Archive for January, 2016

Buh Bear

Friday, January 29th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Charlotte is starting to talk a bit more recently. Variations of  “Ball,” “Hi,” “Bye.”  The cutest one, however, is when she addresses her large pink teddy bear that is nearly as big as she is.  She gleefully proclaims “Buh Bear” and gives him huge, enthusiastic hugs.

I do believe the name will stick.

Last night Buh Bear accompanied us across the second story of our house.  She found him on the floor in the master bedroom and toted him as she toddled across the room, down two small steps, and into the kids’ bathroom.  He waited patiently while she took her bath and then joined her for PJs and bedtime stories.  And he snuggled down on the floor next to her crib as she dozed off for the night.

Although there are perhaps more important words for her to learn– such as those that will help us understand the arm flailing at meal time or tears from out of nowhere–we are enjoying watching her caring and nurturing personality emerge.  And we can’t wait to see which creature she names next.



Dinner Defeats

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
I enjoyed cooking before I had children. I’m no master chef, but can follow simple recipes and prepare tasty meals that my husband and I enjoy eating. I’m fortunate that my husband is a great cook. When he is home, and his schedule permits, he offers to make dinners. He’s just about mastered his smoker and can serve up some delicious dishes.

Since having kids, dinnertime is always a struggle for me. I don’t always have time to make elaborate new recipes, and I’m in a rut with using the same recipes over and over and over. My kids are picky eaters and only like a handful of meals. In fact, they’ve been eating the exact same sandwich for lunch for the last 5 years. I’ve been trying to find new recipes that will interest their taste buds (and mine), but the kids turn their noses up to it when it’s time to eat. I’ve tried to coerce them into trying something new, but they assure me they won’t like it. It is like I’m playing the character of Sam in Seuss’ Green Egg’s and Ham. Jack will surprise me every now and then and declare he actually likes what is on his plate, sometimes even vegetables.

It’s very frustrating trying to make sure your kids are getting a balanced meal, but refuse to eat what’s on their plate. It’s especially frustrating when my husband is out of town, and I feel as though I’m cooking for no reason. I’m not one to make an entire separate meal. I’m not saying I’ve never done that, but I want my kids to learn to eat what we serve.

I was a picky eater when I was younger. I do understand a little where they are coming from, but they refuse to eat mashed potatoes. Come on, who doesn’t like those? Eventually, I learned to appreciate food and now love foods that I would have never touched before. I’m hoping one day soon my kids do the same. They really don’t know what they’re missing out on.

Snow Storm

Monday, January 25th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
It’s always important to be prepared for inclement weather. You must winterize your home and car, have an emergency plan in place, and of course, stock up on the necessities. For most people this means two things: bread and milk. If you are the mother of a young child, let me add one thing: DIAPERS. I usually get big packages of diapers delivered to our home, as many families do. I take out one sleeve and put the rest in our utility closet. If I forget to restock—no problem—I just run to the drugstore for emergency supplies while I await the new package delivery.

As luck would have it, I ran out of diapers on Sunday morning. Not a great time for that to happen in snowy New York. The CVS around the corner—that’s usually open 24 hours—was closed. Luckily with a bit more trekking we found some. And the kids were delighted to be out in the snow and even procure some yummy fresh bagels.

We pretty much hunkered down at home for the rest of the weekend and didn’t run into too many problems. Even our car was in a lucky street parking spot that didn’t get covered in snow, and now that the streets are plowed, we can use it whenever we need to. Now that winter has kicked into high gear, I’m eager to see what else Mother Nature will throw our way.

Stay warm!

Hunkered Down

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
We are sitting in the bulls-eye of this weekend’s “historic” blizzards.  While the snow isn’t slated to slide into the area until mid-day to early afternoon, the schools are closed, businesses are shuttered, and– to our frustration–the daycares are closed.  This week has been a hot-potato of family obligations.  Charlotte had a fever on Tuesday, but I had a presentation I couldn’t miss.  I came home mid-afternoon to try to backfill Blake, but spent the majority of the afternoon on conference calls.  Fortunately, Charlotte was much better on Wednesday, but I nevertheless had to spend the morning at home waiting on roofers to patch our leaking roof (a BIG must in advance of this weekend’s storm).  I tried to make up for the late arrival at the office, only to get stuck with the masses on a horribly snarled commute home that took nearly 3 hours.

Our to-do lists remain long, and the only truly available time is nap time and after dark.  Suffice it to say, it’s been quite a week.

Fortunately, Rory is SOOOO incredibly excited about the snow.  While snow as an adult means shoveling and trying to figure out how to respond to work demands that are not entirely eliminated by the influx of white stuff, snow as a parent means getting to see the true joy of your little ones as the big flakes come barreling down.  In one of Rory’s most frequently watched episodes of one of his favorite children’s shows, the main character and his little sister make a giant snow man.  Rory has been talking non-stop about making a snow man and going sledding since we first mentioned the possibility of snow.  I have a feeling it will be virtually impossible to contain his excitement when there is snow up to his waist outside.  Although, knowing him, he’ll end up too scared to play in it.

We have new boots, new snow suits, water proof gloves, and lots of energy to burn here.   As much as the elementary school kids are probably lamenting the fact that the storm is hitting over a weekend, I am thrilled that it is.  Because that means that I’ll get to set aside the computer for a good bit longer and go traipse about in the quite stillness of the snow with my son.  And I cannot wait.

I’m All Ears

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Jack’s teacher asked me to chaperone a field trip, and told her I’d love to. I arrived in the classroom several minutes early to make sure I received all the info I needed. When it was time, I helped get 19 third graders in a line and outside to the correct school bus, quietly.   Phew, that is not as easy as you think it might be. We arrived at the theatre, and filed into our seats. Local students put on “The Wizard of Oz” show for several local school districts. It was a great show, and the audience loved it.

Once the show was over, I did a head count of the kids I was responsible for and we lined up outside to get back on the bus. A sweet little girl, with big, beautiful brown eyes, grabbed my hand and asked if she could sit next to me on the bus. I told her that would be fine. Once I wrangled a few kids into their seats and shushed a few times, we were ready to head back to the school. I turned around in my seat, which I was sharing with Jack, and asked him about the play. He was busy talking to his friends and didn’t hear me. The sweet little girl who sat next to me quickly told me her feelings about the play. She also told me about her siblings who weren’t always nice, her wish to play basketball, her dream to go travel out of town, to enjoy an ice cream cone and a new pair of socks, and numerous other wishes that I realized were things my kids experience regularly. I felt for this little girl, as she didn’t stop talking to me the entire way back to school.

We arrived back to the school and into the classroom. As I was saying goodbye to Jack, this sweet little girl grabbed my hand again and thanked me for listening to her. She said it was so nice to speak with someone who actually listened to her. Although I felt sad for her, I was so happy to hear that just by listening and asking her some questions, it made her day. Honestly, it made my day, too. I know some kids are less fortunate than others, and to bring a smile to an otherwise sad person raised my spirits pretty high. Taking the time to listen can truly make a difference.

Greetings from Beantown

Monday, January 18th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
For some reason, we decided a snowy January weekend was the perfect time to road trip to Boston– with two kids in tow. But it’s actually going great! We’re having a wonderful time bonding with family, eating “fancy” food, and seeing the sights. Haley had so much fun visiting the Children’s museum– the third she’s now been to on the he eastern seaboard. For Hudson, the main highlight has been pizza and gelato. What can I say? The boy knows what he likes!

I have to admit, my homebody tendencies often discourage a great deal of exploration. But whenever I buck up to give my children a worthwhile new experience, I never regret it. Hopefully the drive home today will go smoothly, and we’ll have another successful family adventure in the books

Winter Wear

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Winter has arrived in the deep south, and and it has left us a little chilly. Although the afternoon temps creep up above the freezing mark, the morning temps are quite frigid. My kids, who have only lived in warmer weather climates, don’t like to wear winter attire. They prefer shorts, and rightfully so. However, I draw the line that long pants are a necessity when it’s 20 degrees outside.

Tate is sensitive to textures. When he was younger, I had to cut out tags from his clothes so they didn’t bother him. He still turns his nose up at the thought of wearing jeans. Some jeans are softer than others, he says. I laugh about his observation of jeans. He prefers a cotton t-shirt and shorts as his daily outfit. Jack doesn’t mind long pants, but feels it’s “cooler” or more of a fashion statement when he wears shorts.

Lately, mornings are a tussle to persuade Jack and Tate to wear appropriate clothing. I have to open our back door so they can feel the chilly air, and see the frost on the grass. Tate still thinks it’s okay to wear shorts and a t-shirt only.  Anyone else have children that agree with this?

I am always cold in the winter, and I wear a fleece jacket, slippers, and live under a thick blanket for most of the winter. Maybe my children will join me when they realize winter clothes were made for a reason. Until then, stay warm!


Aches and Pains

Monday, January 11th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Being a parent is hard work—not only mentally, but physically as well! There’s a reason people think of moms as “running after their kids.” It’s literally a huge part of what we do. I’ve accepted that I’m going to feel tired more often than not. But what really irks me is the occasional physical injuries I get in the course of being a mother.

Right now, my upper back is burning. In one localized spot, it sometimes feels like fire. This happened because one night last week, Hudson was up in the middle of the night and inconsolable. I tried, in vain, to rock and bounce him back to sleep. This is why I believe in “Cry-It-Out!” I was trying to be easy on him, because we had just gotten back from travel and he was a little under the weather. Never again, I tell you.

The inescapable truth is, the older our kids get, the older we get too. I just haven’t bounced back from this injury as quickly as I used to. And that’s really annoying, because the demands of parenting haven’t eased up at all! I still have a 15 month old to pick up, wrangle into clothes, and stop from launching himself off of furniture. I’m attempting to rest whenever I can. Hopefully my back will be on the mend soon—at least before something else starts hurting.

Perfect Timing

Friday, January 8th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
In celebration of her first birthday, Charlotte has brought home a stomach bug from daycare.  Two kids in her class came down with it mid day on Thursday, and by Thursday night our little girl was down for the count.  The timing could not possibly be worse.  We have a joint birthday party planned for both Rory and Charlotte on Saturday afternoon, and we have been diligently scrubbing, washing, and sanitizing everything in the house in blind hope that we can keep Rory from coming down with what is ailing Charlotte.  If we’re lucky, she’ll be feeling better by then.  But I’m not counting on it.

I’ll be calling the party venue in the morning to confirm my fear– that we are likely out the full cost of the party even if neither child can actually attend.  I suppose that will cause me to think twice about going all-out for young kid birthdays.

I am hoping that my pessimism is unfounded and that both kiddos are feeling well by Saturday.  Even if mommy and daddy are down for the count and we have to send them with the grandparents, I’d really like at least Rory to get to enjoy his party.  He’s been talking about it pretty much non-stop for the better part of the last month, and I know he will be absolutely devastated if he can’t attend.

As hard as the past day has been and the next 48-hours may be, I know these are truly minor problems in the grand scheme of things.  With the exception of the virus of the hour, our children are both happy and healthy.  They bring home their fair share of germs and the juggling act of caring for them when they get sick while managing two full time jobs can be quite a load to bear.  But the good far exceeds the bad, and I just try to remind myself of just how lucky we are.  Even if we are up to our elbows in dirty laundry.

Operation Clean House

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
We returned home from Pennsylvania a few days ago. It was immediately apparent that our home needed some TLC. In our rush to pack for our trip north, we had left the house a total mess two weeks ago. So, the boys and I started the New Year by cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning.

We started by taking down all the Christmas decorations. Jack and Tate even contributed. They were sad to see the season come to an end, but excited for more space to play with their new toys. I put the boys to work, and somehow we had fun dusting, scrubbing, vacuuming, laundering, and organizing. I played upbeat music to keep us motivated, and the boys enjoyed being a part of the team. After several hours, the house is by no means spotless, but far better than the way we left it.

My husband warned me that we would regret leaving the house a mess. I have to admit he was right. But, I made the best of the extra day off from school and the free labor of my helpful children. Either way, it’s nice to have a clean house to start off the New Year.