Archive for September, 2016


Friday, September 30th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Rory and Charlotte got their flu shots this week.  Shortly thereafter I read a story recommending that parents wait a few more weeks, but that frustration isn’t the point of this post.

I would much rather talk about Rory and Charlotte’s new found obsession with their hand-me-down doctor’s kit which they have been using daily since they got those shots.  Yesterday morning they took turns giving Charlotte’s dog a check up.  And they also removed the trolls from his ears.

They crouch so tenderly, offering band aids after giving shots and telling doggie how to be brave.  They have clearly taken in all the tricks of the trade, and are happy to play over and over again.  I wonder what else they will decide to be next!


Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Tate is in first grade this year. He is enjoying each day and learning new things. He gets off the bus and can’t wait to tell me what he did at school or explain what craft he made that is in his hand at the time. It usually takes up our entire walk home, and I can’t get a word in edgewise. I love every minute!

When Tate was in full day Kindergarten, there was a nap/rest time after lunch. Tate took full advantage of those thirty minutes last year. If he fell asleep or just took a break, lying down recharged him. I know he misses his rest period this year. He gets up early and goes strong all day. But if you add in soccer practice or an illness, it can really wipe him out.

Tate’s exhaustion leads to meltdowns, which he’s perfected over the last few months. It’s extremely frustrating for me to keep control and stay consistent when he falls apart while doing homework. I know the main trigger is exhaustion, and a part of me feels badly for him. I can see in his eyes and hear in his cry how tired he is.

As a single parent most days, it’s hard to get one child to soccer practice and home at a reasonable hour so both kids can get sufficient sleep. I want my kids to participate in sports, but also get enough rest. Finding that balance is tricky. I do my best to keep the bedtime routine moving along on busy nights. It isn’t always an easy task. By the time Tate crawls into bed he is out cold. Every school morning I drag him out of bed wishing the alarm hadn’t gone off yet, but he manages to wake up early every weekend. One day we’ll be all able to sleep in on the weekend.

I hope over the next couple weeks Tate can figure out how to gain control, even when he’s tired. It’s hard for me sometimes as an adult, so I know it won’t happen overnight, but just one day of sheer happiness in the evenings would be a great start.

Big Boy

Monday, September 26th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Hudson just turned two years old. I can’t believe it! We celebrated with a Spiderman party, including balloons, streamers, and a beautifully designed chocolate mousse cake. Hudson had a good time, but it was Haley who really appreciated the event. She had strong opinions on how we should decorate and when we should eat—and even conducted our singing of ‘happy birthday’. It was sweet how important it was to her that everything went just right for her brother’s big day.

By next year, Hudson might have his own opinions on how his birthday should be celebrated. I wonder if Haley will be able to contribute or if he’ll want total control. If his personality stays the same at all over the next twelve months, he’ll probably be pretty chill about it.

Hudson’s next year will bring an explosion in terms of his development. It’s so neat to see kids “come into their own”. It’s a little bittersweet to imagine him being not quite so clingy to his Mama. At the same time, I look forward to it and I’m immensely proud of every stride he makes. It’s his job to grow and my job to keep up.

Ice Cream Mom

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
At the beginning of the school year, I was asked to help sell ice cream at the boys’ school during lunch. My friend is in charge of organizing helpers, and she begged me to help out. The funds go to the school, which is nice. Obviously, I don’t want my kids to eat ice cream every day at lunch, so I had hesitations, but I felt  obliged to sign up because it is an easy way I can help out my kids new school.

I have volunteered two times this year, and each time has been great fun. I get to meet a lot of the teachers and see my kids and my friend’s kids enjoying their time in the cafeteria. It brings back memories of my own education, and it feels great knowing they are having as much fun as I did. The best part is that I get to eat lunch with my kids while I am there.

The kids are almost universally polite and excited to get their ice cream treat. Their eyes get huge when they look into the ice chest and pick their treat. They hand me their coins and always say thank you. It’s especially adorable when the younger students get excited about putting their coins in the money bin. Jack and Tate love when I work the ice cream booth. I’ve promised them on the days I work they may have a treat. So once a month, they are my two happiest customers.

Sick and Company

Monday, September 19th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Poor Hudson has been struggling with a virus for the last few days. The main symptom is a fever and lot of crankiness. As all parents in this situation do, I really feel for him. Not only is he feeling crummy, but he also doesn’t yet have the ability to tell me exactly what’s bothering him. As a result, it’s a constant guessing game to keep him comfortable and somewhat content.

He hasn’t slept well the last few days, and neither have I! It’s so tiring caring for a sick toddler, not to mention their attention-seeking older siblings. Haley alternates between being a helpful nurse and a crazy instigator. Sometimes, I’ve just gotten Hudson to calm down when Haley comes screeching in, provoking Hudson and throwing the scene into complete chaos.

So we’ve been a little pitiful lately, but we’re trying to keep our spirits up. Illness happens in childhood, and you just have to roll with the punches. The light at the end of the tunnel is Hudson’s second birthday this weekend. Hopefully by then we’ll have two healthy children more than ready to relax and have fun.

No Charlotte!

Friday, September 16th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Rory is, on the whole, extremely helpful with his little sister.  He understands what she is asking and often translates for her.  He helps out during meal time.  He chats with her in the backseat.  And he tries to console her when She is sad.

Unfortunately, sometimes his “helpful” is more bossy than constructive.  Sometimes his stern tone can be helpful– like when he is convincing her to endure a diaper change or getting her to sit still to put her shoes on.  But other times his approach is outright loud and brings Charlotte to tears, like when he yells at her for chewing on toys or stealing his toys, or ignoring our requests.  In reality, she is awfully young for us to expect her to listen well all the time.  But Rory– ever the obedient one– takes great umbrage at Charlotte’s failure to listen.

I have tried to explain this to him in terms that he can understand, such as explaining that Charlotte is still working how to use her listening ears and doesn’t like it when we yell at her.  We have tried to demonstrate redirection for him so that he can do the same.  For example, he has  learned to provide her with substitute toys rather than simply steal his toys away.  He doesn’t always remember the techniques (he is only a kid himself, after all), but if we can keep the yelling and tears at a minimum, I am happy to call that a success.


Science Lab

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Jack’s teacher asked for parent volunteers to help out in his science class. My husband and I got to help Jack, and the rest of his class, dissect owl pellets. It sounded gross, but definitely interesting to our nine year old.

I wasn’t exactly sure what an owl pellet was, but I learned it’s basically a hairball filled with bones. The owl coughs up the hairball because it can’t be digested. Have I completely disgusted you yet?

Each student pair got a dried (and sanitized) owl pellet, tweezers, picks and a magnifying glass. The students were nervous at first, but soon they all used their kit and fingers to pull apart the owl pellet and examined the contents. Each team had a bone-sorting chart with species-specific pictures of skulls, jaws, teeth, vertebrae, limbs, hips, ribs and other bones to help identify their findings.

Jack and his partner enjoyed finding all types of rodent, shrew, and mole bones. The pellet was about the size of a small egg. Inside there were three full skulls, a dozen ribs, numerous teeth and vertebrae. It was gross at first, but quickly became fascinating to the students. Each student glued their bones on a piece of paper and labeled their findings.

It was amusing to hear the students talk among themselves. Some students shouted, “Wow, look at this skull!” or  “Ewwwww look at those sharp teeth.” I think all of Jack’s classmates really enjoyed their lab. It was fun to be hands on and helping out in the classroom. I was a little hesitant about owl pellets, but it was neat to watch Jack and his friends learn in their science lab together.


Monday, September 12th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I was helping Haley with her homework (her first ever!) over the weekend. She had to trace over some words and color in their corresponding pictures. As she was coloring in the image of a little girl she mentioned that her teacher likes the people they color to have “normal colored hair”.

I was a little take aback by this, as we seem to live in the age of “You do you!” From an educational perspective, it seems like kids should be able to be unrestricted in their creativity. And as a practical point, people in real life have all different hair colors—and I think that’s great!

This is certainly not an issue I would raise with the teacher, even though it gave me pause. Her teacher is from a different generation, and heck, her statement sounds like something my own mother might say. But I do think it’s an interesting development in terms of the different values my kids will be exposed to and influenced by.

In the end, the situation became an opportunity when I expressed to Haley what I thought about alternative hair colors. It’s a good thing for her to understand that different people have different ideas, and we each have to make up our own mind. I have a feeling we have many, many more of these conversations coming as the school years go by.

In the Red

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Our boys are both young for their grades, especially Tate who was born in July. Many of their classmates are 6-9 months older, and many more are over a year older due to the “red-shirt” phenomena prevalent in their new school. We started our kids on time before we realized that many parents in our new town delay the start of their children’s formal education.

Regardless of their youth, our kids are doing well in school. However, we were not surprised when our youngest came home with a red note about his behavior. Our little talker, who talks a little too much, found himself going home with a red behavior sheet tonight for talking out of turn.

Part of Tate’s homework tonight was to write a sentence about how he can improve his behavior. We let him decide what to write. He chose, “I’ll be more focused the next time. I’m sorry.” It doesn’t sound like much, but it is important that he understands the issue and he does want to improve. There is a great kid inside and he is learning that HE has to make the right decisions… even when nobody is watching.

I know Tate is going to learn a lot this year, both academically and socially. I’m glad his teacher is invested in both. We saw her in town this evening at a school event and thanked her for the opportunity to help Tate improve his behavior. Let’s hope the red behavior sheet helps Tate make better choices at school and at home.

Kindergarten, Here We Come

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Haley starts Kindergarten this week, and she couldn’t be more excited. I’m excited for her, too, and also in complete disbelief that this day has come. But I know she’s ready. And after a long summer of no camp, she’s more than ready to play with kids her own age—no offense, Hudson.

She’s got everything she feels she needs for a great start— a new haircut, a new lunchbox and a new outfit. She’s totally confident she will have a ton of new friends by the end of the first day—what I wouldn’t give for her self-assuredness!

There’s so much talk about how “Kindergarten isn’t what it used to be.” I have to admit I’m a little nervous to find out what the new paradigm entails. But Haley will face it with gusto, and so shall I. I’ve heard good things about the teacher she’s been assigned to, and the Kindergarten classrooms I saw are colorful, organized and cheerful.

I’m looking forward to a great school year, and wish for the same for all of you!