Archive for October, 2012


Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Halloween is here and the costumes are ready to be worn.  Jack and Tate are going as Thing 1 and Thing 2 this year.  I did some shopping. The official costumes were a bit pricey. So I decided to make my own version.  Red shirts, red pants, blue wigs and adhesive print outs of the Thing 1 and 2 logo on the shirts is all it took.  I think they turned out great and were a fraction of the cost of the store version.

We are joining our friends again this year, since they have a larger neighborhood.  The boys get to have fun with their friends and so do the adults.  For the last several years it’s been very warm during Halloween, but that’s not the case this year.  We’ll have to bundle up and experience Halloween like I remember from my childhood.

Tate’s class is having a Halloween party which I have volunteered to help with.  A few of the moms got together and planned a little party.   Crafts, finger food and games will make any two year old happy.   I made some goodie bags for the kids to take home.  I look forward seeing the children all dressed up.

Happy Halloween!


Emergency Management

Monday, October 29th, 2012

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Happy Frankenstorm! If you are reading this from the East Coast, I hope you are safe and dry. Hopefully you have your candles ready and pots filled with water. At this point, I don’t know what we’re all in for. We are in New York City—translation: islands surrounded by water. The mayor has announced that the transit system is shutting down Sunday night—now that’s a big deal. My husband works on Wall Street—among the most vulnerable parts of Manhattan—and I’m relieved he doesn’t need to go in. Whatever we face, we face as a family, and that’s somewhat reassuring.

We live on the third floor of a walkup so I’m not too worried about flooding, though our car is parked on the street. My major concern is losing power. Since Haley is out of the infant stage and can handle a lot more, I know she will be all right. Yet it’s still nerve-wracking to be unable to guarantee her safety.

Perhaps the most annoying feature of this weather system? Its disruption of Halloween! We were planning to go to a Halloween Fair over the weekend, but the weather just didn’t look too great. I really wanted to show Haley off in her elephant costume—she looks too adorable in it. Luckily, she doesn’t really get the holiday anyway. We’ll always have the cute pictures. One day we’ll look back and laugh about how they were all taken indoors.

Do I really want to know…

Friday, October 26th, 2012

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
I hate when daycare calls. It’s never for a good reason. And it never fails to freak me out.

But after I flipped out on them for NOT calling my cell when Andrew got a cut on his head, they’ve been a little more overzealous than usual about calling us. Every single time Andrew bumps into another kid on the playground. Which is often.

Andrew’s supposedly a typically little boy (not that I have any real basis of comparison). He will never walk if he can run. He plays rough. And he often runs into other kids or stationary objects on the playground.

So we got yet another call from daycare today. Andrew and another kid were playing soccer when they ran into each other. Andrew was supposedly fine, but had a bump on his nose that didn’t go down even after they had ice on it.

This is, of course, exactly what a mom wants to hear right before heading out from the office to pick up our kid.

I don’t want to say I’m a totally overprotective mom. That’s in me, for sure. But usually, I can temper that with some semblance of reason. Except when I think someone or something hurt Andrew…

I drove like a bat out of hell all the way to daycare, which is no small feat in north Jersey rush hour traffic. I was almost daring some cop to pull me over so I could tell them I had to get to daycare to check on my kid.

Andrew was fine. The rational part of me knew he would be. But I couldn’t really believe that until I saw him with my own eyes…

Have a good weekend everyone. And to those of you on the east coast, I hope you fare well in the storm they’re predicting…

Pickin’ Pumpkins

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Our family headed out to our local pumpkin patch last weekend.  The weather has finally cooled down a bit and it was a gorgeous morning to enjoy some fall activities.  The kids were looking forward to it all week long, and so was I.

We arrived right when the farm opened so we had the whole place to ourselves.  Before we headed to the patch we visited the petting zoo, played on some tractor tires, jumped on a giant pillow/bouncy thing and rode on a little train.  It was fun to see how much more Tate could do this year than last.  Next we boarded the hayride which took us out to the patch.  It wasn’t a “true” patch where the pumpkins were growing on the vines.  More like a bunch of pumpkins thrown out in the field to look like a patch.  No problem, because the kids didn’t know any better.  There were tons of pumpkins, large and small, covering the ground.  The boys each picked out one of their favorites while I was trying hard to get some pictures.  The boys wouldn’t stay still long enough, but that’s okay.  Jack and Tate were happy with their choices and we loaded back up on the hayride to return to the  farm.

We grabbed some overpriced hot dogs for lunch and quickly grabbed our seat for some silly pig races.  Yes, that’s right, pig races.  The owner of the farm trains pigs to race by bribing them with Oreo cookies… only in Mississippi.  The workers put on a little show and we watched the pigs race around.  Jack loved it.  Tate had already lost his patience by the time we grabbed our seats.  I guess that’s what happens when you get up at 4:30am.

We had a great morning exploring the pumpkin patch and came home to decorate our front porch.  Soon we’ll carve our pumpkins and be set for Halloween.  If only we could keep the candy corn dish filled for more than a day.

Keeping up with the Spirited Toddler

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
My Haley is definitely a handful. I love that she is spunky and independent for her age, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to deal with. Lately Haley has been asserting herself in quite an inconvenient way—by refusing the stroller. She wants to walk. It’s very stressful and cumbersome to get out of the apartment and negotiate the city streets when she won’t sit in the stroller. What’s worse is that she does not want to be carried and does not want to hold my hand.

Out on the street. In New York City. Yeah.

Not so good for a small toddler. I must maintain full focus to keep her on the inside track of the sidewalk. If we approach a busy street or find ourselves surrounded by pedestrians, I pick her up whether she likes it or not. It takes massive strength (for me) to keep her in my arms.

Curiously, she goes out with Dad without a problem! She loves holding his hand or being carried by him. She may resist the stroller with him too, but eventually she’ll acquiesce. She gives Mama a much harder time.

Haley isn’t always ready to break free. Sometimes she needs her mother and cannot be settled down by anything else. After bath time, before bed, during wake-ups, and first thing in the morning, she wants her mother and you better not stand in her way. Those are the only times she wants to cuddle with me. If I go in for a hug when she’s not in the mood for one, there’s a fair chance that I’m risking physical injury.

Being a parent not only takes patience and mental endurance—it’s physically demanding too! Often I’m downright sore from dealing with Haley’s antics by the end of the day. I know that she’s particularly challenging with me because I’m the person she trusts the most. Testing her boundaries is a crucial part of her development. I’m learning to pick my battles. My strategy is to her explore, keep her safe, and wear my good sneakers.


Friday, October 19th, 2012

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
Even though the days are getting shorter and colder, I love the fall.

The leaves are falling fast and furious. Last weekend, Andrew decided he wanted to try to rake the leaves. Hubby had gotten him a little rake and Andrew tried to “rake” – but mostly he just hit the leaves and the ground. But he really loved when Hubby scraped together a massive pile of leaves and Andrew would run and take flying leaps into them…

He was really excited to shop for this year’s Halloween costume. First he wanted to be Captain America again. Then he wanted to be other various super heroes. But, once Hubby let him start watching Star Wars, he HAD TO BE Luke Skywalker.

We went apple picking the other weekend, which was so much fun. Andrew helped peel and core all the apples to make apple pie. And there are still pumpkins to pick and hay rides to go on.

Normally I’d throw something in here about baseball – but with the Yankees having gone down in flames to Detroit in game 4 – there’s nothing worth talking about on that front… Or hockey. *Maybe* we’ll get a season in there, but it’s not looking good. Andrew misses watching his Devils play.

Report Card

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
When I picked Jack up from school yesterday the first thing out of his mouth was “Mommy, my report card is in my backpack and I really want to see how I did.”  I knew the cards were coming that day, and I was patiently waiting to see it myself.  I told Jack I couldn’t drive and look at it at the same time so we’d have to wait until we got home.  We live approximately one minute from the school.  Jack politely asked if I could pull over to look at it.  I told him I had waited all day, and that he could hang on for another twenty seconds.

We got home from school and Jack quickly got out his folder.  He pulled out the report card and held it up so high for me to see and asked how he did.  I read it carefully and was so proud of his accomplishments for the first nine weeks of Kindergarten.  His scores were excellent and I gave him a high five.

There is something so rewarding about seeing those excellent grades.  For the last five + years I’ve been doing my best to teach Jack (and Tate) all the world has to offer.  Reviewing letters and numbers, reading countless books, teaching manners and many, many other lessons, and it surely has paid off.  I am proud of Jack for his great scores and proud of myself (and my husband) for teaching him to be a well rounded student.

I hope the next nine weeks (and his entire education) are as good as the first nine weeks.  If so, I’ll be one happy momma!


Little Yogis

Monday, October 15th, 2012

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
This week, I took Haley to her first class at the gym. It’s called “Parent & Tot Yoga.” It was an interesting experience, to say the least.

The class was for children 10 months to 2 years old. Haley is right in the middle of that age group. I was looking forward to connecting with other moms and kids her age. When we walked in, there was one mother/child pair there. The little girl seemed to be a little bit older than Haley. The kids made some eye contact and I said a friendly ‘hello’ to the other mom, but all I got was a polite ‘hello’ back. The mom then looked out the window at a construction site for the entire 10 minutes before the instructor arrived and made no effort to converse. Oh well…

The instructor was nice enough, but had just come back from a tour of a school where the first mom is a parent. The two of them talked curriculum and class size and Haley and I were still on our own. That was fine because Haley was having fun exploring the shiny wood floors, mirrored wall and random equipment that were scattered around the room. Once more moms arrived, there was more activity and Haley seemed to enjoy the stimulation.

Haley got along well with some of the other kids. As she has done in the past, she wanted to hug everyone. This time she was mostly obliged. One girl—who I must point out, is over two—pushed her away. Maybe they have certain age groups together for a reason? Haley got along great with the girl on the next mat, Fiona. Haley actually stole all of the Fiona’s Cheerios (I was mortified). Fiona and her mother were very sweet about it. After the class, her mother and I talked about how well the girls got along and said we’d have to sit together next week. Score!

I’m glad I went to the class because Haley enjoyed it, but it wasn’t easy. She was definitely the most mischievous of the bunch, running around at will. Yoga is supposed to be relaxing, but I was pretty stressed the whole time. That’s silly, because no one minded at all and the other moms were giggling at Haley’s “charms” and talking to her really sweetly (as I was with their kids). I have a long way to go in getting used to these activities. As with any exercise regime, practice will make perfect.



Friday, October 12th, 2012

Last night I got to attend game 3 of the playoffs. It was awesome. Though it’s a different experience when you have kids. You need to coordinate who is going to watch those kids. You plan when you’re going to get up for food around when you’re going to call home at bed time. And you miss an entire evening with someone who, while they understand you’re at the ballgame, also knows (very well) you chose that over being with them.

I was supposed to be there tonight too. Yes. I said supposed to be. Andrew and I are having a night to ourselves while daddy is at the game tonight.

We got ice cream. We read. Drew pictures. We had dinner. He colored all over the notes that I made for my oral argument tomorrow while he was eating. To his credit, he did ask, “Mommy? Will the judge like if I draw smiley faces all over your notepad?” (while he was coloring over my meticulous notes, but at least he thought to ask…)

Now he’s practicing writing.

He has a massive coloring book that Grammy and Papa got him with 1 line stories about Cars characters above each of the pictures. He colored, then we read the story and then he picked out which words he wanted to write (again, all over my notepad for tomorrow). The letters he can’t figure out how to do on his own, we do together with each of us holding the pen. It’s a little hard for me since he’s a lefty and I’m not. He keeps trying to write with the wrong hand and I keep trying to angle the paper the wrong way for him.

But it’s been a fun night. I don’t get to spend enough time with Andrew during the week. And the weekends have been so full of soccer, I feel like we don’t get to do anything else. I guess I have to get used to that, but it makes me wonder how parents are able to find time for their kids to do a sport and music lessons and still find some semblance of time for themselves…


I’m still striving to find it.

Germs, germs go away!

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Being a mom means dealing  with the good, the bad and the ugly. For example, my 2 year old son has had diarrhea for 3 days. I am going through about a diaper an hour. He is in good spirits, keeping hydrated with water and has no other symptoms. I spoke with his doctor today and she told me to expect these symptoms for a up to a week, likely the result of a local outbreak of adenovirus. We are keeping him hydrated with plenty of rest. He has none of the other possible symptoms from this family of pathogens, no congestion nor bronchitis.

I struggle with guilt when my kids get sick. What could I do to prevent it? We wash our hands constantly.  I get mom guilt, and I often feel sorry for myself when dealing with sick kids. Being a germ-o-phobe doesn’t help either.  I think I have it rough some days. Then I feel guilty for my pity party when there are mothers of children with serious chronic disease out there who would love to have a kid with just diarrhea. Like any mom, I would trade my health for my kids’ sickness if that could make them better. I know kids get sick, and moms get tired.

The best medicine I’ve found is to be strong yet comforting in front of the children. They can sense when I am concerned or in a panic. If I can provide comfort, they can rest and let their natural defenses heal them.  Hopefully Tate will get healthy soon… before we run out of diapers.