As Valentine’s Day arrives, I am reminded of my daughter’s first Valentine. She was in first grade and got a huge stuffed heart from a boy. It was sweet. Sadly they didn’t last and the reason is something we can all learn from.

It’s amazing how wise children can be. I mean if we could just keep the perspective as we get older. She had mentioned before how she liked this boy, and he found out she liked him. He liked her back which was when the problems arise. You see he changed. He treated her differently – maybe acting a little weird around her. Sure first graders may not know how to show affections. The point my daughter made was that she like him for the way he was and just because he found out she liked him was no reason to act differently. Their relationship changed but the only thing that truly changed was their knowledge of how they felt about each other.

But maybe we all do that. We try to impress those that we know how feelings for us when in fact they have feelings for us because of who we are. We do not need to be more or anything else. So this Valentine’s Day as you set out to impress that special someone just remember they already like you for who you are.

Meet the Teacher Night

Tonight we attended yet another meet the teacher night. My little girl is going into the 4th grade. That doesn’t seem possible. This year will be the teacher’s first year of teaching. She was at the school when she did her student teaching, so she must have made a good impression. But also the school district did hire 800 teachers over the summer, and since they are only one of several school districts in the city, maybe they couldn’t be choosy. But after meeting her, I am sure they are confident in her abilities. I joked with Rae not to ruin teaching for her.

This made me think back on Rae’s past teachers. Her kindergarten teacher was a veteran teacher. She was kind but there was just something about her that seemed worn. Her first grade teacher was also a vet with 19 years under her belt. She was best in the morning. By the time the 2:45pm bell rang, she was screaming and just generally annoyed with most of the class.

Rae’s second grade teacher was younger with maybe a few years of teaching if that. She was awesome, and Rae enjoyed her class. She always seemed to have a lot of patience with her students. Rae’s third grade teacher had some experience. She wasn’t mean but she just didn’t make the same impression that the second grade or even the first grade teacher had. Isn’t that amazing how some teachers you remember forever while others just fade from memory? I believe Rae will always remember her 2nd grade teacher. If tonight is any indication of the coming school year, I think she will always remember the 4th grade as well.

Kano Computer

Kickstarter is an amazing place. There are so many cool projects. It’s just fun to browse what others are doing. One project we back was Kano – a computer anyone can make. It’s a full working computer driven by Raspberry Pi and Linux. It appealed to us for our daughter since we have built our own computers before. We thought it would be a fun project for her to build one and then use it.

We were glad to see this one arrive. Our daughter was excited, too.


A closer look inside before we got down to the task at hand.


Unpacking everything and still very interested especially when she came across the stickers.


Here is a page from the instruction manual that laid out how to put everything together. The booklet was a story which made the boring instructions fun.


This is such a tiny keyboard but for small hands it doesn’t really matter.


Now we are getting somewhere with the help of Daddy of course.


The Kano computer project is complete! Now time to set up the account and get started.


Unfortunately we put it all together but really haven’t used it much since. The Kano needs to find a permanent home somewhere in our house because I think Rae would enjoy tinkering with it especially to make video games or Minecraft mods. It was a fun project and we have enjoyed it so far even if we have seldom used it.

Homemade Bubbles

Being a tester, I love to try out practically anything. Luckily my daughter is the same way. This makes for some fun times. I ran across a homemade bubble recipe that touted that the bubbles wouldn’t pop. Intrigued I couldn’t wait to give this a try.

So last night I made the bubble solution, and we tested it out. The bubbles were a flop. We could barely get any bubbles. I had prepared my daughter that we may have to tweak the recipe. So we did some tweaking. It still didn’t work as expected.

Today I set out to learn more about bubbles. I went to the recipe again and then noticed a link to how bubbles work.

So armed with this knowledge, we will try our bubble recipe again.

The bubble solution is simple: water, dishwashing soap, and corn syrup. I has used slightly more corn syrup thinking that would be the key to making the bubbles sturdy. But since we were having trouble with bubbles, I was at a complete lost. Well that is until I read about the science of bubbles.

One possible culprit is tap water. The hard water here could be the cause for no bubbles. Also I read that using laundry detergent instead of dishwashing soap works well. We will make a few more attempts in search of the perfect bubble recipe. Stay tuned.

Valentine’s Day Goodies

Rae has been looking forward to Valentine’s Day all week. They are opening their Valentine’s this afternoon at school and she is so excited. I was so caught up in her excitement I almost forgotten about the gift I got her that is now on her bed waiting for her to get home.

I am sure she will get candy at school – not that she eats a lot of candy anyway. She did get a Valentine’s stuffed heart and a box of chocolates from a boy in her class. And so it begins I guess…although he told her he just liked her as a friend. Oh those boys and their feelings – never knowing how to express them. So I can’t wait to hear how today goes..should be a fun day for her.

Fluffy The Overpriced Build-a-Bear

Meet Fluffy – the most expensive stuffed animal I have ever purchased. This summer I thought we would get to see some of the sights of San Antonio but we didn’t. We did go to the Alamo but that is about it. So I had a few dollars tucked back for a fun excursion. Build-a-Bear was an item that my daughter had put on the summer bucket list.

Build-a-Bear was a fun experience. Rae enjoyed it a lot and thought the employees were super nice. She loves the bear – so it is way over what I would have paid for a normal bear but she has played with it a lot. When she is at school, I have to babysit Fluffy and do fun things with her. You know, things Fluffy enjoys according to my daughter.

She has a lot of fun with the bear even months later(It is now December. I started this post in August) so Fluffy has been a lot of entertainment. Maybe we will make it an annual trip.

The Versatile iPad

I promise I will not gush too much about the iPad but really it works great to keep my daughter entertained. She can read books, play games, and watch TV – all with one device. This is wonderful since we can take it with us and she will quietly enjoy the iPad while her father and I actually get to visit with friends. It’s a win-win!

Here she is enjoying a cartoon while eating an Oreo and drinking milk. The iPad has been wonderful on long trips, too. With the long battery life and many possibilities, Rae is entertained for hours. The iPad has been my best birthday present yet!

The Play Tent

At the beginning of the summer, my daughter mentioned that she wanted a tent. I thought it would be a good idea since it would give her somewhere to play outside and a fun, cheap playhouse. Most playhouses on the market that are reasonably priced are for todders – not six-year-olds. If I was interested in spending the amount we spent on our last vehicle, that would have covered the cost of a nice-sized playhouse for her. But since that wasn’t an option, I thought the tent might be a good alternative.

There are many tents. Some are very large with more than one room. I found a scouting tent – mainly for Boy or Girl Scouts who go camping. It was small but very reasonably priced at $20.

Setup was super easy – in fact Rae helped me drive the stakes into the ground to keep it steady. She wanted to spend the first night in the tent and she wanted me to join her. I stayed as long as I could in that cramped, surprisingly warm space until I went inside. She quickly followed.

She has $20 worth of fun with it that is for sure. As a child, I always loved when the tent was being aired out and I could play in it. The tent was a good idea and was a very affordable option to create an outdoor playing space.

Rae the Pirate

One great thing about moving to a great city like San Antonio is all the new choices when it comes to shopping. First I must admit that I am not a shopper but I do love exploring new places. We made it to one of the malls that had a Disney Store. Rae loved it, and I have to admit that I loved it, too. Of all the things in the store, she chose a Jake the Pirate treasure chest. Here she is sporting the bandanna and the sword from it.

She can’t wait to go back since she has her sights on Sebastian the crab next.

Facebook Appropriateness

Conversation with my daughter in the McDonald’s playground bathroom

Me: Oh look Rae! They have a small commode just for kids. You should use that one.

Rae begins to use the bathoom. I continue to speak. See look how cute!

Rae Take my picture

I take picture with camera and then show it to her.

Rae Don’t put that on Facebook

Me Oh I’m not putting that on Facebook..I don’t put everything on Facebook..this is going on the blog..(heh..I didn’t actually say the last part..I just thought it really loudly..)

Rae is six and a half years old. She has definitely reached that age where I can’t (or am asked!) not to share everything about her life with the Internet-at-large. It’s bittersweet because on one hand she is growing up and that’s great to see her develop into her own person. It’s sad because I’ve lost a lot of my blogging material.

At least some things she still does she wants me to put in Facebook. Still there seems to be more and more that she wants to keep private. Guess I will need to read a book or something for new material.