Archive for May, 2010

Melissa’s TOP TEN Reasons that Summer is NO Bummer!!

Monday, May 31st, 2010

1. Brady is an outdoor boy, and I plan to spend every day outside exploring our yard, the woods outback, in the pool, and more.

2. Rainy days are not indoor days. We put on our swimsuits and go outside and do some puddle stomping and rain dances. Try it – it is fun!

3. Vacations: nowhere too exciting, but we are planning 3-4 long weekends away together. We are considering Virginia, Denver, New Jersey, and Maryland.

4. Carnival time has begun. In Pennsylvania the schools, counties, and townships do wonderful fairs from mid-May through September. We love going to explore the various locations and activities. Brady loves to shoot the fire engine water hose, take hayrides, watch the fireworks, moon bounces, snow cones, and more!

5. The boardwalk. I know I already mentioned vacations, but the boardwalk deserves its own acknowledgment! Picture the rides, junk food, restaurants, tramcars, games, and beautiful beaches. Sigh ~ how many more days?

6. The pool. Close your eyes and picture it with me (well, once you are finished reading my blog), the pool in our backyard will now have a full deck around it; the neighborhood pool has the waterslide; we put a nice 6 foot long pool at the bottom of our slide (on our swing set), and more.

7. Neighbors! We are blessed where we live right now. (I am honestly not sure how long we will stay here, but plan to enjoy every moment this summer). There are THREE boys that are four years old all right next door on one side or the other. We have a full acre fenced in yard, nice pool, fire pit, and swing set. PA suburban/country living at its best.

8. Colors of the Rainbow! Now, this may sound fickle… But doesn’t everyone look a little better once they are “touched by the sun?” You can really get away with wearing any crazy shade of green, yellow, pink, etc.. Thanks to a tan, all colors look decent. Even on a light-skinned brunette like me.

9. FREE fun! Our area offers unlimited free events for children during the summer months. There are free rides, petting zoos, movies and/or dancing in the park.

10. Break from Normalcy! You know routine is great. But so is staying in your pajamas (some days) until noon, heading out to the pool, and swimming with the neighbors. Can you tell that  am excited for summer?


Friday, May 28th, 2010

It’s 10:00. The house is eerily quiet. I should be listening to Andrew fighting sleep. Instead, the only sounds are coming from my laptop as I type this post.

Andrew and hubby are up in Maine with his parents. It wasn’t easy to send them on vacation without me. I’d much rather be up there with them than working this hard getting ready for next week’s trial.

I have wanted some time to myself for awhile now… That makes me feel guilty sometimes. It’s not just me. I’m not just Jaime anymore. I’m mom. Wife. I’m the lawyer. Daughter. Friend. Writer. Blogger. A million roles all at once. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But being all those things to everyone is also exhausting. So I have to remind myself that it’s okay to need some time. That everyone needs to recharge.

Now that I’ve finally gotten some time to myself, what am I doing with it? Working until 10 at night. I’m going to need a vacation to recover from their vacation (and this trial)!

I miss them like crazy and I wish I were with them, instead of just seeing pictures on Facebook of how much fun they’re having without me. But I’m glad they’re having a great time and that Andrew’s getting to spend time with his grandparents.

On that note, it’s time for bed…because if there’s one benefit to being home alone, it’s that I can go to sleep whenever I want.

Night everyone. Have a great weekend.

Memorial Day (weekend) Madness…

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

The upcoming weekend is a special one in our family.  First, Memorial Day is an honorable day to remember those we have lost.  It is also a weekend when we celebrate Jack’s birthday, as well as mine.  I can remember as a child always looking forward to this holiday, since my parents always hosted a Memorial Day picnic and a separate birthday party just for me!  My sisters’ birthdays are all within a week of mine as well, so it was a busy time of year with party after party after party.

Today is my 31st birthday.  I plan to be poolside for most of the day and dinner out with my family and friends.    Three years ago on this day I was EXTREMELY pregnant with Jack and barely able to move or get up off my seat.  This year I’m pregnant again, but have a little more mobility, thank goodness.

Monday, Memorial Day, is Jack’s 3rd birthday.  He has been talking about his birthday party for a couple weeks.  Any time he sees a toy at the store, on TV or in a catalog he politely requests that he gets it for his birthday.  His party is going to be held on Saturday.  What kind of party is he having?  Well, I’m sure you can guess.  Thomas the train, of course.  I have been prepping for the last week in order to make it a fun time for Jack and his friends.  I have made favor bags and tags, cupcake toppers, and a banner. I plan to decorate the house with streamers, balloons and whatever Thomas gear I can find around the house.  My husband thinks I’m crazy since I’m 8 months pregnant, but I love doing this kind of thing especially for my own son.

I’m looking forward to this busy, yet special weekend.  I know I’m going to be exhausted, but it will all be worth it just to see Jack’s eyes light up and that sweet smile he pastes on his face.  Hope all of you have a nice and relaxing weekend!

Elevator Excitement!

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Brady is an explorer. Brady is an adventurer. He is cautious, but somehow excitement follows that little boy around. This blog entry is happening after such an “elevator” event that about sent his mama into having a complete and utter panic attack!

Brady had just turned three-years old. We were on a family cruise. Daddy was down in the room, the grandparents were all eating lunch at the buffet, and Brady and I were on our way up to the buffet to eat our lunch. Well, the elevators on Royal Caribbean were glass and you could see all 15 levels. It was beautiful. Brady’s tiny little hand was on the glass looking out the back. Then he moved his hands to the front door (also glass). I had told him several times not to put his hands on the door. No sooner had I said it, Brady had his hands palm down on the door.

Now, many kids have smashed fingers or toes in doors or elevators. Well Brady has always been a unique kid. The door OPENED on his hand. So as the glass doors opened, his little hand got trapped inside the wall to the left. Thank God he still had a lot of baby fat on his little hands. He SCREAMED, I grabbed his hand and pulled with one swift pull. A sensor had gone off once Brady’s little hand was INSIDE the door and that door wouldn’t move. He was fine, just a little shaken up. I was also crying hysterically.

We both calmed down within the hour. Brady has always been careful with elevator doors ever since. And I should mention that the elevator (one of 8 onboard) was closed ALL TEN DAYS remaining of the cruise.

Fast forward to this week. We were staying in a hotel, during a visit to another state. Brady and I  were riding up the elevator with my boss. Brady was on the phone with his daddy, until the elevator lost reception and it hung up. We arrived at our floor; we had talked about how we were on the 14th floor of the hotel. My boss and I walked off the elevator and I started to redial daddy’s phone number, since Brady had been disconnected. I turn around to hand Brady the phone, and the elevator door closed! My heart stopped beating for several seconds! I can honestly say I haven’t been that scared for a long LONG time. My boss remained on the 14th floor and kept hitting the down button,  watching for Brady to return. My dad (who was helping to babysit when I had to work) was riding the elevators looking around (there were 6 just on THAT END of the hotel).

I rode the elevator down to the exit of the building and stationed myself in the lobby – waiting, watching, and protecting Brady. He has NEVER been lost before: even for 10 seconds. The hotel was a convention center and HUGE. My boss called me less than two minutes later to say she had found him. Brady remembered he was on the 14th floor. Although it was only 10 seconds – it felt like an hour.

I am sure someday I will laugh about it, like I do now about the other elevator excitement when Brady was three-years old. But for now, this one is too fresh. I am thinking we will stick to steps and escalators!


Friday, May 21st, 2010

At my baby shower, I got no fewer than 30 pacifiers from people. All manner of sizes, shapes, colors and designs. The kinds that clip onto clothing, the ones that appear to be bigger than the baby’s face and, of course, the obligatory Yankee pacifier, because what true fan doesn’t want their kid sucking on something with a Yankee logo?

Andrew went through phases with the pacifier. In the beginning, he used it a lot and then one day, after about 3 months, he refused to put one in his mouth. This lasted for several months before he became firmly obsessed with the pacifier again.

The fascination was only for a particular brand this time. It didn’t matter that we had lost most of the pacifiers, including the prized Yankee one, because all he wanted was his yellow or blue nuk.

Andrew’s almost two and a half now. At daycare, he doesn’t use the pacifier, not even to nap. But when I pick him up at the end of the day, he has wandered over to his bag, unzipped the outside pouch, dug out his pacifier and is happily sucking away…

When he’s home, he wants it to sleep. He wants it for no apparent reason at all. We try to hide it, thinking the “out of sight, out of mind” principle will apply. It does for awhile, but out of nowhere he’ll start screaming: I WANT MY BINKY!

We try to tell him that he’s too old for a binky. We ask him why he needs it. Andrew’s response is generally nothing more than “because” or “it’s mine.”

We’re probably going to have to take them all away at some point and go cold turkey. But it’s hard to imagine taking something away from him that makes him happy, keeps him calm and gives him some sense of comfort.

So, for now, I hope that he grows out of it on his own.

Potty update…

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Over the last two weeks Jack has made some amazing progress with the potty.  I hope I don’t jinx it by writing this post.  He has been in big boy underwear for almost two weeks with NO accidents.  He still wears a pull up at nap and bed time.  When we are away from home I am a nervous wreck that he is going to have an accident.  He seems to surprise me by always telling me he has to go.  I make sure I pack two outfits everywhere we go.

Everyone told me when we started this process that someday a light switch will go on in his head and he will be trained in a day.  At first, I didn’t believe it because every time I asked he said no and the next second he went in his pants.  Looking back, over the last couple weeks it really seems to be true.  He conquered his fear of pooping on the potty.  Now, it’s no problem for him.  Thank goodness!  With a little bit of time and patience his attitude has completely changed.

I do have questions.  When will he be able to stand up to pee?  Should we be teaching him that now or does that come later once they are a little taller?  He still needs help pulling his pants up and down.  Any tips on how to make this easier for him?  Those out there with kids in pre-school, the first week of school was your child content with having a teacher help him go potty?  Jack still needs some assistance and I’m concerned he’ll regress when I’m not there to help him.

Sorry for the “potty” mouth, but any tips would be greatly appreciated.  Jack is starting a summer pre-school program on June 1st and with fingers crossed I’m hoping for success!

The Tough Stuff

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Parenting is hard. Divorce is hard. Life is hard. But when you mix the three…. it really is triple the difficulty! I have purposely not shared too deeply about my divorce. But I have been blogging for months now, so you might as well know about my struggles;  perhaps someone out there is going through the same struggles.

I am the primary parent with sole physical custody. This means that he does see daddy for a few hours each week, but nearly all of the time, he is with mama. Daddy’s house is always an adventure: his 2 year old cousin visiting, parties, grandparents visiting constantly, trips to construction zones, etc.. Now, don’t get me wrong, I feel that it is WONDERFUL that Brady and daddy get to do all of the fun stuff in their limited time. However, there are no rules and no discipline at all. Now in my ex husbands defense, I have always been the sole disciplinarian.

This, of course, puts me in an awkward position. It breaks my heart when Brady tells me that daddy is his best friend, daddy loves him more, daddy buys him everything, daddy’s house is better, etc.. Of course, I realize he is four years old, and I need to be his mama, not his best friend. He has many friends, but only one mama. I also realize that I love him just as much as daddy, and during a divorce, some parents (and other outsiders) may make comments that make Brady feel confused about what love means and how more than one person CAN (and DOES) love him. But, that doesn’t make my heart hurt any less. I just hope that as he grows older he understands how many people love him and put his best interests first – always. That is the best any parent can ever do, right?

Plan B

Friday, May 14th, 2010

I’m a big planner. I can’t help myself, and I come by it honestly. The problem with planning is that I’m not always great when it comes to CHANGING those plans. Going from Plan A to Plan B is often not my strong suit…

But when you’re a parent? You have to be able to adapt. You have to not only move quickly into Plan B, but Plan C, D, E and F…

I’m supposed to be in St. Thomas right now. Hubby and I are supposed to be on our first vacation together. Andrew is supposed to be with his grandparents.

But things don’t always work out as planned… I haven’t been feeling well, so hopping a plane and heading to a tropical island wasn’t really an option.

But mom still has a trick or two up her sleeve…

After swimming on Saturday, Nana and Papa are picking up Andrew. Andrew will enjoy a day of being spoiled rotten. And hubby and I will have a chance to get in some kid-free time together.

Even though those adult-only moments are rare, they’re so important. Being able to just be Jaime and Brian, even for a few hours, makes us better in our roles as mom and dad. We talk all the time about getting a babysitter so we can catch a movie or grab dinner together. We usually don’t follow through.

This time is different. And I think this time, I’m actually going to enjoy the shift to Plan B.

Enjoy the weekend everyone

Air show

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

As any typical boy, Jack is a huge fan of all types of vehicles.  Obviously, his love of trains you are all well aware of.  He loves garbage trucks, constructions trucks and lately he is into pick-up trucks.  I’m not quite sure where that favorite one came from, but I believe from one of his picture books.  Jack’s daddy is a Navy pilot, so he has been around planes, particularly jets, his entire life.  He has a handful of little model airplanes that he loves to play with and often ride along in the car with us.  Last weekend we were fortunate to attend an air show with The Blue Angels

If you have never seen the Blue Angels air show it is truly a sight to see and one to put on your to do list!  They are the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron and are currently the oldest flying aerobatic team.  I have seen them perform numerous times over the years, and they still impress me every time I see them.

When I heard the “Blues” were coming to town I knew we would have to mark it on our calendar.  Jack loves to watch planes and jets on TV so watching them fly right in front of us was surreal to him.  As soon as we arrived at the airfield there were other planes demonstrating their aerobatic skills.  Jack was so amazed I think he said “Look, mommy” at least 4 dozen times.  There were all different kinds of military and civilian static displays that he could get up close to.

The Blues were the final act.  By the time they came on Jack was starting to get a little restless since he didn’t get his nap that afternoon.  With loud engines rumbling and music playing he woke up and was ready for the show.  With ear protectors on and proudly wearing his Navy wings T-shirt, he was one of the proud Americans in the stands!

We are very lucky to have a friend who is one of Blue Angels.  He was so nice to get us VIP passes for the day.  We received reserved parking, free food/drinks, seats at center line and a picture/autograph with the pilots after the show.  Jack got the VIP treatment. I was so happy to see him smile and enjoying the day.  Although I got a bad sun burn, and daddy got to chase after Jack all afternoon, it was a day all of us will never forget.

Brady Takes Off!

Monday, May 10th, 2010

We bought Brady a small Thomas tricycle for his 2nd birthday. I got him the rock/roll big wheels the following Easter. Those trikes just sat. And sat. And sat. Then once his 4th birthday rolled around, I got him a very inexpensive small bike with training wheels. He pushed it, but just did not understand how to pedal. I tried everything. Staying behind him while he peddled: nope, he just took his feet off of the pedals and let me push. With his “big boy bike” he would push it, but not sit on it.

Then a magical event happened. One day I was in the shower, my parents were upstairs at the house, and Brady was playing in his playroom (on the first floor with me). We have lots of linoleum flooring down there. I came out of the shower and much to my surprise, Brady had taught himself to ride a bike! So after all of that, he did it on his own. Isn’t it funny how we push our children on OUR timetable, when in actuality when the child is ready, he will do it on his own. The sense of accomplishment on Brady’s face was worth the two-year wait.

The first words out of his mouth were, “Hey mama, watch my skills.” Not sure where he learned that phrasing, but it melted this mama’s heart! Watching them grow up is bitter sweet, sometimes I wish I could keep him little forever. But on this day, I was so proud of my big boy 4-year old! Go Brady!!