Archive for October, 2009

Oh boy

Friday, October 30th, 2009

I am – by no stretch of the imagination – a girly girl. I rarely wear makeup and my hair is usually pulled back in a pony tail. Forget fashion. I’m at home in a worn pair of jeans, my law school sweatshirt and a ratty sneakers. I know far more about baseball than I do about barbie dolls.

Yet when I heard we were having a little boy, I completely freaked out. After leaving the doctor’s office, in the safety of my car, I started crying to hubby. “WHAT am I going to do with a little boy?” I sobbed. “WHAT do I know about army men? Or football? Or cars? And I HATE bugs!”

Hubby laughed at me and asked, “Do you think our son is going to come out knowing about any of that stuff? You’ll learn together!” He was right. (Don’t tell him I admitted that though)

I love watching Andrew explore and learn new things. And I am learning with him. This weekend, hubby tried to teach Andrew about football. I laughed because Andrew and I seem to have the same level of tolerance for the sport (roughly a minute).

Andrew is mildly obsessed with airplanes at the moment, which delights hubby and his dad who are both licensed pilots. They talk to him about planes and flying and I try to learn a thing or two…

So we really are learning together. And it’s actually pretty fun.

Except the whole bug thing – I’m never going to like those, no matter how fascinating Andrew finds them!

Jack’s Journal

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

A few weeks ago I created a journal for Jack that reflects the little details of his life.  I thought it would be intriguing for him to read twenty, thirty or fifty years from now.  Every so often I write what he was up to on any given day, a funny quote or something i think he will find interesting .  I wish I had started this months ago, but it’s better late than never.  Below is an entry I made last week:

Today you

are two years, four months and twenty one days young.

wore blue sunglasses while brushing your teeth.

ate Ritz cheese crackers for a snack and licked the cheese off the wrapper.

built a race track just to make the cars crash.

rode your scooter at record-breaking speed.

cooked up some yummy banana bread with mommy.

rescued a caterpillar and put him back in the dirt.

kissed the boo-boo on mommy’s hand and told her it was Okay.

talked about Daddy playing trains with you when he gets home.

wanted to play ball with Nathan, but he is too young (newborn) to play.

gave me a lot of kisses that are too sweet for words.

showed me once again of how blessed I am to be your mother.

Edible Embarrassment!

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Have I ever mentioned that I have the “gift of gab?” Well, apparently so does Brady. He also has the blessings of innocence and not knowing what is OK to say. We are entering the embarrassing stage now. Most of the time I can come up with a simple explanation about why grandma needs a wheelchair and can’t talk (Parkinson’s), or why another child might be screaming, or his numerous other questions and statements.

Well, last week at our local grocery store, Brady shocked me. We were rushing through the store just grabbing a few items on our way home. Mammaw (my mom) was with us, which probably made things worse. Brady was in the cart and we ran into one of my sister’s friends. We hadn’t seen him in about ten years and he had obviously gained a lot of weight. In Brady’s defense, he was also a very tall man. I said hello and introduced Brady to Steve. Immediately Brady bursts out “boy mama, he is BIG – REALLY BIG, that is ONE BIG MAN.”

What does a mother do when your child blurts out something embarrassing (even if it is the truth)? So at this point I explain to Brady that this man was a friend of Uncle Keith’s. I quickly say goodbye and RUN, trying to ignore the statement and quickly get to the check-out line. I hope the man didn’t hear my son’s comments, but we will never know.

My mom later informed me that I used to tell people with freckles that they had polka dots all over their skin and they scared me. So I guess apples don’t fall far from their trees.


Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Hey everyone!   It’s Andrew.

I know this is usually mommy’s gig, but she’s in the other room getting my food together for school tomorrow.   I scrambled up onto the couch and took over her laptop.

Today was so much fun!  We’ve been learning about police this week in school.  I like the flashing lights on their car.  But I think their lights should be yellow.  Yellow’s my favorite color.

They took us all outside on the playground, even though it was cold.  Someone put my jacket on me backwards!  I tried to stop them, but they didn’t listen.

When we got outside, there was a really big policeman there.  He had a dog with him!  I love dogs.   This was a special police dog.  He did lots of tricks for us, like finding stuff the policeman hid on the playground.   They told us that the doggy helped the police catch bad guys and keep us safe.   That’s a really important job.  I want to have an important job one day.

I got to pet the dog.  He gave me kisses.  It was really cool.  Maybe I can have a job where I work with dogs when I get older.

Mommy asked me what I wanted to be for Halloween.  She vetoed my first two ideas (Nana and daddy).  I wasn’t really serious about the first two… I’m going to be a doggie!  I even got to pick out my own costume.

And then when we got home…uh-oh!  Mommy’s coming back into the room.  I better get off the computer.  Catch you next time!


I love talking with Andrew.  Most of the time I think we actually understand each other.    This is what he told me about his day yesterday – well, he told me a majority of it anyway.  In words like “doggie” and “outside,” letting me extrapolate the rest.

I wish we got to spend more time together during the week while we are both awake.  But I love every minute of the moments we do have together.   Hope you enjoyed meeting the little guy.  He may make another appearance and guest write a post or two…

Have a good weekend everyone

Daddy’s home!

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

A week ago, Jack and I were able to reunite with our personal hero, Daddy. Jack helped me hang our “Welcome Home Daddy” banner and put American flags all over our yard.  We both felt pretty patriotic supporting our #1 guy (and all of the military).  Every time he returns from deployment there is a strange mix of anticipation, anxiety and excitement. Unfortunately, it was also an all too familiar feeling, since this was our third deployment in as many years.

I vividly remember the day my husband left for deployment. We shared countless hugs, kisses and tears between the three of us.  We knew the sooner Daddy left, the sooner he would return.  It was a sad day, but we are so proud of what he does for our family and our country.  Although it’s very taxing on us, we are emotionally there to support him 100%.  Jack and I constructed a countdown calendar.  Every night Jack would cross off a day knowing he was one day closer to being with Daddy again.  It was a good tool that helped give Jack a way to understand his father’s return. It also gave me something to look forward to.

When the big day finally came, Jack and I waited for Daddy at the air terminal. We were both giddy and excited to see him.  I was really curious to see what Jack’s reaction would be.  We talked about Daddy everyday and we chatted with him via Skype when he was in port. We also sent a lot of pictures so he could see Jack and watch him grow.  When Daddy came through the door Jack was a little unsure of the situation at first.  Jack was smiling at his dad but was suddenly a little more shy than normal. Daddy got down to Jack’s level and let him come to him at his own pace. After some apprehension Jack gave his dad a familiar hug. It was such a great feeling knowing our family was back together.  With in a few hours my boys were both rolling around the living room floor as though they had never been apart.

Welcome Home, Daddy!  We missed you!

The Terrible Threes

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Seriously, today was one of those days that I literally felt like someone else invaded my son’s body and took over. Kind of like an “evil twin.” As much as I love the boy, today he even pushed his patient mama to the edge! There were several time-outs, trains taken away, many “talks,” and even one “please go sit in another room, mama feels like she might get very angry.” That was the FIRST time that I ever used that line! Anyone else ever feel like you are at your wits end training these little guys (and gals)?

Let’s see… today we threw play dough across the room, hit the dog, hit me, yelled, and the highlight….. dumped water out of the tub during bath. Now when I say “dumped water,” I am talking A LOT of water. Have you ever seen those large hair rinsing buckets for kids? Yes, Brady filled that entirely FULL and dropped it on the floor. Now, you are probably all thinking that I could have just soaked it up in towels and all would be fine. Yes, very true. Except for the fact that my parents live in an older home and the water QUICKLY ran through the floor, to the basement. There was a 3-foot circle of water on the basement floor. And this was after I soaked up the mess, right after it happened. I was amazed at the speed of the water.

I was warned about the Terrible Twos. I must admit that two was rather easy. Three isn’t that bad either (most days). But today was definitely a Terrible Three day. When we did our goodnight routine, I still gave the kisses and hugs and told him I loved him (of course). But I did mention that “boy, I hope my nice Brady is back tomorrow.” And my little guy looked at me and said “don’t worry mama, he will be back.”

The Tradition Continues…

Friday, October 16th, 2009

So many of my favorite memories from when I was little involve baseball. My dad had my sister and me playing t-ball as soon as we could hold up a bat without falling over. He coached our little league teams for so long that the town almost named a baseball field after him. My sister and I both played catcher, and I’ll begrudgingly admit that she was far better at it than I ever was. But no matter what else he had going on, dad always came to our games.

Sundays have always been about baseball. My dad started taking me to games when I was 5. I knew how to score a game by age 7. In the beginning, he would bring an activity bag full of toys and coloring books. When I was older, my sister was the one with the activity bag and I was almost as into the game as my dad and uncle.

When I heard I was having a little boy, I couldn’t wait to continue the tradition. (I would have been equally excited to introduce a little girl to baseball.) Andrew has his own little Jeter jersey, a baseball glove, tons of baseballs and a little bat that he likes to swing around like a golf club.

Andrew is learning baseball slowly, excitedly pointing out whenever he sees someone playing. He sat with me on the couch and, like all good Yankee fans everywhere, together we rooted for the Angels as they ended the Red Sox’s time in the post-season.

Traditions are important. Every family has them, no matter how big or small. I still think it’s the most special thing when I get to sit next to my dad at a ballgame. It’s just not the same without him. And I love being able to share this one with him.

C is for Cookie

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

It’s hard to imagine Halloween is just around the corner. With temperatures still in the low 80’s it just doesn’t feel like Fall has arrived. Although, last Sunday, when Jack and I were strolling through the neighborhood on our daily walk, we were fascinated by all the orange and black that seemed to take over our street. This is the first year of Jack’s life where he can somewhat grasp what Halloween really is. He pointed out every pumpkin, scarecrow, bat and witch he could get his eyes on. I’m sure he will quickly learn that candy is a large part of Halloween, too!

Seeing all the decorations from our walk inspired me to be a little festive and bake some Halloween cookies. Jack was my assistant and we had a blast making a mess in the kitchen. We turned on the iPod, listened to some “scary tunes” and started in on the fun. Jack helped me pour in all the ingredients and mix the batter. We made some yummy chocolate and vanilla sugar cookies with candy corn on top. It is a great kid-friendly recipe to help teach your little one(s) the joys of baking. I wanted to share the recipe with you so you and your little one(s) could experience the spirit of Halloween just like we did.


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • About 36 candy corns


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter and sugar in a medium bowl; beat with a wooden spoon until combined. Beat in egg yolk, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Add flour, and mix until a dough forms.

2. Chocolate Variation: Reduce the amount of flour given in the recipe to 1/2 cup. Add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder along with the flour in step 1, and proceed.

3. Scoop out level teaspoons of dough, and roll into balls (chill dough briefly if it becomes too soft to handle). Place balls on baking sheets, 2 inches apart.

4. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are firm and cookies are dry to the touch (do not let cookies color), 10 to 12 minutes.

5. Remove from oven; gently press a candy corn into center of each cookie (surface of cookies may crack slightly). Let cookies cool completely.

Happy Baking….. ’til next time!

Storytime Success

Monday, October 12th, 2009

I may have mentioned before, that Brady is a pretty good kid. He has a lot of energy, but he is very obedient and typically makes me VERY proud. Well, today was full of surprises. He has taken swimming lessons and gym classes and had a lot of success. But let’s remember, those both are ACTIVE events. Storytime at the local library was never a hit (meaning, he never would sit). I have tried this one tried several times since he turned three. The last time was nearly four months ago. Honestly, it was almost embarrassing that kids a year or more younger than Brady would sit and listen to the story, but Brady just wanted to walk around and explore.

It is bittersweet to admit it, but my baby boy is growing up. Today we learned about the letter H, did two dances, read two stories, pretended to be hippos, and even made a hippo craft – at Preschool StoryTime. There was no running out of the room (as before). There was no running around the room (as before). Now, I did need to sit right beside him on the rug and do the dances, be a hippo, etc.. But for those who have been following this blog: I am not a parent that minds to get my hands a little dirty!

He sat there, listened, and even participated with age-appropriate questions. As I sat next to him, small tears welled up in my eyes. Realizing that he might be my only child, although I would have loved to have more, it is bittersweet to realize that he is really growing up. But at the same time I was SO proud of him for sitting still and participating in class for 45 minutes.

Parenting is a constant struggle of holding on and letting go. You want your child to be socially “normal” and able to leave you comfortably to go to Sunday School or Preschool. Yet, you still want them to hold your hand in the store. As they get older, finding that balance is harder and harder (and we are only at three years old, I can’t imagine balancing the struggle with a teenager). They need some independence, yet guidance also. Should I have sat on that storytime rug with him? Or should I have sat in the back with the rest of the parents? Baby steps I guess (for both of us). He was in a class for 3-6 year olds, and the youngest. So I think we both did pretty well. Maybe next week I will sit behind him.

2s…terrible or terrific?

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Probably like most children as they approach their second birthday, Andrew is fiercely independent. He’s a little boy who knows exactly what he wants…and he’s not afraid to let you know when you’re not giving it to him. He also has a heart of gold, and he wears it on his sleeve when it comes to the (many) women in his life.

Spend any time with my boy, and you know that he will flirt with any girl age 9 days to 90 years old. And boy do they love him back. I got to see one of the reasons why yesterday when I picked Andrew up from daycare.

Andrew was happily playing with puzzles when I entered the room. It was getting late in the day and they had combined classes, letting Andrew and his classmates play with next age group up. Andrew loves being with the big kids, particularly Dakota – an older girl who had doted on him when they were in the infant room together.

We were packing up his things and getting ready to leave when we saw a little boy grab Dakota’s hair and push her into a shelf. Andrew screamed “NO!” and ran over. I watched in awe as Andrew placed himself between Dakota and the bully, who was a good 4 inches taller than Andrew and now trying to stand on Dakota’s legs.

As Andrew held the bully at bay until the teacher rushed over, he was also trying to calm Dakota, stroking her arm with a look of pure concern on his face. Then he bent down and the two of them embraced, beaming at each other.

Andrew gave Dakota a quick kiss on the cheek and waved goodbye, grabbing my hand as we walked out of the room.

I scooped him up in my arms and gave him an embarrassingly large hug and kiss.
He laughingly pushed me away, with a “Mommy, no!” I gave him one more loud kiss before letting him walk out like the big boy that he is.

I couldn’t help it. I was just so proud of him and of the person he’s becoming.