Theo started taking Cotillion this fall, the first year it is available for a 3rd grader. He was apprehensive about starting since he has to dress up in formal clothing (coat and tie!) and wasn’t excited about the prospect of taking “etiquette” classes. But after the first class he thought it was actually pretty fun! It helped that he had friends from school (both boys and girls) who were there to share the experience.


The classes that Theo attends are run by the Jon D. Williams Cotillion program. They have classes held in Salt Lake City at the Salt Lake Country Club and in Park City held at Temple Har Shalom. The first classes are for ages 3rd/4th grade, then one for 5th/6th graders, and a Social Skills class for 7th/8th graders. Classes are once a month and last through the spring, which culminate in a final party at the Grand America hotel or La Caille restaurant.


The classes that I have observed include a lesson around a certain topic (for example, “Conversation & Listening” or “Table Manners”) and include lessons for a dance. It sounds about as cute as you can imagine: 8- and 9-year-olds learning and dancing the Fox Trot together! The kids are learning about being respectful towards each other along with proper manners and being polite. It has turned out to be a fun activity and highly enjoyable to watch!


October on TV

October 2017

Here are the topics discussed on today’s segment:

Watch the video of the segment here!

Theo’s 9th Birthday Party


Theo’s 9th birthday party theme was one that I’ve been excited to plan for awhile: LEGO! We had a wonderful party hosted by Play-Well, which is a brilliant concept for mobile Lego-themed events. Two party hosts arrived with bins full of hundreds, if not thousands, of Lego pieces and special parts for making actual moving vehicles: gears, chassis, meshing, arches, and trusses.

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The kids quickly got to work making a long bridge for their cars to drive across and designing their own vehicles using the available parts.


My favorite part was that the two hosts were well-versed in entertaining kids (for 90 minutes!) and kept them busy and having fun the whole time. From bringing in the Legos, to having the kids willingly comply with taking their creations apart and cleaning up, they were a huge part of making the party a success. When they left, every single individual piece of Lego was picked up and put away, and we didn’t have to deal with the aftermath. Priceless.


Thank you, Bobby and Cher, for being a part of Theo’s birthday celebration! All of the kids had a great time — and I know this for a fact, because I got an email from one of the guests’ mothers the next day saying, “He enjoyed building with his friends a lot. Thanks Christina for making Theo’s birthdays not just a place to have fun but also to learn.” (I swear I didn’t solicit this comment — but it certainly made my day!)

Since the kids were happily occupied, I was able to focus on my favorite part of planning parties — the decorations and themed elements. Weeks in advance, I got in the mood by creating some Lego builds of my own, using materials that we had in Theo’s big Lego bin at home. I actually had a lot of fun doing these and was reminded of how fun Lego-building is.


I stuck to primary Lego colors and was so lucky to find Lego (or generic “bricks”) plates and napkins at the dollar store. I also found lots of brick-themed accessories on Amazon. For party favors, each kid got a box of “classic” Legos that they got to build at the end of the party.


I used my familiar tactic of designing my own Costco sheet cake to my specifications so I could decorate it myself. I love the little minifigures holding the birthday candles!

It was a great party and I’m so thankful to Play-Well for contributing their talents and energy to a fun, educational, and playful environment (and for Theo’s swell Lego bowtie!).


Log Rolling


Theo is taking swimming lessons at the Northwest Recreation Center this summer on Saturday mornings. We have enjoyed going to this pool in the past, but a good friend recommended their swim lessons. They are group lessons, but for his time slot he is the only student, so he gets a private lesson every week!

After his first lesson a few weeks ago, we noticed that they were setting up a log rolling activity in the pool. He was curious and we observed for a few minutes. When the instructor offered to have Theo give it a try, he immediately jumped at the chance. Continue reading

Mother & Son Painting


Theo with his mother and his mother’s mother.

For Mother’s Day this year, Theo and I went to a painting class at The Paint Mixer. It was a Parent/Child class where you each got a separate canvas to paint. The original picture that we were supposed to learn to paint looked like this:


We decided to do something different, and each painted one half of the picture on our two canvases. Then we would have a larger painting when they were put together. Of course I painted the mama giraffe and Theo painted the baby giraffe. Continue reading