Archive for April, 2017

All the Rage

Friday, April 28th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
If you have elementary school aged kids, you have undoubtedly heard of the latest fad, “fidget spinners.” It is a simple, flat gyroscope with a ball bearing center. Kids are spinning/playing with their fidget spinners nonstop. Children all over are obsessed with these things. They come in all different colors, shapes, and materials. There are two of them in my home.

Some of these spinners are marketed towards children with ADHD under the claim they help fidgety kids stay focused on their tasks. I’m sure if you ask a teacher, they might disagree. After further consideration, the spinners will be staying home, because I think they are more distracting than therapeutic in a classroom setting.

As a toy, I have no problem with fidget spinners. Jack and Tate love to do all kinds of tricks with them. They like to spin/balance them on their fingers tips, nose, pencil erasers, tables and other random objects.  It keeps my boys busy, and they get along when they play together. For now, they are a nice reward for getting their homework done.


Lost (and Hopefully Found)

Monday, April 24th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Hudson has an adorable new habit that I find just delightful! Not really. He likes to hide things. In particular, he likes to hide things that he’s not supposed to have in the first place. His favorite? Flashlights. Also in the running? Small jars of Vaseline, remote controls, Oreo cookies, fish food…. The list goes on.

Sometimes I’m able to retrieve these items quickly and easily. Other times, there is a lot of effort and frustration involved. I always ask Hudson where he hid it, and he usually plays coy. When he’s in the mood, he’ll run away and quickly come back with the object and a huge grin on his face. But it’s not unusual for me to find a cup of raisins in his laundry basket, a few days later.

I wonder how long this behavior will last. I have to admit, it is kind of cute that he covets things and figures out little nooks and crannies to use as safe houses. I am crossing my fingers that this is just a phase, and that the future moments in which Hudson stashes his milk cup are few and far between. If you haven’t experienced this, it’s not pretty. And doesn’t smell too great, either.

Have a great week, everybody!

Fish Friends

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Jack really wants a pet–especially a dog–but dogs are an additional responsibility that Jack and this family are not ready to take on just yet. Tate would love to have a furry animal too, but he is still happy playing with his stuffed puppy.

My parents visited over Easter and loved the little pond in our backyard. They enjoyed watching and listening to the waterfall. They liked the woodland scenery on our porch. My father thought there were two things missing… fish. I agreed, and think they’re the perfect pet for the boys.

My parents took Jack and Tate to pick out their own Koi fish. Jack’s fish, named Lightning, is white and orange with a hint of light blue. Tate’s fish, named Blackeye, is orange, white and black with a black ring around his eye, hence the name. They are very excited to have their own pets. I hope to teach them some responsibility with these cute little guys.

The fish are still getting acquainted to their new home. They like to hide under the rocks and plants. We were warned about this, but hoped by now they would be swimming all over. We check on them several times a day in hopes to see their beautiful colors. Hopefully in the next few days they’ll feel more comfortable and come up for food.

Toy Moratorium

Monday, April 17th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I am putting an end to it! You know what I’m talking about. We recently had a birthday at this household. Yesterday, we had a lovely Easter. So lucky are we to have several reasons to celebrate. My children are adored. It is lovely. HOWEVER. Several rooms in our home too often resemble a Toys R Us in which many farm animals were let loose. But it’s not only toys. Art supplies. Children’s books. Hair bands. They are everywhere!

I try to keep it all organized. I really do. I’ve got great colorful bins, which are now mostly turned upside down for Hudson to use as step stools to reach for things he shouldn’t have. I’ve sung the “Clean Up” song to encourage tidying and admonished the kids for leaving a mess after playtime over and over again.

Eventually, I’ve come to realize the problem isn’t just the mischievous kids. We also have way too much stuff. The kids are lucky to continually get new toys, but we just aren’t discarding them at an equal rate. Even if you have a big house, no one has unlimited space. And no one wants “kids’ stuff” taking over their home.

I’ve undertaken a major decluttering project with the hopes of majorly cutting down on the detritus. I’m trying to be cutthroat about what we really need to hold on to and what we should toss, but emotions do often get in the way. I find myself thinking, ‘I remember when we bought that’ or ‘he still plays with this… sometimes’. Slowly but surely, I’m making progress.

I will be imploring our dear friends and family to refrain from adding to our toy collection. I’ll take clothes— the kids will always wear them at some point. Or I’ll accept gift cards or cash to save for them for when they’ve earned a big treat. But if we get a toy from you these days, it might go straight to Goodwill. I love that so many great organizations accept children’s toys. We, however, do not.

Running Club

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Jack recently joined the running club at school. It’s a very casual club; anyone interested can join. There is no pressure to meet a minimum requirement, but personal goals are encouraged. I think it’s great he found a fun way to get additional exercise.

Before school, Jack checks in with his teacher and then hits the field. He runs as little or as much as he wants to everyday. Each lap is recorded by a teacher. After 25 lap increments, each student get a certificate. The club is popular with Jack’s friends, and he wanted to join in the fun.

I never thought running was of interest to Jack, especially early in the morning, but I’m happy to see him try something new. He wants to get out the door quickly in the mornings so he can run. I think he mostly wants to see his friends, but that’s a good thing when fitness is involved. I hope he enjoys it and the competition to see who can run the farthest.


Ongoing Birthday Celebration

Monday, April 10th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Over the weekend, we threw Haley’s 6th princess birthday party. We had it here at the house. There was face painting, balloon sculpting, and cotton candy. Rapunzel was here. So were twenty of Haley’s closest friends—all dressed as princesses. It was two days ago, and I’m still recovering. Haley already said she wants a party just like this one for when she turns 7! I told her I’m not ready to even think about that yet.

The girls loved the party, and I was so glad. The adults had a wonderful time, too. I was pleasantly surprised by how well behaved the girls were. I may be showing a little of my gender-bias here, but I don’t think it would have gone quite as smoothly if we added just as many boys to the mix. The girls focused on their entertainment, so the grown-ups were able to relax, eat, drink and be merry. That doesn’t always happen at these parties.

Most importantly, Haley loved it. I have always been a ‘birthday person’ and I’m happy to pass that ideal onto my child. It’s not about being self-centered—it’s the opposite, in fact; it’s the idea that all people deserve to be honored just for being who they are. I love celebrating the kids’ birthdays because I like to reminisce about the days they were born and how I became a mom. We have more birthday fun planned this week! That’s another tradition of mine—birthday celebrations that go on forever. Because why not?

Have a fun week!

Spring Break

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
We are already halfway through the week of spring break. We are enjoying the warm sunshine and laid back, easygoing days. The boys are playing outside constantly. Jack and Tate love the easy days, free from homework. They are excited to share the rest of the week with my parents, who arrive today.

We don’t have anything booked on the calendar. We may want to explore more of Atlanta or just hang out. Either way, I’m happy knowing the boys are content, enjoying the time with their grandparents and family. I’m getting some rest and catching my breath this week. It’s like we hit the pause button on the daily grind of school and sports.

Next week starts a slew of activities, reports, standardized tests, meetings, and the busy way of life. Only seven more weeks of school are left and then summer vacation begins. I will start refreshed and invigorated next week. For now, the greener grass, blossoming trees, and time with my family are the perfect combo.

Today’s the Day

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Today Haley turns six years old! I can’t believe it. It seems like yesterday she was just a little baby. Now she’s a sassy kid with very strong opinions about what to eat, what to wear and what to do. She has truly come into her own. She is kind to her friends. She is great at math. She is the best big sister in the world.

Yesterday I said to Haley, “I can’t believe you’re not going to be five anymore” with a frown on my face. She touched my arm a little impatiently and said, “Mom. It’s okay.” She is very funny and mature beyond her years.

I realize the years go by so fast, but this birthday really got to me. Six just sounds so old. The fact that I’m the mother of a six year old means I must have learned something by now. Yet it’s all truly a journey. As she grows up, I learn more about children and life. I always feel nervous about the challenges she will encounter, but as time goes by, I’m starting to enjoy the process. To not only feel nerves, but excitement for what’s to come. I know Haley will continue to face life with determination, hard work and laughter. So I will do the same.

Henry’s House

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

From Friday Mom – Erin:

Rory has a new idol.

We went to a party at my husband’s colleague’s house on Sunday afternoon.  They have three kids, ages 12, 10, and 5.  They had quite clearly been instructed to make the other kids feel comfortable and at home.  Rory hit it off with the 10 year old boy splendidly.

Or should I say he shadowed him.  They ate snacks, Rory watched video games, and they shared a chair watching movies.  Rory was so in awe of his new big kid friend.  He hug out in the basement playroom without being his typical shy and uncertain self.  He never once came looking for us, and when it was time to leave he went back to say goodbye to Henry three different times.

I was proud of him for being such a big kid.  And it also made me realize just how important it is to expose him to older, well-behaved role models.  While I don’t know we’ll be back to “Henry’s House” any time soon, I do think we’ll keep trying to expose him to great examples.  Perhaps a trip to see his cousins is in order soon!