Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Prep 2011

We love Christmas around here. We love the music. We love the LIGHTS! And we have had our fair share of doing super fun things to get us in the holiday spirit.

Wyeth's birthday was the 3rd. We celebrated well. Then on thte 4th we got the tree. And the lights went on the house! We decorated that weekend. We love our stockings. Our little lit houses and our nativity creche.

We have established some great traditions around here. The first is that the kids get a holiday themed book every night to open starting December 4th. Sam picks these up for about .25 or .50 cents throughout the  year. It is great to read a holiday story each night.  We also have four advent calendars this year! The problem is that we are always behind! I never knew a family that couldn't focus on doing the advent calendars! We have our two 'usual' ones but this year we also recieved two more! Four calendars is a lot! Not surprisingly, the one with chocolate is always opened first!

We did several events this year that were new. They included:

A holiday event that had cupcakes and a horse drawn carriage. Pure fun! The kids loved the clipity clop noise. And the ride was long which was great!   We saw Santa that night and Wyeth didn't flip out. Much. Score!

We also went to Washington Crossing to try to see Washington Cross the Delaware. They do this on Christmas day but they do a 'dress rehersal' earlier in the month. The water was too high and we didn't actually cross the river. But we had fun pretending! Seren insisted on bringing her doll too. In the doll stroller. "Fun" trying to see colonial houses with a doll stroller! OY!

That night we sang Christmas carols and saw Santa.It was great to sing carols in the cold night. That was one of my favorite actitivities.

And some old traditions too.
We went out with my Mom and Dad to see some holiday light show. We also went out to dinner which was a really nice treat!

This past Satruday, we made homemade cookies. Which was really a disaster. Not the mess. The fighting. Ridiculous! At one point, we all 'took five'. We went to our seperate parts of the house and just sat down and did our own thing. That seemed to help a ton. Once refreshed, we started again.

The following day we went to Philly to see the John Wanamaker Light show. Pure nostalgia for me. I went every year as a kid and saw the exact same lights. Awesome. We also tried out the train display at Reading Terminal Market. The kids LOVED pushing the buttons and making the trains  'move'.  We aimed low that day. After the cookie making experience the day before, we wanted to set our sights low. Glad we did. Wyeth picked out a cookie to eat and then promptly decided that was NOT the cookie he wanted. A full on HUGE meltdown ensued!! It was so sad to see him so beside himself. It was one of those public tantrums that builds and builds. We (sam) had to hold him crying his eyes out down the cold city streets of Philly. Horrible.

Enjoying the lights:

After nap, we delievered Christmas cookies to our neighbors. This is an annual tradition as well. And a great one! We have a lot of older neighbors. The kids loved running from door to door and saying Merry Christmas. Seren had a 'list' which was so sweet. After we visited each neighbor, she would cross off the name. (Her mother's daughter!). Wyeth just focused on running. That and asking when he would get to eat MORE cookies.

We have one more holiday fun event which is a live nativity. That is tonight. We shall see!

And now we are coasting! Nearly everything has been wrapped. The cards aren't quite done but mostly done. I hope to 'finish' tonight so that the next three nights can be focused on sitting in front of the tree, relaxing and drinking wine. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bed Transition: WE aren't ready

I remember distinctly fearing what would happen when Seren moved out of her crib and into her big girl bed. I read blogs. I read about locks being locked. Crying. Toys being thrown. Horrible  nights of night waking. We postponed it. But then we had a second one on the way. And we wanted her to have her bed for fear she'd feel "replaced" when we stuck the wee one in her crib. So at 27 ish months we moved her into her bed.

We said goodnight.

And that was that.

No word from her until morning.

If I blogged about it, I'm sure I didn't say much. Less the sleeping gods strike me down and make me eat my words.

Done. In one night. No transition.

Fast forward. Wyeth is now three. He sleeps in his crib every night. But he doesn't like it. Particularly painful for him was the nights he had to sleep in a pack and play over our Thanksgiving break. He was NOT a fan. And why should he be? He barely fit.

Nightly we would hear, "I don't like this poopy bed. This is too small. This poopy bed is way too small."

We all were relieved when he was back in his "big" crib.

Every night for about 18 months, Wyeth takes a long time to 'unwind'. He sings. He talks. He plays. He cries out for me to get him a drink of water, a book and/or a wooden hammer (Don't ask). He usually needs 45 minutes to go to sleep. He passes out around 9:15 pm. Ridiculously late. I imagine when we drop the nap, he'll be out like a light.

But how in the world will he be when he has freedom? Last night he took his wooden hammer and tried to "Get out of these bars".  "I want to play. I want to get out of here. I don't like these poopy bars". Then he started to say, "It is too long! I have been in here sleeping for way too long!"

Really, buddy, you have been SLEEPING too long?

When we finally get up the nerve to put him in a bed, what strategies do you have? Seren slept there until the next morning. She STILL calls us in.

Wyeth, I imagine, will be playing with his trucks. Reading books. Rooting around in his closet. Maybe we do both- drop the nap and transition to the bed at the same time. What about that?

Either way, I predict chaos.

I've been wrong before. So lets hope I'm wrong. But OY.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sense of Self

Yesterday, despite the fact that it literally was pitch dark, I took the kids on a much needed walk around the block. We were bundled up as the winter air has come our way. Wyeth was on his tricycle and Seren couldn't decide what to ride so she rode in a stroller while I pushed.

We have to head up this huge hill to get back home. And Wyeth just kept riding and riding. His little muscles working themselves out! UGH! But he was so dedicated to the pursuit. So diligent is just pushing on.

Seren noted their differences. "Wyeth is super strong, Mom. I can't get up past that second house. But look at him! He is still going! I always stop right there. But he didn't."

We jointly complimented Wyeth and his strong muscles. She was enthusiastic in her praise, "Good job, buddy! That is a big hill!"

We got back home and parked the vehicles in the garage.  Seren said, "Isn't that funny mom? He is littler than I am. But does that hill all by himself. And it is kinda funny too because in my class, I'm taller than lots of kids. But they do stuff that scares me. I don't do those things that they can do. Even though I'm bigger."

I told her we all have our strengths. And that she does other things well.  But there was that sense of being self aware which was new for me to see. That sense of 'hmm, I do things differently'.

Seren has always been cautious. A thinker. Not a do-er. A sense of 'let me just take this in a minute. And then I'll decide if I want to give it a try'. While she has grown in her sense of herself- it is within limits. She knows her limits. She, like her mom, is a scaredy cat through and through.

Oh these beautiful creatures I share my life with. The personalities. The sense of self. The sense of what is within their comfort zone and what is outside of it. Constantly changing. Amazing.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thanksgiving Post Two

Once we actually got to Michigan, we had a really good time! Sam's parents bought a new house that was full of amazing adventures! We took walks in the 12 acres that they just bought. It was warm for Michigan.

We also brought along our trusty ice cream scoop. Ya know. Just in case.

The kids also took amazing bubble baths! Wow! Their tub has jets! I put just a tiny bit of soap in there and then this happened!! Holy bubbles, bat man!

The day after Thanksgiving, we did two super exciting things! We helped my in laws find and cut down a Christmas tree! The weather was amazing!

Wyeth liked this little one:

They ended up with this beauty!

We also took the family on a train ride. It is, for me, the 'first' Christmas event of the season. Since Wyeth is Mr. Train, it is a very important part of the trip for him too! And it did not disappoint. Last year we were FREEZING! But this year, it wasn't as cold. And since it was the first night of the season, there were fireworks! Fireworks!! In November! It was just amazing!!

They were a little loud.

The rest of the week was full of small but fun adventures. Coffee and cookies out.

Experiencing the joy of a first canoli!

Playing in thier big house.

Just being together.

All good stuff. All of it!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Seren's First Christmas List!

In all of its glory!

I'll translate:

To Santa
From Seren

Dear Santa, Thank you for the doll you gave me last year. I named her Rosie. My christmas list this year is:
* A pony that goes in a pony bed
* A baby doll
* A baby doll bunk bed with the name Rosie on the top and the name Juliet on the bottom (these are the names of her two favorite dolls)


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wyeth Turns 3!

Dear Wyeth,
Today, without my permission, you turned three. I can't get my mind around how this happened. But I am thrilled for you!

You have continued to add such joy into our lives. I can't recall our lives without you in it! This past year you have perfected the art of talking. We are so glad to hear it! You can talk a mean streak. Especially if your sister isn't around to interrupt. You have also really enjoyed creative play.  You and Seren both have created worlds  in your imaginations. Just this week you became convinced that there is  a water slide at a local science museum. You have asked us all to go and can't wait to slide down it in your bathing suit!

You are still my cuddlebug. Something I'm so grateful for. I can still hold you in my arms. Rock you while singing you to sleep and hold you in my lap.  Sometimes when meal times are particularly painful for you, you request Dad or Mom's lap. And find comfort there.

You love to sing. Music is something you are very attuned to. You pick up songs quickly. Which doesn't mean that when you and Dad attend the community class you sing aloud. Nope. No public singing. But when you get home, we see your dance moves and hear your show stopping hit singles. 

You have two favorite phrases right now. One is more of a sentence. "I show you something!"  The world, gratefully, seems to be a place of endless wonder and excitement. People coming through our door are always shown the newest and most exciting 'find' in our house. You lead me, holding my hand, several times a day through the house to something fun. A puzzle that has been completed. A new book purchased at the thrift store. A new picture completed.

The other more popular phrase we have heard frequently during the fall is 'poop'. Saying the word poop just about brings you to your knees in giggles. It is especially funny while 'modifying' songs. As in 'twinkle twinkle little poop." This isn't something I will ever understand. But you sweet boy, think it is hysterical!

You are also a helper. If we need 'help', we call on you. To do the dishes. To help us vacuum. To pick up toys. You are very good at lending your services. And we love it!

Unwillingly, I started a habit this year of saying 'thank you' to you while I put you and Seren to sleep. As in, "Thank you for playing with me today. Thanks for helping Daddy and I." And you and Seren both have responded in kind. I love hearing what you are grateful for. It is usually the most basic and simple things. And I love hearing your expressions of gratitude.

We got an insight this week into how you think of yourself. Daddy asked if you needed help doing a task with a book. You responded, "No. I think of myself as a smartie."

Self esteem? Check.

And while you have grown in your sensitivity to others, your creative play and musical gifts, you remain a stubborn non eater. You also have expressed NO interest in potty training. And we still have you in  a crib.  You eat like an 18 month old. Carbs. Dairy. No veggies. Some fruit. Mom and Dad haven't fought you too much on this but am growing increasingly worried. And the potty training is more of a lack of effort on our part than yours.

Perhaps it all is just our own lack of willingness to see you grow up.

But you do anyway.

Your birthdays, like your sisters', are bittersweet for Mom and Dad. A sense of time passing us by. A sense that maybe we haven't been as "present" as we would have liked. And with all of the travel I have done recently, I have a sense of guilt as you are launched into another year.

But I do know that we love you. Fiercely. And we are proud of you. And that you bring us joy. We got you a singing card this year. This is VERY important to you. The one I picked out was "you are the sunshine of my life". How appropriate!

Happy Third Birthday, Wyeth. Thank you for picking us as your parents. We are so lucky to have you in our lives. We love you!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thanksgiving Post 1: A lot of time in the Car

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful! Time with eachother. Time with our family. Time spent sleeping in. A bit. Time spent sick on Sam's part.

And most notable: time in the car!

It is a 12 hour drive to Flushing, MI. And a 12 hour drive back.  The kids did GREAT! Seren self occupied her time VERY well. She read. She played dominoes. She colored. Wrote a story. Fought with her brother.

Wyeth struggled a bit more. "How long I sit here? I don't like sitting here. I like playing."

We broke up the trip. Staying  in "fancy" (cheap) hotels and enjoying the pools. We drove to Ohio the first day- to Youngstown. And then made it to Sam's mom and dad's home the next day. On the way back, we stayed in PA in Monroeville. Seren said, "Wait! They moved the hotel!? You said the hotel was in Ohio!"  As if there was only one hotel and it could be moved. :)

They said a lot of funny things on the trip. Many of which I wrote down.  Here is a scene of us in the car. This is from the beginning of the first day! We were able to take lots of time off this year. I worked from 'home' on Monday and Tuesday but we were with Sam's Mom and Dad from Sunday through Sunday! Very nice!

First hour pics:

And here I am at the end of the first day!

More family pics when I blog next time! We had a blast! The kids really enjoyed the adventures in Michigan and so did we!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sissy is now Seren

Sadly, that time has come. Wyeth now formally calls Seren, Seren.

We still find ourselves calling her Sissy.

Why do kids grow up?


Pretty much everynight I think to myself the same exact thoughts. And they are completely paradoxical. 
"Parenthood rocks my world. It is so much more fun than I ever imagined."
"I better try to be here. Now. In the present. I'm going to miss it all in the blink of an eye."
"I'm blessed."
"This sucks. This whole thing is just exhausting! It is like my life is one long ass to do list."
"I'm so tired. All I want to do is just take some time for myself. Screw everyone else' needs. I'm tired."
"This is the best. I am proud of my kids. The way they take on the world. Thier imagination. Thier creativity. The way they engage ideas."
"If I have to come home and deal with any more screaming, I may just scream."

How do we hold all of these thoughts at the same time? How do we create space for each of them? For gratitude and blessings on the one hand and the acknowledgement of our own exhaustion and needs on the other? It is like a daily roller coaster. Add in some guilt about not being with them enough (which rides its own ups and downs) and some stress about not being "good enough" and wow- it is amazing that our heads don't pop off!

I work to try to create space- consciously- to enjoy it. To enjoy it all. To laugh at my kids' antics. To giggle as they talk to themselves (or thier stuffed animals) through the monitors at night. To laugh when they laugh. To run after them and just tickle them. I do a good job of this.

But I also struggle to just "do" all of the time. And no one can be positive and upbeat all of the time! They are 2 and 5! It is ridiculous around here! It isn't calm. Or peaceful. Or zen like at all.

I think it is amazing that I think all of those thoughts on a daily basis. And how I end up the day depends on which emotion gets spun on the "spinner of parental emotions".


It is just parenthood.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fighting for Air time

Remember how much I fretted that Wyeth had delayed speech? That as he approached two we had about 11 words under our belt?

That has changed 180 degrees.

And I kid you not, my children FIGHT for air time.

The best 5 minutes of my day are also the work five minutes of the day. It is the moment I walk in the door. Now, as it gets colder, the kids don't greet me at the car door. They (not so) patiently wait inside. And I open up the door. The noise begins. I am greeted with huge, amazing hugs from very short people. Who sometimes seem shorter having spent the day at the office with regularly sized people.

And I swoop them up into my arms. Hugs all around. My purse and briefcase aren't even set down yet. It is amazing. Absolutely amazing.

And it also sucks.

Each kid then begins to tell me everything about their day. AT THE SAME TIME. And they start to fight. And cry. Big tears about why they can't tell Momma something. Or if the big story is a shared story (in that it happened to both of them) then real chaos ensues. It is horrible! They hit each other yesterday because Wyeth was interrupting Seren. And Seren was telling the story too fast. And it was a mess.

And I haven't even come inside the doorway yet.

I'm thrilled to hear it. And to hear it all. Every last detail. About kindergarten. About time at the playground. About the latest thrift store find. About the new table in their room upstairs.

But man.

Any ideas on the welcome home process and how it can so smoother? Any one else's kids fighting for "air time"?

Then there is my poor husband. Who, by the time I make it through the gauntlet of emotions just getting from the front door to the kitchen, only gets a weak "hello" and limp hug from me.


Monday, November 14, 2011

5k run- Autism Cares

Remember how I joined my local gym for 10.00 a month? Remember how my brother suggested I run a 5k to have a goal?

Goal accomplished!

My colleague from work, Jessica and I set our minds to it and ran a good 5k on Saturday! And extra triple bonus? It was for Autism Cares. A local non profit that provides education and resources to local families who have children with Autism.

Autism is pretty near and dear to my heart as my godson, Lucas, or Luki, has been impacted by it. His parents are true rock stars! And he inspires me in lots of ways!

My parents, my hubby and my kids came out to support me on! It was a beautiful day. Freezing but beautiful! And we did very well!

The best thing? I wasn't exhausted at the end. Just ready for more. Good stuff! Good stuff!

October Wrap Up

It is Mid November. MID November! And I haven't recorded a darn thing!

I didn't tell you about painting Wyeth's bedroom from a lovely shade of purple to a great blue.  It took us over two weeks painting at night to do it. We slept on a futon. Wyeth slept in our room. It sucked but it looks great! "After" pics to come.

I didn't tell you about date night out with good friends, Christine and Jason. Like high school double dating! It is much more magical now that we have to coordinate two sitters!

I didn't tell you about the Dollie birthday party I planned with our neighbors from down the street. Pizza and cake were served. Each special doll (or turtle in Wyeth's case) was sung too. Good times!

I didn't tell you about the freak snow storm that surprised us with 3 inches of snow!

I didn't tell you about the fact that my long time friend from California, Krysta, came to visit us for two days.

I didn't tell you that my best friend Andy got snowed out of her house for 10 days without power and escaped down to PA for the adventure. That meant we got to treak or treat with her!  We also joined up with our good friends Christine and Jason.  6 kids under 6! AWESOME!

I didn't tell you about Halloween! About the fact that we went to join my parents in the community parade that I did as a kid. And despite the snow, loved it. My parents dressed up too!

I didn't tell you about the fact that early in the month we realized we were in the SAME CLASS as 'white meat".

I didn't tell you about the hikes and outdoor adventures we went on. Full of fall beauty.

I didn't tell you but I meant to.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Two nights ago Seren woke up at least 3 times having bad dreams. Dreams about spiders. Bugs. You name it, she dreamt about it.

I put her to bed last night and she said, "Mom, something must be wrong with my dream catcher. The bad dreams keep going through. I think the dream catcher is clogged."

I put Wyeth down two nights ago and did my usual, "I love you, Wy guy. Have a good night sleep. I love you so much."

His response was something like, "Night, night. I love you Megan." :)

I then heard little giggles coming from the dark corner of his crib.

Other updates: When will we move our wild boy from his crib to a big bed!? I don't want to do this. The child takes at least 30 minutes to unwind at night. He talks to himself. Sings. Plays. I can't imagine that a bed will help that 'quiet' time!

Seren lost her second tooth yesterday! Crazy! She is relieved. Now she can 'eat' again. Ya know, because she was sustaining herself on smoothies and all liquid diet.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Crush on my Barista

I have a confession. I have a major crush on my barista.  I see him daily. And he is so cute! He always knows what I want, how much sugar I should put in and he delivers my beloved coffee to my outstretched hands with a warm smile. I know this sounds awful considering I am happily married, but he is just an amazing part of my daily routine.

And sometimes he doesn't even wear pants!

I love this daily part of my morning rountine!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I'm halfway through Gretchen Rubin's book, The Happiness Project. And I love it! She has some great ideas! I can relate to many of the themes in the book.

Between reading that and training for my little 5K, I seem to be in a happier spot. In fact last weekend when I was NOT in a happy spot and being grouchy, Sam said to me, "Just go run. You will feel better."

He was right. Of course.

So I'm running and feeling a little bit better about the state of my body. But not by much.

And our house is slowing getting into shape. But not by much. (Our bathroom light blew out two weeks ago...I have taken dark, dark showers).

And our friendships exist where they didn't before. But they aren't the "old friends" that know you when.

So a lot is better. It is just that I'm impatient. Impatient for it all to 'fit into place'. Which it never will. And it really isn't supposed to. Because if it did, where is the journey? What fun is life?

And I really don't want to wish away these days. These days are just amazing gifts! And I have two healthy children, an able mind and body and an amazing husband. And I can already see how my five year old will one day be 15. And suddenly being silly at the dining room table won't bring peals of laughter but eye rolling.

But I think happiness is something you have to DO. Certainly that is one of her messages. That we have to think the way we want to feel. The other key message that I have learned but need to learn time and time again is to just be me. That's really all I can be. I'm fairly authentic. People feel I'm genuine. But I always worried about how I'm perceived. Too insecure? Too nerdy? Probably on both accounts. I'm working on just getting over it and being Me.

I feel like since June, I've been working on a lot. Thinking a lot. Thinking about options. Moving forward. The path is totally undefined. I can't even discern what I'm moving forward towards. I just feel like I'm moving. Searching. Seeking. And that feels good. We are getting things done at our house. Things are getting cleaned. Decisions are being made. Small ones but decisions none the less. I feel less 'stuck' even though for all intents and purposes nothing has really "changed". Perhaps it is the running that has made a difference. Perhaps the kids are getting to an age where they actually are more independent which creates some free space in my brain. I don't know what it is.

I'm just happier.

I'll take it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The First Lost Tooth

All week it wiggled. It moved. It bled. It gave me the 'willies'. It brought drama. Much drama.

The loose tooth.

On Sunday after a full weekend of playing outdoors in goregeous weather, Seren and I came in from the playground. I got her a nice cold juice. Thirty minutes past and Sam said, "Wait! Seren! Open your mouth."

And just like was gone.

No blood. No tears. No yanking.

The problem was GONE. No tooth to save. No tooth to share with the tooth fairy. Just...gone.

We jumped for joy! This was SUPER exciting! Man was it a moment! She beamed with pride! Yes! She was an official big kid.

At night, I sat with Seren as she wrote the tooth fairy a note. "Dear Tooth Fairy. I lost my tooth. Please bring me a present. From Seren." Seren was worried that the tooth fairy woudln't have a pad a paper or pencil. So she left both of them out. She said, "Well, I wouldn't want her to fly all over the house looking for it!"

There were many questions about the tooth fairy. What did she do with all of those teeth? One theory is that she picked the best ones and would make them into her own teeth! (??) She was excited about the whole thing.

ANd I got to play tooth fairy! In my tiniest hand writing, I wrote a tiny little note. I thanked Seren for her thoughtfulness to leave out the paper and pencil but that I flew with my own size paper. (Very tiny). The tooth fairy left four quarters and a necklace for a present.

Seren woke up the next morning, Monday morning and just beamed! Wow! Present! AND she wrote a note! She read it and was amazed about how tiny it was.

It is all lies. The whole thing.

But seriously? I love it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Of Fairies and Pirates

There is a huge debate going on inside our house these days. What is an appropriate 'boy' costume.

On one side of the debate if the newly minted kindergartener who has decided that girls can ONLY be fairies, ballerinerinas or princesses. That's it. And only girls can be these things.

On the other side is the nearly 3 year old little boy. Who adores his sister. And pretty much anything she does. He too has decided to be a fairy princess.

We are talking about gender a lot these days.

After two weeks of insisting on being a princess, Sam bought a pink tutu and I got high heels and wings for his costume. It was coming together. We were fine with it! Seren would deal!

And last night he said, "I be pirate all day for Halloween."



A new milestone!

A wiggly, jiggly, very much LOOSE TOOTH!

I can't believe it! And the sight of it made me mist up. I remember when that bad boy came IN.

And Seren, in full Seren fashion, has taken to this news like the true Diva she is. "Mom! I can't eat hard foods. Not now. I have a loose tooth. I have to eat all of my food from this side of my mouth. See? See what I mean? Because this tooth, this one, this one is loose. So I just can't eat anything right here."

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What are they 'into'

Seren, age 5 years and 4 months:
*sleeping without her bedrail (we took it down in August of this year)
*eating tons
*growing tons
*dolls- all of the time playing with dolls. Her favorite is Rosie. Her grandmom gave her an outfit with a matching doll outfit! Hysterical! She and Rosie wore the outfits to school on Friday for Show and Tell
*Bossing her brother around. We are trying to cut down on this. She is constantly correcting him. Telling him he is wrong. I worry about his self esteem! Geez, girlfriend, LAY OFF!
*Singing- loudly and sweetly
*Gymnastics- we started this summer and just signed her up for 14 more lessons. She seems to really, really enjoy it. When she can focus.
*Tennis- we signed her up for only 5 lessons. We shall see. It is a completely foreign experience for her.
*Less drama now. Still the tears come but only when really exhausted.
*Being in Kindergarten and learning all of the new schedules. 'We have gym today. Library tomorrow, etc."

Wyeth: 2 years and 9 months
*Dolls and purses- still loves them both. Less with the dolls and more into the purses. And still loves rocking the high heels. He wore a purse to the local high school football game.
*Cars- matchbox cars rock Wyeth's world. I hate matchbox cars and can really only enjoy them for a max of 5 minutes.
*Trains- still into trains. Any kind of training. He has his wooden train table in his room and between the cars and trains? He is one happy boy.
* NOT potty training. As in, nope, no thanks, NOT doing it.
* Eating is slightly better. But only slightly. We added apples. Ta da!
* Still going to bed late. His naps are still at the 2hour mark which means he doesn't really settle down until 9 pm on most nights.
* Still in his crib- WE have no interest in moving him. Just sounds like a total and utter nightmare about to happen.
* Riding his tricycle
* Candy. Wyeth would eat candy all day if we let him. After a over indulgence in July, we have not had candy in our house. It is a diaster. Talk about sweet tooth! In August, at the mean mention of the word, Wyeth lost his stuff. It wasn't pretty. My best friend, Andy, can attest.

We started watching TV on a daily basis in February of this year. I had to go to work earlier and Daddy needed to shower. It was a good run while we were at it. They now watch 30-45 minutes a day when Dad gets ready. That works for all of us. Curious George is a favorite.

That's the snap shot for tonight!

What a Week!


We are still adjusting to life on a 5 day a week schedule. Kindergarten continues to go well-ish.

Last Saturday I flew to Denver Colorad to spend some time with friends and family before attending a professional conference. What a total blast! My brother picked me up at the airport! SO good to see him. We then drove about an hour into Boulder to meet up with dear friends for dinner.

Sunday it was sunny. Again! Amazing!! After 11 inches of rain, I needed to see that sun! My host, Whitney, made a breakfast that was out of this world! Man! It was delicious! Then we went hiking. I can't tell you how good this felt! And sleeping without monitors was heaven! I crashed so hard. So good to feel so comfortable with old friends. It is an experience you don't take for granted!

Then my brother picked me up and we headed two hours towards Vail. I was there Sunday through Wednesday. It was beautiful! What a great week! A good conference, great food, good wine and just amazing mountains! I also presented a paper which was a first for me! I just had a blast. It was such a different week!

I got home at 9:30 pm on Wednesday. WHich was a long time away from teh kids- esp since I didn't have much of a weekend with them. THen, at 6:50 am on Thursday, Sam left to hang out with his parents. His mom and Dad are moving homes so he went home to load the truck. So the kids went from Dad being in charge and solo parenting to my mom and dad parenting while I was at work to me parenting in the evenings and today. I can't believe all of that was in one week.

We saw an amazing rainbow on Thursday night! Just one of those rainbows that takes your breath away!

In other news, Wyeth can only get a word in edgewise when Seren isn't around. Sam said he frequently talks all of the way home. Non stop from kindergarten drop off. Tonight, after I put Seren down, he gave me an oral dissertation on lightbulbs and how some need to be replaced. But not all of them. The child is a trip!

It was a full week! Sam returns tomorrow. Vail was amazing. Nothing like seeing my brother and my 'Boulder family' to make me smile wide. All four of them made me laugh so hard! What a total treat!

Next up is Rochestr NY and Arizona! Whew!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Falling from Grace: Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

In my 'other' life I was a born again Christian. Kinda. I was super religious. Church weekly. Bible studies weekly. And then I was a progressive Christian. Super invovled. This time in stead of reading "Lady in Waiting" which was a good about saving yourself for God, I was marching with my church in a gay pride parade in San Fran.

And then kids happened. And then church tried to happen. We church shopped for over two years. A full on committment to it. Every week a new place. We couldn't find home. Then Wyeth happened. The morning naps screwed up going to church in the morning.

And then nothing happened. It has been a long, long time since we have gone to church. And this is fodder for another post. A meaningful one in which I really express what a lack of a spiritual home means to me. I miss the community. I miss the sense of purpose. I miss the songs. I sometimes watch my old church's services on a live feed stream and cry. I miss it a ton.

But I note my past now as context.

We have fallen from grace. Far, far away from any religious training.

Seren figured out how to read the song "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear". You know it.

Teddy bear, Teddy bear,
Touch the ground.
Teddy bear, Teddy bear,
Turn around.
Teddy bear, Teddy bear,
Show your shoe.
Teddy bear, Teddy bear,
That will do.
Teddy bear, Teddy bear,
Run upstairs.
Teddy bear, Teddy bear,
Say your prayers.

Seren and Wyeth act out each phrase. So they touch the ground, turn around, show their shoe, run upstairs, etc. They sit at the piano and sing this song to each other. When they got to the phrase "Say your prayers", Seren had nothing. No gesture. She sat there and said 'hmm'. She was trying to figure out a gesture for that line.

That was sad enough to me as it was. No folded hands. No head bowed. She doesn't have that as context because we haven't taught it.

Then she pulled down her pants at the waist line and pointed to her underwear.


I then figured out her mental process. "Pairs of underwear. Pairs. Pairs sounds like prayers. That MUST be it!"

She now does this consistently when she and Wyeth sing the song. He pulls on his diaper.

Did I mention we haven't been to church recently?


While we had a fabulous long weekend of fun, beach days, trips to the orchard, time with friends, time with my parents, this 'short' week has felt incredibly long.

I feel totally unsettled these days. Some of it has to do with the weather. The earthquake, the hurricane, the possible tornado warnings and now more and more rain which has led to massive flooding has left me feeling a bit down. Combine that with home renovation, the anniversary of 9/11, the fact that there is a new terriosist 'threat' and the start of kindergarten, and I just feel like nothing is really 'the way it is supposed to be'. A bit of the 'unsure' feeling that no one likes.

Did I mentioned it has rain like 10 inches of rain in Philly in the last week? Not an exaggeration!

Kindergarten continues to go 'ok'. I had low expectations. And I guess it is living up to them. I feel a sense of not providing for her in the best way I can. It is hard when I see amazing pictures of stimulating classrooms. And I know that there is better out there. MUCH better. Loving teachers. Classrooms full of books and animals. Where a kids' mind can just EXPLODE with excitement. Her preschool was like that. That is why we chose it. And now we just aren't seeing that. At least not yet.

I have to remain open minded. But I am not a fan. The kindergarten teacher, during orientation, stood in front of a huge group of excited, nervous, adorable 5 year olds and didn't address them. Seriously? I would have said "HELLO KINDERGARTENERS! WELCOME! DO WE HAVE A YEAR FOR YOU!" Nothing. Not so much as a nodd to the kids! I know the meeting was for us but she seemed burnt out and exhausted at the START of the year.

And there is no communication what so ever. No weekly bulletins. No daily check ins at pick up. Nothing. We can't figure out if the lame coloring picture in her folder is 'homework' or not? And we were told to buy 3 folders for the year only to have them returned to us. Does she need them? When you have to rely on a 5 year olds 'take' on everything, we are left with a lot of question marks. Seren insists that they will never have recess. And with a short day, that could be true. But who knows? We have no sense of the schedule either. Are we to wear gym shoes every day? When do we pack the art smock? Ya know? These are stupid frustrations but for parents like us who WANT to know how everything is going, we feel a total and utter void.

I hope that the classroom preparation has improved because when I visited nothing was up. Not thier names on thier cubbies. Nothing. I saw about 15 books. I have spent over two years in kindergarten and first grade classrooms for my work. I have a pretty good idea what a classroom should contain and I have to say that it is bare bare bones.

BUT! She loves it! I mean, she is excited about everything! MOM! We have gym here! MOM! We get to have show and tell just like at Breezy Point! Mom! There are five boys. Two boys sit at my table. And I made two new friends! Mom! I learned a song. SO...she is happy.

She loves it. We are TRYING to love it and be open to an amazing year. But see?

Unsettled. I'll shut up. We are privleged to have a school to attend. We are lucky that WE care so much about this. And Seren loves it. Which is really all that matters. We have to let go. This is all about loosing control of things. And I need to be ok with that. It is all a process. It will evenutally stop raining. The house will one day be put back together. And for goodness sakes, we are an amazing family.

It is just that sense of 'blahs' that are haunting me.

The exciting news is that I leave to spend time with great friends and an amazing brother. I leave tomorrow. I'm so lucky to have amazing people in my life. Really? What do I have to complain about.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Riding his Tricycle!

Finally! Wyeth's legs can properly reach the pedals of his little tricyle! It is amazing! He LOVES the freedom! He is a man on a mission with his bike. I love to see his determination. I went for a walk this week with both of them on thier bikes and realized for the first time, that I was actually WALKING while they were riding! It was amazing!

Pretty much every day after dinner, I hang with the kids. And during the summer, that means we play outside. We play basketball. Or do the stomp rocket. Or do hoola- hoop. We talk to neighbors and the neighborhood dogs. And they usually want to go around the block. I encourage this but inevitable, Wyeth decides, about 5 houses down, that he wants to switch his vehicle. And we have to go back. Or Seren decides that the hill is too steep. Or she wants her scooter and not her bike. Or I just get grumpy becasue going around the block takes a good 30-40 minutes and I usually end up covered in sweat as I push Seren, pull Wyeth, push Wyeth and pull Seren.


But I continue to do it! And this week? AWESOMENESS on the bike front! Seren is totally confident in her new bike helmet and better adjusted bike. Off! And Wyeth's legs have grown! He just needs a new helmet and he is set to go! As for me, I could forseeable drink a glass of wine while I follow behind. :) Ok, maybe not yet but you get my point!

Summer rocked!

Winter in Summer!

In the winter when it was snowing, my kids got out all of the summer stuff and had a beach day.

When it was 95 degrees in August, my kids decided it would be awesome to play 'winter' after dinner.

So they bundled up. They have done this several times this summer! Ridiculous! And funny!

The difference with this time is that they wanted to then go on a bike ride. Remember, it was 95 degrees out! My neighbor can attest to the fact that Wyeth refused to take his coat off. Seren realized pretty quickly that this winter in summer thing was for the birds. But Wyeth? He was GAME ON! He was SOAKED with sweat by the time we came home.

What goofballs!