Metro Parent Relief

Archive of ‘Music’ category

5 Steps to Planning a Toddler Halloween Party

 

                     

5 Steps to Planning a Toddler Halloween Party

When my toddler came to me and asked for a Halloween party, I must admit I was a bit shocked.  Over the years I have had my share of hosting Halloween parties, but if memory serves me correctly, that began with my teen around 1st or 2nd grade, not as a toddler.

So I quickly put myself into party planning mode, and began with a list of To Do’s.  I wanted to share my list with others that may have signed up to host the party for the little ones for the first time.  I am hoping that with the steps to take, list of items needed, along with a few healthy, yet simple fun finger foods, you can pull it off as a successful event for your neighborhood.

Step 1List of Invitees   be sure to think of a couple of parents that would be willing to stay around to help make the party a hit.  If your child is anything like my child, she doesn’t always get along with all of the children in her playgroup, so you need to give careful thought into the children that she actually can get along with and have a good time, without unnecessary disagreements, and fits.  I have expanded my resource list given the compatibility feature to her playgroup, the neighborhood, friends at the gym, church group friends, and family.  Out of all of the group, I was able to come up with twelve girls and boys that I trust she will have a great time with, and parents that I will be able to count on to help things go smoothly.  Have fun with it, and fun with sending out the invites.

Step 2Fun Finger Foods– At every party, particularly a toddler party what’s on the menu is a major priority.  Think of fun, creative, healthy treats to serve the children during the party, and decide what times the treats will be brought out.  Take into account that some children may have food allergies, so be sure to contact via phone or email the parents of each child attending to inquire about any allergies. I think it is also very important to ask the parents to bring a snack of choice for the children, something that their child enjoys, in keeping the Halloween idea in mind.  Here are a few healthy ideas http://spoonful.com/halloween/best-halloween-recipes-gallery.  Try delegating a role for each parent to assist with; your job becomes a little easier.  Of course I would not expect to have all twelve families bring a snack; however, I would divide the attendee list, and ask some to be in charge of games, supplies, party gift bags, invitations, etc.

Step 3Costumes, Games & Stories–   Start the party by introducing each child by name, and what they have come up with for their costume.  Children love to have recognition of their costume that they’ve chosen, even if it’s the 10th idea since the beginning of fall.  In addition, there are so many Halloween games that toddlers will enjoy.  Think of both indoor and outdoor games that will keep the crowd engaged.  Here is a quick link with wonderful game ideas for this age group. http://familycrafts.about.com/od/halloweengames/ss/Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Cat-Printable-Halloween-Party-Game.htm & http://spoonful.com/halloween/halloween-games Pick a few and have fun with it.  It is also a great tradition to have the children circle around an adult after the games are over, dimming the lights, and telling spooky, yet fun stories.  Ask the parents attending of any particular Halloween books that their child might enjoy, and introduce the book as such.  For example, this book is one of Todd’s favorite Halloween stories.  This will help to ease any anxiety or jitters amongst the group, knowing that one of them really enjoys this book.

Step 4Music- Choosing the right music is important too.  Toddlers enjoy happy music, and surprisingly can learn the words to riddles and songs easily.  Here is a quick link to most popular Halloween tunes for toddlers http://www.live365.com/stations/kiddfellas.  Again, we want to keep in the “spooky, gobbling, ghostly” tradition, but in a fun way.

 

Step 5– Have Fun!  Mom and Dad enjoy the time with your child as well.  My group enjoys letting the little ones have a great time with the party starting just a couple of hours prior to Trick or Treating, and going as a group.  There are also some really creative Halloween spirits that parents can enjoy as well, here is a quick link for ideas http://www.hgtv.com/entertaining/13-to-die-for-halloween-cocktails/pictures/index.html.

 

Metro Parent Relief wishes you and your family have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Work and Motherhood- Balance

Balancing work and motherhood, does anyone really think they do it well? Is it even possible to truly balance it all? Children’s musician Laurie Berkner recently wrote a song about what it means to her. As I read the lyrics, I found myself laughing out loud and nodding in agreement with so much of it.  I appreciate her putting this out there for other parents like me to relate to.

I love how Laurie is so honest in her admission that she doubts herself and feels a lot of guilt. It’s refreshing when someone openly talks about these things since it seems like a lot of moms feel that they need to appear outwardly like they have it all together.  This perpetuates the idea that we can and should be all things to all people, all of the time. It would be nice if we could let go of some of the self-doubt. Are we as moms just programmed to feel guilty and to constantly second-guess ourselves?

I share in her appreciation of those sweet moments where I’m snuggling my child on the couch and soaking her in but then my mind inevitably wanders to back to my ever-present list of things to do.  I can relate to the feelings of never being able to get anywhere on time (literally never), always rushing around and just when I feel like I’ve got things under control, everything changes. Laurie does an amazing job of succinctly summing it all up.

As soon as we become parents, the clichés start to all make sense; time flies, children grow up way too fast.  Most moms I know admit that their lives are a frenzy and they feel stressed a lot of the time but they also say that they wouldn’t change it for anything.  So we take comfort in knowing that we’re all struggling with similar issues and feelings and it’s nice to know that we’re not alone.  I may always be late, always feel rushed, and am always up past 11, trying to get “just one more thing” done but I know I’m not the only one.

Balancing Work and Motherhood

The journalist asks me, “How do you do it?”
My answer is “Not very well.”
Each day is different
And when I think I’ve found a rhythm
All the plans I’ve devised
And so carefully scheduled
Get all shot to hell.

So I’ll take a taxi,
‘Cause I might get there faster
But the subway would cost me much less. . .
Ugh, the trains are delayed!
Now what if there’s traffic?
Either way, half my days
Are spent out of breath

Running from one thing
Late to another
Looked away for two minutes, and now there’s a line!
Forgot to bring lunch again
(Mine, not hers)
Slow down, slow down
Slow down
Slow
Down…
I’ll get there
Just not on time.

Talking with Brian
And planning for sitters
Who’s home today,
You or me?
That feeling of panic
That hits when I think,
“I forgot to make sure she was free.”

All my years of therapy
And yet I still cling
To the guilt I feel when I’m not there.
It’s such a cliché but I find myself thinking,
“I wish I’d been born as a pair.”

In some ways it’s easier now than it was
Lucy’s used to me coming and going.
She’s older, has friends, even tells me
“Get out Mom!” but each time it’s hard for me
Knowing
That I’ll miss some of what she was feeling that day
And I’ll miss hanging out with her too.

Time moves so fast (oy, another cliché!)
And there’s only so much I can do.

I run my own business.
I’m both artist and boss,
But pretend I’m a mom who stays home.
Then I’m gone on the weekends
Or when we’re together
Spend less time with her than my phone.

So I accept from a colleague
A derisive laugh when I say,
“Sorry, I can’t make it then.”
Because I’m picking her up,
There’s a potluck, class play
Or perhaps there’s just no school… again.

And I get to spend time with her
We read on the couch
Her body all snuggled with mine.
I breathe her in deeply
So I won’t forget
Just how good that feels
Every time.

(Then I notice that I have a pile of new messages and texts and I haven’t made dinner or taken
the dog out. When did it get to be 6:30 p.m.? When did she turn 8 years old?)

So I stay up too late
Doing work, sending email
I’m addicted to “just one more thing…”
I haven’t yet found
A different way, a better way
Or just a way
To fit everything in

I spent all that time getting ready for birth
And I think of my good friend, who said,
“Remember Laurie, this is just the curtain rising,
The real show is what lies ahead.”

Ok, so there’s no rehearsal for life
(But I’d hoped as a parent things that I’ve learned would help)
And they certainly sometimes do.
Yet often I catch myself being the child,
‘Cause I still want to be mothered too.

-Lyrics by Laurie Berkner

Check out the FREE MOBILE APP at http://laurieberkner.com/

source: Working Mother Magazine http://www.workingmother.com/best-companies/2014-best-companies-multicultural-women

Check out additional support systems like a nanny or sitter, Metro Parent Relief offers assistance to parents whenever you need us!

 

This FATHER’S DAY – Take Him Out! 6 Fun Date Night Ideas

We all know that one-on-one time with your partner is important to keeping your relationship happy and healthy, but it can be tough to come up with new, creative ideas for dates. Here are some simple, low-key date ideas that are certain to keep the spark alive.

1. Too exhausted by 9pm to think about going out for the evening? How about a brunch or lunch date? You’ll save money too; lunch menus prices are usually lower than dinner. Try Indigo Landing in Alexandria where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Potomac and DC skyline while you sip a Bellini made with house made strawberry puree.
2. Errands. We realize this doesn’t sound like the most romantic date, but once you have children you can really appreciate how lovely it is to get errands done by yourself. You and your partner can talk and spend time together while you check things off of your to-do list.

3. Perils of the Lost Jungle Mini Golf at Woody’s in Herndon. This place gets rave reviews for its adventure-themed course and was rated one of the top 5 mini golf courses in the country by Newsweek Magazine.

4. Bowling. Enjoy some friendly (and flirty) competition in an old school date night kind of way.

5. Take a walk in a park. Bring a blanket and a cooler and relax outdoors; you may even fall asleep. New parents, doesn’t that sound amazing?

6. Couples massage.  Not too expensive, very intimate, loving, and shows appreciation.  Not to mention a true stress and tension reliever.  Red Door Spas throughout the area, and also Massage Envy are all offering Father’s Day specials!

Why not let Metro Parent Relief send a nanny or sitter so you may enjoy some well-deserved couple time?

Balancing Work and Motherhood

Balancing work and motherhood, does anyone really think they do it well? Is it even possible to truly balance it all? Children’s musician Laurie Berkner recently wrote a song about what it means to her. As I read the lyrics, I found myself laughing out loud and nodding in agreement with so much of it.  I appreciate her putting this out there for other parents like me to relate to.

I love how Laurie is so honest in her admission that she doubts herself and feels a lot of guilt. It’s refreshing when someone openly talks about these things since it seems like a lot of moms feel that they need to appear outwardly like they have it all together.  This perpetuates the idea that we can and should be all things to all people, all of the time. It would be nice if we could let go of some of the self-doubt. Are we as moms just programmed to feel guilty and to constantly second-guess ourselves?

I share in her appreciation of those sweet moments where I’m snuggling my child on the couch and soaking her in but then my mind inevitably wanders to back to my ever-present list of things to do.  I can relate to the feelings of never being able to get anywhere on time (literally never), always rushing around and just when I feel like I’ve got things under control, everything changes. Laurie does an amazing job of succinctly summing it all up.

As soon as we become parents, the clichés start to all make sense; time flies, children grow up way too fast.  Most moms I know admit that their lives are a frenzy and they feel stressed a lot of the time but they also say that they wouldn’t change it for anything.  So we take comfort in knowing that we’re all struggling with similar issues and feelings and it’s nice to know that we’re not alone.  I may always be late, always feel rushed, and am always up past 11, trying to get “just one more thing” done but I know I’m not the only one.

Balancing Work and Motherhood

The journalist asks me, “How do you do it?”
My answer is “Not very well.”
Each day is different
And when I think I’ve found a rhythm
All the plans I’ve devised
And so carefully scheduled
Get all shot to hell.

So I’ll take a taxi,
‘Cause I might get there faster
But the subway would cost me much less. . .
Ugh, the trains are delayed!
Now what if there’s traffic?
Either way, half my days
Are spent out of breath

Running from one thing
Late to another
Looked away for two minutes, and now there’s a line!
Forgot to bring lunch again
(Mine, not hers)
Slow down, slow down
Slow down
Slow
Down…
I’ll get there
Just not on time.

Talking with Brian
And planning for sitters
Who’s home today,
You or me?
That feeling of panic
That hits when I think,
“I forgot to make sure she was free.”

All my years of therapy
And yet I still cling
To the guilt I feel when I’m not there.
It’s such a cliché but I find myself thinking,
“I wish I’d been born as a pair.”

In some ways it’s easier now than it was
Lucy’s used to me coming and going.
She’s older, has friends, even tells me
“Get out Mom!” but each time it’s hard for me
Knowing
That I’ll miss some of what she was feeling that day
And I’ll miss hanging out with her too.

Time moves so fast (oy, another cliché!)
And there’s only so much I can do.

I run my own business.
I’m both artist and boss,
But pretend I’m a mom who stays home.
Then I’m gone on the weekends
Or when we’re together
Spend less time with her than my phone.

So I accept from a colleague
A derisive laugh when I say,
“Sorry, I can’t make it then.”
Because I’m picking her up,
There’s a potluck, class play
Or perhaps there’s just no school… again.

And I get to spend time with her
We read on the couch
Her body all snuggled with mine.
I breathe her in deeply
So I won’t forget
Just how good that feels
Every time.

(Then I notice that I have a pile of new messages and texts and I haven’t made dinner or taken
the dog out. When did it get to be 6:30 p.m.? When did she turn 8 years old?)

So I stay up too late
Doing work, sending email
I’m addicted to “just one more thing…”
I haven’t yet found
A different way, a better way
Or just a way
To fit everything in

I spent all that time getting ready for birth
And I think of my good friend, who said,
“Remember Laurie, this is just the curtain rising,
The real show is what lies ahead.”

Ok, so there’s no rehearsal for life
(But I’d hoped as a parent things that I’ve learned would help)
And they certainly sometimes do.
Yet often I catch myself being the child,
‘Cause I still want to be mothered too.

-Lyrics by Laurie Berkner

Check out the FREE MOBILE APP at http://laurieberkner.com/

Check out support systems like a nanny or sitter, Metro Parent Relief offers assistance to parents whenever you need us!

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