Eight Months Later…
My Platonic Husband helped the kids write letters to Santa.
…And then we found bunk bed cots. Because why wouldn’t we want those?
I honestly feel like we did SO much in December, that I’m not even really sure what photos to choose. From parades to multiple Santa meetings, to holiday parties and local events, a few of our favorites were visiting a local “old fashioned town” with my Board Member Friend and her daughter, and walking through an amazing lights display with The Guy.
Another favorite moment of mine was decorating our little tree (remember the little tree story?) and watching the kids track Santa on the Norad Santa Tracker website….
And of course, Christmas Eve!
We spent the holidays with some amazing neighbors, my Bestie, and her family. And thanks to some of you amazing readers, my kids were very blessed on Christmas morning.
We rang in the New Year at a local family fun center that held a “Kid’s New Year’s Eve,” complete with ball drop! It was only a couple bucks per kid and included all the activities, so it worked out great!! When we got there and politely turned down the pizza (due to the kid’s diet) that was included in the price, the owner went above and beyond to get gluten and dairy free food for the kids, which was totally unnecessary but much appreciated.
When Valentines Day rolled around, the kids and I made Valentine cards for their friends, a Valentine mailbox for the class exchange, and a Valentine cookie (or two!) for us!
We also attended a free Valentine Dance at our YMCA with my Board Member Friend and her daughter. The Boy Child especially loved showing off some dance moves that I sure didn’t know he had!
And speaking of dances, if you remember, The Girl Child got to the daddy daughter dance at her school, thanks to my Bestie’s amazing husband escorting her for the evening.
Being Irish, I certainly couldn’t forget St. Patrick’s Day. The kids set a trap to try and catch a leprechaun, but that sneaky guy got away! Thankfully he did leave a few little surprises behind that he may-or-may not have found at the one dollar store.
During the Easter season we made sure to carve out some time for a free flashlight Egg Hunt and a visit with the bunny, again at the YMCA.
There were actually a ton of activities there, but I won’t bore you will all the pictures. With that being said, if you like bounce houses and relay races, make sure to check out your local YMCA when Easter rolls around again!
Here’s a great tip for my low-income readers: I recently found out that there is a nationwide program called Museums For All, and it allows low income families to obtain memberships to a variety of museums and family centers, for just a few dollars (you will need proof of your income… or lack thereof). I spent quite a bit of time finding out which places were included in my area, and then I set out to give my kids the best winter money can’t buy. I always say that it’s important to focus on what you do have rather than what you don’t, and I am determined to help my kids understand that. So while we may not be able to do the expensive things that our friends seem to do on a never ending basis, it doesn’t mean that we still can’t find fun things to do.
For places that didn’t offer any sort of financial assistance rate, I called each and every place that I thought my kids might like to visit, and I asked if they ever had any free or discounted days that were open to the public. To my surprise, nearly every single place gave me a few dates to make note of on my calendar, which really helped to fill in our “fun schedule!”
We went to a Kid’s Play Center with my Board Member Friend and her daughter…
…. Where I snapped this odd photo that makes it look like a stranger is kissing The Boy Child on the head!
And we spent one afternoon attending an open gym day with The Boy Child’s “girlfriend” and my friend, The Future In-law.
Aside from visiting local attractions, we also attended a ridiculous amount of (really fun) birthday parties for my kids friend’s or my friend’s kids.
We also attended a few graduation parties, like this one for my Platonic Hubby’s daughter, who graduated college!! (Can I hear a congratulations!?)
Moving on, one day, when I felt like I was going to lose my mind was really loving parenting, I took $3 and the kids, went to the mall, and let them ride the quarter rides. It turned out to be a big hit….
…But not as much fun as riding the large motorized stuffed animal was.
Also, thanks to an amazing blog reader’s generosity, we went to see his hockey team play!
Other days we just hung out at our friend’s houses, which can be the best kind of fun! Here we are making cupcakes at my Ballerina friend’s house:
Eventually, finally, spring rolled around, and we began to venture outdoors again, starting with the free Touch-A-Tractor event (welcome to rural living).
Then, SUMMER FINALLY ARRIVED, and we lived it up by spending as much time outside as possible!
I even feed the kids outside on most days. (Obviously we did that because was nice out, not just because it was easier to clean up. I’m not that lazy…. you believe that… RIGHT?)
We were thrilled when the pools finally opened up for the season and even more thrilled that My Future In-Law friend splurged for the membership, complete with guest passes!!
And when we weren’t there, we were relaxing in another friend’s backyard pool.
Besides the pool, we spent plenty of time at the local splash park. Seriously, whoever invented those was a GENIUS. They are free, and I didn’t even have to get in the water with them!
Here we are with my Bestie and her kids.
We went to the free Movie In The Park near my house.
And the free Touch-a-Truck event.
And another free local event…. Ninja Turtle Day!
This summer, the kids were once again approved for a YMCA scholarship, so The Girl Child took ballet and hip hop again, and thankfully the recital pieces this year were MUCH more appropriate (because good grief, do you remember the fiasco from last year?).
Seemed to work.
Health wise the kids have been doing 50/50. By that I mean one half of my children — The Boy Child half — has been doing amazing. The other half — The Girl Child half — well she has had a rough year. I had a TOUGH time getting her to wear her braces, and I would often find notes like this one, which I found sitting next to her sleeping braces, which were next to her bed, which were obviously not on her feet:
We had a lot of re-fitting appointments, and every time I would think we had a good fit, she would grow just enough that they would hurt again. The kid basically spent all summer growing and barely wore the braces at all, which meant that by the end of summer she was being fitted for a wheelchair to use for long distances.
The wheelchair has been ordered, and we continued on with her physical therapy sessions, which seem to be helping.
Her orthotist also went above and beyond to make her a new pair of braces which will hopefully eliminate many of her other complaints (they are too hot!). We literally just got them, so we shall see!
Thankfully though, she still managed to dance all summer and made it to her recital last week. There wasn’t a happier mommy in the crowd, or a smilier little girl.
I’m happy that she’s happy, because she is a really great kid. A few weeks ago daycare had a Fun Fest, and the poor Boy Child was sick and couldn’t go. The Guy was nice enough to stay with him so that I could spend a little time alone with my girl, and so off we went. We bummed around filling ourselves up on totally free, gluten and dairy free, cancer causing tasty treats.
We didn’t stay long since my mommy heart wanted to race home and check on The Boy Child, but it was really nice to get to spend a little alone time with my girl!
And randomly changing subjects because I’m just realizing what time it is and I need to get moving so that I can pick the kids up from school, but hey, the kids started school !
The Girl Child is in 3rd grade this year, and The Boy Child is in Kindergarten (oh my weepy heart!!). Neither of them are currently enrolled in daycare right now, so please wish me luck that this new schedule will work out for us!
It’s nice to have them both in the same place, but when they get home in the afternoon I won’t have daycare while I’m working… so there’s that…
Thankfully though these past eight months haven’t been all about the kids… mommy had some fun too…
The Guy treated me to a concert at an outdoor venue known for it’s lavish picnicking and tasteful drinking, and we went with my Future In-Law friend and her husband.
Here’s a picture of my friends and The Guy golfing:
And here is a picture of me sucking at golfing.
And here is another picture of me still sucking at mini golf.
Apparently golfing is not my thing.
Now drinking… drinking can sometimes be my thing… so I’m thankful for good friends who treat me to things that don’t require as much skill as hitting a ridiculously small ball through a windmill that I believe was moving way too fast.
But hey, it hasn’t been all about dating and drinking because that would be ridiculous for the life of a busy single mom, so sometimes, sometimes it has just been about masks.
Well, that’s what the last eight months have looked like for us! I worked really hard to give the kids some good memories, and not make our house all gloom-and-doom all the time because of our financial situation. I have to say that I think it worked well! Now that things have calmed down from the summer, we are just enjoying the last of the warm weather… and I’m getting tired of editing photos, and need to run and pick up the kids….
So I’ll leave you with: I hope you are all happy, enjoying your days, and finding things to keep you busy!
Oh, and to the person who mailed the bag of dicks to my PO Box…
Thank you, they were super tasty!!
See you all next time!!