Archive for November, 2011

The War over Star Wars

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
After years of obsessing over Thomas the train, Jack has moved on to another obsession: Star Wars.  His enthusiasm for Star Wars far surpasses any obsession he’s ever had.  He goes a little nuts even just hearing the marching band play the theme song during a football game on TV that’s playing in the background.

Jack’s Christmas list has the words, Star Wars, covered all over it.  He especially loves Star Wars legos.  As I mentioned before he loves to look through his catalog and relentlessly ask me how much everything costs and if its affordable.  I guess it’s nice he asks.  He also loves to watch the original movies.  I have no problem with him watching movies.  I do have a problem with him wanting to watch the movies twenty times a day.  The boy can’t get enough of it.

I told Jack we have limits with certain things, one being the TV.  As much as I love TV myself, there are plenty of other things to see, do, and create in our house.  Today, Jack had a friend over for the afternoon and enjoyed every minute of it.  Of course, they played “Star Wars” and invented their own light-saber battles and missions.  After his friend left I asked Jack how much fun he had acting out his play rather than staring at something acting.  He agreed.  I’m hoping the War over Star Wars between the two of us ends and he can win his own battles.

Time Flies

Monday, November 28th, 2011

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
By the end of this week, Haley will be eight months old. That may not mean much to you, but to me, it’s mind-boggling! When I was pregnant, I was so overwhelmed by the idea of bringing a new person into the world that I couldn’t conceive of what life would be like after that moment. Though I didn’t anticipate what the reality of parenthood would look like, I am enjoying it now that I’m here. But you know what? It’s not easy. Stop the presses!

My tasks each day are the usual stay-at-home-mom fare. I prepare Haley’s food and feed her—always an adventure. I attempt to get her down for her naps—rarely an easy process. I play with her and teach her about everything she sees, hears and touches. I talk and talk, and she stares and babbles. It can be incredibly tiresome at times, mind-numbing at others. But seeing her grow is really neat. Toys she couldn’t even grasp a few months ago she’s now banging and flinging. I remember when she used to just lie on her back and I tried to coax her into rolling over. Now she sits easily and will always get where she wants to go. Her exponential growth is starting to worry me—am I fully appreciating every moment? Am I leading her in the right directions?

In these last eight months, Haley has become a fully realized little person. And I have grown tremendously as well. I don’t have all of the answers, but I am far more confident than I was on the day I was admitted into the hospital. I could never have known all that this would entail. I guess I figured I would just manage. Luckily, I am doing just that.


Friday, November 25th, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
Yesterday was Thanksgiving – my favorite holiday. I’m happy that this year hubby’s parents and grandmother were able to join us. Family should be all together on the holidays…

Having everyone all together made me think about how lucky Andrew is to have 4 grandparents and 4 great-grandparents who love him to pieces and spoil him rotten. If you ask Andrew, he’d tell you that it was “cool” to see his cousins, that it was good to see his great grandmas and he likes to give them hugs and kisses. And his grandparents? Well, they’re his favorite people in the WHOLE world… “I just LOOOOOVE them.”

We may fight, we may butt heads (and half of us work together so that’s to be expected, right?), but at the end of the day, we’re all lucky to have each other.

Now I have to cut this short. We’re due to have breakfast with some of the family before they head back up to Maine.

Hope you all had a great thanksgiving with your families. Have a great weekend and if you do brave the malls today… good luck!


Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
“Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all that I am grateful for. It’s very easy to get caught up in the stress of everyday life, and not focus on the good, of which I have plenty.  Every day I tell myself how thankful I am to have a healthy family, a roof over my head, and food to serve on the table.  I know some people aren’t as lucky.

Below are ten little things I’m thankful for; the ones that make life easier every day… the things I wouldn’t want to live without.

1. I’m thankful for the 10+ hours my children sleep at night (and nap time bonuses).

2. I’m thankful for hearing the words “I love you” many, many times a day.

3. I’m thankful for baby wipes.  What did I do without them before I had kids?

4. I’m thankful for TV/internet.  I’m not sure how I’d get a shower in the morning or wait at the pediatricians office.

5. I’m thankful for pizza delivery.  A hot meal I don’t have to cook plus watching both of my kids enjoy every single bite is a beautiful thing.

6. I’m thankful to be able to stay at home with my kids.  Watching them grow and learn every day is priceless.

7. I’m thankful for antibacterial gel.  I have a bottle in my car, purse, diaper bag.  You name a place, it’s there.

8. I’m thankful for nice weather.  Getting my kids outside makes them happier, healthier and even sleep better.

9. I’m thankful for having at least one of my boys potty trained.  One less mess for me.

10. I’m thankful for my mini-van, even if saying that makes me shiver.  It is the best thing our family bought and the only way we go anywhere.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Fun!

Monday, November 21st, 2011

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I am so excited about Thanksgiving this year. It’s my favorite holiday, and now I get to share it with my daughter. I find myself thinking, is this real? Am I really a parent now? My cousins and I are no longer part of the youngest generation. How strange!

Usually on Thanksgiving morning, I go straight from my bed to the dining table to see how the pies I baked the night before are doing. I’m too busy preparing all the ingredients and cookware to take much notice of the Thanksgiving Day parade, but I will have to put it on for Haley. She might be too young to appreciate the balloons, but she should at least notice the bright colors and songs. Although we live close by, we will never be attending—it’s cold, crowded, and we’ve got dinner to prepare. Thank goodness for HDTV.

Haley’s now 7.5 months, and according to her doctor, there’s lots of food she can have at Thanksgiving. The only rules are no milk, eggs, or peanuts. So she will be sampling baby-versions of green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, biscuits, stuffing, turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie! Her favorite part of the day, though, will likely be spending time with relatives she doesn’t usually see. Mine too!

After her bedtime, the rest of us will make a big pot of coffee, like we do every year. We always get different flavored creamers. One year, we got a flavor like Vanilla Toffee Almond, or something, but we could never find it again. So every year, we get a new flavor to approximate it, and it’s always awful. But it works out, even if we have to put a scoop of butter pecan in our coffee (it’s really good, especially with pecan pie). If we are not too tired, we play board games or poker. If we are, we just settle into some football on TV. It will be nice to have some grown-up time too.

Personal Space

Friday, November 18th, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
Every so often, I look at Andrew and wonder how he figured learned certain things. One day he decided to bust out with his full name, my full name and hubby’s full name… We’d never taught him that. Neither did our parents. But someone clearly worked on it with him.

When he was younger, Andrew really wanted a piece of candy that was on the table just out of his reach. He tried to grab it. He tried to jump up on the table to get it. And when neither of those things worked, he scooted around to the other side of the table where the candy was absolutely within grabbing distance. It was amazing seeing how his mind worked out the “how do I get the candy” puzzle.

Today when we picked up Andrew from daycare, the report we got was that he’s a great kid…but needs to work on respecting personal space. It’s amazing that he needs to be told this because he HATES when other people come running up to him and trying to hug, high five and kiss him the second he walks into the classroom. Then again, he’s a very affectionate kid and sometimes has a tendency to get a bit clingy…

But that’s normal, isn’t it? Maybe it’s not… I don’t know.

I tried to talk to him about it tonight. He immediately put his face in my face and said, “Are you done? I don’t want to hear this?” (My son, ladies and gentlemen… The three year old with the attitude of a full blown teenager.)

I’m not sure how to teach him this one. Anyone got any brilliant ideas for me?

Have a great weekend…

Christmas Shopping

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

From Wednesday Dad:
This is a daddy blog this week. I was out of town on business last week and mommy needs to catch up on some sleep. So please forgive my dad-centric view of parenting. I will do my best.

It is early November and our four-year-old son is already excited about Christmas. This is the first year he really knows what to expect, and the threat of Santa’s naughty list looms large over his behavior. I’m told that this is the best age to be a kid on Christmas, but I am thinking that it is even better to be the parent.

Jack’s Christmas wish list is a living document that he is constantly honing to adequately quantify what he wants to see under the tree on Christmas morning. I think he is on his 43rd draft at this point. Commercials and the toys of his peers easily influence his material desires. Most of all, he loves the Star Wars movies, and he is getting really good at Legos. As my wife mentioned last week, when the Lego catalog arrived in the mail he studied it like a mid-east scholar with a new dead sea scroll. Roughly translated, the scroll says that Jack wants “everything LEGO makes.”

I used to be equally obsessed with Christmas, so I actually enjoy his enthusiasm. I have been living vicariously through my four year old. I do the heavy lifting when it comes to Lego construction, and Jack only knows about Star Wars because I made him watch it. Regardless, it is something we BOTH enjoy now. So am looking forward to the time together. Fortunately, Jack also gets a healthy dose of the real meaning of Christmas from his preschool and his mother, and I have done our best to temper Jack’s expectations. Jack is even going to give some gifts this year. My favorite part of Christmas is going to be playing Santa for our two awesome boys.

The Glamour of Parenthood

Monday, November 14th, 2011

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
My appearance has not been at its best lately. I miss the cute outfits I once wore to work. I now wear roughly the same thing every day. The uniform: an oversized tee-shirt I probably bought for eight dollars from a tacky gift shop on vacation, old sweatpants, and crocs and/or fuzzy socks, the kind you only wear in your house in the winter. My hair is in a messy bun. I managed to smooth some moisturizer onto my dry skin this morning, but nothing resembling cosmetics has touched my face since I wore lip gloss and mascara to a wedding two weeks ago.

I was lucky to lose my pregnancy weight very quickly and without effort, but my body certainly isn’t the same place ever since I carried a human being in it. I haven’t been exercising—shame on me. I know that it’s difficult to fit exercise into one’s daily routine, but that’s not an excuse. I don’t think “Americans are fat because they are lazy and inactive”. I think many people are overweight because they are stressed and working hard. The truth is, if you truly want to be healthy and take care of yourself, you will. I have a friend whose mother wakes up at 3 AM to exercise every day. Her long commute and busy schedule leave her no other time. So she does what she has to do. If I really wanted to make exercise a priority, I would. For now I’d rather get as much sleep as possible.

It’s important to be healthy, but beauty is only skin-deep. I could probably put in some effort to looking nicer each day, but I’m always at home. Haley can’t tell the difference. The only thing she likes about when I’m dressed up, as far as I can tell, is any shiny necklace I have on. So instead of dressing fancy, I suppose I can wear sparkly jewelry with my sweat pants. If that works for Haley, it works for me too.

Perfectly Imperfect

Friday, November 11th, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
When I was little, I was incredibly hard on myself. I got hysterical if I got a B on a paper, or if I struck out in a big at bat. And I very clearly remember my mom sitting me down one day in the midst of my hysteria and telling me that no one is perfect. We basically banished all mention of the word “perfect” in the house for a long time after that.

As an adult, I’m still incredibly hard on myself. I’m a raging perfectionist. And if I really get on a tear, few things meet up to my exacting standards. It’s not one of my finer qualities, though it does drive me to do some unbelievably amazing things…

So I’m not thrilled to say that this may be one of the things Andrew has picked up from me. It manifests in a couple different ways… Like how he tries to “beat me” to the house from the car, unless I ask him to hold my hand and walk with me. He races kids around the playground and usually chooses to race the ones who he KNOWS he’s faster than so he can win.

He also gets incredibly upset when he doesn’t win video games. He has this iPad app where you can race Lightening McQueen or Holly Shiftwell against other characters from Cars and Cars II. He literally gets hysterical if he loses. “EVERYONE IS BEATING ME UP! I LOSE EVERY TIME!” he sobs.

We try to tell him that he’s not going to win every time. That we still love him, regardless of whether he comes in first, last or anywhere in between. Look at the Mets and the Red Sox – they lose all the time and people still like them!

He doesn’t want to hear it. And I’m not sure how to get through to him.

This morning I had a trial. He wished me good luck before I left the house. I scooped him up and told him I really, really wanted to win. I asked if he’d still love me if I lost. He thought about it…annoyingly for a full minute…before saying yes. I asked if Hubby would still love me if I lost. Without hesitation, he said yes (but you’re not going to lose). So I tried telling Andrew it was the same thing if he lost a car race, but my stakes were a little bit higher.

He didn’t want to hear it. But maybe one of these days he’ll understand it’s totally okay to be perfectly imperfect…

Have a great weekend everyone

Target market

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
I studied Marketing in college.  I have a knack for design and innovative ways companies and businesses can strive to satisfy their customers.   I worked in retail for several years and experienced many different segments of marketing.  I learned a lot in college as well as working in retail.  I still subconsciously form a “marketing” opinion as soon as I walk into a retail store. Target has always been a favorite store of mine.  Something about it makes me smile – whether it be the smell, the price and/or their products.  Unfortunately, I live 90 miles from the closest Target, so I have periods of withdrawal.

The holidays are quickly approaching, which results in every toy catalog showing up in our mailbox.  It’s like magic according to Jack.  Jack started his Christmas list and adds at least 10 things to it everyday.  I can’t keep up with all the latest characters and gadgets available.  Today we received the Target toy catalog in the mail, as many of you may have as well.  I handed it to Jack and the minute he laid his eyes on it he was in heaven.  He looked at it for most of the afternoon and couldn’t stop saying, “Check this out, mommy”, “Wow, that’s awesome”.

I took a peek myself and immediately my “marketing” mind sparked.   Next to each item in the catalog is a nice little box you can check if you are interested in that particular product.  What a simple yet brilliant idea!  Jack grabbed a pen and went to town.  Today he practiced writing the letter X enough for at least the next week.  Now, when I want to know Christmas gift ideas for Jack all I have to do is look for an X and I know what the product is as well as the price and recommended age level.

I am aware there are similar methods out there like this little box.  Online wishlists/registries or writing your own list to name a few.  However, the joy and excitement that explodes from Jack as he turns each page is priceless.  Also, he has something tangible that he can look at any time and feel like he has these toys right in his own room, not to mention the few extra minutes of sleep I get in the morning as he lies in bed and finds that cool Lego space shuttle.