Thursday, May 13, 2010

Texas vs. Montana

Since Alegria loves the library so much, I decided that we would try to go to the Bozeman library on a regular basis while in Montana...even though I almost felt like I was "cheating" on my sister, Abilehi, and our very own Cove library down in Texas!

Luckily for me, I didn't have to feel that bad after all! Although the Bozeman library is beautiful in all of its newness and grandeur (it's BIG compared to our little Cove library!), I have to admit that I was not impressed by their story time. Sure, I COULD be biased because Abilehi is my sister and she's the Children's Specialist and in charge of story time in Cove, but even if she wasn't my sister, I can honestly say that her story time is much more entertaining!

Story time in Bozeman goes like this: you enter their large conference room and what do you find? A circle of pamphlets and books on the floor. The pamphlet is a collection of rhymes and songs that are laminated and stacked together. No chairs. Nope. As a pregnant woman, this was disappointing to me. Oh well! When in Rome... :) So Alegria and I chose a spot and sat down. Like I mentioned before, there are also books on the floor. One book per pamphlet/per person. So I read the book to Alegria. Then we waited until the Children's Specialist showed up. When she showed up, she sat on the floor, welcomed everyone, and then we pretty much were supposed to just hold our child on our lap and bounce him/her on our lap as we chanted the rhymes or sang the songs! About 15 minutes of this and then it was over! :( The best part about their "story time" (which if you think about my description above is not much of "story" time), was that when our rhyming and singing was done, they brought out a plethora of toys for the kids to play with for about 30 minutes. Alegria LOVED the toys, so that was good.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned how story time goes in Cove, but to show what a huge contrast it is, I will describe it now: you enter their big conference room and what do you find? Two tables at the front displaying a craft, coloring pages, and a sign-in sheet, as well as books on the theme for the day that can be checked out. Walk in a little further and you find two low tables filled with craft supplies so the children can actually make the craft that was on display (not to mention baby wipes for clean-up afterwards! Smart!). Walk a little further and you get to a semi-circle of chairs. At the top of the semi-circle there is a decorate white-board with a welcome and the theme of the day written on it and there is background music playing on a CD player. There are also two stacks of carpet squares that the children can get a square from to sit down in the middle of the circle. At 10:40, Abilehi (the Children's Specialist) walks around shaking a tambourine to signal that story time is about to begin. Abilehi begins with a welcome. Then we dance and sing to the "Shake Your Sillies" song, which all of us love! Next Abilehi walks around with a HUGE, colorful feather and "sprinkles" everyone with some "listening dust" so we can all pay attention during story time. Then Abilehi brings out "Jack," who lives in a colorful box! We all wonder what sounds he'll make each day! Abilehi knocks on his box and asks "who's there" (we all say it along with her!) and then Jack comes out and makes sounds of different animals...until he finally gets it right on the third try and barks like the dog that he is! Once he's got it right, Jack sits on a podium and watches us throughout story time. Then Abilehi alternates between rhymes, songs, and books that are all based on the theme! Sometimes there are dancing songs that we dance along to and/or sing along to, rhymes with actions that we chant and do actions along with her to, and books that sometimes have puppets that the children can be active participants of. And all are based on the theme of the day! Afterwards, Abilehi goes around with the feather again and picks up our "listening dust" and the kids put away their carpet squares and "feed the frog." (Abilehi has a frog hand puppet that she brings out at the end as everyone is putting away their carpet squares and it "nibbles" on the childrens' hands since it hasn't eaten all week long! The kids love it and want to feed it more than once!) After that, Abilehi brings out two bins of musical instruments (maracas, egg shakers, tambourines, etc.) and the kids get to choose whatever they want. Then they all follow her around the outside of the chair circle as the "Goodbye Song" plays on the CD player. As Alegria has gotten older, she's slowly become better and better at everything and now she actually goes around the circle all by herself, sometimes even being ahead of Abilehi! I love watching this little parade and the wonderful bright smile of Alegria as she shakes the same purple maracas that she always chooses! Once the song is over, the kids put the instruments away and can continue to or start working on their craft. Oh, so fun!

As you can see, there is a vast difference in the two story times! And it has nothing to do with the age group, either, because I chose to go to the story time on Bozeman that corresponded with the same age group as we go to in Cove!

Anyway...I guess I want to say, THANK YOU COPPERAS COVE PUBLIC LIBRARY for being over-the-top in AWESOMENESS!!! :) Abilehi can truly be proud of where she works! We can't wait to get back to Cove to participate in her story time!

Well, now that I've about written a whole book, on to the rest of my post for today. :)

We were going to meet Grandma and Grandpa for lunch, but we still had time on our hands before our meeting time, so Alegria and I went to Hallmark to check out all of the neat stuff there while we waited. The nice cashier lady gave Alegria a balloon, but got upset when she tried to tie it to her then I ended up holding on to it. I held Alegria as long as possible as we roamed in the store, but I eventually had to put her down...she gets heavier by the seems! My mistake! Of course, she decided she wanted to play with a baby shower gift in the shape of a large bottle...

...and then she had a fit when I took it away from her! How embarassing!

We left and met Grandma and Grandpa at Burger King, which Grandma had chosen because it has an indoor play area. Alegria went to that as soon as we walked in! Alegria loved it so much that she didn't want to eat her lunch! I had to pack her lunch up to give it to her at home.

Once home, Alegria and I took a nap. Ah! Sweet rest!

After our nap, we went outside and played. Grandma and Grandpa were off to teach their Addiction Recovery class again, so it was just Alegria and me until Uncle Kellen and Britney showed up.

As we were watching the sheep, Alegria noticed the little lambs were sleeping...

So she told me to "shhh!"

When I finally got her away from the sheep, she decided the garage floor was dusty and she wanted to sweep it!

Could it be? Is the driveway dusty, too?!

Finally coerced to come inside, we treated ourselves to some Golden Oreos...YUM! And if you can believe it, Alegria opened them up all by herself and kept eating just the cream! We don't buy Oreos very much at home and I always dunk mine...and I think Cameron just eats his I have no idea how she got the idea to do this! Silly child! :)

Needless to say, Grandma wondered how we (Uncle Kellen and Britney, too), could have almost emptied the whole pack of cookies at one sitting, but I tell you...with a little munchkin eating just the cream, she goes through a whole lot of cookies faster that way!

What a fun day! What will tomorrow bring? :)

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