Archive for February, 2017

Costume Party

Monday, February 27th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Over the years, we’ve collected various costumes that have been passed on to us from friends or purchased at Halloween time. Haley is such a skinny mini that she still fits into outfits we’ve had for years. Most of them are princess costumes, but we have some fun ones for Hudson, too. Thank goodness we have so many to choose from, because my kids loves playing dress up.

No matter how many costumes we have, they always want more! I suppose wearing a costume allows a child to really transport herself. I try not to go crazy, but I love encouraging them to use their imaginations. It’s cute to see them understand the world through their play. When they’re pretending to be doctors and teachers, I can see how much they understand about the way things work, and how much they value the adult roles they see in their lives.

Haley changes her mind about what she wants to be for Halloween constantly. Even though it’s currently eight months away, she informed me today that she was going to be Hermione from Harry Potter this year. Though that concept won’t stick, I’m crossing my fingers that she circles back to it, because that would be too cute! I can already see Hudson as a little Harry with glasses on. But whatever she ends up choosing will be adorable and a great addition to our collection. And will certainly be put to good use.

Losing My Cool

Friday, February 24th, 2017

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Charlotte has been in rare form this week.  Some of it is due to the fact that the poor girl is coming off of another cold that seems to have settled deep in her chest.  She’s frustrated and phlegm-filled and just ready to feel better.

But her frustration seems to have manifested itself in the form of a complete unwillingness to do anything she is told.  No diaper changes. No getting dressed.  No shoes.  No car seat.  Nothing necessary to get out the door and on our way in the morning.  And of course, showing up later than usual at school might as well be the end of the world in terms of her reaction.  Do you see a pattern here?

This morning, I lost it while trying to get her into the car and snapped.  I yelled loudly.  At a two year old.  And she started to cry instantly. And I apologized.  And told her brother I was sorry too.  And then backed away and let her dad finish buckling her in.

I took a few deep breaths and thanked him for stepping in.  The fact is, strong willed kids can get the better of us every now and then.  Sometimes, the best thing for moms and kids is for mom to take a time out, too.



Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Last weekend, my husband and I surprised Jack and Tate with a trip to Disney World. The boys haven’t been to Disney in five years, and they both have been asking to see it again. They were both very young last time so they didn’t remember a whole lot. Needless to say, they were thrilled when we told them we were going back.

My husband and I had wanted to make this trip for months, but we couldn’t find a convenient time. My husband’s work schedule doesn’t allow for long term plans. When we found out my husband had the week off at the same time the kids had winter break off from school, we finally had our chance. Luckily, we were able to book our favorite resort, which is usually full months in advance. We got our passes, magic bands, and itineraries planned with the help of our Disney expert friends.   

We started the week an hour south of Disney World at Legoland. The boys are obsessed with everything Lego, so we had to make a visit. They had fun, but they are in Disney heaven this week. They are so excited for every ride, show, parade, firework and treat. They want to stay at the resort for the rest of their lives. Ha! 

Five years ago, a day at the park involved a stroller full of diapers, bags, snacks, toys, and nap schedules. This trip has been much better, and we will never forget the memories we made this week. Their excitement is contagious. Even when we are tired, I love seeing Disney through their eyes, there’s just nothing like it. I can’t wait to book the next visit. 

The Best Store

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I thought my kids were strange. (Well, they are.) I should say, I thought they were unique. When we’re out running errands, there’s a place they clamor to visit. It isn’t the toy store. It isn’t the ice cream shop. It isn’t the library. It’s actually our local pharmacy chain, CVS. I was surprised to discover, after talking to my friends and browsing social media, that this is extremely common!

Apparently, when my friends need to bribe their kids to behave, their go-to prize is: “we can go to CVS.” I don’t remember the drugstore having so many toys when I was a kid, but these days, they’re incredibly well stocked. But it’s not just that. Hudson goes straight for the candy. Haley loves looking at the make-up and hair accessories. They both enjoy picking out toothbrushes or plastic cups or greeting cards with their favorite characters on them.

I venture to say that part of the reason children enjoy CVS (and the like) so much isn’t just because of the goodies they can procure. I think kids sort of get that the pharmacy carries products that are essential to our every day lives. There’s some comfort in picking up mouthwash, children’s pain reliever and baby wipes—things that we need. Things that make our lives easier and better. I also imagine that kids have a bit more freedom at the drugstore than they do at the grocery store, where Mom is constantly barking at them to stay close. It’s definitely easier to keep track of little ones in those wide, carpeted aisles.

It’s nice to have a place to take Haley and Hudson where I don’t have to break the bank to put smiles on their faces. Don’t get me wrong—we get plenty of foot stomping and whining, too. But at the very least, it’s something to do. A solid option. A way to get out of the house. So if we’re not home and the kids were promised a really special treat, you know where to find us.


Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
It’s the week of Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air. Over the weekend, the boys enjoyed writing out their valentine cards to exchange at school. They sat at their desk quietly and picked out an action hero card for each classmate. There was no bickering, just pencil tips writing away.  It was wonderful.

On Monday morning, I saw Jack shoving some coins into his backpack. I didn’t think much of it, because sometimes he likes to buy a pencil or eraser from the school store. The next day, Tate came home from school with a large grin on his face. Held in his hand was a candy-gram from his big brother. Jack surprised him with a sweet message and an attached lollipop at school. The school setup this fun little candy-gram booth for students to celebrate this week. Tate was very appreciative of his big brother’s gesture and gave him a big hug.

It’s times like these that I’m pleasantly surprised by my kids. I’m glad they have brotherly love for each other. In between the yelling and fighting, Jack and Tate can be so great at times like this. When they show they care about each other it makes me so happy.

Siblings don’t always get along, but it’s nice knowing they count on each other, protect each other from the “bad” guys and can hug each other from time to time. It reassures me that I’m doing something right in this crazy world of parenthood.


Little Artists

Monday, February 13th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
One of my kids’ favorite things to do on a gray winter weekend like the one we just had is get out all of the art supplies and go to town. Yesterday, we took out glue, markers, scissors, paint, glitter, markers, and stickers and got creative.

I’m amazed at how far Haley has come with her art. Instead of going wild on a coloring book page, she’ll actually stay inside of the lines and come up with some pretty cool color combinations. She’s also improved so much in drawing her own shapes, such as hearts, flowers and butterflies. She’s always asking for more supplies, so I think a trip to the craft store is close on the horizon.

Hudson is not yet as skilled as his big sister, but he knows all of his colors and loves to scribble furiously. He’s as convinced as ever that he is a great artist of his generation, beaming with pride at every piece he completes.

It’s really cool to see your kids get creative and bring their visions to life. It’s also not so bad, as a grown-up, to sit down and partake once in a while. I can see why adult coloring books are a trend these days. It’s very calming. If only it had that effect on children! A quiet session of artwork just allows them to store up their energy to be even nuttier when they’re done. Oh well. You’ve got to be grateful for whatever respite you get. And the fun thing about art is that you always have the end product so you can cherish the nice moment.

Home Alone

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Jack informed me that he would like to stay home alone. Some of his friends are allowed to do so and he feels he can handle the responsibility. I knew we would be talking about this someday, but it came much sooner than I anticipated.

Jack’s father and I have talked in passing about the idea, but we haven’t yet had the chance to sit down and really discuss the implications, risks, and rewards of leaving our kids unsupervised. If Tate has an activity that doesn’t involve his older brother, Jack reminds us that he doesn’t want to come along. Jack gets frustrated and tries to convince me he doesn’t need to tag along.

Only a few states have laws concerning this topic and many doctors recommend around the age of 12. Ultimately, I think it’s the parent’s decision since they know their child best. Jack is very responsible and a rule follower. I know he would probably be just fine for a short amount of time alone.  However, in today’s day and age, there are plenty of things that can go wrong, and it is hard for any kid to be 100% aware of their surroundings and ready to handle any situation.

My husband and I need to have a discussion about how/when to let Jack demonstrate that he can handle the responsibility of being home alone. We do not have a “land line” and Jack will need a way to contact us and/or 911 in the event of an emergency. We have to consider buying a cell phone, which is another hot topic amongst parents.

Soon we will be setting curfews and teaching Jack how to drive. It makes me very sad to think that Jack’s teenage years are not far away. He is still our little guy, yet we can see that he is well on his way to growing into adolescence and we need to be prepared for the next level of parenting. For now, if the minivan is going somewhere, Jack will still be onboard.

Valentine’s Fun

Monday, February 6th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Over the weekend, Haley and I made Valentines for all of the children in her class. It was a fun experience and a learning opportunity as Haley read and wrote all of her classmates’ names. She loved the Shopkins valentines I chose (thank goodness!) and figuring out which picture and message was just right for each friend.

Even though it was an enjoyable activity, it was a lot of work for a five year old. Haley used scissors to cut, glue to paste, markers to write, and stickers to stick. There were several steps to completing each card—and there are 25 kids in her class. I was really proud that Haley sat still and focused for as long as it took to get the job done.

I’m looking forward to when Haley hands out the Valentines this week. I know she will be really proud of her hard work and for her friends to see what a cute job she did. I’m sure she’ll also receive a lot of cards and candy, too!

I know people like to say Valentine’s Day is a manufactured holiday, and I get it, but I’m also a big fan of any excuse to inject happiness and fun into the lives of young ones. And to celebrate all of the love in our lives.

Under Pressure

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Jack’s academic performance makes his father and me extremely proud. Jack gets awesome grades and meets new challenges as they arise. He makes sure his homework is completed, and he studies for tests. Most of what he’s learned so far came naturally to him, which helped make his course work manageable.

Lately, Jack is feeling more pressure with his schoolwork load. He has several unit tests, a speech, and a book report due soon. He is a perfectionist when it comes to his work. Making sure everything is just the way he likes it is causing some stress. As activities and time constraints get more demanding, he is in for a shock.

I’m doing my best to teach Jack about time management. I’m guiding him to focus on the project due the soonest and gathering ideas for the projects due later. I hope I can get him going in the right direction now and in the future. As his coursework gets more challenging and he grows older, he will need the time management skills he learns today. I hope this unwanted pressure sets him up for success in the years to come.