Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Cardboard Box Rule of Boredom for Kids: Caine's Arcade


Did you know there is a Cardboard Box Rule of Boredom: No child shall never, ever be bored within 500 feet of a cardboard box.

Our 2nd Grade teachers sent home an article last week: Benefits of Boredom. Which is what generated the last blog o’ mine….. and this one too.

They also sent the following You-Tube video as “homework” for the kids to watch --- There is this amazingly bored real-life kid in East LA named Cain, who was so bored and had so many cardboard boxes, he just may have been discovered as the new Creative Genius of our time.

You may have heard of him. He made headlines a while back. It’s a super sweet story. And worth sharing with your kids as an inspirational moment – a teachable moment.

This 9 year old’s summer camp was his dad’s used car parts store. Look at how he turned an impossibly Boring summer into an Exploratorium of imagination and fun.

What a kid.

Watch and enjoy! 


Namaste & Three Cheers! -a

check out his website, too: http://cainesarcade.com

Monday, September 24, 2012

“Being Bored” Is The Best Gift You Can Give Your Kid


A Boring Box is now a Fairy Fantasia! 

I totally remember driving my parents nuts.

“Mooooooooooooommmmmmmm. I’m bored.”

Being Bored was part of our lifestyle when I was a kid. So was being forgotten for pick-up from Ballet/Tap-Class, which is a whole other blog for sure, though it does tie nicely into the Being Bored theme….. sitting for 45minutes to an hour or so on the front stoop of the decaying dance studio by myself as the late-afternoon, Northern Vermont sun went down when I was eight years old in the age of no Smart Phones. 

Where was Dad? I had no idea? Well would you look at those ants building that amazing thing….

You see, Boredom is the ROOT of Creativity and Discovery. What were those ants doing? Would I ever have noticed those ants and their colossal strength and will and determination if I hadn’t been completely, utterly bored out of my skull in my little leotard and tights? Would I have ever had the time to put a branch in front of those ants to create a mammoth obstacle for them to deal with? And they had to figure it out. And work together. And find a new route. An alternate path. PROBLEM SOLVE.

Did all that soak into my toe-headed noggin at that age? Somewhere it possibly did, as I now post a huge sign on my kids’ message board: “Do not come to me with a Problem. Come to me with 3 possible solutions to the problem. And we will work it out together.”

We’ve heard it before. We overschedule. We over-extra-super-enrich. We don’t ALLOW time for our kids to be bored. And if there is time, they reach for their small “i” item – Wii, iPhone, iMac-item….  And BEEP, BOOP, BIP, they’re plugged in and definitely not bored anymore.

We need to allow time for our kids to be Bored. Give them this gift. Boot ‘em into the the backyard and say: “Go get dirty and have fun!” Unplug them from their gizmos and say: “Don’t give me that look, go dig through your junk under your bed and have fun!” OR, the most popular, “Go have fun or I’ll find a way for you to have fun (sweep, wash, scrub).”

And then, ultimately, hopefully, on their college application they will reference those “bored” moments someday as the spark of something new and fresh and possibly divine in it’s creativity and powerful influence in their life calling and… and….and …..and they won’t be Bored any more.

Namaste & Three Cheers.  –A

Ps. Stay tuned for my next blog: The Cardboard Box….. a sweet story of a bored kid….

Friday, September 21, 2012

Crazy Fun Video Footage of Space Shuttle Endeavor Buzzing Golden Gate Bridge -- Video

Once in a lifetime for all of us. Enjoy!!!  (ps. just updating with new footage including fun with iMovie... and Marin Headlands and San Fran swoop...)




We Were There!!! Space Shuttle Endeavor Buzzes Marin Headlands, San Francisco & Golden Gate Bridge - Photos

We arrived at 8am. Ready. Early. At @ 10:15am the kids and we were treated to this....

Buzzing Our Heads First on the Marin Headlands

Looped Around SF and now Over Alcatraz
Closer to Golden Gate Bridge! City in Background
Here it comes!
Gorgeous Golden Gate Marin Side Tower with Space Shuttle Endeavor
We could almost touch it
Shuttle Over the Golden Gate Bridge with Sutro Tower in Background
Thank you NASA!!!
Space Shuttle Endeavor Finishes Buzz of SF and Heads to LA
UNBELIEVABLE!!!! 






Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Treating The Horror, The Shame, The Bug… and, Oh, Yeah, Treating Your Kid for Lice.


As a nature-y sort of person, I have a respect for bugs. Yes, they’re creepy and crawly and some are just downright disgusting and slimy and hideous. 

But I have no problem with them. Knowing that most play an important part in the circle of life, food-chain schmaltz.

But there is one creature (other than my nemesis the mosquito) that I have found no reason in the world for it’s existence – for what the hedge part in that Disney-esque circle of life does the vile little LICE bug play??

Other than disrupting our children’s lily-white, innocent scalps – and making a pile-load of work for already overtired moms and dads of elementary school aged kids throughout the land???  (washing, re-washing, combing, poking, prodding, laundry, sheets, ad-nauseum!)

Frankly, I don’t like you, you little, skittery, procreating, pedophilic-head-obsessed lice. And I’m not afraid to admit it. Why?

The Horror:  It first starts with the embarrassed phone call from the school. Uh, your kid’s got lice…. Oh, god. What??? The idea that tiny, scrambly, six footed creatures have camped out and started their own little life-cycle nursery in my kid’s lovely, naive hair, complete with cozy, little, white bug bassinettes attached to my kid’s hair follicles is completely HORRIFYING.

The Denial then Shame: Then comes round two after the shock of the diagnosis – the denial followed quickly by SHAME and self-flagellation. This could not be happening to my Cindy-Loo! Not my sparkling, squeaky-clean little one. And then the other voices chime in: Yeah, but you forgot to wash her hair last night, didn’t you? Or… you let her go play at that kid’s house that has all those ANIMALS, shame on you mom!

The Treatment: Once you get through the horror and the shame – all very normal – you realize it’s time to cut the histrionics and roll up your sleeves. Get in there. Dive-bomb the suckers! It’s like all of a sudden, you’ve turned into a Navy SEAL, ready to plunge out of the helicopter into the deep-sea of six legged enemy territory: Nix Hair Treatment – Check! Funky little lice comb – check! Regular shampoo – check! Towels to be used then burned (or, ahem, washed) – check!

 I’M GOING IN!!!!!!!!!!

And, if that doesn’t work, call an expert. And, possibly, a therapist ;)

Happy de-lousing. It’s that time of year again, folks.

Namaste & Three Cheers –a

Here are some actual helpful tips and sites:
-- WASH YOUR KIDS’ HAIR the day before lice check. It’s so much easier, and less gross, for the “checker” to go through a clean head of hair – and not get confused: is that shrapnel from the paint-gun fight last weekend, a chunk of sand from boogie-boarding, or is that a real bug??? 

-- Keep your girls’ hair in tight doos. No flowing 70’s locks during lice season.

-- Check around through your school grapevine for “experts” who do lice treatments. There is a whole industry around lice, and some are much more expensive than others. Shop around (yes, in your panic/horror mode…)

-- Talk to the Pharmacist before you buy home treatment. Our pharmacist did not like the brand they were selling and sent us to a different pharmacy to buy the one they had! Love that.

-- Find a non-hysterical website to explain. Something like: http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/conditions/a/head_lice.htm

-- And, finally, remember -- you are not alone. There are many, many other families going through the same thing right now. Sorta like a secret society. So hold your head up high, and wear a hat.