Archive for January, 2010


Friday, January 29th, 2010

Andrew’s vocabulary is growing every day. The things that he says are amazing. He knows words for things I know I didn’t teach him, so I have to give a lot of credit to the awesome teachers at daycare…

Andrew knows his name, although he has decided to pronounce his last name “Nick-a-Nick.” Not because he can’t say the name correctly. It’s just because he likes it better this way.

He sings along with his favorite songs with remarkable accuracy. Although he is still a bit off with Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” He just runs around singing “Hello Best Shot. AWAY!” (Okay, it’s way cuter when you see it. I promise!)

But we’ve also reached the stage where we really have to watch what we say around Andrew because he repeats EVERYTHING. Sometimes it’s really cute.

I had to yell hubby’s name in the mall so he’d hear me and for about 2 weeks after that, he went from being “daddy” to “BRIAN.” Andrew couldn’t just say the name. He had to yell it like I did in the mall. Hubby was less than pleased and I tried very hard not to laugh…

But other times, it’s not so cute. Andrew has repeated a few words that should not be in a 2 year old’s vocabulary.

Maybe I shouldn’t be confessing to the world that occasionally I slip up and curse within ear shot of my little guy. But I’m not perfect and so far, those words haven’t stuck in his vocabulary. It’s all part of the learning process… Him learning what to say. Us learning what not to say. And both are equally important.


Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Recently Jack has entered the “why” stage.  I can specifically remember when my nephews went through this stage.  My sisters would always say it was a tough time.  With every question that was asked it would never fail the word “why” would always follow.  Now, it’s my turn to go through this stage with my own son.

Right now, when Jack asks “why,” I find it exciting because it tells me he is interested in what I tell or ask of him.  It can be annoying that I have to answer all the “why” questions. However, I think it is a great way to promote learning and engage his inquisitiveness.  I try my best at explaining whatever the subject may be and hope that he gets it on the first “why,” but at 2 ½ I understand if he doesn’t.   I have to say though, at times I see this little smirk on his face and I wonder if he really is interested or just seeing how many answers I can come up with.  I’m sure over time it will start to get a little repetitious and I’ll begin to dread hearing that word, but for now I will give him honest answers and encourage his curiosity.

Everything may be new to Jack, but he already knows more than I think we give him credit for.  Simple chores can become learning experiences for him. For example, today at the grocery store we were in the produce section and I found it a great place for a “pop quiz” if you will, for colors, fruits and shapes.  We also played other games as he rode the cart. It also keeps his mind off of wanting to jump out and run around the store.

I never pass an opportunity to engage Jack about his surroundings. I guess the only difference is that he is the one instigating it now.  I am just glad I get to help him on his way.

Birthday Party Overload!

Monday, January 25th, 2010

The 4th birthday party is officially over. I waited until AFTER the holiday rush (Brady’s birthday is Christmas Eve). We ended up holding the party at a location that is a kids gym (trampoline, moon bounce, zip line, ball pit, etc.). Nearly 30 kids plus all of their parents packed into that room. Brady had a blast, the kids were happy, parents were happy, all was good. It cost me way more than a birthday party should cost. However, we just aren’t settled in the house yet enough to host a party. Our bathrooms and Brady’s bedroom are about the only rooms organized at this point! We have to finish the living and sleeping areas quite a bit.  And to be perfectly honest, doesn’t a kid with a birthday on December 24th DESERVE a big party?

The next day I got to thinking about birthday parties. I have been to my fair share this year. Nearly all of them were a “BIG DEAL,” having to cost the parents hundreds of dollars, kids having a blast, etc.. But are we setting our kids up for disappointment in the years to come? Are we overdoing these parties? As with other things in life is “bigger” always “better.”

I remember my birthday parties from when I was a kid. One was held at Chuck E. Cheese (7th birthday – I remember). The other birthdays were all held at my house. We did dance parties in middle school, sleepovers when I was young, evening parties as a teenager, and some years we just took a special family trip. So birthdays were big in my family, but not typically hundreds of dollars (except that Chuck E. Cheese year). So I often wonder if we are doing kids a favor or a disservice offering them such fabulous parties. How do we “outdo” the party the year before?

While there is something to be said about hosting parties AWAY from home (much less stress). I do think that from now on (starting this year), we are going to do ½ year parties in June at our home. Yeah, I will still do it up BIG. But hopefully it will be less expensive. We have a fenced in yard, pool, and nice swing set. I plan to rent a small bounce house, do face painting, and party outside. So, I guess I better start planning this June party!


Friday, January 22nd, 2010

You can count on literally one hand the number of nights that I’ve been away from Andrew. At first it was because I got twitchy if I was away from him for extended periods of time. Eventually, I got over that one.

But part of me feels badly if I get to go out and play and someone else stays home with him. The guilt is silly. But it’s still there.  I barely get to see Andrew at night after work these days, so how can I give up the few precious hours we do have together?

Tonight when I kiss my little guy good night, I’m kissing him good bye for the weekend. Andrew’s spending the weekend with nana and papa, who are psyched to have the little guy for the weekend.

I wish I could say that I was dropping Andrew off because hubby and I were off for a fun weekend away together. But the truth is, Daddy’s off to Florida with his family. And while the boys are playing, I’m going to be living at the office finishing getting ready for this trial.

I can’t wait until we’re done. I miss my guys.

Have a great weekend everyone.

New Addition…

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Our family is expecting a new little bundle of joy in July.  We are extremely excited to expand our family and share the news.  When we told Jack he was going to be a big brother, he was a little confused, but then quickly smiled knowing he would have a sibling to share in the fun with.  With a little explanation of where the baby was growing, and how we have to be gentle with mommy’s belly (because lately wrestling is one of his favorite sports), etc. he was all excited to watch his sibling (and mommy) grow.  We have not found out the gender yet.  When we ask Jack if he wants a brother or sister it changes every time.  In a few weeks we’ll know, and all the preparation will be in full effect.  Of course, a girl would be nice, but a healthy happy baby is what we are hoping for!

So far, the pregnancy has been going great.  I always struggled to comprehend just how people could be pregnant with other children to care for.  As I have learned being a mother/parent, the best piece of advice I ever got was to “suck it up” and everything will work out.  Well here I am pregnant, with a toddler who keeps me busy.  I don’t have time to think about how tired I am, or how I’m feeling a little queasy.  Sometimes, I forget I’m even pregnant.  However, this past week my belly has really grown and the feeling of butterflies and sweet little kicks is so very exciting!

I’m sure as the weeks fly by I will be faced by many more challenges.  I look forward to this summer and everything it has in store.  It’s going to be a busy one, but a special one as we all grow as a family and welcome the latest member.

Sharing the Holidays

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

I have officially survived my first divorced Christmas and birthday (Brady’s). I have to admit it wasn’t nearly as terrible as I thought it might be. This year I have sole custody though, so he was only away for 4-5 hours on December 23rd (birthday party with daddy’s side of the family), December 24th, and December 25th. I survived, and I am proud.  There was one specific thing that got me through: assembling toys. Wow! I must admit that as the kids get older, the assembling seems to get worse. My main assembling included a train table, a bowling arcade, and numerous power tools. Now the bowling arcade and the power tools weren’t that bad…. Let’s not discuss the construction (and I do mean, construction) of the train table.

I am sure there are other divorced moms out there who can relate to this post and thought. Even though I survived, I did miss seeing Brady’s eyes when he first saw the giant dinosaur daddy bought him for his birthday or the 4-wheeler he got as a Christmas gift. It was also hard because each of the three days Brady was required (by the other side) to keep all toys at the party location. So he never got to bring home anything. I’m glad Brady took this well, and I assured him something special was also waiting for him at home. I guess their reasoning was that since they purchased the toys, they would stay at daddy’s house. My thought was just that he only spent maybe 4-8 hours per month at daddy’s house, so he wouldn’t get to use the toys much anyway.

Each year will bring on new struggles, triumphs, and pain. But we are family, maybe not a traditional one, but still a family. I am glad that the first holiday season is over. Ironically, I didn’t find Christmas depressing. New Year’s Eve was a bit sad, just thinking of all that had happened in 2009. Many things that I never thought “would happen to me.” But 2010 brought on a New Year and a chance for new beginnings. So let’s all hope that each year just gets easier and more civilized.

Stuck in the Loop

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Pete and Repeat are in a row boat. Pete falls out. Who’s left?


Pete and Repeat are in a row boat. Pete falls out. Who’s left.


You get the idea…

Lately we’ve been stuck in the repeating loop. Andrew wants to listen to the same song over and over again. Or read the same book endlessly. Or watch the episode of Sesame Street where they sing about airplanes repeatedly.

The kid has a million books, but only wants to read “If you give a moose a muffin” or “If you give a cat a cupcake.” Great books. But if you read them a zillion times a night, they’re slightly less enjoyable.

He loves music and is the funniest dancer. No matter how bad your mood, it makes you giggle as you watch his tremendously off beat rhythm. But there’s a whole world of music out there, not just “The Wheels on the Bus.”

Everything in moderation… How do you teach that one?

Supposedly I went through this phase too. I wore out the tracks on my Sesame Street record listening to it all the time. I guess like all phases, this one will also come to an end. And there are worse things he could be into than rock music and reading…

Have a great weekend everyone

Big Boy Bed

Friday, January 15th, 2010

This past week marked yet another milestone for my son, Jack.  He has graduated to the “toddler” kind of bed.  By sheer luck, he never tried (not to my knowledge) to climb, crawl, roll or flop himself out of his crib.  My husband and I thought it was time to give him some freedom and let him test the waters.  And besides, he is getting so big now that the crib looked silly.

Jack has been doing great in his new bed, so far.  He has stayed in his bed for naps and bedtimes and comes out to find one of us when he’s “done.”  There was one time this past weekend that gave my husband and I quite a chuckle at 3:05 in the morning.  We were sound asleep and out of the blue we heard this high pitched shriek that said “BOO”.  We quickly woke up and at first were a little scared and then started to laugh.  Jack decided it was morning and time for us to get up.  Luckily, I was able to get him back into bed and fall right asleep.  I think that will be something we will never forget.

Jack is so proud of his new bed.  He talks about it all the time.  He shows it to anyone that stops by our house.  Now, if I could just get him excited about the potty, too!

Where did my baby go?

Monday, January 11th, 2010

You may recall I posted many months ago about Brady having “ants in his pants.” Well, those ants have either left, or Brady has just matured. He has started an independent gym class. I actually drop him off at 1:00, and then he stays for a “structured free play” for another 90-minute block. I stayed the first week and observed the gym class. To say I was stunned is putting it mildly. Brady SAT, yes SAT, and waited his turn. He participated in circle time, answered questions, was social with all kids and teachers, used his manners, and I sat on the bench watching with small tears in my eyes. My baby is growing up. I am SO proud of him and the little boy he is becoming. But then I also miss the little “ants in his pants” rascal that he used to be.

So for week two of his new class, I left. I went home and unpacked for TWO HOURS straight. I had no little hands “helping,” and I got a ton of work done. When I returned to pick him up, the teacher told me that Brady was the best behaved kid in both classes and had matured so much since last May, when he attended the same class. To say I was proud is putting it mildly. Now don’t get me wrong, we still have our moments, but that day, he was a well mannered and polite little boy. Apparently some others kids weren’t, and I heard all about it the entire drive home.

Parenting can be hard. Every birthday I fight back the tears as he blows out the candles on his cake. It feels like just yesterday that I found out I was pregnant with our miracle (he is a fertility drug baby). And since then, time just flies. I hear as they grow older, it goes even FASTER. So for this reason, I make a point of playing with him for at least one hour per day (no television, no phone, no computer, nothing), just Brady and mama. There is nothing that would allow me to miss that hour each day, the highlight of my day. He is with me about 12 hours per day (basically, all of his awake time). But this is quality BRADY TIME  – Mama and Brady with Connect Four, playdough, or whatever else his little heart desires.

Morning thoughts

Friday, January 8th, 2010

It’s early. Both my boys are standing at the sink brushing their teeth. Well, hubby is actually brushing and Andrew is more sucking the water off the toothbrush.

It’s going to be a long couple weeks as I get ready for this trial at work. The days are exhausting, and if I told you all the issues involved, it would make your head spin. I already know that my free time, which is limited anyway, is about to slip into the realm of nonexistent.

So I figured now would be a good time for me to talk about the new year and my thoughts on the subject…

My son is now 2. It could be a year of Mr. Wonderful or a year of Mr. Temper Tantrum. Only time will tell which one of these will ring true, but I’m hoping for smiles instead of falling down on the ground screaming.

365 days…that’s a LOT of episodes of Sesame Street in our future. And Thomas the Tank Engine. Good thing hubby and I like the shows. I’d much rather have Andrew be into these things than some of the other cartoons that are airing these days. (Whatever happened to the great Saturday morning cartoons that were airing when I was a kid? Snorks. Wuzzles. Rainbow Bright. Gummy Bears. All quality entertainment…)

Hopefully in 2 months the trial will be over, and I’ll actually be able to take some time off work. We basically went all last year, only taking a couple days off. Let me tell you…that is NOT the way to go. People get time off for a reason. Weekends aren’t enough time alone to relax and recharge. This year, I’m actually going to take my vacation days. (Yes, mom. I know you’re going to hold me to that one. That’s why I put it in writing)

Saturdays will continue to mean swimming. Andrew’s getting pretty good at it. Maybe he’ll master the art of putting his face in the water with his mouth closed and maybe he won’t. But he and hubby will have fun trying to figure that one out.

Andrew is growing and learning so much every day. It’s so cool to watch. New skills. New words. New off-key songs to be sung. By both of us. It is with total pride that I listen to him tell me about his day (he read 2 Elmo books and sang “wheels on the bus”) and shows off his newfound ability to stand on one foot. I’m going to have to get more creative with where I hide the pens because Andrew is now tall enough and smart enough to figure out most of the old hiding places.

But now I have to run. Andrew hid hubby’s glasses and is trying to pull a mirror down off the wall because I’m not paying enough attention to him. So I’ll close with this though… Is it summer yet?