6 Ways to be a Better Room-Mom

Charlotte and I had rocky start to preschool this year. Neither of us knew what we were doing and both of us were gently corrected everyday for the first two weeks. With a little more direction, we could have started off on a better foot.

Charlotte attends a Montessori preschool and there is an age range from just under 3 to 5 1/2 year-olds in each classroom. The children attend the same class for 2-3 years and move to another school to attend first grade while younger children join the class. The room-moms are the parents who have been a part of the school for at least a year, sometimes two, and know the program like the back of their hand. They sometimes forget that the new parents like me are still figuring out the everyday ins and outs.

*I know dad’s volunteer too, but Charlotte’s class just happens to have 3 moms in this roll. Please pardon my use of the term room-mom instead of room-parent.

I appreciate our lovely room-moms. They are wonderful ladies who are actively involved in our classroom. They accept a mostly thankless volunteer position and take time away from their busy lives to enrich the classroom experience for the entire class. That said, there’s always room for improvement.

From my admittedly limited experience, here are a few things that can up your room-mom game:

1. A Summer Meet and Greet – It would have been wonderful if Charlotte could have met some classmates for play dates before school started. Walking in and recognizing a few friendly faces would have been less intimidating.

2. An Orientation Packet with photos – We received a packet for parents, with the school calendar and important phone numbers. A packet for the kids with photos of their classmates, teachers, and/or classroom would have been amazing to go over with Charlotte before school started.

3. Answer the What if’s – Let the new parents know what to do when something gets flubbed up (as it usually does). What do I do if my child forgot her lunch? Should I leave it outside the door instead of entering and disrupting the class? If we are running late, should I wait with C outside until circle time is over or just open the door and come in? If I lose the school nap-mat that I’m supposed to take home and wash each Friday, tell me where I can buy a replacement. Don’t make the new parents learn by making mistakes and getting corrected, let them know how to handle common situations.

4. Communicate the Everyday Classroom Stuff – This one is more about the teachers, but many times the room-mom helps communicate on behalf of the teacher. Asking a tired three year old to describe her day at school is hopeless. I would love to know what songs they are singing, what art projects they are working on and which educational lessons they are tackling. An update of “This week we are focused on the ocean and sea animals, we are singing “Baby Beluga” and noticing all of the things around us that start with the letter B,” could lead to a better discussion of the school day and practice at home.

5. Use BCC – This is a great tip from Raluca. Using BCC when you send emails will avoid clogging everyone’s inbox with replies.

6. Pictures! – Everyone loves pictures, especially parents and preschoolers! Set up photo sharing, a photo stream or a Facebook group for your class. During Charlotte’s latest field trip, a thoughtful parent texted a photo of Charlotte and her classmates having a great time. It was a wonderful little photo to receive while I was at work. Parents love to see what their kids are up to while at school, and kids love to see pictures of themselves. Setting up a way for parents to see field trips and school activities would be appriciated by the parents who are unable to participate more because of work or younger kids at home and it is one more thing that can facilitate discussion at home.

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We are nearing the end of the school year and I feel like I definitely want to volunteer next year. Hopefully I’ll be able to help the new families join our class smoothly.

xo,
Lacey

18|8 A Lafayette Men’s Salon

barbershop poster

My husband has been on the hunt for a decent haircut for years. He spent the last decade visiting “his guy” who had old fashioned barber chairs and always handed him a beer as he sat down. He would come home and inspect his hair, trim the bits that were oddly left longer than the rest, and clean up any dried blood. Yes. My husband thought it was normal to bleed when you had your hair cut.

It’s taken many years to convince him that it is weird to cut your own hair right after a haircut and that you should leave a hair appointment feeling like a million bucks, not searching for a band-aid. He has finally seen the light and the search for a replacement has been on for the last year.

Garret has really thick, super straight hair that would stand straight out of his head like a lion’s mane if cut too short. It needs some length and thinning out to lay down. He doesn’t want a difficult or trendy hair style. He wants the “professional” cut from the 1950’s barber poster. He has asked for recommendations and tried various barbers and hair salons. He’s been very unlucky, and I could tell he was ready to head back to his old-faithful and just make do.

We went out for brunch at the Cooperage this weekend and he was grumbling about spending $100 at a fancy-schmacy salon for a cut that was not great. He spotted a sign as we parked that said “18|8 Fine Men’s Salon.” It was like the clouds parted and sunbeams showed him the way to haircut salvation. Apparently, it’s not new and it’s a small chain. We checked it out after brunch and they fit him in for an appointment that afternoon.

18 8 Outside

He couldn’t stop gushing when he got home. They had beer on tap, sports on the televisions, hot towels for your face, neck massages after your wash, and a certified barber on staff who could give you a straight-edge shave if you were feeling extra manly. The best part? His stylist, Alicia, totally fixed his mediocre haircut and gave him a GOOD haircut! Good hair! I’m so glad that he found this place, and I can see the extra spring in his step, that little boost of self-confidence that good hair can give you.

** I’m also keeping 18|8 in my back pocket as a gift giving idea. I think a classic straight edge shave would be such a cool gift to give the men in my life.

xo, Lacey

Lamorinda Easter Egg Hunts 2015

Charlotte at Last Year's Easter Egg Hunt

Charlotte at one of last year’s many Easter egg hunts.

 

I love to drag out every holiday as long as possible. I look for every holiday event being organized near me and I try to hit as many of them as possible. Garret has a much more pulled back approach to holidays and believes that one egg hunt and one pumpkin patch per year is the perfect amount. Different strokes. So I try to arrange to attend one event with Garret and the rest with family or friends. Oh and the kids. Without the kids it’s weird.

 

Here are the 2015 Easter events in Lafayette, Orinda and Moraga.

 

Moraga Juniors  Annual Spring Egg Hunt
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Admission includes one Egg Hunt promptly at 10 a.m. or 11 a.m., games, face painting, crafts, and pictures with the Bunny! Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.moragajuniors.org/events/spring-egg-hunt/,
Where: Moraga Commons
When: 9:00 AM
Price: $10-children 8 and under

 
 

Lamorinda Mom’s Annual Spring Egg Hunt
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Egg Hunt, games, face painting, crafts, and a bunny petting zoo. 
Where: Moraga Commons
When: 10:00 AM
Price: Free for members (Members only event)

 
 

Lafayette Rotary’s Annual Candy Scramble
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Children will enjoy hunting for candy in Lafayette Plaza.  Bring your basket.
Where: Lafayette Plaza, Corner of Mt. Diablo Blvd. and Moraga Rd.
When: 10:00 AM
Price: Free

 
 

Orinda Rotary’s Annual Spring Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Children will enjoy hunting for eggs at Orinda Community Park.  Arrive early and bring your basket.
Where: Orinda Community Park, 28 Orinda Way
When: 11:00 AM
Price: Free

  

Walnut Creek’s Spring Eggstravaganza
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Join us for a fun and festive family celebration! There will be face painting, fun prizes with the Bunny Basket, and hunting for eggs and candy! All ages are welcome!
Where: Heather Farms Park
When: Egg Hunt begins promptly at 9:00 AM
Price: Free

 

 

Bunny Brunch – Lafayette Parks and Rec
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Pancake brunch, egg hunt and show is a fundraiser for the Lafayette Community Center .
Where: Lafayette Community Center, 500 St. Mary’s Rd.
When: 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Who: Kids, families
Price: Purchase tickets online through the community center – $8 advance, $10 day of event (if available)

 

xo, lacey