SoBo Mama's Tips & Tricks

{April 12, 2015}   Spring Broken

So Caddo Schools and Bossier Schools decided to mess with my schedule this year.  The monkeys were on spring break the last of March while I was out the first week of April.

Not that the monkeys minded.  They spent Monday through Thursday, while I worked, hanging out with PawPaw and MawMaw.  Thursday they slept over with Nana after church and did a walk for church Good Friday.  The weekend was hectic with Easter and all. Then Monday, monkey 1 went back to the grandparents for the day – probably due to my housecleaning plans.

Since the monkeys are not really self-starters, I was up early every day of my “break.”

Tuesday, Granny@thefarm took me for a birthday breakfast and a very indulgent shopping trip.  It was nice to be spoiled!  Then Best Teacher Friend harassed me into going walking.  It was a great day.

Most of the break, I just did stuff around the house.  I had lunch one day with Monkey 2, washed lots of laundry, weeded the flower bed.

I did nothing school related.


And I felt no guilt.

I still have some projects to work on.  I need to Frankenstein my pantry.  I have plans for my back deck.  But I did enough for the week.  I relaxed, recharged, and did what I wanted.

Lots of my friends went out of town, but really, I prefer my “break.”. Peaceful.  I’m kind of sad to go back to school tomorrow!

Do you do anything special for spring break?

~ Katie

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Rubber mulch seen with playground equipment in...

Rubber mulch seen with playground equipment in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Part of the point of a stay-cation is saving money.  This week I need to keep the monkeys entertained and happy without spending loads of cash.  Saturday they went to church with Nana, stayed the night with PaPaw and Grandma, and had an overall good time.  Sunday, Monkey #1 went to a sleepover with some of his buddies and Monkey #2 camped out in the living room.  2 down, 8 to go….

Luckily for me, Real Chick is doing a Stay-cation, too.  She was quick to agree to a play date at the park.  Friday, checking the weather forecast, Monday seemed a safe bet.  The Field of Dreams Park, in the northern part of town, is close to her neighborhood, and although I would have had to cross the railroad tracks, it was my first suggestion.  Real Chick doesn’t have the same qualms about driving distances I do, and liked the idea of East Kings Highway Park, locally known as “The Duck Pond,” even better.

The Duck Pond is located on East Kings Highway in Shreveport, near Shreveport-Barksdale Highway.  The park includes a walking trail, a picnic area, several play areas, and a pond that is home to a bunch of really fat well-fed ducks.  I really like this park because they have playground equipment for all ages.  I went there with my friends as a teen and came back when my monkeys were toddlers.  The equipment and grounds have been revamped in the last twenty years, but are even more family-friendly now.  Instead of sand or gravel, like you might see at other parks, the playground equipment at the Duck Pond is surrounded by a loose-fill rubber mulch, which makes for cleaner monkeys with fewer “bobos.”  Also, each play area has a theme, and my monkeys love love love the pirate ship.

Duck pond park, Shreveport

Duck pond park, Shreveport (Photo credit: trudeau)

Due to the freaking FREEZE WARNING we received last night, as well as busy schedules, we set up our play date for 2 this afternoon.  I was afraid I’d run behind with 12 year old drama.  Real Chick was afraid she’d run behind because of errands on base.  Neither of us was particularly late, and Pioneer Woman was able to join us, which was an added bonus.

I’ve decided playdates were invented by mamas, for mamas.  It keeps kids out of our hair so we can grown-up talk.  And, funny thing, all we had to do was say “grown-up talk” to get any one of the monkeys to turn around and head back to play.  Nice!

The weather had the potential to be fabulous.  It was so pretty and sunny out!  Unfortunately, the temperature rose

maybe into the fifties and the wind today was brutal.  I remembered to bring bread for the fowl, but Pioneer Woman and Real Chick are total playdate rock stars – they came prepared with kites!  The kids spent a lot of time trying to fly, getting tangled, getting untangled, getting water, and then playing on the playground. I think the monkeys have anti-freeze in their veins.  The mamas absolutely do not.

The restroom consisted of what is affectionately known as a “one-holer” with limited privacy, made of metal, only to be used upon threat of bladder explosion.  Please note, the Men’s Room at the Full Moon was cleaner and more chick-friendly.  Not that I would have touched skin to any metal commode today, even if it was completely germ-free.  Just sayin’.

Overall, I think this particular stop on our stay-cation was a huge success.  I’m not sure about Real Chick’s girls, but the Monkey’s were asleep before 8:30 – and we skipped karate because Monkey #1 was worn out.

Now I just need to figure out tomorrow.

So if you’re looking for something inexpensive to do for a few hours on a pretty day in Shreveport-Bossier, the Duck Pond is a good bet.  There is ample parking and plenty to do.  If nothing else, you can burn off a bunch of excess energy in your kids!

Do you have any great parks in your town?  Are they worth visiting on stay-cation?

~ Katie

This has been an exhausting week!  With the first phase of state testing (why did I ever move to a high stakes grade level??), wrapping up a unit and a marking period, and Teacher Appreciation Week, I’ve been busier than I don’t know what!

There are so many options for Spring Break.  We have family in Texas, Arkansas, and Florida right now, all nice vacation spots.  I know Jeepnmom would not have hurt feelings if we headed to the mitten for a few days.  There is a Great Wolf Lodge close by, and plenty to do in south Louisiana – where we also have fabulous, welcoming friends.  Monkey #2 has requested that we go to a hotel with a swimming pool and elevator.  Monkey #1 wants to hang out with his friends and practice his form 2 moves (????)

At heart, I’m a homebody.  I want to cut my yard (again), work on school stuff, test prep Monkey #1, and do around the house.  But I also want the kids to enjoy staying home with me.  I’ve come up with a list of things to do without leaving my comfort zone.

  • Work in the yard:  The monkeys like to dig in the dirt.  I noticed Ellis Pottery has flats of flowers out already and my front flower bed needs some attention.
  • Go to the park:  The Realest Chick I Know has two little girls around Monkey #2’s age.  Monkey #2 wants a picnic, and although I would have to cross into the dreaded NoBo, there is a park with a duck pond nearby, so I’ve set up a play date.
  • Go to the Bookstore: Always at the top of the monkeys’ lists…..
  • Go to the Farm: Granny‘s social calendar is pretty full, but the monkeys don’t get to visit often enough, and I really need to make a point to get out there this week.

I also have a ton of hoarder junk crafting items that could be put to good use.  I do have two very creative monkeys at my house.

It’s been a long week and I’m not super-inspired tonight.  What are your Spring Break plans?

~ Katie

et cetera
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