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Thoughts from the Fun Van

Pinal Parent Education July 2020

Casa Grande Alliance Speaker Series:
Various Parent Education Classes Register:
Questions? (520) 603-6126

Apache Junction Public Library Fun Van
View Schedule:
Register and ask questions: (480) 474-8559

University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
Where Does Your Money Go?:

Positive Discipline:
Register and ask questions: Sybil Peters

Plan, Shop and $ave: Get Moving and Make a Change
Register and ask questions: Esmeralda Castillo (520) 836-5221 Ex. 244

Women, Infant and Children (WIC)
Cooking Matters: via Zoom
Register and ask questions: (866) 960-0633

United Way of Pinal County Family, Friend and Neighbor Program
Various Trainings for Program Participants
Register and ask questions: (520) 836-0736 x13

Strong Social Connections

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During these times of social distancing, First Things First, Arizona’s early childhood agency, reminds families that there are ways to reach out and find places to make social connections, including use of video chat.

Library Resumes Services

AJPL Logo-websize

The Apache Junction Public Library will resume more services on Monday, June 1.

The library, at 1177 N. Idaho Rd., will resume open browsing and checkout of materials inside the building. Holds pick-up and drop-off at the drive-thru window, as well as copying, faxing, scanning, printing and limited computer use, by reservation, will continue.

The library encourages all to follow federal and local guidelines on physical distancing, and washing hands as always. The library will rearrange some furniture to accommodate the guidelines and asks visitors to keep visits as short as possible.

Other programming, including in-person activities, remains suspended and the children’s area, including the computers and the castle, remains remain closed.

For more information, please call the library at (480) 474-8555.

Child Care Needs Survey

In this unusual circumstance, the Pinal Early Childhood Coalition is working to assess the current child care needs in Pinal County.  Here is a survey to give your feedback.

If you are a parent, guardian or caregiver of young children please give us your feedback here: Child care needs for families:

What do you want to talk about?

Round Table Discussion Ideas: What topics do you want to talk about with the Fun Van educators?

We are planning a live discussion forum on Facebook coming up on May 29th to be posted here once it is complete. We are hoping to answer the questions that you have on your minds, and talk about the things that matter to you. Take a moment and answer our poll so we can get an idea of what you want to talk about.

What topics do you have questions about for our upcoming round table discussion?

Do you have other ideas?

Don’t see a topic you are interested in? Shoot us a quick message or tell us in the comments! Fun Van has been working hard to stay in touch with you, our community. We want to help as much as we can in these uncertain times. This means we are open to ideas on how we can help you, what types of resources you are looking for and more. Being a parent/caregiver is hard enough on a normal day, we appreciate all you are doing with your families. What can we do to help you and your family?

    Tips for a Wonderful Mother’s Day

    Last year Mrs. AJ shared an excellent post about Mother’s Day. We wanted to share it with you again this year!

    “Successful mothers are not the ones that never struggled, they are the ones that never gave up despite the struggles.” – Sharon Jaynes

                    Well isn’t that the truth. And with my first Mother’s Day just around the corner, I can safely say that this mothering gig is no joke! This isn’t news, more of just a confirmation that, yep, it’s hard to be a mama, or a caregiver in general to small children. But isn’t it amazing too? The chaos is balanced out with cuteness, the tired is balanced out with the triumph, and the gross is, well kids are just gross sometimes. But despite all of the work, all of the confusion, all of the chaos, and all of the doubt that we are doing it right, isn’t it beautiful to know that for this moment in time we are someone’s superhero? We have an amazing opportunity to help create and shape the future. It is an opportunity worthy of being celebrated. And for one day we finally get that celebration.

                    But as is true with most commercial holidays, sometimes the hype smothers that true intention of the day. Mother’s Day is often tethered with lofty expectations. In one of her classes, Fun Van educator, Ashley Crooks, shared 4 tips for making this Mother’s Day one to enjoy.

    1. Have healthy or even low expectations for Mother’s Day: It’s easy to dream up big, outlandish plans and expectations for Mother’s Day. After all, we go above and beyond to make magic happen for birthdays, holidays and milestones, shouldn’t we expect the same for our day? Simply put, no. Remember that to your children, especially those under 5, Mother’s Day is the same as any other Sunday. You will still have to referee fights, clean up poop, prepare meals, and plan around naptimes, grumpy moods, and last minute accidents. While we wish the whole world would just stop for a day and recognize that it’s finally a day just for moms, truth is, it’s the same old same old. If you set your expectations for the day low, anything out of the ordinary will feel extraordinary.
    2. Communicate Your Expectations with your spouse or loved ones: It’s okay to have some expectations for Mother’s Day, just make sure that other people around you know what you are hoping to experience. Remember that no one can read your mind. It’s best to communicate what your hopes are and what you would like the day to look like, even if it doesn’t all happen. If you have a favorite restaurant you want to eat at, make it known. If you want alone time, tell your spouse. If there is a gift you have your eye on, send a quick text to share. If your expectations are out in the open, it will make it so much easier to celebrate you in a way that feels special just for you.
    3. Plan something for you: Be intentional about planning something small just for you to enjoy. Even if the whole day goes sideways, carve out something for you to celebrate your sacrifice, dedication and awesomeness as a mama. This could be stopping to grab your favorite drink on the way to the kids’ soccer game and not having to share it, or taking a bubble bath with ice cream to snack on after the kids are asleep. Whatever your little luxury is, take it upon yourself to create a moment for you. Self- care is essential and if you don’t prioritize it, who will?
    4. Enjoy it: Most importantly, be in the moment with your kids and family. Regardless of how your Mother’s Day will look this Sunday, remember to soak it in and savor it. While the job of being a mama never ends, it will look different this time next year, 5 years, 10 years and 20 years from now. Enjoy today. The snot, the tears, the laughter, reading the same book for the seventh time, and the big wet kisses planted on your cheeks after a long day. Relish in the little ones you have created and the work you are doing.

    From all of us at the Fun Van, we see you. We see how hard you work to love your kiddos in the mess and we just want to say, Happy Mother’s Day. Whether you are a mama, grandma, foster mama, caregiver, aunt or friend, you are valuable, you are important and you deserve to be celebrated. It’s good, hard work, mama, and you are doing great.

    From One Mother to Another- A.J.

    Self Care Ideas