Tonawanda News

Features

August 11, 2013

CRIB NOTES: Looking haggard? Nope, that's just parenting

Tonawanda News — I’m starting to learn every parent projects two different images to the world.

To some people, a parent walking through your average social setting looks like he’s being dragged through acid-tinged broken glass, an ever-present tinge of pain showing on his face as he’s continually in pursuit of someone who seemingly isn’t there. He smells like herd-wrangling dirty sweat mixed with peanut butter and sour candy. He sounds slightly insane as he seemingly dictates orders to nobody in particular, repeats himself incessantly and unleashes a constant flow of apologies.

To another parent, the phenomenon is called “Wednesday.”

In assessing how I behave when I take the kids out somewhere, I concluded I must look like someone who just can’t get it together. Even Crazy Cat Lady must pass me at the supermarket, seeing me continually unload my cart of the cartoon character-graced packages of goodies Penny and Rigby put in there while keeping them out of the toy aisle and chastising them for hitting, colliding with every adult who’s present, and think I’m a mess.

In some respects, I kind of feel that way. But you would, too, if you just explained for the 13th time in a single afternoon which way left is.

You might be a tad worse for wear if you spent an hour prodding your kids to eat, only to see them refuse and then complain 30 minutes later they were starving.

And you’d certainly not feel your Sunday best if you just got up from the floor after making your son pick up the straws threw about the kitchen and entered a living room saturated with the contents of an opened piggy bank.

Children definitely have a way of making you feel ... not quite like yourself. You get used to the sleep deprivation, jitters and the loss of all sense of time — something similar to what I’d imagine it’s like for degenerate gamblers on a four-day blackjack binge. 

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    When the Niagara County Fair opens Wednesday, hundreds of people will enter the county fairgrounds in Lockport for the first of five days of exhibits, shows, rides and food.

    But what not all of the visitors may realize is that much of this summer tradition is the result of months of hard work by 4-H Club members and their leaders and families, all focused on the words of the 4-H motto: “Learn By Doing.”

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    Tattoos can be a touchy subject. Of course, people have heard they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; still, people continue to report being denied jobs and being judged harshly for proudly displaying their ink.

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  • sig - Crib Notes 2014 RGB.jpg CRIB NOTES: No matter what, the kids just want to play the game

    At 35 years old, I may be the oldest person ever to record an out in a kids’ T-ball league.

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    This past week, our lovely neighbors went to the beach for their annual weeklong vacation.

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    More than 90 private gardens throughout Western New York, and a number of public ones, are open to the public for select hours Thursdays and/or Fridays during July as part of the National Garden Festival’s Open Gardens program, now in its fifth year. The program is separate and distinct from local garden walks, and the gardens range from Gasport to Holland. They’re organized into districts of about five to eight gardens each, including Northtowns West (which includes gardens in Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda) and Niagara Trail (which includes gardens in Lockport, Gasport and Lewiston).

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE terrariums 1 072014.jpg For the love of nature

    Sara Johnson lives surrounded by green and growing things. Showing a visitor around her apartment in North Buffalo, she pointed out the plants in every room, the balcony and even in two small greenhouses — houseplants, flowers, vegetables, even carnivorous plants.

    "I try to keep as much growing in the house as I can," she said.

    Another goal of hers is to show others how to do the same — and to that end, Johnson is offering a series of workshops this summer in connection with her business, Sylvatica Terrariums, and Project 308 Gallery in North Tonawanda, teaching people how to bring a piece of the outdoors into their homes in the form of a terrarium or other greenery.

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    As an effort to get children out of the big city and give them a chance to spend part of their summer playing outside, the Fresh Air Fund brings New York City kids to stay with host families for a 10-day trip to a place which is vastly different from their usually surroundings.

    “They will be running outside and playing in the grass and going swimming,” said Cheryl Flick, a fund representative of the Northern Erie and Niagara Counties chapter of the Fresh Air Fund at a picnic for the host families and kids. “They won’t be cooped up inside, they’ll be outside, getting fresh air and being active.”

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    I think it’s true of many parents, that amidst the many challenges and hard work of parenting, we anticipate the day our children grow up just enough ... to like the same things we like, whether it’s as an ongoing phenomenon or a fond childhood memory.

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  • sig - critter companions RGB Calling all the basic locavores!

    Did you know that the suffix “vore” comes from the Latin word “voro,” which means to devour? I probably knew that once, but I should have paid better attention in my Latin class. “Vore” is used to form nouns indicating what kind of a diet an animal has, such as omnivore, carnivore and herbivore.

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    When Explore Buffalo Tours got started about eight months ago, the business concentrated on specialized tours designed to showcase specific aspects of the City of Buffalo’s history, architecture and culture.

    Now the organization is looking to the future and trying out ways to highlight the other unique aspects of the Western New York region. The tours change out each month, but the more popular ones will circulate back in, according to Explore Buffalo Executive Director Brad Hahn. This month it’s test-driving its “North Tonawanda: Lumber City” tour, one of only a few to take place outside the City of Buffalo. (Although a Lockport tour is in the works.)

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