Archive for June, 2012

Transitioning Again…

Friday, June 29th, 2012

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
Andrew has done remarkably well adjusting to his new daycare. Even the directors looked at him after a couple weeks and said it was like Andrew had always been there, he was so comfortable and everyone loved him so much…

Last week, they started transitioning Andrew into the pre-k classroom, which they call “the squirrels.” (Every room is a different woodland animal – don’t ask – he used to be in the robin’s roost). He did awesome. He was excited to be a squirrel. They have computers. And a bigger room. Cool marble toys. “Funner” books. “Gooder” costumes for playing dress up.

Monday morning went off without a hitch. He did great his first full day in the new room. Monday night, Andrew started whimpering that his tummy hurt. As you may remember, this is his go-to excuse for just about everything he doesn’t want to do. Sleep. Go to school. Stop playing. Watching something other than cartoons. It all makes his belly hurt.

The next morning, he started in with “my tummy hurts” again. He was lobbying – HARD – to stay home from school. He even, all too readily, agreed that he would stay in bed all day since he wasn’t feeling well.

I looked at him carefully, kissed his forehead to make sure he wasn’t running a fever, and asked if he was just freaked out about being in a new classroom. I don’t know what made me ask, but the next thing I know, I have a hysterical Andrew draped over me, sobbing into my neck. “Mommy! I want to stay a robin bird!”

My heart broke a little with his confession. I did my best to tell him it would be okay. But he wouldn’t get into the car until I promised to pick him up early, gave him 4 extra hugs and kisses, and told him he could stop by the robins to say hello to everyone in there.

Andrew has been a little extra clingy this week. Drop offs have been a little longer. But each day has gotten a little easier. He’s still pretending like he has a tummy ache each morning. And tonight he confessed that he’s still nervous about being a squirrel, but it’s not *quite* as bad now.

Change is hard. It’s difficult for us as adults. It’s even harder for our kids. But the good news is that they seem to adjust better than we do.

Z’s, please!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
I can relate to Monday mom when it comes to sleep deprivation.  As you know, we’ve been vacationing with family.  Unfortunately, Tate failed to keep his same sleep patterns.  He is an early riser to begin with, but waking two hours earlier than usual is wearing on me.

Tate has been a stubborn sleeper most of his life.  As an infant, it took him several (6) months to finally sleep through the night.  Once he finally realized what a good night’s sleep was, he stuck with it.  I understand a new place, a new home and new faces can be a lot for an almost two year old to adjust to, but for some reason Tate is bright eyed and ready for his day before the sun rises.  I’ve tried everything from keeping him up later, darkening the windows, running him all day long, reading and rocking him.  Nothing is working.  Any suggestions are welcome.  I’m blaming it on all the excitement we’re having on our visit which is making him ready to start his day extra early.

Unfortunately, these early wake ups are leading to afternoon tantrums and overall fussiness.  Is it lack of sleep?  Is it the trying two’s phase?  Maybe both?  Even his afternoon naps aren’t amounting to the usual three hours or so.  Luckily, Jack is a very sound sleeper and could sleep through a tornado.  I’m thankful his sleep isn’t interrupted by Tate’s loud shrieks.   I have high hopes one of these mornings the lack of sleep will catch up with Tate.  It’s surely caught up with me.

Sleep Deprivation, Part 2

Monday, June 25th, 2012

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
As I type this, Haley is in her crib, crying. Last week, I wrote about the deterioration of her sleep habits since an illness and recent teething. We had a few promising nights, but things went from bad to worse when her teething pain seemed to shift into high gear. Several nights included multiple wake-ups, with me holding her, rocking her and nursing her—which I was largely trying to avoid—for hours at a time.

We are adherents of the Cry-It-Out method, which some parents find controversial. There are many nuances involved, and I don’t think any one should attempt the system without doing a lot of research beforehand. After all, if you are not convinced of how and why the method works—you will definitely cave and not follow through with it. The basic idea is that after your established bedtime routine, you put your child in the crib and walk out of the room. The child then cries himself to sleep. You repeat this every single night. From what I have heard anecdotally, the child starts falling asleep almost immediately on the fourth night. We put this plan to use when Haley was about 6 months old, and it worked out beautifully. Of course since then, life has happened… and it was difficult to stick to the plan.

So now we are at an impasse at which we must start over again. I believe in this method because I have seen it work very well on Haley. I have witnessed her sleeping for 11 and one-half hours straight and become such a happy baby during the day. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. You never lose that instinct to protect your kid and keep them from being upset. But you also know that doing what is in the best interest of your child is the most important thing. Haley needs rest and a rested mommy.

Luckily, the cries have subsided, and my husband just showed me the monitor with the peaceful looking baby, sleeping. Thank goodness! I feel my heart rate slowly returning to normal.

Sometimes There Are No Words…

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
Words are my business. I get paid for my ability to argue, to think well on my feet, and to react quickly…

But there are certain moments as a parent that just defy description.

Like I don’t think I could ever explain to someone who isn’t also a parent how overwhelmingly emotional it is the first time you see your child. Nine months of anticipation, nerves, anxiety and excitement hit you all at once, along with some fear of the unknown and the most intense feeling of love and an intense need to protect this tiny baby… There’s a reason why most people cry the first time they see their son or daughter. What else are you going to do with all those different emotions slamming into you all at the same time?

There’s no real way to describe how cool it is to see your kid’s first steps or the first time they smile at you.

It would be impossible to put into words how terrifying it was when Andrew got so sick as a baby and had to be hospitalized for what still amounts to the longest week of my life… Seriously. I still cry if I think about it for too long.

Some moments are good. Some are bad. But all will stand out forever, as hard as they are to accurately describe.

Last night we had another one of those moments.

We got Andrew’s preschool prom pictures back from daycare. There was one picture just of him, looking absolutely adorable. Then there were two other pictures, each one with a different girl. They were his “dates” to the prom. How many dates did he have? “Don’t worry, Mommy. I only had three dates, not four.”

A few minutes later, I held up the two pictures of his “dates” and asked who he liked better. “Both of them,” he responded immediately. When I asked if he could only pick one, he looked at me and totally seriously responded, “Why do I only have to pick one girl?”

In that moment, there just were no words. I looked over at Hubby, thinking that this would be a good daddy moment for him to jump in. He was hiding behind his laptop trying not to laugh.

I don’t know where this kid gets some of this stuff from… but we’re in for it when he gets older.

For now, I’m going to enjoy every moment of him still being my little boy though. And right now that means trying to locate Zig-Zag the zebra before show and tell in the morning. (Think they’re learning the letter z this week?)

Have a great weekend everyone.


Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Today marks the first day of summer.  I thought I’d share with you my favorite things about summer.  Ten things (in no particular order) that come to mind are:

1. Cookouts – Growing up my extended family lived nearby.  Every couple weeks and on holidays someone would host a cookout and gather everyone together to enjoy the season.  Visiting PA has exposed Jack and Tate to family gatherings.  I love watching them run around and play with their cousins.

2. Swimming– Even though no one in my family owned a pool when I was younger, we always managed to find one somewhere.  Sometimes we joined a pool or we were invited to a friend’s pool.  It’s fun, refreshing and exciting to watch Jack and Tate swim and splash just like I did.

3. Road trips– Long or short – they’re always an adventure.

4. Lightning bugs – I have fond memories of staying up late and catching these cool bugs.  Unfortunately, we don’t have these creatures in MS.   Jack spotted them the first night while visiting PA and quickly grabbed as many as he could.

5. Ice cream – Who doesn’t like ice cream?  Picking out a yummy flavor and taking that first lick off the cone is a true sign of summer.

6. Amusement parks – I lived near a popular amusement park growing up.  I am excited to take Jack to the same one this summer and share my memories with him.

7. Heat– I’m not a fan of hot weather, but I wouldn’t enjoy summer without it.

8. Barefoot – feeling the sand or grass between my toes is always a good feeling.

9. Relaxation– Although sleeping in these days is next to impossible, relaxing by the pool or lake with a cold drink is my idea of relaxing.

10. Colors – Warm yellow sun, blue sky, green grass, fresh fruit/ veggies and vibrant colored flowers make my senses sizzle.

Happy Summer!

Waking Beauty

Monday, June 18th, 2012

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Haley hasn’t been the best sleeper. She’s had trouble going to bed, wanted to nurse (what seemed like) endlessly, and never wanted to stop the daytime fun for a nap. Her father and I have done a lot of research on children’s sleep patterns and consulted our friends who have been-there-done-that. With a lot of patience and persistence, we got Haley to a pretty good point with sleeping. Usually, she’d sleep at least 11 hours at night and 1 hour or so during the day. We tried to be consistent so she’d form good habits. Over time, things seemed to be improving.

We have hit blips when Haley has experienced teething, illness, changes to her routine, etc. This latest situation has been a challenge. For the past few nights, Haley has woken up at least once at some random point and cried inconsolably. In the past, her dad has been really good at getting her back to sleep. He could just pick her up and sit down on the love seat in the nursery and she’d fall right back asleep in his arms. A few days ago, she wouldn’t even let him rock her.

My instincts told me she had an ear infection. A Google search informed me that they commonly occur at the tail end of a cold; Haley was just getting over one. I took her to the doctor and found out I was right. While I felt bad for what Haley was going through, I was happy to have a diagnosis and a game plan. She’s now on antibiotics.

I was hopeful that Haley would feel better and sleep better soon. She seems to be feeling well, at least during the day, but her sleep has worsened. Last night, she woke up about four hours after she was put to bed. I wasn’t too surprised, since that was around the time her pain reliever would have worn off. So I gave her some more. When she woke up two hours later, I was not only surprised, but confused, and I have to admit—annoyed. A flurry of thoughts entered my mind. ‘Does her ear really hurt her? Is lying down causing more pressure in her ear canal. She wants to nurse a lot, which is unusual for baby with an ear infection. I know she has teeth coming in, but she just had the pain reliever. Is it a bad dream?’ I could get her back asleep, but she would awake with a startle every time I put her in the crib. Each time she woke up, it was about an hour before I had her asleep in her crib again. Haley is happy in the morning, but I am a tired mommy.

I have faith that Haley’s sleep will improve soon. I just need to follow her cues and respond to her needs as best I can. The main virtue of parenthood, I’m finding, is patience. Over and over, as soon as I feel like I have things figured out, this girl throws me for a loop. I just hope I conquer this hurdle before the next one arises.

I hope you (and I) have a restful week!


Sunday, June 17th, 2012

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
One of the hardest things about putting Andrew in daycare wasn’t the idea that someone else would be watching my child. As much of a control freak as I am, it wasn’t even that someone else probably wouldn’t be taking care of Andrew EXACTLY like I would and as well as I would.

Instead, it was the idea that someone else would get to see his first smile before me. See his first steps. Hear his first word. And I couldn’t bear the idea of ANYONE other than me being the one to witness all those milestones.

Fortunately, Andrew cooperated and saved all those things up for us so we could be the ones to see them all.

Until today…

Today was Andrew’s preschool prom. I worked it out with my supervisor that I could leave work early so I could be there by 3:45 to be there and take pictures. I left work on time to make it there… I was so excited to surprise Andrew.

And then traffic conspired against me. I was crushed. I missed my baby’s first prom. Supposedly it was “cool.” But I wasn’t there. And I hate that.

Have a great weekend everyone. Happy fathers’ day to all the dads out there. And, of course, a very happy birthday to Hubby.

PA bound

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
VERY soon our family is headed back to where my husband and I are from, Pennsylvania.  I can’t even describe how excited we are to see all of our family, including extended family. We are gearing up for a long road trip, but at this point we’ve made several, so I think we have a good routine down pat.

Jack and Tate are so giddy to see their relatives.  It’s so sweet when they tell me everything they want to do while on our family visit.  It feels almost like we’re going to Disney World again with all the plans Jack comes up with.  His plans consist of sleepovers, swimming (especially the cool slide), amusement parks, boat rides, and playing tons with his cousins. The list goes on and on.  I wish he could be around his family more, but given our distance from them it makes it very hard to visit PA more than once a year.  Luckily, I know we’re not going to live in Mississippi for the rest of the boys’ childhood.   For now, we’ll make memories by making these fun treks up north.

I’m also looking forward to our visit because I get to meet up with friends I haven’t seen in years.  We keep in touch via email and other social sites, but it’s just not the same as hanging out together in the same room.  In fact, one of my friends, whom I’ll see, I’ve known since preschool.  She was my neighbor growing up,  my college roommate, my matron of honor and she “introduced” me to my husband.  Needless to say, she is one of my “besties.” I get to see her sweet girls and meet her new baby son.  Our kids are growing up too fast which means I am, too.  Yikes!

Packing up the minivan is always a challenge, but my husband has it down to a science and even makes room for a diaper changing area.  We’ve come across too many dirty rest stops in the past, so we make it a point to fit in a changing pad.  It’s very convenient and it keeps my germ-phobia at ease.  While on the road, the kids are comfy with their favorite animal in their lap and games for play.  We make sure to pack movies when times get a little crazy in the back seat.  We are blessed with two kids that have no problem sleeping in the car.  I look forward to another successful (and quiet) trip.



Old Friend

Monday, June 11th, 2012

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I have a really wonderful friend I met in college. After graduation, we had an apartment in Manhattan together. Since that time, we have both lived in many different places, but never in the same city. We put a lot of effort into staying in touch and would see each other whenever we could. I feel lucky that I’ve maintained this close relationship throughout my adult life.

My friend came to New York on business and yesterday, we got together. She met Haley for the first time. It was a really great but somewhat surreal feeling for her to be spending time with my daughter. She and I lived together over ten years ago, and I was such a silly kid then. Well—I was a responsible and productive young adult, but a far cry from the mature parent I am now. My friend has spent a lot of time with children and is terrific with them. I knew she and Haley would hit it off, but I was shocked at how quickly it happened. When I picked my friend up, she went to the back of the car to see Haley in the car seat. Haley smiled back immediately—very out of character for her! It usually takes some time for her to warm up to new people. It was more emotional than I thought it would be to introduce my daughter to someone who has had a significant impact on my life.

At one point in the evening, after Haley had gone to dreamland, my friend and I were sitting on a New York stoop, waiting for some other people. It took me right back to the good old days. We talked about all of times we would get together to hang out. We’d meet up and eat in the dorm at say, 11 AM. It wasn’t unusual for us to spend the rest of the day bouncing around the city, getting back home around midnight. My friend and I marveled at how carefree were. Neither one of us can remember the last time we burned the day away. It’s interesting to think about how much we have grown and our lives have changed. And these things will only keep changing.

On the Road Again…

Friday, June 8th, 2012

I’m writing this post from my hotel room in Chicago. It’s going to be a short trip, and I’m heading home on Saturday afternoon, but still – it’s time away from my boys.

It’s always hard to judge whether it’s better to start telling Andrew about these trips early (giving him lots of time to adjust to the idea) or to more spring them on him closer to when they occur (reducing the amount of tears and clingy moments).

So this time around, I started preparing him for me being gone a couple days ago. He seemed cool with it. Until this morning. “Mommy? You’re leaving me today. For a WEEK.”

The kid really knows how to break your heart and twist the knife at the same time…

I know he’s fine. He had fun playing with my sister today while hubby drove me to the airport. He’s probably still awake right now watching the end of the Yankee game, screaming at the TV because the “Tampa Bays” are winning in the 7th. And tomorrow he’ll have a great day at school, showing off two of his favorite stuffed animals (Rainbow and Magic, the unicorns) for show and tell.

It’s still hard though, hearing that he thinks I’m leaving him. Or that I’m abandoning him for a week when I’m only out of town for a whopping day and a half.

At least when I get back, there’s lots of good stuff in store. In addition to spending time with the little guy, there’s also game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals and Yankees-Mets at the Stadium. 🙂

have a great weekend everyone.