Parent's Night Out

Sometimes you need a night off…

Parent's Night Out

We have always been pretty hands on parents. When we plan to go out, we plan activities that include our two kids. We do movie nights or head out to the trails. We don’t hire a babysitter unless it can’t be avoided. A) It’s expensive. After springing for the babysitter, all we can afford to do it grab a coffee at Starbucks and head home! B) It’s hard to find someone that you trust. I am pretty picky about who gets to stay with my kids, and since moving from Lincoln, NE to San Antonio, TX, I have fewer options.

Given all of our hesitations…sometimes we (read: I) really need a night off.

Finding a babysitter can be challenging for many reasons. This summer I needed someone to watch the kids during the two weeks that I had to return to work before the kids started school. (I’m a teacher.) Turns out that all of the really mature and responsible high school and college age students that I would trust to watch my kids are hyper-involved and don’t have a lot of free time. Go figure. I’m sure finding a sitter for one night, as opposed to two full weeks, would be a lot easier, but the experience left me a little gun-shy, so I started looking for other options.

Here are a couple that I found:

Artworks: An Art Studio for Children

ArtWorks Art Studio for Kids: Art Night Out. Parents can sign their kids up (limit 10) on Fridays and Saturdays form 6-10pm for a fun art experience with qualified teachers. The kids won’t even notice that you ditched them for a kid-free evening alone!

The Little GymLittle Gym: Parents’ Survival Night.¬†This great kid-sized gym for ages 3-12 offers a safe space for kids to run around, play games and burn off energy while you sit down and enjoy a meal without playing referee! Spots are available on select Fridays and Saturday nights.

Create Place

Create Place.¬†Technically grocery shopping doesn’t qualify as “a night out”, but sometimes you just need a couple of minutes to shop in peace. This amazing place exists inside HEB Plus at Hwy 281 and Evans Rd. Kids get to hang out in a fun, educational setting, and you might just get home with everything on your shopping list for once!

The YMCA

D.R. Semmes Family YMCA: Parent’s Night Out. Also known as TriPoint, this centrally located YMCA offers reprive for parents every 3rd Friday of the month from 6-10pm for kids ages 4-13.¬†

Local churches. Our church occasionally offers a Parent’s Night Out. They are holding one next week for those who need to get some last minute holiday shopping done sans kids. This is another great place to check when you just need a few hours to get things done, or spend some quality time with just you and your spouse.

While being in a bigger city does present some challenges when it comes to childcare, it also offers some wonderful, reasonably priced alternatives. Our kids may be asking us to go out more often!!

2-minute Leg Warmers

2-Minute DIY Legwarmers

So, recently my 6-year old daughter has decided that she won’t wear pants. This usually isn’t a problem in South Texas, but lately it has been pretty chilly. While many of you may be thinking, “be a parent, and MAKE her put some pants on”, I will assure you that it isn’t that easy. She is overly sensitive to many seams and fabrics that the rest of us don’t notice. Rather than put her through the stress of MAKING her put on something that will only result in a full-blown meltdown, I have tried to come up with creative solutions. I think I’ve found a way around pants, for the most part:

Legwarmers.

Brilliant, right? Well, that depends who you ask, but for our purposes, I think legwarmers will do just fine. However, I am not going to pay crazy amounts of money for them. So, I searched around for an alternative and VOILA! here it is. The easiest, DIY legwarmers in 2 minutes…EVER.

 2-Minute DIY Legwarmers

All you need is an old sweater. Find something cute at Goodwill that looks like it is small enough to stay snug on little legs. Take a sharp pair of fabric scissors and chop the arms right off at the armpits. Fold the cut ends down a couple times. Done and Done.

Little legs stay warm. Nobody has any meltdowns. Mom doesn’t get crazy looks from complete strangers wondering why she didn’t dress her child for the weather. Everybody wins!

Recipes and Memories

As I was cleaning/sorting/organizing, I ran across some recipe cards from my mom and grandma. Both of these wonderful women have moved on from this world, and I miss them greatly. Every time I pull out those recipes, I am filled with memories, not just of cooking but of a childhood built around two strong, female role-models that shaped the person that I am today.

My next project is straight-forward and simple, yet daunting, nonetheless. I want to recreate those recipes to share with others so that they don’t die.

Here is the short list:

  • Lemon Poppy-seed bread
  • Dill Gravy
  • Oyster Stew
  • Runza Casserole
  • Pumpernickel (anise) cookies
  • Krumflecky (sp?)
  • Potato Dumplings
  • Chocolate Balls

Looking forward to this project! I’ll be posting links as I complete each recipes. Stay tuned…