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Family Time

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
It is important to spend time together with my family. I love playing board games and puzzles at home, talking about our day at dinnertime, and taking trips together. Now that Tate is more confident riding his bike, we can finally add family bike rides to that list. With the hundred miles of bike paths throughout our town, we are definitely going to put them to great use.

Tate is working on mastering his biking skills. He feels more secure riding up and down our street. We ride all around our neighborhood going over the standard safety rules. The hills are extremely tough, but his little legs do their best to make it to the top. Jack is teaching him how to pop a wheelie, stand up, and ride with no hands. I hope we don’t have any major accidents from those lessons.

This fall, I want to take more bike rides, especially now that the weather has cooled down. It’s a fun activity we all enjoy and I want to promote an active lifestyle to the boys. I’m excited to explore new places around town, together as a family.

Getting Spooky!

Monday, October 16th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
My kids are so excited that Halloween is in a few weeks. They just got their costumes. Haley is going to be “Alice in Wonderland” and Hudson is going to a minion. I just know they will be the absolute cutest and get tons of great candy.

Luckily, temperatures have been rather mild in the Northeast, so I’m hopeful that they will be comfortable Trick-or-Treating. I don’t think they will need to cover up their costumes with coats, so that’s always a good thing!

Last year, we went with friends to a street in town where they do “all out” for Halloween– detailed decorations, many homes giving out candy, etc. Because nothing can ever be easy, some of the moms are chattering about how there were things they didn’t like about the neighborhood, and that they want to try another area. I honestly don’t care! As long as my kids are having fun with their friends and get candy, I’m happy!

Hope everyone enjoys the rest of the “spooky season”!

Mom to Mom

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Over the weekend, my husband and I attended a friend’s wedding. I knew the groom, but not another soul present. I met a few people my husband knew from the Navy and mutual friends of the groom. The two couples joined us at our table and the wives hit it off like we were long time friends.

One of the girls mentioned she had two boys ages three and five. She loved them dearly, but admitted their youngest was a challenge. I had to confess to her that my youngest sounded very similar to her child. She was in the throes of toddler-hood and felt like she couldn’t get a step ahead. She was seeking advice from me about how to take control of stressful situations, what disciplinary actions I took, and whether the meltdowns ever fade away. I gave her the best advice I could, regarding what worked (and didn’t work) for me, as the parent of a strong willed child. But I assured her, that I was still learning.

The next day on the long drive home, I thought about the conversation. I specifically remember hard and emotional days when I felt like the world was closing in around me. I remember my little toddler whom I couldn’t control. I didn’t think I would go a day without Tate having a crying fit over the wrong colored cup, screaming and wiggling when buckling the car seat, the picky eater, or the destruction the little guy could unfold. But, lo and behold, I feel the meltdowns are fading and there are more smiles than tears.

Tate has come a long way over the last couple of years. He is showing maturity at home and at school. He still has his moments, and times of OCD, but his emotions are manageable for both him and me. Tomorrow he could swing back to his old ways, but I know he has it in him to control his feelings, and do/say the right thing.

How old are you?

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Ever since Hudson turned three, he has become obsessed with how old people are. And since he’s three, he doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with asking anybody and everybody he sees their age. I don’t know if teaching him adages like “you never ask a lady her age!” will really penetrate right now, so I just let it go and chalk it up to adorable toddler behavior.

Although Hudson does all of this comprehensive aging research, he rarely remembers what people tell him, and so he asks them pretty much every time he sees them. However, he is very confident that he is three and his sister is six. He has heard her say a few times: “I’m six and a half”, so of course he now enjoys saying: “I’m three and a half”. I constantly remind him that he’s not. It’s very cute.

Hudson’s habit is a cute reminder that age is just a number. It certainly doesn’t matter to him how old you are, as long as you are willing to be nice and play with him. What a great concept.


Friday, October 6th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Tate signed up for the “Lil’ Dribblers,” his school’s second grade basketball skills team. The club develops hand/eye coordination, patterning skills, and teamwork. Students learn choreographed group dribbling skills and perform for a variety of audiences, such as local high schools and even a nearby university.

Tate came straight home and hand delivered the club sign up sheet to me, insisting he join. Tate started practicing this week. He is excited to learn something new with his friends. If I can’t find him in the house, I can hear the bouncing basketball in our driveway. He is working on his skills, and loves to show us his progress.

I’m excited to see the second graders perform. I’m sure they will do better than I ever could. I can only image the patience required of the PE teacher who teaches about fifty second grade students how to dribble basketballs and perform skills and tricks. The noise and sight of basketballs flying around must be mind-boggling. I’m glad Tate is having fun, and happy he is learning about a new sport.


Monday, October 2nd, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I’m going to admit it right here: I regularly take my kids to McDonald’s. I know these days that’s not a statement you hear very often among people who consider themselves to be responsible, caring parents. Of course, most of the time, I’m feeding them healthy, balanced meals prepared at home. But I have to come clean: we go to ‘fast food’ several times a week.

My kids aren’t the greatest eaters in the world when we’re not home, but we can count on McDonald’s. They adore the pancakes. They’ll happily eat the chicken nuggets. They’re both fans of the French fries. They happily sip chocolate milk—and if they’re really lucky—chocolate shake!

Obviously, we almost always head to a McDonald’s with a children’s play area. Even when Haley criticizes some of the offerings (she could give you a full critique of every play area within a fifteen mile radius), she always loves being in an area designated for kids only. She’ll play happily for as long as I let her.

And let’s not forget about the Happy Meal toys. Even though I think most of them can be firmly placed in the category I call “plastic garbage” the kids always love the toys and are amused am proud to have something new. Sometimes when you’re a mom just trying to get through the day, that’s all you need.

I know “haters gonna hate” when in comes to Mickey D’s. But it’s been a great option for our family. I don’t see skipping it any time soon!


Monday, October 2nd, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Jack was always our laid-back child who rarely gave us trouble. Once in a while he voiced his opinion or made it known he didn’t like/agree with something, but mostly he just went with the flow and was a happy camper. In recent weeks, my husband and I have noticed some shifts in Jack’s behavior/mood. He is more physical with his brother, and his attitude is starting to fire up. Dare I say he has entered the “tween” stage of life.

Jack is now a fifth grader. I expect changes to occur in his life, both good and bad. He no longer wants cuddles from me all the time, he prefers to sleep as long as possible on school mornings, and his hair-do is more important than leaving the house on time. He is growing up, and there is no denying it.

I grew up with two older sisters. We had our tiffs, but for the most part we got along. We shared one bathroom, toys, clothes, and managed not to kill each other. Raising children is not easy, but boys are rough and tough, and I’m still trying to accept it. Thank goodness my sisters give me great advice about situations with my older male nephews.

Testosterone is on the rise in our household!

Birthday Boy

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Over the weekend, we celebrated Hudson’s third birthday! It is unbelievable to me that the little baby I brought home from the hospital is now a handsome, on-the-go, hilarious young man. He loves to watch Peppa Pig and play any game with his sister. He tries new food happily—if he’s in the right mood. He likes to write with chalk (particularly the letter A), ride his tricycle, and blow bubbles—basically anything as long as it’s outdoors.

It’s not easy keeping up with such an active dude, but it sure is fun—and interesting. Now that Hudson has started school, I know that he will continue to grow and develop a life that’s independent of me. It’s not always easy to face that fact, but I’m also enormously proud of him.

I can’t wait to see what the year of three will bring for Hudson. I’m sure there will be plenty of giggles, some tears, and wonderful moments. And what I hope for most of all: finally going consistently in the potty.

Have a great week, everyone!

Love Notes

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
I occasionally put little notes in the boys’ lunchboxes. I like to remind them that I am proud of them for being kind, for their good grades or for playing a great game. I want to share my thoughts and encourage them, to let them know how much I love them. I think it is a simple act that helps boost their confidence throughout the day.

I am old school, and I still keep a paper daily planner. It’s literally how I keep my life in order. I write everything in it, appointments, birthdays, and school/sports events. I even include random things like trash day, and reminders to mail birthday cards and bills. I have tried using my phone’s calendar app, but I find the old paper planner more satisfying. I love to cross things of my to do list through out the week. The boys know just how important this planner is to me by how often they see me using it.

One Monday morning, as I flipped to a new week in my planner, Tate wrote me a note in my planner. It was a simple message, to let me know just how much he loves his momma. It made my day to see his adorable handwriting, and his creative way to show affection. I asked him about it, and he said he wrote his message months ago and wanted me to find it as a surprise. Little acts of kindness, from my children, make me melt. I love to see him make big strides in life, but the little ones are just as important.



Monday, September 18th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Our weather forecast was threatening for days. Every channel was a warning about how intense hurricane “Irma” was projected to be. Obviously, Floridians had to bear the brunt of the storm, but the strong winds, rain and tornadoes would threaten a large portion of the southeast. Here in our neck of the woods, south of Atlanta, we knew we would face Irma in some form. Late Sunday, area schools announced they would be closed Monday and Tuesday.

Monday, Mother Nature followed through on her threats. We live in a neighborhood in the woods, full of large pine and oak. I was worried all week that one of these beautiful trees would fall on our house. The winds of tropical storm Irma bent our trees in our back yard and drove the rain sideways. It was an impressive sight to see. Obviously, it was nowhere near damaging conditions experienced in the Caribbean, Florida or Texas. My heart aches for those who are rebuilding their lives due to the recent storms.

Our neighborhood was littered with tree limbs and downed trees, but we were lucky and had no structural damage or loss of power. Thankfully, the tree that fell on our property fell away from our house and into the street. Our neighbor had a large tree hit their deck/steps, but barely missed their house. I’m happy it wasn’t anything worse. Today we’re all helping to cleanup the debris and put this hurricane behind us.

Jack and Tate handled the storm well. They didn’t know what to expect, since this was their first hurricane. They witnessed the hysteria of all the stores running out of water, bread and milk, and gas stations low on fuel. I assured them all is well and that we had plenty of supplies. We kept our eye on the radar and hung out most of the day. We eventually meandered over to our neighbor’s house to wait out the storm together. There were moments of concern, but overall we were extremely fortunate.