Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A survey

I'm putting out a little impromptu, informal survey. Just collecting my thoughts and ideas regarding my plans for my future daycare centre.

So for all you random readers, both regular and occasional, please do me a favour and answer some of these questions for me. I know that some answers might be affected by the region you're in but no matter where you are, the common thread is parenting and wanting the best for our kids.
So if you'd be so inclined to answer the following questions and email them to littlechickadee@rogers.com (please put daycare survey in the subject line so I don't mistake unknown email addy's for spam)

Here's what I'd like to know. (These questions are based on the idea that those answering have children (any age at all) however, if you have no children feel free to answer based on how you think you would feel about it when/if you do have kids)

1. What is the more important thing you would look for when choosing a daycare (quality of staff, program, menu, hours, price....anything at all)

2. Would you prefer your daycare to be closer to home or work? What about when your child is older, preparing for school, would it be important to you to have a daycare that was closer to your home school?

3. If your daycare offered extra care/clubs or activities that cost additional money (for instance music lessons for older children) would this be something you'd be interested in and would it lead you to chose that daycare over another that was otherwise equally as good.

4. Would you like your daycare to offer things like 'date night' services or weekend care?

5. Would you be more inclined to chose a daycare that had cameras for parents secure online viewing?

6. Would you prefer a daycare that had indoor gross motor space (a gym) available for the kids use over one that did not?

7. Ideally, what would you feel is a fair fee for full time daycare services (and please include age groups with this)

8. Would you prefer a daycare that supplied food (either with an on sight cook or catering) or a daycare in which you provide all snacks and lunches.

9. If there is anything else you feel is important or something that would make you especially drawn to a daycare, anything at all you'd like to add, please do so.

I'll be interested in hearing the answers that come in.

Thanks a bunch!

Monday, September 28, 2009

A bundles of nerves.

I'm really not a confrontational person but when I feel strongly about something I face it head on. It isn't without stress though.

I have a little guy in the daycare who's having a lot of trouble adjusting. He cries a lot and is genuinely unhappy. That's not my big concern though because I can work with that, I can get him more comfortable with us and I am seeing progress there.
But the sleep issue, oh my! He was asked to leave his other daycare because he didn't sleep (I should mention, he's only 15 months old) I am too stubborn to give up that easily but I've discovered that he doesn't actually need to be at daycare, he's more here for the socialization aspects. I think that's great but if it's the case why cause undo stress on him (and me) by leaving him here for (non) nap time to scream and cry. Send him half days and pick him up after lunch. He socializes but benefits from having a good sleep at home, where he's comfortable.

I reached the end of my rope on Thursday when he cried for 2 1/2 hours and didn't sleep at all and called dad to pick him up an hour early so that he could go home and sleep. I emailed his parents on Friday and put forth the part time suggestion to them, told them to think about it and talk to me today.
Well, it's today and Mom is coming over this morning to talk with me.
And now I'm a bundle of nerves. I don't want her to be angry or upset. I am genuinely interested in the best interests of her son, as I'm sure she is, I just wonder if we are on the same page on how to achieve that.
In a perfect world my suggestion will have been met with a positive attitude and we can move forward.
Worst case scenario, mom blows her haystack and pulls her son out and encourages her friend (another client) to pull her daughter out. Then I'm screwed.

I guess I'll know by 9:15. Wish me luck.

I went to a workshop on Saturday at school, it's part of a series of workshops for opening your own childcare centre.
It was very informative but I was really surprised at a few things. There were several people in my class who were not childcare professionals who were interested in opening daycares.
I realize that it's a business and not every centre is owned by a childcare professional but I wonder if that should really be allowed. At the beginning of the class we went around the room introducing ourselves and telling why we were taking the class. There was a very obvious division. Those of us who were childcare professionals talked about how we'd worked in this place or that and that we wanted to open a centre that could offer what we individually felt was the best possible care.
The people who were not childcare professionals talked about how daycare was a goldmine and that was why they opened.

In light of this, I suspect that if I looked at commercial centres and their owners I would find that most of the ones with the reputation of being stingy would be owned by non childcare professionals whereas the ones owned by childcare professionals might not be so much so. Something to think about.

The girls have got their Halloween costumes already. (yep, already) Mary Jo wears hers everyday after school. She's a rock star (which means pink cheetah print pants and a black shirt that says "rock star" on it with a black boa collar.
Emily is also a rock star but hers is more of a punk looking thing with a hat and dress (yes, Emily is wearing a dress - but plans to have black leggings under it)
Still haven't figured out what I'll put Connor in. It will depend on the weather the day of, I'll pick something out of the dress up box for him.

Connor has started swearing like a sailor. He's actually just talking but shirt is 'shit', socks is 'cocks'. The other day my mom and I went to the Samko/Miko toy warehouse and being on the highway we passed a lot of trucks. He used to call them 'bus' but he's since learned they are trucks. So most of the drive was spent with him yelling "ooooh big fuck!" It's cute now but I'm sure when he's 15 and yelling it at me I'm not going to be smiling like this.

And so the day begins.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Papa's coat


A few years ago, for Christmas, we bought my dad a coat. It was a blue lumber jack jacket that was lined. It was specifically for him to wear in the garage. My dad smoked in the garage and it was cold out there in the winter. He also liked to tinker with the cars (he wasn't physcially able to fix them anymore but tinker he could still do) and he wore his coat for that too. We called it his garage coat.

As Connor got older and started talking one of the 'games' he would play with my dad was the put on your coat game. My dad would come upstairs to head out to the garage. Connor would tell him 'tote' (coat) and my dad would say "I have to put on my coat? Okay" Sometimes, if Connor was in his high chair he'd tell Connor to come help him get his coat off the hook.


When my dad got sick, he told my mom one day that she'd have to take his garage coat, wash all the smoke out of it and save it for Connor. Well, my mom did one step better. She took the coat apart and made one for Connor with it. I thought she was going to save it for his birthday but she surprised me with it this morning.


I love it. And even though the material is worn and the ribbing doesn't have much stretch left, it's the best coat there ever was. It's Papa's garage coat. And now it's Connors.


Yay Me!

I've said it many times before (and I know there are many of my online friends who find it hard to believe) that I am pretty shy in real life. I don't make small talk well and in groups with people I don't know I tend to be very quiet and reserved. It can often be mistaken for being snobbish or stuck up.

But when it comes to my work I am pretty good. I meet strangers all the time and in essence, make a job of selling myself to these strangers. "Hi, you don't know me from Adam but please trust me and my skills enough to leave your child in my care"
I'm pretty good at that because I have confidence in my skills and my abilities as an Early Childhood Educator, I'm passionate about my work and though I sometimes get worn out, I'm not anywhere near burn out. (which is great considering this is a high 'burn out' profession.)

So going back to school has been a challenge for me. I'm in an uncomfortable social situation, talking with people I don't know but we do all have on thing in common, we are all ECE's which gives me that little bit of confidence because when all else fails, I can talk shop talk all day long.

I've been stressing since the first day of class because there is an assignment that requires a partner. So, I'm forced to pair up with a stranger and though it's work related it's still an awkward social situation for me. So since the first day I've class I've scoped out my classmates, observing, making some chit chat and trying to figure out who I'd like to potentially pair up with. I had three people in my class of 16 in mind. The first I knew was a no go because she's in the class with a colleague. Chances are, they'll work together. The other two are both new to the course, like me and either one seemed like they were the type I could work with, smart, enthusiastic but not overbearing. But then it happened. After the first class the two I had put on my mental 'possibly' list exchanged phone numbers and email addys. So I was back to square one.

There was another girl, she sits in front of me. I want to slap her. She spent the second class doing the following; gluing on a broken acrylic nail, powdering her nose, texting a friend, complaining that she hated power point presentations and arguing with the class about how a supervisor handled an issue with two staff members when it was clear that she was on the only one who felt it was handled wrong. One word comes to mind when I think of this girl. Bubble. I don't want her as a partner because A: I'll pull my frigging hair out and B: I suspect I'd get all control freak and do it all myself.

So last night in class one of the girls from my initial group of maybes sat next to me. We chatted (yep, I made small talk!) and we went through class.
As we were getting packed up to head out for the night she said to me "Do you have partner for assignment 3 yet?" I said, "No, not yet." She said "Want to be partners?"

It's like not getting picked last in gym class. Not only do I have a partner for my assignment but it was one of the ones on my possibly list. Woot! And now, I can be less anxious about my class. All my ducks are in a row. And I'm loving it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

100!

I'm a bloggin' fool. This is my 100th entry. Who'd have thunk it, way back when I started my first blog (and then my second and fifth and what number is this one?) that I'd stick with it long enough to actually have 100 posts. I'm growing.

I'm finding myself in a strange place in life. The patience I've always prided myself in having is wearing thin. I'm an emotional wreck most days and frustration, tiredness, impatience and general crankiness seem to creep in almost daily.
It's been suggested that much of this is due to my dad's illness and passing catching up to me. I've spent so much time focused on helping the kids learn to adjust and helping my mom cope that I've neglected to take the time to grief properly myself and I'm sure that's probably true. I dream about him almost every night.

I'm also feeling the effects of mothering not just a toddler but a boy toddler. I've been around the block before but I'm older and before having a son I would have argued the nature vs nurture theory until I was blue in the face, in favor of the latter, because, after all, before Connor was born we used to joke that Mary behaved like the boy we never had. How entirely foolish was I? Let me count the ways. Connor is so boy in his behaviours, his interests and his development. And it's not due to nurture because he is being raised the same way the girls were. (dollies, strollers, dress up shoes and all.)
And all that aside one of his first words was bus. He is also the only child I've had that I've had to lock doors and install countless safety devices for. He climbs, he wrestles and he throws just about anything he can pick up. And by 7:30 when I'm putting him to bed I am worn out.

Add to this the distinct pleasure of having two toddlers in the daycare. My days are spent with two other 15 month olds, both who are teething and one who is a little high needs. Needless to say this adds to my stress level.

I could take heart in knowing that both of the toddlers mom's will be going on mat leave next spring which will mean they are both reducing their daycare hours. And to celebrate this, I signed on a new client, a 13 month old to start in January.

It's not all bad. I have the day off on Friday and though I'm supposed to go for my yearly physical I'm going to go shopping instead. Therapy for a tired mind and soul.

And I'm sure on Monday I'll feel better. But if not, there's always beer.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Playing around

Sean was watching a video montage I'd made of the girls a few years ago on One True Media and had bought a DVD copy of.
I started a new one that included Connor and had forgotten all about it. I found it again though so now it's posted on the bottom.
I also took out the music thing. It was just irritating me.

Really?!

I exhausted.

We seem to be on a crazy phase and it's killing me.

Connor has learned how to open the doors. This meant going out and buying those door knob things that prevent him from opening the doors. Let's just note that with my other two children (and all the daycare kids that have been through here in 7 years) I have never had to have those on any door except one (because it leads to stairs) But Connors incessant opening and slamming of the doors is wearing on my nerves and he's going to lose a finger. So on Friday we he decided to forgo the nap in favor of opening and closing his bedroom door 500 times I thought it was time.
We're also starting to potty train. I'm not going full force at it but if I catch him mid poop I put him on the potty and beyond that we have seat every half hour or so. Baby steps. He pooped on Friday night but it was with mixed emotions. He cried hysterically when it came out and when I cheered for him he cheered too but he was clapping and saying "Yay" through tears.

Emily is making a bid for a dog. She really wants a dog. She can want one til the cows come home, the simple fact of the matter is, I hate dogs. (well, I like dogs when they are on leashes and in other peoples house) I'm just not a dog person. I'll be crazy cat lady, fill the house with cats, I'll be thrilled, but I will not have a dog.
At any rate I'd said to her "Why in the world would I consider getting you a dog when you don't even take care of the cat?
So every now and then she'll feed the cat. Even better though, she's also helping with chores. She's helped me do the dishes three times now. Of course, I called her on it, asked if it was play for a dog and she said yes. So I reminded her that even if I was going to get her a dog, it wouldn't be until Snickers died and she's only 6 so she's still got a good 8-10 years left in her. Emily then realized by then she'd be almost an adult and could move out and get her own dog.
She hasn't helped me with the dishes since.

Mary got a note sent home from the principal the other day. Apparently she and two of her friends were playing "dog" at recess. One of the boys thought it would be funny to sniff butts, the way dogs do. Needless to say, this 'game' didn't go over too well with the principal.
The thing is, the note only mentioned unacceptable behaviour. I had to fish this out of Mary. She's normally the child who will openly admit that she's done something wrong and will tell you exactly what it was. She's an 'in your face' trouble maker. Well this one, I had so much trouble getting out of her that I had wild thoughts in my head about her playing doctor or swearing or bullying some kid that when she finally told me what it was I had to leave the room to laugh because it was just so ridiculous. Oh, to be 6 again.


I'm counting down this week - only four days of daycare babies and Friday is shopping therapy day.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hi out there!

I'm finding all these nifty gadgets to add to my blog while reading other people's blogs. My most recent gadget is the little music thing on the bottom. I wanted to add more songs but I can't figure out how and frankly, I get one hour of quiet at naptime to fit in my lunch, tidying and email checking so I haven't got time to figure it out.
But for what it's worth I suppose a little explaination of the songs is in order. I have 'Halo' by Beyonce on there. I don't have any special reason for it except that I like it and when I was figuring out the music player that was one of the most used songs so it was right there. I have 'Song for Guy' on there by Elton John. I've always really loved the song just because it's a beautiful melody and if you listen at the end he sings very quietly "Life, is a delicate thing" . It now has an even more special meaning for me though because it's the song I used in the video montage of my Dad for his funeral.
I also have 'The Rain Song' on there by Led Zeppelin. Yeah, take me back to my rocker chick days, I know. But if you take the time to really listen to the words of the song, especially the last verse, it really carries a lot of meaning in it. It's always been my favorite song (not just Zeppelin, but altogether) so I had to include it.

Another nifty gadget is that map --------------------->
(I wonder if the arrow is actually pointing at it)

Every now and then I click the map and it shows me where in the world my readers are. Now some, I know - I have some relatives down east who pop in and some of the ladies from FF. But there are some there....I have no idea who they are. Kind of neat really. There was someone from Australia reading the other day. And someone from Spain and another from Germany. (come to think of it, they could be from FF too....)

I think it's kind of cool that I have someone out there reading. I realize most times I'm not really saying much of anything but sometimes even saying nothing can say a lot. So if you're reading for the first time or the 50th time, thanks for reading!

And now, I'm off to do make a new daycare sign for my van (any advertising is good advertising) and I'll add in a little happy dance because despite little screamy man's fit yesterday, I still managed to land a new client! Woohoo!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Things can only get better right?

Wow. I am officially stressed.

I've been struggling with this essay for my class. It's my first essay in 15 years so I want to do it right. I have to write about a leader (past or present) their leadership style and why or why not I think this person was a great leader. I've chosen Gandhi. I'll be honest, I knew very little about him except that he was big on fasting until I started reading about him. I chose him based on a quote of his I read on a website. "We must become the change we want to see in the world." Words to live by. He was an interesting man and I'm learning a lot and I'm not stressed about the content of the essay, more the technicals like footnotes and citing. I don't do failure well.

I'm also stressing about the daycare. I have two parents going on mat leave early next year so their kids, at best, will drop down to 2 days a week, at worst, withdrawn completely. I have one child who's moving in the next month or so and will be leaving. I still have my anchor child, little M, who's been here since before she could talk but now that she's in school full time so her fees aren't very much.

So I had an interview today with a client for January, a baby. Couldn't be better timing with both the other babies dropping down to part time around then but here's the thing. Today was the day that one of the babies decided not only was he not going to take his morning nap but he was also going to cry inconsolably. This triggered the other little one to cry, who probably would have napped but she's working out of the morning naps so it would have messed her up for the afternoon. To make matters worse, the interview showed up right at lunch time, when everyone (myself included) was beyond meltdown and feeling fowl.

Thank God Sean was home today, he gave lunch while I spoke with the parents but I'll tell ya, I will not be the least bit surprised if I never hear from them again. Great.

My week started so well, ended on a sour note yesterday and just keeps going downhill.

Calgone, take me away.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Feeling down.

I've been missing my dad a lot lately. It's just little things, like I'd be in the backyard with the kids and he'd come out and say hi. Or I'd take Connor downstairs to do laundry and he'd go to my Dad's room and give him his remotes and shoes.

Connor's birthday is coming up and I know my mom is making him a coat out of my Dad's coat. Everytime we were in the dining room and my Dad would come up Connor would tell my Dad to put his coat on and go out the door (my Dad would smoke in the garage so his coat was always hung at the back door) That conversation was 'their' thing.
When he got sick my Dad told my Mom that she'd have to wash out his 'garage coat' and save it for Connor. It's one of the few items of clothing my Mom kept of his and she's got it all cut into the pattern for a coat for Connor now. I saw it down there the other day and I think that is why I'm feeling so down.

As adults my Dad and I were not really really close, despite his living here. He wasn't one for chit chat but I still remember the last real conversation we had together, about 3 days or so before he died. It's his presence that I miss most of all. Just knowing he was there was enough and I miss him so much.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bye bye buckies

Wow. My baby is 10. I can't believe it. Okay, so my post is a day late, her birthday was yesterday (that's right, all 9's. She was born 09, 09, 1999) She's grown into quite a girl too. Smart, funny, kind and yep, just enough attitude to remind me that the teen years are fast approaching. I wouldn't trade her for the world and though I know that we've reached the stage where I'm not cool anymore, I'm only useful when she wants me to buy her something or take her somewhere, every now and then I'm still good enough to play a game of Life with or watch a show and eat chicken wings with.

Mary had a big day yesterday too. She lost her other front tooth. Now this wouldn't normally be a huge deal, she's already lost three other teeth but here's the thing...
Mary was a thumb sucker from the time she was 4 months until about 6 months ago. So 6 years of thumb sucking have reshaped shaped her palate and her two top front teeth protruded just a bit. I would secretly call them her "little buckies" (Sean hated me calling them that, though I never said it to her face and I do mean it in an endearing way, they were so stinkin' cute - not nerdy)
So the first top tooth came out and she looked the same because the other one was still there. But then the adult tooth under that one started pushing it to the side, almost like in the middle of her mouth and it was getting longer as it got looser so she started having a 'can opener' look. Still adorable but when she closed her mouth it would still stick out a bit.

Well last night we gave that tooth a yank. And now my baby has no top front teeth and by God she doesn't look like herself at all anymore. She's still adorable but I miss those little buckies.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back to school

"It's the most wonderful time of the year!!!!!'

Don't get me wrong, I love the kids to death but holy hannah I'm glad they're going to back to school.
Summers are tough for them. I mean, they do get the luxury of being at home all summer, not in a daycare program but they are also bound to the house because of my daycare. I tried to free it up a bit for them this summer, my mom took them to my brothers to swim quite a few times and Sean took them out occasionally on his days off but for the most part they were stuck doing daycare things with me and the other kids. The two weeks off at the end of the summer was a welcome break for us all.

And now it's back to school time! Emily and her bff are not in the same class this year, for which I am grateful. I'm also ecstatic that one other kid did not return to their school this year. This kid, who was in their class with them for the past 2 years is a bully. Emily had a run in or two with her last year (and handled herself so well her teacher actually called us to let us know how proud she was of Emily)
Last week while we were at the trailer this girl called Emily, pretending to be Em's bff and left a message saying she didn't want to be her friend anymore. She called back and left another message pretending to be Emily's boyfriend (insert chuckle here) and said he was breaking up with her, followed by a string of profanities I haven't heard since the last time Sean fixed the car. So I called the little brat back and told her the next time she called my phone and left swear words on my answering machine I'd have a word with her mother. Needless to say she didn't call back.
And she didn't return to their school this year so there is one less headache for Em because 5th grade is going to be a toughy!

Mary Jo went without so much as a tear today (first time we got through the first day of school with no tears)
She has a new to the school teacher and I was worried about how this teacher would take Mary. I don't want her labeled but we all know she is two thing...a leader and not one to sit still and quietly for very long. However, anyone with any sort of passion for their jobs and understanding of child development should have no trouble in redirecting that energy in a positive way.
I have a friend who works in the school board and has reassured me that this teacher is a good one and that I should have no concerns (and was disappointed that her son didn't have her too)

And then there's me. It's my first day of school too. I was nervous as hell this morning but I'm okay now. My classroom number has been posted online which means all I have to do is find it. My anxiety isn't from getting lost in the school or my nervousness about being in a situation where I know nobody or that it is likely that I'll be the oldest one in my class by a good ten years, it's all about being late. I do not want to be late for school. I'm leaving almost 2 hours early because I don't know how long the commute will take and then I have to find parking and find my class. And I'm terrified I'll be late. If it weren't for the daycare kids being here today I'd leave at 4 for a 7 pm class. Loser, I know.

Well, that's it for the first day of school so far. I guess we'll see later on how all three of us liked it!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A 2 for 1 day

I don't normally write twice in one day but I'm feeling a little sad. (a lot sad)

Two of the wonderful women I've come to know in my online Mom's group have parents who are battling cancer. They were both there for me when my dad was sick, lending an ear and a cyber shoulder to cry on. I have since tried my best to do the same for both of them.

I was very saddened to learn today that one of them lost her mom last night. I know the heartache she feels and can only hope that she and her family can find peace in knowing that she is in a better place now and no longer suffering.

Rest in Peace Anna.

I swear I'm a good Mom!

I promised a little bit about our trip to the trailer.

We went here. We went there last year and it was new experience for us. Normally we either go tent camping or stay in hotels. This was like the best of both worlds. This year we brought my mom with us. We didn't want her spending a week alone in the house so soon after my dad's death. She's been having a hard enough time as it is and leaving her for a week would have done her in.

I have to start by saying that for the crappy summer we had weather wise, we hit the jackpot last week. Nothing but sunshine and 24+ degrees the whole week. We spent all day either at the beaches or in the pools. Of course there was the obligatory arcade visit in which we collectively dropped $50 to win a total of $5 in prizes (two dollar store stuffies and a Go Diego Go hackysack.
The girls also did the bungee trampoline. This is where they fit you into a harness that is attached to bungee cords based on your weight and then you jump on a trampoline (actually the operators of the ride pull you down and bounce on the trampoline at the same time so you shoot into the air)
Mary was not even heavy enough to put enough resistance on the bungee cords to actually touch the trampoline at all. Emily tried with all her might to do a back flip but just couldn't get all the way over.

Every night at 7 in the activity centre they held chocolate bar bingo. 2 chocolate bars buys you a card and there are 5 games with prizes ranging from 5 to 60 chocolate bars. In between games they do a "choco - latte" dance and the hosts whip chocolate bars out to the kids. (Think shark feeding frenzy...and Nana was right in there shoving kids aside to get bars for Em and Mary. Okay, not shoving but she made sure the girls got at least one bar each!)
We didn't win anything but it gave the girls a fun night out while Sean got Connor to bed.

And now, on to my quality parenting.
After chocolate bingo one night we headed back to have a campfire and roast marshmallows. We're all gathered around the fire, our neighbours, two trailers over are also gathered around their pit. I'm just about to take some pictures when I hear "Excuse me. EXCUSE ME! There is a SKUNK coming your way!" I look toward the neighbours trailer and sure enough there is little Pepe LePieu headed our way. Sean and I both jumped up and took off toward the door of our trailer......leaving the girls and my mom sitting there, stunned by the fire. The skunk ran under the fence and was gone.

Then it hit me. The chips were down. We were face to face with a skunk and what did I do? I abandoned my kids in favor of keeping myself stink free. I left them sitting there next to the skunk while I took off to safety. (Mind you, I expected them to have the sense to run away also...their reflexes just aren't as quick)

It's not as bad as it sounds, in actual fact the skunk was about 15 feet away and while I know that he could have easily sprayed that far, I also know skunks only spray when they absolutely must. He had plenty of escape options and likely didn't feel too threatened.

All that aside, it was a fantastic week but I am thrilled to be home. A 12 x 40 ft trailer and 6 people can get crowded. And we don't run into as many skunks here.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Jonas Brothers

It's funny how three full days away from my computer feels like a lifetime when I'm used to being on it three or four times a day.

So let me fill you in.
On Sunday night we took the girls to the Jonas Brothers concert at the Rogers Centre. I'll admit, I was not totally looking forward to going. I know their songs (I have to listen to them enough) but I wasn't too enthused about an evening with them. But I'll tell you, those boys sure know how to put on a show. Once you waded through all the crap (3 opening acts - it was just too much) and they came on stage...it really was something to see. I've been to a lot of concerts in my day and I wasn't expecting much considering their fan base and their combined age still being younger than me (okay, not really but you know what I mean - they're puppies) They had had the full package; lasers, fog machines, rising platforms, hoses to spray down their panting tween girl fans, a nifty insert in the middle of the stage that brought up everything from a piano to a complete brass section to a trampoline insert. And just to make it more exciting for the kids, they had Demi Lovato appear as a special guest for one song. I thought Emily was going to burst at the seams.
All this...and they actually sing at their concerts. And they actually sound good doing it.

And while the show was great, the highlight for me was when we were leaving. We had promised the girls a souvenir of the concert. When we were heading up the Skywalk a vendor was selling the unofficial shirts for $20. He said inside they were $45. We passed on the shirts, headed in and sure enough they were $45. So we told the girls they could get a program and Mary got a blinkie flashlight Jonas Brothers necklace thing. (And those together cost $35!!)
So on our way out we're headed back to the train station and a vendor passes us again and says "T-shirts, $15" as he walks by. I looked over at him and said "I'll give you $5"
He stopped and said "Okay" I love a bargain!

So for the bargain price of $10 I got both girls a shirt while yahoos inside paid $45 each. Heehee!

So that was the start of the vacation. I'll write more about our trip to the trailer but for now I need to take a break. I've missed my computer but my fingers are cramping.