Posts Tagged ‘Friday Mom: Jaime’

Giving Thanks

Monday, November 30th, 2015

From Friday Mom – Erin:
This Thanksgiving had us counting our blessings. A dear friend of ours got news over the holiday weekend that his nephew—a month younger than Rory—has a genetic digestive disorder that has been affecting his appetite and will mean the beginning of a fairly lengthy battery of tests and treatments to determine the extent of the impact it will have on his lifestyle. His younger brother and sister-in-law received word from their specialist while home visiting with family, and the news cast a fairly dark cloud over the family’s collective celebrations. They are at the very early stages and have no sense of the ultimate impact the disorder will have. In sum—they are still in the stage of discomforting uncertainty.

We also learned of the passing of the grandson of one of the sports icons that has shaped our recent college sports rivalries in the past decade. Though obviously far, far more remote to our own small family, the story of a young boy spending his fifth year of life faced with the diagnosis of a terminal, inoperable brain tumor cuts to the quick of any parent’s heart. How can it not.

The emotion one feels as a parent when grappling with such misfortune at a distance is clearly nothing compared to those who face it directly. To say that parenting carries with it a host of emotions is a tremendous understatement. From the feelings of surprise at the depth and breadth of emotion you feel toward your own children, to the shock of unfortunate news affecting parents you barely know—parenthood opens a host of emotional connections you had never felt or shared. And, at the start of this holiday season, it makes us realize what a gift it is to have two happy, healthy children. So very, very much to be thankful for, indeed.

Three Musketeers

Friday, January 17th, 2014

From Friday Mom -Erin:
Some of Rory’s friends from daycare came to his birthday party last weekend. He had a blast running around with them in the new environment of the indoor gym where we hosted his party. (As a side note-apparently his party was the talk of school on Monday morning. I am still trying to figure out whether that is a good thing or not. . . .)

Rory’s daddy and I found it fascinating to watch him chase his classmates around the gym. His two apparently closest friends are already walking—one is three months older, the other is three weeks younger—so Rory has made it a practice to crawl as quickly as he can to chase after them. We’ve seen it a little bit when we pick him up from school, but Saturday was the first time we were able to see the three of them in action for any extended period of time. They had a blast chasing bubbles, climbing padded stairs, navigating tunnels, bouncing on the trampoline, and sliding down the slide.

Watching one-year olds interact is comical, to say the least. They alternate between paying a great deal of attention to one another’s every move and being totally oblivious and enthralled by the toy/ball/ride-on in front of them. So far, Rory tends to spend more time doing the former than the later. And, of course, babbling at his buddies. As I witnessed each of these interactions over the course of his one and a half hour party, I couldn’t help but smile wondering whether he and his buddies could understand one another. Soon enough he’ll be able to start telling me what he is thinking—for now, however, I will enjoy imagining it.

I’m not old enough for this…

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
I can still remember signing Andrew up for daycare. It seemed so weird to us that someone who wasn’t even born yet would need doctors and schools… But apparently, odd as it might seem, everyone else knew about it, because we only just managed to snag the last available slot in the infant room at the daycare we wanted.

Andrew has been in daycare since he was 4 months old. They’ve been good to him. Taught him a lot. Cried along with him when he was sick. Celebrated all kinds of milestones with him – the first time he smiled at one of the teachers, when he started rolling over, started crawling, started napping without being in a swing or in someone’s arms, cheered his first words.

On Monday we have to register Andrew for kindergarten.

I’m still in shock. I can’t believe I’m old enough to have a kid in kindergarten! As I’m writing this, I’m looking at a picture of Andrew as a baby on my desk. It’s next to a picture of him dressed up in khakis and a sports coat from the fall, where he looks like such a big kid.

One minute he’s telling me all about robots and sports and things he’s doing at daycare…and he seems so grown up. Then the next minute, he’s curling up in my lap, holding a stuffed animal and his baby blanket and telling me, “I’m still your baby, Mommy.”

Yup… he’s still my baby. But he is growing up so fast!

Mommy and Me

Monday, February 25th, 2013

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
Earlier in the month, I asked Andrew if he would like to have some special Andrew and Mommy time. His face lit up like it was Christmas, Hanukkah and his birthday all at the same time. “What can we do?” he asked, all excited. I had planned to take him to a cooking class at Kings (it’s a local supermarket, but they have a cooking studio with all kinds of cooking classes for people of all ages). So I told him about it and he thought it was cool that everything was heart-themed for Valentines Day.

We had a lot of fun making heart shaped pancakes, love potion (fruit punch), hugs and kisses cookies (think sugar cookie, with a Hershey hug or kiss in the center) and other goodies. He held my hand on the way back to the car and asked whether we could have more special Andrew and Mommy time.

So we made a deal. (Yeah, he’s the kid of 2 lawyers. We do deals and negotiate…)

Anytime Andrew wanted to have special Mommy time, all he had to do was ask. I might not be able to drop everything I was doing right that second, but we could have our time together as soon as we could. He claims to have understood that I couldn’t always stop working to hang out or that wanting Mommy time couldn’t be an excuse not to go to sleep… But he still tries to get out of bedtime with begging for special Andrew Mommy time. (It is cute…Sometimes it works. I’m such a sucker for this kid sometimes!)

We’ve continued to create our Mommy and Andrew time. Sometimes we go out to dinner. Sometimes we head upstairs and read books or watch Sophia the First before bed. (Andrew likes it. Hubby doesn’t. They don’t usually watch it together). It always makes me feel good when Andrew asks me for time together and I’ve enjoyed every second of it.

Tonight we made cookies together. We did both oatmeal chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin. He freaked out because we got cookie dough all over our hands. I tried not to laugh. Getting messy while cooking is half the fun! The cookies are awesome, by the way. I considered it a major success that I got him to eat one of the raisin cookies – and he liked it! (“The raisins are kinda squishy…but they still taste yum!”)

I should jump off the computer. I have a little guy asking for some Andrew Mommy time before bed.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wild Weekends…

Friday, February 15th, 2013

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
As a follow up to last week’s post, Andrew came home today with a massive shoe box full of valentines. Not one single valentine was ONLY a piece of paper. We had boxes of truffles. Baggies of stickers, candies and other treats. It was insanity. Like another Halloween.

When did valentines day become all about the goodies instead of simple expressions of love or friendship?

Anyway, Andrew is totally psyched to spend the weekend with Nana while Hubby, Papa, Unc and I head down to Maryland. University of Maryland is playing Duke on Saturday and I’m excited, not just for the game, but also to be back down in the place I called home for 4 years during college.

Nana will have the fun of a Saturday full of soccer and swim lessons. I always said I wouldn’t be one of those parents who got their kid involved in so many activities that life was just a constant shuttling of kids from one lesson or practice to the next. I don’t think we’re QUITE that bad… but I’ll admit that there are some Saturdays I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.

So to my mom, thanks (and good luck)! And to everyone, have a great weekend.

Be My Valentine…

Friday, February 8th, 2013

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
So Valentines Day is coming up next week. Andrew’s class is making a special art project with shoe boxes (probably creating “mail boxes”) for all their valentines. They’re having a special ice cream sundae party. (He’s bringing the red juice, because “that’s cool and EVERYONE likes fruit punch!”)

Here’s the thing about Valentines Day… I can’t figure out if I’m doing it right!

Andrew’s first one in daycare was when he was a year old. The kids were all still eating paper – they certainly weren’t into what was ON it, nor were they old enough to safely pop any candy into their mouths. He didn’t do valentines that year. I didn’t think anyone would! But there were a couple parents who did.

The next year, Andrew was out sick. Like for a week. I HAD valentines for his class. But a week later? It seemed a little silly to me for him to bring them in a week after the fact. So we didn’t do them.

So last year, we did Valentines. Andrew picked out special ones for the girls and different ones for the boys. He picked out stickers he thought each kid would like and decorated the envelopes with them. Personally, I thought we were doing really good handwriting each kid’s name on the envelope (instead of doing the generic “to my friend”) and we even did it a whole day in advance!

Yeah… There were kids who did valentines with lollipops attached. Ones who attached ENTIRE BAGGIES of Hersey’s Hugs and Kisses. Ones who had basically a goodie bag of pink (or the far more manly red) pencils, heart shaped pencil sharpeners, lip shaped erasers, plus the obligatory box of candy hearts. Entire sheets of stickers. Handmade valentines, like with glitter and lacy doilies and the whole nine yards.

It made me feel like a total slacker mom with the valentines I had been so happy with only hours before.

So Andrew’s at an age now where he looks at what the other kids are doing. “Mommy! These five friends play soccer, but THEY do it at school. And I don’t.” Or “Mommy. Only I get to do ice skating. No other friends get to ice skate. Except Will, but he’s not from school.”

I don’t want him to look at everyone’s valentines and think HIS aren’t good enough because they didn’t come with candy. But, quite frankly, my kid doesn’t NEED any of that candy! I have a hard enough time keeping him away from candy when Hubby and I are the only ones bringing it into the house. Why should I give it to other kids when I don’t really even want my own to have it? Just as karmic payback for getting my kid tanked up on sugar?

I don’t think so…

Going on my fifth valentines day as a mom, I still haven’t figured out how to do it right. If there is a “right” way to do it… I was talking to another mom at work, who happens to be my boss, about this. She laughed at me. Her response? “Jaime! We work so hard, we’re lucky that we even realize it’s valentines day! I thought I was doing good anytime I REMEMBERED to buy valentines!”

Maybe she’s right… I certainly had to set a reminder in my phone to tell me to pick up that very important red juice for the party and to bring in the valentines!

Have a great weekend everyone. And have a happy Valentines Day next week with the ones you love.


Friday, February 1st, 2013

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
As an attorney, a lot of times I have to make snap decisions. I have a judge screaming at me over the position I’m taking – do I stand my ground or concede the point? We get a settlement offer as we’re standing on the courthouse steps walking in to try the case – do I recommend it to the client and buy certainty in the outcome or should I tell them it’s better to roll the dice? Do I call an extra witness at trial, even though the judge should have everything he needs to rule in our favor?

In my job, I’m confident in making most of these decisions on the fly. I can draw from almost 10 years of experience as a litigator, as well as a solid understanding of the applicable rule and laws.

It’s not always so easy as a parent.

We got excellent news today on our house. It actually looks like a house again. By that I mean the tarps that have been holding the place together since October are gone. We have 4 walls again. We have a roof. New windows that aren’t broken or have cracked seals. (The inside is still a work in progress, but outside, it looks like a house again).

Andrew overheard my discussing this on the phone with Hubby. Immediately, he started begging to go by the house to see. We’ve been very careful not to go anywhere near the house with him since the hurricane. We didn’t want to upset him further letting him see the damage that’s kept us out of our home going on our third month now.

But he was insistent. I pulled the car over and asked him why he wanted to see. “It’s my HOUSE, Mommy! I want to see how the house doctors are doing with it. The band-aids are gone now.” I cringed – already knowing his answer – before asking whether it would make him feel better to see the house. (Of course, the answer was a big, fat “YEAH”) I asked if it would freak him out because the house wouldn’t look exactly the same. (He got his serious face on and told me, “I will not freak out. I PROMISE you, Mommy.”)

You can already tell where this is going… I took him by the house. We didn’t go inside and didn’t get out of the car, but we drove by. He got to see that we have a new roof, that all the walls are in tact. He asked a couple questions, like why the side of the house is 3 different colors. (They haven’t put up shingles yet.) He actually noticed that the roof is a slightly different color than it was before and asked why it’s a different color. (I can’t BELIEVE he could tell the difference, but was satisfied with the answer that it was new.)

I don’t think Hubby was thrilled with me bringing Andrew by. I still don’t know if I did the right thing. It helped ME today to see the house all in one piece again. The sense of relief was indescribable. But I’m 34 years old… I don’t know if Andrew will have the same reaction. Andrew is upstairs in his bed and I’m trying not to worry about whether his dreams will be full of visions of when the trees came through our house…

Sometimes we have to make spur of the moment decisions and we chose the wrong thing. I hope my judgment wasn’t off on this one, but I guess only time will tell.

If nothing else, we have a big weekend full of all kinds of fun things to distract Andrew with… I can wait for our special Mommy and Andrew time on Sunday, but that’s a story for another post.

Have a great weekend everyone.

If at first you don’t succeed…

Friday, January 25th, 2013

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
Andrew loves hockey. In fact, he is continually disappointed that he can’t play hockey with his beloved Devils. Forget that he can’t really ice skate and that most professional hockey teams don’t just let little kids cruise around with them on the ice…

One of Andrew’s friends from soccer started taking ice skating lessons at the local hockey arena. As a precursor to the inevitable day when Andrew starts playing ice hockey, we thought it would be a great idea to sign him up for lessons too.

All the little kids were “strongly encouraged” to wear helmets during their lessons. Andrew was totally psyched the first night to lace up his skates and strap on the helmet so he could get out on the ice. At first, the kids skated behind traffic cones to help them balance on the ice.

With the assistance of the cone, Andrew was able to quickly make his way from one side of the rink to the other. Without it? Well..that’s another story.

Andrew spent more time flat on his back on the ice than he did actually skating this week. Sure he got frustrated. He wanted to be faster, better, stronger at skating. The amazing thing, though, was that he kept getting up and kept trying.

I was so impressed at his determination and that he didn’t give up, even after falling flat on his face five consecutive times without being able to skate a single step without falling again. He’ll get there eventually. The difference between how he skates in the beginning of the lesson and by the end each week is noticeable. The important thing is that he’s having fun…and that he keeps trying.

Calling In Sick

Friday, January 18th, 2013

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
I’ve been sick since I left work last Friday. Unlike half the world who has the flu, I had bronchitis and have been coughing up a lung all week. I haven’t been this sick in awhile and, quite frankly, have just been pathetic.

One of the hardest things about being sick is that you can’t stop being a parent just because you feel lousy… Really lousy… Or can’t keep your eyes open long enough to stumble upstairs to bed exhausted. I’ve had more of both of those moments than I’d care to count this week.

I’ve been very lucky that Hubby has been here, and healthy enough, to step up and take care of both of us. Tonight I tried to help him by picking up Andrew and letting him work late to get a big project wrapped up. I managed to lock myself out of the house because my keys weren’t in my purse where they belonged… My mom had to come rescue me to let me into my house so I could grab the keys and literally race over to daycare before it closed.

Andrew did have some fun this week, despite my being a total mess. He started doing swim lessons again. He was very proud of himself and his ability to make it all the way across the pool and back with just a noodle. He also got to ice skate Tuesday night. He did awesome. Even though he kept falling, he still got back up – though sometimes slower than others. He improved so much from the beginning of the night to the end.

I’m going to crawl back into bed now. Enjoy your weekend, everyone…

Happiest Place on Earth?

Friday, January 11th, 2013

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
I remember growing up that my parents took us to Disney often.  We would usually go (like the rest of the world) over that week between Christmas and New Years while school was closed.  We’d pair it with a visit to see my grandma, spending part of the week with her and the rest of the week down in Orlando.  I loved it.

After the past couple days, I have a whole new appreciation for what my parents must have gone through taking me and my sister there…

We took Andrew to Disneyland for the first time this week.  He was so excited to see Mickey and Minnie.  To go somewhere new. To ride the rides.  To try and get selected for Jedi training.

We spent the first day over in the California Adventure, where Carsland resides.  It was cool.  Andrew loved it.  He managed to sit (mostly) still for a parade.  He cried because he couldn’t do the Radiator Springs Racers, but we promised there would be time to do what he wanted the next day.  To be honest, he held it together well that first day.

The second day, when we cruised around Disneyland’s main park, was a totally different story.  We got there when it opened at 10. We didn’t bring Andrew back to the hotel for a nap.  He insisted he didn’t need one.  We probably shouldn’t have listened to him.

He bawled when he didn’t get picked to do Jedi training. (I was disappointed too – the Jedi master chose every kid around him, except for Andrew.)  He stomped his feet and pouted when we told him he was running off too far ahead of us.  He growled at us when we didn’t do what he wanted to do the second he wanted to do it.  He threw a full blown temper tantrum because I didn’t want to carry a stuffed animal around the park all day, but promised to buy him something later in the day.  I have never seen this kid flip out so badly as when he managed to spit not one, but two, Starbursts out of his mouth and I wouldn’t let him have another one.

But as he was freaking out over nothing, I looked around at some of the other parents.  A guy waiting to take his kids on the Dumbo ride practically had to take a flying leap to catch his daughter before she fell off the wall she was walking on.  A mom got so pissed off at her kid that she stomped out of line and walked away from her daughter completely.  Kids on leashes were trying to attach their tethers to other kids.  Tears flowed freely.  Parents’ angers ran high while patience reached an all time low.

It made me feel a silent sense of camaraderie with the other parents, as well as overwhelming joy in the moments when MY kid was behaving well and other parents’ children weren’t.

There probably was a better way to do Disney.  Like with naps. Like planning it out better and doing what the books suggest – don’t hit the stuff closest to the gate the second you walk in.  Don’t jump on the rides with no wait times immediately – go to the stuff you need FastPasses for and hop on a line.  They’re just going to get worse as the day rolls on… Like asking when the characters go on break.  After Andrew lost it completely when he failed to be able to see Donald, Chip or Dale because “the line closed,” a very nice park worker told us when the characters took their breaks and that the lines to see them closed 10 minutes before break time.  That small, yet key, piece of knowledge, created a far better experience for all of us and landed Andrew some solid time with the characters!

Vacations with kids are tough.  Traveling can be difficult. Keeping them occupied on a long car ride, or flight, is challenging.  But tackling what is supposedly the happiest place on earth?  We all should get hazard pay for that one.

It’s almost enough to make you wonder why in the world you’d go back again after a day’s worth of tears, temper tantrums and failure to listen.  But when you look back on the trip, from the comfort of your couch after you’ve returned home and the blisters on your feet from walking around all day for several days in a row have started to heal, you remember the look on your son’s (or daughter’s) face the first time they saw Cinderella’s castle.  Or that expression of total awe as he looks up at Mickey Mouse.  Or how he grabbed your hand excitedly, trying to drag you to forward faster than his feet will really carry him, just so he can bring you on a favorite ride ONE MORE TIME before the park closes because he has to share the experience with you…

And thinking back on THOSE moments, you know you’re going to go again.  Because anything that makes him THAT happy…it has to be worth it, right?