Archive for August, 2011

Shining Star

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Getting to know your classmates always makes for a better understanding of exactly who they are and what they like.  Jack’s class has had a “Shining Star” student each day of the week since the beginning of school.  Jack was the star on Monday.  Each star makes a giant collage of themselves to take to school and present.  Jack and I decorated his board with pictures, stamps, stickers and cut out pictures of some of his favorite characters.

Once he arrived at school he was beaming with excitement.  He gets to be the line leader for the day.  This is a very important job according to Jack.  Everyone wants to be the line leader and to have it all day is quite a treat.  Now that I think back to my Pre-K/kindergarten days, I can specifically remember being the line leader.  It was always so much fun leading everyone around and having that sense of power being the first in line.  Life doesn’t always work like that way, but it’s nice to experience it every once in awhile.

Jack and Tate are my Stars everyday.  They make me laugh, cry, and sometimes scream.  They are my life, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Hug your star today, and know that they are shining inside just as much as they are on the outside.

Looks Like We’re In For Nasty Weather

Monday, August 29th, 2011

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
As I write this, our area is bracing itself for Hurricane Irene. Living near New York, at sea level and on the coast, it is imperative that we prepare for the worst, while hoping for the best. This is yet another situation through which I am feeling the heartbreaking reality of parenthood. B.C. (before child), I anticipated storms with intellectual interest. How much would this cost the county? Will damage be covered by flood insurance or homeowner’s insurance? How will the president’s actions be perceived? How will the storm strengthen or weaken based on geographic features along the eastern seaboard?

A.C. (after child), my concerns are much more immediate and narrow. Where will we go if things get bad? How will we get there? What supplies do we need? Most importantly, what does Haley need? As worried as I am about my “stuff”, and as curious as I am about how the larger community will handle things, all I really care about is my baby’s safety.

I still remember Hurricane Gloria sweeping through my area when I was a kid. I know we went to another house, further from the shore, and it was kind of fun- like a sleepover. I don’t think I was scared at all. As long as I was with my parents, I knew I would be safe. Haley won’t remember Irene, but hopefully when she looks back on her childhood, she will remember always feeling calm and reassured. As for me, I am allowed to be anxious about the storm. But since I’m “A.C.”, I’m going to try not to show it.

Disasters…and disasters…

Friday, August 26th, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
As you’re reading this, I’m in Colorado Springs. My boys were supposed to be in Maine, but the threat of the impending hurricane kept them in Jersey for the weekend. And I’m really hoping that I’ll actually be able to make it back into town on Saturday night (since that’s exactly when the hurricane is supposed to hit).

Andrew got to experience his first earthquake this week. Yeah, I know. Everyone who isn’t on the east coast is sick to death about us whining about a little earthquake. I slept through the last quake in Jersey and was more than a little freaked out when my office started swaying back and forth. But my next thought immediate went to whether Andrew was okay.

Before I could pick up the phone and call daycare to check on him, I had an email from them telling everyone not to panic. “Everything is fine. Actually, all the kids are still napping.”

So we’ve had lots of disasters this week. Both of the nature variety and the temper variety… My kid is three and has the attitude of a defiant teenager. He is convinced he knows it all and isn’t afraid to tell you that, at every single opportunity.

We’ve clashed pretty badly this week. Over bedtime. Over getting dressed in the morning. Over eating. (You know, us wanting him to, him not wanting to) It’s pretty stressful when everything becomes a battle. Then with absolutely no warning, he’ll slip back into his sweet, caring self.

Here’s hoping to a disaster free weekend…or at least keeping those disasters to a minimum!

Dance Party!

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Some evenings before bath time we have a dance party.  It helps in several ways.  For example, if someone is having a tantrum it disappears immediately, and it burns large amounts of energy which leads to sleepy kids. Both of my boys love music.  I can remember when Jack was just a few months old he would move his arms or kick his feet to the beat.  Now at age four he still loves to dance and show us his moves.  Tate, on the other hand, seems to be obsessed with music.  Whether it’s in the car, at home or in the grocery store, he drops everything he is doing and shakes a part of his body.  I crack up laughing every time.

Hearing different types of music intrigues both Jack and Tate.  Tate will move slowly or fast depending on the beat, and Jack is starting to learn the sound of different instruments.  He recognizes the trumpet, saxophone, guitar and drums, of course.  Jack will even get out his toy instruments and pretend he is part of the band.  He even tries to teach Tate how to do the air guitar.

Ironically, as I sit here and type, both Jack and Tate are making some unpleasant sounds.  Time for a dance party!

New Car

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I’m proud to announce that I am now the owner of a new car. Okay, well actually I’m a leaser of a new car, but still! It’s exciting. My husband came home a couple of weeks ago telling me all about this leasing special Toyota is having. We had been talking about getting a new car for a long time. The car we had was several years old, and you don’t have to be a parent for long before you start getting obsessed with safety.

We headed to the car dealership to get more information and maybe take a test drive. The car handled beautifully and the deal was almost as good as advertised. (The ads mention a $500 rebate, but the dealer adds in $500 more before taking it away. Hmmm.) They even had the color we wanted, blue!

Then it was time to negotiate our trade-in. As we expected, the dealer gave us a low-ball offer, and very rudely laughed at us when we said it was way too low. But my husband was ready. He had done his research about what the car was worth as well as the tactics the dealer would try to use. While he was good with the numbers, it was clear that the dealer’s strategy for talking down to us was not going to happen.

Dealer: We’re almost done with the deal and you’re throwing a grenade in it!

Me: A grenade? We told you from the beginning we were interested in trading in our car. You could have looked at it and given us your offer at any time. We’re not going to trade it in if we’re not happy with the price.

Dealer (annoyed): You’re keeping me here late…

Me: Actually, sir, we’ve been patiently sitting and waiting while you’ve been doing different things for quite a while, so it’s a little disingenuous for you to say that.

In the end, the Dealer went up on the offer 60%! (Which just shows how badly they will low-ball you!) It was sad to see the car Haley came home from the hospital in taken away, but exhilarating to see our brand new vehicle. When we got home, the first thing we did was install the car seat. The next morning, it was so fun to drive around with Haley, in the first family car she will remember.

Fingers Crossed…

Friday, August 19th, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
So… bedtime with Andrew continues to be a struggle. If you can actually get him to sleep at a decent hour, it’s nothing short of a miracle. And this kid and I have RADICALLY different definitions of the term “decent.” He seems to think somewhere in the ballpark of 11:00 is an appropriate bedtime. I think that’s past MY bedtime!

Even when we can get him to sleep, he has that nasty little habit of sneaking into our bed. Andrew has learned that he can’t climb in on my side without waking me up (and landing him back into his room). So he curls up on Hubby’s side of the bed. Or lies at the foot of the bed. Or sometimes crawls up the middle so he doesn’t risk waking either of us.

It’s kind of a game for him. “How can I get myself into bed without getting into trouble or waking anyone up.” (Fun game, right?)

But he’s now falling asleep in his own room. He doesn’t even fight us about going into his room now. (Though he is still staying up to insane hours). Last night, he even stayed in his bed all night without coming into our room.

I’m typing this with one hand while knocking on wood with the other, but hopefully we’ve finally turned the corner with this bedtime stuff…


Have a good weekend everyone!

Back to School

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Jannelle:
The summer is over and school has begun.  Jack started Pre-K this year and so far is loving it.  He knows about half of his class and is getting to know the other half.  Mrs. Kara is his teacher and he couldn’t be happier.  On the first day of school I asked him several questions about his day.  His replies are quite comical.

1. How many friends are in your class? “like 54”

2. Do you like your teacher? “yes, she has red hair”

3. What activity did you like doing the most? “painting my hands and sticking them to paper and then waving them around like there was a dead bug on them”

4. Did you read any books? “mommy, i can’t read, I have to be 21 to read”

5. Did you play outside?  “yea, we played a game trying to find the most dinosaur bones”.

6. How many bones did you find? “um.. i think i found 37”

7. Did you miss Tate, Daddy and me? “a little bit, but I missed my Legos more”

8. What is the letter of the week?  “um… letter A, didn’t you know that’s the first letter?”

9. What word starts with the letter A? “Abracadabra.. pronounced A-bor-a-ca-deb-ba”

10. Did you have fun today? “yes, my favorite part was snack… we had cookies”

There you have it.  The silly answers a 4 year old comes up with.  Cheers to a new school year!

Baby’s First Vacation

Monday, August 15th, 2011

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
We are soon leaving for our Big Summer Trip. We’ve stayed close to the nest since Haley was born. Now, she’s a little older, we’re burned out, her grandparents are itching for a visit, and we all need some R & R.

First, we are headed to my husband’s hometown, where we’ll see many friends who have not met Haley yet. A few of our friends have had children of their own in the last few months, so we’ll get to meet them, too. I’m curious to see what Haley thinks of other babies. She smiles and laughs when she looks in the mirror. I know she’s too young to know it’s her, so I always joke that she’s saying, “Look at that good-looking baby!” Maybe it will be exciting for her to see other babies.

Next we are headed to the beach. There, Haley will not only have her first experience with sand and surf, but will get to spend some quality time with her grandparents and her aunt! I’m not much for the beach, but the vacation town we’re traveling to has shopping and restaurants, which I love. The cherry on top is the multiplex five miles away, playing all the newest releases in blasting air conditioning. I absolutely love going to the movies, and I don’t think I’ve gone in about a year. I hope Haley enjoys hanging out with her relatives as much as I’ll enjoy leaving her with them!

Andrew’s Choice…

Friday, August 12th, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
Andrew’s vote for my post topic this week goes a little something like this, “Um…You should write about…Maybe…You love me…and I love the books…and I swing the bat so well…” That probably could be three posts – but let’s see how I do with rolling it into one.

The first part’s easy.

Yes, Andrew. I love you to pieces. Even when you’re (still) trying to sneak into my bed at 3 in the morning. Or when you’re staying awake way after I pass out so you can watch the end of the Yankee game. Or when you’re driving me crazy because you would rather not eat anything than eat what I make you for dinner 🙂

Mr. Andrew’s new favorite books are the little Mr. and Ms. series. You know the ones… Mr. Tickle. Ms. Naughty. Actually, those are the only two they have at daycare. Andrew reads them ENDLESSLY. Every day. Several times a day. And he even falls asleep with them during nap time. (Sounds like we’re going to need to acquire these books for him, right?)

Andrew continues to make us proud by being totally obsessed with baseball. Watching it. Talking about it. Playing it.

He wants to go outside and play baseball every day. Some days he wants to throw the ball around, but lately he’s been on a batting kick. No trying to whack a ball off a tee for my kid. We pitch to him.

And he’s actually really good. He’s great at making contact with the ball. This week he managed to slam a ball up onto our roof, ending the evening’s play because he got it stuck in the gutter, and smacked the ball down into the little stream running behind the house. Andrew has declared himself the next Babe Ruth.

He also fancies himself as Brett Gardner…because they’re both super fast and can bunt. Yes, I taught my 3 year old to bunt. I think it’s awesome.

He got so good at it, I tried teaching him to to slap hit. We’re still working on that one… 😉

So hopefully Andrew will approve of my post this week. And, since tonight is parents’ night out, I’d like to thank the good people at daycare for staying open late so hubby and I can go out (without the munchkin) for a change.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
After a long Saturday of errands we went to one of Jack’s friends birthday pool party.  It was fun, although with a 4 year old and a 1 year old it is a lot of work keeping both boys happy, safe, and free of a nasty sunburn.  We had a blast at the party and were absolutely exhausted when we left.  We arrived back home around 8pm and walked into our kitchen to find that was nearly 87 degrees.  Immediately we knew we were in trouble.

A broken air conditioner only happens on the weekend, of course.  We sweated out the first night and found a repair man to come by the next morning.  Unfortunately, a part needed to be replaced, and no businesses were open on a Sunday.  We had to wait another 24 hours.  Keep in mind we live in Mississippi and were under a heat advisory.  HOT doesn’t even begin to explain it.

Luckily, we have wonderful friends who took us under their wing and offered to let us stay at their house until the AC got fixed.  We quickly packed an over night bag and landed at their house.  They also have two boys near Jack’s age.  Jack was in heaven playing with the numerous bins of toys.  We all enjoyed their swimming pool which quickly cooled us down.

After several hours of playing, running through the house and doing boy things, it was time for bed.  Jack was so excited to have a sleepover with his friends he refused to shut his eyes.  This was his first sleepover (with a friend) and he informed me he wanted to have sleepovers every night.  In fact, I recall him telling me he wishes our Air Conditioner would break every day.

After several minutes of talking and giggling the boys settled down and fell asleep.  My kids are usually up by 6:30am so i had a feeling it would be even earlier since there were other kids in the room and lots of toys nearby.  Well, i was wrong.  For the first time in years, my kids slept in and so did I!  I can’t explain how amazing that felt.

Although the circumstances were a little inconvenient, it was fun to see Jack (and Tate) have their first sleepover.  Jack talked about having his friends over for one, but it’s even better when he goes to a friends house.  I’ll be anxious to see how he reacts when Mommy and Daddy aren’t in the same house at night.  Like Jack says to me, I’m a big boy now, mommy.  He’s right-  he is a big boy.