Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Don’t Forget

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Evan is 5 years and 3 months old.

He refuses to let me cut his hair, even though it is getting long and shaggy and gets stuck in his goggles when he tries to swim. Swimming is the only sport or activity he wants to be signed up for, although he said in the fall he’d like to try football.

Evan loves cereal more than any other food. He would rather eat cereal than ice cream or candy or soda or anything else. Sometimes it’s understandable (who doesn’t love Lucky Charms?) but sometimes it’s something really random, like Honey Bunches of Oats. This week it was Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which he had never actually eaten before but INSISTED I buy at the grocery store. He ate 4 bowls between noon and bedtime.

He is a really good helper and will try to do anything you ask, even if he’s not physically capable of doing it. But he is willing to TRY and then ask for help if he needs it. It’s such an amazing grown up skill that even a lot of real grown ups struggle with.

If you ask him to describe himself, he’ll say he’s a ginger and he’s brave.

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Caroline is 3 years and 7 months old.

She thinks all “3″s and “C”s belong to her personally, so when she sees them on signs or in stores she wants to take them home.

All of her toys have basically the same name. Her toy horse is called Horse. Her zebra is named Zebra-Zeeb. A stuffed duck is named Ducky Duck Duck. The only exceptions are her two baby dolls, who are named Baby Memba and Baby Jesus. Obviously.

Caroline calls herself a “curly girl” because people are always commenting on her beautiful hair. Then she finger-twirls her curls because she’s in an invisible contest for the cutest child ever.

Today she told me that “duplicate” is when there is more than one of you, like when you look in the mirror.

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Both children have no fear or strangers or people. They will ask to be friends with anyone and get sad when their “new friends” (aka the girl they met in the waiting room, the bagger at the grocery store, a random guy who held the door at the mall) leave.

They ate 3/4 of a watermelon today. A real full size watermelon.

They are best friends. They often try to kill each other. I hope nothing changes.

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My Week(190) in iPhone Photos

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Schooooooools out for summer! Good thing schools not out forever, or I would already be going insane. For now I’m planning to enjoy as much sleeping as possible.

Sunday:

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E is baffled why ANYONE would lie in the horrible, horrible sand, let alone someone who shares his DNA

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The weirdo that made him a father, celebrating Father’s Day at Chili’s.

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Wizards in training

Monday:

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Bed head

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She insisted Baby Jesus needed to come to the post office with us

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The princess demanded a strawberry coolata. Princesses run on Dunkin.

Tuesday:

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Snacks in her chair are her new favorite.

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Next year they will BOTH be getting on buses to go to school.

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Monsters at the grocery store. MONSTERS.

Wednesday:

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Both kids wanted to give the afternoon driver a present. They’re going to miss her.

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Water slide party at Stay & Play!

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Creepy baby watches you in the bath.

Thursday:

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Morning puppet shows

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Afternoon weridos in boxes

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Evening photo assistants

Friday:

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Stroller Strides in our AWESOME Cocoon X2. They love it.

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Free Fanta Orange samples at BJ’s. You can see the crazy sugar high in her eyes.

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MOAR MAGIC SPARKLERS

Saturday:

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I went to a (sad) estate sale where everything left in the house was for sale. I wish there was a way to go back in after the new owners fix it up, it’s going to be GORGEOUS.

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I bought a stool at the estate sale. They are insisting it is a table.

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Chugging her lemonade while refusing her dinner.

Tomorrow we start summer (outside!) swim lessons with the kids in two separate classes. Evan will be with bigger kids who I hope will challenge him. He’s the kind of kid who sees someone doing something cool and immediately wants to know how soon he can do it too.

Tomorrow I also start putting the nursery together FOR REAL because I cannot have a baby when I have NOWHERE to put it. And I would really like to have a baby ASAP.  An outside baby would mean no more heartburn, which at this point is so bad I spend half the night staring at my bottle of Tums thinking “Oh, those kidney stones aren’t SO bad”. Plus after the actual getting-out part my pelvis wouldn’t hurt so much. You KNOW this is why nature makes the end of pregnancy so miserable – because it has to be BAD before you start hoping to push a watermelon out of your lady parts. I am ready for the watermelon.

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Wordless Wednesday: Rocky Neck Beach, The First Of Many Edition

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

I decided a little while ago my goal for 2015 is to apply for Pro status over at ClickinMoms. That gives me all of 2014 to improve and build a portfolio of work I love and am proud of – and because I just said it here, now I have to follow through. I’m also currently taking a class with the very talented Sallykate Photography so my camera is coming with me EVERYWHERE for the next few weeks. I’m hopeful I’ll have a newborn to practice on soon (PLEASE GOD LET ME HAVE A NEWBORN SOON) so I hope you like baby pictures.

These are all from two Sundays ago at Rocky Neck State Park, taken with my Nikon D600 and 50mm 1.4 Sigma lens. Editing in Lightroom only.

The beach was actually SUPER crowded and the water is brown because it was full of seaweed. It was also freezing. Neither kid cared. Also, Caroline loves sand. LOVES it. Rubbed her face in it. Weirdo.

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Mother’s Day Gardening (and A Giveaway!)

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

This post was written as part of my partnership with Miracle-Gro.

Growing up in New England, Mother’s Day = planting day for my mom. Any sooner and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a late frost that kills everything, and then you have a dead garden and an empty wallet. So she would wait for early May and then spend Mother’s Day in the garden putting in plants and flowers.

I’ve been planting with the kids on Mother’s Day since they were old enough to help and they love it (OMG just LOOK at tiny 2012 Evan and Caroline planting with me!!) This year Caroline asked every day if it was Mother’s Day yet because she wanted to plant “her” garden. She requested “pink and purple and pink and purple and red” flowers.

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I Am A Better Parent When No One Is Watching

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Caroline doesn’t know how to walk. She skips or runs or jumps or hops or flings herself forward in space with no concern for where she will land. Right now she mostly gallops, which often ends in tripping over her own feet while shouting “Mommy I’m galloping like a horse!”

Yesterday on the way to the car for school she galloped herself right onto her face, slamming into our brick walkway hard enough that she reacted with stunned silence instead of immediate tears. I reacted exactly the way you are supposed to, calmly and tenderly, scooping her up to quickly assess the damage without scaring her or focusing on her pain. I collected the things she had dropped and got her into her car seat before I grabbed my well-stocked first aid kit from my purse. I told her I was going to clean off her knee (which luckily was the only injury bad enough to need attention) and wiped it with an antibacterial wipe without ever mentioning that “it might sting a little”. Since I didn’t TELL her it might hurt, she didn’t even notice. I let her pick a bandage (big or little?) and help me unwrap it and stick it over the scrape. Then I suggested maybe her baby doll had gotten a scrape too, so we put a band-aid on Baby’s knee.

The whole thing took maybe 90 extra seconds and no one cried. When we got to preschool, she flung herself out of the car and galloped inside, having completely forgotten her booboo. I looked around my empty car and thought “Man, I wish someone had been recording that. I am an AWESOME parent right now.”

After school we had doctor’s appointments. Two for me – non-stress test and ultrasound – and Evan’s 5 year well-child visit. Both kids were fine through my visits (due 1% to my stern talking-to about how they needed to be quiet and calm and due 99% to the fact that I brought both iPads and the hospital has public wifi) but they were D O N E by the time we got to Evan’s check-up.

When the nurse asked Evan to take off his clothes and put on the paper gown he stomped his foot and said “I DON’T WANT TO”. I bent down to his level and simultaneously bribed and threatened him: “If you can be a good listener during your check-up we will go get ice cream AND cheeseburgers. If you are naughty you will go home and sit in your room with NO iPad.” He glared at me with his arms crossed while the nurse waiting and I wondered what good parents do in this situation.

It went down hill from there.

I lied about his finger poke, saying it didn’t hurt at all (it does and I used to freak out even more than he did when I was little). When he flailed and screamed I held him down and said “KNOCK IT OFF YOU ARE FINE!” instead of being calm and understanding. I did a lot of clenched-teeth hiss-whispering after the nurse left, but none of it worked. When the doctor came in he wouldn’t cooperate, wouldn’t hold still, wouldn’t be quiet. I alternated between standing back and helplessly doing nothing and getting right in his face to threaten/bribe as he cringed.

The whole time I was acutely aware of how I looked, how I came across as a mother, what the whole office staff was thinking about me. What they said when they left the room or after I had dragged the kids out to the car. I am sure none of it was good.

I think it’s that self-conscious awareness that makes me a better mother when I am alone. It’s the opposite of the stereotypical dysfunctional family – we appear to be a mess in public but at home, behind closed doors, I am calm and understanding and loving.

(Don’t get me wrong, we are a yell-y kind of family. There is often yelling. especially when my children have occasional bouts of deafness after being asked to pick up the Legos or go put on their jammies or to PLEASE JUST STOP TOUCHING EACH OTHER.)

But without the scrutiny of strangers to judge my behavior (or more accurately, my children’s behavior) I am more confident in my parenting. When I lose my temper or get to the end of my rope I can regroup and reassess without anyone watching. Of course, it also means I can just IGNORE them when they are horrible, instead of dealing with it. But that also gives me more time to think about what I am doing, instead of reacting with something, ANYTHING to just make them stop.

I’m about ready to move to that commune my friends and I joke about, where we raise goats and co-parent everyone’s kids and no one judges you if your 3 year old throws herself on the ground screaming because you wouldn’t let her bring SEVEN different stuffed animals/dolls to the store. Again.

Although even commune-living would require trips to Target, so I don’t think parenting entirely unjudged is ever possible. I can only dream.

 

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