Scaring My Kid Straight

One thing that happens at school is that, beyond reading and math, kids let to learn about all the terrible things that they shouldn’t do, like smoke, drink, take drugs, or play with matches.

Fire safety was one of the first big messages for the kids.

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outside butterfly

I started Capital District Fun because I wanted to write and I wanted to help people find things to do with their kids. In the four years (!!) since then, I’ve gained confidence writing here as well as for parenting magazines and websites, and I’ve started working as editor for KidsOutAndAbout, which spreads the word about family fun by crowd-sourcing the information. Along the way, this blog has become a personal family history for me. When I’m trying to remember a recipe or that song we were all singing three years ago or when we went on which trip, I go to Capital District Fun.

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A Different Look

I’m in the process of changing Capital District Fun a little bit. It looks different, and things might not work quite the same way. Feel free to tell me what you think. Soon I’ll write more about why I’m scheming and evolving and all that sort of thing, but in the meantime, please be patient with me. . . .

Our Very Special Lifestyle

I wrote this one back before the most recent hacking kerfuffle. . . .

So, a reader asked me “can you share a little about your cable-free lifestyle?”

The truth is, I’ve had conversations with other folks who are shocked that we don’t have cable, so even though it feels like it isn’t a big deal to me, I’ll go ahead and talk tv.

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Look, I’m Here!

People who are accruing excessively bad karma were using my site to display all sorts of passwords starting on Friday night.  It was creepy and horrifying, especially when I started to respond by changing my password, and the display of passwords, still growing, suddenly included my brand-new user/password combo. So, I shut it down. Or, I tried to shut it down and was completely flummoxed, so I submitted a help request email to the Dreamhost folks, choosing the “HELP! PEOPLE ARE DYING!!” status (yes, they really have a status that reads like that, which always made me laugh until Friday night). And then I cried myself to sleep (okay; not really, but I did have a sad) and let some helpful fellow shut it down for me.

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February Break Hump Day

How’s everybody holding up? I’m getting tired of the Olympics. Well, really, I guess my problem is that in our cable-free environment, the time to watch the Olympics is from 8 pm until the kids fall asleep. It’s a bummer, because we have these big, long days available, but of course it’s just the regular daytime tv, and then my children are desperate to stay up for the Olympics. And it’s a freakin’ school holiday, plus it feels unpatriotic to put them to bed and watch something on Netflix (and I totally have things that I want to watch on Netflix), so I cave. But I really like it when they go to bed and I can clock out for the night.

Ummm, what else? I went grocery shopping yesterday, and after a long weekend of food and beverage excess, my grocery cart was comically detox-focused. So I took a picture. Because that’s how I roll.


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Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, Ohio

We kicked off our February break with a trip to Ohio! Whoop, whoop! Why Ohio? Well, we were meeting college friends from hither and yon (okay: Madison, Wisconsin and Washington, DC), so we chose Great Wolf Lodge in Ohio because it was a family-friendly spot that we could all drive to within 7 or 8 hours.

We left on Friday–the original plan was to head out right after school, but we sensed a snow day was coming, so we thought we’d make it out by 10 am. And then there was so much freaking snow that we didn’t make it out until closer to 1 pm. Holy crap, you guys, that was so much snow! And like an idiot I’d told our neighbors that we’d clear their sidewalk since they were on vacation. Except those neighbors live five doors down for us on a corner, and with so freakin’ much snow and such high piles from the plow, it turned out to be a bigger job than usual. The snow was up to my shoulders on the corner after the snowplow came through! But, okay: I’m over it.


We got home earlier tonight and are recovering from plenty of fun. Here’s a quick report.

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Swimsuits in February

I mentioned that we went to Jiminy Peak the other weekend, and we had to do some last-minute swimsuit shopping. The girls do their own packing for trips, and the last time we traveled, for J’s gymnastics meet, I was appalled when poor little J changed to go swimming at the hotel pool. She was splashing around with her little friends in their cuter-than-cute suits, and her suit was faded and sagging almost to her knees.  Shot to hell, so bad that it was not just unworthy of being passed down to friends, it couldn’t even go into the anonymous random donation box. Straight to the garbage.

We checked out the swimsuit supply. As often happens, we had tons of swimsuits in one size and not a single suit in another.

So before Jiminy, we headed to Target. Luckily, swimsuit season at Target runs February to May, so they were well stocked.


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I Know How To Rock a Snow Day

Would you also like to rock a snow day? Follow these ten easy steps.

1. Emotionally prepare yourself with the snow day calculator. Because knowledge is power.

2. Go to the store ahead of time so that you can stay home. Everyone says bread and milk, but my essentials are toilet paper and Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix. Actually, I almost forgot toilet paper this go-around, and I was saved by someone posting one of those panicky “Gotta Go Shopping” pictures on Facebook, which reminded me to add the toilet paper to the list. If you have space available at your house and young kids at home, purchase 3 or 4 value-packs of toilet paper and paper towels and voilà, you will have plenty of paper products AND a fort-building kit to inspire their creativity and engineering skills at the same time. You are the best parent ever.

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