Archive for July, 2011

WHAT did you say?

Friday, July 29th, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
Kids say some of the funniest things. It’s also horrifying when they repeat some of the stuff that may have come out of our mouths when we thought they weren’t listening. And sometimes what comes out of their mouths just blows you away.

Here’s some of Andrew’s more memorable recent quotables:

(While pacing around the house with his Elmo phone against his ear) “You listen to me, Joe Girardi! I know what’s good for my Yankees! You take A.J. out of this game! He’s lost his stuff. Get him out, Joe Girardi!” (Then Andrew scowls at the phone and announces Joe hung up on him. Not thirty seconds later, Burnett proved exactly how badly he had lost his stuff and blew the lead. Andrew stuck out his tongue in an “I told you so, Joe Girardi” gesture).

The next day while we were watching the game, Andrew hops on his Elmo phone again and starts punching in the numbers. “ROBINSON CANO! You listen to me, Robinson Cano! You get a hit! You no be a dog like A-Rod! Okay, it’s time for you to bat. Bye-bye, Robinson Cano!”

I’m not sure how Andrew knew that Cano was the next batter… I find it hard to believe that he’s memorized the lineup. But Cano steps up to bat and on the first pitch, he connected perfectly sending the ball flying into the bleachers.

I asked Andrew tonight if he had a girlfriend. Usually he delights in telling me that he has multiple girlfriends and that they fight over who can hold his hand. But tonight was different. “Nah. I playing the field, mommy!” (Okay. Really? Who taught my three year old this one? Uncle Mike, have you been corrupting him from Florida???)

I honestly don’t know where he gets this stuff from. It’s pretty hard to keep a straight face when he gets on a roll, especially telling off the baseball players. (Though he is shockingly accurate with his commentary.)

But the moral of the story is, watch what you say around these little guys (and girls). You never know when you’re going to hear it again…

Monkey see, Monkey do

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Some days I feel like my house is a zoo.  I have two energetic boys that keep me from sitting down during the day.  I’m not complaining.  I’m happy they keep me on my toes.  When I do get a few minutes to relax, I seem to have something else that needs my attention.

In the last few days Tate started walking.  I officially have a toddler on my hands.  He is quicker to grab things and able to reach higher. This makes for a big adjustment period for the entire family.  At times, Jack thinks it’s the cutest thing watching his little brother walk.  Other times, he gets frustrated having a little brother who is more mobile and able to snatch toys from him.  Jack knows Tate is learning a lot of skills by watching his big brother.  I tell Jack demonstrating good manners, sharing and being helpful will only reinforce Tate to mimic those actions.  The same way he does when Jack claps or dances.

The phrase monkey see, monkey do is apparent in our house. Every sound or movement Jack displays results in Tate mimicking him.  Jack gets such a kick out of getting a reaction from his little brother.  For now, it’s cute, and I love watching them play and learn together.  Later, I’m sure I won’t be thinking it’s cute, especially when Jack demonstrates how much he likes to jump on his bed.  As many times I’ve read “No more monkeys jumping on the bed,” one could only hope he would learn the lesson.

Even though my home feels like a zoo sometimes, I’m very blessed to have these monkeys in my life.  I’ve been told that ten years from now I’ll miss these stages of their lives.  It hasn’t taken me twenty years, I’m already missing when Jack was a baby and learning to walk.  They really do grow up too darn fast.


Monday, July 25th, 2011

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Haley has been exhibiting some cool behavior in the last few weeks. I don’t know if all babies are like this, but Haley had a burst of quick developments in motors skills from approximately week 5 to week 12. At that time, she started to hold her head up really well, bat at toys and stand up on her legs (with assistance, of course). I had gotten so used to refining those skills, that it was a pleasant surprise when new abilities arose.

Haley is almost 4 months. She has been grabbing at my face, particularly my nose and mouth. It’s cool to observe her realizing that these parts exist and figuring out what they might be used for. She stares at me really carefully while I’m eating as if to say, ‘what is she putting in that hole in her face? Why?’ I’m really hoping that this curiosity signifies an interest in solid foods.

Another new favorite activity is rolling over. A couple of weeks ago, Haley moved from her tummy to her back. She only did so occasionally, and with some strain. Now, when she’s on her stomach, she basically just drops her elbow and goes for it. She can easily roll to the right and to the left. I’m so proud!

An infamous baby ability I was not quite prepared for is putting things in her mouth. It’s funny what a priority that is! The mouth is simply where everything must go. Toys, Stuffed animals, burp cloths, remote controls—whatever she can get her hands on. Her spit is all over her face, hands and clothes all the time. I can deal with that. What’s more scary are the germs that are potentially on those objects! But it’s a scary world sometimes, I’m just glad she’s successfully learning how to negotiate it.

Sometimes Mom Can Be Wrong (shhh!)

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
Don’t tell my son I said this, but mommy isn’t right all the time.

I had just gotten back from court and was sitting on the couch reviewing my cases for court tomorrow when the phone rang. I wasn’t going to answer until I saw that it was daycare.

I don’t answer with “hello,” instead cutting right to the chase with “is Andrew okay?” So they tell me he’s not running a fever, but he’s complaining that his tummy hurts.

I laughed.

That’s Andrew’s complaint of choice. Whenever he doesn’t want to eat. When he doesn’t want to do something. When he wants attention. When he’s hungry, but doesn’t like what’s immediately in front of him. In short, it’s his “go to” maneuver.

Which is exactly what I told them at daycare. Along with, “As silly as this sounds, ask him if his tummy hurts because he’s hungry.” (99% of the time, his answer to this question is yes, followed quickly by exactly what his tummy wants, usually cookies) His response was a pathetic, “Not hungry. Want daddy.”

I admit it. I rolled my eyes. And finagled with daycare that I didn’t really think he was sick, but if I came to pick him up before they sent him home, that we could still bring him in tomorrow provided he isn’t running a fever. (It’s hard to turn the lawyer off, but my superior negotiating skills worked)

I was convinced he was faking it.

Mommy was wrong. Andrew’s been a pathetic dishrag all night. He won’t eat. Doesn’t want to drink. Doesn’t want to play. Doesn’t want to read. He’s literally been curled up in a ball all night, teetering on the verge of sleep.

I hate seeing my little boy like this!

So, to Andrew, I hope he’s feeling better soon. And to everyone else, have a great weekend.


Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Being a part of the Navy has many pros and cons.  One of the pros are the wonderful friends I have made over the last nine years.  One of the cons is being far away from family over the last nine years.  I am very close with my family, and living thousands of miles apart has been very hard.  I’ve learned to cope and deal with the hardships and am very thankful for the internet. My favorite Navy quote is: “Home is where the Navy sends us.”

Last weekend we visited with my husband’s grandfather in his beautiful town of Hilton Head.  He is our closest relative, and it was still a nine hour drive.  It’s been several years since we last saw him.  It was special this visit because it was Tate’s first time meeting him.  Tate was happy to meet his great-grandfather and even got a kick out of using his walker as a toy.  Jack was happy to see him, too.  He told him stories about preschool and activities he was doing this summer.  My husband and I are very happy we had the chance to visit.  It was neat to see several different generations of our family all together in the same room.

It was hard returning back to Mississippi for numerous reasons, but the main reason was leaving family.  It’s always hard saying goodbye until the next time.  Another Navy quote I’ve learned is never say “goodbye” just “I’ll see you later.”

My Top 5 Mommy Must-Haves

Monday, July 18th, 2011

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
As I’ve posted about before, I had major stress thinking about all of the products I needed for the baby when I was expecting her. If you are a first-time parent, the best thing you can do is rely on the advice of friends, do research on parenting websites, and read the reviews on Amazon and babies r us (Truly lifesavers! Thank goodness for random people on the Internet, who are astonishingly helpful!). However, you don’t know what stuff is going to work out for your baby. Now that I’m a few months postpartum, I thought I’d share how the gear adventure is working out for me. Without further ado, here are my new mom lifesavers, most of which I use every day:

1. Snap and Go Stroller System. Whenever you take the baby out in the car, she’s in the car seat, obviously. But very quickly, you learn how cumbersome it is to take the car seat out and carry it around. You can attach car seats to most fancy strollers with the use of an adapter, but those strollers (which you will use without the car seat once the infant can hold her head up) are usually bulky, and don’t maneuver as well with the car seat. A Snap and Go is basically a very simple stroller frame that’s lightweight and quick to add a car seat to. We leave ours in the trunk of our car and use it whenever we take Haley anywhere. It’s affordable and wonderful for this early stage.

2. Baby carrier. Lots of parents like the baby carrier as place to put the baby when they get things done. It is nice to have your hands free sometimes, but the bigger use I’ve gotten out of mine is that Haley goes to sleep within ten (screaming) minutes of being put in it. She will sleep soundly until we pull her out. It won’t take a new parent long to yearn for a no-fail sleep solution.

3. Baby chair. In our house, we have a travel swing, a rocker and a bumbo chair (which helps baby learn to sit up). I didn’t mean to be an “attachment parent” but I find myself holding Haley a lot. As in, constantly. It’s great to have the chairs in different rooms so I have a place to put her down quickly when I need to. Also, a word of advice to new parents regarding chairs: the ones that don’t soothe your baby now will work later. And vice versa. You can’t count on any of them forever, or count of them out forever!

4. Bodysuits, or “Onesies.” You may spend a lot on or receive a lot of cute outfits for the baby. But assuming it’s warm enough, your baby will basically live in these basics. Also great are sleepers. I love the ones from Carter’s and The Children’s Place.

5. Pacifier Clip. I wasn’t too keen on using pacifiers with Haley, but they serve us well doing crucial moments. What doesn’t work so well is how often they fall out of her mouth and onto the floor. When she’s screaming to have it back, and there is no soap and water around, it’s not pretty. But a simple clip that attaches to baby’s shirt solves that issue.

Good luck, new parents, on getting your stuff together! Don’t get worked up. Remember, it will be fine. And here’s a brilliant idea that I couldn’t understand when I was baby shopping—you can buy stuff after the baby comes, too. Imagine that!

Where’d my sweet boy go?

Friday, July 15th, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
The other day, I gave Andrew a hug and said, “I love you baby.”  He threw his hands on his hips, pouted and proceeded to tell me, quite loudly, that he is NOT a baby.  “I a big boy, mommy!” he told me before running off to play with his friends.

Andrew has a fiercely independent streak.   He will tell you – all the time – that he can do things all by himself. Put on his shoes.  Change his clothes.  Use the bathroom.  Everything.

However, in the next moment, he will turn into the biggest, clingiest, whiniest little boy…

I’m not sure what happens in those moments.  Or why Andrew feels the need to whine incessantly in hopes of getting what he wants.  (He also has developed a nasty habit of yelling at me at the top of his lungs for absolutely no reason.)

As he’s freaking out and needlessly throwing temper tantrums, I have to wonder to myself “where did my sweet little boy go?”

At one point, I asked my mom this.  She laughed and said Andrew was going through the terrible twos in his threes.

Have you guys gone through this? Do the terrible 2s really last until age 4?

Hope you have a great (tempter tantrum free) weekend everyone 🙂

Keeping up with my kids

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Week seven of our summer break is already half way over.  It’s been a very busy summer, with even more planned before the next school year.  I remember thinking towards the end of last school year there weren’t enough activities planned and Jack was going to tell me he was bored.  Luckily, I thought wrong.

This week’s activity is Vacation Bible School.  He has met new friends, learned new songs and games and always leaves with a piece of candy.  Of course, he never wants to leave.   As hard as it is dragging him out of the church, I’m happy he is having fun. While Jack is at VBS I’m able to spend one on one time with baby Tate.  He is growing so fast and just about walking.  He will be running through the house before I know it.  By the end of the day I feel like I ran a marathon, and I know it’s only going to get busier once he is taking steps.  I’m bracing myself for that special day.

Life, in general, means time becomes a quantity much in demand, but small in supply.  Our routines are regimented (most of the time) and schedules are always packed full.  So for now, enjoy the rest of your summer and I’ll do the same.

Best Laid Plans

Monday, July 11th, 2011

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I read in one of those parenting books (You know the ones, they imply that everything about a child growing up is totally predictable, and make you out-of-your-mind worried when your child’s behavior doesn’t correspond?) that around 4 months, a baby can be on a regular sleeping/feeding/playtime schedule.

Haley is only 3 months old, but she has been sleeping in 9-hour stretches for the last month. I’m not meaning to boast here— it’s a statement of fact. It’s dumb luck. Some babies start sleeping through the night at 8 weeks as if a switch goes off. That’s what it was like for Haley. Besides, it won’t last. Anyhow since she did begin to sleep through the night relatively early, I thought I should get on the scheduling train early to see if she’d be receptive. To put it simply, she’s not.

The first step to setting up a schedule is to observe the natural patterns your baby is following. That was my main goal for last week. Here’s what I observed. During the weekend, when Dad is around, your attempts to put the baby down at specific times are futile. Since Dad is at the office all week, any idea for something fun to do with Haley (Let’s go for a walk by the waterfront! Let’s play with this new toy!) must be done right away. I give in to this, so it’s my own fault!

Even during the week, it’s not so simple. I can’t tell you the number of times I have started to type into my nifty spreadsheet something like, “down for nap, 3 PM” only to hear a frantic cry before I can finish the entry. Plus, it’s hard to feed a person predictably when said person wants to eat for maybe four minutes, stare at something absolutely amazing like a ceiling fan, fall asleep, and wake up fifteen minutes later demanding more food.

So the Great Scheduling Experiment, Phase I has failed. This is okay. Naps are hard. Breastfeeding is nearly constant at certain times of the day. If I’m being honest, putting things in order is as much for my own Type A neuroses as it is for Haley’s benefit. Luckily, I rarely feel annoyed and I enjoy all of the ups and downs, whether I was expecting them or not. Together, we are embracing the chaos.


Friday, July 8th, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
I asked Andrew again what I should write about today. He told me “I love Miss Angela. I love Miss Katie. And I LOOOOOVE Miss Ellie.” (Those were his teachers at daycare)

Change isn’t always easy, at any age. But when you’re 3? It can be pretty rough.

Andrew has been in the same room at daycare for a year now. He crossed over from the Seahorse room to the Turtles with all his friends last summer. And most of them, having mastered potty training, moved along to the next classroom months ago.

Andrew, as I’ve said many times before, is the product of two stubborn litigators. He does things in his own time, and don’t even THINK about rushing him. So we were more than a little surprised when we got the letter from daycare that Andrew was being bumped up into the next classroom, finally becoming a Butterfly with all his friends.

“Don’t worry. He’s ready.” They told me after seeing the surprised look on my face.

This has been his first week in the new classroom. I’m not sure why they thought it would be a good idea to do it right after the long weekend. All the kids, regardless of whether they changed rooms or not, had trouble on Tuesday after spending so much time at home. Andrew gave me a few heart-wrenching pleas of “please mommy, don’t leave me” but ultimately was distracted with being able to use the computer in the classroom. (And, if I’m being honest, he would have said that even if he were back in his same classroom)

It went downhill from there as the week went on. We had the arms clinging desperately to my neck. We had full-on hysterics.

We’ve done this dance long enough that I know about a minute after I was out of eyesight, he was fine. I know the waterworks are a show for my benefit. It still doesn’t make it any easier for me to leave him as he’s sobbing, reaching for me and giving me the LOOK. (You know the one. The “I can’t believe you’re leaving me here with these people, mommy! I want to be with you!” look.)

But on the upside, after the hysterics subsided, he’s done great in the new room. Change may be a little scary, but he’s conquering this one well.

Have a great weekend everyone!