Posts Tagged ‘together time’

Under the Sea

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:

We took the kids to the National Aquarium in Baltimore last weekend.  Rory was in HEAVEN.  As I think I may have mentioned, he loves animals.  One of his favorite shows is all about animal powers, and he is constantly building animals out of Legos, toilet paper rolls, or whatever he can use with his imagination.

So when he first walked in to the giant entry way, filed with its shark tooth display and vast tidal pool, he was just thrilled.  He got to touch starfish, point out the numerous different turtles, watch Dolphins jump, and even touch a saw fish saw.  He was attentive and enthralled through each exhibit, and had a hard time saying good bye.

When asked which part was his favorite, his response was, “all of it.” I’d say that was a success.

Charlotte did okay, though strollers were not permitted, so she mostly ran around like a crazy person giving mommy her exercise.  But she was clearly impressed, too.

It is fun to be able to see new and exciting experiences through the eyes of children.  Granted, it’s a pretty neat aquarium to begin with, but I definitely saw it with renewed excitement when holding his little hand in mine.  

The Most Wonderful Week of the Year

Monday, December 28th, 2015

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I’m starting to really love this time of year, the week in between Christmas and New Year’s. Haley is off from school. We spend a lot of time with family. My husband takes several days off from work. And the best part? We usually plan to get very little done. My big plans this week include servicing the car and getting Haley in to see the dentist (maybe).

Relaxation is a lovely way to wind down a year. Even though it’s really a week like any other, there is a palpable feeling of rebooting for the year ahead. Now that I’m a mom, so many of my goals relate to the kids and what they have in store. I think of the trips we’ll take, the classes they’ll attend, and mostly, how much they’ll grow! In a year’s time, they’ll be unrecognizable. Especially Hudson who will be over two—wow!

I’m an eternal optimist, which is probably the main reason I love thinking about a new year ahead. I’m excited for all of the possibilities. Anything can happen. Hopefully your 2016 and mine will be filled with health and prosperity, with a generous dash of giggles and wonder.

Weekend Adventure

Monday, December 7th, 2015

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I had a very fun but very tiring weekend. My family decided to take a road trip and spend the night in Providence, Rhode Island. I had never been there before—what a cute city!

We left first thing in the morning on Saturday and arrived in time to have an early lunch at a very kid-friendly restaurant. My brother lives in New England, so he drove in to meet us, which thrilled the kids. We did some shopping, but Haley completely freaked out when we told her it was time to meet Santa. Oh well! I don’t know if we’ll get a picture this year. For the first time, it sort of occurred to met what a strange ritual it is to make crying children sit on the lap of a strange old man and take pictures. Which is not to say I will stop doing it!

The highlight of the weekend for Haley may have swimming in the pool and even lounging in the hot tub! Hudson had fun, too, but unfortunately was battling a cold. Between his cough and the unfamiliar crib, he had a rough night. But he hung in there like the trooper he is.

Now it’s back to the grind of a busy week. There’s so much going on between now and the end of the year. No rest for the weary! Such is the life of Mom. Hopefully I’ll be able to rest in January.

A for Effort

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Haley was so excited for Halloween. Our little Wonder Woman had been talking about Halloween since literally the last Halloween. The costume she would choose was a debate that dominated our conversations on and off for the last twelve months. I have a very specific strategy for actually procuring a costume. Once the sales the start, the very moment Haley says she’s going to be a character that is not a Disney princess, I pounce. I order the costume that day. I have nothing against princesses, but I have indulged her plenty for the last four years!

Naturally, we dressed Hudson up as Superman to complete the DC Comics theme. I saw a lot of Supermen around the neighborhood, but Hudson was definitely the most adorable. I was hesitant to even taking him out for Trick-or-Treating. It was a bit cold. It’s so crowded around here and he’d just be in the stroller, not actually receiving candy. Plus, I’d had him in his costume at Haley’s school parade the day before, so lots of people had already “oohed and aahed” over him.

In the end, in the spirit of getting into the spirit, we elected to go out as a family. Within half an hour, Hudson was out like a light. The crowds didn’t bother him or perhaps even lulled him into a deeper sleep. I was happy with the way the holiday turned out.

Until—that is—the next day. Hudson woke up pretty congested. He was still in his usual happy spirits, but definitely now has a full-blown cold. He might not have gotten it from the crowds or the weather, but it certainly couldn’t have helped things. So often, in wanting to give my kids the fun experiences they deserve to have as children, I put a lot of pressure on myself. I don’t necessarily think I did the wrong thing last weekend. But it was a good reminder to keep things in perspective. After all, my kids have a lot of fun! And some of our best moments as a family are spent being really silly in our living room, in our pajamas. No special costumes or spectators necessary.

Summer Bonus

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
One of the advantages of living in the south is that summer weather lasts a few weeks longer than our neighbors to the north. We took advantage of sunny weather in the 90s this past weekend by accepting an invite to visit with friends for the day.

Our friends live on a larger property with lots of things for young boys to do. The kids drove go-carts, explored the woods, had a squirt gun battle, and spent lots of time in the tree house. The boys played all afternoon with our friend’s two boys and it was fantastic to watch them get along so well. When they got hot, they just jumped in the pool. Tate even jumped off the diving board for the first time. The older kids’ influence definitely helped him overcome his “deep end of the pool” fear.

It was a great day for our family. My husband was home to enjoy it with us and the boys loved having him around all weekend. I’m really enjoying these last few summer hurrahs, but I’m definitely looking forward to fall weather and all the fun activities that come with it.


Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
About ninety percent of our friends traveled over the holiday weekend. Unfortunately, we did not. My kids asked why we couldn’t go to Disney World on their day off. They are adorable, but they don’t understand how much planning is involved for that kind of trip. I want to travel too, but it is hard for our family of four to do so without breaking the bank.

In an effort to appease my boys, I planned a “stay-cation” for them. It’s definitely not Disney World, but a perfect way to unwind for a few days after the hustle and bustle of the last month. Prior to the weekend, I planned some activities to keep the boys engaged so that they didn’t get “so bored.”

One of our favorite activities of the weekend was some abstract painting. I found a tutorial on Pinterest, and thought we would give it a try. My kids like to paint, and this kept their attention. After the art dried, I framed their pieces and hung our new (free) wall art. They may not be gallery worthy, but their paintings turned out much better than I anticipated. The boys feel special since their work is now hanging on our wall.

As much as I would LOVE to have spent some time on the beach this weekend, I’m happy to know that relaxing at home is a treat, too. It gives us time to recharge and appreciate the extra time together.

One on One

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
I try to spend quality time with my children daily. However, our busy schedules can hinder my ability to do so. I try to at least take a few minutes a day to talk to Jack and Tate, one on one, about what’s going on in their lives.

Tate is only in school for half the day, so we get lots of quality time together. It’s fun to play hide and seek in the backyard, or go out to lunch. Lately, it’s been very rainy, so puzzles are our new thing. He is beginning to read and is very interested in reading me books. Even if it’s the same 5 books, I love hearing him sound out the words and laugh at the silly parts. He will start Kindergarten soon, and I’m feeling a little nervous. I keep asking myself if I have done everything I could possibly do to get him ready for “big school.” Have we made the most of our time together before he starts full day school?

Jack is approaching his 8th birthday. How did that happen so fast? Due to daddy being deployed several times when Jack was a toddler, we spent months and months together. He was attached at the hip and we would play, play, play. We met up with our friends several times a week and socialized. We shared a lot of time together his first few years, but lately, it’s hard to find extra time to spend with just Jack. He is so busy with school, homework, sports, and playing or reading on his own free time.

Over the weekend, Jack and I spent an afternoon to ourselves. It was very impromptu and I loved every minute of it. We were on a mission to find new baseball gear since he outgrew everything from last season. We purchased some new equipment and even managed to stop and eat some frozen yogurt. We sat outside in the warm sunshine and enjoyed a nice conversation. It was very refreshing for both of us. He’s in denial 2nd grade is coming to an end. He’s excited for next year because he heard they switch classes. Oh, to be in the 3rd grade again!

I’m lucky I get to spend time with my kids. I’m also lucky they still want to spend time with their mom. I know there will come a day when they will be too cool to hang out with me. It is nice to let them know that I appreciate their company and I really want to know what is important in their lives, even if that is Legos and baseball. I’m lucky to be their mom.

Snowed In

Friday, March 6th, 2015

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Today is the second of two consecutive snow days that have caused Rory’s daycare to close.  Sometimes I feel guilty about the fact that Rory still attends daycare despite the fact that I am home all day with Charlotte.  However, I consistently remind myself that Rory received my undivided attention for his first five months and tell myself that Charlotte deserves that same attention, too.  Sending Rory to school each day helps me do that.

Until it snows.

Fortunately, the past few weekends have demonstrated to me the importance of introducing lots of variety to Rory’s day.  We filled yesterday with lots of arts and craft activities.  We glued cotton balls to a snow man, we made snow balls out of cotton balls, and we made bouquets of flowers out of used paper towel rolls.

We read books, played with puppets, watched some videos, sang LOTS of songs, and even played out in the snow for a few minutes.  Although I had pulled out a new sticker book early in the day in anticipation of needing a new distraction, I didn’t need to bring it out until shortly before dinner.

I am hoping that today goes just as smoothly, but I know that boredom and obstinance likely will be my worst enemies.  I’ll dig deep into the creative parts of my brain and try to outwit and entertain Rory while still being certain Charlotte’s needs are met.  And I’ll also cross my fingers that spring arrives soon.




Star Week

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
As I mentioned in prior posts, school is back in session here in Mississippi. The year started off on a great note, and we’re hoping it continues throughout the rest of the school year. Jack and Tate enjoy their new classrooms and teachers. Jack is still adjusting to the increased amount of homework, as am I. On the other hand, Tate is ecstatic about his first homework assignment.

Each student in Tate’s class gets a chance to be the “Star of the Week.” Tate was chosen to be the star for this upcoming week. This popular back-to-school project is “all about Tate.” It’s a fun assignment for each student to share some facts about themselves. It also gives their fellow classmates a better idea of their unique likes, dislikes, and hobbies with pictures and descriptions. Luckily, I remembered doing this same project with Jack when he was in pre-school, so we were prepared with supplies the first week of school.

I enjoyed making the star project with Tate.  A few highlights included on his board are his favorite color, food, place, and hobby. We also attached pictures of him, his family, his favorite games, stickers, and what he wants to be when he grows up.  This week it was a fireman.  Next week it will probably be something different.

It was fun working with Tate on his assignment. We worked together to talk about what things he finds important and enjoyable in his life. I’m just happy to get some extra one on one time together.



Snowed In

Friday, January 24th, 2014

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Rory and I had lots of quality time this week. After being closed in honor of MLK day on Monday, Rory’s daycare was closed Tuesday and Wednesday as a result of inclement weather here in the Northeast. My work schedule was a good bit more flexible than his daddy’s so I was largely in charge of toddler entertainment.

On the weekends, we usually don’t engage in too much structured activity with Rory. We get so little time with him during the week that on Saturdays and Sundays we try to enjoy our time with him and not focus too much on any specific learning activities. When I’ve stayed home with him in the past few months, he has usually been ill and not entirely himself. So this week was one of the first chances I’d had in a while to spending full days with a healthy kiddo.

So, over the last two days, however, I tried to mix in a few of the activities that  he is used to doing at school to keep him entertained. We did some coloring with jumbo crayons. Rory waved a few crayons back and forth on the coloring book before trying to eat them. We read a lot of books, played peek-a-boo with juggling scarves, built towers with foam blocks, knocked those same towers down, built a lot of Lego houses, and picked those houses apart piece by piece.

We also played with a lot of his favorite toys and worked on walking with assistance. Rory made some great improvement to his ability to stand on his own, and I was very happy to have been around to see those advancements. And we also got to play in the snow, of course. Overall, I think Rory had a great time and enjoyed the personal attention and snuggles we gave him over the snow days. I certainly enjoyed the unexpected time we got together this week.