Archive for February, 2011

Moving On Up……

Monday, February 28th, 2011

From Monday Mom – Melissa:
I have been involved with GrowUpLearning since they piloted this website: so today is a bittersweet day for two reasons. First, this will be my final blog entry. Second, today is my son’s kindergarten registration.

Next week there will be a new Monday mom blogger: a mom who is just about to start her exciting journey into motherhood. Since GrowUpLearning is designed for ages birth through 5 ½ years, my sweet Brady is just getting too old now. So thank you for reading about our triumphs, failures, struggles, and love. I plan to continue reading the blogs to find out what all of these little ones are doing (and their mamas).

Now we are getting ready to head to our 2-hour kindergarten registration. It will be the first time that Brady will be heading to a public school, taken away from the safe arms of mama, and tested. They are given a variety of tests, much paperwork needs to be completed, and we get to meet the staff. While I am sad to see this phase of Brady’s life end, I am excited about all of the changes coming up. Brady is going to have a new step-daddy in six weeks, gain two sisters (he has always been an only child), he will get to watch the process of a new house being built from the ground up (literally), he starts formal schooling in August, and we will be taking two great family vacations. Okay, well, ask me afterwards if they were “great.” I am staying optimistic. While all of these changes will take time for all to adjust, they are all GOOD changes for all.

So to all of you just starting this journey: enjoy the ride. To those single parents out there who feel alone: hang in there and focus on what you do have in your lives. Some days are hard and lonely. To those of you like me, whose children are moving into kindergarten or beyond: it is okay to cry, just wait until the school bus leaves. Best wishes to everyone – off to register my little man for his next chapter of this crazy journey we call life.

Yes, Mother

Friday, February 25th, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
Andrew gets a semi-annual “report card” from daycare.  It’s always interesting to read through it, because other than the usual things like “Andrew excels in sharing” or “still needs work on potty training,” there are always some interesting tidbits in there.  Like that Andrew can count to 20 in English, Spanish and French.  I knew they had been teaching Spanish to the kids, but had no idea they were also learning French.

Did you know that I’m bi-lingual?  Yes.  I’m equally fluent in English and Sarcasm.  It may not be my most attractive quality, but it’s one pretty firmly ingrained in my personality.

I can’t count the number of times where my mom would tell me something I didn’t want to hear and I’d respond with a roll of the eyes and, in my most sarcastic tone, “Yes, Mother.”  Those two words fit for almost every occasion:

Did you do your homework?

Are you going to be nice to your little sister?

You better get your grades up or you’ll never get into ______ (insert appropriate word here, Honors English, college, law school, etc.)

Be home before curfew.

You get the idea…

Well, it seems that my little guy has inherited the sarcasm gene.  And boy, at age 3, does he know how to work it well!

Andrew, come on. It’s time to go home.  Yes, Mother.

It’s blizzarding out.  You need  to wear a jacket and hat if you want to go outside.  Yes, Mother.

No, really.  You have to eat dinner.  Yes, Mother.


And so it begins…

have a great weekend everyone.

Spring Fever

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Mississippi living has its ups and downs.  Last week our weather was a huge “up.”  After several weeks of record lows, we had several days of near 80 degree temps with blue skies and brilliant sunshine.  Our family has been outdoors as much as possible. The air is warm enough to enjoy the shorts and t-shirts.  The summer here is a rough mix of humidity and mosquitoes that makes us dream of record lows.  The spring and fall are the only months when we can really enjoy the outdoors, so we are not wasting a moment.

Parks, playgrounds, and day drips made for a great long weekend. A local children’s museum was a great hands on learning experience for Jack.  Tate spent that trip in a carrier with his dad, but they both enjoyed it. The local park was a great escape for both boys and Tate got his first swing ride. He was all smiles. Staying active can be hard, but we are trying to make a point of it every weekend.

Spring weather can change quickly here. Severe weather can spoil the best weekend. Thankfully, this weekend the weather held out. I am sure winter will snap back before the daffodils bloom, but it is nice to know that spring is right around the corner.

The BEST Way to Parent

Monday, February 21st, 2011

From Monday Mom – Melissa:
It is that time at preschool: registration. Does your child stay another year; start kindergarten, or another option? Will your child go to the district’s best school or just an “average school?” Can your child count to 100? Can he or she write his or her name? The list goes on and on. This is what I like to refer to as the “mommy wars.”

The “Mommy Wars” start once you announce you are pregnant! What kind of birth is “best” for your baby? And it really heats up when you try to decide breast or bottle. Another biggie: will you work out of the home, work at home, or devote your hours full-time to mommyhood. Will you co-sleep or put the baby in the crib. Then there is the ever controversial…… crying it out.

Looking back now, it is funny how many arguments people had. I was always a bit more of an independent mama, doing exactly what I wanted and not really caring what others thought. Are you ready to judge me? Well, my infant wouldn’t sleep more than 3-4 hours straight. And that was the most consistent sleep of the night. The rest of the night was about 1-2 hour increments. So, I kept him awake until midnight and then we both slept from about 12-4am. But oh well, he happily goes to sleep at 9pm now and sleeps 12 hours, most evenings.

Now we are moving onto the next stage of the childhood: kindergarten registration. I am sure the “mommy wars” will continue through elementary school and beyond. But next week will be my final blog entry as both Brady and I move onto the next chapter of our lives: it is bittersweet. See you next week, for the final entry in this chapter. Enjoy everyday with your little ones, before you know it: they will be boarding that school bus and starting the rest of their lives. So hug and kiss them tight!

The Mommy Network

Friday, February 18th, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
When I got pregnant, very few of my friends already had kids. In fact, I could count my mommy friends on three fingers… It freaked me out that I didn’t have a lot of people I could rely on for advice when I didn’t know what to do, which was more often than I cared to admit.

Earlier this week, my friend emailed to ask who Andrew’s dentist was. Her son is about a month older than Andrew. My first reaction to the email was, “OH NO! Is he supposed to have a dentist? His pediatrician didn’t say he should start seeing one!” My actual response to her went something like, “Do you have one you like? Because I guess we need to find one.”

Within minutes, she emailed back with the name and number of a local dentist (who actually was her dentist when she was a kid and whom her pediatrician recommended), when Ari was having his first appointment and that they still had slots open that day. The email made me feel a lot better about the fact that I wasn’t going to irreparably mess up my son’s teeth because he hasn’t been to a dentist yet. And it gave me the information for a good doctor in the area…

A few hours later, another friend sent an email wanting to know which brands of baby products I bought. She only wanted to buy the stuff I thought was good. I laughed at the email, thinking back to my first experience walking through Babies R Us. That store has so many brands and so much merchandise that hubby and I just stared at each other dumbfounded. I mean, who knew there would be 47 different types of car seats?

Anyway, I quickly fired back my recommendations. Not like I’m any great expert on the subject (or what my kid liked will be the same thing her daughter will enjoy). But I wanted to save her from the same paralyzing “what did I get myself into” moment that we went through…

Later in the week, I was talking to a coworker about her son who had been running a high fever all week. She was getting concerned because they couldn’t find anything that Coy was willing to eat. He didn’t want any of his usual favorites.

“Did you try raspberry ice pops?” I asked. When Andrew had been in the hospital with his bad fever, all I could get him to eat was ice pops. But only the raspberry kind. He turned his nose up at orange and grape (not that I can blame him – those aren’t my favorite flavors either), but could not get enough of the raspberry.

The next day, she came in and thanked me. Coy still wasn’t eating much. But he was happily sucking down ice pops. Raspberry, of course.

I never joined any of those mommy groups in the area. When I would take Andrew to play gyms, I found a lot of the moms to be so cliquish and exclusionary.

It never made any sense to me. The mommy network is far too important. It keeps us sane, gives us support and advice, and helps us from feeling like our kid is the only one who does…(insert whatever charming experience you’re going through with your kid here).

Now you’ll have to excuse me. Andrew and I have to go do the hot dog dance. If you don’t get the reference, you’re not watching enough Mickey Mouse Clubhouse… 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone

Helping Hands

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Every day I do some type of cleaning.  Whether it’s dusting, laundry, cleaning out a closet or sanitizing the bottles, there is always something to be cleaned.  While I’m cleaning, Jack always asks me what I am doing and tells me that he wants to help.  Immediately, I put him to work thinking it will last a whopping five minutes, but surprisingly he sticks with it.  I thank him continuously for helping me with my chores.  The first time I said “chores” he found an interest in what they meant.   After a brief explanation he told me he wanted chores, too.  How can I say no to that??

We came up with a short list of things for him to help with around the house.  He knows he must clean up his toys and we also added making his bed (or pulling the sheet and blanket up), hanging up his coat and backpack, putting dirty dishes in the sink, and turning out lights that aren’t in use.  He is finally able to reach the light switch so to him this is a cool job.   Jack thought these chores were fair and is going to do his best to keep up with them.  I’m not in this for giving him too much responsibility, but I think it’s great that he wants to help and have his own duties.

Some day I’m sure having chores will be a chore in itself, so I’m going to relish in the fact that Jack asked for his own chores.  I can’t wait to see how day one goes.   My predication is he’ll manage to accomplish three of them, but I’ll be happy with any help he cares to give.

Snow Days ~ Glorious Snow Days

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope this blog finds you filling out little Valentine cards, eating lots of chocolate, and spending time with those you love.

We are now in the “cold days” of winter, and have had at least five snow days and another handful of delays for preschool! While some parents pull out their hair on these days that change the norm, I have embellished those glorious and relaxing days. Brady appears to be opposite of the average kiddo and thrives in these slow days. His entire personality is laid back and FUN! He is a lot calmer than typical (and that is putting it mildly).

We stay in our PJs all day (and I am not afraid to admit that). Most days, Brady has also slept in! We bake cookies or brownies together. Usually there are two trips outside to shovel, sled, and make snow angels. In between our “runs” outside, the gear goes in the dryer while we get back in our PJs. We also did a lot of school work (remember, I used to homeschool). So I got out some old curriculum materials and we learned together.

Snow days are such a nice surprise change of pace. While none have been HUGE storms, like those out in the Midwestern part of the United States. The smaller storms have still slowed down the town where I live. They have also slowed down my little boy. We have enjoyed our quiet time, not rushing from one activity to another. And the best part… there are no make-up days in preschool!

Who’s Coming to Visit?

Friday, February 11th, 2011

This week at daycare, every day they have had a special guest come see the kids. On Monday they had Mr. Scott the Music Man. Mr. Scott is great. He loves tie dye and loud music. The kids LOVE to dance with him.

Tuesday a group of EMTs came to school. Andrew liked them. “They help sick people get to the hospital, mommy” he told me. “They good. They help people.”

Wednesday they were visited by the firemen. The fireman visit was “super cool” because they came with the firetruck. The kids got to take turns in the frigid temperatures crawling around the truck and climbing (with careful adult supervision, of course) up part of the ladder. After daycare, Andrew told me how cool firemen were. Why? Because they wear cool hats, ride on BIG BIG red trucks and have fire dogs, of course.

Today members of the local police department came to talk to the kids. So when I went to pick Andrew up tonight, he proceeds to tell me, “MOMMY! A police man came to school!” I asked Andrew whether the police dog came too. (The local bomb dog came to visit the kids last year and they all got to take turns petting him). Andrew shook his head, then got all wide-eyed and said, “They have BIG guns.”


“Yeah, mommy. Big guns to shoot the bad guys.”


There are few things in life that I hate more than guns. Don’t worry. I’m not here to climb on an anti-gun soap box. Guns have their place. I’m just a whole lot more comfortable when that place is NOWHERE near me.

We spent the ride home talking about how guns are dangerous and that they aren’t toys. Then hubby sat him down gave him a similar talk. Andrew nodded slowly in the way he does when he’s actually taking in what you’re saying instead of just humoring you.

Tomorrow, fortunately, is just pajama day…

Party Heart-y

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
I signed up to help with class parties in Jack’s classroom this year.  One of those I chose to help with is the Valentines party.  I love Valentine’s Day for obvious reasons, but also for the colors, the cheer and something special to celebrate during the gloomy days of winter.

I am in charge of cupcakes, drinks and a craft.  Jack has already told me he wants to help mix the batter and lick the spoon with the icing on it.  Go figure!  I looked up some crafts online and wanted to share with you what Jack’s class will be making.  Below is the link if you’d like to make it with your little one.

All of the kids will have their own decorated valentine box where they will receive cards from all their classmates.  Jack chose Thomas cards this year, and he even signed each and every one of them with his name.  I’m pretty impressed with his name writing.  He has had a lot of practice by signing his name on the cards we sent to family as well as to his friends.

The parents in charge will decorate the room, provide lunch and dessert, and will send the kids home with fun goody bags.  Jack is very excited about the upcoming party; he can hardly contain his excitement.  I explained to him what Valentine’s Day is all about and he can’t stop telling us how much he loves us.  Pretty cute I must say.

Hope you all have a happy Valentine’s Day!

Pike to Eel

Monday, February 7th, 2011

As my frequent blog readers know, Brady isn’t exactly what one would call “athletic.” We have tried soccer (three times). He told the coach that he just “didn’t get the point of all of this running and fighting over one ball.” We tried skating (both roller and ice) – that was terrible. I think my arm was out of joint after each attempt. Brady just doesn’t enjoy rough play at all, so when he mentioned football… I have to be honest; the family just smiled and nodded our heads. I will let him try it next fall, if he is still interested.

Brady has always loved the water and swimming, but mainly splashing around, jumping in, etc.. Not necessarily “swimming.” However, this week in his regular swim class his teacher came out and asked if I would consider moving him to level 2 (the Eels) for the next session starting in 3 weeks. I was so elated that Brady finally seemed to “get” swimming. He is doing the breaststroke appropriately and independently with only one piece of foam on his backpack. I was so proud of him. It was one of those “moments” of pride for a mama. It finally seems to have clicked.

Brady found something that he enjoys and is truly good at. And it is a fabulous way to exercise. Brady is already asking when we can open our pool. And mama is right there with him: out with the snow and in with the pool!!