Posts Tagged ‘Monday Mom: Neetika’


Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Well, the GrowUpLearning blog is coming to an end and it’s time to say our goodbyes. I can’t believe it’s been just about seven years since I became a parent and began chronicling my experience in these posts. Come to think of it, not only has writing for the blog been extremely rewarding personally, it’s been the longest, continuous professional role of my career!

I’ve learned a great deal about writing, motherhood, and how to use writing to share the experience of motherhood in a meaningful way. I’ve also loved reading the posts from my fellow contributors. It’s helped me feel less alone in this difficult, unrelenting job. I can only hope that my musings have done the same for other moms and dads out there.

I’m enormously grateful to the team at The Source for Learning, particularly my editor David Shively. David, thank you so much for this opportunity. You could not have been more supportive as a boss and a friend. I will always appreciate it.

I hope that through this blog, we’ve been able to empathize, laugh at ourselves, and enjoy each day of parenthood—even when it’s far from easy. Even when we feel alone, there is always a community of love and support out there—people who “get it” and understand exactly what you’re going through. We’re always growing and learning together.

Love Always,

Monday Mom

Indian Summer

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
The weather has been just lovely in the Northeast this fall. I don’t remember a year in which we were heading into November with consistently sunny skies and temperatures in the seventies. No matter what the weather does, I’ve learned, someone will complain about it! I’ve talked to so many people frustrated that it’s not getting cooler. I look at these folks like they’re crazy– because they are! Cold and snow and blustering winds will come at some point. It’s inevitable. Let’s enjoy these temperate days while they last, I say.

I am appreciating every one. It’s great that the kids are getting to play outside throughout Autumn. And I really love not having to bundle them up. It’s also not so sunny that we have to slather on sunblock. We’re in the sweet spot! Soon enough, I’ll have to secure winter hats to little heads who aren’t having it, spend way too much time searching for missing mittens, and zip up heavy coats just to take them off minutes later when it’s time to get into the car seat. For now, we just have to get shoes on and maybe throw on a cardigan before we head out the door. I’ll take it!

Yet it’s an important lesson for children and adults alike. Most things in this world are temporal. Seasons change, we change and our lives continue to change. All we can do is enjoy every day and appreciate it for what it is.

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”!


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!

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!

First Day of School

Monday, September 18th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Today was Hudson’s first day of school—ever. As I mentioned last week, I was a bit apprehensive about how he would handle this transition. As predicted, there were tears, mostly on his part. But overall it went well and his teachers agree that he will be A-okay in just a few days.

It’s hard to believe that my little boy is almost three and ready to go to real school. He was so adorable with the backpack, smiling in his pictures and holding hands with his sister. Like many parts of life, this is a “fake it until you make it” situation. I can’t say I feel completely ready to say goodbye to my baby. But I know it’s the right thing. So I’m doing it, and I have to believe at some point, I’ll adjust. I’m sure Hudson will adjust sooner than I do!

I think people who haven’t yet sent children to school, or have those days long behind them can lose sight of what a challenge the transition is. For some people, it’s very easy. For others, it’s extremely emotionally wrenching. To turn over your precious child to the real world is no easy task. But to do so with courage is the mark of a great parent. Good luck to all!

Buckle Up

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not the holidays of December. The first day of school of course! Where we live, school doesn’t start until after Labor Day, and here we are.

I feel like the summer simply flew by. What’s really odd to me is that Haley does, too. I am not sure if I am remembering things correctly, but I recall feeling like the summer was endless when I was a kid. Just a long expanse of time that seemed never-ending. Haley has the opposite feeling. She feels like Kindergarten just ended and wouldn’t you know it—she just didn’t get enough time to relax. I know she’s ready for first grade and she’ll do great. But I don’t know how ready I am to see her move on to a much more challenging grade.

Hudson is starting school this year, too. He’s excited about his new backpack, and his sister has talked to him about it a lot. But I will be honest with you. Once he realizes that school is not a place where Mommy stays with you, there’s going to be a meltdown! And I don’t know who will produce more tears—Hudson or Mommy. There will be an adjustment period for sure, but I’m confident he’ll love his new routine. And in a few hours, it’s back home to Mommy anyway.

Good luck to all students starting this week! Hope things continue to go well for those of you who’ve been in session for a while.

Summer Memories

Monday, August 21st, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Last week I was thinking about some of the fun times I had as a child in the summer. I think my favorite memory of all is going out on the boat with my family.

My dad’s boat was really nice. I can’t tell you how big it was, as I am oblivious to that kind of information. But it had an interior cabin with a lot of seating, and one of the seats opened up to become a toilet! I always got a big kick out of that.

We’d get up in the morning and my mom would pack lunch and all sorts of drinks and goodies to take along. My dad was big on entertaining on the boat, so we always had another family with us. I can remember riding the boat out away from our town, into the choppy Atlantic, and feeling so adventurous. Once we dropped anchor, we put our life vests on and jumped into the ocean. It was such a fun and free time.

I don’t get to go out on boats so often as a grown-up. But when I do, I always recall those happy, warm weather memories

Have a great week!

Ice Cream Madness

Monday, August 14th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I love ice cream. So it’s not wonder that my kids do, too. However, I have to tell you they take their fondness to an extreme. When they hear the ice cream truck come by, they lose their minds! Of course, it’s not just the fact that they’re getting ice cream that makes them love the truck. It’s the randomness and surprise of the truck appearing, and offering a treat that you can have at home even though you didn’t go to the store. I get it. It’s exciting. But please, stop with the screaming already.

One downside to the ice cream obsession is that I cannot resist a cone or sundae myself! So while the kids could not care less about how much the full fat dairy and sugar are affecting those little bodies, I’m always thinking about my waistline and cholesterol. I have to tell you; when I’m watching my diet, ice cream is so much harder to abstain from than other fattening foods. It’s just too cool, creamy, and delicious!

But like most things, sweet treats are fine in moderation. I think it’s good to show my kids that mommy enjoys dessert, but healthy eating and exercise—which we also get plenty of in the summer—are important, too. Hopefully some of that message syncs in between licks of the cone.

Have a great week!

Trains on the Brain

Monday, August 7th, 2017

From Monday Mom  – Neetika:
Haley, blessed girl that she is, has always had a wide array of toys. I never put limits on what she could play with. She’s always had cars alongside her dolls. And balls to throw and kick next to her tea party set. Now that we are lucky enough to have her younger brother in our family, we are getting twice the use out of everything. My kids rarely meet a toy they do not like. But recently I have noticed that there’s something Hudson loves playing with that we just haven’t picked up over the years: trains.

What is it with boys and trains? He is crazy for them! At our town’s library, there’s a toy train set in the play area. However, you have to give the librarians your Driver’s License in order to borrow one! That’s how crazy kids gets for these trains. Grubby little felons are trying to make off with them!

Hudson’s face lights up when he sees a toy train, and now that he’s become a bit more articulate, he’s actually able to say: “I want you to buy me a train toy.” I haven’t made it to the store thus far, but I have a feeling he’s in for a fun purchase very soon. He’s been a good sport with the hand-me-downs thus far. It’s time for something special. Choo choo!