Monday, February 20, 2012

Incentivize It!

Sometimes, the idea of doing something new for a 6 year old can be daunting. Riding a 2 wheeler bike was not anything our oldest son was remotely interested in doing. WE, on the other hand, really needed him to be able to ride for various reasons. After a lot of pumping-him-up and conversations that sounded like an episode of some feel-good educational show, i.e. "You can do ANYTHING if you...", we arrived at the "I might try point." Then, Daddy said the magic phrase...

"Ryder, if you ride a 2 wheel bike without training wheels, I will buy you ANY Lego set you want."

Whoa. That was the offer of all offers. Now, of course my mind instantly went into panic, thinking about how this offer could materialize. I mean, for a measly $400, you can buy the Ultimate Collector's Millennium Falcon. Of course, Ryder's eyes lit up at this offer, and so the quest began.

We went to a local schoolyard that gave us a lot of blacktop to practice on, with a great falling radius. Ryder tried very cautiously yesterday to make it happen, but could not commit to consistent pedaling and focusing on what was in front of him- as opposed to to what my "other" hand was doing behind him. He was very upset at the end of the day that he couldn't get some kind of secondary prize for trying...but we stood firm, and the Lego carrot dangled on.

This morning, we were met with an uncharacteristic suggestion that we try again today. The determination was challenged a bit, but with a little encouragement, we arrived here...

We then journeyed to Toys R Us, where we got off easy with one Harry Potter Hogwarts set and one Ninjago Skull Truck. Hopefully, he'll want to ride again...for fun.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Today's Must-Have!

If I were Oprah, y'all would be getting one of these! It's our new favorite "appliance," the SOOOOODA STREEEEEEAM!

We go through a large bottle of San Pellegrino a day, it seems. Ry is a huge fan of what he calls "lemon soda," 3/4 Pellegrino and a splash of lemonade. We are trying to instill at an early age that soda in general is BAD, but here is a way to make a yummy "not water or milk drink" that doesn't load you with chemicals and sugar. 

This handy dandy counter device allows me to make my own Sparkling water in 30 seconds. Here are their selling points:
  • Fresh Soda at Home
  • Choose from over 20 flavors
  • Less than 25 cents a bottle
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Reusable bottles

We are slightly fearful that we are creating little soda monsters, since our Soda Stream came with a starter pack with a bunch of flavors you can add...and they do taste pretty good...buuuut (and it's a big but), the bottom line is that they still use Sucralose and some additives, but overall it's better than a Coke...and more environmentally friendly and cost effective.

We bought ours here, but are also obviously available at the Amazon Marketplace.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Pokétine's Day

{Squirtle the Turtle}

This year, Ry elected to have Pokémon Valentine's Day Cards. In typical Freeman fashion, we made them ourselves, at 7pm, the night before the class celebration. Last year was Angry Birds - and those were completely made by Andy, a la Graphic Designer Extraordinaire - and were AMAZING. This year, since it's Kindergarten, Ry had to pony-up and join in.

When you're 6, writing your name 18 times is a daunting task and clearly not one you outgrow (see Mommy & Daddy's growing "thank you" card list from 2010 through 2011). He did it though, and added his own flair to each signature. If you were unsure if our child could write, he made sure to prove it on his teacher's cards, which were all carefully penned. His friends did not receive the same precision, but more gusto...a "Y" like a tree, a microscopic "r" etc.

The other daunting task was for us. As a new, intensely obsessed, member of the Pokémon Fan Club (his fave is "Squirtle" who has the power of- wait for it- squirting), it was extremely important that each child in his class was represented with the "right" Pokémon. We tried to narrow it to 3, but you know how that goes. I searched the web, for not only the appropriate Pokémon, but one in the correct "pose."  Here's sample of the kid-homemade/parent-made outcome.

Now to explain to some of the girls' parents, why our son gave their daughters a picture of a stomach and large intestines. (It's a Pokémon, People! - #2 on the bottom row.).