Archive for June, 2011

Soccer goals

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Jack has been asking to play a sport for many, many months.  His older friends are involved with soccer, baseball, tennis, Tae Kwon Do and gymnastics.  Most of these activities require being a certain age.  Finally, Jack has reached the magical age of Four.  This week begins the registration process for Soccer.  I think it’s a great sport to start my little guy on.  He likes to run around the back yard and demonstrate his skills.  I can’t wait to see him out on the field.

I’ve heard from other friends/parents that it’s quite amusing to watch the little guys/gals play their first game.  I remember watching my nephew play in a soccer game and all ten players ended up trying to kick the ball at the same time.  The players would stay in their huddle and run from one goal down to the next goal trying to score a point.  It was comical to say the least.

Signing Jack up for soccer is another milestone in his life.  Also, another one in mine.  Practices, games and carpooling are just beginning.  My main goals for Jack are to learn about teamwork and sportsmanship (and having fun, of course).  Having a good attitude will get you far in life.

So Far Away

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I like to think of myself as an ambitious person. In many cases, a desire to be successful in your field requires a certain pioneering spirit. Usually, to attend the top programs and get those plum jobs, you will need to leave your hometown. Of course, there are folks who do great in their fields without ever having left where they’re from. But my friends and I are not those people.

It’s not always easy to leave, but I’ve always been willing to do it. The fact that my parents moved across the world to follow better opportunities is likely a major reason why. And leave I have. A lot. Despite the fact that I went to college close to home, opportunities presented to me and to my husband have taken me all over the place. It’s been great. But now that I have a little one, I’m much more focused on putting down roots.

I’m looking forward to having a residence, a city, and a region that Haley can call home. Hopefully, once we are settled, we will make friends where we are, have family nearby, and feel a strong sense of community. However, my husband and I already have friends. We are lucky enough to have so many loving people in our life. But they are all over the place! It makes for fun trips. But sadly, it doesn’t allow Haley to get to know those people very well. And I am missing out knowing their children as well.

There is a silver lining in this modern age of rapid relocation—technology. Luckily, it is easier than ever to keep in touch. I’m not that into Facebook, but reading my friends’ status messages does make me feel a daily connection to them, and their kids. Quick texts with cousins miles away keep us closer than ever. And how easy is it to share pictures of your growing child? Plus, the technology just keeps getting better. Haley gets to video chat with her grandparents in the South—how I would have loved to do that with my grandparents when I was little!

Our friends’ daughter is close in age to Haley, and although they haven’t met yet, we always joke that they’re best friends. It would be great if they actually became pals. It’s hard to say if that will happen. But thanks to the modern age, it’s less a cute joke than a potential reality.

There’s no place like home

Friday, June 24th, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
I don’t normally do a lot of traveling. But I spent the first 3 weeks of the month without spending a full week in Jersey. I’ve been down to Maryland, out to Chicago and down to Florida. And now I’m happy to say that it’s Friday, and I am not headed to another airport or train station, and there’s no drive ahead of me longer than heading to the Ocean County Courthouse.

Tonight, after many months of waiting, Cars 2 is finally out. Every day for the past two months (at least) when I’ve picked Andrew up from school, he’s asked, “We go to Cars 2 today?” And he has been extremely disappointed when I’ve told him (repeatedly) that it’s not out yet.

Yesterday I asked Andrew if he knew what we were going to do after school on Friday. He got all excited and said, “GO TO FLORIDA!” (Nope, that was last week.) “Ummm…go to the beach?” (Try again, also last week). “I GO FISHING WITH PAPA?” (Two weeks ago)

“I no no mommy. What we do?” he finally asked, thoroughly defeated when he couldn’t figure it out.

So I told him we were finally going to see the movie. He started cheering and running around the classroom chanting something incoherent that may have had a little resemblance to “I’M GOING TO CARS 2 AND GETTING SKITTLES!”

So tonight, we’ve got a hot date with Lightening McQueen…  Jealous, are you? 😉

Have a great weekend everyone! I know we will… It’s good to finally spend a week at home!

Swim Practice

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Now that our vacation is over and we are back in the grind, I have the rest of our summer packed full of activities.  I knew if i didn’t find fun things for Jack to do he would quickly get bored.  Since the summers in MS are absolutely miserable, the best solution is finding something to do in water.  First up on our list are swim lessons.

Jack started swim lessons this week.  Every morning he picks out his swim suit, his daddy’s goggles, a towel, and with shrugged shoulders, asks for sunscreen.  He practically pulls me out the door shouting, “We can’t be late for swim practice.”  After a week with his older cousins and a pool, he became very comfortable with the water.  Good planning on my part scheduling the lessons after vacation.   The first minute Jack arrived at swim “practice” he was happy to show the teacher how he puts his head under water.  At that point, i had no worries he would do okay.

Parents are encouraged to leave the pool area during lessons so the kids will listen and perform better.   The last day of lessons is dedicated to the parents to see how much the kids have learned.  I was a little skeptical of leaving Jack at first, but I understand the pool staff’s thoughts on the matter.  Conveniently, there is a running trail right beside the pool that mysteriously calls my name while waiting for Jack to finish.  I get to exercise and Tate gets to stroll through the woods seeing and hearing new things.

Every year Jack gets better and better with his swimming skills.  I can’t wait to see his progression on the last day of lessons.  I’m not expecting him to be in the perfect swimmer category by the end, but I bet he’ll impress me with a new trick.

Bad Mommy

Monday, June 20th, 2011

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I am realizing that the old adage is true—things you say you would never do as a parent are the things you invariably end up doing. For me, the most judgmental issue I had as a non-parent was when I would see parents out with their very young children. “Why? Why do they have to take such a small baby out?” I would always cry.

But after being cooped up with the little one these last few months, I definitely do understand why. Your choices as a parent of an infant are this— venture out, or go crazy! I definitely didn’t take Haley out much during the first forty days, and I maintain that the folks with a two-week old at Chili’s are somewhat irresponsible, but I’ve softened considerably. There are places where I don’t really need to go, and I certainly don’t need to take Haley, but for my sanity, I do.

I love television, yet I would shake my head in disbelief when I would hear of the parents that treated TV like a babysitter. “Don’t they know it’s thought to contribute to Autism? That can’t be good for baby’s eyes!” Of course, I don’t let Haley “watch” TV. But there are moments. Times when I am deciding what to do next, times when an interesting news story has suddenly appeared on the screen, times when I am utterly exhausted—when Haley is resting on my lap and I may not put forth the most strenuous effort in turning her head away. Of course she likes the bright changing colors and sounds of television. It keeps her rather quiet. How can I resist? Rest assured I quickly admonish myself and move on to constructive play. But I have no idea how parents with an older child who is allowed to watch some TV balance this!

Many friends and relatives have been kind enough to give Haley gifts of money. Rather than put it in a savings account in her name or setting up that 529 plan, the money sits in an envelope in my sock drawer. I must admit when I’m running out to pick up the dry cleaning or buy stamps, I will steal from her. In my defense, I always write down what I take so I can pay her back. But seriously, I need to get her financial business in order!

I would say that I was a better mom before I had a kid, but I don’t think that’s true. I was just a more delusional person!

Stop the Ride, I Wanna Get Off

Friday, June 17th, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
So for the third weekend in a row, I’m not going to be at home… First we had the bar mitzvah down in Baltimore. Last weekend, I was in Chicago on business (yes, over the weekend) while Hubby and Andrew were playing up in Maine. And now, I’m down in Florida.

Mr. B turned 90 last week. He’s been like a grandfather to me my whole life. (Today is also Hubby’s birthday, so we’re celebrating that as well). I’m glad that we’re getting to see him around his birthday and that Andrew is getting to know him and spend time with him and my grandmother.

I also wish that I could just have ONE weekend at home this month. I’m tired. The house is a mess. The piles of laundry are mounting. The work I’m not getting to because I haven’t worked a full week at work in 3 weeks is piling up almost as rapidly as the laundry… And I just want to yell “Stop the ride! I wanna get off!”

Traveling isn’t much fun under the best of circumstances. Doing it with a very opinionated, restless almost 4 year old? Well, it certainly makes things interesting. I keep thinking back to our flight back from Vegas last year where I almost got tossed off the airplane because Andrew was crying for my mother. I NEVER want to go through that experience again…

Okay… I know. He’s been on planes since that time and been fine. But it’s one of those irrational mom fears based on how miserable the original experience was…

So, wish us luck!

Have a great weekend everyone. Happy birthday to Mr. B and Hubby. And to all the dads out there, happy Fathers’ Day.

Summer Vacation: Part 2

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
After a fun filled visit with my husband’s family at the lake, we packed up our van and ventured to Washington D.C. for a night.  We rarely get a chance to visit with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law.  Jack enjoyed the Smithsonian’s airplanes, rocket ships and dinosaur fossils.  We toured the city to show Jack the different monuments and the White House.  Tate was well behaved and enjoyed the sites… as well as his bottle. After a busy afternoon, our hosts treated us to a delicious dinner and evening of good conversation.  Early the following morning we re-packed the van and headed to the beach.

We arrived at the beach after a six hour drive.  Other than the traffic and detours, the ride went pretty smoothly. I had to sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star a few times to get our baby Tate to fall asleep.  Jack helped keep him happy by singing, clapping and telling him stories.  My husband and I even enjoyed a rare adult conversation when both boys fell asleep after lunch.

I have been envisioning the beach for the last several months. Tate spent his first trip to the beach like a little crab crawling all over the sand.  He thought the sand tasted really good.  He loves the water and all the attention he is getting from my family–including his grandparents, aunts, uncles and especially his cousins.  Jack has been to the beach several times in the past four years, but this time is extra special.  His four cousins, all boys (whom he sees once a year) are all here with him and showing him a great time.  He has learned to boogie board, build giant sandcastles and sleep really, really well after a long day in the sun.

Shortly, our summer vacation will come to an end.  I look forward to peeking at the hundreds of pictures we took and all the memories we have made.  In the mean time, my book and beverage are calling my name.  Happy Summer!

Getting Better All The Time

Monday, June 13th, 2011

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Having a new baby at home is incredibly challenging. This is especially true when the child is your first. You’re not sure exactly what you’re doing— you’re worried, you’re sleep-deprived, you’re emotional. Then something miraculous happens—things start getting better. For most parents there will come a point in the first few months of their baby’s life at which everything stabilizes to some degree. Feeding? Baby seems to be getting enough. Sleep? Not perfect, but it happens eventually. Temperament? Holy moly—a smile!

Haley is doing great. She’s already sleeping through the night. I know regressions will probably occur, but for the time being, I’ll take it. She’s been eating much better. And I’m getting better at knowing when she’s really hungry, and when it’s time to shove the pacifier in her mouth! She’s loving her baths. Last night, she was kicking her legs in delight as the warm water poured over her. I had to laugh. She’s particularly happy in the morning—she smiles and “talks” and charms everyone she sees.

As things have improved over time, I’m starting to come out of my baby-focused stupor. I’m remembering that I once had friends, that family members exist, and they have lives, too. If I need to run errands, I don’t have to wait for a moment when my mom can watch Haley, or live without deodorant because I only can make one trip. I can venture out! She can come along!

I’m thrilled to be getting into the groove of parenting. Now that the haze is clearing, I’m able to define what our daily life will be like. There are no lesson plans or craft projects in our immediate future, but a structure is developing under which we are both thriving.

Is it really that bad?

Friday, June 10th, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
Last weekend we went down to Baltimore for my cousin’s bar mitzvah. We picked Andrew up from daycare about 30 minutes into nap time. He didn’t get more of a nap than that the rest of the day. (You’re parents. You can already see what’s coming…)

We met up with the family for dinner and Andrew threw a major fit because his meal – possibly some of the best mac n cheese I’ve ever had – didn’t look like the shells and cheese he enjoys consuming. Things deteriorated from there to the point where he was so tired he was bouncing off the walls. We wound up rushing a screaming Andrew out of the restaurant…

He didn’t do much better at any other meal over the course of the weekend. He’d throw a fit over the food, and we’d wind up quickly making our departure from the restaurant.

To his credit, he did make it through the first hour of being in temple pretty well. After that, he got antsy. He got annoyed because he couldn’t see my mom. And he started to get loud – which meant that he also made a hasty exit from the synagogue. (Did I mention that we had to run interference to keep him away from the cupcakes? Or that when we turned our backs for a second he wandered off, grabbed a cupcake off the table and happily started licking off all the icing.)

On Sunday, Andrew melted down in the middle of the aquarium because they weren’t having the dolphin show. Some baby dolphin had the audacity to be born over the weekend so they canceled the show to allow mom and baby “bonding time.”

Each time he’d throw a fit, different members of the family would say that he really was doing well. That it wasn’t that bad. That none of them could *really* sit through more than an hour of the service. That a 2+ hour dinner was a lot to expect a 3 year old to sit through.

So it makes me wonder…are they telling me the truth? Or just trying to make me feel better? Was I really expecting too much of my 3 year old?

It’s still so hard being the mom whose kid is throwing a fit (for whatever reason) out in public. I don’t know why eating has to be a battle a lot of nights. Or why he can’t just tell us that he’s tired instead of acting like a lunatic.

Maybe I’m expecting too much. But it would be nice to be able to have dinner with my family without having to worry about meltdowns…

Have a great weekend everyone… hopefully without any public meltdowns of your own to deal with 😉

Summer Vacation: Part 1

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Last week my husband and I packed up our entire family in the van. We went on a long road trip to PA. We got a late start because my husband had to work, and we did not know what the best time of day to travel was. My husband and I weren’t sure what to expect on this long trip. How would the kids behave? Would we lose our patience after 950 miles?

Amazingly, the kids handled the ride like champs. Jack was entertained by construction equipment out his window, a few movies, and the alphabet road game. Tate required a little more attention, but as long as he was fed he was happy. After two days and a total of sixteen hours of driving we arrived at the lake for a visit with the grandparents.

We are having a blast at the lake. Swimming, boat rides, and watching Jack catch fish are a few of our daily activities. I remember, as a child, the fun memories of summer vacation. As parents, I hope my husband and I can give our kids those same summer memories just as our parents did for us. It’s fun to see summer vacation through your children’s eyes.