Monthly Archives: February 2006


Did you know that children’s movies aren’t necessarily kid-friendly? A girl I know took her two kids (aged 4 and 2) to see “Finding Nemo” when it was in theaters several years ago. G-rated Disney film. Saturday afternoon matinee showing. Naturally, there are going to be lots of kids doing kid-things like making noise.

An older couple without kids decided to sit behind my friend. During the movie the woman leaned forward and asked her to keep her kids quiet. Now, part of me says, “you paid your money and you should be able to see the show, plain and simple.” The other part of me says, “trying to keep a hundred kids under age 5 quiet for over an hour is like trying to herd cats. What are you THINKING going to a Saturday afternoon showing of a Disney movie and asking little kids to be quiet?”

So, my idea is this: Movie theaters should have one weekly daytime showing (e.g., 11 AM on Wednesdays) where current kids movies are shown. Baby-friendly with room for strollers, sound turned down and lights dimmed, kids don’t get “shushed” for being themselves. No expectation of quiet during “Curious George.”

I know that some theaters do this, but it’s just for moms with babies under age 1. The Loews theater in Richmond Heights offers a weekly “Reel Moms” screening, but the movies they show are adult-oriented (currently they’re screening “Date Movie” which is completely inappropriate for Georgie to see, even if he’s not ‘really paying attention’).

Cheap, local, kid-friendly entertainment is increasingly hard to come by. If anyone knows of Cleveland-area events that are child-oriented and inexpensive, let me know — I may just start an online calendar myself, since there are a very limited number of Web sited devoted to the subject.

Macaroni Art

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Wow, being a toddler is a busy business. I am amazed by how quickly George gets bored with toys. He’d rather have coloring books and stickers than plastic blocks. Coloring books and colored pencils seem to work for keeping him quiet in church (at least for a little while).

I’m looking for crafty ideas that are (relatively) neat. My friend Becky has given me some good ideas:

  • Tissue paper squares glued onto construction paper or paper plates
  • Paper plate masks decorated with crayons, yarn-hair and goofy eyes
  • Macaroni art
  • Make-your-own sticker books
  • Dipping golf balls or marbles in fingerpaints, then rolling them around inside a shoebox

I am looking forward to trying the tissue paper art, and I think I’m going to look for some kid-safe scissors that make pinking-style cuts; I’m sure that George would have a great time… although I can see the phone bill cut up into cute little zig-zag pieces…

I’m also looking for book suggestions — anything with fun, inexpensive, toddler-oriented crafts.

Home Alone America

I read a great book a few months ago called “Home-Alone America : Why Today’s Kids Are Overmedicated, Overweight, and More Troubled Than Ever Before” by Mary Eberstadt. Reading this made me want to thank my parents all over again for making the necessary sacrifices so that Mom could stay home with us when we were growing up.

Unfortunately, our economy is no longer geared towards single-income families, which makes the burden greater upon those of us who choose to stay home to raise our kids. I understand why so many moms feel they have to return to work — either to “get some use out of that expensive degree” or just to help pay the bills. I wish that we could say “well, if we cut back a little, I can stay home permanently” but that is simply not the case. Where do you cut back when you don’t live extravagantly? We have an older home that we’re remodeling so as to save money; we shop at Target, Wal-Mart, thrift stores and resale shops. I cook as much as possible (it’s been more difficult this past year, what with the remodel and the new baby), but I intend to buy in bulk, cook once a week and can tomatoes & fruit this year. This will enable us to save more, but time is also a factor.

So we’ve come to the decision that I’m going to have to return to work, at least on a part-time basis. And after lots of prayer and discussion, it looks like medical coding & billing will be the best option. Once I am certified and have appropriate experience, I’ll be able to work from home. Flexibility is key, since George’s schedule is so varied. If he’s on afternoon shift, I can work in the morning while he watches the boys. When he’s on days, I can work in the afternoons & evenings.

So I’m beginning the arduous process of applying for financial aid. Fortunately, there are a lot of grants and scholarships available to those pursuing education in the medical field, so we’ll see what is available.