Archive for category the boy

Ooooh Scarrrry!

“Oooh scarrrry, mama!” and “punkins!” were just some of the fun phrases and words Jack loved to yell as we walked down the Halloween-decorated streets of Hoboken. Almost every brownstone on every block had a “punkin” or ghost or scary creature, perhaps influenced by the enthusiastic kids that live there.
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We, of course, don’t own our building so we don’t decorate the outside. But I tell ya, we’ve enjoyed the Halloween fun all around us. This past Saturday was no exception!

I was so excited that Halloween fell on a Saturday this year, particularly because I knew Jeff would be able to participate in all the festivities. On a normal day, he doesn’t get home until 8, or thereafter. So, a full day of parades, costumes and trick or treating was a perfect way to enjoy Halloween.

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At only 2 years old, our kid has not only begun flaunting his hysterical little (or should I say very big) personality! But beyond that, he has become so opinionated as well. He has has favorite shows, toys and books, but only a few of which that I can totally endorse. Most shows are annoying to me, given he loves the music/dancing aspects the best. But Yo Gabba Gabba, hands down, is a show that the 3 of us have grown to love.

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We bought the soundtrack last spring from iTunes and practically have it on repeat for all of our drives to Va.–it’s that awesome. No, really, it is. The Roots, Ting Tings and Biz Markie have a new found appreciation from me.

It was no question really what Jack was going to be for Halloween. When we first got some catalogs that had costumes, I let him flip through them. He’d name the animals, but just didn’t seem interest. But when I found some YGG costumes online, it was love…

And so, our boy was Plex the Magic Robot from YGG for Halloween. As much as I would’ve loved to make his costume myself, a homemade costume of a robot is a bit too complex for a toddler. I’m sooo glad we opted to buy his costume. It’s been such a hit!

Since Halloween fell on Saturday, I wanted to do a little something for Jeff and me. People go ALL OUT around here, but knowing how much Jeff hates Halloween, I knew I could only coerce him to do so much. So, I made some sweatshirts to look like other characters from YGG. I was Foofa, the pink blob or whatever she is and Jeff was Muno, the one-eyed monster.

We all suited up on Saturday morning and hit the streets to line up for the parade. It’s always so much fun to see the whole town—parents, grandparents, kids—to get so excited about costumes and dressing up. We saw so many fun costumes, including a few DJ Lances, more Foofas and a Plex or two.
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Jack rode in his tricycle and loved laughing and giggling at all the cool kiddie costumes we saw along the way. He absolutely loved seeing the dogs dressed up in costumes as well. Oh, it was just so much fun! I personally think all towns should have Halloween parades!
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The parade ended at the baseball field where there was a costume contest. Jack had no interest in the costume contest (which was so out of our league) but he did feel the need to run across the field that was blocked off. Oy!

We didn’t stay for the costume contest and so, we went to Washington St. (the main drag) to trick or treat at all the store fronts with all the other kids. Wow! It was the most crowded I’ve seen in a long time. I’m assuming people from neighboring towns came down to enjoy the festivities as well. We hit a few blocks of stores and then decided it was nappy nap time and headed home.

Once we were all refreshed from our naps, it was time for round 2! After the sun went down, we hit a few neighboring streets of private brownstone homes (read: the awesome houses). These streets, just a few blocks away from us, go all out and hand out candy to all the kids. It’s always fun to see the older couples and young professionals hand out candy, and to interact with our neighbors in general.

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I was most surprised when a few houses handed out whole candy bars to the kids. Full size Nestle bars…to hundreds of kids! It’s all in good fun, but I was so amazed! Jack did a wonderful job and held his bag himself, and even said “Treeeeaat!” a few times. Guess he couldn’t be bothered with the “Trick” part.

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He loved going house to house, admiring all the pumpkins and scarrrrry decorations. Though, if there was a scary person all dressed up, oh no, all bets were off. He was brave for the most part and would laugh after he realized the costumes were fake, but that was after daddy would have to pick him up :) We came to one house that had a scary cat and strobe light that he wanted nothing to do with…but it was the house that had a man dressed up as Batman that did it in for him.

It was such a fun day and a perfect age for us to enjoy. I’m so going to miss the fun traditions we’ve made here, but truly hope that whatever town we move to exceeds our fun standards. Actually, our fun standard should be the deciding factor! It would only make sense.

I’m so looking forward to the next holiday’s “punkins” and “ooh scarrrry, mama!” But for now, I’m totally enjoying Jack dressing up in his Plex costume every day…what a great investment!

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Momma, mama, moooommmm, MAMA

Has anyone seen that commercial with baby Stewie from the Family Guy where he’s reptitvely saying, “Momma, mama, moooommmm, MAMA?!!!!!?”

Well, we decided that Baby Stewie is channeling a whole lot of Jack in that commercial. And Lois is so me.

It cracks me up that Jack can barely string together sentences yet, but he’s got that repetitive kid chant-thing down.

And when he’s not driving me crazy with chanting mama or another word over and over and over and OVER, Jack is otherwise as cute as ever. His verbal skills and vocabulary continue to flourish, which is a constant reminder that I really do need to stop dropping the Fbombs.

Old habits die hard.

A few of the cutest things he says though are “Patsy” which means pizza, the way he answers “yeah” to every question you ask and especially the way he says “thankyouyourwelcome” after you give him something. haha.

Thankyouyourwelcome is THE greatest. He understands that ‘thank you’ and ‘your welcome’ go hand in hand, but he gets confused because I say them to him all the time. Though he gets “it,” I guess I never really clarified when he’s supposed to say what and when. He’s cute nonetheless.

He’s become so much more adept with our electronics. He can swipe the ipod with ease and point and touch his little games when we let him play for a few minutes at a time. When did he become such a geek like us!?

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As usual, I’ve been neglecting Babyrific. Truth is, life has been chaotic to say the least. Every week, I’ve had at least 2-3 blogger events in the City. Sometimes, I’m invited to more, but I tend to decline the events that don’t fit the scope of Nextkidthing.com or this blog. It’s been exciting to gain more and more momentum, but sadly, I’ve also become so overwhelmed at times. But regardless of how overwhelmed I get, I count my blessings for being able to fulfill my creative desires and spend as much time with Jack as possible.

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Because I go into the city quite a bit again, often times, I’ll need a babysitter. We found a lovely college student to watch Jack for a few hours at a time at our house, but her availability doesn’t always work with the times I need. Jack loves her and has even mentioned his older cousin Ashley whenever he sees this babysitter. The babysitter is right about Ashley’s age, and I think it’s so cute how much he loves his older cousin that he sees similarities between the two.

On the days where I need help in the mornings, I had to find somebody more consistent. Through one of our community message boards, I found a really nice woman who does childcare out of her home. In Hoboken, babysitters and au pairs are more commonplace than in home daycares, so I found this lady up in JC Heights, which is the town right up the hill from us. The location, though close, isn’t the most convenient since I have to walk 8-10 blocks to get there. But after Jack’s first day there today, I’m crossing my fingers and saying that it’s worth it.
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We’re still super tired from an emotional weekend of traveling and saying good bye to one of our best friend’s father. Since we all went to school together and grew up together, our longtime friends ARE a part of our family. A kind and funny man that Jeff idolized for his wry sense of humor, Mr. Bill Stead helped raise 3 wonderful daughters, and one whom Jeff and I would walk to the end of the Earth for.

The weekend made me think in depth about our friends and family and feel thankful for so much– even those things that we can’t change or control.

Even the non-stop barrage of Momma, mama, moooommmmm, Mama.

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These are the days

Yesterday morning, before opening his eyes, Jack was already clapping his hands and requesting his favorite (but my not-so-favorite) show.

The kid wasn’t even AWAKE yet, and he’s all about Twist, Shout, Kiki and Marina. What the hell?

In case you’re not familiar, this particular show showcases some of the hottest moves for preschoolers. It even has Jeff dancing and singing about some damn “Loco Legs.”

;)

You guessed it; our sick boy is back to normal. It took 4 visits to the dr., 2 antibiotic shots, LOTS of tears and lost sleep, but he’s back to normal. And by normal, I mean he’s dancing and singing, screaming and jumping, too!

It’s good to have this craziness back.

For about a week, I had to cancel plans and dump our regular schedule of visiting the park for a few hours each day. No social interaction for a week—not including the nurses, doctors and people in the doctor’s office—makes for a loooong week. I guess I had a refresher of what the long winter indoors will be like. Let’s hope we find ways to keep busy with our local friends when it gets all cold again.

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Speaking of busy, last Friday was my one year anniversary of quitting my job. As I said on FB, what a year it’s been. One year ago, I never envisioned myself to be ___here___. Perhaps, I had totally different expectations, but I never visualized myself becoming totally immersed in social media and the blogosphere. It’s been an interesting transition, but a great one. I’ll have to devote a whole post to it later, but I love where I am. Love.

I love all the friends I’ve made, all the contacts I’ve met, all the events I’ve attended, all the cool experiences to speak of, but especially, getting to witness the little things with Jack each and every day.

Don’t get me wrong, some days with him obviously suck the life out of me, but the other days that are filled will kisses, hugs and snuggling, yeah, those are the days that justify all that doubt about me quitting my job and letting go of that chapter. Those days are the ones that make me forget about not being able to get those overpriced boots or declining that fun soiree that no longer fits in the budget. Those are the days where I want *maybe* 3 more Jacks.

These are the days that make me love this job so, so, much.

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Ear infections, figure fours and no sleep for the weary

So, we’re working on a week now…

A week of what you might ask?

A week of non-stop “mama, mama, mama, mama, mama.” A week of “no like, mama.” A week of holding my strong little boy in the Figure Four position, wrestling him down to force feed him spoonfuls of Amoxicillin. A week of being quarantined all in the name of his first ear infection.

This isn’t really a milestone, but hey, we’ve been ear infection-free for 2 years. I guess we lucked out in that department. Let’s hope we won’t have to deal with this much longer or at all in the near future!

Our poor guy has been miserable. I mean, look at that face! Quite the difference from just two weeks ago at his well visit!

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Ok, so, miserable doesn’t even do it justice. He’s a hot mess quite literally. There have been a few days in a row now where his temperature has been as high as 104ish and hasn’t been below 102. When all I hear and read about is the H1N1 virus, it’s hard not to be worrisome.

So, we haven’t slept much. He hasn’t moved out of my lap much either. But the last part isn’t so bad.

Except when it’s 4am.

We’ve been to the dr. WAY too much this past week, with today’s 2 hour wait/visit/debacle involving a throat culture, hysterical little boy and punctuated with an antibiotic shot to the no longer chubby thigh.

But, good news! After sleeping off some of his exhaustion (and canceling my plans to attend a Cupcake Crawl!!) my buddy, popped up from his nap and squealed with glee! No, really. He did!

He laughed a little, whined a little, laughed a little more and then still insisted on crawling onto my lap a few times. His fever isn’t as crazy as it’s been, which is good. He’s not wailing over the pain from his ears that much either. I don’t want to jinx it, but it looks like we’re on the mend! Cross your fingers, everyone. I’m ready to have a healthy boy and a little social interaction besides the nurses at the dr’s office!

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Motherhood 2.0, or as some call it, spending way too much time online

A couple of weeks ago, after one of my really horrible days where Jack and I both melted down simultaneously, I remember spouting off to Jeff, something to the effect of, “After days like this, I don’t think I’d be able to handle another kid.”

Yeah, I REALLY said that.

I had a shitty day. And just like many people do, I said something out of haste. So, what I probably meant to say was, “After days like this, I don’t think I can handle any more kids without my support system.”

Living so far away from family, not having many local friends that have kids yet and not being super-close with many mom friends in our area, my support system is much different than what my mom’s support system was like.

In addition to mom, we grew up with my grandma caring for us on a day-to-day basis, we constantly had aunties around, not to mention, dad ruling the roost. Yeah, we were very lucky.

So, as I navigate my own adventures in motherhood, I always feel nostalgic for my own childhood. The house was always crowded with some sort of chaos; it was constantly filled with food and family life seemed like a well-oiled machine.

On any given day, I consider it a good day if both Jack and myself are out of our pjs by noon, nevermind actually find a consistent and responsible babysitter that can help me out regularly. With Jeff’s long hours and commute times, we kiss him goodbye as we’re waking up and he sometimes gets home just in time for bedtime. (It goes without saying that we appreciate his hard work that allows us to live such a wonderful life.)

It’s a long day to navigate without a co-pilot. And that’s not a complaint whatsoever. We chose this life; I cope by blogging about it :)

Ok. So maybe I don’t have the physical support system that I grew up with, or maybe my girlfriends are still hitting happy hour as I wield strollers and diaper bags. I am, however, so grateful for my online support system. If I didn’t have my blogs as therapy, my message board girls to use as a sounding board or Facebook status to update regularly or Twitter to remind me that I’m not “alone,” I’m so sure I’d have gone off the deep end by now.

I’ve seen many articles on Motherhood 2.0, but it’s this latest one that was posted on MSNBC’s site today that really hit home with me. We’ve been quarantined because of Jack’s fever and ear infections, but this article made me smile and count my blessings that I’m never alone in this.

The subhead, alone, sums up what motherhood is like:

It still takes a village to raise a child — the community has just gone from the neighborhood to the blogosphere.

Hell, in that first sentence, you could easily transpose my last name and number of kids to ring true, too!

Jennifer Morais was a stay-at-home mother of three who was struggling financially but couldn’t afford the cost of child care if she went to work.

What it comes down to is, motherhood/parenthood is best tackled together. Whereas in generations past, large groups of relatives helped care for the kidlets, today, we have online support systems that bind so many of us together.

I love the advice and guidance I’ve received from friends online (and sometimes, friends of friends,) many of whom I can’t visit easily, but I sure as hell can get a chuckle from when their pre-schooler celebrates poop sizes. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

A special congrats to one of my mom blog friends, Kim of Mominthecity, who was mentioned in this article. She is a truly influential individual who has been so gracious to extend invitations and contacts, much like many of my other blogging friends have done, such as Carol of NYCityMama. I hope to do the same as often as possible.

In addition to the many wonderful friends I’ve made through blogging, I’m just as thankful for the girlfriends I’ve made online on my message boards and the close friends I can keep up with thanks to Facebook. I know many of you read my blogs and comment gratuitously (which really, really helps.) And trust me, I love reading about your kids on your Facebook status, too.

For all of you who care to interact whether it’s online or in person, I’m so thankful for you—more than you know!

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Terrific twos: I can see why some choose to have a litter or none at all

This morning, while holding his butt, Jack looked at me square in the face and said, “Aw mannnnnn. I pooped.”

Motherhood rocks.

I really, truly mean that.

While doing laundry a few days ago at my parents house a few weeks ago, I vividly remembered the days leading up to Jack’s arrival. That sweet “new baby” smell of Dreft, the detergent that my mom keeps stocked specifically for the little guy, made me all nostalgic for when I was hugely pregnant and dutifully washed every little baby item and sat in my big blue chair to fold one-by-one afterward.

Now, randomly, when I find one of those teeny tiny socks, small enough to fit a doll, lingering in the sock basket, it’s so hard to believe that he was once that small.

Today, he’s able to call beer, “mama and dada juice” and say even more awesome phrases like, “oops, poo poo.”

Nothing makes me beam with pride other than my 2-year old passing gas in public and announcing to everyone within ear shot “oops, poo poo.” hahaha.

Seriously, how did all of ——this—— happen so quickly? One minute I’m arranging tiny baby socks, the next minute he’s telling me where to find the socks.

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I haven’t done a full-on update since 18 months, so before I forget, I thought it’d be a good time to share what’s going on with our big boy.

At Jack’s 2 year well baby visit, he weighed in at 29 lbs, putting him in the 75th percentile; measured at 35 in., which is the 95th percentile and his head circumference measured at 51 cm, the 90th percentile. Because he’s grown taller and not really wider, he’s still in 24m and 2T. For some shirts, he’s wearing 3T already and a few of the very cool shirts that Auntie Kris has bought for birthdays.

Our tall, big-headed healthy boy continues to grow like a weed. On some days, he eats like a wild animal, begging for food every hour on the hour, there are days where he’d subsist on cereal alone. For the most part, he’s a decent eater, but there are times where he protests new foods, and even food that he loves. He’s a typical toddler in that sense. He loves carrots and snacky sort of foods like Kashi crackers and Earth’s Best Letter cookies. He still loves condiments and demands “dip” with almost every meal. Apple slices dipped in ranch probably won’t be the weirdest combination I’ll see this kid eat!

Jack is very much a little boy in every sense of the word. He runs, jumps and dives head first into everything. He can turn anything into a trampoline or jungle gym, especially my back and daddy’s shoulders. He really has no fear. He’s so friendly and lovey, he has no problem making friends, especially if the kids are much older like his cousins. He calls any teenage girl “Ashley,” and tween blonde boy “Michael” or “Brandon” and any girl is “Britney.” He looooves his big cousins. In fact, over the weekend, when we attended Jeff’s coworker’s wedding, Jeff’s boss’ sister in law watched Jack. The sister in law has a 12 year old blonde son who, we think, saved the day! He was pure entertainment for Jack and was most certainly a good sport for entertaining a 2 year old all day. As for the little kids, I really wish we had more little friends that we could hang out with daily. Jack has one little buddy who is 2 months younger than him that he adores, but we only see him at the park. With my busy schedule and intermittent events and activities, it’s hard to keep up with the stay at home moms and kids in the area. We do, however, make it a point to try and hang out at the park twice a day. It’s our social life, physical outlet and our backyard.
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Jack’s vocabulary continues to surge. Starting around the time we went to Hawaii, we noticed Jack becoming so much more verbal and expressive. He loved saying hello and goodbye to all the fellow tourists. He’s still at the phase where it’s somewhat hard for others to understand, so I’m usually translating everything he’s saying. He sometimes gets frustrated when others don’t understand him, but we’re all getting there. He still uses some signs to get his point across; for instance, he doesn’t verbally say thank you, only signs it. My favorite things he says now are when he says “oh mannnn!” when something doesn’t work out the way it’s supposed to; or when he says “ooooooooh” with the inflection like a light bulb went off, after I explain something to him. “Uh oh poo poo” is, undoubtedly, the funniest thing he’s said to date!

As outgoing and friendly as Jack is, for the past month or so, he’s been having the worst time with separation anxiety. I’ve talked about it candidly before, but it really is so heartbreaking and troublesome. I love that he loves me so much, but it’s so tough to work through the tears and uncontrollable fits of rage when I leave or a babysitter comes around. Based on his latest babysitter experience, I think he’s finally starting to come around.

Sleep habits that were once so golden and wonderful are officially gone. He no longer signs to go to bed and falls asleep on his own, instead he wages a war when we mention bed or crib. We’ve yet to convert his crib to the toddler bed simply because we know our kid. I know he’ll roam around the house and find every last crumb from his last snack, instead of sleep. I think that we’ll convert soon though. For now, every night is a battle and there’s no regularity like there used to be. He sleeps well until 8am every day, but getting him to actually sleep in the spot that’s meant for him? Yeah, we haven’t found the tactic that works yet.

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Just as there are good days, there are the really, really shitty days. That same day of the luncheon where I spent most of the time in the childcare room, the rest of the evening went from bad to worse. Jack kept melting down, I kept getting frustrated and things just never looked up. I remember crying and telling Jeff that it was days like those that I don’t think I could physically or emotionally handle another kid. Like when Jack was having a really tough time w/ his molars and the time in change, at least my entire family was there to somewhat help. It’s so much harder when it’s just us two every.single.day. It’s not that Jack is a bad kid, I just don’t have a handle on things enough to balance it all on my own AND to add another one just yet. For those who have no family or friends nearby, I’m sure you know what I mean. Not every day is a cake walk and that lack of support makes me go crazier every day.

Although, the unsolicited hugs, kisses and endless “mama!!??” just to hear me respond, those never get old. Thankfully, we have more good days to overshadow those shitty days. Because, as imperfect but as lovable that our little guy is, I can’t WAIT to see what he’ll be like as a big brother…when that day finally comes around.

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Weathering through the working woes

From beginning to end, this week marked one of the most tumultuous, yet fulfilling weeks I’ve ever had.

Our guy turned 2 on Sunday.  We traveled way more than we could physically handle for the sake of others.  We welcomed another month of crazy, busy activities and events.  I attended a lovely event, but my experience was clouded by Jack’s awful, AWFUL  separation anxiety issues.  I checked out some of the hottest, coolest toys EVER and connected with so many interesting people (more on this to come and lots more info. can be read on NKT!) But best of all, my guys got to bond one on one for a change.

By the middle of the week, I was so blinded by exhaustion and frustration. After the event where Jack bawled uncontrollably for practically 2 hours in a swanky restaurant that I’d been dying to try and finally had the chance, much thanks to the luncheon I was invited to, I felt so defeated.  Instead of mingling with people, all of whom were just as passionate or interested in this brand of products, my job as a mom came first.

Jack, for some reason, can’t shake this separation anxiety spell.  He cries his little eyes out, his nose runs, his little round face gets all red and he hyperventilates…until I come back.  I know it’s a temporary phase, but it certainly doesn’t make the present any less painful.

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As a family who tries to juggle life without any family nearby, surviving on one predictable salary while I build the foundation for another, when I’m invited to a media or blogger event, I have no choice but to be selective.  It’s always an honor to be invited to events, though we can’t always swallow the expense of babysitters, plus the cabs and trains.  (Let’s put it this way, most nannies and babysitters make just as much as I did when I was still working as an editor; hence one of the reasons why I went freelance.)  So this particular event, because it was a brand that our family loves, was one event that I couldn’t wait to attend.  The fact that they offered childcare was an added perk.  Awesome right?

Yeah, not so much when your kid insists on being attached to your leg, for fear of being abandoned.

Is this separation anxiety my fault for choosing to work from home?  Are we to blame for visiting Va. more often than our bodies and emotions can handle (and saying goodbye way too enough, thus disrupting his normal routines?)

I choose to believe that it’s just another phase that we’ll weather through…

Whatever the reason might be, Jack’s crying and outbursts made another little boy cry, too.  Frickin’ fabulous, I thought.  Jack’s just barely on the cusp of understanding cause and effect, but he most certainly did not grasp why mommy wanted to leave him in a strange room filled with little kids with 2 unfamiliar adults.

Jack cried loud enough for a room full of executives, members of the press and bloggers, like me to hear.  I can’t say I was embarrassed—he’s my kid for crying out loud.  I will say that I was annoyed at the people who rolled their eyes or mouthed snarky comments about the crying kid.  MY kid.  It was then that I second-guessed myself for even attending, what I thought was, an event celebrating one of the best companies that embrace greener lifestyles and raising organic kids.

It was almost surreal that my mostly organically and green-grown child was like a misfit because he couldn’t stand being away from me.

At one point, understandably, I was asked to go tend to him because he was So LOUD.  Perhaps, they couldn’t hear the taping of speeches or hear the slideshow in the midst of his terror-filled cries?

And so, I spent most of my afternoon in the childcare room feeling isolated, bitter and left out.

As a friend later told me, I was being harder on myself and more critical of the situation than others were.  eh…maybe.  But from the glares that I felt that I was getting, it definitely felt much different.

My kid was crying a lot.  I should have left altogether.  Problem was, the base of our stroller was on the OTHER side of the room, like the side I couldn’t access because there was a podium and audience separating us.  So, I spent most of the event in the childcare room, missing a majority of what I trekked there for in the first place.

Lesson learned.

My feelings, experiences and thoughts in NO WAY reflect the company or publicists.  I’m quite appreciative for the aforementioned, but honestly, hurt by a few of my peers who made me feel uncomfortable for being a mother that day.  My friends who kept me company that afternoon?  Yeah, they rocked…especially when I couldn’t get our giant stroller in and out of yet another logistically impossible and stroller-unfriendly establishment.

In the end, I’m just another mom trying to make it work.  I got the information we needed, enjoyed bites of a lovely lunch and made it home unscathed.  This wasn’t the first stroller-schlepping and tear-filled outing.  My guess is that it won’t be the last.  It’s all in a day’s work of this blogging/writing/reporting mama.

Next time, I’ll rethink my choices. (Do I decline the childcare and get my own sitter?  Do I figure out a way to break this separation anxiety spell?) But today, even after all the tears and stroller-schleeping,  I’m glad I know how to handle (or NOT to handle) the next chaotic situation.  Seriously, the thought of multiple children in this city-living, event-attending realm gives me night tremors.  But that’s a whole different post.

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And just like that, he’s 2!

It’s still so hard to believe that it’s already been 2 years since we brought home our bubbly, mischievous little boy. And to think, back then, I could actually carry him still and I didn’t have to run so damn much and had way less gray hair.

But, it’s all good. Contrary to all of my complaints, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We’re all still recovering from a quick weekend in Va. to celebrate Jack’s birthday with the family. At this point, it feels like we’ll never catch up on things. At the very least though, I’ve uploaded some birthday photos on Flickr and Facebook. The actual blog posts, as usual, will come…eventually.

For now, enjoy a quick glimpse of my cute and innocent little guy.

My buddy is 2

Yeah right. Cute, sure. Innocent? Not so much :)

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All aboard!

The other night, I complained to Jeff that my computer was running a little slow.  I mentioned that the thousands of photos that I’ve been taking lately might be the cause and that maybe I’d need an external hardrive to remedy this simple, techy malady.

The next day, my very thoughtful husband spent his lunchbreak persuing, geekily I might add, Costco for said remedy. Jeff found this handy dandy Hitachi hardrive that’s water and shock resistant, because you know, day-to-day with our 2 year old daredevil is as chaotic as a white water rafting excursion, except with lots of milk, cereal and toys to wade through. I bet they weren’t targeting this device for a work at home mom, though? But it’s genius!

After finding this ideal hardrive, Jeff, who normally has an aversion to shopping unless there are food samples involved, took a whirl around the rest of Costco.  He found his way to the toy section, which, as he described, looked as though they just put out their bounty of oversized boxes filled with glorious Christmas toys.  And dudes, it’s Costco, so you know there must have been awesomeness involved.

And when he wasn’t looking, just like true love, Jeff found it.  He found THE most gigantic toy one could buy their toddler. 

Have I ever mentioned that we just so happen to live in a small city apartment? 

The enormous box, the size of a standard door and weight of a walrus, enclosed not just one giant toy, but an oversized table, trundle and 100 pieces.  I personally think they forgot several zeros.  There has to be a million tiny pieces!  But alas, we now own a Kid Kraft Metropolis Table and Train Set.
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So, you guessed it, I was reluctant about the size of this toy.  When Jeff first emailed me about it, I assumed he was thinking of Christmas.  I mean, WHERE WOULD WE PUT this metropolis you speak of?

But once I heard and saw Jeff’s excitement; how could I say no?

That night, Jeff stayed up until 2am setting up the metropolis and its table and trundle.  “I want to set it all up so that he wakes up to it.”

It’s oh so awesome.

That next morning, my two guys, with their matching disheveled hair and shirtless chests, hobbled to our living room and played with the intertwined tracks and brand new trains.  Jack and Jeff, on either corner of the table, studied every single acoutrement—all one million of them.  They giggled in unison like little school girls!

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So, I can’t move as freely in our living space anymore, and with all these damn toys cramping my style, I don’t have the Pottery Barn-esque feel either (or anything for that matter!)  But when I saw the pure happiness and sense of contentment from both of their faces, just from this enormous trainset that I didn’t want in the first place, clearly, that other stuff doesn’t matter.

Those early morning smiles and laughs: they are what matter.

That morning, Jeff reminded me of Ricky Schroeder riding on his ride-on train in the opening credits of Silver Spoons.  Jack was definitely Alfonso Robeiro doing his happy dance.  Oh wait, wrong show :)

You’re probably all like, it’s just trainset!  I know, right?  But this, my friends, is so much more…

Jack's train set and table
Above Jack’s crib, I had wall words made to decorate his closet/nursery.  It reads: “From small beginnings come great things.”  It’s so hard to believe that it’s already been two years ago when we welcomed our little buddy and embarked on that small beginning. 
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This giant trainset might take up too much space in our little living room for right now, but according to our mantra, Jeff had the foresight to pick this fun birthday gift because, undoubtedly, we’re just prepping for all that greatness and space that’s sure to follow.

As Jack would say, choo choo all aboard!

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Citi Field and one last summer weekend

And just like that, summer is officially over.  How did that happen so quickly?  Just before the summer’s warmth slipped by, Jeff, Jack and I had the chance to savor the last weekend of my favorite season, NYC-style.

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Baseball, as I’m sure you know, is such a big part of our summer.  With the Mets games streaming nonstop on our tv from April to September, it’s no big secret that we’re big fans.  Last year, we said goodbye to Shea, and even though this was a less than desirable season (again), we made our inaugural trip to Citi Field on this brisk, but sunny Saturday.

I should note that due to Jeff’s influence, we sort of boycotted going to Citi Field for most of the season—because we’re huge fans of baseball, and well, because of obvious reasons.  I personally think it should be called the People’s Stadium and that all seats should be MUCH more affordable…  But, anyway, per usual, while everyone is getting all excited for fall and football, we’re still doting on our boys of summer.  I loved spending the last weekend of summer with my favorite guys, watching our favorite team, in perhaps the best city in the world!

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As usual, we pulled out our best Mets gear and headed to the sparkly new stadium in Queens.  But unlike past trips, we enjoyed the luxury of pre-paid parking, so we drove there this weekend!  Once we arrived, naturally, we were in awe of Citi Field’s novelty.  For as long as Jeff’s been a fan, the Mets’ home has always been Shea.  So, to drive down the Grand Central and approach a brand new brick ballfield with a totally different name was almost surprising.  After we finally found our cushy parking spot just a few feet from the main entrance, the boys practically sprinted their way into the ballpark.  (You know the Mets are struggling if tickets and parking are easy to come by!!)

IMG_0363IMG_0357IMG_0352IMG_0302IMG_0327IMG_0319Our seats, which overlooked right field on the Field level, were pretty awesome. On Field Level of Citi Field, there’s a big concession area right behind centerfield, which was close to where we were sitting.  As soon as we got there, Jack and I wandered around, checked out Fan Fest and I even grabbed some gourmet tacos.  True story: I heard from some moms at our playground that the tacos were a must-have (seriously!) and dude, were they ever!  But from the tempting but never-ending lines at The Shake Shack and Blue Smoke, to my delicious taco combo from Taxiquera, as Jeff said best, the glorious new stadium resembled a mall with a food court.

Is it possible that beat up ol’ Shea Stadium with its history and character is much better than this multi-million dollar spectacle?

I thought the new stadium was beautiful and cool, especially the Jacki Robinson Rotunda—who wouldn’t want to be greeted with that kind of beauty!  However, the newness and novelty of the entire stadium overall, seemed unbalanced with its “every man/blue collar fanbase,” not to mention, another lackluster season.   In addition to exploring the new stadium, the Mets ended up winning against the Nationals.  It was a very fast-moving game, which apparently had a lot to do with both teams sucking.  I confirmed this observation from mr. baseball stats, himself  :)

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Being able to bring Jack to his second big league game is something we’re quite grateful we’re able to do.  At not even 2 years old, I swear, our kid has seen and done more cool activities than some people I know.  Ok, so he might not have sat still for all 9 innings.  In fact, because of Jack’s curiosity and inability to sit still, I got to see so much of the stadium, especially around the Field Level attractions.  I love the way Jack dance-walked around the ball park’s “little city,” with his oversized hat and Mets jersey, even stopping to chase and giggle with some big kids.

By the way, if it were any other circumstance—such as if they had a winning record, or if we had a bigger family or if we bought these tickets ourselves—we certainly wouldn’t have been able to afford a day out at Citi Field!  It’s so much fun, but certainly not cheap!  It’s kind of sad that a small family has to go into debt just to attend a baseball game these days…

As my diehard Mets fan hubs often says, “that’s the life of a Mets fan.”

(Usually not in that context, but it definitely applies!)

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And as for the hopes of a winning season, as everyone else continues to say, there’s always next year.

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