot for a 6 year old. She has jobs, etc....she needs to do to earn this.

The large amount is because in our kitchen we have 3 jars-Spend, Save, Give-She distributes her cash each week as follows-$2 each in spend & save and $1 in give. She can spend the "spend" money on something parent approved that week or save up for something bigger.

She's really comfortable with this set up and even when she gets, say $5 or $10 in a Valentines Day card from her Great Grandma Ruth, she still divides it up. She actually has quite a bit of money saved up as the "spend" days hardly ever happen. All large cash gifts go right to the bank though.

Before we went to Florida my parents gave her $20.  GASP! With the stipulation that she didn't need to do that. That she could SPEND the entire thing on something big (for a kid anyway) there. Or little things.... (Damn Grandparents....) But when she got to Florida she met up with her other grandparents who bought her a boatload of things, a friend at the pool gave her some things and we bought some vacation things. She probably got more little things last week than she has since Christmas. Nothing huge, just a huge amount of it.

She also watched cable and ate white bread... It was an awesome vacation for her.....

And so she never spent the $20.  In addition to that, she received $20 from Will's Aunt & Uncle. And so now I have a 6 year old walking around with $40. $40 that she really isn't sure where to spend and what to get (and she can't really conceptualize what she can get for $40 anyway.) And she usually has a really hard time choosing something she wants to purchase anyway. And it's really $40 + what she already has in the jars at home and in her piggy bank. All told she probably has about $85 in this house.

So after thinking long and hard about it the other day she came to me. Serious. She had figured out what to spend her cash on.

She announced to me:
"I'm buying WHITE BREAD with my money and you can't stop me MOMMY...."

I don't even know what to say about that. I bought whole wheat that looked a little like white bread...I wasn't sure if white bread was on the "approved" list or not....

Then this past week my husband was getting really frustrated with how messy her room has been since we returned so he came up with a brilliant (?) idea. He told her that if her room was not picked up by the end of the weekend then he would do it, but that he would charge her $5.  Also, he would pick her coat up off the floor but THAT would cost her $.50 EACH time.

Today, sensing that her time was getting short, she ran upstaris to her room and came down to where my husband was sitting and plunked down $5 and gave him a big thumbs up.

After we recovered from the shock of this (and the covert laughter) and determined that my husband probably DID have to pick up the room he told her that he would do it, but that he would do it HIS way, throwing out whatever he thought needed to go.

She then asked if she could just give him 1/2 the money and that maybe he could help her.

He actually agreed. (Sensing, I think, that she was not going to pick up her room at all if she could just pay him $5 to do it.)

So for $2.50 my husband helped her clean her room. (The cost of the room clean should have probably been higher, like $15 or something to really drive home the point.)

She also asked us if she could just pay one big amont for coat pickups-Kind of like arrangement we have with the plow guy!!!!! 

We declined.

I'm not sure these are the lessons that we were trying to instill with this entire process, in fact I am SURE they are not, though I think they may still serve her well in the long run ;-) She is certainly getting a financial education.

And we've certainly learned a few things as well.....

I will also say that at a recent fundraiser at her school for a local children's hospital she donated $10 of her own money without asking us for any. (And in the process, secured another $10 from her grandma for the cause.)

We're also taking some of that extra cash to the bank to put into her savings account.