Childcare, Groceries

Bits and Blurbs

1. Joe and I visited a Playcentre this week:

Playcentre is unique to NZ.  It’s a type of childcare/preschool co-op run by parents.  Rather than enrolling your child in preschool or perhaps daycare, you can do PC.

PC is certainly not for everyone.  The one that I visited meets 4 x a week for 2 1/2 hour sessions.  Joe and I would be required to attend 2 of the 4 each week.  As Joe gets older, I could potentially have him attend 3 or even 4 sessions, giving me 1 or 2 mornings “off” to do things on my own.  I’m already dreaming about dropping off Joe and literally running home to get in a good workout.

PC focuses on learning through play and doesn’t fret if children get messy {one mum that I spoke with told me that her little girl was on her 3rd outfit of the morning, and I’m fairly certain that there was a tub in the bathroom for those times when kids need a thorough scrubbing}.  It’s definitely not for parents who are worried about kids getting a little paint on their noses.  PC has monthly co-op meetings for ~2hrs or less in the evening, along with parent-education classes.  Since parents run PC, its important that they’re up to the Ministry of Education standards in order to maintain certain guidelines that allow for funding.  I think that the opportunity to have some classes about how best to educate Joe, as well as workshops on how to “play” would be nice.  For example, they have “paint” workshops and “water” workshops, teaching parents how to use those things to teach their children.

This was our 1st trial session.  We’re allowed 2 more before making a decision.  I wanted to do 1 before leaving for the States and then another after we get back.  I’ll do the 3rd one a bit closer to Joe’s 1st birthday, and then go from there.  I think that if we do go the PC route, I’ll wait till Joe has either stopped nursing {planning to nurse him till he’s 1 year old} and/or until he’s dropped or cut back on his morning nap time {there is a nap room, but having Joe nap for an hour of a 2 1/2 hour PC session just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me}.

All in all, I was quite impressed.  It looked like Peter Pan’s hideout come to life with toys and paint and a full-size boat in the garden… every adult at PC who saw me was smiling, said “hello” to me, many inquired about Joe, and at least 2 mums came over to ask me if I had any questions.  One mum in particular was very helpful in providing information.  This PC costs $30/10 week term, or roughly $3/week.  That’s not bad at all.  And the caregiver ratio is 1 adult per 3 children.

2. There’s a reason why it’s not a good idea for Chris to go alone to the grocery store:

Do you see that?  A bag of chips, a package of Belgian creme cookies, and a tray of caramel chocolate cookie slices – all open before he walked through the door.  And not one of those things was on my list, I can tell you that right now!

3. I’ve already started thinking about resolutions for the 2012 year.  One of those resolutions is to create a Home Management binder, but I’ll go into that more later.

4. I’ve created a running list of things that I’d like to purchase while we’re Stateside.  So far I’ve got quite a random selection with items such as a Pampered Chef Food Chopper, jogging tights, a new sports bra, CJ’s BUTTer Sticks, and vitamins, to name a few.

5. I have got so many things to do before we leave.  Thankfully, one of my friends is coming over on Friday to give me a hand with cleaning.  I like to have the apartment in spic-and-span condition before embarking on any trip.  That way, when I get home I don’t have to worry about a mess.  My friend cleans houses around Auckland, so she’ll be a real help and I’d rather pay her than hire someone I don’t know who might feel strange having me lend a hand.  My friend won’t mind if I’m right there in the mix, scrubbing along with her.  Yes, I recognize that one of the reasons to hire someone to clean is so that you don’t have to, but I prefer to have someone help me clean.  At least I think I do… I’ve never actually hired someone for that sort of thing.  We’ll see!

6. There are also so many people that I want to see and spend time with before our trip.  I know that I won’t be able to see all of them.  Some of it is due to conflicting kid-schedules, some of it is due to health issues, and some of it is due to a plain, old-fashioned lack of time.

7. I am really looking forward to all of the shows that are coming up in Auckland over the next few months.  I particularly want to see “Jersey Boys” and have already chatted with some girl friends about possibly scheduling a night out.  I’ve been hooked on musicals ever since the first time I saw “Phantom of the Opera” with my sister and parents.  I really haven’t seen that many live productions, though.  Other than “Phantom”, the only others that I’ve seen on the stage are “Grease”, “Madame Butterfly”, “Wicked”, and “Anything Goes”.  We’re not counting high school productions, of course.  If we were, I’d have, “The King and I”, “Once Upon a Mattress”, and a few others sprinkled in the mix.

8. I won a voucher for 5 DVD or CD rentals from our local library!  Normally DVDs/CDs are $2, but I saw something on Twitter about giving a caption for this photo from the Auckland Libraries’ Archives:

I figured, “Eh – what the heck!” and decided to enter.  My caption was the most well-liked by the Auckland Libraries’ staff, so I won, hee hee!

And in case you’re wondering, the caption was: “Contrary to popular belief, little boys CAN grow up to be teddy bears!”  I didn’t think it was all that original, and personally I found the photo a bit on the scary side, but I’m happy to have won regardless 🙂  Now, I just hope that they send it to me before we leave so that it doesn’t get lost in the mail.

Alright, that’s it for me.  My brain is all over the place tonight.  I’m signing off!

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8 thoughts on “Bits and Blurbs

  1. I was probably to blame for the amount of information – I asked a LOT of questions 🙂 I prefer to know as much as possible up front, and they were more than willing to answer me. I’m still intending to do the other 2 trial sessions before deciding on anything, but overall I was impressed 🙂

  2. Oh and about the napping during session – that means you get time to chat with the other mums!! (And start the courses – I’m a Course 4 and it’s totally worth it. The earlier the better!)

  3. Wow they gave you a lot of info for a first day!! I’m impressed they didn’t scare you off. Re not for everyone, well, we do try to convince those moms who are afraid of messy play to at least give it a go before they decide it’s not for them!! I was one of those moms. And then, well, I started only buying second hand clothes and bringing at least 5 changes of clothes to Playcentre. (1 for sand, 1 for water, 1 for paint, 1 for clay, and one to wear home!)

    One thing you might have missed – Playcentre is extremely empowering for parents. I moved to NZ from Canada and without Playcentre, I would have been an extremely different parent. Now I have a lot more confidence. I am able to be my child’s advocate at school, confident that I understand and have the knowledge about how children learn, (especially my child!) in my head to help me.

    People like to say Playcentre is “only” an ECE (Early Childhood Education Provider) but it isn’t. Playcentre is a place that empowers parents and children. It’s fantastic. Please do go again!! (And don’t wait – they should be able to cater for little ones, too!! My daughter was there right from birth.)

  4. Hey Jenny!

    Love the idea of the PC group I think that’s amazing and I wish that the states had something like that offered to parents and children. What a great idea and such a fun, creative way to learn! Not to mention a nice break for mom too 🙂

    Looks like Chris was hungry ha! I have days like that too though. Lately it was out of control but I’m back to the gym and back to trying to eat better.

    I admire you for planning to nurse a year. I wish I could but nursing hasn’t worked as planned, but at least I’m able to pump and have saved so much freezing that I’m now stocking it up at my moms deep freezer ha!

    Sounds like you have a lot of fun planned and a lot to look forward to. Can’t wait to hear about your upcoming trip to the states.


  5. I love a bits and blurbs post! Considering I write like this frequently, haha! What a great concept for the pc groups and very reasonable! It sounds like a wonderful way to teach while having fun doing so.

    Looks like Chris was hungry 🙂 I have those kinds of days too haha.

    I admire you for planning to nurse a year. I would love to I feel very selfish but I have (and plan to continue a few more months) been pumping enough to last through the year almost so at least Brynley gets my milk. Anyways, I’m sad nursing isn’t going as well as planned. I’m happy it’s going well for you!

    Sounds like you have a lot of great things coming up. 🙂


  6. Lol, you always make me a bit homesick.:) The blue bird chips…I miss them.:) I never actually visited a playcentre, but I LOVE the fact that they have a tub.:)

  7. PC sounds like a great idea and at $3 a session how can you go wrong?!?
    ha-I like how the chips and biscuits were open when he got home. I Can NOT allow athat stuff in my house and it has to stay in Andrew’s car if he wants it 🙂 Sorry, but I dont have self control at night time in the house. ha

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