Archive for March, 2016

Easter Memories

Monday, March 28th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Haley is always so excited for the Easter Bunny to come to our house. This year was no exception. And while Hudson didn’t exactly know what was going on, he did love the goodies in his basket as well as the egg hunt. I led him around the yard and helped him gather plastic eggs from the grass. Maybe he was confused, but he went with it!

This time of year I’m often reminded of my own childhood Easters. We had family friends who always had the neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt at their house. I remember those events so fondly. My whole family attended. I always wore a pretty dress. I loved running in and seeing my besties. We had a festive lunch and then it was announced—time to hunt! I’m sure there were squabbles about who got the most eggs and who “cheated” (probably the older boys), but I honestly don’t remember any of that. What I remember is stuffing my face with candy, laughing and playing.

I hope when my kids grow up and look back on their Easter celebration, they will remember them fondly. I try to get them treats they will like and make coloring the eggs a fun bonding experience. I think Haley is really starting to get into our annual Easter traditions and I’m sure Hudson will too in the coming years. While many families enjoy the religious aspects of the holiday, for us it’s just about family fun. And I love any excuse for that.

Hop To It

Friday, March 25th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
We’re preparing for a relatively low key (I hope) weekend with Charlotte and Rory.  Rory is very jazzed about the Easter Bunny coming.  Although when asked this morning what he thought might be inside the eggs the the Bunny brings, he informed me that he would be bringing socks and fruit snacks.  I hope the Easter Bunny got that memo. . . 

Charlotte is having a mini-egg hunt with some of her classmates from school tomorrow.  I’m excited to see how she does with it.  I’m also glad that she’ll get a warm up before getting run over  by her brother on Sunday morning.  Given her tenacity, I imagine she’ll do just fine with both events, but I’m quite curious to see whether she “gets it” or not.  As I recall, the difference between Rory’s egg hunt at 1 and 2 was remarkable. 

Obviously there is more to Easter than egg hunts and candy stashes, but it’s definitely another one of those times when I relish the joy of being the one “in charge” of the activities I used to love so much when I was young.  And it’s doubly fun getting to see the “firsts” a second time around with Charlotte.  

Here’s hoping to a successful, calm, and sunny weekend with lots of laughter and family.  And maybe even some good behavior in church.

Happy Easter!


Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Spring is here. I’m ready for sunny, warm days and flip-flops on my feet. There have been a few warm days already, but it chilled down this week. I’m ready to pack up the winter coats and break out the shorts. Spring doesn’t last long here, it gets HOT quickly and summer takes over in the deep south.

The only thing I could live without is the horrible allergies that come with the pollen bloom. Geez! The pollen has been severe, and the boys and I were miserable the last two weeks. A few hours at soccer practice and we are covered in pollen and sneezing with itchy eyes. Everything outside is covered in a bright yellow dust, and we are running out of tissues.

Only time and rain help the pollen wash away and subside. There will only be a few days after the pollen and before the oppressive heat of summer when we can enjoy the beautiful green of spring and pollen free fresh air. The hot and humid temps will be here before we know it. Fingers crossed the Easter bunny will bring us some relief.

Spring Has Sprung! (Kind Of)

Monday, March 21st, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Haley woke up yesterday so excited that it was the first day of spring. To her, the calendar indicating spring means it’s automatically warm enough for her to wear a light floral dress. I had to gently break the news to her that in reality, snow was in the forecast.

I can empathize with her. I hate the long, dreary days of winter, and I know I’m not alone. I was chatting with a neighbor about the weather the other day and he said, “I’m fine with it staying cool. Just please, please let it be sunny!” Most people I know are deeply affected by continuous gray skies. It affects our moods, our ability to be productive and think clearly, as well as our energy levels.

Interestingly, children don’t seem to be as affected. As far as I can tell, Haley’s main priority is that it’s not raining so that she can have some playtime outside. Then again if it is raining, she is thrilled to don her big rain boots and coat and splash around in puddles. She could not care less if the temperatures are freezing—that’s what hats and gloves are for! I think kids prefer the sunny days of summer, but for the most part, they appreciate each day for what it is in a way that I envy.

I always feel anxious at the start of fall, knowing that we’ll often feel cooped up in the coming months. That means more bickering between children and less steam blown off before bedtime. Luckily, this time of year means many sunny days ahead. We’re more than ready to get back out there.

No no no

Monday, March 21st, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:

Charlotte has learned to say no.

Well, she learned to shake her head two to three weeks ago, but it was inconsistent and we kind of ignored it. But now there is no mistaking it:  the meaning of the emphatic head shakes and “nuh nuh  nuh” babbles is clear.

Why is it that toddlers say no before yes?  I think it is part of the trickery of parenthood.  Just as they start to be more interactive and begin to act like little people; just as you are on the verge of thinking “I got this,” they go and exert their independence and send you for a loop.

The second time around, it causes a little less pause.  But still– it reminds you that you never really “have it” for more than a week or so.  Her brother is the same way, but at different stages.  Just when we think it’s so great that he can vocalize his days and tell you his thoughts, he starts telling you things like, “No, I don’t think I want to do that right now.  Maybe later.”

Kids.  Because why should anything ever be easy?!



Brother Battle

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Jack and Tate had spring break last week—no school for 10 days. They were more than ready for some time off, and they had a wish list of things they wanted to do. I did my best to make some of those happen, but the Disney cruise will have to wait.

I have a love/hate relationship with school breaks. The mornings are more relaxed, and we have more free time to spend with each other. However, after ten days together, the boys argue about the littlest things and start to wear on each others nerves. As the week went on, I had to use my “mom voice” more and more.

Late in the week, while the rain was pouring down outside, Jack and Tate relieved their frustrations with a Nerf gun battle. How loving of them. They loaded up their Nerf guns with foam darts, dressed in silly costumes, and built secret forts and obstacles. Even though it was a “battle,” they spent more time laughing and working together. I loved the giggles and the seriousness of their plans. I was even okay with a million darts all over the house. They were getting along AND having fun.

I’m pleased to see Jack and Tate figure out a way to play happily together. Even though it might take a couple days and a messy house, they eventually realize how much fun it is to have a sibling they can play with. I hope they keep it up this summer.

Daylight Cravings

Monday, March 14th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
It’s so funny when Daylight Savings Time comes around and you hear the famous refrain from parents of young kids: “No extra hour for me!” Springing forward is no picnic either. If you think it’s hard for an adult to adjust to a new time schedule, wait until you see toddlers in action. They just cannot be convinced to go with a new flow. It takes days—sometimes weeks—to get their bodies regulated! I know by now to have low expectations when it comes to adjusting sleep schedules. My biggest headache this time around was dealing with meals.

My kids are grazers to begin with, and they sure love their treats. Throw in a little sleep deprivation and food coming to them when they’re not quite in the mood? They turn into little monsters! They’ve been rejecting any meals of nutritional value. I know it will pass in a few days, but good gracious- it is annoying! I hate “short order” cooking but if I didn’t do it right now, the two of them would be subsisting on mini-muffins and navel oranges. Okay, so it could be worst. And luckily they won’t get scurvy any time soon.

Children are weird little experiments. You learn so much about human nature and in this case, behavioral science, by observing how they handle life. Whereas adults are influenced by societal pressures and tend to operate with (some level of) decorum, kids just do what they’re going to do. And you better keep up.

On the Road

Friday, March 11th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin
Today finds me away from home for yet another work engagement.  While the logistics of being away are no less daunting than when I first returned to work, (e.g. finding time to pack, creating to do lists for daycare drop off, making sure we have food prepared for lunches and dinners, etc.) I am actually starting to get a little bit better about being away.  Part of that relaxation stems from the fact that Rory has decided that he enjoys being a “helper.”  He showed this during my last trip–doing a great job of helping his grandmother around daycare each morning and assisting with pick-up as well.  He shows it on the more routine mornings, too–picking up Charlotte’s milk cup when she tosses it from her highchair, helping pick up the playroom, and helping collect his backpack.  It’s not always universally the case that he will cooperate, but when he does, he’s pretty good.

Both kids are also getting accustomed to the routine being upended at least a few times a week.  That means that the routine is, in and of itself, less consistent.  It’s not ideal, but it is us.  And it helps keeps things calmer, believe it or not.

Luckily, this week’s jaunt was pretty short and fairly close, so I should hopefully return just after bedtime.  But at least the guilt won’t be as bad and at least my concerns while gone have been minimized.  It is always evolving, but– today at least– it is much improved.

Lil’ Scientists

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Jack and Tate love science. They’re both intrigued by nature, electricity, weather, and anything on the Science and Nat Geo channels. Lately, they want to conduct science experiments. As Jack gets older, the concepts in his science class at school get more advanced. In return, Jack likes to dig deeper, and learn more about the world. Tate mimics anything his big brother does. So naturally, Tate wants to help. I love watching them learn together.

Recently, they waited until I was in the shower to conduct an experiment. They were unsupervised for 10 minutes and they managed to fill up every plastic container we own with water, liquid soap, torn up colored construction paper, and seasonings. They put them in the freezer and told me they were making “kryptonite.”

The “kryptonite experiment” could’ve been MUCH worse. I applauded their enthusiasm, but I was frustrated with the small lake on our kitchen floor, torn up paper all over the place, and liquid hand soap smeared all over the floor. I knew my freshly cleaned house wouldn’t stay clean for more than a few hours. At least it smelled good.

While the “kryptonite” was freezing, the boys promised to clean up their mess. Like I say a million times a day, “Part of playing is cleaning up.” This was a mess for sure, but a mess I knew they had fun making. They are having fun being kids and I’m a happy mommy, especially when they clean up after themselves.

Mess Stress

Monday, March 7th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
You don’t have to look far—whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, take your pick—to see images of parenthood shared socially. Most of these images are carefully curated to look perfect. Even the pictures and videos showing off what a “hot mess” some families portend to be are clearly curated to be perfectly imperfect. I’m guilty of it too. If I’m proud of a recipe I created and want to show off the result, I tidy up the counter before I take the snap. I try to get decent lighting and put a filter on to maximize the impressiveness of the photo. I think this is a silly way to spend one’s time, but it’s a hard pattern to get away from. It’s what everyone else is doing.

Cleaning up your house is necessary. And moms being “OCD” about things being neat is nothing new. Social media has certainly added pressure to this tendency, though. I really like to be organized, but I try to keep myself in check. I want my kids to learn how to keep house, but they’re children. It’s more important that they have fun. I want them to be creative and feel free, not worry that they’re going to get in trouble. So yes, at my house you may step on a Lego or find a smear of glitter on the sofa. That’s life.

The consequence of this is that I do a lot of straightening up after the kids go to bed. It’s an interesting compulsion. In a few hours, when the kids wake up, the mess will be back in no time. But—trust me— the longer you let the mess go, the longer it will take you to clean it up. Better to not let it get out of control. People talk about how hard it is to have “nice things” with children, but I rue the day when the kids aren’t at home enough to get the house messy.