Archive for April, 2014

Growth Spurt

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Tate has always been our little peanut.  He ranked below average for his height and weight at his well baby check ups.  He’s one of the smallest boys in his class. Unlike his brother, he usually wears clothes for an average child size a year later.  However, he surely doesn’t let his smaller stature fool anyone.

In recent weeks, Tate displayed some growth signs.  Out of nowhere, most of his clothes are tight and short.   He is able to reach the light switches.  His belly is an endless pit.  Our once picky eater is eating everything in sight at all hours of the day.  I can’t keep his belly full.  He is sleeping more than usual and even complaining of some aches and pains.

I’m happy Tate is showing signs of healthy growth.  I know he won’t be small forever, but it’s a little sad knowing how fast both of my children are growing up.  Tate’s tantrums are slowly diminishing and his fine motor skills are improving.  He transitioned into a “big boy” car seat and he’s asking when he’ll be able to attend Jack’s school.

I’m taking a few extra moments today to watch everything my children do, like pretend play, ride their bike, or even sleep.  Tomorrow they won’t be this little and it’s bittersweet.  I’m super proud of my kids and all they’ve accomplished so far.   I only wish we could slow time down every now and then and hold onto these memories.

Sporty Girl

Monday, April 28th, 2014

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Over the weekend, I finally got around to setting up the soccer net Haley had gotten for her birthday. In case you’re wondering where I placed sporting equipment in my tiny New York City apartment, let me assure you that this is a “Papa’s house” toy. I’m sure Haley would like to play with it more often, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles for a city kid. Anyhow back in the suburbs, the net joined a small basketball hoop and a plastic slide in my parent’s sun room. Haley was quite pleased. “Look at my playground!” she exclaimed. I’m sure her grandparents enjoy having lots of kids stuff around to squeeze more visits out of her!

Haley had a great time playing basketball and soccer. She loved standing really close to the hoop and dunking the ball after someone gently tossed it to her. We’ll have to work on those three-pointers another time. She is better at soccer, kicking the ball right into the net with pretty good frequency. The net came with a sensor that cheers when you make a goal. This turned out to be major incentive for Haley. What can I say? The girl enjoys getting props. If she didn’t manage to score, she’d run up and hit the sensor with her hand so she could get her applause, and then dance around. She may have not been the most focused player, but at least she’s having a good time.

I’m glad that Haley is getting comfortable with soccer, because this week we start Preschool Soccer at our local community center. I can’t wait to see what she does in front of a coach and other kids. If she manages to stop touching the ball with her hands, I’ll consider it a major victory. One thing I know for sure– if she does anything remotely well, I will be cheering her as loud as I can. I’ve got to keep her interest somehow. Hopefully no one will mind the dancing.


Friday, April 25th, 2014

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Rory calls me Daddy. And it kind of hurts my feelings.

Da-da and Daddy were some of Rory’s first baby babbles. According to our pediatrician, it’s actually easier for toddlers to move their mouths to say daddy than it is to say mommy. So for a long time, I reassured myself that Rory’s grasp of the word “daddy” was simply reflex, and not some choice or deliberate favoritism on his part.

Now, however, I am starting to question that assessment. Rory has started to respond to questions. When we ask him to show us his belly button, nose, ears, or head, etc., he happily obliges. So, when we asked him the other day who each of us were, we expected the same dutiful response.

You see where this is going, right?

When I asked Rory who I was, he gleefully responded, “Dadeee.” We both chuckled and explained that, no Rory, I am mommy. Ma-ma. Ma-ma. Ma-ma. Eventually I elicited a brief “ma-ma” in response. I responded with the appropriate degree of excitement and enthusiasm. And he responded with a giggling rant of “daddy, daddy, daddy.” Hoping it was a one-time deal, I asked him the same question again the following morning. His response: “dadeee.”


I’m happy to keep politely correcting him and am hopeful that he learns in fairly short order that mommy smiles a whole lot more when he calls her mommy (instead of daddy). But, I can’t help but take it a little personally (even though I know I shouldn’t). And I also wonder if I failed to talk in third person enough around him, or if I just didn’t talk enough around him, or what, if anything, I did that led him to not know who I am, or at least not be able to say it. I guess I can take solace in the fact that he doesn’t call me “ball” or “duck” or one of his other favorite words. . . at least not yet.

Save the Earth

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Earth Day is a great day to teach kids about the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling.  Most importantly, I want to teach my children how they can play an active part in taking good care of our planet.  Our children are the future, and we can help them make a difference by keeping our planet clean.

This Earth Day, I am emphasizing to my kids that small daily habits over time can make the biggest impact in preserving our planet.  I do my best to show Jack and Tate what items we can recycle by placing them in our recycling bin.  Sure it’s easier to just throw everything out, but a few extra seconds sorting our trash can really make a difference over time.  We reuse household items like boxes and paper towel tubes for kids’ crafts.  They use their imagination and creativity to build robots and suits of armor. It may only last an afternoon, but it was a perfect way to reuse materials.

Unfortunately, our family is guilty of over using paper products at times.  I need to work harder at limiting the number of paper towel rolls I use and reduce the amount of packaging we purchase. My husband may be the messiest person in the house, but he is better about using regular cloth kitchen towels to clean up.

We are practical about environmentalism, especially if it saves us money.  My goal is to instill some basic earth-friendly habits in my children when they’re young.  Once they grow older these learned behaviors will come naturally to them.  I want the best for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren by doing what we can now to preserve our planet Earth.


Happy Easter

Monday, April 21st, 2014

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Though we’ve given Haley Easter baskets each year on the holiday, this is the first year we made an event of it. Haley loved coloring Easter eggs, insisting on using only certain colors—pink, orange, yellow: yes. Blue, purple: NO! Even more exciting than coloring real eggs were the plastic eggs she found during the Easter egg hunt in my folks’ backyard—those eggs had candy in them. Haley went to town on chocolate eggs, jelly beans and Hershey’s kisses. It was definitely the most sugar she had had in one sitting. And soon after, it showed. She randomly happened upon an old Road Runner/ Wile E. Coyote show on our tablet and laughed uncontrollably for about 45 minutes straight. It was cute but sort of alarming. She won’t be going on another candy binge any time soon.

She also woke up Easter morning to a basket with little trinkets in it—costume jewelry, a little purse and hair accessories. If you know Haley, you know this was a big hit! Once she got the basket, she suddenly remembered that she had heard a bunny hopping in the house earlier. That explains it!

It was so nice to have a sunny and fun Easter weekend after the bitter cold we were dealt this winter. I hope it was just the beginning of many more fun springtime adventures!

Danger Zone

Friday, April 18th, 2014

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Rory is currently sporting a nice red and blue bruise between his eyebrows and a tiny cut above his left eyelid. Now that our little man is toddling about at full speed, he is also losing his balance and knocking into things at an equally alarming pace. We’re still working on trying to stay one step ahead of him. Unfortunately, our attempts failed at least twice so far this week.

The bruise on the bridge of his nose happened during the day at daycare on Tuesday. Apparently, he was running quickly across the room at daycare while holding a soft block and he tripped and tumbled directly onto the corner of a shelf. I received a call at work around 10:30 am to inform me that he’d had an accident, that it was swelling a little bit, but that there was no blood or signs of concussion. Luckily, he was willing to keep ice on it for a bit and was back to himself in no time.

Then, on Wednesday morning, Rory lost his footing while playing with the baby gate that separates our living room and dining room, slipped, and knocked himself in the eye on the gate. The impact caused a tiny cut on his eye, and it swelled up almost immediately. After some cool compresses and Neosporin, we sent him off to school without any real tears.

With Rory squarely in the toddler danger zone, we’ve been hovering a little closer to the little guy as he wanders about. We’re trying to strike the right balance between giving him the distance he needs to continue to grow and develop and trying to stay close enough within reach to prevent true disaster (or at least delay the ER visits a little while longer). Hopefully we’ll make it through Easter Sunday without any new bumps or bruises!

Tate Update

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Several weeks ago, Tate was displaying some anxiety when I dropped him off at school.  I blogged about the shift in his behavior. He was attached to me at the hip as soon as we walked in the door and his eyes filled with tears when I said goodbye to him.  Tate’s behavior didn’t seem like our spunky child. He was always very social with children and adults.  I think that’s why I was so concerned with his anxiety.

I am happy to report Tate is doing much better.  So much so, that he barely even says goodbye to me when I drop him off in the morning.  He quickly hangs up his backpack and finds a friend to play with. I am relieved to know he is enjoying school.  Some days, when I pick him up, it takes 5-10 minutes to pry him away from his classroom and get on our way.  I think the emotional roles have reversed.  I want the extra hug and kiss goodbye.

These emotional phases and behavioral changes are only normal.  However, as a parent, it’s always a guessing game at what the best approach is to aid the problem.  It’s a learning experience for all of us.  I am pleased to see Tate back to his normal silly self.

Princess Band-Aids on the Coffee Mug Shelf

Monday, April 14th, 2014

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I love to be organized. I can’t say I always succeed in that task—I have my fair share of junk drawers around the house, and navigating our broom closet takes a certain amount of finesse. But I like to try. I don’t like clutter, which is a preference one needs to loosen the reigns on when becoming a parent. Young kids love toys, preferably the ones that come with a million or so pieces. I don’t care how sweetly I sing, “Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere,” it’s only going to accomplish so much. While I want Haley to learn how and why to clean up after oneself, I don’t want to be a drill sergeant about it—there are more important things to obsess over.

There are other reasons aside from playtime that cause things to become discombobulated. I often have to hide items from Haley. She loves her Disney Princess band-aids, and will pretend to have boo-boos so she can put them on. I’ve realized that “out of sight, out of mind” is a very real force for preschoolers, so I put them where we put the coffee mugs—an area Haley is too short to see. Every time I reach for a cup, it irritates me to see the incongruous object there, but I know it’s for the greater good. I keep the ice cream cones by the beer glasses for the same reason. I’ve had to remind myself not to pick her up in the kitchen—my go-to stash spot—lest she spy the contraband.

Patience might be the most essential component of successful parenthood, but flexibility is right up there. The order of your house might not always be perfect, but it’s something you have to roll with. A perfectly clean home might have once been a top priority, but a happy and adjusted kid certainly takes precedence.

And We’re Off

Friday, April 11th, 2014

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Rory has finally decided that he likes to walk. We took him up to my parents’ house this past weekend. When presented with lots of open space and gleaming hardwood floors, he started putting one foot in front of the other at a pace that we had never really seen before. It was both exciting and terrifying at the very same time.

It has been interesting watching the shift in only a week’s time of how we interact with him now that he has decided that remaining vertical is his preferred mode of transportation. I’ve gotten far more calf hugs than I used to.  He has also taken to hiding behind me occasionally when I drop him off at daycare.  He’s also spends a lot of time just bouncing up and down on his hands and feet and clapping.

His willingness to stand has also made certain of our daily tasks a bit easier. For example, it is far easier to dress a toddler who is willing to stand up and help put clothes on and off.  He has even helped me put on his coat to go to school twice this week.

Unfortunately, his desire to walk is already having a negative impact on his willingness to stay in his stroller.  On Wednesday morning he let out a blood curdling yelp that likely caused our neighbors to wonder what on earth I had done to my child.  Luckily, he calmed down in fairly short order once we started our walk, but it was hit of miss for the first block or so.

Even with the ups and downs, we’re enjoying this new phase.  And we’re looking forward to watching him in action at the park this weekend, as well.

Grandparents Visit

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Jack and Tate’s grandparents are hanging out with us this week.  It’s been a great visit so far.  The boys enjoy playing outside with them in the beautiful weather.  I enjoy the extra help, conversation, and quality time with my parents.

I’m trying to make the most of my parents visit by showing them what we do on a daily basis.  My parents visited Jack’s school and ate lunch with him. They met Jack’s teacher, saw lots of his artwork, and helped to drop him off at school.  They also had a chance to tour Tate’s preschool.  Last week, the preschool held their annual fundraiser.  You can read more about it from this post.  The school puts on a parade at the end of the week.  I was happy my parents could see Tate walk around with a big smile on his face while supporting a great cause.

My parents attended a few of Jack’s baseball practices.  They get to see their other grandchildren play every week, but seeing Jack play is a special treat for them.  Jack enjoys showing off his skills to his grandparents.

We enjoy talking to my parents on a regular basis, but FaceTime doesn’t compare to the cuddles and laughter we share when we’re together.  I love knowing the boys are making memories that will last their lifetime.